Just days after Alex Knepper's date rape column, an Indiana University senior has caused a similar stir with his system for "rating girls" from "knockout" down to "turns off even the drunkest of males."
Yale Reardon's "Rating Girls" ran yesterday in the Indiana University Odyssey, a newspaper devoted to Greek life on campus. Unlike Knepper's column, which the American University Eagle left up on its website even as physical copies of the newspaper were removed from their stands by protesters, Reardon's effort has been taken off the Odyssey's site. Luckily, there's a cached version, from which we'll quote liberally. Reardon begins:
Men have been using the trusty 1-10 rating system to rate girls for what seems like centuries. Obviously a 10 is a knockout, and a 1 is something that should show up on the Discovery Channel. It's as universal as the 4.0 GPA scale or the dewy decimal system. One of my favorite things to do with my friends is to argue about what number a girl is.
Clearly Reardon needs to repeat Library Science (that's Dewey Decimal System), and perhaps Human Decency 101. Observe his numerical scale in action:
1. This is as bad as it gets. Lucky enough these girls hardly ever go out in public or wouldn't dare come to a state school like Indiana. They usually have 2-3 horrible features. This could be extreme obesity, a face that looks like it was hit with a frying pan, or a missing limb. They will likely remain widows or work in jobs where they can be hidden in the back.
Reardon also doesn't seem to understand what the word "widow" means, unless there's some weirdly high percentage of bereavement at IU that I don't know about. Here's what he has to say on "twos" and "threes":
2. A two is not much better than a one. She is god awful ugly as well. No matter how many drinks you have, she won't look hotter or thinner. All of her friends are busted as well. Thankfully a two does not have any confidence either so spotting them out is rare.
3. A three is the first girl that might get a little action from time to time. Granted the guy who falls for her will be wasted beyond belief. There is a chance she might have a good sense of humor but that will be as good as it gets. She is a prime candidate for extreme plastic surgery. Usually a three has just one feature (giant nose, freakishly tall, big belly, or no butt) that turns off even the drunkest of males. Who am I kidding they are ugly as hell to.
The sin of a "four" is "She will chase guys so far out of her league its not even funny." But it's when Reardon gets to five that he reveals his true rationale for hooking up with women in the first place: impressing bros. He writes,
5. This is the first girl on the list that can be acceptable to bring around your friends from time to time. If you bring any of the previous four girls back, good look not getting ripped on for at least a month. [...] This is the kind of girl that after a guy gets with, he will describe her as "honestly she wasn't that bad". Shut up bro, she was ugly and you can't lie to yourself anymore.
And on "sevens":
A seven is usually the coolest of the girls, but there is just something not right with her. It's hard to pinpoint exactly what is wrong with a seven, but you know it's there. If your boys never give you props for being with her, but never diss you for being with her, you got yourself a seven.
And here's how you spot a "ten":
If a girl walks into a room and you immediately tell all your friends to check her out, you are lucky. You are in presence of one of the rarest sights on earth. A perfect 10.
I'd actually like to thank Mr. Reardon for helping me put my finger on what's so upsetting about the whole practice of numerically rating women — which, it's true, long preceded his tenure as an IU provocateur. "Rating girls" is a group activity, something men (or, perhaps, boys) "argue about with their friends." As such, it's not about actual attraction, which is profoundly individual and idiosyncratic. Instead, it's about whether a girl would increase a guy's status — whether she conforms to whatever standards are necessary to generate props from the bros. And the thought of one's sex appeal being measured by the clumsy high-fives of dudes still a little drunk from the night before is both depressing and profoundly un-hot.
Of course "depressing and profoundly un-hot" pretty much describes Reardon's view of the IU dating/hookup scene, as set forth in the columns that remain on the Odyssey site. His "preparation" for a night on the town sounds super-romantic:
Before you head out you need to send a ton of texts. If you are smart you should have at least two to three girls lined up before you make it out. Make sure to text these girls something along the lines of "Cya at Sports tonight" or "Save a dance for me". Girls eat these lines up and will not be able to stop thinking about you after they get one of these texts. If you are in a relationship, dump your girlfriend now.
And who could resist him after his description of "The Ten People You See at the Btown Bars?" Example:
The fat dude: He never ever leaves the bar. His friends love him and they love bragging how much he can drink. He rips on girls all night and loves talking shit. Probably by the end of the night he will try to creep on a girl, get rejected, and get tossed from the bar. He will then call Avers Pizza for a Big10. Sure he got shot down, but he's got a delicious pizza and he can drink more than you.
We're still waiting for word on the IU response to Reardon's rating system, and the reasons for his column's deletion from the Odyssey site. For now, I'd like to echo Anna Holmes's reaction: "I'm so glad I'm not in college anymore."