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January 20th, 2011
When a Good Idea for One

In the movie “Social Network,” Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg rates college co-eds. Something similar, and more sinister, happened at a west suburban high school.  A student at Oak Park-River Forest High School ranked 50 girls on a list and posted humiliating information about them on Facebook. 

The male student was suspended after distributing the list, which ranked the girls based on their physical appearance and promiscuity, among other descriptions. The student also wrote about each of the girls he ranked, with descriptions they found thoroughly offensive. 

The list ranks and names the girls, such as “New Queen,” “Fallen Angel,” “Blond Bombshell” and “The Hangover” — then goes on to describe the teen’s physical appearance and promiscuity.

The descriptions included “racial slurs, hateful comments, comments on alleged promiscuity,” said student Haley Rea.

Rea and her friend, Julia Levy, were both on the list.

“When you know that many people are reading some really personal things about you, it’s going to affect you some way,” Levy said.

Rea and Levy said some people supported the student who created the list.

“Hundreds of students cheered him on,” Rea said.

“They didn’t see the just fundamental wrong, and the sexism and racism of it, and the misogyny of it,” Levy said.

Now, the high school girls are fighting back by started their own Facebook forum where people can learn from what happened.

Meanwhile, Rea and Levy now hope to highlight the wrong of the list, and not just for the boy who started it.

“It’s so much bigger than him,” Levy said, calling it a societal problem.

The girls have begun their own Facebook page, titled “Unlisted.”

“It’s kind of a pun on the list that he made,” Rea said, “to show we’re not defined by a list,” added Levy.

One member of the forum wrote, “Ladies it’s time to go national.”

In a letter on its website, the school’s principal wrote, “The school does not tolerate bullying, slurs, sexual harassment or demeaning behavior.

The student is subject to a disciplinary review, and faces possible expulsion over the list.




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