Harvard Women Speak Out Against Sexual Objectification
November 18, 2016
It seems that every year there is another report of a group of male college students ranking their female peers on a scale of attractiveness or creating a game out of having any form of sexual contact with them. This year the school in question is Harvard University.
Back in 2012, as a new group of women were being brought in to play soccer and study at Harvard, the players on the men’s soccer team began creating what they called a “scouting report.” This “report” ranked their female counterparts on their “attractiveness and sexual appeal” along with other explicit categories. This year, someone shared the report publicly, and the men’s soccer team is being held accountable for their actions, with the college cancelling the rest of their season.
This trend of male college students ranking their female peers based on looks and sexual appeal is a very dangerous thing. By doing this, the men are reducing these women to objects, when in fact they are whole women who are just trying to get an education. Since the men who rank them may now just see them as numbers and not as whole people, the women are no longer human and worthy of moral concern, and when you deny someone’s humanity, it sets the stage for abuse and assault.
In response to the “scouting report,” the women who were mentioned in it came together and wrote a piece for Harvard’s school paper The Harvard Crimson. The women—who all graduated from Harvard in 2016—condemned the actions of the men’s soccer team and called for a change:
“As women of Harvard Soccer and of the world, we want to take this experience as an opportunity to encourage our fellow women to band together in combating this type of behavior, because we are a team and we are stronger when we are united.
To the men of Harvard soccer and to the men of the world, we invite you to join us, because ultimately we are all members of the same team. We are human beings and we should be treated with dignity. We want your help in combatting this. We need your help in preventing this. We cannot change the past, but we are asking you to help us now and in the future.”
These women have responded to being objectified in a way that can only be applauded, because they took this chance to ask people to unite and enact change. As a female college student, I have nothing but pure respect and love for these women and how they have handled this whole debacle.
Please take a moment out of your day to read the whole article written by these women. Take their words to heart, because no one deserves to be objectified and treated like this, and it is something that can only be stopped if we all work together.