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Opinion

Fighting the “locker room” mentality | HT Editorial – Editorials

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Disturbing screenshots of conversations have recently appeared on an Instagram group called “Bois Locker Room” on social media. The group, believed to be led by boys from classes 11 and 12 of Delhi schools, shared photos of adolescent girls, discussed how to group them, and made sexualized comments about their bodies. Some of these boys and girls are minors. Following the outrage from social media, the Delhi police registered a case under 67, 67A of the Information Technology (IT) Act and various sections of the Indian Penal Code. The Delhi Commission for Women also issued a notice to Instagram. On Tuesday, a boy was questioned.

While action against children is imperative in the course of justice, this episode points to a bigger problem. The conversations followed a familiar pattern of sexual violence against women and girls, of shameful and vile objectification and an affirmation of power over them. These boys do not live in isolation; they are the product of a patriarchal society that has allowed the conversation in the “locker room” to go unchecked. For a long-term solution to ensure the safety of girls and gender equality, it is up to society (parents, teachers, classmates, and society at large) to rid boys of the sexism and misogyny that are often rooted in this culture. Make no mistake: this is not just a Delhi problem. This is also not just an Instagram issue.

Patriarchal societies excuse youth for their predatory behavior and contribute to a culture of rape. The incident points to how this culture has been leaked to the new generation. You can only combat it by changing the mindset that encouraged this violent behavior. Adopt a zero tolerance policy and make it unacceptable.

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