By Lexie Kauffman ‘22
In a private high school in Maryland, a group of teens started a tracking system to label the girls that attend their school. The system was a scale from 5.5-9.4. Each girl was given a number chosen down to the hundredth decimal place. The list consists of eighteen girls typed out on and iPhone Notes list marked with a number assigned to each girl. This list was then circulated via text throughout the male community of the school. This list started about a year before and resurfaced within the last month.
One young teen boy saw this list and immediately showed his female friends. When the girls caught wind of this secret organization, they were furious and fought back. Dozens of senior girls demanded actions and answers from the administration and the male students. This had happened before, but in the midst of the #MeToo movement, the girls felt like they had the power to stand up for themselves.
Instead of being worried about boys constantly evaluating and objectifying them, they acted. However, the administration gave each boy that was involved detention for one day, keeping any disciplinary action off of their records.
Unsatisfied by this course of action, the girl stormed the assistant principal’s office who helped the girls organize a meeting with the male students. In this two-and-a-half-hour meeting, the girls shared stories, emotions, and opinions on the matter at hand. The creator of the list apologized and took full responsibility before joining a group of students who meet and help prevent occurrences like this. These students hope to use this experience as a precedent for younger grades, showing girls that they have a voice.
When I first heard about this incident, I was shocked. Yet, once I started thinking about this scenario, I realized how prominent this type of action was in the books, movies, and TV shows that we grew up on. I remember watching old Disney shows where some of the guys would rank the girls, and it would be completely normal. However, looking at this article now, I am disgusted with this objectification of women, and inspired by the girls who fought back. The original reaction from the administration disgusted me—no teacher should brush off an instance like this, but I understand why they did.
This fight, “Boys will be boys,” is so controversial, it is only now coming to play as the #MeToo movement grows. I would hope that if an instance similar to this would occur at our school, we would be able to turn it into a positive influence like the teens in Maryland did. Everyone has the power to respectfully stand up for what they believe in.