Harvard shuts down soccer team for secretly rating girls


Harvard University shut down its men's soccer team because men on the team secretly rated the attractiveness of girls on the girl's soccer team.

Harvard announced on Thursday that it was canceling the rest of the season for its men’s soccer team after university officials uncovered what they described as a widespread practice of the team’s players rating the school’s female players in sexually explicit terms.

Lawyers for the university began investigating the men’s team after the college newspaper, The Harvard Crimson, reported last week that a player created a nine-page document in 2012 with numeric ratings, photos and lengthy evaluations of the freshman recruits of the Harvard women’s team based on their physical appearance.

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Harvard was No. 1 in the Ivy League standings with a 4-0-1 conference record, 10-3-2 over all. Only two regular-season games were left in the men’s season, against Columbia, which is tied for second, and the University of Pennsylvania. Harvard will forfeit the opportunity to win an Ivy League championship or participate in this year’s N.C.A.A. tournament, Mr. Scalise wrote.

Meanwhile the women at Harvard who were rated for their attractiveness were said to be "beyond hurt".

Guess what? Men have been talking about women's attractiveness since the beginning of time. The difference here is that the men on the soccer team seemed to be communicating privately among themselves, even if some of their comments were tasteless. They weren't trying to offend the women's soccer team.

Their behavior might have been worse if they had, say created a public web page and invited everyone to go and rate the attractiveness of women, like, say, Mark Zuckerberg

Zuckerberg wrote the software for the Facemash website when he was in his second year of college. The website was set up as a type of “hot or not” game for Harvard students. The website allowed visitors to compare two student pictures side-by-side and let them decide who was hot or not.... [Zuckerberg wrote in his public blog] "some of these people have pretty horrendiedous facebook pics. I almost want to put some of these faces next to pictures of some farm animals and have people vote on which is more attractive."

But that's not what the men's soccer team did. They weren't out to offend anyone. They passed around a "ratings" document among members of their own team, which admittedly was written in crude terms. But when private conversations between men become crimes when inadvertantly discovered, we get perilously close to thoughtcrime territory.

(Originally published in AT)



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