A group of high school girls put a stop to the boys who made a list ranking their appearance.

What do you do when you’re reduced to your looks? If you’re one of the students at Bethesda-Chevy ChaseHigh School in Maryland, you take a damn stand and show the people who objectified you that you are, in fact, a person who has very real feelings.

Male students created and distributed a list ranking 18 of their female peers based on their looks. The list rated the girls from a scale of 5.5 to 9.4, but when the girls found out about it, they refused to be reduced to a number.

The list was created last year, but was recently recirculated. When some of the girls found out that they had been ranked, their first impulse was to feel badly about themselves. "It was hurtful to me because I kind of was thinking, 'Why am I not worthy enough to be a higher number?'''said senior Yasmin Behbehani. "But at the end of the day, I realized that I define who I am."


Ultimately, the girls on the list were able to understand that it’s not their fault they were objectified.

"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," said student Jane Corcoran. "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?'"

Only one boy was punished for the list, receiving a one day in-school detention, so the girls decided to take a stand. “It was the last straw, for us girls, of this ‘boys will be boys’ culture,” said Behbehani. “We’re the generation that is going to make a change.”

Around 40 girls walked into the assistant principal’s office demanding to learn in an environment free of “objectification and misogyny.”

They organized a meeting, which took place onMarch 8th, International Women’s Day. The meeting was attended by school administrators and nearly 80 students, both boys and girls. The girls were able to confront the boys about 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," said Paloma Delgado.

Listening to the girls’ stories had more of an impact than the detention. “It was quite intense, being so directly confronted in front of so many people for so long,”

The boy who made the list told the Washington Post. “When you have a culture where it’s just normal to talk about that, I guess making a list about it doesn’t seem like such a terrible thing to do, because you’re just used to discussing it... This memory is not going to leave me anytime soon.”

By sharing their stories, the girls were no longer their numbers, but instead became humans with experiences and feelings. Education can go a long way in preventing harassment, and these girls took major steps in making sure they – and other women – will not get harassed in the future. Can we say this this is girls being girls?

Photo by Louis Hansel on Unsplash
True

This story was originally shared on Capital One.

Inside the walls of her kitchen at her childhood home in Guatemala, Evelyn Klohr, the founder of a Washington, D.C.-area bakery called Kakeshionista, was taught a lesson that remains central to her business operations today.

"Baking cakes gave me the confidence to believe in my own brand and now I put my heart into giving my customers something they'll enjoy eating," Klohr said.

While driven to launch her own baking business, pursuing a dream in the culinary arts was economically challenging for Klohr. In the United States, culinary schools can open doors to future careers, but the cost of entry can be upwards of $36,000 a year.

Through a friend, Klohr learned about La Cocina VA, a nonprofit dedicated to providing job training and entrepreneurship development services at a training facility in the Washington, D.C-area.

La Cocina VA's, which translates to "the kitchen" in Spanish, offers its Bilingual Culinary Training program to prepare low-and moderate-income individuals from diverse backgrounds to launch careers in the food industry.

That program gave Klohr the ability to fully immerse herself in the baking industry within a professional kitchen facility and receive training in an array of subjects including culinary skills, food safety, career development and English language classes.

Keep Reading Show less

A young boy tried to grab the Pope's skull cap

A boy of about 10-years-old with a mental disability stole the show at Pope Francis' weekly general audience on Wednesday at the Vatican auditorium. In front of an audience of thousands the boy walked past security and onto the stage while priests delivered prayers and introductory speeches.

The boy, later identified as Paolo, Jr., greeted the pope by shaking his hand and when it was clear that he had no intention of leaving, the pontiff asked Monsignor Leonardo Sapienza, the head of protocol, to let the boy borrow his chair.

The boy's activity on the stage was clearly a breach of Vatican protocol but Pope Francis didn't seem to be bothered one bit. He looked at the child with a sense of joy and wasn't even disturbed when he repeatedly motioned that he wanted to remove his skull cap.

Keep Reading Show less