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BOYS LOCKER ROOM: Social Media chat group of schoolboys glorifying gang rape, snide remarks, and objectification of women

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It’s been years that we are discussing women's safety and security via different channels and mediums. There was already widespread inequality and discrimination to deal with which wasn’t enough for the society to be subjected to violence and abuse offline that the same started getting into online as well. No wonder why we wrote essays in school on whether the internet is a boon or a bane for society. Online harassment and abuse directed women based on their gender is the common and sad reality of the current times. 

Recently a series of Instagram stories and screenshots have been circulating in the netizens. Apparently, an Instagram page named “boys or bois locker room” is the topic of discussion on social media platforms and a threat to the safety of women. The group was been created by some teenage boys of South Delhi society and the reputed school of Delhi.  In the groups, they share images of women, many of them minors, without their permission on the group. These photos are further subjected to lewd comments, slut-shaming, and body shaming. It doesn’t stop just here but another screenshot was also shared where he is convincing others to gangrape a girl and others are fine with the idea though these are two different incidents that happened on two different social media platforms i.e. Instagram and Snapchat but happened in the same group. 

An Instagram user by the name of Niska Nagpal was one of the first people to expose the group and show the reality of how people are normalizing rape culture, obscenity, and body shaming. She pointed out that the group has been active for quite some time and is full of women, underage as well where they have no idea that the images have been circulating without their consent. She also shared all the followers of the groups in the screengrab after which many of the listed IG handles have gone unavailable when the whole incident went viral. When these women threaten the group members for police complaints, they threaten her back by saying that hey will leak her nude photos. 

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After this whole controversy, the apparent female “friends” of the group members who were involved in the conversation and shared the pictures came forward to defend these people. 

Nevertheless, the post about the group and whole incident went viral and many joined the angst and outrage against the group, critics also agreed that the group was propagating and normalizing rape culture. Also, what the teenagers have done is nothing but the criminal offense as well due to its child pornographic undertones and also breaking the rights of privacy. As per the latest updates, some members of the group have been arrested under Section 66A of the IT Act for cyberbullying.

This is not the first incidence where we have witnessed the rape culture as a widely discussed issue in India. This is also not new to see slut-shaming and victim-blaming girls for such incidence as why she posted such pictures, why her account is not private, on her clothes, and whatnot. It also poised questions on the big educational institute and the up bring of the children that it's not just education but also moral values and ethics is equally important to teach to the kids. In fact, several women and feminists on social media often complain about the toxic masculinity and misogyny on display in various forms on social media. The pop culture, item numbers, women objectification in movies, and songs also propagate the objectification of women and gender discrimination which inspires the youth and building blocks for them to do any justify such acts on online communities. 

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