I’m Sick of Feeling Sorry for “Nice Guys”

Dear men,

Can I be frank with you guys?

I get so sick of hearing the phrases “nice guy” and “gentleman”. I could do without hearing “friend zone”, too. And I’m done feeling sorry for you if you think you fit in one of these categories.


The shootings at Isla Vista have sparked a conversation about sexism and it’s dangerous consequences for women in this day and age. But apparently, misogyny has dealt men an unfair hand as well wherein they feel #YesAllWomen and other conversations about sexism have failed to acknowledge the nice guys of the world.

So I’m going to acknowledge you now. Brace yourselves.

Time Magazine published a piece about Elliot Rodger, the mass shooter. In it, the author makes a case about how Rodger’s chronic virginity and being turned down by his female classmates may have left him with no choice but to kill six people. She writes:

“Elliot Rodger had never kissed a girl. In a culture of casual sex, he was a virgin — at 22. He was lonely, angry, humiliated, depressed, and also likely struggling with mental illness. He couldn’t understand why others got to have what he didn’t; why girls always seemed to go after the “obnoxious jocks,” not the nice guys like him; why he had to see it all around him — from porn to campus party culture — as if taunting him. He was always missing out.”

Okay. So, um…what?

“Nice guys like him”? What does being a “nice guy” even mean? Last time I checked, it wasn’t nice to throw a deadly temper tantrum just because you’re a little sexually frustrated (I mean, who isn’t at 22?).

I understand. There are pressures society puts on men to define their masculinity by how many girls they’re smashing and how many hearts they break. But since when did not being able to fit in with modern society provide an excuse for assholery? Does male privilege run so deep that the idea of not being able to have something someone else has (in this case, vaginas) is now just cause to go on a murderous rampage?

Since we’re discussing the power of peer pressure, let’s talk about the pressure I get from my male peers to give them some play just because they’re “nice guys”. Let’s talk about how many of those “nice guys” turn real un-nice when a girl practices her God-given right to turn them down for sex or a relationship. Why should I feel sorry for a guy just because he doesn’t get girls? Is he too good to masturbate like the rest of us? Hell, why would you even want a girl who feels sorry for you?

I literally cannot count how many men have complained to me about not getting girls because they’re “too nice”. Since when did being nice equate to being interesting? Being nice is just a personality trait that many humans on this earth possess, believe it or not. Come correct and come with more than just “I do nice things” to woo me. I do nice stuff too. What else ya got?

T.J. Holmes also added some interesting points to the Nice Guy discourse. In his piece for The Root, When a “Gentleman” Is Linked to Mass Murder, he writes:

“There’s sometimes no distinction made between the sexism inherent in some common behavior and the sexism and hatred that led to mass murder in Isla Vista, Calif…. #YesAllWomen has done a disservice. It makes no distinction. While it has allowed women to share their experiences and legitimate fears and concerns about how society views women, it gives the sense that all sexism is created equal.”

I actually laughed out loud at this one.

So, you want a “distinction”? You guys want a cookie and a blue ribbon for being a Nice Guy Island in a sea of sexist ass holes? How about instead of soliciting pity from me and demanding that you be exempt from the #YesAllWomen conversation, you actually do something nice and speak on behalf of women who have been put into dangerous situations due to sexism and misogyny? How about you help redefine masculinity for the sexless boys out there who are on the brink of mass murder? How about you have several seats?

Let’s talk about the fact that Holmes felt it necessary to distinguish himself and the men who may agree with him as “gentlemen” who’ve been unjustly compared to other men (how dare we compare you with the common riff-raff?!). But it’s those same gentlemen who seemed shocked that women don’t give them a distinction and a reward for their niceties. This shock and disdain sounds an awful lot like the reasoning behind Rodger’s mass shooting. Just saying… I’m sure he thought he was a gentleman, too, who deserved to be singled out from the everyday guys and be seen for the good man he thought he was.

Too often, the words “gentleman” and “good man” are used as synonyms when in reality, they are not the same thing. What is a gentleman anyway? In it’s basic sense, it’s a man who is chivalrous. One who is polite and pays for meals on a date, I guess. He avoids using sexual or foul language in front of people, he opens doors, pulls out chairs, bathes regularly, blah blah blah. A gentleman practices basic human manners that should be in use at ALL times for ALL people, not just women they’re interested in dating.

Men tend to have these generic attitudes about women and how to treat them. I hear several men say “I know I’m a good man, I open doors for women, I pay for her stuff, I know I’m a gentleman” All men should be gentlemen, but not all gentlemen make a “Good Man”. I’ll repeat for the cheap seats in the back: being nice does not make you a good man or a good person. While chivalry is great and a commendable attribute in any man, it isn’t the blueprint to being a good mate or to treating a person right.

What I’m saying is, your Gentleman Card is not a VISA- it’s not accepted everywhere. And neither is your Jackass Card, for that matter. The world isn’t separated into nice people and jerks. The way to a woman’s heart–if that’s what you’re after–is to find out what goes on in her heart. What are her interests? What makes her laugh? What pisses her off? What turns her on? Treat her like an individual. Be interesting, damnit.

And just like women are individuals, I know men are individuals as well. I know all of you guys aren’t going out on killing sprees because you can’t get laid. I know all of you aren’t yelling at me to “smile, baby!” in parking lots or at Metro stations. I know some of you won’t call me a bitch for not taking your phone number. But you don’t get special treatment for being nice. There are plenty of nice women and girls who are still getting harassed and raped and shot by a lot of “nice” men.

I know some of this may have seemed a little harsh but, as I mentioned in my title, I’m done feeling sorry for men just because they think they’re “nice”. And it’d actually be very nice if men would stop expecting sex, special treatment,  and other rewards just because they say and do nice things. The world doesn’t work like that. Geeze, what are Disney movies teaching you men?


4 thoughts on “I’m Sick of Feeling Sorry for “Nice Guys”

  1. Meh. Take the douchebags, then. I think that, between being compared to a sadistic mass-murderer and being told how unworthy we are of your “pity sex” (as if anyone wants this, you silly narcissistic creature), we’re pretty much done.

  2. I usually don’t like feminist type articles because they can often be man bashing instead of really highlighting what I believe is the truth: that women and men owe an equal responsibility to each other. E.g., A man should never take advantage of a woman who is drunk and or potentially wearing sexually provocative clothing. Its just not something a loving person would do. At the same time the woman is not being loving to the man by putting herself in that situation where it would make it hard on the man. Reverse roles now. A man should not get drunk and wear sexually provocative clothing around women because its not very loving to that woman. At the same time the woman should not take advantage of that man’s compromised state. The reality is that modesty does in fact matter and that the issue is not simply “why can’t men control themselves?”. Yet feminist type articles can often only focus on the later and not the former. Or emphasize the later as reality and not the former. I think this also applies to the shooting in Cali. (I think that is where this shooting was?) No woman harmed by this shooting should feel at all guilty because the victims of a crime should never feel guilt for the actions of the perp. This woman in this article is exactly right too, being nice, does not mean you get the girl. Being “nice” should just be expected of all men. Its an indicator of that man’s love for others. YET. Rejection does matter. How women reject men (just like how men reject women) does in fact matter. Too often it does seem (especially in high school and early college/ where this man’s problems seem to reside) that women and men reject the opposite gender too easily. The awkward guy/girl gets rejected, the geek gets rejected, the guy/girl with good intentions but just a slight different definition of how to relate to women/men gets rejected, the introvert guy/girl gets rejected. I’d argue moreso with the introvert guy than girl because culturally among many women and men the guy is supposed to be the initiator and or the pursuer. Often, too there is no woman/man to hold up this guy/girl and show them a dating rule book 101 or a courting rule book 101 or a this is how you appropriately express your love for others 101. Nor are there friends there for that. The problem person sits there and sulks asking what the heck (remember at this age evolutionary wise sex and relationships is in fact important. Our culture seems to forget this because we see sex as being in the late 20’s or throughout the 30s. Yet Historically speaking women were marrying well into their teens even. Our bodies are in part primed to that historical standpoint and not the current culture around sex. So in part towards some extent, sexually frustrated teens and college students is a thing that is somewhat important because biologically a student may feel like they are not evolutionary successful because they are not meeting their needs when their ancient ancestors did. To an extent in our current culture we are fighting against what our bodies naturally want to do.) Also psychologically it seems that men and women reject each other too easily. There are for example some findings that men and women tend to pair up with people of similar and not dissimilar physical attraction. It is in fact much rarer for a bombshell 10 to pair up with a guy who is 3-5 maybe than common. Is that necessarily wrong? maybe… but it certainly matters. My main point in general is less attention in feminist literature is often paid to the other side of things. Men should recognize that they are not entitled to a girl. Being nice does not mean that they get free sex or whatever. That being said, women should recognize that how they reject does matter. This problem of sexually frusterated shootings doesn’t get solved until both sides meet at this middle truth. *speaking as a guy who in high school felt occasional feelings that were very similar to the dude talked about in the article

  3. Hey there! This post couldn’t be written any better! Reading this post reminds me of my good old room mate! He always kept talking about this. I will forward this write-up to him. Fairly certain he will have a good read. Thank you for sharing!|

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