Nice guys.

(Update:  Amanda Marcotte just wrote a response to this post over at Pandagon, calling me a “megadouchebag.”)

It’s difficult to write about the sexual isolation of sensitive men without falling back on clichés.  So I’ll begin this post with a couple of long quotations which are each somewhat unique.  First, from a work of fiction:

With Manny around, Oscar was exposed to an entirely new side of Ana.  All they talked about now, the few times they saw each other, was Manny and the terrible things he did to her.  Manny smacked her, Manny kicked her, Manny called her a fat twat, Manny cheated on her, she was sure, with this Cuban chickie from the middle school.  They couldn’t talk ten minutes without Manny beeping her and her having to call him back and assure him she wasn’t with anybody else.
What am I going to do?  she asked over and over, and Oscar always found himself holding her awkwardly and telling her, Well, I think if he’s this bad you should break up with him, but she shook her head and said, I know I should, but I can’t.  I love him.
Oscar liked to kid himself that it was only cold, anthropological interest that kept him around to see how it would all end, but the truth was he couldn’t extricate himself.  He was totally and irrevocably in love with Ana.  What he used to feel for those girls he’d never really known was nothing compared with the amor he was carrying in his heart for Ana.  It had the density of a dwarf motherfucking star and at times he was a hundred percent sure it would drive him mad.  Every Dominican family has stories about niggers who take love too far, and Oscar was beginning to suspect that they’d be telling one of those stories about him real soon…

… They met at the Yaohan mall.  Ordered two chicken-katsu curries and then sat in the large cafeteria with the view of Manhattan, the only gaijin in the whole joint.
He could tell by Ana’s clothes that she had other plans that night.  She was in a pair of black leather pants and had on one of those fuzzy light-pink sweaters that girls with nice chests can rock forever.  Her face was so swollen from recent crying it looked like she was on cortisone.
You have beautiful breasts, he said as an opener.
Confusion, alarm.  Oscar!  What’s the matter with you?
He looked out through the glass at Manhattan’s western flank, looked out like he was some deep nigger.  Then he told her.
There were no surprises.  Her eyes went soft, she put a hand on his hand, her chair scraped closer, there was a strand of yellow in her teeth.  Oscar, she said gently, I have a boyfriend.
So you don’t love me?
Oscar.  She breathed deep.  I love you as a friend.
She drove him home; at the house, he thanked her for her time, walked inside, lay in bed.  They didn’t speak again.

- The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, Junot Diaz, New Yorker, Dec. 25, 2000, p. 104.  (Novel here.)

And, feminist Hugo Schwyzer:

Because the sensitive boy imagines that he is rarer than he actually is, he may be inclined to over-estimate his value to the girls he befriends and dates (or tries to date.) The classic scenario for such a Nice Guy works like this: Nice Guy gets very close to a girl. They become good friends, so much so that they are teased by their peers. Nice Guy starts to fall in love with his friend, while girl thinks of Nice Guy as “just a pal” or “more like a brother”. Eventually, Nice Guy confesses his love; girl rejects him. Nice Guy sulks or flies into a rage, usually saying something like “Why don’t you love me? Why do you like those jerks who only want to use you? I’m the only guy who understands you and values you!” Nice Guy, if he’s not careful, may begin the slow slide towards adult misogyny at this point. His own frustration at women (rooted in his sense that his unique gifts go unappreciated) may grow more toxic, as he starts to believe that “women don’t know what’s good for them” and they “always go for the bad boys” instead of who they “should” be dating (me).

-Hugo Schwyzer, Feb. 19, 2008.  [Bold original.]

For many feminists, young women’s attraction to socially dominant men is either a fiction dreamt up by angry “men’s rights” types, or a fact of life that’s true, but somewhat trivial – important only insofar as it may lead to misogynistic attitudes on the part of men, as Hugo seems to imply.  I would argue, to the contrary, that women’s attraction – some women’s attraction – to socially dominant men is both true and non-trivial.  But I make this argument not in order to “debunk” feminism, as I hope I can explain.

First, I’d like to clarify what I mean when I say, “women are attracted to socially dominant men.”  “Socially dominant” is the best phrase I can think of – the alternative would be “alpha male” or some such expression – and some caveats are in order.  A working definition would be as follows:

“In their teens and twenties, at the time when most people are learning to be sexual and have relationships, women, on average, tend to overvalue such hypermasculine characteristics as dominance and a sexually entitled attitude, especially, but not exclusively, when they are looking for short-term sexual relations.”

Notice I’m not saying “women only like thugs” or any such thing.  And I’m not trying to “disappear” anyone – I’m well aware that not all women have the same sexual preferences.  But what I am saying is that both men and women have instinctual, biological influences on their behavior, and for many young women this often leads to a preference for socially dominant men.  I’m not a scientist, and evolutionary biology isn’t my ball of wax, so I’m not going to argue the merits of this or that study.  I can only speak from my experience and impressions, but I believe that what I have seen and experienced is not entirely hallucinatory.

I do understand, I think, why this subject raises the hackles of some feminists.  As a whole, men who loudly criticize women’s sexual choices don’t have a good track record when it comes to women’s rights.  And there is a long and sordid history of slut-shaming.  Unfortunately, many feminists have chosen to deal with this by pretending that women’s preference for dominant men doesn’t exist.  Hugo, for example, has written, “I hear from a great many young men the familiar complaint that ‘girls just want bad boys,’” but he then proceeds to immediately invalidate what young men are telling him.  And although you’d think that a “familiar” complaint coming from “a great many” young men might be based on reality, the fact is that women’s preference for dominant men is something many feminists are extraordinarily reluctant to acknowledge, and so you get this:

[A] great many young men oversell the “good girls only want bad boys” trope because they sense the obvious benefit: if they then themselves mistreat women, they are not doing it out of any defect in their natures, but out of a rational strategy for improving their mating odds.  It is women themselves who have made these rules, these boys and young men say (often with sincerity); we fellas just have to adapt as best we can. It’s yet another corollary to the myth of male weakness: bad male behavior gets cunningly reframed as an evolutionary adaptation demanded by women, and the blame for everything falls nicely once again on the shoulders and hearts and libidos of [women].

- Hugo Schwyzer, June 14, 2010.  [Bold original.]

In my view, if young men oversell the “good girls only want bad boys” trope, the simplest explanation for why they do so is because they’re in emotional pain stemming from being rejected in favor of socially dominant men – a very real experience to them.  (See:  Occam’s Razor.)  But the explanation Hugo offers, if I follow him, appears to be this:  (1)  Young women’s preference for “bad boys” is a myth of unknown origin.  (2)  Young men anticipate that they will mistreat women at some future point in time.  (3)  Young men decide to perpetuate the “bad boy” myth in order to “cunningly reframe” their own anticipated, future mistreatment of women as a necessary adaptation to women’s demands.

Caveat:  The gist of what Hugo is saying is sometimes true.  Women’s preference for dominant men is sometimes used as justification for misogyny.  (Awful example here.  Commentary here.)  The problem is, feminists sometimes conflate two distinct arguments:  (1)  “Women’s sexual choices should never be used to justify misogyny, slut-shaming, or victim-blaming.”  True, and probably a message that bears repeating.  (2)  “If you are a man and you express dismay in regard to the sexual choices of women, you are by definition engaging in “slut-shaming” or (if she’s in a toxic relationship) “victim-blaming.”  False.  Consider, for example, what feminist writer Jackson Katz said in regard to women’s attraction to the rap star Eminem:

Boys and young men have long expressed frustration with the fact that girls and young women say they’re attracted to nice guys, but that the most popular girls often end up with the disdainful tough guys who treat them like dirt. We all know that heterosexual young guys are forever struggling to figure out what girls want. What are they supposed to conclude when 53% of the 8 Mile audience on opening weekend was female?
What are men to make of New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd when she writes, uncritically, that a “gaggle” of her female Baby Boomer friends are “surreptitiously smitten” with a 30-year-old rapper whose lyrics literally drip with contempt for women?…
…Girls and women, even those who have been coopted into Eminem-worship, want to be treated with respect. They certainly don’t want to be physically or sexually assaulted by men. They don’t want to be sexually degraded by dismissive and arrogant men. But they can’t have it both ways. They can’t proclaim their attraction to a man who’s gotten rich verbally trashing and metaphorically raping women and yet expect that young men will treat them with dignity.

- Jackson Katz, 8 Reasons Eminem’s Popularity is a Disaster for Women.

Mr. Katz is criticizing the sexual choices of women who “proclaim their attraction” to men such as Eminem.  But no one would accuse him of “slut-shaming” because he has feminist cred and isn’t speaking from his own emotional pain.  But why should feminists so ungenerously assume that men who do speak from their own pain always have some sort of nefarious misogynistic motivation for doing so?

Just to be clear, if a man is sexually isolated, and he thinks the only reason for this is because women choose the “wrong” sexual partners, then he’s deluding himself.  As for my own experience, there’s no question that my own shyness and anxieties played a huge role in my involuntary celibacy.  But it isn’t sufficient for feminists to say that sexually isolated men just need to “get therapy,” without also acknowledging the cultural forces that work to isolate men, and that one of those cultural forces is – yes – the preference that many young women have for dominant men.

(Aside:  There are a lot of other cultural forces that also isolate young men – lack of social support, the idea that it’s somehow wrong for men to seek sexual pleasure for its own sake, etc. – that feminists, to their credit, have criticized.)

Even among men who are more “successful” sexually, I think a lot of young men who are sympathetic toward feminism feel they have to behave hypocritically – be a little bit pushy, arrogant, and entitled – in order to get laid.  Indeed, the life course of many male feminists seems to entail a period of acting out – usually corresponding to that point in life during which most people explore their sexuality – followed by a period of contrition.  It’s almost as though there’s an unspoken deal between feminist women and their male counterparts:  “We’ll forgive you for your youthful sexual arrogance and entitlement, so long as you don’t mention that a lot of us were turned on by men’s youthful sexual arrogance and entitlement.”  This is a lousy deal, and it’s unnecessary.  Not only does it freeze out and sexually isolate a lot of shy young men, but it causes men who are otherwise sympathetic to feminism to conclude that, in the sexual realm, feminism isn’t telling the whole story.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

235 Responses to Nice guys.

  1. ballgame says:

    Great post, Miguel!

  2. jupiter says:

    A guy doesn’t have to be hypermasculine (and I would argue that “dominance and a sexually entitled attitude” is not masculine at all — it describes me) to be attractive. I don’t even like the word “confidence” exactly. More like that you are genuinely “out there” — and that means both that you are expressive, and that you are expressing something real about yourself.

    If a guy is not genuinely “out there” in some degree, in some way, whether it’s with aggression or with fun or with knowledge or *something*, he’s a freaking drag. Why would you want to spend your time with a wet rag like that? Pulling the least little thing out of them every time?

    Just because some women are sometimes fooled by men who fake their accomplishments or knowledge doesn’t mean they’re not looking for the real thing.

    And if a woman’s just looking for sex, why would she go to someone uncommunicative and seemingly dull? That doesn’t seem to bode well for the sex.

  3. Brian says:

    Both Miguel and Jupiter are conflating who women find attractive with who’s successful with them, and it’s a flaw in both arguments. (I think, anyhow.) I was deep in Nice Guy territory when I was younger, though I did the “learn to be as aggressive as you can possibly manage” bit and now do pretty well. So I may be overgeneralising my own experience.

    When I consciously presented myself as nonsexually as I could to women I was attracted to (and for that matter, avoided them so I wouldn’t slip up and admit/expose attraction), refused to express unsolicited interest, erred on the side of caution by assuming any possible signals of interest with wishful thinking/seeing what I wanted to see on my part, I was wildly unsuccessful. Is that a surprise? I believed I would be unsuccessful anyways if I tried something, but I never did. I didn’t want to be presumptuous, creepy, etc. (I’d say entitled now, but those’re the adjectives I would’ve chosen then.) And so in imagining a string of rejections, I certainly felt rejected.

    And yet when I could work myself up to actually indicate to someone I was interested, I faced very little rejection. (I did get turned down once, but I’ve expressed interested in someone more than a dozen times, so very little.)

    Which is (I think) far more the critical variable than “attraction”. The men who’re expressing interest are being successful, and those who aren’t, aren’t. Arrogance and entitlement aren’t (necessarily) attractive in or of themselves, but they result in behaviour that makes one successful.

    It is how I experience being a Nice Guy, anyhow.

  4. Dee says:

    It’s interesting how discussions like this always seem to focus on the “popular girl” types. In my experience, almost all men think that they deserve a perfect woman, however they define that – and it almost always includes the kind of appearance that will impress their friends. You may not have noticed that there are women out there who have all kinds of wonderful qualities but who are also not getting laid. They may be shy. They may be not put a lot of effort into their wardrobe and makeup. They may be fatter or skinnier than is fashionable. This might be because there are more interesting and important things on their minds than what they look like. Maybe you should try getting to know them.

  5. John E. says:

    If the young men who post on 4chan’s anonymous advice channel /adv/ are to be believed, and there is no reason not to, a young man whose interactions with a young woman consists of listening to her talk about her personal problems, especially with her personal problems with her boyfriend, soon – if not immediately – finds himself in ‘the friendzone’.

    Once friendzoned, the popular theory goes, the young man has little or no chance of turning the relationship into a romance because he has been imprinted in the young woman’s mind as ‘just a friend’.

    For this reason, the young men there advise each other that if a young man is romantically interested in a young woman, he should always begin the relationship by approaching her with an announced romantic intent, much as Brian described above.

    If this describes the actual state of things, what might be a possible explanation?

    Perhaps this reflects not so much the place of ‘nice guys’ in the female economy, but more about the value of male non-sexual friends in the the female economy.

    Perhaps it is the case that young women are often approached by young men who have romantic/sexual interests, but are less often approached by young men who are interested in them platonically. It would stand to reason that the young women would place a greater value on their platonic male relationships then they would on the romantic/sexual male relationships. Thus, a young man’s attempted conversion of his known value as a platonic friend into an unknown value as a romantic/sexual friend would be viewed by the young woman as a net loss in the immediate value of the young man.

  6. Eurosabra says:

    Sam Seaborn and I wrote lots of long, considered, generally feminist-friendly replies to his positions, which also contained detailed explanations and analysis of non-dominant men’s experiences, which have now disappeared into the ether forever by his switching the commenting system. So my thought is that men in that position should discard feminism, seek remedies in real life, acquire social and romantic power over women (perhaps by learning Game) and leave Hugo to coo over Heloise Cerys and indoctrinate his students. He is a mensch and perhaps men without his privilege should emulate his humanism and his feminism, but his stuff always reads to me like dispatches from another world, and I’ve lost interest in replying to it as such.

  7. jupiter says:

    John E: “If the young men who post on 4chan’s anonymous advice channel /adv/ are to be believed, and there is no reason not to”

    Yeah, when I want to understand male-female interaction, that’s where I go — 4chan.

    A guy who starts out being friendly is “imprinted on her mind as just a friend,” kind of like how the first thing a baby duck sees is imprinted on its mind as its mother. Yeah. That’s why all the men I’ve ever had sex with were never friends to begin with.

    Oh wait, no. The guys I’ve had sex with were almost all friends first. Some for a long time. And surprise, when we were having sex, we were still friends. I’m friends with my husband, and we still have sex.

    Now, if you’re looking to play The Game with someone, I agree, it is much better to avoid being friends with them, because most friends don’t appreciate being Gamed.

  8. April says:

    Perhaps this reflects not so much the place of ‘nice guys’ in the female economy, but more about the value of male non-sexual friends in the the female economy.

    Perhaps it is the case that young women are often approached by young men who have romantic/sexual interests, but are less often approached by young men who are interested in them platonically. It would stand to reason that the young women would place a greater value on their platonic male relationships then they would on the romantic/sexual male relationships. Thus, a young man’s attempted conversion of his known value as a platonic friend into an unknown value as a romantic/sexual friend would be viewed by the young woman as a net loss in the immediate value of the young man.

    I think this is right on, and as a female, it speaks hugely to my personal experience.

    I’ve had several male friends with whom I became close friends usually while dating someone else. I felt safe in my friendship with them, because I assumed there would be little to no sexual tension, since I was in a relationship. More often than not, even though the guy was doing everything that many people have already mentioned– listening to my problems with my boyfriend, things like that– and acting toward me in a strictly platonic manner, I would eventually start to pick up on the fact that the friend was interested in more. Not wanting to screw up a friendship or my relationship, I wouldn’t really address what I could see happening. Eventually, the guy would just stop being my friend. It hurt, a lot, because I was in friendship-mode, appreciating the closeness of the friendship (I obviously reciprocated being a supportive friend with them; it wasn’t just me complaining and him listening), and his deciding we couldn’t be friends with me felt like a betrayal.

    My take on this is the same as it’s always been: from my experience, women don’t want ass holes or “dominating” men; they, like most men, I would guess, are attracted to a mixture of chemistry and confidence. A guy doesn’t have to be an asshole to be a confident individual.

    I’d also like to “ditto” what Dee said. These conversations that men are having more frequently about the pressure and difficulty in approaching an dating women is something that we need to keep talking about, but the conversations always seem to steer in one direction: “Why can’t I get a hot chick?” It seems as though men don’t even consider dating women who don’t meet the exact same qualifications that they’re so upset that women apparently have. If she’s not also “socially dominant,” men don’t seem to want her anymore than women apparently don’t want a man who isn’t “socially dominant.”

    One more thing, as if the comment couldn’t get any longer:

    I was having a conversation with my husband about a friend of his. He said that he felt bad for his friend because he didn’t seem to be very successful with women. I asked why he thought that, especially considering that, in the 3 years I’ve known his friend, he’s dated two beautiful, intelligent, successful, creative women. My husband mentioned that he thought that women didn’t find his friend attractive, to which I replied: “which women?” He went on, said “most women,” etc. I asked him, “Has [your friend] ever attempted dating any of these women you speak of?”

    The answer is No. He didn’t. He, in his socially-awkward, unkempt persona, sought to be romantically and sexually involved with women with whom he shared mutual interests, goals, and social circles. The women he’s dated were just as into him as he was with them. This guy dates women that are compatible with him. It seems that the men who complain most frequently about not being able to get laid or find a date are looking for women who have nothing in common with them, among other things.

  9. Pingback: pandagon.net - it's the eye of the panda, it's the thrill of the bite

  10. Hugo says:

    Eurosabra, I’m trying to recover those comments. Disqus is a very strange system. I appreciate your shoutout to my daughter and your characterization of me as a “mensch”. That’s kind.

    Miguel, I don’t agree with Amanda’s megadouchebag characterization, but think she gets a lot right about what you’re really saying. I stand by what I say in the posts you quote of mine: the “bad boy phenomenon” isn’t illusory, but it’s wildly oversold. Confidence and chemistry are, as April, says, the real indispensables — and they are hardly the province of assholes alone.

    And I’m mystified by your reference to an apparent quid pro quo between folks like myself and my female colleagues. I don’t get a free pass for my past because I came to regret aspects of it, and I don’t think I’ve either asked for or received such an indulgence.

  11. Lynet says:

    I think that is an important aspect of the ‘Nice Guy” phenomenon — there is the notion that communicating sexual desire is somehow “not nice”. Given that, it should be obvious why “nice guys” don’t get laid. They don’t ask!

    It’s also kind of unreasonable to say that women “don’t like” shy men, and this is why shyness is such a problem. I used to be a shy woman, after all, and boy did I have trouble finding sex. I don’t think that’s because men “don’t like” shy women, I think it’s because I didn’t know how to ask.

    Note that I’m not saying that asking is easy — indeed, I’m using the word ‘ask’ very generally to cover a whole range of expressions of interest which can require considerable social skills to master, for men and women. Having trouble with the social skills involved in communicating desire, however, is not the same as being disliked.

    There is, I admit, an additional grain of truth, here: I am often attracted to men who I perceive to be high status, according to my own measure. For me, that means I’m attracted to wit and intellectual status, because frankly, money and/or the ability to win a physical fight mean nothing to me, but it’s possible that more “alpha male” type attributes might be perceived as being “high status” in a sexually interesting way for some women. I suppose it’s even possible that there exist women who consider ugly traits like misogyny and thoughtlessness to be attractive indicators of status, which would be a shame, although I really do find it hard to believe that this is a widespread tendency.

    It’s important to decouple the status/attractiveness issue and the shyness issue. They’re not the same. There may well be societal reasons why communicating sexual interest is hard to do without seeming threatening, but just because you have trouble asking doesn’t mean you’re fundamentally uninteresting to women.

  12. Marle says:

    So Ana’s face is swollen from crying, and the first thing her *friend* says to her is about her breasts?

    This is just another example of how “nice guys” aren’t really nice.

  13. John E. says:

    Marle, Ana is just a character in a fictional story.

    The ‘nice guy’ in the story didn’t really do that because he doesn’t really exist.

  14. Anonymous says:

    No. That’s ridiculous.

  15. JustNo says:

    I know you must be joking, but…why.

  16. Cessen says:

    April, I agree with most of what you’re saying, but I have a few thoughts to put out there:

    First:

    [...]but the conversations always seem to steer in one direction: “Why can’t I get a hot chick?” It seems as though men don’t even consider dating women who don’t meet the exact same qualifications that they’re so upset that women apparently have.

    That may describe some men in that situation, but certainly not all. I like to think that I am an example of not fitting that description. There are certainly women I am not attracted to, but even amongst those women that I’m not attracted to I have rarely (if ever?) had someone show interest in me. And I suspect I would have noticed, since I imagine it would have been an uncomfortable (even if flattering) situation.

    Second:
    I think a lot of the problem is that a lot of these “Nice Guy” men don’t realize that our culture is still largely stuck in the “it’s the man’s job to take the initiative/make the first moves” mindset. And that’s a double-whammy with many of these guys (such as my past self, and to a degree even my present self) because they equate “making the moves” with sexual harassment and male entitlement. Or at the very least, they consider the act of making a woman uncomfortable (even just due to an awkward situation without any wrong doing) some kind of crime. And so the requirement to fill that initiating role is a huge double bind for these guys.

    To put it another way: women don’t make the moves because they think they’re not supposed to or that it will be badly received. So when these Nice Guy’s also think they’re not supposed to make the moves and that it will be badly received (“harassment” “presumptuous” “entitled” “pig that’s only after one thing” “creep” etc. etc. etc.)… then it’s like a stalemate. A horribly ironic stalemate. Where no one feels free to make the first move. And I think this has a lot more to do with the unfortunate plight of the shy and/or “nice” guy than women’s preferences.

    As anecdotal evidence: once I figured out that it’s actually okay to flirt with women as a means of testing how they feel, things changed a lot for me. Most women don’t give off obvious signs one way or the other until the guy does it first. And I honestly think that’s a large part of the problem for a lot of these guys. It certainly was/is for me.

    For guys in this situation, they have two options:
    1. They can wait until our culture shifts, and it becomes normal for women to make the first moves. (They’ll be waiting a long time.)
    2. They can start making the first moves, even if they screw up at first and make women uncomfortable while they’re learning how to do it appropriately. Even if making the first moves is simply counter to their personality. Even if they feel like nasty harassers at first.

    Frankly, neither option is a good option. But the second option is more likely to produce results in their lifetimes.

    Lastly:
    That bit that you quoted is really enlightening. I would add that for a great many guys it is precisely the other way around: female friends are a dime-a-dozen, but women that are noticeably interested in you for more than that are difficult to come by. And it sounds kind of cold, but right now I’m basically not much interested in having more close female friends. I already have like… 5 women that I am intimately (not in the sexual/romantic sense) close with, and whom I value deeply. Not to mention my male friends, who I am also close with, and also value. So when I meet new women, friendship isn’t exactly the first thing on my mind. I already have plenty of close friendships to maintain. I could be a “pal”, an “acquaintance”, etc. But unless the woman in question has a lot of unique things to offer me in terms of friendship…? I’m probably going to be more interested in what they can offer me beyond friendship.

    Oddly, this starts to sound a lot like the stereotypical “sexual market place” theories, where women are after emotional connection, and men are after sex. But I suspect a lot of it comes down to the way we’re taught to think about these things. If women were more permissioned/required to pick up the burden of initiating some of the time, a lot of these dynamics would start shift.

  17. Cessen says:

    I don’t agree with Amanda’s megadouchebag characterization, but think she gets a lot right about what you’re really saying.

    I get the impression that Marcotte’s intent is not to create a dialogue, but rather is to shout down anyone who’s views and experiences appear to conflict with her own (see how she reacted to Clarisse’s creep article, for example). So I hardly fault Miguel if he does not care to suffer through her unnecessarily insulting and provoking writing to gleam the points worth considering.

  18. Lynet says:

    Perhaps a more general way to put it would be that if your reaction to someone being abused by her partner is not so much “she should get out of there” as “well, clearly she should be having sex with me” then something is wrong.

  19. Soullite says:

    Half of these people are feminists who will never acknowledge the behavior of average women. NEVER. They are ideological incapable of accepting that women are often scumbags.

    These are, after-all, people that who always say they want a ‘dialogue’, when they really just want to dictate terms. They’re the same people who want society in general to take their views and concerns seriously, yet want to completely dismiss the concerns of shy men. These are the same people who hate the notion that men would define femininity, yet have absolutely no problem defining what men should be. These are the same people who swing the banhammer with righteous fury whenever someone disagrees with them, yet have no problem swarming someone else’s blogs to ‘educate’ them.

    Most of them are coming off of Pandagon – where Amanda Marcotte regurly pulls ‘motivations’ for why men do what this or that (and is so magnificently wrong that it is truly a sight to behold. If you don’t have our instincts, our hormones or our socialization, what the fuck makes you think you know a damn thing about what goes on in our heads?) do out of her ass, with no sociological or psychological training and an obvious contempt for the gender (She has never posted anything nice about men in genera, or even a man in particular – something most feminists have no problem doing. Even Shakes has plenty of guys she clearly doesn’t hate).

    Hell, look at the way they ideologically dismiss the single most common complaint of the male gender – that women police gender norms in such a way as to reinforce the notion that having a dick means being one. They want everyone to think like they do, they never even bother considering what other people have to say. That’s why they wall themselves off behind registration only screens, and THAT is why they sound like idiots when they come out from behind them.

    Most feminists in real life – the ones that teach in universities and join movements – are actually nice people dedicated to fighting the good fight. The ones on the internet are vicious, close-minded bastards too busy screaming ‘WHAT ABOUT THE MENS!!!’ to take anyone else’s view seriously.

  20. Dodd says:

    I read Ms. Marcotte’s reply to this first, then clicked through to your post. I am stunned, even though I expected from past experience that she’d have gone overboard, by how little your piece resembles whatever she was responding to. The two bear no resemblance to each other at all. It’s as if she decided from your first pullquote what your thesis was and ignored everything else you said after that that contradicted her impression.

  21. M says:

    If “women are often scumbags” and they’re dating assholes because of that…who cares? Don’t the scumbags and assholes deserve each other?

    I think there’s a lot to be said for asking versus pining. I know that as a shy woman, I am attracted to confidence (preferably in a shy/introverted package–extroverts make me uncomfortable)–but arrogance is a turn-off. It’s true, someone whining about being persecuted, or how unattractive they are, or whatever, is not very attractive. But the reverse of that is not arrogance–it’s confidence. I remain unconvinced that most women like assholes–and I’m not sure that any women truly like assholes, just that assholes can often put on a front of being reasonable until they have their hooks in.

    Nearly every time I’ve dated someone has been because after a bit of awkward ambiguous flirting (flirting in my social group is usually not an indication of actual interest), I have bluntly asked the person what their intentions are and/or said I’d be interested in sex. The exception–my long-term partner–essentially did the reverse (he is the most extroverted person I’ve dated). All of these have in common that one or both people were quickly straightforward about what they wanted instead of speaking in code or not speaking at all. (Also, most of the people I’ve dated were friends first…I have many friends I would date, under the right circumstances, although I tend to be cautious if I am concerned about losing the friendship. I have not, since high school, ever lost a friendship over merely expressing interest.)

    Back when I pined in silence? Huh, somehow men (and women) never magically figured out that I was interested in them. Funny how that works.

    Women are no more psychic than men. Try asking, in a non-assholish way (and saying “Nice breasts!” to a woman in an abusive relationship would be an assholish way). If she doesn’t have a clue you’re interested, no, she probably WON’T ask you, because women are strongly socialized not to fling themselves at disinterested men–which you appear to be if you’re pining in silence. If you can’t work yourself up to actually asking her out, try dropping a hint (it might have to be a broad hint, depending on her obliviousness level).

    Asking a woman out–or even asking if she wants to have sex–is not “arrogant, pushy, and sexually entitled.” It’s straightforward, and the worst that happens is that she’s not interested and you accept her “no” with good grace and move on.

  22. Danny says:

    The classic scenario for such a Nice Guy works like this: Nice Guy gets very close to a girl. They become good friends, so much so that they are teased by their peers. Nice Guy starts to fall in love with his friend, while girl thinks of Nice Guy as “just a pal” or “more like a brother”.
    While there are folks who go through that I can say that in my own personal experience it doesn’t always happen in that order. With me it was more like becoming good friends, falling in love, and then getting teased by friends.

    I must say you hit on a lot of good things namely bringing up some of the bad things that are indeed going on as well as pointing out the conclusions that feminists seem so quick to jump to. Good post.

  23. Marle says:

    “Ana is just a character in a fictional story.”

    No shit. But Miguel didn’t put the except in here for shits and giggles. He wants to talk about “the sexual isolation of sensitive men.” Oscar isn’t sensitive, and neither are the real life “nice guys” who don’t get laid. I dated some in high school when I believed the bullshit about them, and I didn’t want to be one of those stupid women who dated the bad boys instead of the nice guys. Well, that didn’t work out, because under the whining “nice guys” are actually just narcissists who don’t really care what you want. They want you, and once they have you they don’t think there’s anything else involved, like say, not standing you up for dates. If nice guys were actually nice, they wouldn’t have problems getting dates and keeping girlfriends.

  24. Marle says:

    Soullite, do you not realize that you started off complaining about how feminists won’t accept your description of women, just to complain about feminists’ descriptions of men are wrong? You’ll say that women are often scumbags, yet your upset that Amanda, who mostly posts about events and political issues, has never made a post about how amazing men are?

    And you wonder why feminists don’t agree with you.

  25. John E. says:

    Asking a woman out–or even asking if she wants to have sex–is not “arrogant, pushy, and sexually entitled.” It’s straightforward, and the worst that happens is that she’s not interested and you accept her “no” with good grace and move on.

    Very good advice. I believe that if more ‘nice guys’ would internalize and act on that advice, there would be fewer stereotypically embittered ‘nice guys’…

    See also – http://xkcd.com/513/

  26. John E. says:

    So you two are suggesting that this never happens?

  27. John E. says:

    Yeah, when I want to understand male-female interaction, that’s where I go — 4chan.

    For the age group and socialization level under discussion, yes…

  28. elementary_watson says:

    If nice guys were actually nice, they wouldn’t have problems getting dates and keeping girlfriends.

    This!

    This is exactly the shaming men who are involuntarily celibate get, from men, women and feminists. This is the big lie that being “really, authentically” nice would make you romantically successful. This is the turning of the knife in the wound of gentle but shy single men. This is part of what puts men into such pressure to find someone to have sex with (which, as I’m sure you know, doesn’t do women as a group any favours). This is why nice guys turn bitter and resentful – it’s not that much the rejection, but the shaming a man gets for getting rejected too often. This is the reason some people concider the “Nice Guy (TM)” meme deeply problematic and toxic.

    This sentence is the wrongest thing one can say about Dating and Niceness, and it is deeply frustrating to see it being such common wisdom.

  29. Marle says:

    4chan is a site that actively pushes away women. I’m not sure if they still do this, but I know for a long time if you wanted to post there as a women you were required to post a pic of your tits to prove that you were in fact a woman.

    4chan doesn’t give you male-female interaction. 4chan is a site young men go to where they know it is highly unlikely a women will even be reading them, let alone respond. When the young men talk about their interactions with women, they’re obviously only telling one side of the story. They’re not going to get a response from a woman explaining her side of a situation were she was friends with a guy and he wanted more, prompting him to think a little more about his situation from the perspective of the woman he wanted to date. Instead he just gets responses from other young men who were similarly clueless in similar situations, and so even if they could be objective they have no incentive to try. That’s why 4chan should be taken with a grain of salt, and at best you’re only getting one side of male/female interactions, and you’re definitely not getting reliable descriptions of the interactions themselves.

    Assuming that you can take one side of a story and extrapolate from that leads you down to conclusions that have no basis in reality. For example, you’re theory that platonic male friends are more valuable than male sexual/romantic partners. I can’t speak for all women, but I do have to say that a romantic partner that you can also have a lot of fun with as a friend holds A LOT of appeal to women. If a woman is attracted to a friend and thinks he might make a good boyfriend, then I can’t imagine her not dating him just because she wants more guy friends. Mostly, I think guys are “friend-zoned” because she wasn’t attracted to him in the first place, or as she gets to know him he does things that make him not a good friend and/or indicate he wouldn’t be a very good boyfriend (for example, the way he treats or talks about other women he’s interested in). Of course, this is just one perspective, and it’s very different than one that you’ll find somewhere like 4chan. I think that often the truth is somewhere in the middle, and the answer for something like this can only be found by men and women (who aren’t gay, given the topic) to dialog more about their perspectives on dating, etc.

  30. Cara says:

    I’m curious, Soullite. What “scumbag” behavior do “average” women perpetrate?

  31. anona says:

    he has been imprinted in the young woman’s mind as ‘just a friend’.

    Because women are incapable of actual thought. Just like baby ducks.

  32. Darque says:

    Eh, I think Marcotte is just whiny because she isn’t getting enough. That’s the message she’s trying to say, right?

    Interesting how so many people talk about “lived experiences” as if they’re sacrosanct, then tread all over other people’s.

    Fuck hypocrisy.

  33. Marle says:

    Ok, elementary_watson, I think I was trying to be too simplistic in that statement and it implies things in a different direction than I was going. Sorry about that.

    I don’t mean to shame anyone for not having sex. No one deserves judgement about their sex life, ever. However, “nice guys” who complain about not getting sex/dates tend not to be actually nice, in my experience. There’s a guy in my circle of friends who I’ve known for a while who was a virgin until he was 26. If he had made the choice to wait until he found the one (which he did) I would have thought that was great, but he didn’t make that choice. Instead he made various decisions to push away women over the years. He got flirty with a friend of a friend, which went fine until he sent her an email about how he’d fuck her so hard she wouldn’t be able to walk for days. I know it’s hard to figure out what to say, but after age 20 you should know that’s scary, not sexy (also not nice). He became obsessed with a friend’s girlfriend who wasn’t interested (also not nice) for years, being creepy to her and ignoring other women who actually were interested in him in this time period. They weren’t as hot as friend’s girlfriend, but neither was he. Finally a girl he knew went to bed with him, but he couldn’t get it up. She was understanding, until he started telling all our friends that she was a slut (I’m assuming because of embarrassment). If having sex before 26 was an important goal to him (which I don’t think it needed to be, but whatever) then genuine niceness would have only helped. Now he’s a great friend and I’m sure that if you asked any guy who knows him they would tell you he’s nice. But he wasn’t actually nice to any of the women he wanted to have sex with.

    The “nice guys” I dated were also not really nice to date. The first one turned into the jerk I told the second nice guy about, and I dumped him because I didn’t want to be that girl in the cliche, and the second one dropped all romantic overtures as soon as I started dating him (bait and switch, anyone?). I still dated him for two years, and finally dumped him when I couldn’t ever see him because he was always either playing video games or sleeping after playing games for 36 hours straight. No, that’s not an exaggeration, though I’m not saying that all “nice guys” will do that. But in my experience, “nice guys” who don’t get laid and complain about it tend to be very self-absorbed and not all that nice to women they want to be with. I know I sound mean and overgeneralizing here, but so do “nice guys” when they complain that women only like jerks or “socially dominant” men or whatever else they come up with. The majority of women do not fall all over a small number of alpha men. The majority of women in our society try for monogamous relationships, which is completely incompatible with “hypergamy” (women all going for the alpha men) due to the fact the there’s about an equal number of men and women. There’s actually a lot of women who don’t get sex either, because they’re socially awkward or not pretty enough (whether their opinion and so they don’t try, or the opinion of men they’ve tried for) or some other reason. Though women who don’t get laid don’t tend to go all over the internet complaining that men only like bitches and it’s so unfair. Probably because they’d be mocked and called fat. Not that I’m saying that’s a fair response to anyone or specifically that we should say that to men since others would say it to women, but I wish “nice guys” would have some perspective and realize that they’re not the only ones who don’t get sex and calm down about it.

  34. Marle says:

    The problem with the “lived experiences” of “nice guys” is that they seem to rely on that the women they like should date them, for no other reason than the “nice guy” likes them, and when they don’t it’s because women all like jerks or something. Like this post talking about how women like “socially dominant” men for evolutionary reasons. It’s taking the lived experiences of men and using it to make assumptions of all women, which doesn’t work.

    When feminists discuss lived experiences, we don’t decide that all men are sexist and that it’s a evolutionary response, because that would actually go counter to our goals of getting rid of sexism. Feminist spaces often have lots of discussion about romantic relationships that went bad, but we don’t go on and on about how *all* men are like that, or that it’s because of evolution. If nothing else, because it would be completely depressing to the average heterosexual feminist women (yes, most feminists are straight women) to think that every man is a horrible rapist abuser. I know it can sometimes feel like feminists bash all men, but trust me, feminists really want to have successful relationships with men, whether romantic, friendship, career, or family, feminists have men in their lives they love and don’t believe all men are bad, even if they vent a lot online. Also, when feminists talk about bad experiences with men, it’s about men who raped and/or beat women, men who hindered women in education or career because of sexism, or even as mundane as men who don’t do their share of the housework. These are things that men clearly shouldn’t do. But with “nice guy” stories, what the women did wrong is not date a man she wasn’t interested in. Do you see the difference and the problem here?

  35. John E. says:

    4chan is a site that actively pushes away women. I’m not sure if they still do this, but I know for a long time if you wanted to post there as a women you were required to post a pic of your tits to prove that you were in fact a woman.

    4chan doesn’t give you male-female interaction. 4chan is a site young men go to where they know it is highly unlikely a women will even be reading them, let alone respond. When the young men talk about their interactions with women, they’re obviously only telling one side of the story.

    It is possible that you do not understand the role that 4chan plays in the lives of young men – they are a sacred, shared place where they can question and discuss the social patterns that they find themselves forced into without the shaming voices of those who would belittle them for not living up to the cultural norms of ‘productivity’ and ‘maturity’ as defined by those who have a vested economic and cultural interest in seeing that they live that way.

    To ‘inaudible’ the voices of the young men at 4chan because there are no competing female voices is to miss the point of the place. These young men, speak from a place of deep pain because their voices, their stories, are discounted by those who see them as socially inferior because they in the process of finding their own transformative path.

    They do not deserve scorn – they are struggling to make their way in a world of mysterious social dynamics that they barely comprehend. They are creating and working through their own mythic journey of self-discovery.

    Their icons – Courage Wolf, FeelsGoodMan, and SonI’mProud are their guides.

    Respect their journey.

  36. Alon Levy says:

    Fine, but here we’re not talking about the lived experience of the average Nice Guy, but about the lived experience of an actual person, who mentioned something full of caveats and “tend to”‘s, and never said a damn thing making “assumptions of all women.”

    (On another note, it could be that I haven’t talked to the right people, but most people I’ve seen make the Nice Guy complaint have done so knowing that it’s not really about nice vs. assholes, and linked to a feminist critique of the concept. The first guy I saw make the complaint linked to this and said he’d have made it his manifesto if he’d known about it in high school.)

  37. Helen says:

    Yah, because “make me a fucking sandwich!” and pictures of tits are expressions of the sacred.

    Sorry to mock, but this comment was just so.. mockable.

  38. Marle says:

    I didn’t actually denigrate 4chan, despite pointing out how sexist it is. I think that sometimes people do need space for just their own gender or group of people with similar experiences. I think I’d like 4chan better if they just said that they’re a guys’ only forum instead of being blatantly sexist to scare away women. Maybe that wouldn’t work out though, and that’s enough judgement from me about a website I don’t go to.

    However, while I’ll agree that 4chan might be important to young men, you were talking about using the stories on 4chan as evidence for how male/female interaction goes. 4chan only gives one side, while if you asked the women involved their stories might be completely different. I know for myself and the women I’ve talked to about it that the “friendzone” concept is kinda confusing and doesn’t match our motivations and actions of ourselves or other women we know. That’s because “friendzone” didn’t come from women, it came from men trying to interpret the actions of women they didn’t understand. Which is why, while 4chan might be very helpful and supportive to the young men, it’s not useful to take it as completely factual accounts of interactions between young men and women, and then try to determine the motivations of women from biased accounts of them. If you found a forum that didn’t have any men posting, but only young women, would you assume than any complaints made about men were 100% factual, and a useful description about young men today that you would be able to draw conclusions about the men from? No. It’s one sides interpretations of the events (probably exaggerated and/or simplified, since this is the internet and telling someone that their story is a lie is usually a big waste of time) and so just once piece of the picture. If you want the whole story, then you have to get both sides. 4chan is not both sides, and so you can’t draw conclusions about male/female interactions from there.

  39. April says:

    When feminists discuss lived experiences, we don’t decide that all men are sexist and that it’s a evolutionary response, because that would actually go counter to our goals of getting rid of sexism. Feminist spaces often have lots of discussion about romantic relationships that went bad, but we don’t go on and on about how *all* men are like that, or that it’s because of evolution. If nothing else, because it would be completely depressing to the average heterosexual feminist women (yes, most feminists are straight women) to think that every man is a horrible rapist abuser.

    Er… I beg to differ on that point. Plenty of loud feminists actually hate men, or at least talk like they do, and assuming that all men are rapists is apparently a popular method of personal interaction among many.

  40. Darque says:

    Well if one frames the “nice guy” concept as one of socially akward men who are frustrated romantically – but who deserve it because of their own failings, then yes, the general argument you have outlined makes sense.

    However, if you stop the victim-blaming and actually listen to the arguments that some of these men put forth (Something that the concept of “lived experiences” tries to get at) then you might see that some men are shunned because they aren’t masculine enough. Some men are ignored because they don’t choose to play the dating game in the same stereotypical “guy conquers girl” way.

    Do you see the problem now? Do you see the difference here?

    But hey, this makes it easy. Next time a female friend comes and tells me about a guy she likes that has ignored her because of her looks or her weight, I’ll tell her that the problem is entirely with her and not him. After all, guys have agency too. People shouldn’t be asking for a handout. It’s entirely her problem.

    With regard to feminism and men: I don’t think that feminists hate men. However, if I did your argument would be unconvincing. If all it took to wash one’s hands of prejudice was to admit sexual attraction to a group of individuals, then sexism wouldn’t exist. I can imagine the hypothetical MRA in my head already:
    “I can’t be sexist. I loooove women. They’re sexy.”

    So in short: Fauxgalitarians like Amanda Marcotte can go fuck themselves. I know this gender shit can be hard to figure out sometimes, but you think that people would think for a moment before they open their mouths, and stick their feet in them.

  41. Darque says:

    Isn’t that (mostly men, mostly women) argument an indictment of feminist spaces as well?

  42. Marle says:

    Alon Levy, the original post we’re responding to here is not about one man’s personal experience, as Miguel isn’t talking about things that specifically happened to him here. He is talking about other people’s writings, and making assertions that women have a preference for “socially dominant” men, and that is based in evolution.

    April, I guess I can’t make absolutes for everyone on the internet. But when I say “feminists” I’m talking about current, popular feminist writers and discussions that you’ll find on websites like Feministing, Pandagon, Yes Means Yes, etc. The first link you give is clearly ideologically opposed to them, as she devotes a blog post calling out Jessica Valenti of Feministing for getting pregnant. She’s clearly not a feminist. As for the Schrödinger’s Rapist post you linked to, that doesn’t say that all men are rapists. It says that one can’t tell if a man is a rapist just by looking at him, and it attempts to explain why a woman would be afraid of a strange man she doesn’t know, who she sees while alone on a dark street or who approaches her randomly. Unfortunately, the original article was targeted to men who don’t understand women’s perspective while using language that is actually targeted to people who regularly read feminist material, and so the article failed its mission. And yes, women are more likely to be raped by someone they know, but we’re socialized to fear stranger rape more and take more precautions on that (besides, it would be really difficult to go through life more afraid of the people you know than strangers). The article was trying to explain that, though it should have been much more clear if it was meant for a non-feminist audience.

    Darque, feminists complaining about “nice guys” have often been the women that “nice guys” are complaining about. And we know we didn’t reject them because they weren’t masculine enough or something. We know that there’s tons of reasons a women would reject a guy, from not being attracted to him to being with someone else we like better to thinking that he’s actually an asshole no matter how nice he thinks he is. And we’ve seen that “nice guys” not “play[ing] the dating game in the same stereotypical “guy conquers girl” way” often means the “nice guy” is too shy to indicate that he has any interest in the girl, which is not playing the game at all (Women can and do make the first move, but it is very difficult to do so if you have no idea if the guy has any interest). It’s a problem that needs a lot of discussion, but “nice guys” shut down that discussion and say that women just want to date jerks.

    Also, if I had a friend who liked a guy who didn’t like her because of her weight, then I would tell her to find a guy who did like her. I would tell her that not everyone out there is looking for a supermodel, and there’s someone out there who will like her. And, if she needed it, I would tell her that she didn’t need to date only the hottest guys, if I thought that was the problem. I would give the same advice to a guy who felt he couldn’t get a date because of his looks. If a guy couldn’t get a date because he was too shy to express interest, then I’d help him work on that or suggest internet dating. If a guy couldn’t get a date because he’s an asshole to girls he likes even though he thinks he’s nice, then I probably wouldn’t be friends with him. There are many different reasons why a guy might not be able to get dates, and they can’t be just be boiled down to explanations like the men simply aren’t masculine enough. Statements like nice guys aren’t masculine enough, or that women like “socially dominant” men are assumptions that men make about women’s motivations without actually talking to women about it. When discussions of “nice guys” piss women off (feminist or otherwise), it’s because she read the story and she thinks how she’s rejected men like “nice guys” but she didn’t do it because she he wasn’t masculine or she wants a socially dominant man or whatever and she can’t imagine other women doing so. For example, when I read the story about Oscar and Ana above, I see glaring reasons for Ana to reject Oscar that have nothing to do with Oscar’s masculinity. But when you guys already have the reason for why women in similar situations reject men, it sounds like you don’t actually want to discuss things with actual women. And then you wonder why feminists don’t want to talk to you guys.

  43. Marle says:

    Darque, how is “I think that sometimes people do need space for just their own gender or group of people with similar experiences” (my words) an indictment of feminist spaces?

    My problem was your use of 4chan as your sole source in understanding male/female interactions. I can’t imagine you’d take anecdotes on Pandagon at face value and start drawing conclusions about men based solely on that, so why are you taking 4chan anecdotes at face value and drawing conclusions on women from that?

  44. Marle says:

    Oops, I just realized I confused Darque for John E in my last post. Sorry about that.

  45. Pingback: Amanda Marcotte’s Latest “Nice Guy” Rant (NoH) | Feminist Critics

  46. johnedens says:

    Oops, I just realized I confused Darque for John E in my last post. Sorry about that.

    Heh, I have a feeling that this is probably the only time anyone would confuse me with Darque ;-)

    My goodness, I hope that I would never generally use 4chan as my sole source of ideas about male/female interaction – I’m pessimistic enough about the survival of the species as it is.

    However, 4chan is a place where young men of a certain age do speak the truth about their life experiences. It might be good to know that a fairly typical response by anon to an OP who tells his ‘nice guy’ story is that the ‘nice guy’ really should man up and be real with the object of his desire and make his romantic intentions clear.

    Fortunately, most guys figure that out eventually and learn the value of ‘nothing ventured, nothing gained.’

    About the ‘friendzone’ analysis I do think it is likely that some women would prefer not to risk losing a platonic friendship by an attempted conversion to an untried romance – but I also suspect that in a perhaps misguided attempt to spare a male acquaintance’s feelings, some females might say, “I wouldn’t want to risk our friendship,” when she really means, “I don’t find you sexually attractive on any level.”

  47. Marle says:

    You did use 4chan as your source for male/female interactions in a post up above. You stated their description of things, and then you went into trying to interpret women’s motivations, when all you had to go on was men’s descriptions of their behavior. If you really want to know women’s motivations, ask us, not men. Your conclusions seemed to completely miss the mark from my perspective, which seems like the obvious result from getting information from a male-centric community. That’s what I’ve been trying to tell you since you brought up 4chan.

  48. John E. says:

    It would be useful to know what Miguel means by ‘sensitive’ here in this context.

    Sensitive to the pain of experiencing rejection? A synonym for shy and awkward?

    And what is meant by ‘socially dominant’ and ‘sexually entitled’?

    Because if what this all boils down to is that young men who are confident and self-assured enough to express sexual interest in young women are more likely to ask women out on dates – well it is hardly surprising that these sorts are more successful than shy men.

    And one might also look at what sort of message these young men internalize when their advances are rejected – do they they think that something must be wrong with them, or do they think, well better luck next time?

  49. Darque says:

    Marle, I’d say that your reply (where you list the various reasons for which women might reject someone) is actually a very accurate and reasoned list. In fact I would be the first to agree that saying women reject men only for _____ reason is a fallacy that fails to take into account the very varied tastes of women (and people in general).

    However, just as it is a caricature of women to suggest that they only reject men for not being masculine enough, it is also a caricature of people like Miguel to suggest that they are simply Nice Guys whining about their misfortune. I dislike anyone who takes part in that type of mischaracterization. As far as I can tell, Miguel tried to couch his experience with the observation that much of his problem was due to his own insecurity. Marcotte called him a megadouche. It doesn’t take a lot of observational power to see who is trying to do the conversational steamrolling in this context. It also doesn’t take a lot of observational power to realize that in addition to rejecting men for many rational and obvious reasons, it is possible that there are some women who reject some men for reasons that amount to what Miguel alluded to. (Masculinity and social dominance)

    Re: Feminist spaces. My observation was mostly a touch on the fact that many feminist spaces are dominated by women. Which, while completely understandable, it raises some questions about the “quality of observation” with regard to gender interaction. As evidence, I submit to you the fact that broaching this subject is likely to get you called a megadouche, or MRA-lite. I can’t help shake the feeling that what Miguel has said is more controversial precisely because he has a penis.

    and, as a point of inclusion: I’d be interested in hearing this all from a perspective of any women who have experienced the class of problems that Miguel has.

  50. Alec Leamas says:

    The classic scenario for such a Nice Guy works like this: Nice Guy gets very close to a girl. They become good friends, so much so that they are teased by their peers. Nice Guy starts to fall in love with his friend, while girl thinks of Nice Guy as “just a pal” or “more like a brother”.

    Hugo conveniently leaves out the parts where “girl suspects that Nice Guy is attracted to her and enjoys the self-esteem boost and attention” and “girl enters ambiguously intimate, but non-physical relationship with Nice Guy,” and “girl makes unreasonable requests of Nice Guy which exceed what is normal and expected in a friendship, which Nice Guy interprets as a means to ‘earn’ a romantic or physical relationship” and “girl tells Nice Guy that he has so many great qualities that asshole boyfriend does not,” and “girl accepts gifts and other indicia of a romantic relationship from Nice Guy.”

    Nice Guyism is much, much more of a two way street than any committed feminist would admit or allow. Marcotte has a hard-on for Nice Guys because she views them as her male analog – she got no attention from desirable men, and therefore it feels good for her to mock men who don’t know their rightful place.

    As to the quote at hand, and contrary to the comments of feminists, it is alltogether reasonable for Oscar to list his traits in comparison to those of Ana’s boyfriend, and number ‘not currently slapping her around and/or terrifying her’ near the top. Oscar really isn’t more of an asshole, even if a creepy hidden one, than, you know, the guy hitting Ana.

    For any Nice Guys who may be reading this, I would offer a bit of sage advice. You may have fallen for a girl as in Hugo’s scenario. While your heartbreak at not being able to sway that one girl on a pedestal seems devastating, your “one-itis” also arms you with a dark “couldn’t give a fuck” attitude as to other women that will pay dividends if you stop moping, get out and mix and mingle. I can’t tell you how many times as a younger man I parlayed the frustration of not getting the one girl I was obsessed with into interest from other girls that I had considered more attractive than the first anyway. Then the interest in you shown by other attractive girls will make the first girl reconsider her labeling of you as ‘just a friend,’ and you wind up with the opposite problem from the one you started out with. And there’s no reason not to pursue a woman with a boyfriend – plenty of women have boyfriends due to inertia or because they feel the need to always be in a relationship – don’t let it limit your options or actions.

  51. elementary_watson says:

    Hi Marle, good to see you went into more detail about what you really meant. However, I must honestly say that my experiences differ, in a lot of points.

    You say you don’t judge men for not having sex; the way you frame it, however, makes it seem like you judge men who want to have sex but get none, i.e. involuntary celibate men. I guess this is due to the wording, because if not, you’re still defending the notion that men of not more than common decency who want to have sex/dates will get sex/dates.

    And maybe we have very different notions of what it means to be a nice man. I cannot imagine my social circle accepting someone as nice who just so calls women he (almost) slept with sluts. Major mental disconnect for me there.

    When I think of “nice guys” I’m thinking guys extremely eager to please others, not just women they want to have sex with, but pretty much everybody, and I do think that this is something that is unattractive to people in general, men and women alike (which means that the female counterpart to the “nice guy who can’t get laid” would probably be the “nice girl who does all this stuff her boyfriend who just doesn’t appreciate it and even cheats on her”; note the lack of capitals and TMs). This is one way in which niceness hinders sexual interactions.

    Another way is when the niceness manifests itself in a strong desire not to make people uncomfortable, which makes it exceedingly difficult to approach strangers or to get “sexy” with them.

    And lastly, we get to the things unconnected to niceness which also can make a completely nice man sexually luckless; uppermost in my mind is here the tendency to overanalyze things/situations and try to guess the outcome of interaction, assuming often the worst case (from experience) while being unable to even realistically imagining a positive outcome (from lack of experience).

    The guys you describe do not fit into this model of “niceness” I sketched in the first two points – and, anyway, those guys aren’t the ones who really can’t get dates; I mean, they could get flirty with women and even date one for two years without making romantic overtures during that time. (I guess somewhere a PUA is gleefully happy that you somewhat made his point about the “not showing too much interest in the woman one is dating” stuff that doubtlessly can be found somewhere in PUA literature.)

    One last point before going to bed at half past 6am local time: Even if an honestly nice guy who is shy about romatically approaching people will be sexually interesting to some women, it doesn’t help him (or the women, of course) if the women also are too shy to make their interest in him known. And as you wrote below on this thread, it is very difficult to make the first move if you have no idea if the other person has any interest, and we shouldn’t judge people for not having the ability to do so as well as they would like to.

  52. Just a metalhead says:

    That seems to assume that women know from the first sight whether or not they like men, and that nothing men do can ever change that. Seriously, do you think a man just going to a woman they don’t know and saying “want to go out/fuck our brains out?” would have the same success than if he first introduced himself, tried to set up a connection and then asked it in a more tactful way? Because that’s what you’re saying.

    Another assumption you make is that men don’t care about individual women, they just want one, no matter which. That’s the only way one can just be “straightforward” and move on easily to the next possible “catch”, which is what you described. Did you even think that, maybe, men can actually love individual women?

    Your advice seems to assume everyone is just looking for one-night stands, no matter with whom.

    Here’s what I think you didn’t consider. Men who believe that you should really be attracted to, or even in love with, someone before you open up for a date or sex. So these men, they get to know women as friends until they know them enough to actually start caring for them. And then, there’s a dilemma: open up or not. If they open up and are accepted, then all’s fine. But if they open up and are rejected, then it may end the casual relationship, which would hurt because they like just being with that person. If they don’t open up, then they may still enjoy their company.

    At this point, they are already emotionally invested, which makes just opening up and then leaving if refused as if nothing happened an unrealistic expectation. Why do they wait to be emotionally invested before doing it then? Many reasons, shyness is one of them. Another is the fact that a common social message (and one picked up easily from feminists) is that the men who try to seduce women that they have no feelings for are skirt-chasers and bastards, if not straight chauvinist pigs who have no respect for women, a message that they internalize. Add to that people who are not emotionally mature enough to know that they really have feelings for people quickly, and there you have it.

  53. Just a metalhead says:

    Sorry, meant to reply to M, not John E. and I meant to quote:

    “Asking a woman out–or even asking if she wants to have sex–is not “arrogant, pushy, and sexually entitled.” It’s straightforward, and the worst that happens is that she’s not interested and you accept her “no” with good grace and move on.”

  54. Marle says:

    I agree that there needs to be better definitions. I think the types of words Miguel uses have a lot of things that people attach to them, and different people are going to read different things into them. I think that’s part of the problem.

    I think it’s two different situations, guys who are too shy to express interest and guys who are repeatedly rejected. And for the guys who are rejected, it can very different depending on the reasons they are rejected (just bad luck? are they going about it wrong? do they always go after women who aren’t interested, and are they ignoring women who are?). The problem with “nice guy” discussions is that they always conflate all those situations, which really isn’t a helpful starting place if we want to figure out why men are sexually isolated and how to help them not be.

  55. John E. says:

    On the conflation – I noticed a very specific collapse of the Nice Guy phenomena over at Pandagon into that of the fellow who only pretends to be friends with a woman because he thinks that will lead to sex – and that label was conferred upon Miguel.

    Which seems sort of harsh…

    On the question of sexual isolation and the two types – for the shy, I don’t see any other solution than that of taking risks and moving out of their comfort zone. For the repeatedly rejected, well, the harsh facts are that dating is not an egalitarian affair. People do have preferences and some folks will better fit those preferences than others.

  56. jennygadget says:

    “I’d be interested in hearing this all from a perspective of any women who have experienced the class of problems that Miguel has.”

    Yeah, I’m not so sure you do. Because, quite frankly, as a introverted and socially awkward woman, I think I may have more contempt for guys like Miguel than extroverts like Amanda do.

    First of all, no one argues that men should give shy/sensitive/introverted girls a break, so anytime I hear guys start saying that women should give shy/sensitive/introverted guys a break, all it makes me want to do is pull out my tiniest violin.

    More importantly though, as someone for whom social interactions can be draining and who doesn’t always feel up to or capable of reading and performing social interactions correctly, learning that a guy is like (identifies with guys like) the fictional Oscar pretty much results in me doing everything I can to get as far. away. as. I. fucking. can.

    Miguel and the fictional Oscar may or may not be megadouchebags, but I’m certainly not going to volunteer to be the woman that finds out if their lack of concern for Ana extends to me, especially since I know that I’m also less capable than most women of both reading certain cues correctly and elegantly extracting myself from potentially dangerous situations. As a socially awkward, introverted woman, dealing with guys can be dangerous in ways that it isn’t for men, and I don’t really feel the need to give guys waving potential red flags the benefit of the doubt. Especially in terms of immediately treating them as a romantic interest. I tend to just thank my lucky stars that for once I picked up on that potential insight into their psyche as early as I did and go on my merry way.

    And that’s before you add in the fact that doing them the favor of giving them a chance is especially draining and tiring for me as someone who is introverted and socially awkward.

    I’ve been into shy, socially awkward nerdy guys before, and they’ve been into me before. I’m never into guys that start sounding like Oscar.

  57. Marle says:

    Thanks for seeing my point, Darque.

    Marcotte didn’t actually call Miguel a megadouche. What she said is “I found this blog post that really is the epitome of Nice Guys®, and what makes them such megadouchebags. ” Nice Guys® are guys who can’t get laid and blame it all on women liking assholes, while the women rejecting him actually know that he’s the asshole, even though he never will see it. Feminists have seen a lot of this, so posts about male sexual isolation raise flags and skepticism. It wasn’t just prejudgement that got Miguel into trouble though. As Amanda details, he starts first with a fictional account of a women in an abusive relationship, in a context where we’re apparently supposed to feel sorry for the man she isn’t sleeping with. He also claims that women in general are attracted to dominant men based on evolution, and that feminists in particular are attracted to arrogant and sexually entitled men. Feminists do not take well to being told what they like by a man, and Amanda doesn’t pull punches. You should try reading it with an open mind, because she details exactly why this post does not go over well with women. I think that a discussion of male sexual isolation is possible with feminist women, but it can’t be done with men making assumptions about women’s motivations and desires. When men start out like that, women don’t feel like we’re even welcome in the discussion, and then there’s no dialog.

  58. Recall says:

    “Indeed, you’ve never been uncivil. I just get tired of the way in which I’m set up as some sort of alpha male who has no idea what shy young men go through. It’s a trope that dismisses what I’m talking about.”

    Well, for starters, a lot of us have life experiences that are the polar opposite of yours. Your blog is like reading science fiction for me.

  59. Marle says:

    ” I noticed a very specific collapse of the Nice Guy phenomena over at Pandagon into that of the fellow who only pretends to be friends with a woman because he thinks that will lead to sex”

    That’s because “nice guys” sometimes are friends with a woman solely because he wants sex and/or a relationship. That XKCD comic you linked to is a perfect example. We’re not talking about guys who have perfect game and are deceitful to get laid. We’re talking about situations where a guy wants to be in a relationship with us, but isn’t (either we’ve told him no or he was too shy to ask in the first place) and he pretends (possibly to himself as well) that he’s ok with just being friends, but he really isn’t and it causes problems. It might be that these guys are not always “nice guys”, but they seem to be.

    When a feminist uses the term “nice guys” in quotes or like Nice Guys(R) or something, we’re talking about guys who are sexually isolated, but who have gotten so angry and bitter about it that they’ve become sexist assholes. They might have had different reasons for initially being sexually isolated, but by the time they’re Nice Guys(R) all we can tell is they come across like a sexist asshole. That label was conferred on Miguel (actually it wasn’t directly, but whatever) because Miguel was defending Nice Guys(R) and blaming their sexual isolation solely on women preferring dominant men, and he basically reiterates the old tropes about nice guys finish last and women only like bad boys. Which is bullshit and overdone already.

  60. Marle says:

    elementary_watson, if you’re catching that I’m judging involuntary celibate men, it’s because I’m thinking about the ones who complain about it so much that they sound like assholes. The ones who blame women in general for what is the luck of the draw, or the ones who are all around assholes but still claim they’re “nice guys.” Many people have problems getting the dates they want, and some people don’t seem to get any, at least for a time frame, and I’m sympathetic to that. Which is why I’m talking about it. It just seems that the discussion often gets overwhelmed by men who are actually assholes and that’s why they can’t get laid but then people have to go and blame women for liking dominant men, and so I don’t always sound sympathic.

    The guy I was talking about is very nice to his friends. He will drop anything at a moment’s notice to help you if you need it. We’ve always had an entirely platonic relationship, and he’s never been anything but great to me. Also, the women he treats badly aren’t really sympathetic. I don’t like any of them, and I’m friends with him but not them anymore (for reasons that don’t involve him). So, his friends either think he’s a nice guy 90% of the time but has made a few mistakes, or they blame the women since they don’t really like them anyways.

    I don’t think that being eager to please is universally a turn-off. First of all, to me it sounds sweet, but also in your example of the nice girl who gets cheated on she does have a boyfriend, so she’s not completely unattractive, and she is probably specifically attractive in the sense that she’ll put up with that kind of crap. Not in a good way, of course, but not the same as the nice guy who can’t get laid. Another problem with listing those as parallels is that the guy who cheats on the nice girl is the counterpart to the women who won’t sleep with the nice guy. Not an effective analogy.

    “Nice guys” doesn’t only include guys who are too nice to show any interest at all in women. The stereotypical nice guy often develops an interest in a girl who already has a boyfriend, and he listens to her complain until he is “friend zoned” and she continues to date the jerk while ignoring the nice guy right in front of her (often in real life there is a girl who’s interested in him who he completely ignores for his crush). As I said, I had heard the myths of nice guys, believed them whole-heartedly, and once I found myself in a situation that looked just like the stereotype I ran straight for the nice guy. I guess in retrospect that really shocked him, since that’s not how the script goes. I stayed with him because I was inexperienced, and because I expected that attentive, eager to please persona that he had when I started dating him would stay/come back. But yeah, thanks for reinterpreting my personal life to make a point that PUAs are right. Even though I don’t think PUAs give advice on years-long relationships, and I did in fact dump him for lack of attention.

  61. Darque says:

    Point taken. I understand why Marcotte posted what she did. Hell, I can understand why she would be angry if she made that mental connection between Miguel and some guys who have acted that way toward her or other women in the past.

    But I reread both posts. I looked at what Miguel said and what she said.

    and I came to one conclusion based off of your post. If all it takes for a discussion to end is to quietly raise some points about one’s own dating experiences then perhaps there is no further discussion to be had. Miguel qualified his work by saying that this is just his experience, and moreover, it only reflects some women’s preferences. If indeed, that is so insulting that women feel the need to call him whiny and a loser, then maybe it reflects something about our wider gender discourse: that a socially isolated man shouldn’t lay his problems and sexual vulnerabilities out to air.

    Well, whatever. I guess anybody who doesn’t get any is a Nice Guy, and we all know what real assholes those people are. Beware of those shy lurking predators.

  62. April says:

    I know I already wrote a whole blog post about it, but I want to succinctly state my opinion on this post, with consideration to the critiques that have spawned from it:

    Miguel clearly took great care to ensure that he did not over-generalize women or feminists, that he gave credit to feminists WRT their related objections to certain “Nice Guy” theories, and that he was not trying to write this piece from an “anti-feminist” or “slut-shaming,” “I hate all women” perspective. As Miguel noted, he identifies more as a feminist ally than he does an MRA.

    I started reading this blog several months ago because I appreciated Miguel’s willingness to be so frank and honest about his experiences regarding sensitive topics like not only sexuality, but men’s sexuality. Because of Miguel’s careful attention to making sure he isn’t painting all self-described feminists with the same brush in this post, I feel hopeful that we can continue making sure that men’s voices are heard about their sexual realities and sensitivities, while we also continue to work on liberating women from our gender-based oppression, as well.

    Tree-hugging hippie-ish as it may sound, I just think we’re all looking for the same thing, and we’re all a little too defensive to listen to the people we think are our opposition. Feminists and male feminist sympathizers who want to discuss their issues aren’t enemies; why aren’t we letting go of this petty bullshit and joining forces? This is standard political trickery.

    I should not enter the blogosphere after so many glasses of wine, but let me just conclude: if we can stop the petty nit-picking, really, we can actually get something done. I think a lot of the more reasonable feminists and MRAs would get along fine if we’d just let go of our collective egos for half a second. And I think that Miguel’s post is a valuable contribution to the larger progressive gender/sexuality dialogue that we all want ot be having.

  63. Guestopher says:

    Because as we all know, women aren’t looking for a man who their female friends will find fun, cute and interesting. It’s only men who wish to impress their friends and gain social status by having a high status mate.

    But seriously, why say that about men and not women? I think this is why there are a handful of men who are wildly successful with women and a much larger pool of men who have very little success. Women are going for the guys who already have half a dozen women chasing them.

  64. Guestopher says:

    responding to Marle

    “…which is not playing the game at all (Women can and do make the first move, but it is very difficult to do so if you have no idea if the guy has any interest)”
    Well, how can you put the onus on men to approach women when they have no idea if a woman has any interest? Sounds like you should give men a little more credit, especially since most women aren’t playing the game from the man’s side at all.

    But no, most of what I see in the feminist community is even more ridiculous than this. A man doesn’t just have to muster up the courage to approach a woman who has shown no interest in him; he must do it in the “perfect way”, every single time or else he’s a creepy jerk. He can’t let rejection get to him personally since he’ll probably need to be rejected dozens (hundreds… thousands?) of times before finding what he’s looking for.

    then:

    “Statements like nice guys aren’t masculine enough, or that women like “socially dominant” men are assumptions that men make about women’s motivations without actually talking to women about it.”

    That’s good. Next time a woman won’t go out with me or wants to end a relationship I won’t just say “no problem” and let it be. I’ll ask her why. I may or may not believe her when she says that I’m not her type, she isn’t looking to seriously date right now, sees me as a friend, is emotionally unavailable, etc. If it’s because she sees me as a friend, then I’ll break the concept apart (ditto for her “type”) and figure out what I need to do to stay out of the friend zone. If I find that she’s seriously dating someone else within two months of breaking up with me, I’ll openly question her about why she is emotionally available to someone else and what it is that they have that I don’t. I’ll tell her that I am willing to be whatever it is she wants me to be, if only she’d tell me. I’m sure this won’t be creepy and desperate at all and will help me achieve exactly what I’m looking for. /sm. And if she happens to tell me that my desperation to meet her every need and my willingness to change, even compromise myself to win her approval are the very things that are causing me to be unsuccessful with her and other women (a woman will never tell a man this) then I will become independent, somewhat aloof and a bad ass for the simple reason that that’s what attracts women.

    But seriously, women do not have an obligation to tell men what it is that will improve their chances for romantic relationships. However, it would probably make for a dating pool of more attractive men. Maybe just coming out and telling guys what the problem is would be cheating somehow? I mean, if a guy needs to be told then he obviously doesn’t deserve to be dating anyone./sm

    Oh, I forgot to explicitly state this but my problem with Marle’s second statement is that many guys do ask women why there is no potential for a romantic relationship between them. And many men do exactly what the women say (dating is kind of high stakes in our society; it pays to listen, learn and improve). But think about the answers they tend to get (see above). Is that really going to help the situation?

  65. Guestopher says:

    Hmm, I read Darque’s comment as a call for opinions from women (regardless of gender preference) who are in Nice Gal’s territory. That seems different from discussing how men who are friends with women they are very attracted to are the scourge of earth and anyone who happens to date them might be submitting themselves to abuse. Specifically, what is it like to be an introverted woman who acts as friendly as possible towards potential romantic partners? Perhaps I was wrong. There’s that whole “the class of problems that Miguel has” part that I’m referring to.

  66. Violet says:

    “In their teens and twenties, at the time when most people are learning to be sexual and have relationships, women, on average, tend to overvalue such hypermasculine characteristics as dominance and a sexually entitled attitude, especially, but not exclusively, when they are looking for short-term sexual relations.”

    To the extent that this phenomena actually exists, I think it would be based more upon social factors rather than biological influences. Our culture is still very heavily invested in slut-shaming and “traditional” womanhood. A lot of women still struggle with the idea that it is okay to want a primarily sexual relationship, or a short-term romantic relationship – as opposed to the idea that they must (so our culture tells us) want a serious, emotional, forever after, unless they are somehow “bad.”

    So if a woman “falls for” a player, or someone who refuses to make time, etc… well, her leaving a relationship for those reasons is much more socially acceptably than her wanting to experiment and play the field, or than her prioritizing things like career over relationships.

    I don’t necessarily think this a conscious manipulative ploy. I think social pressures are so deeply internalized that a lot of women, especially when they are looking for casual or short-term, select for a “built-in exit” which won’t get them labelled a “slut” or “cold-hearted” (and thus unfeminine).

    Until society is okay with women both being in and ending a relationship “just because,” then genuinely nice men might get fewer short term relationships.

  67. Guestopher says:

    My favorite parts of Miguel’s post were “myth of unknown origin” and the final paragraph about the unspoken deal.

    People have pointed out that the story is problematic in that we are supposed to sympathize with Oscar even though Ana has the abusive boyfriend. It’s possible to feel sympathy for both of them at the same time *gasp*. There are a number of solutions for Ana, but the solution for Oscar seems clear: if he knew how to create attraction the same way as Manny then he’d be much better off.

    I’ve recently been working on a theory. If more people embraced the idea that attraction can be created by doing certain things, there’d be an even better explanation for the phenomenon of people dating abusers. Really, without the belief that abusers in relationships know how to trigger attraction better than involuntarily single people we seem to be left with the idea that people choose to date abusers rather than willing and interested non-abusers. All we (as feminists, as MRAs, or as people clueless about gender theory) have to do is embrace the PUA and Seduction Community belief that attraction is not a conscious choice. Of course, that would be admitting that PUAs and the SC may have gotten something correct.

  68. elementary_watson says:

    Hi there Marle,

    I don’t think being an sshole is too big an obstacle to consensual sex, as long as one is attractive enough in other ways. And there are ways for a man to be attractive that make his assholishness look like a minor flaw, more minor than being socially awkward, and *that* is the dynamic many sexually unsuccessful men find so deeply frustrating. Also, I don’t think “blaming women for liking dominant men” is what Miguel’s post is about; it’s about acknowledging that it isn’t just the “luck of the draw” that dominant men often have an easier time finding a partner for sex than non-dominant men (I know, that begs the question; however, I certainly believe that nice dominant men have the easiest time getting sex).

    The analogy “nice guy who can’t get laid – nice girl who is ignored by her boyfriend” was more about the concept of “I’m so nice (which is true), why am I not be loved?”, which, I think, lies at the bottom of both those types of behaviour. I certainly didn’t want to draw parallels between girls who reject a nice guy and men who are assholes to their girlfriends. (I’m also not sure that the boyfriends who cheat and ignore their nice girlfriends are attracted to their girlfriends; many, I guess, simply have that girlfriend for convenience.)

    The stereotypical nice guy often develops an interest in a girl who already has a boyfriend, and he listens to her complain until he is “friend zoned” and she continues to date the jerk while ignoring the nice guy right in front of her (often in real life there is a girl who’s interested in him who he completely ignores for his crush).

    Major mental disconnect here, too (maybe due to living in different cultures, as I’m from Germany). I always thought that I had been a stereotypical “nice guy” during my teenage years and a bit afterwards, but I never fostered a crush on a girl who wasn’t single (to my knowledge, at least). I think that there had been exactly one girl who had a crush (unrequited) on me during those years (if there weren’t others who were secretly fond of me), but I saw her only for a few months out of all those years; so, to me, it sounds more like a John Hughes movie plot than what I experienced.

    Also, saying the guy ignores the girl he is attractive to is one way of putting it; another would be that he is attractive to the girl who ignores him. You assume the guy switches his mind to “ignore” if a non-hot girl is interested in him; PUAs assume that the girl switches her mind to “find attractive” if a guy ignores her. Honestly, I think both happens; there are girls who see a guy ignoring them as a challenge (if he has other attractive traits), and there are guys who … well, as Paul Watzlawick put it, there men who try to figure what is wrong with a woman if she is attracted to him – most probably a “morbid fascination with the deficient”.

  69. Marle says:

    Darque, I think you and I might be reading Miguel’s post completely differently. I don’t see Miguel trying to explain his own experiences. He is clearly speaking from the perspective that this is how it is for a number of young men, and the only stories he offers are in the form of quotes. He doesn’t offer his own dating experiences, and he doesn’t even clearly imply that he includes himself in the stories of the young men he describes (that assumption is made by knowing the purpose of this blog). It’s not one person’s personal story that we can’t criticize because we weren’t there, but instead he is trying to make a sociological point and claim that this is the experience for many people. We can and will judge his claim on the merits.

    While Miguel initially clarifies that he’s talking about some women’s attraction to dominant men, he quickly drops the “some.” Later he says “In their teens and twenties …, women, on average, tend to overvalue such hypermasculine characteristics as dominance and a sexually entitled attitude,” “But what I am saying is that both men and women have instinctual, biological influences on their behavior, and for many young women this often leads to a preference for socially dominant men,” “the preference that many young women have for dominant men,” etc, showing that he clearly dropped the pretext of “some” right after he made it. At the end, he finishes with making a claim that feminists specifically have an arrangement with arrogant and sexually entitled men that we’ll forgive them for being arrogant and sexually entitled if they don’t tell anyone that we’re supposedly turned on by that. And you wonder why feminists haven’t taken to kindly to this.

  70. Tim says:

    Asking a woman out–or even asking if she wants to have sex–is not “arrogant, pushy, and sexually entitled.” It’s straightforward, and the worst that happens is that she’s not interested and you accept her “no” with good grace and move on.

    Actually getting a simple ‘No’ is not the worst thing. It is the second best thing that can happen, right after a ‘Yes’. I can’t decide what is the worst that can happen, but I have been laughed at for simply saying ‘Hi’ and that was definitively worse than ‘No’.

  71. Marle says:

    Wow, Guestopher, thanks for not even trying to understand my post.

    “Showing interest” is not the same as making the first move. When a girl wants a guy to ask her out/kiss her/whatever, she smiles a lot at him, she makes a point to try to spend more time with him, she’ll touch him on the shoulder or something like that. Now, these signals are abigious, and not everyone gets the subtlities, and I am very sympathetic with people who don’t understand social cues because I’ve been there. But, for anyone making the first move, it is all but required that the other person show some of these signs. Now that women make first moves as well, men need to learn how to show their interest in order for women to ask them out. Of course that isn’t as easy as it sounds, but the answer is better communication, not villifying women for men not getting laid.

    On to your second point, I have no idea why you think I meant talking to a woman as she’s breaking up with you. I meant talking to women before you write a long blog post going into your opinions of women’s motives, like Miguel here did promoting his idea that women are attracted to “socially dominant” men. There are plenty of places throughout the internet where women explain why they reject so-called “nice guys.” Miguel could have easily read them, and he probably even did. But he rejected women’s statements about ourselves in favor of his own theories, and then he wonders why feminists reject him.

  72. Tim says:

    After reading your comment April, I strongly recommend entering the blogosphere more often after that many glasses of wine. I mean, you know what they say: Children and Drunk tell the truth.

  73. Violet, I’d agree that a large part of this phenomenon is the result of socialization. In fact in a previous post, If sex is outlawed, only outlaws will have sex, I said:

    “I have another criticism of abstinence education: It pushes adolescent girls toward having sexual relations with more aggressive, domineering, and borderline sociopathic boys. The idea is, teenage girls who believe in abstinence will tend to feel that sex is not something you do with “nice” boys. Girls who are taught abstinence will equate “goodness” among boys with diminished sexual expression and desire.”

    So, I think that expresses an idea similar to what you’re saying. The “bad boy” phenomenon is in part a by-product of society’s sex-negative attitudes.

  74. Just a metalhead says:

    Come on. Amanda Marcotte did call Miguel a “megadouchebag” by association. She said that Nice Guys were “megadouchebags” and that this article was the epitome of that. How much clearer do you want it to be?

    Not only that, but it seems she couldn’t write one sentence without throwing an “asshole”, “prick”, “dick” in. Her “reply” is nothing but ad hominem after ad hominem. There’s “not pulling punches” and then there’s “throwing insults around instead of arguments and attacking the person instead of their arguments”, and Amanda is 100% in the second camp. She seems to always want to assume the worse possible interpretations about men who disagree with her. She presumes that they are always assholes and bastards and she refuses to consider any other alternative interpretation of what they are saying.

    For the record, Miguel was always careful not to talk about all women, “some women”, “many women”, “on average”, etc… All these are expressions to indicate that there are trends that shouldn’t be taken as absolute, universal truths. Feminists tend not to be half as careful when talking about trends amongst men, “male violence” anyone? “Men as a class”? “Patriarchy”? It seems to me that generalizations about men are a dime a dozen on feminist websites, and rarely do they even bother to clarify that not all men are like this. Hell, some feminists even mock men who demand that they be more careful with their generalizations, they claim they are nothing but children in men’s bodies who want a cookie for not directly abusing women.

    Now listen, if you want to make social criticisms, then you need to discuss trends, no way around it. Miguel was careful to always indicate that he was talking of trends, and not of things that were true of all women. I think many feminists who got angry about it just wanted to get angry, because this anger and portraying it as their hurt feelings is a way to shift the debate from what was actually said to their own feelings.

  75. Doug S. says:

    “Actually getting a simple ‘No’ is not the worst thing. It is the second best thing that can happen, right after a ‘Yes’.”

    Yes, a simple “No” is a lot better than some of the things that have actually happened to me – like getting a phone number and then no answer when you call at what she agreed would be a good time, followed by what may or may not be deliberate avoidance…

  76. Alec,

    “Hugo conveniently leaves out the parts where “girl suspects that Nice Guy is attracted to her and enjoys the self-esteem boost and attention” and “girl enters ambiguously intimate, but non-physical relationship with Nice Guy,” and “girl makes unreasonable requests of Nice Guy which exceed what is normal and expected in a friendship, which Nice Guy interprets as a means to ‘earn’ a romantic or physical relationship” and “girl tells Nice Guy that he has so many great qualities that asshole boyfriend does not,” and “girl accepts gifts and other indicia of a romantic relationship from Nice Guy.” ”

    The Onion illustrated this phenomena perfectly here:

    http://www.theonion.com/articles/but-if-we-started-dating-it-would-ruin-our-friends,11473/

    White Knights(TM) conveniently ignore any and all instances of selfishness on the part of women – only men have those flaws.

  77. P John Irons says:

    @Cara

    Women, being human too, are also capable of occasionally being flawed, or doing things they regret, or otherwise failing in that difficult enterprise of trying to be good in this world.

    The way in which you challenge the idea that average women could also be guilty of “scumbag behaviors” almost makes it sound as if you think average women are incapable of being scumbags (except in exceptional circumstances that can be ignored). Ironically, this just confirms Soullite’s charge that feminists are unable to give due consideration for women’s flaws.

    When will ever get away from this infantilizing Victorian Era notion of women as perfect angels on pedestals?

  78. Violet says:

    Sex negativity definitely plays a role in the “bad boy” phenomena. Especially since this is combined with the fact that society also pushes women to be “nicer” (and by nicer her I mean something closer to “demure”) than men. Both sexually and in general. If women seem to be more interested in sex, or , or more confident than men – especially the men they are intimate with- women will get strongly censored for being “emasculating.” Or “unfeminine.” Or “sluts.” Or all of the above.

    I don’t think that many women really want jerks for the sake of wanting jerks. But for women, who are more open to social pressures -which tends to include younger women – it can be a lesser evil, one which allows them to have some freedoms not given to previous generations but still be “good girls.”

    Obviously, I think the best solution would be for society to stop having such ridiculous double standards where women and men are concerned.

  79. typhonblue says:

    Soullite sez:

    Marle sez:

    His description of women is pretty… well… generic. It results from the radical notion that ‘women are human’ thus just as morally flawed as men. Men are often scumbags and women are also often scumbags.

    This is categorically different from feminists defining the experience of men and often simultaneously trying to establish men as somehow more scumbaggier then women.

    @ Cara:

    What scumbag behavior are women somehow excluded from perpetuating by virtue of their genitalia?

  80. elementary_watson says:

    Just a metalhead: I think the epitome of this feminist borgification of men is the “Not my Nigel”-meme I once found on finallyfeminism101; there is a phrase to mock women who believe that men in their lives are actually really decent people.

    (Then of course, the belief that all men are bastards except those in ones acquaintance *is* more farfetched than the belief that all men are bastards, full stop.)

  81. Lynet says:

    “I’d be interested in hearing this all from a perspective of any women who have experienced the class of problems that Miguel has.”

    I’ll bite. My situation is perhaps interesting because, like Miguel, I went through a stage where I sometimes wondered in frustration if feminism was incompatible with my desire for sex, and if (in my case, female) feminists were getting around the problem by only becoming feminists after they’d been sexually active for a year or two already and knew enough about sex that the extra restrictions that feminism seemed to place on their sexual behavior wouldn’t be so hard to measure up to. There is, after all, a whole book about how women who go around looking like they just want sex are Female Chauvinist Pigs. So a young, vulnerable, would-be-feminist woman who really does just want sex — desperately — can find it hard to escape the impression that she’s not allowed to express that in her clothes and behavior without being a ‘bad feminist’.

    Just as some men have trouble working out how to express sexual interest in a woman without it being equal to a degrading objectification, I was having trouble working out how to express sexual interest without it meaning that I was ‘complicit’ in my own objectification — whatever that means.

    I got around the problem by deciding that if there wasn’t already a pattern for the role of “woman who has casual sex and is not degraded by this” then I’d just have to go out and create one. Basically I decided that the male power to ‘objectify’ wasn’t really all that scary and that I was going to go out and be a strong woman who was allowed to make mistakes.

    I’m not sure if feminism has been developing this idea a lot more in the years since I decided it, or if it’s just that I see the idea a lot more now that I’m sure of how it works, but there are certainly plenty of feminists who have come to similar conclusions.

    I don’t know if there exists a similar line of reasoning that could help you from the male point of view, but I’ll gladly try to help you discover it if there is.

  82. Lynet says:

    “[W]hat is it like to be an introverted woman who acts as friendly as possible towards potential romantic partners?”

    Well, having a crush on a friend that you’ve always been too shy to display is a difficult situation, and one that I’ve found myself in many times. The only good way out that I know is to confess your affections, receive the ‘no’, and then use that to help yourself get over it.

    I know of two ways to get out of the cycle of continually repeating the above pattern. One is to decide you have a crush on your friend who obviously has a crush on you (that one didn’t work for me for other reasons, but I maintain that in theory it could have worked). The other is to figure out ahead of time the sorts of traits you are attracted to, look for men who have them, date them instead of being friends, and see if you fall in love while dating. That one has worked very well for me.

    One thing I never did, though, was I never blamed the men I had crushes on for not seeing how ‘nice’ I was. That would just be silly, because there are lots of nice people out there who I don’t actually want to fuck, and people have a right to their preferences.

    Also, I used to really hate it when guys tried to guilt-trip me about the way it hurt them when they had a crush on me and I didn’t have feelings for them. The fact that I don’t have feelings for you is not my fault, so while it may seem like it is *me* that is causing you all that pain, it’s actually just the *situation* that is causing you that pain. It’s not something I have control over, so stop blaming me, asshole.

    It was really important to me that I not treat the men I had crushes on in the same way that I had been treated when I was the crush object.

  83. Carny Asada says:

    Anecdotally speaking, every guy I’ve ever known who complained to me that “women don’t date nice guys like me” had Issues that overshadowed his purported niceness. Maybe I should have spelled out to each of them what his Issues were, but that seemed unkind at the time. In some cases, it would have taken a professional many, many sessions to untangle all the Issues Mr. Nice Guy was dealing with.

    And, for the record, I’ve been married to an Issues-free, genuinely nice guy for almost 20 years.

  84. Cessen says:

    Wow, you both have totally just blown my mind. I think this line of thought has a lot of explanatory power. Need to think more about this…

  85. humbition says:

    I would like to express my appreciation for everything Lynet has been saying. I very much value just about everything she brings to this blog. (Platonically, mind you…)

    I relate to her experience but even the non-blaming kind of experience she had, when it is a cis het male subject, gets tagged with the “Nice Guy TM” label — often by the guy himself in retrospect. It is as though having the difficulties at all, and expressing frustration (even to someone not the person in question), yields the label. This is what is broken about the concept.

    It would be nice to work towards a sense of “this is the ethical kind of behavior when you find yourself in the situation of having this kind of difficulties” — rather than the current status quo of “if you are having these kind of difficulties you are contaminated by this particular kind of bad-person identity.”

  86. VJ says:

    Not going to bother that ‘nice’ Mr. Hugo or bother with the Fem sites. They’d just mock this gent, and it’s quite the sad Odyssey, this is part 1:

    Cheers, ‘VJ’

  87. Alec Leamas says:

    “Anecdotally speaking, every guy I’ve ever known who complained to me that “women don’t date nice guys like me” had Issues that overshadowed his purported niceness.”

    Smackinabitch probably wasn’t one of them.

  88. Lynet says:

    Thank you, humbition!

    ‘It would be nice to work towards a sense of “this is the ethical kind of behavior when you find yourself in the situation of having this kind of difficulties” ‘

    Yes! Yes, it would. And so far the standard response is “Well, don’t make generalizations about ‘what most women want’ which blame women for your problems.” This is a partial answer, but it’s obviously not very satisfying, and it ends up sounding kind of accusatory even when it isn’t accompanied by name calling! If there was standard advice on what to do, as well as what not to do, that would be a big improvement.

    Part of the problem is that there are so many different possible issues! Miguel has elucidated many of them in different posts on his blog.

    I think my advice would be:

    1. You’re allowed to have sexual feelings. You’re allowed to want people to have sexual feelings about you. Being sexually wanted should not ‘degrade’ a person in and of itself, either way.

    2. Don’t attribute to your own unattractiveness (or to women’s lack of taste) what could be attributed to a lack of skill in communicating sexual interest.

    3. Your aim should be to find ways of indicating sexual feelings that provide the recipient with the minimum amount of pressure and the maximum amount of opportunity. That is, it should be easy to say ‘no’, and easy to say ‘yes’. Making it easy to say ‘maybe’ is a nice bonus if you don’t mind an open-ended result.
    3a. Sometimes when you try to find these ways of communicating, you’re going to make a mistake and come off as threatening. Don’t beat yourself up about this. It happens to lots of people (sometimes even women, though for cultural reasons this is more common with men). Do learn how to graciously back off when this happens.
    3b. You should also be looking for ways to recognize when other people are trying to communicate this sort of thing to you.

    4. Don’t blame women, singly or in general. Don’t blame ‘most’ women either. Not blaming women doesn’t mean you should blame yourself.

    The list needs work, but this is definitely a question worth working on.

  89. Carny Asada says:

    Seriously? Stalking a woman on Flickr makes you qualified to judge both her hotness and the hotness of everyone she has ever slept with? Alec, you are neither nice nor Nice (TM).

  90. Cactuar says:

    Alec, I think you’re being very over-cynical. What, in your opinion would be the appropriate response to noticing an unrequited affection developing for you in one of your friends? It’s not very feasible (and kind of cruel), to preemptively reject someone. “..apropos of nothing, John. I don’t find you romantically attractive, and likely never will. Want to go to the bookstore Saturday? ”

    You read too much into someone’s actions here, normal friendship involves doing a lot of things for your close friends, and having an intimate relationship with them. I do/have done a lot of things for my friends: 3am trips to the ER, driving 2hrs to the airport to get them on days I had class, loaning them money freely if we were going for lunch and they didn’t have any… and yes, presents too. Doing stuff for friends is just part of the package. It doesn’t mean I ought to have expected they give me sexual favors in return.

    I think a lot of the hostility on both sides of this debate come from attributing the other side’s actions to selfishness or malice when there are better explanations. When you do that, you get responses like Amanda’s and comments like Alec’s

  91. Pingback: Noli Irritare Leones » Blog Archive » On a lighter note: Nice Guys, again

  92. Clarence says:

    At least he’s honest, and good at hurling insults back at Amanda.

    Then again, look into Amanda’s behavior back in 2006 and early 2007 in regards to the Duke Rape hoax. She permanently earned my scorn. She’ll throw people under the bus for ideology. That’s true as demonstrated by her behavior and I find it much more damaging to hit her with than the remind her that on the female one to ten scale that many PUA’s use, on her best day, she’s hardly rated a 6. However, while her appearance may be bland, her behavior is a disgusting “3”.

  93. Clarence says:

    I’m just going to point out that on large college campuses and in cities like Baltimore there ain’t a “whole lotta slut shaming” going on, and to an extent this is a very bad thing. There’s tons of social pathologies in these areas and while its one thing for men and women to feel “free to experiment” and yadda yadda, that should never ever be done when kids are involved.

  94. Hey Alec. Linking to someone’s picture on flickr and making snarky comments is frowned upon. Hence the edit.

  95. Lathe of Heaven says:

    Carny Asada: “Anecdotally speaking, every guy I’ve ever known who complained to me that “women don’t date nice guys like me” had Issues that overshadowed his purported niceness.”

    As the Spaniard put it, I don’ think these words mean what you think they do.

    Everyone has issues, and the abusive Manny certainly has more than his share. And yet, that doesn’t prevent Manny from getting laid; while some unstated “issues” Carny refers to are enough to prevent the nice guy from achieving the same.

    What we are left with is women’s (aggregate) judgement that “having issues” trumps niceness; while being abusive and domineering trumps having issues. In other words, being abusive and domineering is _more_ attractive than being nice! So you’ve really just confirmed the harshest version of what Miguel is writing about. Nicely done! (or was that not your intention?)

  96. Alec Leamas says:

    “Alec, I think you’re being very over-cynical. What, in your opinion would be the appropriate response to noticing an unrequited affection developing for you in one of your friends? It’s not very feasible (and kind of cruel), to preemptively reject someone. “..apropos of nothing, John. I don’t find you romantically attractive, and likely never will. Want to go to the bookstore Saturday? ”

    Well, there are many things you wouldn’t do if you are a true friend. You certainly wouldn’t trade on that person’s feelings to extract favors or gifts from him. You would perhaps be vigilant and consistent in outlining the boundaries of the friendship so that there are no mixed messages to encourage him. And if you didn’t think that you could successfully navigate the situation, you might withdraw from the friendship so that your friend could move on, rather than being stuck in a perpetual holding pattern, clinging to hope where there is none. In sum, the “Nice Guy” phenomenon is, in practice, a two way street.

    All of this is not to say that unrequited “Nice Guy” feelings are women’s fault, unless they’re doing things to knowingly elicit these feelings. The men engaged in these “friendships” need to learn to be more direct in their approach, and understand what is really happening as opposed to what they wish was happening. I really think some guys choose the ‘friend route’ for some altruistic reasons – they want to get to know an attractive woman without the pressure and posturing of the formal dating process, and/or maybe they have baggage that prohibits them from comfortably opening themselves up in the normal progression of an overtly romantic relationship.

    The truth of the “Nice Guy” phenomenon is not what feminists purport it to be, nor is it wholly the fault of “the bitches” that MRA types may believe – it’s really just another way that people exploit and use one another in the ebb and flow of human interaction. Being in a “Nice Guy” situation at one time does not brand you as a “Nice Guy” forever – it is for most men an experience at one point in his life or at one point in an already established relationship that they then get past. The very same men may have had or may go on to have an active social and romantic life.

    I do, however, find it very interesting that feminists devote such relish so much time and ink to “Nice Guys,” when the latter are, comparatively speaking, not actively physically harming women and not very harmful at all. In the supposed hierarchy of bad things some men do to women one wouldn’t expect that being unable to “man up” and overtly express attraction would be so very high on the list.

  97. @Lathe of Heaven: You make a very good point. Most people have issues. (We’ve all met the exceptionally well-adjusted person blessed with good genes and high-functioning, emotionally competent parents and siblings, but I think that’s the exception.) The question is, what kind of issues? I remember, back in my twenties, having a conversation with an older woman, a co-worker, and she was discussing her teenage son’s anger issues. “He’s just angry at the world,” she said, and went on the mention that he’d been in several fights during the school year. But what she also mentioned (may have been a different conversation, I don’t remember) was that her son was popular with girls, and that their home phone was often “ringing off the hook” because girls were calling him. So yeah, this guy had personal problems all right, but they manifested themselves in the form of aggression, rather than introversion and shyness, and so his “issues” didn’t seem to hurt his dating prospects very much.
    Your last two sentences hit a sour note, however. A sarcastic “Nicely done!” doesn’t add anything to the discussion, and isn’t likely to generate a thoughtful reply. So, please try to keep the hostility to a minimum. (Because you and I are both nice guys, right?)

  98. John E. says:

    I think we can all agree that some women are attracted to dangerous and abusive men – just look at the fact that Ted Bundy and Charles Manson received letters and proposals of various sorts from women.

    Just how much this generalizes to ‘women in general’ is another question altogether.

    But it does lend credence to the theory that being a ‘bad boy’ is a viable strategy for attracting (some) women.

  99. marle says:

    Women are going for the guys who already have half a dozen women chasing them.

    What planet do you live on?

    I think there’s only a small number of people (male and female) who choose partners based on status. But since we’re talking about nice guys here, Dee was talking about men instead of both men and women. Her advice really boils down to “maybe your standards are too high” which is advice I usually see given to women who complain they can’t find husbands, which might also work for nice guys.

  100. Jupiter says:

    “Maybe just coming out and telling guys what the problem is would be cheating somehow?”

    The most likely response to honesty about why they aren’t interested in a guy: Disbelief. He will argue with you that you’re wrong about them, like a salesman with a foot in the door.

    Next most likely: anger, sometimes scary or followed by obsessive behavior.

    Some “Nice Guys” make the mistake of thinking that they can pretend to be the guy the woman wants and she’ll believe it. That does not work. Plus it builds up a resentment in the guy, look how much I changed for you baby, why can’t you meet me halfway? Uh, no, I don’t want a relationship with someone where I have to pretend and he has to pretend. That’s not a relationship, it’s playacting.

    Also, when you describe yourself as “sensitive?” Please let that include being sensitive to others, not just that you cry easily when your feelings are hurt.

  101. Just a metalhead says:

    Many interesting points in that essay, though I think he generalizes too much about feminists. Truth be told, if what he says is correct, he did really end up in contact with really mindblowingly men-hating feminists, so that may color his judgment. Which actually supports his argument that misogynists are made, not born.

    I like how he mentions how hearing the phrase “women need men the way a fish needs a bicycle” was like being spit in the face, because I have the same reaction and I agree with his interpretation. If you look at the choice of the analogy, a bicycle is not only not needed by a fish, but utterly useless and irrelevant, it’s not even a nice thing to have, it’s just cumbersome and with no redemptive value. A fish is better off without a bicycle. Is that really what men are to women? Just cumbersome, useless things and women are better off without them?

    I don’t know, I would prefer to think that women (at least heterosexual ones) may not need good men in their lives, but that they are still better off with a good man with whom they can establish an healthy romantic partnership and share intimacy. And vice versa of course, men don’t “need” women, but they’re nice to be with nonetheless. But that expression flies in the face of that.

  102. Clarence says:

    Jupiter:

    Sometimes though it really is a single thing, or even a rumor. I’m sure that some couplings would occur if more communication happened not less.

    As for relational babies, well, there’s plenty of that on the female side of the ledger as well, but they get far more support.

  103. marle says:

    elementary_watson,

    To clarify when I said “blame women for liking dominant me” I’m actually referring to two different problems I have with nice guy complaints: 1. They blame women, and 2. They declare that most women like dominant men. In this post, Miguel goes on an on about women’s preferences being the problem, without ever mentioning that maybe the nice guys are doing some things wrong, even though he has a perfect example in the fictional story he quoted. Ana has obviously been crying, but instead of showing compassion and asking why, he starts talking about her boobs and makes her uncomfortable. From my perspective and my experience with nice guys, it’s often things like that which account for nice guys being unsuccessful with women. Yet Miguel puts the fault entirely on women’s preferences, even when he has another possibility staring him in the face.

    I also disagree that women prefer dominant men on the whole. It really depends on what, exactly, dominant means to you though, so I’ll move away from that and onto niceness. I still do not believe that niceness is unattractive to people on the whole. For me, having someone extremely eager to please me is a plus, not a minus, and I have never talked to anyone who didn’t want to be with or break up with someone because they were too nice or tried to please them too much. Those are positive charactoristics! I think what happened is that at some point the phase “You’re just too nice” became up there with “It’s not you, it’s me” or “I don’t want to ruin our friendship” as the bullshit people say when they’re trying to reject you nicely. When people say cliched things while rejecting you, they don’t mean them literally. They mean is that they don’t find you attractive, they find you annoying, or for some other reason they’d prefer not to tell to your face they don’t want to date you. Unfortunately, I think a lot of people have taken those things as true, and that’s where all the nice guys get that they’re too nice, or the “friendzone” concept, or whatever.

    When nice guys get rejected, it’s not for being too nice (nice is a positive thing!). When nice guys get rejected a lot, it’s either because they keep asking women who aren’t into them (either bad luck or because they are bad at figuring out if a women might like them) or because they don’t actually come across as nice. The last one is important, because women actually have a lot of stories about “nice guys” who are actually assholes. Miguel even started his post with a fictional “nice guy” who is actually an asshole, and doesn’t even seem to realize it. I think the solution for “nice guys” is to lose the idea that nice is unattractive, and then start seeing if how they come across is actually nice.

  104. marle says:

    Oh, ok guys. So I should just go into a thread and start talking about how men are often scumbags, and you can’t question me because then you’d be saying that men are better than women. Sure.

    Shut up, assholes.

  105. Jupiter says:

    Clarence, just because honestly answering “why don’t you want to date me” might result in “more couplings” doesn’t make it something women want to do, for the simple reason that “more couplings” is less important to them than not listening to a long sales pitch or threats. You want women to throw out their own perceived cost/benefit ratio in favor of always giving men the benefit of the doubt.

  106. Gillian says:

    Chiming in with Nice Girl experience:

    I was a female Nice Guy. I was a full-on Nice Girl. Not only that – the guy I was in love with behaved in the exact same way Nice Guys always accuse girls of behaving.

    Just to set up the background – throughout my teenage years, I had the habit of falling in love with my friends, and pining after then wordlessly (and hopelessly). This culminated in a three-year-long mess of an emotional clusterfuck that I still consider one of the best learning experiences of my life.

    Gather around, my children, and I will tell you a tale of Gillian and The Guy.

    So, there was this Guy (second year undergrad) who was assigned as my partner in one of my academic activities. He had a girlfriend. They were having some problems. I fell in love with him. Completely and utterly. But since he had a girlfriend – I stuck around and became his “friend, ” which I put in quotation marks because I basically hung around him and tried to become indispensable to him and listened to his problems and his music hoping that he’d realise that I was just perfect for him and dump Whatshername and Be Mine Forever OMG.

    As I said above – he was not exactly innocent about it. After doing this for about a year, I finally broke down and told him I loved him. He hemmed and hawed, and basically said neither “yes” nor “no.” He then proceeded to string me along for another year, saying how I was his “best friend” and he couldn’t live without me, and fucking and falling in love with a plethora of other girls – all of which he told me about, of course, in excruciating detail. He also used me (read: my connections and skills) to get work, get ahead in class, and apply for grad school (he got in. I’m good). He never, of course, felt the need to return the favour(s).

    Eventually, I had enough. After one-too-many incidents of him using me blatantly and then abusing me emotionally when I didn’t deliver to spec because I WAS AWAY ON A BUSINESS TRIP ASSHOLE, I broke off all contact with him.

    Conclusion? I was stupid and immature, he was something of a douchebag, and I really should avoid that kind of man, and focus on finding honest, non-manipulative, independent men who actually WANT to be with me. I have never ever EVER considered for even a second that “all men” might be like that – or that I was not at fault as well. I was an idiot, and also manipulative (though less successful at it…), and I should stop doing that.

    So I did.

    I’m not saying I never fell in love with a friend again – of course I did!! and to all the “friendzone” guys out there – let me add the voice of yet ANOTHER woman saying: some of my friends I’d fuck/have relationships with. Some I won’t. It has nothing to do with “friendzones,” it has to do with how attracted to them I am. But since I learned from my saga with The Guy that hoping silently gets you nothing, I either ‘fess up and accept the “yes” or “no,” or (in cases of the guy being in a relationship, or some other external and valid reason), I cool off on the friendship for a while until I get over myself and can see the guy again without wanting to lick his neck.

    I think many a Nice Guy could do worse than to try and do the same.

  107. marle says:

    Sorry to hear Metalhead that you’re so meek that you can’t read some rough language without freaking out. The internet isn’t sanitised like broadcast TV, and sometimes you meet people who don’t hold back on the language. If you can take the time to look past the swear words, you’ll see that she actually took the time to explain clearly, step by step, what is wrong with Miguel’s post.

    And Miguel goes from “some women” to “many women” to “women on average” FOR THE EXACT SAME ARGUMENT! He’s decided that women like “socially dominant” men, and then he uses modifiers like “some” or “many” completely at random. It comes across as dishonest, because he clearly implies that he’s talking about most women. And then at the end is the kicker: He claims that feminist women (yes, he went from “some” to “many” to “feminist”) like arrogant and sexually entitled men. Can you not see why feminists have a problem with that, or are you still in too much of a daze because we use words like “megadouchbad”?

    Elementary,

    The “Not my Nigel” isn’t used to tell women that the men in their lives aren’t really decent. I’m trying to think of a way to decribe it, but it’s so rarely used in feminist discussions that I’m at a loss. But really, when one of us brings up something decent about a guy it’s not like everyone else tries to tear them down.

  108. marle says:

    Lynet, I’m sorry you thought feminism was incompatible with sexual desire. I’ve always been a feminist and I’ve always had a pretty high sex drive, and I’ve never seen a problem between the two. I’ve never read Female Chauvinist Pigs, but I and the feminists I know always assumed it was some regressive throw-back, not a feminist book. Feminism shouldn’t put restrictions on your sexual behavior, and I hope you continue to find better examples of feminism.

  109. Taintedlove says:

    Miguel,

    Don’t let them rattle you. The reason you are catching hell for this post is that you had the nerve to blaspheme against the feminist religion. I guess you didn’t realize that women can never ever make men suffer. Only men can make women suffer. Thus it’s all your (the man’s) fault Miguel. Get with the program.

    Incidentally, you are absolutely correct that women (as in most not all) prefer assholes. Why? Because women are drama queens. They love the emotional rush that assholes bring to their lives. Assholes are exciting, fun and outrank them. And please understand that when I say “asshole” I do not mean” confident”. Unlike you I was already confident, but I found that confident really only gets you a little more success than being “nice”. Liars like Amanda Marcotte will swear up and down that you are confusing confidence with “asshole” , but you aren’t and neither am I.

    Being an asshole is the reality, so take the red pill, dude. Women’s actions speak louder than their words, so don’t listen to their shrieks of disagreement about the matter. And don’t waste time with socialization vs biology discussions. Just embrace the truth… Asshole>>>>>Confident>Nice Guy and then go from there.

  110. marle says:

    I agree with you Cactuar. I’ve been on both sides of the situation. While having someone have a crush on you can be flattering, that’s not so fun when you’re not attracted to the person and you have to constantly worry if you’re giving too many mixed signals, if it’s ok to accept an expensive gift from him, and a whole lot of things you don’t have to worry about with a friend who doesn’t have a crush. I also had a friendship that I ended because my crush on her (yes I’m bisexual) was too strong. It was hard to talk to her without getting my hopes up, and even though she had already told me she wasn’t interested it was so hard not to interpret every little thing as showing interest, and the emotional toll wasn’t worth it. It wasn’t an easy decision, but I think it’s something that nice guys should really consider if they’re getting to tied up with a girl who’s not interested.

  111. Ellen says:

    Miguel,

    Re: Taintedlove’s post just above this one… Look who’s on your side, and consider whether you like the company you’re keeping in this issue.

  112. Hey Marle. You’re welcome to comment here, but please keep it civil, and if you want to throw around phrases like “shut up assholes” please go elsewhere. And, BTW, if you read the comments, you’ll see I’ve already called out other commenters for their hostility, not just you.

  113. P John Irons says:

    @Marle

    This is not a zero-sum game where women can analyse the effect men and male roles have on them, but men have to shut up; or the other way around.

    Why do you feel that anyone has to “shut up, assholes?”

    My point is not that all women are “scumbags” (not my word choice) all of the time. Just that humans are capable of being a “scumbag” in some or other way to some or other degree at some times of their lives. This is true for men and women, all of us, each individual.

    When anyone makes an assertion that a specific number of men/women are “scumbags” in a specific way at a specific rate, then either party is free to contest that.

    But as a generalisation, who can deny that humans are imperfect in their dealings with one another?

  114. marle says:

    I hate this attitude that a woman having sex with someone is a reward for his behavior, and that men should replicate the “most successful” man’s behavior, even if it’s abusive and domineering, so they can get more sex.

    One thing that seems to have escaped you is that abusive men don’t start out abusive. Women don’t want to be in abusive relationships. Abusive men start out looking nice and caring. Yes, nice. Then once he has the woman stuck (because she fell in love, had a baby with him, they got married, moved across the country where she doesn’t know anyone) then he gets abusive. I imagine when Ana thinks about leaving Manny, he pours on the niceness, and she’s reminded how sensitive and caring he is, and that he understands her better than anyone (this may or may not be in the novel since it’s written from the perspective of someone outside the relationship).

    Go do some research on domestic violence and why women stay. And then go do some internet searches to find out why women don’t date “nice guys” (from the perspective of women, not assumptions made by the men). I think you’ll find that nice is not actually a problem for women.

  115. Taintedlove says:

    Ummm. Actually, as society has become less and less critical of female sexual decisions, we see women more drawn to assholes not less. In the 50’s women chose nice guys boyfriends to have premarital sex with. In this century women choose assholes to have premarital sex with.

    Your whole “women only pick jerks to save face” argument has no legs and is ego protectionism. What we have seen historically, is that as women become guarded from criticism surrounding their sexual motives and choices females run to assholes, not away from them.

  116. Lynet says:

    Yeah, well, issues like “never indicating that you are interested in sex” or “only ever indicating that you are romantically interested when the desire is unbearable and you come off as clingy” (the latter used to be my problem; other problems in this category exist) probably will reduce your chances of having sex a lot more than many other possible issues.

    I guess what I’m saying is, sure, there are issues that will affect your ability to get into a relationship more than they will affect your ability to be a decent person in a relationship. This is one of the reasons why people’s romantic lives are not fair. But I’m not sure that you should blame women for this, particularly since women can have these kinds of problems, too.

  117. marle says:

    Alec, do you have any idea how difficult it is to constantly be on guard to not send mixed messages? It’s also unfair, since you’re talking about guys who won’t come out and tell the women that they’re interested, so the guys are constantly sending mixed messages, yet you aren’t claiming that they aren’t “true friends” and in fact you say they might be acting for “altruistic reasons”. You have a lot of sympathy for nice guys for being socially awkward, but you don’t seem to have sympathy for young women navigating the socially difficult situation of having a friend who acts like they might be interested in you but doesn’t say anything. First of all, she has to figure out her feelings, which may or may not be clear. Let’s assume, for simplicity, that she’s 100% sure she’s not interested in him as more than a friend (though keep in mind that’s not always the case and complicates the following a lot). Now she has to figure out based on his actions whether he’s into her, or if she’s just being narcissistic and seeing things. That’s not always clear, because he isn’t. Then she has to figure out what things she’s doing that might send mixed messages. He’s not going to tell her, and if she’s young and inexperienced she probably just doesn’t know. Then she constantly has to question the gifts he gives and the favors he does to see if they go past some line that’s appropriate for friends, which first means she has to define such a line. Even once she has such a line, it’s difficult to enforce it. If a guy is standing in front of her with an expensive gift that she’s wanted for so long, and she’s so happy and he’s so happy that she’s happy, refusing what she really wants and hands it back to him, rejecting and crushing him, might be just too much to do. It’s a very complicated and difficult situation, especially for young inexperienced girls and sometimes even for adult women.

    Feminists have issues with “nice guys” though not because we have any problem with men who don’t know how to ask a women out. Feminists generally don’t have problems with men that could be boiled down to the men needing to “man up.” No, instead feminists often see “nice guys” who have gotten bitter and angry about not being with the women they want, and have turned into sexist assholes. When feminists talk about “nice guys” we mean assholes who think they’re nice but really aren’t. We aren’t just talking about guys who couldn’t get laid, though their stories often turn into “nice guy” stories. I’d give you examples, but I’m sure you can find them on the internet.

  118. Lynet says:

    Also, afterthought: being the kind of person who complains that women need to stop acting like people with quirks and start acting like prizes for good behavior is an issue — but when feminists blame your lack of dating success on that issue in particular, we’re either just reaching for the nearest most obvious thing, or thinking wishfully. Because I’ve seen ‘Nice Guys” who could get a date. Heck, I was in a non-serious but fairly pleasant relationship with one for a while.. Sure, he had a bit of an issue in that one regard, but he was ok in other ways.

  119. Taintedlove,

    As it happens, this isn’t “rattling” me, but quite a few of the comments – including yours, sorry to say – are tiring me out. I never said “most women prefer assholes,” because that isn’t true. What I said was, “in their teens and twenties, women, on average, tend to overvalue such hypermasculine characteristics as dominance and a sexually entitled attitude.” Does overvaluation of these attributes lead some women to partner with, as you say, “assholes?” Yes, but not because “women prefer assholes.” As ‘ballgame’ explained over at feminist critics:

    “[A] woman might prefer to stay with an abusive boyfriend because of his non-abusive qualities (status, looks, chemistry, money, history) and not because of his abuse. A gynocentrist might hear “Women prefer assholes” as meaning they prefer men who abuse them, while a more accurate reading might be, “Women prefer men who have certain qualities, and because of the psychosocial dynamics involved when men have or acquire those qualities, a disproportionate number of them will be assholes.”

    In other words, there are men for whom “being an asshole” overlaps with “being confident,” or, as you mention, “being exciting and fun.” And there are other instances in which “being an asshole” gives a man the *appearance* of being confident or fun. The reasons for this are many and complex, which is why discussions of “socialization vs biology,” as well as discussions of social constructs, and so on, are not a “waste of time.” Your suggestion that we all accept that “being an asshole is the reality” is nihilistic. I suggest, as an alternative, that men engage in an open and honest dialogue with feminists on the subject. Maybe, for you, as a start, you should go read Clarisse.

  120. Ellen, I just replied to “Taintedlove.”

  121. Taintedlove says:

    Ellen,

    Miguel can make up his own mind. Your snipe at him for being on the “bad side” in order to get him to feel guilt is transparent to me, but apparently not to him.

  122. Violet says:

    Society has become less critical of women’s sexual actions. IMO, this is a good thing. However, it has not become much less critical of women’s motivations regarding these actions. If anything, the acceptance of a wider range of actions has led to a greater number of motivational criticisms, which often are in conflict with each other and show how women are “wrong” regardless of their personal decisions. Which is par for the course on how society treats women in general.

    Furthermore, I never said only. Movies and media popularize the jerk or bad boy (as I side, I’m not so sure it is coincidence that the demonizing of the “sensitive man” and the resurgence of “purity” happened hand in hand.) A lot of people in general go for what is popular, sometimes to the detriment of deeper desires. I don’t think questions have simple answers. My ideas were meant to be an “in addition” to other factors. Ego-protection is one contributing factor in human motivation.

  123. Just a metalhead says:

    “Sorry to hear Metalhead that you’re so meek that you can’t read some rough language without freaking out.”

    It doesn’t freak me out, but when one sounds like a kid in its bad language stage (where they learn taboo words and keep using them to rile up adults near them), their credibility takes a nosedive, with good reason. It also indicates how they are not willing to debate the issue on the merits and prefer insulting others.

    From reading feminist blogs, what I generally see is that there is very little tolerance for any kind of insults against themselves, and quite a lot for insults against others (to be fair, that’s true on a hell of a lot of ideologically homogeneous communities). I think Amanda and the folks at pandagon would scream bloody murder if Miguel had used language half as offensive and insulting as Amanda did, but against them. They want to dish out but can’t take it. Hypocrisy, of course, widespread, but still hypocrisy.

    In fact, this hypocrisy is at the center of the “Nice Guy” controversy. Some feminists, who typically harp a hell of a lot of time about men’s preferences in women and are highly critical of it (fat acceptance, media images of women, etc… not without reason BTW), heard about people who called themselves “nice guys” do the same, but about women’s preferences in men… and that will not stand! Women can criticize men’s preferences in women, but men can’t do it to women, they’re just… shy abusers! How can they not respect women’s choices!

    “If you can take the time to look past the swear words, you’ll see that she actually took the time to explain clearly, step by step, what is wrong with Miguel’s post.”

    Oh, I looked, and I saw that she was merely misconstruing what was said, twisting Miguel’s words and assuming the worst of people just because they have a dick. All in all similar to what I hear from right-wing Republicans to defame those they “debate” with. Her reasoning stands only if you accept the vile caricatures she makes of those she disagrees with. She is a master of the strawman argument… “master” is a bit much, it supposes that one can use it well, maybe “chronic user” is more appropriate.

    “And Miguel goes from “some women” to “many women” to “women on average” FOR THE EXACT SAME ARGUMENT! He’s decided that women like “socially dominant” men, and then he uses modifiers like “some” or “many” completely at random.”

    Yeah, that’s called knowing how to write so as to avoid repetitions. Why do you think people alternate between “however”, “but”, “on the other hand”, etc…? These are synonyms, used to say the same thing, why not just use one and stick with it? Answer: because then your text just sounds dreadful and boring, and people will just ignore it. You would sound like a broken record. Ergo, you vary the expressions and use different synonyms. That’s what Miguel did.

    Or if you prefer, why does Amanda alternate between “megadouchebag”, “asshole” and “prick” in her text? Same reason.

    “He claims that feminist women (yes, he went from “some” to “many” to “feminist”) like arrogant and sexually entitled men. Can you not see why feminists have a problem with that, or are you still in too much of a daze because we use words like “megadouchbad”?

    No, he didn’t. At no point in his text does he ever say or imply that all feminists like arrogant and sexually entitled men. If you can, point out where he did so, and if you’re right, I will concede the point, but if you’re wrong and missed vital specifying language, then I hope you will.

  124. Taintedlove says:

    Miguel,

    LMAO. Of course you said “most women prefer assholes”. That’s why Amanda went after you. The reason you don’t believe you said such a thing is twofold… you used a lot more words and you conflate “asshole” with ass beating. Yet the fact of the matter is that most assholery is of the variety practiced by professor Hugo in sleeping with his students, not the kind that sends women to the emergency room.

    Dominance you see is always assholery, but dominance is not always physical. Your suggestion that men engage in an honest dialogue with feminists is akin to tell me to go beat my head against a wall. You have tried it right here and look where it got you. You want honesty? Women like assholes! How about you, Amanda and Hugo begin a conversation with that?

  125. Clarence says:

    Jupiter:
    When women refuse to change their behavior in the slightest they deserve exactly what they get.

    Do not expect any sympathy from me.

  126. marle says:

    P John, Soullite said that women are often scumbags. Cara and I questioned him, and then you and typhonblue decided that we were the ones in the wrong, because both men and women can be scum. I was too harsh in saying “Shut up assholes” but really guys, really?!? WTF.

  127. marle says:

    Metalhead, sometimes you need to be able to look past the language to the actual argument. Amanda and others from Pandagon are angry at Miguel for his argument, and the fact that he uses nice languange doesn’t change his argument. Also, “some” “many” and “on average” are FAR from being synonyms. I mean, what is it? Is he talking about a minority of women or the average woman? And you know, I’m pretty sure you’re just being willfully ignorant when you get to the point where you think that a statement about feminists that isn’t true shouldn’t be offensive to feminists because it didn’t use the word “all.”

    Feminists also don’t criticize men’s prefences in women, at least not the way you’re thinking. Fat acceptance and critiques of media images of women have nothing to do with getting more men to fuck women who don’t meet their ideals. Fat acceptance bloggers really couldn’t care less if you find them hot or not, and can’t you see that the problems with having media images of only either dangerously anorexic models or that are photoshopped to the point that they aren’t even human goes far beyond who men are willing to date?

  128. marle says:

    Whoa, Clarence. When a woman refuses to get in a long discussion with a guy she doesn’t want to be with over why she doesn’t what to be with him, then what, exactly, does she deserve?

  129. Clarence says:

    marle:

    Why don’t you read my reply and see I was responding to Jupiter’s last comment to me. Though its harder due to the way this blog is set up for commenting it is not impossible to follow the few posts between me and hir.

    I said nothing about a “long discussion”. It’s any kind of DISCUSSION AT ALL, that some ladies here seem to have so much of a problem with. It’s really this simple: one may refuse to go on a date with someone for 4 normal reasons
    1. Already in a relationship with someone; this goes without saying.
    2. They are not, for reasons they usually cannot consciously enumerate attracted to this person. Sometimes this is body language.
    3. They have a very distinctive and easily explicable reason: they strongly prefer taller, so and so is awkward, or dresses badly and hence wouldn’t be a social asset, the person smells bad, etc.
    4. They have heard or somehow otherwise come to believe something bad about a person even though they have not met this person (first time meeting) or know this person only superficially at work, school, whatever.

    No one has to apologize for not being sexually attracted to someone. No one has to defend being faithful in a relationship. Saying “I’m just not attracted to you” is perfectly fine for case two. However, I would argue it is in women’s best interest to give some reasons and pointers in the case of option 3, and, unless placed in a dangerous spot, to at least let the person involved know the charge against them in option 4.

    Option 3 because you will eventually get better suitors if you and those around you give awkward or socially stupid men tips even if you don’t end up dating them. Option 4, because it’s the right thing to do imho even if you *choose* not to take the risk. I know I was given a warning like that once, and I really appreciated it because I was able to deal with a malicious rumor right away. I also would do the same for a woman I was considering dating if I heard some horrible slut or false accuser rumor or something like that. I’d give her a chance to defend herself , and try to convince me otherwise.

    In any case, women who continue to let their attractions totally be at the subconscious level but seem to run into abusers while never giving other men the time of day due to the clothes they wear or their height, or a smell of sweaty feet, or any of a million other small annoyances that might easily be corrected and count nothing as to character deserve what they get. Don’t ask me for help with abusive dates when any man who complains that there are girls who’d rather be batted around than go out with him for whatever mysterious reason (and most of these men really are clueless as to why) gets called all sorts of names, accused of being the feminist patented NiceGuy manipulator and basically gets told its his own fault he doesn’t quite rank up there in vagina tingles with an abuser, particularly when most women ( I don’t know if it’s most feminist women but it’s quite a few of them as well) won’t initiate, and won’t give awkward dork boy any help or any mercy.

  130. Danny says:

    Tree-hugging hippie-ish as it may sound, I just think we’re all looking for the same thing, and we’re all a little too defensive to listen to the people we think are our opposition. Feminists and male feminist sympathizers who want to discuss their issues aren’t enemies; why aren’t we letting go of this petty bullshit and joining forces? This is standard political trickery.
    Old wounds. Simply put there are feminists and male feminist sympathizers who are enemies and really don’t want to discuss those things. They’re interested in shutting out anything that’s not all about women. Because they hate men? Because they think women are better than men? Who knows. But until such feminists are dealt with best I can do is pick and choose which ones I deal with carefully (and sadly right now that’s a pretty small list).

  131. Clarence says:

    Miguel:

    I just want to say that quite a few people, including a few feminists have noted how badly Amanda mistreated you, so please don’t feel ashamed about your post, because whatever its failings, you tried to be fair and did not deserve her name calling.

    I also want to say that it’s unfair to conflate you with any of your commenters because you run a fairly open blog and let both assmunch feminists and assmunch mra’s talk in your comment section, only rarely moderating the most obscene, trollish, or hateful. Thus of course, ugliness from both sides is on display.

    I know my comments on here about this subject are a bit forceful as well. That’s partly because for just once, I’d like a feminist commenter to admit that sometimes common dating behaviors from most women are problematic in separating out good confident guys and shy, awkward, not-so-confident guys (the traditional “nice guy”) from abusers and NiceGuys. In practice , I’ve hardly ever seen this happen – I could count it on one hand with 3 fingers to spare. Easier to pretend that most of the guys they reject are just evil NiceGuys as is anyone who has any complaints or confusion about this behavior whatsoever.

    Anyway, I’m going to try to tone my language here down a bit as I’d hate to let my strongly worded points be somehow used against you as if you had some control over what I am saying.

  132. Just a metalhead says:

    Metalhead, sometimes you need to be able to look past the language to the actual argument.

    I did, and there is nothing there. Amanda just used the typical strawman argument, meaning she claimed that Miguel said things he didn’t that were monstrous and then proceeded to blast to oblivion these vile parodies of what Miguel said. She also attacked him personally time and again.

    What Miguel did was explain “nice guys” without resorting to demonizing them, and trying to explain how they come to be. This includes studying cultural forces at work that include the seeming attractiveness of socially dominant, often aggressive, men for a lot of women. He nonetheless mentioned that any man who thinks women’s choices are the only explanation for his involuntary celibacy is deluded.

    What Amanda does is refuse any interpretation that does not limit blame to the “nice guys” alone. In other words, women are blameless, only men are to blame. After all, “gender roles” aren’t the problem, the “patriarchy” is, which conveniently whitewashes or excuses any role women may have in maintaining this situation. She refuses to entertain any notion of exterior causes to “nice guys”, it is their fault and their fault alone, end of story. They are monsters who came from the void, not to be understood but just reviled.

    Also, “some” “many” and “on average” are FAR from being synonyms. I mean, what is it? Is he talking about a minority of women or the average woman? And you know, I’m pretty sure you’re just being willfully ignorant when you get to the point where you think that a statement about feminists that isn’t true shouldn’t be offensive to feminists because it didn’t use the word “all.”

    Yes, they are synonyms. “some” and “many” are synonyms, both indicate an unknown but significant amount of people. Where they may differ is when used in juxtaposition to one another, where the second implies more people than the first. For instance when Amanda said that “Some shy men are also very nice people, just shy. But many shy men are inconsiderate fuckwits or even wife-beaters. ” what she meant was that shy men are, in her opinion, more likely to be “inconsiderate fuckwits” or “wifebeaters” than “nice people”.

    “On average” is the result of having “some” or “many” people of a given inclination in a group, they pull the average towards their own inclination.

    And again, please show me where you see the statement that attacks feminists in the way you claim that isn’t qualified to mean that he’s talking of some of them instead of all or most of them. You’ve been referring to it for a few posts now, but you’re never clear as to what actually it is.

    Feminists also don’t criticize men’s prefences in women, at least not the way you’re thinking. Fat acceptance and critiques of media images of women have nothing to do with getting more men to fuck women who don’t meet their ideals.

    Why do you bring everything down to fucking? Amanda does the same stupid thing over in her post, “nice guys” according to her don’t care about intimacy or love, they’re just out cruising for pussy in her mind.

    And, quite frankly, I think you’re splitting hairs. These movements are made to extend the range of what society considers “beautiful”, one of the main results of that would be that women who now aren’t conventionally attractive would receive more attention from possible partners who are attracted to them. I think presuming this evident consequence has nothing to do with the movements is outright denial.

    And I’ve seen many feminists turn rants by “nice guys” into their own rants about how “men only try for the models and the super-pretty women”. How different do you think that is from the “women are only attracted to socially dominant/aggressive guys or bad boys”? It is the same goddamn thing, the unhappy celibate of both gender blasting the other gender’s choices in partners for their loneliness.

  133. Jupiter says:

    “Women” do all kinds of things. They learn that explaining why they don’t want to go out with a guy very often ends up with the sales pitch, hostility, or stalking. They are accused of being nasty bitches who like to “shoot down” nice friendly guys who don’t deserve it.

    Then they change their behavior. They are nice rather than honest. That gets them a different kind of shit, but an easier one to take.

    Then they come to blogs of various stripes and explain their actions.

    Then they get shit from you.

    Have you been “shot down” before, Clarence? Did you take it honestly, or did you make excuses for yourself and imagine the “real” reason was something else?

    Now do you wonder why honesty is not in great supply? Because it’s not in great demand.

  134. Jupiter says:

    “he doesn’t quite rank up there in vagina tingles with an abuser”

    LOL at your anatomical ignorance.

  135. Clarence says:

    Jupiter:
    LOL! At your childish snarkiness for me using a figure of speech. You must be talking out of Uranus! Har!

    Hey, we can be snarky all day! Isn’t this fun, kids? Why don’t you try addressing what I wrote, and as an assignment with extra credit see if you can do so giving me the benefit of the doubt on good intentions and without making a personal attack. Why not?

  136. Clarence says:

    Well, I’ve been rejected before , Jupiter but it’s been a very long time since I’ve had to ask for an explanation.

    Now that we are done psychoanalyzing me, I’ll give you your money when you actually produce a post with an argument rather than snark inside. Got any more character assassination tricks up your sleeve? I hope not.

  137. Lynet says:

    Don’t worry, marle, I’ve been rocking the sex-positive feminist thing for a while now :)

  138. Darque says:

    Minus a few people’s posts at the end, (and a few in the middle – you can’t win every battle) I think this was a pretty good thread.

    Thanks Miguel!

  139. Hugh Ristik says:

    When Miguel uses various quantifiers (“some”, “many”, and “on average”), I don’t see it as some sort of dishonest pretext. It looks like he is genuinely unsure of the proportion of women with a certain preference.

    While I understand feminists being bothered by a blanket generalization about women’s preferences, I don’t understand why some feminists are so intolerant of even speculative and qualified generalizations about women’s preferences based on a man’s personal experience. It almost seems like these feminists can’t handle the idea that other women may have different preferences than them.

    If you think our observations have led us to the wrong conclusions, then please tell us how, and tell us what you think is the actual proportion of women with the relevant preferences. Unfortunately, I often see feminist women dismissing men’s observations of women’s preferences by saying “me and my friends aren’t like that.”

  140. Hugh Ristik says:

    marle said:

    One thing that seems to have escaped you is that abusive men don’t start out abusive. Women don’t want to be in abusive relationships. Abusive men start out looking nice and caring. Yes, nice.

    Do you have some data or a citation for this?

    My guess is that there is a lot of variation in male abusers, and women who date them. I’ve seen several cases on women continuing to date abusive guys where the woman was in no way trapped, and the guy wasn’t making any effort to keep her (in fact, in one case, he was trying to drive her away).

    And then go do some internet searches to find out why women don’t date “nice guys” (from the perspective of women, not assumptions made by the men)

    Yes, many men would do well to learn more about the perspectives of women. Many feminist women would also do well to learn more about the perspectives of other women, instead of overwriting other women’s perspectives with their own. Some of us do listen to women… women with different opinions than feminist women on the internet.

  141. Hugh Ristik says:

    I think your story is very interesting, and should show some feminist women that the “nice person” often can have valid complaints about the person they are pining for. As you point out, the other person isn’t always “entirely innocent.”

    Clearly, the “nice person” pining for a friend scenario can play out in many ways. Personally, I think that most of the time, neither person is really at fault.

  142. Jupiter says:

    I didn’t realize “vagina tingles” was a figure of speech. It’s a stupid one if it is. Do you understand why?

    Why do I not fulfill your assignment of “extra credit” to give you the benefit of the doubt? Because I’m not your student or otherwise indebted to you.

    I did address what you wrote before.

    As to your latest question, women who “run into abusers” do so because they are all over the place. Women don’t have to seek them out. There is no “if you acted in this perfect manner no assholes would approach you.” By their nature, assholes approach people who don’t want anything to do with them. Being female and in a public place is enough.

    Viz. our exchange.

  143. testify222 says:

    The truth that women won’t tell you is that any male who has low status (in her eyes) is a misogynist (regardlesss of how nice he actually is) and any male who has higher status (in her eyes) (regardless of how actually misogynist he may be) is in fact one of the “good men” that all of the women want. This is why alphas can get away with anything, while even the nicest of non-alpha guys is perceived to be a misogynist ; low status creates sociosexual pain for women, therefore men with low status who seek sex with women (and thus seek to impart their “icky” low status upon women) are “harming” such women. IOW, only non-alpha males can be rapists, misogynists, harassers etc – whereas alpha males can do whatever they wish; such men have a “permanent sexual consent form” from women.

  144. Clarence says:

    Jupiter:

    No, you are not indebted to anyone in order to give them common decency. However, being unable to make respectful arguments says nothing good about you.

    Your latest post merely dodged my question and added more snark. I see no point in continuing a one-sided conversation so I will end it now and leave you to your ignorance.

  145. john smith says:

    Thank Miguel, that was a very considered and thoughtful post.

    But did you notice how Hugo Schwyzer responded to your argument. He responded in two ways, which is very characteristic of him, firstly he minimized your assertions, yes heterosexual women divide heterosexual men in two groups, of bad boys and nice guys. And yes some straight women are attracted to bad boys. But this preference is such a small and tiny group of women that it has little influence overall on male/female relations, it would be simply best to ignore it. He considers it to be more of an urban male myth than a reality. This leads on to his second response which is those males who hold on to this “myth” are really expressing an latent misogyny which could develop into something more extreme. I find this argument very a very sexist and dismissive attitude towards heterosexual males, and the problems and issues they encounter as they explore and develop their sexual identity.

  146. Guestopher says:

    Gillian,

    Serious misinterpretation of friend zones. That definition implies that men…excuse me, people who avoid the friend zone never want to be friends with women…er people; if you believe this then I can understand hatred for PUA and SC (would it be OK for a woman to actively avoid friendships with men?). Friend zone means you want to be sexual or serious with someone (sometimes you want a long-term relationship beyond friends with benefits), but they only see you as a friend (sometimes with benefits). That has EVERYTHING to do with attraction. The friend zone is not the same as being friends with someone and sharing a mutual attraction with them. Attraction isn’t just sexual for most people.

    That just reminded me of something else. People with Nice Guy tendencies do occasionally get into sexual relationships. In my case I was way too available with a couple of women and that made those relationships end. I was aware/smart enough to not hang around them as “just friends” and hope that they’d change their minds and get back with me. Some people don’t get how harmful that is – for everyone.

    I’m sorry you had to experience that situation with your “friend”. There are people of all sexes who will take what they want from you and move on. It’s estimated that 4% of people are sociopaths.

    Oh, and another thing. Beyond thinking that men who avoid the friend zone don’t want friendships with women, anyone who thinks and says: “If nice guys were actually nice, they wouldn’t have problems getting dates and keeping girlfriends” is probably not going to get the message that some men…wait, people need non-traditional dating advice to increase their success in short and long-term relationships. They can have dating advice, just not “that kind.” (read useful).

  147. Gillian says:

    You’re wrong on just about every front, and I’m telling you this as a woman. The “alpha-males” often THINK they have a “permanent sexual consent form” from women, but they don’t.

  148. Guestopher says:

    Marle,

    I live on the planet where women and girls feel pressure to be in a relationship because the patriarchy tells them that that’s what their role in life is. I’m fairly young so I’m recalling high school and current life events. I live on a planet where I see an obvious engagement contest among my co-workers. Their non-work discussions have a 50% chance of including their male partners. Imagine not being able to brag about your partner!/sm. I’m not saying that it’s entirely their fault; it’s just the planet where I live.

    Since when do feminists ignore the fact that the patriarchy makes women feel bad about being single and encourages them to live through their male partners? Disagreeing with the patriarchy is not the same as ignoring it. I am also wondering if in our society with patriarchal undertones it’s worse for a woman to have a boring male partner than it is for a woman to have an ugly male partner, while it’s worse for a man to have an ugly female partner than it is for a man to have a boring female partner. The penalty for having a boring partner may be less for a man since he has the privilege of being able to have an interesting life apart from his relationship. This is stuff that’s pre-1950’s, but it hasn’t exactly disappeared. If your workplace isn’t composed entirely of feminists then you can watch it play out.

    Hmm, my honest opinion about Nice Guys having ridiculous standards is that the Nice Guy phenomenon may be more likely to present itself in men who believe they are good looking, intelligent, successful in a number of areas and of course think they know how to treat a woman well. If this is true, then it stands to reason that some Nice Guys do have these qualities (but certainly not all of them because all people vary in degree of self-delusion). Their question is “Why don’t women want a relationship with me?” Given the above, I’m sure some of them are in fact asking “I am a high quality person by society’s standards. Why don’t good looking, intelligent and successful women want to give me the chance to treat them well/keep breaking up with me after I treated them so well?”. There’s probably an element of status for these guys since they can put check marks next to the “good job”, “good physical appearance”, “educated”, “good group of friends” and “nice” boxes, but not the “hot partner” box. I very much doubt that this is the problem for all Nice Guys, so maybe there’s a better solution than lowered standards.

  149. Lathe of Heaven says:

    “Feminists have issues with “nice guys” though not because we have any problem with men who don’t know how to ask a women out.”

    Ah, the spectre of gynonormativity (I think that’s the fancy word) stalks the land: the idea that women naturally define what is normal or real in the world, and men need to interpret it, cope with it and adapt to it. Hence, one often hears phrases like “boys need to learn how to talk to girls”, while one never hears the reverse, “girls need to learn how to listen to boys”.

    I think that feminists, and female sympathizers generally, should be rather wary of this spectre. The frame is that women are authoritative and intuitive, but without much conscious agency: she wants whatever it is she wants, instinctively and without thought; and having done that, her part then is only to judge whether the men who approach “know how to ask a woman out.” The man, by contrast, has to actually _do_ something, which will then be judged; he may do the right thing naturally, he may use his wits, or he may learn by experience, or he may fail. In any of these cases, though, the man is the _actor_, the one whose story any narrative would follow.

    It’s an old idea, of course, that has re-emerged in many places: that women are born sufficient, while men are born incomplete and need to work/struggle to achieve sufficiency. On the whole, though, it is rather a sexist frame, and not one that necessarily advantages women in the long run; so I’d think feminists would be wary of invoking it. (To be clear, even if a woman says she _doesn’t_ have a problem with guys who don’t know “how to ask a woman out” she has still invoked the frame of “men act, women judge”.)

    Notes:

    * Perhaps the legend of Oedipus and the Sphinx is resonant here.

    * If the field reports of PUA’s are anything other than pure, widely-coordinated fiction, then perhaps female sympathizers should be _most_ wary exactly of those men who _do_ “know how to ask a woman out.”

  150. Pingback: Is “Confident” The Male Analog To “Thin”? (NoH) | Feminist Critics

  151. testify222 says:

    The irony is that Schwyzer and other male feminists are driven to gain and maintain alpha social status (in their own backwards/passive aggressive way) within the femisphere, and the females within it defer to/excuse/desire such men (in their own backwards/passive aggressive way) – even when such behavior is identical to the supposed misogynists they all spend their waking hours castigating. (Miguel alluded to this in the original post, i.e. a kind of subconscious pact layered upon cognitive dissonance).

    It really highlights the extent to which they are driven by biological hardwiring no different from all of the “unenlightened masses” they feel so intellectually and morally superior to (and thus obligated to “guide”).

  152. Alec Leamas says:

    I would have thought that calling someone a “megadouchebag” would have been frowned upon as well. You know, some men may relate to your experience and Marcoot’s rant may not be what they need. Don’t you think it is fair to simply show them what a thoroughly ugly person – both inside and out – is behind those demeaning comments? You do know that she’s in the habit of calling men like you “sexless losers,” don’t you? Isn’t it fair to show the other “sexless losers” who read your blog where all the really hot sex in the world happens?

    “Seriously? Stalking a woman on Flickr makes you qualified to judge both her hotness and the hotness of everyone she has ever slept with?”

    Does “linking to a picture prominently featured a the blog viewable by anyone with internet access” fit within the feminist definition of “stalking” now?

  153. Hiya Miguel,

    One problem I do have with your article is a “generalization” of what women prefer. I think that can explain some of the anger towards your post.

    I did mention on Hugo’s blog that women seem to prefer tall men or men taller than them and the anecdotal evidence can be seen in dating ad on
    Craigslist and other places. The flip side is mentioning that men prefer hour glass figures. So we see the problems with generalizations is this doesn’t describe every man or every woman and even if it describes many some of the time it doesn’t describe them all of the time.

    However, this doesn’t explain ALL of the anger towards your post….

    You hit a nerve of something much, much bigger……
    (I’m quoting myself from a post on feministcritics.org:

    http://www.feministcritics.org/blog/2011/03/05/amanda-marcotte%e2%80%99s-latest-%e2%80%9cnice-guy%e2%80%9d-rant-noh/

    Really, I think we are talking about the omega male.

    PUA’s love to talk about alphas and betas. An omega male is the lowest of the low. In a wolf pack they are usually bullied until they become a lone wolf. It goes without saying that they aren’t getting laid and that is probably the least of their problems.

    Perhaps, just perhaps, the existence of said creature is a threat to feminism. They can go around saying how awful men are and even that when girls bully girls it is because of the patriarchical conditions they have been thrust into. But when the “invisible” omega is treated with scorn, that shows that they too are willing to be cruel. That this cruelty isn’t just a male thing. That if they weilded power equally, society wouldn’t be more equitable.

  154. Yes, for the record, I also frown upon Amanda calling me a “megadouchebag.” But Alec, I’ve never met Ms. Marcotte. Maybe she’s a “thoroughly ugly person,” or maybe she just needs a hug. And no, I wouldn’t say that linking to a flickr page counts as “stalking,” but linking to a picture of her and her friend with a remark about “smelling like urine” *is* off-topic, which is why I deleted it. If you want to start your own “Amanda’s-friends-smell-like-urine” blog, go for it. But not here.

  155. testify222 says:

    While it is true that both men and women idealize certain traits in the opposite sex, what is salient here is that the male traits women desire are in much shorter supply amongst the male population than vice versa, and this amongst other factors is what accounts for female hypergamy/rotating polyandry. To appropriate your example, tall men are in much shorter supply than women with hourglass figures (most women of reproductive age have a feminine waist-to-hip ratio).

    Precisely. The omega “nice guy” phenomenon is an indictment of feminism and female sexual choices in general. Feminism derives most of its moral high ground from the sense that its choices will lead ultimately to egalitarian consequences. The omega nice guy phenomenon directly contradicts this, and instead presents us with something more primitive and disturbing – a peek into the dark side of female sexual psychology. Feminists despise the omega nice guy for whining about something they truly feel has no right to want in the first place, while simultaneously realizing that to hold such a socially darwinistic feeling is contradictary and threatening to the image of feminism itself. They wish he would simply go away.

  156. Guestopher says:

    Hey Jupiter,

    “The most likely response to honesty about why they aren’t interested in a guy: Disbelief. He will argue with you that you’re wrong about them, like a salesman with a foot in the door….Some “Nice Guys” make the mistake of thinking that they can pretend to be the guy the woman wants and she’ll believe it.”

    Read: So hey, women do lie. We called you evil and misogynistic for saying that women say one thing and want/mean another. It turns out women do lie about these things all the time. Men force women to lie. Blame men.

    Men who discuss dating and whether or not women mean what they say get called names for suggesting that women tend to be ambiguous and indirect when it comes to romance. I’m not saying that women owe men answers. I’m saying that this situation is ridiculous. We can’t even analyze it and bring up some discrepancies?

    I also found it interesting that from your perspective the woman is going to be correct about why she isn’t attracted and what the man is lacking. The man is going to be wrong about knowing what he can offer her. Very, very interesting. Could there possibly be a reason for the man’s disbelief, like him knowing himself well and knowing that her assessment is incorrect? So when a woman tells a man what she is looking for and he changes she won’t feel attraction for him because he is being phony? Couldn’t it be that the woman told the man to change to the wrong thing? I don’t mean that women are stupid; I mean that it is a very difficult exercise to be around someone and instantly know what (non-physical) things need to change in order for them to be attractive to you. If you don’t know them that well, you could unknowingly list a characteristic that they currently have. Very few people seek to analyze attraction in this way. Even if people think they can do this well, how often do we get to wave a wand and change someone to see if we are more attracted to them? I don’t think it’s women’s obligation to know something like that; I just wish people would stop harshly judging those of us who are trying to learn. It’s basically guys waving wands on themselves (almost a bad euphemism) until they/we figure out what’s going to work with enough women to keep us happy in that particular aspect of our lives.

    Real men don’t cry and are emotionally stronger than women./sm

  157. Gillian says:

    Guestopher,

    No need to be sorry – it’s all part of growing up. The important thing is not to repeat mistakes… I also don’t think he was a sociopath. He was an entitled douchebag. Some people are just like that, and learning to avoid them (men and women) is part of the above-mentioned growing up…

    As regarding the friendzone – I think we may be misunderstanding each other. I never said men don’t want to be friends with women. Oh, sure, many of the MRA types seem to only view women as walking pussies – but thank Jeebus, they aren’t the majority. The claim made by many of the posters (as I understood it – please correct me if you understand otherwise) is that once a woman tags a man as a friend, he enters the friendzone, from which no sex (or romance – but not many mentioned that…) can ever arise. In my experience, that’s just not true. Women can fall in love or in lust with friends – AFTER they became friends. In fact, many women profess a preference for sexual/romantic relationships arising out of friendship.

    That does not mean that every friendship will (or should) become sexual or romantic, and as we both definitely agree – it’s NEVER a good idea to hang around someone as a “friend,” waiting for him or her to fall into our beds or arms… but the concept of a “friendzone” where one is forever relegated to the (so these guys seem to think) secondary role of a platonic relationship just does not jibe with my experience of reality.

    Are we still in disagreement?

  158. Meadester says:

    Gillian, there are very few universals in human behavior so you could be an exception. It’s even possible that all of the women you know well enough to know that they are confiding their their true preferences in men, and not just saying what sounds good, are exceptions. That does not mean that testify222 is wrong in general. I do think there is one thing that he overlooks, though. While most women do give alphas an automatic anywhere any time consent form to begin with, it is not permanent in that can be revoked after the fact. This most often happens when one or more of the women who jumped into the alpha’s bed for a one-night stand decides she is entitled to a long term relationship (cf. Julian Assange) or a nice cash settlement (cf. Kobe Bryant and Ben Roethlisberger). In those cases screams of “OH GOD YES!!!” can be retroactively changed to screams of “NO!” But yes an alpha has to actually have sex before being accused of rape, a beta can become a rapist just by propositioning a woman and a sexual harasser just by looking in the general direction of her breasts.

    That reminds me, several posters here and at Pandagon have said how terrible Oscar was for saying Ana had nice breasts while trying to comfort her and lift the spirits that her abusive boyfriend had crushed. They wouldn’t give him the benefit of the doubt that being an awkward socially isolated teenager that no one had taught him that most women don’t like to be complimented on their breasts. I know this and would not do that, but I admit I have difficulty understanding it. I cannot imagine being offended by being complimented on any part of my body, even if it was strange or awkward. I might feel uncomfortable hearing a sexualized compliment from a gay man, but never from a woman no matter how unattractive I might find her (and it seems pretty obvious that Ana was heterosexual, or at least a bi-sexual open to heterosexuality). I know it’s all about “patriarchy” and “male privilege” and other things that are easy to believe in when you focus like a laser on every disadvantage that women have, while ignoring or minimizing every disadvantage that men have. And, of course, there’s the hysterically paranoid belief in “rape culture” bolstered by “statistics” that bear no relation to reality, but that all seems like a pretty tortured explanation for being offended by receiving compliments on a body part that is often proudly displayed.

  159. Cactuar says:

    “rotating polyandry”?

    Do you mean, regular old serial monogamy? ‘Cause everyone does that, it’s a human thing. Since women are also human, they do it too. There’s no need to create a special word just for when women engage in it.

  160. testify222 says:

    Meadester,

    Excellent point. Much of the time women accuse men of rape/abuse/etc involve such cases of “retroactive” withdrawal of consent. IOW, she goes back in time and decides that the interaction has decreased her social status instead of raising it as she had hoped. Remember that due to their hardwiring, women only have sex and relationships to raise their social status and extract resources – and any interaction where this does not occur will be perceived by her to be “rape” or “abuse”, causing her mind to rationalize that she did not “really” give consent and/or was victimized in some way.

    “Rape culture” = female entitlement to status, resources and relationships with alphas = beta males should never think about no-strings sex (i.e. porn, casual sex, etc.), and the only way betas should ever get sex is through investing all of his time/resources/emotions (via friendship, relationships, marriage, gov’t programs, chivalry, child-support, etc) to compensate the woman for his low status = betas should be slaves to the matriarchy.

  161. testify222 says:

    Cactuar,

    Hypergamy = women only want sex with men of higher social status than themselves (i.e. alpha males).
    Rotating Polyandry = since there are few men with high status, and all of the women want them, women “take turns” rotating in and out, in effect “sharing” these same few men.
    De Facto Harem = female hypergamy + rotating polyandry allow alpha males to enjoy a de facto harem.

  162. Guesting says:

    Marle et al.

    I have to ask you about your feelings in an analogous situation.
    Let us assume that all your friends had the money to swim in Hennessey and Chrystal if they so desired, while you yourself were happy if you could afford to drink cheap red wine once a month. Now this movement, let us call them the drinkinists, came along telling you that you had no right feeling sad and that life is unfair since some people have all the Hennessey and Chrystal they could ever desire, because having Hennessey and Chrystal is not a human right. In fact they will tell you that it is all your own fault and that you get exactly what you deserve. So now you accept that you will just have to scrape by on cheap red wine, if anything. So you try to live your life the best you can, and try to think positive thoughts like, ‘good for them that they are happy, maybe my turn will come someday as well’ when once more you have to see your friends bathing in Hennessey. During all this, the drinkinists will tell you that you have no right feeling sad that you don’t have Hennessey, since you get precisely the amount of Hennessey you deserve. Would you have a positive image of the drinkinists after this?

    Try replacing Hennessey and Chrystal with ‘attention from representatives of your sexually attractive sex(es)’ and drinkinists with feminists and retry the experiment.

  163. Gillian says:

    Oh, honey – that’s your problem. PEOPLE AREN’T THINGS. You can’t compare “Hennesy and Crystal” to relationships, because people aren’t objects. You can’t “have” a relationship the same way you “have” money, a nice house, or really expensive drinks.

    And thinking that you CAN may help explain why you (not Guesting “you” – generic “you”) don’t have one.

  164. Gillian says:

    “Remember that due to their hardwiring, women only have sex and relationships to raise their social status and extract resources – and any interaction where this does not occur will be perceived by her to be “rape” or “abuse””

    Truly? “hardwiring”? so how do you explain the fact that most people marry within their socio-economic class? in fact, in some small countries (such as the one I live in), about 60% of people marry persons who grew up within a 6 block radius of where they were born.

    Your fantasies about female “hardwiring” have no basis in science or reality. Not to mention the fact that humans are “hardwired” for very few things (and this information is coming from a cognitive science background, not from my aching heart…), most of them such basic things as eating, sleeping, defecating and urinating, and fucking (not with anyone specific – that’s culture and such – just the need to fuck in general).

    In societies where women’s access to goods and status depended on men – of COURSE some of them (not all – a farmer’s daughter would marry a farmer’s son and work her ass off her entire life) would marry up – it was their only way to access said goods and status. Actually, in the 19th century when the traditional nobility in England fell upon hard times, many young British noblemen pursued “American heiresses” for their fortune; it was quite a social phenomenon – common enough to be remarked on in the literature and newspapers of the time.

    Also – what differentiates between rape and non-rape is consent – not the social status of the male. And although for some women social status would be a reason to give or withdraw consent, it’s the consent that matters. Hey – reality proving me right: a few months ago the President of Israel (among the highest-status males in the country, I think you’d agree) was convicted or raping several women…

  165. Gillian says:

    Oops – sorry – FORMER President of Israel. Moshe Katsav.

  166. Cactuar says:

    So, your…. hypothesis… has it that most of the women are only sleeping with up with a small portion of men? Despite the fact that the vast majority of people manage to successfully pair off in their lives?

    I think you’re drawing false conclusion, looking at normal serial-monogamy behavior. Most individuals go through a succession of partners, in monogamous relationships of varying legnth.

    The proportion of persistently unpartnered men is not nearly so vast as to suggest your hypothesis. Unless you’re living in a Mormon enclave, where they have actual harems instead of so called “de-facto” harems, a situation which often leads to ‘surplus’ (omega, in your terms?) boys being dumped outside of town to fend for themselves at 18. The negative effects of such polygyny on a significant portion of the male population are generally easy to see even over short periods of time. (See also: China under today’s imbalanced gender ratios)

    Fortunately, the rest of us are not living in a world anything like that. According to a 2004 study, only 16.5 percent of men and about 12.5 percent of women in their early 40s were never-married.

    We’re talking about very similar proportions of both genders, a minority in both cases, and the statistics don’t include couples who are dating or cohabitating, which makes the actual figure of genuinely unsuccessful people even smaller. Smaller, and I hasten to add, at rough parity between the genders.

    I don’t think you’re generalizations vis-a-vis general society, either about women’s purported motives (‘insticts,’ what have you) , or about what the actual landscape is, are warranted.

  167. testify222 says:

    Cactuar,

    What I’m talking about here mostly is no-strings sex, or the ability to get sex without having a relationship – sexual independence – which women and alphas are able to accomplish easily, betas struggle greatly to and omegas cannot do at all. Most men are betas who struggle in the sexual marketplace, and are thus forced to enter into “relationships”/marriage to get steady sex – not because they actually want to be with the particular woman – but really as a means of sociosexual survival- to avoid having to go without sex and to also avoid the social humiliation of being thought of as an omega who “can’t get laid”. This is how matriarchy keeps betas enslaved, by playing men between the two extremes of alpha (the carrot) and omega (the stick).

    DNA and evolutionary analysis has confirmed that the human species is descended from more than twice as many women as men. This is because women are hypergamous and only really want to have sex and reproduce with a small fraction of high status males. Women are in essence groupies for the alpha males, and are hardwired to use betas/nice guys for resources, but to seek no-strings sex with the alphas and bad boys for his genes. Studies have shown that when women are ovulating they look for sex with men who have more “cad” characteristics, but the rest of the time they tend to pick men with more “dad” characteristics.

    The truth is we’re a polygynous, matriarchal species – and not a patriarchal or monogamous or even serially monogamous one – which was simply a fragile and recent layer laid on top of millions of years of hominid evolution – one that however led to the development of civilization because it gave most men a reason to invest in sociey, women and children – instead of constantly warring for control of de facto harems. The sexual revolution, birth control and feminism has returned us to our primal roots, for better or worse. Freedom dictates that women should be allowed to choose whoever they wish to mate with, no matter how repulsive – but freedom also dictates that men should be aware of these realities of the sexual marketplace and to be allowed to respond in kind, however repulsive. Social darwinism must go both ways, not simply one way as is the case today with feminism, which is simply unilateral social darwinism, where women choose only to give “free” sex to a few men, while men (both individually and collectively) are still forced to give relationships and resources to women as a whole.

  168. testify222 says:

    People ARE objects or resources in terms of the sociosexual marketplace. Women are sex objects who are desired for beauty/youth (reproduction) by men. But men are ALSO objects -relationship/status objects – who are valued for popularity, social status, power, money etc (production) by women. BOTH men and women objectify, commodify, “consume” and use the other gender for their own selfish pleasures and fantasies. IOW, all interactions between men and women are really mutual objectification and masturbation.

    The problem with our current situation is that while women assert their right to their socially darwinistic choices that sexually (reproduction) enrich a few men at the expense of the sexually impoverished male masses – male resources/relationships (production) are forcibly socialized/shared by feminism, leftism, and conservatism to women as a whole. IOW, “egalitarianism” is really unilateral social darwinism.

  169. testify222 says:

    Gillian,

    That alphas also sometimes get accused of rape doesn’t contradict what Meadester and I discussed above.

    Nor does the fact that betas can get monogamous relationships/marriage and have sex over his lifetime with one or a few different woman (who usually don’t even want to have sex after they get deep into the relationship or marriage). It’s still high-investmen/low sexual return compared to alphas, who get to have lots of non-investment/non-relationship sex with the most number of women and the most desirable women(youth/beauty) – i.e. a de facto harem – because women are hypergamous and strongly desire those men in the upper 20% of the sociosexual hierarchy.

    See my responses to others below for more comprehensive explanations.

  170. Lathe of Heaven says:

    Replying to Cactuar at March 10, 2011 at 6:05 am

    Without necessarily endorsing testify222’s description of reality, I will simply point out that you haven’t really refuted him at all. When you write:

    “The proportion of persistently unpartnered men is not nearly so vast as to suggest your hypothesis. … Fortunately, the rest of us are not living in a world anything like that. According to a 2004 study, only 16.5 percent of men and about 12.5 percent of women in their early 40s were never-married.”

    Figures referring to people in their early 40’s aren’t necessarily relevant at all to people’s experiences at earlier ages — which, let’s be honest, is what this post is about. The fact that most people manage to find a partner by age 30 or 40 does not in itself mean that testify222’s (depressing) description of defacto harems and sexless masses isn’t perfectly true for, say, the population aged 16-22. And it’s the society of the younger group that’s really important for determining people’s outlook on life and sexuality.

    It may be that testify222’s claims are eminently refutable; but you’re going to have to more work to claim that result. Just pointing out that nearly everyone partners up at least once, sooner or later, after some unspecified number of years, is not sufficient.

  171. Gillian says:

    Guys,

    I’m bowing out on this. Not because I think you’re right – far from it – but because our views of the world are so different I’m really finding it hard to debate with you.

    Your description of the world (sociosexual economy, high status males, alpha consent form) has absolutely nothing to do with the reality I’ve lived in for the past 34 years (men and women both look for relationships and sex – and btw, I’ve known more men who were into relationships and more women who were into just sex thatn the other way around – but that’s anecdote and proves nothing). However, as a feminist, I often tell men who don’t get it that women live in a different world from them, and they should just accept it and believe women when they talk about their lived experiences. So I’m going to respect yours, and I believe that the you experience the world you live in as you’ve described it….and I’m really sorry for you, because it sounds like a horrible place to live in. I just hope that anyone who does live in such a world (whether it’s because that’s the lens they view it through – or because in their neck of the woods social organization really DOES work that way) finds a way out to where I live: where men and women are people, and some people are douchebags, and some people only want a Trophy Wife/ATM Husband – but most or just looking for someone they like and get their humour and who also likes them back enough to have sex with them repeatedly and also maybe settle down and have a kid or a dog or a collection of Ming china together.

  172. humbition says:

    This is an excellent list, and a very good way to move the conversation on to what may be positive and helpful to people.

  173. Just a metalhead says:

    Your comment doesn’t refute Guesting’s at all. Nowhere does he assume or claim that having a relationship is a right, he even carefully chose an object as an analogy that is not vital to someone’s continued existence and that is generally considered a luxury. And yes, people aren’t objects… they are MORE important to people’s social wellbeing. If you want to depress someone, isolate them from any and all social contacts and see what happens.

    Just because others are not forced to be with you, doesn’t mean you cannot feel bad if you are deprived of social contacts for whatever reason, nor does it mean that you deserve this isolation. And people putting it on by telling you that you don’t even have the right to your feelings or that you deserve whatever you’re getting is not really healthy for anyone. And yet, that is exactly what many feminists say, and what you said too in your reply, though by implying more than outright saying so.

    Somehow, I think that if this was an handicapped person, an homosexual person or an obese woman saying about how they are in need of more social contact and suffering from social isolation, mentioning how social expectations contribute to this, you’d show a hell of a lot more sympathy. But since we’re talking of heterosexual men here, then they get no sympathy at all, even antipathy.

  174. Eurosabra says:

    Katzav was hung out to dry by a newly-feminized power structure that was trying to make up for the practices of Moshe Dayan’s “closed-door briefings” for attractive female journalists and staff underlings in the 1950s-70s, and there was a reason the first Mizrahi President of Israel was sacrificed on the altar of political correctness. Like Haim Ramon, he was a peripheral player among the elites and the 16 families who run the country and the rest of the “branja” (the “guild”) were willing to curry feminist favor by deep-sixing him, especially since Israeli Presidents are figureheads and cannot mobilize Members of the Knesset or mobs in the street to deal with their opponents.

  175. Guesting says:

    Gillian

    I have not compared people to things. I have compared the fact that some people have access to luxuries in unlimited amounts, while some have none and how insulting it is to hear that this distribution is only due to your own doing and how you are taught that you have no right to feel unfairness since this would amount to entitlement.

  176. Lathe of Heaven says:

    On the question of what world one lives in, there is always the spectre of how selective one’s own vision is and so how self-created that world might be. No one processes everything they see; the mind always edits and pigeonholes, and it wouldn’t be at all shocking if those tend to be in ways that are self-serving to the individual or to the tribe.

    Trouble starts when editing goes all the way to willful self-blindness, and large numbers of people are simply made to disappear from view and consideration. A very well-written description of an example of this appeared here:

    http://aleknovy.com/2009/11/04/the-hierarchy-most-men-are-at-the-bottom/

    Though I don’t expect it will change anyone’s mind — what ever does? — I would encourage people to read it; and it certainly dovetails with Miguel’s subject of the original post. (Disclosure: I have no relation to the author, just thought it was good writing.)

  177. Cactuar says:

    Lathe,

    Hmm, you’re right. I was confused when I saw this post, because I’d actually found more statistics from the Kinsey Institute, for example, covering frequency of sex by age group and gender, number of partners post-18yrs, and more, but alas, it seems I only thought about including that in my post and did not actually do so.

    As such, you’re totally right. My post right there is pretty weak. I hadn’t intended to make the assertion based only on that one stat, but mea culpa, it seems that’s exactly what I did. :/

  178. Guestopher says:

    Replying to people who have not called BS on this:
    “Remember that due to their hardwiring, women only have sex and relationships to raise their social status and extract resources – and any interaction where this does not occur will be perceived by her to be “rape” or “abuse”

    The idea that women do not want no-strings-attached sex makes me feel icky. All heterosexual casual sex would be rape. Am I sounding too much like a 2nd wave feminist ;)? Even if one were criticizing women’s sexual partnering decisions wouldn’t it be more accurate to say that “women only want no-strings-attached sex if it will fulfill sexual urges that may or may not have been caused by interacting with an alpha male”? I understand being frustrated because women don’t want sex from you. I don’t understand being frustrated because women never want casual no-strings-attached sex.

    Another odd thing about that statement “to raise their social status and extract resources” is that it would have to apply to men too if it were true. The obvious “resource” would be sex. I also suspect that having a wife can be framed as an indicator of social status. It is possible to say that the only positive thing men get from a relationship is sex, but it’s a sad and unfortunate perspective, though I do not wish to pass judgment on those who decide to choose prostitutes. The idea that men are always being used by women when they invest in a relationship is almost as sad as the idea that women don’t like having sex for the sake of having sex.

  179. Guestopher says:

    Gillian,

    Short answer: Do women have sex with their friends? Yes. Do most people want something resembling friendship with the person they are romantically involved with? Yes. Will a person have sex with (become BF/GF material to) someone who has placed them in the friend zone? No/Probably not.

    Describing Friend Zones is harder than I thought. I’m thinking that it’s a fuzzy concept that men are more likely to instantly recognize than women. While clarifying my own understanding of the Friend Zone phenomenon I have realized that it may be easier for women to mistake it for something else than I had originally thought. At first I thought women were having a negative knee-jerk reaction to the term because they were upset that men were trying to validate the need to avoid some platonic relationships in order to have the time and energy to find and develop satisfying romantic relationships. This may not be so. More later (hopefully).

  180. testify222 says:

    Guestopher,

    Nothing you posted directly addresses or refutes my overall thesis.

    Women *do* want no-strings sex or “sex just for sex” – but mainly with males of higher status – because women are primarily *sexually* attracted to such men. IOW, both the sexual desire and desire for status are subconsciously intertwined in the female brain.

    The resource being extracted is social status as the interaction with such males raises her status within the female status hierarchy, as other females envy her for receiving the sexual validation of alpha males.

    However, after the sexual interaction, should she discover that the male is really of lower status than she first thought (either because he deceived her or because she simply didn’t have enough information) and/or he does or says something that lowers her status (such as going around saying she’s a sl-t, or if he should choose to interact with another girl she is jealous of, etc.) then the interaction is retroactively perceived by her as a status lowering event – and thus she will feel “raped”, “abused”, “victimized”, etc to varying degrees dependent upon the particular situation – because as I stated above, status and sex are subsconsciously intertwined within the female brain.

    You – like most in mainstream feminist society will think of people like me as social darwinists. But from our perspective we are multilateral social darwinists whereas you are unilateral social darwinists who publically deny darwinian truths because you wish to benefit from them yourself while tricking others into being “egalitarian”. IOW, people like me are about exposing the underlying darwinian reality that *everyone* lives by – with the hope that this will utimately lead to a much more fair, transparent and *honest* society for everyone – instead of one that is contradictary, one-sided and hypocritical.

  181. Elohim Yahweh Sabaoth says:

    Maybe these women should learn to be more assertive, and start approaching men instead of waiting to be noticed by men.

  182. 400 Boyz says:

    Miguel,

    Re: Taintedlove’s post just above this one… Look who’s on your side, and consider whether you like the company you’re keeping in this issue

    Please remember this standard next time a self-proclaimed feminist says something horrible.

  183. 400 Boyz says:

    I guess I was a prettyboy without knowing it, so my own experience was that I did get some attention from girls I would have happily dated, but I lacked enough agression and “edge.” What I also found is once they found out that I was a “geek”, they either got turned off or somehow questioned my tastes in an “eww” type of way. Everyone has the right to like what they like, but don’t turn around and call others shallow when they have their own preferences.

    Many women are outright hostile to men they perceive as “losers” because they are “geeks” (unless of course, they needed help with homework). If a girl happened to have a crush on one of these geeks and she was “too good” for him, other girls went out of their way to “set the girl straight” on how much of a “geek” this guy was. I’ve even heard women question a girl’s attraction for a guy based on his height (“Don’t you want someone who’s more of a MAN?”). That’s outright nasty.

    Let’s also clear something up:

    1) It’s not wrong to want to experience sex. It’s normal.
    2) Oscar’s story, like many a guy’s story, is not only about sex, but about the kind of intimacy that exists in a relationship that goes beyond being friends.

  184. Guestopher says:

    Yes Testify222, I’m confused and not addressing what you said.

    Given what you wrote:
    “Remember that due to their hardwiring, women only have sex and relationships to raise their social status and extract resources – and any interaction where this does not occur will be perceived by her to be “rape” or “abuse”

    -I’m confused. Could we clarify three things?
    1) Do women always seek sex and relationships for social status and to extract resources?

    2) Do men always seek sex and relationships for social status and to extract resource? Couldn’t it be that men seek sex and relationships for other reasons and it just so happens that these benefits arise? It does sound like you believe the act of “giving” sex can be seen as giving a resource and can be used to give social status.

    3) Do you believe that all/nearly all women reject no-strings-attached sex if they do not believe they will get some resource (other than sexual gratification/BABIES!)? See, I’m really confused about that because it isn’t “no-strings-attached sex” if you are trying to get something out of it other than sex. This couldn’t possibly be a correct use of the phrase “no-strings-attached sex” since resources count as strings. Do you mean casual sex, flings, one-night stands?

  185. Young Dude says:

    What’s really quite annoying is the assumption that nice guys want only sex out from a woman and not a platonic relationship. I remember when I was your typical naive “nice guy” and the problem was having female friends who would be fucking assholes. It’s demeaning, emasculating, and downright offensive when a woman uses a guy for her own emotional pornography and then uses another guy for her sexual pornography. The nice guy may not have felt bad about not having sex with the girl if it were not for the fact that she was fucking every alpha that came her way.

    That being said, the answer for nice guys is really to man up. You can still be a nice guy and be confident. You just need to walk away from the girls who want to use you as an emotional tampon. And if you don’t like being the confident guy who can pretend to not be attracted or into attractive women, then you don’t care enough about that woman’s desires to be with her.

  186. Hi Young Dude. I agree that it can be very irritating for young men to constantly hear, “You just want sex.” Yes, it’s true that most men want sex, and there’s nothing wrong with wanting sex. But men ALSO want emotional connections with women, and wanting sex should not be seen as “in opposition” to also wanting an emotional connection.
    That said, you should not look at “women who don’t want a sexual relationship with you” as somehow “using you as an emotional tampon” or “using you for their emotional pornography.” If a woman says she’s not interested in a sexual relationship with you, but offers to be your friend, and then she’s being honest with you, and you have a choice to make: Either (1) accept the non-sexual friendship, or, (2) choose to end the friendship, if spending any time at all with her would be too emotionally painful if it remains non-sexual or, (3) remain friends but spend a lot less time with her, and spend more time pursuing romantic relationships with other women that have the potential to work out.
    But what you don’t have the right to do is call your platonic female friends “assholes,” because they’ve honestly told you they want a platonic relationship, and YOU are the one who chooses to continue to spend time with them. (And yes, your female friends may invite you to spend time with them, but you always have the option of saying no, so you are still the one choosing to spend time with them.)
    This, I think, gets to the crux of many women’s complaints about so-called “nice guys”: Men will sometimes acquiesce to a non-sexual friendship on the surface, but inside some men remain resentful when a female friend continues to keep the relationship on a platonic level – and so they’ll end up calling her an “asshole” for doing so. And that’s not cool. Calling women “fucking assholes” for not wanting to sleep with you is frankly misogynistic.
    Yes: If a young woman is not attracted to you, she should do you a favor and discourage you from spending all your time hanging around her. Yes, women sometimes take advantage of a “nice guy’s” infatuation. And yes, young women often overvalue “alpha” traits and undervalue “nice guy” traits. And I fault feminists, some feminists, for pretending this doesn’t happen, or glossing over it, or saying we shouldn’t talk about it. But, if we’re going to talk about it, it’s very important that it be talked about in a way that is respectful toward women, and calling women “assholes” for the sexual choices they make is hostile and misogynistic. I believe it is possible to criticize women in a respectful way. Jackson Katz, for example, criticizes women who act on their attraction to Eminem, but he does not call women nasty names when he does so.
    As it happens, I think there are relatively few women who cynically “use” men who are infatuated with them. Most women who hang out platonically with men who are crushing on them do so because they enjoy the man’s friendship, not because they are being mean or cynical. Sure, it’s an ego boost for them, but the desire for an ego boost has its roots in the perfectly understandable feeling of happiness most people have when they are validated. I don’t think you can really fault women for that. And a man in this kind of situation has a responsibility to spend less time with his platonic female friends, if the time he is spending with them is painful, or if it’s detracting from time he could be spending finding a girlfriend. Platonic female friends, for their part, should do the compassionate thing, and take care not to monopolize a man’s time, and maybe try to steer their male friends toward women who might return their attraction, especially if a woman see’s that her male friend is having trouble accepting their platonic arrangement.
    I don’t think it’s tantamount to “blaming women” to suggest that women’s behavior in the sexual arena sometimes causes pain to men, and that women sometimes do things they ought not to do. (Just as, mutatis mutandis, it is not “blaming men” to say that there are things men sometimes do that they should stop doing.) But giving women constructive criticism is not the same as calling women nasty names or suggesting that women are bad people because of their sexual choices. The latter – referring to women as “assholes” or worse – is never acceptable.

  187. elementary_watson says:

    If I read Young Dude’s comment correctly, he meant that the women he was platonically friends with were “having sex with (=fucking) persons of less than stellar character (=assholes)”, implying it would have been less frustrating had they chosen persons he respected more to have sex with. Of course, it still is incredibly condescending and patronising for male friend to assume he knows better which men are good for his female friends.

  188. Eurosabra says:

    Men who are non-dominant but also forthright about acting on their attraction are a non-Nice Guy(tm) case, and asking them not to (at the least) learn the effective performance of masculinity is a fool’s errand. At the middle of the spectrum, they may use anger as a motivation, at the far end, they are misogynists. And I am unwilling to criticize those men because when I do not act with decisiveness, a certain degree of entitlement, and seductive charm, I spend years alone. You are apparently outside that dynamic, but anyway feminists have no sympathy for socially-isolated and involuntarily-celibate men, as you have demonstrated through this thread.

  189. There’s no “correct” way to read Young Dude’s phrase, “female friends who would be fucking assholes,” because it’s ambiguous. When I first read it, I assumed “fucking” was an adjective, modifying “assholes,” and so it looked as though he were saying that his female friends were assholes. But “fucking” can also be a transitive verb, taking “assholes” as a direct object, which would mean that Young Dude’s female friends were having sex with assholes. So, to interpret this sentence in a way most favorable to Young Dude, you would say that he means the latter, and that Young Dude’s female friends were having sex with assholes, but were not assholes themselves.
    But even if Young Dude isn’t calling his female friends “fucking assholes,” he is still accusing them of using him for their own “emotional pornography,” and advises men to walk away from women who want to use them as “emotional tampons.” That kind of language distorts the motivations and behaviors of most men’s platonic female friends, who are motivated, for the most part, by the desire for friendship, and also possibly by the relatively benign, non-evil desire for an small ego-boost, and not out of any desire to “use men.”

  190. testify222 says:

    Guestopher,

    The pleasure of the sex and the drive to have it is correlated highly with resources that each gender needs from the other. We are not neccesarily consciously aware of these drives (we are consciously just pleasure seeking) but still behave in a way which is consistent to them.

    Men are the production gender and women are the reproduction gender. Men therefore objectify women for their beauty/youth which are outward signs of fertility and reproductive power. Women therefore objectify men for their social status/money/dominance which are outward signs of productive power.

    Just as we’re hardwired to enjoy high-calorie foods because they were adaptive in our evolutionary past, we find certain characteristics sexy in the opposite sex (and desire sex with individuals who hold the desired characteristics) because they were adaptive in our evolutionary past. We aren’t neccessarily consciously aware of these factors but they are with us whether we like it or not.

    What it comes down to is there really is no such thing as true no-strings sex from an evolutionary perspective. Sex – whether relationship based or non-relationship based is not simply a compartmentalized personal act, but an act that takes place within a sociosexual marketplace, where participants are essentially commodities of varying value, who compete to raise their value by associating/interacting (sexually and otherwise) with participants of equal or higher value, as well as to extract evolutionary resources.

  191. testify222 says:

    Young Dude’s complaint is such a common one amongst men of all backgrounds as to have become a cultural meme and to have sparked a cultural movement (Game, seduction, etc).

    Elementary_Watson is twisting things around when he/she implies YoungDude has no right to decide for the woman who she has sex with. That is not what YoungDude is doing. Women (including feminists) often complain endlessly about jerky/bad/assholish/dominating/bullying characteristics in men, and simultaneously whine about wanting nice/good/cooperative characteristics in men – but then spend most of their years chasing/sexing the bad boys while ignoring the nice guys and just leading them on and using them as emotional tampons. AND the girl will usually make everyone think that it’s the bad boy who is “tricking” her or victimizing her in some way (when she really chose him and is attracted to him) and she will often use the nice guy to save/defend her socially and otherwise. THIS is what annoys the nice guys and guys in general, because we are lied to by women and feminists about what women want. Let’s face facts here FEMINISM created the nice guy, by constantly telling men that they shouldn’t “objectify” women for sex, that they should see women “only as people”, and want “get to know the inner her” “as a friend” and that “maybe a relationship (with the potential for sex) will develop”, etc.

    So of COURSE your average horny young male is going to try to follow these rules to get sex and relationships and whatever. Then when he follows all of this and it turns out that *the badboy type of guys who could care less about what women wanted and feminist “rules”, and who are in fact are doing the opposite(proudly objectifying women, chauvanism, thuggish bullying behavior towards other men, etc) are the ones who are “rewarded” with sex and sexual validation (what said young horny males are starving for) from most of the women/girls – this is particularly galling to say the least for the nice guy who “followed the rules”. The feminists/women in general will never admit to this, or really care (for reasons having to do with female hypergamy I’ve detailed above, which is at the root of feminism itself) but that is why men have stopped caring.

  192. elementary_watson says:

    It’s “he”, and I think the twist is an awesome dance to do around things.

    Silliness aside, I have some points I disagree with, and some points I do agree with.

    Disagree with: “Bad boys” get rewarded for their bad boy behaviour by women. There is a lot of variety among the characteristics of men who do get sex and relationships , and while there certainly are some women who are attracted to bad boys, there also are many who aren’t or who are able to check their impulse to go for the “wrong kind of guy”. There are many many ways for a man to be attractive to a lot of women, but, and there’s the big problem, being sensitive (in every sense of the word) is not among them. I think sensitivity is necessary to keep a healthy romantic/sexual relationship going, but has to be counterbalanced by other traits when you want to get into a relationship/want to have sex.

    And here we go into agreement territory: There are many wrong messages, many coming from feminist circles, that nice, involuntarily celibate men are likely to pick up, and the call for men to be more sensitive is one of them (for men who build their self-image upon their sensitivity). What’s even more galling, IMO, is a certain double (or maybe triple) bind young men face when it comes to dating women:

    If you want to have sex, you have to do certain things. Doing certain things just to get laid is wrong. And if you do these things without the purpose of getting laid and are still not getting laid – well, if you don’t do these things to get laid, why are you complaining that these things don’t help you getting laid???

    It is pretty difficult to make feminists/naturally sexually successful guys see the contradictions in this line of reasoning, and yeah, that is frustrating. It also shows that “wanting to have sex” is very much frowned upon by society, more than actually “having sex”. (The myth is, I guess, that sex should simply “happen”, “naturally”, without any intentions involved …)

    ——————————————————————

    Finally, here’s some advice for women about what not to do around guys you think might have a crush on you, unless you are sexually interested in them:

    – Don’t tell them about your varied and diversified sex life.
    – Don’t complain about the guy you’re with, and especially never compare that guy unfavourably to the one you’re talking to.

    If many celibate guys are told by women they are “nicer, kinder, better” men than the ones the women date, you can’t fault those guys for *believing* that (these) women prefer assholes.

  193. testify222 says:

    Elementary_Watson,

    We seem to be mostly in agreement.

    I think “women only want bad boys” complaint is not neccesarily about the “bad boy” actually being of low character. He may or may not be an actual thug. It’s the fact that the guys women find sexy and have sex with are overwhelmingly the exact opposite of what women and feminists constantly whine about wanting in men. Remember that feminists especially complain about hierarchy, dominance, sexual entitlement, macho extroversion – all of which are required to varying degrees in sexually attracting women – even when the man is not of bad character otherwise. However, such a man is *by definition* “bad” in the nice guy’s mind because he is “breaking the female/feminist rules” (and hence, “bad”) yet being rewarded for it, while the nice guy is following those same rules (and hence “nice” or “good”) and being punished for it. IOW, nice or bad as used in this context is about men’s level of compliance with women’s and feminists’ *stated* values/rules/demands/complaints.

  194. elementary_watson says:

    IOW, nice or bad as used in this context is about men’s level of compliance with women’s and feminists’ *stated* values/rules/demands/complaints.

    Good working definition. Makes me wonder: If you ask, say, 2000 people what they like to see in a, say, romantic movie, and then produce a romantic movie according to these audience preferences, it is obvious that most likely the end product will be incredibly bland. It seems to me that something similiar, on the personality level, is happening with female’s stated preferences in men and the Nice Guys who try to fit those preferences.

    To the movie producer, it looks like audiences don’t know what they want; to audiences, it looks like the movie is simply checking items on a checklist. Both have a point, but I think people complaining that a movie was following too closely what they said they wanted should reconsider what they *really* want from a movie, and if these demands are non-contradictory, or else shut up about what they expect from a movie.

    And considering that a movie has to be interesting and attractive only for usually less than 150 minutes, all this is even more true when talking about a man’s personality who has to be attractive and interesting for a longer time when he’s in the dating game.

  195. testify222 says:

    elementary_watson,

    That is a big part of it, and men and women – people in general – do this as your movie example illustrates. We simply are not fully aware of what we want, and we may even suppress or rationalize away what we really do want if we feel it is inconsistent with our values, or that there will be negative social or political consequences as a result.

    Feminists are afraid to admit the truth of the female sex drive (the desire for socially superior men) because to a large extent it is contradictary to the ideal of equality. IOW, both the desire to be equal to men and also to be dominated by men are true – but they are in contradiction, which leads to cognitive dissonance, rationalization, hypocrisy, projection, etc.

    To some extent when feminists/women complain about hierarchy, machismo etc it is that they are upset that they are attracted to these qualities which subjugate them, and want men to “protect women from themselves” by not becoming these things. And so the nice guys comply. But of course women’s sexual/primal side (need for socially superior or dominant men) needs to be fulfilled whether their egalitarian side wants it to or not – and so women will then gravitate to the dominant men who were “bad” and did not comply with what the egalitarian side said it wanted.

    Also, since women are hypergamous and are attracted to the same few men most of the other women are – these attractive men are in intense demand and can afford to behave badly, i.e to be entitled, abusive, unattentive, insensitive, unfaithful, etc. So in a sense when women say “I prefer nice guys” what she is really saying is that “I prefer alpha males who are nice” – since most alpha males are not that nice. IOW, she is not considering the full pool of men (which includes the unattractive men) in that statement, but only the small pool of men that are attractive to most of the women, and who tend to behave badly as a result of their high SMV. Because when you think of it, “niceness” is a quality that most men(betas) have, so it would seem strange for women to insist that men have it.

  196. testify222 says:

    “Friendship” is just women’s hardwired drive to get as many beta suckers as possible to provide for her – emotionally, socially and otherwise – without having to give any sex in return. A woman’s “friendship” “in return” is a useless and pointless trade for a man.

    This is why a guy should never listen to a woman’s problems or be her little friend if he wants to get laid. Never give up any part of yourself “for free” – let her work for your validation.

  197. testify222 says:

    @Lathe
    Great post. Excellent point, one that needs to be hammered more when feminists bring up the Nice Guy TM is really a Shy Abuser argument: If they really don’t like the Nice Guy TM for his “secret abusive ways” that they can “sense” – then why are women not looking for “genuine authentic really really nice guys”.. why are they not moving in the direction of the egalitarian qualities they *say* they want .. but instead in the exact opposite direction ?

    Of course, for me this is simply a rhetorical question: women are hardwired to say they want “nice” qualities in men in order to get those men around them to think of them as good girls and thus provide for them emotionally, financially, socially, politically and otherwise .. while she’s actually sexually attracted to social status, hierarchy, dominance, etc. Even when women are attracted to men with “nice qualities” it is usually a male who has social status, popularity, is competitive, “ambitious” – i.e. a male who is “hierarchy aware” – just as women are.

  198. testify222 says:

    @Lynet
    Feminists and women are the ones who instill the the belief in men (especially internalized by sensitive men) that sex is reward for being nice and relationship minded (instead of simply out for sex, which is “objectification”). Nice guys are simply complying with the feminist rule book – and getting punished for it – while the bad boys who thumb their noses at such rules are rewarded.

    Women are hypergamous and award themselves and their sexuality as prizes mainly to men who have social desirability as women see it at any given time. This is why apex alphas (celebrities, star athlethes, rock stars, politicians, etc) get laid by hundreds of women while joe beta has to pay for dates and deal with feminist rules just for the chance to get some.

  199. TheBi says:

    marle, there appears to be a misunderstanding going on. – When I read “They are ideological incapable of accepting that women are often scumbags.” I read that in the context “People (being people) are often scumbags.” therefore women (being people) are often scumbags but in Soullite’s opinion feminists deny or avoid this obvious truth.

    I believe this (or similarly) is how P John Irons and TB also read that phrase – and this explains why you and Cara are reacting differently to this sentence.

    I assume from the context of Cara’s question – “What “scumbag” behavior do “average” women perpetrate?” that she took the original sentence to mean something different and thus would not be expecting the easy answer “The same scumbag behaviour average people perpetrate – lying, cheating, stealing, bitching, quarrelling, fighting, abusing, law-breaking and bullying.”
    I assume you also took it to mean something wider – perhaps that Soullite thinks women are ‘scumbags’ in ways men aren’t, or something like that – and that’s not an invalid interpretation, but I don’t think that’s what he was saying.

  200. TheBi says:

    I think she just heard the word “Nice Guy” (or even just the implication of it) and just went off on a pre-worn path about this evil “Nice Guy” meme that she and others like her have created out of a mash up of pure imagination, projection, telling other’s what they really think, and worst of all – real “Nice Guy” misogynists who actually believe that sort of thing. Or appear to.

    The fact that it may not apply in this case doesn’t matter to her at all, nor to a great many of those who fling around the label with gay abandon.
    It’s lucky really that none of these women have ever experienced discrimination like this – ever resented being unfairly lumped in with others who bear superficial similarity – or ever been told what they “really” think, feel and mean by ignorant outsiders. Otherwise it’d be really hypocritical to turn those weapons on others.

    I mean, once you start calling people “Nice Guys” and saying “perhaps if they didn’t despise women so much they wouldn’t be so alone and pathetic, they don’t want women they want docile warm bodies to masturbate into” you may as well go all the way and label other people “Feminazis” and saying “perhaps if they didn’t hate Men so much they wouldn’t be dried up and alone, they don’t want men they want docile credit cards on legs to exploit then dump”

    Perhaps if we all stopped making these kinds of prejudiced bullshit little labels up, started engaging with people as human fucking beings for once, even in the progressive community where we pretend we do it all the time, we would actually get somewhere. But maybe not. Perhaps as a species we are incapable of actually reaching a reasonable conclusion consistently and the only hope for us is to throw all power into the labels that are the least wrong and hope that we can persuade everyone to take these labels up as true for everyone even as those of us capable of empathising even with people we disagree with and probably dislike stand on the sidelines and say “Well you’re all pathetic lazy bigots but I guess that’s what humans are”

    Um. Where was I?

    -Bitter, Mike… ?

    -No, are you?

    -Pint of bitter, Mike?
    :-o

    Ah yes. An out of context Spaced quote to make up for the lack of a coherent line of argument. I hope that works.

  201. TheBi says:

    “Asking a woman out–or even asking if she wants to have sex–is not “arrogant, pushy, and sexually entitled.”

    Depends how you ask. Depends how attractive you are. Depends on your social stature. Depends on your personal hygiene. Depends entirely on how the woman reacts.
    I have seen, and even participated in the labelling of people as “arrogant, pushy and entitled” (not exclusively sexually) for doing far less than simply asking someone out. So it’s not an absolute truth. It’s relative.
    You’re hardly going to convince a complete stranger that you know their life, and their situation well enough to tell them what people will think of their actions if their experience is very different and you are basing your argument on lazy generalities that they may well know not to be true.

    Disclaimer: I am not talking from the inside, I haven’t had this problem myself (as far as I know!) but I have absolutely seen people who were considered unworthy or undateable be held to very very different standards to other more acceptable people, and I disagree strongly with the generalisation that “X” behaviour will not be considered creepy, entitled or whatever, since I’ve seen people considered creepy, entitled or whatever simply for being themselves and behaving like the rest of us when that ‘self’ is not considered worthy

  202. TheBi says:

    For example: (hypothetical) A fat greasy older guy, disheveled and not making eye-contact hauls himself up to the slim attractive blonde standing by the bar and says with a creepy smile “Hey, let me buy you a drink!”

    Many, many people would consider that “arrogant, pushy, and sexually entitled”. Some people would give him a beat down just for that.

    As it is, that’s just his smile. He’s just ugly. He’s not much older, just ugly. He’s not avoiding eye-contact he’s just shy and doesn’t want to come off aggressive.

    The confident older professional guy who swans up to her might be the target of jealousy of her other admirers, but it will be understood by most that even if she chooses not to accept the drink, he did no harm in asking.
    That’s not always true for the ugly, inept guy. So trite “Stop being such a wimp and just talk to them, they won’t hate you for it” type encouragement is just bullshit, unless you know they won’t get hated on for it.

    And this isn’t just a guy thing by any means. It’s actually (imho) worse for women- as they are not usually the initiators some guys seem to feel they have a right to be more than usually offended by the gall that ugly fat women are showing by hitting on him.

  203. Lathe of Heaven says:

    John E. — Two can play at the XKCD game here:

    http://xkcd.com/642/

    The boy’s thoughts here are based on real life. A significant percentage of the time, in the modern USA, a man’s opening/approach, no matter how polite or innocuous, will be treated as a crime. Especially if he’s not well-groomed and/or good-looking. Different men deal with it in different ways; and the ones who disrespect women and disregard their complaints are the ones who wind up winning.

    There would be far fewer embittered men if women stopped treating men as criminals simply for having desire.

  204. Danny says:

    I’m so glad you put that up.

  205. Here is my problem with your post, as it was Amanda’s problem:

    Unfortunately, many feminists have chosen to deal with this by pretending that women’s preference for dominant men doesn’t exist. Hugo, for example, has written, “I hear from a great many young men the familiar complaint that ‘girls just want bad boys,’” but he then proceeds to immediately invalidate what young men are telling him.

    “Socially dominant” to me, means having money, being in management, being in congress, having an important job or piece of real estate. Etc. Where in the world do you get “bad boys” out of that? It is simply inaccurate, rendering the rest of your piece inaccurate. “Bad boys” do not get to be “socially dominant”–they are just as likely to go to jail for brawling as they are to be good providers who are able to buy women nice cars and houses and such. Bad boys also find it hard to keep jobs (with their bad manners) and thus, often make little or no money and therefore gain no social respect.

    If anything, the tension in women’s desires is between the desire for the wayward kidnapper-lover of the old Harlequin Romances (i.e. bad boys) and the desire for powerful, widely-respected men who have played by the rules and therefore have been amply rewarded (rich and/or influential men). These two categories do not go together…unless you mean “bad” as simply having an attitude? (Since you began your post with the example of a violent man in a fictional story, I am not even sure what kind of men you refer to?) Men with violent histories do not go on to be “socially dominant”–unless you speak specifically of military men or bikers? And even then, they are only “dominant” in these particular circles.

    “Bad boys” DOES NOT equal “socially dominant” and this is the major mistake in your post that turns it into ideological mush, no offense. You constantly conflate “bad boys” and “dominant men” in your post… which is bloody maddening. You seem unaware that the bad boys were already given long prison sentences by the lawyers and judges (dominant men).

    So, who are you talking about, in that case?

  206. Got that, girls? Friendship means nothing to men, just as many of you have suspected. Getting laid is the thing. Always. Forever. First and foremost. Amen.

    I’ll be back to quote this one many times. Thanks.

  207. Jim says:

    “Socially dominant” to me, means having money, being in management, being in congress, having an important job or piece of real estate. Etc.”

    Well that’s you. And that’s the common sense definition. But to a giggling teenager that stud on a bike is socially dominant. And that’s the definition the skinny kid looking on has to live with.

    “Where in the world do you get “bad boys” out of that? It is simply inaccurate, rendering the rest of your piece inaccurate”

    Not inaccurrate except by your definition of “bad boys”.

  208. Danny says:

    Men with violent histories do not go on to be “socially dominant”–unless you speak specifically of military men or bikers?
    Then how would you explain pro athletes that despite coming up on all sorts of charges (but the only ones that people complain about are when the charges are against women) of violence but still manage to be role models for kids and their fans are so forgiving of their behavior.

    Based on your logic the careers of Ben Rothesburger, Kobe Bryant, and (hell I’m sure you can think of another) should have gone down in flames by now.

    This even covers politicians (I’ll bet you can think of a few that have “gotten over” accusations of violence), big business owners, etc…

    And it gets even more noticeable if you include not violent but still horrible crimes. How many big time CEOs have you seen get off with as slap on the wrist for charges that would have spelled doom for average Joe/Jane? Sure some of them get caught and brought to justice like Bernie Maddoff but do you really think that the few that get caught are the only ones doing?

  209. Good point, but I think sports are a separate category, almost like the military. They have their own rules, cultures, elites. (In fact, men’s social-organization capability is enviable, something women would do well to learn more about, but I digress.) My question is what Miguel means by “bad boys”–you say Kobe Bryant and Jim says a kid on a bike. Well, which is it?

    The most successful men (in the long term, not rock stars and sports figures who flame out/die quickly) who hold the power and money and influence, learn to control their hostility and sublimate the desire to bash someone in the head, (or call women cunts in public). One might call Newt Gingrich a “bad boy” (random example of a powerful man who has treated the women in his personal life like shit) and yet he is considered well-mannered and intelligent and he even intends to run for president. So I get your point. But to me, he is just a common prick… not the working definition of “bad boy” that Miguel seems invested in.

    So, my question again: Who are these bad boys? Danny or Jim’s definition?

  210. Danny says:

    My question is what Miguel means by “bad boys”–you say Kobe Bryant and Jim says a kid on a bike. Well, which is it?
    How do we know that the kid on the bike didn’t grow up to be the Kobe Bryant we know today?

  211. But Kobe, as I said, is not Donald Trump, or the Koch brothers, and he never will be. Neither is Charlie Sheen. This is not to say they are not abusive to women; of course they are. That’s part of the show. They are entertaining media diversions (i.e. famous fuck ups) who successfully distract us from dealing with the real issues.

    Just my opinion, of course.

  212. Danny says:

    I don’t know I still think that you can lump the Kobes and the Trumps together on this one. Influence, power, status to get away with stuff that us “common folk” never could.

  213. Lathe of Heaven says:

    You’re over-correcting here. For men, getting laid is like breathing air: if you haven’t gotten any for a sufficiently long time, then it does absolutely become your number 1 priority, first and foremost. Try holding your breath for a two-minute stretch once an hour for a whole day and you’ll get some idea of what it’s like to live as a typical young man.

    Once you believe you can stop worrying over when and whether you’ll be able to draw your next breath, then you can appreciate the finer things in life like eating, drinking and friendship. But toward the end of any of those two minute stretches I’d be very surprised if you can muster any appreciation for anything beyond sweet oxygen. Before you write again, try it for a day and see how the other half lives.

  214. Jim says:

    That’s a key question, but I think you answer it pretty well by pointing out that sports are a separate reality. Athletes are basically entertainers, toys – they are not power players in their own right, and their bad-boyness is often part of the persona they are selling (Dennis Rodman?). So maybe it’s not such a dichotomy after all.

    Newt Gingrich is in that other category, the smooth assholes, an actual power player. I put him in with all those seagulls on Wall Street, you know, the ones that are always so prisitne-looking but feed on moral garbage and rise to the top by pecking each others’ eyes out?

  215. voxnewman says:

    I agree with the main point that if you think that you being a nice guy makes you exceptional then you aren’t looking hard enough. What makes you exceptional is not blaming others for the things you perceive as problems and instead taking an active role in making yourself happy rather than rely on and/or blame others.

  216. Lathe of Heaven says:

    voxnewman: “not blaming others for the things you perceive as problems and instead taking an active role in making yourself happy rather than rely on and/or blame others.”

    I foresee a great future for you as the recreational director of Devil’s Island.

  217. aleknovy says:

    I think that is an important aspect of the ‘Nice Guy” phenomenon — there is the notion that communicating sexual desire is somehow “not nice”. Given that, it should be obvious why “nice guys” don’t get laid. They don’t ask!

    And the reason those nice guys think that communicating sexual desire is not nice is DECADES OF FEMINIST BRAINWASHING.

    Its feminism who went with the logic “better err on the side of caution”. Miguel has posted a post where he talked about this. Kate Hardon has a post where she says that UNLESS YOU ARE 10000% certain a woman is interested, never EVER make a move.

    Here’s the problem. The only guys who are 10000% certain are arrogant, domineering entitled assholes.

    Feminism created nice-guys, and now its whine about them. Its kind of ironic.

  218. aleknovy says:

    It’s also kind of unreasonable to say that women “don’t like” shy men, and this is why shyness is such a problem. I used to be a shy woman, after all, and boy did I have trouble finding sex. I don’t think that’s because men “don’t like” shy women, I think it’s because I didn’t know how to ask.

    Women don’t conciously dislike shyness, but they do in real life, in practice.

    When a shy guy approaches a woman, she usually shoots him down in a theatrical, humiliating way. If asked why she did that, she says she hates creepy guys who are all creepy and shit.

    You see, women don’t call shy guys “shy”, they call them “creepy”.

  219. aleknovy says:

    I just get tired of the way in which I’m set up as some sort of alpha male who has no idea what shy young men go through. It’s a trope that dismisses what I’m talking about.

    But Hugo, you are. You have not once shown even a morsel of understanding what its like to be the shy/introverted guy who has NO clue how to interpret female signals.

  220. aleknovy says:

    yet your upset that Amanda, who mostly posts about events and political issues, has never made a post about how amazing men are?

    Boy did you ever twist what he said :D

    Where did he demand that feminists post about “how amazing men are”? You’re creating a false dichotomy here.

    You know, the only two options aren’t either posting 100% negative/demonizing things about men, or talking about how awesome they are.

    There’s a third option. Treating men as human beings who have both flaws and good attributes… y’know? If someone ONLY ever talks about a group negatively, and never ever so much as says a neutral or a positive thing about the group… We ussually call that hate.

  221. aleknovy says:

    Also – what differentiates between rape and non-rape is consent – not the social status of the male.

    I think what they were saying was a bit different.

    They were saying that a low-status man is “guilty until proven innocent” and a high-status man is “innocent until proven guilty”.

    That’s definitely been my experience. Back when I was lower-status, I was always looked at with suspicion and I had to PROVE that I’m not evil potential serial-murderer creep. I had to PROVE i’m not bad.

    Now that I’ve raised my social status, I have the opposite “problem”. Now I am assumed to be good, and I actually have to “prove” I’m bad. Women overlook my flaws and go out of their way to ascribe me good qualities and ignore my bad ones.

    You might think that by becoming the kind of guy that women pursue and love, that I would be more sympathetic to women’s behaviour and less to men’s? Au contraire.

    Now the whole things seems even more ridiculous. When I think back to how women treated me when I was lower-status, I have less respect. It literally is night and day. It feels like women either see you as a god to be worshipped, or a “parasite” to be mocked, and there’s not much in between.

  222. aleknovy says:

    Guys,

    I’m bowing out on this. Not because I think you’re right – far from it – but because our views of the world are so different I’m really finding it hard to debate with you.

    Your description of the world (sociosexual economy, high status males, alpha consent form) has absolutely nothing to do with the reality I’ve lived in for the past 34 years

    I think the way women manage to live in a different reality is by redefining things.

    When they go for a man because of his status in the group, they call him “charming” or “cute”.

    When a woman shuts down, embarrasses or humiliates a shy/low-status guy, she says he was “creepy”.

    And women actually believe their own lies. They project good qualities onto high-status men, and find and magnify every flaw in a lower-status man.

    I can’t find the experiment, and I will try to, but I saw an experiment where they had groups of women rating the same guy.

    In one group they just changed one of his attributes to make him higher status. And the women of course rated him as more attractive.

    But did the women admit it was because of (high status feature added)… NO… lol, they came up with rationalizations like “Ohhh, he seems nice” or “Oh, I like how he dresses, very stylish”…

    Don’t forget these were all things that were identical between the two groups. So women actually believe their own lies when they say “its not in their reality for women to mistreat low status men and chase after high-status men”.

    In her mind she’s attracted to his “cute smile”.

  223. aleknovy says:

    If you want to have sex, you have to do certain things. Doing certain things just to get laid is wrong. And if you do these things without the purpose of getting laid and are still not getting laid – well, if you don’t do these things to get laid, why are you complaining that these things don’t help you getting laid???

    I lol’ed… So true…

    If a man is going out to try to meet women, well he’s an ahole on the prowl. If he’s not out to meet women, well, why aren’t you try to meet women!

    If he conciously tries to get laid, he’s an ahole creep… it needs to happen “organically”… But if he’s waiting for it to happen organically and it doesn’t (duh! women don’t do anything themselves, most of them do wait for the men to do the moves)… well then its his fault that he’s not doing the moves.

    In essence, a man is always in the wrong.

  224. Voldric says:

    I have read most of these comments and spent more than a few hours doing it. And thus far I have yet to see anyone bring up the following fact nice does not equate shy. The general consensus seems to be that nice men don’t get dates or sex because they don’t ask for them.

    You can be polite and kind about letting your interests be known. I am always polite and was raised to believe that being chivalrous was just the right thing to do. You never ever disrespect a woman. I don’t see it as being mean rude or disrespectful to politely let your interests be known though. The thing is even if your confidant and outgoing you still get nothing from being the nice guy. This is of course my own personal experience so I realize that I am slightly biased but with reason.

    My own brother has slept with over 30 different women. He openly calls them sluts and will straight up ask them hey do you wanna fuck. He is also open about the fact that he uses women. It doesn’t matter. Several of the same women that I had known for months and had been polite toward and very open with the fact that I was interested in but treated with respect at the same time have then went on to have one night stands with my brother.

    So while it makes sense that shy guys will not get as many girls from lack of asking. What about the nice men who are confidant enough to ask and do so without being assholes about it?

  225. modernguy says:

    What has changed is that the “sexual marketplace” is a woman’s place now. You always hear the old canard that men display and women choose. This was only minimally the case in the past because men by default were comparatively higher status, and there were so many constraints on sexual behavior. If everyone is getting married out of high school and you can only have one mate, you basically have to choose quickly. Combined with the fact that your potential husband has all the economic power, most women thought most guys on a decent path were a good choice given the circumstances. Even if strictly speaking they weren’t pushing all the “tingle” buttons, and even if when it comes to drama and social dynamics they were “boring”.

    What’s happening now is that since women aren’t being forced to choose quickly and exclusively, they are following their ‘feelings’ on everything. There is absolutely no reason for a woman to choose a boring supplicating beta dude, even given all his suppressed romanticism when she has all the time in the world (she thinks, and maybe she’s right) to choose. She can pick that guy when she’s ready to settle down. In the meantime she wants ‘fun’. Fun for a woman is anything that takes her heart and squeezes it. Drama. You’re always hearing guys wonder why some seemingly sweet and innocent (maybe she even is) girl keeps chasing after her inconsiderate and obdurate bad boy boyfriend. All she seems to do is complain about him and when she’s with him she’s trying to change him. Meanwhile she’s secretly delighted that he fills her life with emotions – jealousy, anger, confusion. This emotional game keeps her playing. Comparatively the nice guy has nothing to offer. He thinks his good character and dependability should make him attractive. But good character and dependability have nothing to do with emotional drama, which is what makes a girl’s life ‘fun’.

  226. Voldric says:

    Alright I understand that. Women nor men really like boring people. This is something I realized a long time ago.

    I am a volunteer fire fighter, I drive a motorcycle, I am a Marine Corps recruit (Shipping to basic in 5 days btw) , and I tend to try to go out and do things that are fun. Nice guys like having a good time to.

    So unless someone can point out where exactly that screams out that I am a boring person who will offer no excitement I will say much the same as I said about being shy. Not all nice men are boring they just think of more constructive ways of being exciting than being in and out of jail and other things of that nature.

  227. MikeM says:

    Hi all!

    I’ve had a blast reading through this stuff, although I encountered this blog entry looking for something else. Seems to me there’s a lot of interesting opinions in here – and even those who are vehemently opposed to each other, each have valid points. I’ve been thinking about this stuff for a long time, so I’ve a few opinions of my own …

    Most people don’t spend too much time thinking about this stuff … those who do are a little weird by their standards! They pick their dating prospects or chances of a sexual encounter by going for whomever meets their criteria for “hot” without considering their inclination (or not) to go for “bad boys” (or “bad girls”), socially dominant people, etc.

    Yes some people do go for “bad boys/girls”, and it isn’t just women – men can do it to, as I’ve been there. At least part of the reason (if not most) is the chance of excitement through danger. And “bad people” can also be socially dominent within a certain population – the gang leader may not be considered socially dominent with society as a whole, but certainly is within his or her neighbourhood.

    As someone inclined to steer clear of socially dominent people, I can’t say more than it appears that some people go for socially dominent people.

    Onto the “nice guys in a friendship” thing. Coming onto a friend in the middle of a relationship crisis is a pretty sleazy stunt to pull. “Nice guys” who are friends with a woman in the hope of it becoming something else, are fooling themselves – it might do, but most likely not. Oh, and it happens the other way around too – I’ve been in the “nice guy” situation and a friend of a “nice girl” who wanted to try something on.

    But does it matter ? The key test for whether a friend is a friend, is just that – are they a friend? What they are thinking is private to them.

    Last point I want to make … someone mentioned subtle signs indicating interest earlier. Is this perhaps a dangerous hangover from Victorian dating practice ? After all in the bad old days, women weren’t supposed to have overt interest in men so a subtle set of easily deniable signals developed.

    Sure it’s possible to learn the language of signs, but it strikes me as a poor communications methodology.

  228. B405 says:

    Voldric, I think the key is emotional turmoil, rather than physical excitement. Learning to parachute out of a plane or operate a hook-and-ladder might be physically exciting, but they don’t provide the kind of emotional roller coaster a woman can get from–and craves from–dating a jerk.

    And I hope your term of service in the Corps is as boring as possible.

  229. AnonymousDog says:

    Coming to this late, but I’d like to offer an observation. I’ve noticed that most people in our society, regardless of their ideological leanings, are not too comfortable discussing male sexual frustration/isolation. Except, of course, those guys who are personally affected.

    I have the impression that a lot of folks are reluctant to discuss the subject for fear of being accused of blaming women for men’s frustrations. This impression is strengthened by the manner in which many feminists(at least those posting on internet comment boards) tend to pre-emptively shift the discussion to the manipulative and abusive Nice Guys(TM), rather than discuss the situation of frustrated/isolated average, good enough guys who just don’t know how to ask or don’t know where to look. Again, it’s just an impression, but maybe these guys’ situation doesn’t fit into the feminist narrative.

    For the most part, the PUA guys seem to be the only folks willing to actually discuss the subject in any depth, and it often seems to me, they are as much attacked for actually broaching the subject as they are for what they actually say about it.

  230. anon says:

    The irony is that women — when it comes to this most sensitive of all issues — will choose the path of least resistance that studiously avoids simply admitting the truth: this is either because they’re intellectually (and emotionally) dishonest, c.f. Marcotte et al., or because, as Roger Devlin said, they don’t know or are embarrassed to talk about it.

    Miguel noted that by using Occam’s razor, one can surmise that if a huge plurality of young men believe that women their age are attracted to assholes, it’s probably true. The unvarnished truth is that no young man can grow up observing the world around him and not come to understand, in plain and simple terms, that women behave on some kind of instinct, probably linked to testosterone, where even the most intelligent and sensitive girls will throw themselves at completely capricious pricks and wasters. The young man who observes this obvious truth will either withdraw from the sexual competition from fear (i.e. “nice guys”) or he’ll adapt. Kill or be killed.

    Whenever this subject comes up, women reach for a sneaky rhetorical tactic: instead of admitting that their attraction to a man is predicated on a purely amoral instinct, they’ll try to redefine the terms so that some poor bastard who’s been masturbating alone his whole life is really the asshole, because he believes he’s “entitled to sex” or whatever (ironically these same women will claim the “nice guy” dug his own grave because he was unwilling to communicate his sexual attraction: i.e. he wasn’t sufficiently entitled).

    But the pure and cold reality is that the most ruthless and selfish men alive will rarely sleep alone, and certainly court the vast majority of a woman’s fertility and her romantic love. I’ve seen it from a distance with amusement during the whole course of my 22 years; I simply cannot pretend otherwise, because I know what I’ve seen: drug barons, petty criminals, wife batterers and “dominating” men never slept alone. Men in high school who were known players would churn through women like a paper mill mashing so many old newspapers into beaten pulp. How many stories of women writing love sonnets to serial killers or marrying gangsters does it take before one stops pretending that women have some perfect moral filter and choose for “humor” or clean living?

    Personally I see no reason to imagine human beings are exempt from the evolutionary dance, and no reason to even assume we’re particularly different to mammals. Women in their youngest years probably select for high testosterone, selfish and egotistical men as an expression of virility. In short, the problem with “nice guys” isn’t that they’re assholes, it’s that they’re not. Being more badly behaved would work wonders for them.

  231. The Real Peterman says:

    “Personally I see no reason to imagine human beings are exempt from the evolutionary dance”

    I agree wholeheartedly with your post anon, except that I doubt that any sort of genetic or biological determinism is at work in who people choose for their partners. Let’s face it: our society often encourages unhealthy habits in people, whether it comes to eating, sleeping, exercising (or more often, not) or choosing a date for Friday night.

  232. Richard Aubrey says:

    Something missed here. There doesn’t seem to be much dispute that some guys, nice or otherwise, spend some time hearing from a woman about how badly the woman’s boyfriend treats her. I suppose the feminists might insist it really doesn’t happen if they had even the slightest chance of being believed. But the response, as far as I can tell, is that nobody makes the guys listen. Which means this is true.
    So, what are the guys supposed to think? That the woman is lying? That the relationship in question is actually pretty good but he’s only hearing about the rare unpleasantness? That the woman is being a drama queen and possibly even making stuff up? It would be difficult to start a movement to consider women who complain about guys but don’t leave them as …what? Liars? To be ignored?
    So we’re stuck. The women say these things and men believe them.
    The guys in question, nice or otherwise, probably recall various situations beginning in high school which seem to point in the same direction.
    So, if we believe the women who claim this, it seems to be true that some women are attracted to guys who treat them badly, and don’t leave when it seems reasonable that they should. At least, if they’re complaining bitterly, it would seem to be the time to leave.
    I was never considered A Nice Guy when I was dating, as far as I can recall. Nevertheless, I had two women acquaintances who did complain to me about their butthead boyfriends, but didn’t leave them. Point is, it’s not only nice guys who hear this stuff.
    So, unless women who talk like this are universally lying, then the phenomenon seems to be true. The question is what conclusions are to be drawn. Sneering at those who point out what is actually true–unless the women who talk like this are universally lying–seems pointless at best. And not much help.

  233. GemmaM says:

    1. Sometimes we all need to vent about our relationships, so, yeah, the picture can be wildly incomplete sometimes.
    2. You haven’t actually drawn any conclusions from “sometimes women stay in relationships when they are unhappy.” Was that deliberate? Did you think there was some sort of conclusion that followed automatically? Because I’d like to head off “Therefore, we can’t trust women to make their own relationship decisions” and “Therefore, women should just have sex with *me* instead” before you say them. You weren’t trying to imply either of those, were you?

  234. Voldric says:

    Well just got back from basic and its nice to see that this conversation has still gotten us no where lol And thanks B405 I am kinda hoping to not get shot or anything of that nature myself. On the other hand I knew what I was signing up for.

Comments are closed.