Tuesday, January 31, 2023
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Bashed Bois Locker Room, silent on Snapchat controversy. Women, where is your outrage now?

Women criticising Bois Locker Room must also talk about the Snapchat conversation where a girl, posing as a boy, suggested a plan of sexual assault on herself.

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Many things hurt the ‘feminist cause’ all the time. And sometimes, it is women themselves who drive a deep wedge.

Young women standing up to sexism and female objectification — as some did when the Bois Locker Room controversy first broke — shows that that wheel isn’t going to turn as smoothly as it once did. But, when you call out bad behaviour, you need to call it out in everyone, even if it’s the person on your side.

Delhi Police recently revealed that a private conversation on Snapchat that encouraged sexual assault on a girl was started by — plot twist — the same girl. They added that the chat — screenshots of which surfaced a week ago — had no connection with the Instagram group Bois Locker Room that sparked an uproar on social media. Police said the screenshots from Snapchat had “coincidentally got mixed up”.

But everyone who spoke up then must speak now, and talk about how utterly wrong it is to catfish someone (at the very least), and the complete erosion of good will and trust such actions have on the larger scheme of things.


Also Read: A ‘girl’ started rape talk on Snapchat. Bois Locker Room on Insta had no link: Police


Snapchat controversy and silence

This revelation has been followed by a deafening silence.

I don’t mean the kind of silence where there are no words. It is not that people have forgotten the issue, or that it has become a non-issue. It has just created the space for people — both men and women, and closet chauvinists — to call out feminists. Their “I told you so” moment.

‘I told you, women should not be allowed too much freedom’.
‘I told you, women should not be allowed opinions’.
‘I told you, women should be reigned in so they can be adarniya Bharatiya nari’ — what that means entirely depends on who is saying it.

The silence is from the women who saw what the ‘locker room’ chat initially represented, and, rightly so, enunciated the ugly truth that many people talk disparagingly (understatement if there ever was one) about womenkind, and young boys learn from this behaviour.

There are varying degrees to this, naturally.

We all know what the extreme case could look like. But it is the ‘soft’ patriarchy that is more problematic.

The kind where people are fine with women being educated, holding a job, going out into the world and holding their own, but in the domestic totem pole, the husband comes right on top, followed by the in-laws and children, and then, if at all, the woman’s career aspirations.

These women, from ‘modern, liberal’ families have a tough balance to strike, and the tight-rope walk begins right in their bedrooms with their husbands/partners/boyfriends.

I pointedly refer to these women since a socio-economic filter on the controversy indicates that the boys involved in it are all likely from middle and upper middle class families. They have access to smartphones, Instagram and Snapchat and a social life where they interact with peers from other schools.


Also Read: Locker room boys to IT cell men: India’s rape culture grows without shame or consequences


Absence of consent

The Bois Locker Room stuck out like a sore thumb because it was young adults who were having many ‘moments’ by sharing nudes, objectifying their classmates, and casually discussing graphic sexual details.

It might sound right by Freud’s standards but the problem here is consent and intent.

Everyone is guilty of objectification — from Bollywood movies featuring a shirtless Hrithik Roshan, Shahid Kapoor to Instagram users flaunting beach vacations in bikinis and that perfect wing eyeliner (trust me, both are equally hard to achieve).

Adolescence is tough enough — with raging hormones, peer pressure, trying to be cooler than is necessary and sex/sexuality/sexual thoughts taking up a large space in one’s mind (this goes well past adolescence).

That is no excuse for completely stripping another person of their human identity. Especially if it’s a real person you know and meet everyday. At some point, your casual, violent sexism will bleed into reality.

Views are personal. 

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6 COMMENTS

  1. Wrongs are at both side. The earth is occupied by mix thought people. It’s best to be good and chivalrous to everyone. Ego and attitude should be kept aside for ever. If people are not understanding the meaning of life now, probably never will. Calling out on anyone, just because of a particular section is not right. Groups involved in this locker room chats, need psychological attention.

  2. What a drivel! What is the conclusion? Is it alright to talk vulgarly about someone we don’t know, but wrong to talk vulgarly about someone we know? There can’t be a worse example of double standards.

  3. The problem is that this type of provocation results in sexual assaults on women. Men don’t become victims of sexual assault by women (barring a few odd exceptions). Thats why such objectification of women is a problem and culprits have to be caught!

  4. Almost everyone from my contact who shared stories regarding the Locker Room incident have also spoken about this Snapchat thing.

    • So have mine and many others. Problem is you and are trying to rationalise. This entire piece is nothing but a rant against women’s right to dignity. The Print has tried to paint a picture where women standing up for women’s rights are portrayed as men-bashers, which well they aren’t.

  5. The problem of today’s Indian female activists is that they focus more on woman’s honour rather than violence. With this attitude woman can never get her rightful place in society. Most female activists are also political activists and they raise issues to suite their political convenience. Most of their activities are political and have very little to do with woman empowerment.

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