Mainstream Punjabi songs and Stereotyping Females: The Punjabi way.
Excerpt- Songs are good for ears until they are not promoting sexism. The Punjabi music industry is one of the music industries that present women as materialistic beings. Let us see, how mainstream Punjabi songs paint all women as materialistic and gold grubbers.
The world of entertainment always plays an important role in any society. I believe, along with entertaining us, it also possesses some responsibilities. Many people take inspiration from the movies and dramas that they watch, some even start to enact them in their real lives. In this respect, the entertainment section should remain very careful about the content they are producing.
We have all grown up watching Bollywood movies, the representation of women was always ruled by patriarchy. They were always portrayed as inferior, fragile, dependent, and in need of men for their expenses. At that time we all get entertained, without knowing how these sexist portrayals of women and men were shaping our young minds and instilling prejudices in us. Maybe, that’s one of the reasons that patriarchy is so prevalent in our society and Bollywood churns out one misogynistic movie after another or songs for that matter.
Well, when we are talking about the entertainment section, how can we skip the Punjabi music industry? In the past few years, we have seen this industry has treasured a large number of fan following. However, this industry is no other than the Bollywood industry, it has also followed the same path that Bollywood once traveled.
Songs are good for the ears until they are not promoting sexism. The Punjabi music industry is one of the music industries that shamelessly promotes the themes of women objectification, stalking, and patriarchy. They often present females as a materialistic being, who can be wooed easily with Gucci and Prada.
The image of women that has been created by this industry is something worth noticing, their contents suggest that women are always in need of men to buy them expensive things. The lyrics of their songs cannot be completed without the names of branded companies like Lamborghini, Gucci, Prada, etc. But the interesting part being, these brands can only be afforded by males, not females. They can have branded and expensive things only when they say YES to their admirer who, by the way, stalks them in his high-end imported car.
Jass Manak’s song Lehanga is one of the prime examples that shows a woman’s dependency on man. The song is all about a young girl who wants to buy an expensive Lehanga and because she cannot afford it, she wants her boyfriend to buy it for her. This kind of song suggests that women cannot afford expensive things and they are materialistic, but in reality, as we all know is quite a contrast.
Other songs like Gucci Armani, Prada, Naah Goriye, and Lamborghini, we see how women have been stereotyped and simply labeled as a gold digger. Punjabi music industry always chooses an expensive location and luxurious cars for the shooting of their songs, they also present their male lead as handsome and extremely rich. These men live a lavish life and spend tons of money because they ‘earn it’. On the other hand, the female lead is presented to be inferior to the male lead and is also portrayed as a person who can easily get persuaded by branded dress and luxury cars.
Well, things do not end with a materialistic portrayal of women only, these industries also objectify females, present them as sex objects and as an incapable person who needs constant approval of men on their looks and beauty. We have plenty of examples in Bollywood with its risqué item numbers and also in the songs of the Punjabi music industry where singers explicitly comment on the physical appearance of women in their lyrics, use vulgar and raunchy words to describe them. For example Sheila ki Jawaani, choli ke peeche kya hai, Bomb lagdi menu, and many more, these types of songs use vulgar and cheap language to attract viewers and also to increase their fan following. These cheap strategies and songs with sexual innuendos almost always cost women their dignity in society. Maybe, some people find these kinds of lyrics entertaining or hot, but this is totally unfair to women. These kinds of songs not only create division between sexes but also create a lot of issues in society. One way or other, the kinds of images they are producing, are extremely toxic for any society, it does not only show the hypocrisy of the industry but also produces a negative impact on the viewers. These industries should realize that their contents are merely not for entertainment but it is also a kind of public message which can be interpreted in many ways and put women’s image in danger.