Kabir Singh has recorded great revenues at the Box Office since it was released. Shahid Kapoor features as the male lead in the movie who suffers from alcohol and drug addiction following the marriage of his girlfriend to someone else. It’s a story love and redemption, we are told, and Kapoor is said to have done a pretty good job as the anti-hero.
However, the movie appears to have struck a sensitive nerve with ‘feminists’. Ever since its release, the so-called feminists are up in arms against the movie, for what they call, a celebration of ‘Toxic Masculinity’. The conduct of the character is, without a shadow of a doubt, quite deplorable. However, one can question whether it’s a celebration of deplorable behaviour at all.
First and foremost, it’s a movie. We are constantly told by the same ‘liberals’ that movies have no impact on real life whatsoever, that it’s only for entertainment. When the release of Padmavat was being opposed by Hindu groups, they strongly protested asserting that it’s just for entertainment and should be treated as such, that Hindus should not take the movie seriously. Wonder what has changed now?
One cannot have different yardsticks for different issues while wearing the garb of neutrality and intellect. One should admit that they are partisan with regards to certain issues and that other people can be partisan with a separate set of issues. They should honestly drop arguments such as “It’s just a movie” the next time Hindus oppose the release of a certain movie because it’s quite obvious that they themselves don’t treat movies as mere entertainment either.
The duplicity of the feminists is also visible in their outrage as well. In Game of Thrones, when Sansa Stark was raped by Ramsey Bolton in season 5, there was great outrage by feminists and even demands for an apology from the makers and withdrawal of the scene was made. The makers, to my knowledge, never did and rightly so. Because Ramsey was a villain.
A similar outrage from feminists never came when Ramsey actually chopped off Theon Greyjoy’s penis and made a sausage out of it which he appeared to eat later on. This was in addition to the inhumane torture Theon was put through, he was even flayed. But feminists, somehow, did not have too much of a problem with that. If feminism was all about equality, where was the outrage then?
More recently, a web series titled Mirzapur was released. In the series, one of the main characters is quite toxic and another popular character, the villain in the story, actually attempted to kidnap the lead’s sister with the intention to violate her dignity. Yet, no outrage was heard from these feminists then. In fact, Mirzapur received rave reviews from all quarters.
Going further back, there was the movie Ranjhaanaa where the lead, portrayed by Dhanush, was a stalker. Amusingly enough, the female lead in the movie was Sonam Kapoor who had no issues with featuring in this celebration of stalking, which it actually was. Swara Bhasker, another vocal feminist famous mainly for her hypocrisy and political stunts with defeated politicians, too, featured in the movie and even defended it when it was criticized for its portrayal of stalking.
Even in Padmavat, Ranveer Singh portrayed a pretty toxic character, the rapist, jihadist probably bisexual Alauddin Khilji, yet most feminists were drooling over him and were criticizing Rani Padmavati’s jauhar, the act of self-immolation, which was forced by Khilji’s perversion. These are just a few instances feminists have displayed a remarkable double-standard in their outrage.
Now, let us look at the behaviour by Kabir Singh that is being labelled ‘Toxic Masculinity’ by the same ‘feminists’. There were instances where the lead referred to the female lead as ‘Meri Bandi’ which feminists found problematic. There was an instance where the lead apparently forcibly kissed the lead without her consent, forced to strip under threat and slapped. Now, these are all extremely disgusting behaviour.
However, is it a celebration of disgusting behaviour or mere portrayal? Not every portrayal is a celebration. Let’s get this clear, Kabir Singh is a filthy degenerate for large parts of the movie. He is an addict, has serious anger issues, doesn’t know how to treat women properly and probably belongs in prison or an asylum. However, there is a tale of redemption as well.
All of his degenerate behaviours lands him in huge trouble, has his medical license cancelled and evicted from his flat. Eventually, after more personal grief, he fixes his own life, gives up his self-destructive habits, then as fate would have it, everything ends on a positive note.
Therefore, the whole story has a redemptive arc. Such stories, by definition, cannot be a celebration of toxic behaviour. In such stories, a disgusting person (which Kabir Singh is initially) suffers significant personal grief and misery as a consequence of his degenerate and atrocious conduct and eventually realizes his folly and turns over a new leaf. Therefore, it’s a progression from evil to good. Thus, to call it a celebration of toxic masculinity is way off the mark.
A film reviewer says, “Kabir says, it is 2019 and caste shouldn’t be an issue in the union of two lovers. But it’s 2019 and this is not what you expect girls to do, either. Especially, a girl who has been brought up to be ambitious, study medicine and do something worthwhile in her life.” Well, that’s an extremely myopic view on how women are or expected to be. Why should even women, leave alone fictional women, conform to the standards the so-called feminists set for them? Last I checked it was all about free-will.
‘Educated girls don’t tolerate abusive behaviour from their romantic partners in 2019,’ is the essential argument. However, reality couldn’t be farther from the truth. Educated girls growing up in Western countries are running off to join ISIS and become either sex slaves themselves or assist their husbands in raping the sex slaves. We have educated women who are obsessed with serial killers and psychopaths and other violent men as evidenced by groupies that surround these people.
Women are humans, feminists tend to forget that sometimes. Women can be evil and stupid and idiots and ugly and vengeful and cheats and thugs and sometimes, all at the same time because they are human just as men are. Men can be all of these things as well, but generally more frequently. In this particular movie, the lead actress was someone who didn’t mind the fact that her boyfriend had something revolting traits.
She liked that he was dominating, perhaps she didn’t even mind being slapped or the fact that he was putting boundaries around her. Why is it so difficult for feminists to imagine that a woman can be this way? Are feminists actually claiming that they know no women in their lives who loves a man despite his disgusting traits?
Funnily enough, the movie is actually quite progressive. Two individuals fall in love and despite the disapproval of the girl’s family due to their caste and even after being forced to marry some other guy, they end up together and the girl’s family eventually accepts them despite caste differences.
Thus, we have a situation where the girl was saved from a toxic guy by two patriarchal institutions: arranged marriage and the father. And it was the Feminist Principle of ‘Marry who you Love’ that led to the girl ending up with the toxic guy. Therefore, instead of harping on and on about ‘celebration of toxic masculinity’ which the movie isn’t, perhaps feminists ought to ponder upon the implications of their own doctrine.