#BoisLockerRoom: A Society That Is Well-Schooled But Not Well Educated

This morning I woke up to many of my friends sharing stories of something called Bois Locker Room. It was an extremely disturbing thing to see how hundreds of school-going boys had made a private group on Instagram, explicitly to share photos of girls, and passing sleazy comments on them. This is one of the many incidents that show what is wrong with us as a society, we who call ourselves ‘well-educated’.

In a chat transcript that was almost a hundred pages long, the boys are seen making comments about girls’ breasts, their figures, body shaming. Words like gang rape and gangbang were used like it was commonplace. While users on Twitter and Instagram were in no mood to forgive or let go any of this, we have a bigger question to address. Are we really well-educated? Or are we just a society that is just well-schooled, but lacks a fundamental moral compass? Who is to blame? What can be done about this?

As a nation, we have a very limited discourse on rape culture and casual sexism. On top of that, media representation, movies, culture at home, and a highly patriarchal environment breeds attitudes such as these where boys exercise control and feel entitled to talk about women and their bodies, and shamelessly pass rape threats like an everyday occurrence. So before this topic goes away like all others and we go back to living our lives and forgetting about this incident, let’s try to objectively look at some of the factors that either directly or indirectly contribute to normalising rape culture in India.

1. News Coverage on Rape

It is not very difficult to spot the bias of media. Just type “news coverage of rapes in India” and see how in every rape case that is reported, the headline often talks about the woman who is raped.

2. Adults’ Attitude — “Boys will be boys!”

3. Parenting And Social Identity

‘Boys have it easy’ is true in a lot of families. A girl is not allowed to go out at night but a boy can. Drinking and partying can issue a character certificate to a girl almost instantly but not to a boy, only goes on to reinforce the already existing differences. The same social rules are also replicated in schools. In government schools of Bangalore, boys and girls are delegated work in classrooms that highly complement the society’s expectations from a girl and a boy after their schooling lives. For example, cleaning the classroom is often a girl student’s job whereas lifting something heavy or leading a class is often a boy student’s work. Although we may not do all these deliberately, it does have a direct effect on the way a child imagines a society and the role of a boy and a girl in it.

4. Media Culture

How casually does a singer talk about the woman’s body, comparing it with other women, and how common have songs like these become? They become hit, viral on social media platforms, millions of Tik Tok videos are made, and finally, this reaches our youth, our children, in all its glory.

Looking at just two or three problems will not help us come to a solution about an issue of casual sexism, patriarchy, and gender discrimination. As individuals, we can do out bit and stop it at the minimum possible level that we can. Engage in discourses around not normalising commenting on female bodies and making sleazy comments, and not to be afraid to call out idiots who engage in such practices.

Whatever happened that caused a roar, was just one group on Instagram. There may be more, hundreds or thousands. One maybe well-schooled but it does not make them well-educated. Someone who is well-educated has a strong moral compass, someone who is educated understands that you are not entitled to share someone else’s pictures and comment on them.

Strive to be well-educated, not well-schooled. And this will not happen by going to expensive private schools, but to have a conducive environment outside schools as well.

Originally published at https://www.youthkiawaaz.com on May 5, 2020.

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