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Friendzone bone? None. Alone.
June 28, 2013 9:30 AM   Subscribe

"Calling out rapists and online predators is a more than legitimate strategy for dealing with abuse. But how are we supposed to handle common-or-garden sexist dickwaddery when it puts photos on the internet and asks to be loved, or at least to enter what one heavily-photoshopped smiler refers to hopefully as “the bone zone”?" Laurie Penny on Nice Guys Of OK Cupid (nsfw language)
posted by mippy (385 comments total) 28 users marked this as a favorite

 
Yeah, the tee-shirts suck, but look at those fedoras ladies!
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 9:38 AM on June 28, 2013


Wow, I find the tumblr itself much more inappropriate than the comments they often take out of context.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 9:39 AM on June 28, 2013 [8 favorites]


Yeah, the tee-shirts suck, but look at those fedoras ladies!

That's the worst part, really. I have a nice black, wool overcoat for wearing over formal clothes when it's cold out, but nothing to put on my head without looking (or being accused of looking) like one of these jerks.
posted by fifthrider at 9:40 AM on June 28, 2013 [3 favorites]


An interesting cracked article from the second link: 5 reasons your online dating profile isn't working
posted by rebent at 9:42 AM on June 28, 2013 [8 favorites]


Every time I look at those Nice Guy sites I thank the heavens I am married, because otherwise I would head for the nearest nunnery and abjure the company of all men. I just...I can't even wrap my head around it. Do they have NO ONE in their life who can tell them honestly they are being complete dicks?
posted by bitter-girl.com at 9:42 AM on June 28, 2013 [9 favorites]


This tumblr is great and the article is a pretty awesomely thoughtful analysis of it.
posted by Blasdelb at 9:42 AM on June 28, 2013 [5 favorites]


I've come across the Tumblr before reading the article, and it did make me think that their crimes aren't so much being sexist/prejudiced/racist etc (although the comments suggest they very much are) as being dumb enough to say sexist/prejudiced/racist things in 'public'. I don't believe everyone is a little bit racist etc necessarily, but that somehow or other we all hold a view that some may find questionable, and one would think that a person would be able to hold that back until at least the third date. After the shagging, preferably.
posted by mippy at 9:42 AM on June 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


Wow, I find the tumblr itself much more inappropriate than the comments they often take out of context.

Could you elaborate a bit on why?
posted by kagredon at 9:43 AM on June 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


kagredon, I don't know, public shaming makes me uncomfortable. Even for jerks.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 9:45 AM on June 28, 2013 [26 favorites]


But I like fedoras! On men, on women (as they're supposed to be), they are very attractive hats! I'm not so fussed on the trilby species, but a lovely wider-brimmed fedora or a well-made panama hat just looks so good.

I want to start a grassroots campaign to reclaim the image of the fedora.
posted by jb at 9:45 AM on June 28, 2013 [22 favorites]


(I also find it quite amusing that an august Left publication such as the New Statesman has taken on so many young folk from the blogosphere. It's not a bad thing, but imagine the Spectator trying to write about Tumblr, Kickstarter sexism or OKCupid? I'm not even sure BoJo knows how to switch on his computer without a comely secretary coming over to press the on button for him - after which he would slap her butt and say 'Now, I need to look at The Twitters'.)
posted by mippy at 9:46 AM on June 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm with you on Panama hats, but that site just made me want to have a shower.
posted by arcticseal at 9:46 AM on June 28, 2013


Man, nice guys are such dicks.
posted by Ad hominem at 9:49 AM on June 28, 2013 [4 favorites]


I like this article, it's a much more nuanced take than the usual discussions of the Nice Guy, because it does at least take a little while to look into how a sexist and heavily gender-stereotyped culture produced the insecurities that created the Nice Guy. It's always heartening to see someone note that the perceived 'misandry' out there is actually misogyny, and a strict definition of 'masculinity' that exists as an opposition to (bad, gross) 'femininity'.

I'm not too pleased with the tumblr these days - it seems to have switched moderators from someone who wasn't interested in discussing "men's rights" culture, fedoras, ponies, etc, but just wanted to point out men who a) say they are nice in their profile and also b) say things that are decidedly not nice. I think the new focus on reaming a particular subset of culture is distracting from the actual point, which is that saying you are nice does not make it so.

I'm also going to link the Lore Sjøberg article on "nice guys" because I think it should basically be required reading for adulthood.
posted by capricorn at 9:49 AM on June 28, 2013 [25 favorites]


I went in expecting not to like it, but that was well said.

One can only hope he is making a tiny cup of tea to cheer himself up with.

Such an easy joke, but I chuckled.

Wow, I find the tumblr itself much more inappropriate than the comments they often take out of context.

I think that is the gist of the op-ed, or at least that both are problematic.

Here is the meat of the problem:

there has to be an answer to these guys that isn’t just pointing and laughing.

So what is it? Better education and better parenting? There is no easy fix here. The Internet (and the honest responses it engenders) should help?

An interesting cracked article from the second link: 5 reasons your online dating profile isn't working

Yeah, I didn't think I'd like that one either, but it wasn't too bad.
posted by mrgrimm at 9:50 AM on June 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


[A couple comments removed, please try to make the thread better if you see a way to do so instead of just sniping about how you don't like it.]
posted by cortex at 9:50 AM on June 28, 2013


If you're into fedoras, go to Dallas. Was there a few months ago for the first time, and they were absolutely everywhere, on men and women. Our theory was that it's a Bear Bryant thing, but most of the wearers didn't look like football fans.
posted by schoolgirl report at 9:51 AM on June 28, 2013


Also, I do agree with the article's author - I don't think public shaming is always the best or most effective way to make a point and the tumblr is sort of 'let's poke the insecure people', which is not my favorite thing even if the insecure people are unpleasant human beings.
posted by capricorn at 9:52 AM on June 28, 2013 [5 favorites]


kagredon, I don't know, public shaming makes me uncomfortable.

Fair enough. I don't read the Tumblr regularly, because it does kind of have a "look at this asshole" vibe and about a subject that makes me kind of touchy at the best of times, but on the other hand, these are guys who put these statements in a public profile (one that, I think, is intended to help them appear attractive), and the humor/irony is derived in large part from the tension between how they view themselves and how they're likely to come off to people, which I think sets NGoOKC apart from something like People of Wal-Mart.

(It did also lead to Nice Guys of Westeros)
posted by kagredon at 9:52 AM on June 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


kagredon, I don't know, public shaming makes me uncomfortable. Even for jerks.

I don't know. Sometimes, it takes a community coming together and saying "yeah, no, actually this thing you're doing is shitty and wrong" to create change. I think public shaming has a place in society.
posted by showbiz_liz at 9:52 AM on June 28, 2013 [11 favorites]


"The Hive Vagina..."

oh great, now i won't be able to sleep for a week...
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 9:54 AM on June 28, 2013 [8 favorites]


I don't know. Sometimes, it takes a community coming together and saying "yeah, no, actually this thing you're doing is shitty and wrong" to create change. I think public shaming has a place in society.

I just think it's shitty on the internet. People have jobs, people have kids. Maybe they should be more careful about their dating profiles, but the owner of this tumblr sucks.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 9:55 AM on June 28, 2013 [7 favorites]


If you're into fedoras, go to Dallas.

Tom Landry wore a fedora as well, although maybe that's not it either. I also hope these aren't the standard felt fedoras because that sounds miserable in Dallas.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 9:56 AM on June 28, 2013


Shoot, I'm sorry, this is the article I was talking about.
posted by capricorn at 9:56 AM on June 28, 2013


I'm not at all uncomfortable about shining a light on dudes who openly admit that they believe they are entitled to nonconsensual sex. I do agree that it is a shitty thing to do to the guys who are just painfully awkward and trying their best.
posted by elizardbits at 9:57 AM on June 28, 2013 [53 favorites]


I just think it's shitty on the internet. People have jobs, people have kids. Maybe they should be more careful about their dating profiles, but the owner of this tumblr sucks.

Why should there be no consequences for behaving and speaking fairly publicly, fairly freely, as though women are possessions etc etc?
posted by liketitanic at 9:57 AM on June 28, 2013 [22 favorites]


To my knowledge, the tumblr runner isn't sending these to HR departments, or even including the guy's real names (ie, presenting these in a way that would come up in a Google name search.) Culling publicly-available profile information isn't doxxing.
posted by kagredon at 9:57 AM on June 28, 2013 [4 favorites]


From the Wired link capricorn brought up:

"At any rate, if a woman does say 'I just wish I could find a nice guy,' I would suggest this is the equivalent of 'I’m so hungry I could eat a horse.' Which is to say, she’s not hoping you’ll say, 'You’re in luck, I have a dead horse in my backyard!'"

Easily the best summation of the core problem that I've read recently.
posted by fifthrider at 9:58 AM on June 28, 2013 [61 favorites]


I just...I can't even wrap my head around it. Do they have NO ONE in their life who can tell them honestly they are being complete dicks?

Pretty sure that even if such guys are able to behave well-enough in real life to attract close female friends, they aren't particularly inclined to solicit or listen to their advice.
posted by kagredon at 9:59 AM on June 28, 2013 [3 favorites]


Pretty sure that even if such guys are able to behave well-enough in real life to attract close female friends, they aren't particularly inclined to solicit or listen to their advice.

Well, even strangers on the Internet feel inclined to protect them. So why would the women in their lives feel safe or comfortable being honest?
posted by liketitanic at 10:00 AM on June 28, 2013 [15 favorites]


they aren't particularly inclined to solicit or listen to their advice

Dude, and risk getting friendzoned for being a homo?
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 10:01 AM on June 28, 2013 [5 favorites]


It's also pretty sad that they have no male friends in their life who would tell them that they're being assbags.
posted by elizardbits at 10:01 AM on June 28, 2013 [24 favorites]


There is/was also a Flatcaps of OKCupid tumblr. The first time I saw it, I misread that as "Catflaps of OKCupid." I searched the backgrounds of several photos in vain before realizing my mistake and closing the tab in a surprising surge of dashed hopes. Really.
posted by Elsa at 10:02 AM on June 28, 2013 [14 favorites]


It's also pretty sad that they have no male friends in their life who would tell them that they're being assbags.

Jerks of a feather flock together.
posted by fifthrider at 10:03 AM on June 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yeah, that Lore Sjøberg article is something I wish had existed when I was, say, 16 - 18. Maybe 25. Who cares about nice? Nice is the bare minimum that's expected of you if you're to be suffered in polite company. And no one gets any bonus points for doing what they're supposed to be doing, as Chris Rock once said with more cursing.
posted by 1adam12 at 10:03 AM on June 28, 2013 [12 favorites]


Please don't do this here.
posted by Kevin Street at 10:04 AM on June 28, 2013


But how are we supposed to handle common-or-garden sexist dickwaddery when it puts photos on the internet and asks to be loved, or at least to enter what one heavily-photoshopped smiler refers to hopefully as “the bone zone”?

We all want to be loved, it's part of the human condition. But no one has a right to be loved or taken seriously in your attempts to be loved, especially when you enter the dialogue in bad faith (and it is a bad faith attempt to date when you publicly post about how all the women are bitches who won't give you time.) That's the dividing line for me - if a guy is making a serious attempt on a site and only comes off as schlubby and hopeless, most of us just feel sorry for him and wish him well. But if he's actively doing this aggressive "I'm a great guy and women are horrible superficial c*nts" routine, then that absolutely needs to be called out. I've also seen enough internet conversations between those sorts of guys and people who earnestly try to point them in the right direction, and they've never ended with any sort of understanding. Maybe shaming does get the point across when links to feminism 101 sites don't.
posted by naju at 10:04 AM on June 28, 2013 [21 favorites]


Do they have NO ONE in their life who can tell them honestly they are being complete dicks?

So I think I've said this before on here, but quite often nerd/geek culture glorifies being an asshole--especially if, god forbid, you're the funny asshole--and it's very easy as an awkward young man to wrap yourself in that role if that's the only thing you've got going in your life that people respect. It's how you get 30+ year olds still dropping racist jokes and cackling like Peter Griffin, then getting mad when people call them out or nobody laughs. It's classic "I don't have a problem, YOU HAVE A PROBLEM", because I'm the funny asshole. There's also a whole rebellious teenager streak running through this sort of culture where grown men will refuse to wear polo shirts or shirts with collars or that sort of thing because they're still mad at the douchebags that beat them up in high school and they want to show they aren't like THEM, MAAAAAN! I'm not a fratboy jock bro even though I'm in my 30s and well past the point anyone cares about those labels.

So even if they did have someone tell them they're being a toolbag, that would just reassure them in their identity and role because oh yeah, I'm too edgy for them to handle, I'm just a little too real for them. That way being an outcast isn't because you're awkward/poorly dressed/kind of an asshole, it's because you're too cool for them anyway.
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 10:05 AM on June 28, 2013 [45 favorites]


It's also pretty sad that they have no male friends in their life who would tell them that they're being assbags.

assbags tend to coagulate into assbag micelles. By the time you're posting "A man wants to be NURTURED; not NAGGED" on your dating profile, any nice male friends you may have had at one point have given up and all you're left with are the dudebros cheering you on
posted by kagredon at 10:05 AM on June 28, 2013 [10 favorites]


there has to be an answer to these guys that isn’t just pointing and laughing

Couldn't you just not go out with them? Rejoice in the fact that these dickbags will never, ever be successful in online dating? Roll your eyes and move on?
posted by Sys Rq at 10:06 AM on June 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


What an ugly site.
posted by nathancaswell at 10:06 AM on June 28, 2013 [5 favorites]



Why should there be no consequences for behaving and speaking fairly publicly, fairly freely, as though women are possessions etc etc?


That quote is just...well, now I'm worried. I have no tattoos, but a surgeon once took out the remains of my burst appendix, an operation that took a couple of hours or so of touching and cutting my skin, leaving a scar. That means my boyfriend has spent the last six years seeing where a man has left a mark on me. Dear OKC bloke, does that mean I am now a Dirty Slut?

There was another thread here where someone suggested a blog called The Rules Revisited. It was, apparently, a guide to what men really want in a woman. One post told me that the 'ideal height' for a woman is 5ft2 to 5ft 6.

As I haven't been 5ft 6 since I was eleven, this confused me. I don't remember that many men being interested in dating me when I was eleven. Someone below had the same predicament - 'what if u are 5ft 7 but still attractive do you have advice for me' - but no advice was forthcoming.

So now I have learned that I am BRANDED and an UNSEXY GIRAFFE. Thanks, internet men.
posted by mippy at 10:07 AM on June 28, 2013 [13 favorites]


Couldn't you just not go out with them? Rejoice in the fact that these dickbags will never, ever be successful in online dating? Roll your eyes and move on?

Not really, because women also have to live in this world, and while it's relatively easy to avoid these guys in online dating, you can't always avoid (or even identify) them in public spaces/at work/at school.
posted by kagredon at 10:07 AM on June 28, 2013 [18 favorites]


I like this so much I don't even know how to put it into words. So so much. And YES to all the examples of guys who write that the girl must not be "fat ugly bad clothes etc etc" and also not judge them on THEIR appearance. What even is up with that?

Couldn't you just not go out with them? Rejoice in the fact that these dickbags will never, ever be successful in online dating? Roll your eyes and move on?

There are a lot of them and they're exhausting and it's like this giant weight when you're trying to date to have these people coming at you all the time with this stuff.
posted by sweetkid at 10:10 AM on June 28, 2013 [6 favorites]


Not really, because women also have to live in this world, and while it's relatively easy to avoid these guys in online dating, you can't always avoid (or even identify) them in public spaces/at work/at school.

But then isn't it better if they are their true misogynistic selves in a googlable online environment so that you can screen them out?
posted by Sys Rq at 10:10 AM on June 28, 2013


Yeah, it doesn't happen in a vaccum.

Ghostride the Whip's answer is a good one for the question: why doesn't anyone tell them? Trust me. We've tried.
posted by mrgrimm at 10:11 AM on June 28, 2013 [12 favorites]


the owner of this tumblr sucks.

I agree, but only because of the poor web design. Awesome concept. Poor execution. The essence of this kind of tumblr is that you should look at an entry and see immediately what's going on. The author is too focused on excerpting comment dialogs to explain the joke in half the entries.
posted by deanc at 10:12 AM on June 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


I don't understand what the young boys in the stupid-but-popular-meme-cool-story... t-shirts have to do with OK Cupid.
posted by 0 at 10:12 AM on June 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


The Hive Vagina

I LOL'd.
posted by rtha at 10:12 AM on June 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


I'd rather they not be their "true misogynistic selves" ever anywhere (and as previously said, the tumblr isn't googleable, and no I don't google every person I meet. Ain't no one got time for that.)

I would double prefer it if that was because they didn't believe misogynistic nonsense, but I will also accept them keeping it to themselves because they know it's completely not socially acceptable to say out loud. Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good and all that.
posted by kagredon at 10:12 AM on June 28, 2013 [5 favorites]


To be fair, "I'm a man of nsure, a woodland gnome in pursuit of the treasures of the forest." is a great line.

Well, for an underground comic from 1971....
posted by GenjiandProust at 10:13 AM on June 28, 2013 [3 favorites]


I think the public calling out, especially on a site like tumblr where the (i think) average age skews towards the younger end of the spectrum, is a fairly valuable social tool. It seems obvious to most of us here that the behavior of these dudes is pretty unacceptable, but there may be plenty of high school guys who see this behavior online and want to emulate it, and plenty of high school girls who hear too much of this shit from their male acquaintances without having confirmation that it is, in fact, shitty. This is, after all, a country in which teenage gang rape victims are subject to death threats for "ruining boys' lives".

I admit this is awfully close to a "please won't someone think of the children" argument but seriously can we just tell kids that being relentlessly shitty is wrong and being angry about relentless shittiness is okay? Like, officially?
posted by elizardbits at 10:13 AM on June 28, 2013 [33 favorites]


Do they have NO ONE in their life who can tell them honestly they are being complete dicks?

Not only have people tried, but there are people telling them expressly to behave like tools because this is how it's supposed to work.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:14 AM on June 28, 2013 [13 favorites]


Why should there be no consequences for behaving and speaking fairly publicly, fairly freely, as though women are possessions etc etc?

Obviously that guy is an asshole for a variety of reasons, but one thing that jumped out at me is the assumption that tattoo artists are male. My wife has three tattoos (sorry BRANDING MARKS FROM OTHER MEN) and two of them were done by women. That's obviously just the tip of horrible gender ideas iceberg, but it caught me eye.

Well, that and the fact that he's confused an Ichthys (the Jesus fish) with Ichthyosis (the skin condition).
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 10:14 AM on June 28, 2013 [17 favorites]


There's also a whole rebellious teenager streak running through this sort of culture where grown men will refuse to wear polo shirts

To be fair, wearing a polo shirt, particularly when matched with pleated khakis, is like wearing a neon sign that says "tool." Yes, don't dress like a manchild (dude in flip flops and cargo shorts with thinkgeek tshirt, I'm looking at you). But don't dress like a suburban middle management drone, either.
posted by deanc at 10:15 AM on June 28, 2013 [7 favorites]


Its kinda true though. I have female friends and they always give me advice like "You should be nicer" and "You should say hello to people". I start saying hello to people, but then I have to stand there awkwardly while they try to talk to me about baseball or something.

I befriended some regular people, I made it clear upfront I don't know about things like the NFL draft and had no opinions on vacation destinations but if they needed an opinion on Firefly I could be their go to guy, and tried to learn about baseball but it is so hard to keep current.

The most recent advice I got from a female friend is that I should move to Greece. She thinks with my USD paycheck I could own the country within a week but it sounds like a bad idea to me.

What I did on okcupid was put absolutely no info, wait for the emails saying "XXXX rated you as a 4 or 5" and then message those people.

Worked surprisingly well but always ended in arguments about firefly. I don't really care about being friendzoned or whatever as long as it involves drinking and arguing about Firefly.
posted by Ad hominem at 10:15 AM on June 28, 2013 [19 favorites]


I'm also going to link the Lore Sjøberg article on "nice guys" because I think it should basically be required reading for adulthood.

MeFi's own, even!
posted by rtha at 10:17 AM on June 28, 2013


Pretty sure that even if such guys are able to behave well-enough in real life to attract close female friends, they aren't particularly inclined to solicit or listen to their advice.

Or alternately, they're decent guys that behave decently in face to face interactions, but have some combination of resentment and lack of social competence that expresses itself on OKCupid.

See, there's a temptation to want this to have all easy answers -- that these guys are just horrible people being horrible, or that if someone just tells them to stop, they'll stop. But both of these are unlikely to be true. These are more likely to be men who are no better or worse than other men in their day to day interactions with women, but who are lonely and say misogynist things because it's the path of least resistance to express their frustration in our culture. And just saying "cut that shit out" is unlikely to be very effective because many of these men lack the social skills to take up any advice they're given effectively.

This in no way changes the fact that nobody is obligated to put up with this misogyny, or to deal with social incompetence that makes them feel profoundly uncomfortable. But I seriously doubt it's as simple as a bad guy who is bad all the time saying bad things.

Worst of all, this is going to get worse, not better, because there are indications that Westerners are become less empathetic and friendship is in decline. This means we have a growing population who will be lonely, but lack the social skills to make connections. The best we can do is keep this problem from manifesting as misogyny, but that won't remove the frustration and resentment, and who knows where it will pop up next?
posted by mobunited at 10:17 AM on June 28, 2013 [4 favorites]


To be fair, wearing a polo shirt, particularly when matched with pleated khakis, is like wearing a neon sign that says "tool."

Nice to see we are so above judging people based on their appearances here at Sanctimony HQ of MeFi.
posted by nathancaswell at 10:17 AM on June 28, 2013 [37 favorites]


Well, that and the fact that he's confused an Ichthys (the Jesus fish) with Ichthyosis (the skin condition).

My Dad has ichthyosis and the idea of his legs covered with tiny schools of Jesus fish is hilarious. Doubly so because he's Jewish.

(And yeah, my primary tattooist is female, and that line confused me really badly too.)
posted by restless_nomad at 10:18 AM on June 28, 2013 [7 favorites]


I was on OKCupid for about 30 seconds years ago, and I got a message from a young man who sounded friendly enough and interesting. Clicked through to his profile, and it was a multi-screen rant about how he was a nice guy and all the women he'd been involved with were materialist bitches - it looked like a parodic example taken from an article about The Dangers Of Being That Guy. I think I read it thre times over to make sure it actually existed, because I didn't think even a profile consisting of 'yo i like bjs hit me up but no fat chics' could be more offputting to women. Sadly, his message to me was too nice for me to feel like messaging back and criticising it.
posted by mippy at 10:20 AM on June 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


These are more likely to be men who are no better or worse than other men in their day to day interactions with women, but who are lonely and say misogynist things because it's the path of least resistance to express their frustration in our culture

I mean, I get what you're saying, that there's a heavily societal/systematic component to expressed misogyny, and that's true. But I also think that you can't divorce the statements of misogyny from the guys expressing them--on some level, they've internalized that it's (for example) okay to judge women on looks but that if they're judged by women about looks, it's because women are shallow bitches. Guys who've internalized those kinds of beliefs tend not to interact healthily with women, not even as casual friends, because that kind of belief is incompatible with seeing women as whole people who can be your friends (which is what my maybe-too-flip comment was trying to get at)
posted by kagredon at 10:22 AM on June 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


I do like the op-ed, but the whole "nice guys" concept is super icky once you start heading down the rabbit hole.

It feels like all these guys are teenagers, or in a state of arrested development. I think I feel a bit worse now about the pointing and shaming. I don't think it helps overall.

I befriended some regular people, I made it clear upfront I don't know about things like the NFL draft ...

My advice, as someone with similar social difficulties through the years, is don't say that shit upfront. People enjoy mystery and learning interesting tidbits about acquaintances slowly, especially in a work situation.

To be fair, wearing a polo shirt, particularly when matched with pleated khakis, is like wearing a neon sign that says "tool." Yes, don't dress like a manchild (dude in flip flops and cargo shorts with thinkgeek tshirt, I'm looking at you). But don't dress like a suburban middle management drone, either.

Please. Don't.
posted by mrgrimm at 10:22 AM on June 28, 2013 [3 favorites]


but who are lonely and say misogynist things because it's the path of least resistance to express their frustration in our culture

Ohhhh, how sad for them. Sorry, brahs. Try harder.
posted by liketitanic at 10:23 AM on June 28, 2013 [7 favorites]


My best friend got a message on OkCupid once (actually she got a lot of messages but this one was my favorite) that simply said, "Yo bitch u need Jesus & u can find him thru me". His profile indicated that he was looking for casual hookups. And also, apparently, converts. At the same time.

She also, because she listed herself as bisexual, got propositions from men as far as 4 states away asking her to be in a threesome with them and their girlfriend, whom they had not asked about this arrangement yet but assured her their girlfriends would be fine with it once she showed up. OKCupid is a vast wasteland of WTF. Nice Guys are like the tip of the iceberg.
posted by WidgetAlley at 10:26 AM on June 28, 2013 [8 favorites]


Sometimes I'm amazed the at anyone manages to get laid at all.

Also, if you sing Hive Vagina to the tune of My Sharona, it sounds funny.
posted by jonmc at 10:28 AM on June 28, 2013 [35 favorites]


Also, if you sing Hive Vagina to the tune of My Sharona, it sounds funny.

why would you get this in my brain
posted by sweetkid at 10:30 AM on June 28, 2013 [54 favorites]


My advice, as someone with similar social difficulties through the years, is don't say that shit upfront. People enjoy mystery and learning interesting tidbits about acquaintances slowly, especially in a work situation.

It isn't like I sit them down and say "Look, I have something to tell you, I don't know what the wildcat offense is". The shit comes up all the time.

The other issue I run into is all these couples trolling okcupid for a second guy. I guess I could give it a shot but maybe give me some lead time instead of just messaging me "we are poly and here is a link to fetlife"
posted by Ad hominem at 10:30 AM on June 28, 2013 [3 favorites]


I befriended some regular people, I made it clear upfront I don't know about things like the NFL draft and had no opinions on vacation destinations but if they needed an opinion on Firefly I could be their go to guy, and tried to learn about baseball but it is so hard to keep current.

The most recent advice I got from a female friend is that I should move to Greece. She thinks with my USD paycheck I could own the country within a week but it sounds like a bad idea to me.

What I did on okcupid was put absolutely no info, wait for the emails saying "XXXX rated you as a 4 or 5" and then message those people.

Worked surprisingly well but always ended in arguments about firefly. I don't really care about being friendzoned or whatever as long as it involves drinking and arguing about firefly.
I'm having a really hard time trying to figure out whether this comment was supposed to be a parody of a "Nice Guy with bad luck dating" or not.
posted by deanc at 10:31 AM on June 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


I also really like flatcaps. My SO has the loveliest blue tweed flatcap that compliments his eyes.

basically, I'm pro-hat on everyone but me (don't like the feeling of things around my head).
posted by jb at 10:32 AM on June 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


Just out of curiosity are we all still cool with this if one of the guys in the tumblr kills himself over having the Human Flesh Internet Search Engine briefly focused on his individual stupidity?
posted by srboisvert at 10:33 AM on June 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


Meanwhile guys regularly exclude me in conversations about football, which I would like to join and contribute to.
posted by sweetkid at 10:33 AM on June 28, 2013 [3 favorites]


Who couldn't use more people to drink and argue about Firefly with?

(AH I think your comment is nice and if we're ever in the same town I will buy you a beer so we can talk about what the Alliance is meant to represent.)
posted by kagredon at 10:34 AM on June 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


Worked surprisingly well but always ended in arguments about firefly. I don't really care about being friendzoned or whatever as long as it involves drinking and arguing about firefly.

You should go hit on Abed from Community. He really likes talking about Firefly.
posted by jb at 10:34 AM on June 28, 2013 [3 favorites]


Just out of curiosity are we all still cool with this if one of the guys in the tumblr kills himself over having the Human Flesh Internet Search Engine briefly focused on his individual stupidity?

I think we can cross this ridiculous hypothetical bridge when we come to it, especially given how much misogynist stupidity gets a pass in this culture.
posted by kagredon at 10:34 AM on June 28, 2013 [20 favorites]


Firefly, fedoras, and the Wildcat offense? This thread is full of things that aren't as great as their fans claim.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 10:36 AM on June 28, 2013 [14 favorites]


The Alliance isn't meant to represent anything - it's just the Alliance. Obviously, Whedon was making a statement about oligarchies and putting the benefits of elites ahead of those on the margins, but there doesn't need to be a direct contemporary counterpart.
posted by jb at 10:36 AM on June 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


Just out of curiosity are we all still cool with this if one of the guys in the tumblr kills himself over having the Human Flesh Internet Search Engine briefly focused on his individual stupidity?

Yeah, I think that's a different and larger conversation about the public nature of the internet and mental health care in general. There's a substantial difference between one-off highlights of something - anything - and sustained harrassment, and depressingly enough dudes are much less at risk for the latter.
posted by restless_nomad at 10:36 AM on June 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm having a really hard time trying to figure out whether this comment was supposed to be a parody of a "Nice Guy with bad luck dating" or not.

I punched it up a little bit but not really. I think I may be very similar to those fedora wearing nice guys but never really became resentful because despite being somewhat awkward I always managed to have a girlfriend.
posted by Ad hominem at 10:37 AM on June 28, 2013


Sometimes I'm amazed the at anyone manages to get laid at all.

and yet, most people, even most "nice guys" who post clueless things on the internet, get laid and even get into serious relationships

maybe they grow out of it

maybe, and i know this is going to be REALLY hard for some people to accept, there are women out there who will go for this kind of guy - god knows i've seen women go for a lot worse than "nice guys"

it takes all kinds ...
posted by pyramid termite at 10:37 AM on June 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


The Alliance isn't meant to represent anything - it's just the Alliance. Obviously, Whedon was making a statement about oligarchies and putting the benefits of elites ahead of those on the margins, but there doesn't need to be a direct contemporary counterpart.

Eh, I don't subscribe to the whole it's an allegory for the Civil War! thing, but I do think the Alliance is supposed to be a little more complicated than "rich powerful baddies."
posted by kagredon at 10:39 AM on June 28, 2013


I'm pro-hat on everyone but me (don't like the feeling of things around my head).

I'm not so much pro-hat as anti-sun. I don't really want to wear a hat, but there's a fireball in the sky raining down UV rays during the day, and sunscreen feels more awkward on my face than a hat on my head.
posted by fatehunter at 10:40 AM on June 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


showbiz_liz: "Sometimes, it takes a community coming together and saying "yeah, no, actually this thing you're doing is shitty and wrong" to create change. I think public shaming has a place in society."


I often struggle with the EXPOSE AND SHAME vs. ENGAGE COMPASSIONATELY dilemma. It certainly feels good to get my righteous indignation on from time to time, and it's definitely a place that I go to when I speak at rallies or generally want to whip up a group of people who already agree with me. That said, I don't for a second try to conflate that tactic with actually effecting change. Maybe it gets the choir to open up their wallets a little wider or agree to go do some door-to-door GOTV work, but at the end of the day I have changed exactly zero minds. A man convinced against his will / is of the same opinion still.

And, sadly, this is where I feel a lot of criticism stops. More than anything else it's become a method of venting frustration, or a shibboleth to signify membership in some group. And that's all fine so long as the critic recognizes it. I suspect that the tumblr's owner would readily admit this.

The harder thing, and in my opinion the more necessary thing, is to actively engage people in a compassionate dialogue, taking them by the hand from where they're standing to where you are. I do this a lot in my work with anti-vaxxers, addressing their concerns as completely as I can while trying exceptionally hard to not come off as patronizing, demeaning, or judgmental. Sometimes it takes hours. Sometimes it feels like I'm banging my head against a wall. Sometimes I go home and do just that, but it's the only way I've found that actually changes minds if done correctly. Augustine wrote,
"Let us, on both sides, lay aside all arrogance. Let us not, on either side, claim that we have already discovered the truth. Let us seek it together as something which is known to neither of us. For then only may we seek it, lovingly and tranquilly, if there be no bold presumption that it is already discovered and possessed."
...to which a chorus of people chime in, "IT IS NOT MY JOB TO EDUCATE XXXX ABOUT YYYY." Fair enough. Few people can summon the patience necessary to undertake the work. But don't then shout, shame, or demean and pretend that you've done anything to fight injustice. Power dynamics operate in dimensions that go beyond gender, race, or wealth; more often than not the real disparity is between folks who possess knowledge and those who don't.
posted by The White Hat at 10:40 AM on June 28, 2013 [36 favorites]


maybe, and i know this is going to be REALLY hard for some people to accept, there are women out there who will go for this kind of guy - god knows i've seen women go for a lot worse than "nice guys"

One of the most insightful comments I saw in an AskMe about how to deal with a friend's annoying behavior was that the friend acted like that because, at least a couple times in the past, it worked, so he was going to continue doing it in the hopes that acting like that would work again, in terms of meeting new friends or dating. People really do respond to incentives, even if the incentives are hypothetical and off in the future, as long as they have some example of when what they were doing worked.
posted by deanc at 10:40 AM on June 28, 2013


I know a man who wan undone by being a "nice guy".

Back in high school, I got a pretty serious crush on him, but never wanted a relationship with him because he didn't seem like a good match personality-wise. In hindsight, I imagine he perceived the time we spent together and his eagerness to do things for me as an exploitation of him- which was odd because my feelings of love came out as an overwelling of maternal urges and the desire to treat his artistic output as cool.

He introduced me to the friend zone (then the "friend ladder") when we were in high school, via a post on an internet forum. Inexplicably, he also had a lot of female friends and no male friends, backing that up with a sort of self loathing for the male gender, that he saw them as a collective hive of swarming assholes. He got a couple of girlfriends- even got a young woman to fly all the way from Scotland and pluck his virginity. But, it didn't work out after, because these things often don't.

And, we graduated. He went on to a vocational program in forestry management, and after a short amount of time, dropped out, declaring that there were few job opportunities in that, and since there were a handful of women in his otherwise all male class, affirmative action would somehow give them first dibbs.

And he sort of folded in on himself. We stopped talking, and I felt like there was some sort of obvious resentment that made me stop trying to be friends. It's sad, because it's like bitterness and some sort of gender related weirdness destroyed what was a fairly sweet friendship. But, maybe it never was for him?

Eh, I don't subscribe to the whole it's an allegory for the Civil War! thing, but I do think the Alliance is supposed to be a little more complicated than "rich powerful
baddies."


Hey, get a room you two! :P
posted by Phalene at 10:40 AM on June 28, 2013 [3 favorites]


Especially in light of the inner planets/outer planets divide, and the Pax Miranda reveal.

(I'll find an excuse for a Firefly FPP later tonight but I should probably do some work right now.)
posted by kagredon at 10:40 AM on June 28, 2013


maybe, and i know this is going to be REALLY hard for some people to accept, there are women out there who will go for this kind of guy

Nah, low self-esteem knows no gender boundaries. Lots of us have dated "nice guys", usually at an earlier point in our lives when we couldn't quite figure out how the attitude was bullshit and when we were just happy to have someone interested in us at all. It happens. If you get really really lucky, you and your partner wise up about this together. If you don't get lucky, you eventually get tired of being taken for granted and leave.
posted by WidgetAlley at 10:41 AM on June 28, 2013 [5 favorites]


Oh and I've been reading this thread on a bus through downtown DC and counting guys in khakis and polo shirts. They can't all be tools; there's too many of them.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 10:41 AM on June 28, 2013 [3 favorites]


I think Firefly is simply Outlaw Jesse Wales almost completely decontextualized. I don't think Whedon was really making a point about the civil war but he certainly took some of the iconography of the western, especially OJW, and was stuck with some of the baggage.

In OJW, the North represents an oppressive force, trying to enforce order over what was meant to be untamable. Same as the alliance.

All of this is neither here nor there.

One more point about fedoras. Reddit hates fedoras in general as well, but there is always one guy who jumps in saying "The real problem is that people don't know enough about fedoras and buy a crappy hat that doesn't fit correctly, here check out this picture of me looking awesome in this fedora I got custom made at FanCon 2012" The guy always gets pilloried.

The point is that these fedora guys think the problem is you. That you don't appreciate their exquisite taste.
posted by Ad hominem at 10:47 AM on June 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


I really like this article too, although at the end it is very much "Welp, clueless jerks are clueless all right."

But maybe that's all you can say. Is it unethical to mock misogynists online? Or is it actually more ethical to mock them than to ignore them, given the amount of harm caused by attitudes like "no means yes" and general woman-hating?

Just out of curiosity are we all still cool with this if one of the guys in the tumblr kills himself over having the Human Flesh Internet Search Engine briefly focused on his individual stupidity?

Are we cool with this dude making rape jokes that a survivor hears or sees online, which then leads to her suicide? Which is more likely?

The power of the internet to de-anonymize people is something we are not really dealing with very well, yet. You can go from being a cypher to being mocked around the world...or have rape threats mailed to you from around the world...or being favorited around the world...etc. The risk these guys take in putting up an OKC profile is no greater than that taken by a woman doing the same, is it?
posted by emjaybee at 10:48 AM on June 28, 2013 [6 favorites]


Bulgaroktonos: "Oh and I've been reading this thread on a bus through downtown DC and counting guys in khakis and polo shirts. They can't all be tools; there's too many of them."

I don't think I can accept a worldview this positive.
posted by Gin and Comics at 10:49 AM on June 28, 2013 [6 favorites]


Oh and I've been reading this thread on a bus through downtown DC and counting guys in khakis and polo shirts. They can't all be tools; there's too many of them.

It is casual Friday.
posted by lily_bart at 10:51 AM on June 28, 2013 [3 favorites]


The thing that squicks me out the most about the tumblr is that unless OKCupid has changed radically since I used it several years back, no, these guys are not posting up public profiles of themselves. You have to have a profile on OKCupid to see anybody else's profile and their pictures and responses and whatnot. Publishing them on tumblr to everyone on the internet seems like a violation of these fellow's privacy, even if they do have shitty opinions.
posted by whir at 10:53 AM on June 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


You have to have a profile on OKCupid to see anybody else's profile and their pictures and responses and whatnot.

You can set your profile up to be hidden from non-users, but that's not the default.
posted by showbiz_liz at 10:56 AM on June 28, 2013 [4 favorites]


My takeaway from this thread is that The Alliance is an allegory for fedoras.
posted by GenjiandProust at 10:58 AM on June 28, 2013 [16 favorites]


Oh and I've been reading this thread on a bus through downtown DC and counting guys in khakis and polo shirts. They can't all be tools; there's too many of them.

Are you sure? It is DC after all.

Phalene, it sounds like your friend had other things going on as well that may have contributed to his undoing. My friends and I referred to ourselves as "public transit" becuase we so often had girls tell us we'd make great boyfriends, but, like public transportation, few ever actually gave up the alternatives. I don't think it spoiled any of us and despite laughing at ourselves we didn't change ourselves. Perhaps if we hadn't had each other's support and the support of many wonderful female friends that could have been very different.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 10:59 AM on June 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


I think as a young man, I was part of a related subset of guys. I didn't have any hostility towards women, and I wasn't incapable of being friends with them. But I totally believed in that friend zone bullshit and wasted a lot of time "investing" in friendships I stupidly thought would turn into something more. It took me a long time to learn that there was no secret formula for getting women to want to date me, that I just needed to extend the regard and respect I had for my female friends to the women I wanted to date with some actual confidence and straightforwardness. And if it didn't work, it wasn't because there was something mysterious and complicated about women that I couldn't decode. It was because not everyone in this world will want to date you. Even if you really are nice.

Anyway, personal story aside, I guess my point is that there are a lot of different flavors of clueless dudes haplessly pursuing love. There are probably questions worth asking about whether young men today are missing out on some basic instruction that they need to relate to women and not be clueless and tiresome. Even when they aren't misogynists.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 11:00 AM on June 28, 2013 [3 favorites]


I am already anticipating that teaching my son to be a straightforward, respectful person to women will be the most important task I have when he enters his teens
posted by DirtyOldTown at 11:03 AM on June 28, 2013 [11 favorites]


Pretty sure that even if such guys are able to behave well-enough in real life to attract close female friends, they aren't particularly inclined to solicit or listen to their advice.

I suspect most of these guys see the world through a system that actively precludes having or valuing women as friends in the way most of us might think of friendship. It's a (maybe the) fundamental element of toxic masculinity that - under the layers of social trickery these guys think people perform to get one over on them - men and women are so inherently, inescapably different in their thinking as to be pretty much incomprehensible to one another. And that anyone claiming otherwise is lying, deluded or broken and acting against their nature. Having female friends with whom they share interests and mutual understanding would imply unacceptable things about themselves to these men.

It's pretty much where the notion of the friendzone stems from - essentially that there can be nothing a man could gain from a woman's company or friendship because they can't really have anything in common, so friendship from the man's point of view is something to feign as a precursor to sex or romance, not anything of value in itself. Women, in their incomprehensibly irrational way, are probably looking for a nonsexual cadre of males to buy them gifts or lift heavy boxes or provide a rational logical sounding board for their ladyfeelings or some shit.

Ditto the fake nerd girl. When all of your thinking is bounded by a system like this, I guess it's actually easier to believe something utterly laughable - in this case, that a woman would put on an elaborate charade of interests, would waste time and money on cosplay and video games and whateverthefuck, in the interest of attracting men who nobody in the wider world is making any effort whatsoever, let alone this much, to fuck - than it is to accept the obvious impossibility that women are capable of liking the same things as men and for the same reasons.
posted by emmtee at 11:05 AM on June 28, 2013 [42 favorites]


It's pretty much where the notion of the friendzone stems from - essentially that there can be nothing a man could gain from a woman's company or friendship because they can't really have anything in common

Ehh.. there's more to it than that. I think there are definitely plenty of men who feel this exact way. But I also think there are some less venomous souls who think of women as a magical parallel race that must be decoded in some way, and if they could just figure out what that was, they could convince their female friends to date them. It's more out of clueless adoration than anger. Take Ducky in Pretty in Pink for example.

Guys in the latter category still have plenty to learn about how to treat women and how to approach relationships, but they are not necessarily hostile toward women. Just deeply clueless and misguided about them.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 11:11 AM on June 28, 2013 [4 favorites]


I should be clear: I am not for a moment arguing that the Nice Guys of OKCupid are analogous to Ducky from Pretty in Pink. Those guys are jerks. I'm saying that when you look past the hostility , they share some stupid ideas and stunted development with a larger group of clueless men with no idea how to relate to women. Pointing and laughing at the worst of this larger group does nothing to address the larger group, who, frankly, are all still pains in women's necks, even if less venomous.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 11:18 AM on June 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


The fake nerd girl hate, I think, is also due to the pervasive belief that any time a woman says or does A Thing in public, it's because she is a sad pathetic attention whore, and not because she actually cares about the thing she is saying or doing. See the recent Garfunkel and Oates thread in which the very first comment displays this attitude.
posted by elizardbits at 11:20 AM on June 28, 2013 [26 favorites]


Oh and I've been reading this thread on a bus through downtown DC and counting guys in khakis and polo shirts. They can't all be tools; there's too many of them.

Are you sure? It is DC after all.


This. A thousand times this.
posted by C'est la D.C. at 11:23 AM on June 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


FWIW, I agree with DirtyOldTown. I know some guys that are almost 40 and have never had any kind of relationship with a woman that was not work related or familial and for the most part they think there is some secret they don't know. They don't blame women, they blame themselves.

What I also see is men who never had much interaction with women at all suddenly make a female friend. This is now their one shot. They focus on this one person completely out of proportion. It becomes imperative that they mate with this one female.

If they had 5-6 female friends they wouldn't be complaining about the friendzone. They complain about the friendzone because they fixate on the one person who shows them kindness.

There are also total dicks, but there are also total dicks that don't wear fedoras.

Most of the "crazy bitch" talk I hear comes from normal guys, They have girlfriend after girlfriend. The girlfriend always just fades away and the reason was "bitch was crazy, she texted me all like why aren't you here at my birthday party, can you believe that?"

So lets not deceive ourselves that all the assholes wear fedoras.
posted by Ad hominem at 11:24 AM on June 28, 2013 [21 favorites]


I think the problem is that people want to shame individuals rather than indict the culture, because it is easy and comforting to say & imagine that this misogyny springs from the minds of some particularly trollish men, and it is hard and embarrassing and humbling to admit that we are part of a culture that leads people to these behaviors. It's the Few Bad Apples argument, and I think we're making it A LOT. We do it in national political discussions all the time; think about how often someone implies (or explicitly remarks) that the reason we're not living in a paradise is those deplorable rednecks from XXXXX state. This in spite of the fact that our reddest states and our bluest states are separated (when measured along an admittedly simplistic axis of political affiliation) by only a few percent -- only a few people out of a hundred.

These guys behave badly. They do so, most likely, because of their experiences in our misogynistic culture. Their behaviour may be a little bit our fault.
posted by samofidelis at 11:27 AM on June 28, 2013 [5 favorites]


Sorry, that's not to excuse them or anything, or imply they don't have agency. I just think that shaming the individual here feels good to a lot of people, but I don't know if it will help change anything for the better.
posted by samofidelis at 11:31 AM on June 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


So lets not deceive ourselves that all the assholes wear fedoras.

No, some of them apparently wear polo shirts and Tapout wear too!
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 11:33 AM on June 28, 2013


One more point about fedoras. Reddit hates fedoras in general as well, but there is always one guy who jumps in saying "The real problem is that people don't know enough about fedoras and buy a crappy hat that doesn't fit correctly, here check out this picture of me looking awesome in this fedora I got custom made at FanCon 2012" The guy always gets pilloried.

Why did he get a fedora at a con?

If you want a really nice fedora, you see a good menswear shop or hat shop.

(My SO has a very good fedora, and the original cost was $150 from a fine hatmaker. That said, it doesn't fit him very well, because we bought it for $4 at Goodwill. But it's a very nice fedora).
posted by jb at 11:34 AM on June 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


Ok, this is starting to get silly.

First off, the "shaming" vs "anti-shaming" thing is something we really need to resolve.

Yes, shaming does have a useful and viable method for social control and conformity. However, it is something that you must understand to use effectively. The first thing about shame is that the person who is doing the shame must be in a social position where their status and approval is actually sought by the person being shamed. If the person you are attempting to shame holds you in contempt, or feels that their social standing or status is higher than yours, the tactic will fail and possibly backfire in a long chain of unintended back blow.

So, tl;dr, in order to shame a person, you must first make them want your approval.

As for feeling squicked out by public shaming, I think if you actually look closely at what is squicking you out is probably that a lot of public shaming is done EXTREMELY poorly, and is only a half-assed effort of "look at this person who is of lower social standing than me, fellows", rather than the more acceptable "you are not living up to my expectations, and should improve your behavior to win my approval". Notice that the first creates an out group, the ones being shamed. It marks them as tainted, and not to be associated with. The second does not exclude the person being shamed, but reinforces that you wish to continue interaction, however they must improve their efforts to maintain the relationship.


As for "Nice guys", oh boy. I used to be one. I spent _years_ being in the "friendzone" (though, admittedly, after already dating a girl) and whinging and whining and pleading and begging for physical affection (which I thought, at the time, required you to be "in a relationship" or "dating"), and went for many years just plain not getting any satisfaction. Then I got just what I wanted. And boy was that a bad idea, though a good lesson in "we sometimes should really re-evaluate what we really want".

Heterosexual males in Western society are lied to, constantly, about their "proper place" in society and how they are expected to behave. They are told that they are the hero of the story, that the hero gets the girl, that being the center of attention is where all the good things in life are handed to you, willingly and openly, with no effort on your part. This Cracked article by David Wong is a very good detailing of all the ways in which males in our society are trained to be "nice guys". We're all John Cusack in "Say Anything". Man, was he ever a creeper or what?

This is not an excuse for bad behavior, but it is something to be aware of. Nature versus Nurture and all that. It's a mix of the two. Males are not born as sexist pigs. It's got to be something in the water, right?
posted by daq at 11:34 AM on June 28, 2013 [14 favorites]


There is also a world of difference between shaming someone for what they have done or said, and shaming someone for who they are or what has been done to them.
posted by jb at 11:37 AM on June 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


It's got to be something in the water, right?

I think it's all the times we get hit in the head over the years.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 11:37 AM on June 28, 2013


I don't get the polo hate.

Why did he get a fedora at a con?

If you want a really nice fedora, you see a good menswear shop or hat shop.

(My SO has a very good fedora, and the original cost was $150 from a fine hatmaker. That said, it doesn't fit him very well, because we bought it for $4 at Goodwill. But it's a very nice fedora).


That was partially a job but partially because these guys are 19 and don't know about hatmakers. Anything that isn't from Target must be good.

They also think fedoras are dressy, not pretty much rain gear.

I mentioned this once before but I own a fedora. I have a Borsalino film I got when I got my first way overpaid dotcom job. I was measured for it and had it steamed and blocked. I realized very quickly I didn't look like Humphry Bogart, I looked like a 19 year old in a costume. I'm going to start wearing it when I turn 45 so I have a while to go.
posted by Ad hominem at 11:41 AM on June 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


and once again, we're told men who reinforce misogyny are just victims of the system, and need not bear any consequences for it.

sigh.
posted by kagredon at 11:41 AM on June 28, 2013 [6 favorites]


> You can set your profile up to be hidden from non-users, but that's not the default.

Their security is leaky. My profile is hidden from non-users but I have done google searches and seen snips from my okcupid pages show up on the results.

The article scored on two points: 1. proper usage of disapprobation. The other day I saw an online university lecture where a tenured professor incorrectly used approbation three times in discussing one of his main lecture bullet points. Crikey. His erstwhile authority is so paramount I had to stop the video and look the word up to reassure myself of his error. 2. the verdana font is indeed wretched, and I am not a font snob. I browse metafilter in Courier.

Other than that is much ado about very little. The tumbler is pointless; garbage is plentiful on the internet and you will see so much by accident nobody should ever go looking for it. Is anybody here going to load that tumblr page again ever?
posted by bukvich at 11:41 AM on June 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


I agree, DirtyOldTown, the inaccurate framework for understanding people, this lie of mutual incomprehensibility, that drives this kind of behaviour is a lot more widespread than outwardly awful guys are. It's instilled by every bit of gender differentiation kids are taught, and some people happen not to have the particular experiences or reflections or whatever that might open their eyes before they get into social situations where similarly deluded people reinforce it all. It fucks up the lives of guys who've never said a word against women just as much, and that's sad. Toxic masculinity poisons the carrier too.

elizardbits: The fake nerd girl hate, I think, is also due to the pervasive belief that any time a woman says or does A Thing in public, it's because she is a sad pathetic attention whore, and not because she actually cares about the thing she is saying or doing. See the recent Garfunkel and Oates thread in which the very first comment displays this attitude.

Yeah, absolutely. I think somewhere below it is the idea that all of the public sphere, that culture itself, is men's - that anything visible must be intended for male consumption and to elicit a reaction from men. If it wasn't, why wouldn't she keep it private and out of the Men's Space? It's gross.

Ad hominem: So lets not deceive ourselves that all the assholes wear fedoras.

Definitely let's continue not doing that thing.
posted by emmtee at 11:48 AM on June 28, 2013 [3 favorites]


I often struggle with the EXPOSE AND SHAME vs. ENGAGE COMPASSIONATELY dilemma. It certainly feels good to get my righteous indignation on from time to time, and it's definitely a place that I go to when I speak at rallies or generally want to whip up a group of people who already agree with me. That said, I don't for a second try to conflate that tactic with actually effecting change.

Keep in mind that we're not talking about private communication here. "Expose and shame" is an ineffective tactic for changing someone's behaviour (ultimately only compassion works) but it can have a powerful effect on the audience. Watching people point and laugh at the worst of the dudebroisms may be cause for introspection for some bystanders. Laughter isn't for punishing individuals, it's pour encourager les autres.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 11:48 AM on June 28, 2013 [4 favorites]


Actually I think I shouldn't have said anything at all above; I don't know if I agree with what I wrote -- I'm not saying it's completely wrong or... I'm just saying I don't know. So, apologies, etc.
posted by samofidelis at 11:49 AM on June 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


I suspect most of these guys see the world through a system that actively precludes having or valuing women as friends in the way most of us might think of friendship.

Many (usually) conservative women believe this too. Men are necessary and sometimes nice and/or hot but also annoying, childish, filthy, and rather stupid on the whole. You have to manipulate them to get what you want (if you can, it often blows up in your face). The concept of being friends with them, not just using them/putting up with them? That will get you nothing but eye-rolls.

Or in other words, we're all living in the world of Everybody Loves Raymond.
posted by emjaybee at 11:52 AM on June 28, 2013 [13 favorites]


(It did also lead to Nice Guys of Westeros)

Game of Thrones Characters Get Online Dating Profiles
posted by homunculus at 11:54 AM on June 28, 2013


Definitely let's continue not doing that thing.

We are on the internet, across various sites I see half a dozen "nice guys are dicks" threads a day. Just wanted to give a shout out to all the non nice guy dicks.

But you knew that.
posted by Ad hominem at 11:55 AM on June 28, 2013


I wear neon polos and brightly colored flat front pants with a striped, stitched belt and a bright pink straw porkpie.

I look like somebody took a villain from a 1980s college comedy and dropped him in radioactive waste.

And sometimes I wear a bowtie. Under my polo shirt.

Anyway, I approve of both the Tumblr site and the essay, even though both depress me.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 11:58 AM on June 28, 2013 [4 favorites]


and once again, men who reinforce misogyny are just victims of the system, and need not bear any consequences for it.

That's a pretty ungenerous statement. It pretends that these guys' lives are just great, that they are bear no consequences. It seems to me that a bitter and unfulfilled life that continuously generates behavior that blocks chances at fulfillment isn't exactly a prize.

Are these guys complicit? Sure. Does that mean that they aren't also victims? Nope.

I've said it before, and I surely will again -- the Patriarchy is not rule by men; it's rule by patriarchs, and the Patriarchs need a lot of surplus men to do the wretched work in toxic conditions in order to keep the patriarchs on top. Pointing at these guys and laughing, while fun in the moment, will do nothing to make them less toxic or help them realize the Patriarchy is not their friend. And probably many of them won't make the leap, but some of them might, if they see there's another way.

Anyway, that's what I think people are arguing.
posted by GenjiandProust at 11:59 AM on June 28, 2013 [24 favorites]


Threads like this one always, always make me wonder whether social relations between men and women are any better or happier now than they were when your date lived with her parents until you married her, and mom and dad gave you the hairy eyeball when you came to pick her up and pointedly reminded you to have her home by eleven, or ten if they thought you looked particularly skeevy, and nice girls didn't.

OMG the number of things men now seem to find to complain about concerning women, and women to complain about concerning men. I suppose I must assume things are better than they were just to avoid contradicting the principle of steady and universal progress, but it sure isn't obvious. Is it too early for a martini?

P.S. any hat worn with baggy shorts is a joke hat, whether it's a fedora or a sequined sombrero.
posted by jfuller at 12:00 PM on June 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


Threads like this one always, always make me wonder whether social relations between men and women are any better or happier now than they were when your date lived with her parents until you married her, and mom and dad gave you the hairy eyeball when you came to pick her up and pointedly reminded you to have her home by eleven, or ten if they thought you looked particularly skeevy, and nice girls didn't.

OMG the number of things men now seem to find to complain about concerning women, and women to complain about concerning men. I suppose I must assume things are better than they were just to avoid contradicting the principle of steady and universal progress, but it sure isn't obvious. Is it too early for a martini?


Well, I get to have a job that isn't pumping out babies, so I'm pretty happy with the way things shook out re: gender roles
posted by showbiz_liz at 12:02 PM on June 28, 2013 [36 favorites]


when your date lived with her parents until you married her, and mom and dad gave you the hairy eyeball when you came to pick her up and pointedly reminded you to have her home by eleven, or ten if they thought you looked particularly skeevy, and nice girls didn't.

When was that actually reality? I thought it was just some fictional past conjured up by the "traditional values" set.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 12:04 PM on June 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


That's a pretty ungenerous statement. It pretends that these guys' lives are just great, that they are bear no consequences.

To clarify, I mean the idea that these guys should get a pass for spreading misogyny because they're awkward or lonely. Which: sorry, no.

In this thread, and in the one linked earlier about the Kickstartered PUA manual, there were a lot of people saying "well, these guys are lacking in social skills and charisma, of course they're going to buy into misogyny." And on some level comparing different -isms is always a losing game (because intersectionality), but Miko's comment in the Paula Deen thread seems applicable here: it's not like there are no other options. It's not like these guys don't have access to plenty of reading material about gender roles and feminism and misogyny. It's not like they have literally no other choice than to subscribe to, reinforce, and perpetuate attitudes that are damaging to women, and it's not like they are being hurt by these attitudes more than women are. Shifting the blame onto people who call out these attitudes is absolutely the wrong thing to do.
posted by kagredon at 12:07 PM on June 28, 2013 [17 favorites]


and might I add: the argument that socially awkward or inexperienced guys must become misogynist is a pretty insulting and unfair assumption to lay upon socially awkward or inexperienced guys, and not at all backed by the many young, thinking, kind, feminist, and sometimes awkward guys I've had the pleasure of knowing.
posted by kagredon at 12:10 PM on June 28, 2013 [12 favorites]


Here's the deal with fedoras:

Fedoras look really cool as long as you're over the age of 60.

If you're under 60, you look like you've been playing dressing up in your granddad's wardrobe.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 12:11 PM on June 28, 2013 [3 favorites]


Let's be fair. There are both men and women who do awful things in the dating world. I've known many women, no longer friends, who, when approached by Awkward Guy have been ambiguous to their face but totally shitty behind their backs.

But to ridicule them on the internet serves one purpose. Lulz. It does not solve the problem. It only alienates. So the tumblr is pretty destructive, especially because it mentions profile names and shows un-blurred photos. That's shitty to do to someone who you haven't even met.
posted by cman at 12:13 PM on June 28, 2013 [8 favorites]


When was that actually reality? I thought it was just some fictional past conjured up by the "traditional values" set.

I just finished reading an account in The Good War where some lady - who I feel I should clarify was alive at the time and recounting her own personal experiences - said that that's exactly how it was before WWII came along, and then the status quo changed.

I have the book in front of me, so here's a relevant quote:

"We'd go out in herds and stay up all night. There was very little sleeping around. We were still at the tail-end of a moral generation. Openly living together was not condoned. An illegitimate child was a horrendous handicap. It was almost the ruination of your life. I'm amazed and delighted the way it's accepted now, that a girl isn't a social outcast anymore."
-- Dellie Hahne

So ... yeah. That was actually reality, but it looks like the late 30s - early 40s was the end of it.
posted by komara at 12:14 PM on June 28, 2013


It's pretty much where the notion of the friendzone stems from - essentially that there can be nothing a man could gain from a woman's company or friendship because they can't really have anything in common

My only real familiarity with the notion of the "friendzone" comes from movies and TV, e.g. "My Best Friend's Wedding" and "I don't want to ruin our friendship," the idea being that if a romantic relationship fails, so will the platonic relationship (which is a fair assumption, perhaps).

I think it would be naive and unfair to discount that the "I don't want to ruin our friendship" is a real (at least in the entertainment media) meme that has affected generations of men and women.

And to be fair, there have been lots of women who have been interested in me that I have been not attracted to, but I considered them good friends (though our relationships often soured when they made a move and I said "no"). Were they not in my "friendzone"?

It has been bastardized into a tool of the self-pitying persecution complexers, but I can't be the only man who has turned down sexual advances from female friends. My interpretation of "friendzone" is likely much different than the standard one.
posted by mrgrimm at 12:14 PM on June 28, 2013


P.S. any hat worn with baggy shorts is a joke hat, whether it's a fedora or a sequined sombrero

Unless you are working in the garden, of course, where a hat is sensible protection from scalp burn and melanoma.
posted by GenjiandProust at 12:18 PM on June 28, 2013 [3 favorites]


I often struggle with the EXPOSE AND SHAME vs. ENGAGE COMPASSIONATELY dilemma. It certainly feels good to get my righteous indignation on from time to time, and it's definitely a place that I go to when I speak at rallies or generally want to whip up a group of people who already agree with me. That said, I don't for a second try to conflate that tactic with actually effecting change...[D]on't then shout, shame, or demean and pretend that you've done anything to fight injustice. Power dynamics operate in dimensions that go beyond gender, race, or wealth; more often than not the real disparity is between folks who possess knowledge and those who don't.


Good for you? I'm sure you've had a rich and successful activist career? To be honest, because I have had a Week of Apoplectic Rage post-DOMA, this sounds suspiciously like the "don't be an angry minority" jam. And I don't know you, The White Hat, but when men who appear to be young and white and very well-educated say things like this, lecture angry marginalized or otherwise oppressed people about how their anger "doesn't solve the problem," I'm not super interested in listening to their wisdom, which frankly comes from a place of blatant privilege. Angry and oppressed people understand how power operates, too, and they and we are not one-acts who can either express their rage or act "effectively."
posted by liketitanic at 12:20 PM on June 28, 2013 [14 favorites]


I've been trying so hard to make 'friendzone' into a dysphemism for 'vagina' but the world is having none of it. I am going back to trying to make 'fetch' happen.
posted by samofidelis at 12:20 PM on June 28, 2013 [3 favorites]


Fedoras look really cool as long as you're over the age of 60.

If you're under 60, you look like you've been playing dressing up in your granddad's wardrobe.


At least if you wear your grandad's entire wardrobe you look like you're wearing a costume. The guys in the fedoras and t-shirts are just confused. I should reveal that I am currently wearing some of my wife's grandfather's old clothes, though, so I might be biased.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 12:23 PM on June 28, 2013 [6 favorites]


you wear her granddad's clothes

you look incredible

you're in that big-ass coat, from--jesus fucking christ i had to listen to this song for months before the rest of you did, thanks a lot northwest radio stations
posted by kagredon at 12:25 PM on June 28, 2013 [5 favorites]


That's shitty to do to someone who you haven't even met.

To be honest the reason a lot of my friends read this tumblr with glee is precisely because guys like these on OKC are so persistently shitty to them without even an intermediary "hey." It's cathartic to see this, a little-- a little give back for the pages of gross messages and pictures of genitalia. I don't think it makes me a better person. I don't think it makes them better people, or provide a better template for other guys. I don't think it has to be.
posted by jetlagaddict at 12:26 PM on June 28, 2013 [9 favorites]


Got game?
posted by Area Control at 12:27 PM on June 28, 2013


Paula Deen and Bill Oreilly were on tv blaming Drake for racism. They are the true victims. I figured "yeah, they won this round, but they still have to be Paula Deen and Oreilly" but then I realize they are rich and dry their crocodile tears with million dollar bills.

It strikes me as convenient that us men became all emo right now, after treating women like chattel for thousands of years. Then again I cry real tears too, with no million dollar bills to dry them. Just kleenex softique. So I don't know what I'm saying except fuck Paula Deen and Bill Oreilly.
posted by Ad hominem at 12:27 PM on June 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


It strikes me as convenient that us men became all emo right now, after treating women like chattel for thousands of years.

That fact that you think that men are becoming "all emo right now" is actually a patriarchy thing, too.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 12:28 PM on June 28, 2013 [6 favorites]


You know, sometimes we women just want to vent about the misogynistic assholes we come across daily. Heaven forbid that we get pissy with those poor Nice Guys.
posted by imnotasquirrel at 12:28 PM on June 28, 2013 [20 favorites]


I can't find older stats, but apparently since the 1950's the volume of pre-marital sex has remained pretty-much constant.

If you're under 60, you look like you've been playing dressing up in your granddad's wardrobe.

Wait, I thought that looked in-cre-di-bull?
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 12:29 PM on June 28, 2013 [3 favorites]


You know, there are tens of thousands of awkward, shy, nerdy, socially dysfunctional girls out there too. And we somehow manage not to turn that awkwardness into a festeringly toxic misandrist subculture. Where's our parade?

One of the saddest things about those lonely fedoras is that they're so blinded by their resentment over girls that are "out of their league" that they fail to see the real women whose experiences and struggles match their own and who could actually understand and relate to their pain.

(I hate the idea of leagues or dating castes, but I can't think of anything better to designate that Straw Woman... That one popular girl they had a crush on in high school, that hot girl at work who won't return their clumsy advances, that one "friend" that won't cross over to the bedroom, that girl who gave them a boner on the street, all those idealized cardboard cutouts of the Perfect Love Interest they feel they deserve regardless of mismatched interests and their own imperfections.)

That's maybe the one thing Big Bang Theory is doing right. By introducing love interests that actually make sense for Sheldon and Raj, they're providing an alternative to the prevailing narrative that every guy deserves That One Perfect Woman.
posted by Freyja at 12:30 PM on June 28, 2013 [40 favorites]


But to ridicule them on the internet serves one purpose. Lulz. It does not solve the problem. It only alienates. So the tumblr is pretty destructive, especially because it mentions profile names and shows un-blurred photos. That's shitty to do to someone who you haven't even met.

I really, REALLY think that this concern for the individuals is steeped in wanting to protect their privilege. Only people with privilege--and that includes lots of people in lots of ways at different time--get to be considered as their individual selves whose stories we empathetically imagine. Generalizations about white men seem to offend more people on Metafilter than any other blatant generalization of any other kind of group. Why is that?
posted by liketitanic at 12:30 PM on June 28, 2013 [8 favorites]


I don't get the polo hate, either. I wear them frequently because: in my estimation they count as "business casual" so I can wear them to my office/lab job, button-down shirts tend to be long-sleeved and I work in warm California, and button-down shirts almost always need to be worn tucked in and I find that rather uncomfortable. Sorry that my choice in shirts offends you!
posted by Thoughtcrime at 12:31 PM on June 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


ETA: PRIVILEGE PRIVILEGE PRIVILEGE I MADE IT OUT OF CLAY AND CAN'T STOP SAYING IT TODAY sorry
posted by liketitanic at 12:31 PM on June 28, 2013 [7 favorites]


A few things:

First, a correct link to that Cracked article, which has brilliant cartoons. I, in fact, am going to revise my own OKC profile in response to #4.

Second: The whole fedora thing, as far as the blue is concerned, is centered around this AskMe post, in which the guy has many more problems than his choice of headgear, but that kind of got battened on by MeFites, I'm guessing because there's a certain trend among some college-age guys (and a smaller number of post-college-age guys, although almost everyone grows out of it by the end of their twenties) to affect one because (like Mr. Responsible Hedonist) they think it makes them look cool and unique. There are a very few people who can really pull it off as part of their whole general look, and it should be permissible in a few weather-related conditions, for example, if you are thin on top or plain bald* and it's summer. (I have been looking for a nice, comfortable straw fedora for exactly this reason.)

Third: I, too, once believed in the friendzone as a staging ground for future romance or at least sexytimes. Once. I'm now friends with two ex-girlfriends and two former dates that didn't pan out romantically, all met through OKC, because we do have things in common that survived the failed or stillborn romances.

Fourth: Don't overthink the whole Alliance/browncoat thing; Whedon didn't put much effort into worldbuilding, why should you?

*P.S. If you're bald or balding and voluntarily publicly wear anything that says, "It's not a bald spot, it's a solar panel for a sex machine," please be aware that monastic orders are still accepting applicants.

P.P.S. Freyja: You know, there are tens of thousands of awkward, shy, nerdy, socially dysfunctional girls out there too. And we somehow manage not to turn that awkwardness into a festeringly toxic misandrist subculture. Where's our parade?

Would you like one? Because you deserve it, seriously.
posted by Halloween Jack at 12:32 PM on June 28, 2013 [4 favorites]


Threads like this one always, always make me wonder whether social relations between men and women are any better or happier now than they were when your date lived with her parents until you married her, and mom and dad gave you the hairy eyeball when you came to pick her up and pointedly reminded you to have her home by eleven, or ten if they thought you looked particularly skeevy, and nice girls didn't.

Yeah, but treating adult women like fourteen year old girls has net implications on her life that um... really fucking suck, to the point that I am hoping this is tongue in cheek. There's a lot of scummy people out there, but at least I have a job, control over my own finances and can choose a partner based on something other than parental approval and living on my own.
posted by Phalene at 12:33 PM on June 28, 2013 [7 favorites]


That fact that you think that men are becoming "all emo right now" is actually a patriarchy thing, too.

I see your point. Life wasn't great for men dying in coal mines either.
posted by Ad hominem at 12:33 PM on June 28, 2013


The Tumblr is pretty funny, especially when the images speak for themselves. Not all the subjects seem equally worthy of disdain, but even the "not quite as bad ones" still seem jerky enough to be worthy of mockery. The website isn't just posting pictures of awkward-looking guys - they're awkward guys who are also saying harmful things.

I don't see anything wrong with shaming adults who are publicly saying harmful things, especially if there's an additional irony in how goofy they look while doing it. The bigger issue of shaming vs. non-shaming is just one knot in a great big rat-king of issues involving communication and identity on the internet. It's not going to be resolved in any definitive way, let alone right now in this particular thread.

I don't think that shaming fedora-wearing Nice Guy misogynists leads socially awkward men into that kind of misogyny, directly or indirectly. These young men fall into it for a variety of reasons, including but not limited to sexism in general and the more specific reasons laid out in the excellent David Wong article.

An additional, particular reason worth pointing out is that many young men lack truly positive role models for being young men. Even the positive role models which do exist are often lost in a blur of bad or unrealistic role models. I'm not a hundred percent sure how to fix this, but this is an ongoing thing.

...

As for making fun of polo shirts and khakis, it is what it is. People make fun of outfits for a variety of reasons. I don't own any polo shirts, because I generally don't like them, although I do wear khakis to work. I also unapologetically wear cargo shorts, because hey, pockets.
posted by Sticherbeast at 12:35 PM on June 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


I see your point. Life wasn't great for men dying in coal mines either.

i am really trying to parse what this means and maybe it's all the rolling rock, but i'm not coming up with anything good.
posted by kagredon at 12:35 PM on June 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


When I see these profiles it gives me a little respect for the unlucky at love dudes who go full on Game. They, at least, are structuring their approach from a position of trying to give women what they want (albeit with a bleak dichotomy between what women actually want vs what they say they want) while these losers just keep on insisting on women owe them something.
posted by MattD at 12:36 PM on June 28, 2013


...any nice male friends you may have had at one point have given up and all you're left with are the dudebros cheering you on...

Ok, good point, and come to think of it, one of many reasons my husband now doesn't hang out with a former friend of his.

Expecting beautiful, busty, blonde Republican ladies (and they had to be all of the above) to fall into his lap was not only crazy unrealistic but also wicked dull to hear about whining-wise.
posted by bitter-girl.com at 12:39 PM on June 28, 2013


I can't wait until I'm old enough to wear the hat I like without people judging me to be an asshole based on my taste in hats. Only twenty-odd years to go!
posted by rifflesby at 12:40 PM on June 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


I assure you that a great many PUAs think women owe them something, too.
posted by Sticherbeast at 12:40 PM on June 28, 2013 [3 favorites]


That fact that you think that men are becoming "all emo right now" is actually a patriarchy thing, too.

MY GOD, IT'S FULL OF PATRIARCHY.

Whatever happened to "kyriarchy"? I liked that word. It avoids "matriarchy would be just as bad!"arguments.
posted by emjaybee at 12:42 PM on June 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


Kyriarchy is still in use but it's not really widespread enough to be ideal in general conversation yet. I mostly hear it in fairly hardcore social justice/feminist conversations.
posted by restless_nomad at 12:45 PM on June 28, 2013


Maybe publicly shaming the Nice Guys of OK Cupid won't actually educate said Nice Guys of OK Cupid. HOWEVER, I do think publicly shaming and ridiculing this sort of thing can have a positive effect on society's attitude towards Nice Guys. Namely, it lets people in general know that being this sort of dick is NOT okay, and why it isn't.

I was a freshman in college when I ran into my first bona fide Nice Guy. At the time, I wasn't familiar with the term Nice Guy, all I knew was that he made me massively uncomfortable. And yet I felt like I couldn't say anything to him because, gee, he was so NICE, he kept telling me he was NICE, and I'd be a bitch like all the other girls in his life if I said anything to this NICE GUY. If I had only known of the Nice Guy phenomenon then and seen other examples of it at work to know that I wasn't alone, it would have been helpful in realizing that it wasn't me, it was him.

...Fortunately, not only was this dude a Nice Guy, he also happened to have an Asian fetish, which I found out eventually. I might not have heard about the Nice Guy phenomenon, but I knew about guys with yellow fever. So that gave me the red flag I needed to run in the other direction.
posted by imnotasquirrel at 12:45 PM on June 28, 2013 [12 favorites]


i am really trying to parse what this means and maybe it's all the rolling rock, but i'm not coming up with anything good.

I'm saying that when their concerns are threatened everyone is the victim. Paula Deen blames Drake for racism, men blame society for lying to them. Paula Deen had no problem when a guy like Drake would sit at the back of the bus. Men had no problem when women would keep silent.

But that's really not true is it.

For many men life was short and violent. They worked in mines or died in wars. In a twisted way keeping women at home was protective.

This seems to be one definition of patriarchy.

Of course you seem more interested in making inscrutable comments to score points off me than telling me where I am wrong. So I'm going to persist in perhaps wildly off base ideas.
posted by Ad hominem at 12:46 PM on June 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


For many men life was short and violent. They worked in mines or died in wars. In a twisted way keeping women at home was protective.

What? I also can't parse what you're saying with this stuff at all. I don't think it's point scoring it's genuinely confusing.
posted by sweetkid at 12:48 PM on June 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


I'm not really sure how we got from "let's talk about the problems of subtle misogyny in nice guy culture" to "men in khakis and polos are douchebags."
posted by Lutoslawski at 12:48 PM on June 28, 2013


well, yeah, of course the idea that men can do manly things and get killed is part of patriarchy (also this was mostly poor/lower-class men, so maybe kyriarchy is really the better term here) , but i don't understand what it has to do with the thread.

it's not inscrutable to score points, i assure you, i really am a bit drunk right now.
posted by kagredon at 12:48 PM on June 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm completely sober and also confused.
posted by sweetkid at 12:49 PM on June 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


"men in khakis and polos are douchebags."

MTE. Let's focus on jorts instead.
posted by imnotasquirrel at 12:50 PM on June 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


Paula Deen had no problem when a guy like drake would sit at the back of the bus. Men had no problem when women would keep silent.

But that's really not true is it.


Saying "women have been treated poorly by men" doesn't somehow imply "men had 100% perfect lives when they treated women poorly"?
posted by showbiz_liz at 12:51 PM on June 28, 2013 [5 favorites]


Kyriarchy is still in use but it's not really widespread enough to be ideal in general conversation yet. I mostly hear it in fairly hardcore social justice/feminist conversations.

I don't mind the word "patriarchy" at all, but the nice thing about "kyriarchy" is that it's easier for someone unfamiliar to look at it and go, "oh, that's a word I don't know, I can google that," whereas "patriarchy" can be more confusing the uninitiated, because its actual meaning may be somewhat counterintuitive to some.

I've seen "kyriarchy" often enough on the internet. I've also seen (IMHO very weird) mini flame wars where people had been very much against the use of the word "kyriarchy."
posted by Sticherbeast at 12:51 PM on June 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


Threads like this one always, always make me wonder whether social relations between men and women are any better or happier now than they were when your date lived with her parents until you married her, and mom and dad gave you the hairy eyeball when you came to pick her up and pointedly reminded you to have her home by eleven, or ten if they thought you looked particularly skeevy, and nice girls didn't.

Yes. social relationships are better now, a million times better. That culture is what gave rise to idiotic ideas that men and women are inherently different, that they couldn't be friends or connect intellectually. Also, that culture was a thin veneer of proper behaviour over a howling mess of sexual violence and discrimination - because lots of girls did (or you thought they did), and then they weren't nice and you could treat them like shit. (And girls could be forced to give up babies to save their families from shame, or pressured to marry too early or to the wrong person, and all sorts of other messed up stuff that really deserves it's own thread).

At least now people who think this was are a dwindling group, and certainly much in the minority everywhere that I've lived.
posted by jb at 12:57 PM on June 28, 2013 [7 favorites]


...Fortunately, not only was this dude a Nice Guy, he also happened to have an Asian fetish, which I found out eventually. I might not have heard about the Nice Guy phenomenon, but I knew about guys with yellow fever

I present to you: Nice Guys of OKC: Creepy White Dudes edition.
posted by zennish at 12:58 PM on June 28, 2013


For many men life was short and violent. They worked in mines or died in wars. In a twisted way keeping women at home was protective.

What? I also can't parse what you're saying with this stuff at all. I don't think it's point scoring it's genuinely confusing.


I'm just saying that for most of history, for most people, the attitude of "no wife of mine will work" was about keeping their wives form back breaking and dangerous labor. Not office jobs.

Saying "women have been treated poorly by men" doesn't somehow imply "men had 100% perfect lives when they treated women poorly"?

I'm not saying we had no problems, I'm saying that back when women had little or no say in who they married men seemed to have fewer complaints about the situation.

I think my problem is too much coffee. I don't think I'm saying anything crazy or even very interesting I think I'm phrasing it poorly.
posted by Ad hominem at 12:58 PM on June 28, 2013


If you're under 60, you look like you've been playing dressing up in your granddad's wardrobe.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 3:11 PM on June 28


Or you look suave and debonair. I agree, they don't always pair well with bermuda shorts, but I know a thirty-something who wears suspenders, button-up shirts and tweed jackets (weather permitting). A baseball cap would look as wrong on him as a fedora looks so very right. (Also, super nice guy, but I'm biased because I married him.)
posted by jb at 12:59 PM on June 28, 2013


If you're under 60, you look like you've been playing dressing up in your granddad's wardrobe.

Hey, I resemble that remark!

(or would if my granddad was wurzel gummidge)
posted by titus-g at 1:04 PM on June 28, 2013


I'm just saying that for most of history, for most people, the attitude of "no wife of mine will work" was about keeping their wives form back breaking and dangerous labor. Not office jobs.

You don't seem to have read much women's or labour history.

For most of history, women did a great deal of back-breaking and dangerous labour: harvesting, mining (they got the low-paid jobs in the mines), working in mills. In the early 1800s, poor people were complaining about a lack of paid work for women in agriculture because machines had begun to replace labourers, and this was a serious detriment to family finances. (See Keith Snell, Annals of the Labouring Poor (1985) for more details).

Having a wife who didn't work outside of the home wasn't about her safety, it was about the relative social status of the family. A man who earned enough such that his wife didn't have to earn money was part of the working-class aristocracy. A wife going out to work was like saying that he couldn't provide well enough for the family.
posted by jb at 1:05 PM on June 28, 2013 [37 favorites]


And while I'm dishing out sartorial advice, John Smedley's Sea Island Cotton polo shirts are impeccably cool.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 1:05 PM on June 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


For most of history, women did a great deal of back-breaking and dangerous labour: harvesting, mining (they got the low-paid jobs in the mines), working in mills. In the early 1800s, poor people were complaining about a lack of paid work for women in agriculture because machines had begun to replace labourers, and this was a serious detriment to family finances. (See Keith Snell, Annals of the Labouring Poor (1985) for more details).

Thank you. All I ask is people tell me where I a wrong.
posted by Ad hominem at 1:06 PM on June 28, 2013 [4 favorites]


In addition to factual points about how safe the working world was or was not for women, it's also worth remembering that the patriarchy/kyriarchy/whatever hurts everyone. It's easy to look at a word like "patriarchy" and think that it means "men generally have it awesome," but that's not what it means.
posted by Sticherbeast at 1:06 PM on June 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


When I see these profiles it gives me a little respect for the unlucky at love dudes who go full on Game. They, at least, are structuring their approach from a position of trying to give women what they want (albeit with a bleak dichotomy between what women actually want vs what they say they want)

And what are those, exactly?
posted by zombieflanders at 1:08 PM on June 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


Or you look suave and debonair.

I don't think the two statements are inconsistent. But it's a hard look to pull off. Rougher boys will steal your hat from you and play catch with it.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 1:08 PM on June 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


That was actually reality, but it looks like the late 30s - early 40s was the end of it.

It depends on the community and location. This kind of courtship is still practiced among conservative Americans. Even in the 1970s in Canada, illegitimate children were a real disgrace.

It's not that the culture didn't/doesn't exist, the problem is that it was a very restrictive culture, and women especially suffered if they failed to live up to the ideals of that culture.
posted by jb at 1:09 PM on June 28, 2013


For all who are thinking about the effect of patriarchy on men, I would highly recommend Alexandra Shepard's Meanings of Manhood in early modern England. Seventeenth-century England was a deeply patriarchal culture.
posted by jb at 1:12 PM on June 28, 2013 [5 favorites]


And what are those, exactly?

GOGGLES ON HATS, MY FRIEND. WATCH AND LEARN
posted by Sticherbeast at 1:13 PM on June 28, 2013


I can't really hate polos because they are awfully convenient and when they're made nicely and cut well they feel good to wear. I do kind of hate when they're worn with the ubiquitous white t-shirt in the way that brahs tend to wear them, but that's more because of the sheer repetition of that trend than because they're polos, necessarily.
posted by octobersurprise at 1:13 PM on June 28, 2013


And while I'm dishing out sartorial advice, John Smedley's Sea Island Cotton polo shirts are impeccably cool.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 4:05 PM


They look pretty good, but the sleeves are a bit long. I look better in shorter sleeves currently.
posted by jb at 1:14 PM on June 28, 2013


Thank you, I appreciate the effort. I know it isn't your job to teach me shit on the Internet.
posted by Ad hominem at 1:15 PM on June 28, 2013 [3 favorites]


I can't find older stats, but apparently since the 1950's the volume of pre-marital sex has remained pretty-much constant.

Bastardy rates (the impolite but academic shorthand for talking about illegitimacy in British history) in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries suggest that pre-marital sex was not uncommon. Also, lots of six month babies. Attitudes about premarital pregnancy has changed over time, however. The shame in the 17th century really only kicked in if you weren't married by the birth. Anticipating a wedding wasn't that big of a deal.
posted by jb at 1:18 PM on June 28, 2013


No, it's my job to plug good books :)
posted by jb at 1:20 PM on June 28, 2013 [3 favorites]


It becomes imperative that they mate with this one female.

NB when folks are human we call them 'women.'
posted by shakespeherian at 1:53 PM on June 28, 2013 [17 favorites]


The main problem with the fedora has less to do with how it looks on any one person, and more towards what it tells you about how the person wearing it looks at the world.

The reason why fedoras often go hand-in-hand with NiceGuyism, PUA/MRA/reddit mysogyny, 'ladder theory' shit, combined with "nerd"-dom, is because they often have such little real-world experience or understanding of anything beyond how things work in WoW. Building a general bank of "stats", MinMaxing, rules-lawyering, etc. is the most efficient way to succeed, all other things fall to the wayside. It doesn't matter if your shield matches your spaulders, all that matters is the cumulative stat bump that comes from combining the two. These things are ultimately knowable, tactical, repeatable.

And then it all fucks up when it reaches the real world, where it turns into a clumsy and offensive cargo-cult mess. It's why pick-up artist shit is so insulting, because it not only announces one's contempt for women and their sexual autonomy in that subterfuge is not only kosher, but necessary, given what difficult, unpredictable, creatures women are, but further showcases a narrow mindset and limited problem-solving skills. These are the same guys who go into Windows support forums and not only answer every question with "Install Linux ;)", but are hurt when people look right past them to give praise to the person who actually helped solve the problem. Because they're RIGHT! darn it! They cannot FATHOM that someone would want things different than them, that they might trade the convenience of Windows for the stability and control that Linux offers, because why should anyone care how it looks? Social sciences aren't hard sciences and it drives them insane, so they pick something that makes the most 'sense' to them, like "Women like money" and decide that's all they need to know.

And it extends to fedoras too. These dudes don't pick up fedoras because they've thought about fashion and framing and lines and shit, or plan to match it with a proper suit and shoes, they see dapper guys like Don Draper or Frank Sinatra wearing one, and think it gives them "+3 Fashion" to round out their current outfit of overly casual or clashing items. The MinMax factor comes into play here, in that they not only know little about fashion, but have decided that superficial things LIKE fashion don't matter, or understand how style can communicate beyond what's printed on a t-shirt. But they know that fashion matters to OTHER people (like women), so they work their WoW magic on throwing together a comprehensive 'ensemble' that they imagine 'impressive male' looks like.

So that's what the fedora usually is: some privileged and socially-malajusted nerd's attempt to trick women into thinking he is Don Draper, with all the skill and nuance of the apocryphal ostrich sticking its head into the ground in an attempt to hide from danger. You run into enough of that, It's sorta hard not to see that when you see fedoras after a while.

which is a shame, as I'm told I look good in one, but I already have enough trouble NOT looking like a Mafia member when I suit up.
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 1:53 PM on June 28, 2013 [63 favorites]


> Yes. social relationships are better now, a million times better. That culture is what gave rise to idiotic ideas that men and
> women are inherently different, that they couldn't be friends or connect intellectually. Also, that culture was a thin veneer
> of proper behaviour over a howling mess of sexual violence and discrimination - because lots of girls did (or you thought they
> did), and then they weren't nice and you could treat them like shit.

So there has been at least some improvement in what looks to me like pretty major areas of life. Is it reasonable to balance that against widespread dissatisfaction over what less than mature and less than desirable fellows--or just plain cads, that's OK too--write in their online dating site profiles, and compare the relative importance of that area of life with the others, and discount the relative importance of OKC-profile dissatisfaction by the same ratio?
posted by jfuller at 1:56 PM on June 28, 2013


NB when folks are human we call them 'women.'
posted by shakespeherian at 1:53 PM on June 28 [+] [!]


I was making a joke about the fedora nice guys and how they always say female. I almost thought better of it when I hit post.

I apologize, especially to kagredon, I feel like I derailed this thread enough already though.
posted by Ad hominem at 1:57 PM on June 28, 2013


Come on everyone let's get back on topic, we are talking about the new Woody Harrelson movie.
posted by Rocket Surgeon at 2:03 PM on June 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


we're cool, I am definitely more familiar than I'd like to be with trying to say something and not having it land the way I was thinking of it. your follow-up did help clarify your earlier posts, and it gave us jb's recommendations which I plan to check out.
posted by kagredon at 2:04 PM on June 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


So that's what the fedora usually is: some privileged and socially-malajusted nerd's attempt to trick women into thinking he is Don Draper

Wait, I always thought it was born of that peacocking thing from the PUAs?
posted by elizardbits at 2:04 PM on June 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


Or in other words, we're all living in the world of Everybody Loves Raymond.

This is the darkest timeline.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 2:05 PM on June 28, 2013 [11 favorites]


attempt to trick women into thinking he is Don Draper


Most women I know don't want to hook up with Don Draper. Jon Hamm on the other hand...
posted by sweetkid at 2:07 PM on June 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


The main problem with the fedora has less to do with how it looks on any one person, and more towards what it tells you about how the person wearing it looks at the world.

it kind of blows my mind that people are reading so much significance into the wearing of a lousy hat

i just started wearing a boshears ford camo baseball hat i bought at a thrift store for 2 bucks - backwards

i considered a fedora at sleeping tiger but they're all too small for my patriarchy-inflated head
posted by pyramid termite at 2:07 PM on June 28, 2013 [4 favorites]


Sometimes I think that it is amazing how hard dating is for so many people, considering the goal is really just to find someone you have a mutual physical attraction with, who is enough like you so that you can relax and enjoy each other's company but not so much like you that you drive each other crazy.
posted by davejay at 2:12 PM on June 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


Most women I know don't want to hook up with Don Draper. Jon Hamm on the other hand...

The nice thing about being married is that I know exactly who from Man Men the only woman I'm interested in wants me to look/dress like. The bad thing is that I've got a few more decades before I look like Roger Sterling.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 2:13 PM on June 28, 2013


Mad Men. It's called Mad Men. And everyone loves John Slattery, too. Damn. Roger Sterling too yeah.
posted by sweetkid at 2:15 PM on June 28, 2013


>>So that's what the fedora usually is: some privileged and socially-malajusted nerd's attempt to trick women into thinking he is Don Draper

Wait, I always thought it was born of that peacocking thing from the PUAs?


Jesus, it's just a hat. If a dude likes a hat but doesn't want it to be a shitty baseball cap, what do you suggest he wear? There are not a lot of options in mens' hats.
posted by rifflesby at 2:15 PM on June 28, 2013 [6 favorites]


It helps me sometimes to remember that for some people, dating for them is like making overseas phone calls in foreign language is for me: humiliating and terrifying the entire time it is happening followed by a lifetime of confusion and regrets.
posted by elizardbits at 2:15 PM on June 28, 2013 [15 favorites]


some privileged and socially-malajusted nerd's attempt to trick women into thinking he is Don Draper Indiana Jones"
posted by the_artificer at 2:19 PM on June 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


It helps me sometimes to remember that for some people, dating for them is like making overseas phone calls in foreign language is for me: humiliating and terrifying the entire time it is happening followed by a lifetime of confusion and regrets.

talking to my extended family is the worst, I agree.
posted by kagredon at 2:20 PM on June 28, 2013


Man men? Oof. That's officially it for the day.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 2:20 PM on June 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


I might watch Man Men.
posted by sweetkid at 2:26 PM on June 28, 2013 [4 favorites]


Actually maybe not it sounds like a Ladies' Man type reality show but for gay men. And I wouldn't like a Ladies' Man type reality show. Like PUA all over again.
posted by sweetkid at 2:27 PM on June 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


I thought about that way too much.
posted by sweetkid at 2:27 PM on June 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


I do know a guy who regularly wears a fedora. As far as I can tell he's not a PUA or a "Nice Guy" and his most offensive activity is LARPing.

So it's not a perfect signal.
posted by squinty at 2:31 PM on June 28, 2013


Hell, I've got a fedora, but the signal is a little different with dykes, I think. (...I hope.)
posted by restless_nomad at 2:43 PM on June 28, 2013 [4 favorites]


Hey, I wear a fedora sometimes! It is purple and I got it at Target. I wear it because it keeps the rain off my face and cost $14. Fedoras aren't a perfect signal by any means, but often a guy's attitude his fedora is a synecdoche for his attitude towards his place in the culture as a whole; just because he thinks it's cool doesn't require everyone else to think it's cool, you know?
posted by KathrynT at 2:43 PM on June 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


The "5 Reasons Your Online Dating Profile Isn't Working" Cracked article is by Winston Rowntree, who does Virus Comix, most famously including Subnormality. Thus the (great) cartoons accompanying the article.
posted by jiawen at 2:44 PM on June 28, 2013 [3 favorites]


people are reading so much significance into the wearing of a lousy hat

My first one (over 23 years ago now, eek!) was really just an impulse buy, no thought or ulterior motive whatsoever: it was just there in the window all crisp and elegant, and such a wonderfully bright glowing red. And, it was just what I needed to set off my long flowing, flowery silk shirts and ridiculously large collections of cheap Cockburn street bangles. The Sinatra look: not so much.
posted by titus-g at 2:44 PM on June 28, 2013


people are reading so much significance into the wearing of a lousy hat

Maybe, but in this exact place on the internet a lot of people are using 'fedora' as short hand for the Fedora Guy from that painfully unaware Responsible Hedonist post.

A fedora is never just a hat on Metafilter.
posted by sweetkid at 2:46 PM on June 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


...somehow or other we all hold a view that some may find questionable, and one would think that a person would be able to hold that back until at least the third date. After the shagging, preferably.


Ya know, talking is nice. You don't have to hit the sack on the first date or even the third. But then, if you're only out for the shagging, please say so ahead of time. This may or may not color the determination of whether or not you are an asshole.



Here's the deal with fedoras:

Fedoras look really cool as long as you're over the age of 60.

If you're under 60, you look like you've been playing dressing up in your granddad's wardrobe.


Fedoras are hot. Unfortunately most men look like dorks. But a fedora is something you grown into. You have to pay your dues in sniggers and funny looks. But then one day....

One day you'll wake up and you will be Cary Grant or Clark Gable.

Or your grandfather.
posted by BlueHorse at 2:46 PM on June 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm not really in the mood to read all of the comments in this thread, but i read a lot. And quite a lot of it was the same old rehash that comes up every time this sort of thing gets discussed. What caught my eye though, was this

I don't know, public shaming makes me uncomfortable. Even for jerks.

Sorry, i just can't abide by this.

I think that a lot of people who have this belief subscribe to some sort of view that it's always bullying, and also that old miss manners line(which i can never find a link to, but it's from one of her older print columns) about how pointing out someones rudeness is the ultimate rudeness; essentially that you're being an even bigger jerk by calling them out and publicly shaming them than they were by being a tiresome ass.

The issue with this is that these guys are often entitled boundary crashers who depend on peoples adherence to the "rules" to continue to be assholes without any chance or fear of retribution. There's a very big overlap in behavior, if not in association between the type of "friendzone buddies" NGoOKC showcases and the PUA types we were just shitting on a couple threads back.

I think internet tar and feathering can be overdone, and that the internet lynch mobs can be awful a lot of the time and get rolling at full speed without much evidence and steamroll people who don't deserve it. But the time i actually think they're absolutely on point is when they're pulling out in to the light the types of people who count on the fact that no one will call them on their shit to operate in the way that they do.

So yea, i support creep shaming. And i mean, your opinion is your opinion and you're entitled to it. But i can't help but think that a lot of people who are uncomfortable with this type of callout are uncomfortable for the wrong reasons, and the exact ones that these assholes specifically head out to play on.

I'll also add that i haven't been on the tumblr in a while, and looking at it now i agree with the post above that said:
I'm not too pleased with the tumblr these days - it seems to have switched moderators from someone who wasn't interested in discussing "men's rights" culture, fedoras, ponies, etc, but just wanted to point out men who a) say they are nice in their profile and also b) say things that are decidedly not nice. I think the new focus on reaming a particular subset of culture is distracting from the actual point, which is that saying you are nice does not make it so.

It used to be something very different, and was saying some things that really needed to be said. Now? I don't know. But i stand by my opinion about the callouts.
posted by emptythought at 3:01 PM on June 28, 2013 [6 favorites]


The tumblr is pretty obviously an excuse to publicly mock nerdy, awkward guys under the guise of social justice. I'm not saying that they're not sexist and don't have noxious opinions but come on. Are there no handsome, well-dressed guys on OKC who say equally vile things?

That being said, I laughed (I'm no saint). But let's not pretend that this is some sort of positive contribution to public discourse.
posted by seymourScagnetti at 3:05 PM on June 28, 2013 [4 favorites]


The tumblr is pretty obviously an excuse to publicly mock nerdy, awkward guys under the guise of social justice. I'm not saying that they're not sexist and don't have noxious opinions but, come on. Are there no handsome, well-dressed guys on OKC who say equally vile things?

i'd actually think several of the guys pictured were quite handsome, if not for the vile things they were saying. "let's not pretend" this is more than your value judgement.
posted by kagredon at 3:06 PM on June 28, 2013 [10 favorites]


assbags tend to coagulate into assbag micelles. By the time you're posting "A man wants to be NURTURED; not NAGGED" on your dating profile, any nice male friends you may have had at one point have given up and all you're left with are the dudebros cheering you on

I've never had many friends, nor close ones, but I'm grateful to have missed those who would have accepted and encouraged my ignorance of social life.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 3:10 PM on June 28, 2013


I am in favor of creep-shaming when it is beyond the pale but too many of the posts on NGoOkC are marginal and that really bums me out.

The ones showing actual messages where dudes are assholes/creeps/etc to women I feel fine about. Posts like this, though, seem really questionable. I don't agree with that dude's opinions, and I think he's on the wrong side of history, but the evidence for him being a "Nice Guy" is circumstantial at best.
posted by wemayfreeze at 3:12 PM on June 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


"let's not pretend" this is more than your value judgement.

My value judgement is that publicly mocking the socially-challenged is just kind of obnoxious.
posted by seymourScagnetti at 3:13 PM on June 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


I think that characterizing misogyny as being "socially-challenged" is just kind of obnoxious.
posted by kagredon at 3:14 PM on June 28, 2013 [17 favorites]


Enh, there's a Venn diagram between the two. Life is complicated. Either way, even if someone really does have a general problem with socialization, that doesn't give them the right to say misogynist things without consequence.
posted by Sticherbeast at 3:21 PM on June 28, 2013


I think that characterizing misogyny as being "socially-challenged" is just kind of obnoxious.

I didn't say they weren't misogynists. They are also socially challenged. Being a nerd doesn't excuse misogyny. I agree 100%. But pointing and laughing at nerds just because they're misogynists doesn't mean you're not still pointing and laughing at nerds.
posted by seymourScagnetti at 3:25 PM on June 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


Misogynists don't automatically get to escape the social consequences of their actions just because they're nerds, tho.
posted by KathrynT at 3:27 PM on June 28, 2013 [26 favorites]


Yeah, their saving throw is going to be modified by their DEX, which is usually not that high.
posted by Sticherbeast at 3:28 PM on June 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


So....we can point and laugh at misogynists, but only if they're not nerds. Okay.

BTW, I know lots of nerdy, kinda awkward dudes who aren't misogynist assholes. I'm pretty sure that they resent the hell out of being lumped in with misogynist assholes, because it's not like that's a required category if one is nerdy and awkward.
posted by rtha at 3:29 PM on June 28, 2013 [15 favorites]


But you aren't pointing and laughing at nerds for being nerds, you're pointing and laughing at douchebags - who also happen to be nerds - for holding attitudes about women that frankly ought to be ridiculed.
posted by mippy at 3:30 PM on June 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


...dou head? Googling "dou head" led me to this, which is the only thing that has ever made sense ever.
posted by Sticherbeast at 3:32 PM on June 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


Back to hats. Now I worry that the beret,which I adopted as my hat of choice when I was 17 and have kept wearing as it looks ace with a bob - may be the lady version of the fedora.

Actually, yes, fedoras can look great when correctly deployed. Could we possibly label these guys as Waistcoats or Chunky Silver Rings or Elaborate Story About Being Beaten Up Once instead, in order not to offend the hat community?
posted by mippy at 3:33 PM on June 28, 2013


Sorry, am typing on a tablet which is not a good fit for dyspraxia or quetiapine.

I meant 'douchebags'
posted by mippy at 3:34 PM on June 28, 2013


I suspect the number of men wearing fedoras and trilbies >>> the number of people associating fedora-wearing with Internet Nice Guys > actual number of fedora-wearing Internet Nice Guys.

(I wear a Tilly's, but it really means I'd rather not get sunburned.)
posted by Zed at 3:35 PM on June 28, 2013


No, I kinda like dou heads.
posted by rtha at 3:35 PM on June 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


BTW, I know lots of nerdy, kinda awkward dudes who aren't misogynist assholes. I'm pretty sure that they resent the hell out of being lumped in with misogynist assholes, because it's not like that's a required category if one is nerdy and awkward.

I never implied that.

Just about every guy on the tumblr comes across as socially awkward, however. That's what I find troubling about it.

But you aren't pointing and laughing at nerds for being nerds, you're pointing and laughing at dou heads - who also happen to be nerds - for holding attitudes about women that frankly ought to be ridiculed.

Yes, the attitudes are ridicule-worthy. The men who hold them might not be deserving of a public shaming, though. (Particularly since some of these guys don't even rise to the level of misogynists.)
posted by seymourScagnetti at 3:36 PM on June 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


(Particularly since some of these guys don't even rise to the level of misogynists.)

how do you figure?
posted by kagredon at 3:38 PM on June 28, 2013


I think that characterizing misogyny as being "socially-challenged" is just kind of obnoxious.

As someone "on the spectrum", i also think it's VERY unfair to the people who are actually socially challenged.

I'm not a fucking misogynist, and i know several other people similarly non-neurotypical who aren't assholes like this, and are even pretty progressive.

There's a huge difference between being awkward and having problems with social stuff sometimes and being a cockbag. Associating the two is shitty for reasons other than what you said, even.
posted by emptythought at 3:40 PM on June 28, 2013 [17 favorites]


There's a huge difference between being awkward and having problems with social stuff sometimes and being a cockbag. Associating the two is shitty for reasons other than what you said, even.

I never said or implied that. These guys happen to be both nerds and misogynists. That's it. I'm not saying there's a correlation, just that these specific guys happen to be both.
posted by seymourScagnetti at 3:44 PM on June 28, 2013


How do porkpie hats fit into this spectrum?
posted by davejay at 3:46 PM on June 28, 2013


Fair enough. I kinda fired that one on a hair trigger because i've seen that implied or even directly stated quite a lot lately though, and i just kinda wanted to toss that out there.
posted by emptythought at 3:46 PM on June 28, 2013


There's a huge difference between being awkward and having problems with social stuff sometimes and being a cockbag.

May I present Exhibit #1 for "being a cockbag." This....gentleman has tried to message me once or twice, but my clicking through to his profile usually dissuaded me from responding (although, I am grudgingly impressed by just how many distinctly different terms for cunnilingus he uses in the course of a single online profile).
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 3:46 PM on June 28, 2013 [5 favorites]


I never said or implied that. These guys happen to be both nerds and misogynists.

the thing that I think some people (including myself) are reacting to here is that it's pretty common to call out misogynist behavior and then be told that we wouldn't be calling it out if it were coming from a more physically attractive or charismatic guy. effectively, the way you're constructing your argument is indistinguishable from a very, very common tactic used to dismiss concerns about misogynist behavior. maybe you don't intend it that way, but that's very much how it's being read.
posted by kagredon at 3:50 PM on June 28, 2013 [12 favorites]


Ladies, you have kissed your last frog!

Joke's on you, pal! I've just bought a crate of cane toads and two Binaca dispensers.
posted by Sticherbeast at 3:52 PM on June 28, 2013 [8 favorites]


not to mention, i don't see that much evidence that these guys are especially awkward or nerdy. even leaving aside that 90% cues we have for that online come down to physical grooming, their photos mostly look fine to me. the pullquotes on the tumblr, by and large, aren't about hobbies or general social difficulties: they're about the skewed ways in which these guys perceive women.
posted by kagredon at 3:53 PM on June 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


Holy crap. That profile is one-stop shopping for every cheesy sexual innuendo, cringe-worthy pickup line and any possible string of words to compose misogynistic phrases in the English language. I almost want to give him some credit for his skill (but sadly for him, not the credit nor skill he had in mind. For shame.).
posted by iamkimiam at 3:54 PM on June 28, 2013


the thing that I think some people (including myself) are reacting to here is that it's pretty common to call out misogynist behavior and then be told that we wouldn't be calling it out if it were coming from a more physically attractive or charismatic guy. effectively, the way you're constructing your argument is indistinguishable from a very, very common tactic used to dismiss concerns about misogynist behavior. maybe you don't intend it that way, but that's very much how it's reading.

This blog in particular is exclusively concerned with the socially-awkward. That was my whole point. It's not just that they're sexists, it's that they're sexists who are clearly failures with women.
posted by seymourScagnetti at 3:55 PM on June 28, 2013


This blog in particular is exclusively concerned with the socially-awkward. That was my whole point. It's not just that they're sexists, it's that they're sexists who are clearly failures with women.

okay, for like the 80th time, what evidence do you have of that? what comes across to you in the pullquotes, in the tumblr, that tells you this?
posted by kagredon at 3:56 PM on June 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


but often a guy's attitude his fedora is a synecdoche for his attitude towards his place in the culture as a whole;

Today I am inventing a new word,
synecdouche : a person who's attitude towards his place in a culture is represented by his hat.
posted by Podkayne of Pasadena at 3:58 PM on June 28, 2013 [11 favorites]


so, like a fireman?
posted by rebent at 4:00 PM on June 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


okay, for like the 80th time, what evidence do you have of that? what comes across to you in the pullquotes, in the tumblr, that tells you this?\

It's right there in the name: "Nice Guys". The sad, character who can't get a date and blames it on the fact that he's a 'nice guy', because women only go for jerks. Or, maybe he feels entitled to sex from a woman who unfairly punishes him with the 'friend zone'.
posted by seymourScagnetti at 4:01 PM on June 28, 2013


It's right there in the name: "Nice Guys". The sad, character who can't get a date and blames it on the fact that he's a 'nice guy', because women only go for jerks. Or, maybe he feels entitled to sex from a woman who unfairly punishes him with the 'friend zone'.

...which has what to do with awkward or nerdy guys? There are plenty of outgoing, conventionally charming guys who hold those exact same beliefs. They usually call themselves "pick-up artists."
posted by kagredon at 4:02 PM on June 28, 2013 [3 favorites]


...which has what to do with awkward or nerdy guys? There are plenty of outgoing, conventionally charming guys who hold those exact same beliefs.

This tumblr doesn't seem interested in the conventionally charming. It's not "otherwise perfectly attractive guys who have shitty opinions".
posted by seymourScagnetti at 4:14 PM on June 28, 2013


This tumblr doesn't seem interested in the conventionally charming.
Untrue, plenty of physically average-to-attractive men.
posted by kavasa at 4:16 PM on June 28, 2013 [4 favorites]


You can have all my porkpies and fedoras, but ladies, I ain't never gonna do it without my fez on. Please understand, that's what I am.

ok seriously now

I can kinda see where there's maybe an ethical issue with slapping private OKC profiles on a public Tumblr but dear god if my profile was risible enough to make good Tumblr fodder I would think I would want to know at any cost

On the other hand, that presupposes a level of self-awareness and willingness to adapt that's not in evidence here

That Cracked article though, that was gold.
posted by prize bull octorok at 4:16 PM on June 28, 2013


It's not "otherwise perfectly attractive seeming guys who have shitty opinions".It's not "otherwise perfectly attractive seeming guys who have shitty opinions".

which, again, I say to you, I read it exactly as "otherwise perfectly attractive seeming guys who have shitty opinions." like, I'm glad I don't use OKC, because I'm not sure I'd catch all of these red flags scattered over a whole multi-page profile. So, again, I'll ask, and again, you probably won't answer, what makes you think that this tumblr is specifically targeting the socially inept?
posted by kagredon at 4:16 PM on June 28, 2013


which, again, I say to you, I read it exactly as "otherwise perfectly attractive seeming guys who have shitty opinions." like, I'm glad I don't use OKC, because I'm not sure I'd catch all of these red flags scattered over a whole profile. So, again, I'll ask, and again, you probably won't answer, what makes you think that this tumblr is specifically targeting the socially inept?

This guy.

This guy doesn't even say anything sexist. He's just kind of sad and self-pitying. What does he say here that's so terrible that it justifies a public shaming?
posted by seymourScagnetti at 4:26 PM on June 28, 2013


What does he say here that's so terrible that it justifies a public shaming?

The "dedicated pure girlfriend" line makes me twitch so hard I scared the cats, but yeah, that's probably the mildest of the bunch (in at least the first few pages.)
posted by restless_nomad at 4:32 PM on June 28, 2013 [5 favorites]


Half of everything there is sexist. He's always friendzoned, he wants a dedicated pure girlfriend, he thinks girls can pay him back for being nice by asking him out.
posted by KathrynT at 4:32 PM on June 28, 2013 [5 favorites]


What does he say here that's so terrible that it justifies a public shaming?

Can't tell if you're being but the part about "doing nice things for girls and they don't even pay me back by asking me out on a date" probably has a lot to do with it.
posted by Podkayne of Pasadena at 4:33 PM on June 28, 2013 [8 favorites]


This profile/post is a good example of what really bothers me about this blog.

To start, on OKC you can select multiple answers to any question. This allows you to be available to be a match to how *other* people respond to the same question. That's why both answers are pink for some of the questions. For three of these questions, all of the answers are not shown (cut off) and therefore we don't know if he answered the question to be inclusive to potential matches. For example, the transgender and racial background questions...it could be that he answered both yes and no.

Also, it doesn't automatically make you racist or LGBTQ-unfriendly/homophobic/bigoted if you prefer to date people of your own ethnic background or cis-gendered orientation, unlike the tags and art design of the post intend us to believe.* The other pieces of 'evidence' for this man being a 'nice guy' are the text bits highlighted in red. Also, taken out of context and repasted over a photo to paint a particular picture of someone. As for the first red text, using the phrase 'warm-hearted' is not an unreasonable way to describe oneself and certainly not proof of a messed up or misogynistic world view. I just don't even understand. And same goes for "Be open-minded. Be kind." Even out of context (which this most certainly is) this may not be an expression of a negative perspective on women (i.e., that their default is closed-minded, unkind) and a directive to behave a certain way. For all we know, he could have been recounting the mantra he learned at his latest LoTR-themed meditation retreat. Whatever. Lastly, the question about life partner fear...that one has more than two answers, but it's cut and pasted to not show them. Again, for all we know, he could have marked other answers. Or maybe he has no intention to have a life partner. Or doesn't give a shit about that question.

I mean, even if I want to give this profile the most uncharitable read possible, all I could really say is that he's probably shallow (the life partner/looks response) and ignorant or inexperienced about gender/race issues. Not that those aren't problems themselves, but that's not what this blog or article is about.

Basically what I see is that this man, whoever he is, is very publicly shamed, tagged a racist, labeled a sexist/misogynistic nice guy and...why? What type of message does this send to other people who want to learn from this example? People who want to avoid being that 'nice guy'? Frankly, it's not very clear and I think that it does more damage, especially personal damage, than good.

To be clear, I'm not defending the 'nice guys' and certainly not misogynistic behavior, rape culture, etc. I agree with the premise and sentiments of most of the article (I have some issues with a bit of it too, but that's a different conversation). I'm on the fence about public shaming in general, mostly because I think it's gross and intrusive and breaks the 'do unto others rule'. Not to mention a complete invasion of privacy (reappropriating content -- even public content -- of this type in this way, to me, is not ok from an ethical/internet best practices standpoint). I tend to strongly fall to one side of the fence though when the public shaming is unfair, seemingly baseless and biased against a particular socio-cultural group (as many others have mentioned, this looks more like nerd or geek mocking than a public service for awareness about toxic nice guy culture).

*Not saying that these answers aren't possible indicators of biases or issues the person may have. But this is why these questions exist (and have explanation boxes, if the person so chooses to elaborate) — so we can use our words to talk to potential dates! Can't tell you how many times back when I was on OKC, I initiated conversations based on curiosity about how people answered questions. It's part of the fun of OKC site culture and is very much encouraged.
posted by iamkimiam at 4:38 PM on June 28, 2013 [17 favorites]


Can't tell if you're being but the part about "doing nice things for girls and they don't even pay me back by asking me out on a date" probably has a lot to do with it.

I would argue that he may be clueless. He thinks that being nice to women will make them interested in him romantically. You could read his statement as "I am entitled to sex from these women!" or you could take a more charitable interpretation and read it as "I did everything I thought I was supposed to do, but I still can't find a date/girlfriend".

As far as the 'dedicated, pure girlfriend' it's possible that he's not a good writer and is using the word pure as a synonym for 'good-hearted' or 'kind'.

Do I know for a fact that he's not a misogynist? Of course not. I just think you should try to give people the benefit of the doubt before plastering their picture on public tumblr and calling them a misogynist.
posted by seymourScagnetti at 4:44 PM on June 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


What does he say here that's so terrible that it justifies a public shaming?

Are you shitting me? He says girls need to "pay him back" for his attention by dating him. He thinks it's a transaction in which he is OWED something from women.

no

no no no no no

no
posted by elizardbits at 4:45 PM on June 28, 2013 [22 favorites]


plastering their picture on public tumblr and calling them a misogynist. accompanied by words that they said

fixed
posted by kagredon at 4:46 PM on June 28, 2013 [7 favorites]


Do I know for a fact that he's not a misogynist? Of course not. I just think you should try to give people the benefit of the doubt before plastering their picture on public tumblr and calling them a misogynist.

Hon, the women in here aren't just blithely assuming that this guy is a misogynist because we're big meanies. We are accusing him of misogyny because he flat-out says "girls never pay me back by asking me out". He flat-out admits that the only possible reason he has for being nice to girls is "so they can ask me out", and he even flat-out says that it is a transaction he is expecting them to enter into.

What reason other than misogyny would lead a guy into having such a two-dimensional view of how to relate to women?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:50 PM on June 28, 2013 [14 favorites]


elizardbits I am interpreting that as a penis of no

(if "Penis of No" doesn't become/isn't already a James Bond porn parody, I'm going to be sad.)
posted by kagredon at 4:51 PM on June 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


Hon, the women in here aren't just blithely assuming that this guy is a misogynist because we're big meanies. We are accusing him of misogyny because he flat-out says "girls never pay me back by asking me out". He flat-out admits that the only possible reason he has for being nice to girls is "so they can ask me out", and he even flat-out says that it is a transaction he is expecting them to enter into.

What reason other than misogyny would lead a guy into having such a two-dimensional view of how to relate to women?


All I'm saying is that his words could be open to interpretation. He says he was nice to women and expected to be rewarded with romantic attention. He's misguided and he sees dating as transactional (and that doesn't mean, by the way, that he necessarily sees women as things to be bought) but that could be chalked up to immaturity and inexperience as much as misogyny.
posted by seymourScagnetti at 5:07 PM on June 28, 2013


Yes, almost as if there was a system in place that was derived from a societal view of women that informed his opinions and actions.
posted by zombieflanders at 5:09 PM on June 28, 2013 [10 favorites]


(and that doesn't mean, by the way, that he necessarily sees women as things to be bought)

what does it mean, since you've appointed yourself one-true-intepreter of what this one guy meant?
posted by kagredon at 5:12 PM on June 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


what does it mean, since you've appointed yourself one-true-intepreter of what this one guy meant?


I've qualified everything by saying I don't know what he meant. And neither does the person who decided he was worthy of public humiliation. That was my whole point.
posted by seymourScagnetti at 5:18 PM on June 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


yes, the public humiliation of having quotes that he himself put on the internet joined with a picture that he himself put on the internet in connection with those quotes

whatever, dude.
posted by kagredon at 5:19 PM on June 28, 2013 [5 favorites]


yes, the public humiliation of having quotes that he himself put on the internet joined with a picture that he himself put on the internet

There's quite obviously a difference between putting up a profile on a dating site and having that profile singled out for public mockery.
posted by seymourScagnetti at 5:23 PM on June 28, 2013


Metafilter: a penis of no
posted by jcreigh at 5:28 PM on June 28, 2013 [3 favorites]


I think the idea that these are not conventionally attractive men does have some merit. I think those who are excluded from the traditional vectors of success with relationships are more likely to end up feeling "friendzoned" and generally have the "nice guy" worldview.

If they were conventionally attractive they're more likely to have had success from a young age and would have probably developed a whole different set of misogynist views, alas.
posted by wemayfreeze at 5:33 PM on June 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


A lot of these guys are TOTALLY conventionally attractive, though.
posted by KathrynT at 5:34 PM on June 28, 2013 [5 favorites]


Yeah, I could be off on that hypotenuse.
posted by wemayfreeze at 5:40 PM on June 28, 2013


These guys are awkward in that they can't hide their bullshit. It isn't like that guy invented the "I help you out, we date" idea. He's just dumb enough to put it on his personal ad.
posted by Ad hominem at 5:42 PM on June 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


An additional, particular reason worth pointing out is that many young men lack truly positive role models for being young men. Even the positive role models which do exist are often lost in a blur of bad or unrealistic role models. I'm not a hundred percent sure how to fix this, but

SKIPS FROM REGULAR SHOW
posted by Greg Nog at 5:42 PM on June 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


there isn't anything defensible in most of these these profiles or the attitudes behind them, but I do want to say something about what might be behind what we're labeling as the 'Nice Guy'.

There are young men who have never had anyone treat them with kindness or been appreciated for who they are, or been found attractive. Maybe that's for a good reason, maybe they're just unfortunate.

But they are also surrounded their whole lives by all of these social narratives that people repeat so often, they accept them as true.These formulas are very enticing for someone who desperately crave something that seems to come naturally to others but that they've never encountered in their own lives.

And many of these, especially for males, come down to something transactional: if you ____, you get the girl. From early childhood, they see the princess fall in love with the peasant who slays the dragon, or when all the pretty, popular people pair off, the geek boy with braces left standing alone turns around and sees the geek girl with braces ("is..is that a UNIX book?") give him that smile, and so on and so on. It's in everything from commercials to romance to spiritualism. They're told over and over by everyone around them that there's someone out there for everyone, and that if they just be themselves, someone will come along and love them. But it doesn't happen to them.

So some of them start trying to apply these formulas because that's the only information they have. And since real life is not formulaic or transactional, they fail. So these men either turn into toxic jerks because they've been given just terrible, terrible advice - see PUA culture - or they become embittered because they did the thing but no woman came along to love them, so women are unfair and not following the rules of the formula, those 'materialistic sluts who only fall for jerks.' It is the root of a lot of horrible male entitlement behavior: "Hey, I did the thing, where's the woman I was supposed to get? Everything at male school told me that a beautiful woman would fall in love with me if I did the thing!"

Even the 'good' ones, who see how wrong that is, still want something that they have no idea how to get. But even if they're trying desperately to 'not be that guy', that core idea of 'if you do X, Y will come to you', is still engraved way down deep in there. They have this hope that if they were just kind and decent and what used to be called nice, that the universe would reciprocate somehow - one day a woman would show up and recognize that in them, and would be kind and decent and nice to him as a reward, and they'd fall in love and live happily ever after.

That's very pleasant to think about, but since it's not real, it's bound to lead to bitterness and cynicism. Or despair, and they give up and spend their lives alone, because whatever it is that gets men loved by women, they must not have it. We have no narratives for how to help that guy, so I don't know what to do there.

I don't know if shaming the bad males pointed out here is going to correct the behavior of the ones who are doing it on purpose. But maybe more examples of this kind of jerk bastard, who poisons the phrase Nice Guy [that used to not be such a bad thing to say about someone] will help the others, by providing a broader base for who not to be. At least that's something.
posted by bartleby at 6:42 PM on June 28, 2013 [12 favorites]


Even the 'good' ones, who see how wrong that is, still want something that they have no idea how to get. But even if they're trying desperately to 'not be that guy', that core idea of 'if you do X, Y will come to you', is still engraved way down deep in there. They have this hope that if they were just kind and decent and what used to be called nice, that the universe would reciprocate somehow - one day a woman would show up and recognize that in them, and would be kind and decent and nice to him as a reward, and they'd fall in love and live happily ever after.

pretty sure that some of them also, you know, get to know a few women or girls and value them as people and friends, rather than just trying a different set of strategies to "get awesome with women"

because that is not some weird impossible thing.
posted by kagredon at 6:47 PM on June 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


There are young men who have never had anyone treat them with kindness or been appreciated for who they are, or been found attractive. Maybe that's for a good reason, maybe they're just unfortunate.

I really don't think this is an accurate assessment. I'm sure many of them have friends, and some of them might even be ladies. I was the nerdiest, least attractive girl in high school, but I still knew dudes, and never once was I like, "oh man but I write such good poetry whyyy don't they love me, they're all HEARTLESS JERKS" for another six years. Because, no.
posted by jetlagaddict at 7:25 PM on June 28, 2013 [12 favorites]


I see your point kagredon. It's precisely that new connotation of 'Nice Guy' who thinks that simple politeness means that all women owe him infinite blowjobs, or that does favors to get favors, that all sexes should call bullshit on and point out as wrong wrong wrong.

But there are people whose goal is not 'to get awesome with women'. I did forget that the FPP does have friendzone in the title, and didn't mention anything about that side of the 'Nice Guy'.

When you have a number of women or girl friends, (and I can't imagine not valuing women as people but I guess that's the kind of failed male the Nice Guy the post calls out), that doesn't mean that everything's fine now and you'll find love because you've connected with a woman as a friend.

It's the loneliness of the 'always a bridesmaid' guy, who obviously appreciates women and is appreciated by women - but only so far. That's not the kind of 'friendzoning' that these 'Nice Guys' talk about, so maybe it's not relevant to this post.

I can't imagine an actually nice man who doesn't have any treasured woman friends, but I can imagine that might be a special kind of lack, of knowing that you're not a complete repulsive outcast, but somehow you've still never managed to get asked to that particular dance.
posted by bartleby at 7:32 PM on June 28, 2013


It's the loneliness of the 'always a bridesmaid' guy, who obviously appreciates women and is appreciated by women - but only so far. That's not the kind of 'friendzoning' that these 'Nice Guys' talk about, so maybe it's not relevant to this post.

i think it can be very confusing for young men to see women they value ignore them for other men who are jerks at worse or at best incompatable - it's hard to understand, but what i would tell them is (aside from the fact that they're expressing their frustration in a ridiculous way on OKC) that relationships often don't make any sense and there's no better way for a person to indulge their self-destructive tendencies than to end up with the wrong person - because after all, they can blame that wrong person for their crappy lives instead of asking themselves why they went for someone like that

(and that goes for men as well as women)

it's my belief that a lot of these "nice guys" are going to "succeed" eventually by finding someone who's going to be as screwed up as they are or by someone who senses how desperate they're getting and taking advantage of it

i would remind them that no relationship is still better than a bad relationship

and i would keep this cynical thought to myself - that assholes must find some kind of way to breed, because otherwise we wouldn't have any
posted by pyramid termite at 7:52 PM on June 28, 2013 [3 favorites]


i was speaking to the mindset of complete transactionality because that is the mindset you invoked in your post. my point was that not all guys subscribe to that complete transactionality, and especially that not all awkward guys subscribe to it.

It's the loneliness of the 'always a bridesmaid' guy, who obviously appreciates women and is appreciated by women - but only so far. That's not the kind of 'friendzoning' that these 'Nice Guys' talk about, so maybe it's not relevant to this post.

this is completely imaginary. there is no class of guys who "is only appreciated so far" by all women. that is absurd on its face.
posted by kagredon at 8:19 PM on June 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


"May I present Exhibit #1 for 'being a cockbag.'

As I have an OKC profile and I'm logged into it, I sort of wish I hadn't followed that link.

This profile/post is a good example of what really bothers me about this blog.

I agree with your analysis of that one. Although I think that you've misinterpreted the truncation of the answers — those come from the comparison between his answers and one's own.

Anyway, there's a pretty large territory of questions that exist somewhere in-between the purely personal preferences/matching preferences extreme and the value judgments about other people extreme. This is especially true for questions about sex preferences and appearance preferences.

My own experience with OKCupid is that pretty much whenever I move outside of the (for me) comfortable zone of people with whom I match at 85% or higher, I find things that creep me out or make me angry. People make a lot of offensive generalizations about other people, there's a surprising amount of hostility and scorn expressed. Which I can sort of understand from women given what I know of the kinds of messages that women get from men there (and everywhere else). And back in the day when there was more journaling and I would see things from the portal page, I found a lot of the discussion pretty repulsive. And don't get me started on the forums.

The thing that really gets me is the gender essentialist men vs women narrative that others mentioned earlier. It's not just the misogynists that think about all this stuff in these terms, it's women, too, it's basically the majority of our culture.

Pretty much on OKC (outside my high-match comfort zone) and even here in AskMe and some threads, I find that I feel like a stranger in a strange land. People think and talk about dating and relationships in very strong essentialist terms, with very clear gender roles and related expectations even among progressive, nominally feminist mefites. It freaks me out. One example that comes immediately to mind from AskMe: the significance of paying for the coffee on a coffee date. That thread blew my mind. I felt like I was reading something from 1975.

I absolutely, positively don't mean in any way to minimize or defend the misogyny of these "Nice Guys" on OKCupid or elsewhere. This should be fought and I'm okay with the mocking (when it's deserved). But I'm struck by the discussion above about how these guys think in these essentialist terms and have trouble even really understanding that women are people — which is surely true, but I feel like this is a problem that isn't limited to Nice Guys or PUAs, it's pretty much how most everyone in our culture thinks, even those who intellectually know better. There's the presumed great divide between men and women, the narrative is that there's mutual incomprehension, mystery, that it's a contest of competing interests, and of resentment.

Let me put it this way: in my disappointments and relationship failures, my frustrations in dating and sex and all that, and my experience on OKCupid, I almost never think in terms of generalizing about "women"†. I don't talk about the profiles I look at or am interested in using gendered terms, I say "people" because it's alien to me to think or discuss this in the context that these are people unlike myself. I mean, of course they're women because I'm straight, but that they're all women isn't a way that I would naturally generalize about everyone I've encountered on OKC, because I don't think of them as being alien in any respect, they're just not "other" to me. But for years now I've had a growing awareness, and especially in the context of places like OKC, that (straight, cisgendered) people go into these situations thinking very strongly in terms of these gender generalizations and stereotypes. That's a profoundly distorting influence. And it makes the whole thing pretty icky, from my perspective.

For example:

...who obviously appreciates women...

The "I love women" thing is a misogynist red flag. But even less fraught phrasing of this kind of sentiment, by men about women or women about men, makes my skin crawl. I want to ask "who thinks like that?" incredulously. But then I realize that a whole bunch of people think like that, probably most everyone, at least a little bit.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 8:21 PM on June 28, 2013 [8 favorites]


The "I love women" thing is a misogynist red flag. But even less fraught phrasing of this kind of sentiment, by men about women or women about men, makes my skin crawl. I want to ask "who thinks like that?" incredulously. But then I realize that a whole bunch of people think like that, probably most everyone, at least a little bit.

I read through several of the reddit threads linked off the PUA artist discussion, and this point repeatedly came up, that TofuTofu and his r/seduction disciples "love women."

and the conclusion I came to was that they are quite sincere, when they say that, but that the "love" they're speaking of is more in line with what I mean when I say "I love G&Ts," (I love the aesthetic experience of drinking a G&T, having a G&T makes me feel good, I enjoy them to the extent that it has become interesting and pleasurable for me to pick apart what specific aspects of a G&T I enjoy with my fellow G&T enthusiasts, etc.) and not really all that similar to what I mean when I say "I love my partner." (I respect and try to understand his desires even when they don't align with my own, I care about his well-being, I enjoy time we spend together no matter how it is spent, etc.)
posted by kagredon at 8:30 PM on June 28, 2013 [6 favorites]


For every Nice Guy on OKCupid there is an Entitled Woman. Have people not read through women's profiles? If you think there isn't misandry going on there, you are dead wrong. It's extremely dispiriting to me, as a woman, to read the shitty things other women are saying about men in their profiles.

Sorry, the phenomenon of Assholes Acting Badly on dating sites is not male-specific.

I find the article and the tumblr to be unsmart, unclever, and unenlightening.
posted by nacho fries at 8:31 PM on June 28, 2013 [4 favorites]


Wow, nonironic use of misandry, I think we're through the looking glass in this thread.
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 8:34 PM on June 28, 2013 [17 favorites]


I've been coming into these dating and gender topics for a long time here, and it's starting to feel like I'm in a zombie movie. I read about the PUAs, Nice Guys, misogynists, and just general jerks and I'm utterly afraid. Because, these men are zombies. Some are regular zombies that almost seem to look and act human, but some of them have changed or evolved into super zombies filled with resentment and hate. The message basically is, "don't be like them." Okay, that part seems clear.

But the more important question is "How"? I try to be a bit cognizant, and inform myself, and do treat women with respect. I'd like to think I inoculate myself.

But it's still out there, and that's the 2nd reason I'm deathly afraid. Those men, the ones that have turned, still look like me. That means, I'm susceptible, that in some way I could be infected and turn. And that's only if the virus is transmitted by contact. Heck, the patriarchy is basically an air-borne version of the virus, so is resistance even possible?

The part that gets to me is, I interact with men everyday in my life, and watch and do some of the same things these men do. How do I really know that I'm not a carrier? When that once in a blue moon when I dare venture outside of the safety of my barricaded house and come across other survivors, will they see me as another survivor, or will I have already turned, unaware of what I have become?

And if that's the case, maybe it's better I stay bunkered up. It might be the most sane thing to do.
posted by FJT at 8:35 PM on June 28, 2013


All I'm saying is that his words could be open to interpretation. He says he was nice to women and expected to be rewarded with romantic attention. He's misguided and he sees dating as transactional (and that doesn't mean, by the way, that he necessarily sees women as things to be bought) but that could be chalked up to immaturity and inexperience as much as misogyny.

Okay, so what is it that you think women should "give him the benefit of the doubt" about, precisely? Because it actually came across as "oh, give him the benefit of the doubt and don't call him out for his attitude at all". But regardless whether it's because of immaturity or whether it's because of misogyny, his attitude is still wrong, and is thus still worth being called out.

So when you were telling us to "give him the benefit of the doubt," did you actually mean "don't accuse him of misogyny when maybe it's just immaturity" but otherwise had no problem with him being called out for that attitude?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:04 PM on June 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


Wow, nonironic use of misandry, I think we're through the looking glass in this thread.

Care to elaborate?
posted by nacho fries at 9:31 PM on June 28, 2013


Okay, so what is it that you think women should "give him the benefit of the doubt" about, precisely? Because it actually came across as "oh, give him the benefit of the doubt and don't call him out for his attitude at all". But regardless whether it's because of immaturity or whether it's because of misogyny, his attitude is still wrong, and is thus still worth being called out.

So when you were telling us to "give him the benefit of the doubt," did you actually mean "don't accuse him of misogyny when maybe it's just immaturity" but otherwise had no problem with him being called out for that attitude?


I don't think that 'women' should give him the benefit of the doubt. His own words are right there for anyone to take however they wish and I'm not trying to justify them beyond saying that they could be the product of immaturity as much as sexism. I do think that whoever marked him for public shaming should have given him the benefit of the doubt before they did so, however.

Is he wrong? Of course! Where we differ is that I don't think that everyone deserves to be humiliated just for being wrong. He's so ridiculously off the mark with his "I was nice to them and they didn't reward me by asking me out" bit that it makes me think that he might not even be all there, mentally. And that's what I find uncomfortable about this.
posted by seymourScagnetti at 10:10 PM on June 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


oh shit cockbag guy saw that I clicked on his profile and just tried to message me again
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:10 PM on June 28, 2013 [4 favorites]


Care to elaborate?

Sure. As a guy, i just don't think the sort of preferences, opinions, and even shitty possibly even entitled things women say about men have even a 10th of the power or awfulness to them that the shit men say to women can have.

Even if you limit this to just online, or even just OKC it's just not the same thing. Women can be shitty and entitled, men can be shitty and malicious. Pretty much the worst i've seen women sound is entitled and tiresome. The stuff men say can be like, actually disturbing.

And this isn't even getting in to the fact that misandry just doesn't even make sense as a concept in the same way that reverse racism isn't fucking real. Misogyny is power+prejudice the same way racism is. Prejudice, which is basically just the application of shitty opinions doesn't mean all that much without the power of the majority to enforce it.

Very few men are going around internalizing and enforcing misandristic concepts to the point that it's basically just a derailing troll thought up by MRAs who want to feel persecuted. Not to even mention the fact that a lot of what gets associated as "misandry" is actually just repackaged false-flag misogyny when it comes to things like "I want my men to be MANLY :) no effeminate dudes".

I could go on about this for a long time, but yea, misandry don't real. And if it does, it's such a minor thing that it almost isn't worth discussing for the same reason that a few people of color hating white people doesn't mean that racism against white people is a serious problem.
posted by emptythought at 10:52 PM on June 28, 2013 [16 favorites]


Empythought has done a lovely job capturing what I would've said, though I'll elaborate that it's especially hilarious to wave the corn syrup-bloody shirt of "misandry" in a week where women literally had to flood the floor of the Texas legislature with boos and a woman had to filibuster to protect their right to choice and even that was only temporarily successful against the onrushing old white men eager to control their vaginas. By contrast "women are saying mean things about guys that are kind of assholes on OKCupid" is so minuscule in terms of oppression that it barely registers on the ol' Oppressiondar. Cry misandry when women are mandating anal probes if you want to get a Viagra script and you might get some sympathy from me.
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 11:58 PM on June 28, 2013 [22 favorites]


Are we obligated to be understanding when men write spurious bullshit about sluts over their ‘looking for’ lists?

No.

Every time people talk about this-- or about /r/creepypms or about a bunch of other similar sites-- everyone gets their panties all in a twitch about how it's such bad activism, how it's failing to educate everyone about why they're misogynistic cockbags.

Ani Difranco says in "I'm No Heroine" that it's worth it if "somewhere, some woman hears her music and it helps her through her day", and I've gotta say, Nice Guys of OKCupid and /r/creepypms and ShitRedditSays and all the other places where misogyny isn't a part of the dominant culture, where its absurdity and bullshit is imminently mockable instead of this oppressive force I feel on my shoulders every time I interact with mass culture or large sections of society, it is such a relief. That shit helps me through my day. I really could not give any less shits if these misogynist douchebags got their attitude because they were rejected by girls in high school. They have the resources to educate themselves and figure their shit out and I really don't give a shit if having their bigotry pointed out on Tumblr hurts their poor delicate fee-fees.

I spent time on OKCupid for a while. I ended up putting a bunch of shit about feminism in the "you should message me if" section and flagrantly insulted people who weren't feminist so that they would either a) stop messaging me or b) be total jackasses in the first message so I could just block them right off the bat. I had the red "rarely messages people back" flag on my profile because I kept clicking through the profiles of people who thought that there are circumstances in which I'm obligated to have sex, that I am obligated to shave my legs, that eugenics are a great idea, that I shouldn't have full authority over my own body in the case of a pregnancy. It reduces the compatibility rating, but there's no button you can click on OKC that says "please don't let eugenicists and rapists see my profile".
posted by NoraReed at 1:01 AM on June 29, 2013 [24 favorites]


, or when all the pretty, popular people pair off, the geek boy with braces left standing alone turns around and sees the geek girl with braces ("is..is that a UNIX book

I was in Sainsburys at the self service checkout yesterday, and a guy who worked there was chatting to his colleague. 'I went on YouTube, and they have this video of all of the cut scenes from Lego Star Wars, and it's, like, an HOUR long. It's AMAZING!' Not sure if the lassie was genuinely intrigued by this or nodding politely, but I like to imagine they bonded in the canteen over a discounted Florentine.
posted by mippy at 2:27 AM on June 29, 2013


They have the resources to educate themselves and figure their shit out and I really don't give a shit if having their bigotry pointed out on Tumblr hurts their poor delicate fee-fees.

Just providing resources doesn't always help though. It's equivalent to an economist assuming that perfect information exists, so all decisions are rational. Even though in reality, there's never perfect information.

But, I'm in support of not giving a shit. No shit giver am I. We can definitely not give a shit. Like some have said about anti-gay marriage bigots, these men will die. And they will probably die earlier, because those without happy relationships tend to live about a decade less than those who do.
posted by FJT at 2:31 AM on June 29, 2013


Oh, my ex was on OKC, though I didn't meet him there. I'm ashamed to reveal how low my standards were at the time by mentioning that he told me that 'I go on that site to meet vulnerable women' and his 'important questions' were 'have you ever dated a married couple' and 'have you been on antidepressants'?

I can't remember what his profile was called and it's unlikely he'd message US folk anyway, but he was such a twat that someone put together an anonymous websit about him. And consequently, I've always had a pretty low opinion of OKC, and was glad when a friend of mine (who kept getting burnt by creepers) ditched it.
posted by mippy at 2:33 AM on June 29, 2013


Actual nice guys don't need to advertise.

And that's why I secretly love OK Cupid- people can say whatever tripe they want in their ad copy, but if you start digging through the questions, you start to see some truth.

(And a funny thing happened once too- I went through some of my old answers to see if any of my opinions had changed, and they had. After fixing them, most ended up being nicer, more tolerant and more liberal. And what do you know, the matches OKC picks for me started being even less compatible seeming. We are all full of shit. We secretly want to judge and be judged. Nice people are unexciting to us.)
posted by gjc at 7:47 AM on June 29, 2013


He's so ridiculously off the mark with his "I was nice to them and they didn't reward me by asking me out" bit that it makes me think that he might not even be all there, mentally. And that's what I find uncomfortable about this.

I can't quite put my finger on what troubles me about the assumption that this guy might not be mentally "all there" because of his "I was nice to them and they didn't reward me with dates" statement. I guess maybe it's because this is such an incredibly common thing to hear from Nice Guys. It's basically one of the major building blocks of being a Nice Guy, you know? The idea that you are owed a woman's attention and affection because you were nice to her? That's what Nice Guys DO. That's why this meme image exists.

I feel like seeing someone who has that sense of entitlement and deciding that they must be mentally infirm is just another way to pretend this isn't an actual problem at all. Heavens no, ladies, you don't have the right to find this offputting and unacceptable, it's all due to this poor man's mental illness. Feh.
posted by palomar at 7:56 AM on June 29, 2013 [8 favorites]


What reason other than misogyny would lead a guy into having such a two-dimensional view of how to relate to women?

To be fair, we have a whole culture promoting narcissistic individualism, with Ayn Rand as bestselling author and favorite political/moral philosopher, etc. A lot of people have that two-dimensional view towards everyone, not just women.

So "asshole" could definitely be another valid answer.
posted by crayz at 8:32 AM on June 29, 2013 [4 favorites]


If you're under 60, you look like you've been playing dressing up in your granddad's wardrobe.

and

I can't wait until I'm old enough to wear the hat I like without people judging me to be an asshole based on my taste in hats. Only twenty-odd years to go!

It's about set and setting. Wearing a fedora with a polo shirt and shorts doesn't look right, any more than a tophat would with a hockey sweater. Want to wear a hat with a polo shirt and shorts? Wear a trilby or some kind of straw hat. There is a whole hierarchy of what hats to wear with what kind of dress, and in what season and/or weather. The more someone veers outside of those pre-existing standards (even if most of us don't know what they are) the sillier they look.

I don't get the polo hate, either. I wear them frequently because: in my estimation they count as "business casual" so I can wear them to my office/lab job, button-down shirts tend to be long-sleeved and I work in warm California, and button-down shirts almost always need to be worn tucked in and I find that rather uncomfortable. Sorry that my choice in shirts offends you!

I think this is two things. One, certain kinds of polo shirt and khaki looks are the uniform of the preppy douchebag jerks. Two, polo shirts and khaki pants are easy. Lots of people hate that in others. They think very hard about what they wear, and when they see someone in the easy uniform of conformity, they judge them to be boring tools. Those people are assholes.
posted by gjc at 8:42 AM on June 29, 2013 [2 favorites]


The fake nerd girl hate, I think, is also due to the pervasive belief that any time a woman says or does A Thing in public, it's because she is a sad pathetic attention whore, and not because she actually cares about the thing she is saying or doing. See the recent Garfunkel and Oates thread in which the very first comment displays this attitude.

I think we all do this to some extent. We meet someone, they have certain things they like, and we try to join in. Or we follow the "if you want to meet a nice girl, go to church" kind of advice where we figure out the kind of person we generally like (nerdy boys in this case) and we try to join in. There is no maliciousness or manipulation, just trying to find a place to fit. Then, it peters out.

It's just that the "fake nerd girl" is a fairly easy and lazy stereotype to pick out. The underlying phenomenon is no different than the guy who likes to do romantic things until after the wedding, or the girl who loves getting drunk and wearing sexy underpants until the ring is on the finger. Almost everyone does things like this, and making sweeping generalizations is almost always wrong. Even if there is an underlying truth to it.

You know, sometimes we women just want to vent about the misogynistic assholes we come across daily. Heaven forbid that we get pissy with those poor Nice Guys.

Everyone likes to vent without their underlying motivations getting picked apart.
posted by gjc at 8:51 AM on June 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


She was a pixie sprite who was looking for love in all the wrong places. He was a clumsy nice guy with a sense of entitlement and a misogynist streak. Could they find their way from friend to bone zone? Coming this summer from OKC Studios: Assholes Wear Fedoras.
posted by nowhere man at 9:08 AM on June 29, 2013 [5 favorites]


When I see the abbreviation "OKC" I get this brief, nonsensical bewilderment that men from Oklahoma City in particular are such assholes.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 9:57 AM on June 29, 2013 [2 favorites]


But no one ever talks about fake nerd boys, gjc, except as parody of the first concept. It's basically staking out "nerd culture" as only being for men, and if women become interested in it, they must be faking, which I don't think anyone says about going to church or whatever.
posted by kagredon at 10:07 AM on June 29, 2013 [6 favorites]


There is nothing to gain by being fake nerd boys, any more than there is nothing to gain from women being fake knitting or yoga enthusiasts. The point isn't that all people who engage in non-gender-typical hobbies/interests/behaviors are phony. The point is that *some* are, and those who are should be avoided because knowingly faking something just to gain some benefit is really creepy no matter who does it. Fake nerd girl is just the gender opposite of the fake sensitive guy who joins the gender studies club because he likes hippie girls.

It's not what someone is doing, it is why. Certain things just stand out more than others. The honestly sensitive guy who joins the gender studies club probably has similar "WTF are you doing here" preconceptions to overcome.

If other words, if someone is a legit nerd girl, then this discussion isn't about them. Everyone knows you aren't fake because you have the credentials/knowledge/sincerity to prove it. Marissa Mayer isn't a fake nerd girl just because she also likes shopping and pretty things. Anyone who would claim that is a moron.
posted by gjc at 10:45 AM on June 29, 2013


yeah, somehow I don't think male knitting enthusiasts are met with the same hostility, sexism, and suspicion that female nerds are. and if they were, that would be awful and wrong. Men who are interested in gender studies do get that pushback, I guess, though it seems to mainly come from other men ("white knight"), not from women.

my point is, telling me that I need to prove that I am really interested in comics (which I started reading before I was ever into boys), just by virtue of my gender, is insulting, no matter what justification you attach.
posted by kagredon at 10:58 AM on June 29, 2013 [8 favorites]


Everyone knows you aren't fake because you have the credentials/knowledge/sincerity to prove it.

Who are the gatekeepers of these credentials? There was an fpp not too long ago that included a link to a ranty blog post from some Real Nerd guy who was *outraged* by "fake" nerd girls showing up at "his" cons and how he could apparently tell they were "fake" by looking at them (if they were pretty then they must surely be fake, because I guess "real" nerd girls are not pretty), and how they were just there to get attention from the poor socially awkward dateless nerds. Or something.
posted by rtha at 11:20 AM on June 29, 2013 [7 favorites]


Who are the gatekeepers of these credentials?

Mefi's Own jscalzi, of course.

(Got to see him read this last month - it's a piece well-suited to live performance.)
posted by restless_nomad at 11:31 AM on June 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


A lot of people have that two-dimensional view towards everyone, not just women.

Agreed. And I think the window-shopping / AutoTrader-esque nature of OKC emboldens and enables certain types of people who bring a consumerist mindset to their online dating endeavors. These are probably the same people who scream at customer service reps from behind the safety of their phone.

I've received some malevolent hate-messages on OKC from guys (who, for example, take issue with the innocuous fact that I don't date separated or newly-divorced men). I've also met men on the site who have been treated grotesquely by women on the site (the hate-messages they've received are an interesting contrast to the public personas the women present on the site, and are full of the same attempts to shame and diminish the recipient that mark the ones I've received from men).

Of course, as others have pointed out here, the overt and implied threats of violence that women are potentially exposed to there are generally non-issues for men on the site.
posted by nacho fries at 11:36 AM on June 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


There is nothing to gain by being fake nerd boys, any more than there is nothing to gain from women being fake knitting or yoga enthusiasts.

also, way to assume everyone is straight.
posted by kagredon at 11:37 AM on June 29, 2013 [3 favorites]


Prejudice, which is basically just the application of shitty opinions doesn't mean all that much without the power of the majority to enforce it.

That was a concise and helpful explanation, and I appreciate you making it. That's a much better way to win hearts and minds than cryptic asides to the peanut gallery, and derisive put-downs. Thank you.
posted by nacho fries at 11:47 AM on June 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


yeah, somehow I don't think male knitting enthusiasts are met with the same hostility, sexism, and suspicion that female nerds are

You're kidding, right?

Most likely male knitting enthusiasts would be simply not allowed to attend knitting meetups in the first place or would be quietly removed from the mailing list.
posted by rr at 11:52 AM on June 29, 2013


Male knitting enthusiasts have been welcomed at the knitting groups I've been part of.
posted by LobsterMitten at 11:53 AM on June 29, 2013 [9 favorites]


Most likely male knitting enthusiasts would be simply not allowed to attend knitting meetups in the first place or would be quietly removed from the mailing list.

~*MISANDRY*~
posted by kagredon at 11:57 AM on June 29, 2013 [2 favorites]


But no one ever talks about fake nerd boys, gjc, except as parody of the first concept.

Hmm, there seem to be a couple that at least talk about fake nerds, in general.

But, I thought by enforcing these high school identifiers just shows how some people can't move past high school and are just really immature. They say more about the accuser than the accused, right? That's kind of the whole oddness about the "fake nerd girl" debate. This is 2013, actual adults still feel that somehow being a nerd really matters? People realize the whole thing's a joke, right?
posted by FJT at 12:06 PM on June 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


Most likely male knitting enthusiasts would be simply not allowed to attend knitting meetups in the first place

what
posted by rtha at 12:10 PM on June 29, 2013 [12 favorites]


OK, another question re: misandry, which I hope is sufficiently on-topic to not cause a derail:

Prior to this thread, I really didn't realize that misandry, as defined in dictionaries, is no longer the accepted definition of the word. And I'm not being sarcastic here -- I actually thought it meant just what the definition says: hatred of men. I didn't know that it was defined in relation to misogyny, or that to be deemed to exist, it had to have the force of institutionalized oppression and majority-approval that misogyny has in place.

So: Is there a better word for what I'm thinking of? I suppose "man-hating" is one way to express it, but I can't help but hear that said in Rush Limbaugh's voice.
posted by nacho fries at 12:25 PM on June 29, 2013 [2 favorites]


That was a concise and helpful explanation, and I appreciate you making it. That's a much better way to win hearts and minds than cryptic asides to the peanut gallery, and derisive put-downs. Thank you.

Aww thanks. I gave that post 110% because i knew it was basically the one chance to pull a gandalf style "YOU SHALL NOT PASS!!" to any shitty discussions or framing that come up way to often when people start discussing "misandry" or "man hating feminists" or whatever.

the overt and implied threats of violence that women are potentially exposed to there are generally non-issues for men on the site.

This is a great example of the difference between misogyny and "misandry", for anyone curious here. It's a completely different ball game.

The point is that *some* are, and those who are should be avoided because knowingly faking something just to gain some benefit is really creepy no matter who does it. Fake nerd girl is just the gender opposite of the fake sensitive guy who joins the gender studies club because he likes hippie girls.

+

It's just that the "fake nerd girl" is a fairly easy and lazy stereotype to pick out. The underlying phenomenon is no different than the guy who likes to do romantic things until after the wedding, or the girl who loves getting drunk and wearing sexy underpants until the ring is on the finger. Almost everyone does things like this, and making sweeping generalizations is almost always wrong. Even if there is an underlying truth to it.

I think you are choosing a particularly tough row to hoe here if you want to sell this concept to me.

I believe that people like this exist, don't get me wrong. It's just that they're so vanishingly rare that the assumption is shitty. Yea, i met the guy in highschool who pretended to be gay so girls would get close to him and he could spring that they were the "first girl he's been attracted to" on them. I had similar thoughts, until i realized he probably was just bi and still figuring out how shit worked for him.

Every "fake nerd girl" i've ever met ran in to a similar wall with me. I wanted to believe it was actually a thing because it was such a trumpeted championed "trope" in the 2000s nerdy boy communities anywhere you went. But the thing was, every nerdy girl i've ever met was you know... actually nerdy. At the same time almost every single one of them has had this accusation leveled at them, even if it was just between other guys discussing them. It goes up exponentially the more conventionally attractive they are. It seems to just break some nerdy dudes minds that there's "hot" girls out there who actually want to sit around playing videogames until 4 or 5am and talking about fan theories of side stories/backgrounds that were never fully explained in star trek TNG and weird electronic music on soundcloud.

And i'm honestly really tired of it. To the point that i actively swat myself with a newspaper whenever i find that i'm even thinking that someone might be a phony. I would rather be "fooled" than make shitty assumptions even if i've been fooled before. And you know why? Because this entire community of nerdy dudes seems to prefer false positives and having their trebuchet preloaded to flind turds at women to ever, even once being "had". They're so far invested into the development of this tower of babel of "attention whores" that they can't back out without looking "foolish" or something.

It's really hard to admit that you made a bad call or had a shitty opinion when you're a man child. I know from experience.

Also, in both quotes i pulled, all of those stereotypes are offensive. It's like, there may be a few people out there who do those things... But discussing them as if they're some kind of common trope to watch out for is re-projecting other peoples bitterness and half assed generalizations.

So yea, let's no got there. Ok?
posted by emptythought at 12:26 PM on June 29, 2013 [11 favorites]


Obligatory definition of misandry. Think of it as the cheat notes.
posted by jokeefe at 12:33 PM on June 29, 2013 [2 favorites]


I didn't find that animation particularly educational, but perhaps I'm missing something. Can you put in words what you mean by it being an obligatory definition, and what makes it a useful cheat sheet?

(Unless you were being sarcastic, and I didn't pick up on it...?)
posted by nacho fries at 12:42 PM on June 29, 2013


Can you put in words what you mean by it being an obligatory definition, and what makes it a useful cheat sheet?

The general idea is that the situation between men and women is historically and presently unbalanced, and "misandry" tends to get applied to any situation in which a woman is not sweet, quiet, submissive, and accepting of her lesser share. And there's a lot of social acceptance in certain circles for aggrieved men to claim they're being systemically abused by not getting all of the ice cream any more.
posted by restless_nomad at 12:58 PM on June 29, 2013 [13 favorites]


"Prior to this thread, I really didn't realize that misandry, as defined in dictionaries, is no longer the accepted definition of the word."

I don't think that misogyny is comparable to sexism. I don't believe that, by definition, sexism against men exists. I do believe that misandry exists because the definition of misogyny is still simply the bigoted hatred of women. I believe that a bigoted hatred of men exists.

What's problematic with misandry is that a) there are far fewer misandrists than misogynists, and b) nine times out of ten, the only people who discuss misandry are defensive men (and occasional women) who use it to argue that men are oppressed as a class by women and all that crap.

I don't think that you were using the word in that spirit, nacho fries, and although you made an equivalency argument, it was limited to the class of people being shitty to each other on OKCupid and I didn't have the impression that you were arguing for true equivalency (that is, that the context of exhibited misogyny and misandry was the same, which it very much is not). But given how and in what circumstances misandry is thrown around, and that you used it as part of an equivalency argument, you can see why it was a red flag to many people and it was interpreted as it was?

My advice is to just avoid using the word, with the exception of rare and very narrow contexts such that it will be understood to be simply descriptive without being an implied comparison to misogyny and sexism.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 1:03 PM on June 29, 2013 [4 favorites]


Holy cow, I had no idea that poor word was such an ideological stinkbomb.

After getting the heated responses to it, upthread, I did some Googling to try and understand why. The search results churned up a dispiriting and confusing heap of hot-headed blog articles. I appreciate the patient and cooler-headed explanations I've gotten here.

Ivan, yes, I see now why my usage of the word triggered some of the responses I received. I will take your suggestion to use the word more cautiously under advisement.

I hope that those who railed against my using it will similarly understand that being shushed or told to watch my words raises red flags for me. It is just so reminiscent of being shushed and gaslighted by those in power, over my lifetime as a woman.

My life's work is to knock down bullies, and build up the downtrodden, so every day I am up against adversaries who would LOVE me to sit quietly and be a good girl. Not all of those bully-adversaries are men, and there is a particular sting when other women either tell me to watch my mouth, or tell me how I *should* speak. It's a lonely goddamn road going up against the bad guys and gals out there. I would rather form alliances than foment animosity here.

Anyway, this is turning too much into "all about nacho" so: at least now I can use (or not) "misandry" with better knowledge of its power as a word. Thanks again for explaining.
posted by nacho fries at 1:25 PM on June 29, 2013 [3 favorites]


It seems to just break some nerdy dudes minds that there's "hot" girls out there who actually want to sit around playing videogames until 4 or 5am and talking about fan theories of side stories/backgrounds that were never fully explained in star trek TNG and weird electronic music on soundcloud.

I've tried to puzzle this out and my best guess is it goes something like this: "I'm alone and I'm such a fine specimen of a man that it can't have anything to do with any shortcomings on my part, so it must be because women are only interested in dull and stupid things and I can't talk to them about things that are actually interesting. But, wait, here's a woman I'm attracted to who's acting like she's interested in the same things I am. Now I could talk to her and get to know her and maybe a dating relationship would develop and maybe it wouldn't, but either way it would involve emotional risk and a challenge to my there's-something-wrong-with-all-women excuses about why I'm single. Therefore, I shall reject her in advance and keep myself safe in my lonely comfort zone. SHE'S A FAKE!" Except without spelling out quite so much.
posted by Zed at 1:37 PM on June 29, 2013


Most likely male knitting enthusiasts would be simply not allowed to attend knitting meetups in the first place

This is hilarious. And it's even more hilarious when I consider that you may actually believe it.
posted by octobersurprise at 1:52 PM on June 29, 2013 [12 favorites]


even more hilarious is the "quietly removed from mailing lists" bit. "What is this...this name 'Scott', appears to be a male. REMOVE HIM MABEL."
posted by sweetkid at 2:04 PM on June 29, 2013 [14 favorites]


There are "fake nerd guy" memes floating around, but really a drop in the bucket compared to "fake nerd girl"

The fake nerd girl thing isn't really "all women are lying when they say they want to play games", after all, the same guys who post the "fake nerd girl" memes also post "playing LoL with my girlfriend" memes.

It is about the perception there are many women YouTube celebs, and women on TV, that do gaming focused content but don't play games.

Even if that were true. I don't see they issue. We all know Minecraft Chick didn't play minecraft for the longest time, but she helped promote the game immeasurably, which was good for the game.

There is also some kind of outrage over women getting triforce tattoos. Which, who gives a fuck, why are nerds always so outraged over tattoos.
posted by Ad hominem at 2:35 PM on June 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


I am vaguely worried that I have never realized the depths of the steely discipline of the knitting community. Someone should do a hard-hitting exposé.
posted by GenjiandProust at 2:38 PM on June 29, 2013 [5 favorites]


I am vaguely worried that I have never realized the depths of the steely discipline of the knitting community.

The knitting community is a large group of people expert in the use of long sharp things. I find them rather terrifying. (Ravelry has the reputation of being a positively fearsome online community, one you Do Not Want to Piss Off.)
posted by restless_nomad at 3:22 PM on June 29, 2013 [4 favorites]


Hello, do you feel that you've been friend-zoned? Feel like nice guys don't get attention? Guess what? Lots of nice, attractive women feel friend-zoned, and feel that nice, attractive women don't get attention. Look beyond looks. Don't be sidetracked by lots of makeup, snazzy clothes, and faccomplished flirting skills. Be nice, really, nice, as in, courteous and attentive, with good manners. Lose the sarcasm. Dress a little nicer. Really listen. Genuinely compliment her. Genuinely value her. Laugh at her humor. Good hygiene matters. Don't insult her. Don't make discriminatory comments on the basis of gender, race, religion, disability status, age, sexual orientation. Don't be a jerk. Be an interesting person.

Also, wear a fedora if you like. Also polo shirts, khakis, and whatever clothing fits properly, is clean and in adequate repair. The general consensus in that you should wear nice shoes. Unless someone is wearing an obvious uniform, don't judge people by their clothes, hair, color, weight, etc. Fedorae may have become associated with hipster pretentiousness, but you can wear what you like as long as you're not a pretentious jerk.

Just as many women complain about not getting enough sex as men do. Many women grew up learning that it's not okay to seek men out or approach them 1st, so you may have that barrier, but I'm pretty sure you can work it out.

Yeah, *some* women will judge you by your looks, like lots of guys judge them, or by your car, or your spending level, religion, politics, height. You don't have to go out with them, and, really, you're looking for a nice person, not a pretentious jerk.

Knitting optional, neither especially welcomed or rejected.
posted by theora55 at 3:26 PM on June 29, 2013 [8 favorites]


You guys are making me paranoid over these polo shirts. I have probably 100, everything from vintage Lacoste and Le Tigre in pink and powder blue, I stock up on those when I can find them, they are almost always from some hidden stock in Europe, to those horizontal striped "bro" shirts.

What other options do I have, I'm not going to have my dress shirts laundered, or iron them myself,just cuz people don't like polos. I guess I can wear t-shirts, but why? To make judgy people not judge me?
posted by Ad hominem at 3:38 PM on June 29, 2013


I find ironing my own shirts a homey, meditative pleasure. No one would say I am fashionable, but I like a crisp shirt.
posted by GenjiandProust at 3:49 PM on June 29, 2013 [2 favorites]


I can't get the creases in the sleeves right or the little pleats in the cuffs. I guess I should just do a bunch till I get good at it. Hand ironing is less wear and tear in the shirt anyway.
posted by Ad hominem at 3:59 PM on June 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


Vintage Lacoste is definitely cool in my book.
posted by naoko at 4:44 PM on June 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm wearing a fedora right now. For true.
posted by rtha at 4:54 PM on June 29, 2013 [4 favorites]


"You guys are making me paranoid over these polo shirts."

I'm, like, basically fifty years old, so I don't feel I should much worry about this fashion stuff, anyway.

Even so, I've always worn polo shirts and, in fact, one of the few nice, new shirts I've bought for myself recently (actually, I think I put it on my wishlist) was a nice polo in just the shade of red that's my favorite color. I've been happy with that shirt.

Then, a few weeks ago I was watching a Warehouse 13 episode and Pete was wearing a polo shirt and I just couldn't stop thinking about how goofy and anachronistic he looked. He wore another polo shirt maybe just last week, and I thought the same thing again. And so I was like, damn, do I look that goofy and anachronistic when I wear a polo shirt? Maybe not so badly, given that I'm an old guy and I think Pete is more like mid-thirties. Still.

For calibration of how to judge just how fashion unaware I am, it was only about three years ago that I realized that people weren't tucking-in their shirts anymore.

I started shaving my head and wearing a goatee in 1994. These days, though, that's like Republican NASCAR fans. It's very irksome. But I'm a) mostly bald and b) look better with facial hair (IMO, though my family always favorably comments when I'm clean-shaven and that it makes me look younger). I don't know what to do. I don't want to be confused with a Republican NASCAR fan who listens to Kid Rock.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 5:15 PM on June 29, 2013 [2 favorites]


I had just moved to a new state, and met this guy who was a friend of a friend. He was very smart, well-off, knew all about food and wine, had superb taste in books and music. He had a demanding job and wanted to find a woman who would drop everything when he was free. He started an "Utne Reader Club" (remember those?) in order to meet such a woman. I wanted to meet people in this new town, so I joined his club, thinking he understood my motivation and would appreciate someone who would make the sacrifice of actually reading the "Utne Reader". And everything was fine until I realized he thought the only possible reason I could have for joining his club was... to snag him. We sorted this out. Then he hit on the friend-of-a-friend, who was stunned that he had somehow, for all these years, considered her a "reserve", rather than as a friend. As time went by, he gave up on book clubs and classified ads and joined online dating sites. We've watched this for 20 years now and had many heart-to-heart talks with him, and it's clear he's never going to understand that women aren't geisha. He's a NICE GUY. I can't mock him, but I can't help him, either.
posted by acrasis at 5:42 PM on June 29, 2013 [3 favorites]


Also polo shirts, khakis, and whatever clothing fits properly, is clean and in adequate repair.

I swear, the reason I want to lose weight is just so I can get clothes that will fit.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 7:15 PM on June 29, 2013


This is hilarious. And it's even more hilarious when I consider that you may actually believe it.

Yes, because a negative male experience in female dominated areas of life is clearly something that never happens ever. For example, male nurses, teachers, etc. never, ever get sex-based negative treatment.
posted by rr at 7:24 PM on June 29, 2013 [2 favorites]


"You guys are making me paranoid over these polo shirts."

Somebody upthread had an excellent comment (which I can't find at the moment) about the meaning of fedoras in relation to other fashion choices and I wanted to elaborate on that from a slightly different perspective.

I think putting some thought into how you present yourself is generally a great idea, but I'd try not to let that energy get misguided and result in rejecting what sounds like a wonderful shirt collection.

Polo shirts, fedoras, loaded terms, mannerisms, cultural differences and the like are not inherently bad. It is the social meaning that we attach to those things that make them so. And that is very much dependent on context. Also completely mutable. Especially with regard to time.

In the comment I referred to above, the poster explained how a fedora in the context of other specific identity features (e.g., white male wearing sandals, a joke t-shirt, bro speech-style and statements of ignorance or privilege) all complement each other to construct the image of a 'nice guy'. Put in other contexts, these features alone might not be enough to create that effect. But some features are more marked and/or more stigmatized in ways to give them more weight towards that effect, possibly even absent of those other features.

Fedoras are both marked and stigmatized at this point. They're marked in general by fact of being salient as a more or less unecessary piece of clothing, i.e. a hat. It's an accessory, an emblem. Furthermore, it's a particular type of hat with associations to a past era and the identities of those who represented that time and setting. To wear one today can be a form of borrowed interest, calling to those associations in symbolic shorthand. The type of man who wore a fedora back then was debonair, he was confident, he was a gentleman. So why doesn't that crossover now?

Well, you can't buy all that in a hat. And fedoras today suffer from a second problem...they are stigmatized, as well as being marked. Through repetition of association with those other features that construct the 'nice guy' persona, the fedora is now symbolic shorthand for this new identity. Partly because it is so marked/salient. Basically, it is requiring less and less visible context for that negative association to be triggered. Like many words today, which have become so loaded that their scope of acceptable use is completely narrowed or acceptible in only super abstracted contexts or very specific societal reappropriations.

Polo shirts, however, are a different kind of feature at the moment. They aren't salient in the same way as hats are. Shirts/tops are a necessary piece of clothing for public decency, not an accessory (to misogyny. Hee, I just made that pun up!). Polo shirts are a specific kind of top, but also fairly ubiquitous and the associations are many and vast, in both time and scope. They aren't (metaphorically) front and center in that association-by-repetition cycle. That could change of course, but it takes much more to make it so. Because people like you and others who are wearing polo shirts in different ways, implicitly representing personas other than 'nice guy'. I suppose if they started getting more stigmatized, in the way fedoras currently are, and non-nice guys stopped wearing them as a result, the association-through-repetition process would be on an accelerated trajectory toward symbolic shorthand for nice guy. But again, don't think that's going to happen. Even if loads of people take a break from polo shirts because, hey, this is a bit too much thought to put into wearing a shirt right now. They'll return. People need to wear shirts and polos happen to be especially simple, affordable and comfortable exemplars of that.

As for fedoras, all is not lost forever. Things change, fade, cycle, revive and sometimes even get reborn. It could be Brand New Day for fedoras at some point down the road, who knows? Remember when people in the 80s wore their jeans reminscent of the style of the 50s? We have a modified version of that now and people often like to derisively call them hipsters. This too shall pass. But there are always 'tells' that say to us whether or not somebody is dressing like a 'hipster' or giving a nod to 80s fashion, or dressing up like the 50s in pedal pushers (and perhaps a crop shirt too). Or maybe some mashup of all those things. It's the context, made up of all those surrounding features — the dress, accessories, composure, speech as well as all the relatively fixed stuff such as ethnicity, gender, location and on.

The great thing is, you don't have to think about all this *too* much (unless you really want to). If you're more or less aware of what's going on around you, what people currently find offensive, what you like and how not to be an asshole, you'll be fine. By being you, you are projecting alternative associations for those features. Through that repetition, you'll be slowly and subtly shifting the perception. Those things will become familiar symbolic shorthand for socially considerate, non-offensive not-asshole for the people around you. Keeping in mind that you still can't buy all that in a hat, especially a stigmatized and marked one, which it unfortunately is right now. But polo shirts? go right ahead and rock that shit. Or not. You and they will be fine either way.
posted by iamkimiam at 7:25 PM on June 29, 2013 [3 favorites]


Yes, because a negative male experience in female dominated areas of life is clearly something that never happens ever. For example, male nurses, teachers, etc. never, ever get sex-based negative treatment.

I mean that it is sort of hilarious that based on nothing other than how female nerds get treated, you conjured this bizarre scenario of knitting circle ladies shunning the one man who dared to write his email onto the paper by the checkout counter at the yarn shop. That is some sketch comedy shit right there.
posted by kagredon at 7:28 PM on June 29, 2013 [8 favorites]


and think about this for a minute, what seems more in line with reality: those men get negatively treated because women are trying to keep the professions of teaching and nursing to themselves, or that they're facing negative treatment because a patriarchal society doesn't want to value what is perceived as "women's work"?
posted by kagredon at 7:30 PM on June 29, 2013 [11 favorites]


Male knitting enthusiasts have been welcomed at the knitting groups I've been part of.

NB when folks are human we call them 'men.' /hamburger
posted by crayz at 7:57 PM on June 29, 2013


because a negative male experience in female dominated areas of life is clearly something that never happens ever.

No one's going to assert that something like this "never happens ever." Maybe sometime somewhere some hapless man has been chased from some knitting circle by a gang of needle-wielding harridans. Maybe. What's chuckle-worthy is the thought that this is something likely.
posted by octobersurprise at 7:58 PM on June 29, 2013 [5 favorites]


NB when folks are human we call them 'men.' /hamburger

"Male" is an adjective here, it modifies "knitting enthusiasts."
posted by KathrynT at 8:44 PM on June 29, 2013 [12 favorites]


"'Male' is an adjective here, it modifies 'knitting enthusiasts.'"

And not all humans are men, either!
posted by jiawen at 12:07 AM on June 30, 2013 [2 favorites]


You guys are making me paranoid over these polo shirts. I have probably 100, everything from vintage Lacoste and Le Tigre in pink and powder blue, I stock up on those when I can find them, they are almost always from some hidden stock in Europe, to those horizontal striped "bro" shirts.

It's 100% how you wear it, and how the rest of your style is. Many people I know rock vintage Lacoste and Le Tigre stuff and it looks awesome on them. It's not even necessarily some "ironic" hipster thing. If it fits right, and the rest of your outfit works with it then it can actually be a style statement(yes, even in 2013)

Hell, I wear 70s gold watches, weird old loafers, "dorky" sunglasses, and awful Hawaiian shirts and get complements all the time.

There's a very specific ill-fitted look of a certain type of guy that people associate with this sort of thing. And as long as you're conscious of what doesn't flatter you and what does then you can rock basically anything.

I feel like if you're conscious enough to make the type of post you just made then you're fine. What's being attacked here is more of an attitude a certain look springs out of rather than a look that a certain attitude can be identified by anyways. Because that's a bad standard. I've seen some very stylish boundary crashing shitheads.
posted by emptythought at 1:41 AM on June 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


Hello, do you feel that you've been friend-zoned? Feel like nice guys don't get attention? Guess what? Lots of nice, attractive women feel friend-zoned, and feel that nice, attractive women don't get attention.

Aren't these two different things? I thought friend-zoned guys don't lack attention, but think that women owe them sex or emotion for being nice to them.

Don't make discriminatory comments on the basis of gender, race, religion, disability status, age, sexual orientation.

Eh, as much as we loathe to admit, plenty of people who hold racist, sexist, bigoted, ageist, etc. views find, date, and marry each other. It's kind of how these things are perpetuated. And the truth is, someone that is racist could still be a good boyfriend or girlfriend. Those aren't mutually exclusive.
posted by FJT at 4:26 AM on June 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


Hell, I wear 70s gold watches, weird old loafers, "dorky" sunglasses, and awful Hawaiian shirts and get complements all the time.

emptythought, I'm now totally visualizing you as Hunter S. Thompson.
posted by taz at 4:33 AM on June 30, 2013 [4 favorites]


I finally finished reading all the comments in this thread. This has been one of the best threads on MetaFilter for a discussion of male-female relations. Thanks for the interesting discussions and all your insight.
posted by grouse at 6:17 AM on June 30, 2013


For many men life was short and violent. They worked in mines or died in wars. In a twisted way keeping women at home was protective.

Tell that to the women of Berlin after the fall of the Third Reich, to mention just one of many instances. The "women staying home while the men worked" is largely a 20th century phenomena that only applied to women in the lower middle-class to upper middle-class economic strata. Poor women have always had to work outside the home and frequently in environments that were as dangerous as those of their male relatives.
posted by echolalia67 at 9:57 AM on June 30, 2013 [5 favorites]


I can't imagine an actually nice man who doesn't have any treasured woman friends, but I can imagine that might be a special kind of lack, of knowing that you're not a complete repulsive outcast, but somehow you've still never managed to get asked to that particular dance.

The thing is, women experience this too. I sure as heck did, back in my 20s. I was very attractive by conventional standards but somehow I could never seem to get the guys who I really, really liked to really, really like me back. It took a little life experience, finding work that I loved doing and felt proud of ( which gave me a MASSIVE self-esteem boost), and some painfully honest self-examination to turn things around.
posted by echolalia67 at 10:30 AM on June 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


Hell, I wear 70s gold watches, weird old loafers, "dorky" sunglasses, and awful Hawaiian shirts and get complements all the time.

> emptythought, I'm now totally visualizing you as Hunter S. Thompson.


I was picturing Dr. Jacoby, so, y'know, there's a range of possibilities here.
posted by Elsa at 11:14 AM on June 30, 2013 [4 favorites]


Male knitters actually get MORE and sometimes disproportionately positive attention from the knitting community, actually. (Speaking as someone who has been working professionally in the handknitting industry for a decade).
posted by bitter-girl.com at 3:40 PM on June 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


That's generally true in female-dominated fields. There may be some static, but the men are disproportionately the ones who get paid and promoted above their female peers.
posted by restless_nomad at 3:49 PM on June 30, 2013 [12 favorites]


I wish I didn't have to favorite that, restless_nomad but it is oh so true.
posted by bitter-girl.com at 6:18 PM on June 30, 2013


bitter-girl.com: Every time I look at those Nice Guy sites I thank the heavens I am married, because otherwise I would head for the nearest nunnery and abjure the company of all men. I just...I can't even wrap my head around it. Do they have NO ONE in their life who can tell them honestly they are being complete dicks?
That would require that they had female friends close enough to both (1) give them well-intentioned criticism, beyond "you are disgusting!", and (2) that they would listen to.

Having both at once is highly unlikely for these men. Seriously.
posted by IAmBroom at 9:08 PM on June 30, 2013


roomthreeseventeen: kagredon, I don't know, public shaming makes me uncomfortable. Even for jerks.
I sure hope that you and every one of the 25 people who favorited this comment didn't speak out against Paula Deen in our recent thread on her jerk behavior, because that would seem very hypocritical.

Oops.
posted by IAmBroom at 9:35 PM on June 30, 2013


Paula Deen is a public figure. The guys on OKC are not. I don't think that's a reasonable comparison.
posted by nacho fries at 10:43 PM on June 30, 2013 [2 favorites]


Paula Deen does not need public shaming. She needs to live like a poor person for a while. The two are totally separate.
posted by mrgrimm at 1:14 AM on July 1, 2013



Male knitters actually get MORE and sometimes disproportionately positive attention from the knitting community, actually.

There is a knitting shop in London that's owned by two men. I keep meaning to go down but I fear they will laugh me out as a crocheter who uses acrylic blends.
posted by mippy at 4:06 AM on July 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


If it's I Knit London, then no, mippy, and say hello to Gerard for me. Lovely lovely person, he is. /derail

So going back to what I said at the very beginning of the thread, what then? What if not shaming? Do we all have to adopt a Maladjusted Fedora and help them adjust to Human's World (read that a la Man's World in Wonder Woman)? Because it sounds like it would be roughly as pleasant and effective as pounding your head against a brick wall.
posted by bitter-girl.com at 5:03 AM on July 1, 2013


capricorn: "I'm not too pleased with the tumblr these days - it seems to have switched moderators from someone who wasn't interested in discussing "men's rights" culture, fedoras, ponies, etc, "

Yeah, as someone who has come to really enjoy watching My Little Ponies with my ~2 year old son (one of his most commonly spoken words is a variant on "my" by which he means, "My Little Pony". Seriously, point to one of his pony dolls and ask what it is and he'll tell you it's a "my") I was really upset by the constant need to mention ponies. There are plenty of bad behaviors by "nice guys" on OKC to make fun of without resorting to targeting other related interests.

That said, I do feel like men's rights is an appropriate topic. All you have to do is go on Reddit to see that there is a growing antagonism towards women and feminism among a large group of young guys, all of whom consider themselves to be "nice guys" and nearly all of whom also consider themselves "friendzoned".
posted by Deathalicious at 5:32 AM on July 1, 2013


That's generally true in female-dominated fields. There may be some static, but the men are disproportionately the ones who get paid and promoted above their female peers.

Academic librarian here. The field is full of women, but library directors, deans, etc, tend to be men. Also, I strongly suspect that some of the disrespect libraries get from university administration arises out of a general disrespect for "women's work."
posted by GenjiandProust at 6:09 AM on July 1, 2013 [3 favorites]


I am already anticipating that teaching my son to be a straightforward, respectful person to women will be the most important task I have when he enters his teens

When he enters his teens? No. This is among your most important tasks now. You teach him by example and by discussing disrespect that you witness when you are with him. You call out the shitty behavior of people, at the very least to your son's attention. Even if he's three. "That's not a nice way to talk to people, is it?" or "Getting yelled at like that is scary, that's why we don't do it." You don't even specify "to women." Why not? Because women are people, and separating men from women in this way, making the treatment of women special is counterproductive, however intuitive it may seem. This can go a long way to preventing him from thinking online shitty behavior is ok.

Also, you may have noticed that while it's men saying most of the shitty stuff about women, women do it to each other too. (We body police with the best of them, for example.)
posted by bilabial at 6:51 PM on July 1, 2013 [10 favorites]


Do we all have to adopt a Maladjusted Fedora and help them adjust to Human's World (read that a la Man's World in Wonder Woman)?

Nobody in this thread gives a crap about fixing them in any meaningful away, because none of us are really responsible for them. The only thing that re-assures me, at least, is what I said upthread: They will all eventually die, hopefully from isolation and loneliness. It's cruel, but it's realistically what's going to happen and most of us are all right with it.
posted by FJT at 12:06 AM on July 2, 2013


Actually, I give a crap about them.

While I'm not responsible for them, I do feel responsible for allowing for human redemption, and enabling it where I can (without harming myself in the process). People can and do turn themselves around, including people who are guilty of more monstrous behavior than the guys under discussion. I've seen it happen. And I'm unwilling to view these guys as disposable and beyond redemption. That would be irrational and untrue to my experience.

Sometimes it takes a long time for people to rise above the shitty parenting they grew up with. I've had enough interactions with men who suffered horrible treatment by their mothers, and were psychologically deformed and stunted by it. Given time and help, these guys can find their way to being better people.

Does their lousy upbringing entitle them to act boorishly (or worse)? Absolutely not. But neither does my experience as a woman entitle me to dismiss them, or offer them up publicly as scapegoats/whipping boys for gleeful stoning by other women (in re: the Tumblr). That's cruel and unhelpful.
posted by nacho fries at 10:42 AM on July 3, 2013


Don't solve problems, seek opportunities.

It's not the responsibility of people venting to make sure that Nice Guys and Proto-Nice Guys turn out better, and even if it were, it doesn't sound like you could force them to act upon it.

What you can do instead is to come up with new speech, directed at these guys, which will steer them away from this lifestyle and mindset.
posted by Sticherbeast at 10:45 AM on July 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


What you can do instead is to come up with new speech, directed at these guys, which will steer them away from this lifestyle and mindset.

wow it's so nice to hear that we've got such an easy solution to this, here I was thinking that a complex society-wide issue might not have a 1-sentence solution, but I guess the thousands and thousands of women and men who've dedicated blood, sweat, and tears to combating misogyny just didn't ever think of that.
posted by kagredon at 10:51 AM on July 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


I don't see the need for sarcasm and snark. Sticherbeast's suggestion doesn't dismiss what others have done to work to make things better, nor does it undercut that work.

One thing I dislike in this thread is the tendency to trivialize other people's points-of-view for not being sufficiently Big-Picture enough, or for not focusing on the most grievous of issues. There's lots of little piece-work that needs to happen to effect change. I took Sticherbeast's suggestion in that spirit.

More assumptions of good faith, and less dismissiveness, if we may?
posted by nacho fries at 11:04 AM on July 3, 2013 [2 favorites]


Quite frankly, I think instructing women to "come up with new speech", as if that's not something that multiple women in this thread have shared personal stories about, is dismissive.
posted by kagredon at 11:05 AM on July 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


It's a tone argument that once again puts the onus on women to fix sexism.
posted by kagredon at 11:06 AM on July 3, 2013 [3 favorites]


Ah, I see. Well, we read that particular suggestion through different filters. Point taken.
posted by nacho fries at 11:06 AM on July 3, 2013


You are misunderstanding me, kagredon. "Create new speech" was directed at nacho fries, not "women."
posted by Sticherbeast at 11:15 AM on July 3, 2013


Sticherbeast: Don't solve problems, seek opportunities.

It's not the responsibility of people venting to make sure that Nice Guys and Proto-Nice Guys turn out better, and even if it were, it doesn't sound like you could force them to act upon it.

What you can do instead is to come up with new speech, directed at these guys, which will steer them away from this lifestyle and mindset.
It's itneresting that all three of these sentences are voiced in the 2nd- and 3rd-person. No appearance of "I" nor "we". Sticherbeast phrased it as someone else's problem.
posted by IAmBroom at 11:20 AM on July 3, 2013


Fair enough, Stitcherbeast. Directed at an individual, I think it's fine encouragement.

But plenty of people have tried to "create new speech", and we still have plenty of guys who say "but what about this one time where a woman hurt me." It's not enough to try to "redeem" (in nacho fries' words) them. If it were, it would've already worked. They are the ones who have to start listening.

Maybe nacho fries will come up with an argument of heartbreaking, staggering eloquence, that does change their mind. Frankly, I'd love that to happen. I'd love to be proven wrong. But it hasn't happened yet, and there have been many who've tried.
posted by kagredon at 11:44 AM on July 3, 2013


One issue I have with creating new speech -- at least as I'm interpreting that statement -- is that it's exhausting at times. It requires patience and energy and optimism. While I have those gifts some of the time, I don't always; and after a long day battling problems not of my own making, I'm not always willing or able to try to educate other people.

Other days, I enjoy it. It's pretty cool when what started out as an adversarial confrontation along gender lines shifts to a "Let's be cool, we're all in this thing together" conversation. When that happens, I'm re-energized and willing to stay in the game.

When the other party isn't receptive, though, it can really grind you down. "Why do I bother? And, why should I *have* to bother?" That type of thinking.

It takes a lot of energy, man.
posted by nacho fries at 11:45 AM on July 3, 2013 [3 favorites]


Maybe nacho fries will come up with an argument of heartbreaking, staggering eloquence, that does change their mind.

I've found that a simple, direct appeal to shared suffering works. Rhetoric and grandiloquence aren't necessary.

And snark, again, does little to advance this or any other discussion of problem-solving.
posted by nacho fries at 11:49 AM on July 3, 2013


Again, only if they're willing to listen.

And that wasn't snark. I've read fantastically written blog posts and essays that patiently, gently deconstruct male privilege, sexism, harassment, you name it, with comments sections full of guys who then said variations on "yes, but you didn't take into account this one specific grievance that I have as a man." That wasn't snark, it was fucking despair.
posted by kagredon at 11:52 AM on July 3, 2013


but whatever, you've made it pretty clear that the problem, from your point of view, is that all these mean feminists just don't want to help out these poor nice guys.
posted by kagredon at 11:53 AM on July 3, 2013


all these mean feminists just don't want to help out these poor nice guys

Your words, not mine. And certainly not true to my thinking.

If you are unable to accept that some women (e.g., me) take an approach to the problem that is different than the one you espouse, and if you prefer not to accept that I've been able to effect change in the ways that I've described...well, I would ask you to examine your assumptions, both about me, and about what it means to be a woman in this world. It's comes across as quite limiting. And dismissive.
posted by nacho fries at 11:59 AM on July 3, 2013


You've been repeatedly dismissive of the idea that plenty of women (including me, thanks) have already tried. You've dismissed plenty of other people's posts as "snark" and "peanut gallery sniping" without responding to their content.
posted by kagredon at 12:04 PM on July 3, 2013 [2 favorites]


I've found that a simple, direct appeal to shared suffering works. Rhetoric and grandiloquence aren't necessary.

My experience in sharing my suffering is often that my account is often questioned and nitpicked; my motives are suspect; my point of view is devalued; my experience is dismissed because it's not as "bad" as [other thing].

Also, suffering isn't always "shared." The suffering I experience as a woman who gets sexually harassed is not the same as the suffering experienced by a guy who thinks that being nice to a woman entitles him to a date or sex.
posted by rtha at 12:06 PM on July 3, 2013 [4 favorites]


I would never suggest all suffering is shared, or shared equally. Nor am I dismissive of other women's experience attempting to convey their suffering to men, and failing to gain understanding. That happens to me, too. A lot. And, I've not tried convincing large groups of unseen strangers -- via blogs or social networking or other forms of online publication -- to change their minds, so I can't speak to that approach.

I *have* had it work in one-on-one situations (or, in conversations with very small groups of men). Including situations that started out as sexually harassing ones, and turned into a dialogue about doing the right thing by one another.

I get that this approach isn't for everyone, and I get that it isn't changing hearts and minds on a large scale. What I don't get is the hostility in this thread toward me simply trying to describe alternatives to, say, the Tumblr approach. It feels a bit like the intellectual equivalent of body-policing. Because my thoughts don't conform to what is thought to be proper feminist/anti-misogynist patterns, I'm being questioned and nitpicked.

Anyway, to spare the mods from having to do an in-thread redirect, I'll leave it at that.
posted by nacho fries at 12:23 PM on July 3, 2013 [2 favorites]


What I'd been trying to say was, the world is big enough for both what you, kagredon, and you, nacho fries, want to do.

People should be allowed to vent, without feeling a responsibility to coach the Nice Guys about whom they are venting. Some of this snark may be very effective to create negative examples, as examples of what not to do or be. Other snark may be unhelpful. But ultimately, it doesn't matter, because venting is its own reward, and it is not the responsibility of the venters to coach these Nice Guys.

On the other hand, there are indeed also opportunities out there to engage with these Nice Guys and Proto-Nice Guys in a different manner. There are many different ways of engaging with these young men. Creating positive examples. Helpful snark, such as those Cracked articles, can burst the privileged, ignorant bubbles these young men live in. And there are other ways still. Some of it might come best from other guys, whether it's on the web, or in person from a friend. Some of these men are at a stage in their lives where looking at an article about male privilege will cause their eyes to glaze over, but they will respond to a male friend saying, "dude, when you talk about women that way, you sound like a whiner. Get over yourself." And it's only after a moment like that when they start being receptive to other things.

Minds are often changed by a mass of different, often uncoordinated communication. For example, no one piece or speech caused the US to change course on marriage equality. For most people whose minds were changed, there wasn't a single piece or speech which caused that transformation, either. It took time and the accumulated words and actions of millions of people. Some of this speech was radical, some of it was angry, some of it was not, some of it was formal, some of it was casual, and so on.

On the other, other hand, some of these Nice Guys and Proto-Nice Guys will indeed never listen, no matter what. There's always going to be a certain level of Brick Wall going on. There will always be men who always will prefer to pick apart women's perceptions and experiences. Don't feel bad for them. They're happier this way.

On the other, other, other hand, just because people have tried some ways of communicating with these young men, it does not mean that other ways won't work. And just because it didn't work on everyone today, it doesn't mean that others' combined efforts won't work on more people tomorrow. Compare society a hundred years ago to society today, even in some negative ways. What if people had taken it on faith that nobody would ever listen to anything?

People spend years getting PhDs on these kinds of topics. There is no simple formula for engineering societal transformation.

...

And that wasn't snark. I've read fantastically written blog posts and essays that patiently, gently deconstruct male privilege, sexism, harassment, you name it, with comments sections full of guys who then said variations on "yes, but you didn't take into account this one specific grievance that I have as a man." That wasn't snark, it was fucking despair.

Those blog posts will work for some men, but unfortunately, for other men, they won't work. As the cliche goes, it is what it is. If nacho fries feels inclined to create new speech which can lead young men away from bad paths, then she has a vast universe of other techniques available to her.
posted by Sticherbeast at 12:34 PM on July 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


I think Sticherbeast makes a good point. The only thing I have to add is, the men in this group are at many different points in their lives. Some of them are on the way down and others are on the way up. Sometimes helping people will only serve to cushion their fall, and they'll only learn that their behavior is protected. Other times helping people after they've completely failed and hit rock bottom will help them out in the long run.

But again, nobody has a responsibility to help them out. The ones that are on the way up are doing so only because they want to help themselves.
posted by FJT at 4:05 PM on July 5, 2013


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