Teen girls ranked by their male peers fought back not to "patronize" but to "educate"
A group of teen girls in Maryland is fighting back after their male classmates circulated a list rating and ranking 18 of them by their appearance. The Washington Post first reported that the list was sent around Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School earlier this month.
Six of the girls who appeared on the list told CBS News that when they saw the list, they felt objectified and decided it was time to stop accepting the excuse that "boys will be boys."
Jane Corcoran said she never wants another girl to feel the way she did when she saw her appearance rated on a list circulated by boys at her high school.
"I think that the female generation is always thinking what did I do to deserve this? And the answer is we did not do anything," Corcoran said. "In my head, you know, I tried to push away the thoughts that, you know, a number does not define me and I put out a confident front but it's really hard to think about 'Why is this girl a point better than me?'"
Corcoran was not alone. She and 17 other girls appeared on the list and some told us they also found themselves questioning their worth.
"When I saw the list my initial reaction was just to feel kind of gross," senior Annabelle Kim said.
So the girls decided to take action. They first took their concerns to administrators but when they reportedly learned only one male student was being punished, they took it further by calling a meeting.
"The main focus on the meeting was not to patronize, not to point fingers but it was rather to educate," Corcoran said.
The girls say more than 70 students showed up – including some of the boys who created and circulated the list.
"A lot of girls shared their personal experiences with the list and how it made them feel and also experiences with misogyny and degradation and objectification and sexual harassment," Paloma Delgado said.
Now, the girls are hosting similar co-ed meetings regularly. Next week, they are hosting an event on toxic masculinity and sexual violence. They've also spoke with younger students hoping to set a precedent, that this is not okay.
"Is it hurtful to see your name on a list with your classmates with a number next to it? Of course it's hurtful. But I think that is more powerful is what we've done with our hurt," Yasmin Behbehani said.
The school principal told CBS News in a statement she is proud of the students who worked together to move forward from this incident.
The Washington Post spoke to the boy who first created the list. It reports he is remorseful, agrees it is time for change and is grateful the girls spoke up.
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