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Backlash against the “Nice Guy” in light of “Virgin Rampage”

June 6, 2014

Now with a nerdy male virgin going on a rampage, and having complained of being a “nice guy” who didn’t get a chance with women, it seems the blogosphere is going after self-proclaimed “nice guys” or nerds.

You’re Probably Not Really a Nice Guy

The whole “nice guy” thing comes from less “tough” guys seeing the girls favor more “confident” (as he puts it) guys.
But then the women end up not happy with these guys, as with this “confidence” often comes the typical womanizing, and even abuse. Yet they got a chance, and keep getting chances, so the more passive guys then seem “nice” in comparison in the long run. (Only the immediate impression is being looked at, not the big picture).

It seems to be almost a “cultural” thing. Of course, not everyone is like that. It often becomes part of an in practice “package” deal, as this is what society expects of men. You play a game, score, and don’t get tied down, and the women follow their role (tying the man down, often with pregnancy, being “clingy”, etc), and the man doesn’t want that, etc.

“Fun, confident, honest kind guy with a sense of humor”, and “values generosity and compassion”, “doesn’t feel entitled”. That’s a nice ideal, but much harder to find all in one person in practice, because people may put that out there as a front, but what he says about women goes both ways.
Men are real people too (every one of them consisting of good and bad, and all having some deep “issue” or another), not some “hunk” or commodity you can just have custom made to order like that.

So what happens, is that women look for these ideals, but then the outright “users” who play the best game end up scoring the most. (And they DO feel “entitled”. Ever hear them grumble to their friends when the girl doesn’t give them sex? The women really DO sound like “a piece of meat” then, often expressed in rather vulgar terms of one single body part, so it’s not like it’s just the less assertive guys who are guilty of that.
The “entitlement” sense is just from the natural male sex drive on steroids in this sexually saturated culture. But women feel entitled in their own ways too, That’s just human nature).
Of all the guys you hear (in your own life or on TV, etc) who have gotten a lot of women, how many of them are really all those things in the end?

THAT’s what the less confident [professing] “nice guys” are complaining about.

So just giving that one group all this tough talk (like they’re just “insecure bitching drama queens” as he puts it, and not the true “nice guy” the girls want, as if all the guys who are scoring a lot really are THAT perfect) is just one sided. It’s putting the whole problem on one side, now seen as wrongly putting the blame on the other side. But neither extreme is ever right.

And as for the “friend zone” thing, it’s hard to know when to be too assertive and “go for the gusto” (don’t women complain about that?), or whether to start out as friends, and then work from there. So apparently, girls will end up going for the more assertive guy, but once again, not like everything that comes with that package.

He looks like the type of guy, at least in my environment, girls all liked or at least respected, so this seems like a sort of defensive “backlash” thing, even using the same language as the race/economic issues (“entitlement”, etc), and it’s just a total lack of compassion for those not good at playing the game.

In a similar vein,

Your Princess Is in Another Castle: Misogyny, Entitlement, and Nerds
http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/05/27/your-princess-is-in-another-castle-misogyny-entitlement-and-nerds.html

He makes a lot of good points, but Eliot Rodger obviously had a much more serious problem than simply a need to “grow up”. To just apply a simple blanket statement like that oversimplifies the problem and generalizes it to all “nerdy guys”, like they all have the same problem.

This whole thing about “entitlement” is also overgeneralized, and there is some truth in it, but then everyone feels entitled to something. As I said above, that’s human nature.

Again, it sounds just like politics (especially economics and race), where people feeling defensive (including those who feel they rose up from the ranks they’re now criticizing) go after the [still] downcast with a lot of “tough talk”, and that they simply feel “entitled”, and needing to “grow up”, “pull their bootstraps”, “stop whining/self-pitying”, etc. Ironically, in this case, the answer still ends up as having to “earn” it some way, which implies just the same “entitlement” with different criteria.

A lot of people are hurting (in social and other ways in addition to economics or other forms of discrimination), and there often seems to be little compassion, so they self-pity. That’s not the problem; one thing needed is more understanding, not a lot of “when I was a self-pitying a-hole [like you], I … … now you just need to grow up” talk.
For Rodgers, his problems obviously ran much deeper.

I like the way it was reportedly put on a Facebook post (now taken down, it seems):

Just a few words on the speculations that I have heard in the media about Elliot Rodger:

Well-intentioned commentators have have referenced and if may be blunt- projected, cultural and political analysis of what this tortured young soul was all about. He was “Self-Entitled”, a “Whiner” , obviously “Misogynist”, somewhat “Racist”, an “Aspie”…on and on…… It is the hatred of women ….It is his access to guns… It is Wealthy Privileged Kids…. It is Video Games…. He was too “Horny”…. He was too “Prudish”

No. Elliot Rodger was mentally ill. Profoundly so. That is, BY FAR, the takeaway that the world should have about this tragic man.

Sure he expressed that mental illness with extreme misogyny. But don’t try to look into what made Elliot Rodger do what he did in the history of sexism. Find it in the history of mental illness. Of course his “views” on women were depraved and repulsive in the extreme. But they were not “views”…. they were ravings. Ever since that first detailed conversation that I had with him that night on Abbot Kinney, I knew that there was simply NO point in trying to act as his teacher or mentor. What he needed was a DOCTOR.

And yes…. he creeped me out.

A good video on this:

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4 Comments
  1. Similar instance of “tough talk”, though in an almost opposite context. This time, women carry the “Victim” archetype (instead of “unlucky” guys):

    A Gentleman’s Guide to Rape Culture
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/zaron-burnett/guide-to-rape-culture_b_5440553.html

    The stuff he’s saying is for the most part true, but what struck me is where he mentions approaching a female writer he respected, asking her to write an article with him, where she would explain rape culture to him and to male readers and then she stopped returning his emails. He was annoyed and then mad.

    He eventually comes to a realization:

    If rape culture is so important to me I needed to find out for my self what it is. No woman owes me her time just because I want to know about something she inherently understands. No woman should feel she has to explain rape culture to me just because I want to know what it is. No woman owes me shit. I saw how my desire for a woman to satisfy me ran deep. Even my curiosity, a trait that always made me proud, was marred with the same sort of male-centric presumption that fuels rape culture. I expected to be satisfied. That attitude is the problem.

    So a person expects him to understand something he admits not understanding, and she [seems to me] rudely cuts off contact, he takes the blame, and “owns” thinking she “owed” him something, and “desiring a woman to satisfy me”. I didn’t respond, because maybe it’s true in his case. Only he knows what’s inside him.
    He’s using the “tough talk” on himself; however, this point is in inference for all other men; this is supposed to be an example of how ALL men “contribute to this ‘rape culture'”.

    [Edit: functional analysis moved: https://erictb.wordpress.com/2014/11/15/ordering-vs-aligning-the-tefi-vs-tife-difference-in-my-experience-and-self-help-teaching ]

    I again can understand what he’s saying, which is basically about “male dominance”, but I just don’t agree with going about it this way.
    With all this talk about people “using” others for satisfaction, they forget that we all do that, not just men. (A commenter even asked how about how women contribute to rape culture).
    The flipside is women using men for “security” (which then ties into the OP’s article, because “tough guys” are seen as the best potential protectors and providers, so the “nerdy” guys get left out, while the guys who score then end up being the ones more likely to do rape, violence and infidelity).

    So trying to “stick it” to just one group as if they were all bad or the cause of all problems is just not the answer.

    If you changed the subject to the largely parallel issue of race, and justified a black person getting upset because a white writer wanted to coauthor an article asking him to explain racism to him, I would shake my head and figure this is precisely why the conservative backlash (that says we’re just “whining”, and have a hidden ulterior motive for it) has gone on so apparently validated or unchallenged with facts for so long.

    We all the more need to explain it, and explain it clearly and as much as needed (those holding on to racist sentiment have certainly done this, and not expected people to “just get it”, or when they do use “code”, it still clearly gets the message across). And I would be happy that at least the other person wants to try to understand. Its better than the outright denial and defensive blame-reversal of the others.
    But the type of person who would get upset like that is likely the same one who suspects whites being “nice” like that as being “patronizing”, trying to placate their guilt, etc. and thus still operating off of a kind of superiority. So you end up with the same judgment as males: Every white person is “contributing to the culture of racism”.

    Again, there is a grain of truth, and I can understand what they’re saying; but I just find such ways of saying it to be inflammatory, and only evoking defensiveness in the other side, rather than making them understand it. But then, they’re precisely at fault for not “getting it” on their own. To me, it’s just like the Calvinist insistence that God only shows the truth about Himself to some people, but still “holds responsible” everyone else for not “knowing” the truth. Man projects onto God the way he thinks.
    I think a lot more grace is needed in these issues.

  2. All women want a 'good' guy, with a little 'hood' in him
    This is pretty much the “ideal” for many, but when it comes to the actual day to day relationship (getting along together outside of the well dressed [and “fun, confident, honest kind guy with a sense of humor”, etc.] “front” and the good times), that “hood” is what becomes most prominent.

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