Battlepanda: Broken Biscuits


Always trying to figure things out with the minimum of bullshit and the maximum of belligerence.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Broken Biscuits

Lindsay's post on "nice guys" (of the type best illustrated by these two comic strips one of her commenters linked to) was scathingly hilarious. Amanda's follow-up comparing and contrasting the 'nice guy' trope versus the 'Cinderella' in pop culture was insightful and satisfying. This being the internets, there was no short supply of men who sprang up to defend the nice guy in the comments, only to get mercilessly slammed by fed-up women, and rightly so, for the most part.

So why do I still feel bad for nice guys?

Perhaps it's because I too was spectacularly mal-adjusted in my school days. In fact, I literally cannot think of another female in my high school who was as socially clueless as I was. (Or still am. I don't know.) And I kind of assumed that most people who are here with us, typing away at two in the morning on the ins and outs of Plamegate, share this affliction to some degree. It's natural to feel sympathy for those guys because because I was their female counterpart, yet it in a way it makes their insensitivity and self-pity at how badly treated they are by the females of the species doubly galling because they behave as if girls like me simply didn't count. And so we come to the real title of this post:

Advice for nice guys from a nice girl:
( Take with an open mind and a pinch of salt.)

1) If you are shy/awkward/lacking in self-confidence, dating will be hell.
Trust me on this one: this is a gender-neutral phenomenon, not the women's fault. Nice guys often act as if they have a tougher row to hoe than nice girls because they have to be the one to make the first move. What they don't realize it is equally agonizing not to have the perogative to make the first move, especially in under a system where women often feel their self-worth ebb and flow according to the amount of male attention they recieve.

2) Realize that the movies are sweet, sweet poison.

As Amanda noted, it is one of the 6 master plots they have to use for every movie to have the One Hot Girl realize that the flashy guy is a jerk and come to appreciate the Nice Guy for the beautiful human being that he is. But when was the last time the sweet, average-looking girl got her man in a movie? It is rank hypocrisy for men to expect women to love them for their souls when they are only interested in paying attention to the One Hot Girl.

Corollary 2a) Becoming the shopping buddy/shoulder to cry on/homework slave for the One Hot Girl will not get you any closer to being considered boyfriend material.

3) Resist self-pity or the temptation to blame women.
There is nothing wrong with being a genuinely nice guy. It is when shy, mild-mannered men who lack confidence think that because they are so nice it is an injustice that they don't have the woman they want that they become the despised "nice guy", quotation marks necessary.

4) Try hard to treat women just like you treat men.
That way, you don't have to beat yourself up figuring out what women want, or what the acceptable bounds of behaviors are. This would require some self control, but not clairvoyance, since you already know how to act around your buddies. You're also forced to relax around women since you're hanging out with them all the time. As a bonus, women appreciate being treated like just another human being, believe it or not.

"But I don't want to be just a buddy!", you say. Well, unless the whole nice-guy thing is just a ruse, more female buddies should be a good thing. Besides, as long as you respect 2a), eventually, you will find a girl-buddy you have so much in common with and feel so comfortable with that a minimum amount of gumption/alcohol/special occasions frisson would be required to get you guys together.

5) Finding a nice girl will set you free from dating hell.
Nice girl/nice guy combinations are often happy and stable. Perhaps it is because they are (wild generalizing here) frequently based on having stuff in common and mutual respect. Perhaps it is because the thought of being out on the block again strikes fear into both their hearts.

It is my belief that for every nice guy out there there is an equivalent nice (but not stunning/confident) girl. The pressures they face from society are different, but they're fundamentally in the same predicament. The potential for happiness is there, people. Go out there and find a misfit just like you.

Mis-shapes, mistakes, misfits.
Raised on a diet of broken biscuits, oh we don't look the same as you
We don't do the things you do, but we live around here too.
Oh really.
Mis-shapes, mistakes, misfits, we'd like to go to town but we can't risk it
Oh 'cause they just want to keep us out.
You could end up with a smash in the mouth just for standing out.
Oh really. Brothers, sisters, can't you see?
The future's owned by you and me.
There won't be fighting in the street.
They think they've got us beat, but revenge is going to be so sweet.
We're making a move, we're making it now, we're coming out of the side-lines.
Just put your hands up - it's a raid yeah:
We want your homes, we want your lives,
we want the things you won't allow us.
We won't use guns, we won't use bombs
We'll use the one thing we've got more of - that's our minds.

Pulp, "misshapes"