Skip to main content

Impact of Bollywood? 90% young women say male violence is an accepted social norm, one has to live with it

By Rajiv Shah
In a stark revelation, about 90% of the female respondents in the age group 18-30 years, interviewed in an Oxfam India report to ascertain the impact of Bollywood films on youth, admitted to either being recipients of intimate partner violence (IPV) if they were married, or spoke of IPV as an accepted social norm, if they were not.
The report, which is based on focus group discussions (FGDs) in rural and urban areas of five states -- Bihar, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Odisha -- notes that "only two women said that their spouses had never hit them", adding, "Most reported forms of partner violence include slaps, pushing, rebukes and mental cruelty."
"There is a very high incidence of extra marital affairs by men in all locations", the report states, adding, "Most women felt that it was acceptable to be hit once in a while. 'Wohi sawarenge, wohi dulharenge…toh wohi na marenge…' (he is the one who loves us, takes care of us…so what if he hits us once in a while…) was a common sentiment".
The report is titled "The Irresistible & Oppressive Gaze: Indian Cinema and Violence against Women and Girls", and is based on inputs from activists Lopa Ghosh, Nisha Agrawal, Ranu Kayastha Bhogal, Julie Thekkudan, Diya Dutta, Mary Thomas, Rajini Menon and Himanshi Matta.
Apart from interviews during FGDs, the report carries individual reactions, more than half of whom were females, mainly to elicit the impact of films on youth. "When asked about the qualities of an ideal man, 95% said that he should be above all loving and caring, be able to earn consistently for his family (90%), have a good personality (86%) and spend time with their wives (70%)", the report says.
Even while "only about 60% talked about physical attractiveness and masculinity", when probed on the notion of manliness, the report says, most cited instances of Salman Khan in "Sultan" because he repents and grieves for the loss of his child and loves his wife loyally; Akshay Kumar in "Airlift" for his patriotic fervor; Ajay Devgn in "Drishyam" for his ability as a common man to defend his family; Aamir Khan in "Dangal" and Shahrukh Khan in "Chak De" for their motivational roles; and actors such as Ranveer Singh and Siddharth Malhotra for their masculine attractions.
The report says, "It is not surprising that in 48% of the films, men perform a nationalistic function, serve the country, society or community in some form. In 17% of the films, women perform a similar function."
However, during a discussion of a sequence from "Dabangg" (2010), in which Salman Khan tells Sonakshi Sinha that she should "accept his offer of money when offered lovingly as it is well within his right to ‘slap’ her into accepting his bidding", the report says, "70% of the female respondents were of the opinion that this was a romantic conversation hence the hint of violence is excusable."
The report notes how with their folksy diction and rural proverbs, item songs are widely used tools for sexual harassment. "95% of young girls reported that boys and men played those songs on their mobile phones or sang them out loud when they walked to school or went somewhere to run an errand."
The study concludes that Indian cinema has "considerable influence on patriarchal attitudes and sexist behaviour across all aspects of life and society. Films are the primary, and to an extent, the only cultural good consumed by the communities that were part of this research."
According to the report, "The objectified image of a woman on screen deeply influences young girls and women. They find themselves caught between tradition and aspirations. Fear of assault is connected to the way in which girls dress up. Women on screen frame the notions held by young men and boys about how a woman should be."
"More dangerously", the report says, "Notions of consent as mandatory has been completely liquidated by mainstream films. Acquiring a romantic partner is considered to be a real goal. Exposure to explicit content encourages irresponsible sexual behaviours."

Comments

TRENDING

World Bank clarifies: Its 26th rank to India not for universal access to power but for ease of doing business

By Our Representative
In a major embarrassment to the Government of India, the World Bank has reportedly clarified that it has not ranked India 26th out of 130 countries for providing power to its population. The top international banker’s clarification comes following Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal’s claim that India has “improved to 26 position from 99” in access to electricity in just one year.

"Misleading" satellite images being shared on Balakot surgical strike on Jaish camp

By Dr Vinay Kate*
With every passing day more questions are being raised about the surgical strike India did in Balakot as a response to Pulwama attacks. So far the Indian media has claimed mass casulaty of 300+ terrorists of Jaish-e-Mohammad in this surgical strike, but there is hardly any report from foreign media about the same.

Extreme repression, corporate loot, cultural genocide "characterise" India's tribal belt

Counterview Desk
As Lok Sabha polls approach, there is considerable ferment in one section of the population -- India's Adivasis, forming about 8.6 per cent of India's population. Things became particularly critical following the February 14, 2019 Supreme Court order, allegedly seeking to evict lakhs of tribals from their forest lands.

Industry in India "barely growing", export growth 0%, whither moral anchors?

Counterview Desk
In a sharp critique of the Modi government, the Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad (IIM-A), one of world renowned economist Prof Kaushik Basu, who is Professor of Economics and Carl Marks Professor of International Studies at Cornell University, has told students at the IIM-A’s 54th Annual Convocation on March 16, 2019 that they have a “special responsibility” on their shoulders, “the responsibility to reject narrow sectarianism, uphold scientific thinking, openness to new ideas, and freedom of speech.”

Gujarat model? Industrial effluents "invade" borewells, discharge coloured water in farms

By Rajiv Shah
In a major embarrassment for Gujarat model, of the 21 samples taken by officials of the state government's environmental watchdog Gujarat Pollution Control Board (GPCB) in two villages of Vadodara district and analyzed by its laboratory in Gandhinagar, the state capital, to find out pollution level in groundwater, 16 were assessed as highly contaminated – these were, in fact, found to be discharging reddish, brownish, reddish, or yellowish water.

Refugees as criminals? US govt report blames Amit Shah for calling Bangladeshis termites

Counterview Desk
The chapter “Freedom of Movement” of the US State Department’s “India 2018 Human Rights Report”, released recently, has criticized BJP chief Amit Shah for terming alleged Bangladeshis who may be in Assam as “termites”, because their names were struck down from the list of National Register of Citizens, under preparation in the state.
Pointing out that four million residents were excluded from Assam’s final draft list, leading to “uncertainty over the status of these individuals, many of whose families had lived in the state for several generations”, the report regrets, the Indian law does not even contain the term “refugee,” treating refugees like Rohingiyas as “any other foreigners.”
“Undocumented physical presence in the country is a criminal offense. Persons without documentation were vulnerable to forced returns and abuse”, the report says.
Text of the Freedom of Movement chapter: The law provides for freedom of internal movement, foreign travel, emigration, a…

Congress would win just 9 of 26 Lok Sabha seats: Gujarat Assembly segment-wise analysis

By Rajiv Shah
Even as the Congress plans its first working committee meet in Gujarat on February 28 after an almost 58 year gap, there is reason to wonder what is in store for India’s grand old party in a state which has been long been a BJP bastion – in fact ever since mid-1990s. Ahead of the then assembly polls in late 2012, talking with me, a senior Gujarat Congress leader, currently Rajya Sabha MP, frankly said he saw no reason why Congress would win.

"Pro-corporate" Supreme Court order on FRA would further marginalize Adivasis

By VS Roy David, JP Raju*
For millions of Adivasis and other traditional forest dwellers February 13, 2019 will go down in history as the day of apocalypse. This is like the proverbial Black Friday where millions of most marginalized people of India were ordered by malicious anti-people draconian Supreme Court order depriving them the life and livelihood by evicting them from their habitats.

Financial inclusion? Not micro-loans; India's poor "need" investment in health, education

By Moin Qazi*
India has grown into a global powerhouse. Its economy is soaring but the picture on the ground is still quite arid. The green shoots that you see are only a patch of its landscape. Most Indians are hapless victims of inequity. India is one country where intense poverty abounds in the shadow of immense wealth.

India, Pakistan told to eliminate nuclear weapons: N-war "would kill" 2 billion

Counterview Desk
The International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW), a non-partisan federation of national medical organizations in 64 countries, representing tens of thousands of doctors, medical students, other health workers, and concerned citizens, claiming to share the common goal of creating a more peaceful and secure world freed from the threat of nuclear annihilation, has warned that “an unprecedented global catastrophe” awaits the globe against the backdrop of warmongering in India and Pakistan.