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What Women Want---Anything but this representation?



"What Women Want," an Indian multi-media talk show hosted by actress Kareena Kapoor Khan, is marketed as a platform to discuss real issues that women encounter or have faced in the past. While some episodes indeed touch on relevant topics, such as pregnancy and motherhood with Kalki Koechlin, the impact of patriarchy with Swara Bhaskar, and the struggles of actresses from past times with Sharmila Tagore, the show often falls short of delivering meaningful conversations about women's desires.


Many episodes of the show seem to prioritize celebrity promotion over addressing women's issues, and even when it does, done in quite a distasteful manner. Take, for example, an episode featuring Sara Ali Khan, supposedly about modern-day relationships. However, the conversation veered away from her dating struggles to focus on her weight loss with questions like “How has the male attention changed since you lost all that weight”, which didn't contribute to the show's intended theme but instead went in an entirely different direction, focusing on how male validity is important for a woman’s self-esteem and is strongly linked to the ideal standards of beauty.






In another episode with Kartik Aryan, the discussion about one of his notorious movie monologues based on a rant about how women make every passing second of their partner's lives living hell was reduced to a mere joke. The actor was simply asked to react to accusations of misogyny surrounding this monologue and movie, and he was unsurprisingly quite dismissive of any criticisms faced.

The show could have delved deeper into the real-life implications of such scenes or asked the actor about his stance on delivering similar dialogues in future roles. Unfortunately, the conversation drifted far away from that and lost its potential for addressing any important issues.



Similarly, an episode with Ranbir Kapoor saw him receiving praise for basic parenting tasks like changing diapers and burping his daughter. This episode reflected how men are often complimented for doing the bare minimum, and portrayed as heroes saving the world from grave injustice.



The disappointment with "What Women Want" lies in its failure to live up to its premise. While it is understood that the show may not be perfect in capturing the true essence of what women want, viewers expected rich and meaningful conversations. Instead, the show often prioritizes celebrity endorsements and fails to engage in the depth and nuance required to genuinely address women's desires and challenges.

"What Women Want" might benefit from a more thoughtful and consistent approach in its content, staying true to its intended theme. The show should strive to provide a platform where women's voices and experiences are genuinely explored and celebrated, and women from different walks of life can share their journeys. The name of the show should reflect its content, and only then can it truly claim to represent "What Women Want."

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I had the unfortunate experience of watching one episode and it constantly revolves around drama and asking pet peeves and is another version of the Koffee with Karan. The name fo show states what women want but ironically dictates what society want from women, This show is a mere usage of media for stereotypical representation rather than deviations. The show focuses on women and actresses and talking about petty topics such as "boys", the name and the content are out of sync. Rather than this being a guide to what women want, it is a guide on highlighting all topic women do not want to highlight. Once Kareena Kapoor asked "have you ghosted someone?" I don't know how this is…

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Exactly, this show is the exact opposite of what they marketed it as. And with newer seasons, it keeps getting even further from women's issues as they glamourise it further!

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Thank you for sharing this. I totally agree with you. What women want is a show which isn’t really talking about what ACTUALLY women want, the talks that happen in the show don’t focus on women’s issues and problems they face at all, I believe why name a show "WHAT WOMEN WANT” when actually you are not going to talk about it in any way, and just focus on less important things for your own enjoyment, celebrities just want to enjoy and not talk about important things, for example the Sara Ali Khan episode example you give, rather than asking, about how did the male attention change after the weight loss, ask her how was her journey of weight loss…

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Absolutely. When talking about women's wants, the topic should stay away from that of male validation and the need to secure their approval, especially when it comes to women's appearances and their personal journeys.

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This was a very insightful blog. The examples you cited illustrate the show's tendency to prioritize celebrity narratives over delving into the deeper, more nuanced discussions about women's desires and experiences. This superficial approach not only detracts from the show's potential impact but also raises questions about its commitment to genuinely exploring what women want. One of the most pressing concerns you highlighted is the show's reinforcement of certain stereotypes and its reliance on male validation as a focal point in discussions. This approach not only perpetuates outdated norms but also misses the opportunity to challenge and redefine them in a contemporary context. The emphasis on celebrity guests and their personal stories, while engaging, often overshadows the chance to address…

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Exactly, and I hope that soon the makers of this show realize this and work towards aligning the content with the original idea that was presented.

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The blog nicely criticises the "What Women Want" talk show for frequently putting meaningful conversations about women's desires behind celebrity promotion. It calls attention to moments when the show veers off course from its intended theme, casting doubt on its emphasis on male validation and the maintenance of stereotypes. The reason for the disappointment is that the show doesn't go deeper into pertinent topics, like the ramifications of contentious movie scenes or the social mores surrounding men being praised for doing simple household chores. It urges a more deliberate approach, but one question remains: Can "What Women Want" really break away from the current celebrity-centric content trend and become a forum for real conversations about women's desires?

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I think it won't be difficult for this show to focus on real women's issues if the creators set their mind to it and not use it as a way for celebrities promotions. they will also be able to garner the support of female audience for whom this show was initially made.

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Mariam
Mariam
Nov 26, 2023

The instances you've mentioned in the show remind me of the one time Ranbir Kapoor faced backlash for accusations about being controlling over his wife Alia Bhatt. There have been many instances of him disrespecting Alia and being toxic caught on camera and normalized in the name of lighthearted jokes. What's appalling is that his response to the backlash was "I'm on the side of those fighting for toxic masculinity, I'm fine with them using me as the face for it because their fight is bigger than me feeling bad about them having an opinion over what I said". It's astonishing to see that, despite the public becoming more inclined towards holding celebrities accountable over their actions and words, which…

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Exactly, and on multiple occasions he interrupts his female colleagues in interviews and have been quoted saying "she wasn't explaining it properly", when being asked about mansplaining. People seem to idealise such celebrities to an extent that the lines between right and wrong are completely blurred and i feel they will repeat the same behavior in their interactions considering how passionately they defend his behavior.

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