The second episode of Koffee With Karan saw the Deol brothers gracing the Koffee couch. Sunny Deol and Bobby Deol talked about their career, family, and future projects. It was refreshing to see the brothers together after their continuous row of successes at the box office and on OTT platforms. What was also endearing was the small section that featured Dharmendra’s adorable message for his kids.

One part of the show which caught everyone’s attention was Karan Johar talking about the cultural phenomenon that Bobby Deol is. From wild memes to videos that have been dug up from his older movies and even the DJ Bobby phenomenon, you have to be living under a rock if you are not aware of the impact Bobby Deol has on desi pop culture. Like every fanbase, Bobby Deol fans also have a name for themselves. They call themselves ‘Boobians’ – and that is where the problem begins.

koffee with karan
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Now, none of us need a crash course on how to pronounce ‘Boobians’. When you read it or say it, you realize it. The fanbase could have been called ‘Bobbians’, but that is not what happened. Interestingly, the actor is aware of what his fanbase is called. There are online communities dedicated to this. One community celebrated when Bobby Deol mentioned the fan base on the show.

bobby deol
Disney+ Hotstar

The problem lies in what people choose to be referred to as. We know it has a reference to a female body part which has been sexualized for aeons and the fact that it has now become a part of pop culture is disturbing. Why are most jokes by men based on a woman? Why are female body parts used as a subject for a joke? Why are female body parts used as tropes upon which men can land their jokes? The same has never been the case for a man and the truth of the matter is that it will never be.

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But let’s not reduce this to a classic case of whataboutery. The problem lies deeper than that. The issue is that when someone calls themselves a ‘Boobian’, they know what they are doing. Incels contribute to a major part of meme culture and this is another example of that. The word titillates men and they have a smug look on their face when they use this word. It is a choice rather than an honest mistake. It needs no explaining that the word lands across as crass and lewd rather than funny.

Fan culture has the potential to snowball into something toxic and this case shows the heralding of that toxic and sexist era.