Bois Loker Room: Where we are heading as a society?

A few days back screenshots from a chat group of Instagram named ‘Bois locker room’ was leaked by a girl on Twitter that has taken India by storm. This chat group involves the boys from South Delhi, aged between 16-18 years who used the morphed images of young girls and they are using rape and gang rape as a fun activity. Every influential personality has shown a shocking reaction over it. But one wonders why so much of hue and cry? Didn’t we see this coming when the family Watsapp groups are flooded with offensive jokes about wives? When women are body shamed and objectified in the name of jokes. Didn’t we see it coming when the under-aged girls are harassed by their own relatives and they are told to keep their mouths shut as to protect their modesty? Didn’t we see this coming when the meaning of ‘modesty’ has changed for women and it has shrunk around her body? Didn’t we see this coming when instead of accusing the rapist, most of the time victim is slut shammed by the society? If your answer is ‘NO’ then you must need to come out of the oblivion.

India is a country where around 50 percent of MPs sitting in our Parliament is facing criminal charges. Most of them are slapped with rape charges. While casting our vote we never bothered to see the criminal record of any MPs and MLAs. How can we expect them to be the saviour of the women of this country? Rape has been the most common news in all newspapers. To our shame, it is so common that a term has been coined as ‘Rape culture’. When you Google it the first definition which comes is “Rape culture is a sociological concept for a setting in which rape is pervasive and normalized due to societal attitudes about gender and sexuality”. Only the rapes which are brutal enough to bring chills to our spine are highlighted otherwise many cases are lost in the daylight and no one bothers to care. In our country, the ‘dual’ conditioning starts at home. The difference between gender starts by the family members first and then by society. Boys are asked not to cry like girls and girls are asked not to sit like boys. These are small mistakes almost everyone commits that sows the seed of gender difference from their childhood.

Image for representation

While growing up in this country Bollywood has a major impact on young minds. We are a country which produces maximum numbers of films every year. But what we see on the big screen is basically misogyny and patriarchy engraved in almost every story. The concept of ‘ladki hasi to fasi’ (If she smiles; she agreed) or ‘6 din ladki in’ (Six-days and girl in) etc are the toxic masculine mentality which is glorified in movies to impress women. And these dialogues are enjoyed with whistles and claps in the theatre. Last year the Bollywood movie Kabir Singh made headline for its toxicity but the funny part is that it made the business of around Rs. 300 crores (US$ 39.7 Million). Songs like ‘tu chiz badi hai mast’ or ‘sheela ki jawani’ are superhit and become DJ anthems. Bollywood heroes are treated like Gods in our country and whatever they do on the screen becomes the ‘latest style’ for young people. The ‘Bois Locker room’ group mainly involves the young adults whose brains have been nourished by these filthy filmy dialogues. And thus the word ‘rape’ is used like fun in all those chats.

Social media has given voice to people but voices are limited to men not women. Almost all women with opinion and voice are constantly facing rape threats and sexual abuses online. Who are these people behind those screens? Why is it so that all the women we know live with the fear of harassment and start learning to manage it from an early age? Why the narrative of ‘Not All Men’ is popular while ‘Every woman face sexual violence’ is shadowed. The need of the hour is to shift the attention from ‘Not all men’ to ‘Why every woman has to face sexual violence’ otherwise we will always be on the side of debating who did what instead of coming up with a solution. This incident of the young boys’ chat room has shaken everyone because it made us realize where we are heading as a society. Also how unsafe our society is for all women irrespective of their age. This is what a misogynist mindset has brought us to. The need of the hour is to unlearn the concept of patriarchal society and start learning to value females as humans and not just women. And for that matter equality starts at home first.

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The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Kootneeti Team

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Trisha is a Research Scholar at Center of European and Latin American Studies, Jamia Milia Islamia, New Delhi

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