Outrage and Othering

‘Bois Locker Room’

Creating and nurturing a space for open, healthy conversations about sex in our families and homes will help counter misogyny and sexual violence.

Last week, leaked chats from an Instagram group called “Bois Locker Room” emerged online. The group consisted of mostly upper-caste and upper-class boys from Classes 11 and 12 of the finest schools in Delhi. In the chats, they shared photos, nude images, and private conversations of underage girls without consent, objectified the girls, and gleefully discussed their fantasies of having sex with them. When they found out that the chats had been leaked online, these “Bois” began to muzzle women’s outrage on social media with sexual threats. This incident has sparked a huge outrage, prompting the Delhi Police and Delhi Commission of Women to get involved. The police are shocked. Families are shocked. Netizens are shocked.

But, how legitimate is our shock when Indian families and society so consistently nurture gender-discriminatory attitudes and behaviours in children? The problem with such incident-specific outrage is that it others the boys into outliers—exceptional, horrifying monsters who are not like “the rest of us” good people, especially when the perpetrators are poor, uneducated, and not upper caste. It allows us to wash our hands off all the things we do every day to hold up rape culture in India, and to evade responsibility as a society that continues to raise millions of boys and men with sexist, violent, and entitled views about women, regardless of caste, class, or education.

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Updated On : 18th May, 2020


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