Author Topic: Comments on "Nice Guys Finish Last"  (Read 1841 times)

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Offline Sal Atticum

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Comments on "Nice Guys Finish Last"
« on: February 26, 2007, 09:00:16 am »
This was just posted as a comment on the DS site (in response to this article), and I found it highly interesting, although I am unsure of what he is basing is morality on exactly.

posted 2/26/07 @ 3:06 AM EST
As a UND alumnus, I occasionally find it entertaining to visit the website of the Dakota Student to read the profoundly insightful commentary of student columnists. When I noticed the title of Sophia Fuka's piece, "Nice guys really do finish last," I was somewhat intrigued. Like Ms. Fuka, I consider myself a casual observer of contemporary culture and I find the phenomenon of the lonely "nice guy" to be particularly amusing. Despite the thoroughly clich? title, I was hoping to find some useful insight offered by another who was also fascinated by the topic. Alas, I was to be disappointed.

In attempting to explain why "nice guys finish last," Sophia does little more than propagate the same nonsensical arguments that already exist. It is the enormous deficiencies of these same arguments ? most of which emanate from the minds of troubled high school sophomores - that continue to stimulate interest in the matter. Essentially, Sophia says that she does not know why so-called "nice guys" are unsuccessful with women, but her theory is that it is because they lack "it," "it" being something so entirely undefined and subjective that it becomes completely meaningless. Furthermore, Sophia states that nice guys are unattractive because they are "boring." Thus, her argument can be paraphrased as, "girls don't like nice guys because they don't." In other words, she tells us absolutely nothing.

However, Sophia's piece does more than she may realize in explaining the real reason why "nice guys" fail at the proverbial dating game. In fact, I will use her article as the primary evidence in presenting my own theory. But first, some definitions and assumptions.

Aside from her bizarre ice cream analogy, Ms. Fuka generally does a good job at defining a "nice guy" as a male who uses "honest means coupled with good intentions." To her definition, I will add the criteria of treating women with a high degree of respect. Thus, they earn the status of "nice." I will also add that they are a minority of the male population.

Since we have defined such a thing as a "nice guy," it follows that I need to define men who are not nice guys. I am not going to assign a term for them, but I will describe them as men who participate in the dating field and who treat women with significantly less respect than nice guys. They do not use "honest means coupled with good intentions."

As Ms. Fuka indicates in her opening, we do need to clarify what dating is. And indeed, it is little more than a game. However, we must understand "dating" as it is presently understood in college. For undergraduates, a date request could be little more than a guy mumbling, "wanna go back to my room and chill for awhile?" In fact, dating in the classical sense ? a prearranged outing for the purposes of social interaction allowing both parties to become more familiar with one another, thus providing information upon which subsequent decisions concerning the relationship will be based ? is relatively rare in a university setting these days. On the contemporary university campus, literally any interaction between males and females that has a romantic or sexual motivation behind it is classified as "dating."

Now for my own theory, the truth of which is self-evident. The reason why nice guys are unsuccessful with women, particularly in college, is because they are seeking something entirely different. In this case, the objectives of the male and female are mutually exclusive: the "nice guys" are looking for a long-term, meaningful relationship; the type of relationship that has the potential of leading to an engagement, should it endure. On the other hand, the women who reject the "nice guys" are typically seeking the complete opposite: a "hook-up," a fling, a one-night stand. Essentially, the women are looking for a completely sexual relationship, one not likely to last beyond a few months. The strategy that nice guys use is one intended to procure long-term relationships. It fails when applied to women who want little more than sex. For all the talk of how men are scared of commitment, in this case the opposite is true. Ms. Fuka completely admits to this in her column:

"Dating jerks becomes a way to pass some time and soothe some hormones. All girls fully understand the relationship will bear nothing, but we just don't care. We find comfort in the impending implosion. It's predictable and the outcome (however poor) becomes the safety."

So, according to Ms. Fuka, when all you want is sex, who cares if the relationship fails? "Relationship" really wasn't the point anyway; its termination is actually a good thing, because it has cleared the way for a new sexual encounter with a different guy. Since women aren't looking for a long-term relationship, they will judge potential partners at the surface level. Sticking to her ice cream sundae analogy, Ms. Fuka admits that girls don't really want the ice cream at all; instead, "what girls want are sprinkles and cherries, preferably both." Thus, the primary qualities that women look for include physical perfection, a charming personality, misdemeanor convictions, the ability to ingest large amounts of alcohol, and hopefully, a motorcycle. As soon as the male gives off cues that he is interested in her in a very serious sense, she will drop him.

In a futile attempt to distract the reading audience from the implications that her article's acknowledgements carry, she writes, "it has nothing to do with being shallow." Actually, Sophia, it has everything to do with being shallow. As another writer crudely put it, "the nice guy may finish last, but the race he is running in is for the slut." Certainly inflammatory words, but the sentiment is easy to understand. The reason why Sophia was evidently unable to determine the ultimate cause behind the nice guys' failure is because she failed to examine the issue from a perspective based outside the day-to-day campus environment.

I took the time to write this is because I believe Ms. Fuka's column is a symptom of a dangerous cultural trend. Not only are nice guys seemingly unsuccessful at establishing relationships with women, they have become an object of derision for both women and other men. Chivalry is now considered weakness. An entire industry, known on the internet as the Seduction Community, has sprung up around the idea that nice guys are losers. Whenever I am on the internet exploring this topic, and I come across a self-proclaimed nice guy sharing his thoughts, feelings, and frustrations on a blog or message forum, he is almost always bombarded by a stream of hate-laced messages that venomously declare how pathetic he is, how he has no future ahead of him, accuse him of closet homosexuality, with a few actually threatening violence in some primitive Darwinian fashion. The denigration of "nice guys" is one of the single most repugnant aspects of our culture, and it is evil in every sense of the word.

What are the consequences of this trend? It is important to understand that, tied to the social marginalization of these men, is a corresponding trend that devalues women. When men are punished for treating women well, fewer and fewer of them will do so. There is no way to interpret this as a positive thing. We see evidence of this in the proliferation of violent pornography, and the absence of media coverage concerning the unprecedented female casualties in Iraq. In the long-run, we may see an increase in violence against women.

Furthermore, the corresponding sexual trends are not sustainable. Even dating, in the classical sense of the word, was an unstable system by pairing men and women together based on the mastery of social rituals. However, the "hook-up" culture that has replaced dating is even worse, because it does not pair them at all. Though still at an embryonic stage, this is a suicidal trend, as it does not provide a stable structure in which to raise children. Additionally, the trend is dangerous because the introduction of a new and particularly lethal STD has the potential to decimate America's young adult population. Obviously, the trend will be reversed following the cataclysm that waits at the end; namely, social and demographic collapse. But by then, the damage may be irreversible. If we wish to envision what this might look like, we need look no further than Russia; the population of our Cold War rival may be less than 100 million by 2050.

The question then becomes, where do we go from here? We must recognize that, if we are to halt and reverse these trends, we must fight their manifestations at every level, including college newspapers. First of all, I would like to tell the nice guys a few things. Number one: DO NOT CHANGE YOURSELF. Despite all that crap put out by so-called "dating gurus" ? like those vermin, Neil Strauss and David DeAngelo ? you would be doing enormous damage to yourself by intentionally becoming a jerk. CHIVALRY IS NOT WEAKNESS. Nice guys may finish last in the undergraduate dating scene, but they come out on top in the real world. Aside from being inherently good, being "nice" has tangible benefits, especially in terms of wealth, power, prestige, and recognition. Next, it is important to note that NOT ALL WOMEN buy into this current culture. When I was at UND, I knew several girls who agreed with me that the behavior of their peers was not healthy. I understand the pressures on you are almost unbearable, but you must not succumb. Endure, hold the line, and bide your time. At the end of the day, you will be rewarded. Men like you are a positive force in this society, and your survival is a crucial.

Lastly, as she is representative of a larger demographic, I would like to ask Ms. Fuka something: what are you planning on doing after you have soothed your hormones? As much as you might like to deny it, college does not last forever, and the real world is exactly that. How many more sexual partners... how many more "relationships" many more "implosions"...will you go through before you stop, look at yourself in the mirror, and ask yourself what you have gained. Soothed hormones? Certainly. But a stable relationship with a man who truly loves and respects you? I doubt it. When this moment of self-reflection comes ? and I assure you, it will come ? your priorities will shift dramatically. Cheap sports cars, steroid-augmented biceps, minor criminal rapsheets, and the ability to survive indefinitely at a cocktail party will no longer impress you. Instead, your eye will be drawn to those that you never really paid much attention to before: the quiet, dedicated, and driven guys that are intent on establishing themselves as honest and productive citizens, advancing themselves in their careers, who are also......nice. I hope for your sake that this moment comes sooner rather than later, because after a certain point, it will be too late.

I think I am going to go make myself an ice cream sundae now. Actually, I think I'll skip the sundae altogether and instead just get a bowl of the most plain and bland vanilla ice cream I can find.


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Re: Comments on "Nice Guys Finish Last"
« Reply #1 on: April 06, 2007, 06:44:08 am »
He is basing his "moraility" on facts.  I attended UND, hooked up with quite a few women during my first two years, and what he is saying is true.  You are either on one side of the fence or the other when it comes to your freshman year. 

Daddies little girl is set loose, and some will remain sweet and innocent, while a great majority of them use the new found freedom to party and have sex.

By the time you hit your Jr or Sr year, you are for the most part mellowing out and by the time you graduate, you are kinda bored with the "game" as it was previously defined.  At that point, so you start looking for stability as you begin your carreer and hopefully you find it.

Been married 5 years, two children and very happy with my life -- but I wouldn't change my Freshman year for the world.

Offline Sal Atticum

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Re: Comments on "Nice Guys Finish Last"
« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2007, 04:00:28 pm »
You can't base a morality on facts--it wouldn't be a morality.  How would you determine how to live your life according to facts?  Is it a statistical thing-- >50% of the United States thinks it's immoral to walk around without clothes, so you think it's immoral to walk around without clothes?  Or is there some other method of determining, from facts, what you will do when faced with a decision?  To always choose what's best for you is still a morality. 

To deride freshman girls for having sex while praising freshman boys is still a moral choice to make.  To do anything you are free to do is a moral choice.  It doesn't matter what your motives are, be they religious, spiritual, statistical, or copying everything your older sister did--the way you apply yourself to the world is still a morality.


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