Men are ruining the ‘She’s a 10’ meme

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She’s an eight, but she keeps cages of pigeons on her Brooklyn rooftop and trains them to collect shiny things on the street. To me, that makes her a six at best — to my friend, that raises her ranking of attractiveness to a 10. A bird girl is a full dime to some of us.

You’ve likely seen this meme-d out trend online. Here’s how it works: Someone ranks an imaginary person on a scale of attractiveness from one to 10, and tosses in a trait that will either skyrocket their ranking (they bring you coffee in bed or know a lot about poetry and never talk about it) or dunks their ranking (they never change their sheets or know a lot about poetry and talk about it constantly). 

The joke started off on TikTok, where all good memes have gotten their wings over the past few months, before trending on Twitter where good memes are sent to die. On TikTok, the meme swiftly moved from “this is funny and nice” to “this is terrible,” a transition that can unilaterally be blamed on the folks who decide to participate. It goes like this: Women and gender nonconforming folks do it, and it’s fun and charming. Men do it, and it is scary and unappealing. One TikTok user, Raja Burrows or @thejollyraja, says this is because the way the meme originated was to “give the guy the highest score possible.” 

“And as a result, the most fun answers are the ones that unexpectedly increase the guy’s score,” Burrows said. “Because it’s fun when it’s like ‘he’s a 6 but he has a mustache,’ and one of the girls says ‘hmm, that’s kind of like a five for me,’ but the other girl says ‘oh my god that’s an easy eight or an eight and a half.'”

The original joke was objectively pretty nice! And then cis, straight men came along and started looking for reasons to hate women. As one user, @deannaculen, put it, the most accurate reenactment of the men recreating this meme is simple: “She’s a 10 but she’s a girl. Zero.”

It isn’t that men aren’t funny — that argument can be made but I, personally, would argue that most people are not funny regardless of gender. The real problem here is that misogyny is not funny; it’s sterile and transparent and, genuinely, a boring and cheap way to try to get laughs and engagement. There’s not enough self-depreciation in many of these takes. Dudes are taking these prompts as an opportunity to punch down, while women and gender nonconforming folks are either punching up, punching laterally, or not really punching at all. 

And when the trend made its way to Twitter, it took all of that weird, uncomfortable talk to another level. Partially, because joke formats work differently on different platforms. On TikTok, you can start with “they’re a five,” or “she’s a nine” or “he’s a three.”

But on Twitter, you need the same first few words to get picked up in a trending topic, which happened to be “She’s a 10” on Monday morning. That means every single tweet under the trend had to be a woman (she) who is very attractive (a 10) but who does something the poster doesn’t like (has a hello kitty obsession or something) that brings her down a few notches.

Not all of them are terrible, though. I’ve Done The Work to create a curated list of the She’s A 10 jokes that I don’t hate.





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