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Monday, August 10, 2009

George Sodini: "Nice" Wasn't His Problem

Posted by on Mon, Aug 10, 2009 at 3:06 PM

Kate Harding writing on Salon has the best piece I've read about George Sodini:

There is something BLATANTLY wrong with me that NO goddam person will tell me what it is. Every person just wants to be fucking nice and say nice things to me. Flattery. Oh yeah, I am sure you can get a date anytime. You look good, etc. Pussies.

That line from the diary of Pennsylvania gym shooter George Sodini, written before he killed three women and himself, almost makes me feel bad for him. Almost. Because in among all the misogynistic and racist ranting that makes up the bulk of the diary, he actually showed a flash of insight: There was something blatantly wrong with him, and people who told him how nice and attractive he was probably were blowing sunshine up his ass....

Guys, you are not being rejected because you are too nice. Niceness is a positive characteristic. I doubt any straight woman—even the kind with a stated preference for "bad boys"—has ever said to herself, "Hmm, I'd be really into this guy if he weren't so compassionate, thoughtful, and respectful. If he'd just dick me around and insult me a little more, I'd want to rip his clothes off." If you get rejected by every woman you approach, the problem could be a million different things, but I guarantee it's not that you're just too kind for your own good. We tell you you're "nice" because we don't want to be rude, we don't want to risk your aggression, and most of all, we want you to leave us alone.

George Sodini knew he wasn't really a nice guy. He knew there was something "blatantly wrong" with him. He wished someone would tell him what it was. But who's going to say, "You seem to have a really deep hatred of women, and some serious rage issues, and a ludicrously overblown sense of entitlement, and I'm guessing you'd need about a hundred years of therapy before you'll be ready for a healthy relationship"? Certainly not any woman he approached at a bar, who only wanted him to go away as quickly as possible and without incident. Nor friends who, by all accounts, kept pulling away until he had none anymore. Probably not his family, whom he professed to despise. So that left R. Don Steele, whose best advice was, "Nice Guy Must Die."

Well, this one did, along with three innocent women.

Read the whole thing here.

 

Comments (107) RSS

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1
Ah, the age-old nice guy problem. Yes, niceness is a positive characteristic and no one gets dumped for being nice. But it is often accompanied with a characteristic that is the antidote to sexiness and the antidote to relationships: Being boring. People get dumped all the time for being boring. The right thing to say is "I need to be less boring so women will date me", not "I need to be an asshole so women will date me." But as a young man it's easy to confuse the two.
Posted by F on August 10, 2009 at 3:10 PM · Report this
2
I'd say that he did have a problem with being "nice", just not in the way he meant it, which is usually the problem:

http://www.heartless-bitches.com/rants/n… has a nice summation of this behavior (says the recovering "nice" guy)
Posted by Chris B http://eccentric-orbit.org on August 10, 2009 at 3:11 PM · Report this
TheMisanthrope 3
Reading other people's blogs, many straight women have said "He is too nice." These women are intelligent, sarcastic, and prefer their men to be intelligent, snarky, maybe even a little blunt or rude. But, wih insight. These women want somebody they can go toe to toe with.

Kate Harding is a bitch because she makes broad generalizations about women and nice guys in order to try to make sense of a brutal action that is outside the realm of sensible. Face it, Ms. Harding, women HAVE rejected men because they were too nice for time eternal. To start off any essay with a logical fallacy and broad generalizations is not a way to get any readers.

That being said, Sodini seemed to be that too eager creep that gets rejected for being too forward, too eager, too much...and was probably hiding something deep inside, but you don't know what and your red flag-o-meter is burning out in your head.

At least that was his videos to me.
Posted by TheMisanthrope on August 10, 2009 at 3:18 PM · Report this
Arsenic7 4
As someone who briefly thought of himself as a "nice guy," as a teen, I think this is right on.

If you're the nicest guy in the world, but have zero social skills, no one will ever know about just how nice you are.

If you are flawed, but can earn and keep friends, you can find sex and love. The problem is that there are a lot of shy/lonely people out there who don't know how to start a proper conversation or relate to others.
Posted by Arsenic7 on August 10, 2009 at 3:20 PM · Report this
5
There's nice and then there's a creepy obsequiousness that feels like the opposite of nice. Like being nice but with an agenda. I don't think Sodoni was that kind of guy. He seems far too full of rage to pull of that particular mask. This wasn't just about rejection, it also had to be that no one could possibly live up to his standards and that just pissed him off.
Posted by Westside forever on August 10, 2009 at 3:26 PM · Report this
Arsenic7 6
Including himself, Westside. He didn't seem like someone who was very happy at all with himself and that's something other people detect and avoid.
Posted by Arsenic7 on August 10, 2009 at 3:30 PM · Report this
Sargon Bighorn 7
Poor straight men,. poor poor straight men. Always at the bottom, always the last. Never getting respect. Never enjoying the power. Poor poor straight men.
Posted by Sargon Bighorn on August 10, 2009 at 3:32 PM · Report this
keshmeshi 8
Reading other people's blogs, many straight women have said "He is too nice."


As others have already noted, "He's too nice" is shorthand for "He's the most boring person I've ever met." I've also seen it used as shorthand for "He's a doormat." Some women prefer to date men they can dominate, but most don't.

Maybe Harding is painting men and women with too broad a brush, but I think she's dead on about Sodini. I bet he came off as a creep (a boring creep), and most people were too intimidated to say anything.
Posted by keshmeshi on August 10, 2009 at 3:44 PM · Report this
in-frequent 9
@2 everyone's experience is different. that article was very interesting, but the truth is there are different types of women and different types of nice guys. some guys are nice/boring, some are nice/insecure, and some are nice/nice. some women prefer interesting assholes to boring lap dogs. some women don't realize the guy likes them because he's too nice to make the first move. some women use nice guys and move on.

the only thing you are left with is a stereotype: women don't like nice guys.

@7 each person's experience is unique. i understand where you are coming from, but on the other hand, an individual person only has their experience to draw from. "nice guys" obviously are not saying all straight men are at the bottom. but some people are dealt a poor hand in life. sometimes that comes in the form of obvious discrimination, but other times it can be more subtle. you can be socially inept, overweight, or even ugly, and be left with a poor view of "society" because of the way you were treated.

this guy in particular it is difficult to have sympathy for. when we have problems we cope. most of us do, at least. and this guys seems to have few reasons to complain.
Posted by in-frequent on August 10, 2009 at 3:48 PM · Report this
10
1. the decor in his place was so sterile and lifeless and his proudest item was the cat 5 connector between two home computers on their little plastiform molded fake wood "desks." Not one picture of any people. His problem is not mere boringness, a fault of many, it's the lack of inner life.

2. Yet nothing explains it.

The commenters say he had inner rage and this drove women away but it, you know, begs the question, and I do think that's the proper use of that phrase....

the owmen are driven away by inner rage they sense, yet the awayness of da chix creates the inner rage = circular logic, not explaining anything.

chicken, egg, same problem.
Posted by PC on August 10, 2009 at 4:10 PM · Report this
JunieGirl 11
My current BF is a nice guy...truly nice, kind, easy to be with. Someone else might say "boring", but we have a lot of similar interests and so we are very companionable. He is conscious of the"nice = boring" standard, though, so he makes efforts to make sure I'm still interested and engaged in the relationship.

When you tell guys in a bar (or wherever you meet them) that they are "nice" without really knowing them, it is a gentle let-down. "You're really nice, but..." Kind of like telling a fat person that they have a nice face...it doesn't say all that it implies.

If this guy had an inkling that there was more to the rejections, he should have got his ass to a therapist--someone paid to be honest with him, rather than a friend who won't want to offend.

On the other hand, I have a friend who occasionally screws up his approaches to women, and while I strive to tell him the truth about what went wrong, I also don't want to crush him, so there has to be some way to mix the hard truth with some tonic to make it not quite such a bitter pill.
Posted by JunieGirl on August 10, 2009 at 4:12 PM · Report this
erin 12
so ,i heard something along these lines said on some blog comments about this :" when the white supremacist walked into the holocaust museum and killed people, people saw that he was an insane bastard who bought into a fucked up worldview and no one said anything about how, well, 'but jews sort of have been bitches to honkies sometimes', and discussed how his reaction to them was sort of sympathetic. "
why does @3 and all the people online who talk about the ways women reject men sound sort of sympathetic to an insane bastard who bought into a worldview that made him objectify, hate and kill women?
Why aren't people always pointing out that this worldview actually exists, and that men pay to hear it instead of pointing out that sometimes, women reject men for being "too nice" (please). Why not just come out and say he hated women and you understand a little bit?
Posted by erin on August 10, 2009 at 4:15 PM · Report this
Vince 13
For guys out there who can't get a date I suggest you get off the sofa and volunteer your time at a worthwhile charity. Concern yourself less with yourself and what others think of you and more about others and what you can do for them. I would be willing to bet you meet women who can see what kind of man you are for themselves and will like what they see. This obsession with satifying your own needs and the hell with everyone elses feelings and needs is a dead end.
Posted by Vince on August 10, 2009 at 4:15 PM · Report this
Arsenic7 14
@10, the shooter's logic may have been circular, but it was because he didn't realize his own power to change his situation. He felt that women were doing this to him BECAUSE he refused to change his personality, and he was right in that, but never did he understand that his personality needed to be, and could be, changed.
Posted by Arsenic7 on August 10, 2009 at 4:17 PM · Report this
rtm 15
oh, her point totally resonated. i'm reminded of a classmate who was super nice to the crazy guy in our class. i asked her why. she said "when he comes to class with an automatic weapon, i want him to think fondly of me."

Posted by rtm on August 10, 2009 at 4:27 PM · Report this
16
I've done the "you're nice, but..." brush-off on more than one occasion. Kate has it right, at least in my case, that there is fear associated with my response: I'm afraid that these guys are going to react badly, even if that particular person has never been physically violent toward me.

It was true, though, that many of the guys I've rejected were "nice." But the "niceness" was often a thin cover for desperation or anger. Often there was a correlation between nice-guy martyrdom and alcoholism, too, which I can't handle.

Should I have been more honest? I don't know if it would have solved anything. Do I feel guilt about not being more honest to some of the nice/desperate guys? Yes. But--I also don't think the "nice guys" actually listen when women try to tell them what they don't want to hear. They would rather throw tantrums with their friends about how horrible women are, and wonder why women won't fuck them. I mean, I'm a nice guy! She said! Girls hate nice guys. Stupid girls. Bitches.

Ugh.
Posted by lily on August 10, 2009 at 4:30 PM · Report this
17
Sorry nice guys, but I turned down a slew of truly NICE guys in my teens, 20s and early 30s simply because they bored me. Lots of women feel the same way and do the same thing, just like tons of "bad boy" guys turned me down for whatever fickle reasons people have. Maybe I was too nice. Who knows.

I grew up, met (yet another) nice guy and snagged him.

So don't kid yourself. Lots of women (like me) might say they want nice guys but they really want bad-boys because they offer adventure, a chase, mystery, escape. Then maybe they grow up (like me) and realize what truly matters, or else they get stuck with a bad-boy.

News flash: It's really, really, really hard to find love, despite what Hollywood/porn/videos/books lead us to believe. You have to accept your singleness, learn to love yourself, move on with life, and hope for the best. I was single for what seemed like forever. It sometimes truly sucked. But it sucks even more to be stuck with just yourself when you hate yourself. These dudes need to learn to love themselves and enjoy their own company and stop blaming others for their loneliness.
Posted by mitten on August 10, 2009 at 4:31 PM · Report this
Fnarf 18
@14, I think he believed that he was changing his personality, that he had made enormous sacrifices to be more likeable -- clean shirt, matching sofa and chair, bit of vacuuming, COME ON BITCHES WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME GRRRRRR.

This is what inadequate socialization means. He literally DOES NOT KNOW what being nice or being interesting means, so he's fair game for any huckster with a soothing line of patter about how you deserve a high grade of pussy and I'm going to tell you how to get it. The world is full of these men; we've seen some of them here on Slog, like the guy who insists that he's never going to "settle", as if choosing a mate is solely a business negotiation. Which, unfortunately, it often is.

There are women who are out of touch like this too, but they don't tend toward the violent so much (though I've met some who did). Women who lack interest and lack social skills more usually tend to believe that they deserve bad treatment, or have to put up with it in order to get a few grains of love. Men tend to think they're getting screwed out of what is rightfully theirs. Fortunately most of them are screwed down tight enough to keep them from shooting the place up, but every once in a while one of them goes off like this.

It's just the price we pay for living in a disconnected society.
Posted by Fnarf http://www.facebook.com/fnarf on August 10, 2009 at 4:35 PM · Report this
D310 19
How "Nice" can one be who walks into a room to commit pre-meditated murder (??)

I'm hoping that this individual (killer) [in actuality] had an undiagnosed mental illness. We should not presume that there is/was any rationale to this man's behavior.

When is America going to start addressing mental illness? Should it be so common that so many "normal" people have these brooding, underlying & veiled murderous impulses?
Posted by D310 on August 10, 2009 at 4:35 PM · Report this
20
I used to have a problem along those lines myself, for various reasons including social isolation and overmedication on antidepressants which numbed me and caused severe sleep deprivation, all of which impaired my ability to read other people's reactions to me and to function appropriately socially. I could not read other people's moods at all, and because of that I was sort of a disaster around other people, although people did seem to like me they wouldn't spend time around me except at work. Instead of anger I was afraid, which increased the isolation and compounded the problem. I could not learn how to be around people because I wasn't much, and when I was I could not tell what was going on because I couldn't pick up on other people's emotional cues, or even verbal cues. I would misread all the time, thinking people were angry with me or disgusted by me. I thought I was just doomed to it, but it took going off the meds, return of regular sleep and time to catch up socially, to fix this. It's easy to see a mild version of this in people who are very nervous, in their case it is fear impairing their ability to read other people, with the same results. If he never learned how to socialize well, for whatever reason, and ended up being isolated because of it, and there was no one to help him, and it just went on and on, there is nothing to correct the trend, nothing to break him out of the cycle. If he works hard to justify his situation (which most people would do), logically proving why things are as they are, and there is no one to call his bullshit, it is actually pretty easy to create a worldview like his. Acting on it is something else, but to live like he did isn't as unusual as you would think. There are plenty of socially inept hermits out there, you just don't generally hear from them until someone is in pain enough and angry enough to blow something up. Far more common to just suicide.
More...
Posted by better now on August 10, 2009 at 4:37 PM · Report this
memorex 21
@10
Thank you, PC, for your correct usage of "begs/begging the question". It seems like it gets used incorrectly about 99.9% of the time.
Posted by memorex on August 10, 2009 at 4:45 PM · Report this
yucca flower 22
Self described "Nice Guys" aren't usually nice people. Women can sense the crazy/creepy coming off them. Many a time a "Nice Guy" has come up to me and pretended to think I was smart, pretended to care about my opinions, pretended to care about my politics, pretended to care about the art, books, music I like.....but within a few minutes I realize they're faking it. They're only pretending to care so they can get in my pants. I'd rather date an honest jerk who tells me straight up he's not interested in anything but sex than some "Nice Guy" douche bag that's pretending to be interested in me. The same "Nice Guy" who whines about how horrible and shallow women are because they judge him on his looks, job, car, education and is the same man who only wants to date a virginal, subservient and mildly dim swimsuit model. The "Nice Guy" is the one who doesn't really like or respect women but wants a young, hot one hanging on his arm as a trophy to show off to other guys.

When I was 18-19 years old (Sodin's preferred age range), I would have been one of those girls who kept telling him, "You seem like a nice guy." Do you know why? Because girls in this country are brainwashed into never being rude, honest, or blunt. They're taught to "Keep Sweet" and feminism is a dirty word. When I was that age and said, "You seem like a nice guy." I was really thinking, "You seem like a nice guy to my face but I know you're really not!". Now that I'm a woman and not some spineless little girl I tell a guy this to his face. I imagine Sodini would have heard it too if he'd dated women his own age.
Posted by yucca flower on August 10, 2009 at 5:44 PM · Report this
Confluence 23
@13

You're absolutely right and you're awesome. Get the focus off yourselves and on helping others. When you're deeply involved in something other than yourself (particularly charity work), the women will come. Plus, a big side bonus of helping others is that it's a great way to ensure your own happiness. How the hell else do you think the priests and nuns of the world put up with a lifetime of celibacy and convent food??
Posted by Confluence on August 10, 2009 at 6:27 PM · Report this
24
Would the men who empathize with Sodini empathize with a 48 year old reclusive woman who shot a bunch of males at a gym because she was frustrated in her attempts to get laid by hot college boys? (and only by hot college boys, because everyone knows men over the age of 30 are bitter). Would these same males think it natural that the woman should blog about seeing a hot young man leaving her older female neighbor's, and how she then masturbated (frequently) to the idea of them having sex? Because, naturally, if the young man was at her neighbor's, it *had* to be because they were having hot sex, right? Right?

How about empathizing with the older female having to shell out money for expensive seminars that teach her how to nab hot young men. Starting with learning to not be nice. Because hot young men don't want to date nice women. According to the seminar.

Or how about empathizing with her for not getting dates with hot college guys, despite the fact she has a matching sofa and chair in her living room. Those smug obnoxious male bitches. You just can't please them no matter how hard you try!

Change the genders around, and see with fresh eyes how sick this all is.
Posted by Absinthe on August 10, 2009 at 8:07 PM · Report this
25
Thank you, @12.
Posted by lori, ohio on August 10, 2009 at 8:09 PM · Report this
26
@20, continued - sorry I forgot the whole damn point. No one would tell me what my problem was. They were being nice. Had to find someone who would speak honestly to me about how I was behaving to learn how to behave better. Only someone who really likes you will go out on a limb like that, or someone who really hates you. But the hater will be abusive and the friend will not. It is rare to find someone who will do this for you with kindness. It's a lot of work, but it helped immensely. The guy had a point. If no one will tell him (out of kindness, or fear, or just lack of caring) how is he supposed to know? He's not capable of knowing what piece is missing on his own, he just knows it's missing.
Posted by better now on August 10, 2009 at 8:21 PM · Report this
27
@19 - a mental illness is a neurological condition (biological brain functioning). What this guy has is pathological (based on life experiences, nurture, etc.). Generally speaking, pathology is what makes people violent towards others, not mental illness, though mental illness can certainly *exacerbate* some violent tendencies and make them wildly unpredictable.

The stereotype about mental illness and people being "crazy" in the damaging, violent sense of the word being one and the same is utter bullshit and does a lot of damage to people living with depression, bipolar, or schizophrenia who manage to handle their symptoms and go about their lives more or less normally and without fucking up other people's lives.
Posted by laurelgardner http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=5877570 on August 10, 2009 at 8:35 PM · Report this
28
@26 - yeah, but that's the point of FRIENDS. Close friends are the ones who are supposed to tell you what's wrong with you, not the people you're trying to pick up in bars, who have no idea if you're a nutjob. And if you're so fucked up that you have no friends, either? You get your ass to a therapist, not a pick-up "artist."
Posted by laurelgardner http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=5877570 on August 10, 2009 at 8:38 PM · Report this
29
@24: where are these men who empathize with Sodini? Maybe I read the wrong blogs. . . .
Posted by midwaypete on August 10, 2009 at 9:39 PM · Report this
Sea J 30
@15 That was Dane Cook.
Posted by Sea J on August 10, 2009 at 10:10 PM · Report this
31
@24 -- I used to work with that woman. She was in her late 40s, 100 lbs overweight, smarmy and snide. And she was obsessed with bagging a WSU football player. Any WSU football player. She only wore red and black clothes and hadn't missed a WSU football game since her freshman year in 1976. Never have I been so relieved to be fired from a job so I could get away before she snapped.
Posted by Smartypants on August 10, 2009 at 11:28 PM · Report this
TheMisanthrope 32
@12 I would engage you in some sort of conversation, but your grammar is atrocious. Thus, you're too stupid to have even read my comment, nonetheless understand it. Nor, did you even read my screen name. Try again, with style.
Posted by TheMisanthrope on August 10, 2009 at 11:51 PM · Report this
D310 33
@ 27:

Re: "What this guy has is pathological (based on life experiences, nurture, etc.".

Good point about the distinction between mental illness and pathology but it should be said those two have surely been confused before in human history-so relax a bit. In fact, no one has yet conclusively determined which of the two this "nice" guy had.

"The stereotype about mental illness...is utter bullshit."

Though I don't wish to be "damaging" towards people with mental illness, my earlier point references people with undiagnosed mental illnesses (and/or "pathologies") and our society's ignorance of them...God bless all the bipolar, schizophrenic, depressed folks out there actually taking their meds.
Posted by D310 on August 10, 2009 at 11:55 PM · Report this
34
@27 Thank you for saying this. If we stop using mental illness to justify/rationalize every act of violence, maybe people like me won't be constantly shamed by their relatives & friends into not talking about their mental problems.

I think I've met guys like Sodini. For some reason, they view dating as an art or something, which objectifies the woman and creates this abstract faceless "she". I knew a guy who was 17 and he had already been in like a dozen relationships, all of which were invariably ended by the girl. Although he was extremely "nice" and probably the "best" boyfriend you could imagine at 17 - he would give me flowers, he was always very caring and tender and shit like that. I didn't dump him because he was too nice - and god knows he was, really, nice - but because it was really creepy when I found out that he kept a diary where he (carefully and respectfully) listed all the girls he had been with. The abstract fact of having a girlfriend was obviously more important to him that being with me.

Obviously there must be women like that, not just guys.
Posted by puddles on August 11, 2009 at 12:08 AM · Report this
35
I'm thinking about all the men I've ever had crushes on. All of them. Nice nerds. ALL of them. I think of one guy I slept with wasn't. So, since I slept with one jerk, I guess that proves the whole "women want bad guys" theory. The one I married, a true nice guy geek who I thank my Reason for every day, he doesn't count.

When he was about 13, he used to follow a girl around the halls. He got suspended for being a stalker. Yeah, it was not a good thing he did. He was also 13 years old. Sexual immaturity. He might've been a bad nice guy at 18, 20. But not at 30. Still nice, not bitter, and most importantly, not under the immature, bitter, ignorant attitude that I would stay with him if only he were a jerk. Every single, "no, honey, you stay down on the couch, I'll cook. Stay down," is etched in my brain, making me feel almost guilty for my coup.
Posted by Hellbound Alleee on August 11, 2009 at 6:48 AM · Report this
36
"God bless all the bipolar, schizophrenic, depressed folks out there actually taking their meds."

Um...no. The "they're fine if they take their meds" stereotype is also bullshit. Meds aren't a cure. In fact, for some people, they make the situation WORSE. Living well with a mental illness is not as simple as "take these pills," but many people handle their fear about these disorders by judging a person with MI entirely based on whether they've swallowed a tablet today and getting moralistic about people who haven't.

A good friend of mine with severe BP has spent the last couple of years weaning herself off medication because taking it had caused her to gain over 150 pounds (she used to be a triathalon-er and rescue diver) while creating other mental issues for her (mostly destroying her intellect). She worked with her shrink to replace meds with measures like excersize, therapy, and diet. However, some of the other doctors at her shrink's office got wind of this and basically set out doing everything they could to destroy her life. This girl had NO history whatsoever of violence against others, yet they proclaimed that she was a danger because she didn't take her meds, got her employers involved and told them they needed to babysit her and report back to them, put her under house arrest, etc. Those asshats eventually got their licenses revoked for that, but this sort of thing is not uncommon. Good people with a good handle on their personal problems can get treated like criminals because there's so much misunderstanding, even among the so-called "professionals."
Posted by laurelgardner http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=5877570 on August 11, 2009 at 7:34 AM · Report this
37
"Good point about the distinction between mental illness and pathology but it should be said those two have surely been confused before in human history-so relax a bit."

Fuck, no! The history of how folks with mental illness have been treated by society and institutions is exactly why I will NOT "relax a bit." We're still just decades away from treating people with any kind of mental health diagnosis in a worse way than we treat violent criminals, sticking them in locked institutions and subjecting them to mandatory "treatments" that were just veiled forms of torture.

"In fact, no one has yet conclusively determined which of the two this "nice" guy had."

Interesting that you would point that out, since you were the one who first thought to leap to conclusions about it.
Posted by laurelgardner http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=5877570 on August 11, 2009 at 7:47 AM · Report this
Arsenic7 38
While there are certainly concerns with just brushing off every violent criminal as mentally insane, surely mentally ill people are driven to violence because of their delusions, from time to time. Denying that doesn't help ill people get treatment or respect.
Posted by Arsenic7 on August 11, 2009 at 8:10 AM · Report this
Collin 39
@27, 28, 36, etc...

What the hell are you talking about? A difference between "Pathology" and "Mental Illness?" So unless someone can find a physical abnormality on a CT scan, its not *REAL* depression, its the fake kind?

Mental illness has a variety of causes, most of which are barely understood. To jump up and say Sodini had the fake kind of mental illness is to practice the worst kind of armchair psychology. There are a whole list of things that could've been wrong with Sodini, ranging from Schizophrenia and bipolar disorder to a range of personality disorders. Chances are, we'll never entirely know what was wrong with Sodini, but, if I had to put my money on it, I'd bet he had one of the "real" kind of "mental illness."

By the way, your story in 36 reeks of bullshit.
Posted by Collin on August 11, 2009 at 8:31 AM · Report this
in-frequent 40
@22 your post isn't really about this maniac, but rather about yourself. as such, i'd like to say that many guys are just trying to figure things out, just like you were (are?). if a little insecurity can make a real nice guy seem a little insincere why not cut him some slack? i'm not saying women have to sleep with him, date him, or even talk with him. but how do you honestly "know" he is not nice? (i think guys should cut women some slack, too, just for the record.) but at least you say *something*... i think the worst is when a person outright refuses to say anything at all.

and i understand partly why women respond the way they do. many have learned from jerk guys who cannot take a hint that you must be as clear as possible to get the message across. i say give them one polite response, and if they don't knock it off, then they deserve whatever you can (verbally) throw at them.

in my mind, this would have changed nothing with this crazy man, but it might make it easier on the rest of us non-killers out here.

Posted by in-frequent on August 11, 2009 at 9:07 AM · Report this
41
Collin @ 39

You obviously are not, nor ever known, a mentally ill person. The drugs you take to help with your mental illness can simply stop working after a while and they can have hellish side affects. Exercise really does help depression - it's just so hard to get off the fucking couch when you are truly depressed. So don't judge the story in @36 - I've had some terrible reactions to the drugs I take for my Mental Illness and I can understand why people simply stop taking theirs.

As for whether Sodini had a 'real' mental illness or not - I don't think it matters. The guy was an asshole who killed 3 women and shot many more. Having or not having a mental illness doesn't absolve him of the crime he commited.

Personally, I'm sick of people who instantly claim that any horrible murder spree like this *must* be the result of mental illness. The rate of crime in those who have been declared to have a mental illness is lower than in the general population. It's mental laziness to declare that all violent criminals must be insane. It absolves them of the blame and it absolves society in it's part for encouraging criminal behavior.
Posted by Schweighsr on August 11, 2009 at 9:58 AM · Report this
D310 42
@37

Re:I'm hoping that this individual (killer) [in actuality] had an undiagnosed mental illness. We should not presume that there is/was any rationale to this man's behavior. -Original comment

I never concluded "Mr. Nice Guy" was mentally ill but rather suggested he might be, more or less. I don't know that, and neither do you or anyone else as of yet.

My sympathies for your friend and all those who were mistreated while seeking help for their problems. However, being deferential to mistreated patients because of society's ignorance and mishandling of mental health issues, etc...doesn't address the reality that there are plenty of undiagnosed people walking around every day...and some of them (and others) may be dangerous. That's the point... I'm not saying we should round them up, quarantine them, drug them and mistreat them like criminals(!!??) I just think they (like a lot of us)...need help.
Posted by D310 on August 11, 2009 at 10:09 AM · Report this
Collin 43
@41 -

I have volunteered and been employed to work with the mentally ill and substance abusers in the past in research and clinical environments, but you are correct in assuming that I wouldn't classify myself as mentally ill.

The part of 36's story that made me call bullshit wasn't the the part about the medication, but it was the part about how all the "doctors at her shrink's office" went out to "destroy her life." The story of an entire team of mental health professionals going out, breaking confidentiality, talking to a patient's employer, trying to put her under house arrest, etc, lacks any believability. If they thought she truly was "a danger to herself", as the poster claims, there are very strict procedures for what they should do, and calling someone's boss instead of following those procedures is crazy. The story reads like a script for a bad suspense movie. (In a world... where your shrink is out to get you...)

Does it matter if he had a "real" mental illness? Yes, I think it does. Does it absolve him of responsibility? No, but he's dead. No one will ultimately be held to account for what happened. If he had lived, no, it doesn't absolve him of responsibility. Seeking an explanation and an understanding of what happens (which is what the mental illness talk does) is a natural response to a tragedy to try to understand the cause of the event. Clearly, from this guy's videos he was not processing the world in the same way that most of the population does.

That doesn't mean he was mentally ill, but I would call it a red flag. The shooting spree would be another one.
Posted by Collin on August 11, 2009 at 10:46 AM · Report this
Collin 44
@41 - Oops. Forgot one thing.

Can you please cite your source your claim that criminals are mentally ill at a lower rate than the general population? My understanding is that the opposite is true.
Posted by Collin on August 11, 2009 at 10:48 AM · Report this
Gin Gin Bon Bon 45
@3, I initially stopped reading your comment at "Kate Harding is a bitch", but you are too wrong for me to leave it alone. She is precisely NOT trying to make some bullshit feminist argument to make sense of what happened.

1. George Sodini knew there was something wrong with him.

2. It wasn't and isn't anyone's job to tell guys like this what it is that's wrong with them, or to get their asses to therapy and stay there for a long, long time, although that would be great. It also wouldn't make a fucking difference, because

3. The world was not withholding any of this relevant information from Sodini to begin with. He CHOSE to go the pickup artist route, not because it was objectively or subjectively the best course of action, but because it did not challenge his poor opinion of women, among other things.

This business about social conditioning, personal responsibility and aggression is separate from the point I think you were trying to make, btw. Talk about fallacies...
Posted by Gin Gin Bon Bon http://uneviedechien.wordpress.com on August 11, 2009 at 11:05 AM · Report this
46
In my experience, this article is dead on. In life, I’m generally very direct and assertive, but being approached by men I have been more “polite.” There can be a lot of aggression in typical come on situations and any time I’ve been too tired/fed up to give the gentle brush off and actually just said I wasn’t attracted it’s escalated the situation instead of diffusing it. You would think that saying “I’m just not attracted to you” would end the situation, but it often leads to being berated/defensively questioned/embarrassed publicly. Admittedly, giving standard “I have a boyfriend” responses is dumb, but the alternative can be a drawn out, insulting and off putting experience.

This really isn’t a matter of nice, not nice in my mind, but of genuine vs. fake approaches. Fake approaches give the impression that people (gender neutral here, women can be fake/creepy just as much as men) have something to hide/no social skills/are untrustworthy. These are pretty universally unattractive traits.
Posted by blondesnotbombs on August 11, 2009 at 11:15 AM · Report this
47
In my experience, this article is dead on. In life, I’m generally very direct and assertive, but being approached by men I have been more “polite.” There can be a lot of aggression in typical come on situations and any time I’ve been too tired/fed up to give the gentle brush off and actually just said I wasn’t attracted it’s escalated the situation instead of diffusing it. You would think that saying “I’m just not attracted to you” would end the situation, but it often leads to being berated/defensively questioned/embarrassed publicly. Admittedly, giving standard “I have a boyfriend” responses is dumb, but the alternative can be a drawn out, insulting and off putting experience.

This really isn’t a matter of nice, not nice in my mind, but of genuine vs. fake approaches. Fake approaches give the impression that people (gender neutral here, women can be fake/creepy just as much as men) have something to hide/no social skills/are untrustworthy. These are pretty universally unattractive traits.
Posted by blondesnotbombs on August 11, 2009 at 11:18 AM · Report this
48
when most people say someone is "too nice", the comment is more about the speaker's lazy/poor use of language than a true measure of the person being spoken about. people aren't any better at using language than they are at driving cars, most people can manage to stay alive, and get through most everyday situations, but it doesn't mean they are doing a good job of 1) assessing other people, and 2) describing their assessment. "too nice" is often a catchall for "too boring", "too passive", "too ugly", "too poor", etc. it's a phrase that can mean the speaker is lazy, dumb, or maybe doesn't want to be heard to say that someone isn't pretty or rich enough for him.
it's also about culture, properly socialized people do no tell you are a terrifying nutbag when you chat them up. nor do they say, "you are too thin", "you are too stupid", or "i don't like your nose" for me. properly socialized people decline politely.
this guy seems to have heard "you're a nice guy", because women were afraid of him, and his terrifying behavior.
harding is right in seeing that this isn't a statement about "nice guys finish last", it's a statement about psychology, language, & social culture.
rock on @45
Posted by cranky on August 11, 2009 at 11:32 AM · Report this
49
Nice guys don't plan and execute murder suicide attacks.
Posted by renegadesolutions on August 11, 2009 at 11:33 AM · Report this
50
This man had trouble connecting with his own emotions and those of females. I wonder if he was among the many with Asperger's Disorder, on the Autism spectrum? These people find it difficult if not impossible to read and conntect to the emotional communication signals most of us read without thought. They are often shunned, bullied, or ignored. Is it any wonder they have rage? And as the numbers grow to 1 in 150 births, this will only grow. Could these murders be a signal of things to come?
Posted by lrobertson511 on August 11, 2009 at 1:29 PM · Report this
51
May I also add. This man was 48 years old. Autism and Aspbergers was unknown then. No one told him because no one understood. I think he struggled to find an answer, unfortunately in the wrong place.
Posted by lrobertson511 on August 11, 2009 at 1:32 PM · Report this
52
Erin, brilliant post. Nobody made excuses for the racist who committed murder in the Holocaust Museum or for the people who think like him. So why is anyone making excuses for misogynist Sodini or any of the other misogynist psychos?

Sadly, I know why. Because even in the 21st century, it's still acceptable to display open contempt toward women just because we are women. There are self-help books, videos, and seminars to validate this contempt. But by far, the internet provides the perfect venue for the misogynists to congregate, commiserate, validate each other, and plot revenge.

What I don't understand is this: if the misogynists hate us women so much, why are they obsessed with being with us?

I also want to know why if women are so evil and worthless, why do the misogynists take our rejections so badly? If we're sh*t, our opinions shouldn't matter, right?

Posted by tisha on August 11, 2009 at 2:07 PM · Report this
53
Check out some of the forums and blogs you find when you search on "PUA" (pick-up artists) and "alpha male". Very scary.
Posted by tisha on August 11, 2009 at 2:33 PM · Report this
54
Wait, I'm sorry, are we arguing the merits of whether the "cute girls don't like nice guys," stereotype has any bearing on the actions of a depraved killer? Evidently we are. And so are the nice folks over at Slate.

Interesting.

I doubt anyone is still reading this thread, but I believe "nice guy" means completely different things in different contexts? Attractive young women who have a lot of sex aren't interested in "nice guys" for the same reason attractive young guys who have a lot of sex aren't interested in "nice girls"; neither group wants to get involved with someone who is going to ask them for a commitment of any kind, because they're at a stage in their lives when they're enjoying having a lot of sex with a lot of different people.

This is totally separate from another context, in which women who are attracted a slightly ridiculous version of "romance" don't like "nice guys" because these women have a perfectly healthy attraction to a certain amount of light masochism. These women avoid "nice guys" because "nice guys" are uncomfortable with, or refuse to respond to, the woman's subtle requests for a little rough trade.

Then there are women who use "nice" as a euphemism for "physically unattractive." Contrary to what seems to be the contention this thread, this practice goes both ways -- men (particularly the "nice" ones) have a million euphemisms for "unattractive" that are basically designed to spare women's feelings. I think women should stop doing it if men can stop doing it, but I don't want to hear any of this shit blaming men for women's eating disorders after the fact.

And then sometimes "nice" just means, "I'm into someone else who is nothing like you," or "I'm married, you idiot," or "I don't date black guys," or whatever. It means a lot of shit in a lot of different contexts and trying to nail it down to one specific thing is completely futile and, under certain circumstances, disingenuous.

Which brings me back to the article in question. I'd like to look at one statement in particular:

"it is not okay to set solid and distinct boundaries and reinforce them immediately and dramatically when crossed ('mean bitch')... it is not okay to make personal decisions that the adults or other peers in your life do not agree with, and it is not okay to refuse to explain those decisions to others ('stuck-up bitch')... it is not okay to completely and utterly shut down somebody who obviously likes you ('mean dyke/frigid bitch)."


This here? Is bullshit. It describes a certain social dynamic that some women deal with in certain kinds of situations. For example -- if a woman is in a bar where people gather in order to have semi-anonymous sex or short-term hookups, that bar has a certain culture that defines how to approach, how to be approached, and how to wave someone off. If you break the rules of that very specific environment, people will react badly because breaking the rules is the equivalent, in that context, of starting to talk to someone and then recoiling in horror. It's like getting off the freeway before the exit. It means something has gone horribly wrong and, in a pickup bar context, that something is implicitly the person who just bought you a drink. And just as a point of order? In those kinds of bars, a guy who breaks the rules in his approach or, god forbid, rejection, will be just as harshly attacked.

It's like the idea that a straight man should be able to walk into a gay bar and completely flip out if someone grabs his ass -- sorry, that's just bullshit. The gay bar isn't just a place for people who happen to be gay, it's a place where people (mostly but not exclusively men) go to hook up in a certain way, and the culture of that kind of hookup involves some ass-grabbing. Don't like it? Don't go to that kind of bar. And if you go to that kind of bar by accident and have an interaction you don't like, leave. The solution to that problem is not to condemn gay culture and everyone involved in it.

This is not to say that women aren't forced to deal with obnoxious guys in other contexts.

But the popular standard for what kind of rejection is acceptable also broadens in a context where the micro-culture doesn't endorse a certain approach; if a woman is sitting in the Pacific Inn on a Tuesday reading a book and having a drink and a guy walks up and hits on her in a really obnoxious way and she shuts him down hard, contrary to the assertion in the article, most people are going to be pretty accepting of what she does. The bartender will back her play, the other patrons in the bar will back her, and people might even clap if the guy leaves.

This article -- and most of these comments -- generalize an extreme sort of behavior that exists in a very narrow social context and attempts to criticize the wider culture based on that behavior. It is, at best, a misguided effort.
More...
Posted by Judah http://www.suoxi.net on August 11, 2009 at 2:37 PM · Report this
55
lrobertson, your pity for Sodini is very disturbing.

If Sodini's hatred had been directed toward an ethnic minority, the adherents of a particular religion, children, or any other group of people other than women, you wouldn't excuse him.

But because Sodini's hatred was directed toward women, you can muster compassion for him. Why is that?

Why can't you just admit that Sodini was a worthless piece of sh*t misogynist unworthy of any sympathy? It doesn't matter if he was an Aspie or not. The guy was a woman-hating monster. I just wish he'd turned the gun on himself first.
Posted by tisha on August 11, 2009 at 2:47 PM · Report this
56
Judah, you wrote "if a woman is in a bar where people gather in order to have semi-anonymous sex or short-term hookups..."

Um, are you SURE that the women in the bar define the bar as a place for sex/hookups just because YOU do? Maybe they're just there because it's a popular place with lots of people and good music to dance to. And maybe they are nice women looking for nice guys. It's possible, I know, I used to go to bars, and I NEVER went there because I was looking for sex.

This is like the age-old BS that women "ask" to be raped if they clothing that is perceived as sexy.

I will however agree with you that many young people, men and women, are interested in dating lots of people and aren't interested in settling down quickly. But Sodini wasn't so much looking for a long term relationship as he was looking to get laid.
Posted by tisha on August 11, 2009 at 2:56 PM · Report this
Collin 57
@56

I completely disagree with you. Never, in any circumstance, is it ok to rape someone. It is acceptable to flirt with and hit on other people. I think conflating the two diminishes how bad rape is, and makes getting hit on at a bar seem worse than it should be.

If you are at a club or a bar like Venom or The Last Supper Club, you're going to need to expect that you're going to be flirted with and hit on. Maybe that's not why YOU'RE there, but a lot of people are there for that reason. You do have the right to be free from harm and intimidation, but you don't have a right to be free from human interaction when you're in a club. You have to expect that in a place with alcohol and music people are going to want to interact with you. If you don't like the interactions that go on at places like that, don't go there.
Posted by Collin on August 11, 2009 at 3:34 PM · Report this
58
Um, are you SURE that the women in the bar define the bar as a place for sex/hookups just because YOU do?


First of all, I've never tried to pick up a woman in a bar in my life. I have been picked up by women in bars twice -- once at a bar I was working in and once when I rescued a woman from a mosh pit where some frat boys were beating the crap out of her. But I've never hit on a woman in a bar, I've never gone home with a woman I met in a bar, and I've never gone to a bar because I thought it would be a pace I could hook up. So thanks for personalizing that, asshole. That said,

Maybe they're just there because it's a popular place with lots of people and good music to dance to.


Or maybe it's both. Maybe it's a popular place with lots of people because most of them are there to get laid, and dealing with some gropers is the price you pay for going there. I used to go to Neighbors with friends all the time. Not really my scene, but they liked it because they were straight women and they wanted to have a certain kind of good time while avoiding a certain kind of guy. I wasn't there to hook up -- I was just there to have a few drinks with my friends. And sometimes someone would grope me. Shit happens. But those were the rules of Neighbors and no actual harm results from the touching, so no big. Because my intended use of the place doesn't define what that place is for other people. The place is what it is, and I sort of have to take it on its own terms.

This is like the age-old BS that women "ask" to be raped if they clothing that is perceived as sexy.


Why yes, it's exactly like that. The use of legal but unpleasant language that occurs in pickup bars, ("bitch!" "nice tits!") is exactly the same as an illegal and physically devastating battery (rape). You're very perceptive.
More...
Posted by Judah http://www.suoxi.net on August 11, 2009 at 3:46 PM · Report this
59
If Sodini's hatred had been directed toward an ethnic minority, the adherents of a particular religion, children, or any other group of people other than women, you wouldn't excuse him.


Or, as someone else put it,

" when the white supremacist walked into the holocaust museum and killed people, people saw that he was an insane bastard who bought into a fucked up worldview and no one said anything about how, well, 'but jews sort of have been bitches to honkies sometimes', and discussed how his reaction to them was sort of sympathetic. "


It's interesting to me that people can't distinguish these cases, and why an observer would have a different reaction to them. Because, for one thing, of course, there are those who defend the actions being described: white supremacists, religious extremists and so on all defend those sorts of things. Those people aren't generally on Slog, but they certainly exist.

And also, more specifically -- nobody would ever defend the white supremacist who walks into the Holocaust museum and starts killing people. But they might at least we willing to consider the motives of a Palestinian who walked into a Holocaust museum and started killing people. The white supremacist and the Palestinian are equally wrong, but because the Palestinian's motives are comprehensible, there may be some possibility that the circumstances that turned him into a killer can be altered and prevent murders of that sort in the future.

I don't happen to think this Sodini thing one one of those. I think he was a nutjob, and that his actions are therefore non-mitigatable. But other people disagree, and their efforts to empathize with him seem to me to be reflections of an effort to parse his motives so they can be addressed, more than any kind of genuine sympathy with his behavior.
More...
Posted by Judah http://www.suoxi.net on August 11, 2009 at 3:58 PM · Report this
The Max 60
I think Dan got it right sometime back: straight women are attracted to power. Power here means successfulness, confidence, and self-control. That's why you see so many hot, smart, otherwise sensible women with tremendous walking assholes. Niceness is an asset when you're projecting power. But it can draw negative attention when something in the power department is lacking.
Posted by The Max on August 11, 2009 at 4:36 PM · Report this
The Max 61
Sodini, for example, lacked the self control to keep his gun in his pants where it belonged. No wonder he couldn't get laid.
Posted by The Max on August 11, 2009 at 4:38 PM · Report this
in-frequent 62
I don't think rational people are blaming women for Sodini's actions... it's just that the topics are interesting. Just like Columbine, we analyze every detail we can get to see if we can figure out the exact "cause", or learn something from in. in that process, we come across other interesting topics that may have very little to do with Sodini snapping, but are nonetheless interesting to examine.

i liked @54. context is essential. along those lines, i think there are other kinds of "nice" usages out there. there's the i kind of know you nice, there's the i know you well nice, and there's the don't know you immediate rejection "nice". confusing them makes for difficult conversation. Sodini seems to fall into the don't know you immediate rejection nice, where there may have been something obviously wrong with him. many of the other comments, however, have been about some of the other kinds of "nice" men: different situations and people altogether. some of the other "nice" guys might actually be "nice". in sodini's case, we don't really know at all what vibe he was giving off. but when he was told he was nice is was a polite if insincere rejection, not a friend refusing to be specific.
Posted by in-frequent on August 11, 2009 at 4:45 PM · Report this
Greg 63
@62: We don't even know who, when, or in what circumstances women told him he was "nice." All we have is the word of a murderer to go on, and that isn't worth much.
Posted by Greg on August 11, 2009 at 5:17 PM · Report this
64
""Hmm, I'd be really into this guy if he weren't so compassionate, thoughtful, and respectful. If he'd just dick me around and insult me a little more, I'd want to rip his clothes off.""

Unfortunately I've known quite a few women who felt exactly this way.
Posted by bassplayerguy on August 11, 2009 at 6:06 PM · Report this
65
@54, I agree with your points about context, but I've experienced the most frightening reactions when turning down men in public places, mainly while just walking down the street during the day. I'm a shy and extremely polite person, and will usually say, "I have a boyfriend" because I am scared. I've been verbally abused by guys a number of times for turning them down. At one point in life I gained a lot of weight, then became acquainted with a delightful new kind of guy--the ones who think all fat women are horny/lonely and easy to lay. Boy, the outrage when I turned THEM down! How dare a fat bitch be picky?? (Little did they know, I wasn't interested in sex with ANYBODY at that point.) They would call me a fat bitch to my face, right on the street. As a shy person, I found this frightening and traumatic. (Though one time I argued back, "If I'm such a fat ass, why are you trying to f--k me?" Then the guy started flirting again! People are so schizo about fat.)

I sympathize a lot with guys who are having trouble meeting women, and the frustration that stems from that. However, I wish they'd understand how women are often intimidated by them and will be overly nice to defuse a potentially violent situation.

Posted by annalisa on August 11, 2009 at 11:06 PM · Report this
Uriel-238 66
As a fellow diagnosee laurelgardner when I was institutionalized, my doctors would openly instruct me, and my fellow clients (now we're consumers; names for patients get rotated every few years) to lie when I was too crazy to go to work or social functions. Attribute it to physical illness or injury, they'd advise, as many people just do not understand or condone mental illness. Heck, it'll be interesting to note how long it is before someone on SLOG discredits my opinion because I'm a lunatic (in contrast to discrediting it because it's fallacious).

Regarding psychoactive medications, I've never found a cocktail that has worked to completely, or even to alleviate most of my symptoms, and have instead compromised, taking enough where I get some benefit and can tolerate the side-effects.

Speaking of side effects, the worst of which were those of Remeron, which actually did make me feel better, except that I spent every waking minute looking forward to my very next Pop-Tart, or devouring the same. Over five years later, I've lost about half the weight that I gained in those six months. I never got my bit from the class action lawsuit that finally emerged from that. I have a great degree of empathy for those who are proportionally heavier than I am.
Posted by Uriel-238 on August 12, 2009 at 12:52 AM · Report this
Uriel-238 67
As an unflinching nice guy, I, for one, know that there are plenty of women out there who are fond of us. Of course, a good deal of my own niceness comes from a degree of perspective as comes from the affliction implied above. The most common excuse I hear from guys who broke up with their girlfriends was She was crazy! I can tolerate quite a lot of crazy so long as it doesn't viciously interact with mine. I also recognize smart, caring, daring, proactive, or funny women as... well... smart, caring, daring, proactive, and/or funny. In my own experience, which may just be a San Francisco thing, there seems to be a dearth of guys who acknowledge the substantive characteristics of their girlfriends.
Posted by Uriel-238 on August 12, 2009 at 12:54 AM · Report this
Uriel-238 68
mitten @17 your twenties and thirties are merely indicative of the notion that everyone else does not live in a box, hence we can't base our attractiveness (or lack thereof) on one encounter, or one particular person. Some girls are ready for a nice guy. Some aren't. But nice isn't necessarily related to boring. And if for a girl bad guys are interesting solely because the guy is bad, that indicates an issue of the girl's.

Greg @63 it isn't that Sodini was a murderer that makes his word worth little. Murderers aren't necessarily liars. It's that his perception of things are really skewed, hence that he's an unreliable witness that makes his word not worth beans.

Regarding George Sodini, undiagnosed or not, he was mentally ill. Toys in the Attic. Bars in the window. He was a danger to himself and / or others. QED. The truth of the matter is that most violent crime is due to mental illness. But were we'd to actually acknowledge this, we'd be obligated to try to rehabilitate them, or at least provide them humane containment, and we like the vengeance that is prison life, too much.
Posted by Uriel-238 on August 12, 2009 at 1:29 AM · Report this
69
@43 -

"The part of 36's story that made me call bullshit wasn't the the part about the medication, but it was the part about how all the "doctors at her shrink's office" went out to "destroy her life." The story of an entire team of mental health professionals going out, breaking confidentiality, talking to a patient's employer, trying to put her under house arrest, etc, lacks any believability. If they thought she truly was "a danger to herself", as the poster claims, there are very strict procedures for what they should do, and calling someone's boss instead of following those procedures is crazy. The story reads like a script for a bad suspense movie. (In a world... where your shrink is out to get you...)"

Ah, I see. The problem, then, is just that your reading comprehension is total shit.

I NEVER said that it was a "whole team of doctors." It was precisely two of them. And yes, there are strict procedures required to do what they did, but that doesn't mean they're SMART procedures or that they protect the patient's rights. When a licensed shrink is claiming someone is a danger, the procedures in place in this state don't require a lot of them to prove their case before the patient's liberty can be legally restricted in some pretty severe ways. Sure, it all got reversed in appeal and that didn't take much time once her shrink was involved, but initially, the state officials didn't think they needed more than the opinion of these two assholes.

And knowing what I do about the situation, I'm pretty sure it was a matter of these two doctors having a personal beef with my friend's shrink for some reason unknown and trying to go after HIM, not so much that they gave a shit about what was happening to my friend. But the fact that it's so fucking easy for some labeled "mentally ill" to have their rights restricted by people who would have their licenses revoked less than a week later tells you a lot, I think.
More...
Posted by laurelgardner http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=5877570 on August 12, 2009 at 6:13 AM · Report this
Gin Gin Bon Bon 70
@54: "This article -- and most of these comments -- generalize an extreme sort of behavior that exists in a very narrow social context and attempts to criticize the wider culture based on that behavior. It is, at best, a misguided effort. "

This discussion is about more than just Sodini's behaviour, now. And sexist/misogynist/violent behaviour does NOT exist in a particularly narrow social context, btw. The wider culture isn't exactly free of sexism, misogyny or disproportionate violence towards women, so why is it misguided to criticise it? We don't live in a cultural vacuum; neither did Sodini. People can talk about all kinds of topics that are tangential to this news story without laying blame or trying to explain away what happened.
Posted by Gin Gin Bon Bon http://uneviedechien.wordpress.com on August 12, 2009 at 8:15 AM · Report this
71
@64: so?
Posted by Baby & Bathwater on August 12, 2009 at 8:21 AM · Report this
Gin Gin Bon Bon 72
also, @54: you aren't taking the block quote in your comment in its own context, either. You're just using it to try to discredit the whole argument, which is a shitty thing to do. The quote in question wasn't even about the shootings. Before you call bullshit, do you know who wrote it, and why? Have you read that post? Do you know where she's coming from?

@57: "If you don't like the interactions that go on at places like that, don't go there. "
That's kind of the point. As women we don't have to go to some obnoxious bar to be harassed, or for the climate to be hostile to whatever reaction we may have other than meekness, which often invites more aggression. Jeez, it's starting to feel like Women's Studies 101 in here.

ps. I don't have a persecution complex. I don't think I have a particularly big chip on my shoulder. Sexism is institutional and systematic. Still. In North America. Don't take my word for it; go read something.
Posted by Gin Gin Bon Bon http://uneviedechien.wordpress.com on August 12, 2009 at 8:40 AM · Report this
Theo Magyar 73
Gin Gin Bon Bon:

You may havae missed the discussion on sexism on another thread:
Meet George Sodini's Relationship Guru. You will find it interesting .....
Posted by Theo Magyar http://connexionsandcontradictions.blogspot.com/ on August 12, 2009 at 9:09 AM · Report this
74
Women are forgetting that they string along guys like Sodini to get money and attention from them. Even free dates. If they were honest, these men wouldn't have any reason to be "just friends" with them.

Never mind that most of the women who post here aren't the pretty kind to begin with, or that most of their men aren't what they think. Most women are very poor judges of males.

Posted by Ray Gordon on August 12, 2009 at 9:55 AM · Report this
75
That's kind of the point. As women we don't have to go to some obnoxious bar to be harassed, or for the climate to be hostile to whatever reaction we may have other than meekness, which often invites more aggression. Jeez, it's starting to feel like Women's Studies 101 in here.


You're into a kind of generalization that doesn't lend itself to debate, but I'll give it a whack.

Starting with your first statement that, "as women," etc, I'm not sure I agree with the premise. I'm a big guy, I know how to fight, and I'm usually at least lightly armed. I've lived most of my life in the city and I've never owned a car, so I walk down the sidewalk with comfort and authority -- this is my environment. So generally, I'm the last person anyone wants to fuck with on the street. And yet, I have a wealth of stories about random violent or nearly-violent encounters I've had with people on the street, on buses and, less often, in bars or restaurants. Little dudes, or people who aren't as comfortable in an urban environment, have more problems. When something like that happens to me, I don't have anything to lay it on except that some crazy fucker flipped out on me on the bus. When something like that happens to you or another woman, you have the option of politicizing it. But that don't necessarily make it so. There's just a certain level of background craziness in the world, and some people catch more of it than others.

I'm reluctant to concede anything here, because I get the impression you're one of those people who only hears in one frequency, but it's not like I'm arguing that women aren't treated differently in society. Of course they are. And a lot of the differences between how men and women are treated can be unpleasant or dangerous for women. But I definitely know women who have more problems than others, and some who almost never have a problem -- and it's not just about how they look or how they dress. There are a lot of variables involved in how things happen and some of them are very subtle.

There are streets near my house where I walk at any time of the day or night. I don't do it without fear -- but I do it. My wife doesn't want to walk down those streets at night and I wouldn't think it would be a good idea for her to do so, but I can think of some of my guy friends who also shouldn't walk down those streets after dark.

The Women Studies 101 attitude is exactly the attitude I'm taking issue with, because a freshman women studies student operates from the premise that correlative differences in the experiences of women and men, in aggregate, are attributable to sexism, per se. I find that analysis simplistic an inaccurate. Many of the differences between men's and women's experiences have as much or more to do with height, weight, physical strength, class, race, level of social aggression and demographic likelihood of being armed, as they have to do with sex. To chalk it up to a societal prejudice about how women, qua women, should be treated, and how they should react to that treatment, is a gross oversimplification that obscures other issues that are just as relevant or possibly more relevant.

Like, for example, the fact that our attitudes toward mental illness and its treatment in this country are a disgrace.
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Posted by Judah http://www.suoxi.net on August 12, 2009 at 9:57 AM · Report this
Geni 76
Most of the nice guys I know - the ones who are actually nice, not "nice" - are in relationships. "You're a nice guy, but" is a euphemism. It's often used as "God, get the hell away from me, you creep me out" or "Puh-leaze, I'd consider dating you if you didn't still live in your mother's basement at age 35."

She's absolutely right that it's often used out of fear of escalation. It's not safe for a woman to simply tell a man that, no, she is not interested and please leave her alone. There's this sense with certain males that they are entitled to women's bodies and attention, and they get angry, petulant, violent, or all of the above when denied such access.

Note that I said "certain" males. In no way am I implying this is all males, or most. It's a diseased minority, but they're out there, and they are scary.
Posted by Geni on August 12, 2009 at 10:46 AM · Report this
Gin Gin Bon Bon 77
Judah, thanks for replying. I kind of called you out partly because I've enjoyed reading your comments elsewhere as well. I like that your perspective sounds so different than my own and that I still agree with a lot of what you are saying, and I appreciate how you say it. I guess I come across as "one of those people who only hears in one frequency" because, in an attempt to keep my comments short (fail) I didn't bother telling you as much.

My own impression is that you can end up invalidating a woman's experience of sexism or an attempt to make anything political when you treat what they say as "a gross oversimplification that obscures other issues that are just as relevant or possibly more relevant". For some, there is always an issue that is more relevant than the gender politics at play, and I think that is a trickier and more dangerous attitude to have than my own. If my points don't lend themselves well to debate, maybe we can agree and let it rest. I'd prefer that over being dismissed for making useless generalizations. Thanks.
Posted by Gin Gin Bon Bon http://uneviedechien.wordpress.com on August 12, 2009 at 11:59 AM · Report this
78
I think women should retire the ´you´re a nice guy, but...´ line, just like ´´its not you, its me´´. To a man ´´you´re a nice guy´´ sounds like ´´you´re a pussy´´.
Posted by matt! on August 12, 2009 at 12:59 PM · Report this
in-frequent 79
@78 i almost said the same thing. then i realized, the "you're nice but..." expression was - at one time - women trying to let guys down nicely. now it's either insincere, or guys want to read into it.

but are we going to have to change it every few years as guys figure out the new code word?

still, i'll suggest something that expresses, "thanks, but i don't think you'd be a good fit for me right now. i'm not in a position where i feel comfortable going into greater detail, so thanks again, and good night."

not that people have to be so polite, but if anyone persisted after that, they would be acting rudely, and deserve whatever reproach they received.
Posted by in-frequent on August 12, 2009 at 1:32 PM · Report this
80
@77

If my points don't lend themselves well to debate, maybe we can agree and let it rest. I'd prefer that over being dismissed for making useless generalizations. Thanks.


I have a quick temper, and phrases like, "Don't take my word for it; go read something," tend to set me off. I could show you the women studies section of my home library and, while it's hardly impressive, it does exist. I've taken gender studies classes and I've read the gamut from Wollstonecraft to Emma Goldman, bell hooks, Mary Belenky, Mary Daly and others. Fuck it, dude -- I was born in Eugene in the '70s. I went to Evergreen. When I was 17 I spelled women with a y and meant it.

So I'm familiar with the stock points and I believe I know enough about the subject and have a deep enough experience with it that my opinion -- that many of those stock points are intentional oversimplifications designed by intelligent leaders of the movement to expand the range of debate during times when such an expansion was necessary, but that in many places the debate has evolved past those stock points -- is reasonably well-informed. So no, I don't have a lot of patience for debates where off-the-rack doctrinal aphorisms are advanced as free-standing arguments, and that definitely includes statements like, "As women we don't have to go to some obnoxious bar to be harassed." I mean, seriously? Because I would tend to regard a bar where women are harassed explicitly and exclusively because they're women as an "obnoxious bar" pretty much by definition, and an argument that that sort of behavior is uncritically accepted by the wider culture as spurious on its face.

So yeah, sorry if I dismissed you. I just felt like I had to pick up the pace before you told me that feminism is the radical notion that women are people, or that herstory is the greatest story never told.
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Posted by Judah http://www.suoxi.net on August 12, 2009 at 2:21 PM · Report this
81
@79 We're better off forgetting about code words and sticking to I-messages. People (male and female) are inherently self-centered, and when they hear the word "you" they tend to focus on that.

So saying "You're very nice, but I'm not interested" isn't effective communication, because the person you're talking to is probably just going to hear the "You're very nice" part and disregard the rest. Even if they do hear the "I'm not interested" part, it's still a confusing message.

A better refusal would be "I'm very flattered by this attention, but I'm not interested." It's also good to be specific: "I appreciate the offer, but I don't want another drink." "I'm here with my friends." "I'm not here to meet anyone." This keeps the focus completely on you and your feelings, and the other person is not given a chance to misinterpret that.
Posted by jm_kaye on August 12, 2009 at 4:32 PM · Report this
Highwasp 82
Sodini included women in his suicide, as though they were of the same status as him. had he killed only himself we wouldn't care. Sodini was expendable - as are most men - second class citizens. Sodini lived a life presuming hard work and abiding by the rules would reward him with enough status to get him what he wanted. he didn't realize his real status until it was too late to adapt. what Sodini and many other men are waking to is a world where they have no reason to participate. how these men choose to exit will be interesting. I predict more bizarre and violent behavior from both sexes as our technological society further fragments individuals and divides the classes.
Posted by Highwasp on August 12, 2009 at 7:34 PM · Report this
83
@Judah, I don't think anyone is complaining about being hit on, but that men cannot take a rejection and any form of directness is treated with insults. It doesn't matter if it's a meat market or a classy bar of if she's wearing sweatpants or a tube dress, if a women wants to turn a man down she can turn him down w/o him throwing a knipshit. Expecting a hit on is different than accepting it.
Posted by kersy on August 12, 2009 at 7:37 PM · Report this
84
As a side note, I wish you guys could experience our world for a minute so you'd understand. Turning men down day to day w/o being rude or incurring a man's wrath becomes nerve wracking and exhausting. There are times where it's so bad you fear accidentally catch a guy's eye w/o spurring him to come over. You sit and trying to figure out ways to turn down a drink or an advance, always trying something new in hopes that it will work.
"No thank you" doesn't make him go away. "No thank you, I'm not interested" doesn't make him go away. "No thank you, I'd like to be left alone" makes you feel shitty and often leads to insults. They'll at least go away, but often sit across the bar and glare at you or yell comments if you walk by. I went with "You can buy me a drink, but I'm not available or interested and I don't want any obligations attached to it" for awhile. I got some good conversations out of that, but mostly it was the same tired pick up bullshit. There is no win. There's no way to make them stop.

And that's only one scenario.

Just being a woman and being seen in public in any form of dress in any setting can lead to unwanted attention. "Hey girl. You got a man? Oh yeah? Where he at? Can I get your number? Come on girl. Girl. Girl." At work, on the street, in the market. Fuck letting a guy know what his problem is and why the women he objectifies won't talk to him, we want to get away from him as fast as possible. We hide in our place of work, cross the street, cover ourselves, wear our headphones at all times, look down, block it out, ANYTHING to escape.

And somehow, it's still our problem.
Posted by kersy on August 12, 2009 at 8:00 PM · Report this
85
I'm a clueless male, so I may be off base here, but I've had the suspiscion that women talk to each other with subtle hints and codes, and mull over/dissect what she said and what she really meant by that thing she said Tuesday, etc etc.

This can be very ineffective when dealing with a man who is literal-minded. Some are much more clue-resistant than others. And some have Aspberger's.

It's hard to get through to lots of men with subtlety, and impossible with others.

Of course, many gals above have pointed out the risks involved with bluntness & honesty. Duly noted.

One more thing, as I read all of these long, miserable threads about Sodini:

Sure! Let's talk about society and sexism! But yeesh! You've all read the source documents, right? Read all of his ravings? There aren't that many to read. Nature and nurture were both conspiring to screw this guy up, since, like in most cases, those who provided the nutty genes also provided the awful upbringing and mental torment.

Not excusing his actions. Twisted mind reached twisted conclusions, but he shouldn't have taken his crazy ass/twisted mind/little penis to a shrink. He wasn't so nutz as to not know he was nutz.
Posted by CP on August 12, 2009 at 8:30 PM · Report this
86
It makes me sad to see so much animosity between men and women here. We should be getting together and sharing pleasure and fun experiences. An “Us versus Them” mentality is never attractive in either sex.

Guys who seek to trick women into bed with lines and techniques will only end up hurting themselves and women in the long run. With this said though, I want to stress that it IS possible to “get good with women.”

The thing is (and I believe women on SLOG will agree with me) women DO like to be approached by COOL attractive guys, not creepy do-you-gotta-man? guys. Being cool and attractive has NOTHING to do with your genetics. It has to do with how you carry yourself and the strength of your reality.

Here’s a crash course on how to improve your life, and thus “get good with women.”

-Find and participate in activities/hobbies you enjoy
-Join a damn gym and eat right
-Make eye contact and say “Hi” to everyone you meet during the day
-Develop a cool STYLE that fits YOU
-Go out FOUR to FIVE nights a week and TALK TO WOMEN (it’s amazing how much you will learn about how to interact socially if you do this)
-Do NOT buy women ANYTHING to “get to know them,” they are our EQUALS, not creatures on a pedestal that need to be supplicated to
-Don’t be afraid to touch women when you talk to them!
-Have FUN and always give value to other people. Life is NOT A JOB
Posted by thanez on August 12, 2009 at 9:45 PM · Report this
87
========
As a side note, I wish you guys could experience our world for a minute so you'd understand. Turning men down day to day w/o being rude or incurring a man's wrath becomes nerve wracking and exhausting. There are times where it's so bad you fear accidentally catch a guy's eye w/o spurring him to come over. You sit and trying to figure out ways to turn down a drink or an advance, always trying something new in hopes that it will work.
"No thank you" doesn't make him go away. "No thank you, I'm not interested" doesn't make him go away. "No thank you, I'd like to be left alone" makes you feel shitty and often leads to insults.
========

You know what would solve this solution? If women finally matured and started doing their share of approaching and asking out men.

The reason there's so much gender-tension in the world today is that there's many people trapped by what their gender expects of them. Some men were made to approach, some women were made to be approached, same for women.

But now men who were meant to be passive, feel pressure by being expected to do everything... And women who were meant to be pro-active, are sitting around passive.
Posted by aleknovy on August 13, 2009 at 8:18 AM · Report this
88
""but that men cannot take a rejection and any form of directness is treated with insults.""

Lol... I don't know where to even start... But I've heard this from my female friends, and I've been out with them.

====1=====
What most women refer to as directness is often quite cold. I know, I am standing right next to them as they reject guys. And then they say "why did he call me a bitch just coz I wasn't interested!?!"

Mmmm, maybe because your tone of voice was "why dare you speak to me loser" and you rolled your eyes? That perhaps?

I find it amazing how incredibly unaware of how they come across women are. They will stand in the corner, arms-crossed, with a look on the face that says "talk to me, and I will kill you" and THEN they ask me "alek, why didn't that guy approach me? I was flipping my hear all night".

====2=====

I also call BS on "any" form of directness is treated with an insult which is simply untrue. Its statistically impossible, as from what I've seen, men only insult a woman if its their 20th (or whatever) rejection in a row or something. Its ussually not that particular woman that they're insulting, but its a pile up of 20 rejections in a row and being made to feel like lower than dirt by people they don't even know.
Posted by aleknovy on August 13, 2009 at 8:29 AM · Report this
Uriel-238 89
aleknovy @83, 84 and trackbacks, as much as it might be tempting to generalize about a gender based on an experience or even a whole group of experiences, specifics of an encounter, be it the rudeness of a rejection or unsportsmanlike conduct in the face of rejection still needs to be treated as specific to that one person, that one encounter, that one scenario.

The five most common places Americans meet their partners, by far, are: work, school, church, friends of family, friends of friends. Note that singles bars or any place where it might be remotely appropriate for one to buy a drink for a stranger, are not on this list.

Flirtation is a repeating process. A single incidence of eye contact is not a come-hither signal. Those interested in you will look again and again. If you've been exchanging prolonged smiling glances for a while, then it might be time to introduce yourself.

In my own experience, any no that turned out to be a maybe (or more accurately a not yet or a not right now) has unerringly chased me back to my own table, or in some cases out the door. Then again, I'm personally am eager to not be anywhere near where I'm unwelcome, and tend to excuse myself on early indicators of disinterest.

If a man or woman cannot take rejection well, that's his ot her problem. If someone doesn't depart from your polite dismissal, that person isn't respecting your expressed personal boundaries, and has already initiated belligerence. At that point, it's okay to be insulting. Any assertive patience you may wish to offer is being generous, in fact, might be of disservice both to the jerk and yourself.

A well-adjusted healthy adult is hot-sexy. If you're getting rejected continuously, it might be time to consider what about you is conveying either a lack of health, or an indication of personal issues...and then consider if this is something you want to change; myself I prefer to operate within the confines of my own eccentricities as a matter of truth in advertising. I want friends and partners with whom I can relax and be myself.

By far, the majority of differences between men and women remain societal, not biological. We all have libidos. We all have tastes in partners. We all want to be attractive to those tho attract us.
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Posted by Uriel-238 on August 13, 2009 at 9:58 AM · Report this
90
As a side note, I wish you guys could experience our world for a minute so you'd understand. ... We hide in our place of work, cross the street, cover ourselves, wear our headphones at all times, look down, block it out, ANYTHING to escape. And somehow, it's still our problem.


And here's the thing I'm not sure you understand -- life isn't like this for all women or, I suspect, even a majority of women. I have perfectly normal-looking female friends who pretty much never have this kind of shit happen to them and would certainly never characterize it as dominating their daily lives the way some of the women on this thread do. What's more, as an outside observer, I walk down the street every day watching men and women pass each other and interact with each other and not have the kinds of interactions you're describing. If this kind of thing really happened as often as you claim, it seems like I'd see it much more often than I do. And yes, before you ask, I am looking for it. Because I've been having this stupid fucking conversation for 20 years.
Posted by Judah http://www.suoxi.net on August 13, 2009 at 11:00 AM · Report this
91
I can't help but smile at this whole approach thing. Girls WANT to be approached by cool high value guys. The sad thing is that most guys are terrified to approach women they are attracted to. This is a deep seeded biological fear stemming from a time when we lived in small groups and if you approached the wrong girl you could be killed or shamed into celibacy.

Guys, stop crying about not "getting" the girls you are attracted to. Understand that:

-Women are our EQUALS. They aren't bitches, they just think and communicate in a different way than we do. Men and women call each other "crazy" because we can't understand why we don't think exactly alike.

-Women on a biological level want a confident man who will lead them through great experiences and emotions. Not money or looks.

-Women want sex just as much as men do. They want it with guys who are confident with their bodies and aren't going to tell the entire neighborhood the next day.

Don't "be yourself." Be your BEST self.

-

Posted by Thanez on August 13, 2009 at 11:28 AM · Report this
92
hmmm ... I'm reading this thread ... and I notice the HORRIBLE communication between men and women.

It would be downright hilarious, except it's what society is based off.

Maybe ... men and women really do genuinely enjoy each others company in small doses. Maybe we really do drive each other bat shit crazy when we try to relate to each other.

Maybe we spend too much time trying to project our desires, expectations, and satisfaction on our partners and are sorely disappointed with the results (at least that's what I gather from slog ... when every male has to have a female equivelent ... and vice versa ... the seeking of gender symmetry is becoming frustrating at best.)

So your partner doesn't like sex as much as you, but you like to engage in conversation etc. etc. or you enjoy the mutual of feeling of making your partner happy.

I mean ... this sounds cheesy ... even though marathons were sweet ... I always loved making coffee for my bed mate fist thing in the morning.
Posted by former tri-state on August 13, 2009 at 2:01 PM · Report this
93
"You know what would solve this solution? If women finally matured and started doing their share of approaching and asking out men."

Bullshit. And victim blaming. Society bombards us with images of passive women and that forward ones are emasculating and slutty (because sexual liberation is tied to masculinity), but if you don't ask men out you deserve the oppressive treatment of catcalling and hit ons and the objectification of self. Talk about mixed messages. And men say women have double standards.

btw thanks for the stereotyped assumptions, but I have asked out every single guy I've ever dated. As @Uriel-238 put it, people meet dates through friends and work and safe social interactions. Not the street or the club and not with a sleezy pick up. Maybe that's why we're so cold - we're tired of the harassment and want to be left the fuck alone. If I want you, I'll ask you out on my terms. Stop pushing me and invading my space.

@Judah Well I'm glad your personal perceptions are more important than what women say happens to them. We live in a nice city where cat calling doesn't happen too much, the rest you don't see because 1. you're male and don't know what to look for and 2. you are not in right places or 3. are physically unable to experience it. People are able to project power over your space w/ nonverbal actions easily and w/o raising any suspicion from other people in the area.
Try reading feminist or cat calling blogs and you will easily find cities where women have to walk a gauntlet just to get to work. Here's one for you: http://hollabackdc.wordpress.com/. Not that difficult to find verbal and nonverbal assault.

But hey, I'm always on the look out for racism and homophobia, but my white, heterosexual, cisgender self has never see it. It must not exist. It must be an exaggeration.
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Posted by kersy on August 13, 2009 at 2:36 PM · Report this
94
@CP

"I'm a clueless male, so I may be off base here, but I've had the suspiscion that women talk to each other with subtle hints and codes, and mull over/dissect what she said and what she really meant by that thing she said Tuesday, etc etc.

This can be very ineffective when dealing with a man who is literal-minded. Some are much more clue-resistant than others."

This is just hilarious. Yes. Men are Vulcans. Always direct and to the point and clear. You always know exactly where you stand and how they feel about you and their expectations of your relationship. They never do anything shady or weird or suddenly stop calling or lie. They're communication is direct and to the point at all times and are in complete control and understanding of their emotions.

It's just women that are crazy with their secret codes and subtle hints! If only they could be as clear and direct and communicative as men.

HA.

Let's be logical for a goddamn second. People, men and women, are flawed human beings. NEITHER has perfect communication skills. So stop being blinded by your personal perceptions based on your limited experiences.

Hey, I personally get along great with my girl friends. I always understand them. I WONDER WHY. Possibly because I've never been romantically involved with one and dealt with the complexities involved? Women are crazy and complex because you've only fucking dated women, NOT MEN. Not because men are more literal minded.

Seriously.
Posted by kersy on August 13, 2009 at 2:58 PM · Report this
95
Kersey ...

I get the stare all the time from gay men ... most women don't give a shit about me, unless they are older repressed, and wreckless.

And good for you asking men out! Bravo! Because most women DO NOT. They lack the confidence or the desire to let men do the work. I initiate in the most passive way possible, and NEVER with romantic intent. I'm just curious about people ... and I like to get to know them, because people are interesting. But when you are genuinely interested and find someone attractive ... it's like I have to take more steps back. As a tall, big, and well proportioned guy ... it's assumed that I have it easy and that I'm obviously an overly masculine oppressive guy. Which is bull shit, I may look intimidating ... but whatever.

In the meantime, when an attractive girl asks me out ... I have a FUCKING clue, because lets face it, women are pickier than men. And it sucks to be simultaneously approaching and not approaching women.

And yes ... nobody generally meets their soul mate at the bar, but last time I checked no interesting, single, available, willing women were stopping by my lab bench to strike up a chat while I was working at my fume hood.

Well there was that one time in 2003 ... but I had a date coincidentally at that time ...
Posted by former tri-state on August 13, 2009 at 3:03 PM · Report this
96
sorry it sucks to be judged for approaching and not approaching women ...

I skipped lunch and it shows.
Posted by former tri-state on August 13, 2009 at 3:05 PM · Report this
97
That sucks. Esp if you're a science nerd. Because science is awesome.

I'm a pretty forward flirt. Some guys respond immediately, other are shy, others are oblivious. Everyone is different but chances are always better when there is a mutual flirtation. Just coming up out of the blue and hitting on a cute guy under a fume hood isn't going to happen unless some interest has been established or you've really made an impression. At least for most women it isn't. (and that's probably why old ladies w/ no shame are the only ones that "holler' at you). It's not that they don't give a shit, you just haven't put yourself on their radar.

As for being big, shit. No one cares about that! As long as you're a sweetheart, any sized girl will like you. I'm proof of that (5'2" with a 6'5" man).

Good luck :(
Posted by kersy on August 13, 2009 at 3:26 PM · Report this
98
Kersy

:-)

well ... they don't call it lucky for no reason.

Eh ... as for the women front? I'll focus on getting a job first, and it might look like I'll have to relocate ...

AGAIN! Fuck science
Posted by former tri-state on August 13, 2009 at 4:23 PM · Report this
99
Oh yeah ... if the guy is oblivious ... maybe he REALLY is oblivious.

I know this sounds horrible ... but have women ever thought of asking for HIS phone number?

Posted by former tri-state on August 13, 2009 at 4:25 PM · Report this
100
And as for putting myself on the radar? I mean really? I'm not an idiot.

Scientists are just OFF the radar. They work too many hours and work in a male dominated field. Engineers have the same problem too ...

If you are brave, you find yourself in the bars because you meet people who AREN'T scientists.

I mean what do you expect? I mean no scientist turned into Richard Feynman overnight.
Posted by former tri-state on August 13, 2009 at 4:32 PM · Report this
101
=========
Bullshit. And victim blaming. Society bombards us with images of passive women and that forward ones are emasculating and slutty (because sexual liberation is tied to masculinity), but if you don't ask men out you deserve the oppressive treatment of catcalling and hit ons and the objectification of self. Talk about mixed messages. And men say women have double standards.
--------------

Bullshit. Man-bashing and man-blaming.

"""Society bombards us with images of passive women and that forward ones are emasculating and slutty"""

So instead of whining, grow up and ignore society. That's what men have to do in order to gain any success in happiness in life. EVERYONE IS given mixed messages. EVERYONE HAS double standards.

Men are asked to "man up" and "grow up". Women are asked to identify as "victims".

Quit following your victim doctrine, and grow up. Woman-up. We need liberated-strong women. No one is holding a gun to your head. You're choosing to identify as a weak-victim.
Posted by aleknovy on August 14, 2009 at 3:28 AM · Report this
102
===
I'm a pretty forward flirt. Some guys respond immediately, other are shy, others are oblivious.
===

There was some studies of this. 93% of men never ever read women's signals. And by signals, we mean signals that the women considered "forward".

You know what "forward" is to a man? Verbally saying: "Hey, you, I find you attractive, let's get to know each other".

All that disney hair-flipping is a lie sold to women.
Posted by aleknovy on August 14, 2009 at 3:31 AM · Report this
103
Aleknovy ... I'll buy it to a point.

You are absolutely right, most men don't see it ... or often it can often be misconstrued as attention whoring.

In the same respect, when I woman DOES put themselves out there to that degree (at least when it happened to me). They can't process the rejection when I don't reciprocate. Leads some pretty brutal situations!
Posted by former tri-state on August 14, 2009 at 12:16 PM · Report this
104
Aleknovy ... I'll buy it to a point.

You are absolutely right, most men don't see it ... or often it can often be misconstrued as attention whoring.

In the same respect, when I woman DOES put themselves out there to that degree (at least when it happened to me). They can't process the rejection when I don't reciprocate. Leads some pretty brutal situations!

The subtle crap is the way they get to save face. I don't think there is a resolution to this one.
Posted by former tri-state on August 14, 2009 at 12:16 PM · Report this
105
Saving face is a way of never-developing as a character.

I'm sad that the world is full of so many insecure women who never grow up to what they can be. I'm even sadder that the only organizations who are "supposed" to be working for them and empowering them are teaching them that they are helpless victims and need help to get things in life.

Character comes from overcoming adversity. Confidence comes from overcoming rejection.

I know a lot of women who NEVER get bad reactions from guys. You know what they all have in common? They've approached hundreds of guys themselves. They know what its like to get rejected. They're able to reject without out neither leading on nor insulting.
Posted by aleknovy on August 14, 2009 at 1:32 PM · Report this
MikeC in YF 106
So... you have no empathy for someone who's been discarded by your too-hip culture? Fuck, it wouldn't hurt for y'all to smile at nice people now and then.
Posted by MikeC in YF on August 15, 2009 at 1:59 AM · Report this
107
"So instead of whining, grow up and ignore society. That's what men have to do in order to gain any success in happiness in life."

I don't think I've ever laughed so hard in my life. Thanks for that!

You remind me of a bit from "American Dad" where Stan was reminiscing about the "good old days" when straight white males had ALL the power...not just most of it (poor, poor you).
Posted by laurelgardner http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=5877570 on August 20, 2009 at 7:56 AM · Report this

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