20 December, 2008

Do nice guys finish last?

I would like to address the myth that women want the bad boy and that nice guys finish last.
The comic XKCD just recently had a wonderful description of why many men seem to whine that nice guys finish last. I believe that many so-called ‘nice-guys’ are not being nice but are just being being non-assertive. This is not the same thing.  
Being nice means having manners, showing respect for those around you, and being courteous in word and deed.  At the dinner table manners are expressed by asking nicely for things to be passed to us and not reaching over other peoples plates, or taking things directly off of their plate because we see something we want.
The application of manners and courtesy requires not an absence of desire nor a refrain from stating ones desire but merely a polite expression of that desire.
We (should) teach our children to use their words in order to express how they feel and what they need.  If we don’t know what someone we love needs, we will be unsuccessful at helping them achieve it.

If you make it to adult-hood and you are not able to identrify what you want or to use your words to express your desires in polite company, then you should slap your mommy and daddy, because they did you a grave disservice.
One needs to be able to communicate their needs effectively.  If you can’t communicate them, you will wind up being either a pussy or a bully.  
Some men (who think they are nice guys) lament that nice guys finish last.  They complain that women do not want a nice guy, that women secretly want the bad boy.  But a pussy is not a nice guy, and a bully is not a ‘bad boy’.  Women who are mature, I think,  do not want either of these two emotionally stunted individuals, even though sometimes they wind up with them for reasons, perhaps, unknown to them.
A pussy is non-assertive.  Assertiveness is necessary to be a man.  It is not the same thing as aggressiveness, but it sometimes is confusing to tell the difference.  Sometimes the methodology can look similar, but the underlying motivation is the key.  It has to do with entitlement.  A bully thinks he is entitled to anything he can take.  A pussy thinks that he is entitled to the world noticing that he doesn’t have what he wants and give it to him.  
Neither of those two mindsets should have survived elementary school, but parents (and society) protect and instill foolish notions in their kids.  There are not many good examples of the assertive male in reality or even fiction.  
The Knight (archetype) did a good job of embodying both chivalry and assertiveness, and no one would claim he was a pussy.   Again, the archetype.  I am sure there were both bullies and pussies who wore the armor then and wear the uniform today.
I think women are sometimes attracted to jerks because they confuse a bully with a bad boy.  ‘Bad boys’ buck authority and blaze thier own trail.  They don’t follow the rules that society has made just because it is a rule.  They are willing to take risks to get what they want and they believe it is their right to earn what they desire.  I think maybe Patrick Swayze’s character in Roadhouse was a good example of a ‘bad boy’.  He was nice until it was time to not be nice.  
His nemesis in that movie was a good example of a bully.  Both (bad guys and bullies) may look similar until you find out what makes them tick.  I think women are attracted to jerks sometimes because the aggressive male appears to be able to provide and so, on a primal level, she is attracted to his apparent strength.  She thinkg s she is getting a strong man and finds out down the road he is just an asshole with a chip on his shoulder.  
By the same token, nice-guys and pussies may appear similar, at first.  So women, thinking they are getting a good but assertive man find out down the road they are with a guy who won’t send his steak back even though it is charred to a crisp.  Assertiveness, like honesty, doesn’t require rudeness.  Tact is important.  But you can express that you are not getting what you want and your will not settle for less than what you desire without being a dick. 
True strength is in the measured application of Force.  (not the Force; I am not that big a nerd.  well, ok, I am, but still)  One doesn’t prove they are strong by picking on the weak.  Sometimes force is necessary, but one should be nice until then.  Force is not always fisticuffs.  Sometimes it is a strongly worded letter or saying no to ones boss.  Sometimes it is better to go with the flow, but sometimes you have to swim against the current.  That requires Force.   
I think that a true gentleman can still be assertive and, therefor, still attract, protect, and provide for a good woman without being a jerk. I believe that one need neither be wishy-washy nor a bully in order to exemplify the type of personality that attracts a woman on an intellectual, emotional, and primal level.
But I could be wrong, of course. So tell me: Do nice guys finish last? If so, why is that? How can a nice guy finish first and still retain his manners?

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