Written by: Sherlene
Recently, Harvard University discovered an incredibly sexist custom of evaluating female soccer players among the male soccer team. University officials found a document from 2012 which rates, in numerical form, the appearance and sex appeal of the female soccer players, along with descriptions worth gawking at. This prompted the university to carry out an investigation and subsequently discover that these reports were continuing into 2016.
One of the authors comments that one of the women “looks like the kind of girl who both likes to dominate, and likes to be dominated”, then, proceeds to assign her with a sexual position. For every woman, they gave a nickname, a sexual position, sexually explicit and offending comments and a numerical score. One of the women was named the ‘hottest and the most STD ridden…confirmed”.
Shocking, isn’t it?
After this discovery, the remaining two 2016 regular male soccer seasons was called off by Harvard President Drew Faust due to “Harvard Athletics [having] zero tolerance for this type of behavior”. The team was then forced to forfeit. The university also disallowed the team to participate in this year’s the Ivy League championship or the NCAA Tournament.
Harvard Athletics Director, Bob Scalise, felt that this was a necessary action in order to show students the importance of mutual respect, support and trust, one of the core values of the university between the students. By doing this, it was hoped that a peaceful community would be initiated in Harvard University.
Some female students (whose names were found in the 2012 report) commented that they were incredibly hurt to learn that some of their closest friends in the male soccer team were describing them in this way, but they were not surprised. They said that they expected this behaviour from men and “[decided] it [was] not worth [their] time or effort to dwell on [it]”.
“We know what it’s like to get knocked down. To lose a few battles. To sweat, to cry, to bleed. To fight so hard, yet, no matter what we do, the game is still out of our hands. And, even still, we keep fighting; for ourselves, yes, but above all for our teammates. This document might have stung any other group of women you chose to target, but not us,” they wrote.
Such strong words; this must surely mean that these women have already dealt with many situations like this. Do women really deserve this kind of treatment? Many people all over the world still succumb to these sexist practices. Women deserve to receive equal treatment and respect, like males. Us, women, feel that this is incredibly condemning and it is definitely time for change. What are your thoughts on feminism?
Boyette, Chris; Grinberg, Emanuella; UNKNOWN. Sexist ‘scouting report’ ends Harvard men’s soccer season. Available at: http://edition.cnn.com/2016/11/03/us/harvard-soccer-season-canceled/ (10 Nov 2016)
C. Ramsey, Fahs, 2016. 2012 Harvard Men’s Soccer Team Produced Sexually Explicit ‘Scouting Report’ on Female Recruits. Available at: http://www.thecrimson.com/article/2016/10/25/harvard-mens-soccer-2012-report/ (13 Nov 2016)
UNKNOWN. File:Harvard Wreath Logo 1.svg. Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Harvard_Wreath_Logo_1.svg (16 November 2016)