The measure of any society is how it treats its women and girls” – Michelle Obama #boyslockerroom The question is ‘How did we get here?’ Is it the systemic normalization of violence against women in our pop culture? Casual rape jokes? Dated yet a deeply internalized idea of ‘giving the daughter away in marriage’ or the widely accepted assertion of patriarchal ownership our rituals are ridden with?! Yes, misogyny begins at home. It seeps through our words. It’s reinstated through our actions & it is enabled through our gender-based morality. No, we cannot absolve ourselves of responsibility by blaming it all on bad parenting because this is not the first or the only time a ‘boys locker room’ has existed. And it sure as hell won’t be the last. We are all complicit. Every time you laugh at a sexist joke( sexism: noun; discrimination, prejudice or stereotyping on the basis of gender), every time you decide to save for your daughter’s wedding but your son’s education, every time you ask a rape victim what she was wearing and why she was out… every action of yours is potentially rewarding or punishing a young mind for their words and actions. Why do we continually keep linking a woman’s character to her body and what SHE decides to do with it? And why don’t we see our men through that same lens of skewed rationality? Why have we placed a woman’s ‘izzat’ in her vagina but no such yardstick for her male counterpart exists?! We live in a society that accepts the assertion of patriarchy in more ways than we care to realize. Male privilege is real and male entitlement, a real threat. We need to do better than this. We need to bring our children up better. We need to adopt a Skinnerian model of punishing toxicity and rewarding empathy. We are shaping minds with our thoughts, words, and actions. Every single moment. We have to do better. And ‘boys will be boys’ is just not gonna cut it anymore.