Redefining Nice: Why “Nice Guys” Finish Last
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.
Filed under: personal, rant | 75 Comments
Tags: feminism, fuck this fuckery, gender, kyriarchy, patriarchy, privilege, rape culture