It dawned on me out of apparently nowhere. We should fight, not just fight, we should try to uproot the concept of „one’s league”. It may be one of the most pernicious concepts of self-definition and of sentimental interaction out there. Believing in leagues, even subconsciously, makes for terrible choices. The idea itself assumes, physically, that there are „beautiful” people for whom all doors are open and „less than” people who need to determine the boundaries of their quest for appropriate partners and stick to those limits. Because few make the classification on criteria of anything else: the way it is now engrained in society, it is a split second decision, therefore it is a judgment based on appearance (be it appearance of beauty or appearance of self-confidence).
The thing is – we used to have a friend who would constantly and drunkenly challenge the concept. I remember well feeling sad about what i thought was „that it had to be the unattainable ones”. And then i think i realised how horrid the idea is in itself. What he was doing, the talking for an hour with a perfectly regular and interesting girl and then standing up to go woo the belle of the ball was probably a fight against the stereotype. The fight against „settling”. He must have thought he had to prove to himself that he was worth any league. And the thing is, he was. But the effort of fighting the layers came from the existence of layers in everyone’s heads to begin with. If it had been about people, and not self-perceived worth in comparison to them, then the interesting girl would not have been someone to „settle for”, because it was not relevant where she stood on a ladder of „worth”. If there were no distance between perceived „deserving” and perceived „can get”, the out-of-the-ballpark pretty girls would possibly not have perceived the efforts of our friend as desperate. The simple fact that we calculate our „market value” during interactions instead of genuinely being interested in people is pernicious. And it teaches everyone the wrong things: those who get looked up to that they are entitled to treat people badly, and those who settle that they may have „deserved” something „better”, by an unchallenged definition of humans-as-prizes-for-who-you-are.
For decent relationships, there should be no „deserving”. No hierarchy. No power struggle. You may say I’m a dreamer…
Later edit: to be honest, it feels trivial to need to talk about this at all. But we do, because we always need to talk about assumptions. However, if it were a John Oliver item, it would fall under „How is this still a thing?”