My friend recently got ‘rated’ to her face.
I’m going to go in hard and simple with this one – ‘rating’ is the process in which some men like to assign a numerical value to a woman based on her attractiveness that therefore equates to her worth. I understand the usual scale is 1 – 10, a 10 being the epitome of beauty.
Small minds can only count so high.
It went like this: two classy lads had parked themselves in front of a window, ready for a long and fruitful period of being little shits. Every time a lady walked past their view, they released their unpalatable judgement upon the undeserving world.
“5. 7. Bloody hell, a 2.”
Upon entering their room, my friend gets what they’re doing. But before she has time to say anything, one of the guys has turned around, pointed a finger in her face, and said…
Another definition you may want to investigate for this read is ‘objectification.’
I am aware ‘girl rating’ may not be an entirely new concept to you. Unfortunately, it isn’t to me either. But having a friend directly affected by it has prompted me to go further than just my usual thoughts of frustration, to write a thing or two about it:
I have several queries about this process. Most of which I’m pretty sure I don’t want the answers to. But the key question that springs to mind is WHY? To imitate a classic film piracy advert: You wouldn’t comment on a person’s looks to their face; giving them a number is just that.
Is it just what was voted the best Neanderthal method of giving feedback? Since Yelp hasn’t yet stretched to rating women, surely this is the best way to keep record of ‘been there done that.’ I can see all the perks: You can decide whether you’ll be sending that product back to where it came from, choose if you will be using that provider again, and of course – decide whether the product is worth recommending to other users.
It’s a shame we don’t come with barcodes for convenience.
The Comparison Game
As if comparing women amongst themselves isn’t already a huge enough issue. Have these people thought that perhaps we’re gaining too much confidence and need reminding of a toxic habit that we are working hard to lose?
This system enables and encourages women to see their peers as a threat, an unattainable ideal, leaving us working harder to try and achieve a higher number for the sake of external approval. Guys – there’s no need to worry – magazines and television are already doing that for us. Social media’s Like button already gives us the height of overrated numerical values on our appearance – we don’t need yours.
“It’s a compliment.”
Just like several other concepts that are described this way, it’s obviously not a compliment. In fact, a literal definition of ‘insult’ is to treat someone with disrespect. Shockingly, a system that revolves around judging people on superficial factors and using that data to weigh up whether they deserve your attention falls into that category.
What’s worse is using that information to compare people, especially if your subject finds out. Even if you receive a ‘high’ rating from a guy and it makes you feel good for a split second, you eventually realise what it really means. Sure, they think you’re a 9 now. Great news all round. But wait – what if you suddenly put on a bit of weight? Or lose a bit of weight? Or your body has the audacity to naturally change over time making you shift half a point down the scale. Suddenly, an 8.5 is killing self-esteem.
“It’s okay because I rate personality too.”
Not as considerate as you think. Unfortunately, it’s still a process that relies on assigning women a digit. Adding some personality attributes to it is essentially just sending us home with a report card. Putting more elements of a person’s being under the microscope can only receive more results – most of them bad.
This is then no longer a one-dimensional issue of “Are my thighs making me unfuckable?” It becomes a new beast stretching into a region of “Oh, they think I’m dull; if I had a different sense of humour, would I have more friends? Oh, they think I’m naïve; does my cute laugh make me seem more gullible?” These are all thoughts that will circle like sharks, making already murky waters unsafe.
The Real Reason
My final point is something I am genuinely curious about. Is this little process a way of masking insecurities? Men experience an immense social pressure to be the ‘strong’ gender; they can be seen as pathetic if they cry, or weak if they don’t stand up for themselves. This is a pressure equally as obscene as expecting women to never grow out of 24-inch waist, but it is often overlooked.
I wonder whether it is this expectation that pushes that insecurity in the wrong direction for some men – making them overcompensate by harbouring ‘traditional’ and sexist attitudes towards women. An unconscious confidence boost, if you will. If so, we need to look at the root of this problem: societal expectations on both sides.
If you don’t relate to my final point and you’re more along the lines of number (1), then my sympathy won’t quite grasp you. Actively letting a woman know how she is seen by an outsider based on her boobs, arse, stomach, face, and more, by way of a ranking system is a peak of dehumanisation. And after doing so, some find it puzzling – and have the gall to complain – that women can be insecure in their looks? Perspective is needed.
Have some for free:
Why support a process that makes women live with a constant reminder that they could be better?
As for my delight of a friend, she ended up not slapping the lads ‘round the face.
10/10 for willpower, I’d say.
If you want to have a chat about this in the comments then feel free
– but please keep it respectful.
And now I pass the mic to you.