Opinion: ‘Boys will be Boys?’

The revelation of appalling texts from an Instagram chat group ran by a bunch of school-going boys from Delhi struck like a bombshell. The outed “Bois Locker Room” where boys aged between 15-18 years casually discussed sexual violence, objectified women with lewd comments, and “planned” raping them has triggered massive anger, shock, and disgust over social media. 

The teens from Delhi casually discussing molesting and “gangraping” girls give us a glimpse into their terrible and horrifying mindset. It doesn’t only expose the devastating state of the education system, but also a pervasive rape culture in India. 

We need to understand that the Bois Locker Room isn’t an odd vice, but a terrible product of our society. These are the monsters handwoven by our patriarchal society that has allowed “locker room” talk to go unbridled.

These boys sure don’t live in isolation. In fact, they live in a society that blames victims of sexual violence, condones exploitation of women, romanticizes male sexual aggression, and normalizes objectification of women’s bodies. This is one possible reason that they performed such felony without any fear of ramifications. 

Even though the admin of the group has been arrested, many others taken in custody, we wonder how more such groups exist on social media. It won’t be wrong to say that there must be many other groups that are not even reported as women fear disastrous consequences. 

The incident sheds light on India’s pervasive rape culture 

The norm of normalizing rape, particularly due to male sexual aggression is deeply rooted in our culture. Making ‘victims’ out of women and normalizing such behavior is the reason our country is unsafe for women. This mortifying incident clearly shows how even young boys have no fear of uttering trash about female bodies.

We need to understand that this is not just the problem of Delhi. Neither it is just an Instagram problem. This problem is deeply embedded in our society and passed on from generations. The problem where men brutally practice misogyny and shame culture and get away with more serious transgression like #MeToo.

Even after all of this, there were some tweets defending the deeds of these men. To read some, “These boys are just young and immature” and “Women intentionally upload such proactive photos”. This just amplifies that men are entitled to power in this society, women are always seen as their subservient. The concept of female consent is completely bizarre in this setting, 

The society must no longer favor “boys will be boys” narrative

Our society has always overlooked the flaws of men, defended them at every step, and acted as their PR agent. “Boys will be boys”, this narrative is an apt excuse for toxic masculinity and behavior that stems out of it.

The fault won’t lie on the boys, even after this incident. Society won’t disgust boys, but will urge women not to post “provocating” pictures online. That’s how it always works in this society. The male counterpart is never at fault. Looking at their guts, the members of the group created a new Instagram page ‘Bois Locker Room 2.0” 

The onus lies on the parents to teach their boys to inherit basic decency and humanity. 

The pathetic condition of India’s education system 

Our education system is so focused on just elucidating “bookish knowledge” that it often forgets to impart morals and ethics. These “Bois” hail from affluent families and study at the best schools in Delhi. So they had the knowledge, “bookish knowledge”. But sometimes it is not enough to gain perspective. 

Issues like rape culture, patriarchy, toxic masculinity should be addressed. The lack of sex education and gender sensitization often prompts students to find information from unverified and often wrong sources. 

Talking about “tabooed” subjects like sex is not part of Indian culture. But trash-talking about women’s bodies, is this the part of Indian culture? Let’s end this pretentious attitude of worshipping women when in the end, our society only humiliates and downgrades them. It is extremely disheartening that in the era of 2020 we still have to teach men to respect women with humane behavior and decency. 

Check out this photo gallery to read the details of the chats and the aftermath.


Featured image: Komal Joshi

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About the author

Komal Joshi