Confronting Toxic Masculinity

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“I wasn’t surprised by the list. The kids like the kid who made the list aren’t the outliers. It’s the people who speak up about it that are. And that culture needs to change.”

Gabriella Capizzi, Student

When people speak up, change happens.

That’s the lesson and takeaway from Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School, Maryland, after a group of young men shared a list rating 18 of their fellow high school students by appearance.

Once it was reported to an administrator, who encouraged students not to talk about it, the student who made the list received an in-school detention for a day. Not happy with that and the schools reaction, 40 senior girls showed up at the principal’s office the next day and demanded to “be able to learn in an environment without the constant presence of objectification and misogyny.”

That resulted in a two-hour meeting attended by both girls and boys, where girls read speeches about being sexually objectified, belittled, and how misogyny made them feel.

“We want to know what the school is doing to ensure our safety and security. We should be able to learn in an environment without the constant presence of objectification and misogyny.”

Nicky Schmidt, Student

Since the meeting, a co-ed group of senior students meets on on a weekly basis to discuss how to prevent this sort of incident from happening again and how to make their school safer for everyone.

Sources:

Washington Post – Teen boys rated their female classmates based on looks. The girls fought back.

Jezebel – High School Girls Say Hell No to Boys Ranking Their Looks

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