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A Heartless Bitch Testimonial

by M.N.

 

In late October 2005, The Tyra Banks Show contacted Natalie, the Head Bitch, (on very short notice) to appear on an episode about women who are called or who call themselves “bitches.”   Natalie would have been unable to appear herself, so they asked her to suggest a couple of members of HBI who would do a good job standing up for the views expressed in the Heartless Manifesto.  I was one of the members she urged to answer the call.  The show as described to me would have explored the different connotations of the word “bitch” in modern America; the producer I spoke to was eager to present the positive ideal of the bitch that HBI stands for and contrast it with the negative character traits that are often called “bitchy.”  The producer emailed me a few questions about what sort of woman I consider a bitch to be and what I like about them; she was interested enough to schedule a short phone interview with me.  In the end they didn’t invite me to appear on the show, but I wasn’t too surprised:  I’m a bit old for their target demographic and not particularly photogenic, and my personality is too subdued for a TV talk show.  I enjoyed answering her questions, however, and Natalie asked me to write up my replies more coherently to be posted as a testimonial by one of the men in HBI.

 

TB: What sort of woman do you consider a bitch to be?

 

Heartless Bitches are independent women who are called "bitch" because they think for themselves, say what they think, and live for themselves.  In common speech there are other types of bitches as well, the manipulative grasping types who are self-absorbed and shallow, and the spiteful, rotten backbiting types (the type I think of as the bitch in the manger).  I admire women who declare proudly that they are Heartless Bitches; it makes some people think about the implications of lumping together all women who aren't noodle-spined passive dependents under the same term, and it ticks off others.  I admire Heartless Bitches (not the other kinds) because they're full-fledged people.  They live the way I think men and women both should live--independent, honest, forthright, and equal.

 

TB: Why do men love bitches?

 

Who wants a manipulative mind-fuck?  Who wants a constant battle of wills with a contumacious gold-digger?  Who wants to dance with a limp rag doll?  I respect myself and expect my friends to respect me, and I only become close friends with people who respect themselves as well.  That goes doubly so for romance.

 

As for why other men love other kinds of bitches, it beats me.  Maybe they like the attention or don't have enough excitement and turmoil in their lives, or maybe they think they have too much money and want to get rid of it.

 

TB: Why do men date bitches?  Do you go out of your way to date them?

 

I don't date these days (I'm very busy), but yes, I prefer to date women who would agree with the Heartless Manifesto--or, rather, I'm only attracted by and large to women who act like they would:  Who treat me with respect and make it clear in their behavior that they expect the same from me, who think for themselves and can discuss things calmly without trying to pull any punches or manipulate me with cutesy behavior, and who quite rightly respect themselves and don't need a man to complete them.  In general I've always preferred women older than 25 (which was not so good for me when I was growing up but quite nice now that I'm over 25 myself), because too many women younger than 25 haven't really grown up yet.   The same is true of many young men, of course, and it was certainly true of me.

 

By the same token, I can't stand "nice guys," the clingy sad-sacks who try to manipulate women into romance by pretending to be sensitive "true friends" of women, then complain about the worthlessness of all these women who take them at their words as just friends.  Yech.  The false choice of nice guys versus assholes is just as bad as saying all women who aren't stereotypical nice girls (passive, dependent, yielding, looking for a mate to complete them) are bitches (in the negative sense).  I prefer the company of men and women who are none of the above--fully-fledged people.  Of course, in saying this I fully admit I wasn't a fully-fledged person myself until life kicked some sense into me in my late twenties; before then I didn't set boundaries for myself and didn't respect other's boundaries as well as I should have, nor did I think about the consequences of my actions nearly well enough (though I always took responsibility for my stupid mistakes and eventually learned from them).

 

TB: Why and when did you join HBI?  And how has HBI enriched your life?

 

I was a long-time devoted reader from 1997, very soon after the site was launched; I only joined in 2000.  Their dissection of the nice guy persona was perfect and made fully conscious for me the sort of behavior I dislike in too many men.  I wasn't a "nice guy" myself and certainly didn't think of myself as one, but I had a few streaks of that sort of behavior.  I would get mad at women for rejecting me without owning up to the fact that I wasn't forthright enough in asking them out or making a pass at them.  And this is something men should be forthright about.  It would be great if women felt free to ask men out, but many women aren’t comfortable doing so, so no matter how unfair it might seem to timid young men torn apart by attraction and apprehension, it’s usually up to the man to take the active role in approaching a woman, asking her out, and making the first move.  There’s nothing shameful in being attracted to a woman, but learning how to express your attraction with dignity and without forcing your personality (or your tongue and innards!) into an exotic pretzel takes time, and “nice guys” are often the ones who wimp out of this necessary part of growing up.

 

Mind you, this was mixed up with the fact that I had dated a couple of markedly manipulative women.  Thinking back on it now, I’m aghast at the treatment I allowed them to get away with.  (One of them devoted our second dinner date to describing in detail what a passel of losers her ex-boyfriends had been.  Just imagine!  One of them was a professional photographer a decade older who worked long hours and preferred to relax at home with her after work.  Not at all the vibrant bon vivant she had imagined him to be.  After tormenting him for far too long, she broke up with him and presented him with a number of books on co-dependency so he’d learn what was what.  Then she treated me to a detailed narrative of their varied sexual failings.  And I put up with that!  Worse than that, I asked her out on a third date.)  The basic problem was that I pursued women who were not a certain type (submissive, retiring, and self-effacing, or shallow, mercenary, and crassly over-beautified), rather than thinking more positively about what I did want.

 

In any case, focusing on their deep flaws allowed me to overlook the places where I was at fault (and my own fault for pursuing them in spite of pretty bloody obvious danger signs).  When I read "What's Wrong with Nice Guys" on HBI, it didn't allow me to ignore my own behavior.  More than that, I was too pliant towards browbeating and manipulation in general and a bit mealy-mouthed until the times I'd overreact and rip sarcastically into people.  The responses on HBI to negative letters were a perfect model for standing up for yourself with poise and wit, insulting enough when need be but refusing to buy into any crap that was thrown at you.  I didn't see any reason to join until 1999 or so, when I realized there was a discussion board, and then I hesitated because I wasn't sure I'd be able to hold my own.  Finally I joined when I realized that was stupid--if I couldn't hold my own, then I'd learn how to only by joining and taking my licks.  Turns out I could hold my own from quite early on, and posting on the board has polished my writing style, my argument skills, and my ability to turn a witty phrase.  It's also made me many friends.

 

TB: And finally, have you ever dated anyone from HBI?

 

No, since I don't date over the Internet.  (And what odds’ll you lay me that that made me too cold a fish to put on hot daytime TV?)



Copyright© Heartless Bitches International (heartless-bitches.com) 2005
Copying or reproduction (in whole or in part) on any medium (such as in print or on the web) is expressly forbidden without written permission from HBI

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