Teen Guy Charged for Ranking His Female Classmates
August 2, 2011
If you’ve seen The Social Network, then you’re familiar with the scene where Mark Zuckerberg (played by Jesse Eisenberg) posts a list that ranks his fellow classmates. Zuckerberg hurts a lot of women in the process, but in the end he isn’t punished and as you all know goes on to found Facebook.
Unlike Zuckerberg, a 17-year-old high school student from a Chicago suburb was charged back in May with disorderly conduct for posting and distributing a similar list. This student’s list ranked 50 high school girls based on their desirability, supposed promiscuity and bodies. He gave them nicknames like “Blond Bombshell” and “The Hangover.” Some of the girls’ parents expressed their hope that more serious charges would be filed, but legal experts predict that the charges will not stick.
I agree that posting such a list is extremely disrespectful and hurtful to all parties involved. But I do not think posting the list is criminal. It’s pretty clear that malicious comments and rumors are part of high school. They are not pleasant, but they are always there. If we want to reduce this kind of behavior, teens should understand that sexually objectifying both males and females will often be offensive and hurtful, especially when such comments are made public. But to get this message across, teens should be taught to understand how others will feel, not punished like criminals.
Should this unnamed teen be cleared of all charges, he may still be sued by the parents of the girls named in the list. Whether this teen is sued or not, I hope we find a better way to teach teens a lesson than by bringing them to court.
Comment below and tell us how you would feel if you were one of the girls and what you think should happen to the guy who created the list.
—Sam Dercon, 17, Staff Writer