Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights

Why I’m Fed Up Of Feminists…

Okay, so I already entered a very dangerous place, as soon as I wrote the title. But if I’m gonna say what I have to say, I might as well go the whole nine yards of a**hole with it. I’m going to enter one brief apologetic statement – I have absolutely no problem with feminism as a movement. But sometimes, those feminists…

I’ll just put it this way. Feminists say the darnedest things…

Yep. Kinda like this…

So, last night, I read an article from a feminist that argues something called the Nice Guy Syndrome – the idea that men are often nice to women simply to deserve the reward of a romantic relationship with them. And, from a very simple place, it’s a very sensible argument. Often times, there are men that get frustrated by the idea that there’s this beautiful young lady that they are attracted to, but never notices their affections. Instead, the girl ends up with a guy that isn’t as caring or compassionate in the guys eyes, or sometimes is even a complete a**hole (like I’m about to be). The guy gets upset, because he’s played all the right cards. He feels slighted, because the person who plays the rights cards shouldn’t lose the game…

When you look at it that way, it makes all the sense in the world, right? But let’s look at it another way…

I get frustrated by the idea that there’s this journalism degree that I’m currently doing, but I never get the attention or grades that I’d like. Eventually, I fail the degree, when everyone else – even people that clearly were not as good as I was – pass. I get upset, because I played all the right cards. I feel slighted, because the person who plays the right cards shouldn’t lose the game…

Look the same? That’s because it is. How does this prove my point? Because it proves that it’s not patriarchal privilege or gender-specific greediness. It’s just an emotion. It’s called jealousy. And anyone that wants someone else or fails a degree can get it. Or anyone that applies for a job, wants a promotion, gets left out of an inheritance or even doesn’t win a lottery. It’s not a man thing. You women can indeed understand.

I have had young women who were upset that I denied their advances, saying that they were good women that could make me happy and insinuated that I was being unfair or selfish somehow. I could hardly go and say, though, that women are nice just to get in relationships with men, for a host of reasons.

  • Firstly, it’s a denial of the fact that the girl’s emotions – she might actually give a sh*t about me as a person.
  • Secondly, it’s a denial of human emotions – people want things, and sometimes get hurt when they can’t get them.
  • Thirdly, it’s a denial of how people build relationships – we do things to gain a person’s trust, to increase our value to that person, to create deeper bonds, and sometimes to elevate relationships. And that’s not evil. I wouldn’t make a cup of tea for my girlfriend just because I’m bored and tea came to mind. But I would if I know she’d appreciate a cup of tea and because I want her to know I appreciate her enough to appreciate what she appreciates and why she appreciates it…a long way of saying I want her to trust, value and commit to me. And if it’s evil because it’s my girlfriend, it would be evil it was my mother, roommate or arch-nemesis as well. So clearly, not evil.

Another good reason is because how we do respond to things like this is something created by the society we live in, but not this patriarchal one that everyone keeps talking about. It’s the meritocratic one that we tried to create. The one where our fantasy books try to give hope through determination and willpower, and our schools and churches all teach of an almost karmic reward for good deeds and positive thought. It’s those ideas that make us believe that, if we try our hardest and do as much good as we can, we will get all the things we want and deserve. And, you know what, when we don’t get it, we get at least a little resentful. But it’s not just men, and it’s not just men’s fault.

So, long story short…

I’m not at all making the argument that the idea that a man is obligated a woman for being nice for her is acceptable or not unfortunate. But I am saying that it’s not specific to men’s interactions with women, or even that it’s specific to people’s reactions to other people. To men, it’s not at all being obligated to a woman, like they’re divided off evenly. It’s not about being owed a man by women either (and we haven’t even addressed homosexuals in this article, I just noticed…shame on me). It’s how we as people view an object of affection or desire, and the truth that the fantasy that good deeds are rewarded according to desire are false.

You can blame the Brothers Grimm for writing stories like ‘Cinderella’ and ‘Six Soldiers of Fortune’. But you can’t blame men (or women) for being the kids that once read those tales. And the quicker we start dealing with that as opposed to finding creative ways to say that men only care about women who give them food, fresh clothes and fellatio, we can start…I dunno…dealing with how we create more meaningful relationships between people.

Word? Word.

22 thoughts on “Why I’m Fed Up Of Feminists…

  1. “I get frustrated by the idea that there’s this journalism degree that I’m currently doing, but I never get the attention or grades that I’d like. Eventually, I fail the degree, when everyone else – even people that clearly were not as good as I was – pass. I get upset, because I played all the right cards. I feel slighted, because the person who plays the right cards shouldn’t lose the game…”

    Are you kidding? A degree is something you put effort into and expect a return (your degree and a good job). Women are not objects that you deposit niceness into and expect sex out of.

    “But I am saying that it’s not specific to men’s interactions with women, or even that it’s specific to people’s reactions to other people.”

    It’s specific to men when they get “slighted” and then use their power over women to harm them physically. Are you serious right now?

    1. I never said that women are objects. I am saying that human beings have desires. We work on those desires, regardless of what they are, and have expectations. It’s not just men doing it, it’s not just women it gets done to, and you absolutely do put effort into relationships and expect returns of some sort from them. I can’t think of another way that relationships get built…and that’s not to say that it’s insincere. It’s just to say that we express the ways we care sometimes through action, and sometimes want that action reciprocated, whether it’s a sibling that you’re reaching out to, a friend that you want to be closer to, or someone you’re romantically interested in. We do deposit niceness, all the time. And we feel slighted when we don’t get the response we thought it should get, regardless of what the desire was.

      1. The complication therein is that we argue that being genuinely nice isn’t and shouldn’t be its own reward, and that people who treat it as a means to an end are equal to those who are nice because it’s the nice thing to be.

    2. I’d also like to say I’m not quite sure where the physical power conversation came from… This is not because I’m ignoring that it happens, but because I’m not sure it’s directly associated to this in general terms. It is true that men sometimes use their power over women. I am not sure that it’s true to say that every man that hears no will assault or be aggressive with the lady that tells her no. I’m not even sure we can comfortably say that a quarter of men who feel that will act like that.

      I am simply saying that they will get jealous or feel hurt for not being able to have the object of their affection when they have tried the only way humans happen to know how to favorably build relationships – by being nice to the person.

      1. We aren’t saying ‘all men’. We’re saying it is a genuine consideration. If a woman doesn’t know you well enough, you pose just as much a threat as anyone else, and it would be problematic to argue that they shouldn’t be so vigilant.
        Feeling jealous is a thing that happens all the time, and healthy expression of it is key. But noteworthy in the Nice Guy argument is the way that the individual expresses how he feels – as if his *entitlement* is paramount, not his feelings; a girl can be friends with a guy that wants her and still be respectful of his *feelings* in very platonic ways, but what the man wants is his *entitlement* to be fed.
        When you, for example, feel hurt by not receiving someone’s affection, you deal with it in very self-reflective ways. The ‘Nice Guy’ attributes it to a sense of not getting something that is definitely owed to him – not just something he worked for and fell short of – and that is a very serious difference not to be glossed over.

      2. I want to be honest in the spirit of making sure we all understand each other – I missed your entitlement argument, Brandon. His entitlement here is part of his feelings – he wanted this girl and worked hard the only way he knows how to try to show her and see if she feels the same. It didn’t work, after all the stories and tales and advice about working for what you want and finally getting it.

        If you want to use that word, then yes, we do want our *entitlement* fed when we tell the girl we care about her. And when we tell our friend we expected more from them, when we write the letter to my boss about that promotion and when stop talking to my twin brother for headbutting me in my mouth. But our entitlement is no more than a mix of feelings – I’ve done right, I deserve something good, and I didn’t get what I imagine that is. It is not at all that men feel that they’re owed women. It’s that this man feels that he should have a shot at this lovely lady when he’s tried to show how special she is to him, and the frustration that showing her worth to him doesn’t mean a thing sometimes…

      3. So are we saying passive-aggression, misogynistic slurs and often the threat of genuine violence is a fit response to not getting what you want – in any circumstance, and especially in the circumstance that the thing that you want is another autonomous human being whose own wants and needs should be taken into account?

  2. I would like to think that the very simple idea of entitlement is something we can agree is wrong. I’d like to think that we understand that women fear violence in a way that men can’t fathom, and are constantly aware that this threat can materialize at any moment – that she can tell a man no and he will not take no for an answer, something men barely experience in comparison. I’d like to think you would understand that if you’re doing something not because it’s right, but to be noticed, then you’re not a nice guy – you care less about the person’s actual feelings and more about your desires. I’d like to think it’s easy to grasp that, while a girl will feel affronted by you refusing her advances, you will never feel like your life may be in danger by refusing in the way that a woman may. Arguing that these very important considerations don’t factor in because you want to compare it to simple jealousies is problematic. People feel jealous; it ain’t pleasant, but it’s okay. The very real patriarchal idea that men who act the part deserve a kind of reward, that men who are nice to girls just because they’re attractive and they want to be with them, is far from that by a longshot when in context of everything else, like the fear of abuse. Men can experience the Nice Girl every once in a while, but never will we be presented in the media as ‘frigid bitches’ for saying no.

    1. You are right to an extent about the entitlement thing…I do believe that, to an extent, it’s right. The reasons why we feel entitled in a meritocracy are good work, hard work, and will – a passionate desire to have or do or be something. If we got rid of entitlement – the idea of deserving after doing – then we’d get rid of merit – the idea of doing in order to deserve – almost simultaneously. In my view, at least…

      I think everyone, you included in particular, can attest to the fact that you’ve done good things and want them noticed. You’ve yelled at someone for not appreciating your efforts. You’ve argued with someone about how much you care about them and that they’re too blind to see (and I am kinda saying all this because you live in the same house with me…lol). Does that mean the things that you did, the effort you made, the care you had comes from a lesser place? That you, and everyone for that matter, would feel better if we did good things and were good people and no one noticed one bit of it? Then I suppose certain people should stop yelling…lol

      And, for the record, we do get the ‘frigid bitch glare’. Everyone does. When a person doesn’t go with someone that is nice, caters to them, works hard to show his affections and have them reciprocated, their friends and family members respond. On more than one occasion I’ve had friends tell me “You have this nice lovely girl trying to give you what you want…why don’t you give her a try? How do you know you don’t have feelings for her when you haven’t even tried with her like that? You’re just confused/picky/don’t know what you really want…” I hardly think that only women have friends like that, or that responses in media differ. It’s how that fantasy is also written – a man can be pursued by a woman that is nice and loving, but go with a woman that is bad for him emotionally or realistically, and after persisting with her desires the man realizes that she was the one all along. I’m not sure where it gets gender-specific…

      1. Well, first of all, you are erasing the line between being in a relationship and not being in one. For context: When you are in a relationship that both parties have clearly outlined what they want out of it, and someone tells you that you aren’t putting in what you have been putting in? This is different from telling someone you want to be in a relationship with that they should put out because you’re a decent guy. I am not being a good friend in order to be noticed, but I am acknowledging that there are serious misconcceptions about what I have done, namely, that I haven’t done it and instead have committed some sin without any evidence. I don’t need to air dirty laundry for you to acknowledge that, do I? To ignore that the two are alike is – no offense – fallacious.
        Second, a glare is different than sitting with your boys and lamenting the fact that all girls never want ‘nice guys’. Girls will tell their girlfriends this, yes, but they won’t vilify you for it – they’ll simply wonder if there is a ‘one’ for them, in the Disney Princess paradigm of a Prince, last name Charming, that they just haven’t met yet. But to some guys, there is a culprit when they are turned down, and it is the girl, because the guy is the victim… of being her friend and not her lover.
        Reason number one, again: if you’re doing it *to be noticed*, you’re not being nice, you’re seeking attention. The truly ‘romanticized’ idealistic concept of being good is that doing the right thing is its own reward. You are friends with your male mates, or older business partners – it would be problematic to argue you want romantic or sexual relations with your best guy friend or your older workplace associate.
        Reason Two: People are picky. This is okay. People don’t know what they want. Also fine. When they argue in these things’ stead that a girl is ‘just being a bitch’ by not accepting a guy, a line has been crossed, and to ignore the presence of that line and the urgent difference of the things they separate is very troubling.

      2. You’re welcome to think it’s fallacious. But I believe I can get a great many people to see the parallel between putting something in and not having that recognized. Because there is an easy-to-spot parallel…

        I think the fantasy happens on both ends, much like the vilification. Women have conversations about why guys only go for ‘easy girls’ too, and whether they need to be just as much a ‘bad girl’ to get a guy’s attention, just like the conversation that guys seem to have every Friday night over drinks. That’s still not a specific thing.

        To your Reason #1, we do things to be noticed every time we do things almost every time we do things with people watching. I am sure that everyone commenting on this post can think of few people that would do good things for someone and wants to be ignored in doing so.

        And to #2, I simply do not think that men are calling women bitches for not liking them. They’re talking about them in terms of their feelings being hurt, but not that they’re going out of their way to hurt the man’s feelings.

    2. To the statements of fear of aggression, I really do not think that women are afraid of every single man that they are friends with or are acquaintances with…I feel like that’s a layer of the discussion that’s being added – that women are or should be afraid of all men. Just hoping someone can clear that up for me, because I imagine this is where the conversation DOES become gender-specific…are men no more than Goliath threats to woman’s safety and autonomy, instead of sometimes stupid human beings?

      1. Again, ‘all men’/’nothing more’ is where you’re getting tied up. There are girls you have known since primary school who (I would hope) have a good enough idea of you that they needn’t worry about the kind of person you are. But can you fault another girl for having only known you a year and not being that trusting of your physical presence? Because that becomes very frightening, the refusal to acknowledge that there are experiences that you may never have that shape the movements of those who have had or are at greater risk of having them. This is a trauma that you will never live under the thumb of, and being aware of both that and the fact that it is a real and troubling trauma will be of great benefit to you in the future.

      2. I don’t want anyone to think that I don’t understand the possibility of something like this happening. That’s not it. We’re predicating that it’s insanely more likely than not, that all women should be fearful of it and all men should think themselves likely of perpetrating it… I understand that this is a consideration that women need to make about all sorts of situations, and they have to do that more than I do as a man. But I do think that’s a different conversation…

  3. I would like to think that the very simple idea of entitlement is something we can agree is wrong.
    I’d like to think that we understand that women fear violence in a way that men can’t fathom, and are constantly aware that this threat can materialize at any moment – that she can tell a man no and he will not take no for an answer, something men barely experience in comparison.
    I’d like to think you would understand that if you’re doing something not because it’s right, but to be noticed, then you’re not a nice guy – you care less about the person’s actual feelings and more about your desires.
    I’d like to think it’s easy to grasp that, while a girl will feel affronted by you refusing her advances, you will never feel like your life may be in danger by refusing in the way that a woman may.
    Arguing that these very important considerations don’t factor in because you want to compare it to simple jealousies is problematic.
    People feel jealous; it ain’t pleasant, but it’s okay.
    The very real patriarchal idea that men who act the part deserve a kind of reward, that there are men who are nice to girls just because they’re attractive and they want to be with them and that this is wrong, is far from that by a longshot when in context of everything else, like the fear of abuse.
    Men can experience the Nice Girl every once in a while, but never will we be presented in the media as ‘frigid bitches’ for saying no.

  4. There is a flaw in this argument…most of the time these ‘nice guys’ are a bit cowardly. So they put out nice gestures with the disguised hope for the return of love. Yes girls sometimes end up with A holes…but the flaw in the nice guy approach is that it is genuinely saddening and feels like a bit of trickery when a woman realizes the ‘nice guy’s’ motives. Women would rather you be forthright with it all. You could still be a nice guy but don’t do it under the pretense that you just wana be nice….then why are you upset that things did not work out. I feel like these ‘nice guys’ are afraid to be up front for fear of rejection. But it would save both parties a lot of grief if they were.

    1. I do want to say that I don’t believe that they’re not at all being nice by trying to do nice things by an object of affection. I think there is some genuineness there, but that it is attached to their affections.

      Besides that, though, I can deal with this idea! Thanks so much for sharing it with me.

  5. Brendon, while I wholeheartedly agree with the idea that people feel what they feel and we can’t police that, I do believe you may have missed the point of the Nice Guy Syndrome (TM). The problem with Nice Guys(TM) is not that they are romantically attracted to their friends and is not that they feel jealous when the object of their affection dates someone else. Both of these things are totally normal. The problem occurs when the Nice Guys(TM) cannot deal with their jealousy in a healthy manner and feel entitled to have someone.

    In the article you linked to John is not a Nice Guy(TM). He was interested in his friend, his friend turned him down, they remained friends, she got interested in someone else, he was able to put aside the fact that he wanted to be with her to support her. He was able to be her friend despite the romantic tension he, at least, felt. Being jealous is okay, I’m certain that John felt jealous of The Bass Guy at some point, but he was able to remain good friends with the girl despite this.

    The difference between John and a Nice Guy(TM) is that a Nice Guy(TM) feels entitled to having their romantic interest returned after they have been a ‘nice guy’. In this context, the Nice Guy(TM) appears to be saying that the sole reason that he was nice to the girl was to get her into a romantic/sexual relationship.

    Yes, if we’re interested in someone we’re nice to them, perhaps to a greater extent than if we were not pursuing a primary relationship with them (I really hate the phrase ‘just friends’ so I’m designating ‘primary relationship’ to indicate that there is deeper interest, which is usually applied to romantic & sexual relationships rather than platonic relationships) but that doesn’t mean that the only ‘winning’ scenario is when our interest is returned. (Also, winning is kind of a terrible way to talk about this because of the way it makes an object out of the person of interest, regardless we’ll use it for the moment.) It should not be that there is only one ‘winning’ outcome of being nice to someone we’re interested in and any other outcome is automatically ‘losing’. That black and white thinking the problem with Nice Guys(TM). There are all sorts of positives to expressing affection for someone even when the affection is not returned in precisely the way we were looking for.

    1. I feel like this explains it so much better, Kate…but there’s still something that troubles me about how this is attached to men as a patriarchal statement as opposed to one of our very human delusions. With that I admit, the Nice Guy(TM) as defined above is delusional to a major extend. But the average guy has no more potential for delusion than a woman here where relationship-building is concerned.

      And I’m still not sure that a guy wanting his attempts at being an ideal mate for someone he cares about in that way is intrinsically evil, solely because I can’t imagine another way to be an ideal mate to someone you care about short of winning the lottery or waiting until Armageddon…lol. We build relationships in this way, and with almost every effort comes expectation. Some (few) can deal with not reaching their expectation, and some (many) cannot. We get resentful, or measure our failures, or reconsider our karma. Sometimes we judge ourselves against the plethora of assholes that get the relationships they want when we never can. And that gives different answers for different people. But it’s not patriarchal, it’s human.

      I do think we can still talk win/lose here. The ‘win’ is our affection towards another person, reciprocated. That’s his desire, and where he decides to put effort. I don’t truly think there’s something objectifying about that. Indeed, I believe it would be even more objectifying if we just went to the store and picked up another lady at a cheaper price, so to speak. More importantly, she is the ‘object’ of the man’s affection – the person that receives it. That, itself is not intrinsically problematic either. We said effort brings expectation…if he tries to be there for her and express himself as an ideal mate and seems to fall short of his expectation, that’s what we would call failure. Because that’s what we often call falling short of our expectation..

      I don’t think it would be very different so far to if I wanted a parent to be more caring toward me. I would try to be visible to my parent, do more things around the house for them, be there to care for them in precisely the ways I might want for myself…and hope they get the message. And if they don’t, I get angry, feel slighted, gather feelings associated with the idea that my affection might not mean as much to them as theirs to me… Is the difference a possibility for aggression, as was peek-a-booing around the thread earlier? I can be aggressive towards my parent for ignoring me. Which means we’re not asking for men to have less human expectations, we’re asking for people overall to be less aggressive…right?

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