Boys Locker Room: Yet Again, Trolls Divert Focus From Real Issues

Once again, the focus has gotten shifted to indulging in whataboutism and bashing feminism.

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#BoysLockerRoomTruth, #NotAllMen, #FakeFeminism and the likes trended on Twitter – making the atmosphere on the internet pretty unhealthy to dwell in.
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Earlier this week, Twitter fumed after the involvement of a girl was discovered in the Snapchat one-to-one conversation that was leaked alongside the Instagram chatroom – Bois Locker Room’. According to the Delhi Police’s investigation report, the girl had created a fake account to check how the boy she was messaging would react to the sexual assault plan.

While the Snapchat and the Instagram chatrooms are two different incidents that have been falsely linked with each other, netizens have been falsely claiming the ‘Boys Locker Room’ a fake construct, too. #BoysLockerRoomTruth, #NotAllMen, #FakeFeminism and the likes trended on Twitter – making the atmosphere on the internet pretty unhealthy to dwell in.

And hence, the conversations have yet again been completely diverted. From initiating healthy discussions about the lack of proper sex education, institutional patriarchy, everyday sexism, and ignorant parenting, the focus shifted to bashing feminism, indulging in whataboutism, and going after women who called out their perpetrators.

But can we rewind and address what is wrong rather than hurling dirt at each other on social media?

Not Easy to Have Voices Heard

In her book ‘Seeing Like a Feminist’, Nivedita Menon implies the layered construct feminists have to disrobe in India to at least make a difference. The layers of family, caste, religion, tribes, linguistics, and so on serve as barriers to tackling gender inequality in India.

Trolls fail to realise that it is from within this layered construct that women try to overcome societal norms to have their voices heard.

A friend of mine referred to the whole incident as a mini #MeToo movement. Which I too, agreed to, because one story has encouraged many women and men to come out with their stories.

Stories that once shook them to their cores, liberated them today.

Feminism stands with those men and women who were scared to tell their stories fearing victim-blaming. It gives them the boost, tells them that they are not alone. Feminism is fighting patriarchy, the very patriarchy that created gender roles and stereotypes, to which often men themselves fall victim to.

Trolls who hold feminists accountable and answerable in what the girl has done, it is wrong to not only create a fake ID but worse to have planned a sexual assault. But, haven’t we failed as humanity, when a girl of 16 had to resort to planning an assault against herself to check the trustworthiness of a boy? That is the world we have presented to our upcoming teens. A world where she felt the need to check if a boy would assault her, given a chance. That is how messed up the world has gotten. And that is the problem that needs to be addressed here.

We have all seen films where a woman and her friends plan an accident or a robbery centring the woman, to see whether the hero would come to her rescue or not. And at times the hero sends goons to stage an assault and favours his entry to ‘save’ the heroine, to woo her. This is an upgraded version of that creepy 90s film scene, where teenagers have improvised the crime with stories they’ve heard growing up.

Just so that you know, I support neither.

(Sravya MG is an intern with The Quint. She tweets at @sravyamg. The opinions expressed are the author’s own, The Quint neither endorses nor is responsible for them.)

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