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Not Just Boys Locker Room, A Group Of Kolkata Boys Have Been Sharing Nudes Of Women Too. It’s Sickening To Know These Groups Aren’t So Uncommon.

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The infamous ‘Bois Locker room’ chat that has young guys objectifying women and speaking of violating their bodies has left all of us outraged. I speak for all of us when I say we experienced shock and utter disgust reading those lewd texts. Honestly, they have left a sour taste in our mouth that we won’t be able to shake off for a long time. Yet, can we say we were unaware that such men exist? Nope, we’ve experienced enough and heard enough to know that the number of men who are misogynists, sexual violators is huge enough to make all women live in fear of their safety. Maybe it was their age that shocked us – because we always thought of “men” as a potential threat to our safety, not young “boys” who in strictly technical terms, children.

While every single update on the chat is making us feel even more sickened and outraged, there’s more coming our way. Recently, Twitter user @Aiyoobrows also joined the bandwagon of brave women and spoke up against one such group in Kolkata. She revealed that a group of guys have been storing semi-nude and nude pictures of women on Google drive and circulating those with their other friends.

Aiyoobrows, as her Twitter handle goes found out that her pictures were in that Google Drive, which was started by Souryadeep Basak. All these students were part of a reputed institute in Kolkata and apparently of high intellect. TOI quoted her saying, “I found out about the Google Drive in 2018 through a friend when I offered my solidarity to her on her MeToo post. I was shocked and disgusted, to say the least. The Google Drive was started by Souryadeep Basak in 2016 or even earlier to save the pictures from his conquests with women and shared with his friends from the university and perhaps even outside the university. I was really traumatised by finding out that my pictures (sent to him in my first year of college, when he manipulated me into sending him my intimate pictures and sent me his without even asking for it) were being circulated among people without my consent.”

The accused Souryadeep Basak took to Instagram to apologise for having shared “stories” of his conquests but completely denied having shared any nudes. Imankalyan Ghosh, a guy part of that sharing gang refused to take any responsibility and conveniently blamed it all on Basak. However, both the guys didn’t accept there were nudes being circulated and just callously blamed it all on their immaturity at that age. I am sorry, but if you’re immature, go fucking watch Tom & Jerry or fight over who gets the remote, but leaking nudes of women who trusted you, is not immaturity, it’s a crime. It’s called having no shred of conscience and being an evil person with no sense of empathy, morals, and respect for women. These guys are anti-social elements and a threat to our safety. It’s too trivializing to just blame it on age!

Thankfully, corroborating her claim, a guy who was at the receiving end of Imankalyan Ghosh’s shamelessness gave his testimony about the existence of such a group. He revealed that back in those days, Ghosh showed him the nude he had of @Aiyoobrows and he was taken aback. He wasn’t expecting Ghosh, a member of an intellectual group would randomly show him nudes of women. This guy also revealed that Ghosh did tell him it was from Souryadeep Basak’s Google Drive which several guys had access to. This girl, on the other hand, wasn’t even aware that this was happening, until he reached out to her (she was an acquaintance) through a common friend.

People have been asking her why she took so long to speak up, and in response, she wrote, “My friends are really good friends of the perpetrator and his girlfriend. They have extended zero support to me despite me telling them about my incident. One of them even proceeded to character-assassinate me. Maybe it was my fault.” She further added that she was scared her parents would disown her and also that several other women whose nudes were shared in that group tried to dissuade her from pursuing this. Do you know what that makes these people? Accomplices! We as a society are all accomplices of crimes that happen against women. Because first these monsters are born from the womb of the already prevalent gender-bias and stereotypes plaguing our society, and then we act shocked when such things happen. And then comes the even more toxic part where we relieve these guys of all responsibility dismissing their shittiness as “not that serious” unless it’s rape. We go on to blame the victim and put all responsibility on women to gatekeep their modesty.

We always thought that sexual assaulters are those creepy-looking, shabbily dressed men waiting in the dark alleys. When we are returning home late at night, we try to be as alert as possible and look at every guy as a potential threat, not feeling safe until we are inside our home and have shut the door behind us. I’d say we’ve been too naïve in believing that we are safe anywhere. You could be sitting at home and some guys would be miles away abusing you by circulating your nudes. And we thought these nude-sharer guys are rare, and when we meet them we’d be able to tell. We thought these are only those online creeps who send women unsolicited dick pics or ask you to do a “cam to cam”.

Why did we fail to believe that often these could be well-dressed, charming guys you actually know personally and have trusted enough to hook up with them? We’ve been living in the same society as them; maybe we even met them – at a bar, in a concert, at a house party, or on a dating app. That guy who seemed so charming and interesting could be asking his “conquests” for nudes, circulating them among his friends and storing all in a folder of his utter shamelessness.

ALSO READ: Screenshots Of This Group Chat On Instagram Expose Young Boys From Delhi Discussing Girls, Their Bodies And Rape Threats. This Is So Worrying

Netizens have come forward to corroborate that several such groups exist, where women are dissected like sex objects and treated like filth. Sending nudes or making sex tapes can be very risky, especially because there’s no sure way of telling which guy can end up being an asshole. Meanwhile, it’s important that we support such women who are speaking up. And guys who think watching other guys do these things but not participating in them makes them heroes, you’re wrong. You too are a part of a system that absolves these men of any moral responsibility. You’re a quiet spectator and that makes you a part of the crime too. Bystander inhibition makes these perpetrators more confident. I hope more such groups are exposed, so men can finally realise that it’s not just rape that’s a sexual assault. They have been abusing all of the women, sexually and in every other way by treating us with no respect whatsoever.

The sheer number of sexually explicit comments celebrities receive on their posts show what kind of entitlement these men feel. Do they really think the actress will show her boobs to them when they leave comments like “show your tits” etc? Of course not, that would be too much delusion. It’s just a way for them to feel powerful, being able to reduce a human being to nothing but a set of tits. Our society is largely patriarchal and men with their economic and sociocultural privilege feel a need to exhibit power. With women no longer being submissive, men feel a power threat and try to intimidate women through sexual dominance and abuse. And it comes easy to them as a society where sexual harassment is met with indifference, leniency, and lack of retaliation is a perfect breeding ground for these perpetrators. Add to that victim-blaming and there is a high chance that they won’t report of sexual harassment and these boys who fear nothing, and thereby furthering their sense of entitlement and power.

ALSO READ: The ‘Bois Locker Room’ Chat Exposes A Deeper Rot That Comes From Gender Stereotyping And Years Of Social Conditioning

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