Sexism is something else. No matter how talented, how accomplished, how unique and special a woman is, in society, eventually it all comes down to her looks. Issa Rae has come all the way up. We first learned of her from her YouTube series “Awkward Black Girl” and now she has a megawatt hit on HBO. What’s most brilliant about the show is that not only has it managed to maintain the authentic voice we loved from ABG, it’s considerably better than the original web series.
Despite the impeccable storytelling she’s doing these days, the men of Twitter want to talk about her beauty. Which, in and of itself, is not a problem. It only became one when the conversation turned to rating.
Obviously, this dude was trying to shoot his shot.
Then it went left.
For those of you who don’t remember middle school all that well, rating is a game in which a person chooses a number on a scale from 1-10, representing a person’s attractiveness. 1 being the least attractive and 10 being the most. So this dude was of the belief that Issa Rae could not or should not be rated highly.
Child, the responses to this man were ruthless, calling out his own looks. I almost didn’t write this story because I didn’t want it to turn into a way to diss this dude, not that he didn’t deserve it.
Eventually, Issa joined in on the fun.
Instead, I wanted to discuss men and their tendency to want to rate women. When I told my coworker about all of this, she quickly diagnosed the problem. It’s a way to bring women down to your level. You could never even dream of dating Issa Rae, so in order to make her more accessible, to make yourself feel a bit better about not being as accomplished, you can say she doesn’t measure up to your arbitrary standards.
Someone tried to attribute the man’s rating of Issa as less than a 10 to colorism. And while that may or may not be an issue, it’s not the central one here. Women are, in the words of Janelle Monae, not for male consumption. We exist to do more than just look pretty for men or anyone else. And Issa’s career is proof of that. But you don’t have to have done a damn thing with your life to be respected as more than an object.
And I’ll be happy when men learn that lesson.