Posted by: S/J | 03/06/2009

Kaneez Ki Arzoo Badhti Jaa Rahi Hai*

kajol_1024x768 Kajol ups her price to Rs. 2.5 crores. Kajol worth an extra crore! Kajol charges a jaw-dropping Rs. 2.5 crores for ‘My Name is Khan’. Kajol learnt to be getting a whopping 2.5 crores. These are the headlines.

Many of you might have heard that the leading actors are getting much more than that meager amount the leading actresses do. Aamir is known to charge 10 crores, which isn’t considered shocking, but Kajol is asking 7.5 crores less than him…that has people baffled.

There might be at least an ounce of understanding in us as to why it’s such a big deal for Kajol — she hasn’t given a big hit in a while, but the leading female actors — Kareena, Aishwariya, Priyanka get paid the same amount as her…why?

madhubala Everyone constantly talks about the negative portrayal of women in media, but not too many try to do something about the issue. It’s not merely about portraying women negatively in reel life, it’s also about treating women differently in real life as well.

Filmistan has progressed in how women are portrayed in movies, that’s not to say they still don’t have a long way to go. We like to think of ourselves as optimists — so we get some contentment in the fact that we’ve seen progression in terms of substantial roles for women, but we’ve also seen an increasing number of “item numbers” in films. “Item number” itself is a term that objectifies women and that is reflected in songs that unreservedly dehumanize women.

This trend was seen in all its glory at the Star Screen Awards. It was Bipasha’s performance and everything seemed fine, until all of sudden there was a dummy male-bust on a pole and she was using it as a stripper-pole. Talk about objectifying women, she doesn’t even get to ‘dance’ with a real person.

larajhoom This brings us to our last point, why don’t these actresses stand up and do something about it. Maybe Bipasha thought it wasn’t objectifying to do that, to each their own. But we have little doubt in our mind that any of these beautiful ladies wouldn’t enjoy a more comparable salary.

Lara, one of our favorite people on this planet, talked about sexism and a pay-gap in Filmistan (three years ago!). But even she didn’t go all the way and deflected by saying, it’s because ‘the hero’ sells more at the box office. Look at all the confidence dripping from her words. Correct us if you think we’re wrong, but like us, we’re sure there are countless number of people who would go watch a movie for Kajol as much as they would for Shah Rukh.

Check out this article for a different focus on women’s issues in Filmistan.
*We hope you appreciate the irony. (A rough translation that takes out all the beauty from the original phrase: The royal servant’s subliminal desires keep increasing…most likely originated in Mughal-e-Azam and most recently heard from Karan Johar in reference to his role in Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jaayenge.)

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