And while we mull over the level of aggression displayed by most of the contestants now, the women, in particular, have been putting up with quite a bit. The sexism harboured by some contestants have started showing, with comments about what a woman wears, what a woman should do, and why she should be looked at as someone’s mother, sister, daughter, or wife has been talked about.
For starters, contestant Ponnambalam had made a few comments about two female contestants Yashika Anand and Aishwarya Dutta. For all the short clothes they might wear or the boys they might hang out with, Ponnambalam’s comments were directly hitting at their characters. When a man does something similar, nobody bats an eyelid. But when a woman does, she is considered to be of ‘loose character’, or so goes the thought process. And his comments have been made bearing culture in mind, indicating that it’s imbibed in culture that a woman must be controlled. The usage of terms such as ‘allow’, ‘permission’, ‘tamed’ are so flippantly used by some contestants, further hinting towards the blatant sexism that the show reeks of.
When Aishwarya Dutta and Yashika Anand, two fairly young girls, asked him to join a discussion with them on the bed so as to hear better, Ponnambalam chose to make a crass joke about it.
“I already have many children. If I join you, I’ll have more children,” he said, obviously hinting towards a more a sexual connotation. He has since said a few other things that were double entendres even when he claims it is all out of innocence. When his comments were called out, he claimed he was upholding Tamil culture.
Similarly, when Sendrayan emotionally spoke about his wife, he mentioned that he really misses her now and understands how much he has troubled her. But traces of guilt or the fact that he has used to word ‘control’ and ‘limits’ towards women completely escaped him.
Balajie and Nithya’s volatile relationship, too, is something that would make a good case study. Their troubled past, them trying to put their differences aside and yet, Balajie treating her badly, and then trying to make up for it. It’s hard to understand their dynamics, but Nithya putting up with it isn’t setting a good example considering she’s said that she’s trying to reinvent herself.
It all boils down to this – whether we like to accept it or not, we clearly have rather strict codes of conduct for women, and loose guidelines for men. Over the years, while women try to break the shackles of these conducts that societies and institutions have set for them, it’s still difficult to go past them that jeopardises a woman’s reputation too. While they might be of the opinion that women have been “designed” to be emotional, cry, and feel sad, let’s not forget that just like men, women can desire, lust, be angry, loud, take to alcohol or smoking, abuse, express their opinions and essentially do whatever she wants.