June 11, 2010
Earlier this week I was awakened by my alarm clock to the disturbing news that a group of local high school boys recently created a fantasy sex league, that is, a draft list --- not of sporting teams to bet on -- but of young adolescent girls with whom they aimed to sexually score with. The league of high school boys would gain points by successfully accomplishing any one of a variety of sexual goals. The boys hosted parties where they would prey upon their victims. The draft involved a list of attractive rising ninth graders from other local private schools. New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd had an excellent piece on this earlier this week:
Before they got caught last summer, the boys had planned an opening day party, complete with T-shirts, where the mission was to invite the drafted girls and, unbeknownst to them, score points by trying to rack up as many sexual encounters with the young women as possible.
They evidently got points for first, second and third base, said one outraged father of a drafted girl. They were going to have parties and tally up the points, and money was going to be exchanged at the end of the season. He said that the boys would also have earned points for schmoozing with the parents.
The boys and their victims descriptions (height, weight, chest size) were actually posted on the internet. A savvy mother of one of the girls found the information and turned it into the high school administration, who promptly suspended the boys.
To me, this story and everything behind it begs a deeper question: Why is it that girls are so frequently sexually objectified in our culture?
The topic of the oversexualization of girls is one we all need to take more seriously. Back in January I blogged on an offensive statement made by Washington Post TV Critic Tom Shales when he defended the rape of a 13 year-old with the line ...in Hollywood I am not sure a 13-year-old is really a 13-year-old.
One group who has had enough of the exploitation of girls and is fighting back is Collective Shout, based out of Australia. In their own words, Collective Shout is for anyone concerned about the increasing pornification of culture and the way its messages have become entrenched in mainstream society, presenting distorted and dishonest ideas about women and girls, sexuality and relationships. Only four months since its inception, the group has been successful in having groups remove offensive products for sale; and by publicly naming and shaming major corporations, advertisers, marketers and media selling products and services that objectify women. Their message seems to be deeply resonating with many people.