But wait, did the charming prince ask for her consent before kissing? No,
because it doesn’t matter, it never matters!
We grew up hearing such stories and seeing such films that the concept of
consent never mattered. Everything was to be surrendered to the
The hero follows the object of his desires. She shouts at him to leave her alone. He grabs her arm. She pushes him off. He forces her into his arms. She struggles out of it. In some films, his group of friends join in on the harassment and entrap her further.
Yet somehow after this de facto molestation, the film has found a way to make this abused woman fall in love with their hero, thus imparting the harmful false truth that “no” doesn’t really mean “no.” Instead, a woman’s lack of interest is simply a challenge for a man to overcome. This how films have buried deep down the idea of consent.
There is this scene in DDLJ where Raj pranks Simran that they slept together while she was drunk. A cute funny scene. But more than being fun it is only reaffirming the misconception that drunk women are open to sex.
|A still from Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge
We grew up singing ‘Tu Haa Kar Ya naa kar..tu hai meri Kiran’ from the movie Darr. That is, we grew up singing that ‘a woman’s opinion doesn’t matter’. Bollywood songs have only objectified womenand depicted them as a sex toy. Most of the songs are a testament to the existing masculinity that overpowers a woman’s opinion.
We can’t blame them because they are just a reflection of our society right! But when the younger generation see their idol glorifying these age-old patriarchal notions, he is driven and convinced to practice it himself.
|Film – Pink
It is only after the release and success of the film Pink that people began
questioning the existence of consent. The male lawyer in the film
advocates – No means No, it does not require any explanation or
rationalization, and when any woman, be it your friend, girlfriend, sex-
worker or even your wife say No, Men must Stop. Pink sends a message,
A lack of consideration for consent only made restrictions on women tighter as it is easier to teach our girls how to prevent themselves from
The power of cinema is limitless. It can make and break conventions with profound impact.
In order to break down the cultural structures that preserve regressive
societies, our art must emulate more obliging depiction of love and romance—free of the glorified violence against women that has become
normalized in our culture.