Portrayal of Sexual Aggression in Hindi Cinema
Umang Gupta*, Madhu Kumari1
*Department of Journalism and Mass Communication, Banasthali Vidyapith, Niwai Rajasthan.
1Department of Journalism and Mass Communication, Banasthali Vidyapith, Niwai Rajasthan.
Ms. Umang Gupta
Department of Journalism and Mass Communication,
- Full Name: Umang Gupta
- Institutional affiliations: Banasthali Vidhyapith, Niwai, Rajasthan.
- Department: Journalism and Mass Communication
- Academic qualification: Master’s in Mass Communication
- Presently pursuing any course or present occupation/position: Pursuing Ph.D. in Mass Communication (Film Studies), Working as Assistant Professor in Banasthali Vidhyapith
- Specific research area/topic (if any): Film Studies
- Full Name: Madhu Kumari
- Institutional affiliations: Banasthali Vidhyapith
- Department: Journalism and Mass Communication
- Academic qualification: Master’s in Journalism and Mass Communication, UGC-NET Qualified
- Presently pursuing any course or present occupation/position: Working as Assistant Professor in Banasthali Vidhyapith
An exploratory content research had been conducted to inspect the portrayal of violence and crimes against women in popular Hindi cinema. Few films were picked randomly from the box office hits also few true incidents were examined. The initial findings recommend that moderate sexual violence is portrayed as fun, pleasure and a normal expression of romantic love. Sexual violence stanched by antagonist was a common portrayal, predominantly judicious violence such as aggravation of women with whom the antagonist ultimately became romantically involved. Stern sexual aggression was portrayed as crime while judicious sexual aggression was treated as fun and romantic. The core of the article is to investigate the film to gaze how sexual aggression is being portrayed through the lens. This will substantiate how audience takes this aggression in their actual being. It argues that the effect of the films and media is eventually negative, for they glorify sexual aggression and crime against women while holding out the hope of a better future. The adjacent study is an aim to identify films and scan the disparity in portraying violence and aggression against women. The contemporary trend is an attempt of filmmakers to create a kind of myth in audience by making violence fun and romantic. In this paper an effort has been made to find out how crime against women whether sexual aggression, domestic violence or sexual harassment are portrayed in cinema and revive them and contrive hope for the victims. The data collected for the research work is secondary. This study is exploratory and the method used for research is qualitative. This paper will throw light on how filmmakers and media make an effort to create a safe and secure environment for women who suffer from violence and crime and create empathy among audience while entertaining them through their lens.
KEYWORDS: Content Research, Eve-Teasing, Hindi Cinema, India, Sexual Aggression.
Aggression against women is moderately a consequence of gender relations that presumes men to be superior to women. Women are given the subsidiary status in society and are treated as plaything. Expressions of aggression includes physical violence (burns, sexual abuse and rape), psychological aggression (mortification, slur, emotional threat). In severe case it may result into death.
Intellectual and communal factors are interwoven with the progress and proliferation of aggressive behavior. With diverse procedures of socialization that men and women undergo in their life, men actually take up stereotyped gender roles of supremacy, control and domination while women take up that of submissive, weak, dependent and respect for authority. A female child always grows up with the mentality of weak, in need of protection (physically, mentally and financially). This feebleness had led their exploitation at every phase of being.
Aggression against women in any form (physical or mental) has been clearly defined as a form of prejudice in copious documents. The World Human Rights Conference in Vienna 1993, recognized gender-based violence as a human rights violation. In the same year, United Nations declaration, 1993, defined violence against women as “Any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to a woman, inclusing threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivations of liberty, whether occurring in public or private life.”
Physical aggression or sexual pestering as well as unambiguous forms of aggression are used by the more powerful and dominating in the household and at work both. These methods are used to ensure compliance of the less powerful and therefore related to power vibrant in household as well as at work.
Sexual Pestering as defined by court specifies:
Ø “Such unwelcome sexually determined behavior (whether directly or by implication) as physical contact and advances,
Ø A demand or request for sexual favors, sexually colored remarks,
Ø Showing pornography and any other unwelcome physical, verbal or non-verbal conduct of sexual nature”.
Apart from sexual pestering and physical aggression selling of wife is also being practiced in many parts of the country.
Especially in few districts of Rajasthan namely Kota, Bundi, Ajmer, Deoli, Tonk ‘Nata’ (Re-Marriage) is practiced. In some caste the Nata system is in vogue, especially among the Rajputs, Jats, Gujjars, Meenas and Bhils. According to this system, a wife can divorce her husband and live with another man of her choice as his wife, without going through the formalities of a marriage. This system is very popular in the rural areas because it does not entail any expenditure. This is marriage by mutual consent without the pomp and show of marriage. A widow can also live with a man as his wife without a formal wedding ceremony. This is known as Nata in Rajasthan. Nata brokers are mushrooming in few districts of Rajasthan, who keep an eye on prospective women and force them to enter into a nata as local brokers earn sturdy commission for a covenant.
Nata egress in Rajgarh district of Madhya Pradesh. There it is actually the practice of the sale of women to men in return for a handsome price and the leading beneficiary is the father of the girl who uses her to earn a precise amount.
The cases related to sexual aggression against women are large in societies that have made dominated mentality and are number is increasing daily. Also the number for registered cases of sexual aggression and crime against women is increasing every year.
The explicit type of sexual pestering that is practiced in urban areas is “eve-teasing”. Eve teasing can be defined as the making of unwanted sexual remarks or advances by a man to a woman in a public place like streets, public transport, parks, cinema etc. This kind of public pestering by a man or group of men includes oral spank (commenting, de trop sexual jokes), nonverbal spank (winking, whistling, stalking, staring) and physical spank (pinching, rubbing against women). In some cases eve teasing has taken a more violent shape where it has even resulted in rape and murder (Damini Rape and Murder Case, 2012). To the surprise more interesting fact is that major percent of eve teasers are college students.
Cinema and Sexuality:
The erratic reasons that promote sexual aggression in society are intricate. Yet for a researcher or scholar, the idea that Hindi cinema plays a vital role as dominant of society. Cinema as a knack structure not only replicates the society but also performs as a reflector to that society. Cinema has always been the most powerful and dominating medium since last centuries. It is a unique medium to portray prejudice and intent perspective alternatively. The direct and indirect suggestions that are made in films have certain and uncertain impact on audience. Films depends on mental state of the audience who are actually ambushed in a dark room, lingering to be agitated, entertained, or in other words to get their fund’s worth. Films express gist both through denotative and connotative means.
Despite of Cinema Halls, films also reach the household of the Indian domicile through countdown shows on idiot box that attribute film-based songs and dance, movies etc. Having said that, in accumulation access to cable television is growing rapidly or rather digitization is at its peak. Even there are few cable operators who screen movies of their own choice every day to attract their customers.
The significance of sexual aggression portrayal in films is mainly pertinent to Indian audience. This is not because these portrayals are viewed in profusion but actually sexuality and sexual aggression is not discussed in Indian families, it is rather considered a taboo. Indian film renderings form a “restricted arena for construction of sexuality” for the common people and it also serves as a primary source that educates men and women how sexually they have to behave with each other.
There are films that portray women in a stereotypical position that actually accept sexual aggression and violence as a normal part of their life and relationship. Also this condition gets worse when Hindi cinema renders men’s abuse of women in a glorified manner. Actually cinema goers take home what they see in films or in other words we can say that what we observe we absorb. As the college going student is being portrayed as a hero in movie who upsets the heroine in the starting and at the end wins her heart, this glamorization of eve-teasing in movies is supportive in real life as well. Even though many reviewer have raised their voice against this concern. They express their views on this by making this statement that Hindi films portray vigor and physical aggression in romantic relationships and love. Hence sexual aggression is not only normal but also predictable in quixotic liaison between heroes and heroines.
Relationship between Media and Sexual Aggression:
This has already been proven from different research that were under taken that Hindi films casually influence people on sexual aggression, especially in India also this influence depends on the behavior of audience and how the audience take this sexual aggression at home. Due to this some researchers have even stated that there is no similarity and relation between the domestic sexual aggression and sexual crimes in society.
However there are some studies that prove that there is relation between the media utilization of sexually unambiguous resources and some erratic related to sexual aggression. It is believed that consumption of media portrayal of sexual aggression can lead to target desensitization. It is also believed that watching pornography can lead some male viewers to interpret the same w