The moment we ponder that the world has become a slightly better place for women, we are slapped with something even more shameful and absurd.
The internet is flooded with the news of an Instagram group titled ‘bois locker room’. A Twitter user revealed that the group consists of almost 100 South Delhi boys, and the chat objectified and slut-shamed women. Various screenshots have been shared of the misogynist and sexist messages circulated in the group. They made slur comments and even talked of gang-raping girls. Morphed images of underage girls have also been allegedly circulated.
The messages and pictures shared in the group texts are troubling and disgusting. There is a wave of panic and hopelessness among women. Teenage kids in our country are turning violent and sexist. Boys who have been part of this group are an output of a patriarchal and misogynist society. A clear example of how rape culture is normalised in India can be seen.
Cyberbullying has destroyed many lives in the past. The same keeps happening now and then. The disgraceful way in which men talk about women determines the extent to which women are insulted. Men who slut-shame women and talk as if they OWN women’s bodies need to understand that there can be consequences of their actions. The fact that these boys had the audacity to make an IG group and post such shameful content targeting girls states that they have no fear of law. It also signifies that the girls are merely toys and they can say anything about them, they can do anything to them.
The society has portrayed women as weak and pitiful creatures. Traditions like ‘women can’t eat before their husbands’ and that ‘they can’t go out alone’ have sent the message that women should not be respected, and they belong to the second category.
Another thing that gives such boys the courage to shame girls is the lack of legal action. Rapes and molestation cases are highly normalised in India. It rarely happens that rapists are given capital punishment, and even if they are, it takes a lot of time for the judiciary to prove that they are culprits. Meanwhile, society plays its part in shaming the victim.
The youth of the country have opted for a path that has no respect for women. Our society has faults, and they must be acknowledged and worked on.
Don’t expect girls to cover themselves, ask boys to lower their gaze. Women need not stay at home out of the fear of getting raped, men should learn to respect them.
Sex education needs to be made compulsory in the country. Almost all the biology teachers skip the reproduction chapter in class 10 biology—mine did the same. This leaves students with unreliable sources, and they gather all the wrong information. The desperation level in teenagers increases and gives rise to incidents like the ‘Bois locker room’.
The country needs to change, our society needs to change. Teach your boys how to respect women, that’s the only way to end the objectification of women that has been normalised.