Chupke Chupke had started the Ramadan month as a popular television series and promised its audience a wholesome, funny story about two opposites who come to love one another. Now, as the show is about the reach its ending, the previous few episodes have shocked fans who cannot seem to fathom how the hero of the show, Faazi has embodied such toxic and misogynist mannerisms towards his wife Meenu, that seem to make us question why television series are normalizing toxic masculinity this way?
In the past few episodes such as in episode 25, we watch how Faazi acts coldly towards his wife all day because she accidently falls asleep with his grandmother in her bedroom while massaging her feet. And then in the next few episodes, he kicks her out of the house harshly when he finds out that Meenu was aware of the relationship between Hadi and Mishi. When he comes to pick up Meenu from her house, he is almost about to slap her which terrifies Mirchi and she runs out of the room and accidently tells everyone about this. Now, in yesterday’s episode, a heartbroken Meenu telephones her husband and begs him to take her home, and instead Faazi harshly reminds her that he is divorcing her.
NO I REFUSE TO BELIEVE THIS ISTG-#ChupkeChupke pic.twitter.com/fxdDIddePq
— بینش (@beenishmuffinn) May 9, 2021
She lost her charm… She lost her Precious Smile… 😢💔
Everyone is busy in their own world.. Meenu tu ladki badi cool hai pr yeh duniya bari fazool hai 😢#ChupkeChupke #meenu #feenu pic.twitter.com/1xtHykJAaY
— 𝑍𝑎𝑟𝑎♡ (@tweets_by_zara) May 10, 2021
In a country where gender inequality is at its lowest and activists are trying to raise awareness on the ways women are abused and silenced within their homes and kicked out by their husbands, television series need to re-evaluate on the kind of men they present to us on screens. Last year, Suno Chanda was brought under the same scrutiny for its sexism when the female protagonist Jiya has a desire to go abroad to study yet her husband Arsal consistently acts as a barrier to that dream and prevents her from going so. Moreover, we have seen how television series like Dunk and Mere Pass Tum Ho quickly received a lot of popularity despite how women and gender activists pointed out that both of the series were built up on sexist stereotypes like the latter was about demeaning women who chose to be ambitious and find work and the former has been criticized for debunking the #metoo movement.
The kind of toxic misogyny television series fail to address or re-evaluate harms women more in real life because it validates the abuse and violent attitude we face within our society and in our homes. Therefore, our industry needs to re-evaluate the gender dynamics it depicts on screen and especially how they choose to write male characters. Because good representation on screen can help women empower themselves and teach men how to be better partners and allies to the women in their lives.