A group of teen boys ranked their female classmates' looks and the girls responded in the best way
Women have been objectified since the dawn of modern society, and it often starts young. When at their most vulnerable, teen girls not only have to contend with the oft impossible beauty standards they see on social media, but their male peers also often judge and body-shame them for their appearances.
However - per The Washington Post - when a group of senior girls at Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School in Maryland learned that male students had compiled a list ranking them by appearance, they decided to take a stand.
The Washington Post details that the list included 18 girls who were in Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School’s International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme, and they were rated on the basis of attractiveness - from 5.5 to 9.4 - with decimal points to the hundredth place.
While the male students in the programme created the list over a year ago, it resurfaced earlier this month via word of mouth, and through text messages. One male classmate, who saw the name of his close friend, Nicky Schmidt, on the list, informed her about it, and by the following day, dozens of female students had come to know of its existence.
After the girls reported the list, they discovered that only one of the boys involved faced disciplinary action. He, who has remained unidentified, was given an in-school suspension, which didn't show up on his permanent record.
The students were understandably disappointed with this response. So, around 40 of them gathered in the assistant principal's office, and asserted that they "should be able to learn in an environment without the constant presence of objectification and misogyny." And this time, they got what they deserved.
The girls organised a meeting - on the 8th March, International Women's Day - with all 80 students in their programme, and they were able to speak out about how the list had made them feel.
"I feel it when walking home from school, I get catcalled by a man in a truck who repeatedly asks me to get in his car, and follows me home when I don’t," said Rose Frank, one of the senior girls on the list. "I feel it when my mother tells me that my third ear piercing will ‘send the wrong message’ in a workplace setting, and that in the future it’s best to let my hair down for job interviews."
Ultimately, the boy who was responsible for creating the list, issued an apology to the girls.
"It was the last straw, for us girls, of this 'boys will be boys' culture," one of the students, Yasmin Behbehani, told the publication. "We’re the generation that is going to make a change."