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Selective Awareness?

The transition in the awareness phase is something I've always admired about our generation. Over the course of my life, I've witnessed the evolution of that consciousness on a variety of themes, as well as in comparison to previous generations. Raising awareness is fundamental, whether it's about body shaming, beauty standards, racism, feminism, violence and abuse, tolerance, and acceptance, or basically everything. However, one thing that has remained a source of annoyance for me is the portrayal of violence and abuse towards men as comical or entertaining. It's not an easy issue to communicate, but I'll do my utmost to do it as precisely as possible. Several Bollywood films (and Hollywood films and Pakistani plays) have sequences in which girls slap men in response to something spoken.

The first scenario, in which such situations are portrayed as humorous, particularly in comedy films or dramas, is deeply problematic because it is wrong to show men slapping women. It is also wrong to show women hitting men. There are plenty of examples of such troubling content: whether it's Katrina Kaif slapping Imran Khan in Mere Brother Ki Dulhan, an extra slapping Akshay Kumar in Hey Baby, Anushka Sharma hitting Ranveer Singh in Band Baja Barat, or Sonakshi Sinha slapping her reel-father in Holiday.

The other type of slapping depicted in the media has women slamming men just because they have done something wrong. For illustration, in Lage Raho Munna Bhai, Vidya Balan slaps Sanjay Dutt when she found out about the fraud he committed against her. Then there's Parineeti Chopra's smash at Arjun Kapoor when she discovers he's been cheating and manipulating her. All these scenes demonstrate that they have a good reason to slap other people, but if we reverse the sides, we'll see that slapping other people is still not acceptable, no matter how angry you are over what they did to you. The critical point of awareness about males hitting women was that there is no cause to justify assaulting another person, and the same can be said about women slapping men in movies. No matter how badly you are upset, violence is never an option.

Let’s Talk:

Do you think these scenes are problematic? If not, why not? Do these contradictory standards imply that we have a selective awareness towards selective issues?

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I agree that slapping men has been normalized by Bollywood. Be it slapping boys in fun or after finding out that they were cheating in a relationship. These ideas are highly toxic and affect the society in one way or the other. But there is another side to it and that is showing women as weak and delicate. In Bollywood movies, we often see men cheating in relationships or being highly dominant. While women on the other hand find no solution other than a single slap. But again, slapping someone is highly problematic and should not be normalized at any cost.


That is, after all, the main point. One error does not excuse the other wrong.

Displaying women as weak is a problem, but showing males being abused is not the solution. It instills in the general public the belief that if someone wrongs you, you can resort to violence. Justifying one type of abuse automatically justifies all others. And putting such problematic beliefs on media has a big influence since it demonstrates media control and ownership, which we talked about in class.

It demonstrates who is at the top of the chain, managing and generating this type of content, and to whom they are catering.


I do agree that this is highly problematic. For example when it comes to the issue of violence against males being used for humor, it creates an environment for males where they are unable to speak up against the problems they face because they fear becoming a laughing stock. It further embeds the concepts of toxic masculinity in society where men have to laugh everything off and not be expressive or sensitive as these are traits only females posses. So yes, this climate of selective awareness is a problem in society that may strengthen other social issues prevalent in our society. -Aimen

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