Now Reading
#BoysLockerRoom Shows Why Radical Feminists Oppose Porn

#BoysLockerRoom Shows Why Radical Feminists Oppose Porn

Whenever talks of “school life” surfaced in work groups, or elsewhere, I would feel a little hesitant talking about mine. I didn’t go to a city school, and my worldview was shaped by a limited list of entertainment that Doordarshan offered at the time. I used to think, this would put me at a disadvantage, being in a group of urban, English-speaking coteries where status mattered more than character. More than two decades since high school, I couldn’t be more pleased about my bland, largely Internet-free childhood.

No, I do not think men were saints back then, nor do I think that without the Internet, they had no means to objectify women. I was objectified, groped, flashed at, chased down a dark alley, asked if I wanted to “suck it,” my whole life. But I’m alluding to a far more grievous time that has turned youngsters into porn-sick delinquents. And a social movement that has enabled it by calling pornography a feminist godsend that “empowers” women. Sure, the boys in locker rooms clearly agree.

A recent social media outrage over leaked chats shared by school-going boys rallying to “gang rape” minor girls has got me thinking about the “woke” armchair activism’s hypocrisy. Yes, the outrage is good, but some introspection would be better. I don’t care for your reactionary fury or “how dare yous” at this point, but I believe you are the reason for their indictment. I am not absolving them of their crime; I wish we had laws to punish them impartially despite their “minor” status.

These boys are future managers who may sexually harass their staff, husbands who may rape their wives, and men who know they can get away with all of it and more. While the police are investigating the locker room case, I want to expect the worst, given the precedent our criminal justice system has set. They will be let go with a fine at best. A huge outrage will ensue on social media again, and countless more such crimes will go unnoticed all over India.

Not even a day after the incident, there were sock accounts, titled “Bois Locker Room 2.0,” being created as a rage-response to a private chat being turned into such a “big deal.” The admins of the group insist that members should join with fake accounts for anonymity.

In the meantime, there will be a spike in search results for “locker room bois gang rape” on Pornhub. Pornhub is one of many exploitative companies of Mindgeek, and the world’s largest, multi-billion dollar porn website. 

It seems Pornhub’s idea of “lockdown entertainment” is access to premium content for absolutely everybody, and behold, there is a 95-percent increase in its consumption in India. This means, any boy, without any plausible filter, can go online with his smartphone, and access hardcore pornography in less than three clicks. 

Considering the fact that “gang rape” is a very popular search phrase, it is no surprise that the “bois locker room” issue manifested the way it did. Let that sink into your “porn is feminist” brain. In 2019 alone, the site claimed it had over 42 billion visits and 39 billion searches. 

Allegedly, Pornhub has 80,000 searches on their site every minute. It is estimated that it would take a person 170 years just to watch the videos uploaded last year. If you come after me with your “girls watch porn too” false equivalence, explain to me how it makes porn any less exploitative? Do you want to recommend the glorious world of “feminist” porn and encourage me to read the drivel that is Richa Kaul Padte’s “Cyber Sexy”? No, thanks. I like my feminism porn-free, and I don’t espouse to the woke opinion that sexual abuse is liberating.

Thirteen+ year olds vividly describing how they want to commit gang rapes is the direct result of consuming pornographic media content, not just from sites that are on the “forbidden” list of India’s Information and Broadcasting Ministry. 

This entitlement comes from experiencing popular culture and even text books. One thing that my “uncool” school had in common with these elite South Delhi schools is that none of us were given sex education in a way that students regard it a respectful and consentual biological phenomenon. Sex education is now taken over by porn websites. And the stereotyping of women starts with primary school textbooks. A “father” is a man who goes to work, and a “mother” is housebound with a mop in one hand, and a tiffin box in the other. You may claim that the world has come quite far from these regressive stereotypes, but that reinforces it even strongly now.

I am a proud radical feminist, I swear by the books of Andrea Dworkin, and live my life centring women and girls in all my creative pursuits. Somehow, “radical” has received a bad rap for being anti-sex, or “conservative” – a tainted opinion that couldn’t be more misguided. 

Demanding to not be abused is neither extreme nor regressive. We don’t realise that this fanatical need to silence women like me, and pitting other women against us, is the sheer brilliance of patriarchy. Women are turned into handmaidens to further the oppression, and the ever-so-nurturing souls that women are, have fallen straight down the abyss. 

While women fight against each other, men feed on our discord. So there is no use lamenting the gory death of Jyoti Singh (who was gang-raped before being brutally killed in Delhi in 2012) on the one hand, and claiming violence as “sexy” on the other under the false equivalence of “consent.” We have to take a stand, and if you truly care for these little girls who fell victim to the locker room debacle, you better choose wisely. Or these corporations will choose it for you.

A deleted tweet after backlash, but not before the meme received over 200k likes and went viral on social media. Source: Traffickinghub.com

At the face of it, this seems like a rather cutesy meme, harmless and funny. But it is not, and the marketers of Pornhub know to feign innocence. With many real accounts of survivors who have campaigned against Pornhub to take their child rape videos down, there has been no action taken, whatsoever.

Pornhub is, therefore, complicit in enabling child sex trafficking and rape. It is not surprising because “teen” was one of the top search terms on the site, along with “cartoon,” “revenge,” “rape” and many more. The site has no filter or verification of the age of the users or the consent of millions of people used in hardcore sex acts on the site. This has resulted in videos of child rape, trafficking and abuse being posted and viewed on their site. They profit from these videos in millions of dollars.

See Also

When “grabbing pussies” gets Donald Trump to be the President of the United States, and a sexual abuse allegation against an ex-Chief Justice of India can get him a seat in Rajya Sabha, the Upper House of Parliament, I shudder to think how far men will be willing to go in violently exploiting women for power and rabid perversion.

I do not know what will happen to these Delhi boys who wanted to “gang rape” the girls, but if the scathing memoir – “Know My Name” – of Chenel Miller is any proof, I won’t be surprised that this would be yet another case of acquittal with concerns over the boys’ “future.” What about the girls’ future, you ask? Well, they will be resurrected again and again by Twitter activists when they die a slow death of a lifelong indoctrination of shame.

At an event that I was invited to speak on “Women’s Day” (something I have stopped doing for years now), I was asked by the panellists to reconsider my views when I said, “porn harms.” One of them was the founder at a child sexual abuse prevention organisation, and another, a journalist.

Dworkin challenges women (and men) to rethink our wild enthusiasm for sex. Her book, “Last Days at Hot Slit,” repurposes the idea of being defiant, being ugly, being unloved by men. An experience that topples male gaze for this would uproot every beauty standard that women are often burdened to upkeep.

“Women discovered each other,” she wrote in 1974 of the early women’s movement, “for truly no oppressed group had ever been so divided and conquered.” That’s a reality that needs to be challenged.

StoriesAsia, a collective of independent journalists from 16 South Asian and Southeast Asian countries, seeks to replace the present-day parade of faceless numbers with humanising narrative nonfiction – a largely ignored journalistic genre in the region.

© 2018-2020 StoriesAsia. All Rights Reserved.