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3-min read

In Bollywood, Men Like Kabir Singh Are 'Passionate Lovers' But Women Are ‘Lunatics'

It's terrifying to see the crowd cheering Kabir Singh’s violent anger outbursts and misogynistic antics. It never seemed to be contained within the walls of the theatre.

Samiksha Pattanaik | News18.com

Updated:June 23, 2019, 12:40 PM IST
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In Bollywood, Men Like Kabir Singh Are 'Passionate Lovers' But Women Are ‘Lunatics'
It's terrifying to see the crowd cheering Kabir Singh’s violent anger outbursts and misogynistic antics. It never seemed to be contained within the walls of the theatre.
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Let's get to it. In Kabir Singh, Shahid Kapoor plays a senior year, violent MBBS student who declares in front of everyone that a first year med student Preeti (Kiara Advani) is his girl 'bandi'. Leave aside seeking consent, he marks his territory in the most uncouth way possible.

Like the most absurd entitled males, he decides who Preeti should be friends with and what should she wear. On that front, a chubby girl is an ideal friend because overweight chicks are like teddy bears. Beat that!

He orders her to bunk classes to take lessons from him, warns other students not to throw colours on her on Holi and even restricts her physical movement. Things people do in love! Sigh!

But that's not exactly the root of the problem. In a recent interview, Advani called Kabir Singh a protective lover, and there are many who would agree to this statement. Social media comments are proof.

Our upbringing has taught us to view men as the “protectors” and the dominant gender. So, when we have a man, who is financially, educationally and professionally successful (Kabir Singh is a university topper and later a reputed surgeon), taking interest in a woman, we choose to conveniently ignore his negative, often dangerous, traits.

All we want to see in him is a passionate lover who is ready to go to any extent to ‘protect’ his girl. The cherry on the cake? A possible happy ending for both of them.

Now, imagine it the other way round. If a girl goes to the same extent, accept it or not, most men, even the society, would dismiss her as crazy. And if the man happens to be married, she would be promptly labelled as an ‘immoral slut’, ‘husband snatcher’ and what not.

It’s not like only men display possessive, obsessive and self-destructive behaviour in love and relationship. Women too engage in behaviours that can be obsessive, controlling and destructive.

Sample these examples from Bollywood.

In Pyaar Tune Kya Kiya, Urmila Matondkar gets obsessed with a married man Jai, played by Fardeen Khan, and then starts the tale of a head-strong woman who is determined to go to any extent to win over the man. However, there’s no happy ending for our heroine as we see Urmila in a mental asylum at the end of the movie.

Another example is the character of Sonia Kapoor (Preity Zinta) in the 2003 film Armaan. Sonia falls in love with Dr. Akash Sinha (Anil Kapoor) and tries every possible way to separate him from his girlfriend Dr. Neha Mathur (Gracy Singh). Sonia is shown as a jealous, manipulative and obsessive lover. Again, it’s not all rosy for the heroine in the end. Sonia realises her mistake, asks for the hero’s forgiveness and quietly walks away from his life.

Then we have the character of Sonia Roy, played by Priyanka Chopra, from the movie Aitraaz. The plot revolves around a married man Raj Malhotra (Akshay Kumar) accused of rape by his boss Sonia Roy (Priyanka Chopra), who also happens to be his ‘crazy’ ex-girlfriend. Then he sues her for sexual harassment in order to restore his ‘dignity’. The ending is rather tragic for Sonia, who commits suicide out of guilt and humiliation of being the ‘husband snatcher’. In short, the ‘bad’ woman gets punished.

All these movies have portrayed female characters as manipulative, obsessive and self-destructive lovers. But let alone winning the man, the climax of the movie reduces them to either a ‘lunatic’ or an ‘immoral slut’ who receive poetic justice for their sins. Their redemption is in a way embracing the patriarchy, but that we don’t usually get to see in our flawed heroes.

Here asking the cliched yet very important question: When obsessive love is dangerous in itself then why do we end up glorifying men displaying such behaviours? If an obsessive female partner is dismissed as ‘crazy’, why is a similar trait in a man romanticised?

You know what, it's terrifying to see the crowd cheering Kabir Singh’s violent anger outbursts and misogynistic antics. It never seemed to be contained within the walls of the theatre.

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