Over the years, women’s rights have expanded all over the world. One would expect every sphere to reflect this equality that has been won after numerous striving endeavours from our side- the women. If we shut our eyes from the cruelties that are going on around the world, we would, no doubt find inequalities existent in our daily lives. So much so that, it’s present in T.V. shows as well! One would wish to find a little break from the realities of the world after a hard day, but that does not apply to women. Unfortunately, for us, after living the reality of a sexist culture, the virtual world, too, offers us no respite. Now, during my childhood, I saw a lot of my relatives watch the male dominated Hindi small screen serials but I never wondered about them because of the fact that we were never brought up watching those serials ourselves. But today I see a lot of my nieces and nephews and cousins growing up watching the serials that breed male superiority in them at a tender age. For a few days, I observed the patterns of these serials and scribbled out my thoughts:
1) Poor girl gets rescued by rich man, gets absolutely swayed by him- why are the women/ underage girls always head- over- heels in love with some over-the-top businessman from an affluent family, who just by sheer coincidence also falls for the girl- each and every time.
2) Mind you, the guy is from a very affluent and ‘modern’ family, where the men are ultra-modern and have incorporated amongst themselves western lifestyles- but still refuse to let go of their chauvinistic ideals.
3) In such a family, the women seem to be living at a completely different age, absolutely blinded from women’s rights and unaffected from western ideals and modernisation.
4) To the characters in the serials, they are just traditional values- values that no one can put off or protest against as they are bound by religion. What they fail to understand is that there is a lot of injustice and corruption present in our religion too. To strive for a better society, it is not wrong to let go of these. But alas, the T.V. producer fails to understand that.
5) The ‘heroines’ leave all their education, and in short, their lives to get married off to the guy and live in a world full of inequalities for the rest of her life. Sadly, before marriage, they are only seen thinking about their ‘prince’ and marriage and ‘the happily ever after’. Well, I am still waiting for reality to strike them because as a woman of this century, I am aware of the cut-throat competition that is going on around me and I do engage a lot of my time thinking about my career.
6) After marriage, the wives are seen getting pulled into the immediate task of ‘being a woman’ and contribute to all the house-ly chores. From cooking to dusting, right from the morning the women get up, deck up themselves in expensive jewellery and attires- as if they are pieces of decoration- and get on with the job. They have no ambition of becoming someone different.
Ours is a land where drama is extremely appreciated and loved. But that seriously does not mean that women in real life don’t get out of the house and stay unaware of the happenings of the world. Although they emphasize on poverty and the lives of the poor, they fail to properly portray the actual struggles of a poor person. And the damaging process that goes on in a child’s mind or an adult’s mind while watching these have long term effects and they turn out to be living up to the expectations of the men in their lives.
But do not think that it only exists here. English shows show a lot of discrimination too. You would expect them to be better in some way, what with freedom and liberty, but unfortunately, sexism exists there too. A lot of people I know prefer to watch English shows because they feel they are so much better. But take characters like Barney, from How I Met Your Mother or Charlie from Two and a Half Men. They are two of the most phenomenal serials of all time but I just cannot adjust with the character of Barney or Charlie. They imagine women to be sex toys, easy as water, always at their beck and call. And also the girls, who are always so dumb so as to fall for his stupid and annoying tricks every single time. Also, what’s with Penny (The Big Bang Theory) not having a surname? And she, too, is an objectified dumb-blonde, who gets the maximum attention of the guys in the show. Maybe there needs to be more female executive producers so that women are pictured more truthfully and the shows become examples for people everywhere.
The list goes on but it is sad to notice such vast discrimination in the 21st Century and to see it so much prevalent all over the globe.