I’ll take voting rights over a knight in shining armor, thanks.

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A sophomore at USC has learned an important fact at college: Chivalry is dead. And hairy feminists killed it.

His piece is fascinating, but not surprising, because he is the ultimate Nice Guy™. The premise is that he has this female friend who complained that chivalry is dead. He explains that feminism slayed chivalry, and that these whining bitches should turn to Nice Guys™ like him if they’re sick of men treating them poorly. You almost feel bad for him at the end because he comes across as incredibly insecure, but the insecurity is tinged with enough misogyny that the whole pity thing eventually goes out the window.

Upon returning from what I assumed, based on her flashing eyes and violent body language, to be an unsuccessful date, a friend of mine bitterly spat out a phrase I have come to recognize as the international anthem for disrespected and mistreated women everywhere: “Chivalry is dead.”

For years now, the cry has sounded from high towers, railroad tracks and marriages arranged for wealth rather than love. Ladies in desperate need of one decent knight are left to fend for themselves against dragons, dastardly mustached villains and boorish fathers.

OK, for the sake of argument I will grudgingly accept that there may be certain aspects of chivalry that belong in ye olde antiquity, and the needs of the fairer sex may have evolved since.

Yet there is still something resoundingly relevant about my friend’s particular choice of words. I took a minute to think about the object of my friend’s righteous passion – no doubt in a state of blissful ignorance – and came to a realization: It is not only the nature of the distress that has changed over the years; it is the damsel herself.

Ya think?

The truth is, there is no catalyst or inciting incident to explain the drastic changes in modern day relationships. But there is a simple answer. Chivalry passed on because it was no longer asked to exist. What my friend and all her fellow mourners fail to understand is that their outraged cry of bereaved nostalgia is misguided, or I should say, misdirected.

On July 19, 1848, a group of revolutionaries gathered in Seneca Falls, N.Y., and, shedding the feminine shackles of inferiority, began to pull the sword of equality from its historically misogynistic stone prison. What they did not consider at the time was the fatally double-edged nature of that sword. Along with the empowerment and individuality they so undoubtedly deserved came a complete rejection of all things classically feminine and a new phrase to make men shudder; “I can do it myself!”

It takes a special kind of man to shudder when he hears “I can do it myself!”

I try to be optimistic about the state of mankind, I really do. I know plenty of men who don’t feel that their masculinity is threatened by a woman who is self-sufficient; in fact, I know plenty of men who would rather find a woman who can be their partner than a woman who they have to take care of like an inept child. But when I read articles like this one over and over and over, I start to realize that I’m just surrounding myself with certain kinds of people, and that there are more Nice Guys™ and flat-out anti-feminist assholes out there than I like to think. To wit:

Women picked up their newfound freedom and ran full speed, tackling every man who stood between them and their sudden ability to open doors for themselves, or pay for their own dinners and movie tickets.

And so emerged a group of warrior princesses affectionately referred to as Feminazis; lean, mean, emasculating machines in power suits who proved to the world that women are intelligent, strong, capable and incredibly frightening. “I am woman, hear me roar!” they yelled.

And boy, did we hear them. In fact, upon encountering such strong resistance to its natural tendencies, chivalry did the, well, chivalrous thing and retreated.

Over the years the testosterone/estrogen balance was restored, and the modern dating-scape formed from amid the wreckage. Perhaps the new outlook was a response to the previous, or perhaps women were just tired after all that yelling.

Right.

The Nice Guy™ construction of masculinity is really fascinating. He wants women to be soft, feminine, and open to male control, and associates characteristics like intelligence and strength with men — when women adopt them, they’re emasculating. At the same time, men are apparently both prehistoric and extremely sensitive — they’re so weak that a woman in a power suit is enough to send them whimpering into a corner (or onto the op/ed pages of the Daily Trojan).

And wouldn’t you know it, the whole women-have-rights thing has turned the ladies into total sluts:

In either case, when the red tint of rage in her eyes faded and the vein in her neck eased, woman did not ask chivalry to come back. Instead, chivalry took advantage of the destruction of feminine stereotypes to fully access her needs, both sexually and romantically.

Without the age-old strictures forbidding harlotry and all other forms of public taboo, women became free to do what they wanted with whom they wanted without an inordinate amount of societal backlash or the need for a long-term relationship.

And yet the screams of bloody murder have not quieted. Males ranging from teenagers to the elderly are gaining notoriety as shallow, disrespectful, insensitive game players with ulterior motives. The funny thing is that for once, a heaping portion of that delicious blame does not belong on their plate. Because in the end, as Eleanor Roosevelt once said: “No one can make you feel inferior without your permission.” And permission is an incredibly relevant term nowadays.

As women, the traditional gatekeepers and pacesetters, collectively dropped their standards and engaged in commitment-free, purely physical relationships, they opened the door for the treatment that their behavior elicits.

When a guy is given the option to bypass courtship and gain entry without much effort, it takes no great Holmesian deduction to discover why proper treatment and respect fall by the wayside.

And when a woman is given the option to bypass being treated like property and actually consider herself a real human being fully invested with rights and liberties, it takes no great Holmesian deduction to discover why she’d rather open her own doors than go out with guys like Josh.

Did feminism kill chivalry? I don’t think so, but I wouldn’t complain if it did. There’s a difference between being chivalrous and being nice or polite. Opening a door for someone because you got to the door first is both nice and polite; making a huge production of opening a door for a woman in the hopes that she’ll see what a chivalrous dude you are and fuck you (and then getting all pissy when she doesn’t respond how you want her to) is not polite or nice. And that’s the thing with chivalry: It always demands something in return. If you’re being nice to me because you like me and you’re the kind of person who is nice to people you like, then that’s great. If you’re being nice to me because you’re hoping to get something out of it, or if you think you’re entitled to sex or a relationship with me because you were nice and “chivalrous,” you can go fuck yourself. See how that works?

Further, if you’re the kind of dude who thinks that women who have sex are “harlots” who are opening themselves up to poor treatment, don’t act shocked when women don’t want to sleep with you.

But that does not mean that chivalry cannot be resuscitated, or that it does not live on still in the hearts of a good number of men. And after listening to me prattle on in rebuttal to her no doubt unconscious remark, I think my friend may have gained a new perspective.

After all, there are women all over the world who have male confidants and close friends, but they never for once take a step back and realize that the person with whom they are constantly sharing their romantic woes is in fact ­- male.

And so to that widow of romance out there, when next the words seem about to spill unbidden from your lips, bite your tongue and look a little harder. You may have to seek, my lady, but ye shall find.

…and it all becomes clear. Josh likes this chick, and he’s mad that she would have the audacity to speak to him and then not fuck him — and after he was so nice to her! Clearly, it’s because all women are stupid sluts who have had their natural desire to submit to men destroyed by the evils of feminism.

Maybe one day Josh will find his princess — a Nice Girl who relies on him to change every light bulb and make every decision, who will never wear a power suit and who will defer to his authority. And should they ever get divorced, I’m sure he’ll be a proud MRA, complaining about how lazy bitches will take you for all you’re worth.

In other words, this entire column could have been summed up,

Dear [friend],

Please touch my penis.

Yours,
Josh

And it would have been far less painless for all of us.


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About Jill

Jill began blogging for Feministe in 2005. She has since written as a weekly columnist for the Guardian newspaper and in April 2014 she was appointed as senior political writer for Cosmopolitan magazine.
This entry was posted in Feminism, Gender and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

166 Responses to I’ll take voting rights over a knight in shining armor, thanks.

  1. Michelle says:

    I so want to be a lean mean emasculating machine.

  2. spastic_jedi says:

    Some of these so called “nice guys” are anything but. They have this sense of entitlement; “I’ll be nice to you, I’ll be a nice guy, but YOU have to have sex with me.”

    What’s so nice about that?

    I dated a “nice guy”. NEVER AGAIN. Yeah, he held doors for me (despite all my protests). Yeah, he bought me stuff (despite my insisting I didn’t want/need the items in question). But he also thought that his doing these things for me gave him the right to demand sexual favors (well, guess what, it doesn’t).

    But I’ve also had the fantastic luck to have met REAL nice guys. They’re not perfect, they have their character flaws just like everyone else, but they are genuinely good people. They are not demanding, they do not do nice things assuming they will get a blow job in return.

    These “nice guys” can piss and moan all they want. When you operate under the misguided assumption that deigning to do a “good deed” for a woman, will make said woman drop down to her knees in gratitude and suck him off, you deserve whatever “dating woe” you get.

  3. TheBends says:

    Well Im listening to a strangely appropriate song called “Why do you bother?” I often wonder why NiceGuys™ bother anyway. If it eats away at them so much that they will whine about how they feel cheated, because some girl wont shower them with the affections they think they are “entitled to”, why bother? I dont bother, and I find it quite liberating actually. But then, I never felt “entitled” to anything in the first place, so perhaps Im a lucky one.

    Maybe they should start teaching NiceGuys™ to abstain from sex? And that being “chivalrous” is insulting to women, and doesnt have any purpose anyway, so its a waste of their time. Then maybe that will stop some of the self-centred whining – because I dont find it pitiable, I find it boring and embarrassing.

  4. Pingback: Jill nails it at Hoyden About Town

  5. preying mantis says:

    “What’s so nice about that?”

    Nothing, but “I’m a nice guy” sounds so much better than “I want an on-call prostitute who’ll stroke my ego in addition to my penis and accept gifts, time, and a pretense of love in lieu of cash.”

    It also fits on business cards much more easily and doesn’t get them nearly as many weird looks.

  6. This guy writes:

    “On July 19, 1848, a group of revolutionaries gathered in Seneca Falls, N.Y., and, shedding the feminine shackles of inferiority, began to pull the sword of equality from its historically misogynistic stone prison. What they did not consider at the time was the fatally double-edged nature of that sword.”

    Hmm … that’s making huge assumptions about those gathered at Senenca Falls … and about feminists in general. I’m guessing that this guy has no idea that women had to fight not only for certain rights (voting, owning property, etc, etc, etc …), but also for responsibilities. Like being able to serve on a jury — and particularly a grand jury. Like being able to serve in the military. No, feminists only think about what they want. Not the responsibilities entailed in that.

    That’s just annoying. And paternalistic. And patriarchal.

    I just want to send him Linda Kerber’s book No Consistutional Rights to be Ladies.

  7. kiki says:

    This is why Twisty is always warning us about “nice guys” like Josh…they are the most disingenuous of tools. He has absolutely nothing of substance to offer another human being and so he is understandably miffed that “door opening” and “movie ticket buying” has been removed from his extremely limited repertoire.

  8. jfpbookworm says:

    ObNitpick: Isn’t the Daily Trojan a USC paper?

    Upon returning from what I assumed, based on her flashing eyes and violent body language, to be an unsuccessful date, a friend of mine bitterly spat out a phrase I have come to recognize as the international anthem for disrespected and mistreated women everywhere: “Chivalry is dead.”

    This sounds completely made up to me, if only because I can’t imagine what this female friend was likely complaining about that elicited that phrase. The classic examples of door-opening and dinner-buying don’t seem a big enough deal to warrant this reaction, especially among college students. (I suspect, if she existed, this woman is more likely to have said that because her date was acting entitled, not because he failed to open a door or asked her to go dutch.)

    Other than that, this is your typically bad undergrad opinion piece, which puts all its weight on a term, “chivalry,” which is never well-defined, and is light on actual specifics (with the incongruous exception of the date of the Seneca Falls convention). Just because it’s in the “opinion” section doesn’t mean you can’t do research or get quotes.

  9. dave says:

    I am just as frustrated as the next guy when it comes to relationships with women but I thought I should point something out.

    I do not believe that Chivalry means what the article implies: kind things done for something in return. The notion of being Chivalrous is laden with helping the ‘weak’ (old concept, bear with me) and being courteous WITHOUT expecting anything in return. Ideals like Honor, Courage, Ethics, and Morality cannot exist in a place where they are expressed and practiced in terms of what one might get in return. It violates the whole idea!

    People should ‘do the right thing’ because it is the right thing not because they hope to get something for it.

    I believe what makes the issue so complicated is that the dynamics between men and women have drastically changed without either side knowing how to deal with those changes.

    Women suddenly can’t accept kindness from a man without suspecting that he has ulterior motives rendering them suspicious, and men cannot BE kind to women without worrying if the woman will just think he wants to sleep with her. The result of which is that good men err on the side of caution thereby ‘boring’ women while bad men do their best to lie and PRETEND to be nice guys only to piss women off when they reveal their true colors later.

    Good men get shell shocked and isolated, bad men eventually get rewarded for their treachery in the return of purely a numbers game.

    Women wind up losing either way.

  10. Cara says:

    Sounds like the guy needs a blow up doll instead of a girlfriend.

    And I absolutely love that cartoon at the top of the post.

  11. zuzu says:

    Courtly love always distinguished between ladies, who were to be treated with chivalry, and not-ladies, who could be used as the knight saw fit.

    Yeah, I want to go back to that. And the chastity belts.

    Amazing how the Nice Guy™ whine never changes.

  12. jfpbookworm says:

    Women suddenly can’t accept kindness from a man without suspecting that he has ulterior motives rendering them suspicious, and men cannot BE kind to women without worrying if the woman will just think he wants to sleep with her. The result of which is that good men err on the side of caution thereby ‘boring’ women while bad men do their best to lie and PRETEND to be nice guys only to piss women off when they reveal their true colors later.

    This, frankly, is bullshit. Sure, maybe if I do right by someone they’ll interpret it as romantic interest. But so what?

    In my experience, what actually happens is that the “he just wants to sleep with her!” reaction comes more from other Nice Guys who are looking for an excuse to be “nice” without taking the trouble to be “good.”

  13. inkybrain says:

    Can we please issue a moratorium on knight and damsel metaphors? I mean seriously, damsel? Is this guy gonna complain about the darn kids playing their lute music too loudly next? And anyway, as has been well pointed out here and elsewhere, this chivalry stuff has pretty squicky implications.

  14. tigi says:

    There’s a difference between being chivalrous and being nice or polite.

    Hell yeah! I’d prefer human decency to chivalry any day. Two months ago, I got caught in a flash-flood while driving. After the worst of it was over and the road was drivable for others, my car was dead and I was standing knee-deep in water trying to push it out of the road. At least ten cars driven by guys passed by before two girls stopped and helped me push the car out of the water and onto the curb. And it wasn’t as if it wasn’t apparent I was in trouble at the time — these knights in shining armor all saw me wave “Help” to them, and they all drove on.

  15. Hector B. says:

    After all, there are women all over the world who have male confidants and close friends, but they never for once take a step back and realize that the person with whom they are constantly sharing their romantic woes is in fact ­- male.

    I feel a bit sorry for this guy. He should realize that being a woman’s good friend and confidant is pretty much like having a sister — it’s not a path to romance. In fact, talking about the men she’s involved with is a sure sign that you are not one of them.

  16. kali says:

    Does anyone ever, ever complain about how Chivalry is Dead other than Nice Guys? Does anyone female complain about it?

    The only example I can think of is maybe pregnant women complaining about not being offered a seat on the bus. But even when it gets couched in those terms that isn’t a complaint about chivalry. Offering a seat to someone who needs it is not like fighting a dragon to bring her a box of Milk Tray; it’s just one of those minimum standards for non-assholishness that both men and women should hold themselves to.

  17. luxdancer says:

    dave:

    Chivalry was always dead. And when it was alive, it was a manifestation of a) a feudal society with a martial class socialized with these ideals so that they wouldn’t up and usurp their lords constantly b) the patriarchy and the patronizing and infantilizing “taking care” of the “fairer sex” c) the Christians vs everyone not a Christian (but specifically the Persian Empire) – although, to be fair, the Byzantines were being assailed from all sides and that does have the tendency to create an us-vs-them attitude.

    This isn’t about helping out a friend whose house burned down and lost her job at the same time. I’d expect that any decent person would do that for a friend, regardless of their sex.

    Chivalry has always been about placing a special status on women – those set on a pedestal have farther to fall, and all that.

  18. kali says:

    Actually, thinking about it, you can see why some men might miss chivalry. It allows them to inflate their own importance in their own minds, puffing up their chests like they’re the essence of swoonsome manlitude after they do something minor like open a door. And all those non-threatening women playing helpless; you can see why a very mediocre sort of person would get a hard on for that kind of constant ego-boosting. I have a feeling this is a total DUH comment, but it is amazing me how chivalry is being framed as something that benefits women when it’s pretty clear that it was just an ego-trip for men all along.

  19. TinaH says:

    Cool! Chivalry’s dead! Kick it! Kick it again! While we’re at it, how about droit de seigneur too. Can we kick that too?

    Now, what I’d like is some honest-to-goodness RESPECT.

  20. Shinobi says:

    Nice Guys miss Chivalry because they don’t get to stare at women’s bums as they walk through doors in front of them.

    I’ve actually had staredowns with thecontroller of my company who apparently CANNOT walk through a door if someone with a vagina is holding it open. (Surely we are too weak and the door will slam and crush him. Oh I wish it would.) That’s just stupid!!

    It’s nice to be polite and hold doors, move chairs, etc, but if you make a big deal out of it… it’s stupid.

  21. Hector B. says:

    Having reread Josh’s article, these things are clear to me: Josh is a nerd, who is uncomfortable with how women really act and behave, because he would prefer to see them as participants in his fantasy roleplaying game, Knights and Their (Swooning) Ladies. Sadly for him, the women do not embrace the roles he’s mapped out for them.

    But, Josh should realize even within the context of his fantasies, chivalry was not about opening doors. It was about slaying dragons and skewering the evil knights. He can hardly expect women to live according to his fantasy vision when he hasn’t.

  22. roses says:

    Opening a door for someone because you got to the door first is both nice and polite; making a huge production of opening a door for a woman in the hopes that she’ll see what a chivalrous dude you are and fuck you (and then getting all pissy when she doesn’t respond how you want her to) is not polite or nice

    Exactly! Why is that so difficult to understand? Good riddance to chivalry is what I say.

    Also:

    When a guy is given the option to bypass courtship and gain entry without much effort, it takes no great Holmesian deduction to discover why proper treatment and respect fall by the wayside.

    FUCK YOU JOSH. God, that attitude pisses me off more than anything. I once had a boyfriend call me “easy” because he pushed and pushed and pushed to get in my pants and I finally let him because I was young and didn’t know how to deter him any further. All his pushing, that was just him being a guy and acting on instinct but my giving in meant I was a slut who didn’t deserve to be treated with respect. (Yeah, I got dumped a week later. I guess he didn’t want me after he knocked me off the pedestal he had me on). It is a double standard that HAS to DIE.

    And Dave, give me a fucking break, I know plenty of really good guys in relationships with great girls. You’d have a lot more luck if you got rid of that chip on your shoulder, I’m sure.

  23. SarahMC says:

    I hope Mr. Chivalry reads this rebuttal, cause it’s awesome. Women don’t want chivalry; they want people (men AND women) to be respectful and polite towards people of BOTH genders.

  24. Tom says:

    Nice Guy[tm] or not, he’s a shitty writer. I couldn’t get past the first two quoted sections.

    And isn’t chivalry supposed to be stoic and non-whiney?

  25. SEK says:

    I believe what makes the issue so complicated is that the dynamics between men and women have drastically changed without either side knowing how to deal with those changes.

    This only makes sense if you assume people born into the current culture have an accurate knowledge of the historical one to which you refer — thing is, they obviously don’t, otherwise they wouldn’t spout out “Golden Age” nonsense. The problem, actually, lies with people like you who know no such “Golden Age” existed but persist in passing revisionist nostalgia off as history.

    It isn’t. It never was. Donna Reed was a character. On a television show. She didn’t live next door. She didn’t bake you cookies. She didn’t greet you with a smile and wave from the kitchen window when you came home from school.

  26. preying mantis says:

    “Does anyone ever, ever complain about how Chivalry is Dead other than Nice Guys? Does anyone female complain about it?”

    I’ve heard a few women complain about it, but it’s always been either younger women who have an extremely commodified view of gender relations and are upset that Pussy Points don’t go as far as they “should” or older women with a dim view of men who seem to think of chivalry as the only way a smidgen of good behavior could be extracted from them.

    Most everyone else seems pretty on board with the idea that making a big show of being nice/polite/kind/helpful to someone just because they have a vagina to which you’d like access makes you a pretty big jerk. Especially since that type of “chivalrous” douchebag rarely helps “the fair sex” so much as they help the subset that they would like to bang and to hell with the rest.

  27. SarahMC says:

    Good point, preying mantis. Guys who profess to be chivalrous towards women are talking about hawt women and hawt women only. Do they run to open doors for overweight women? Do they help unattractive women who’ve spilled their groceries? No. Those women don’t even exist in the minds of most men, “chivalrous” men included.

  28. kali says:

    I am so disappointed there has been no Titanic Trolling yet. I love the Titanic trolls.

  29. LC says:

    Two lines about chivalry stuck with me from when we were taught about feudal society way back in high school. (Both were from students being snarky.)

    1) Chivalry was man putting woman up on a pedestal so he could look up her skirt.

    2) Chivalry was man putting woman up on a pedestal so she couldn’t move very far without falling.

    I’m Canadian, I’m big on “Nice”. Chivalry? Not so much.

    And roses — that whole attitude of “a man’s job is to push” drives me nuts. Mind you, I have consent issues and am all about the vigourous assent standard. It can be hard though, in that so many women have internalized the “they push and you resist and then eventually give in or ‘it just happens'” or whatever. I’ve had women assume I had no “real” interest because I accepted their “no”, because if I was “really interested” I would have tried again.

  30. Roxie says:

    This Is FANTASTIC!

    Being on the internet since I was 14, I have seen SO many guys fucking whining and complaining about this very same thing! And not understanding that “being a nice a guy” isn’t the same as being nice.

    Feministe FTW!

  31. RKMK says:

    I have complained about Chivalry Being Dead, but I think my personal definition of “chivalry” was different than the one being used here, and by Josh (i.e. “having manners and respect for others”). For example, I had an ex who would make “funny” “ironic” comments about how – since I had the vote, went to school, and planned on having a career – I had given up the right to expect basic considerations from others … like someone opening the door for me when my hands were full of heavy baggage.

    When I groused about “chivalry being dead”, I was grousing about the lack of ‘kindness’ (as described by tigtog) so common in people of my generation; a widespread attitude of those who think that “equality of the sexes” means the end of simple decency in human interactions; that one can only be considerate of others in an unequal and oppressive social situation, so that it’s transactional.

    I just don’t understand a philosophy that promotes the idea that in an equalized social structure, people are required to be shitty to each other. I don’t think it speaks particularly well of anyone who can’t reconcile the two ideas; they obviously can’t conceptualize interpersonal relations in anything but a transactional model.

  32. SarahMC says:

    The philosophy you’re referring to, RKMK (the one in which equality means people are required to be shitty to each other) is promoted by ANTI-FEMINISTS, not actual feminists. As you can see from this thread, we all agree that people should be nice to other people no matter what. It’s the Nice Guys and their ilk (like your ex) who insist that since women have gained legal equality (yeah right) men no longer have any reason to be nice (or “chivalrous”). If they were truly nice, they’d be kind and generous to all men and women. But they’re not. They want to be “chivalrous” towards women in exchange for subservience and access to the pussy.
    Now that women can make their own money, take care of themselves, and have a damn good time doing it, as “punishment” men stop being courteous towards us at all. The only reason this type of man was ever “nice” in the first place was because he had something to gain.
    I’d rather all people be nice, kind and courteous to everyone regardless of gender or perceived levels of equality.

  33. Steve says:

    Listen folks, I understand where you are coming from but I do think ppl on this site continue to sometimes mess up the causality of a lot of the NiceGuy phenomena.

    Thing is, a lot of the negatives you associate with the self-proclaimed NIceGuy is simply a manifestation of the years of bottle emotion and adolescent torture some of these idiots endured.

    It isn’t that these guys who write post/articles like this were born misogynistic jerks and then looking around decide to cloak themselves in the mantle of NiceGuy-ness. They are made. In my experience, all of the NIceGuy’s I know were simply either shy or relatively low-status adolescents. Looking after years of experience with different social groups with their own internal heirarchies, it is easy to forget how rigid many adolescent social heirarchies are.

    For a lot of these boys/guys they spend the multitude of their most hormonally strapped years looking at high-status boys/guys date/hook up with a high number of partners.

    As a result of losing out on the traditonal status game, they then generally tend to try to play a different strategy and befriend girls they fancy. This only exacerbates the cycles as they are subsequently bombarded by gossip of the (seemingly) exploits of their high status peers, all while pining for just one chance to convince a girl they can ‘treat her right’.

    At the end of the day, they are left with the choice of either becoming more assertive/asshole-ish or withdrawing in on themselves to fear and hate women. That’s actually the phenomena behind the whole godawful ‘Game’ movement. It turns men (at this point) who have already hardened sexist views about women as objects and sells them secrets on how to put on the trappings of a high-status male, resulting in, well, what you see in the clubbing scene.

    This is not to excuse the resulting ignorance and misoginy, but I do think it is more instructive and more interesting to look into why this happens and figure out what kind of social dynamics lead to these outcomes than simply post a calvacade of lowly NiceGuys who are oh so easy to pile underfoot.

    Or do we just want to continue to hurl abuse on someone who is obviously too far to reach?

  34. zuzu says:

    Gee, Steve, there must never be any girls in your world who get passed over or not asked out or picked on.

  35. preying mantis says:

    “I just don’t understand a philosophy that promotes the idea that in an equalized social structure, people are required to be shitty to each other.”

    Well, it helps if you understand that the people who think that way usually don’t look at it like they’re required to be shitty to each other, just that they can now get away with being shitty more often than they could before. The chivalry thing just put women in this special place where you should be less shitty to them, provided they were “respectable,” no matter how shitty you’d really prefer to be toward them.

    Just being generally nice and/or kind to others regardless of their sex isn’t chivalry, especially if your motivation is “They need a hand” or “Wow, they’re in kind of a bind there” rather than “I have a duty to help the weak with my superiorness.” It’s being a decent human being. Chivalry doesn’t enter into it, nor is it a prerequisite for polite, kind, or helpful behavior. It’s more “Manners are dead” or “Altruism is dead” when you’re complaining of widespread dickishness.

    Not to mention that it’s hard to think of someone who would see, say, a young mother struggling to wrangle both her groceries and her infant and help without a second thought but walk right past a young father in the same situation with a “Sucks to be you, buddy” as Chivalrous Gentleman Supreme rather than, well, an ass.

  36. SarahMC says:

    You know, Steve, a lot of WOMEN were social outcasts as children/teens as well. A lot of US were less than attractive to the opposite sex, never scoring dates to dances or even getting a “hello” out of our crushes.
    That’s what Nice Guys don’t get! Beautiful women are not the only women in existance.

  37. RKMK says:

    Gee, Steve, there must never be any girls in your world who get passed over or not asked out or picked on.

    Seriously. I somehow managed to get through an adolescence (and young adulthood) filled with such disappointments and have yet to get to the point where I think men owe me anything but basic decency and respect. Maybe because both society and the media at large was fond of telling me that as a person with a vagina, I was expected to feel badly about myself all the time?

    The philosophy you’re referring to, RKMK (the one in which equality means people are required to be shitty to each other) is promoted by ANTI-FEMINISTS, not actual feminists.

    Oh, totally. The Ex was an undercover anti-feminist through-and-through. Hindsight is 20/20 – so many conversations with him roll through my head when I read blog posts on MRAs and Nice GuysTM – I shudder to think that the asshole saw me naked. Ew.

  38. Phoebe Fay says:

    My boyfriend was raised in the south, and he always opens doors, holds chairs, etc. It actually freaked me out when we first started dating. It made me uncomfortable when he did it, and it made him uncomfortable NOT to do it, though he did try to cut back when I asked him to.

    Respect is, as always, the answer. Without genuine respect, holding doors and these other forms of “chivalry” are just empty manipulation and game playing. Little Josh doesn’t get that simple fact.

  39. RKMK says:

    Oh, and to be clear – I was admitting above that I have been guilty of bitching about “chivalry being dead”, but fully copping that, in retrospect, my definition of “chivalry” was off.

  40. Hector B. says:

    As a result of losing out on the traditonal status game, they then generally tend to try to play a different strategy and befriend girls they fancy.

    Unfortunately, a girl who treats you like a girlfriend will never see you as a boyfriend. Further, the guys who are attractive to women have something to offer — looks, wit, charm, or even just self-confidence — not to be confused with self-consciousness. If you have nothing to offer, the expectation that girls should be attracted to you anyway is simple entitlement. If some guys could see how they really appeared to women, they would run away shrieking.

    And rather than teaching one to simulate a high-status male, whatever that means, “The Game” teaches gameless guys how to get and hold a woman’s attention. If you’re not going to make yourself more appealing to women, at least stay within your league: As zuzu hints: if you’re a geeky guy, maybe you should pursue the geeky girls.

  41. Isabella says:

    Discussion of chivalry always make me think of the novel “Ivanhoe,” which was one of the first novels to present a romantic view of the medieval period. There is much discussion of chivalry in the book, but almost entirely in reference to relations and rules of conduct between men (or more specifically, between knights). So, there’s a long section in the middle that takes place at a tournament and the reader is told that “according to the rules of chivalry” the knights will do thus-and-such or use a particular weapon or whatever. The only male characters who engage in the smarmy kind of behavior toward women that is described as chivalry these days are the villains; and even in that book, written in the early 19th century, they’re doing it to get laid.

  42. LC says:

    OK, I think SarahMC and zuzu are right to point out that Steve is leaving out the same thing happening in high school to women. I also don’t think that Steve’s example is the only cause of Nice Guy(tm) syndrome. However, I *do* think that the experience is slightly different for men and women in that out society teaches men to expect entitlement and not women, so the effect of being passed over is likely to be processed differently.

  43. prairielily says:

    Steve,

    I was one of those girls. No one asked me out in high school. And then I went to university, and my breasts suddenly grew two cup sizes. (I still have no idea why. None of the girls on my floor in first year could figure it out either. It doesn’t run in my family or anything.)

    So suddenly, I was very popular with the male sex, and that was really hard to deal with at first. It was like they’d ignored me until I conformed more to the patriarchal beauty ideal, and it was nauseating.

    I didn’t write articles about how shallow and awful all men were and how they were only interested in breasts. And after a while, I realised that most of the reason that things had changed was because I wasn’t as shy and was around a more varied group of people. The breast-growth was just coincidental, because honestly, they were never small to begin with.

  44. ellenbrenna says:

    RKMK I have the same problem especially since I noticed that the phrase “Excuse me” (or alternatively “Pardon me” ) seems to have died a slow death from neglect especially among anybody under the age of 20.

    People are just freakin’ rude but it ain’t because I got the vote and some birth control.

  45. Lorelei says:

    college students shouldn’t write articles.

    i can’t find any other solution to this wave of idiotic college paper articles being published in the last year except for that.

    just don’t write articles, guys.

    seriously. just think about it, imagine yourself vividly doing it, and then say, ‘NO. I will make a goddamn fool out of myself.’

    or write about boring things. my journalist student friend had to write all sorts of boring articles for the college paper. you know, things like the launch of googlebooks.

    why do these clearly clueless men feel the need to be ~*controversial*~ when they can’t find a single thing to back up their opinions except their own fucking privilege?

    ughhh.

  46. Random Commenter says:

    In fairness to Steve, while low-status highschool boys and low-status highschool girls are both plenty miserable, the problems they face are (usually) different in a relevant way.

    For some reason or combination of reasons–media conditioning, dominance evaluation, ingrained hormonal nonsense, whatever–what most teenage boys crave, desperately, is sex. Particuarly if they haven’t actually had any yet and it’s still shrouded in mystique. They may also want romance and emotional intimacy and even love, but it’s not burning a hole in their jeans. And if they’re low-status, if they’re sufficiently ugly or awkward, they can’t get any sex no matter what they do.

    This is not true of ugly/awkward highschool girls. Ugly/awkward highschool girls, like girls anywhere, can get sex anytime they want. All it takes is a single offer of no-strings-attached fucking, which *will* find a taker.

    Now, for all sorts of obvious reasons, that’s not actually a solution to the low-status girls’ problems. They don’t want no-strings-attached fucking most of the time, and most of them certainly don’t want Reputations. They usually want decent relationships. Of course, even the desperate awkward guys won’t give them that, because they’re much shallower and much less Nice than they like to imagine; they’re happy to stick it in any willing female, but for anything more substantive or lasting they want someone hawt.

    The meat market paradigm always has men as sex-buyers and women as sex-sellers. It’s beyond unfortunate, but it’s certainly present in all but the most enlightened circles.

    If the free marketers had an accurate view of the world and these folks were acting like Perfectly Rational Economic Agents, it would be pretty clear to all these highschoolers what was going on: the low-status boys have Low-Grade Relationship Material to offer to their target market, the low-status girls have Low-Grade Sex Material to offer in return, and you arrange the most favorable trade you can.

    But while the girls may or may not be stupid, the boys usually are. What’s apparent to them is that *all* girls, even the low-status ones who are miserable with their lives, have access to exactly what they (the boys) want: sex, basically on demand. So they construct a worldview in which women have much more social power than actually makes sense. It’s kind of like envying the McDonald’s worker for getting all the free fast food he wants*.

    *This is assuming McDonald’s workers get free food perks; I have no idea whether this is true.

  47. jfpbookworm says:

    Steve, as someone who used to be prone to this behavior, I think I have a pretty good idea where it comes from.

    But the thing is, at the point we’re talking about, it *doesn’t really matter*. I mean sure, understanding’s a good thing, and understanding that a lot of their insecurity comes from an obsession with this idea of hierarchy and “status” helps explain the phenomenon, but at the end of the day these are adult men, and nobody owes them anything simply because they, like everyone else, got fucked over by patriarchy.

  48. jfpbookworm says:

    i can’t find any other solution to this wave of idiotic college paper articles being published in the last year except for that.

    It’s nothing new. What is new is that these college papers are publishing online, so they get ripped apart online rather than at a table in the dining hall.

  49. Caro says:

    Has anyone ever noticed that the guys who feel the need to talk about how they’re “Nice Guys” all the time usually aren’t that nice and not that much of a catch after all? The real nice guys don’t feel the need to whine and moan about it.

    Also, f**k chivalry. The fact that “chivalry” and “chattel” both start with “ch” may be a coincidence, but that doesn’t keep them from being intimately related.

    Oh, and P.S., any guy who non-ironically refers to women as “the fairer sex” is instantly unattractive to me.

  50. Mandolin says:

    “Unfortunately, a girl who treats you like a girlfriend will never see you as a boyfriend”

    The fuck is with this meme? I’ve gotten together with guys who I was previously friends with, and I know so many other couples that got together in this way.

  51. Mandolin says:

    “This is not true of ugly/awkward highschool girls. Ugly/awkward highschool girls, like girls anywhere, can get sex anytime they want. All it takes is a single offer of no-strings-attached fucking, which *will* find a taker.”

    Oh, whatever.

    Anyway, the girls are taught that they’re worthless if they can’t get a guy.

  52. Hector B. says:

    I’ve gotten together with guys who I was previously friends with

    Before you got together with these guys, did you complain to them about your troubles with your boyfriends?

  53. TheBends says:

    I resent that steve. Many of the “circumstances” in which your “nice guys” were in (low self-esteem, shy etc) are exactly the same to my own situation. And as you no doubt have been made aware, other womens situations too. I can (could?) barely get a girl to look twice in my direction, because I wasnt the “desirable” type.

    However -while its caused me some confusion on occasions- I most definitely did not act like these “niceguys”. I instead decided to stop letting it concern me, because I couldnt be bothered to make the needed changes to myself, and simply put out the effort in the first place. I most definitely did NOT blame women for not “giving” me something I didnt particularly desire anyway. It is possible to be something of a social reject, yet still be normal on the inside. And by that I mean be a “low-status adolescent”, yet not develop a sense of entitlement over women because of your “inexperience” with them.

  54. buggle says:

    Random Commenter- you really think that all girls and women can get sex immediately, whenever they want? That is just NOT true! The whole “boys/men always want sex and girls/women can always get it” is such BS! Gah! I can’t believe people are still throwing this tired old lie around.

    And your whole idea about how women want relationships and men just want “no strings fucking’ is beyond absurd. Yikes.

    And that is complete BS about “the poor boys who don’t get any and turn into pigs” because yeah, I was one of those girls too, and it sucked big time for me too.

  55. Beth says:

    When a guy is given the option to bypass courtship and gain entry without much effort, it takes no great Holmesian deduction to discover why proper treatment and respect fall by the wayside.

    Because of course, the only women deserving of “proper treatment and respect” are those that don’t like sex. If you actually enjoy sex and admit it, then Nice Guys™ are allowed to slap you around and disrespect you. Yes, I suppose that is indeed “chivalrous,” in the historical sense, as several here have pointed out. But the attitude hardly makes him a truly nice guy (the kind without the TM).

    And what is the deal with the elevator thing, anyway? I’ve recently started working in an office tower, and the gyrations that men go to in order for me to get on/off the elevator first are astonishing and just plain BIZARRE! If the elevator’s is crowded, not only are they not helping me, they’re actually hindering my ability to get out! If you’re by the doors, just step off the stupid elevator already!!!! And this doesn’t have anything to do with need, I am relatively young and quite able-bodied. The other day I even had a guy in a wheelchair trying to maneuver away from the doors for me to exit the elevator ahead of him! He insisted, and I did step off (around), but by that time it had been so long the doors wanted to close again, so I had to help him by standing off to the side, outside the elevator, and holding the door open so it wouldn’t close on him and his chair! How does this behavior help anybody????

    And, finally, regarding Steve, I just love the way that he (like most Nice Guys™) is totally blind to the fact that in high school (and probably still), the only girls HE wanted were the most attractive upper-status girls (I’m assuming, since he describes them as the ones with the high-status guys), and as such he is doing the EXACT SAME THING that he is taking them to task for. sheesh.

  56. Jill says:

    This is not true of ugly/awkward highschool girls. Ugly/awkward highschool girls, like girls anywhere, can get sex anytime they want. All it takes is a single offer of no-strings-attached fucking, which *will* find a taker.

    I take it you’ve never been an ugly/awkward high school girl.

    Women cannot “get” sex whenever we want it. If I wanted to have sex tonight, I really have no idea how I’d go about doing it. Walk up to a guy in a bar and ask, “Wanna fuck?” I’m sure there’s some dude somewhere who would go for it, and I know it sounds like the dream of every adolescent boy, but in the reality-based community people are going to think you’re a little odd.

    Further, girls don’t get to have no-strings-attached sex, so it’s not as simple as an awkward high-schooler finding someone to bone. She’ll be well-aware that she runs a good chance of being labeled a “slut,” undeserving of chivalry from guys like Josh.

    I feel bad for teenage boys, I really do. The whole system fucks them over, too. But that doesn’t justify their total failure at self-education, and their misogyny published in the school paper. It doesn’t justify them blaming women for all of their problems.

  57. buggle says:

    And oh yes, I was friends with my current boyfriend before we started dating. And I did tell him about a guy who was trying to get with me, at the time. My now-boyfriend realized that he better ask me out, and not keep waiting, or else he might lose his chance. (If I ended up dating this other guy).

    We were friends, so we talked about past relationships, and things that friends do.

    If you are friends with a girl/woman only because you want to get with her, then you are NOT really her friend.

  58. TheBends says:

    Oh wow, and again with “random commenter”. What the fuck, did I just get “broken” on “the conveyer belt of gender roles” before I was born? So first up, my “low-status-adolescent” past make me a time bomb of self obsession waiting to explode. Secondly I apparently still secretly thought of nothing but fucking any female human that moved during my late school years. Its like that bullshit I was told a while back, where apparently men think about sex something-hundred times a day. Really? Because I can count on my fingers how many times on an average day.

  59. buggle says:

    Thanks Jill.

    I think if no-strings attached sex actually existed for high school girls, there would be a lot more high school girls having sex. The truth is, there IS no no-strings attached sex. Especially for girls.

  60. zuzu says:

    When a guy is given the option to bypass courtship and gain entry without much effort, it takes no great Holmesian deduction to discover why proper treatment and respect fall by the wayside.

    Maybe because you think that women are something you “gain entry” to, Josh?

    I love this idea that unattractive/shy/geeky girls in high school would be JUST FINE if they’d just walk up to some guy and ask for NSA sex. Um, no.

    Personally, I like to actually desire the person I’m fucking, not just be with him because I’m desperate and he was the first one who said yes. BTW, how many rejections am I supposed to take before I find a guy who’ll put out for my ugly ass?

  61. Joe says:

    zuzu Says:
    October 1st, 2007 at 2:40 pm
    Gee, Steve, there must never be any girls in your world who get passed over or not asked out or picked on.

    You mean the shy clingy girl that thought the drunk guy she met that first weekend at school was her soul mate? Or the ‘friend’ that played eager doormat even though the guy had made it really clear he wasn’t interested in her as more than a friend? I felt bad for the second pair when they slept together. She was devastated that he wasn’t going to help decorate their future daughter’s room in unicorns and Disney princesses and he knew he’d ruined their friendship. Plus now everyone thought he was an asshole for leading her on and taking advantage of her. Eventually those girls either learn that they don’t have to screw guys by the third date or they become bitter about how men only want one thing.

  62. zuzu says:

    Ooh, bitterness from a new troll!

    Now you know what it’s like to date a Nice Guy™ there, Joe.

  63. Mustella says:

    “Before you got together with these guys, did you complain to them about your troubles with your boyfriends?”

    Yes. Always. And I do not ever date someone I’m not friends with first. Why the hell do men still think this?

  64. Hector B. says:

    Why the hell do men still think this?

    Because this guy: After all, there are women all over the world who have male confidants and close friends, but they never for once take a step back and realize that the person with whom they are constantly sharing their romantic woes is in fact ­- male. never gets laid.

  65. jfpbookworm says:

    Hector: that guy never gets laid because, when he does, he gets taken out of that category.

  66. jfpbookworm says:

    Also, because lots of Nice Guys can’t tell the difference between listening to someone because they’re your friend and listening to someone because you want to get in their pants.

  67. Hector B. says:

    that guy never gets laid because, when he does, he gets taken out of that category.

    Nah. I’m pretty sure Josh is never getting laid.

  68. Hector B. says:

    Women cannot “get” sex whenever we want it. If I wanted to have sex tonight, I really have no idea how I’d go about doing it

    If you need an idea: The last time a woman lured me into her clutches, she was sitting at the bar by herself, eating sunflower seeds. I said hi,and she offered me some sunflower seeds.

  69. Hector B. says:

    Also, because lots of Nice Guys can’t tell the difference between listening to someone because they’re your friend and listening to someone because you want to get in their pants.

    I think there’s a certain amount of self-deception on the part of both of them:

    Do women who are telling their romantic woes to some dork who’s always hanging around realize he wants to get into their pants? Why else do they think he’s hanging around them? Is he actively pretending to be some mere friend with no sexual interest in them?

  70. Joe says:

    Zuzu, Lol I wasn’t trying to be bitter I was trying to be snarky/funny. Guess I missed. I was the guy from the first story. It was an amazingly dramatic breakup since we’d only dated for a few weeks (no sex). I don’t know what the snappy name for the female version of the nice guy is. But the common thread in my experience is the desire for too much. It’s like there’s this elaborate vision in some people’s heads of how things will work out. There’s a blank spot in the vision with the caption “Put other person here”. When it doesn’t work out like that they get angry. Or they grow up some.

  71. exholt says:

    I find some aspects of daily “chivalric” behavior such as giving up one’s seat on public transportation the basis of gender to be a bit bizarre, personally. Maybe I am weird, but I was raised to hold doors for everyone who was close behind or in front of me…..and that one gives up one’s seat for the elderly, physically disabled, or those who were more heavily burdened (i.e. heavy packages, young children, looking unwell) than I. It was just common courtesy.

    Sad to say, I have actually encountered some young women on public transport in several northeast American cities who attempted to shame me for my “lack of chivalry” when i refused to give up my seat upon demand solely on the basis of their gender. When I proceeded to explain the criteria I used for giving up my seat, they often tended to get extremely irate with me.

  72. Beth says:

    Do women who are telling their romantic woes to some dork who’s always hanging around realize he wants to get into their pants? Why else do they think he’s hanging around them? Is he actively pretending to be some mere friend with no sexual interest in them?

    Because the only question is why he would be “pretending” to be her friend. Apparently there’s no chance that he would be hanging around because he really IS her friend. You know, cuz he likes her as a person, not just a walking vagina. Stupid girl, to think that could actually be that case.

  73. jfpbookworm says:

    Nah. I’m pretty sure Josh is never getting laid.

    My point was more that the Joshes of the world don’t look at the many, many friendships that have turned into relationships as evidence that it happens; they look at those as having always been in some other category.

    Why else do they think he’s hanging around them? Is he actively pretending to be some mere friend with no sexual interest in them?

    Well, I haven’t been on the other end of that, but I imagine she assumes that he’s hanging around because he likes her, independent of any sexual interest. And yes, your typical Nice Guy doesn’t acknowledge his sexual interest in his female “friends.”

  74. Justin Ellis says:

    In other words, this entire column could have been summed up,

    Dear [friend],

    Please touch my penis.

    Yours,
    Josh

    Hahahaha, thats exactly whats up. Poor guy is all hot and bothered that he’s stuck in “friend zone” because he never had the stones to be honest with a women he wanted to date. Whew, long winded though isn’t he? “Chivalry” is not the real topic of that article for sure.

  75. ekf says:

    I love this idea that unattractive/shy/geeky girls in high school would be JUST FINE if they’d just walk up to some guy and ask for NSA sex.

    In high school, I was kind of in a middle range. Not a loser, not a hot chick (too smart, too arty). I’d had boyfriends, and I lost my virginity early. But the summer before senior year, I’d had a bit of a drought, as did some of my girlfriends. Four of us had gotten together, bought lingerie at a department store and gone out to dinner. We all talked about being horny and wanting to just go fuck, but we didn’t know how to go about getting guys.

    Well, we thought — why not go find out where our group of guy friends were and just proposition them for sex? A group of them were hanging out together at a park near one of their houses, and so we went out there and one of us said, “Hey — we’re horny and want to have sex with you guys tonight. What are you going to do about it?” After some chatting, they knew we were totally serious. No strings, just sex. Whatever they wanted to do.

    Know what happened? Nothing. A couple of years later, things would be different and hookups and tradeouts and such were common (often among friends, sometimes with romantic consequences, sometimes not, and never judgments about who was or wasn’t a “slut”). But in high school? Nope.

    It’s come up several times (we’ve been out of high school now for almost 20 years), always with the guys talking about how they totally blew it. I don’t know whether or not they’d have ended up as resentful Nice Guys but for that night, but at least they know without any doubt that on that night the reason they didn’t get laid was not because of women, not because of feminism, not because of anything external to them — the reason is because they just didn’t get laid. Importantly, too — that they didn’t get laid wasn’t the end of the world, and it didn’t get in the way of us all staying friends and goofing off and later being sometimes more than friends and then other times just being friends again. Instead of ending up Nice Guys, they ended up as something much better — good guys.

  76. Hector B. says:

    Because the only question is why he would be “pretending” to be her friend. Apparently there’s no chance that he would be hanging around because he really IS her friend. You know, cuz he likes her as a person, not just a walking vagina

    That’s not how I was drawing the Venn diagram, though you could be right. Of the three choices:
    1. Friend without sexual interest.
    2. Horndog faking friendship
    3. Sexually interested friend
    I was thinking “Josh” was number 3, not number 2 as you imply, and not number 1 as the hot girl presumably thought.

  77. roses says:

    Because this guy: After all, there are women all over the world who have male confidants and close friends, but they never for once take a step back and realize that the person with whom they are constantly sharing their romantic woes is in fact ­- male. never gets laid.

    He never gets laid because he’s a whiny jerk! The guy I used to confide in regarding my romantic woes got laid plenty (much more than I did!) Twice by me.

    Do women who are telling their romantic woes to some dork who’s always hanging around realize he wants to get into their pants? Why else do they think he’s hanging around them?

    Oh, I don’t know, because he’s her friend and enjoys her company, and listens to her because that’s what friends do? I have male friends who I listen to and help with romantic problems, and it’s not because I want to get into their pants. It’s because I like them and want them to be happy. It’s because I’m their friend and that’s what friends do.

  78. SarahMC says:

    I have actually encountered some young women on public transport in several northeast American cities who attempted to shame me for my “lack of chivalry” when i refused to give up my seat upon demand solely on the basis of their gender.

    I’m going to give you the benefit of the doubt…
    Mind telling us exactly how these encounters went down? Because of all my years using public transportation in Northeast cities, I have never witnessed anything like that happen – and I’ve witnessed a lot of strange things. I honestly can’t imagine it.
    Nor can I imagine a woman snapping or yelling at a man for oh-so-politely opening the door for her (which is a complaint I’ve heard from frustrated men angry at us mean feminists).

  79. Lorelei says:

    So one time i was at an open mic, where i was a regular and well-known for never actually entering the building, so I would just talk to people outside while they had cigarettes. I was friends with many men there (because dontcha know, female musicians DON’T EXIST or something). One night, one of them says to me, ‘You know, Lorelei, I *know* you could just snap your fingers and get any guy to have sex with you.’

    What a stereotypical and, uh, somewhat blind thing to say! ‘You think so?’ I ask.

    ‘Oh, absolutely. I don’t see why not.’

    So I turn to the other guy next to me. ‘Hey, Manuel, would you have sex with me?’

    ‘No.’

  80. Lorelei says:

    SarahMC:

    I’m imagining that the circumstance in question involves either an Obviously Pregnant Woman or a woman with several children who clearly would enjoy being able to sit down for like five minutes of her day.

  81. I can’t possibly think of a better definition of inequality than “In order to get barely humane treatment from me, you need to treat me like a god on earth.”

  82. preying mantis says:

    “Women cannot “get” sex whenever we want it. If I wanted to have sex tonight, I really have no idea how I’d go about doing it.”

    Well, if you’re an adult woman, and you just want sex, and you want it tonight, and you’re in or around a city, you can probably find a taker without too much blatant rejection. There are those spaces for adults where the polite fiction of “meeting someone” is very well understood as a polite fiction–most people are there looking for sex, so it’s not odd if you suggest retiring to a hotel room, want it to be NSA, etc. Since there are more attendant risks for and social pressures against women seeking one-night stands than there are for men, the odds are usually good that a woman looking for one can find one.

    For a teen? Uh, not so much. Teenage girls’ peer circles tend to be much smaller and more interlinked than that of the adult populace, most places have laws relegating them to their peer group for sex partners, and they likely have parents or guardians actively trying to curtail any attempts on their part to trawl for anonymous sex. Their peers are more likely to label her a slut over non-anonymous NSA sex when they find out about it, and a teen girl doesn’t exactly have the option of ditching her high school if it turns out that 99% of its occupants are judgmental assholes. They’re also much less likely to have access to reliable birth control and accurate information regarding STDs, which makes seeking out sex far riskier for the average teen girl than the average adult woman.

    That’s before you even get to the likelihood of a teenage girl having had a chance to de-internalize or even deconstruct the ideas that society pushes about female worth, male appetite, social appearances, and so forth, all of which can make even succeeding in her sex-quest a horrible affair. Really, I’m not sure how any sane person who’s put more than a few seconds’ worth of thought into it can come to the conclusion that even the unattractive, awkward, geeky, misfit teenage girls automatically have it so very much better than their male counterparts when it comes to sex.

  83. exholt says:

    I’m imagining that the circumstance in question involves either an Obviously Pregnant Woman or a woman with several children who clearly would enjoy being able to sit down for like five minutes of her day.

    Lorelei,

    Obviously, you’ve missed the part of my comment where I said:

    Maybe I am weird, but I was raised to hold doors for everyone who was close behind or in front of me…..and that one gives up one’s seat for the elderly, physically disabled, or those who were more heavily burdened (i.e. heavy packages, young children, looking unwell) than I. It was just common courtesy.

    SarahMC,

    The common thread that seems to occur in those encounters were they all occurred within the first few years out of school, during crowded rush hour periods during my commute to/from work, that I was the only Asian on the bus/train car, and that the young women who attempted to shame me were of comparable age, healthy, no children, and no more burdened with heavy packages than I was. Just mentioned that to agree with other earlier commenters that some women also complain of “lack of chivalry”. Not only did they stand out because it was unusual and bizarre, but also because of the scene it caused with other passengers on a crowded train/bus.

    I just assumed the mentality of the women who attempted to shame me on that basis was of the same type of many other jerks one sometimes encounters on daily commutes. In my mind, they were just as unreasonable as what occurred during one high school commute where one cantankerous elderly man was yelling at a 7 year old for not giving up his seat for a woman even though he was sitting with his parents or off-balanced people who yelled at me and other passengers out of the blue when I was minding my own business by reading a book or listening to music.

    You may not have witnessed this…but then again I’ve never witnessed many other situations my family, friends, and classmates/coworkers have encountered on their daily commutes in the same areas. Does not mean I automatically discount them out of hand, especially when I’ve seen too many bizarre and wacky situations and people on public transportation during my commutes to do so.

  84. SarahMC says:

    I am so sick of “women can get sex whenever they want.” (i.e. “Men will sleep with anything”)
    It is absolutely, positively, not true. If by “women,” you mean the 9’s and 10’s among us (to use Mystery-language), it might be true.
    But fat women, ugly women, old women, nerdy women and awkward women are women too. And those women would be laughed out of the room if they walked up a man and propositioned him for sex.

  85. Jill says:

    True, Sarah. And some of the most beautiful women I’ve known have had trouble finding partners or even anonymous sex — the intimidation factor matters, and while a lot of guys think they’re entitled to a beautiful woman, in practice a lot of them just end up self-defensively writing her off as stupid or a bitch or a slut, because they assume she’ll reject them first. So I’m not sure anyone actually wins in the “women can fuck whoever and whenever, and men will stick it in anyone” game.

    It’s also interesting that this argument almost always comes from men. At the same time, I’ve never heard a man say that he would have sex with any woman who randomly approached him for it. There seems to be a real disconnect between our resident Chivalrous Dudes and all of those Other Men who they speak for.

  86. kali says:

    I have actually encountered some young women on public transport in several northeast American cities who attempted to shame me for my “lack of chivalry” when i refused to give up my seat upon demand solely on the basis of their gender.

    Also not buying it. Not only because I’ve never seen this happen, but because if someone did ask me to give up my seat to them, I’d do it; I’d assume they were unwell in some way, or in the early stages of pregnancy. I don’t see how he can know what their reasons were unless he actually asked them. And then they say “because I’m a girl, duh” and deliver a lecture on Chivalry? When there is actually an incredibly strong social taboo against asking someone to give up their seat at all?* And this whole interlocution has happened to him several times? No way. Not unless these women were all belligerently drunk, (at public transport peak time?)

    It is possible this guy is redefining “on the basis of pregnancy” as “solely on the basis of gender”, in which case I’d like to inform him that he is an unbelievable and unforgivable jerk.

    *(I think this taboo was written about by Malcolm Gladwell but it might have been the Freakonomics guy. A bunch of grad students were asked to do this as an experiment, asking for a seat on the New York subway without giving reasons; they reported finding it incredibly difficult to do so and kept wimping out and failing to pop the question. But half the time when they asked, they got.)

  87. Jill says:

    Or, as you pointed out, there’s a disconnect in how they define “women.” They seem to forget that normal-looking women, fat women, awkward women, older women, etc are women, too. And when they say “women can get anything,” they’re envisioning all of us to be young, reasonably attractive, able-bodied, etc etc.

  88. Jill says:

    Yeah, the whole public transportation thing sounds fishy to me too, although I’m sure it has happened to someone, somewhere (what hasn’t?). When I’m in NY I ride the subway all the time, and I’ve never seen someone demand a seat — not even a person who needed it. I have, however, had plenty of men offer me their seat, for no particular reason other than I’m a chick — or, more often, someone will get up out of a seat and if I’m equidistant to the seat as dude is, he’ll offer it to me first. Which, chivalry or not, I always thought was very, very nice, although I never accepted.

  89. SarahMC says:

    I wish it weren’t socially unacceptable to ask someone for his/her seat, because as a young person with an “invisible” illness (chronic pain), I don’t *look* like I need to sit down but I often do.

  90. kali says:

    It is possible this guy is redefining “on the basis of pregnancy” as “solely on the basis of gender”, in which case I’d like to inform him that he is an unbelievable and unforgivable jerk.

    Retracted on seeing the earlier comment. Sorry.

  91. SarahMC says:

    Young boys and men might not be able to have sex with the particular woman they *want* to have sex with, but they can find someone who’ll be up for it – which is the exact case for women. Sure, someone, somewhere will be willing to fuck us. So? It’s not any different for men. I think men just feel entitled to sleep with that one particular chick they dig (or another “10”), and when it doesn’t happen they turn their anger on women in general.

  92. Joe says:

    Sarah, it’s all about standards. I think most any adult can get sex whenever they want…just not with someone they actually want to have sex with.

  93. Joe says:

    sorry, i didn’t see your post no. 91.

  94. SarahMC says:

    Figured as much, Joe. :) But yeah, you’re spot on. So why the myth that girls/women have an advantage?

  95. kali says:

    Actually, something interesting just occurred to me re: the “women could get sex any time they wanted it” meme.

    I bet most people could get sex any time they wanted it, if they could read minds.

    It’s not like people light up with a neon sign saying “Hi! I am sexually interested in you!” I mean, sometimes it’s obvious. Sometimes it’s really not, especially in the case of friends who are attracted rather than the case of some guy in a bar who has approached you. And lots of people are afraid to assume too much even when the signals are strong, because they’re afraid of looking like idiots.

    But there is this level of narcissism in a lot of men that just assumes women know what they’re thinking, the same as the narcissism which makes them think that if she makes them horny, she must be doing it on purpose. Because they haven’t quite developed a full on theory of mind when it comes to women; they can’t grasp women are separate individuals. So there’s an expectation on women to be able to read men’s minds, that doesn’t exist in reverse.

    I’m probably overstating this case, being a chronic misinterpreter of signals. Comes of being an ugly girl trapped in the body of a fairly hot woman. But I do think it might be a contributor to that myth, alongside what Jill pointed out about them defining “women” as people who make me horny.”

  96. kali says:

    a

    longside what Jill pointed out about them defining “women” as people who make me horny.”

    Sorry, it was Sarah who first made this point. I am an idiot and need to get some sleep.
    (also, Sarah feeling you on post 89; I’m fairly well now, but I used to be so low in energy I’d come close to fainting when I had to stand for long periods. But when you got right down to it I preferred to take my chances of fainting than ask for a seat!)

  97. Anatolia says:

    Poor Josh. He just needs a little charm school:

    1) Be available, but not too available.

    2) Be a challenge, but not an uptight prude.

    3) Attend to your appearance, but don’t look plastic or showy or come across as if you are conceited or obsessive-compulsive or trying too hard. Keep an eye toward fashion and trends, but be certain to stand out from the crowd in a good way.

    4) Be good looking, but not so much that you’re unapproachable. If you aren’t naturally gifted, consider cosmetics, surgery, and a personal trainer.

    5) Be smart, but not boring or nerdy and never, ever appear condescending.

    6) Drink enough to show you’re sociable, but not so much you say or do something to embarass yourself.

    7) Be funny, but remember you’re not a stand-up comedian and never will be, so don’t go overboard trying. Be careful of what you laugh at, because unless it’s universally funny you will come off as a flake, or worse, nervous.

    8) Be daring, but remember you only have yourself to blame if you are taken advantage of or get hurt. No one is attracted to the pitiful or stupid. Remember, there are always people out there who will take advantage of you. Learn to spot who they are without appearing suspicious or paranoid.

    9) Make sure to smile and be genuine, even if you don’t feel like it.

    10) Don’t talk too much about your achievements; you will appear arrogant and be considered a braggart. Make sure to let people know you are bright, confident, and capable.

    11) Be appreciative of the smallest of gestures, but make sure you don’t come across as manipulative or on the take. Be very sure you don’t come across as insincere.

    12) Keep up on current events so that you will always be able to contribute to a conversation. Don’t be a topic hog; people aren’t interested in “all you all the time.” Know when to speak and when to be quiet and listen.

    This is just a beginner list, of course. Once you have achieved success with the first 12-step program, you too can move on to the next level, and in no time you will be sure to gain social acceptance and be desired in any situation.

  98. Bitter Scribe says:

    Why does everyone who can’t get laid seem to feel the need to write an op-ed column about it?

  99. exholt says:

    I wish it weren’t socially unacceptable to ask someone for his/her seat, because as a young person with an “invisible” illness (chronic pain), I don’t *look* like I need to sit down but I often do.

    Unfortunately, the social mores I was raised with did not take that into account. It is food for thought I will take under serious advisement.

    Rightly or wrongly, the mentality of my parents generation was that the young people (~40

  100. exholt says:

    I wish it weren’t socially unacceptable to ask someone for his/her seat, because as a young person with an “invisible” illness (chronic pain), I don’t *look* like I need to sit down but I often do.

    Agg…part of my post got cut off. Here’s the rest:

    Rightly or wrongly, the mentality of my parents generation was that the young people (~40

  101. exholt says:

    Rightly or wrongly, the mentality of my parents generation was that the young people (~40

  102. Joe says:

    Sarah, as near as I can tell the idea that women have the advantage comes from the norm where men initiate. If we’re going to use traditional gender norms and you like me than you have to try to get me to ask you out. (you also have to worry about the red menace ’cause it’s 1949).

    So you’re trying to figure out how to get me interested. If I don’t like you I do nothing. I may not even know you like me.

    If I like you I have to pursue you. If you reject me than it looks to me like you had all the power. After all you were the one that decided we weren’t going to go to date.

    I don’t think the NiceGuy(TM) is motivated just for sex. I think they typically want the entire self centered fantasy.

    Remember the TV show Ed? There was a long running plot where the mac guy wanted the cute girl. They did a lot of cute things to raise his apparent status in her eyes. Eventually he gets his date and they both realize that he’s fallen in love with a fantasy of her that’s based entirely on how she looks. She than dumps him. Good example of self centered and the nice guy.

  103. exholt says:

    Jill,

    Out of curiosity, is this blog having technical difficulties? It seems the bulk of my reply post keeps getting cut off.

  104. zuzu says:

    I think it might be interpreting that wavy thing plus 40 as the end of the post.

  105. Lorelei says:

    Why does everyone who can’t get laid seem to feel the need to write an op-ed column about it?

    EXACTLY. it isn’t ~*controversial*~, it’s silly. if you’re that miffed by the fact that you can’t get laid, why the fuck would you advertise it?!

    i can’t get laid, either, and i’m actually pretty good looking (if I do say so myself!!). this is what happened the last time i tried:

    there was some dude in my english class who spent the last few weeks staring at me. so at some point i decided i wanted sex and knew he would want to help me in this. at some point, i went up to him and told him in NO UNCERTAIN TERMS that i would blow him. it went a little something like: ‘yo, if you want, i’ll totally blow you.’

    ‘wow, um, really?’

    ‘yup. i’m gonna have a cigarette while you decide on that.’

    so he followed me out like i expected him to. the next logical thing to do would be to pull me aside and make out with me, right? NO. he just kinda stands there, dumbstruck, and says, ‘wait. really?’

    ‘yes, my friend, really.’

    I HAVE ASSURED HIM *TWICE* THAT HE WILL GET WHAT HE WANTS. and what? he doesn’t do anything. just keeps asking me over and over if i actually will.

    babe, if you’re gonna talk instead of fuck, then talking’s all you’re gonna get out of me. what the hell.

    granted, i guess i could’ve made the first physical move, but i thought that would be presumptuous. so i decided to inform him that this would be okay by me and he could take it wherever he wanted to. but he didn’t. he just pestered me verbally about it for 45 minutes until i decided i had enough of it.

    sigh.

    are all of you like this? is it so dumbfounding to hear a woman tell you unambiguously that you can make a move? what the fuck?

    in any case, i didn’t write in the campus paper about it.

  106. SarahMC says:

    I have a feeling that if a girl did go to a teenage (or older) Nice Guy for sex, he’d either fumble and blow it and continue to blame girls/women for his non-existant sex-life or sleep with her and tell the whole school she’s an easy slut the following day.

  107. exholt says:

    I think it might be interpreting that wavy thing plus 40 as the end of the post.

    Zuzu,

    Thank you for the tip.

    I wish it weren’t socially unacceptable to ask someone for his/her seat, because as a young person with an “invisible” illness (chronic pain), I don’t *look* like I need to sit down but I often do.

    Rightly or wrongly, the mentality of my parents generation was that the young people (younger than around 40) with the exception of the disabled and unwell had no right to expect anyone to give up nor the right to ask, much less demand a seat on the bus/train. This was irrespective of one’s gender as was graphically illustrated to me when as a child I witnessed an aunt scolding an older female cousin while she was in high school for recounting how a middle-aged gentleman offered her a seat. From her scolding, I deduced the mentality as: if you’re young, you stand unless there is a free seat and there was no elderly or disabled/unwell persons still standing.

  108. Cola Johnson says:

    Males ranging from teenagers to the elderly are gaining notoriety as shallow, disrespectful, insensitive game players with ulterior motives.

    Aahhh, for those non-existent halcyon days when men didn’t sleep around and brag about it. Aaaah, for the days when men were never called cads or womanizers. Because once upon a time, in the absence of feminism, men were nothing but gentlemen all too happy to respect a woman’s virtue.

    Like men not opening doors or standing for ladies on the bus is really a notable loss compared to equal pay and treatment. Women in the workplace, women living on their own, and women not being ashamed or sorry that they’re women didn’t cause frat boys to get mean and misogynistic. They were always that way.

    Also, assholes who want to pay for dinner eventually start asking why you don’t pay for your half (it’s happened more than once for me). That’s why I don’t let men pay.

    That he doesn’t see every woman as a walking sex toy to whom he feels totally entitled isn’t evidence that men as are getting short shrift.

  109. Linnaeus says:

    are all of you like this? is it so dumbfounding to hear a woman tell you unambiguously that you can make a move? what the fuck?

    Lorelei, from my point of view, I can understand why it might be dumbfounding. While I think this particular man should have realized you were serious when you reiterated your proposition, it’s possible that he wasn’t very experienced or used to a woman being forthright, so he didn’t know what to do.

    If I were in a similar situation, I’m pretty sure I’d get the message and roll with it. There was a time a few years ago, however, where I would have been taken aback at first. But it wouldn’t have been because I thought the woman was being “slutty”; it was because it would have been difficult for me to believe that she actually meant it. My self-image was poor enough such that I would have initially thought it was some kind of joke or prank.

    That said, no, we’re not all like that. :)

  110. LC says:

    Lorelei…

    I’m torn on what to think of your story. First of all, yes, it is dumbfounding to have someone walk up to you and offer no strings attached sex out of the blue. No flirting. No lead up. No sense of being attracted to me, just “You, I’d blow you.”.

    That would confuse the hell out of me. I’d wonder what you were up to. (You said he stared at you but not that he ever had any interaction.)

    Also, body language says a lot. You say that, then make no motion to initiate physical contact. I’m going to be wary.

    Now, at the same time, pestering you verbally for 45 minutes seems crazy to me. I’d probably have insisted you kiss me first, and seen what the vibe went from that. But hell yeah, I’d be suspicious.

  111. Lorelei says:

    lmao we’d been flirting for a few weeks, LC, i wanna clear that up. i somehow thought that was implied by saying he was staring at me. like we knew each other and spoke on a regular basis and he clearly showed interest in me by the way he spoke to me and by staring at me all the time.

    so it wasn’t as creepy as i made it out to be, lmao, although i see how it would be, looking back on the way i described it…

  112. Lorelei says:

    Linnaeus —

    I see what you mean. i mean we’re kinda young (me being 18 and i think he was, um, 20/21? if that?) so maybe this was the first time someone was like YES I WILL HAVE NO STRINGS ATTACHED SEX AND IT’S ALL GOOD. but it still put me off. :\ i thought i was doing a good thing!!

  113. Hector B. says:

    is it so dumbfounding to hear a woman tell you unambiguously that you can make a move?

    Why, yes. Yes it is.
    Simply invite him to your place. Tell him to bring a bottle of wine.

  114. Lorelei says:

    hector —

    unfortunately, out of circumstances out of my control (like being 18 and disabled), i still live in my parents’ house. and my mother is home alllll day.

    and i go to a community college and live in such an area that having an extra bottle of wine hanging around would be… some kind of a miracle.

    :(

    besides, i like sex in public places. like my campus.

    :D

  115. Lorelei says:

    THE LAST PART ABOUT THE PUBLIC SEX WAS A BIT OF A JOKE, GUYS. JUST SAYING.

  116. Hector B. says:

    Lorelei — just make it clear the two of you will be alone together in a relaxed atmosphere, and his imagination will supply the context. It would help if, when you’re talking, you traced his biceps with a fingertip.

  117. Lorelei says:

    mind, i know a few people who would have meaningless sex with me and possibly even not let it become awkward between us afterwards (since i’m kind of friends with them). unfortunately, i’ve seen this tendency in people to suddenly expect sex out of you all the time just because you fucked them once. it’s annoying. so it kind of makes me… not want to bother. even though i want casual sex.

    I AM AN EQUAL OPPORTUNITY SEX PERSON AND I HAVE OFFERED NICE GUYS ™ ACCESS TO MY JUNK. and something stupid ALWAYS FUCKING HAPPENS UGHHH.

    like that awesome time when this one guy had told me explicitly that he wanted to get in my pants. at some point, i didn’t think this a half-bad idea. so i gave him full opportunity to go ahead, and then he ~*suddenly remembered*~ that he had a girlfriend.

    *facepalm*

    no, getting laid isn’t easy when you’re a girl. and it’s mostly to do with people being, uh, people.

    ps these comments aren’t meant to be an ‘OMG LOOK AT MY SEXUAL ESCAPADES’ weird naval-gazing thing. but i’m trying to give real-life examples of why precisely finding sex is not ‘easy’ as a woman. because, uh, i’ve unfortunately had a couple too many stupid run-ins with people while on the search for casual sex.

  118. Lorelei says:

    i don’t know why doing that would be any better than informing someone who’d been flirting with you for two months that you’d fuck them. i just feel like if someone had explicitly told me that they’d have sex with me and i’d been talking to them and flirting with them for awhile, i’d be like OKAY GOOD I WAS WONDERING.

    maybe that’s just me. it wouldn’t be the first time i was socially awkward. :\

  119. Hector B. says:

    We all tend to be suspicious of things that seem too good to be true. He might have been wondering “What’s the catch?” or “Is this a joke?” or even “Am I on TV?” Or maybe it stems from some cruel disappointment back in his youth, like someone telling him he was going to get a pony for Christmas.

    Or maybe he simply didn’t feel “fellatio-fresh,” and was wondering how he could wash his pee-pee on campus.

  120. Alana says:

    “I just want to send him Linda Kerber’s book No Consistutional Rights to be Ladies.”
    And I’d like to send him The Elements of Style. Sweet Jesus.

  121. Robbespierre says:

    Hi – I think a lot of the confusion stems from the fact that there is no real defintition of “feminism”. I for one don’t think that feminism as such is responsible for the dating problems of socially maladroit men in our society – however, human mating is today a lot less socially constrained/constructed. Plus, there’s possibly an unintended consequence of feminist discourse regarding male violence, as laid out in the comments to this thread – feminist guilt – that is affecting those guys who are in fact listening to what woman say and seem to believe that every expression of their sexuality towards women would be seen as violent.

    Those aren’t necessarily the “nice guys” referred to here, but they may appear to look a lot like them.

    To quote from the quite good article –

    To summarize, I identify several overlapping ways in which some men (often non-masculine men who identify with females and are sympathetic to feminist concerns) might be impaired in interactions with women by listening to feminism, other than being sexists who are unhappy that feminism prohibits their sexism:

    1. hyper-self-consciousness about harassing women, objectifying women, or being sexist to them, resulting in decreased comfort and spontaneity around women
    2. fear of showing their own sexuality due to internalizing negative female/feminist perceptions of male sexuality
    3. fear or hesitance making any initiatives, from asking women out to physical advances, in order not to pressure them
    4. guilt that making physical advances on women is somehow molesting them, regardless of any consent or participation they display

    I don’t claim that every male who listens to feminism will have these difficulties, or that even every shy or feminine male will have them. I have no idea how prevalent they are, and I doubt that the list is complete (actually, there is at least one more item, but I will save it for another post). I would be interested to hear from anyone else who has experienced what I describe. I would also be interested in hearing counter-examples to this analysis: feminist men who feel that they are successful in finding the sex and relationships they are looking for with women, and/or that feminism does not impair their ability to do so.

    Oh, btw, maybe someone should tell Josh that he may want to try dating REAL feminists, as they, interestingly, appear to have a slightly less pronounced interest in partners with what are generally considered “masculine” features… here –

    Koyama, N.F., McGain, A. & Hill, R.A. 2004. Self-reported mate preferences and ‘femimst’ attitudes regarding marital relations. Evolution and Human Behavior 25(5): 327-335

  122. Raging Moderate says:

    Because the only question is why he would be “pretending” to be her friend. Apparently there’s no chance that he would be hanging around because he really IS her friend. You know, cuz he likes her as a person, not just a walking vagina. Stupid girl, to think that could actually be that case.

    There is much truth to that line in “When Harry Met Sally”:

    “Because no man can be friends with a woman that he finds attractive. He always wants to have sex with her.”

    Not a universal truth mind you, but pretty damn close.

  123. jfpbookworm says:

    Lorelei:

    so he followed me out like i expected him to. the next logical thing to do would be to pull me aside and make out with me, right? NO. he just kinda stands there, dumbstruck, and says, ‘wait. really?’

    ‘yes, my friend, really.’

    I think I understand what’s going on in his mind. He’s weighing two possibilities: either you’re serious, or you’re playing some kind of trick on him. I know that in middle and high school, I had a hard time distinguishing between people who were interested in me and people who were just being cruel.

    Hector:

    Simply invite him to your place. Tell him to bring a bottle of wine.

    This is not an improvement, because then what are you supposed to do when you want to invite someone over for dinner/drinks but not have sex? Sometimes, I want to invite female friends over to my apartment to watch Heroes; it’s game-playing like that (and the attitude of “it’s her fault if anything bad happens”) that makes that such a needlessly complicated proposition.

  124. jfpbookworm says:

    Robbespierre:

    Plus, there’s possibly an unintended consequence of feminist discourse regarding male violence, as laid out in the comments to this thread – feminist guilt – that is affecting those guys who are in fact listening to what woman say and seem to believe that every expression of their sexuality towards women would be seen as violent.

    That guilt is a lot more patriarchal than feminist. It’s what I call “Just Say No Means No,” and it’s a combination of internalizing the feminist message of respecting women’s agency and the patriarchal messages that sex is immoral, good girls don’t think about/want sex, etc., and combining them into a model of sexuality wherein sex is something that men inflict on women who don’t really want it. And voila, you’ve got the Nice Guy who sees any overt sexuality as the domain of the “jerk.” (It’s also convenient if you’re afraid of sex, as a lot of young Nice Guys are.)

    Calling it “feminist guilt” or blaming it on feminism implies that the solution is to remove the feminist side of things, and simply stop caring about women, rather than acknowledge their agency.

  125. preying mantis says:

    “Plus, there’s possibly an unintended consequence of feminist discourse regarding male violence, as laid out in the comments to this thread – feminist guilt – that is affecting those guys who are in fact listening to what woman say and seem to believe that every expression of their sexuality towards women would be seen as violent.”

    Pretty much every guy I’ve run across who was like that had serious issues with his sexuality and self-worth completely independent of whatever -ism he had or had not embraced. And that’s assuming they’re being sincere, rather than over-reacting to criticism in order to silence it or get it watered down.

  126. Roy says:

    There is much truth to that line in “When Harry Met Sally”:

    “Because no man can be friends with a woman that he finds attractive. He always wants to have sex with her.”

    Not a universal truth mind you, but pretty damn close.

    Oh, come on! Seriously?

    I don’t buy that for a second. I’m really tired of this tired piece of bullshit “common wisdom”. It’s offensive and ridiculous. This notion that men think more strongly with their dicks than their minds is annoying and harmful, and, quite frankly, it hurts men, despite the fact that it’s usually presented as some kind of weird justification for the behavior of men.

    Why, exactly are men supposedly unable to have sincere friendships with women they find attractive? What is it about thinking that someone is sexually attractive that precludes you from also appreciating that person as a human being? From appreciating things like that persons: sense of humor? political leanings? taste in movies? advice on great restaurants? love of books? etc etc?

    If you’re unable to have a meaningful relationship with someone just because you happen to think that person is hot, too- that’s your problem, it’s not a problem with being a man. It’s not some biological impreritive, it’s a choice you’re making. It’s a choice to value a person’s physical attractiveness over the opportunity for a meaningful friendship.

    Oddly enough, I find that I, and most of the men in my life, are quite able to maintain friendships with women that we also find attractive. I find that I’m quite able to understand that my finding a woman attractive doesn’t mean that we will ever have sex. In fact, I’ve discovered that my finding a woman sexually attractive doesn’t even mean that I always want to have sex with her.

    I’m so tired of seeing that line presented as anything remotely resembling a “universal truth”, even with the hedge that it’s not always true- just most of the time. If it’s true most of the time, it’s not because it’s necessarily a truth- but because people are choosing to make it one.

    You’ll pardon me if I feel the desire to run screaming, now.

  127. ACG says:

    A very dear and cherished friend of mine recently said to me something akin to the following: “You know, I keep reading on Feministe and Pandagon and stuff [see what a great guy he is?] about ‘Nice Guys,’ and I completely see where they’re coming from. And then I find myself saying stuff like, ‘Hey, I’m a nice guy. Why can’t I get a date?’ And when I catch myself saying that, I feel awful, because I don’t want to be a ‘Nice Guy,’ but at the same time… Help me out here.”

    My explanation to him was that it’s all about pattern recognition, and I really do think that that’s the underlying problem of the Nice Guy (well, that and entitlement). When we went down the list of women he’d recently pursued, they universally fell into the category of “brutally hot” (by his description). “You’re basically pursuing these women out of no other desire than to Git With the Hot Chick,” I explained. “And they can sense that. That’s what makes you a Nice Guy instead of just a good guy. Start looking at women based on their personal characteristics and not their physical ones, and you’ll probably have better luck.” Has his dating life improved? Dunno. But he spends more time around women who seem to truly enjoy his presence, which is, at the very least, Step 1.

  128. ACG says:

    Thinking about it, another friend, far less dear and cherished, recently told me he loved talking with me because he could never find a woman who “stimulated [him] intellectually.” I posited that this was because he was an asshole, and all of the really smart women could peg that right away. He conceded.

    I also pointed out that insisting on a barely-postpubescent woman of Barbie proportions and appearance was narrowing his field significantly, and that if he were really interested in intellectual stimulation, he might want to make that a first priority. He conceded that as well, but made the point that, in the end, he was really more interested in being visually stimulated.

    It’s more than even that, though. It’s the status. A truly nice guy could easily find a companion, or even a fuck buddy, if that’s all he was looking for. My friend could easily find an intellectually stimulating companion, if that was all he was really looking for. But he wants a hot chick, and not because there’s any special value inherent in a hot chick that makes her a better companion than any other, but because that reflects well on him.

    Basically, Nice Guys aren’t looking for companions, they’re looking for status symbols. And any guy whose greatest concern is his own image isn’t a nice one.

  129. SarahMC says:

    ACG, I wish I could transmit your last two posts to all the Nice Guys out there, because it perfectly sums everything up.
    It’s not that Nice Guys “can’t get a date;” they just can’t get a date with the hottest woman in the room.
    Unless you look like Brad Pitt, you’re probably not gonna hook up w/ Angelina. And it’s not because Angelina’s a bitch. After all, YOU’RE ignoring all the average-looking girls just like Angelina’s ignoring you. Sorry!
    So lower your physical standards and give all the other women/girls in the world some consideration.

  130. antiprincess says:

    So lower your physical standards and give all the other women/girls in the world some consideration.

    “lower”? ouch!

    I hate to think that any man (nice or not) has to “lower” his standards to find me attractive. or any woman who doesn’t look like This Week’s Most Beautiful Woman In The World.

    because I think I look fine, despite my lack of Beautiful Woman creds.

    it’s a minor quibble, to be sure, but how about “broaden” or “expand” or “diversify” instead of “lower”?

    not trying to get all newspeak euphemism-y on y’all, but the idea of “lowering” one’s standards in order to allow for attraction to just-plain-women seems a little harsh.

  131. Jill says:

    There is much truth to that line in “When Harry Met Sally”:

    “Because no man can be friends with a woman that he finds attractive. He always wants to have sex with her.”

    Not a universal truth mind you, but pretty damn close.

    Yeah that’s one of the dumbest things I’ve ever heard.

    Also, since when is it impossible to want to have sex with someone and be friends with them?

  132. SarahMC says:

    You’re right antiprincess. “Broaden” or “expand” would definitely have been better word choices. “Lower” is demeaning. But you know what I was trying to say, right?

  133. SarahMC says:

    Also, since when is it impossible to want to have sex with someone and be friends with them?

    I know, right? God forbid you actually like the woman you’re having sex with.

  134. lindsaypw says:

    Ugh every time I hear chivalry is dead I want to scream, “Yeah, thank God!” Chivalry sucks. I can open my own fucking door.

  135. antiprincess says:

    I get you, SarahMC.

  136. Schmorgluck says:

    Robbespierre brought out an interesting (though largely debatable) point, but I concur with preying mantis’ saying it’s related to many other things, including issues with self-worth and sexuality.
    I’d like to point out that there’s also a tragic lack of positive models of behaviour for men. And to many people (in this case, shy men), when entering an uncertain and mysterious territory of human relationships (in this case, sex), said models of behaviours, even loose ones (actually, preferably loose ones) are pretty essential not to get completely lost in the dark.
    Their lack is not a consequence of feminism, though, it’s a consequence of a conservatism that prevents them to properly emerge in culture. It’s a consequence of the still-to-overcome marginality of feminism, ultimately.

  137. grendelkhan says:

    I do think that Steve‘s commentary is an accurate summary of the thought process that leads Nice Guys to their resentment, and an example of how suffering does not confer inherent nobility, no matter how neato that would be. He didn’t, however, draw the obvious conclusion from this, which is that Nice Guys end up a lot happier (and cause much less misery for others) once they pull up their damned socks and stop feeling so sorry for themselves.

    Hector B. [#40]: Unfortunately, a girl who treats you like a girlfriend will never see you as a boyfriend.

    I call bullshit, based on my experience. Every one of the relationships I’ve had were with people I’d started off being friends with, people who had all at least once complained to me about their significant others when they were still involved with them.

    Then again, they all seemed surprised when I didn’t lose interest in them as people after hooking up with them. I blame people like you, Hector.

    preying mantis [#82]: most places have laws relegating [teenage girls] to their peer group for sex partners

    Did this strike anyone else as a creepy roundabout way of complaining about statutory rape laws?

    Lorelei [#105]: in any case, i didn’t write in the campus paper about it.

    See, you totally should have.

    Cola Johnson [#108]: Also, assholes who want to pay for dinner eventually start asking why you don’t pay for your half (it’s happened more than once for me). That’s why I don’t let men pay.

    I’m terribly cheap, so I never had the first part of that situation, but recently I was talking to a friend of a friend, who asked how my significant other and I split the cost of dates. I explained that we usually each paid for ourselves when we went out, as remembering who got the bill past time got tiresome. He looked at me in awe and mouthed words that looked like “the Grail…”. I’m not kidding.

    How on earth do other people do it?

  138. Hector B. says:

    This old old study suggests that couples tend to be comparably physically attractive (also, that people lie about how important being physically attractive is to them):
    http://faculty.babson.edu/krollag/org_site/soc_psych/berscheid_attract.html

  139. Woodrow L. Goode, IV says:

    1. The writer of the op-ed is the flipside of the women who complains that there “aren’t any good guys out there.”

    2. Many people– representing all four sexes (male, female, gay, lesbian)– do atrocious jobs of selecting partners, usually due to their preconditions.

    3. Anyone who believes they can prove that one of the four sexes is worse than the other the sexes is delusional. Anecdotal evidence is merely proof of your bias (whatever that might be).

    4. I agree with the When Harry Met Sally quote (if applied to every sex). Our culture considers friendship to be less desirable than romance or (if you’re not in the market for that) sex. If you have a friend of the opposite sex and you’re just friends, you’re thought to be falling short of perfection to some degree.

  140. MJ says:

    I’m terribly cheap, so I never had the first part of that situation, but recently I was talking to a friend of a friend, who asked how my significant other and I split the cost of dates. I explained that we usually each paid for ourselves when we went out, as remembering who got the bill past time got tiresome. He looked at me in awe and mouthed words that looked like “the Grail…”. I’m not kidding.

    How on earth do other people do it?

    Usually, a combination of the person who suggested going out pays, and taking turns paying for our habitual dates. This tends to balance out, as the week its my turn to pay for Sunday breakfast, its usually not my turn pay for something else. If I feel like splurging, its my treat. Or, with an earning differential, my partner will pick up the bill at the more expensive restaurant, and I’ll get the next bill for something less expensive.

    Or, whoever feels like it.

  141. Robbespierre says:

    JFPBookworm,

    That guilt is a lot more patriarchal than feminist. It’s what I call “Just Say No Means No,” and it’s a combination of internalizing the feminist message of respecting women’s agency and the patriarchal messages that sex is immoral, good girls don’t think about/want sex, etc., and combining them into a model of sexuality wherein sex is something that men inflict on women who don’t really want it. And voila, you’ve got the Nice Guy who sees any overt sexuality as the domain of the “jerk.” (It’s also convenient if you’re afraid of sex, as a lot of young Nice Guys are.)

    Calling it “feminist guilt” or blaming it on feminism implies that the solution is to remove the feminist side of things, and simply stop caring about women, rather than acknowledge their agency.

    Very good points. Except that I think “feminism” IS perceived by many people as a movement still burning bras and claiming that “every penetration is rape.” That may not have much to do with much of today’s feminism, but that doesn’t change the public perception, I suppose.

    And I don’t think the author stated he wants to remove the feminist side of things as such (in fact, they have a section on “what feminism got right”), he just pointed out that it may have had unforeseen (problematic) consequences for some, which, I think, is a fair point to make. But I agree on the importance of deeply C/conservative moral threads here as well.

    Btw, “anti-sex feminism” and c/Conservative movements of any kind have formed at least implied coalitions on a couple of issues…

    Preying mantis:

    Pretty much every guy I’ve run across who was like that had serious issues with his sexuality and self-worth completely independent of whatever -ism he had or had not embraced. And that’s assuming they’re being sincere, rather than over-reacting to criticism in order to silence it or get it watered down.

    Also a very good point. Still, I just wanted to mention that there is a way feminism could be an issue in this matter, if only by accident. And that point isn’t invalidated simply by saying that these guys/many of these guys have a lot of other issues and are looking for a scapegoat, which many of them are probably doing.

    Schmorgluck:

    I don’t think that feminism is a universal gender rights movement, so I don’t think it will solve all gender related problems, certainly not for men. That said, I agree that there is a serious problem of appropriate role models for men which is not related to feminism.

  142. Pyre says:

    grendelkhan [#137] wrote:

    I’m terribly cheap, so I never had the first part of that situation, but recently I was talking to a friend of a friend, who asked how my significant other and I split the cost of dates. I explained that we usually each paid for ourselves when we went out, as remembering who got the bill past time got tiresome. He looked at me in awe and mouthed words that looked like “the Grail…”. I’m not kidding.How on earth do other people do it?

    In my youth, this was called “going Dutch” (or “dining Dutch” or a “Dutch date”), and wasn’t at all uncommon. Has the term become obsolete? Has the practice become so rare?

  143. Pyre says:

    On Wikipedia: Going Dutch

  144. micheyd says:

    representing all four sexes (male, female, gay, lesbian)

    Four sexes?? You know lesbians are, um, women, right? *chuckle*

  145. Roy says:

    Many people– representing all four sexes (male, female, gay, lesbian)– do atrocious jobs of selecting partners, usually due to their preconditions.

    I’m sorry, but when, exactly, did “gay” and “lesbian” become sexes, instead of sexualities? If you’re going to call those sexes, why isn’t “straight” a sex, since it’s more comparable to “gay” and “lesbian” than “male” or “female” are? Did I flier go around and I missed it?

    I agree with the When Harry Met Sally quote (if applied to every sex). Our culture considers friendship to be less desirable than romance or (if you’re not in the market for that) sex. If you have a friend of the opposite sex and you’re just friends, you’re thought to be falling short of perfection to some degree.

    That treats two different forces as though they’re one and the same. It treats social or cultural perception as though it’s the same as self perception.

    I don’t give a rats ass if other people think that I’m falling short of perfection by having friends of the opposite sex- that means nothing in regards to the sincerity of our friendship. It’s our perception of the friendship that matters. If I’m capable- and I believe that I am- of being friends with women- even women that I think are attractive- without having, or even wanting to have, sex with them, why should I care whether some random person on the street thinks that I’m failing in some way?

  146. preying mantis says:

    “And that point isn’t invalidated simply by saying that these guys/many of these guys have a lot of other issues and are looking for a scapegoat, which many of them are probably doing.”

    It doesn’t invalidate it, but it does punt it into Not Feminism’s Problem territory. I’m not seeing how feminism is supposed to be the problem in this equation. And if it’s not the problem, what exactly are you trying to accomplish by bringing it up? “Well, feminism’s not the problem, but still, look at all the damage it’s doing to these poor men! Look at all the angst they’re suffering on account of it existing!” It really looks like you’re either asking women to please, think of the poor, fragile men when they go around demanding not to be treated like mobile RealDolls or trying to pack a load of guilt onto something for no reason.

    Seriously, here. Some guys who already have pretty serious issues with themselves are exposed to either a perfectly legitimate argument or the “public perception” of a perfectly legitimate argument that they then see no need to investigate further, and consequently have a new framework to hang their issues on. Does this sound like the perfectly legitimate argument’s problem, or does it sound like the problem of the individual who’s having the fucked up response? Hint: the individual who has issues with themselves is going to have a fucked up response to pretty much anything, so removing, diluting, or otherwise altering the perfectly legitimate argument does precisely jackshit to help them.

  147. Eurosabra says:

    Lorelei,

    Obviously you’re frying the circuitry by starting at the end of the process, and you’re exercising a ferocious amount of female privilege by not making the first physical move. A guy who did the same–a blanket declaration of readiness for sex, followed by a cig and “You know where to find me”–would be a sexual harasser, or would be replicating the procedure of sexual harassment, even if the advances were welcomed. Approaching someone for sex is either very hard, or very easy, and I think when dealing with young men you run the risk of making them think it’s a joke, a trap to mock them, by such a “one step forward two steps back” procedure. The ironic awareness contained in “Yes, my friend, really” hints at an innate playfulness you could really turn to your advantage, and I think you’re just getting the signals crossed a little bit, and playfully getting into proximity and mild contact would have sealed it…(Smile) “Yes, my friend” (reach for his hand), “REALLY.” (Smile and squeeze hand meaningfully.) Minimal contact, maximal results, and you don’t do anything too disruptive in public, if that’s a concern.

    You are awesome in lots of cool ways, including the restraint of no op-ed writing.

  148. Robbespierre says:

    It doesn’t invalidate it, but it does punt it into Not Feminism’s Problem territory.

    No, it’s not feminism’s problem per se. Theoretically. But it would be good for feminism AND for those guys if more feminists would acknowledge that they’re not misandrist, not claiming that having a penis means being a rapist, and, possibly, actually distance themselves from those feminists who in fact are still claiming all of the above. That would go a long way, as I see it. Sure, you can claim that public perception doesn’t matter for “a perfectly legitimate argument”, but I think you don’t actually believe that yourself… (I think there’s a place in heaven where all the perfectly legitimate arguments hang out that weren’t acted upon because of a public misrepresentation)…

  149. zuzu says:

    But it would be good for feminism AND for those guys if more feminists would acknowledge that they’re not misandrist, not claiming that having a penis means being a rapist, and, possibly, actually distance themselves from those feminists who in fact are still claiming all of the above.

    We spend plenty of time setting people straight about strawfeminists already. How about putting the burden on the people who keep creating those strawfeminists once in a while?

  150. preying mantis says:

    “Sure, you can claim that public perception doesn’t matter for “a perfectly legitimate argument””

    For one thing, that’s a completely different kettle of fish. For another thing, what the hell does that have to do with what I wrote? I mean, unless you’re trying to say that, because feminism exists and doesn’t spend so much time trying to dispel willfully-held and -repeated misconceptions about it that there’s no man–no matter how lazy, self-hating, deluded, or misinformed–left ignorant, feminism is responsible for guys who attribute their conviction that their penises are barometers of evil to feminism-as-described-on-Fark.

    “But it would be good for feminism AND for those guys if more feminists would acknowledge that they’re not misandrist, not claiming that having a penis means being a rapist, and, possibly, actually distance themselves from those feminists who in fact are still claiming all of the above. That would go a long way, as I see it.”

    The fact that you aren’t aware that this happens a lot already probably says way more about how truly interested and concerned you are about feminism than is strictly flattering.

  151. Robbespierre says:

    preying mantis –

    see how you’re trying to push me in a corner? I am indeed aware that this is a problem for many modern feminists (some of which are good friends of mine, but no comment on Harry and Sally ;)) – however if “happening a lot” is sufficient in the sense I was referring to is clearly a matter of perception in itself. I don’t think so, as I said before.

    How about putting the burden on the people who keep creating those strawfeminists once in a while?

    zuzu –

    Well, let’s recapitulate – a) alleged “nice guy” complains about how feminism “took the girls away”, b) feminists complain that alleged “nice guy” doesn’t get it and blames them for his problems. c) long discussion ensues.

    Why this post, why the discussion if there is nothing to talk about, if this public perception isn’t concerning feminism/feminists at all? So yeah, you could just tell every Josh around the world to go to the next public library and brush up his knowledge about Simone de Beauvoir, the feminist sex wars and Judith Butler. Chances are that’s not gonna happen. Yet chances are also that feminism will still be publicly perceived as “bra burning” and emasculating due to the amount of shrill voices in the public realm. And those shrill voices are the problem for all the Joshes and, in turn – as we can readily witness right on this page – for those feminists who do care what the Joshes think – and write. So, no, I don’t think the burden of proof will shift anytime soon.

  152. Roy says:

    But it would be good for feminism AND for those guys if more feminists would acknowledge that they’re not misandrist, not claiming that having a penis means being a rapist, and, possibly, actually distance themselves from those feminists who in fact are still claiming all of the above.

    All three of which happen on a regular basis, from what I can see. How much louder do feminists have to shout “We don’t hate men!” before it counts?

    One problem with this tactic is that it’s a total time sink. It’s not productive. If a guy is going to be convinced of the merits of feminism, it’s not going to be because someone says “Hey, feminists don’t actually hate men” it’s going to be because someone points out all of the shitty things that a patriarchical system results in, and the benefits of an equitable social system. Is there some value in making sure that the message gets out that feminists are bunch of man hating womyns out to crush all men (because they’re rapists, don’tchaknow?)?

    Sure, probably.

    I just don’t see that feminists have failed to do that.

    The problem isn’t with the ways that feminists present themselves, it’s with the ways that other people present them. We can spend our time and energy trying to shout louder than the people who are misrepresenting us, or we can make sure we counter the message in some way, and spend the bulk of our time addressing the actual issues in the hopes that anyone worth having on our side will eventually see through the opposition’s mud slinging and be persuaded by, you know, the actual content of our message.

    Personally, I think that the former is a waste of time- I’m never going to be able to be as loud or as obnoxious as some of feminisms more vocal opponents. Not only am I incapable, but I’m not interested in becoming a person like that.

  153. Mama Bear says:

    Is this Josh guy’s last name “Dermer?”

    http://joshdermer.blogspot.com/

  154. Robbespierre says:

    The problem isn’t with the ways that feminists present themselves, it’s with the ways that other people present them.

    I don’t think it’s just that. I mean, if I were trying to get an idea what feminism is about and I ventured, say, into the feminist blogosphere, I’d probably get shot for asking questions at “I blame the patriarchy”, but I’d probably not get an accurate impression of what feminism is about today. And I think the same is true for people shaping opinions about feminism. There is indeed “some value in making sure that the message gets out that feminists are bunch of man hating womyns out to crush all men (because they’re rapists, don’tchaknow?)?”, simply because those who actually hold that view may are constantly broadcasting it, while the majority of much more reasonable people apparently don’t feel that need.

  155. Robbespierre says:

    oh, and because I did not mention it before – I love the SuperNiceGuy image above!

  156. ACG says:

    Oh. Emm. Gee. I suppose this is kind of blog-pimping, but I had to link to this, because a) it’s a guy who seems to have it figured out, and b) I taught him everything he knows. Kind of. Sigh. My little boy is growing up!

  157. ACG says:

    And Robbespierre, the reason that feminists don’t need to waste their time convincing the world that feminists aren’t man-haters is that a) everything that Roy said, b) people are more convinced by what you do than what you say, and if what we’ve done hasn’t convinced them that we aren’t man-haters, no amount of “But we LOVES the menz!” is going to do it, and c) feminists aren’t Josh’s problem and never have been.

    Josh’s problem (as mentioned in the link I posted in a comment still in moderation) is that women aren’t all formulaic and identical such that open door + pull out chair + pay for dinner = automatic genital access. Women are different and like different things. And that’s not because feminists have ruined them; it’s because women are human beings and not robots (Heineken KegWoman notwithstanding).

    Josh would never go out and just buy a Yankees hat for his guy friend because guys like Yankees. If he did buy a hat for his friend and his friend said, “Dude, I’m a Red Sox fan. If you’d bothered to ask, you’d know that,” he wouldn’t get all pissed off and say, “All I wanted to do was do something nice for you, and you can’t even let me do that! What is with you men? I’m just not going to ever buy you a present again, is what I’m going to do. See how you like that. You brought it on yourself.” And he’s not going to blame some masculinist conspiracy on his inability to advance his friendship with his guy griend.

    But because we’re women, and not people with differing preferences and values and ideals, we can be expected to take the Yankees hat and say, “Oh, thank you! You’re so thoughtful! I’ll just put this up on the wall with all of my Red Sox memorabilia and then give you a beejer right away!” And if we don’t do that, it’s feminisms fault, and it’s feminists’ jobs to apologize for that.

  158. Eurosabra says:

    One unspoken part of the NiceGuy phenomenon, which these guys are only groping at (ha!) in an inchoate way, is the way in which the dominance-submission paradigm appears to work, at least with younger women: gendered power imbalances turn chicks on, at least from the perspective of an early 20s low-dominance male. Lots of men are (from their point of view) heading for a future in which (in the immortal words of Beavis): “We’ll have jobs, and we’ll scrub the grill, and we still won’t score.” An odd mix of entitlement and frustration, of course, but at least entire subcultures of men are aware of the dynamics among women who are making stereotypical, patriarchal “femininity” work for them, with display, and status-seeking, and all that good stuff. http://www.feministcritics.org had a rather good series of posts on that, as well as the theme of “‘Just Say No’ Means ‘No.'”

  159. Will says:

    I’d like to posit one theory about Josh that I haven’t seen in the comments yet (partially because there are some arguments I’ve seen here that remind me of my own too-recent-for-comfort past):
    While “God” doesn’t show up, he does actually use the word “haroltry” and pretty much denounces casual sex (especially if the woman in question actually has the gall to enjoy it.)
    Imagine if instead of the USC paper, this was in, say, Bob Jones U’s paper (assuming they have one). Josh wants a nice respectable Stepford Wife, and for life to resemble 50s TV sitcoms. Josh doesn’t seem to have a progressive or even positive view of sex at all from the purple-prose ridden article, so why assume he’s being nice to get laid? And is it somehow better or worse that he’s being nice to land trophy girlfriend/wife?

  160. Popenstein says:

    I think the most important thing that needs to be said here is that everyone is different. Every girl doesn’t want a nice guy, but guess what, some do. Sometimes, a quiet, nerdy, or shy guy does in fact end up with someone. Actually, this seems to happen a lot! Also, many girls are attracted to jerks who beat them or treat them like garbage! And then some are attracted to the average guy, who doesn’t treat them like a princess but doesn’t treat them poorly either.

    Also, many of those nice guys aren’t just quiet jerks (even though there are many of those). Others are actually just the types who are afraid of rejection or other innocent reasons.

    With that said: This Josh fellow certainly debases women in general, but some of what he says can apply to women who complain about obvious jerk guys instead of seeking out quiet, secret jerk guys (or maybe, luckily, non-jerk guys).

  161. LC says:

    Lorelei: Ok, the months of flirting change the dynamic a lot. As someone who has told people “I’d bed you in a heartbeat” myself, I think you have encountered a truth rarely spoken of. Lots of people like sex. Lots of people may even like the thought of sex with *you*. But also, lots of people don’t want sex *right now*. And yes, that includes men.

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  164. Rochus says:

    Linguistically, the smart thing the text does is to personify chivalry: it retreated, it died, it did whatever. Of course, chivalry is doing nothing, it’s people who do, or do not, act with chivalry (and whether that’s a good thing or not, really depends).

    By personifying chivalry, however, one needs not discuss the complex personal and political problems at work, and the people who do them.

    Oh, and:

    I so want to be a lean mean emasculating machine.

    @Michelle (1): I so love that.

  165. Craig says:

    Firstly,

    “I so want to be a lean mean emasculating machine.”

    You better be joking for the sake of every real decent man out there.

    Secondly, why to this day are we still fighting over petty/exaggerated/minuscule gender differences? Surely this is more of a people issue than a gender issue. It would do everyone good if everyone could end this ridiculously childish battle of the sexes and treat each other like humans instead of treating each other like different species. Of course, this is never going to happen as long as feminism and its counter-part exist.

    I’m male, as you may have guessed by the name, but guess what! I display none of the behaviours outlined in this article. I hold a door open for absolutely anyone regardless, male or female, they’re humans at the end of the day.

    Feminism may or may not have killed chivalry, but it did kill my, and many other peoples’, faith in humankind.

    And if you’re wondering how I ended up on this site even though I disagree with mindless sexist battles, StumbleUpon has brought me here at least 10 times and mindless misandryist headlines never fail to catch my eye.

    So how about we treat each other as humans?

  166. Jordan says:

    I fucking hate feminists.

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