Gehraaiyan is another attempt from Bollywood to portray highly poetic and nuanced cinema on human emotions. Whether the attempt has been successful or not , let’s keep it for another day. However one thing I did notice and was annoyed with was the number of times that they have used the F word in the movie. Almost every single sentence has the word in it, used randomly, out of place. Halfway through the movie, I took a pause and asked my husband, “Have they changed the meaning of the word? It still means the same, right?”
This is not the first time I am noticing this. In the last couple of years the use of the F word and other regional swear words have gone up incredibly high. You switch on YouTube it’s there. Switch on Netflix it is there. Recently we tried watching a new series ‘Decoupled’ (supposedly a comedy series) and had to drop it after three episodes simply because the swear words were unbearable.
If the movie/ character demands it, then its fine. The F word have been used in so many English movies but mostly it was because the character demanded it. Sadly that is not the case now. Not to mention the influence of the same amongst the youth and youngsters today. We hear fifteen year old saying it out loud as if it is something to be proud of. We hear youth shouting to even their parents! Do these guys really understand what they say?
Somewhere along the road, people have started assuming that using a strong swear word equates to courage. Random YouTuber/ Instagrammer comes live and says Fxxx in a totally out of place sentence and suddenly he/she becomes symbol of progress, a symbol of modern life.
The funny thing is how girls are fighting for their right to say curse words. We have an ‘influencer’ who went viral just because she said a swear word in one of her live video. See where we stand as society? This is one of those instances where I feel feminism/ societal progress in our place going in a totally wrong direction!
To use a swear word is NOT an act of courage. For any gender for that matter. I don’t understand how that comes under feminist act.
But so is the case with so many other false notions. Often I get asked a question (usually from males) – What is Feminism? What do you mean when you ask for a progressive society?
A woman puts up a post on Instagram. Now even if this is a post where she dons a saree or a bikini, I tell you there will be always that one nutcase who comments bad things. Next thing she does take a screen grab, post it on her story. And then she is termed bold, she is talk of the town for the next two days. Is that Feminism?
An influencer puts up a reel where she is tired of washing dishes and gets her husband to do it once. Another one posts a video about how a husband changes the baby’s diaper. Is that Feminism?
There is a whole discussion going on how ladies should not have to hide their sanitary napkins. How putting a picture of a (menstrual) blood stained cloth comes under an act of courage, an act of freedom. Is that Feminism for you?
Then there is this fight for ladies to walk around freely with little to no clothes. Some influencers call for walking around freely without having to wear a bra. Or the freedom to put up a topless picture on Instagram. Is that what you what you call Feminism or a progressed society?
Or the other set of people who are fighting to wear more. The set who is calling for ‘modest’ fashion. Is that feminism?
One can argue that yes all these are different views of the feministic movement. And in a way that is true. However the basic idea of the feminist movement or the first wave of feminism that started in the Western World was the fight for equal rights. Right to own property, to get education, job opportunities etc. Then we have the second wave where women had to fight for equal pay for equal work, shift from the domestic roles and discrimination based on sex. It is the third and the now ongoing fourth wave that deals with fight for gender based roles, fight to redefine the unconscious rules and ideas on womanhood, beauty, manhood, femineity and so on.
Now do you see where the Indian feminist movement went wrong? We are currently fighting for the goals of third and fourth wave feminism even when we are nowhere near to achieving goals of the first and second wave. Hence we have not made much progression on women’s education and jobs and equal pays etc. Yes we have managed to put more girls in school, but are they being able to put that knowledge to good use? Are they able to use it to build a life of their own? Hardly not.
That should be our priority now. Get more girls (and boys) to well paid jobs where they are satisfied, have them learn to live an independent life. Fight for these rights at your home, at your college. That’s courage. Using a string of swear words, abandoning classes to fight, having an open relationship at a young age and displaying it on your social media profile. None of these can be considered as acts of a progressive society when we have failed to achieve basic gender equality!
Last year we happened to watch a series called ‘The Good Place’ on Netflix. When we started , we simply sat through the first couple of episodes while strolling through the Insta feed. About four episodes into the show we were completely hooked. The show discusses life on Heaven (or hell is it?) and how every religion talks of a good place and a bad place, but there is no Middle place for people who are okayish. A childish theme, but a show that makes you really think on how to be good. Anyways there is a rule in this (hypothetical) good place that no one is allowed to use curse words. So instead, each time some one who is just dead arrives at the good place and try to say swear words, it comes out as –forking hell, ash hole, holy shirt etc.
Since no one actually knows how the good place is other than the facts from religious texts, let us just assume that in reality no curse word are allowed in the good place. Doesn’t harm to practice so, right? Until then stop being complete ash holes and do your shirt! Unless you are practicing to end up in the bad place (where swearing is allowed by the way) 😉😉.