The good people of the Internet are concerned about gender equality in Liberty, Mo., where eight teenage boys were recently suspended from school for posting nude photos of several of their female classmates online. The concern, specifically, is one many Liberty residents share with men's rights activists on Reddit: Only the young men who leaked the images without permission -- and not the nude teen girls in the photos -- are being punished, and apparently that's just not fair.
According to Fox 4 Kansas City, the Liberty School District announced two- to ten-day suspensions for eight Liberty High School students, who circulated nude photos of 16 of their female classmates via text messages, Twitter and an Instagram handle called "Liberty.Girl.Pics." The young women in the photos "were not suspended, but were verbally reprimanded." Oh, and they also had their nude photos being passed around online, presumably without their knowledge or consent.
The district claims in a statement that it's handing down "appropriate discipline" for the photo leak. Via Fox 4:
LPS is aware of the situation and appropriate discipline will be handed down, per school board policy. Such incidents provide good reminders for our students to use good judgment before posting anything on digital devices. Digital citizenship is taught in all schools and will remain a priority as technology use continues to increase in our society.
But Jezebel points out that there are plenty of people who seem to disagree about the district's course of action, with a number of commenters suggesting it would only be "equal" if the school took additional punitive action against the teen girls in the photos. Fox 4 polled readers to see if they feel appropriate measures were taken, and (as of writing) a whopping 76 percent believe that "everyone should have been suspended" because "the girls who sent the photos are just as guilty."
"Those girls need to be suspended as well," one commenter wrote to Fox 4. "The boys wouldn't of had [sic] the pictures in the first place if these girls didn't send them. What kind of message are we sending out. That is ok to send nude photos...but whoever receives them will have consequences."
"I hate that boys are always the ones in trouble," another commenter wrote. "People always say HE got her pregnant. Or let's file rape charges because HE had sex with our daughter. Well news flash all your precious little girls are no better. Ticks me off dang hussies."
There's more vitriol where that came from, as I'm sure one can imagine, on the Men's Rights subreddit.
As Jezebel also notes, all of the teens involved in the incident could be in legal trouble in addition to trouble with their school. Missouri law states that minors "caught possessing or distributing sexually explicit images of a minor (including images of themselves)" can be charged with a Class A misdemeanor, which could be punishable by up to 1 year in jail and a $1,000 fine.