Koffee With Sexism: The Only Time Misogyny ‘Offends’ Indian Men...

A lot has always happened over coffee. Sorry, “Koffee’’. It’s just that we are only now starting to notice. But I must add- it’s not all “Koffee’s” fault- the show and what people say on it are a sign of our times and how much or how little we've grown.

Much like # MeToo triggered old memories, recent bragging with sexist overtones by cricketer Hardik Pandya on ‘Koffee With Karan’ brought out long buried episodes that erupted like seemingly dormant volcanos. Like the one with Ranveer Singh’s (un) wise-cracks made many KwKs ago in 2011. Back then, before people put #MeToo filters on conversations, some crass and totally inappropriate things were said, but if you think no offence was taken, you are wrong. Offence was taken but for the wrong reasons in a story where the body language of all those present did the talking. Along with lines like this...

Yes, Ranveer Singh actually said this on television in 2011 to Anushka Sharma who sat beside him.

Ranveer then looked to the show’s host apparently seeking some validation after the ‘joke’

Ranveer Singh in 2011

Karan Johar responded with this...

Karan Johar 

Despite Anushkha Sharma’s expression being this...

As if to say are you serious, I can’t believe I am hearing this.

And eventually realising that no one else here was raising an objection, she decided to do the needful which was this...

A not entirely friendly whack accompanied by “Don’t Talk To Me Like That.’’

The host goes on to cut to an ad break, satisfied that his guests have given the audience enough to bring them back....... like this.

Karan Johar in 2011

But things somehow went very differently on the same show when Ranveer ventured to talk about Kareena Kapoor with an awkward joke on how she ‘ushered’ him into manhood by just showing up at the same sports club. To which Karan Johar’s response was... spluttering his coffee.

Karan reacts

And then looking to Anushka for a shared reaction

Karan offended? Why?

Before saying...

"“She ( Kareena Kapoor ) is like my sister you know, I could have been offended”" - Karan Johar on Koffee With Karan 2011

So here’s what we have learnt about gender in India over all these years of Koffee. For one, offence in India – it seems – is only taken on behalf of ‘sisters’. It takes notions of the that dreaded word ‘honour’ of the said female relative, ‘rakhee’ sister, ’like a sister’, or what ever else you call platonic male-female relationships these days for a man to take offence for the sake of a woman who is not his partner.

Why? Because having a guy look at your ‘sister’ the ‘wrong way’ hurts the male ego in that ‘ínsult to clan’ kind of way? Oh Okay. And if they are not talking about your ‘sister’ then no stress.

Hardik Pandya at Koffee with Karan.

As Koffee becomes the litmus test for the banter evolution of urban Indian society, we join Anushka in taking a moment of awkward silence for conversations about women...that seem no different now to how they were so many KwK’s ago.

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