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Nice Guys of OKCupid

What If the Nice Guys of OKCupid Site Is Harming Innocent People?

We're happy to present this excerpt from one of our favorite sites, The Good Men Project. Joanna Schroeder writes that she's known a lot of Nice Guys™ and understands the frustration and fear women feel as a result, but believes the bullying and humiliation happening on Nice Guys of OKCupid is out of line.

There's a lot of talk about this Nice Guys of OKCupid (NGOKC) Tumblr site, where photos of nonconsenting men are taken off the OKCupid dating site and mocked for everyone to see.

First word of warning: I don't buy the crap that all guys who call themselves "nice" are actually nice. In fact, I've witnessed enough self-proclaimed "nice guys" saying racist, sexist, rapey, and scary things in my life that my ears automatically perk at any guy who calls himself "nice."

Dating Short Cuts and Magic Bullets

That being said, I know a lot of actual, real-life nice guys. Guys that are kind, sweet, smart, genuine and giving. My husband is one of those, as is my brother. All through high school my brother was the girls' best pal, but rarely their date. The girls he had mad crushes on would keep him on the phone for hours, then go to the dance with a different guy. Eventually he grew out of that phase, or more accurately, he went to college where the women were more interested in a highly intelligent sweetheart than they had been at our high school.

For the purpose of this article, I'm going to call guys like my brother "nice guys" and guys like the the scary ones, "Nice Guys™" and hopefully the distinction is clear, because calling assholes "nice" is confusing and I suspect the misnomer does more damage to understanding who is a threat to our safety and who is not.

Keep reading for more about the Nice Guys of OKCupid.

Hugo Schwyzer's 2013 debut piece on Jezebel, No One Is Entitled to Sex: Why We Should Mock the Nice Guys of OKCupid, argues that the underlying issue with Nice Guys™ is that they feel like they somehow deserve sex or romance from women.

What's on offer isn't just an opportunity to snort derisively at the socially awkward; it's a chance to talk about the very real problem of male sexual entitlement. The great unifying theme of the curated profiles is indignation. These are young men who were told that if they were nice, then, as Laurie Penny puts it, they feel that women "must be obliged to have sex with them." The subtext of virtually all of their profiles, the mournful and the bilious alike, is that these young men feel cheated. Raised to believe in a perverse social/sexual contract that promised access to women's bodies in exchange for rote expressions of kindness, these boys have at least begun to learn that there is no Magic Sex Fairy.

I think Hugo has nailed something about Nice Guys™ and their belief that they are somehow owed sex or love. That really resonates with me from a few experiences I've had with Nice Guys™ in my own life.

But I get a whole different sense from some of the guys on NGOKC. I get the sense that they're like my brother was when he was young, except perhaps a bit more socially awkward. Perhaps they call themselves "nice guys" because they don't realize that in the blogosphere, that actually means Nice Guy™ and connotes a self-righteous prick who thinks that the only reason he isn't getting dates is because he isn't an asshole, all the while not realizing that he actually is an asshole, most notably because he believes he is entitled to a woman's attention and feels pretty self-righteous about being a so "nice."

It's all very confusing. Here's a tl;dr — Yes, most guys are nice, but no, not all guys who call themselves "nice" are actually nice. In other words, friends, judge each person as an individual and don't give your number to a guy who is an asshole, regardless of what he calls himself.

Read the rest of What If the "Nice Guys of OKCupid" Is Harming Innocent People? over at The Good Men Project.

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