Thursday, July 14, 2005

Final Thoughts on the Myth of the Nice Guy

This is a topic that apparently won't die. Of course, I'm referring to that mythological creature, and folk hero; the nice guy - destined for romantic failure, and loneliness. The poor sap who gets dumped by the princess like a cold-hearted gangsta in favor of the jerk who treats her like shit. We know you so very well, you unsung hero. Well, I suppose it's time to unleash a little bit of reality. You see sometimes when people have been in a relationship for a while, they get, for lack of a better word, "bored." Especially when they are young. They start to wonder about what else is out there. They question their willingness to commit to something without having "tested the waters" in a substantial way. Sometimes shits just not working out and someone is in denial, and they make it worse with an unattatractive clingyness due to a need for a constant reciprocation of assurance. Lots of shit happens.

And so someone finally moves on. Sometimes, in hindsight, this is a mistake. Sometimes you later realize that good people aren't a dime a dozen. And sometimes two good decent people just simply don't really belong together, and only one of the two realizes it. Sometimes it's a good move. Sometimes it's not. But it's a perfectly normal thing that perfectly normal human beings go through. It's so common as to be tedious. So why does this paricular archetype get encoded into our cultural understanding in such a passive-aggressive way? Why does on the one hand, reaction to this kind of situation, one we've probably all been through or will go through one day, become represented in the cliche, "all men are assholes?" While on the other hand the cliche becomes "women only date insensitive assholes, 'nice guys' are fucked?" I don't really know, but I'd bet Amanda Marcotte does. If I had to take a wild stab at it, I'd say it has a lot to do with people allowing their personal drama to drive them fugazi. Recent heartbreak can make you pretty misogynist, or on the other hand, whatever the big word for man-hater is. So can also, I imagine, routinely striking out with bitches that are way out of your league. So there's that stuff. Plus, you know, whatever mandypandy thinks. But why do men create something so much more passive-aggressive than woman do? I confess I'm stumped.

Hmmm....hmm...hmmm... well, we gotta put something down to make the proffessor think we at least tried, so... I think there's probably a lack of respect for a woman's agency in there. It goes back to the whole notion of seduction. The notion that there's some method short of rape to tricking a woman into copulating with you against her wishes. And that this is a very bad thing to do. Because what does a woman have, if not her purity? The scummy jerk, without any regard at all for the terrible consequence a penetrated vagina must endure, uses his powers to overcome the natural pedestalized purity of the femme in white gowns to violate the temple (Note, I'm using "temple" as a euphemism for "vadge" here. Completely novel, I know. I am most definitely a genius). He likewise uses those same strange mysterious asshole powers, which are apparently like catnip for unsuspecting women, to get her to leave her nice, decent, well-meaning boyfriend and join him on the darkside. So it's not really the woman making a decision to leave. It's the guy who's the asshole, because he's the one with agency. And what's the best evidence that he's an asshole? His total lack of regard and recognition that that particular witless and unsuspecting female had been claimed. She had been CLAIMED!!! Damn you! Even if she does have agency, what little she has, you had no right provoking!

Okay, I'm done now.


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