This post has been self-published on Youth Ki Awaaz by Tejaswinee Roychowdhury. Just like them, anyone can publish on Youth Ki Awaaz.

In Response To Flak I Received For My Post About ‘Veere Di Wedding’

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So, recently, I wrote this article here on YKA titled – ‘Veere Di Wedding’ Is Neither Women-Centric Nor Powerful’. While I am overwhelmed by the majority response regarding my very brief point, I also received some flak for the same. I understand the contentions of the readers, and I also know that the authors needn’t necessarily respond, but I’m going to do it anyway because I would like to clear any misunderstanding that my writing posed. So, let’s start.

Firstly, a lot of you have claimed that I have completely ignored movies with male leads, and with obvious misogynistic events being portrayed. Well, I haven’t ignored them as evident from this portion of the article –

“Now, before you start calling me by colourful names such as ‘anti-feminist’ or ‘meninist’, here’s the thing –

  • I have as much of a problem with a man drooling between two semi-naked women as much as I have here with a woman gyrating between two semi-naked men.
  • I have as much as a problem with a man grabbing a woman’s ass in a ladies’ washroom as much as I have here with a woman grabbing a man’s ass in a men’s washroom.

We are raising voices against the objectification of women (in the name of ‘fun’) in Bollywood movies (and worldwide), but it’s okay to objectify men (in the name of ‘fun’)? How? Why? I’m failing to comprehend.”

If, however, despite this it still came across as me ignoring the majority of movies, well, it’s because I wanted to keep the article short. I understand that readers often have no interest in long articles. And of course, the obvious misogyny in movies with male leads goes without saying. I am sure that a lot of authors and activists have pointed that out in scores of articles and blogs.

Secondly, the next contention comes with the argument that “Veere Di Wedding” is not about feminism or women-empowerment since the actors have noted in press conferences that it’s about female friendship. Someone even wrote a blog that slammed my article on this point! Well, “DDLJ” or “Raanjhanaa” are not about misogyny, are they? They are about ‘love’. In fact, if you ask the actors, that is what they will say. But, certain portrayals in the movies where the male lead shows an absolute disregard for the consent of the female lead are cringe-worthy and definitely spike up the misogyny debate. Why? Because the scenes induce toxic behaviours amongst its viewers. And this is exactly where my concern lies.

You see, toxic behaviour is not limited to men, it works both ways. Once again, I invite you to refer to the quote above. In this era of rising concern about women’s rights and men’s rights, it is essential to speak up on such depictions in movies. The movie needn’t be about feminism. It needn’t be about women empowerment. It spikes the debate nonetheless because and only because of certain scenes.

Also, while I’m at it, feminism doesn’t, in my book, refer to just ‘women’s rights’. No, feminism is all about the equality, equal opportunities, equal treatment, and so on and so forth. Therefore, it is pertinent that objectification of women, as well as men, be deemed toxic and utterly unnecessary unless the story demands it, for instance, “The Dirty Picture”.

Thirdly, someone mentioned that this movie is exactly how one would portray feminism where female leads play dominant parts. Well, I have “Mary Kom”, “Mom”, “Queen”, “English Vinglish”,”Swades”, “Arth”, “Kahaani”, “Nil Battey Sannata”, “Highway”, “Fiza”, and so many more across decades! A dominant part is not doing exactly what men do when it comes to toxic behaviour. In the ‘Tareefan’ music video, there is just objectification of men. Just as the objectification of women is not a ‘dominant role’ of men, similarly, objectification of men doesn’t qualify as ‘dominant role’ for women.

I believe these were the only relevant contentions in the Facebook post comment thread where the article was posted by YKA. I am ignoring the colourful comments! I hope my opinion is clear now.

And let me clarify something, I have absolutely no problem with women having fun. Seriously, we should have all the fun we want to. It’s our right. But objectifying men just like they objectify us, in a movie in the name of fun is a big no-no. How a millennial can be okay with the glorification of sexual harassment and objectification is beyond my understanding. This ludicrous role reversal of toxicity (and what comes off as sexual harassment, where a female lead grabs a guy’s butt in a men’s washroom), just breathe more oxygen into the numerous misogynistic scenes in movies with male leads. I don’t think we need that.

You must be to comment.
  1. Shahla Khan

    You know what? My bestie asked me if I was going to see this movie. I told her that from the trailer I don’t get a good vibe from this, I just feel like it is one of those reverse ‘Grand Masti’ type films. And your article suggests that’s what it really is.

    1. Tejaswinee Roychowdhury

      Hey thanks! Granted it’s not been released yet but the Tareefan music video suggest just that.

  2. maanvi makker

    Putting the pressure on entertainment industry to make amends and expecting every movie to preach. Now that’s unrealistic. Anyway, bum diggy diggy a few months back did exactly the same. But what’s established is that in the cover of making oneself sound smart , people won’t let the movie come in peace.

    1. Tejaswinee Roychowdhury

      The movie has already been released. It’s received horrible reviews. And you’re still talking about it coming in peace? Btw, you people keep talking about strange movies and songs like Pyar Ka Punchnama or this Bom Diggy something you refer to. I never had and never will have the time and patience for thank kind of bullshit. I prefer movies with content. And movies with content don’t possess such nonsense. VDW is a sad attempt at fighting misogyny. Yes, read the reviews. The very fact that this appeals as ‘entertainment’ to you and so many more is why Bollywood generally doesn’t give a shit about content.

    2. Tejaswinee Roychowdhury

      *that kind of bullshit

  3. Karthika S Nair

    Thank you for the article. I don’t expect a film featuring 4 elitist characters to be proto-feminist in anyways. Bollywood should consider the idea of making content oriented films with less budget and which is not focused on a star.
    It has worked before with “highway”, “kahaani”, “dear zindagi” etc.

    1. Tejaswinee Roychowdhury

      Exactly. Also, thank you so much for being one of those rare people who didn’t bash me because of what I have written here. 🙂

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