No murder, no rape, no robbery, and no scam- still managed to break through the list of India’s most disturbing cases, the ‘Bois Locker Room’ controversial case shook the whole nation in 2020. An Instagram group that shudders our consciousness to the core was yet another but perhaps the only one that sharply depicted the vast ocean of misogyny and our crude sincerity toward women’s objectification. Started by young boys, the Instagram account became the talk of the town and a topic of the prime-time debate before it finally settled down to normalcy. Here is the complete timeline of the case.
The sane mentality of casual sexism
A series of disturbing tweets and Instagram screenshots came into light amid the lazy months of pandemic induced lockdown. The shared posts had shaken netizens and made us rethink the entire process of basic education that even top schools and colleges fail to apply. Busted by Delhi police, the account shared objectionable posts about minor girls without their consent.
It was an all-boys Instagram group that included at least 100 members, all teenage. The group was made to send objectionable pictures of minor girls, morphing them, using abusive language, and talking to them about ‘gang-raping girls’. The case came to light when a girl received some screenshots from a friend who was believed to be a recent member of the group. The girl took up her Instagram profile and circulated the screenshot all over asking people to report the group.
Within a few hours, an outrage broke, and social media users started reposting and retweeting the leaked screenshot all over. The chat mostly shared objectionable pictures of minor girls but what was more disturbing was the fact that the boys’ sexist remarks with one going as far as proposing the idea of gang-raping one. Not only these, but some boys also went on to suggest leaking inappropriate images of the girls. These boys were 11th and 12th-grade students who belonged to several schools in South Delhi and Noida. Once the FIR was launched, the Delhi Commission for Women took suo-motu cognizance of reports regarding the group. Swati Maliwai, the Chairperson of the Delhi Commissioner Women (DCW) also took up her tweeter handle to show her support.
At the outset, the chats were disgusting with even morphed pictures of some girls that the boys knew, it was a criminal and rapist mindset. Many individual screenshots of one-on-one chats were also leaked that got mixed up along with other screenshots. However, one good thing that came out of those chats were the names and profiles of the boys which made it easy for the cyber cell to pick out the potential culprits. The boys included in the matter even threatened the girls who reported them by leaking their images on social media.
Despite the lockdown restriction, the police managed to question some 15 students and arrested one. There was a total of 27 underage boys apprehended in the case. Later, the admin of the group was arrested who turned out to be a 15-year-old minor. The police confiscated their mobile phones. It was then revealed that among all the members, one was a girl who participated on the pretext of being a boy named Siddharth and suggested sexually assaulting herself just to check the character and reaction of the other boys. The girl was not charged.
Slut shaming, sexist comments, and lewd objectification of women, all committed by minor boys’ sheds light on the grave reality of the world where women are still considered second-class citizens and lower than men. Rape culture and outright sexual assault are thus the by-products of this mentality. The ‘Bois Locker Room’ chat was simply a reflection of the society we live in. Though the outrage of social media managed to bring the case into the light for a time, justice still awaits. The main account was however deleted, but numerous accounts still exist where similar chats and sexual remarks take place every day.
The way these boys had the audacity of proposing raping girls, shows the lack of moral education in both- their homes and schools. It’s a fact, that these minors must themselves have experienced events where women were subjugated, and thus, they found it rather normal to say such crude remarks. It’s high time that people start this education from their homes and teach their kids to respect people regardless of their gender.