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Jugjugg Jeeyo & Traditional Family roles

The traditional norms of family where men were the sole providers for the family while women were into domestic chores has become unpopular in today’s world. However the, society and male spouses still expect them to be higher earning than the female spouse. As a study interprets, “These findings suggest that the partner pay gap is reinforced or supported by male breadwinning norms.”(Gash). Even though many gender-related biases have declined in the family system, the male spouse is still threatened when the female spouse outperforms them, especially in career.

“Men who believed their partner scored in the top 12 percent demonstrated significantly lower implicit self-esteem than men who believed their partner scored in the bottom 12 percent.” (MSMAGAZINE)

As a gender studies student, one plausible explanation for this threat could be insecurity.

The male spouse becomes reasonably concerned that his partner might seek out a more successful man. This decline in self-esteem is caused not only by the male spouse’s comparison with his partner but also with other higher-status men. This insecurity arises as the fragile male ego gets hurt due to their incapability to fulfill the gender roles provided by society. As the female spouse challenges the traditional stereotype that women are less competent, successful, intelligent, and strong than their male partners. The man interprets his female partners success, a situation that is foreign to many men, as his own failure.

Bollywood and Stereotypical Gender Roles

Even today, these gender stereotypes are evident in the media. For instance Jugjugg jeeyo ; a Bollywood movie released in 2022. The plot revolves around the life of Naina, who holds a high paying corporate position in a multi-national company, and her husband, Kukkoo, a bouncer at a nightclub. Despite Naina’s higher financial contribution to the family, she also did the household chores as an ideal wife. However, kukkoo is so insecure of Naina’s career that things escalate to divorce. He openly confessed that he is jealous of his wife’s success as he is left behind. Double entanglement, doing and undoing of feminism is a common media theme. In the clip below, Naina is given some authority as she speaks up for herself. However, the movie ends with Naina ratifying the traditional gender norms as she still accepts Kukkoo despite his unsupportive behaviour for almost 5 years.

The film has two sides:

  • First: It reinforces the gender roles that more successful female spouses cannot manage their married life properly. And marriages fail when the gender roles are reversed.

  • Second: The divorce stigma, Kukkoo’s toxic male supremacy is evident throughout the movie, and Naina appears to be unhappy with her married life. Kukkoo couldn’t support Naina at her success, but when he apologized at the divorce court, Naina accepted him. This reinforces the divorce stigma and how women shall accept their male spouses despite their unsupportive behavior and toxic male supremacy.

Even in 21st century , a stereotypical film like JugJugg Jeeyo grossed US$17 million , why is the audience still playing a part in making such movies blockbuster?

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Your article actually created an urge to watch this movie so I can critique it with detail, lol. the fact that we live in a generation of working couples where both of them should be taking pride in each other's achievement, we still find husbands falling prey to patriarchal pressures of society. We have multiple other examples in Bollywood, like in “Abhimaan” Amitah Bachan plays the character of an insecure husband when his wife stands at a better professional place than him. I believe it’s the society’s reinforcement of masculinity that is to be blamed here because how men react to their wives growing professionally is primarily the outcome of the gender roles they have been fed with since their…

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You gave a insight into why the audience is still making such movies blockbuster hits. One solution to this entire issue is that Producers and media product directors need to realise the power they have over the audience. They need to acknowledge the damage they are causing to our already damaged society. We have seen tonnes and tonnes of movies reinforcing the same toxic relationships but even in 21st century , our audience still enjoys them . I agree with you that this movie could have been very empowering , all they needed was KUKU to support his wife rather than bashing her constantly. But , that's not what our audience wants , they want drama !


Myra Shahab
Myra Shahab
Nov 21, 2022

Reading this has reminded me I heard someone say not long ago. We're raising strong, independent and well-educated girls but not teaching society, particularly men, on how to co-exist with such females without feeling inferior, viewing them as equals. I feel your article provides a perfect example of showing this issue- with perhaps a solution we as women would not want to see. As we have discussed in class, media is a pedagogy through which we learn to become men and women (Marshall & Sensoy). This can be applied Kukkoo's 'male ego' of wanting to be the main breadwinner in the family, a traditional norm the film reiterates. Taking this as a for of pedagogy, Jugjugg Jeyo sets a precedent…

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you're right ! it is very refreshing to see media attempting to shift the norms and change the mindsets of people.However at the same time , we are seeing most of movies/ advertisements/ dramas promoting the same toxic stereotypes. we are living in the 21st century and its high time that producers stop releasing such stereotypical movies. The video you provided me with is really game changing but in a world full of toxic media products , it is very hard for a single advertisement to make a change. Even though producers of juggjugg Jeeyo argue that they attempted to highlight a social issue but I believe the correct way to raise a social issue is how this advertisement …

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