Surrounded by the weeping seven dwarves, Snow White lay within the coffin lifeless. Then got here her Prince Charming, who slowly bent all the way down to kiss her, and behold – the lifeless Snow White is all life once more. What a romantic story.
However wait, did the charming prince ask for her consent earlier than kissing? No, as a result of it doesn’t matter. It by no means issues!
Glorifying Objectification, Disregarding Consent
We grew up listening to such tales and seeing such movies that the idea of consent by no means mattered. Every little thing was to be surrendered to the hypermasculine agendas.
The hero follows the heroine, the item of his wishes. She shouts at him to depart her alone. He grabs her arm. She pushes him off. He forces her into his arms. She struggles out of it. In some movies, his group of buddies take part on the harassment and entrap her additional. But by some means after this de facto molestation, the movie has discovered a solution to make this abused lady fall in love with their hero, thus imparting the dangerous false reality that “no” doesn’t actually imply “no.” As an alternative, a girl’s lack of curiosity is solely a problem for a person to beat. That is how deep down movies have buried the thought of consent.
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There’s a scene in Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge the place Raj pranks Simran about having slept collectively whereas she was drunk. A cute, humorous scene it might appear. However extra than being humorous, it’s only reaffirming the misunderstanding that drunk girls are open for intercourse. We grew up singing ‘Tu haan kar ya naa kar, tu hai meri Kiran’ from Darr. That’s, we grew up singing that that primarily, “a girl’s opinion doesn’t matter.”
“No Means No”: However Does Our Cinema Perceive?
Bollywood songs have solely objectified girls and depicted them as intercourse toys. Most songs are a testomony to the prevailing masculinity that overpowers a girl’s opinion. An absence of consideration for consent has solely made restrictions on girls tighter, as it’s simpler to show our women how one can forestall themselves from getting raped than it’s to show our boys to not rape them.
It is just after the discharge and success of Pink that individuals started questioning the existence of consent. The male lawyer, performed by Amitabh Bachchan, advocates – No means no. It doesn’t require any rationalization or rationalisation when any woman, be it a pal, girlfriend, intercourse employee, or perhaps a spouse, says no. It merely implies that males should cease. Pink sends a message, loud and clear on how we should think about the alternatives and opinions of girls. The same Malayalam film, Queen, staged the identical courtroom drama to query the societal prejudice of accusing and slut-shaming girls who’ve male buddies and are carefree.
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Kettiyolaanende Malakha is one other movie that teaches consent however differently. The entire thought of intercourse training in our nation is taboo, which is how this Malayalam film raises its voice for consent. Within the film, Sleeva, a sexually illiterate man forces himself on his spouse regardless of her a number of makes an attempt at dodging the assault. In the long run, when issues prove effectively, he asks his spouse, “Can I hug you?” We’re glad to know that Sleeva at this second understands consent.
Are We Progressing In direction of Change?
Slowly, our cinema is strolling the highway to vary. Not simply through the use of consent as a central theme, however by making certain it in each dialogue, each scene. The age-old thought of consent will hopefully be re-written in Indian cinema. Administrators and writers owe it to the viewers for turning into the brokers of change in cinema. It’s of their writing and execution that step one in the direction of the highway of change begins. Isn’t it attention-grabbing how a single digicam can break age-old conventions and sign a greater, extra understanding world?
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In an effort to break down the cultural constructions that protect regressive societies, our artwork should emulate a extra obliging depiction of affection and romance, freed from violence in opposition to girls that has, up till now, been normalised and glorified in our tradition.
Views expressed are the creator’s personal.