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?

Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
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Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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Researchers at Harvard University have studied the connection between spanking and kids' brain development for the first time, and their findings echo what studies have indicated for years: Spanking isn't good for children.

Comments on this article will no doubt be filled with people who a) say they were spanked and "turned out fine" or b) say that the reason kids are [fill in the blank with some societal ill] these days are because they aren't spanked. However, a growing body of research points to spanking creating more problems than it solves.

"We know that children whose families use corporal punishment are more likely to develop anxiety, depression, behavior problems, and other mental health problems, but many people don't think about spanking as a form of violence," said Katie A. McLaughlin, director of the Stress & Development Lab in the Department of Psychology, and the senior researcher on the study which was published Friday in the journal Child Development. "In this study, we wanted to examine whether there was an impact of spanking at a neurobiological level, in terms of how the brain is developing."

You can read the entire study here, but the gist is that kids' brain activity was measured using an MRI machine as they reacted to photos of actors displaying "fearful" and "neutral" faces. What researchers found was that kids who had been spanked had similar brain neural responses to fearful faces as kids who had been abused.

"There were no regions of the brain where activation to fearful relative to neutral faces differed between children who were abused and children who were spanked," the authors wrote in a statement.

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Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
True

Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

Keep Reading Show less