No More Mr Nice Guy | Redbrick | University of Birmingham

No More Mr Nice Guy

Comment Writers Helena Shaw and Jadzia Samuel explain why they feel that the 'nice guy' is a contradiction.

So, you’re a ‘nice guy’. We get it. You totally ‘respect women’. You’re just, like, totally woke, right?

Maybe in our conversation you’ll even throw in a few buzzwords about ‘privilege’, reference that Huffington Post article you read the headline for, or mention that 10-minute video of Emma Watson you watched three years ago, if you want to seem really impressive. Because you’re a self-professed ‘nice guy’, and you can do no wrong.

Apparently, men seem to think that by simply declaring themselves to be ‘nice guys’ and by stating they ‘think women should get equal pay’, that they somehow have transcended the realms of criticism and become walking Gods among men. Being ‘woke’ does not mean you are entitled to any girl’s body. Don’t get us wrong, it’s great that you manage the simple task of valuing women as human beings, but to be quite honest that shouldn’t be revolutionary. However, simply stating that you ‘respect women’ isn’t quite the same thing as actually respecting them.

Being ‘woke’ does not mean you are entitled to any girl’s body.

Okay, so maybe you nod sympathetically when your female friend talks about her awful experiences on tinder, or even weigh-in with your own ‘God-aren’t-men-awful’ anecdotes, but when your male friends make rape jokes do you call them out or laugh along? Maybe you genuinely support the ideology of the #HeForShe campaign, but do you also ostracise the word ‘feminism’ on the basis that it sounds too much like ‘female’? Maybe you even identify as a feminist and actively speak out when you witness micro-aggressions, but when you’re away from your girlfriend do you ever sleazily hit on women at the bar, just because her friends aren’t there to call you out? I hate to tell you, those ‘heart’ eyes you're getting from the cute girl across the bar, are actually ‘I feel uncomfortable and I want you to go away but I have been conditioned to be too polite to complain about men creeping on me’ eyes. Men seem to think that by simply declaring their respect for women, they can be as obnoxious as they like.

Even as women we seem to be forced to use these basic criteria (simply that a man doesn’t think women are second-class citizens) to assess whether someone is a ‘nice guy’. My first statements to my girl-friends when introducing them to a guy shouldn’t be that ‘Yeah, you’ll get on, I promise he’s not a creep’. Apparently, the only thing that warrants that title is not sexually harassing women?

The self-professed ‘nice guy’ is never actually nice.

I’m sick of the ‘nice guy’. I can hear you all groan and complain that girls only like guys who ‘treat them mean, keep them keen’; butthe self-professed ‘nice guy’ is never actually nice. The ‘nice guy’ is praising women for their sexual liberation whilst complaining about the ‘friendzone’. He’s walking you home because he’s ‘aware’ of a girl’s fear of sexual assault, yet secretly removes the condom when he screws you.

The ‘nice guy’ is a constant contradiction, somewhere between ‘woke’ and ‘entitled’. The ‘nice guy’ needs to get off his high horse and stop expecting to be praised for basic egalitarianism. And we need to stop praising him!


17th February 2018 at 9:00 am

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