Friday, June 15, 2007

feminism and the nice guy

So I was reading a feminist blog yesterday. Generally speaking I agree with the things on the blog, and most of the feminists I read on blogs (at least when it comes to feminism itself). She was listing things that anti-feminists say that piss her off, like:
-Women have men by the dick.
-Women are just better at some things, and men are better at others.
-You're just silly and over-emotional.
-Why don't you smile, lady?
-Feminists hate men.
-I'm a nice guy, why can't I get laid?

Now most of these things I would agree are pretty laughable. And it has taken me some time to really come to understand some of it. I might even have said a few anti-feminist things in my own time, without meaning to be an ass, but not realizing my own assumptions. But the last one I am still having some trouble with, and I don't know if that is me or if maybe it is an exception.

The feminist issue with a "nice guy" bitching about not getting laid is that it assumes that women owe him sex. He does the right things, after all, why aren't women paying him his dues? It is an entitlement issue, in other words.

At the same time, I agree with Rosemary. If someone isn't getting laid, they do have the right to bitch about it in general. And if someone isn't getting laid because they aren't willing to fuck women over, while other men fuck women over and do get laid, then that would definitely be frustrating.

So I guess my question is, does a nice guy bitching about not getting laid reflect a sense of entitlement, or is it just legitimate frustration? I guess it could be either. I can only think of one person off the top of my head from high school who started thinking like that, and I don't know what it was with him. This is a tough one for me.


rjamm said...

That's an interesting point about entitlement. I had never thought of it that way. I think I agree. First of all, the typical nice guy doesn't really complain about being laid. At least the stereotypical nice guy is the one who won't make a move on you during your date, etc. So if they're complaining about not getting laid, then they can't be that nice. The mentality behind "I'm a nice guy, why can't I get laid?", is a little like "someone told me these things were nice and I did them because I thought nice got you sex." The comment implies someone kinda sleazy like that. It makes sense for someone with that mindset to bitch about getting laid. That's all they were interested in and all they were working for and they didn't get any. It also makes sense that a feminist would look upon a statement like that with general disdain. It implies a lot of negative stuff about the guy making the statement.

So of course they have the right to bitch and make their comments. Life's frustrating from their perspective. But those comments just expose them as what they are, something distasteful to feminists.

So I suppose they do have a sense of entitlement, but that sense of entitlement is not terribly novel. People with straight As and a high SAT score feel entitled to get into a good college. In all fairness, they probably are entitled to it. People who work hard at their jobs are probably entitled to a promotion. There's a large school of thought involving entitlement as a result of hard work or doing the right thing. Now that school of thought is not always accurate. Even the straight A student won't necessarily make it into the top school of his or her choice. The hard worker may be passed over for a promotion. The "nice guy" sometimes (or maybe often) doesn't get laid. People reason about entitlement all the time. Let them complain when things don't go as they expected. They were fools for thinking they were owed something in the first place. I don't know why the feminists are so concerned over this mindset. Colleges don't worry for one second when some whiny straight A student starts bawling upon receiving their rejection letter. Companies probably don't give much thought to the dissatisfied person who thought he was manager material being passed over for a promotion. I have to wonder why feminists are getting so worked up over something like this. Why do they let it get to them? Let the inferior people whine. It isn't worth your time to bother listening.

zurvan said...

There is a sense of entitlement there, but I guess I am not convinced that it is an entitlement that objectifies women. I have thought something similar in the past, and my entitlement issues certainly didn't involve objectifying women. It more just seems whiny. And every so often, we're (ahem) entitled to whine.
But I do also get why this would be irritating. I mean, the sum total of people who say sleazy anti-feminist things contribute to an environment that makes things hard on women. Grr. Arg.

rjamm said...

Hmmm... does it objectify women or not? I'm not sure. I guess I would say that it does, but I can't get too terribly worked up about it.

There are always people who believe that the world works in a certain way and everything goes according to a plan that some authority figure told them. It's a simple view and I'd like to think that most people grow out of it, but not everyone does. For the people who believe in the "do the right thing and everything will come to you" philosophy, they believe it about everything, including women. It's stupid and it's wrong, but I don't think they're treating women any differently than they are the rest of the world. You could interpret it as putting women down or objectifying them, but I just see it as being naive. Now I guess it could be frustrating to think they they might mass that naivety on to others, but for the most part it doesn't bother me. It may just be that I'm lucky enough that I don't have to hang out with these whiny people. If anyone did whine to me about something like that, I'd just tell them they were mistaken and move on, but I don't deal with it often enough for it to get really annoying. I have to wonder how many of these feminists have to deal with that kind of nonsense all the time. I think I'd get fed up with it too, but I don't know that I'd get all worked up about it being entitlement. I suppose it is, but that's just the way those people are. They think they're entitled to everything. In most cases, they don't get everything and are slowly yet surely disabused of that notion. It's an idea that's only going to make them miserable as they don't get all the things they think they deserve, and most people will abandon a philosophy if it makes them miserable. I guess this is why I just trust them to grow out of it. It seems to solve itself. So I don't really feel the need to complain about it being a sense of entitlement in the meantime.

Jonathan said...

So let's say we agree the comment is based on a sense of entitlement, and the speaker does, in fact, knowingly or unknowingly objectify women. Let's also say we agree that the man is experiecing a justifiable frustration. How can we realistically change people's mentalities?

This, I think, is often where feminism turns people off. The "nice guys" feel as those they are being demonized by simply expressing what we agree is a justifiable frustration. (Okay okay, maybe not justifiable, given Rosemary's comments on the "do the right thing and everything will come to you" philosophy, but at least understandable.)

What does the one nice guy who isn't getting any (and is simultaneously surrounded by not nice guys getting a lot) say to express his frustration? How does the nice guy whine/complain/bitch (despite the possible futility of doing so) without pissing people off?

Better yet, how does a feminist explain the objectifying nature of the comment and provide a reasonable alternative without making
more enemies than its worth?

Did that make sense?

Steven said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Steven said...

I don't think it's about entitlement at all. I just think it's the general frustration you experience when something doesn't make sense to you, compounded with the fact that it negatively affects you.

To explain, does it make sense that a guy who would treat a girl with respect would not get laid, while a guy who is physically or verbally abusive can get laid? It makes no sense, and thus is kind of frustrating. And if you're the nice guy who (obviously, in your mind) would be better for the woman, but are not chosen due to factors unbeknownst to you (you just don't understand why she's with the guy who treats her like crap), it's really really frustrating.

PS Rosemary has expanded her ramblings ouside of her own blog! No blog is safe now! Just teasing, I love reading your writings, sweetie.

zurvan said...

Oh Jesus, the cuteness, it overflows!
Meanwhile, questions are fun!