No matter how much you love your parents or pretend to, you have issues with them. More like, they have issues. Well, they are old and set in their ways, but what if I told you a lot of the ways they are set are a result of what they watched on TV or in cinemas. See, we did a little research on some of the crap our parents were watching and falling in love with, when they were our rage.
FYI, this is not to say that progressive movies weren’t made during the last 50 years. It’s just that these were the films that sold the tickets.
1. In pretty much every movie, Govinda was playing roadside Romeo type characters or harassing them and somehow the women would always fall in love with them.
2. In Benaam Badshah, a movie starring Juhi Chawla and Anil Kapoor, the hero rapes the heroine and she spends the entire movie trying to get her rapist to marry her.
3. In Tejaswini, a lady police officer goes on a crusade to get a politician’s son to marry a girl he raped.
4. In Raja Babu, Govinda and his whole family blatantly lie about his qualifications but his to-be bride is somehow at fault for leaving him on finding out the truth about him being a good-for-nothing scam artist.
5. In Chori Chori Chupke Chupke, Rani Mukerji’s character is told that a woman is born thrice, once when she’s a daughter, second time when she is a wife and the third time is when she becomes a mother.
6. Watching Hum Saath Saath Hain is like diving headfirst into a cesspool of misogyny. You could survive swimming in a nuclear reactor but this will positively rot your brain. This is a dialogue from the film.
Jahan ghar ki ladies aur bachiyan humein apne haath se pyaar se khaane khiya, wahi ghar, ghar hai!
This movie is probably to be blamed for at least 30% of the reason most of our dads can’t cook.
7. In Manoj Kumar’s Purab Ya Paschim, the titular hero is a jingoistic idiot who gives monologues about how everything is wrong with the way women in the West behave. He basically is not cool with the idea of women having the choice to wear what they want.
8. You must have heard of the song, ‘Jumma Chumma‘. It’s catchy. Now, look at the lyrics. It’s literally harassing a woman to get a kiss out of her! That is messed up.
9. In Prem Granth, goons rape Madhuri Dixit’s character, following which she is shown to have been sort of shunned by society, her only saving grace being Rishi Kapoor agrees to marry her and then avenge her.
10. In the Vinod Khanna starrer, Maha Shaktishaali, cross-dressing is used as a game, which is used by men to get access to women. Forget transphobia, this film keeps takes good old misogyny to a whole different level.
11. Actors like Shakti Kapoor, Gulshan Grover, Ranjeet etc became famous for rape scenes in particular. These scenes were often treated as a sensuous tactic rather than as the crimes they were.
12. Shakti Kapoor literally made a career out of it in the 80s and the 90s. In Mera Faisla, we saw him molesting Nisha Dhawan (Jaya Prada) when robbing her father’s bank account. In Angaarey, his character Jolly chases Aarti (Smita Patil) through the house to rape her. Scenes like these were used to lure audiences to the theatre.
14. Even A-listers of the time like Raj Babbar were a part of this culture. In Insaaf ka Tarazu, his character rapes two sisters as a punishment of sorts. These scenes are shot and shown in graphic details and again, have been used to appeal to the male fantasy than be a commentary on anything as one might argue.
15. Then there was this famous trope of placing honour in a woman’s vagina, a trend that continues to this day. Bollywood movies would repeatedly refer to rape as ‘izzat loot lena‘. In Paapi Farishte, the rapist tells a teenager:
Ab main jo tujhe nishaan dunga woh nishaan tujhe zindagi bhar yaad rahega.
This is of course the implication that a woman’s life has no meaning after being assaulted or/and raped.
16. In Vinod Khanna’s Farishtey, every time Khanna’s character sees a woman, he starts chanting “Doodh, doodh”.
There are countless movies through the last 50 years, where victim-blaming was a fad. Good women were only meant to be pretty and sanskari. Bad women wore jeans and drank booze. The men, no matter who they raped, could always be redeemed. Thankfully some of that has changed but as you can imagine, the bar still remains very freaking low.