Why do feminists have to go through Agnipariksha every time a girl is accused?

Feminism in India Bois Locker Room

The incidents of Bois Locker Room and the Snapchat screenshot surfaced together putting feminism at mercy of a double edged sword. While Bois locker room is about the boy group on Instagram where they allegedly shared the morphed pictures of juvenile girls and talked about raping them, the Snapchat screenshot is about a chat between two boys (one of them is a girl with a fake name/id Siddharth). Here Siddharth (the girl) tries to convince the other boy of raping a girl which is herself. These are two separate incidents. But the minute the snapchat story broke, the entire narrative of Bois locker room changed to targeting feminists for calling out male misogyny. Just why must feminists have to go through Agnipariksha every time a girl is accused?

After incidents like these, we start blaming the ‘Kalyug’ that we are living in where our children discuss sex and rape? Little do we realize when was the last time we taught our children about equality, equity, humanity, humility, kindness, and respect for fellow human beings? Not respecting the men or the women, but just every other being.

Instances of objectifying women are not rare but when a woman is held accused there is a volley of fury in the society, putting the blame entirely on the heads of the ‘feminists.’ Social media starts trending hashtags like #ExtremeFeminism #Feminazis #pseudofeminists #selfobssesedtoxicity #FeminismIsCancer, etc. Women are yelled out for openly mainstreaming sex-related talk on the internet, as if talking sex is wrong and only women don’t have a moral standing to have the conversation.

But how is it even fair to put the blame of the laxity of parental education on an ideology (gender equality or feminism) that is purest in its values? Do we blame the doctrine of democracy for rampant corruption? Do we blame capitalists for the miseries of the poor? Then why does the movement to uplift the self-esteem of one of the sexes becomes the target of venom spewing prejudiced minds?

In the five thousand old histories of mankind, it was just a mere century ago when the few legends like Savitribai Phule, Ramabai Ranade, Mehribai Tata, or Cornelia S0rabji started to stand up to ameliorate the women’s position.

And times like these – where Bois locker rooms are a reality – once again brings the principles of feminism on the table for discussion. Stories like Snapchat screenshot which is quick to blame women and question the feminist movement all together. This takes the fight to square one. Our efforts to drive the feminist movement are scuttled by comment mongering on Facebook and Whatsapp. The doctrine of feminism is put for Agnipariksha each time there is a woman convicted in the society. The feminists are stripped off for breaking the gender barriers and creating a fair and equal world. They are called a threat to the social structure of the country. All this even when the girl and Snapchat case are not linked to the Bois Locker Room but happened to be clubbed because screenshots were circulated around the same time.

How hard is it to comprehend the fact that feminism in a simpler term is ‘equality’ and ‘not women above men’ and not anything else. It is about battling for all the wrongs done to one gender by the other, be it women’s rights, equality among men, or humiliation of LGBTQ. Ergo we need to stop brushing every woman with the same brush as despite being consistently fulminated, feminists are constantly reinforcing the goals of social fabric through their experience and evolution. Clearly one example is not ceasing them from standing against the generations of bigotry.