Ilyak1986 wrote:As someone who constantly was (and still is) socially awkward and who has tried to turn friendships into romances (and has failed miserably, and still do =/)
May I offer you some advice on how to reduce that social awkwardness and avoid doing something that is nigh-guaranteed to torpedo the chance of turning a friendship into a romance? It is:
Don't make hostile comments about women that you try to pass off as "kidding" or a joke.
First, because whether you are or not, it sounds very much
as though you're kidding on the square
. That is, the "I kid" or "just joking!" right after a slap isn't sincere. It is, using the phrase from your post, a kind of 'flame shield' to avoid being called out on having said something hostile: geez, I was just joking, you're not allowed to be angry about it! And on top of the obvious hostility, insincerity pisses people off.
Second, because projecting the image of someone who is angry at females as a group for their perceived sins is really not a quality that women find attractive. I mean, it's basically imitating Stick Guy #1 in the comic.
And finally, because even if you really mean to be lighthearted and are screwing it up, what you're doing is taking an issue that is a big freaking deal
to most women and is not funny
- a systemic theft of the value of their labor based on the fact of their gender - and treating it as something you find hee-larious
. I sure wouldn't want to have a romance with a guy who thought 'punching down' jokes about stealing bread from my family's mouths
was a witty jab in the entertaining Battle of the Sexes. I don't know any woman who would.
If you're trying to make a point that something is hurtful to you - like the phrase Nice Guy - then the adult thing to do is to just say "look, this is hurtful" and explain why. That's what an awful lot of people are already doing here. Using it as an excuse to let simmering resentment boil over? Is probably not going to lead to the desired result. Unless your desired result is a very public sour-grapes "I didn't want you witches anyway."
That's because I am kind of kidding on the square, not because I believe the pay gap is just (after all, code doesn't care what gender you are, and neither should employers), but because it works so damn well
as an analogy. And also, because I've never seen anyone, male or female, make that connection before, and I think it's absolutely awesome that someone did. But I suppose that's XKCD for you--intelligent audience!
And what I find hee-larious is exactly that you have some small, justified group of women (and I suppose, self-hating men like Hugo Schwyzer) defending the current status quo of the relationship gap, in which guys assume the majority of the risk in terms of initiation, courtship, and so on, having been taught that the guy pays for dinner, to be kind and courteous, and in return, we get "GIRLS DON'T OWE YOU SEX!" (who then go out with who's perceived to be this attractive guy with swagger but who gets away with making all sorts of crass jokes) while at the same time, lots of young women are taught to study, work hard, and they'll get promoted, and you just get a bunch of libertarians going "LOL EMPLOYMENT IS A MUTUAL AGREEMENT! YOU'RE NOT OWED A PENNY MORE THAN YOU'RE OFFERED!" (while they see other frat boys with half the work ethic, or girls that sleep around promoted ahead of them), which, while both 100% true, completely simplify a situation, subvert well-intentioned conventional wisdom, and demonize those who never had a drop of malice within them, and in some cases, create self-fulfilling prophecies. The genuinely nice person gets burned one too many times, at which point the justified females say "we were right! You never really were nice to begin with!", while on the other end, you get some people saying "we were right! You were only in it for the money!".
See, here are the conventional, well-intentioned rules:
To guys: be kind, be courteous, be forthright, say what you mean, mean what you say, and you'll receive the affection and intimacy that everyone is worthy of.
To girls: study, be diligent, do your work, and you'll receive as much pay as any guy can ever hope to.
But what's perceived:
For guys like me: "Hey, I'm nice, I'm kind, I'm honest, I wear my heart on my sleeve, I don't tell crass jokes, yet I completely fail at relationships."
For girls: "Hey, I got a degree (maybe two), I work my tail off, I put my company first, and all I see is this giant fraternity".
And in both cases, the retort from a small but justified minority is a gross oversimplification of the expectations of those who follow conventional wisdom, and then demonizing
them when they complain about the fact that the logically sound rules they grew up with, from their empirical observation, seem to be a recipe for disaster.
I mean heck, it's not even a gender issue--it's even a national issue in the political arena. One of the reasons that Dylan Ratigan is by far and away my favorite public figure is his emphasis on the paradigm of the two sets of rules--one for those with all the money that can basically get away with murder, and the other one for the rest of the people.
And the sad part is that Randall seems to take part in basically kicking those very same people who are down--those that say "hey, I feel that there are two sets of rules here--one that is the conventional, well-intentioned wisdom--which completely fails, and--" which is when guy2 in this comic basically demonizes guy1, and makes a snarky retort.
Now maybe I'm making a mountain out of a molehill here, and this is a very specific situation, and maybe I'm not *really* the kind of guy Randall's talking about (because frankly, I'm fully aware that physical attraction, sense of humor, and so many other things come before "liking someone for 'simply being a nice guy'"), but some of the attitudes I see, particularly from the female side of things, lend more credence to the fact that what this comic is doing is kicking the people who are down.
And yes, that makes me angry, to the point that I may come across as someone kidding on the square.