Tareefan: Have fun girls, but what’s with the voyeurism?

Dare me to speak one word against Kareena Kapoor Khan or something that she’s involved in and I will not be able to do it, ever. That’s the kind of love I have for her. But since I’ve studied Laura Mulvey’s theory of Scopophilia and Male Gaze, I just cannot see it another way. And that’s why this post, and my voice against Tareefan. It’s a great song, kudos to the writers, makers, actors and designers for making the song what it is and for making the girls, all of them, look so drop-dead gorgeous.

When I heard the song for the first time, I was like, “Okay, it’s catchy, nice,” and maybe I’ll listen to it for a while and eventually delete it off my phone. But when I saw the video this evening, I was taken aback. I really wanted to watch the video ever since the song was launched, but I couldn’t due to a lot of reasons, and now that I’ve watched it, I cannot un-see it.

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I’ve always been against item numbers. This may be the first time I’m voicing it out by writing what I feel but if you ask my friends, I have always shown a certain disgust against them but at the same time I feel that I am no one to speak so blatantly about it and even today my concern is not the song but the hypocrisy.

The producer of Veere Di Wedding, Rhea Kapoor and her sister, Sonam Kapoor have, at various events, expressed how the film is a step ahead in terms of feminism and women empowerment and that it is proof that women can work together and so on and so forth. In fact, at the trailer launch of the film, Sonam Kapoor had stated that VDW is a step to demand equal pay and equal opportunity for women. Love the thought, literally. I, myself vouch for equality of the sexes and was very keen on watching how the film promotes it – whether they resort to an elitist way of dealing with the problem like Padman or do they actually address it. Now, I can’t speak for the entire film, because it is not out yet, but what we gather from Tareefan doesn’t look so bright on the film.

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Mulvey’s theory of Male Gaze suggests that the audience (male or female) views women on screen as an object. This is a principle of patriarchy. This is also what feminism is against. And this is also what Sonam and Rhea Kapoor ‘pretend’ to be against, pretend being the key word. When you promote feminism, you promote equality of the sexes and all I can see in the song (Tareefan) is how the men are shown as objects of sexual desire. I will have no problem if you intend to show such a thing but stick to your words or just stop pretending.

The Kapoor sisters come from a place of privilege and what they do not understand is that there are thousands and lakhs of people, of uneducated and unaware people, who will think it is okay to engage in voyeurism. What you’re doing here is that you’re just reversing the wrong. Women have been the objects of suppression for years under patriarchy and that needs to change and is changing. Of course, the change should be brought in super quick, but we can’t do so much about it when a large part of our country is so ignorant. So, when you put out a video song like Tareefan, you tell these women (and men) that it is okay to suppress men now, that this is the revolution we’ve all been waiting for.

I’m sorry Rhea and Sonam Kapoor, and even the other actresses and makers of the film but this is not how you should be selling your film. Call a spade a spade and do and say what and as it is. I am pin pointing the Kapoor sisters specifically in this article because they’re the ones voicing out the ’cause of feminism’ so much.

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