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Larki Kyun ; the anthem of sexist j*rks

Ladki Kyun" is a Bollywood song from the film "Hum Tum" released in 2004, featuring Saif Ali Khan and Rani Mukerji. It explores the dynamics of romantic relationships and attempts to question gender stereotypes. However, the song we have been vibing to for 19 years, perpetuates certain gender stereotypes. This Jatin-Lalit-composed song sums up the way patriarchy conditions men and women to perform their genders in generally obnoxious ways.

Firstly, the title itself, "Ladki Kyun," immediately positions the girl as the subject of inquiry, reinforcing the idea that women need to be understood or justified. This suggests that the girl's actions and behavior require explanation, a common stereotype that burdens women to conform to societal expectations.

The song's visual representation and choreography also reinforce certain gender stereotypes. The video depicts Saif Ali Khan as a carefree, confident man, while Rani Mukerji is shown in a more rational yet dependent position. This perpetuates the notion that men are dominant and women are objects of desire, reinforcing traditional gender power dynamics.

Men are depicted through the lens of “boys will be boys”; implying that there is only one way to be a boy and only one way to be a girl.

Uf Ye Kaisi Shirt Pehante Ho

Ye Kaise Baal Katate Ho, Gaadi Tez Chalate Ho

Tum Jaldi Mein Kyon Khate Ho, Give Me A Break!

The girl, seen as a rational opposite, who thinks a lot;

Sochti Hai Zyada, Kam Wo Samajhti Hai, is by societal norms, supposed to “fix” the man. Women are seen as clueless, regressive, self-absorbed witches, who are also somehow natural caretakers every man needs.

Not to forget the subtle misogyny;

Tumhein Badalne Ko Paas Vo Aati Hai,

Tumhein Mitane Ko Jaal Bichati Hai

Baaton Baaton Mein Tumhein Phasati Hai

Pehle Hasati Hai Phir Bada Rulati Hai

Implying that women only get close to men for their ulterior motives and are always the ones to leave them devastated.

Overgenralisation has been done through the lyrics;

Ladkon Ka Kya Hai Kisi Bhi Mod Pe Vo Mur Jayein

Abhi Kisi Ke Hain, Abhi Kisi Aur Se Vo Jur Jayein

The idea is conveyed that men are predominantly unreliable beings and are most likely to betray their partners.

The song ends with an unconsented kiss that Saif Ali Khan gives, to shut her up (Rani Mukerji) is a solid breach of boundaries. Leading to problematic normals.

"Ladki Kyun" fails to deliver a truly progressive message. The song perpetuates the idea that women are to be understood, dependent, and objectified, albeit with some token attempts to subvert these stereotypes. It misses an opportunity to break away from traditional gender norms and present a more inclusive and empowering narrative.

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Amazing Blog! The last part caught my attention the most where you mentioned that Saif Ali khan kisses Rani without her consent. This is a trope that I have witnessed countless times in films and tv shows so much so that it has become sickening. It is quite surprising to see that instead of being frowned upon for breaching someones boundaries so easily, such moves are glorified and presented as desirable in the media, something that ultimately leads to love blooming between two people. This completely dismisses the idea of consent that the other person be it of any gender must give any indication to allow you to proceed. Funnily enough, this is witnessed with women mostly. I have yet…

Replying to

Thanks Sarwat!

It is essential for media to responsibly and accurately portray consent, ensuring that it is depicted as a necessary and ongoing process based on mutual understanding and agreement. By doing so, media can contribute to the creation of a culture that respects and upholds the rights and autonomy of all individuals.


Khadija Nasir
Khadija Nasir
Jun 17, 2023

This was such a nice read! Loved the explanation you provided. I specifically appreciate how you mentioned the evil witch trope so commonly put on women. This is something I've seen so prevalent in Bollywood and Lollywood music in particular. The music videos describe women as being smart, scheming characters whose only aim is to trap and use men who themselves are innocent in the exchange. And even by describing the men needing her to take care of them and their needs, the women are still somehow the ones in the wrong. These just perpetuate the same toxic stereotypes that divide women into the two groups of either good/pure/naive or evil/scheming/user. With famous songs we're so used to like Bewafa…

Replying to

thanks Khadija!

Addressing the stereotypical portrayal of women in Bollywood and Lollywood requires a concerted effort from filmmakers, writers, actors, and audiences. It involves creating more diverse and inclusive narratives that reflect the realities and experiences of women, breaking away from limiting, and challenging traditional gender norms. By promoting women-centric stories, complex characterizations, and empowering representations, these industries can play a significant role in reshaping societal attitudes and promoting gender equality.


Enjoyed the article! Used to jam to the song quite a lot in my childhood and I only realize how problematic it is now! Especially liked how you talked about the "boys will be boys" narrative that it forwards. It's something that a lot of songs, shows and films depict regardless of them being Bollywood or not. I got reminded of the TV show friends where there are multiple mentions of generalizing men with lines like "are men ever nice to women for no reason? No." And the idea is that all men are the same. And then again the very idea that girls nag a lot or drive bad. Just very basic stuff that is so intensely ingrained in…

Replying to

I'm glad you enjoyed it!

yes oftentimes in the act of jamming or being in the flow of enjoying something, we tend to overlook the problematic aspects. it is important to acknowledge that not everything we used to enjoy years ago, was problematic to begin with.

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