• Raajveer Singh Bisht

Not Just Locker Room Talk

Updated: May 5, 2020

Unless you’ve been living under the proverbial rock for the past few days or so, you’ve probably heard about the expose regarding a group of men/boys who shared amongst each other morphed nudes, racy pictures etc coupling that with 'remarks'.

Everybody has flooded their Instagram stories either denouncing them or trying to support them (hard as that might be). Instead of just talking about this one instance I thought it would be more fascinating to look at the “locker room talk” culture and other similar forms of repressed rages that are justified under the arch of the mythological “boys will be boys” generalisation.

Firstly, off the bat its important to establish that I have nothing but disdain for these people, their justifications and attempts to include the entire male population of the world into their fold. Their language isn’t ironical, satirical or sarcastic as some have tried to suggest. The chat is a canvas of misogyny, sexual frustration, violence and fetishization.

The unfortunate reality is that this group isn’t the first and by a long shot won’t be the last. It isn’t even an India-centric phenomenon, when the current President of the United States is allowed to indulge in “locker room talk” you can’t really have high hopes for the rest of humanity.

In fact its something that has virtually taken over the darker crevices of social media with entire sub-reddits being formed for the picture farming of women, even going into the specifics of which college they're attending, which city they are in etc.

What is interesting however is this casual shrug that some people give to instances like these, the nonchalant manner in which they excuse this, ignore this or worst of all, justify this. The way they blind themselves to it and refuse to call it what it is, toxic masculinity.

Now toxic masculinity as a term has been utterly butchered by 3rd wave feminists so it becomes hard to really define it but from a psychological point of view its simply the negative characteristics one emulates because they associate it with being masculine.

So now lets just do away with some of the bad attempts at justification that people have provided for instances like these:

They’re at that certain age:

Spoilers: No, they aren’t.

“Locker room talks” are pervasive and they occur at almost all echelons of society, from the sports industry, to the entertainment industry, even the normal office space is often a host to these talks.

Age doesn’t do away with the sort of violent tendencies that are the causes for these talks, individuals can’t simply grow out of this and this isn’t a phase of life. This is an outlook, a point of view that is so skewed, morphed and contorted that it colours their view of life and will continue to do so unless they are confronted.

They didn’t assault anyone:

You know how people get sent to therapy if they start to show symptoms of being unstable, violent or anything of the sort. Do experts like to wait until there’s a knife attack or a school shooting to actually provide counsel to people? No, they don’t, because prevention is a better alternative.

Sure, technically there is no assault, just extremely disturbing conversations but the issue is that soon enough at some saturation point of normalisation the difference between conversation and action becomes more and more blurred.

After all, since they are talking about it, joking about it and fantasising about it how bad could it be? How wrong could it be? All it takes is one bad day, one bad instance to transform a lingering thought into action.

That of course is when you’re not considering the obvious sexual harassment laws that they have broken in the midst of their locker room chat group. Take that into account and yeah, they’re already criminals.

Finally I wanted to explain why its important that we confront these people, now most have already given emotionally charged speeches and written beautifully as to why this is wrong but even if you want to ignore the moral side of it, even from a cerebral outlook you still have an issue. Because if they are left to their own devices, not confronted and not brought to justice you have individuals who are not only completely submerged into this toxic cult but now bring others into it.

Impressionable younger interns, juniors at college etc become recruits for them, to spread their violent rhetoric, to grow their sympathisers. What you’re left with is a society that is now suffering from a growth in domestic violence cases, molestation and rape cases. The quality of life for half of your population drops because you did not want to confront a toxic culture.

So this one instance is just the start, its time for people to confront these ideas, it’s not really a matter of being politically correct or incorrect but its about engaging with an ideology and mentality that is violent, perverted and criminal in its conduct.

If you're interested into the psychological analysis of this rhetoric and its sister forms:

Toxic Masculinity

Locker Room Talk


Sexual Violence

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