Lauren Thomas

The “Out-Of-Ten” dilemma

 So in recent days, the female fight for equal treatment and the likes is doing relatively well. Yes, we can vote, yes we can work, and hell yes we can go to university anywhere we please (grades permitting). The Spice Girls look to the female generations of the 21st century with pride – Girl Power indeed. But still, I’m struck by how often this progress seems overshadowed by the dark cloud of objectification that we’re supposed to accept with a wry smile and a “that’s life” shrug. Me and my friends can walk through a crowded club and have an array of strangers grab, pinch, and smack our asses, and be expected not to even bat an eye. And yes, if I’m approached by a guy with a “Hey darling what’re you drinking?”, the creep in question is much more likely to cease and desist meekly if I tell them I have a boyfriend, rather than the equally true fact that I’m just totally and completely disinterested. Apparently another man’s possession over me is more valid than my ability to think for myself. But that isn’t my problem right now.

My problem is the amiable glances between guys as they see a girl pass them, and their decisively approving nods denoting a “yeah – solid 8” rating.

As a disclaimer, there’s nothing wrong with noticing somebody you think is attractive, and yeah, us girls notice too. But the ratio definitely tilts more towards the men who are publicly numerically ranking us on a scale out of ten.

I’m not sure which part is worse – the fact that they actually think it, the fact that they actively debate it, the fact that the reason for the absent points in even Beyoncé is merely “because she’s not f**king me right now”, or the fact that these men are HAPPY to discuss this openly with the girls around them!? There are girls who are being told by their boyfriends that that they’d “probably give them a 7”. And that’s coming from somebody who by title should care about your feelings.

Whilst listening to a discussion about the girl they’re scrutinising on Facebook, I question what these same guys who spend time with me on a daily basis, who, would rank me if I was just another girl walking past them in the street. And then I realise with a sinking feeling in my stomach that ignorance truly is bliss.

So why is the “Out-Of-Ten” dilemma bugging me so much? Because girls don’t need another way for us to compare ourselves to each-other. Because you shouldn’t feel like the walk to the corner shop is the London Fashion Week catwalk for anybody who glances out of their window. And because no matter who we are, what we’re wearing, or where we’ve been spotted – we are NOT a ranking out of ten.

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