Bollywood is not known for being progressive or feminist, as is the case with most major industries and institutions. In their fictional accounts of love, politics, history and more, Bollywood producers often perpetuate misogynist tropes – in fact, they seem to be the backbone of more than a few Bollywood films. This is still the case today and it most certainly was the case in the early days, when the industry was still developing. However, this does not mean that the women of ‘vintage’ Bollywood were silent; they sent subtle but powerful messages to their male counterparts (and to the world) through biting and clever dialogue that challenged the era’s conceptions of being a woman.
Browse through this list compiled by Imaan Sheikh for quips about working women, the insincerity of men, gender discrimination and much more.