Trigger Warning: Mentions of Rape, Sexual Assault, and Child Pornography
To begin with,
There are several group chats exposing underage boys engaging in conversations about their sexual fantasies that include sexual assault, humiliation, morphed pictures, and much more. There are multiple pictures of underage girls that have been shared on these groups. As these groups were exposed, the people who shared the screenshots of these chats received death and gang rape threats. While this is something happening in the national capital, Kolkata has its own share of murky stories to share. There is a Google drive shared by the boys of premier institutions in the city, which is full of nudes and semi-nude images of girls, that they have been circulating amongst their friend circles.
These news stories have reached the police. And while the Kolkata story is still just being shared on social media so that more people are aware of the issue, Delhi cyber cell somehow, managed to find all the boys who have been involved in these groups, and hopefully, some action will be taken soon enough. These groups have managed to scare the shit out of me and I hope you know how it feels.
The Indian society and the boomers have managed to defend these youngsters with the same old stance they have had for years now, “Boys will be boys” and “Men will be men.” Then there were some who actually made a point to remind everyone that when there is an issue like this, victim shaming is always the way to go! “Why did they share their picture?” “All these young girls do are provoke boys.”
First of all, your “Boys will be boys” is just a tight slap on the statement that “Not all men are the same”. Guess what, if you think this is normal and ‘everybody’ does it, then maybe all men ARE the SAME.
The worst and most disgusting defence was the statement, “Rape kiya toh nahi na?” (At least they didn’t rape).
Maybe, at some point, you are actually stumped by what these UNDERAGE individuals are doing but it’s not rape, so there is no need to take any action, right? Even if it was a rape, you will have so many points to ensure that it is ALWAYS THE VICTIMS WHO NEED TO BE BLAMED AND SHAMED. FYI, that makes you as bad as the offender.
Sex education is nowhere prevalent in India because that might lead the underage population to wander off and have sex without protection. Where do these gentlemen get such vivid ideas about sex and rape then? The screenshots that are now everywhere on the public domains will tell you how far their imagination goes.
I feel like there is no law that has managed to curb the amount of sexual assault that underage individuals go through. Do you think I am distracted from the topic? It’s a group chat where men are just talking about their fantasies, right? But first of all, can’t this be considered a case of possible child pornography that is an offence that gets an individual, three years of imprisonment under the guidelines mentioned by the Protection of Children against Sexual Offenses (POCSO) Act, 2012?
Why sex education is important is that people need to understand the basics of sex, sexuality, the good and bad touch, the change one’s body goes through, and most importantly what comprises of an assault. Parents have always managed to avoid the sex talk with their children. How are they supposed to know right and wrong? Do you know what happens when they decide to explore themselves? #BoisLockerRoom is a fine example. Furthermore, avoiding talking about this behaviour and normalising the same in public mentioning things like this is very common in boys of their age or this is how men talk is going to lead them to believe that rape is just a sexual act and not a crime.
Also, EVERY ASSAULT COUNTS. It doesn’t always have to be physical. Sexual abuse can be mental as well. Every leer or gaze, a nude picture you send to a person who is not asking for it, snide remarks on one’s outfit, repeated texts about their size, what they are wearing, or if they would like to have sex with you sliding into their inboxes, is abuse.
BE VERY CLEAR. NOBODY IS ASKING FOR IT.