Shawn Mendes, “Nice Guys” And The Dangers of Male Entitlement

Ah the Nice Guy, the guy who you’ve been friends with for years, or have never met or talked to in your life. The guy that wants to start a relationship with you, or just stalks you relentlessly on social media.  The guy who disagrees with all your choices in men, including your choice to not want anything to do with him. The guy who wants whats best for you. Lets have a chat about these Nice guys.

I’ll start with Shawn Mendes.  Shawn Mendes feels entitled. He’s a young pop singer who has been making the usual teen-romance music. His songs may be catchy and right what the pop industry needs but they are problematic. The song I’m speaking of in particular is ‘Treat you Better’: a phrase many women have heard from self described nice guys who disagree with their choice of partner for no other reason than the fact that it is not them. This is Male entitlement.

Its the idea that they are owed something, from someone, just because they are male and apparently nice.  If said man doesn’t get what he wants, i.e. a specific woman, then the woman is somehow wrong and the partner she chose is not acceptable. Not only does the nice guy assume he has the right to make the choice for her, more frequently than not becoming aggressive and pathetically insulted, they usually end up citing that nice guy terminology ‘friend zoned’ as the reason for their justified upset.

Shawn Mendes perpetuates this ideology to young girls with his song that is nothing more than a mantra to these kind of men:

“I know I could treat you better than he can. A girl like you deserves a gentleman (yawn).

Tell me why your wasting time on all your wasted crying when you should be with me instead”.

Sorry, I just threw up in my mouth a bit.

This is it, this is how you recognize a nice guy. They know you better than you do, your needs, your wishes, what your tears mean,  your god damn daily fucking routine.

They also use vailed insults, that insinuate 1: your time is running out, because you will be older soon and thus less attractive and worthy of their attention. (The nice guy only wants you NOW, not in the future. Looks don’t last forever you know).

2: You’re fucking stupid. Are you seriously picking THAT guy over me, the gentleman?! I’ll  treat you with respect and pamper you like a princess (but only if you let me control everything about you and you are happy to live as a 1950’s housewife). God your choices are so fucking dumb and you’re even too stupid to see it.

They are also acutely aware of how great they are, how nice and intelligent, and thoughtful and respectful, that’s why they just want the best for you! And they are the best. Its a zero game darlin’ and that dude you chose over the nice guy is the worst. Think of the worst kind of person imaginable and triple it, that’s who you’ve chosen. He’s an asshole.

And then there’s the kicker, the ultimate nice guy trait that completes the picture: aggression. That’s right, nice guys are so bad at handling this rejection that aggression is the only way they know how to cope. Don’t believe me? Take a look at these gems and I cannot stress the Content warning enough (racism, sexual assault, threats, sexist profanity, violence…the list goes on):

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This is what male Entitlement looks like in all its glory, and it’s dangerous. If anybody thinks it’s acceptable to get this angry because they don’t have something they want (unless of course, you are a toddler, that’s legit the only time it’s acceptable), they need help, emotional help, see a therapist. Anger, I find, is a strong indicator of Entitlement. Imagine this scenario:

You drive to the supermarket looking to buy a jam donut. You get there and realise that they are all sold out, someone has just bought the last one. There are other donuts, just not the jam ones that you like. Any reasonable, stable human being would either pick a different one, or come back  when stock will be replenished. Right? That’s a normal response. I mean yeah it’s a bummer, it’s OK to feel bummed out, it’s OK to feel a bit put out, you were really looking forward to that donut. What’s not OK is getting aggressive and hurling insults at the jam donut you missed out on, threatening to tear it apart, calling it disgusting, and saying you didn’t even want it on the first place. That’s unjustified anger and it’s out of place. You weren’t entitled to the donut. The people who got their donuts had just as much of a right to buy them, and shouldn’t be treated with any less respect for having gotten there on time. But if you get incredibly angry, then you should seek some sort of help in dealing with your emotions, ’cause friend, that’s not OK.

 

But here’s where it gets important.  It IS dangerous. These kinds of men honestly believe they are entitled to women’s time and attention, entitled to a relationship, entitled to love and sex from the woman of THEIR choosing. This male entitlement mentality easily gets churned into hatred and violent resentment when the woman of THEIR choosing refuses to fulfill their duty and just give them what THEY want.  Its all about them.  This mentality turns them into the victim of some horrendous crime when their advances are rejected and sometimes, worst case scenarios yes but still worth delving into, become so overwhelmed with anger at their mistreatment that they physically take it out on other people.  In 2014 a young man by the name of Elliot Rodger went on a murderous rampage killing 6 men and women.  He recorded his reasons for this along with leaving behind a 140 page manifesto outlining his reasons for doing it, and the reason was essentially rejection and being neglected by women whom he felt entitled to their attention and love.  In these and his internet conversations with MRA’s he expressed incredibly violent views about women. He says in his video “For the last eight years of my life, ever since I hit puberty, I’ve been forced to endure a life of loneliness, rejection, and unfulfilled desires. All because girls have never been attracted to me. Girls gave their affection, and sex, and love, to other men. But never to me. I’m 22 years old, and I’m still a virgin”. he goes on to describe himself as the “perfect guy” and a “supreme Gentleman”.  His conversations online were heralded by like minded men, he was considered a hero, a brave young man who took matters in his own hands and showed women what would happen if they didn’t start treating men with the respect they deserved (read: are entitled to).

So while this case appears to be one of only a few, the fact that nice guys are everywhere is worrying, like seriously frightening. So a word of advice from me…

If a dude tells you that he feels friend zoned, I implore you, laugh in his face, or say something but don’t let it slide. This Friend zone or alternately zone of friendship (because really, whats so bad about being wanted as a friend and not a boyfriend?? Boundaries are healthy.) is an imaginary place where entitled men feel they are captured and left to rot when they don’t get what they want from you, which in all honesty is sex. There’s simply no way they would care about anything else if they really had any sort of respectable feelings for you.  If they indeed feel that for you then they would respect and support your choice of partner. They wouldn’t berate and belittle you for not choosing them. These kind of people assume you owe them something, and when their offer is not taken they feel it’s necessary to tell you what your missing out on i.e. A nice guy to date. If, even after explaining in great detail what will be missed out on, they are still rejected, a mantrum is likely to follow. This will include but not be limited to insults, threats, slut shaming, racism, negative comments on your body and how it’s not their cup of tea anyway, telling you your future which involves c-section scars, abusive relationships with deadbeat dads, a host of children, probably crabs, possibly an addiction of some sort… I could literally go on all day. I’ve seen every single one of these. If the Facebook page men shouting indistinctly has shown me anything, it’s that ‘nice guys are everywhere, they are dangerous and they certainly are not Nice.

Que the #notallniceguys are assholes comments.

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