Issue 12  •  Spring 2013

Because You're Not Worth It

Written by Erica Scourti
Illustration by Lyndsey Lesh
Back in the mists of time when I was a teenager our girl gang had a favorite acronym, duly scribbled on walls, T-shirts, and pencil cases: DDDBB. Meant to sum up our general attitude towards life, Iʼve been re-evaluating it as a feminist motto, especially for women (i.e. me) who have recently entered the snooze-fest known as "dating."

So, what does it stand for? Divinely Desirable Demi-goddesses Bathed in Beauty or some other self-esteem boosting warble? Nope. Something far less fabulous and yet potentially far more wonderful: Desperate, Deprived, Depressed, Bored, and Broke.

At first it just sounds like a typical teenaged moan, and totally at odds with the fantasy image I have of myself at that age: partying, drinking, and dancing on the one hand and contemplating world politics and philosophy on the other. I even have a cringe-worthy memory of brandishing a Nietzsche book at the local skatepark, probably in an attempt to impress the boys. Unfortunately I think most of them were more concerned with Gives Good Head over God is Dead.

But anyway, I digress. The DDD section expresses a general lack: desperate for boys, fun, and excitement, deprived of all three, and depressed as a result. The BB was a kind of afterthought, as in ʻduh, OBV we are bored and broke,ʼ after all, sources of income were hard to come by in Athens where we grew up and boredom pretty much goes with the teen territory. So why revive it as a feminist motto, seeing as it all sounds a bit gloomy and guy-obsessed?

The reason Iʼm embracing the motto is for its total lack of fabulousness and ʻoh arenʼt I a GODDESSʼ type posturing. What it suggests instead is much more honest and fun: that as women, we can mope, be pre-menstrual, hung-over, horny, boring, short of cashbe whatever, and whoever and still be just fine. And through accepting this, achieve an awesomeness of far greater proportions, because to whine on about your fab-ness seems to belie a desire for validation lurking beneath the surface. After all, if I know I am so truly A-Mazing, why proclaim it to anyone whoʼll listen? It would be much less hassle to just relax with what we are, whatever that happens to be.

But hereʼs the catch: we (or I, at least) canʼt help wondering if this attitude will scare the men off. Because apparently I am now, as a single woman, meant to actually care about being able to attract, and possibly even keep, A Man.

The internet abounds with mostly moronic dating advice for single ladies, which can be summed up as: donʼt moan about your ex, get drunk, or have sex on the first date, and definitely donʼt do all three at the same time. Then thereʼs those inane ʻ10 Things Women Do That Men Find Unattractiveʼ or ʻ5 Ways to Get a Guy to Notice Youʼ lists that litter online space. They immediately bring out the spoiled little brat in meI mean, what, I have to impress someone beyond putting on a low-cut top and laughing at their jokes? Too much effort already. And what if they notice you, but because you did something unattractive, like puked in your handbag at their exhibition opening in front of all their friends? Itʼs a minefield!

Just as infuriating is the (hopefully not widespread) male practice of rating women from one to ten; err, this isnʼt synchronized swimming, though it does imply a similar eagerness to please. Not only does the urge to rank things reek of closet geekinessI suspect offenders of drawing up mathematically precise graphs plotting median ratios of score to ʻscore,' but it seems just a little presumptuous. Who are they to judge, and who said I even wanted to be a perfect ten? After all, Iʼm not trying sell myself with extra-special frills and toppings; Iʼm not a cupcake or Bambi. Iʼd much rather stick with my budget, flawed, hormonal self just exactly as I am, issues, shortcomings, needs and all. Whatʼs wrong with being normal, anyway?

Well, everything, if the almost-dead K-Stew story is anything to go by. Much as I hate to revive it, that whole debacle does say something about a womanʼs license to mess up, i.e. be a normal human being, now and then. While itʼs certainly not a good idea, cheating on your guy is hardly the most heinous crime known to the universe, yet the hysterical media response was a proper ʻwomen, know your limitsʼ style scolding. If thou shalt make any mistake, thou shalt be punishedand depressingly, by other women, too.

I suggest that as women we embrace our inner averageness, and even our inner crappiness and get busy with the far more pressing concern of enjoying life. Or, forget about auditioning for the role of Little Miss Perfect, and worry about livingwhich includes making mistakes and occasionally being a bit rubbish. And certainly not as a veiled attempt to get male approval through the backdoor; as in, by being so cool and self-accepting, men will magically fall at our feet in adulation.

More to the point, aiming to get laid (or dates) more often is no reason to embrace this un-goddess attitude. It must be done with pure heart, without expectation or calculation. So, DDDBB all the way, just because Iʼm not worth it, and donʼt even want to be.

(Since writing this, the author has decided to de-prioritize anything to do with dating; available men, please get in touch after the author has handed in her thesis.)

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