In our first week at an elite graduate school of business administration, I suspect the other women in the handful of us scattered amongst 60 or so men in our section of the class, imagined, as did I, that we were there on equal footing. Proud to have leapt the admissions and societal hurdles, we were eager to learn how to become captains of industry.
Picture my disgust when I learned that within the first week, the guys in our section (and by “guys” I do mean males) had already rated the women, not on our intelligence or business experience, but on our bodies, assigning us awards based on best, or worst, body parts.
Sad story, but ancient history, you scoff?
Read today’s Boston Globe, December 8, 2010, the article with the headline New Website Lets BU Women Be Rated.
The boy creator of the site, Justin Doody, 20 years old, says he got the idea from the recent movie about the founding of Facebook. You’d think that in 2010 a male his age, instead of replicating such demeaning objectification of women, would abhor rather than replicate it.
BU Administration Does Nothing
BU’s student union—thankfully someone has guts and brains—condemned the site. Not so the administration. The dean of students, Kenneth Elmore, after trying to protect the university by saying it was not affiliated with the site, basically did a Pontius Pilate, leaving women hanging in the wind by saying anybody who objected to the site should take up the issue with Doody, that font of egalitarianism and respect for others.
I haven’t seen such cowardly behavior from a university administration in a long time. BU, shame on you! You should be teaching students—isn’t that your job? Teach them that to diminish and disrespect a whole class of people is not appropriate behavior for citizens of the world, of the United States, and of your school.
Would you have become so instantly invisible if the site rated people based on their religion? their race? their social class? How can you be sanguine in the face of such an outrage against women?
Show Support for BU Women
I ask everyone who reads this to besiege the President of BU, Robert A. Brown, 617-353-2200, fax 617-353-3278; the Chairman of the Trustees of BU, Robert A. Knox Bknox@Cornerstone-equity.com , 212-753-0901, fax 212-826-6708; and the Boston Globe, firstname.lastname@example.org , with letters, emails and calls in support of fair, non-misogynistic treatment of women on its campus.
As for Doody, he should be sent back to kindergarten to learn some basics.