Wow. You’ve probably heard about the Harvard men’s soccer team scandal — they’ve been compiling a yearly “scouting report” of the women’s soccer team, rating each team member’s appearance and speculating about their sexual preferences and other such juvenile shit. They ought to be deeply embarrassed. Their team has been suspended, which is an appropriate step, although if it keeps up it ought to be just completely shut down, but I doubt that the boys who thought such nonsense was funny are at all ashamed.
But then you need to read the response by Kelsey Clayman, Brooke Dickens, Alika Keene, Emily Mosbacher, Lauren Varela, and Haley Washburn, members of the women’s soccer team. The boys write like a puerile gang of inflamed testicles, the women write like thoughtful and intelligent human beings.
The sad reality is that we have come to expect this kind of behavior from so many men, that it is so “normal” to us we often decide it is not worth our time or effort to dwell on. Yet as the media has taken advantage of the Harvard name once more, it has become increasingly difficult to evade the pervasiveness of this story, harder still to elude the abhorrent judgment of our peers and the outrageous Internet commentary of the public, and hardest to subdue the embarrassment, disgust, and pain we feel as a result.
In all, we do not pity ourselves, nor do we ache most because of the personal nature of this attack. More than anything, we are frustrated that this is a reality that all women have faced in the past and will continue to face throughout their lives. We feel hopeless because men who are supposed to be our brothers degrade us like this. We are appalled that female athletes who are told to feel empowered and proud of their abilities are so regularly reduced to a physical appearance. We are distraught that mothers having daughters almost a half century after getting equal rights have to worry about men’s entitlement to bodies that aren’t theirs. We are concerned for the future, because we know that the only way we can truly move past this culture is for the very men who perpetrate it to stop it in its tracks.
Having considered members of this team our close friends for the past four years, we are beyond hurt to realize these individuals could encourage, silently observe, or participate in this kind of behavior, and for more than four years have neglected to apologize until this week.
I know who impresses me and who disappoints me, and it’s a shame the difference falls along such strong gender lines.
What also worries me is that I read this satirical (?) article on McSweeney’s right after that, and you know, it sounded less like satire and more like a really good idea.
The Constitution? Yeah, we’re done with that. We’ve enlisted a group of multi-racial women, The Founding Mothers, to draft a new document, The Socialist Mixtape, which will become the law of the land. We’re only going to let non-white, low-income women vote for the first 150 years or so — just until things settle down enough to let white men have a say.
Right now, if it were announced that the US was going to disenfranchise all white men (which includes me) until they learn a little intellectual maturity as a group, I wouldn’t be too horrified. I’d at least regard it as an idea that might have some merit. I’d worry more that it was a proposal that was going to anger the largest bloc of armed assholes in America.