Words can inspire. And words can destroy. Choose yours wisely. — Robin Sharma
As someone who is constantly told, “Relax, it’s not aimed at you,” I for one can relate to this. What about you?
In India, punchlines, dialogues and abuses often translate into sexist slurs that attack women. Interestingly, these are common lingual phrases that may or may not be directed towards a woman, but still use elements like gendered roles and anatomy as an expression of insult.
While on one hand, such slang grossly degrades women, on the other, it leaves the impression that to be associated with anything related to a woman is a matter of shame. Yet more often than not, people using this kind of language fail to realise its impact.
What enforces misogyny on such a deep level that one often fails to identify the contours of its existence?
In a recent viral Twitter post, Mumbai Police called out the Indian film industry for promoting stereotypical beliefs that are often reflected in society.
Cinema is a reflection of our society –
Here are (just) a few (of many) dialogues both our society & cinema need to reflect upon.
— Mumbai Police (@MumbaiPolice) September 30, 2021
As a widely accepted representation of the country’s culture, Bollywood has a major impact on the way its audience perceives social quips and trendy behaviours. This is probably the reason why over time, careless dialogue has trickled into real life as misogynistic behaviour against women.
Narendra Nath Kalia, in his article ‘Women and Sexism’, points out how sexist language steers the collective consciousness of a society towards discriminatory behaviour, which often begins right at the schooling level.
In this light, the need of the hour becomes for all of us to realise the meaning of the words we speak. Who are they aimed at, and what impact are we looking to create through them?
Watch this video to understand why language matters: