Tamil audiences are a seriously confused lot. They revere women who are kudumba kuthuvilkku, the modest girls who prefer to remain indoors and are submissive and feminine, with those two words being used interchangeably.
However, when a girl openly professes her love for a man on reality tv, and is adamant about it, they immediately form an army of followers for this particular lady. First case in point, Oviya. An actress who never really made it far, Oviya is now a household name after her stint on Bigg Boss. Nope, she didn’t win, nor did she make it to the finals. But she did have feelings for fellow contestant, Aarav, whom she confessed her love to. Aarav seemed to be on the fence at first before deciding that he didn’t want to have anything to do with her. Oviya then went to the point of harassing him while they were still in the house, and eventually decided to leave the competition.
Let’s talk about the latest reality show afflicting the Tamil audience, Enga Veetu Mapillai. Contestant Abarnathy is an outspoken, confident girl who has been very affectionate towards Arya from day 1. As the show progressed, we noticed how she is almost delusional in her thinking that Arya belongs to her. This was clearly seen in her interviews after the tasks where she would be enraged at Arya spending time with the other contestants, despite knowing that this is a competition.
When she was finally eliminated from the Top 5, Abarnathy refused to leave and even challenged Arya to do whatever he wants, standing her ground. She claimed that she cannot accept the reason given for her elimination in spite of host Sangeetha advising her to respect Arya’s decision.
The concept of consent is nonexistent amongst the Tamil audience.
In both Abarnathy and Oviya’s situations, the men were called names on social media, and forced to accept the love of these ladies, simply because the lasses were bold enough to say it out.
When will the Tamil audience realize that love isn’t as simple as it is portrayed in Tamil movies? It involves two human beings, both multifaceted. One cannot give in to the other merely because they are being told over and over again how much they are loved. And this works both ways, for both genders.
Towards the end of her stay in the Bigg Boss house, Oviya was all over Aarav, only to have him push her away and walk off. This was met with much criticism from the the viewers, claimed that Aarav should have given in. Why should Aarav reciprocate, if he does not feel anything for her? And her invading his personal space without consent, how is that something to be celebrated and worshiped?
Similarly, on a date with Arya, Abarnathy insists on sitting on his lap. He declines and she inquires why. His reply was that he needs to want her to do it, and he simply doesn’t. She cannot get it through her thick skull that he simply does not consent to her behaving that way towards him!
And yet, these women have built hordes of followers who have the cheek to utter expletives against these men, simply for not consenting to having their personal space invaded. Aptly, they are called Oviya Army and more recently, Abarnathy Army.
Or could all this brouhaha boil down to the fact that Abarnathy and Oviya are beautiful ladies by Tamil standards? And these lasses just happened to shed a tear (or two) because a boy they like doesn’t feel the same way about them.
The sour cherry on top of the sundae of irony is that if women like Oviya or Abarnathy approach any of these red blooded Tamil machas commenting, all hell would break loose. Half of the guys would brand them as ‘bad girls’ or girls with loose morals. The other half would be flattered, immediately marry the girls, and then spend the rest of their lives changing the girls to suit the above mentioned kuthuvillaku mould.
Perhaps that’s the appeal, then. Girls who are so ‘real’ that they get these guys all excited. But deep down inside, they know they’ll never be able to handle a woman like that in real life.