‘We Tell Kids to Not Grab Others’ Pencils, It Goes For Bodies Too’

The Quint’s webinar with Ruchira Gupta and Namita Bhandare on various aspects of ‘bois locker room’ incident.

Updated09 May 2020, 04:34 AM IST
India
2 min read

An Instagram group, clearly inspired by pop depictions of American frat boys’ lives, was busted recently where teenage boys shared the photos of girls and women and trash-talked about their bodies.

This was shortly followed by a barrage of social media posts by young girls recalling their experiences. Many of them called out their classmates and other known boys for being bullies and indulging in sexualised trash talk. A 17-year-old boy killed himself after he was accused of assault by a girl. The tragic incident engendered another round of conversation about social media shaming and responsible parenting.

The Quint organised a webinar to discuss the various aspects of ‘bois locker room’ incident. The discussion can be viewed here:

How can young people explore their sexuality online in a safe, secure way? How can parents encourage healthy gender...

Posted by The Quint on Friday, May 8, 2020

This conversation between activist and author Ruchira Gupta, journalist Namita Bhandare and The Quint’s Opinion Editor Nishtha Gautam made an attempt to understand what goes on in young minds with respect to gender and sexuality.

With a houseful attendance, about 100 participants, several key issues emerged. The panelists explore possible ways to encourage healthy gender relations from an early stage. It was conceded by almost everyone that sex and power being inextricably linked lead to cases of violence against women.

Most young participants admitted that they did not feel comfortable about discussing their feelings with their parents. In many cases, the girls are encouraged to make “adjustments” by their own mothers who cite their marriage as an example.

Responding to one of the participants Gupta suggested that the oft touted “objectification” of women is not at the core of the problem, violence is. Bhandare insisted on school-level interventions that must be made on a war-footing to teach even little children about the idea of consent. “We teach them about not grabbing other kids’ pencils. We should treat grabbing the bodies in the same manner.”

Both Bhandare and Gupta agreed that patriarchy cannot be defeated by piecemeal measures. All the stakeholders should come together and make vulnerable groups of people, young girls and boys, feel valued and safe.

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Published: 08 May 2020, 03:21 PM IST
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