Battlepanda: Nice Guys, Taiwanese style


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

Monday, June 04, 2007

Nice Guys, Taiwanese style

Not only do they have "Nice Guys" in Taiwan, they have a whole internet-based subculture dedicated to nice-guys and their travails. For the uninitiated, when I'm talking about Nice Guys here I'm not using the term as a synonym for "decent person", I'm referring to a perculiar kind of pathology in which a diffident man feel likes he deserves to be with the One Hot Girl because he's soooooo nice to her.

Here's a Taipei Times article from last year detailing the "Nice Guy" phenomenon here that is pretty much a parallel of the kind of "Nice Guys" Marcotte and Majikthise have observed in the field. It seems though that Taiwanese nice guys seem to be even more lacking in the self-awareness section. Here is a poem that pretty much pinpoints the moment where frustration and insecurity gives way to naked misogyny in awful free verse.
【A good man 】
You called me in that anxious emotion,
So I came to your house with no hesitation.
Soon I found that you just needed a low-priced repairer
To help you fix your expensive computer.
For I was a woeful good man,
I did not even complain.
Yet you were such a bitch!
While I repaired it, you with other bad men played sandwich--
Finally I decide to let you know my mind,
Whereas you mercilessly hand me a Good-man Card.
I am a good man, always make my hot face
Nestle to your cold ass--
The subculture these Nice Guys or "Good men" belong to (or is loosely affiliated with) is called "Otaku", although there seems to be some controversy over which subgroups can truly lay claim to the term. A glimpse of the ideal male-female relationship as conceptualized by the Otaku is distubing:
For Akiba-types who can't make the pilgrimage to otaku town, Fatimaid is the place to be. A direct copy of Akihabara's meido cafes, in this fantasy escape, young women wearing French maid costumes pamper customers with exaggerated humility and carefully scripted dialogue — just like the heroines in maid romance anime and comics. "Welcome home, master," says a maid, greeting a guest.

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