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THERE’s ONE phrase I’ve heard repeated continuously throughout my existence: “Nice guys finish last.” Although I’ve always thought this to be an untrue, clichéd statement, Ross’s article has clarified that it also creates a sense of male entitlement towards females.
I agree with Ross’s overall point that it’s unfair to label all Townsend males as “undatable.” However, I can’t help but lose myself in the article’s many contradictions.
For example, Ross states that girls fail to “see what’s right in front of them,” as if walking girls to class suddenly makes men boyfriend material. Although he claims that women aren’t forced to reciprocate a man’s feelings, he still expresses frustration when his “perfectly nice and datable male friends” are ignored by the women they pursue.
I’m sure most women appreciate friendly gestures, but what Ross fails to realize is that those gestures aren’t interpreted as romantic actions. No one would disregard the kindness and consideration behind walking someone to class or buying them a present, but you are the ones who choose to invest your time in these endeavors. Not only is it unfair, but it reveals a lot about a man’s character when his kindness has ulterior motives. A genuinely nice guy lives up to his name because thats’s his personality, not his affectation.
Regarding boys’ irritation with not recieving payout for “nice guy” actions, what did you expect in return? It’s one thing to feel underappreciated, but it’s another to substantiate one’s “datability” solely based on acts of kindness. Believe it or not, some like to believe that people do good for others out of compassion.
Also, although declining a gift may be interpreted as a sign of underappreciation, girls do this to clarify what Ross urges ladies to tell his fellow male students: that we are not interested.
Placing the blame of one’s unrequited feelings on “Nice guys finish last” perpetuates the dangerous assumption that males are entitled to women’s affection in exchange for selfless acts. It tells that a woman’s genuine appreciation for a good deed isn’t enough and that they are to blame if they don’t jump at the chance for a relationship.
There’s no denying that some of the males of THHS are kind, but that doesn’t mean these boys are ready for a relationship. Instead of strategizing each kind gesture that will bring them closer to a relationship, they should try starting off with a solid friendship first.