I have to wash my beard
There’s this one term that’s on a few occasions been applied to me that’s always bothered me; pussy whipped. If you really give this term any thought at all, you’ll find that what it really is an insult for a man who does nice things for his girlfriend/wife. You’d think that feminists would be all over a word like that, since it’s quite obviously a sign of a culture that’s abusive to women. But, to my knowledge, it hasn’t ONCE been talked about over any feminist campfire I’ve ever even heard of. Not long ago I heard a feminist (who I greatly respect) laugh with her feminist friend (who I ALSO greatly respect) about feminist number 2’s “whipped” boyfriend. The reason he was “SO WHIPPED LOLOLOLOL” was because she asked him to go get ice cream for her and he did. I later pointed out to feminist number one how feminist number two just used that word to shame her boyfriend for doing something nice for her, and she immediately saw that word for what it was. So I wonder why it is that no one’s ever talked about “pussy-whipped” before. It seems to me that it’s a term that’s quite easy to explain why it’s bad and how it’s a sign of a misogynist culture; a perfect little gem of feminist thought. I imagine after being passed around a while on tumblr a clever feminist would come up with a way to sum up the idea in a very powerful way with less than 20 words. This is EXACTLY the kind of thing that the feminist community on tumblr LOVES. The reason no feminists before me noticed it? It shames MEN and even puts women (momentarily) in this place of power. The woman gets to assert her dominance because he’s being servile to her. How ironic right? A man being servile to a woman is totally backwards!
So let me reframe this issue for a second; men are being shamed for being nice. Because REALLY. We are. That comes straight out of not being allowed to feel. See how menz being allowed to feel is relevant to your interests, tumblr feminists? So maybe it’s time you stop shaming men for having “fee fees”, and since you’re apparently blind to the times when our interests are aligned how about you just leave us alone when someone cares more than you do “about teh menz”? This isn’t the first time men have been shamed for being nice, being called the term ‘nice guy’ made my stomach turn even before tumblr feminists got their hands on it. That’s right, just after I made a point that you’re happy to hear (since it supports your belief structure, not because you’re masochists of course) I’m abruptly segueing to things that you’re going to disagree with before you read about Nice Guy Syndrome.
Don’t get me wrong, I know that the guy that thinks if he patiently listens to you and is “nice” to you, will then feel like you owe him sex is totally a real guy, but let me just highlight some of the rhetoric that feminists are using to talk about “Nice Guy Syndrome”. First thing you need to know is when you’re talking about a man with nice guy syndrome, you can, at your convenience, drop the syndrome part and just call him a “Nice Guy”. Put it in quotation marks though. Or don’t. Whatever. Doesn’t matter. Second thing you need to know is that all nice guys feel entitled to having sex with you, so if a man is being nice anywhere within like 30 feet of you he’s probably objectifying you, too.
Let me just clear something up real quick. Just because a man is complaining about not being able to find a date, or a girlfriend, or says he’s in the friendzone or something DOES NOT NECESSARILY mean that he feels entitled to your body or that he feels entitled to a date. It COULD simply be an immature way of handling loneliness. It COULD be his way of joking about a really painful case of unrequited love. Several months ago my friend Katie was interested in me. She had a lot going on; she was really cute, really nice, and had a good sense of humor. But when we went out there was a problem; for whatever reason, the whole time I just felt really awkward. Despite her having a bunch of qualities I really like, we just didn’t fit together. Like so many posts about the friendzone have said, you can’t force a connection. So I stopped seeing her. Now she hates me and I can see it on her face every time I see her or try to say something to her. She’s angry at me for not dating her. OH. MY. GOD. WHY DOES SHE FEEL SO ENTITLED TO MY DICK?! SHE HAS NICE GIRL SYNDROME AND HATES MEN! MISANDRIST! Katie’s response isn’t an uncommon one. I see women respond to rejection this way all the freakin’ time, but is it a sign that misandry is running rampant in our culture? Is it inherently a sign that she felt like all she had to do was insert niceness tokens and sex would fall out of my butt? NO. STOP BEING STUPID. This is more likely an immature reaction of SELF DEFENSE. I mean that, so often when people are rejected they feel like it’s because there’s a problem, and the problem is either you or them, so the mind places the blame on the other person instead of burdening itself. I see where this gets hazy though; where this could start to blur the line from being angry with one woman to being angry with all women. Sometimes that happens. Just like it sometimes happens with women. And assuming that an immaturely formed “I hate this guy” really means “I hate all men” is just as ridiculous as interpreting “I hate this woman” to mean “I hate all women”. Frankly most of the times I see men talking about the friendzone happen after a woman says something like “All men are dicks”. No, we get it, you don’t want to date us. But just because you put you aren’t into someone doesn’t mean he’s not a man.
Which makes me think of this post I’ve seen that distinguishes between the “nice guy” and the nice man. Granted this post supports men being nice and distinguishes the difference between false kindness and genuine, it further muddles the term “nice guy”, which will ALWAYS be tied to men who are nice. But what really troubles me about this post is how people are defining someone else’s gender, and not respecting the idea that gender identity is determined on an individual basis.
I’m not against talking about the asshole who feels entitled to you in any way. What I’m really against though, is this term “Nice Guy Syndrome”. I see this term as a way to shame men for being nice; I feel like this term is making men feel a greater repulsion towards being seen as nice. Please PLEASE don’t use the word nice to describe these men, even if that’s how they’re trying to portray themselves. Even if that’s how they think about themselves. And I get it, REALLY. But OP, It’s the syndrome, we’re not shaming men who are actually nice! Just the ones who pretend to be! But just look at how every time a tumblr feminist is referring to a man with Nice Guy Syndrome she calls him a nice guy, and that’s just so fucking inevitable. So what should you call him? I don’t care. Wait yeah I do. I bet you could come up with something more destructive than Nice Guy Syndrome if I left you to your devices. So how about we call him what he is? Entitled Ass Hat. Then all I’ll have to fight is the individual morons who misuse this term. If you want to be tumblr-hip and have that badass IDGAF tude’ and add the word syndrome, or a TM sign, be my fucking guest.
After all this I know that many people will still think, as damaging as it may be, “Nice Guy Syndrome” is still the best descriptor for this “condition”. For those who think that, I would simply ask which do you think is more damaging? Go ahead and keep thinking about how this affects women exclusively, but consider the side effects of a version of masculinity EVEN MORE hesitant to treat women with kindness. Just keep in mind women have things at stake here too.
I think I might have found an adequate paradigm for what the Nice Guy Syndrome does. I’ve seen many a “feminist” shame men for being inadequate. This is bigger than just Juilienne Smolinski’s piece-of-trash-body-shaming article about penis size and all of the “feminists” who agreed with her, or debated with her on what size made the best penis. Nor is this even just about the thousand feminist run misandry blogs that also shame men for having bodies that aren’t to their liking. This is about every time “feminists” shame men for not knowing what to do in bed. We’ve all seen this stuff before, and it’s always bothered me when a “feminist” talks about someone, maybe an ex-lover, who “couldn’t get the job done”. This is a “feminist’s” easy button; if they feel like making a man feel like shit or look like shit they talk about his sexual “skills”. I’m here to say it though; if a man can’t make you orgasm that doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with him. Just because he is a man and you are attracted to him does NOT mean his body owes you a god damn thing. It’s one of two things; you haven’t explained what you want well enough, or you have and he doesn’t want to do that. A man’s purpose is not to please you, and if what you want him to do makes him uncomfortable and he doesn’t want to do it, as a decent human being I would think that you wouldn’t want to pressure him into doing it. I would think you wouldn’t want to shame him for not doing it. And that should go double for someone those who assert the importance of enthusiastic consent. This is rudimentary objectification, a concept that is quite widely recognized as a feminist one, so maybe for women who pressure men into doing things for them (sexual or otherwise) by means of shaming them or their bodies, and refer to themselves as feminists, we should start saying they have Feminist Syndrome. For short, we’ll call them “feminists”. With or without the quotation marks. Maybe we should dirty up the term feminism a little more. “The reason I like it is because it describes who they think they are!” It fits SO perfectly, doesn’t it?
I really REALLY Feel a strong urge to start doing this, but I know it’s wrong so I’m NOT going to. That’s the fucking difference I guess. I mean the difference between a legitimately good person, and someone who claims to be a good person. Even though right now I’m angry and so it would feel SO gratifying to disgrace feminism as a whole, a good person WOULDN’T do that.
srsly though, having to remind feminists of these things makes me want to flip a mathing table. Y’ALL FUCKING TAUGHT ME THAT IN THE FIRST PLACE. It’s just like. WAT. If I could only just make things explode with my mind, you know? or maybe I should just get homeowner’s insurance and then throw my fist through this wall.
But OP! Men do this to us too! And I thought you became a feminist because you thought it was wrong to pressure someone into sex, and because you understood the importance of enthusiastic consent. I would think this isn’t some service you would extend to only the people who “earn it”, but that you just wouldn’t want to pressure someone into sex or shame someone for not servicing you as well as you’d like because it’s disgusting behavior.
I’ve spoken about Friend Zones and Nice Guys, and I agree with the problem, but I’ve always been keen to point out that this isn’t just men. Tumblr is full of girls who have adopted Taylor Swift’s ‘You Belong With Me’ as their theme song, screaming ‘she wears short skirts, I wear t-shirts’ and complaining that men always go for the airheads when really they should go for a Nice Girl (on my dash the other day, actually). Feminists will criticise these girls, calling them ‘Special Snowflakes’, but they won’t notice the parallel. They’ll still talk about Nice Guy Syndrome as something that only men do. In fact, it isn’t even exclusive to relationships: this feeling of entitlement due to some self-professed quality can turn up in a friendship group or a work environment. It’s not that gendered an issue at all.
Even certain ‘feminists’ will complain that men don’t go for them because they’re scared of empowered women, that they should stop liking the anti-feminist self-hating women who want to stick to traditional roles and instead go exclusively for the decent women who deserve their love and respect. There doesn’t go a day without a self-described ‘feminist’ posting about how much they hate all men, often because of a love affair that hasn’t worked out for them. This is what provokes Nice Guy syndrome in the first place! If a girl goes for guys that a third party can see are just going to hurt her, and then lashes out against all guys, it’s only logical self-defence if a guy says “actually, nice guys do exist, you shouldn’t go out with nasty guys if you don’t want to get hurt”. That’s how a lot of this started. That then gets taken out of context by our angry man-hating ‘feminist’, and bam. There is a problem with entitlement, but not all people who think they are entitled are men, and not all people who call themselves nice guys think that they are entitled.
Moving on to the point about sex, I’ve also seen ‘feminist’ posts about how a man must be sexist if he doesn’t want to go down on a woman. There are variations on this: a man must be misogynist if he isn’t comfortable with a woman dominating him and so on. Then they go and talk about how women shouldn’t be pressured into doing things they aren’t comfortable with, and how consent is the most important thing in the universe.
This post deals with a lot of issues within the SJ community which aren’t talked about much, and so it’s worth a read.