Monday, 30th October 2017

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Too hot to handle

Readers' Speak: The impending global warming doom; the perverse and despicable Bois Locker Room revelation

  • Published 13.05.20, 3:10 AM
  • Updated 13.05.20, 3:10 AM
  • 3 mins read
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Unless quick measures are taken, the planet might soon become uninhabitable. Shutterstock

Sir — It is difficult to keep one’s cool when people, including world leaders, downplay the urgency of preventing global warming. But a recent study indicates that they might have to take the heat sooner than expected. A critical temperature threshold that was supposed to be reached in 2070 is said to have been already recorded in several parts of the world, including coastal regions of India. Alarmingly, this could interfere with the inherent cooling mechanism of the human body that helps it tolerate hot conditions. Unless quick measures are taken, the planet might soon become uninhabitable.

Madhurima Sengupta,

Calcutta

Deep rot

Sir — It is disgusting that a group of school students in Delhi were found to be participating in obscene and dangerous chats on social media groups, discussing the sexual assault of their classmate (“Unlocked”, May 11). The Delhi police have reportedly arrested the administrator of the Instagram group and identified nine other students from Delhi and Noida who had posted pictures and passed comments. After much furore, at least one of the students apologized and the parents of some have allegedly made requests to put an end to the matter. But the whole issue should serve as a wake-up call for all. Surely this is not the first time such an incident has happened in India.

During this long-term lockdown, with schools and offices shut, people of all ages, not the youth alone, are using their smartphones more than usual. This gives them access and exposure to a range of content on the internet. As such, it is hardly surprising that some pornographic websites in the country have recorded a viewership spike of over 90 per cent. There has also been a significant rise in cyber crime against women during this period.

It is important to understand the mind of teenagers to prevent them from perpetrating such offences. Perhaps a kind of toxic masculinity that is still prevalent in our society is at the root of such thinking. Young minds absorb what they see, read and hear on social media, from their friends and the adults around them. So both schools and parents should make it a point to interact with the youth in their care about subjects such as sex and educate them on gender equality. The young generation should also receive timely counselling. Otherwise, latent misogyny that they nurture today might lead them to commit sexual violence in the future. At the same time, digital platforms should have zero tolerance towards content that violates community standards and help prevent such abuses.

Khokan Das,

Calcutta

Sir — The incident surrounding the chats on the Instagram group called ‘Bois Locker Room’ by a group of teenagers discussing gang rape and objectifying girls is deplorable. This is not the mentality that school-going boys should have. It is such a disgrace that young men can feel so entitled. They seem to think they can get away with such misdeeds, which is why they do not think twice before demeaning women. The messages these boys shared online contain strong language. This is a clear violation of social media guidelines. The actions of the students cannot be justified by anyone.

However, this case has exposed only one such group: there must be many others. One hopes that the Delhi police takes serious action against all such abusive users, because cyber crime can take a grim turn at any moment. Making sexually coloured remarks online is also sexual harassment. Social media laws should be made more stern to avoid such events in the future.

Ravi Teja Kathuripalli,

Hyderabad

Sir — Screenshots of perverse conversations among members of an Instagram group called ‘Bois Locker Room’ lay bare the alarming levels of misogyny among young boys. Clearly, this calls for action right at the home itself. Parents and guardians need to instill in boys the value of respecting the opposite sex as equals from a very young age. They should keep a tab on their sons as much as they do on their daughters.

Even in modern society, rape is often used as a weapon to subjugate women. The casual dismissal of the sexually violent conversations by young men as part of ‘boy talk’ is dangerous. It is because of this that many boys grow up to be sexual predators. All forms of sexual violence should be punished strictly in order to prevent such crimes. Sex education in schools is necessary not only to inform the youth about safe sex but also to provide them with a space where they can discuss their queries related to sex without shame or disrespect. Moreover, steps need to be taken to improve laws against cyber crime to create a safe cyber space for women.

S.S. Paul,

Nadia

Sir — As much as the ‘Bois Locker Room’ incident is horrifying, it reveals the unfortunate fact that, even in this day and age, a number of young men cannot think of women as human beings, let alone their equals. Without mutual respect and the understanding of something as basic as consent, getting educated in elite schools is going to be of little help.

Aditi Moitra,

Mumbai