Twice in the last 24 hours, I’ve received a link to a video about the so-called “Universal Hot/Crazy Matrix.” The video features a guy who looks like he wants to sell you Windows 98, telling audiences “everything a young man needs to know about women.” It’s a self-developed theory based on dude’s “46 years of living on the earth,” according to the video.

Basically, he draws out the first quadrant axis, with the X representing a scale of 1 to 10 of a woman’s attractiveness and a 4 to 10 scale on the Y access to designate how “crazy” a woman is. By this man’s logic, all women are a least a four. He goes on from there to illustrate what combination of X and Y represents the various types of women, including the No Goes, Danger Zones, Fun Zones, and wife types.


So, I watched this video, and laughed and whatever, but then I started thinking: What would be the universal matrix with which to evaluate and rank men? Walk with me, dear readers. Walk with me.

I present to you the “Universal Fine/He Ain’t Shit Matrix.” Following the same premise of the video linked above, the Fine/Ain’t Shit Matrix is based on the lived experiences of me and mines, brought to you through a tribunal of GChats, iMessages and E-Mail threads. Here are our findings:

Looking at the chart from top to bottom, every man clocks in at 5 or more on the Ain’t Shit scale, but this scale is out of 10. Why? Because I said so. There are plenty of things that can account for a man being raggedy, among them all the qualities listed in the TLC opus “No Scrubs,” or the Destiny’s Child cult classic “Bills, Bills, Bills,” in addition to just lying for stupid reasons like not wanting to hurt your feelings, because obviously, you are made of glass and will break at the sound of the truth.


Also, depending on age, evaluate his priors (stints in jail, an ex-wife, etc.). Does he evade commitment like the plague? Is he fathering a small tribe someplace? Does he spend a smidge too much time on a game console? Take too long to make plans? Are his shoes run-over? If you’re having trouble trying to rate him fairly, consider the worst story a man’s most recent ex could tell you about this man, and go from there.

Now, by contrast, there is the “He Fahn” scale, which is pretty easy to evaluate. A fine man really needs no true evaluation, but I’ma give you some things to consider. This part operates on a scale of 1 to 10.

Does he have a beard? [Check.] Has that beard graced the innermost parts of your upper thigh? [*Raises glass*] Does he smell like promises kept? [Double check.] Are his hands manicured and does the touch of his palm feel like hard work and a retirement savings plan? When you look up at this man, does he make you wanna stand a little taller? How deep is his speaking voice? Does the sunlight dance on his shoulders in the summertime? Can he fix shit? Did you catch yourself gasping the first time you saw him in a suit? Does he know when to STFU? Does he know the gentle ways to yield you to silence?


If any of these things are true, go’n and add a point to that man’s rubric. These are just the things that bring joy to my heart, but I’m sure there are many more I’m leaving out and/or not saying because ya’ll don’t need to know me like that.

Similar to our pocket protector-wearing friend up top, I’ma tell you/show you how to look at the data.

The chart above is pretty self explanatory. Anybody in that yellow section? Nope. The green? Also obvious. If you can find a fine man that doesn’t give you too many headaches? You’re a winner and I salute you. These are rare breeds. Procreate with that man. The aint shittery is pretty high amongst the fine ones because their looks and overly permissive women have taken them where their manners, personality, and common sense have failed them.


Which is why you have to be careful in what I like to call the “Dickmatized” area, which is sometimes mistaken for love, and sometimes a combination of lust and loneliness and familiarity. Yeah, I said it. And yes, as you can see, it’s completely possible to be dickmatized over someone who is clocking in at a 5 on looks. You know, the one you either didn’t like, or at least had initial reservations about, but you kept saying, “I don’t know, there’s something about him…” In fact, those might be the most dangerous types to get hooked on because they’re unassuming and you’ll be caught off guard. Suddenly, it’s 8 p.m. on a Sunday and you’re calling saying stupid things like “Oh, I was just in your area,” when you know damn well you’re at home ironing clothes for work tomorrow.

Men who hit a 7 or above in the Ain’t Shit meter will try your last nerve and the exhaust your last bit of patience, but the packaging (pun) of those in this category will keep you coming back. It’s usually the corny ass jokes, which retrospect always tells us weren’t that damn funny. Stay alert, lest you find yourself dominating text message convos, cooking for negroes who don’t have groceries in their homes, or crying over a man that isn’t your boyfriend and probably has an ain’t shit name like Anthony or Chris.

Immediately above that area is the “GTFOH” zone. If you find yourself, for whatever reason, in this area, abort the mission and pray for safe keeping. Anyone who comes in over a 7 on the ain’t shit meter is not to be fooled with. These people rarely change and will likely not ever never ever bring goodness to your life space. Notice their proximity to the men out here dickmatizing folks? It’s a slippery slope. They come to your home with empty hands and empty stomachs. They do not rejoice in the Gospel of Pussy Prosperity (shoutout to @FilthyCharm) and will pillage the sanctity of your residence for all it’s worth with neither remorse nor second thought. Run, girl. You in danger.


In the sleeper section of the chart you’ll see a quiet corner I like to call “The Work Zone.” Ideally, you could meet a dude who fits the bill here and roll him over into The Winner’s Circle. Honestly, that’s what Beyonce’s “Upgrade You” was all about. The Work are good dudes who have ain’t shit tendencies by way of being men, but are pretty good on the eyes and ears. Also note how crafty those dickmatizing folks are and how easily the lines can get blurred.

Here is my testimony, as I (and my friends) have lived it. Make smart choices.

Maya K. Francis is a culture writer and communications strategy consultant. When not holding down the Black Girl Beat for VSB, she is a weekly columnist for Philadelphia Magazine's 'The Philly Post' and contributes to other digital publications including xoJane, Esquire, and Sometimes TV and radio producers are crazy enough to let her talk on-air, and she helped write a book once. She cites her mother and Whitley Gilbert as inspirations.