‘Toxic masculinity starts young’: Swara Bhasker on ‘boys’ locker room’ chats

We must attack the mentality that creates rapists, she said

72-Swara-Bhasker Swara Bhasker | AFP

Social media was shaken by hashtag #boyslockerroom on Monday after screenshots of group chats from a boys group in Delhi were leaked and went viral. A girl from south Delhi shared screenshots of an online conversation, claiming that a group of guys aged 17-18 in an Instagram group ‘Bois locker room’, shared morphed pictures of girls, passing crude commentary on them. She claimed two of the group members went to the same school as her.

One of the leaked screenshots showed the boys discussing sexual assault and gangrape. "We will together gangrape her. We can do it easily," according to one of the chats in the conversation. 

The incident sparked outrage on social media. The Delhi Commission For Women (DCW) on Monday issued notices to the police and Instagram, and the Delhi Police also initiated a probe in the matter, a senior officer said.

The screenshots of the chats is pretty much every parent’s nightmare come true and social media users, activists and counsellors are urging parents and teachers to pay more attention to young boys and mentor them well. Actress Swara Bhasker who has always been a vocal advocate of gender rights, said that is the story of how toxic masculinity starts young. “#boyslockerroom a telling tale of how toxic masculinity starts young! Underage boys gleefully planning how to rape & gangrape minor girls. Parents & teachers must address this with those Kids.. Not enough to ‘hang rapists’ .. we must attack the mentality that creates rapists!,” she tweeted.

The Cyber Cell unit of Delhi Police has also written to Instagram to share details of the group's members and admin and is awaiting their response in this regard, he said, adding that an investigation is underway.