Women, Nice Guys, and Tough Guys

One of the things Game practitioners supposedly did back in the early days was look at the things women responded to.  For example, characters in romance novels.  They argued, and on this I’m in agreement, that what women wanted in their escapism is indicative of what they want in their lives.

Photo by Vladimir Pustovit
Photo by Vladimir Pustovit

Hey, I read about spaceships and dragons in my escapism, and those would be awesome in real life, so I agree.

Well, as a novelist myself, I was on Amazon looking for books that have MMA as a central theme.  I had an idea for a story that used it, and I wanted to see how other authors handled the detailed and technical aspects of fighting.

I looked up “MMA fighter fiction”, and the results were kind of eye opening.

The vast majority of books that came up in that string were romance and erotica.  In fact, every category listed on the left-hand side of the page was some variation on romance or erotica.  Every. Single. One.

I shared this discovery in a Facebook group filled with friends who were unlikely to spew the feminist party line.  The response, particularly from the women in the group, was fascinating.

Women chimed in.  No, these weren’t feminists who told me that no one really read those books or anything of the sort.  These women acknowledged that women do what a strong man in their lives, but they also want someone who can be sweet and gentle.  With them.

Let me share a comment from Dorothy Grant, who is married to author Peter Grant (if you haven’t read his stuff, go on Amazon and buy it now, then come back and finish reading this.).  This is from within the group, and it’s private so I won’t link to it, but this is shared with her permission.

I found myself a nice, tender, caring gentleman. He is sweet, and loving, and gentle. When met with criticism, he often takes a moment to not only consider both the source and the message, but to react to the meaning and not the emotion. … He’s also survived 18 years of civil war, and it wasn’t by being a pacifist or a pushover.

I see many girls make the mistake of thinking that sweet = pushover, and strong = asshole. I wish they’d had more John Wayne in their youth and less Twilight.

[Emphasis added]

I’ve heard about some of Peter’s exploits, and this was some seriously intense stuff.  He didn’t survive the civil war by keeping his head down either.  He was a warrior, plain and simple.

Yet he has a gentle side as well.  Dorothy sees that and clearly loves and respects that about him.  Peter walks the balance between Dangerous Tough Guy and Gentle Friend.

Society as a whole has managed to indoctrinate guys that we don’t need that tough guy thing.

Also, note the bolded last sentence.  To me, that’s the money quote.  That’s the issue right now.

How many men out there see these women complaining about how they can’t meet any nice guys, but they keep shooting down the nice guys and going out with jerks?

They are the women who needed a little less Twilight and a lot more John Wayne.

Wayne played the quintessential tough guy in pretty much all his movies.  He was strong, tough, courageous, and had a sense of honor.  He was no one’s pushover, but most of his characters were never particularly rude to any woman.  In fact, he played the gentleman in many ways at many times.

In contrast, the character of Edward is just a jerk.  Oh, he gives reasons for being a jerk, but he’s a jerk.  Bella, the protagonist, is drawn to him anyway.  The whole thing is treated like it’s very romantic, but it’s really depression.  Especially for a man with a daughter who he prays ignores this kind of thing.

Now, there’s a “chicken or the egg” kind of question to be asked.  Was Edward and Bella responsible for this, or just a mirror on the reality that is our society these days?

Well, I’m old enough to remember relationships pre-Twilight (thankfully) and I can tell you it’s not new.  The jerks in school got the girls, and the nice guys didn’t.

Except that wasn’t completely true either.  The manlier guys got the girls, the guys who were strong and tough enough got them.  Many were jerks, but many were actually nice guys too.

Oh, and none of them fooled around with learning “game” either.

Now, I’m not about to tell you how to meet women in this day and age.  I’ve been married for 17 years.  I’d be a lost cause on that front.  What I can tell you is that if you embrace the ideas of actually being men, while not being a jerk on general principle, you’re going to be well ahead of the game based on what I’m seeing.  Just don’t be a pushover and you’ll be ahead of 90 percent of guys apparently.

Author: Tom

Tom is a husband, father, novelist, opinion writer, and former Navy Corpsman currently living in Georgia. He's also someone who has lost almost 60 pounds in a safe, sustainable way, so he knows what he's talking about.

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