The whole ‘nice guy’ syndrome topic took this site by storm in the month before Valentine’s Day — and much was said about how and what, but not much was said about why.
I had a lightbulb 💡 moment, and would like to speculate one reason of ‘why’ — barring the entitled exchange sex for favors varient of the so called ‘nice person.’
I wish to speak on genuinely kind and less-traditionally-masculine males whom are heterosexual, and why they might be off putting sexually regardless of their virtues.
To do this, I first considered the opposite analogue. The more masculine female, and why many traditionally masculine men feel threatened by her and therefore unattracted. The conclusion? Emasculation.
Whenever you hear of conservative traditionally masculine men complain about feminism they say things like ‘women aren’t women amymore’ or women are too ‘slutty’ etc.
Let’s break down what these things mean. ‘Women aren’t women anymore.’ This is a clear statement about their social expectations of the role or performance of what the female gender ought to consist of, and how they think feminism violates that expectation, thereby creating a social faux pua.
Things such as: achieving a higher level of education than most men, achieving a higher income than most men, achieving a more dominant position at work than most men at that workplace. Simply being less agreeable. Being taller or stronger than most men. Etc. (Perhaps a reason why the wage gap persists? Just throwing it out there to think about).
These are all traditionally masculine traits, therefore, conservative traditionally masculine men feel emasculated by women who poses these traits.
Let’s break down the other complaint of being ‘slutty.’ Well, sleeping around is traditionally a masculine trait. Therefore, if a woman is empowered to do this, traditional conservative men again may feel emasculated by this phenomena. (This is not the only variant of slut shaming, but I am trying to come at it from this specific angle for these purposes).
So so what about traditionally feminine women when confronted with men who step outside their expected social gender performances of what a man is supposed to be? Was there a female version of the word ‘emasculate?’
Interestingly, the answer is officially no, though I think it’s exactly what’s going on. William Safire in ‘The San Francisco Chronicle, This World, Nov. 16,1986, p.19,’ discusses the possible opposites for emasculate. He concludes that defeminate is best, after also considering effeminate, spay, hysterectate, demulierize, gyneclate, degynify, and exogynate.
So we have the word ‘defeminate.’ Let’s recall the definition of emasculate briefly. Emasculate: deprive (a man) of his male role or identity; make (someone or something) weaker or less effective (Oxford dictionary of American English).
Okay, so given the definition, how might we define ‘Defeminate’. I say something like this:
Defeniniate: deprive (a woman) of her female role or identity; make (someone or something) feel less nurturing or empathetic by comparison to itself or an unexpected alternative.
Okay. So check this out. In this way, that ‘genuinely nice guy’ (not the one that we all think of immediately, but just the not very masculine one who’s a genuinely good person and still has a penis) may come off as unattractive to traditionally, perhaps conservative, feminine women because he might ‘defiminate’ her, or make her feel defiminated, and thereby make her feel like she is less of a woman by comparison.
We have seen takes on this site recently about how male testosterone levels have fallen, and male estrogen levels have risen. The consensus seems to be that this is a problem. But *why* is this a problem in the first place?
That’s the question I wanted to think about. Because when we consider traditional masculinity, on paper it seems pretty bad with qualities such as violence, aggression and physical dominance. What good things have come from those traits? Other than perhaps reproduction and the creation of babies (okay, yeah admittedly pretty important), but then we need to ask ourselves: Are those good traits to pass on or are they simply desired because of tradition or are they necessary?
Or is traditional masculinity not about violence, aggression and dominance, but rather quiet strength, courage and dedication?
Either way, the point of this take is not to declare masculinity as good or bad. The point is to ask ourselves, why is it that men with higher estrogen levels are viewed negatively objectively speaking to heterosexual women.
Let’s think about that given what we know. If a male is genuinely very nurturing and supportive, kind and caring, super good with kids and won’t hurt a fly then perhaps he is better at nurturing and supporting than the woman of his sexual interests. And this seems to be a very realistic possibility. And if so, then this would be a clear case of defeminising or making that woman feel defiminated in his presence. I have heard similar sentiments regarding metrosexual ‘pretty boys.’ Where women feel threatened by feeling the need to compete with their partner to look better than him, as the woman. The more a guy takes part in fashion and beauty, likely the more difficult it will be for her to to stay ahead, thus defeminising her.
It never occurred to me that women could feel an analogue of ‘emasculation’ but now that I have thought about this for a minuet, it makes perfect sense.
One take on this site even wrote, quote, “have I just gone heartless lately, or do men just have higher levels of estrogen” clearly expressing that she feels defeminised and thereby threatend by men who show more capacity for empathy than she can feel on her own. I think this settles once and for all the phenomena of why less-masculine men are skiped over in favor of more masculine men, even when things like looks are held constant.
This last part is important. Regardless of physical looks, or how built one might be from working out, the more feminine male seems to be consciously skipped over in favor of the more masculine personality. It happens like clockwork.
Now, what about the ‘bad guy.’ Here’s where these genuinely kind males or, ‘real nice guys’ or perhaps ‘high estrogen men’ conceive of the ‘bad guy’ phenomena. *They actually perceive masculinity as equivalent to bad.*
To them aggression and violent and dominant tendencies equates to asshole. Because to them, good equates to nurturing, support and empathy. Therefore, any masculine man is a bad guy and any feminine man is a good guy. That’s what they mean.
But if women feel threatened by definination, then of course they’ll go for masculine men because these genuinely kind dudes are essentially ‘emasculating’ these girls, making them feel threatend about their own gender identity. This then causes ‘real nice guys (TM)’ to feel like something unusual is going on because they don’t understand how masculinity could be perceived as a good thing.
And this disconnect sparks ⚡️ the discussions we see on this site when it comes to these topics.
People have different definitions of what is ‘good’ and what is ‘bad’ and people are talking past each other.
So, in conclusion, I may be completely wrong. If so, please explain where and what and how it should be corrected in your opinion. But, I don’t really think I’m wrong about this. I think I’m basically right about the whole female equivalent of emasculation thing. ✌🏻
I am sure that to more progressive women this whole thing is nonsense. And stay at home dads can be sexy and dreamy too for their dedication and commitment. But that’s not who this take was written for. I’m mainly speaking to conservative audiences (or am trying to).