The thirteenth installation of the controversial show Bigg Boss has been the most watched and the longest running season ever in the history of this show, for many reasons, right and wrong. It broke the records with its unconventional format this year. Fights, violence, romance and many quintessential reality TV show shenanigans with celebrity clashes, crazy tasks, wild card entries and Salman Khan’s wrath on the weekends; Bigg Boss 13 has become the recipe for a perfect reality drama, which reflects in its super high TRPs.
Belittling The #MeToo Movement
The contestants in the house have been involved in all sorts of quarrels with each other, be it fighting for their opinions, protecting their friends or just on something as small as “Aaj chai kaun banaayega?” (Who will make tea today?); but the actual brewing happens when the women in the house disappoint you by belittling real movements that are organised outside their unreal worlds of reality TV. To win tasks in the house one can get aggressive; in one such task, Siddharth Shukla, a TV actor and a contestant, threatened his fellow contestants for a task and broke some equipment given to them in the Bigg Boss house. In the midst of all that, it quickly turned violent and contestants Devoleena and Mahira, also retaliated with the same amount of aggression and were also physically hurt.
At this point, Devoleena threatened Siddharth with ‘#MeToo’. She said, “Main #MeToo ka charge daal doongi agar ek baar bhi body apni touch ki mere upar,” (I’ll charge you with #MeToo if you touch your body over mine even once). Mahira, on the other hand, accused Shukla of touching her inappropriately. While such accusations could be important. However, the casual way that these words were thrown at each other was totally uncalled for.
This bizarre and totally out-of-context reference to #MeToo left the fans aghast. Devoleena callously used one of the most major influential movements in the Indian context, which served the purpose of hearing the voice of survivors of sexual harassment against big names in the industry.
This bizarre and totally out-of-context reference to #MeToo left the fans aghast. Devoleena callously used one of the most major influential movements in the Indian context, which served the purpose of hearing the voice of survivors of sexual harassment against big names in the industry. Other women in the house turned against Siddharth Shukla for his behaviour and questioned him, “How can he be aggressive with girls?”
Women Turning Violent With Impunity
In a recent row, another contestant Madhurima Tuli is seen losing her cool and repeatedly whacking Vishal Singh with a frying pan, after he emptied a glass of water on her. The other contestants look on in shock and then attempt to stop her. Vishal was angry with Madhurima because she kept referring to him as “behenji” and “munna” to irk him. He threw water on her face, damaging the microphones and cameras in the process. To which Madhurima retaliated in such a violent manner.
This is where we see the double standards in the Bigg Boss house. The women are allowed to hit and slap, in order to keep the TRPs moving and no serious action is taken in the house to combat such serious situations of violence. Madhurima and Vishal were put in a jail inside the house but no direct actions were taken against her, to keep it “saucy” until the weekend. She faced a lot of backlash from the fans of the show and former contestants as well, all over social media. On the Weekend Ka Vaar episode, conducted by Salman Khan asked her to leave the house.
Casteism, Classism, Misogyny And Bigg Boss
Rashmi Desai is also seen as one character who has been playing the show under the shadow of the “woman card“, completely disregarding of other women. Siddharth Shukla, a despicable toxic masculine man himself, had an argument where he called her “naukrani“(maid), a blatant casteist and classist comment, and Rashmi’s boyfriend Arhaan Khan asked Siddharth if he talks in the same manner with women at his own house, to which Siddharth replied, “Ghar pe meri aisi ladkiyaan nahi hai. (The girls in my house are not like this)”. This line triggered Rashmi like crazy. She went ballistic and called his mother a “maid“. Casteism for Casteism!
Rashmi Desai took it to another tangent and cried in front of Salman Khan and tried to gain sympathy from the housemates and audience by becoming a victim of Shukla’s “cruel words”, which she herself used for another woman.
Another contestant Asim Riaz was upset about the fact that breakfast was served with negativity, so he decided he would make breakfast for himself. Rashmi got upset with this, and told him she is not his ‘Abba’s naukar‘. She had an emotional breakdown and rued how one is not supposed to talk to women in a demeaning tone. Well, this episode didn’t go down well with the netizens as they accused Rashmi of playing the “woman card”, and crying at the drop of a hat for trivial reasons. They further slammed her for dragging Asim’s ‘abba‘ into their fight.
Toxic Masculinity In Bigg Boss House
The men are no less playing out their misogynistic games and shaming women. Paras Chhabra is known for playing the part of a “playboy” in the house. His game revolves around having two girls behind him. He befriended Mahira Sharma and Shehnaz Kaur Gill in the beginning. He then drifted apart from Shehnaz and claimed that now she is ‘jealous’ of Mahira. He is often seen boasting about the fact that two beautiful girls are fighting for him, and calling the other one “jealous” of another is his attention seeking game strategy which feeds his male ego.
He then drifted apart from Shehnaz and claimed that now she is ‘jealous’ of Mahira. He is often seen boasting about the fact that two beautiful girls are fighting for him, and calling the other one “jealous” of another is his attention seeking game strategy which feeds his male ego.
Chhabra nominated fellow contestant Arti Singh stating that she leaves her undergarments hanging all over the house and said that it is something unacceptable and shameful. Hoewever, the men can hang their boxers in the house and it is seen as no big deal but showing women’s undergarments is a blasphemy. Men like him, show how these taboos are prevalent in our society. Paras Chhabra has also been seen passing comments on the women. He called out Shefali Zariwala for getting “too friendly” with Asim, because she is a married woman. Whereas Shefali and Asim were friends on the show and shared an amicable bond, but Paras went out of his way to portray her as some sort of a ‘slut’. Just because a woman is friendly with some man in the house, she is assumed as someone “trying to get in their pants”!
Also read: Bigg Boss Season 10 And Its Rampant Sexism
Not just this, the contestants are no less in passing comments and instigating casual sexism through them. Terms like “bhabhi” and “janani” are used by the female contestants as well, for calling out someone who would want to gossip. Salman Khan, the anchor of Bigg Boss 13 and god knows, for how many more seasons, himself called Koena Mitra a “mohalley ki aunty” for sharing her story which was nothing but an unnecessary ageist comment.
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