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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Meditations on "Nice Guys" (Page 3)

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Author Topic: Meditations on "Nice Guys"
Rakeesh
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It's kind of like this for me (I started looking at MRA stuff awhile back too, and like you I didn't get far) a perverse spin on 'Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon', but instead it's 'Six Degrees of Sexual Property' or something. You've got your authentic, non-creepy guys concerned about equal rights and make concerns not being gradually shoved to the sidelines, guys like Lyrhawn for example. But when I look, and admittedly bias speaks here too, he seems like a very rare species.

Instead almost at once the entire environment whether it's in a discussion board or an article, starts getting a bit more comfortable with 'women are just greedy bi#%*es' sort of rhetoric. Not the first layer, but then you take a look at a thread about an article or an essay and it's even more there.

It's possible the second degree is actually 'Female Humans are Authentic Human Beings in Their Own Right, and Efforts to Control or Criticize Them for Not Being 'Fair' to Men are Creepy', but I wouldn't bet on it.

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Dan_Frank
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Good god.

So for whatever it's worth I've got no real desire to rejoin this conversation with him here. Sorry Rakeesh for leaving our conversation hanging.

Also, in case I wasn't clear before, I agree with you and Shanna about how people ought to act regarding consent. I'm just skeptical that you guys represent anything approaching a majority of the culture. Art/film/novels in the culture don't seem to support that idea, anyway. That's why I object when to the feminists that vilify people with views more like Tuuka's. I think he's the norm, frankly, among both women and men.

That said, vilifying Sa'eed is fine by me though. God damn.

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Rakeesh
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Who here has vilified Tuuka?
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Dan_Frank
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Nobody. It's just been civil disagreement. I considered parenthetically confirming that in my post but didn't think anyone would assume I was saying so. Sorry I wasn't clearer.

What I was saying was, attitudes like Tuuka's are vilified by many people who advocate very ardently for enthusiastic consent. That such people don't frequent Hatrack doesn't really surprise me.

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scifibum
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On the topic of consent -

It's obviously true that explicit verbal consent isn't always necessary. Tuukka isn't wrong about that.

HOWEVER, it's very much ALSO true that there are a lot of people who SUCK at identifying when it might be necessary.

There are many people who, due to inebriation or extreme self-centeredness or wishful thinking or delusions or a desire to appear confident and aggressive in ways they've been told (over and over) are sexy, due to any number of factors you can't practically account for in a lesson about when you need explicit verbal consent and when you don't, will end up pushing too far.

AND THERE IS MORE - many of the people who are terrible at this ALSO think they are great at it.

I don't see any decent alternative to the advice to seek explicit verbal consent. A bright line. Any other guideline will be misinterpreted and misapplied. Anecdotal evidence of successful encounters that didn't involve explicit verbal consent do not solve the enormous problem that exists with people who misread signals or take silence for an invitation.

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scifibum
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quote:
attitudes like Tuuka's are vilified
I hope you don't think I'm vilifying the attitude. I'm quite convinced that downplaying the importance of explicit consent increases the likelihood of traumatic and harmful and intrusive sexual acts - not by those who have the attitude, but by those who lack the skill and luck to avoid doing something wrong without following such a guideline.
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Yehudi Ben Israel
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The National Review uses the term "alpha male." The manosphere is ascendant!

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/370159/monogamy-made-us-human-william-tucker/page/0/1

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Bella Bee
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I don't want to hear any more about the state of your manospheres, thank you.
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scifibum
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quote:
The National Review uses the term "alpha male."
...?

Now I'm wondering if you think someone involved with MRA or legal prostitution activism came up with that term or first applied it to humans.

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Dan_Frank
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Dammit, Sa'eed, seriously?

quote:
Originally posted by scifibum:
quote:
attitudes like Tuuka's are vilified
I hope you don't think I'm vilifying the attitude. I'm quite convinced that downplaying the importance of explicit consent increases the likelihood of traumatic and harmful and intrusive sexual acts - not by those who have the attitude, but by those who lack the skill and luck to avoid doing something wrong without following such a guideline.
No, I don't think you are.

Actually, I'd go further than you. I think Tuuka's attitude, the prevailing attitude, is wrong. I don't care how good anyone thinks they are at reading body language, I think everyone should be much more blunt and straightforward than they are. I don't think things like spontaneity and tension and body language are worth much. Better to be clear.

But I'm in a small minority. That's not how most people feel. Most men and women like a certain amount of spontaneity and tension (so long as the person with them isn't a creep).

The objection I have is when men who have the most common attitude (shared by men and women alike) are then maligned as just barely a step above rapists by people who's attitudes fall a bit closer to mine, outside the mainstream. I think that decrying some people for a belief structure embraced by most people is unfair and wrong.

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Yehudi Ben Israel
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quote:
Originally posted by scifibum:
quote:
The National Review uses the term "alpha male."
...?

Now I'm wondering if you think someone involved with MRA or legal prostitution activism came up with that term or first applied it to humans.

The term is quite popular in those circles (which includes the pick up artists crowd) and has become almost exclusively associated with them. In any case the substance of the article is quite fitting with manosphere themes but it's too hopeful that alpha males will change their ways by limiting themselves to alpha females only.
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kmbboots
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quote:
Originally posted by scifibum:
On the topic of consent -

It's obviously true that explicit verbal consent isn't always necessary. Tuukka isn't wrong about that.

HOWEVER, it's very much ALSO true that there are a lot of people who SUCK at identifying when it might be necessary.

There are many people who, due to inebriation or extreme self-centeredness or wishful thinking or delusions or a desire to appear confident and aggressive in ways they've been told (over and over) are sexy, due to any number of factors you can't practically account for in a lesson about when you need explicit verbal consent and when you don't, will end up pushing too far.

AND THERE IS MORE - many of the people who are terrible at this ALSO think they are great at it.

I don't see any decent alternative to the advice to seek explicit verbal consent. A bright line. Any other guideline will be misinterpreted and misapplied. Anecdotal evidence of successful encounters that didn't involve explicit verbal consent do not solve the enormous problem that exists with people who misread signals or take silence for an invitation.

Yep. This.
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Rakeesh
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You were banned, Sa'eed. Why are you here?
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Shanna
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I do want to reiterate that the current structure could just as easily be said to be "tolerated" rather than "embraced" by the majority of people.

Women both enjoy and are conditioned to be expected to enjoy "romantic comedies." In Hollywood, women hold less than 25% of behind-the-camera job. So we have a predominantly male controlled industry making movies they think women want. As was pointed out above, its incredibly uncomfortable when its men telling women what they will enjoy.

But of course, women turn out in droves for these movies because its really not like there's alot of options. If I got to a buffet and all that's being served is chicken, you can't jump to the assumption that women don't like beef.

Still, on the other hand, there's nothing wrong with women choosing to indulge in fantasies via movies, tv, or books, that they would not actively choose in real life. In a culture that tells women that they are sluts or whores for wanting sex, it shouldn't be a surprise that women fantasize about being spontaneously kissed or aggressively pursued. In a fantasy setting, if its "not our fault" then we think we can't be shamed for what happens.

I think that's the idea at play when books like "Fifty Shades of Grey" become hugely popular. My generation was vocally shouting down the book's inaccurate depictions of consent within the BDSM lifestyle. But the book was devoured by an older generation of women for whom the wanting-sex=dirty mindset was even more engrained. But here's a fantasy where they can enjoy the kinky sex along with the female protagonist without the guilt because it was happening to her with her minimal control.

I have no delusion that tomorrow we could turn into a society with a explicit-consent sex culture if we just tried hard enough, but I don't think "male-written romantic comedies make me assume that women don't find consent sexy" is a good excuse for not pushing forward with consent education.

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Yehudi Ben Israel
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quote:
Originally posted by Shanna:
I do want to reiterate that the current structure could just as easily be said to be "tolerated" rather than "embraced" by the majority of people.

Women both enjoy and are conditioned to be expected to enjoy "romantic comedies." In Hollywood, women hold less than 25% of behind-the-camera job. So we have a predominantly male controlled industry making movies they think women want. As was pointed out above, its incredibly uncomfortable when its men telling women what they will enjoy.

But of course, women turn out in droves for these movies because its really not like there's alot of options. If I got to a buffet and all that's being served is chicken, you can't jump to the assumption that women don't like beef.

Hollywood is only catering to demand. "Romantic comedies" are often mainly about female fantasies and the result is often unflattering. For instance, "Sleepless in Seattle" portrays women as very fickle when it comes to commitment. The Tom Hanks character is all the more attractive to Meg Ryan's character because the former is more accomplished and wealthier and has already shown and is indicated to be a good mating prospect by the fact that he already earned the devotion and love of a now deceased woman. The Bill Pullman character on the other hand -- Meg Ryan's boyfriend in the film-- is an entirely decent chap, his only foible being that he has allergies (big whoop). And, despite sharing a lot of tastes, interests, and other commonalities with his girlfriend, she ends up dumping him mercilessly for the mere PROSPECT of a better offer. And this in a screenplay by Nora Ephron no less.

Reverse the genders. Imagine a "romantic" film in which a man dumps a woman whom he likes and appreciates, shares a lot of interests with, etc, for the mere chance of getting with what strikes him as a better mate. That guy would be considered a jerk.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
Imagine a "romantic" film in which a man dumps a woman whom he likes and appreciates, shares a lot of interests with, etc, for the mere chance of getting with what strikes him as a better mate.
Have you seen "Serendipity?"
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Yehudi Ben Israel
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When I was 12 or 13 I would often read the "naughty" bits of Harlequin romances for titillation. It often seemed that the men in these stories never needed to "ask," that the heroines wanted to be "taken" by them. This was material written exclusively by women for women. No doubt though that these heroines would not want non-alphas whose character they're sussing out to be so presumptuous as to "take" them. Thus the request from feminists that men always ask for consent is significantly about urging non-alpha males to know their place.
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Shanna
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A) How long ago was that?

B) Why do you have such difficulty separating fantasy from the real world?

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Yehudi Ben Israel
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
quote:
Imagine a "romantic" film in which a man dumps a woman whom he likes and appreciates, shares a lot of interests with, etc, for the mere chance of getting with what strikes him as a better mate.
Have you seen "Serendipity?"
No.

In "Sleepless in Seattle," Bill Pullman's character getting dumped was part of the only plot. This is how Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan get together in this movie: Tom Hanks' loving wife dies. Meg Ryan dumps a loving fiance for the prospect of getting with a man she has never met. Can the film work if it's Meg Ryan's husband who died and Tom Hanks abandons a loving and compatible fiance all the while semi-stalking and obsessing about the new woman he wants (as Meg Ryan does to Tom Hanks in the film?). No. It's men who can be discarded at women's whims. The point is that female produced movies/romantic fiction is only too revealing about women's nature and desires.

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Yehudi Ben Israel
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quote:
Originally posted by Shanna:
B) Why do you have such difficulty separating fantasy from the real world? [/QB]

We can infer a lot about what about what women want and think about relationships from the romantic stories they create or find appealing.

I'm 28.

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Yehudi Ben Israel
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quote:
Originally posted by Corwin:
xkcd's take on the issue.

Argue that stated preferences are often different from revealed preferences...win the nobel prize.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Revealed_preference

Argue that this also applies to women when it comes to relationships: You're a sexist.

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Shanna
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quote:
Originally posted by Yehudi Ben Israel:
quote:
Originally posted by Shanna:
B) Why do you have such difficulty separating fantasy from the real world?

We can infer a lot about what about what women want and think about relationships from the romantic stories they create or find appealing.

I'm 28. [/QB]

No, you can find out something about what women fantasize about when you read the their fantastical works. You can also explore what they do not want because fantasies are a safe place to explore the multi-faceted issue of romantic attraction and sexuality.

If you want to learn about how human beings live their lives, then you should talk to living human beings. And since they're live people deserving of your respect, you should actually listen and take to heart the things they say without twisting it into some strange sexist-based bias.

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Rakeesh
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As if you weren't enough of a laughingstock alteady, Clive, you explain that one of your formative insights into heterosexual female sexuality was [i]old bodice rippers[/].

Please, make sure you tell people that little anecdote at every opportunity.

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Yehudi Ben Israel
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This guy has an interesting theory about why women like "a**holes."

http://www.reddit.com/r/TheRedPill/comments/1wwpqc/why_women_love_assholes_an_alternate_view/

quote:
I've been developing a theory that I think might add a bit to TRP thinking on this topic.

Men are sexually attracted to traits in women that are fully observable when they first meet (i.e. physical beauty).

Women are sexually attracted to traits in men that are only partially observable when they first meet (i.e. social status, confidence).

What does this mean for dating? Well imagine a world in which the traits men find attractive in women are partially unobservable. Specifically, let's pretend women walk around in full burqas on the streets and in public, but otherwise act just like Western women. You can see if a woman is overweight or not, but otherwise you can't tell if she's hot. After a few dates though, you get to see what's underneath. These women are relatively experienced, they've dated men before and shown them what is underneath their burqas, and thus these women know their own sexual market value.

Now, you approach a woman on the streets who looks decently in-shape and you think might be attractive. She is very receptive to your approach. She's kind and sweet and seems excited to go on a date with you. What do you think to yourself? "Shit, this girl is probably ugly."

You approach another girl. When she sees you, she is cold and standoffish. What do you think to yourself? "Awesome, this girl is probably so hot. I better try harder."

This is the world women live in. When they meet you, they can't really tell how attractive you are. So they rely on your behavior to tell them. The less interested in them you are, the more options they think you have, and the more attractive they think you must be. So when you treat them like dirt, they think you must be god's gift to women.

It's only later that they find out whether or not you really have those qualities they are looking for. This is your "burqa" coming off. If you want to keep a girl after that point you better be as alpha as your behavior implies, but before that point they only have your behavior to go on.


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Yehudi Ben Israel
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The most hilarious part of this manosphere scene is the group of "nice guys" who have fallen for pick-up artist guru schemes and shelled considerable $$$$ to become better with women but now are totally bitter against those gurus.

http://puahate.com/index.php

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Rakeesh
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Oh, that's not the most hilarious part, by a wide margin. It's not even a contender.

Well above that, for example, would be the man in your quoted reddit remarks who claimed that women wait to decide how sexually attracted they are to a guy by a careful analysis if his behavior and what it might mean about his status. While also suggesting that status is unimportant to men.

Say, Clive, how's the dating life going? Are you still nursing some hopes in the midst of your little misogyny vanity project, or have you just given into the nice, soothing worldview that requires no change or growth from you and places all f the blame in women or in the men women like, which also sets you aside from any unpleasant realizations?

Remember! A few internet articles and discussion forums means Mans are On the Rise!

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Dogbreath
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You know, there are plenty of fantasy books and movies where men go around on vigilante killing sprees, or even just really enjoy beating people up. Do you think the fact that a lot of men in our culture comsume and enjoy that sort of media means that murder is somehow more socially acceptable?

Fantasy is just that - it's not real. And in certain situations, BDSM can be very exciting if it's done in a safe environment. Without going into too much detail, my wife sometimes asks me to be "rough". And that's because she trusts me completely and knows I respect her and will stop instantly if she asks. If, OTOH on our first date I had (without asking or talking about it first) grabbed her and shoved her against the wall and started ripping her clothes off she would've been absolutely terrified. (and rightly so) The inability of some posters here to tell the difference between fantasy and reality is somewhat terrifying.

Another example: I greatly enjoyed watching Spartacus Blood and Sand. Do I like the fantasy of being a gladiator? Yes. Would I like to participate in gladiator LARPing in a safe and controlled environment? Maybe. Do I actually want to be a gladiator? F*** no!

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Rakeesh
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Yeah, but you've got a good job, right? Ask yourself: since you were like a Walmart greeter* when you met her, and you've got a suitably alpha job now, doesn't that just prove it???

*cmon. We know you were. Otherwise she wouodnt have found it alarming!

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Dogbreath
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Hmm. That's a good point. I've been promoted twice since I met her (two more phalluses on my rank insignia!)... I should really consider going officer. (maybe then she'll consent to more offspring)
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Betwixt
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Geez. Linking to The Red Pill... that's not biased at all. At least the Blue Pill had some funny comments in response to said post.

http://www.reddit.com/r/TheBluePill/comments/1wxing/why_women_love_assholes_the_less_interested_in/


The fantasy thing is what I was trying to pry out of Dan_Frank a page back. Dogbreath, I really appreciate what you shared from your personal experience. Violent fantasy in media appears to be comparable to romantic fantasy. It's a way of exploring some extremes that are otherwise not acceptable in the reality of our personal lives (unless consented to). I grew up playing a lot of violent first-person shooters. This did not cause me to see tragedies like Columbine as okay or normal. Non-consensual stuff implied in romantic movies shouldn't be spilling over into the real world either, and yet this seems like a much greater leap for people to recognize the potential harm in.

The few 'nice guys' I've come into contact with did not recognize this separation. They were pulling many of their courtship methods from romantic movies (and porn maybe) as if they were examples of what all women wanted. Yet most of these same guys consumed violent media and understood those as fantasies, which didn't apply to real life.

The argument can be made (and is) that violence in media can desensitize its impact to the viewer and normalize violent behavior and likewise that unhealthy/non-consenual romantic tropes are doing the same. Which is fair, but I don't believe censorship is the answer. I would think education and awareness are key. And more than that, broadening the kinds of entertainment available so that people have alternate options to choose from. There are efforts being made to get more women into writing and directing, which may shift things a bit, but the status quo will take a while to break down. The industry would likely benefit from fresh perspectives outside of the dominant white male experience.

I do think that consent should be a significant topic in sex education curriculum, where it is often totally absent (in the US at least). Maybe that could help alleviate anyone feeling like they are owed any kind of relationship, regardless of how 'nice' they are.

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Rakeesh
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The interesting thing is that you can see just how much a perspective such as Clive's is rooted in confusion of fictional portrayals and fantasies with reality. This alpha male business, this view of women, it's like something out of a luxury car commercial or cologne when he's attempting to be more high-minded and rational. More like a beer commercial when he's not.

As for the rest, I wholeheartedly agree with you re: consent and education. How can anyone fairly say that humans in general and women in particular don't actually want something like explicit consent if they're not taught that it's a viable option early on?

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narrativium
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quote:
Originally posted by Dogbreath:
I've been promoted twice since I met her (two more phalluses on my rank insignia!)

Phrasing = Brilliants!
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Dogbreath
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Is that you, Dan?

And do you ever post more than 20 words at a time?

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Dan_Frank
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I... What?

I'm not sure what that post means. Why would I post as a different name? And since when are my posts so short? Hell, scroll up half a page to see a post of mine that is longer than 20 words.

I'm baffled. I'm not even sure if you're intending to insult me or call me out or something, or if that was a genuine question, or if you meant it as (confusing) good natured ribbing, or you're thinking of a different guy named Dan, or what.

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Dogbreath
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No, I have a buddy named Dan who lurks here and posts occassionally. I've yet to find out what name he posts under (he thinks it's funny), I just saw Hatrack up on his computer occassionally back when we worked together and I've long suspected he's narrativium. Nothing related to you at all.
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Dan_Frank
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Aha!! Okay that makes way more sense. Sorry.
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JanitorBlade
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I can confirm that Yehudi is just another Sa'eed alt. In the meantime could y'all forbear from engaging with him?

Thank you.

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narrativium
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You've long suspected wrong, Dogbreath. Sorry to burst that bubble.
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Rakeesh
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I am Danicus!
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Boris
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I am Danicus.
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Danicus
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I am Danicus!
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Dogbreath
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Well, this is awkward.
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Rakeesh
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Who ya gonna crucify now, Crassus, and whatcha got against Thracian generals anyway? Thought you said you liked gladiators!
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Rakeesh
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I hope Danicus is in fact your buddy Dan, and he's enjoying crowd sourcing his screwing with you;)
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Samprimary
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god willing some day men will break the chains of their social oppression. god willing. it may be too much to dream but someday i see a man in the white house. maybe 44 in a row.
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CT
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*snort


---

It's also worth noting that the world of publication is rife with pseudonyms. I don't think many would disagree that more women than men are trade published romance authors -- though the balance is shifting over time -- but there have always been male writers using female pseudonyms.

Leigh Greenwood (in RL, Harold Lowry) started writing romance in 1985 and is a former president of the Romance Writers of America.

Leigh Greenwood: Real Men Write Romance

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Rakeesh
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quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
god willing some day men will break the chains of their social oppression. god willing. it may be too much to dream but someday i see a man in the white house. maybe 44 in a row.

God damn the uterine tyranny that is the humble man's lot in life, but even now as things stand, another masked of our oppression, we may not reach 45 consecutive make presidents! Outrage! Let's also not forget the way that these women don't always react in the ways which I expect and approve of. They're all playing games!
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Samprimary
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I do kind of hope for a day when Hatrack can discuss issues without these without being absolutely frighteningly atrocious
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BlackBlade
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Samprimary has almond breath. Discuss.
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Destineer
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Yehudi Ben Israel... Jesus. I should've known this topic would draw out Clive C.
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