Sunday, November 29

Things That Pee Me Off #4: Literary Hypocrisy

  • If a guy offers a girl his coat or scarf, then he's patronising or, even worse, only after one thing.
  • If a guy walks or drives a girl (friend or otherwise) home, right up to her door and waits till she gets in, then he's a creepy stalker.
  • If a guy insists on paying, then he's controlling and repressive.
  • If a guy looks ahead while walking with a girl, or makes sure he walks on her roadside or between her and a rowdy crowd of people, or behind her while climbing up stairs and in front of her while climbing down, then he's obstructive and irritating.
  • If a guy wants to make a girl his main focus, much more than any job or social life, then he's misguided and unambitious.
  • If a guy shows an interest in what a girl likes and wants, then he's either faking it or is too boring to have his own interests.
  • If a guy wants to spend all his free time with a girl, then he's clingy and suffocating.
  • If a guy wants to just talk, then he talks too much.
  • If a guy shows genuine concern about a girl's well-being, then he's over-protective or under-estimating.
  • If a guy says how he feels then he's a metrosexual and unmanly.
All this, unless the guy has a marble-like chest which glitters in the sun and lists blood as his all time favourite beverage.

You all know I'm right.


  1. So why is this "literary"?

  2. Because it seems the only way this stuff is acceptable is if it's done by a character in a book. C.f Mills and Boon.

  3. 1, 2, 3, 4, 8, 9 - disagree. I think that's all pretty sweet stuff to do.

    5, 6, 7 - leaning towards agree.

    10 - depends on the degree and frequency.

    (It would have been a whole lot easier if you had just numbered them.)

  4. It could be that the girl is unused to such gentlemanly behaviour, and in her attempt to be modest, overdoes it and seems ungracious.

    Also, some girls might find that sort of kindness strange from one who is undeclared as a suitor, and perhaps is protecting herself from thinking too highly of the guy.

    Because, yes that stuff is amazing from the guy with the marble chest, but only because the reader/girl knows that it's sincere and it's going to go somewhere safe.

    And also girls think too much about these things. To a guy it might just be offering a coat to someone who is cold - but to a girl, particularly if she secretly likes you anyway, it could potentially mean a whole lot more.

    Either way, I wouldn't call it hypocrisy. Just that amazing thing called crossed wires.

  5. Tamanna,

    Right. Makes sense. So how should a guy in real life (who doesn't get to have his own narrative and marketing blurb) get this kind of "safe and genuine" credibility?

    I mean sure, it's probably our own fault for otherwise being a bunch of dicks... But as you describe it it seems it's the girls who need to (slightly) change their attitudes concerning this irregular behaviour.

  6. You know, up until the last point before the marble hard chest (swoooooon)...I kept thinking, yeah well that is really why they do it, do NOT pretend otherwise..but I guess I see your point :(

  7. Sobia,

    >I kept thinking, yeah well that is really why they do it, do NOT pretend otherwise

    Sorry I'm not following. Why did you initially think they did it?

  8. because they are crazy jealous control freaks? no?

  9. Ah right. Yeh, you're probably right, they are. I guess I'm just asking what the difference is between them and good ol' Eddie. I guess it's easy to see the reasons why someone does something if you read about it in a book.

  10. Edward sparkles in sunlight

  11. Sounds pretty camp to me. You sure this isn't a gay thing?

  12. I want a guy that does all of that *sigh*

  13. Whatever. You're one of only two girls I know who *physically* remove me from your roadside.

  14. well, first I should qualify myself by saying everyone is different. Then I would ask if this is a list garnered from personal experience? And is it from one girl? If so, I'm afraid she's just not into you :)

    If on the other hand it's from different girls, then they may have one or two of the hang ups you mentioned, in which case it's much more manageable.

    In anycase, I imagine most girls would find you sincere if you did it regularly and they got used to it.

    From personal experience, a guy would only be seen as safe for some of you later points, if he indicated pretty clearly what his intentions were - whether that's friendship or marriage. But as I said, it depends on the girl.

    And to echo a point made above, I think most people, male or female, might find it suffocating to have one person in their faces all the time.

    I would find it odd if a guy said he wanted to spend all his free time with a girl. I mean, it's nice and all, but if true, then it's just wierd, and potentially shows he is unable to maintain any other relationships.

    But as I said, all girls are different.

  15. I find the character of Edward Cullen appealing, and so did my friends who have read the book.

    Most things on the list allude to a man being a 'gentleman' and I think we definately need more of them.

    Maybe the huge popularity of Twilight is that girls and women do really want a man to take care of them - in the way you've outlined on the list. Of course - Edward isn't perfect though and spending all your time with one person is a bit weird. But the point in Twilight is that both Ed and Bella are madly in love with each other, so its an exception.

  16. Ghazal,

    My complaint isn't that Edward-groupies want a guy like him; in fact I totally understand this and even agree that they should. My issue is more over the apparent hypocrisy: if these same women met a guy who behaved like Edward in real life I don't think they'd find him as appealing.

    For instance I've witnessed at least three of the women in this very comment thread who claim to want a someone who behaves like Edward show irritation toward a guy's actions when he does.

    Perhaps these guys were doing it wrong or something, but I think Tamanna's explanation about the narrative providing a context much more plausible.

    In the end I guess the real point is that perhaps there's more guys like this around than you and your friends think there are, and you just don't notice them 'cos they don't glitter in the sun.

  17. As a closing note:

  18. Shak,

    I don't know the women you speak of, so can't comment on that. My comment was really a sharing of what I and my friends personally think of Edward. And, if a man offered me his scarf etc I would find it very sweet.

    I also agree with the points that Tamanna made.

    I reflected a bit further on this post, regarding whether there is such a hypocrisy in a wider sense, and you may have a point. Some women may give mixed messages regarding how much they want men to ‘help’ them and ‘take care’ of them. However, I personally wouldn’t call it hypocrisy, but rather that it is a consequence of the ambiguity of gender roles, and women trying to survive in a man’s world.

    So these are just reflections - I may be wrong:

    I think a dominant archetype for today’s woman is that she needs to appear ‘independent’ and ‘strong’ in order to survive in a man’s world. Some modern working women may feel they need to give the appearance of not needing any help, in order to appear ‘strong’ to their male counterparts. They feel that they would appear weak otherwise (whether that would be the case in reality).

    This sort of ‘guard’ may then spill over into their social and romantic life unawares, although deep down they may really want a man like Edward, and explicitly say so. They may not have the self-awareness to realise this apparent hypocrisy. Allahu-alim.

    I didn't make a reference to what my friends think other than their views on Edward. I think gentlemen do exist; my comment was more of a reference to the good ol' days where it seems men were even more gentlemanly - and opened doors etc. I just get that impression whenever I’ve met elderly men by chance, in that I’ve felt treated like lady.

    Oh and I haven't seen New Moon yet - I'm really looking forward to it!

  19. Thanks for the insightful response. Just one comment really:

    >I just get that impression whenever I’ve met elderly men by chance, in that I’ve felt treated like lady.

    Maybe it's not that more elderly men act this way, but that, like with Edward, you notice it more because of the narrative they have surrounding them?

  20. The Doc00:14

    I personally have not met many of the men with qualities you have listed. Although I do work with one guy who does have some gentlemanly manners and I find it very attractive.
    I believe if I were to demand these characteristics I would be classed as 'needy'.
    I think we should just admit that it all amounts to physical appearance. If a guy expresses these manners to an attractive girl and gets rejected then he would probably write an article like this lovely guy Shak has:)

  21. >I think we should just admit that it all amounts to physical appearance.

    At last a woman comes clean (okay cheap shot but I thought I'd take it)!

    >If a guy expresses these manners to an attractive girl and gets rejected then he would probably write an article like this lovely guy Shak has:)

    WHATCHU SAY?! Actually I long discovered that the best way is treating 'em mean to keep em keen. As much as we deny it, nice guys do indeed finish last. Although you're right in that it doesn't help being ugly either. Sniff.

  22. The Doc16:44

    Don't cry....okay i'll give you a kleenex lol.
    Btw I was not implying anything about your appearance!

  23. Shak,

    To be honest I don’t really know that many men so cannot say anything conclusively. My comment was based on my everyday experience; for example, when I’m out and about it’s elderly men who’ve gestured to me to get onto a bus first, even if they’ve been waiting longer, amongst other things.

    But your post has got me thinking that maybe some (younger) men are ‘repressed’ gentleman, so there's no way of knowing how many are really out there. Men may indeed want to help in the way you have outlined, but don’t because they are concerned about how it will be received, and for fear of offending women. It comes down to my general point stated before that today’s gender roles are ambiguous.

  24. Anonymous21:39

    >As much as we deny it, nice guys do indeed finish last.

    This is an excuse used by men who are too ugly or boring to attract many women. It makes them feel better to believe women are not choosing them because they are "too nice".

  25. Anonymous14:12

    i dont know any woman who wouldnt want to treated as you describe

  26. Roshan20:04

    Apologies for the very late response to your post, just read it now. I admire the gentlemanly qualities you do/did (before deciding nice guys finish last) display to women! I have wondered many a time about the lack of gentlemen within the Indian Muslim community, and the obvious disregard for treating women as women. Personally, I am fortunate that one of the perks of mainly working with men whom are gentlemen (and yes not Muslim), is that I am accustomed to being treated to 1-4 and 9 all the time. Having to deal with a man that DOESN'T do that in a relationship would be difficult as it does signify to me a certain lack of appreciation. The rest of the numbers are interesting, and I think in the beginning may be a bit suffocating to a girl if she's not used to being the focus of someone's attention. But, I think if the feelings are mutual, the attention can only be welcome and prove the seriousness of the man's interest in her.

    I disagree with Ghazal’s comment regarding women needing to appear “strong” and “independent” in a man’s world. I am treated as no less of an employee for being female despite the gentlemanly attention! Perhaps I am lucky, for which I am grateful. My main downside of being around men all the time in a work situation is having to feign interest in sports!