When was the last time when one saw a man who looked like a man and had manly qualities in a television serial?
Someone with masculine qualities like leadership, aggression, protectiveness, assertion, and pure old anger (actions that are considered as terrorizing by feminists)?
Someone who had rugged looks, who wore a man’s clothes and not some pansy embroidered clothing; who had traces of facial hair, who didn’t have carved eyebrows, bleached skin and manicured hands ?
Someone who walked and talked like a man and not like some kind of kid terrorized by the neighbourhood bully?
Someone who took decisions and led those decisions instead of just cowering behind someone?
Don’t stretch your brains, because manliness became extinct from the television industry in the 90s itself.
If one needs to find an example of complete feminist conquest, look no further than the Indian television serials. True, in soaps all over the world, male characters are being pushed into the background but in Indian soap operas the conquest of feminism is 100 percent complete.
This dystopia is ruled by women who have a lot of face on their makeup (yup, face on their makeup; this isn’t a typo) and who are adorned with enough gold to make Fort Knox cry tears of shame.
The combined weight of their attire and jewellery makes them a weight walker and not just a weightlifter (too bad weight walking is not an Olympic sport).
Their hair has more pins than a porcupine has quills and their minds have more plots and plans than CIA, FSB and Mossad put together.
Women in these serials come in three categories-
The middle aged heavily adorned and bejeweled ones who are macabre and evil beyond imagination. They can make any crime lord look like a novice and are conspiring against everyone from the cradle to the crematorium. Luckily, their criminal empire extends only till their family which can have between sixty to two hundred members.
The very old ones who are more devout than all “bhakti” saints put together, who are instant sources of pious platitudes and doyens of tradition.
The third and the most important is the young woman, the protagonist around whom this whole dystopia revolves and conspires. She is young, sweet and mature beyond any scope of the puny human mind with sacrifice, selflessness and goodness firmly embedded in her DNA, thanks to the “sanskaars” given by her spectacled “Babuji” in a safari suit and a purdah clad Mummy. She is shy like a mimosa, innocent like a preschooler, virginal like Snow White, a moral educator for anyone who chooses to listen, an adviser for any situation which can range from someone’s divorce to someone getting married for the third time, a social crusader…
In fact the TV serial need not even specify that she is a fictitious character.
She has two to three siblings. If it’s a sister, then she will be a prototype in making of her “Didi”. If its a brother, well then he will be like any other piece of furniture in the house.
The audience of these shows is overwhelmingly housewives and hence the serial makes these masterpieces comprising of utopian and feminist fantasies, all in the name of showing a woman centric programme.
Men as mentioned earlier, are relegated to the background and one hardly notices their presence. They are thoroughly effeminate and without any virility in them.
They are of the following types:-
The elders of the house; these are old men who speak philosophically and do nothing else.
The husbands, who are pitiably pussy whipped and henpecked, and mere tools for the manipulations of the wily mother and sinister wife.
The only manly looking men in the serials, the villains, are chauvinists having amorous designs on the heroine and the other nubile women. He has to be outwitted by the heroine with the help of her robotic husband. Same goes for the evil mother in law or grand aunt or the envious woman next door.
In trying to create a woman centric story, all these serials do is degrade the woman further and make a caricature out of her.
As for the men, it gives the word misandry a whole new dimension.
Can we even expect to see a hint of reality in these horrid creations?
Why does a family have to look like a brigade dressed ornately? And why are they never less than twenty or fifty in number?
Why can’t anyone dress in normal everyday clothes?
What’s the point of the women wearing heavy jewellery early in the morning and the men wearing sherwanis and suits during dinnertime?
Why does the house have to resemble a museum or a palace?
How many joint families does one really find in an urban area? Even while showing a middle class family, the house is as big as the eye can see.
Why can’t they actually show men going to work?
How can they not show a man earning his living?
Why do they have to hang around their wives all the time, adding value to the already unbearble stupidity?
Why must a widow dress in a satiny white saree?
Which century are these people living in?
Isn’t this a slap on the face of the reformers who spent all their lives working towards breaking the social stigmas that surround widows?
What’s with this obsession with extra marital affairs and illegitimate children?
Why isn’t there a definite script beforehand instead of writing it on the sets? Two years of any of these soaps makes one feel like they have been running since the time Henry Ford invented the automobile.
Why must the whole universe revolve around the fight between the mom in law and daughter in law?
Are there absolutely no more domestic issues to talk of?
And why are half of the women portrayed as hideous characters full of hatred and envy, who incapable of thinking anything except conspiring and plotting the downfall of others?
Isn’t this a mutilation of women in general?
But what’s important is that regardless of being a woman centric programme men cannot and should not be portrayed dead as furniture or miniscule as mites.
Will it hurt these people to show men who can head the family instead of representing them as pansies capable of only talking fancy?
Why can’t they be someone whom their children, wives and parents look at with love and pride?
If this is the general idea of how people want to be entertained then something is wrong with the audience as well as those who make these shows.
The way in which a society amuses and entertains itself is a direct reflection of the identity of the society as well. And judging by that, we have built a very lousy identity.