Over the past two weeks, I’ve spent some quality time with guy friends – a week-long trip to Texas for a wedding, half-price apps to catch up with a pal, a lazy Sunday afternoon with my fiance and his roommates – and I’ve once again been subjected to the world of “guy talk.”
With said exposure, annoyances of the past have resurfaced, and I find myself wondering: Are college guys really the shallow, sex-driven fiends they so often portray themselves as? Before an onslaught of outcries ensues from the mouths of my male counterparts, let me present a few disclaimers.
First, let it be known that I choose to surround myself with guy friends because I find the opposite sex generally easy to get along with, relatively devoid of drama and lacking the propensity to be intentionally cruel. I am also confident that my friends are the best of the best, and although they have a tendency to sound like arrogant jerks at times, I wouldn’t trade them for the world.
Second, I am not employing an “all men are pigs” attitude; I’m simply applying the research, shall we say, from my interactions with college-aged men and guys in their late 20s in a generalized manner.
Furthermore, if you’re one of those males who don’t take part in the rating-extravaganza that sweeps the nation, I applaud you for your keen sense of tact and respect. I’m aware that women may also participate in said ranking system; however, I have never witnessed this disgusting discourse from my female peers, so I feel that I can safely assume that the numbering system is not prevalent among women.
I have noticed among my male counterparts an inclination to speak of women as though they are animals or objects to deliver carnal pleasures. Conversations are digit-riddled as rankings from one to 10 are issued according to “hotness,” something that rather displeases me.
Luckily, my guy chooses to avoid making any brash statements – at least, when he’s around me – but others who are comfortable with my presence let their tongues fly, offering a multitude of analogies, metaphors and hyperboles to describe their attraction – or lack thereof – to a particular woman based almost entirely on her appearance.
Occasionally, statements resembling, “Yeah, she’s a solid nine, but she’s dumber than a box of rocks,” or “Well, she’s not a dime, but she’s pretty nice,” are tossed into the conversation, considered briefly and shortly after dismissed. At this point in the dialogue, my expression turns relatively sour, and my remarks get a little critical. I’m quick to remind my friends that while they don’t consider Susie Q to be a perfect “10,” few of them even surpass the “seven” mark – if they can toss around statistics, why shouldn’t I?
Often my pals jump to the defense, shocked and offended by my interjection as if I have thoroughly wounded their pride, and attempt to reassure me that, of course, they know there’s more to a relationship than really great intercourse or a smokin’ hot bod. And I’m sure most of my pals do value a sense of humor, sweet disposition and self-esteem above physical attributes.
Nonetheless, it disappoints me to hear the insensitive conversations many guys host about a girl who’s a “negative four at best” or an old friend who has a “cute face” but has “packed on the weight since high school.” I overhear conversations like these when I wait tables, when I hang out with friends or when I’m in the general public.
Guys, I’m not sure if you’re aware, but girls do hear these things – and if you think ranking a girl a “10” will score you a date or some form of gushing gratitude, you are a seriously mistaken. Since when do looks last a lifetime? In 40 years, we’ll all be wrinkled, dotted with sun spots and more than likely carry around a few more pounds than we did in our 20s.
I’ve come to the conclusion, then, that these ratings are a way for guys to feel better about themselves. After all, this is the only logical reasoning I can find. Why else would males choose to ridicule the women they may someday marry based on shallow logic and a poor attempt to be humorous? Surely they must feel insecure about their own looks or personalities and are therefore critical of their counterparts in an effort to stroke their own egos. Or, they’re just setting their sights ridiculously high.
One male friend has explained to me that the rating system is a part of men, stating that it’s “in our blood.” Essentially, if you’re a female, you can’t truly comprehend the scale. And, he was quick to add, personality plays no role in determining a girl’s “number.” Sheesh.
Whatever the reason, I’d like to offer some advice to my collegiate counterparts: Don’t. Do. It. If you feel the urge to share your opinion of a girl with your friends, at least refrain from doing so around other females, even if they are just “one of the guys” – because the girls you are friends with may well be your connection to a future date, and if they perceive you to be a cotton-headed ninny-muggins, you probably won’t be recommended.