Earlier this week, IBM and two New Delhi-based institutions released a public study of over 4,000 Bollywood films that looked into the disparities between their male and female characters.
While no one can deny that there is a huge imbalance in the treatment of male and female leads in Bollywood, the analysis shows just how wide the gap actually is:
1.In an average plot summary, male characters are mentioned twice as much female characters.
2.Male leads are most described as "wealthy", "strong", and "successful", while female characters get stuck with shallow qualities such as "attractive" and "beautiful".
3.In terms of what characters do, the verb most associated with females is "marries", while male leads get to beat, kill, and shoot.
4.In their intro sequences, male characters enjoy profession-driven descriptors, while women are introduced through their appearance or relationship to a male character.
5.The gender stereotypes are even more glaring when it comes to occupations. Female characters are stuck with being teachers or secretaries a shocking majority of the time.
6.But despite shortchanging female actors, producers aren't above using them extensively in promotions. More than half of all posters feature women prominently, even though only 20% of these movies mention female characters more than men.
7.But again, when it comes to trailers, women get only half as much screen time as men.
8.An analysis of lead cast dialogues of some critically-acclaimed films sheds further light on the disparity. Only select films like Neerja, Queen, and Nil Battey Sannata give women more lines than the men.
9.It's not just the actors, though. Even female playback singers have had consistently fewer gigs than their male counterparts.
10.And even though the percentage of films centred around a female lead is slowly on the rise, the situation is clearly far from ideal.