Bigg Boss: Why do we overlook everyday transgressions of men?

Last Updated: Wed, Aug 30, 2017 10:54 hrs
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The scandal that shook the Bigg Boss Tamil house till date was Oviya’s last week inside and her consequent exit. And strangely, not Aarav’s ‘maruthuva mutham’. This is what I and most of the audience including actor Sripriya, who articulated it well during her appearance on the show, find it shocking. Right from the get-go every minor move or word of Oviya’s was overanalysed by the housemates and in most instances, demonised. Sure, she had some faults but none so big as to warrant hours and hours of bickering. But when it was revealed that Aarav was complicit in the undoing of Oviya’s state of mind, it was barely talked about, it brought pretty much no backlash, and in no way did the housemates openly make their disapproval felt.

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Does this mean what Aarav did was ok? Does a kiss not involve two people? Why brush it under the carpet with a silly made-up terminology?

The need to fess up never occurred to Aarav until host Kamal Haasan pushed him to do so. And even then, the way he phrased it was without remorse and almost sounded like he gave himself a disclaimer by coining this strange term. That’s not how we see it. It is only now, weeks after the incident, that Aarav is being made to face the heat. And it seems to be a one-man job for Kamal Haasan because no one else in the house seems to understand the gravity of what he did.

Cut to Day 63. It’s Truth or Dare time in the Bigg Boss house. And new contestant Harish is dared to make a romantic proposal. He requested Bindu to be his muse, and the words that followed were so uninspiring. Hands down, the worst proposal on Prime Time TV. We feel quite sorry for Bindu for having been put through this stilted performance. But what jarred for us in this yawn-inducing proclamation of love was when Harish said that if there weren’t anyone around, he would grab her and kiss her. How is that romantic? Why do men think that force is a tool to show love or, a proof of love. Here’s a tip: How about you say why you love the girl and then seal it with a kiss if she says ‘yes’.

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This not-so-great proposal that included a stray line of force, barely raised any eyebrows inside the house. When Aarav’s transgression didn’t cause a furore, why would this. But that’s exactly the problem. These words, these actions are being normalised. It’s on this premise that the makers of Judwaa 2 included a a scene featuring a forcible kiss which is nothing short of assault, as part of what they claim to be a family-entertainer full of laughs. It barely made my laugh muscles twitch. And there’s company. Going by the slam-fest the trailer has brought on on Twitter, it’s not getting any cackles.

The twitter rage against Judwaa 2, the audience’s disapproval of Aarav’s actions are all welcome signs. It comes at a time when the Centre is rooting for the decriminalisation of marital rape claiming that it would rock the foundations of the institution of marriage. If it’s force and violence that the marriage is based on, it is a very questionable foundation. While the centre is worried about the rights of men being abused, what about the women. What recourse will they have? While the courts bash out their verdict on this, what we could do as viewers, as individuals to create an equal world is make sure that we red-flag everyday misogyny that has been internalised and is part of the norm. Be it Harish’s seemingly harmless proposal, Aarav’s deceit, or an obscene scene paraded as family entertainment.

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