The Bible says "judge not, lest ye be judged." But since we're all secretly judging each other all day every day, I interpret this as God's official license to judge others with impunity. (Also I'm an atheist, but that's beside the point).
What I'm experiencing right now is perhaps less judgment anyway than it is schadenfreude. Schadenfreude is a borrowed German word meaning "pleasure derived by someone from another person's misfortune."
I'm not proud of this feeling, and I don't think it's a very good reflection on my character, but I also say that exact sentence out loud to myself at least ten times a day, so it is what it is.
Schadenfreude is contextual and a matter of degree. For example, I'm not a sociopath who takes pleasure in a person or animal dying, grave misfortune befalling the unwarry, or anything sadistic like that.
I am, however, a woman who has spent her entire life being judged in all the ways every woman is judged, and I went to an Ivy League school and briefly played a team sport there. Accordingly, I am experiencing what can only be described as DELICIOUS schadenfreude at a bunch of Harvard bros losing their privilege to kick a ball around for being a pack of misogynistic pricks.
A quote from the New York Times article [Note: original Harvard Crimson article highly recommended, as is the follow-up op-ed from the women in question]:
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. Men on the team referred to the document as a “scouting report.”In other words, some pretty stupid shit from some of the smartest kids in the country.
I wish there was a YouTube video of the exact moment the Harvard men's soccer team learned that the administration of arguably the biggest dick school in America was taking their ball away for acting like dicks. That shit would get 100 hits from me alone!
I'm picturing a couple dozen guys whose lives to date have been adorned with trophies, awards, and atta-boys. Young men who finally ran out of luck by assuming they could get away with describing their fellow athletes' bodies in lewd detail, assigning them sexual positions (you know, in addition to their field positions), giving them a numerical value, and comparing them to their predecessors in what had become "a yearly team tradition."
In other words, they were acting like Donald Trump. Now, they have to get sexual assault counseling and won't be able to finish their season, which had just two games remaining but could have led to a championship.
Rather than focus on the sad reality that nothing would probably have happened if this whole thing went down in a more lucrative NCAA football program somewhere, I'm choosing to take this turn of events at face value and enjoy it for what it is:
A posse of cocky, smug, self-centered, know-it-all baby misogynists receiving a stinging rebuke and a child's punishment for acting like the selfish and stupid children that they obviously are.
P.S. They wrote a touching apology in the Harvard Crimson. Of course they did.
Photo: John Greim/Gett Images
Photo: John Greim/Gett Images