Nice Guys, Sexual Entitlement, and the Slut Shaming of Millennial Women

We need to talk about vaginas.

Particularly, about people worrying about what women do with them.

I’ve lamented the epidemic of poorly written Elite Daily posts by love-deprived, 20-something year old women waxing nostalgic for a time of chivalry they’ve never actually experienced, but something posted by a Facebook friend was the straw that broke the camel’s back.

This post, titled “Why Chivalry is Dead, From a Man’s Perspective” went on to explain that the lack of chivalry is not the fault of men not being decent enough human beings to treat women with respect, but rather that of the fact that women “don’t hold their cards close enough” and allow themselves to engage in strictly sexual relationships with men instead of letting them sweep them off their feet the way they did when our parents were our age.

The author of this article then chose to end his essay with the line:

“It’s pretty obvious that women own the cards, and when they start acting like it, they’ll finally start getting dinner from places that don’t deliver”

If you don’t see the issue with this, let me break it down for you:
This individual (and the thousands of people who shared it) believe that a woman’s choice to exalt her  youth and conduct herself in a sexually liberated fashion (aka, do what men have been doing since the dawn of time) makes her unworthy of romance and only fit for relationships of the “Netflix and Chill” variety, and that is totally and completely fucked.

Firstly, how a woman chooses to express her sexuality is nobody’s business other than her own and that of whoever she chooses to express it with, be it with 1 or 100 partners. Secondly, a woman’s choice to engage in casual sexual activity does not define whether or not she deserves to be treated in a polite and respectful manner by male suitors.

This type of backwards mentality is a direct reflection of the “Nice Guy” epidemic that seems to be plaguing young men my age. For those of you who don’t frequent the internet enough, the Nice Guy is someone who engages a woman in a platonic relationship (complete with the mutual respect and emotional intimacy most normally functioning friendships entail) under the assumption that treating her like an actual person will earn him sex.

The disappointment that ensues when the Nice Guy’s female friend does not reciprocate his feelings or desire to enter into a sexual relationship with him is generally expressed in 1 of 2 ways:

  1. The Nice Guy will accuse his female friend of “using him” for his kindness and time spent with her (as if being friends with someone doesn’t imply that you need to both be kind to and spend time with them #dafuq?). She’s a bitch, and he’s the good guy that finished last.
  2. Nice Guy will blame women as a whole, stating that “girls only like assholes,” which then prompts him to proclaim that he’s done treating girls decently because it “never gets him anywhere.” His masculinity is wounded, and the only way he can rebuild it is to mimic the behavior of “Alpha Males” when interacting with women.

This idea that sex is something earned by treating women with respect is extremely insidious because it demonstrates an underlying sense of sexual entitlement young men feel towards women’s bodies . These men honestly and truly believe that sex is something they “deserve” and something women are obliged to reward them with when they’ve “inserted enough kindness coins” into her.

Furthermore, it reflects an attitude suggesting that women aren’t deserving of respect in their own right and rather only when sex is a possible outcome, aka women aren’t people, just vaginas.

As women become more and more sexually open, there needs to be a general societal understanding that a) women should not be held to different sexual standards than men, b) that virginity and chastity are social constructs meant to commodify women sexually, and most importantly c) women are people too, and what a woman does behind closed doors does not define her worth. 

Xoxo,
La Nouvelle Romantique

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