Redefining Nice: Why “Nice Guys” Finish Last

16Aug10

We’ve all heard the spiel. Some have given it during more failtastic times. And even if you haven’t had it directed at you and haven’t said it, chances are you’ve witnessed it.

The Nice Guy™ spiel.

Most of us have known at least one. Some of us are one or were one. Many of us (women) have had to deal with the irritation of The Nice Guy™. Many guys have had to deal with their indigence and jealousy.

But for that lucky happy soul who has never dealt with this, what is The Nice Guy™?

Well if you ask them, they’re the guy who’s always there for you. The guy who cares for you and respects women. He won’t abuse you, he won’t be an asshole and all that matters is that you’re happy. He’s also in love with you and keeps it quiet, waiting in the wings for you to finally notice his love, often complaining about the guys (or girls) you’re around or dating and tells you that you deserve better (while meaning himself). But if you ask the women who’ve had to deal with them (like myself) that’s not really the story. To put it simply, The Nice Guy™ is a guy with low self respect and low confidence who believes that being a source of emotional support, hugs, friendship and a shoulder to lean on entitles him to sex or a relationship. A jealous, self righteous, possessive, overprotective user who doesn’t act like a close, lovely friend because I’m fun, he enjoys my company and/or it’s just a nice way to be to your friends but because he wants to fuck me or date me and he thinks he can build up credit with me to get there. That’s The Nice Guy™, a bastion of insincerity, an asshole strategist of denial and the waiting game.

Doesn’t sound so nice does he?

The Nice Guy™ isn’t always on the clock. Some of them usually are good people who just do nice things for friends cuz they enjoy doing it.  Some may be part time Nice Guys™ to such a degree that they only pull this ridiculous bullshit occasionally, with maybe one girl, and then never do it again. [Edited for asexual erasure ~KH] The potential to become The Nice Guy™ (as detailed and complained about here) is present in a lot of guys provided you have a romantic or sexual interest in women. Some aspects that edge folks towards this are low levels of self esteem, self respect and confidence coupled with the sense of entitlement that often bubbles out of the privilege of men. Especially when confronted with the bullshit of Pick Up Artists and their pseudoscientific evo psych asshattery or with confident, attractive people who happen to also be dickheads getting women. They will often act in opposition to the assholes and pua (laudable in and of itself, if only their reasons weren’t utterly self serving) who think girls only like assholes and treat women like shit. The problem is, The Nice Guy™ doesn’t recognize that what he’s doing isn’t nice and the insincerity is blatant, so when his efforts invariably fail with all but the most attention starved women (or a lucky situation) he assumes that only assholes get the girl too. He also doesn’t recognize that love and sex are about compatibility. If you aren’t a girl’s type, well, you aren’t her fucking type. Trying to bribe your way into her pants/heart assumes that women are all pliant dolls that you can manipulate. Which really narrows the difference between the Asshole, the PUA and the The Nice Guy™ into almost negligible levels. It’s a shit ton of sexism and bullshit for someone who claims to be nice. And it isn’t like being nice means you have extra worth to a person or are suddenly more credible and trustworthy than other people.

Pretty awful, isn’t it? Don’t worry, it gets worse.

You see, The Nice Guy™ is a component of rape culture. All of what I mentioned above, the entitlement to sex and relationships, the stereotyping and blaming women for their inability to get into a relationship with any of them, and the dehumanizing treatment of women as sexual and dating vending machines that only require TLC and emotional support to be put into the slot to drop our product, all of it are elements of the dehumanization and entitlement to our bodies that is required to create a sexual culture that fosters rape. Which is why it isn’t really surprising that nice guys are just as capable of committing rape as anyone else but are far more likely to get away with it because of the external face they put on.

I know I’ll likely get a lot of very upset guys coming in and whining about this post (just like I got PUA whining about my criticisms of them). Let me make it clear, identifying as a nice guy isn’t the same as being A Nice Guy™. Your behaviors and outlook on women determine it. So if this post doesn’t reference you, then don’t make it about you. If you whine about it, I’ll just assume you’re trying to conceal your awfulness since you’ve been warned.

And before anyone says it, because some asshole always says it, I am not saying this because I don’t know how it is for those guys. Guess what folks, I’m one of those rare trans women who considers herself to have been a guy before she realized and transitioned. And I pulled this shit for a bit. I was The Nice Guy™ before I realized it was bullshit. So I’ve been there.

You have no excuse.



73 Responses to “Redefining Nice: Why “Nice Guys” Finish Last”

  1. This actually is a great summary of why I always wanted to punch these guys in the face. Back when I was living as a lesbian, I probably could’ve started my own cult based solely on my following of Nice Guys. I could never articulate why, but I was always incoherently pissed off when another guy who I thought liked me as a person and a friend ended up confessing his undying love for me… after three years of angst. While that definitely got me at a gender/trans level, there was definitely more to it, and this nails it on the head. So, thanks.

  2. Awesome post! I have no other comments to add other than a nod of agreement.

    However, I just wanted to let you know that all the ads by google are about dating sites/laws of attracting women (“Feeling Ugly?”), and “14,500 Pretty Women from Russia, Ukraine, Uzbekistan… Browse Profiles & Find your Bride!”

    I’m not sure if you’re able to do anything about it, or that’s wordpress’ area, but I thought I’d bring it to your attention.

  3. Ugh. I hate wordpress so much. I really need to get my own site.

    Yeah there’s really nothing I can do about the ads. They give me no control. >.<

  4. Hmm… now why might someone presenting male have low self-esteem and issues dealing with womyn and seem to get even more that level of triggery-useless when ‘he’ is around them?

    Why might this person, who seems to feel utterly worthless ever possibly try to make up for that by showing a willingness to otherwise be the closest approximation to decent human being they have come to learn that a man can get?

    I do wonder.

  5. I’m not seeing a lot of reason to believe even a significant number of these people are secretly trans women. o_O

    Edit: Wait. I’m not sure I grasp what you’re saying at all. o_O

  6. 6 Jemima Aslana

    I can recommend using Mozilla Firefox. No banner ads is a blissful existence :-D

  7. 7 Jemima Aslana

    You’re not the only one.

    But if your first reading of that comment, which coincides with my own guess it’s really fucking offensive. To suggest that Asshole is a diagnosis that’s interchangable with trans woman. That’s all kinds of fucked up.

    I’m REALLY hoping that’s not what Ms Keefe meant. Really, really.

  8. 8 Jemima Aslana

    Very, very nice write-up and linkage. Nothing I didn’t already know, but damn, it needs to be said/written so often in the hopes that a few more guys will eventually get it.

    I’m glad you took the time to put another good resource on Nice Guys out there. This is a good one.

  9. A sweet genuine lovely guy (who is also my lover) said recently.

    God I hate it those self obsessed entitled jerks stole my word and made is a complaint, those arsehats don’t have the first idea what nice is!

    I was very fond of him for that

  10. Well, I spent the evening before I left for work comforting my girlfriend after she read this. And yeah, I have been in a relationship that literally saved my life, like, “I had to tell myself that if I didn’t want to wake up I didn’t have to so that I could get to bed, and kept a dry cleaning bag in the closet as an ‘escape hatch’ level” saved my life, been so bend-over-backwards dependent that when I was dumped the first words out of my tear-framed mouth were, “I can’t try any harder…” no, wait, those were just after I asked if she wanted me to go back in the closet while I transitioned or if she wanted me to not touch her again or what I could possibly do to make her not leave.

    And I remember as the relationship started that I was picking up way too many cheques, given we both had the same level of education, the same amount of savings… but she said she feared for her savings and I feared for being alone again. I fit her schedule and when I no longer did, when I had work and she didn’t, she left when she had to fit my schedule.

    I bent over backwards for her… spineless really… and I felt hurt that she decided I wasn’t worth the effort… so yeah, I know what it’s like to have a lesbian relationship with my wallet and body in boymode.

    And yes, I think there’s significant correlation between closeted trans lesbianism and self-loathing and paralysis as one tries to relate to other womyn. I saw how alpha males related to womyn and I knew I didn’t want anything like that, and then I’d read shit like this dissing ‘nice guys’ or Peggy Drexler’s article about how men shouldn’t cry, and I’d feel like snivelling scum.

    This kind of shit delayed my transition, so busy was I remembering that I should feel guilty for nearly bursting into tears when some girl once playfully rubbed the back of my head while I was working.

    So yeah, just like when PF’s decide to make things that squick them theoretically wrong and somehow part of rape culture, as opposed to y’know, actual rape and culture that condones it, I do not abide it. And I don’t abide this either. That is like saying that crying when being shot down is emotional manipulation instead of emotional response.

    That someone feels shitty for hurting someone is not the fault of the person who is hurt. It is not my job to be a piece of stone for all those who don’t want emotional interaction with me but yet have put me in a place where I can’t do anything but be an emotional being.

    I don’t know how else I can say it, beyond it is not rape to cry or to voice hurt and disappointment. You devalue the coinage, Kinsey.

  11. I’ve never understood the “I like X so I’m going to be friends w/ them first” thing. I’ve gotten that advice before and I always respond that I think it’s a huge ulterior motive thing. You’ll get more mileage out of just being upfront w/ someone “hello, I’d like to get in your pants” (maybe not THAT upfront, but that’s how I describe it to people). The whole thing is only really angst-worthy if someone is your friend first, and then you fall in love with them, and even then I think the path is pretty clear.

  12. We are not on the same page here.

    I’m talking about the guys who try to earn/bribe their way into a girl’s life with insincere niceness. Not awkward trans girls who are lost and confused and have a tough time with other women. Because that isn’t insincerity. And guys that are actually sensitive and do cry and such, that isn’t what I’m talking about here either. Don’t make it about you if it isn’t about you.

    As for the rest of what you said, once again, wrong page. Being a component of rape culture doesn’t make something rape. It just contributes to a system that makes rape easier.

  13. This, so very much.

  14. Chrome blocks them too.

  15. I think she’s got the impression that I’m saying sensitivity and being socially awkward with women is the bad thing and not the insincerity of so many of these guys. I can’t for the life of me figure out what part of my post gave that impression but if it’s a misunderstanding then I’ll be a lot less pissed about that implied suggestion.

  16. I’m reminded of a column you wrote called:

    Intent: It’s fucking magic!

  17. Um. No.

    I’m saying you didn’t read very well, not that my actions didn’t match my intent. My intent is irrelevant. What’s actually written is relevant. I’m saying you’re wrong.

  18. So sincerity, the intent with which actions are conducted, matters in this case only?

    I must say Kinsey, I cannot follow when someone is automatically guilty or just not guilty because they are not in the room or it’s different this time or because while others may use it as a weapon of shame, I well and truly mean different… again, consistency: It would be nice for you to find some.

  19. Oh I get what you meant now (maybe).

    The reason why the sincerity of these guys matter is because we’re discussing their intentions and the problematic places intentions and viewpoints like that come from. So their intent actually comes into play since that is what I’m criticizing. My intent post was about people attempting to use intent to disavow responsibility for their actions or to claim their actions did less harm. At least, that’s my response if I’m correct about what you’re saying. And seriously, I’d love it if you could attempt to actually read what’s written occasionally. Not whatever you’re projecting into it or worried about in other cases (like projecting the gender policing used on guys in things you’ve read to here, or projecting a criticism of fake nice guys onto actual nice guys or even confused trans women) but what I’ve actually written.

    Anyways, I’m done giving you the benefit of the doubt. You’re attempting (either through accident or design) to claim that being translez leads to insincere, sexist user behavior towards women (cis or trans) friends pre realization and/or pre transition. Which is bullshit (i.e. I can see where some might go that way but it doesn’t happen as often as you seem to be claiming). And further all of your comments so far have seemed to attempt to excuse insincere sexist user behavior couched under sensitivity, emotional support and being nice on the basis that some trans girls do it. Let me make this abundantly clear to you, a trans woman who engages in user behaviors is not in the least excused for them, no matter her reasons for doing them.

    So if you did pull the shit I’m describing above before you realized you were trans or when you were struggling? You were in the damn wrong. Since we’re actually talking about intent today, you’re less of an awful person than the guys who see women as objects, but you’re no less in the wrong for the effects of your actions (once again illustrating when intent should come up and when it shouldn’t)

    Reading comprehension, coherency and an alternative to apologism, Valerie: it would be nice of you to find some.

  20. You are the second blogger to attack my reading comprehension and I will not name the first, though you and I know her well.

    And no, I wasn’t engaging in these aforementioned behaviours, but I certainly was made to feel guilty, normally by proxy, often directly, any time I said that my feelings might have some validity to them as well.

    I certainly have seen the Nice Guy(TM) label thrown around with abandon, and I think the label and the policing that issues forth does much more to harm men and womyn than putting womyn on tinterhooks about the idea that any passive person in boymode will ever do to help… anyone.

    For examples, see the aforementioned blogger who criticized my reading comprehension… assuming you haven’t eaten recently.

  21. Sorry, idea *of* any passive person in boymode.

    Though *presence of* might subsitute well also.

  22. I just get irritated when one single person comes in and reads all of this ridiculous shit into my writing, that no one else (people with the same marginalizations) sees and that I don’t see no matter how many times I read it.

    Beyond that, you’re right, the label is thrown around haphazardly and people gotta be careful to cite the actual issues (the insincerity, the using, the disrespect couched as respect and the objectification) which many feminist bloggers do not do adequately. And if you feel I didn’t adequately cite those issues as the problem and instead made it seem as though the actions (being nice and passive) are the problem, do tell me what parts of my post gave that impression so I can take a look and maybe even correct them.

    But if I didn’t do that here, I will ask, as civilly as I can muster with how pissed off you’ve made me so far, that you stop projecting other bloggers onto me.

    And I did just eat so I think I will avoid checking who you’re talking about, if I actually know who you’re talking about (I’m bad at guessing games, even when they’re easy). But if I do know who you’re talking about, I generally don’t associate with her anymore anyways, for her ableism.

  23. “Your behaviors and outlook on women determine it. So if this post doesn’t reference you, then don’t make it about you. If you whine about it, I’ll just assume you’re trying to conceal your awfulness since you’ve been warned.”

    That’s all well and good, but how about acknowledging that a lot of these behaviors also result from how our culture demonizes male sexuality as aggressive, toxic, and unwanted. As a guy who still struggles with many of these behaviors, a huge part of it is feeling like revealing to a woman that I might be sexually interested in her is on par with sexual harassment, pretty much regardless of context. This is of course absurd, but socialized feelings are not logical.

    And these are not easy feelings to just “get over”, and it is continually reinforced in our culture and in most discussion of male sexuality. It is rare to see male sexuality discussed as a positive, giving thing rather than as a predatory, taking thing. And I find it hard to believe that this does not play a substantial role in Nice Guy(tm) and similar (but less objectionable to women, but still just as bad for men) phenomena. This is evidenced by the accusations from Nice Guy’s(tm) of women “dating jerks”. What they really mean is “dating men who are sexually forward”. Because to these guys, sexually forward = harassing women, because male sexuality is dangerous, toxic, takes something from women, and must be repressed.

    I am not saying that this is the sole issue at play, and certainly the degree to which it is present in any given guy is variable, but again I find it hard to believe that it is not one of the factors. And I think it is a significant one. For me it certainly is. And yet it is mysteriously ignored and unacknowledged in discourse about Nice Guy(tm).

    Does this mean I don’t have a responsibility to try to manage these problems when they are problematic for other people? Absolutely not. I totally have that responsibility, just as anyone else does when their problems inappropriately hurt other people. But a more balanced discussion of the issues involved (i.e. actually discussing the negative side of how our culture views male sexuality and how that plays into this) would be nice.

  24. To identify the re-use of attempts to reclaim destructive modes of thinking from an entire school of thought as fatally flawed, I thought, would be something you could get behind.

    “That’s not MY [Definition of NiceGuy(TM)]!”

    I am going to keep holding you to your own logic and previous writing because it is so often good. I don’t think it is today. Hence me calling it out, and hence you deciding to whip out the pop-psych for why I’m pissed off that you might somehow be using a loaded phrase with the same general meaning as other people have had for it, and destroying the expectation you had of your version being able to somehow avoid all association with theirs.

    This is below your excellent standards.

  25. @Valerie

    Erm. The definition I’m using is the correct one. Not my personal one. FFS, are you gonna try to use some logic yourself soon? Grasping at straws is all I’m seeing now.

    Also, please start a new comment thread for your response. The comments are getting squished and I have no idea how to fix it.

  26. @ Cessen:
    Erm, the culture doesn’t really do that. An awful lot of things that cis males do to express sexuality are aggressive, toxic and unwanted. Although I can believe some of these people do view it that way and try to earn brownie points by going in a completely different direction of insincere nice bullshit.

    Edit: oh, but there are a lot of things that the culture does repress and “nastify” on guys and that can certainly cause some issues that might contribute. I honestly don’t think that would lead to the kind of insincerity we’re discussing here though. Maybe just more social awkwardness.

  27. You know what, Kinsey? I’m not really in the mood to continue a discussion with someone who’s going to assert that my only argument is one of neurotic projection, so please, just delete everything I ever said on this blog. Then you can be just like FCM in every way shape and form.

    I’m sick of this shit, utterly.

  28. @Valerie

    I have no idea who FCM is. I am bad with abbreviations. And I never said neurotic. I have no idea if you are or not.

    Hmm. So far your entire basis was shown to not be present in my writing, by your own goddamn admission and instead was something you yourself said you were sensitive to because others used it nastily. So after having essentially admitted you had no basis to make the claims about what I said that you did and that you see them elsewhere and that was why you saw it here (while being passive aggressive and asinine due to your projecting), you’re gonna continue to play martyr? Even after I fucking agreed with you that it shouldn’t be used to lump good cis het guys and good denial trans women lesbians? Or used for gender policing?

    Even fucking further, you come here, and shit a load all over my blog about how some of these people are trans girls and using this sort of language isn’t good as though being trans somehow excuses bullshit and nastiness (which others noticed), and then proceed to attempt to use a post about how intent doesn’t make actions harm less to claim that intent is always irrelevant, no matter what?

    You know what? Good. Don’t comment anymore. I’m tired of your passive aggressive bullshit and gotcha mentality. Play your games elsewhere.

  29. As a trans man who used to be read as a “hot femme lesbian,” let me just state a few facts from my own experience:

    1) I know exactly the kind of guy Kinsey is referencing. I had a multitude of them practically stalk me all throughout high school. These were the guys who were interested in me solely because I was a relatively attractive [girl] and I would deign to talk to them. It had nothing to do with my intelligence, my personality, my talents, nothing like that. Just the fact that I was female-assigned and attractive and not so full of myself that I ignored them completely. They thought that if they were “accepting” of my identity and listened to my issues, that I would somehow change my mind/sexuality and suddenly be attracted to them. None of them bothered to tell me how they felt until the shit hit the fan, usually when they were so angry or upset that I hadn’t read their minds and magically fallen in love with them. There is a massive difference between this and men who are actually nice and conscientious of others’ feelings.

    2) There are good and bad ways to profess your love/lust for someone. I have had guys who were friends of mine confess their love for me in good ways. One guy did it right: He told me that he was very attracted to me and that while he understood that I wasn’t interested in him, he felt it was dishonest to keep it a secret. He was very respectful of my lesbian identity and gave me the space (both physically and mentally) that I needed to process this info. A multitude of other guys did it wrong, most of them oscillating back and forth between being very forward and emotionally clingy, to being angry and unreachable when I wasn’t sexually interested in them.

    3) I try really hard to be the kind of guy I wish I’d known. It’s actually really, really easy: I follow high levels of consent (I ask my friends for consent before I hug them, for example) and I am honest about my feelings toward others. That’s it. It’s really not that hard not to be a dick.

  30. 30 Schala

    “I’ve never understood the “I like X so I’m going to be friends w/ them first” thing. I’ve gotten that advice before and I always respond that I think it’s a huge ulterior motive thing. You’ll get more mileage out of just being upfront w/ someone “hello, I’d like to get in your pants” (maybe not THAT upfront, but that’s how I describe it to people). The whole thing is only really angst-worthy if someone is your friend first, and then you fall in love with them, and even then I think the path is pretty clear.”

    People do things with “an ulterior motive” ALL the time.

    If I work, it’s to have money, not (solely, anyway) because I like said work, or the “act” of working. I get money to pay utilities, food, rent and maybe some nice stuff on the side now and then – nothing fancy, but enough not to fall into eternal boredom. If it didn’t require money, but required doing push-ups…I’d do push-ups to pay rent. And not because I like exercise.

    And some people can’t take rejection easily. I couldn’t before I transitioned. Now I don’t expect it as much (I don’t seek acceptance anyways)…but I’m also not expected to initiate. I’m not expected to approach people and tell them I *might*, eventually, maybe (if our personalities work together) start a relationship.

    I prefer the being friends first thingy myself – EVEN if I don’t have to approach. I was friends for 10 months with my boyfriend before we dated. We’ve been together 14 months now. I knew I could trust him, that he was nice to be around, that he liked certain types of videogames, liked to have calm moments near running water (rivers and such) and liked to just hear or watch rain, for its own sake. I knew that, before we dated. And especially the ‘being able to trust him’ bit. I knew he wasn’t violent, and accepted me as a girl, before I had to tell him anything really personal.

    I don’t subscribe to stuff PUAs talk about about “the friend box” or stupid stuff like that, where a guy HAS to show interest before he “falls into that box”, or he’s doomed to no relationship ever with that woman. Maybe I haven’t been a girl long enough.

  31. Then delete the comments, or do you just want to keep libelling me by saying I’m projecting and presuming as though you know why I’m trying to point out that you’re perpetuating one of the most flimsy excuse memes for hating on beta males in existence?

  32. Also, Passive-Agressive?!

    I believe I was directly, straightforwardly, fucking aggressive. Just because you’re better than this shit that you wallow in does not make me passive-aggressive for pointing it out, you hypocritical, elitist, self-styled-mind-reader! People like you suck all the beauty and joy out of life.

    FCM is factcheckme, btw.

  33. @Val:

    Why would I delete the comments? Be a little less intensely dramatic and self martyring sometime.

    If you aren’t projecting, then you’re just bullshitting. Because not only have I not applied any damn hate to beta males (fuck, these insincere types aren’t even necessarily beta males, they may be plenty high on the rank and file of guys but will put on the nice aura when around girls they want) but I have more than adequately been clear about the difference between The Nice Guy™ and genuinely nice guys. It isn’t my goddamn fault you can’t grasp this or refuse to grasp this. You were plenty passive aggressive, all over the comments, with polite side mentions of various shit (like the intent post, a post you seem to utterly fail to grasp) in your gotcha game. Just cuz you mix real aggression in doesn’t make you any less of a snide, intellectually dishonest douchefuck.

    And seriously, go fuck yourself. Comparing me to FCM? You’re the one closer to her with your abhorrent grasp on reality, your brilliant troll maneuvers and taking shots when you don’t have a single fucking iota of backing behind a single fucking thing you’ve said. Seriously. Every fucking thing you’ve said so far has been wrong. You have moved away from each and every single one of the claims you’ve made so far and keep on piling on new ones in your pissant attempts to glean even the slightest bit of leeway in this.

    It’s not a fucking game, Val. If you’re wrong, you’re fucking wrong. You goddamn admitted it yourself. You goddamn backed away from your own claims before you made these new ones. The one claim you made that had even the slightest backing was that other people pull the shit you were upset about. Which we agreed on. Do try to remember the shit you said, cuz at this point, it just looks like you’re purposefully pulling the trolling game, instead of just being an unbelievably confused asshole.

    So go on, tell me. How am I being hypocritical? How am I libeling you? How am I being elitist? Do you even know what elitist fucking means? Or are you gonna ignore these questions and claim I’m crushing your self esteem now, kicking kittens or doing some other awful thing that I haven’t even come close to doing to replace the last set of bullshit you spewed all over my comments that you realize you don’t have a whit of proof for?

    I’m awfully curious.

  34. @Schala: To be honest, the friend box is nothing more than a simple lack of compatibility. If someone isn’t compatible then they aren’t compatible. And folks just need to realize that.

    My issue with the insincere trademarked nice guys is that their intentions are built around some serious sexism, that’s pretty dangerous because it’s so well hidden. And when they realize, at some point, that they can’t bribe their way in with niceness, they’re liable to seriously mistreat the girl in question. Ulterior motives in and of themselves aren’t bad. It’s the individual motives that determine badness.

    This also isn’t the case with genuinely nice guys (something I think you realize, but apparently I need to say it a lot since others aren’t getting it), who at worst will feel a little sad that they couldn’t be with her but will still value her friendship and then move on.

  35. Wow, okay, that was wicked silly of me. Sorry y’all. I let myself get totally trolled in really embarrassing ways. That whole comparison to one of the worst genocidal radscums in recent history just got to me really effectively.

    Any further comments that involve trolling from Valerie Keefe will be spam dropped and I won’t respond to them either. Sorry folks, that was my bad for enabling her.

  36. 36 Schala

    “This also isn’t the case with genuinely nice guys (something I think you realize, but apparently I need to say it a lot since others aren’t getting it), who at worst will feel a little sad that they couldn’t be with her but will still value her friendship and then move on.”

    I usually go for friendships where I don’t give much, expect nothing at all, talk over the net once a week/month/6 months (I hate phones). Maybe have coffee if the person’s close physically (many online-only friends, who live way too far). Talk about trans stuff, BDSM stuff, videogames stuff, and sort of sporadically, or to rant. If the friendship goes deeper than that…its because I’m dating that person, and probably living with hir. At least it worked that way with my boyfriend.

    I thought I loved her…but somehow, no. Can’t see it now. It has *nothing* to do with how I feel with my boyfriend. So I moved on, in the sense of forgetting about her completely. Moving out of town helped.

    Maybe its a constructed idealized romance concept I had in my head (which I still believe in, but more refined), but applied in the context of “trying to be normal” and “not letting anyone know about ‘wanting to be a girl’” which I was pretty paranoid about anyone ever finding out. I was scared of people knowing I took baths instead of showers, or of wearing patent leather-like shoes for social dancing (cause they shine more), inconsequential stuff like that…and my orientation was a big ? for everyone around, school and family – funny enough everyone thought I was gay…I didn’t even know what gay was at 15. Turns out I prefer guys and feel jealous and inferior to other girls…but couldn’t have ever dated guys, as a guy. Something about not wanting to date someone who sees me as something I’m not and likes me for it. I don’t even mind tranny chasers as much as gay guys. Bisexual passes.

  37. 37 Jadey

    There’s a way of looking at Nice Guys (TM) that avoids the problem of having to examine or evaluate intent, which is by focusing on the entitlement aspect. Even a nice behaviour undertaken for unselfish reasons at the time (if such reasons can be clearly known by anyone, including the actor, which is where the whole intent thing gets wonky, as you know) can be Nice Guy behaviour if the actor at some point believes that, having done the nice act (or several), they are entitled to some kind of retribution, generally in the form of love, affection, attention, and/or sex. I haven’t personally had a Nice Guy on my case, but my sister and some of my friends have experienced this MANY times, even with guys I know and can attest to as being okay, decent, and, yes, genuinely nice people, none of which excuses entitled behaviour. In a couple of cases, these guys’ attitudes were as destructive to themselves and their own well-being as to the women they were fixated on (I say this in cases where the women in question were annoyed and frustrated, but not, by their own report, scared or intimidated or threatened, yet – overall I think Nice Guy (TM) Behaviour has a more cumulative negative effect on its targets than its perpetrators).

    I originally balked at the idea of the Nice Guy (TM) because I knew so many guys, including good friends, whom I could see as susceptible to that kind of behaviour, and didn’t want to believe it of them. Hell, if I was male-identified, I don’t know if I wouldn’t be Nice Guy (TM) prone myself, and I still worry about being a Nice Gal (TM), I guess. But now I realize that where insecurity and shyness become abusive and rape-culture re-inforcing are when we feel entitled and deserving of certain outcomes just based on our behaviour, even if that behaviour was done on some level out of love and kindness. Some Nice Guys (TM) are probably more conscious and conniving and intentional in their actions, but I’m also bothered by Nice Guys (TM) who don’t even realize what they’re doing, because they believe so deeply that they’ve earned someone’s love, trust, and even body, for whatever reason, and don’t get that no one is ever entitled to someone else’s body or feelings, no matter how unromantic or counter to cultural teachings that is.

  38. 38 Jemima Aslana

    Just for the record, Kinsey, I thought there was absolutely no doubt about what definition of Nice Guy you were using ie. the commonly accepted one of an entitled manipulating scumbag. I don’t se where that wasn’t perfectly clear.

    Don’t worry about the discussion. I was moderately entertained by the ludicrous assertions aimed at you and was rather sorry that it happened while I was sleeping. I woulda jumped in otherwise. I, too, am terribly prone to engaging with trolls, but I find it’s somewhat more defensible when I do it n support of the blog’s owner. XD

    I was also puzzled about Valerie’s second comment in which she says she’d been comforting her girlfriend after she read this. It would have been interesting to know why her girlfriend was upset after reading this, and why this triggered the all-around trollspree Val went on.

    I honestly don’t see why a woman would need comforting after reading this. I mean… this is a screed against misogynist entitled men. Sure it can be uncomfy for me to read about Nice Guys too, ’cause I’ve had my run-ins, and I’ve even dated a few, and boy do I wish I’d known these things beforehand, ’cause it might have spared me a LOT of grief. But getting upset about this as a woman?

    I don’t see what the heck sprouted this. Either way, I think you handled it well enough. Sometimes trolls are good for reminding us what NOT to do ;-P

  39. @schala

    Oh yeah I definitely tried the whole “being normal” thing for so long. Ugh. It was awful and a horrible fit. I knew the main reason why my attraction to guys was undetectable was because they reminded me of my own bodily dissonance. And the issues you had with guys was the issues that kept me from dating that many girls (cuz it felt wrong how I was being seen). People who didn’t know me thought I was gay (due to the subtle feminine cues) and people who knew me well thought I was asexual (due to the lack of interest in anyone)

  40. @Jadey:

    That’s a really brilliant way of putting it. The entitlement alone is the problem, a step above any other possible issue, and really the defining element of the harm that these people cause. You put it better than I could.

  41. @Jemima:

    I’m not really gonna speculate on what was up with Valerie since it’s highly likely that most of her comments won’t make it through due to her trolling and asinine behavior. So she won’t really have an opportunity to defend herself if our speculations on her thoughts are wrong. As irritated as I am at her behavior, I’m not gonna sit here and talk about her in a place where she likely won’t be able to let out a peep about it. I really feel that’s a level of respect everyone deserves. So let’s not talk about her anymore as off topic, alright?

  42. 42 Jemima Aslana

    Absolutely. It was the perpetually curious me who was wondering – I’ll keep it to myself.

    @ Jadey
    Really good definition, there. It’s true that sometimes the Nice Guy (TM)’s intent isn’t actually to deceive and manipulate, ’cause he has made no conscious decision to do so. It’s just something he does, ’cause it’s the only thing he sees as an option and “that’s just how it’s done, yeah?” He may actually not be aware of his own methods.

    Goodness knows one of the Nice Guys in my past took mortal offense when I told him that he was not entitled to either my body or my emotions, when he had in fact used the very words “I deserve better, YOU owe me better!” Words, ya know, they mean things. And when he specifically used the word ‘owe’ when describing what he viewed the balance between us as, I felt it was accurate to tell him not to feel entitled. He did not take kindly to that.

    Lots and lots of … really bad words were exchanged on that account. I’m just glad I learned about the Nice Guy concept while dating him, so he couldn’t lure me back in when things went haywire. I had my ammo sorted by then. Better late than never :-D

    @ topic: friend box
    Gods, so much yes. Sometimes people just need to understand that attraction is JUST NOT THERE. And no amount of talking about feelings and/or sex can conjure it up. My best friend is (unsurprisingly) in the friend box. I am not at all attrated to him, but I’ve talked to him about more aspects of my sexuality and emtional life than I’ve ever shared with a boyfriend – I’ve also known this man longer than I’ve been with any of my boyfriends, so there is the time aspect in it, of course. But still.

    There are people I could never have a roll in the hay with due to simple lack of attraction, but we could easily be good friends. There are also people I wouldn’t mind a roll in the hay with but whom I could never trust with any kind of friendship. Funny how it goes both ways :-)

  43. @Jemima (topic: friend box):

    The person that groped me was The Nice Guy (TM) archetype and felt entitled to my body, and was also friend boxed because there was no attraction there. It was fucked up how that went.

  44. 44 Jemima Aslana

    @ Kinsey

    Yeah, and in that situation his Nice Guy-ness and possibly an unstated attraction(or did I misundertand?) overlapped with sexual assault which is a gendered crime that may not have anything to do with attraction and everything to do with power and entitlement.

    Fucked up indeed :-(

  45. @Jemima:

    The attraction was stated, I just rejected it. We had almost slept together earlier on (I needed to experiment with my sexuality and was blatantly clear on that) but I backed out before anything major happened cuz I couldn’t maintain arousal and wasn’t attracted. So any other overtures of interest after that I rejected.

  46. 46 Schala

    I’m of the opinion that “attraction”, in the sense of compatibility, is not something you can know about intrinsically by “looking at someone”. If attraction was all that mattered, then magnetic and charismatic assholes would run the country…wait, they do. But even if people are popular, I’m not compatible with them for that reason. It’s all a big popularity contest, high-school universe on a global scale, and I’m opting out. I don’t want to be popular, and don’t want to be attracted to popularity either.

    How do I consciously prevent that? I isolate myself so much that if someone wants to be with me, they marginalize themselves. Being trans somehow helps in that, marginalizes me more. So I end up dating someone who doesn’t care much, or at all, about popularity or ‘social status’. Then I can gauge how that person is, without charades or games about “what with people think?”, which is hard enough to have as circumstances. If I don’t feel attraction therefore, after getting to know that person some, it’s necessarily about compatibility: I can’t trust them, they scare me in some way, our tastes in certain things are too at odds, this person doesn’t accept me for who I am, I don’t feel comfortable confiding in this person. All things that really matter to me.

    And about entitlement. We all feel entitlement or have expectations about how the world works, from our personal and cultural perspective. We feel entitled to be paid for work done for an employer. We don’t when it’s volunteering or helping family to do something small (like moving). We feel entitled to safe environments at work and at school. In Canada, we feel entitled to free healthcare, unemployment if needed, and welfare as last recourse. We don’t expect to pay out of our pockets for those.

    We feel entitled to friends not betraying us, telling our secrets on us, outing us as gay or trans, and a minimal listening when we need to confided.

    And yes, we feel entitled that our “dating techniques” have some merit. Many Nice Guys will think the way they do in order to be safe, not too forward, not harassing to women – because many, including feminists, will say that being too forward is part of the problem. They don’t want to be part of the problem. They’ve probably not have had much success in romantic endeavors before (say in early teens) and see their way as the only right way to do things, the only respectful way. So for sure they expect results for their endeavors, much like an average guy at the bar expects 1/100 woman to respond favorably to his advances. He expects it to work, at least once in a while. If we expected it to always fail, we wouldn’t do something (in general).

    My boyfriend is a nice guy, no tm there. We became friends first, and he gauged me during that time, and eventually made up his mind if he was or not attracted. Then he made subtle advances (which I was blind to, thanks to being aspie). He eventually made something less subtle (inviting me to his place for a movie), which told me he was hitting on me. I accepted knowing full well something probably would happen then. Something did happen and now we’ve been together 14 months. We knew each other for 10 months before that, same workplace.

  47. @schala

    Entitlement to things one doesn’t deserve (sex from any woman, regardless of her needs or wants) is the problem, not entitlement to things one does deserve (not being stabbed in the throat is something we can feel entitled to)

  48. 48 Schala

    Well, I’m certainly against rape or forcing someone to do anything. Expecting to have results sometimes and/or being frustrated about not having any, is not that uncommon though. Directing that frustration at the one person you wanted to respond favorably surely isn’t the best way though, I agree. Better to rant about your woes to friends or friendly ears, to let off some steam, than to psychologically injure and/or guilt-trip the person that was targeted.

    My boyfriend was pretty frustrated yesterday. He bought a controller to play N64 emulator on his PC. The setup thingy for the control was stubbornly not being good. The sound was horrible in the games. His printer wouldn’t cooperate one bit when he wanted to print some recipe he found. His lamp suddenly broke for no apparent reason. He expected those things to work pretty smoothly. He felt entitled to a day without problems (or much of problems). He was understandably frustrated and irritated. He didn’t take it out on me or anything, he did rant to me though (except I wasn’t the reason for the frustrations, so I didn’t feel targeted).

  49. 49 Jemima Aslana

    @Kinsey

    Ah, I see. I hadn’t caught that bit. I seem to be a bit distracted, my cat is sick, so I’ve half my attention on him.

    What an asshole that guy turned out to be. No respect for the friend-box, just because you weren’t in his. Bluh. That’s about right for the definition of Nice Guy.

    @Schala
    You say: “If attraction was all that mattered, then magnetic and charismatic assholes would run the country”

    This all assumes that we’ll all be attracted to the same features of a person, which we’re not. It also seems like your definition of attraction may not be quite the same as the one I’m working with. I don’t know about Kinsey.

    If personality is what you’re attracted to, yeah, I can see how you can just tell by looking at a person, but if a short funky hair-do is what you’re attracted to then you really don’t need to get to know them before being able to tell. I know this is somewhat simplified, but I’m sure you see my point.

    And then you contradicted yourself immediately, pointing out that you’re not attracted to all those popular people, thus pretty much proving that magnetic and charismatic personalities do not rule our love lives.

    I’m not sure I get what you mean.

  50. So go on, tell me. How am I being hypocritical?

    Well, there’s this thing where you claim to be guilty of crimes that you will not provide any detail of, allowing NiceGuy to stay nice and nebulous.

    How am I libeling you?

    Pretty sure you can’t prove that thing about me projecting (what with it not being true) nor can you disprove malice given the cadence of your writing, and oh, yes, calling me some trans-rapist-apologist… somehow I think that was designed to discredit me in front of my peers. There’s the holy trinity of defamation. It’s in text, making it libel, not slander.

    How am I being elitist?

    Listen to Marylyn Manson, rinse, repeat, as needed.

    Do you even know what elitist fucking means?

    Well, it can have numerous meanings, from denying political and economic power to working-class people, to, depending on if there’s a hyphen between elitist and fucking, believing in a celebration of the most creative and artistic of sex acts.

    Or are you gonna ignore these questions and claim I’m crushing your self esteem now, kicking kittens or doing some other awful thing that I haven’t even come close to doing to replace the last set of bullshit you spewed all over my comments that you realize you don’t have a whit of proof for?

    Well… um, no… I’m going to answer them in point form…

    [sentence removed for trolling ~KH]

  51. First of all, I want to second most of Cessen’s observations. That said, I feel very unsafe when men start hitting on me. I can’t help see mainstream dating culture as part of rape culture and I can’t help see favors from men as attempts to make me “owe” them sex.

    This essay was very painful for me to read. I have always been socially awkward. I can’t read people’s faces or most of the social cues they use.

    “To put it simply, The Nice Guy™ is a guy with low self respect and low confidence…”

    That sounds like many trans womyn, as well as many cis men. Some of the guys I’ve known are just unable to puzzle out the “hidden curriculum.” Others have been beaten down.

    “… who believes that being a source of emotional support, hugs, friendship and a shoulder to lean on entitles him to sex or a relationship.”

    A lot of men think they are entitled to sex and/or relationships. That’s at least as true of the aggressive daters as the nice guys. The problem is rape culture, not niceness, and not being trans, having-been-beaten down, or anything else.

    Now how are we supposed to distinguish the nice guy who realizes that nobody has an obligation to be with him from the nice guy who thinks that he has a right to womyn’s affections? Oh, right, we can’t. And this kind of rhetoric all-too-often hurts the one as much as the other. And this kind of rhetoric hurt many trans womyn… like me. I thought that my touch was unclean. I thought that my feelings were an assault on the very idea of womonhood.

    Furthermore, I think some of the same behaviors are accepted among womyn and condemned among men. The idea that all men should be sexually aggressive and all womyn should be sexually passive is rooted in heterosexism. And it IS unfair to the sexually aggressive straight womon and the sexually passive straight man. They just don’t have the right to go from “the system’s messed up” to “s/he owes me sex!”

  52. @Marja:

    I have put it as the entitlement being the problem, not the niceness, not being trans, etc. I made this clear, with notes on the post.

    Also, I’m not going to spare those who misbehave and cause harm my criticism just because it’s tough to tell who’s who. It’s tough to tell which men are rapists too because they don’t wear signs. Yet it would be beyond irresponsible not to discuss the higher precentages of rape from men (cis or trans actually, it seems trans men aren’t as trustworthy as so many cis feminists seem to believe) just because people can’t tell which a given man is.

  53. @Schala:

    Yeah definitely the source, target and type of entitlement is the determiner. And then when that entitlement is not met, how one deals with it. All of those things determine if it’s a problem or just fine.

  54. @Valerie:

    (Try to troll a little less. I’d like to let you defend yourself but not if you’re gonna make rapetastic sex jokes or jokes about slavery. This comment barely made it in and the other was pretty much no game. I’ll do my best to be super civil in return).

    “you claim to be guilty of crimes that you will not provide any detail of”

    1: This would somehow have to contradict my past edicts on topics, something you’re failing to establish. Hypocrisy requires me to contradict my views, not fail to provide enough info.
    2: Acting like a whiny asshole (guilt tripping, etc) when it became clear that the friend I wanted to be with didn’t want to be with me due to the fact that I felt like acting the way I did before meant something should happen. There you go. I hope that helped.

    “you can’t prove that thing about me projecting”

    Even though you said yourself that the things you claimed I said in my post were actually only seen in other posts after I made it clear that they weren’t in my post? That’s some pretty good goddamn proof on my part. From your own words even.

    “calling me some trans-rapist-apologist”

    More like calling you some kind of trans-jerk apologist. And, if I recall correctly, I said over and over that I hoped that wasn’t what you were doing (much like Jemima did) and later said that I had more reason to believe you were doing that with your incoherent and illogical paths of bullshit (but never actually levied the fairly harsh accusation). So it wasn’t even calling. Wrong again.

    “I think that was designed to discredit me in front of my peers”

    Oh my. Who’s the professed mind reader now? If you wanted an example of actual hypocrisy, you just showed it here.

    “Listen to Marylyn Manson, rinse, repeat, as needed.”

    So what you’re saying is, you have no answer or basis for the claim of elitism.

    “I’m going to answer them in point form”

    Thanks. I’m glad you’re actually answering a few questions instead of ignoring them to make new claims. I appreciate it.

  55. 55 Schala

    “And then you contradicted yourself immediately, pointing out that you’re not attracted to all those popular people, thus pretty much proving that magnetic and charismatic personalities do not rule our love lives.

    I’m not sure I get what you mean.”

    I’m not attracted or favorable to those popular people, because I’m in the margins already. My social status is pretty low as is, and I don’t care about artificially upping it. I’m not “the common people”, in that, in high school, 60%+ of people favor the popular. The 40% that’s left? Some are unpopular to the point of being beaten on, and don’t care (if we’re talking elections, then it’s the poor and the forgotten). Some just don’t care about popularity itself. To them being popular isn’t the point of a campaign, it’s your arguments. And arguments apparently don’t win elections. Smearing campaigns brought up to lower someone else’s popularity (or their party) does. Just like bullying and bringing people down to put oneself’s up.

    I’m part of the “being beaten on” AND the “don’t care about popularity”. I never thought how much popular an argument or person was should triumph over how right it is for the people it affects and the others it indirectly affects. I never thought the people at the bottom should just suck it up cause “that’s just the way things are”, because I’m in a upper class (I’m not without-a-home anyhow, but not even middle class), or white, or heterosexual.

    What I meant was that aggressivity and willingness to pursue and/or play the game aren’t in my criteria for a date. They never were. My boyfriend never ‘played a game’ with me, and I expect no future boyfriend to do so. I also won’t be playing a game. I gauge you over time, and either trust you, or not. Can’t make that judgment within a minute, let alone a single night. How popular, rich, employed or anything else someone is isn’t worth a damn to me. I care about how I am accepted, if our values concord together, if I can trust you in any way (not to be violent, not to tell personal stuff on me). The “chemistry” at first sight? It means nothing in the long run. You’re better off having an arranged-marriage than trying to decide who’s worthy on first meet. It’s worked wonders for many (arranged marriage), probably because people DID expect to “know” at first sight, and arranged marriage being constituted of “getting to know you” meetings, you could say this person wasn’t for you.

    “This all assumes that we’ll all be attracted to the same features of a person, which we’re not. It also seems like your definition of attraction may not be quite the same as the one I’m working with. I don’t know about Kinsey.”

    I’m not attracted to features. They’re the product of random chance. I’d better be attracted to casino slot machines if I want random chance in my dating life. I’m attracted to certain personality types that match mine, and it takes time to find if someone is compatible, something like months. Those aren’t popular. Because they’re not mainstream. They can think outside the box, often do as well. They don’t care “what will the neighbors/family/friends think?” every damn second, and are genuine. They act like they feel like, for personal reasons. Not work reasons, not “my family told me to be like this” reasons. Because they ARE like that. If they’re not, it’s easy to find out: they can’t talk to me for more than 10 minutes. Either I approach or they do, it’s not a romantic context anyways.

    Lafayette in True Blood, well, he seems pretty darn genuine to me. He’s no non-sense, won’t take that crap from anyone type. He’s gay, so not interested. Still he’s a good example of a genuine person. He doesn’t care what his mother thinks. He doesn’t care what his friends, his co-workers think. He works, and you better watch out, cause he’s not taking crap just for being gay. If someone feels like bashing him for being gay, he serves them their ass on a platter, turns their insults against them. He won’t hang his head down, or feel ashamed. I see him as an example I should follow in being a trans girl. Not caring what anyone else can think of me, bringing them retribution if they bring it too far. And that’s what I look like in a boyfriend.

    My confidence is low, but better than its been before. I don’t seek super confident Bruce Willis or Rambo types. I just want someone who can face adversity with a smile, even while being punched in the face. Someone who will feel invulnerable, even as he’s are not physically. They can’t attain him. Because they can’t hurt him where it hurts, even if they fatally wound him. He doesn’t bend over or break, he doesn’t need to punch back. They just can’t hit him.

    My boyfriend’s family, they thought he was gay since he started going out with me. He told them about me before we dated, as a co-worker he had his eye on. Yet he doesn’t care one bit. He’s a heterosexual guy, who thinks a (pre-op) trans girl like me *really* is a girl. And he’s unflinching there. That’s what I like.

  56. 56 Jemima Aslana

    @Schala
    Wow, thanks for the clarification.

    We do handle attraction a little differently then, but I totally see why you do it the way you do, and what you meant.

    See, for me attraction is split up in two sections. There’s the physical attraction and the personal attraction. And the physical attraction I can tell at first sight, because yes, that is about features. For instance, I’m very short, so I prefer my potential partners to not be very tall. I’ve tried that and it gives me bad neck pain to have to nearly wring my own neck merely in order to kiss them. Closer to my own height, if you please. Believe me sex ain’t so hot if you’re in pain just trying to kiss, so I can tell for pretty damn certain and pretty damn quickly whether I’m attracted to a dude THAT way.

    However, whether I want to jump his bones has absolutely no bearing on whether I might like his personality, and we may yet have a beautiful friendship forming out of our meeting, but if I’m not physically attracted to him? Sorry, no amount of cool personality is gonna give me the hots for someone. That has to be there all along.

    So my guess was right. We do appear to function differently in this regard. Makes sense why I wasn’t quite sure what the heck you meant. Also because I usually only include physical attraction in the base term attraction.

    But I’ll declare myself partly in agreement with you – to refer to the point you made in your previous post. Compatibility – naturally I can’t tell if we’re compatible as partners on first sight either. However, since a well-functioning sex life is actually a pretty important part of a relationship for me, I simply need there to be a physical attraction, and if it’s not there, then I can at least tell immediately that we’re incompatible. Someone to whom I’m physically attracted may still turn out to be a non-candidate for a relationship due to hir personality, of course. But to weed out a few based on physical attraction does save me a little time ;-) Not to mention spoons.

  57. @Jemima:

    You and I operate pretty much the same with attraction. XD

  58. 58 Jemima Aslana

    @Kinsey

    From reading your blog I did have that impression, but I didn’t want to assume.

    Still: YAY me! I read someone right! Wooooo!
    /cheesy me

    As time (and blog posts) goes by I do get the notion that we have a lot in common. It’s kinda funny to sit there and read and suddenly have that pling go off in my head and think: “What? She does that too? Awesome!”

  59. 59 Schala

    @Jemima

    I do have some attraction to bodies, but it’s more like people are attracted to art. I love long hair. Got some myself, prefer it on people (both men and women)…but it’s not a criteria for being attracted to the person the hair belongs to.

    Yeah practical-wise I prefer some guy not too tall, or too short, but since I’m of average-tall height for a girl, I’m pretty good. I’m 5’6″, and the average NA guy is 5’9″.

    Otherwise, I look at people and don’t notice wether “I’d like to bed them” or not. Their looks don’t matter much, only the practical side does (someone who’s 200 lbs heavier would squash me on top during the act, so I prefer someone I can withstand without dying).

    Charlie Sheen, on Two and a Half Men, seems like a cool-looking guy. Though I don’t see how Alan Harper on the show is “ugly” compared to him. They seem pretty equivalent physically to me. Maybe being aspie screwed up my beauty-o-meter and I don’t care at all about it in a partner, beyond the practicality of it.

    I know potential boyfriends do care about my beauty though. I’ve been lucky on that side. That poisonous testosterone didn’t do too much ravages on my body: acne (gone with E and anti-T), very little facial hair, and a voice that’s midway between tenor and alto (but I hate my voice anyways). Still my trans status shoots me in the foot in most cases (I’d say 80%+) with prior interest in my looks.

    So I don’t need to force myself to follow time-consuming scripts of beautification and make-up and hair-doing just to be presentable (or at least be seen as default female)…I’d go nuts, since I don’t do any of that 99% of the time. If I got to go outside, I shave my face in the morning or right before going out…and that’s usually it. 30 seconds or less of my day. I always wear a built-in padded bra outside…and am self-conscious about my breast size (A cup after 4 years of HRT).

  60. 60 Jemima Aslana

    Heh, I’m an Aspie myself, so I don’t know that you can blame it on that. Note, though, that my attraction to physical traits does not go by conventional standards for beauty and whatnot. My last partner wasn’t exactly the best-looking guy around, but something in the slightly unharmonious combination of traits just did it for me. I found him hot. Most other would probably just shrug. If we must go by conventional standards, he did have an awfully nice butt :-D Still does last I checked x_x

    Funny you should mention Two and a Half Men. Possibly the most misogynist show currently running on tv around here. I hate it with a fiery passion. Charlie and Alan represent each their kind of Asshole, and Alan is the one who’s qualify as Nice Guy (TM). None of them are particularly handsome, if you ask me, and the only reason Alan is perceived as less handsome than Charlie s because Charlie makes himself out to be all that. ARGH! I wish they’d just go away.

    Music nerd fact: A voice between tenor and alto is called contralto. ;-)

  61. 61 Schala

    Yeah, not going by conventional beauty standards does seem to be an aspie trait. We get bombarded with those images from media and everywhere, and well, besides “knowing about it”, it doesn’t do much to our preferences in mates.

    I’m bisexual really, but because of my inferiority complex with regards to cisfemales (not had the childhood, being de-facto infertile, not had the experience), a relationship is unlikely to work.

    About voice, well, I’ve never studied music. Though I heard voice range for males goes up to tenor, and for females starts from alto. I can say I’m definitely above the male range (been told enough), but probably borderline for the female one. That’s why I estimate “between tenor and alto”. With voice alone, it can cause ambiguity with regards to how I am seen (though mostly on the phone), and people who’ve ever heard of trans people and heard my voice, are less surprised to know I am (changing my name or such), than if my voice was soprano. I don’t mind that much, unless it causes sudden pronoun malfunction…which it can do.

    Most of the time, if I don’t have to show papers, or anything identifying me as legally male, I get by fine, nobody bats an eyelid even in female underwear shops. I wish we’d get rid of sex markers on IDs…

    Two and a Half Men, well I’m not particularly fond of the show, as much as it’s the only interesting thing passing at 5:30 pm, when we eat (rest of the time the TV is off – we eat in the living room all the time). I can’t even watch with any interest Everybody loves Raymond though (which is at 5:00 pm). I find Two and a Half Men better, at least more entertaining. There’s always the Simpsons at 6:00 pm…but I’ve watched all 21 seasons (I’m 28, so the series’ debut coincides with my youth)…and well, it gets old to watch re-runs you’ve seen 20 times each. You’d think: Bart and Lisa are supposed to be older than me now.

  62. 62 A Nice Guy

    “The Nice Guy™ is a component of rape culture”
    Oh you poor thing, to be oppressed by insecure, not to clever guys who happen to want to share affections with you. And god forbid, the idea of sex crossed their wicked minds.

    You’re attitude is not just oppressive to men who lack the social or physical traits to stimulate your compatibility radar, it’s oppressive to all people who actually suffer real rape, due to your comparing approaches of interests to physically violent attacks. And it’s oppressive to women who would be grateful to find a man who at least made an effort to listen, befriend and offer their love.

    So I guy you’re not into gets a crush on you? Suck it up, deal with it. Men aren’t perfect, and neither are you. You’re such a bitter twisted thing, you should be happy anyone wants to offer you their affection.

  63. @”Nice Guy”

    It’s cute how you managed to not read any of what I wrote and instead peered into the void and read Alternate Earth Kinsey’s writing (she’s mean and evil, don’t read her stuff). In reality, the place the rest of us live in, being a component of rape culture is not automatically being a rapist or raping. It just means that you’re a part of the culture that makes rape easier to get away with, perpetrate and excuse.

    Also, in reality, the place you should get acquainted with, not all rapes are violent. Some use drugs, some are done on people who are coerced or too afraid to fight back, resulting in no physical violence (although plenty of sexual violence).

    Another part of reality you should really get some comprehension of is the fact that oppression is a systemic thing and me calling out the problematic and entitled bullshit “Nice Guys” like yourself pull (like here, where you show you aren’t a nice guy at all. XD) isn’t part of a system of oppression against women who like men who listen, befriend and offer love, as Nice Guys™ push those things on people and act entitled to reciprocation, not just offering it cuz they care. Nor can I oppress men.

    “You’re such a bitter twisted thing, you should be happy anyone wants to offer you their affection.”

    Actually I do pretty well for myself. :D In fact, people who know me irl describe me as giggly, bubbly and fun. Oh well, you must be dealing with Alternate Earth Kinsey. She’s bitter and evil. And punts kittens. Maybe you’d be less of a whiny pissant dipshit if you hung out with her less? She really is mean :(

  64. I am SO glad you posted this, even if it was months ago. A perfect, concise defintion of this insidious wart on humanity. You’re wonderful!

  65. 65 Xtreme Kool Letterz

    Very interesting to read – reminds me of a song I was listening to about such a character…although I can’t remember the name! I will admit that I have in the past fallen into a more female version of this (Nice Gal); of my two very close friends one falls squarely into the friend box, and the other is like twenty miles away from the friend box. I am completely aware, however, that she does not reciprocate my feelings, and our friendship’s been around since prior to those feelings; she’s fairly dependant our friendship as she has a hard time with them, and I haven’t told her about my feelings because of the effect it could have on our platonic bonds.

    That said, I feel no entitlement here – I don’t believe I deserve anything, romantic or sexual, for my friendship with her; friendship is its own reward, you know. I’d never do anything to make her uncomfortable intentionally, and if I did something unintentionally, I’d make sure not to do it again (her upbringing was somewhat unorthodox, and there are some topics she finds very uncomfortable that most people wouldn’t).

    So I guess I’m not exactly a Nice Guy(TM) in that I don’t feel entitled to my object of affection, although after reading this I still find myself somewhat worried that I might be being rude to her!

  66. 66 john

    To the OP, are you saying all guys who are nice are these type of “nice guys”?

  67. I hate Alan from Two and a Half Man. Such a horrible, droopy, self-pitying character. Him and every Adam Sandler character.

  68. @John: Definitely not. There are tons of nice guys out there who are genuinely nice. I enjoy my friendships with them and even have gone on some dates with one.

  69. 69 Kate-Nate

    I hate to do this, but your statement “But every guy with low self esteem, self respect and confidence has the potential to become The Nice Guy™.” is factually wrong. Being The Nice Guy™ is predicated on several other traits, not the least of which is the possession of sexual or romantic attraction. One cannot be The Nice Guy™ without desiring a sexual or romantic relationship with a particular person, and the use of the term “every” erases those people. Frankly, as an asexual aromantic, my patience for the bullshit wherein asexual aromantics are entirely ignored is worn thin anyways. Erasure due to being discluded from various statements prefaced with “every” or “all” or “universally” is a particularly obnoxious part of that, and this time I’m calling it. You are normally a good ally, but this won’t stand.

    Other than that though, this post was perfect. Thank you for writing it.

  70. 70 Kate-Nate

    Actually, I retract the term “ally”. It has implications of going above and beyond, and not just meeting standards. So, you are normally commendable on this, which is something of a rarity for the time being.

  71. @Kate-Nate: I apologize for that slip and I’m editing it up in the post itself right now. My bad.

    Agreed on the word ally as well, I’m not much of a fan of it myself. Even further really, I dislike even using the term ally for going above and beyond. Ally implies consistency and dependability along with that. These aren’t possible in a world were privilege creates a constant risk of fucking up in the privileged. So the word ally is just simply unusable.


  1. 1 Tweets that mention Redefining Nice: Why “Nice Guys” Finish Last « Genderbitch: Musings of a Trans Chick -- Topsy.com
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