Today in “How Do We Keep Our Children Off of Facebook Forever”: A message sent on Facebook to students in Ipswich, Massachusetts that listed female students without prom dates was followed by another message outlining the sexual experience of junior girls at the same school. This, naturally, upset many people besides the girls who were named, and police are investigating to see who wrote the original message. Sad possibility: this could have been written by boys or girls.
Facebook has to be one of the absolute worst things to happen to teenage bullying. Bullying was bad enough before the Internet. Now it just makes it easier — more anonymous, more distant, much quicker, and much more visible. And the fact that thoughtless teenagers with raging hormones and insecurity now have this kind of outlet makes bullying of years past seem downright tame. Because once you left school, you were safe. But now kids will go home and go on Facebook on their own computers and find something like this:
According to reports, the email said: ‘It’s always smart to know how much experience a girl has before asking her to go with you.’
It used terms such as ‘hot’ and ‘sassy’ to describe the girls and even included their hobbies, such as horse riding.
It also gave a rating system for the sexual history of each girl, with one asterix for ‘never been kissed, two for ‘had a couple of good relationships’ and three for ‘yoga pants … belly ring, low-cut shirts every day.’
Shudder. Yes, teenage boys can be nasty, perverted, gross … use your imagination when it comes to teenage boys and sex. And that kind of taunting and bullying is awful enough. But girls using the same weapons as those boys is even scarier. At that age, didn’t you feel like other girls were, on some level, your allies? It might seem unrealistic and Pollyanna-ish, but weren’t they people you could turn to when a boy is saying things like this? There’s a sense of betrayal when girls bully other girls. And that’s terrifying, to think there might be no one to turn to. And no way to escape it.