This post has been self-published on Youth Ki Awaaz by Upasana Ranjib. Just like them, anyone can publish on Youth Ki Awaaz.

#BoysLockerRoom: The Twisted Way Young Men Talk About Women

More from Upasana Ranjib

TW: Mentions of assault, rape, cyberbullying.

For generation after generation, fathers and mothers have passed on in the name of inheritance, to their sons, a sense of entitlement. Entitlement to power, superiority, and just about anything under the sun. The same parents, to their daughters, give gift bags, of the virtues, of silences, compromises, and guilt trips.

While many argue competitively of the changes and the so-called progress that we seem to have made over the years into the 21st century, but each time, we’re only proven right that women, and their progress is really minimal, as is the sensitisation of boys.

Boys who, given an opportunity, still ardently utilise the entitlement that society so generously bestows on them. These days, it’s found most often in the name of ‘Boys’ locker room‘ talk, where all kinds of inappropriate comments, snide remarks, and objectification of women, like nobody’s business although it shouldn’t be theirs either. A latest, from this show, has boys supposedly aged from fifteen to seventeen or eighteen, ‘discussing’ underaged girls in an Instagram group. The conversations have gone viral and, to say the least, they are disturbing.

From sexualising girls aged well below 18 to stalking and proliferating nudity, alleged forced sending of nudes, and allegedly assaulting the modesty of a woman, the boys have done it all. Private chats had been leaked, as well as secondary records, to screenshots of nudes having been sent out to do the rounds.

Having had their conversations leaked from the said group, with the names of all participants, active or passive, the group went into a frenzy, and what’s shocking is not that they weren’t apologetic about the said conversation, but were instead rather vengeful and even more disgusting. Like the objectification wasn’t enough earlier, the intensity only increases, to a point that the person who chose to oust them, has been shamed and discussed in beyond-vulgar manners.

When she dug further, the murk only got murkier. Girls, as young as fourteen, were being abused, talked about, and stalked, with their pictures shared and leaked. The girls are barely hitting puberty and they’ve been smouldered by these vulgarities, and they can’t seem to even understand where to start and end this with.

And unfortunately, another group with girls on it, sees these girls dissect their friends’ acts and justify and defend them, and when the going got difficult these boys chose to change usernames, and deactivate their accounts, and move to other platforms, after exhibiting their entitled power and pushing out bravado acts of threats apparently going around of, “I’m going to make some calls and turn this around. “

While many of these boys come from urban elite households, that treat their privileges as their birthright and find for themselves entitlement in about everything that they cross paths with, be it power, women, or even the law, I presume.

If there is anything that these boys have put across successfully is that the ardent love for the patriarchy that society holds is far from ending and that this sense of toxic male entitlement finds itself in the majority of men across the globe.

While there is the pressing need to change the system, the mindset is what’s most difficult to even penetrate into. Whether directly or indirectly, these men have all been part of the sexist, misogynist culture, and find it absolutely normal to casually degrade women, and launch assault after assault on their modesty. 

While this is worrisome, even as a one-time event, imagine the magnitude of the issue when these ‘boys locker room’ chats are normalised to an extent, that there are probably hundreds more of the same, that are functioning while this article is being written. This casualty of women has become part of the fabric of the psyche of fragile male egos as a means of collateral damage to boys and their growth, so much so, that this is a recurring pattern. Ask any boy or man you know about this and their hesitant responses will make my point for me. 

Representational image.

Upon posing questions and raising voices, women are branded as feminists and ‘activist types’ and a bunch of females that cannot take in a joke. Most men, never, not once in their lifetime, acknowledge this and have a strong suit in having normalised this sort of activity, and even actively glorify it in the name of being manly.

In the 21st century, we are still fighting for women to be treated with the dignity of a mere human being, instead of that of an object bought off from the market shelves. If this does not make parents role reverse their upbringing, and teach their daughters to stand up and fight, and their boys to inherit basic decency and humanity, I wonder where we are going.

I’m a 22-year-old woman writing this, at 5 A.M., disturbed out of my wits, to realise, she is unsafe, anywhere but in her own home, and yet privileged to still have a home that is safe. 

If what has come to light does not make you question your friends, boyfriends, sons, husbands, fathers, and brothers, maybe even yourself, about whether you’ve helped perpetrators, silently or otherwise, what will?

Will you wait until it’s you on the line?

You must be to comment.
  1. Priyadarshini Chitrangada

    I agree with you. It’s so disgusting. All of it.

    1. Upasana Ranjib

      It’s disgusting and worrying just the same.
      To know that these are the boys who are going to turn men, and live free in society in a few years.

  2. CBSE 10th NOTES

    An eye opener!👍

More from Upasana Ranjib

Similar Posts

By Ifra Ali

By Jagisha Arora

By Sheryl D'silva

Wondering what to write about?

Here are some topics to get you started

Share your details to download the report.









We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

Share your details to download the report.









We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

Share your details to download the report.









We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on Change.org has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in Change.org’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

Sign up for the Youth Ki Awaaz Prime Ministerial Brief below