‘ kabhi kabhi mere dil mein yeh khayal ata hai, ki yeh badan yeh nigahein mere amanat hein”

When it comes to sexist content, Bollywood songs need a reality check. According to the social cognitive theory we set our real-world expectations according to observational learning i.e., in Bollywood songs where Women are objectified on the screen to satisfy the need of a male gaze which reflects in the social status of women in the region resultantly sexism is accepted both on screen and in wider society.

Songs are just the prong in the wheel of misogyny and sexism that is the Bollywood industry
Subsequently, eve teasing, harassment stalking, objectification of women, and setting unrealistic body standards. item numbers of slim women wearing scanty clothes are gyrating to music included in movies solely to lure the male crowd. The crevices of sexism run deeper with the culture of casting older male heroes alongside younger heroines by 25 years.

Bollywood’s age-old formulas can be seen repeating along the lines of harassment, stalking and objectifying. Where saying ‘NO’ means an invitation to “harass me until I am convinced”, In many cases consent ends up translating to YES till the end of the song, pointing to the undying dedication of the hero. Or worse, the girl’s perspective ends up being removed from the equation completely and it is focused on ‘what the male wants, he will take’. It translates to women being reduced to mere objects of male desire or gold diggers.

When it comes to item songs there are specific markers of an alpha male, a wild crowd of hooting men at semi-clad women being harassed and enjoying it. Portraying women ‘for’ the male. This story is not complete without mention of Honey Singh, the flag-bearer of misogyny. From ‘lakh 28 to Brown Rang, Blue Eyes” all reinforce words like ‘patli kamar’, and ‘bomb figure’ to the songs where he calls himself a rapist and sings about it flaunting and listing down the characteristics that he doesn’t find attractive.

Women have been just creatures to satiate the sexual appetite of men. The regressive mentality of women’s desirability is conditioned to a slim-figured, fair-skin pretty face beauty and nonexistent consent along with harassment equals dedication carries a certain cringe factor.

We all have been guilty of grooving to these songs, but this translates to problematic behavior while eventually conditioning an entire generation to think consent is something that is non-existent, harassment is normalized, Setting up of impossible standards of beauty and lifestyles for women as well as men. At the center of this portrayal are the songs in which as you progress along the lyrics, entitlement and ownership of women’s bodies existing only for the male gaze, desire and pleasure are emphasized, promoting a culture of toxic masculinity, and normalized creepy behaviors.

The Bollywood industry is a quagmire of sexism and it’s high time to address how it has inculcated a sense of hypocrisy and provided creative material for road-side Romeos promoting a mentality of viewing women’s bodies as commodities, normalizing rape culture and perpetuating stereotypes, harassment doesn’t stop being harassment if you sing about it!