Holy double standard, Batman!
Our fellow ladyblog Jezebel has an exclusive today about a 16-year-old Catholic school student in Fairfax, Virginia, who sexted a photo to two lacrosse players at the school, who then shared it with the rest of their team. The girl has been kicked out of school. Everyone on the lacrosse team, including the boy(s) who shared the sext, are still enrolled.
You can read the whole story at Jezebel, but the shorter version of the story is that 16-year-old Alexis, who manages the Paul VI Catholic High School lacrosse team, texted a topless picture of herself to her friend, a lacrosse player, on a dare. Together, they laughed about it and group-texted the sext to a second lacrosse player. They all thought they were just joking around, but then one of the boys — it’s not clear exactly who — then shared the sext with the whole lacrosse team. You know, like a tit-pic expediting service.
That would be mortifying on its own, but she wasn’t even sure it really happened; the boys denied sharing it. Then the parent of a lacrosse player emailed Alexis’ mother to warn her that boys on the lacrosse team had seen the sext of her daughter. Apparently the boys had been “giggling” over the pic together.
The next day at school, Alexis was told her behavior was “outrageous” and suspended for one day. A week later, Alexis, her parents, and the dean of students had a meeting in which she was asked if she understood the sext was basically pornography and asked if she had “harassed” the two boys she originally sexted. (To be clear, the dean seemed to imply, according to Alexis, that the boys were “distraught” by her sext. So distraught they shared her sext with the whole team!) The meeting concluded with Alexis being kicked out of school. None of the boys have been punished for sharing her sext.
The school may have a point that what she did was “pornography”; they may well be able to justifiably kick her out of school for it. I’m not clear on the school’s actual policy or athletic codes and if she did in fact violate them by sexting, then her expulsion is justified (though still seems a little extreme to me — suspension for a day or week, maybe, but kicked out of school?!?!). But what about the boys’ punishment? They got off scot-free here and that’s complete double standard bullshit: if she’s going to get kicked out of school for sexting, then the boy who forwarded her sext to the whole team should get kicked out, too. They both sexted. Didn’t they violate the same rule? In fact, he did her one worse by infringing on her privacy many times over by sharing the X-rated image with the whole team. Punishing her without punishing the person who spread the sext around is a straight up double standard.
The fact the school is protecting student athletes while punishing the young woman involved is not a surprise one bit. Really, I find the school’s argument/implication that the two initial boys were “harassed” by her sext — seeing as they were all friends and, by her description, the two boys and her initially had a laugh about it; and there is no known information that any of the boys objected to the sext — rather odd. Perhaps the sext may, in fact, have been unwelcome to some kids on the team — and hence, by that logic, the boy who forwarded the sext to the rest of the lacrosse team is the one who really did the harassing . The rest of the Paul VI lacrosse team only got involved (hence making this a “school” issue and not a “private life” issue), because one of their teammates was just being a douche.
The whole drama sounds like a shitshow and handled badly by Paul VI High School. I guess the lesson we learned today is girls sharing X-rated photos, bad, boys sharing X-rated photos, meh!
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