Wednesday, December 3, 2008

When Nice Guys (TM) Attack: Hot Chicks with Douchebags

First, a word about Nice Guys™:
“Nice Guys™”: The “™” marks the difference between men who are genuinely nice people and men with entitlement issues who wail “but I’m a nice guy!”. There are two types, which often overlap in one individual:
  1. a guy who believes that the simple act of being decent means that the universe owes him a girlfriend.[defn from Mickle][more from Jeff Fecke at Shakesville]
  2. men who are looking to date a woman with the appearance of a supermodel, and yet they continually whine about how “women don’t like nice guys - they only want good-looking assholes”...
And now that you know the Nice Guys™, I give you... their website! That's right, Hot Chicks with Douchebags is run by and for Nice Guys™ - a special place where they can collectively assert that the universe owes them women that look like supermodels while chanting "women only want assholes" in unison.

Sure, I'll admit HCwDB is funny at first glance. The site routinely mocks some colossally over-the-top displays of a particularly ridiculous idea of masculinity - one that would define 'manliness' as enormous muscles, tough-guy tattoos, and a loudly-stated and often-repeated interest in firearms. Muscle-flexing guys strutting for the ladies through loud displays of faux aggression and crotch-grabbing are an embarrassment, and they no doubt deserve to be mocked.

Still - the icky on HCwDB works on a lot of levels, and - after an initial guffaw - will ruin your fun. The problem is that instead of sticking to pointing out one type of harmful (and silly) gender performance, the site mixes in a healthy dose of misogyny and some huge double standards. Here are a few of the ways Hot Chicks with Douchebags goes wrong:

1. Drooling over the women in the photos is, in large part, what this site is about. Sure, Jay Louis, the site's author, tries to be 'ironic' as he publicly lusts over the women in the photos he posts- he writes "I would humbly bongo her hindquarters with only a quart of yak's milk and a small Malaysian sherpa named Shingwa to guide me" and "Speaking of manna, [this] blonde is trashy/tasty, but undeniably sexy, with a shoulder I'd suckle with the fright of a caged calf sensing his impending transition into veal" and "I long to fondle her inner thighs with chicken grease" - because ridiculousness is totally an antidote to creepy - right? Yet, this guy is posting pictures of women without their consent and writing about what (funny?) sex act he'd like to engage in with them - and that's not cute, its icky. Adding a few lines about the guy in the photo doesn't change the essential creepy wanker dynamic here either.

2. Just... this quote: "...Native Hottmerican on the right makes my wumpa want to wigwam, and my Native American term for something want to Native American term for something." I have no words. There's more like the above though - pretty much every woman of color on the site gets some type of similar treatment.

3. So, let's see if I've got this straight - if a woman works out, applies some makeup, and sometimes chooses revealing outfits... she's hot. And that's good, hot is what's she's supposed to be - so that men can have the pleasure of looking at her and deciding that they deserve her more than the guys she's freely chosen for her company. Yet, if a guy goes to the gym, styles his hair, and chooses an outfit that reveals what he considers to be his best physical assets... he's a douche who has somehow stolen the women that better men (men less concerned with their looks) deserve. That seems a bit like a sexual double standard. Of course, Louis responds to a similar criticism (deploy irony shield!) on the site:
[...] My mission quest is to save the hott by changing the culture. By rearranging the semiotics of discourse into a new alignment in which douchery is no longer necessary.

Then, and only then, will the boobies be free.
So someday it will be socially acceptable for a normal-looking guy to be the love interest of women who invest time and energy into looking like supermodels. Oh, wait a minute:














Look, to me HCwDB is a maddening display of male entitlement a la Nice Guys™. Yet, I haven't been able to convince a single person out here in the 'real world.' Several friends of mine maintain that the site is uproariously funny and that, if I just keep reading, I'll see how clever it is and fall madly in love with it. There have even been threats made of buying me the book. All I can say is... this guy got a book deal?!? I'm a nice blogger, the universe owes me a hot book deal... but not the accompanying lawsuits.

And so, dear readers - what do you think: is HCwDB super-plus funny or about a million tons of just plain gross?

9 comments:

lindsay said...

Great analysis... the double standards plus the violation of putting people's images online plus the stereotypes involved... what a creepy and offensive site.

Sungold said...

Well, I think both things are true. The site's creepy when it comments on the women. It's funny when it exposes the icky sense of entitlement that some of the "douchebags" radiate.

I guess it just goes to show that masculine sexual entitlement comes in multiple flavors, none of them tasty.

fourth wave said...

I agree with Lindsay, excellent analysis.

As for me, I think the website is mildly funny (I find the author's hyper-theoreticalness especially amusing/annoying), but you're right about the weirdness of his comments and his obvious sense self-righteousness. That said, the photographs are ridiculous in their own right and sort of deserved to be mocked. I just wouldn't go about it in quite the (sexist) way he does.

I assume you seen the Nice Guy Onion spoof? I feel similarly ambivalent about that as well.

petpluto said...

Wow. I'm not even going to that site to check it out, because that guy definitely seems to be suffering from Nice Guy™itus and that is not something I need to see any more of. Reading some of the lovely comments you provide is proof enough that IF this guy ever managed to find a "Hot Chick" who would go out with him, he has reserved his very own spot on HCwDB - in spades.

I also echo your disbelief that this guy got a book deal. Some days, the world seems intent on crushing my soul.

crankosaur said...

So if hot women started showing interest in any of the guys making this site, would they put themselves up here?
I think some of the women on that site look like douchebags too, but I guess since they're hot they don't really have to have personalities, right? Am I thinking like a Nice Guy yet?

Hershele Ostropoler said...

I may have been unhappy that I was investing all this time in a "friendship" without getting so much as an obvious signal that I should ask her out. But I never blamed women as a whole or men in her life.

Jeff said...

Websites and blogs are what they are. And intelligence is intelligence. Critical skills honed are difficult to turn off and one is almost embarrassed by the way in which you dismantle the cultural assumptions of the blog in question.

But what about the next step? What about the basis of the complaint of nice guys that women often choose self destructive relationships of self edifying ones? What about women who repeatedly date abusers do to some unconscious wiring that continues to attract them to such types? What is the difference qualitatively between such relationships and the ones in question where the faults appear to be more benign such as being egomaniacal or having poor fashion sensitivities? Does the leveling of the two further complicate the question? And how does moving away from the sense of entitlement to a different standpoint change the assessment?

MarkH said...

There is one notable exception. The New Jersey guys who wear that fake tan stuff so that they're completely orange and look like total tools with hot chicks. Those guys are douchebags and don't deserve any women. Ever. I'm not saying that I deserve their women. I don't want the women that would date orange men. But still, the thought of these guys breeding.

*shudders*

Susan said...

Jeff: Google the phrase "concern troll".