The internet woke up with the realization that Indian youth indulge in sexist chats, body shaming and rape threats. It was the result of screenshots of a chat disclosed a day earlier amongst a group called the “Boislockerroom”. The screenshots went viral within hours. I couldn’t get myself to read more of the sick comments. It was appalling. The question that arose for me was, “Who is responsible for it?”
I am. We are. Everyone is.
The rape culture is being fed on the encouragement of the patriarchy saying “boys will be boys” which is probably the most stupid statement that exists till date and the entertainment industry which is set on objectifying women. After the screenshots were all over the internet, men made a lot of comments. The most common ones were, “girls do it too” and “not all men”.
Yeah, girls do it too and it is explicitly stated to be wrong.
While boys show off their shirtless pictures on the internet proudly, girls are afraid to post their pictures with not even a bit of their body showing. Besides, crimes are not done by everyone but everyone is responsible for it. Not condemning the act is participating in it too. There were a lot of men who stood up against this act and called out those who engaged in such activities. Some of my favourite posts were as follows:
After that, the realization that hit me was that this happens all around us, every day. People passing sexist comments and reducing the identity of a person to a mere object is not uncommon but we fail to notice it or choose to ignore it to avoid any kind of a mess. One can recall dozens of times someone cracked a sick sex joke in front of them and they pretended to not understand or their classmates or colleague objectified someone and they didn’t confront them about it. At such instances, ignorance is misery, not bliss.
We often sing songs without paying much attention to the lyrics. But for once, do think about it, what exactly do they mean. Some of the most famous songs have appalling meanings. That’s where we learn from. Objectifying women starts from there even if we don’t understand it or do it consciously.
Regarding #notallmen, look at boys around you. Have you never heard them say “Most girls are stupid” or “Girls are bitches”? Did you think that it wasn’t anything important? That was the problem. One should nip the evil in the bud.
The issue is deep-rooted and so should be the solution. People should be confronted with their comments and made to see logic. Children should be raised to respect. It’s a tough fight against patriarchy but not an impossible one.
It also raises debate over laws regarding cyberbullying. While the whole world has become a global village, thanks to technology, is the internet a safe space? The hackers and the bullies find one or the other loophole to breach a person’s privacy. We are in a grave need of stricter cyber laws and of course their enforcement.
The bullies need to learn that what they do is fun for them but a strong blow on the life of their victims and can have unimaginable consequences. The lives are not theirs to spoil.