Chapter 2 Review of literature Many studies have been

Chapter 2

Review of literature

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studies have been conducted on the Indian Cinema Industry, and on the
stereotypical portrayal of women in Indian cinema. This stereotypical portrayal
of women in Indian cinema has been a subject of debate amongst the feminist
scholars. Although there have been studies on women – centered movies that have
tried to address women’s issues, there has been very little, sociological
research done on the portrayal of women in the films. The films which I have
chosen, women are shown to break out of the conventional roles, and stand-up
for themselves. This thesis is an attempt to analyze such movies. The
Literature Review section will do an in depth analysis on women oriented

study was conducted on gender stereotype
portrayal of women in the media: Perception and impact on adolescent by Archana kumarai & Himani Joshi. Quantitative survey research method was used
for the study. A sample of 100 students in the age group of 17 to 20 years was
selected for the study. The study concluded that there is stereotypical
representation of gender roles in media. 
It reinforces the traditional patriarchal notions of gender as perceived
by the adolescents. Female students showed more agreement with typical
stereotypical representation of women in traditional role or as a sex object.
They felt a need for regulation on the content of media as compared to male.

study on women and their portrayal in
Indian cinema by Mana Tabatabai Rad
(2016) analyzes two Hindi movies: Daman-
directed by Kalpana Lajmi and Mirtyudand – directed by Prakash Jha.  The author examines women’s portrayal in
Indian cinema by applying sociological approach which focuses on agency.  And also Rad (2016) uses these films to
investigate the inter relation of gender and portrayal of women in Indian
cinema. The first film Daman explains
how woman can be physically and emotionally exploited by her own husband. The
director shows a woman who bears all the pain and suffering caused by her
husband. Finally she uses violence as an instrument of her strength and she
kills her husband. This movie indicates that women must arise above the male
dominated society and fight for their rights. The director pays attention to
the topic of education of women. . In Daman,
Durga, the protagonist, who could not take decisions regarding her own life,
becomes empowered when she decides that she would not let her daughter suffer
the same fate and would ensure that her daughter gets the right to make the
decisions related to her life. In Daman, the director has emphasized women’s
empowerment and improvement of women’s status with help of education.

 In the movie, Mrityudand, heroine is an uneducated woman. The director depicts mental power of the women and that educating
her can bring lots of changes in the society. Both films have shown how once
the women take the first step towards decision making autonomy, the process of
their liberation begins. Rad (2016) concludes that these films portray women
both as victimized and empowered ones. To break down the gender stereotype in
society, education is the tool which can bring lots of changes in the society
and the lives of women in economic and in real life where they exercise their
freedom. Discrimination can be irrigated by giving awareness to all the girl
children and women empowerment can create better society, where cultural values
are respected.

study on portrayal of women in Indian
mass media: an investigation by Himashree
Patowary (2014) analyzed various criticisms raised by feminist writers in
print media as well as visual media. Patowary (2014) analyzed various secondary
sources of data like books, magazines, journals, periodicals. She adds that according to different feminists’
writers such as Simon de Beauvoir, Shulamith Firestone, Kate Millet, Gallagher,
Bretty Friedman, media are reinforcing stereotypical images of women as
inferior, subordinate and submissive- house wives devoid of all qualities of
decision making. Media representations of Indian women reveal that they are
less accepted and respected as persons and looked upon more as objects. She has
three projected roles- biological, domestic and decorative. According to
various feminist writers such as Ritu Menon, Kamala Vasin, Kiran Prasad, Indian
society is male dominated and this dominance can be seen everywhere and
unfortunately media is no exception to that.

study on Portrayal of Women in Indian
Cinema and Print Media: Socio-Psychological Perspective by Geeta Bharti and Kamlesh Kumar reveals the performance and portrayal of women in
media. Bharti and Kumar  uses the
secondary sources of data from books, magazines, journals, periodicals  and different 
websites of year 2015 and Indian cinema from 2010 to 2015.  They argue
that due to gender stereotyping in India, and India being a patriarchal
society, the media is also portraying certain gender biases. In foreign
countries things are better as less stereotyping is present in their society.
So media also portrays women in a better way. In India things are changing very
slowly. The only way for women to be accepted in society is by creating gender
sensitive awareness programs and education for people to give equality to women.

study on Women’s Cinema in the 1920s
by Rosanna Maule and  Catherine
Russell argues that in order to understand how women experience cinema, one
needs to look at their publications, memoirs and so on (during the silent era).
The study emphasizes on the fact that women’s understanding of silent films was
different not just because they tried to understand it at the backdrop of
social and cinematic experience (meaning the existing social and cinematic
understanding and reality of people) but also the fact that cinema gave that
space for giving new perspective on certain social and everyday aspects of

study on gender reflections in mainstream
Hindi cinema by Nidhi Shendurnikar
Tere (2012) reveals that women in Bollywood have been unidimensional character
who is good or bad white or black. This dichotomy in popular films has
distinguished between the heroine and vamp. Films also been inspired to large
extend from religion and mythology. Where the women’s character were perfect in
virtues. For example Hindi Films like Dahej
(1950), Gauri (1968), Devi (1970), Biwi ho to Aisi (1988), Pati Parmeshwar (1988) depicted women
as passive and submissive wives who are perfect figures and martyrs for their
own families. These films show the ‘victim’ wife who refuses to leave her
husband’s house even in the face of severe emotional violence. Abhimaan (1973) begins with premise of
the wife (Jaya Bachchan) being more talented than the husband (Amitabh
Bachchan). Women rather than being depicted as normal human beings are elevated
to a higher position of being ideal who can commit no wrong. They are also
portrayed as the ‘other’ because they are shown as not belonging to the worldly
life. The film shows that the wife cares about satisfying the husband’s ego,
culminating into a conventional closure to traditional values of marriage and
motherhood. The women in Madur Bhandarkar’s films are usually shown as bold and
empowered women who lead life on their own terms, take their own decisions, are
‘rebels’ who don’t conform to social norms and excel in their respective

study on Misogyny in Bollywood by Burhan Wazir (2013) analyzed the rape
and murder of a young physiotherapy student in Delhi led to criticism of the
portrayal of women in films. Mohanrao Bhagwat, the leader of the RSS (Rashtriya
Swayamsevak Sangh) felt that such crimes hardly took place in Bharat. Neeraj
Kumar argues that in early years women’s were not allowed to study and they
were treated as house arrested. Even in those days women were seduced by
malechavernistic society. So this issue took place in Bharat not because of
bollywood films. The increasing number of rapes in the country is due to
westernization. This has been continued may be due to the portrayal of media.  Wazir
(2013) states that after independence in the 50s and 60s women were portrayed
as cooking meals served husband and taking care of the children. In 70s and 80s
filmmakers didn’t wholly abandon the conservative values. 

study on K. Balanchander: An Innovative
Filmmaker by Sathiavathi Chinniah
(2009) analyzes few films of K.Balanchander.  He has depicted women as courageous and ready
to take risks in order to achieve their goals in his movies. Women are
the protagonists in many of his movies. Even when they are not, they are
assigned a strong role instead of being the ornamental objects.
For example the movie Ethir Neechal
which was released in 1968 and Unnal
Mudium Thambi in 1988 shows women as a strong role. Diskey in her research
about Tamil audience in Madurai, She says “Frequently they show women are self
sacrificing, persevering wife, self centered women who transformed in to proper
Tamil women. After the marriage breaks up the happy family life and avoid
traditional joint family. According to Wadly “Indian women are controlled by
three important roles in the society, that of daughter, wife, mother.

study on The Stereotypical Portrayal of
Women in Commercial Indian Cinema by Hari
Krishna Behera analyzed two movies for the study.  The two movies which were released in 1996-
fire and water in 2005. This film water begins with 1940’s in the pre
Independence era, where Gandhi speaks about non violence movement the biggest
phenomena in British colonial India. Widows were considered unlucky and curse
on society. The movie examines the plight group of widows forced in to poverty
at a temple in the holy city of Varanasi. It focuses on a relationship between
one of the widows who want to escape the social restriction imposed on the
widows and bring relive for the women those who really go through lots pain and
suffering. The movie water portrayed the real situation of women in the
society. The movie shows the reality of women specially widows who are not
considered as human beings.

movie fire which was released in 1996, portrayed women in roles the ills of the
Hindu religion and atrocities committed on Hindu widows in the 1940’s were
shown in that movie. Both the films stirred the anger of the religious group.
The movie examines two women by chance were daughter in law of the same
household in heterosexual marriage. They did not receive true love, support and
care from their own life partners brought them to involve in this acts. They
find satisfaction in heterosexual acts which they were lacking in the marriage.

study on Portrayal of women in media by
Deepanjali Mishra (2015) analyzes
secondary sources of data.  Mishra (2015) in her study revealed that
in Indian Media women are shown in general as focusing only on their family needs,
creating focuses on religion at times scruples. 
In advertisements women are depicted as sex commodity. According to Mishra (2015) after Independence the
film industry has seen a gradual change which focuses on modern feminism. Over
the past few years Hindi cinema broke the stereotypes depicted Indian women
coming of age not only the young ones but also women in different shades of

A study on Breaking the stereotypes: A feminist reading of the movie Dangal
by Vikram Singh analyzed the movie Dangal.  In the movie Mahavir singh Phogat is a former
wrestling champion had to quit the sport due to his family pressure as it was
not helping his family financially. He has four daughters. Mahavir realizes
that his daughters Geeta and Babita can do the game wrestling. Geeta soon
becomes a known wrestler in the state and international level. Mahavir and his
two daughters struggle towards glory at the commonwealth in the face of
societal oppression. According to  Singh (2017) the two girls prove that
gender is not restraint in their path to victory. In this movie women are
depicted as strong and they can make their mark without adopting the masculine.

study on Identity of Muslim women in
Hindi Movies by Kumar Parag
analyzes four Hindi movies. In the movies women are depicted as strong roles. For
example the movie Nikaah (Marriage) released in the year 1982. The heroine
comes from a middle class Muslim family. He gets married to a Nawab Waseem.
Nilofer is longing for love from her husband. But he uses as commodity and need
to fulfill the physical needs. When she voices out, in his anger shows talak
(divorce) thrice. She has to leave the house. Finally stays in a ladies hostel.
She decided to look for a job interview; her application is turned down because
she is a divorcee.  In the working place
she finds an old college friend Haider. They marry each other and living a
happy life. The first husband realizing his mistakes and acknowledge his
faults, and he wants Nilofer to live with him. The second husband ready to
divorce her, thinking that still she has love towards her first husband.
Nilofer, a strong woman, takes a bold step and expresses her desires that I
want to live a free woman. I don’t want to satisfy both of your needs. Parag
concludes that women are depicted as they have right to decide about their own
future in a male dominated society.

A study on Portrayal of Women in National Awarded Hindi
Movies: A Content Analysis by Manju
Kataria & Bandana Pandey
analyzes the portrayal of women in National Awarded Hindi Movies. In the movie
Raincoat, Neerja, was in love with Manu. But she left him to marry a wealthier
man instead. Manu is in need of money for his sister’s wedding. So he goes out
to collect money from his former girl friend. When she meets him, she is poor.
But she never shows this to Manu and lies to him over and over again. In spite
of being poor, she gives Manu her bangles, without saying anything. She reads
the letter of Manu and gives him money and mobile.  Women play a vital role in the movie. Finally
they have found that Indian cinema has adapted to the various socio- cultural
aspects seen in Indian society