‘Do you cook?’: Watch DMK’s Kanimozhi gently shut down this sexist question

·3-min read

A video clip of DMK MP Kanimozhi gently shutting down a male anchor for asking her if she knows how to cook has gone viral on social media. The video clip is a part of a dedicated interview with the Member of Parliament in an informal setting.

The video clip shows Kanimozhi speaking with News18 TamilNadu. In the 39-second visual that’s now viral, Thambi Tamilarasan asks Kanimozhi if she cooks. An ever-smiling Kanimozhi shoots back with, “Why is that you don’t ask male politicians this question?” The anchor tries to justify his question by saying that she is a political leader who is an MP and the deputy leader of DMK MPs in the Lok Sabha to which she responds, “My father was the Chief Minister. Why didn’t you ask him?” with a smile on her face. While the anchor tries to sheepishly smile and compensate, Kanimozhi says that she knows to cook. The anchor goes on to say that her father, the former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu late M Karunanidhi, used to like fish curry and asks if she has cooked it for him. “Dad loved only the fish curry made by mum. But I have, in the past, cooked for him and he liked it. But then all fathers like their daughters’ cooking,” she goes on to say.

The clip went viral on social media with many slamming the anchor for his sexist questions to the Lok Sabha MP. One Twitter user said, “Read Periyar , Read Ambedkar. Your whole thought process will change for good. All the chains that were holding you will be gone. Kanimozhi is a best example as she kills the interviewer with a subtle smile for his patriarchal question.”

Several other users also expressed their admiration at Kanimozhi’s mindset and the way she answered the patriarchal question from the anchor.

Sexist interviews aren’t confined to politicians in Tamil Nadu. Women actors are often subjected to ogling, or are often forced to answer questions praising their male co-stars. 

Rajdeep Sardesai also came under fire for his sexist questions in a 2016 interview with tennis player Sania Mirza. In a television interview, Rajdeep asked Sania when she planned to ‘settle down’ and start a family. However, Sania shut him down with an epic reply,

“You sound disappointed I’m not choosing motherhood over being number one in the world. But I’ll answer your question anyway, that’s the question I face all the time as a woman, that all women have to face – the first is marriage and then it’s motherhood. Unfortunately, that’s when we’re settled, and no matter how many Wimbledons we win or number ones in the world we become, we don’t become settled. But eventually it will happen, not right now. And when it does happen I’ll be the first one to tell everybody when I plan to do that.”

The interview did have other insights into Kanimozhi's life and politics. 

Read: 'I've lusted after you for so long': What not to say when interviewing a woman actor