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What does it mean to be "mid"?

Clue: Margot Robbie, Emma Stone and Zendaya would be mid

What does it mean to be mid? Clue: Margot Robbie, Emma Stone and Zendaya would be mid

There are many things a man can say to hurt a woman, and consequently, all the one listening as well. An extensive repertoire ranging from slut-shaming to fat-shaming, from behaviors to appearances, also including mom-shaming, attacking them in their roles as mothers, leaving no stone unturned. There's no risk of running out, and historically, men - from their positions of power - have taken advantage of this, belittling them every time they felt threatened. Despite this, the more extremist factions - such as incels for example - find new ways every day to "punish" women, whom they consider guilty of choosing partners other than themselves or those who don't adhere to unattainable standards of beauty and wealth, with new and creative insults. A veritable ideology of hate that stems from dissatisfaction and transforms into a recruitment and misogyny program, unfortunately becoming increasingly mainstream.

Being "Mid": A Matter of Rage Bait?

Following the concept of body count, hordes of unhappy men on social media, forums, and podcasts are busy labeling the world's most admired women as "mid," meaning average or mediocre. Not ugly but not exceptionally beautiful either. With a certain disdain, moreover. Just in the last few weeks, Dua Lipa, Emma Stone, Margot Robbie, and Zendaya have been labeled as "mid" on Twitter. The outrage is palpable. Surely, a significant percentage of this behavior is pure rage bait. Some users earn a lot of money thanks to Twitter's new subscription system, allowing those who pay for the subscription to cash in through interactions, seeking simple ways to trigger public anger. These types of posts - where thousands of people rush to respond, defending the actresses' beauty or insulting those expressing the thought - are practically a goldmine for these individuals, who are seeking attention, money, or both. Beneath the surface, however, something more sinister lurks. And it's not a matter of taste.

A Subtle Attack on Women

How would you have felt at 15 if numerous faceless males (but very confident and united) had called the most beautiful girl in your school "mid"? You probably would have thought something like "oh no, what about me then?" Perhaps, even if only momentarily, a sense of inferiority would have developed in your mind, changing the way you viewed yourself, your friend, and men. Unfortunately, we women have been conditioned to seek male approval at all costs, even pitting ourselves against each other: it's one of the many manipulations on which patriarchy is based, and it's challenging to dismantle. This is precisely what the incel strategy counts on - making us feel bad about ourselves and, perhaps, more willing to settle in our romantic and relational lives.

Women as Numbers

It's not just the word mid. Sometimes, the very same people assign numerical ratings to women. And the more beautiful they are, the more infuriating it becomes. Often, the score of 6 (so a barely passing grade) is affixed as a mark of dishonor to the most admired famous women of the moment. The issue of power comes into play. Those who judge dehumanize the judged, placing themselves (alone) in a position of superiority. If we put this trend into a broader context, where a woman is considered old at 28 or of low value if she doesn't marry before 30 or has had more than a certain number of partners, the purpose is as clear as day: make us compete for their approval, make us insecure, dehumanize us, reduce us to numbers. Will we allow it?

The Indifference Strategy

Overlooking the fact (which should be obvious) that beauty comes from within and that Western beauty standards are arbitrated, let's talk about possible solutions. If we are dealing with trolls who want to profit from our anger, the main rule, the golden one, would be one and only one: they should be ignored, even when it's difficult. If, however, we feel that this type of content is harming us, it might be a good idea to block everyone and take a moment away from social media. Because in what other place would judging women by assigning them grades be considered worthy of consideration and discussion? Expanding the view, a strategy to contain these mechanisms could be simply to unite as women, love ourselves without judgement, and work to remove any form of competition from our minds. Because the thing that scares them the most is united women who don't fall for such tricks.