A group of boys at a Washington state high school are causing a national uproar by conducting an online tournament where their female classmates are judged on their physical appearance.
The Daily Mail is reporting that the contest, being held at Issaquah High School in Issaquah, Washington, is dubbed “May Madness” and is designed to name the “hottest” girl in school.
Conducted on Facebook, it pits female classmates against one another by judging them based on how well they looked throughout the month of voting. The page consists of 64 yearbook-style photos which can be entered into the contest without a girl’s permission. The game, which is similar to the brackets of basketball’s March Madness, designates an opponent for each girl which they encourage her to beat until they reach the final rounds and a final winner is chosen.
Accusations of bullying and sexism are flying and parents are trying to get the game shut down. Last year, they managed to do so but only after offensive comments were placed under the pictures of the girls.
Thus far, no one is talking about who the organizers of the game are and the school claims it can’t do anything about it because it’s being conducted on Facebook.
“I think it’s certainly a form of harassment and bullying,” said Issaquah School District spokeswoman Sara Niegowski to q13Fox. “I don’t think it’s set up to make people feel good and just from the start you’re basing things on looks, personality, popularity. That’s preying on people’s confidences when you’re already at a very vulnerable age.”
Many of the girls agree.
“Each day they, if you’re hot enough, you can move a bracket and this goes for the whole month until there’s a winner,” explained senior Madison Wernik. The “prize” for winning is nothing more than “recognition that you’re hot — I don’t think that’s the most important thing.”
“This kind of thing is sexualizing us girls like we’re some sort of trophy,” said sophomore Devon Keller to King5.
District officials are trying to discover the founder of the game and say they are confident that he or she will be discovered eventually.
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