Item Songs: Entertainment or Sexism against Women?
Katrina looks ravishing on the big screen when she shakes her body in her strip teasing performance on the foot tapping beats of the song ‘Kamli’. The audience goes mad with applause! The cinema halls echo with the sound of whistles and clapping. The performance is indeed worth appreciating. However, does anyone ever stop to realize what actually we are appreciating? Why is the strip teasing act so appealing to the crowd? What is the song really selling? It is rather funny that in words how we stand against this sort of commodification of women, but it fails to strike our conscience when the same thing is sugar coated in the form of entertainment. What is problematic is not the broadcast of such songs but the fact that we do not find anything awkward in them. The problem lies in the fact that we consider all this NORMAL.
Patriarchy has been around since time immemorial. Almost every society across the globe in history and presently is a victim of this social idea. There is nobody one can find, who had walked on the surface of earth being untouched by it. It affects us all. It is so deeply interwoven in the mindsets of the people that we unconsciously tend to support it. Right from the time that a child is born, we stereotype gender roles for them. By telling a girl about what girls do, what a good girl is like. Teaching her the lessons of chastity and womanly duties is almost like preparing her to be another intended victim. What change are we seeking if we are so firmly stuck on our beliefs? When will we realize that it will require an extra effort to change something which is so deeply grounded in our society? The world of entertainment has to be the first to get a sense of what is wrong. Movies and songs have a great impact on people, especially in an entertainment driven country like India. People tend to believe what is shown on the screen. If movies themselves propagate patriarchy, it will definitely manage to deepen its roots. Why not use them as a mode of awareness? If feminism is brought into popular culture, it will most likely take less time to sweep into the popular perception. Let us show women empowerment rather than women as an object of carnal pleasure. Let there be no item songs showing women dancing for the pleasure of men. Let there be no show of skin for entertainment. Let there be no munni who is getting badnaam and I am sure that someday women will acquire equal stature and respect in the society as men.
———— About the Author: This article is contributed by our intern, Pritha Singh. Pritha is a student of English Literature, Kirorimal College, Delhi University. She believes in the magic of words and says that they hold the power to change the entire world. She also believes that everything around her has a story to tell and so she takes it on herself to pens it down. Aspiring to be a great writer, this hardcore Feminist wants the entire world to read her! Do comment below to let her know what you feel about her articles.