I can do anything better than you! Even suffer!

“OH MY GOD! GIRLS HAVE IT SOOO EASY! COACH GAVE THEM 15 POINTS!!!!”

-Twelve-Year-Old Me when a shutout kickball game became a tie.

In seventh grade kickball on Fridays, we’d play boys vs. girls. The boys always won in a slaughter but it was not a cakewalk. We’d have to kick with our left feet if we took an early lead. The gym teacher would give the girls more points if the gap got too big. One game we weren’t allowed to run. The concept of male privilege would have been as lost on Twelve-Year-Old Me.

It would be five years later that I’d faced with this idea of male privilege. My twelfth grade sociology teacher taught a class on the struggles of women through out time. I was slightly smarter at seventeen than five years prior so I took notes and paid attention in class. I was a good student. I had no trouble accepting that women hadn’t cruised through history. But then my teacher dropped this bomb at the end of her lesson.

“Even today men have it much better than women.”

My hand zipped into the air! I had to ask a question.

“You said men have it better. How can men have it better if you can be drafted to go die in a war just cause you were born a guy?”

My pencil was all ready to scribble down her answer. My brain prepped to soak in that sweet knowledge she was about to lay on me.

“I don’t think anyone should be able to be drafted.”

And then she gave us worksheets and that was it! I was left confused. I wanted to see her after class, but then decided to talk to my friends about video games in the hallway instead. So that question remains unanswered.

Do men have it better than women?

Virtually everyone would say it’s axiomatic that men have it better than women. I remain skeptical when it comes to the Western World.

I love reading crime statistics. That was a favorite hidden hobby of mine back when I was seventeen. I used to compare the trends of violence over the years to the portrayal in the media. It was like the more violence went down, the more violent stories were covered on television. Quite the dangerous inverse proportion.

One thing I’ve learned from all my fun time researching is that men are much likely to be the victim of a violent crime than women. They are far more likely to murdered, beaten, robbed, and a bunch of other nasty stuff. The only violent crime women outrank men is rape.

Men more successfully kill themselves more than women. Men die more on the job more than women. Men are more likely to end up in prison or become homeless. Can you say someone has it better if society is more likely to drive them to be a violent criminal? I’d have some trouble.

If you look at the tops of society, you will find men soaring. Men are more likely to be doctors, CEOs, and a bunch of other kickass stuff. But not many people look down and see the bodies of men laying on the ground. Men get to soar to the top, but they also sink.

I wouldn’t go as far to say women led easier lives. They have different equally as bad crap to deal with. I have trouble in general saying anyone has an easier life than another. It’s easy to observe someone else and pick out the good parts and not see what you might have over them. You might also miss what sucks about their life. Grass is always greener.

If you think I’m absolutely wrong and that men objectively have better lives than women, I’m open to hearing out your opinion. I’d love to have a discussion about it.

Man-vs-Woman

The Guys Who Finish Last

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This post was inspired by Scott Alexander’s Radicalizing the Romanceless. Scott Alexander writes these articulate very well-researched and rational essays. If you have a spare half hour, I urge you to check out this article and his entire site.

Now for the galactically feared, globally reviled, universally despised – Nice Guys

WORKING DEFINITION

Let’s define Nice Guy.

Here’s Wikipedia’s definition (Number One on Google).

“A nice guy is an informal term for a teenage or adult male who is gentle, compassionate, sensitive and vulnerable.”

Here’s geekfeminism.wikia.com’s definition. (Number Two on Google Search)

“Nice Guy™ is a term in Internet discourse describing a man or teenage boy with a fixation on a friendship building over time into a romance, most stereotypically by providing a woman with emotional support when she is having difficulties with another male partner. “

The first one is the one I’ll be using for discussion. This was close to my own personal definition. The fixation on friendship aspect is foreign to me.

THE ORIGIN

Where do Nice Guys come from? What causes a young man to go down the dark trail of being nice for romance?

Shyness, introversion, and lack of self-esteem. If you’re not good at communicating with people, you might drift towards relying on being nice to entice potential partners. Nice guys might also be practicing The Golden Rule. They would like a girl who is pleasurable to be around and shows interest in them and so they do the same to girls they like. A personal example of this, I once left love poetry in this girl’s locker that I liked in high school. If she had done the same for me, I’d have been over the moon. But that was not what she wanted.

Parents should always bare the blame for everything that happens ever. A teen boy could go home and get love advice from his mother. She might instill her son with what she values in a partner rather than what girls his age value.

I’d also say society is unsure of what the contemporary man should be. We’re trying to help women take center stage after being shafted for far too long. Traditional gender roles break down. Where does that leave men? What is expected of you as customs and culture change? I have yet to get a definitive answer to this. This lack of knowing trickles down into dating. What role are you supposed to play? Some men can’t figure it out.

It also might be in the nature of the guy because he’s a genuinely nice emotionally sensitive person.

CONFLICT

“She’s just hit the nail on the head with what bothers me about the Nice Guy (TM) rhetoric, those whines from some men about how it’s so unfair that women won’t flock to be with them when he’s a “decent” bloke who doesn’t do nasty things to women, and what more do they want? Well, colour us as unreasonably demanding, but women do tend to want a little bit more than a guy who simply refrains from being nasty like it’s some great sacrifice.

These whines that this young woman refers to stem from shattered expectations of young guys. They were nice to girls and then were shockingly rejected. And then it happened again. Maybe even a third time after that. So now they have to answer a question. Who is to blame for these rejections? Women or themselves?

Women get the blame by a lot of dudes. They develop toxic opinions about women. Women-blamers are on a lot of dating websites. He’ll greet a girl with a nice message. He’ll do it twice. If there’s no response, fuck her, yet another stupid stuck up bitch. She’ll get a nasty last message. He’s entered the dangerous loop where women push him away because he’s bitter and he’s bitter because women push him way. I wonder what happens to these sort of guys….

Some guys blame themselves and use it as motivation to be better. They’ll start working out. Others give up because they think women aren’t worth any additional effort. I had a conversation with one of my younger cousins about that. He’s around fifteen. I asked him if he was talking to any girls. And he said no, they’re not worth his time. I laughed as he was so young to be that cynical about romance.

And others just complain.

“I’m a nice guy. I treat women right. Why can’t I catch a break? I’d be a good boyfriend. Give me a chance.”

These dudes think girls wanting more than a nice guy is an unreasonable demand. I get why. Everyone says so, even some women. Movies and television say the good guy gets the girl. Writers love this story. It’s so easy to write. That’s why you see it all the time. The virtuous man gets love and every man has an equal chance at it.

But love is inherently unfair. Nobody is an equal opportunity lover. People love with regard to race, age, marital status, creed, color, sex, handicap, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, and a lot hell of a lot more. Virtuosity is not taken into account until later if it is taken into account at all.

Why would society lead these men to believe one thing when another is true?

Because girls are supposed to want the virtuous man. But they’re people and they aren’t a certain way. I get their frustration with the situation. Having to bring guys down to reality and being hated just for not being attracted to someone. It gets worse when some of these nice guys aren’t as nice as they advertise as I mentioned above.

SOLUTIONS

The tension on both sides is palpable once anyone mentions a Nice Guy. How can things be smoothed over? What should be done with Nice Guys? Like most dating/relationship issues, there is no smooth solution. I have nothing.

Because if you give someone advice on what women want, you don’t have any authority to do so. Not even women can tell you what a particular girl wants or needs from her partner or what you may need to do. It’s hard to articulate exactly what you want. There’s a lot that words fail. It’s very much on the person to pick up signals. You can’t coach that.

So no solution. Life sucks for some people.

Maybe I’ll have a solution to this in 2020.
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