When reading one of my own upcoming posts on feminism, or following links to articles by others, you may come upon the term “Nice Guy™”, and the context will make it clear that it is not a compliment.
What could possibly be wrong with being a nice guy, you ask? Nothing at all. Being a nice guy is a good thing. Being a Nice Guy™, however, is not.
Nice Guy™ is a very sarcastic term. Nice Guys™ are men and boys who, trained by decades of teenage comedies and rom coms, believe that if they are nice enough to the woman they like, sooner or later she will recognize him as the Right Man For Her, and fall into bed with him.
Essentially, it means faking friendship while hoping for something else, but never actually asking for it. It’s cowardly, it’s dishonest, and it assumes that women owe a man something for being treated with basic human decency. Not nice at all, in fact. But that’s not even the worst of it.
When confronted with reality, many Nice Guys™ grow bitter and resentful. As they watch the object of their affection date a series of men who…you know…actually ask them out, they begin to believe in some fairly poisonous myths: All Girls Like Bad Boys, Women Like To Be Treated Badly, Girls Don’t Like Boys Girls Like Cars and Money, The Friendzone. Some take it more personally, and believe that they’re being deliberately used by their female friend, or that she is deliberately tormenting him with what he can’t have (since his niceness should, by all rights, be a loud and clear signal that he wants her).
This bitterness and resentment can lead to all sorts of bad behavior, with the boy who murdered a girl for turning down his request for a prom date just a few weeks ago as a worst-case scenario. Most, however, limit themselves to spreading and perpetuating those cancerous myths on the internet. Which is bad enough.
So now you know. Keep it in mind; it’ll be useful later.