It's True, Nice Guys Finish Last
When women gather in a group to talk about our favorite subject, men, we insist that our dream guy be the understanding, kind and sensitive type. It's something we all say because we want to believe it's true, we want to sound mature and introspective and it's something our mothers would be proud to hear. Too bad it's the furthest thing from the truth.
The most desirable men in the world are movie stars, athletes, doctors, lawyers and entrepreneurs; men known for their virility, arrogance or the insatiable combination of the two. Straight women have never been attracted to our compassionate, talkative and sensitive selves; we have girlfriends and mothers to play those roles in our lives; we're attracted to the polar opposite.
If you happen to be one of those guys that my girlfriends and I have endlessly gossiped about, it certainly isn't because of your sensitivity. If, on the contrary, you're one of those guys whose name has never passed our lips, it's because you're too kind and sensitive. You've opened one too many doors. You're attentive. You're not known for your previous hook-ups throughout campus. You smile much too much. You say all the right things, and therefore, have never offended us, while simultaneously turn us on with your offensiveness and you're, well, drab.
And what boy wants to grow up being the overly understanding best friend to every gal rather than her boy toy? As young as late elementary school, boys' bravado starts to develop. The idea of what being a man means is embedded in him, from how he speaks, to the way he uses language, to what he isn't allowed to feel and express, to certain attitudes he should adopt, to the instinctual concept of how to take charge. Many men believe that asking for help is a sign of weakness and weakness is unattractive.
The majority of social scientists believe that peer pressure from boys cause other boys to cave into societal pressures of being misogynistic, arrogant, insensitive and emotionless. But, unfortunately, this "man" is also what many women desire, not understanding that this comes at a cost to them.
The rate of depression and suicide are higher in males than females. Male students are neglected while they are underperforming in schools. The rate of drug and alcohol abuse is much higher in males. The rate of incarceration, especially involving violence and sexual crimes in neighborhoods where jobs are scarce, are exorbitantly higher in males. And, sadly the rate of fatherless homes is much higher than the rate of motherless homes.
The need to take charge and the inability to express oneself that leads to depression, anger etc. can only partially be blamed on male pressure; the other percentage is a direct result of female expectations for what defines a "man."
We are taught that men are privileged simply for being men. They make up the majority of the corporate world, they're paid higher wages and, historically. they weren't an oppressed group. While this is true, there have been relatively few studies investigating how many men have difficulty forming the emotional bonds that females have readily been taught to form. Children are historically closer to their mothers and males are generally much less willing to seek help when they need it. After all, they are men and privileged. There are TV shows, books and studies addressing nearly every problem young females face in this country. There are support centers and awareness campaigns for female issues but when it comes to male issues, these things are non-existent. Again, they are privileged and are less apt to address their problems so we assume they are non-existent.
Perhaps the way we measure privilege is misconstrued. Being raised with the concept that showing fear is a form of femininity is not a form of privilege. Being pressured to perform well in the work force in order to provide for one's family is not a form of privilege. Feeling a duty to protect one's country during a time of war is not a privilege. And, generally having fewer emotional bonds during the course of one's lifetime, is not a privilege.
While democratic nations are becoming more equal by the second, people are much less apt to judge women for being stay-at-home wives or earn smaller wages than men who are either unsuccessful or stay-at-home husbands.
As long as he's arrogant and a man's man who nearly every woman is attracted to, we believe that the world is his oyster and "men," in general, have got it made.
It's unfortunate that most women don't like the dork who likes to share sandwiches and express his emotions with us. We fear he might be homosexual because he doesn't sleep around, he likes to listen to us and he's generally a polite person. These guys aren't the powerful kind that act by taking actions instead of words like "men." Nor are they our opposites and the half that both intrigue and complete us. But poor them, they're probably better off having some capability to feel. Anymore continuation of this good girl chasing the bad boy movement and they'll all become badasses who are self-destructive, hard to get to know and, generally, the bitter, misunderstood, bossy and troublemaking half of the population. Too bad we love them that way.