A Delhi-based elite school’s boys thought it’s cool to create a ‘bois locker room’ group, wherein they shared the most obscene stuff about underage girls. But where does this problematic behaviour come from?
Highlights! Bois Locker Room: A Pandora Full Of Misogyny And Violence
- A Delhi-based school’s male students thought it right to share obscene pictures of girls.
- What is the reason behind the problematic behaviour of our boys?
- ‘Bois Locker Rooms’ are a reflection of the sexist society we are building.
The Locker Shocker!
It was a usual day. We were rendered inside and inactive due to the Covid-19 attack, and the newspapers (digital), were filled with the upcoming cases and ongoing search for the vaccine.
However, it’s known and accepted that the existence of one active pandemic does not make the other existing ones redundant.
In this case, we have already seen the communalisation of corona in our own nation. Anyway, apart from communalism, another abstract yet very real pandemic in the entire world and more in our own nation, is that of sexism, and a shocking example of that has been highlighted recently in the form of a certain ‘Bois Locker Room’. Yes, Bois with an I.
The problem was not the existence of this group. We all have such gender-based groups where we have our safe chats, where we discuss our fantasies sans any inhibitions and basically be happy. What was problematic in this particular group, was that these fantasies were growing violent by the day at the expense of underage girls, at the hand of underage boys. These boys, naturally aroused by their body changes and hit by puberty, thought it right to share private n*de pictures of girls for the public eye, and also morphed their fellow students’ pictures for their pleasure. Not only this but when confronted, they threatened the girls and women who outed them and went on to further threaten to gang r*pe them. We are not making this up, it’s all there on the news, with their disgusting chats visible for all to see.
The Root Cause
The problem is not the group so much, it is the entitlement of these teenage boys, and their confidence that they will get away with something as heinous as rape, should they get a chance to do it.
How are these ‘bois locker rooms’ formed? How do boys so young imbibe so much entitlement? Where does it come from?
Many of us can blame parenting and upbringing. Yes, parents are an important part of a child’s life, but so is the school, so are the grandparents, relatives, and eventually, friends. A child, while growing up, is a conglomerate of all that he or she learns from the environment around, and combining that with their own learnings, it becomes his or her unique personality wherein he or she decides what to learn and what to unlearn. Where did we as a society go wrong in bringing up our boys? Why are they a part of such ‘bois locker rooms’, either active or dormant?\
The answer lies in the past, on how they are brought up. The answer lies in the toxic masculinity and the patriarchal system which always has an eagle’s eye on the girl, but never on the boy. The problem lies in the statement ‘boys will be boys’ which absolves them of all the sins, and the adage ‘girls mature faster than boys’ which deems girls passively responsible for every active crime a boy does against her.
What lies behind this shocking ‘bois locker room’ mentality?
While growing up, boys and girls are asked to stay away from each other, in schools, and even at homes. Boys are told that it is wrong to feel anything positive towards girls. They are also told to feel appalled at all the girly traits. This is visible when any boy likes dolls or even the color pink, he is bullied to no extent.
When the same children hit puberty and experience a natural attraction towards the opposite gender, due to the lenient conditioning of the boys, they are fascinated that they are getting pulled towards the ‘disgusting’ gender. This initiates a particularly violent tendency that wants self-satisfaction at the cost of violating the other gender because the latter deserves that.
Bois Locker Room: How teenage fantasies turned into rape fests and threats…
We are the root of these ‘bois locker room’ chat groups, which is not just in this one elite Delhi school. It is there everywhere, only, this one came to the fore.
How can we address the issue?
So, what should we do? Counsel them and let them go? It is not upon us to decide a punishment. Public conscience will always ask for the harshest one possible. But is it bringing about any change? The Nirbhaya case took 7 years to come to fruition, and even their recent hanging did not make any difference, it didn’t instill any fear in the hearts of these boys who thought it was fun to talk about raping a woman. So, yes, punishment is in order. But, we’ll let the law take its proper course. What we, as parents, friends, teachers can do is talk.
Yes, talk to your children – girls and boys both. It is essential. Do not rush over that reproductive system chapter and do not drive them away in an embarrassed manner when an intimate scene comes on your television screens. Include them, indulge them. Make sex education mandatory, talk to them about their dates, or if they are attracted to someone. Do not teach your kids to feel entitled or burdened due to their gender or any other parameter.
Stop enforcing norms that make them terrible humans and eventually a part of such ‘bois locker rooms’. The change begins the moment they are born.
We can’t change yesterday, but we can transform the tomorrow.
Let’s make sure that if at all such ‘bois locker rooms’ exist in the future, they are not shelters for potential assaulters and rapists.