You know a “nice guy.” He is usually the picture-perfect example of generic dudeness: everything from his clothes to his habits is carefully picked out to increase his likability with as wide a group of people as possible. He grins a lot and frequently refers to himself as a “nice, normal guy” who is “just looking for the right girl.” In general, the “nice guy” is easy to tolerate because he makes himself so tolerable. Need a metaphor? The “nice guy” is like vanilla ice cream (which, incidentally, happens to be his favorite flavor!): No one hates vanilla, it is just kind of there, waiting to be mixed with a more exciting flavor.
However, if you have ever rejected the romantic advances of a “nice guy” you have probably felt his wrath, or at least read his epic rant on his Blogspot or Facebook note or whatever about how all women suck because they don’t respect “nice guys” like him. The “nice guy” probably got rejected by some girl he had set his sights on for probably any number of reasons, but the “nice guy” has to turn this one rejection into a melodramatic and borderline violent missive about why every woman — in the history of womanity! — is a delusional idiot/female Hitler. This is why men who actively seek to identify themselves as “nice guys” suck: They want to seem so normal but given the chance they will reveal that they are really nothing more than repressed douchebags. They view the world as “nice guys” versus the “bad boys,” both vying for the attention of women. If a woman rejects a “nice guy” she is either a slut, a bitch or she is going to get hurt by some “bad boy” who will never, ever love her like the “nice guy” will! The two of you get along so well! You both love cheese!
It isn’t just their condescending attitude towards women and myopic view of the world that makes “nice guys” suck, it also because they sometimes turn out to be murderers. Take for example Phillip Markoff, a 22-year-old medical student at Boston University who was charged today with the murder of Julissa Brisman, a 26-year-old model who advertised herself on Craigslist as a “masseuse.” He was also charged with armed robbery and kidnapping in a separate case involving another sex worker. By almost all accounts of the people who met Markoff he was a “nice guy” and “clean-cut” (which is newspaper-speak for a white middle-class man). Stunned that a nice guy like Markoff would be an alleged murderer and robber of Craigslist sex workers? Well, it is a pretty sensational and story, mostly because Markoff is painted as being such a normal dude, and almost everyone supplies the same generic description of Markoff because he is probably a pretty generic “nice guy.” So what the hell was he doing (allegedly) robbing and murdering sex workers he met off of Craigslist? If you’ve seen the wrath of self-described “nice guys” you might understand that these men aren’t always what they seem.
I don’t mean to generalize (I don’t think all “nice guys” are secret murderers) and I do like nice people! In fact, my boyfriend is one of the nicest people I know. However, he would never actively describe himself as a “nice guy.” Why? Because in his mind, being pleasant and understanding of other people is considered, you know, normal. He doesn’t try to be nice, he just is nice. “Nice guys,” however, try very hard to appear nice and normal, even going to great lengths to stifle hints of a personality or opinion away so they can appear more “nice” overall. And that is why women reject them, time and time again.
Maybe Markoff isn’t a “nice guy,” but the boring way that people describe him as being “nice” make him sound like he has shades of “nice guy” in him. And you know what? It is always the nice ones.