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Kabir Singh- Romanticising Toxic Masculinity

Updated: Dec 10, 2022

Bollywood frequently makes a comeback and puts sexism and misogyny in charge. What's worse is that these movies end up becoming huge box office successes, normalising the misogynistic message. An example of this misogyny is in the movie Kabir Singh that I’m sure most of you (if not all) have heard of/seen. I personally love the movie and have seen it at least five times.

The movie revolves around Kabir and Preeti. Preeti is a timid and submissive first year student while Kabir is in his final year of med school. Kabir makes threats against other males not to mess with her and touch her without permission since she "belongs" to someone else. Kabir is very protective and possessive about her, which makes Preeti feel that she is actually his plaything.

Our society often romanticises possessiveness, but it's crucial to understand that this possessiveness leads to obsessive behaviour, which leads to a destructive cycle that is constantly repeated. Toxic conduct is rationalised by the man using his masculinity, leading girls to accept it as the norm.

After her father (Harpal) declines to offer Kabir his daughter's hand in marriage, Kabir insults both Preeti and him. While her father watches from behind bars in shackles, he threatens to marry her against his will. She receives a slap from him, and he gives her six hours to clear her head and choose a partner (him or a man of his father’s choice).

The fact that Kabir Singh is a vindictive misogynist, and a very problematic character is not my issue with this movie. However, there is a need for criticism and a close analysis of the consequences such content may have, as they might have a long-lasting effect on the course of our sociopolitical efforts to change how women are perceived in society.

Kabir's romanticization speaks volumes for itself. Despite some criticism, many people admired his character. Women made posts expressing their desire for a partner like Kabir. Men also made remarks expressing their desire for a lady with Preeti's level of submission. This is an issue because our culture unintentionally encourages toxic masculinity and sexism.Kabir consistently showed Preeti and her family disdain. She continued to go after him even though he stormed out of her house after shouting at her family. Then, in front of her family, he slapped her, yet she ended going back to him which once more, normalises the idea of physical violence in romantic relationships.

Movies like Kabir Singh glorify sexism and patriarchal ideals that our society should not tolerate.

What do you guys think?

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