Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Dear god, it's back.

Kadymae discovered the odious "Nice Guy letter" making the rounds, and linked a few reactions to it. I found hers was the best:
If you agree with, or would possibly write, "You ignored the nice guy. You used him for emotional intimacy without reciprocating, in kind, with physical intimacy."

You are not a nice guy. You never were a nice guy. You will never be a nice guy.

You, are the text book definition of a user and that mean, thankless, heartless bitch (of either sex) is on to you like white on rice, so unsubtle is your approach. And, as an aside, an in kind reciprocation would be returned emotional intimacy. What you're asking for is not a like exchange.

The world owes you neither a living nor a lay.

Okay, I've dated this guy. Multiple this guys, actually, before I wised up. This is the guy who pretends to be your friend until he gains your trust and your sympathy, then he manipulates you into dating him. Then he tries to manipulate you into bed.

And if you are honestly, sincerely not interested -- he counts on your guilt and softheartedness to prevent you from turning him down. He turns you into the evil bullying bitch in his sob story if you do turn him down right away. If you go out with him once or twice to give him a fair chance, then let him down easy, then he turns you into the evil bullying bitch who led him on for so long in his sob story.

"Nice Guy" is a dirty word in the feminist community because that's how this guy describes himself, as a "Nice guy who can't cut a break." In reality he's a world class bitter manipulator.

"Nice guy" is just when a bitter manipulator puts on a mask to pretend to be a decent fellow.

I'd much rather a decent fellow, a guy who is actually honestly your friend. Yes, those guys exist. They don't whine about that not being rewarded with sex for being friendly. They are friendly when they actually want to be friends. When they want sex, they don't play up their pathetic sob story, trash all other women, and use guilt to get it from a girl who just wants to talk.

God help you if you're shy or anxious yourself. Because then he's out to assassinate your self-esteem just so he can get a lay. See, being firm and clear and making an enemy of the "Nice Guy" is probably the only way to get rid of him. He knows this, so he plays on any part of your behavior to make you think he's really a decent fellow and you don't want to hurt his feelings. And you want him to be a decent fellow. You need to believe he's a decent fellow, because otherwise your mind is worthless. Otherwise, the only reason anyone would want to talk to you is to get closer to your body. You want so badly to believe he was genuinely interested in you as a person that you go and make excuse after excuse for this guy and let him manipulate you into that relationship. You do this until the circumstances are dire, and you may be stuck with him forever.

Then you finally drop him, and feel like you're a bitch for doing so. And he goes ahead and reinforces that.

I'm sure by now that some "Nice Guys" don't think they're being malicious (just as the shy anxious girl thinks she's being nice by not nipping this thing in the bud). One of Kadymae's commenters talks about how he used to be one and is now learning to be a decent fellow.

Here's the thing, though. It's not really being "nice." It's not really being decent. It's not really being personable in any way. It's being jealous of other men and assuming that all women reason exactly alike (thinking "Hey, that asshole has a girlfriend. I don't. Maybe all women only like assholes" and letting confirmatory bias work its magic). The best I can judge from the writings and whining of professed "Nice Guys" is that this is wanting to be an asshole but having such low self-esteem you feel you can't get away with acting like an asshole. It's this horrible combination of cynicism, cowardice, and pessimism that acts like flashing sign to ward off any chance of procreation.

Honestly, you having trouble getting laid and want to? Stop forwarding the misogynistic emails. Stop trashing your ex-girlfriends. Stop trashing your would-be girlfriends. Stop being fucking sneaky about your crushes.

Read a self-help book. If you can't implement the advice there, see a psychologist. Work out your personal issues before blaming women for your problems.

Then go to the local singles scene.

I know that this is harsh advice and that some of you may doubt my credentials in this area. So for the end of this post I have prepared some brief answers to predictable responses. (These answers will likely not prevent anyone from insisting that I do indeed blame men for everything, but fuck them if they can't read the rest of this blog or even the rest of this post.)

"I'm too shy and nervous around women!!" It is not the job of a girl to help you with that. That is what the shrink is for.

"Only losers go to those mixers and use online dating services!" So you're saying that scheming to get close to a woman by pretending to be her friend makes you NOT a loser somehow? At least with a dating service you're an honest loser, and you have a shot at being a winner.

"It's not worth the trouble." Then don't do it. But don't blame the rest of us for not having a social life.

"My ex-girlfriend really is a bitch." Bitch is a pretty misogynistic insult to be throwing around when you actually mean it. (Yes, I've used that insult about five times by this point, but I'm illustrating attitudes not expressing my actual opinion.) That aside, some ex-girlfriends are genuinely unpleasant people. Have you noticed a pattern of unpleasant ex-girlfriends? Do you feel that these girlfriends were all unpleasant because of your pleasant nature? Do you expect women to be inexplicably unpleasant in reaction to your pleasant nature, and blame the women for it? Do you feel that your ex-girlfriend was an unpleasant girlfriend specifically because she withheld sexual intimacy? If your answered "no" to these questions, then your girlfriend was probably just an unpleasant person. If you answered yes to all (or just the last one) of these questions, you are the unpleasant person. (If your answers are mixed, I suggest soul-searching and not taking my posts so personally.)

"Ragnell, you bitter repressed feminazi bitch -- you're a fucking comic book blogger. What the hell do you know about socialization?" I know who is to blame when I spend a Saturday Night blogging. When I spend a Saturday Night blogging, it's because I didn't put the effort into stepping outside my door. Even if I have a date and it's canceled or a I have a crush and it wasn't reciprocated there are plenty of places to go and plenty of people to see where I live.

Okay, sometimes there's a damned ice storm to blame.

58 comments:

  1. Oh three cheers.... very well said. I can't stand that bitter manipulator type of guy and I meet them all the time. They're huge misogynists underneath, mixing hatred with desire, which is just plain creepy.


    -- Liz
    badgerbag.typepad.com

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  2. This is, without a doubt, the best "Nice Guy" essay I've read

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  3. Ummm... I'm not saying you don't recognize this, but this is a human archetype, not just a male one. If I told you the story of the "nice women" I've dated, and the crazy stuff that went down when I didn't want *that* kind of relationship... well, let's just say that I agree with you 100%, but from experience, not just in a an abstract male feminist sort of way.

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  4. Hm, I don't get the problem with mixers and online dating sites (aside from the annoying sameness of most of those sites). Seems like a much more efficient way to meet people if you're shy than trying to chat up a woman in a bar. I'd feel more like a loser standing around in a bar, nursing my drink and trying to get the nerve to talk to someone.

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  5. The other thing about Nice Guys is that they'll be very defensive about their own preferences but chalk women's preferences to a misogynistic, "women only want rich assholes." So the Nice Guy will be whining about not having a girlfriend to you and you ask why he hasn't asked out that great, fun girl you all have been hanging around with, he'll get all shirty about it and say "she's not my type." Fine, she's not your type so why not give women the benefit of the doubt and assume that maybe you're not their type and the reason why they aren't attracted to you is precisely the same reason you're not attracted to great girl you hang around with.

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  6. Heh heh. Nicely said, Ragnell. We've all pretty much been there. I remember a guy from High School, who hung around and was nice, and then he moved away, and four months later, I received a five-page threnody of a letter, saying that he had loved me, and I never paid any attention and on and on and ON! And I was absolutely stunned, because I had NO idea that he had felt that way, and I felt so guilty about it.

    Needless to say, my husband is NOT a "nice guy". Thank God.

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  7. LW -- Yeah, Kadymae linked it.

    Creativename -- I have had shitty experiences with female manipulators who have those sort of tendencies (such as the need to mark me as the "Big Bad Bitch" in their story so they can gain sympathy), but not having dated one (though doing my best not to become one) I feel unqualified to add the "Nice Girl" to this particular rant.

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  8. I find this kind of thing interesting. I'm in a relatively healthy relationship at the moment, and that's helped me gain a little perspective on the dating habits of my close friends, male and female, and it seems that in both cases there is a lot of personal insecurity that manifests in both a desire to mistreat and to be mistreated in romance. I have no idea why this happens, but I think it sucks, and I think it results in a lot of people making a lot of blanket statements about guys being assholes and girls only dating assholes. This 'nice guy' person doesn't hate women. He hates himself.

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  9. Ami Angelwings did a series on this topic too:

    http://ami-rants.blogspot.com/2007/11/on-nice-guys.html

    there's other posts around that time...

    As someone who used to exhibit Nice Guy characteristics (in my teens! Honest! ^_^) all I really have to say is: Love will come. As soon as you get over yourself. ^_^

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  10. You know, I've never dated a "nice girl" myself, since they always seem sort of passive-aggressive and needy...plus, they're kind of whiny and dull...personally, I tend to like women who are kinda tough and, well, a little bit "bad," you know? Someone...well...exciting. Like, some chainsmoking, love 'em and leave 'em chick in a leather jacket who, once she meets me, I can slowly maybe change, not so much that she's a nice girl, but enough that she'll kinda settle down? yet still be herself (albeit monogamous, duh!) because she'll realize I'm the guy she really wants, and --

    -- Omigod.

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  11. its funny that feminist, who talk so often about "privilege" never seem to notice the inherent female privilege in the response to the nice guy phenomonon, or in the phenomonon itself. Funny, but not surprising.

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  12. its funny that feminist, who talk so often about "privilege" never seem to notice the inherent female privilege in the response to the nice guy phenomonon, or in the phenomonon itself. Funny, but not surprising.

    Do you mean the 'privilege' to choose not to sleep with someone we find disturbing or unattractive? Geez, sorry.

    Now shut up.

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  13. No but its awfully cute that you think so.

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  14. Okay, so tell me about this 'privilege'. In words that make sense, aren't ad hominem attacks, and are small enough for a little feminist like myself to understand.

    Because I'm pretty fucking confused.

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  15. Yes. Id imagine you are.
    But I am more than happy to help you help yourself.

    tell me what the common thread is in the follwoing comments lambasting NIce Guys.
    From MightyGodKing.
    And if you want more, then you actually have to try and make sure that the other person knows you want more, which doesn’t happen if you act like an expectant jackass who thinks if he spends enough time standing around awkwardly with his hands in his pockets while that girl he wants to fuck tries on dresses in…

    From Ragnell
    Then go to the local singles scene.

    Now if you can figure out the common assumption, and then examine that in respect to heterosexual courtship, you should be able to spot the privilege.

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  16. I figure it's fair to say that men and women are comparably ridiculous in terms of the superficial, shortsighted, and foolish criteria they apply when dating. So that means you'll have men who focus strictly on looks, women on the hunt for a well-to-do man, men who do the passive-agressive thing you mention, and even women who keep picking men who mistreat them. You'll also find women who are duly skeeved out by the sort of "nice guys" you're identifying, as well as decent joes who have female friends who say to them, "why can't my boyfriend be more like you". All of those types of people exist; the trick is not to generalize any of these types to an entire gender, because inevitably you will get it wrong.

    The corollary, of course, is that men and women are equally capable of selecting good and reliable mates. But foolishness is the topic of the day.

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  17. RMM -- Wow, Kalinara's right. You are an exquisite parody of an antifeminist.

    Anonymous -- Except I've rarely heard the "Men never want to marry a nice girl" lament. Actually, we get advised to be nice and manipulative to "land a man." "Men want to bang the hooker but marry the virgin", "he wants a girl he can bring home to mother" is what women hear constantly.

    But I've heard the "Women only want assholes and not nice guys!" lament from multiple places. And based on this lament, men are advised to be assholes in order to attract women, because "respectful doesn't work". The problem is that most descriptions of actual "Nice guys" are not actually respectful people.

    The difference in the desirability of the archetypes, how people perceive them and the "common wisdom" of what both men and women are supposedly attracted to is why "Nice Guys" are a feminist issue.

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  18. Raggy I think you need to check your dictionary, the word you were groping for in your adorably inept female way was, Apotheosis, not parody.
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    Anonymous -- Except I've rarely heard the "Men never want to marry a nice girl" lament. Actually, we get advised to be nice and manipulative to "land a man."
    -----------------------------------
    And theres your privilege. WOmen have the choice to either be agressive and simply ask a guy out, or "be friends" and wit untill "he makes the first move" men can only make the first move. If we wait for you to make the first move, then we are "Nice Guys"
    We do not get a choice, you, by virtue of your sex, have the unearned privilege, to do either. We have the responsibillity to do only one.
    Once again, it is women, not me, who have the "privilege"

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  19. No, no. I've read your "writing", RMM, and Ragnell was been too kind. It is a parody of thought, period.

    Let's look at your most recent effort, shall we?

    "WOmen have the choice to either be agressive and simply ask a guy out, or "be friends" and wit untill "he makes the first move" men can only make the first move. If we wait for you to make the first move, then we are "Nice Guys""

    If a woman is aggressive and asks a man out, doesn't that mean she asks him out first? Because if she has be asked out before she asks out... that's kind of passive, isn't it?

    Face it. Not only is your sentence ineptly written (a period or a semicolon should be there somewhere), it also doesn't make a lick of sense.

    If you are the apotheosis of any group, that group is pretty God damn sad.

    But congratulations on learning a new word! You actually used apotheosis right! We're all so proud.

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  20. Speaking of inept... My point would be that, by RMM's own wording, a man doesn't have to be the one who asks first.

    It's always nice to shoot yourself in the foot. I'd say I knew what RMM felt like, but even I wouldn't stoop to such an insult.

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  21. Cullen, I will try not to lampoon you to greatly for your lack of intellect. I know it to be an unavoidable side effect of your ceremonial castration.But I can nto help but snicker just a little at your rather pathetic command of your most powerful muscle.

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    If a woman is aggressive and asks a man out, doesn't that mean she asks him out first? Because if she has be asked out before she asks out... that's kind of passive, isn't it?
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    It doesn't mean he has the freedom to choose that strategy cullin, no. In point of fact, it simply means she beat him to the punch, which reflects even more poorly upon him. He has shown himself to be "timid" and "shy" not too mention "cowardly" On the other hand a woman who asks a man out is "dominant" "empowered" "sexually liberated"
    Again the privilege to pick and choose tactics, belongs to the woman. He has becoem a "nice guy" (or to a feminist a Nice Guy") who got lucky (or manipulated her which shows his peculiar blend of cowardice and cynicism)
    But I do love to see a balless man gloat, its such a rare and absurd thing that I truly treasure the memory.

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  22. Is anyone else amused that RMM can spell "Apotheosis" but not "Aggressive"?

    Funniest lampoon of an anti-feminist ever!

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  23. No real person uses the work "apotheosis" to describe themselves.

    And you've gone overboard with this one. Nobody could possibly think that illogically.

    See, you seem to feel that women have more choices and a less strict gender role. You seem jealous of that.

    But you called a writer a misandrist for putting the male character in the traditionally feminine role, that of the person being rescued.

    You should be LAUDING such writing, because it breaks down the limitations of masculinity.

    It makes no sense. You're creating such an obvious strawman it's no wonder people aren't falling for the old routine. It's a dead giveaway. Scale back a bit, and maybe the real antifeminists won't be afraid to agree with you again.

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  24. Neither of you have any idea how much you have just comlimented me.
    Thank you.
    Now I know, Im doing the right thing. Afterall, "The greatest trick the devil ever pulled, was convincing the world he wasn't real."

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  25. Hmm, a bit less devil and a bit more Snidely Whiplash in this case, I think. :-) It's really exquisitely done. I commend your ability to stay in character.

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  26. See, you seem to feel that women have more choices and a less strict gender role. You seem jealous of that.

    But you called a writer a misandrist for putting the male character in the traditionally feminine role, that of the person being rescued.
    ===================================

    Poor little raggy. So earnest, yet so confused. Its sad to see how compeltly feminism has rotted your brain. Women do have more choices and less strict roles to play; in fact, the only people who's choices are more open, and have less role to play, are children.

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  27. "But I've heard the "Women only want assholes and not nice guys!" lament from multiple places. And based on this lament, men are advised to be assholes in order to attract women, because "respectful doesn't work". The problem is that most descriptions of actual "Nice guys" are not actually respectful people."

    Oh, I'm not disputing that men exist who pull the manipulative game you describe. You're correct that manipulative jerks are manipulative jerks, though expressed in circular terms like that, it's far less compelling of an observation.

    However, the statement (however true or not) that "women only want assholes and not nice guys" is not necessarily advice, and I think that's become a knee-jerk reaction that makes it difficult to pick this topic apart. Some people who make the statement are simply confused about what makes women tick, and without any subconscious or conscious Machiavellian designs upon anyone. For example:

    - Physically unattractive guys who buy into the notion that women are less superficial than men, and are wondering why a (good-looking and stylishly-attired) jerk is never hurting for dates. Sorry to break it to you, Dexter, but sometimes looks are what are preventing you from getting that first date whereby you can (try to) win her over with personality. A better wardrobe and haircut may help. (Yes, I am arguing that women are every bit as superficial as men, allowing for equal degrees of individual variation. I hope that's not a controversial assertion.)

    - Guys who have seen one too many women settle down with abusive mates (and unfortunately that does happen, just talk to anyone at a womens' shelter) -- such women are the exception and not the norm, of course, but as I've said, overgeneralizing leads to all sorts of false conclusions.

    - Especially among people in their teens and very early 20s, being sort of a jerk can win a guy positive attention. Hell, fraternities are pretty much founded on this phenomenon, i.e. providing a socially-acceptable venue for drunken idiocy. If you form your views about men and women at this age and don't subsequently modify them, you'll fail to notice that most women who dig the frat boy at 21 (which is by no means all women) think it's far less cute by 25, and completely repugnant by 30.

    I've talked about this stuff with women I have no designs on -- for example, siblings -- and I've heard some interesting commentary. For example, my sister informs me that she does look at income as a key dating criterion, because if she ever gets married down the line, she's going to want to make sure it's with a guy who can support her. Yow. That may be eminently practical, but it also strongly indicates that my sister would be dating an asshole car salesman long before she'd consider a guy who spends all his spare time volunteering at soup kitchens. It would be dangerous to overgeneralize based on this point of anecdotal evidence, of course.

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  28. Anon -- I know it's a knee-jerk reaction. That's why I called it a "lament."

    The ADVICE that these guys get is to act the part of the "Alpha Male," which to them is the jackass who pushed them around in school.

    The advice is BAD, and yes it IS a generalization, but the advice is PREVALENT and that's why these rants need to be discussed in gendered terms at times.

    Because the "Nice Girl" gets a whole different message about what she's entitled to and why she's not getting what she wants than the "Nice Guy" gets.

    This results in a different sense of entitlement, and a different set of attitudes fostering the complaint, which leads to a different set of behaviors from the complainer.

    Thus, the archetypes manifest themselves differently according to gender because of how society responds differently to people based on their gender.

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  29. "The ADVICE that these guys get is to act the part of the "Alpha Male," which to them is the jackass who pushed them around in school."

    See, I'm not persuaded that it's always advice, or even a plan of action. I suspect that it's more often the best explanation some guys can come up with as to why they can't find dates. I don't think I was clear enough with the antecedents previously, so let me clarify: the interpretation of "women prefer assholes" as advice is what I was identifying as the kneejerk reaction. I think there are a variety of lines of thought that can lead to the "women prefer assholes" stance, not all of which are championing assholery as an acceptable response.

    There is some sort of chance I'm misreading you here, though, so let me ask: if it's advice, who is giving the advice, and are these guys striving to follow the advice? The only scenario I can picture this happening in is a low budget teen comedy from 1986, where the Warburtonesque coach is barking at the poor man's Anthony Michael Hall to be more of a "MAN!!!" with the ladies. In real life, though, this wouldn't happen, so I'm guessing you have another scenario in mind.

    In cases where it's a manipulative act, of course, the guy is to be reviled, same as with any manipulative asshole of whatever gender running whatever scam. That we certainly agree on.

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  30. Okay, I think I see where some of the disconnect is. The term "alpha male" is almost inextricably connected to being the top guy in a hierarchy, rather than, say, just being confident enough to be one's self. Sadly, people don't always respond to a person just being himself -- except in very limited circles, a Green Lantern T-shirt simply isn't attractive.

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  31. "There is some sort of chance I'm misreading you here, though, so let me ask: if it's advice, who is giving the advice, and are these guys striving to follow the advice? The only scenario I can picture this happening in is a low budget teen comedy from 1986, where the Warburtonesque coach is barking at the poor man's Anthony Michael Hall to be more of a "MAN!!!" with the ladies. In real life, though, this wouldn't happen, so I'm guessing you have another scenario in mind."

    Yes, in bad 80s movies, and commercials, and sitcoms, and big brothers, and guys at the office, and shitty books like "Real Men Don't Eat Quiche."

    Not just directly, but indirectly as our society constructs the image of a "Real Man" as an emotionally stunted, irresponsible borderline sociopath.

    Every time someone says "I bet we know who wears the pants in that family" upon learning that a guy cooks for his wife, this advice is underneath it. This is the attitude that the only fulfilling relationship between a man and a woman is with the man being served by the woman and never vice versa.

    Every time a teenaged boy is laughed at for caring about the ugly girl's feelings, this advice is being tacitly presented.

    Ever time someone's mother tells him boys don't cry (and I have SEEN this multiple times in the store), they are building to this advice.

    How is it that I can see this message a thousand times in a thousand differently ways force-fed to men every single day, that only a certain line of traits are masculine and only those traits will attract women, money, and the respect of other men, but you have never seen it outside of a John Hughes movie?

    Are we blogging from different planets?

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  32. RMM - Bullshit. It only makes such a man timid, cowardly, and shy in your eyes. He might not have even known she was interested until the lady asked. Not the same thing.

    P.S. Brains aren't located in the penis. Somebody's told you some nasty lies, there, RMM. Instead of wasting time trying to match wits with your betters, maybe you should
    take out an anatomy book and learn something.

    Of course, you can keep on spouting off deluded nonsense. I'm sure someone, somewhere finds you witty and amusing.

    That's a lie. No one finds you witty or amusing. Sorry I got your hopes up.

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  33. "Not just directly, but indirectly as our society constructs the image of a "Real Man" as an emotionally stunted, irresponsible borderline sociopath."

    But how many men buy that message? There's no shortage of individual variation here, but how many men do you know who actually strive to achieve that "Real Man" "ideal"? It's a ridiculous cardboard cutout, most men know it and in fact figure that out by the time they're 12. The exception is in families with an authoritarian father, where all the other kids in the neighborhood say, "Jesus, I'm glad he's not my dad". I would say that more guys aspire to be the beloved funny guy than the roid-ragey lummox.

    You're right about "boys don't cry"; I confess I cleave to that one. But I see that more as decorum than emotional stuntedness, and if I ever found reason to cry -- not that I ever have -- I'd do it in private. This is all hypothetical so I can't say for sure, of course.

    "How is it that I can see this message a thousand times in a thousand differently ways force-fed to men every single day, that only a certain line of traits are masculine and only those traits will attract women, money, and the respect of other men, but you have never seen it outside of a John Hughes movie?

    Are we blogging from different planets?"


    Possibly, or maybe the same planet viewed from different orientations. Mostly, though, I don't see these "alpha male" messages as being exactly "force-fed" -- or if nothing else, an awful lot of people are refusing to swallow. Otherwise the entire country would resemble one big fraternity, where everyone was constantly drinking and beating up homosexuals. ... ... Okay, that's Idaho.

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  34. Hey, in SOME circles, a Green Lantern T-shirt is considered VERY attractive.

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  35. Not just directly, but indirectly as our society constructs the image of a "Real Man" as an emotionally stunted, irresponsible borderline sociopath.

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    Raggy, I dont think Ive read anything that ignorant, uninformed, or flat out bigoted since jimmy carter went anti-semitic. But it was funny watching a fat chick tell someone what a real man is.
    And seriously, those ignorant opnions , more than anything else,are why you shouldn't ever comment on men, manliness, or anything else concerning the stronger sex, ever again. because you are, to be blunt, a fucking sexist idiot.
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    Every time someone says "I bet we know who wears the pants in that family" upon learning that a guy cooks for his wife, this advice is underneath it. This is the attitude that the only fulfilling relationship between a man and a woman is with the man being served by the woman and never vice versa.
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    yeah cause we all know the way it supposed to be is the man serves the wife and she holds his balls for him, in her purse. I mean its not as if the preperation of food is one of the lifes most basic skills. Afterall no one has ever expressed the sentiment that bar-b-queing is considered manly. Watching you talk about manliness is like watching one of Bill Cosby's "Kids say the dardest things" shows, if the children were retarded.
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    Every time a teenaged boy is laughed at for caring about the ugly girl's feelings, this advice is being tacitly presented.
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    Aww did dey laugh at the only guy pathetic enough to ever care about yours?
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    Ever time someone's mother tells him boys don't cry (and I have SEEN this multiple times in the store), they are building to this advice.
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    and once again a feminist shows her complete inabillity to use logical thought. WOmen have the freedom to cry, becasue crying is a sign of weakness. Women are have the privilege of being weak, men must be strong. Perhaps you ahve heard the phrase "never let em see you sweat"? Same concept raggy.
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    How is it that I can see this message a thousand times in a thousand differently ways force-fed to men every single day, that only a certain line of traits are masculine and only those traits will attract women, money, and the respect of other men, but you have never seen it outside of a John Hughes movie?
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    Because only certain traits are masculine raggy. Men are held to a higher standard of conduct. In any situation where there is a standard of conduct, some behaviors are not acceptble. The standard by which males are judged evolved as a result of actually seeing whihc behaveiors did in fact lead to success. Women, as the privileged and pampered beings they are, have only recent had to compete with men, and as such still havent internalised what those behaviors are. Crying for example showcases a lack of discipline, emotional control, and an inabillity to hide ones weakness from competitors. None of which are traits which lead to success.
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    Are we blogging from different planets?
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    yes. Your blogging from canfy land where we all ride gumdrop horses to licorish park and every thing is happy jolly fal lal la. I on the other hand am blogging from the planet earth, perhaps you have heard of it?
    Heres some advice raggy, pop a midol, break out the vibrator, and get rid of some of that pressue. Better yet, lose some weight, put on some make up, and find a man. Cause its obvious the sexual frustration has led to advanced estrogen poisoning.

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    Moving on to cully of the castrato.

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    RMM - Bullshit. It only makes such a man timid, cowardly, and shy in your eyes. He might not have even known she was interested until the lady asked. Not the same thing.

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    In which case he showcases a lack of basic perception. still a negative.

    ===================================
    Brains aren't located in the penis. Somebody's told you some nasty lies, there, RMM. Instead of wasting time trying to match wits with your betters, maybe you should
    take out an anatomy book and learn something.
    -----------------------------------
    yes cully I know, your reeducation is going along nicely. Did you enjoy seeing your balls in the trophy, I mean safekeeping case? As to my "betters" if I ever find any, Ill let you know. run along now cully, raggy may have the intellect of a retarded 8 year old, but next to you shes a certified genius.

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  36. RMM - "In which case he showcases a lack of basic perception. still a negative."

    Again, that's YOU'RE perception. You are not the norm. Not by a long shot.

    Try to actually read what I write and not what you think I wrote. This'll be much easier.

    "yes cully I know, your reeducation is going along nicely. Did you enjoy seeing your balls in the trophy, I mean safekeeping case?"

    Dude, you're confusing your life with mine. It's most disturbing.

    "As to my 'betters' if I ever find any, Ill let you know."

    Oh, I'd rather you didn't. As deluded as you are, I'd rather not know who's 'better' than you.

    "run along now cully, raggy may have the intellect of a retarded 8 year old, but next to you shes a certified genius."

    Again, not witty, not clever, not funny. You shouldn't work so hard to prove yourself an idiot. It makes the other idiots wonder.

    (Hint: it might help if you learn basic grammar and sentence structure. Also, kindergarten "insults" say you have nothing to say, and no means to say it even if you did.)

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  37. Again, that's YOU'RE perception. You are not the norm. Not by a long shot.

    ===================================

    Poor poor cully. Too dumb to noice when you've missed a point. There is nothing sadder than a man so stupid he thinks hes a genius.

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  38. Oh, I got your "point", Rashy. You're the delusional one in this equation, not me.

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  39. Anonymous: Everyone says that commercials don't work on *them*- "commercials don't influence my thinking"- and yet commercials still work. Male socialization is pervasive. It's actually behind a lot of female behavior, too- it plays a role in complaints like "you don't challenge me enough", where the issue is a man not behaving as a woman expects him to behave.

    Of course, male socialization isn't all bad. There are some things to admire in the masculine ideal. But it leads to a lot of messed up behavior, particularly in the arena of dating and mating.

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  40. "Anonymous: Everyone says that commercials don't work on *them*- "commercials don't influence my thinking"- and yet commercials still work. Male socialization is pervasive. It's actually behind a lot of female behavior, too- it plays a role in complaints like "you don't challenge me enough", where the issue is a man not behaving as a woman expects him to behave.

    Of course, male socialization isn't all bad. There are some things to admire in the masculine ideal. But it leads to a lot of messed up behavior, particularly in the arena of dating and mating."


    I'll agree that we all fall prey societal influences so pervasive that we don't even notice they're there. In fact, that's kind of what I was hinting at with my commentary about how I've never ever cried, though of course that's an absurd thing for anyone (else) to claim.

    However, Ragnell puts forth that the ideal image of a "Real Man" is, and I quote, "an emotionally stunted, irresponsible borderline sociopath". While Ragnell is right on the money about a lot of things, I think she's off on this one: that archetype may be out there, but there aren't all that many men who buy into it. Granted, a guy doesn't want to be too wimpy or "faggy" or "swishy" or whatever, but it doesn't follow that they tend to think the ideal is to be a braindead slab of muscle with a neck wider than his skull. Yes, there are some folks who aspire to this, but I'd say they are a tiny minority. Most men would rather stick to a happier medium, where they never show weakness but neither do they seek to exploit it in others. (Well, "power" in general is a whole 'nother can of worms, let's not go there.)

    Now, if we were talking about the "Real Man" ideal as someone who is no-nonsense to the point of being cold, I'd dispute it less. But "emotionally stunted, irresponsible borderline sociopath" is overstating the case. (Well, except in Idaho, where it's the state motto.)

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  41. Anonymous - "A Green Lantern t-shirt isn't attractive", my ass! It looks really cool under a black long-sleeved button shirt, or over a long-sleeved pullover. Also, what's the deal with you and Idaho?

    Sallyp - FYI - "Some circles" include St. Patrick's Day revelers. I'm unofficially off the market now, but my girlfriend likes the GL t-shirt, too.

    Ragnell - "Emotionally stunted, irresponsible borderline sociopath"? I can guess what you were shooting for, but you kind of overkilled.

    Mad Man - What's with you and the cheap shots on women's weight? First Gail and now this.
    Not cool, man!

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  42. Yeah, I know, Idaho's going to kick my ass. But I've heard enough stories about Idaho to believe that they are the Land That Time Forgot, and with luck I will never have to go there and find out for myself.

    I'm entirely in favor of GL T-shirts, but bear in mind that they aren't the chick magnets they would be in a perfect world. The Hal version, of course, with the green part pointing straight at his crank as if to say, "I'm powerless except from the waist down".

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  43. RMM, these gender roles you hate so much aren't the creation of feminists. :\ They're the creation of the same male dominated societies from the past that feminists are against. You can yell at the women all you want, ultimately they're not the ones defining you, other men are. Go yell at them. All this "be a man" stuff? It's other men reinforcing it. It's fathers telling that to their sons. It's guys beating up other guys on the playground for crying or being a sissy.

    If you hate it so much, then you should attack the ppl who perpetrate it. It's not feminists who are doing this. This sorta "male oppression" you see existed way way before feminism. :) I hate gender roles too, but you can destroy feminism entirely and what you hate, what you're arguing to get rid of right now, it'd still exist.

    I feel for you and the pressures you feel. :\ I know about this "be a man" stuff and all the pressure you feel as a guy and everything more than you think... but feminism isn't the cause of your problems and those pressures. Feminism isn't the cause of that little box that you feel trapped in by your gender. In fact I think most feminists would say that they'd like to break down that little box you feel you have to be in. :\ But ultimately the ppl who are perpetuating this are guys and male-centric attitudes from long ago. :\ It's also okay to cry RMM. :) Dun let others tell you you can't :)

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  44. RMM, these gender roles you hate so much aren't the creation of feminists. :\ They're the creation of the same male dominated societies from the past that feminists are against. You can yell at the women all you want, ultimately they're not the ones defining you, other men are. Go yell at them. All this "be a man" stuff? It's other men reinforcing it. It's fathers telling that to their sons. It's guys beating up other guys on the playground for crying or being a sissy.

    ===================================

    Ami you misunderstand. I do not "hate these roles" nor do I find them unfair. I do however find it absurd for frminists to decry so called "privileges" which are in actuality responsibillites. Men are held to a higher standard because by and large woman can not meet them. Some very few can, but it would be unfair to expect all women to do so. Many men can not even meet this standards,w hcih is as it should be. If everyone can meet it, its not much of a standard.

    -----------------------------------
    If you hate it so much, then you should attack the ppl who perpetrate it. It's not feminists who are doing this. This sorta "male oppression" you see existed way way before feminism. :)
    ===================================
    Ins not opression, in confidence. By striving to meet these roles men are made better.
    -----------------------------------
    I feel for you and the pressures you feel. :\ I know about this "be a man" stuff and all the pressure you feel as a guy and everything more than you think... but feminism isn't the cause of your problems and those pressures
    ===================================
    But feminism has attempted to portray these pressues as privileges and actively fought against mesn right to define themselves. Everytime you decry the "be a man" standard you are attempting too tell men who they should be. We decide that, not you.
    -----------------------------------
    Is the olympic athelete "trapped" by his training regime? Is the President "trapped in the white house"?
    ===================================
    In fact I think most feminists would say that they'd like to break down that little box you feel you have to be in.
    -----------------------------------
    And theres the problem. WHo the fuck are women to try and liberate me or anyone else from manliness?
    ===================================
    It's also okay to cry RMM.
    -----------------------------------
    Giving in to weakness is never OK. I dont need anyone to tell me that.

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  45. And theres the problem. WHo the fuck are women to try and liberate me or anyone else from manliness?

    But it's okay for men to tell women what their place is? o_O;;

    Is the olympic athelete "trapped" by his training regime? Is the President "trapped in the white house"?

    It is if they never asked for it. You're claiming these are male responsiblities. Ppl CHOOSE to be athletes and ppl CHOOSE to be politicians. Nobody chooses the gender they're born in (well mebbe you did, but not all of us could cut in line during the gender handouts in heaven xD)

    Why are you so angry about what feminism does if this is how you feel. None of us women is strong enuf to challenge you men neways, how are we a threat? xD

    You claim that feminism is destroying America, men are becoming weak etc. But according to you feminism is this huge threat. You're constantly fighting about it, you're even picking fights when ppl dun even want to fight you, so clearly this is a danger that you're afraid of. You talk about how feminism is destroying tv, movies, etc. You said that comics is one of the last bastions of male strength that you can enjoy.

    Fine xD But how did women, who can't handle strength and aren't strong like men according to you, accomplish all this? If we're so weak, if we just naturally can't handle these responsibilities, how are we "winning"? Why are you so worried about us and angry?

    Btw I'm not TELLING you to do nething. xD If you dun wanna cry, you dun need to cry xD Nobody's FORCING you to be a nice sensitive guy. We couldn't even if we tried right, we're too weak. xD

    But you're trying to define women while telling women (and other men) to not define you.

    Why is it that somebody who believes in freedom so much like you, who wants the freedom to be who you want to be, so insistant on telling other ppl who they cannot be or shouldn't be? xD

    Whether it's "privilege" or "responsiblity" that you call it, mebbe you should let ppl decide if they want it or not. After all, the worst that could happen is that women fail miserably (like you expect them to) and go back to the kitchen right? xD

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  46. you are attempting too tell men who they should be. We decide that, not you.

    Actually we're not. xD I think we're just saying that men can choose to be whoever they want to.

    So it's okay tho for men to tell women who they should be? :o If you believe that, there's rly no point arguing again cuz we're never going to agree. xD I don't believe women should tell men how they should be, but that men shouldn't tell women how they should be either.

    That's male privilege btw if you believe it, that men can define women but women can't define men. xD

    We'll prolly never agree xD But that's ok :D I'm just glad I finally understand where you're coming from xD

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  47. As for these standards, who set them? You talk like they're universals. And that it wouldn't be "much of a standard" otherwise. In which case, who set these standards and were so wise to put the bar high so it could be "much of a standard" xD

    You're alrdy saying that most of America is being feminized and stuff. So... what happens in the feminists win? Wouldn't the standards change? Or are they fixed and not arbitrary?

    Details man, details! xD

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  49. Oh and you're always attacking other feminist's looks. :\

    Why not me? :( How come I'm not a fat ugly feminist! xDDD

    WHERE ARE THE PERSONAL ATTACKS!? :O

    I have small boobs! Attack that! :D

    The funny thing is I'm very much a girly girl that perfectly fits what you think girls should be (shopping is my lifeblood and I like "manly man" boyfriends who fit that "box" you like guys to fit in and I'm pretty submissive in relationships and I like it that way xD). Except for the whole comic book reading thing xD And the feminism >.> I just think ppl should be able to be who they want to be, as you want to be who YOU want to be :D I have no problem with who you are XD

    In fact I wanna know more (tho I prolly wun agree with you as I said, but I think we both know we'll never agree with each other xD) :D Keep going :D (or dun, whatever you want, I'm just enjoying this xD)

    Oh and call me names, I feel left out XDDDD

    I'm serious, in the WHOLE time we've "known" each other for, you've attacked the looks of every other female feminist blogger but me. >_> Why am I so special? XD

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  50. First of all, I'm just gonna go ahead and link Heartless Bitches International who has a wonderful archive of precisely this type of discussion.

    And also, from way upthread:
    You'll also find women who are duly skeeved out by the sort of "nice guys" you're identifying, as well as decent joes who have female friends who say to them, "why can't my boyfriend be more like you".

    Hey, girls get this too. I've had lots of male friends over the course of years tell me they want a girlfriend just like me. Honestly, it's kinda creepy how often that happens.

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  51. Ami,
    I awnsered your questions here.
    http://rationalmadman.blogspot.com/2007/12/re-dear-god-its-back.html

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  52. Y'know, I was going to relate my experiences as Crying Towel to Woman W/ Serial Abusive/Obnoxious/User Boyfriends, but after RMM's rants, it doesn't seems to apply anymore. I'll wait til the next time this topic comes up, which looks like soon.

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  53. I'm not objecting to or disagreeing with what you're actually saying, but maybe you could just write up one post (this one, or the last one from when this came up before) and link to it when this thing rears its ugly head, rather than having to rehash the same points each time.
    As an aside, I've yet to see this really addressed in, say a movie or TV show. A good nasty black comedy about a self-proclaimed "nice guy" who becomes a total clingy manipulative nightmare could, if done with skill, have a nice bitter zest to it. There's more untapped material to mine there than the worn out old "guy turns out to be psycho" trope.

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  54. Very good post.

    Posts like this are why I think Psychology should be a general requirement in school. Too many people utterly fail to recognize mental prisons that they should really get out of before adulthood. Or fail to see that they are huge suckers and are being manipulated by the oldest tricks in the book.

    If we were all smarter and more informed about this sort of thing, my guess is that abuse in general would drop quite a bit.

    -Andrew

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