Quicklink: Clementine Ford on NGOKC and double standards

A few weeks ago a tumblr was started which highlighted the OK Cupid dating profiles of certain men who claimed to be Nice/Decent, but whose answers on optional stock questions set by OK Cupid revealed various degrees of Not-Nice/Not-Decent attitudes.  After garnering much controversy in its short life, it has now been taken down (probably because they posted identifiable faces).

Clementine lays out the back-story for those who haven’t heard about it yet at the Daily Life – Opinion: The Nice Guys of OK Cupid (aka NGOKC), analyses some of the criticisms, and concludes:

The difference in commentary regarding the treatment of NGOKC targets and, say, the women whose photos are published without their knowledge on Zoo’s Facebook page, or targeted by misogynist websites like Is Anyone Up? (a submissions based website which posted private photographs of women, often in states of undress, without their consent), or accused of being potential prostitutes because of how and whom they had sex with in their private lives is pretty clear. While the former have done nothing other than pursue their natural right to sex and companionship (rights that inform their identities as men), the latter are partially responsible for their vilification because they should have known better. Simply put: it’s punishment enough for men to have to pursue sex online, and to further mock them for it is cruel and dangerous. But women deserve to be shamed online for how they choose to have sex – particularly if it’s not with you.

If NGOKC is guilty of anything, it’s perhaps doing its job too well. By exposing the sense of entitlement experienced by men by virtue of their birthright, NGOKC also demonstrated the double standard exercised against men and women when it comes to sex and relationships, and they right to pursue – or deny – either. More importantly, it highlighted how sex is seen is something integral to men’s identities but peripheral to women’s – a gift she gives from compassion rather than one she seeks out through need and desire. For people who rail against the ‘friend zone’, the distinction is clear. Men who are nice deserve sex. And women who are nice give it.

The Daily Life thread will no doubt shortly be full of hostile commentors. If you’re feeling up to it, why not wade in with your clue-cards? If you’re not feeling up to it (and I don’t blame you) then stick around here.

Image Credit:  the index/archive thumbnail is one of the many images from an older NiceGuy™ meme page, not from NGOKC.

Categories: gender & feminism, relationships

Tags: , , , ,

12 replies

  1. Men who want sex with a friend and are denied are friendzoned. Women who want sex with a friend and are denied are desperate stalkers.

    Men who want sex and get it are normal. Women who want sex and get it are probably loose or easy.

    The social politics and discussion of it continues to be very sexist.

  2. I wonder how many cases of “friendzoning” happened because the woman in question assumed that the Nice Guy being friendly toward her wanted to just be a friend? I mean, I don’t know about anyone else, but I do tend to make a distinction between the guys I’m friends with and my sexual partners (and yes, I do happen to believe it should be possible for women and men to be friends with each other without the masculine half of the equation needing to be bribed with sex). Also, I didn’t come with telepathy as a factory standard option – if someone wants to have sex with me, they’re going to need to use their words and actually say so.

  3. Also, if the only reason you act nice is because you expect sex then you aren’t nice, in fact you are an arsehole and that is probably the reason women don’t want to sleep with you.

  4. Mindy: there is that, too.
    It’s one of those things – if a guy is selfish enough out of bed to get all sulky and disgruntled because I’m not putting out, then quite frankly, that doesn’t recommend him to me as someone I want to share anything intimate with. I’ll probably have a better time with my right hand, a vibrator and a magazine, and I won’t have to listen to him snoring afterwards, or sleep in the wet spot.

  5. Or creepy enough to be nice and act like a friend while merely expecting sex. At least the bad boys aren’t pretending. What you see is what you get can be refreshing and fun. No wonder they get all the sex.

    • Mindy, there’s also the assumption that the guys women are choosing instead of the bemoaners are in fact jerks or bad guys. Is a young man a bad boy or jerk simply because he’s not into settling down for a long-term romantic relationship (at least not yet, not right now)? No, not unless he’s lying about what he wants. If a young man is open about just wanting to have a fling for as long as both parties are enjoying each other’s company, that’s not being jerkish at all. ETA: After all, many young women aren’t ready to settle down yet either.

      • P.S. Tangent – the fact that young women don’t want to settle down early with a DecentMan™ seems to enrage a subset of MRAs (including some PUAs) – they go in for slutshaming in a big way of women they perceive to have spent their youth “riding the alpha cock carousel” who then have the nerve to want a partner and family in their 30s.

  6. Certainly there appears to be a section of the masculine-identifying population who hold to norms of courtship and romance which wouldn’t be wildly out of place in some of the Georgette Heyer Regency romances I have lining my shelves. According to them, women are supposed to want to “settle down” and start popping out the babies shortly after they leave high school, while men aren’t supposed to want to do so until they hit their mid to late forties. Then again, there are some guys who do want to settle down to a life of being a “good provider” as per 1950s social norms, and who get insulted when their female partner expresses an interest in a job, much less a career. Figuring out which variety of Nice Guy (TM) you have on hand can be a rather fraught process, since firstly, they trim their sails to suit the prevailing winds of the conversation (so to speak) and secondly, they do tend to assume their female friends are telepathic. It is, of course, always the sole fault of the woman in the case should she assume she’s dealing with the 1750s edition (the Regency husband who won’t settle down until he’s had his first cardiac arrest) rather than the 1950s version. Or vice versa, of course.

    • *dances the dainty greeting gavotte of the Georgette Heyer fans*
      In both cases there’s the double standard about sowing wild oats in one’s youth – women are meant to never mind/reproach their partners having a history of dating young women whom they never envisaged having a family with aka “you wouldn’t take her home to meet your mother”, chosen primarily for the purposes of sexual recreation. But young women dating young men who they never envisaged having a family with, chosen primarily for the purposes of sexual recreation? Totally unfair/unreasonable/emasculating to their future partners, and obviously shameworthy/vilification-worthy!

  7. The fun thing is, they miss the central point of the whole darn genre: the men who do the whole “sowing their wild oats” thing are generally from one of two castes in the society of the day. Either they are the lowest of the low, the criminal members of the working classes who cannot be held to conventional standards of morality; or alternatively they are members of the upper ranks of the aristocracy, who can afford to ignore the social disapproval of anyone other than their peers (and therefore will not be held to conventional standards of morality). In the second case, money helped – the more money they had, the more outrageous the behaviour they could get away with.

  8. It’s not just the disgust at being “friendzoned” when they want sex from the willfully not-telepathic women, it’s the clear message that friendship with a woman is just not a thing. The very idea of it seems to disgust these creeps. The only reason women exist is to be f**ked, and the only reason men talk to us is because we’re such unreasonable bitches and don’t put out the moment the thought crosses his mind.
    I read elsewhere that NGOKC had already been taken down once (threats of legal action?) and put back up again; maybe the same thing will happen now.

  9. Interesting post from Crommunist: I was a Nice Guy™

    Third, I figured out that the key to my happiness and contentment had little or nothing to do with whether or not I was romantically involved with someone – I had to learn to be happy on my own.
    Part of this, I’m sure, was just part of a regular growing up process. However, more than a little of it was the result of me directly confronting some of the things I had come to believe in my younger days. I was able to put aside the monolithic ‘a woman’ and recognize that the problems I’d had in previous relationships weren’t because of “women”, they were because I had been involved with people who weren’t a good fit for me. There were tons of guys I didn’t fit with well, but I didn’t notice because I wasn’t trying to date them! And there wasn’t a “female behaviour” that I had once complained about for which I couldn’t find a perfect “male behaviour” analogue – I knew of guys who played mind games, I knew of guys who were superficial, I knew of guys who said they wanted X but kept ending up with Y – suddenly my complaints about “women” looked really stupid. The fault wasn’t “women” – the fault was people.

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