Should there be no Lipstick under my Burkha?

The last time I checked we were living in the 21st century where the women were being encouraged for being free of the society’s stereotypes. Everyone was trying to make a misogyny-free world for them to live in. There was a long way to go but everyone was trying. I, like many others, was  hopeful that soon I will breathe in a world where there will be no feminism driven fights because the world will be a better place. However, while this thought was was only half the way in my mind the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) forced my thought to run back in fear.

The CBFC recently denied ‘Lipstick under my Burkha’ certificate for being lady-oriented. They made me wonder how can I hope for a better world for the females if we are seen as nothing more than objects and the sole purpose of our existence is to serve the man. They proved the world that Bollywood is still all about the male gaze and their pleasure. If something makes a man uncomfortable it is not worth the time.

Laura Mulvey, a British feminist theorist, gave the theory of male gaze. She argued how everything is designed for the visual pleasure of the men. The narrative of our cinemas has always been around a central male character. It is perfectly alright to show a man’s desire but a woman should be ashamed of hers.

Now that you think about it, we are the living example of it. While movies like Mastizade and Kya Kool Hain Hum are perfectly fine, the movie like Lipstick under my Burkha is against our values or is not sanskaari.

Today, item numbers play a major role in a Bollywood film. A catchy-groovy item number helps to attract eyeballs. We listen to the songs like ‘Munni Badnam hui, darling tere liye’ and ‘Mai tandoori murgi hu, ghatkale muje alcohol se’. The sad reality is that we enjoy the songs which objectify a woman’s body and depicts the only purpose of a woman is to satisfy the man. They earn and pass the censor board without any second thought because this is what a man wants to see. No wonder a man after harassing or raping a woman feels no guilt and moreover, things he has the right to do so.

While the time and the world are moving forward, we are stuck with the values which do not even celebrates the existence of one of the section of the society. The government is exploiting these very values for their benefit and are least bother to change the society for good. They are celebrating ignorance and we are letting them in one way or the other.

The struggle of women for her rights begins even before her birth. It haunts me to even imagine our race back in the time. Is it really important to make a woman carry the burden of values and pride of her family? When will we let her walk for herself, enjoy for herself and most of all when will we teach her she should not be ashamed of her mind or body?




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