Elite Daily ran an article declaring Drake a “nice” guy and applauding Rihanna for (according to them) deciding to date a ”nice” guy instead of a bad boy like Chris Brown. This is just one of many examples of the media swooning over “good guy” Drake and the speech he gave at the VMAs to celebrate Riri, wherein he spoke about her talent, style, success and fierceness and subtly declared his love for her.
I have nothing against appreciating Drake’s speech or his adoration for Rihanna, however, there is something excruciatingly wrong with the “nice” guy narrative and I’m just so completely over it.
Society has come to categorize normal, decent behavior from men as if it is some type of accomplishment that should be awarded and then if men aren’t “nice” to women, somehow male inability to act right becomes women’s fault. This enables a vicious culture where men are never culpable and can claim victimhood by declaring themselves unappreciated “good” guys and women are blamed for their victimization or mistreatment.
Strangely, I have a nearly unbelievable narrative to demonstrate this point.
A couple of weeks ago, I went on a date with a guy who proclaimed himself a “nice” guy.
“So many women would pass up a nice guy like me to be with one of those stupid, ghetto rappers in your article,” he declared as we perused the recent piece I wrote about millenial artists who are destroying Hip-Hop. I let his comment slide, even though I have long grown very weary of men who declare themselves “good” or “nice” guys.
However he wanted to self-describe, one thing was certain to me: This guy was a bit of a scrub. Not that he was a cheapskate or anything. Quite the contrary, actually. Everywhere we went he made sure to announce that he had no problem spending money.
“Wanna get a bottle?” he questioned me when we arrived at a lounge in NYC where all bottles start at $800.
Admittedly, I am a bit frugal (even with other people’s money). So I declined, writing the idea off as a “waste of money”.
The reason why this guy was a scrub wasn’t because he didn’t own his own financially, but because he looked like one. On our first date, he arrived wearing a shirt with bleach stains on it and poorly fitting pants. I told him right off the bat that I could not entertain a man who does not take pride in his appearance. I wanted him to understand, straightforward, that I have aesthetic needs. And one of those is dressing and presenting with some damn class.
He apologized and assured me that the next time we met he would be properly dressed. I enjoyed his personality and company, so I let it slide and said “ok” to another possible hang out.
A week or so later, an acquaintance who I met during my travels abroad came to visit the city. She wanted me to take her out to a club or hangout and I agreed. When the night came around, I received a message from Mr. Cant Dress asking to hang out as well. So, I figured we could make it a group thing and everyone agreed.
When my travel acquaintance and I arrived at the lounge, I crossed my fingers hoping dude wouldn’t be embarrassingly dressed. My hope was immediately crushed upon catching a glimpse of his poorly fitted button-down, jeans that were so long that they were dragging on the floor and catching under his cheap, old, busted-looking shoes and a geeky wire-framed pair of glasses.
I feigned excitement, gave him a brief hug and introduced him to the girl. He immediately darted off to go buy a round of drinks, which gave me a moment of reprieve to express my disappointment (talk mad mess about his clothes behind his back).
He returned with the drinks, handed them off and then positioned himself behind me to “dance”. The lame f**k boy kinda dance that merely requires men to stand around with their hips pushed out, while they expect women to grind their booties on them sexually. I almost threw up. 1. Because I hate when men using “dancing” as an excuse to cop a feel and 2. I did tell you about his outfit, right?
In any case, I guess my lack of enthusiasm was evident, because he eventually gave up on his dancing attempt and awkwardly stepped aside. We stood around for a while making small talk, and then decided to go to another spot.
“Why don’t you be nicer to him?” my traveling guest demanded, “he seems like a nice guy and he is paying for our drinks.”
I gave her a sideways glance. I couldn’t careless what he was paying for. It did not mean he was entitled to my body or affection. He definitely got that hint because after buying a few more rounds at the next spot and failing miserably at attempts to get my ass to rub up against his crotch or “dance” again, he declared that he was leaving.
I hit him with the okie doke and responded, “boy, bye.”
My girl guest noticed him leaving and rushed over to encourage me to get him to stay. She was there when he offered to spend nearly a thousand dollars on a table, and was also obviously impressed by the pictures he repeatedly displayed of his office view in one of the highest floors at the World Trade Center. She saw him as an ATM and didn’t want the cash flow to disappear, leaving us to pay for our own night out.
“Dont let him leave,” she pressed, “he was going to pay for our car to get home.”
I shrugged my shoulder, dismissed her and continued to dance.
A few moments later, he reappeared. My traveling guest made her way over to him and they both started to sway back and forth together, while groping one another and making out. That was cool with me. I figured everyone was winning.
Then he approached me with a novel idea:
“Let’s go to the strip club!” he declared.
I love to watch talented girls dance and New York City has a great spot known for its curvaceous women who know how to work a pole. We all agreed, figuring it would be more entertaining than the club, jumped in an Uber and made our way to the strip club.
When we arrived, he took $100 out of the ATM and handed us the stack of dollars to go tip girls. Since my guest borrowed my purse for the night, she was keeping track of our collective belongings. The stack of ones joined that collection.
Sadly, it turned out that the club was closing within moments of us getting there because a fight broke out. So we fled the scene, dodging fists and kicks and went outside to decide on the next move. I was ready to just get home.
“Why did you even agree to hang out with me if you didn’t like me like that?” Mr. Cant Dress questioned me as we walked towards the main road to wait for a car.
It’s was not that i didn’t like him. I actually enjoyed his conversation and thought he was a pretty smart dude. But the poor presentation and creepy attempts at feeling me up were just major turn offs. Not to mention, what did it matter anyhow? He was just feeling up on and making out with my guest anyways.
I didn’t even bother arguing and decided to keep my distance as we awaited the arrival of our Uber. The two began to make out again, and seconds later I noticed homegirl’s hand down his pants. I couldn’t hate on the brother (or my traveling girl acquaintance), but wtf? A hand job in public, right on the sidewalk of a major road? I tried to position my body in front of them, to conceal their shameless act, with which I would be associated in the opinion of passersby.
When the car arrived, I jumped in and never looked back.
I had no intentions of talking to neither of them ever again, but in the morning I noticed my phone was missing. I figured I left it in the car (which Mr. Can’t Dress ordered with his Uber account). I had to ask him to contact the driver to try to get it.
“You didn’t have to act the way you did last night,” he began.
Somehow, he was chastising me for not giving him any attention, even after he publicly received a hand job from a girl I introduced him to– right in front of me!
“See, girls like you always miss out on the good guys because you are too superficial,” he continued, “I take you and your girl out and treat you both, and that’s how you wanna act?”
When I told him that he shouldn’t be the one castigating me, after he made out with and received sexual favors from my guest, he told me:
“You should’ve told her ‘that’s my job’”.
Yes, that line is completely real and not fabricated.
That moment reinforced the reason why I avoid self-proclaimed “good/nice guys” like the plague. Why I don’t even believe the dichotomy of “good/bad” boy should even exist. Our society far too frequently measure men’s character by actions that should be considered basic.
He pays for a date.
He has a job.
He doesn’t cheat.
He is a father to his kids.
He isn’t abusive.
And men use those rudimentary measurements to declare themselves “good”, even when they are far from it.
In Drake’s case, according to that Elite Daily article writer, the rapper is a “good guy” because he isn’t driven by a big male ego: “Never once did Drake pepper in his own success story, like egocentric male artists tend to do when they’re reminding us they’re also stars, in case we momentarily forgot,” the article writer declared.
Drake isn’t a “good” guy because he doesn’t domestically abuse women, like Chris Brown. Or because he doesn’t let his male ego come in the way of his respect for an incredibly beautiful, talented woman. He is just a normal guy who treats women with respect.
It is time we let men stop hiding behind the “good guy” narrative. A guy who treats women right is just a man. And a guy who doesn’t is no man at all.