I found a video news report on MSNBC from NBC’s Today Show about a hazing ritual in an East Coast high school. The East Coast of the United States is the oldest part of our country with some of the most prestigious high schools and universities in the country. On the whole the East Coast is thought to be quite conservative.
Apparently at this particular high school at the beginning of each year the senior girls make a list of the entire incoming freshman. It’s called “The Slut List” and some girls are hurt when they AREN’T on the list! The list contains the girl’s names and lude comments about them. Including sexual acts they are willing to do, and even defaming the girls’ families, mothers in particular. This year a copy was actually found and the principle is gathering information to convict the girls who wrote the list.
What I can’t believe are some of the statements made by girls at the school, aside from some mentioning that girls get hurt for not being on the list. Others didn’t understand “why it’s such a big deal, it’s just a hazing tradition.” I am absolutely disgusted that these girls have been raised in a society where this is just another day in school! Not to mention, where are their families in all of this? Parents didn’t even realize that this was going on, this specific hazing ritual has been going on in this high school for 10 years. I can’t help but wonder where do girls come up with these ideas? How do they think it’s right, to emotionally harm someone like that. Yes they might not be as experienced and realize what kind of consequences their actions have. Still I would like to believe that all of these children have been taught some version of the golden rule “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
The first thing the Today Show related this too was the movie “Mean Girls” which takes place in a ‘typical’ American high school. The movie centers around a girl who moves back to the US from Africa. She is shocked by the culture in her school, since she has been homeschooled her entire life until now. She meets a group of girls who “rule the school” discovering that they have a book which catalogues each student at the school and why they are ugly or not as cool as the “cool girls”. In the end our heroine realizes how awful this group of girls is that she was sucked into and rebels and all ends well and everyone discovers what it really means to know themselves and love themselves. Now how does a message like that, and a pretty blatant one, it is an adolescent comedy, turn into a real life case of mean girls? I wonder if there really is any way to ever stop girls from acting like this toward each other. I fear there isn’t. I was a victim of that kind of bullying when I was in high school. Having “Wanna be slut and whore” scratched into my locker. Now why any girl or woman would want to be a slut or a whore is beyond me.
All I can think to do to solve this problem is for people to be responsible for themselves, and if they have children responsible for teaching those children well. We can only truly show children how to behave through our actions. Actions speak louder than words, and I think that old phrase that parents have uttered for generations “do as I say not as I do” is a load of well, crap. If actions do speak louder than words why would a child listen to your words over your actions that display the opposite effect?
If we are going to change anything in this world, women need to realize the power we have, and put a stop to this kind of treatment. How are we supposed to change our collective society to be a truly equal one if we are fighting amongst ourselves?