When nice guys are sexist with a smile

by Daniel Blomquist / Assistant Opinion Editor • April 2, 2014

Modern day bigotry has to be sneaky. Overt discrimination is no longer fashionable, so now all prejudices must be filtered through euphemisms and flimsy justifications. These masks aren’t so much for the sake of other people, but for themselves. Being directly prejudicial is no longer in fashion, so less overt methods are becoming more popular. There’s one unique form of discrimination that is perhaps the best representation of senseless hatred in the modern era. It’s a type of hatred that manifests in males when the girl they want to have sex with doesn’t have sex with them. They claim they are being “toyed with,” being “led on,” and most commonly, being “friend-zoned.” All of these terms are used excessively by the members of a movement that I know as nice guy sexism.   

This is the idea that women are sex machines meant to accept kindness as currency. Certain men believe that possessing no traits other than a kind demeanor should entitle them to the love of any woman they choose. Oftentimes men who believe this lack the confidence to actually do something overtly sexist, so their hatred manifests as a disdainful and obnoxious personality. They complain that “bitches” don’t appreciate their efforts and that their entirely unremarkable lives are so devoid of meaning because women refuse to satisfy them on command.

The nice guy sexism movement started, as most terrible ideas do, on the internet. At one point Cheezeburger and other websites frequented by unimaginative middle school kids began generating memes about being stuck in the “friendzone,” which is a condition that mature folks know as “friendship.” The difference, I suppose, is that insecure men see women as objects rather than people. As such, they believe that women can “malfunction” by doing what adults know as “exercising their right to not have sex with someone.”

It’s important to distinguish what’s occurring in the brains of these man-children and what’s occurring in the real world because their world, while primitive and misogynistic, isn’t beyond understanding. We’ve all felt frustration, albeit for infinitely more rational reasons. There’s no excuse for bigotry, but it’s important to acknowledge that these people are outwardly nice guys (as the name implies) that bottle up their rage every day.

 Regardless of whether or not that makes them pitiful, it certainly makes them more dangerous. The “nice guy” mask they wear is the creepiest part of these antiquated sexist ideals.They’re indistinguishable from genuinely nice people, which makes them harder to avoid and resist. After all, niceness is a likeable trait. It’s sort of inherent in the word. Unfortunately for douchebags, niceness isn’t actually the instant panty-dropper that they believe it is. I’m sure the vast majority of women have experienced the awkwardness of having an unattractive friend “out” himself as her secret admirer based on the fact that I’ve heard so many men tell me about how they did just that.

The side effect of these liars is that now being nice is suspicious. This movement has been active and noticeable for about 15 years now (most people don’t know that it has a name), so women are (rightfully) becoming more wary of guys who are overly kind. This is unfortunate because being nice is, well, nice. So raise awareness for nice guy sexism and let dating get back to the gratingly awkward but ultimately silly pastime it’s always been.