Features

How niceness became the eighth deadly sin for women

We’re increasingly enjoined not to be nice. We seem to be listening

9 August 2014

9:00 AM

9 August 2014

9:00 AM

Fredericksburg, Virginia

I have come a long way with feminism. When it first hit the fan in the early 1970s I was living in a thin-walled apartment next to a woman who held assertiveness-training workshops that included bloodcurdling shouts of ‘This steak is tough! I demand to see the manager!’ Now, 40 years later, assertiveness is all about careers. The new steak is the glass ceiling that women can’t cut through because they are still too ‘nice’ to ask for a promotion and a raise, and the new shout is, ‘This job doesn’t pay enough! I demand to see the company president!’ Books by female executives have given them their marching orders: stop apologising, remember the new swear word is ‘sorry’, and above all, forget about being ‘nice’.

Above all, they certainly have done that. Niceness is the eighth deadly sin for any self-respecting feminist. Women protesting the establishment stances of male politicians routinely hurl challenges of ‘Man up!’ or ‘Put on your man-pants!’ and even ‘Grow a pair!’ Moreover, they make sure their own pairs are on view when they go on TV. The plunging neckline, once strictly reserved for after six, can be seen on the morning news, the noon news, breaking news, cooking shows and the weather report. The cleavage is not intended to be seductive but competitive, and it has caught on so fast that nobody feels self-conscious about it. A ‘nice’ girl would rather die than expose herself on TV, but who cares about being ‘nice’ when there are viewing figures to think of?

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1 - UK Premiere
TV presenter Holly Willoughby Photo: Getty


Niceness is also under assault from the raucous guffawing now being heard from women on talk shows. Big, loud, forced laughs, like men at a stag party intent on proving how comfortable they feel in the in-group. Nothing irritates a woman more than overhearing this kind of male laughter in public places because it ‘sounds dirty’, but frantically competitive women are even willing to irritate themselves. There is nothing they won’t do to get rid of niceness, which explains why the subject of bullying has become almost overnight the latest bandwagon in the endless parade of American cultural crises. Why the sudden fascination? Bullying is male in that it is a search for hierarchy; it is also American in that it is a twisted plea for leadership to bring order out of our run-amok equality; but best of all, it is a niceness-ridder that can’t be beat. The next guffaws you hear will come from ‘Women and Bullying’, a news special in which the all-female panel regale us with confessions of what they did to other girls at school and what the other girls did to them because — wait for it — ‘Women bully too!’

Euphemisms are a form of niceness that women invented so as not to seem crass. About the only euphemism left nowadays is ‘pro-choice’. It really means ‘pro-abortion’ but you can’t say that because a feminist demands the right to combine career and motherhood and that requires motherhood.

photo
Letting everyone know…Photo: G.Murphy

Even during pregnancy, there’s no relaxing for a modern girl — no lapsing back into niceness; no retiring for a while from the fray. A modern girl must make sure that she displays her bump to the world aggressively, to show it’s never once interfered with her life or her chosen profession. A lot of the showing takes place on TV, which is starting to look like an obstetrician’s waiting room. The real ‘get’ nowadays is the pregnant guest who is combining career and motherhood in some astonishing way, like a heavily pregnant marathon runner.

For the woman who really wants to divest herself of niceness for the sake of combining career and motherhood, pregnancy offers the ultimate win: declare the slightest objection to prima facie evidence of discrimination and sue everybody in sight under America’s new first amendment, ‘Diversity rocks!’

At least niceness is not quite dead. I was cheered to hear the other day that Wimbledon officials had ruled that only white underpants may be worn. It was another way of saying that women who wear bright colours obviously want them to show. Calling them ‘underpants’ was also significant: it automatically rules out thongs.

Got something to add? Join the discussion and comment below.

Florence King’s books include Confessions of a Failed Southern Lady, Lump It or Leave It and With Charity Toward None: a Fond Look at Misanthropy.

You might disagree with half of it, but you’ll enjoy reading all of it. Try your first 10 weeks for just $10


Show comments
  • Kitty MLB

    Thank God I’m generally self- employed my breasts have no role to play within the world of Aphrodite and Plato. You can write in your underwear and no one will ever know. Even send posts within the clandestine world of blogosphere not full attired but let me reassure people, as a excruciatingly shy person and nice ( most of the time, can be acerbic when upset) I am always dressed when responding to posts, it would be mortifyingly embarrassing otherwise.
    But for confident women who work in public showing a small amount of cleavage is
    not exposing yourself. Although I am sure some women use their sexuality to get ahead, and that is wrong in my opinion. But I’d like to point out very attractive men, especially those with a female boss probably also use their sexuality.
    You mention feminism, that word was never about woman becoming men and using their sexuality to compete with them and dominate them and belittling men.
    Or thinking women should have special treatment just because they are women.
    It was always about respect and intellectual equality.

    • Damaris Tighe

      Do you do skype Kitty? The idea horrifies me as I’d have to put on full war paint for every call. Re writing in your underwear, I think you have to be svelte to do that. My bits would get in the way.

      • I shouldn’t worry about Skype, D., especially if you’re using a laptop. The connection is sometimes iffy, the picture is often vague, and the anatomical details can be quite lost in the pixelation.

      • Kitty MLB

        No I don’t have skype, much rather hide thank you.
        Cannot think of anything worse.

        • Damaris Tighe

          an abomination

    • How intriguing, Kitty. Indeed, far too much so: you’ll have Colonel Mustard along in a moment to tell you what a narcissist you are! ;^)

      • Kitty MLB

        Hello Fenton. I’ll just tell him that I’m a miguided little
        lady and he’ll say: fear not little lady, don’t trouble yourself and will climb onto his white charger and come to the rescue.He’ll feel pleased with his self as
        the gentlemanly chest is puffed out and I’ll just think
        Oh men.

        • Colonel Mustard

          Alas my charger is not white but a bay. And I feel pleased with myself just being able to climb into the saddle these days, without the daunting prospect of riding to anyone’s rescue.

          But an old man can reminisce and the long dark sleep awaits us all, young or old, lady or gentleman.

  • Kitty MLB

    May I also mention the struggle for nice, clever and beautiful woman within the murky
    world of academia. Crusty older professors and hairy lumberjack leftie women are not
    too keen on any sign of femininity. The women believe you are an insult to the sisterhood and the men believe that perhaps you are not really bright enough and are
    using your little bit of cleavage to get ahead. Regardless of the lack of female professors compared to men.
    And being nice means you just have to maintain a silence most of the time because
    by being nasty and aggressive you are playing into their hands.

  • Archibald Heatherington

    Sorry, I was staring at the photo the whole time. I’ll probably never read the article.

    • Kitty MLB

      I am sure you won’t be the only chap to go weak at the knees.
      Although I have to say that English Men are very charming ( generally ) and
      don’t stare- just go pink- quite endearing. Its wretched when visiting France these men are always looking a certain way, without an ounce of subtlety
      and even in the presence of their ladies.

      • Archibald Heatherington

        I know what you mean. I usually end up studying my shoes intently.

        • Kitty MLB

          Highly polished shoes that act as mirrors- not that I am making
          any insinuations about the character of any gentleman who is an expert in the refinement of manners.

          • girondas2

            Actually to be serious for a moment, – I always look away. I wouldn’t want you to think that I cannot maintain my cool.

          • Kitty MLB

            ‘I always look away wouldn’t want you to think I
            could’nt maintain my cool’
            Oh this is far too easy, but then again I am female. You will maintain your cool and she would know it.You would look away and think
            yourself descreet as you eyes look down, whilst
            she smiles.Your eyes find a shapely pair of female legs, of which you are a connoisseur.
            She knows this whilst wearing a pair of silk stockings and elegant shoes that she is wearing
            on purpose. Not sure if its a spider to a fly
            or moth to a flame.. but it required no help from
            the bumpy bits.

          • girondas2

            I will not deny that I have a weakness for a fine leg

          • red2black

            It’s always the same when you’re ‘batting for the other side’ or ‘bowling from the pavilion end’ (tee hee)

        • girondas2

          Dark sunglasses Archie – have your cake and eat it.

          • Archibald Heatherington

            Fair point, but I’d still feel like a pervert if I looked more than one does as a reflex.

          • Kitty MLB

            Archie, ladies can spot a creepy pervert a mile away. The fact
            that you would be worried about being perceived as a pervert
            would be obvious too and ladies would naturally know that wasn’t the case. And think you charming.

          • Jackthesmilingblack

            “…ladies can spot a creepy pervert a mile away”
            Been saying that for years. “Spot the nutter at 30 paces.”

          • At a dinner party? In the dining room?

          • Kitty MLB

            Oh I wonder what a man would chose. The charming Fenton’s idea of having his cake and
            eating it at a dinner party in the dining room.
            Dressed in enticing layers of cake, marzipan,
            and icing sugar.
            Or two other options,in the kitchen. Raw in a
            mixing bowl ( I shall say no more) or maybe
            when it just comes out of the oven- warm and
            moist unadorned by layers of marzipan or icing
            sugar..Maybe he’s on a diet..oh never mind 🙂

        • Damaris Tighe

          awwww bless!

      • JimHHalpert

        It’s astonishing that with power like that women don’t rule the world.

        • Kitty MLB

          Oh but we do. the gentle and discreet females you just never notice because we are not in your face like other females.

      • an0n

        breasts are for babies

    • girondas2

      Me too.
      Sorry Kitty – it’s just the way it is.

      • Kitty MLB

        Well at least you don’t have to wear a bra, they are so restrictive.
        ‘ Its just the way it is’ Is that a instinct going back to childhood, do chaps look at breasts and think of food ? You know that if you can’t answered that, you’ll be in so much trouble when the fragrant Lizzie turns up.

        • girondas2

          “do chaps look at breasts and think of food ?”
          Er – no, I don’t think so.

          • Kitty MLB

            You have passed a test with flying colours. Sir Walter Raleigh
            from now on for you, Sir. Get your cloak dry cleaned, there is an awful lot puddles on the Spectator and a few leftie Pavlov
            dogs swimming in them, bit you’ll manage.

          • girondas2

            Is that a compliment Kitty?
            I can usually tell, but I’m not certain on this occasion

          • Kitty MLB

            Yes I suppose it was.I hope you have the hat
            to go with the cloak.A gentleman improves
            when attired with a hat.

          • Fergus Pickering

            I feel a poem coming on. Ah. Here it is.

            I thin of breasts a bundle.
            I think of breasts a lot.
            There are some I’d want to fondle,.
            And some that I would not.

          • Kitty MLB

            Erm, Fergus dear.I am not too sure about the
            type of *cough cough* poetry you feel coming
            on…it really isn’t Shelley or Keats or my grandfather. Next time you feel urges like above
            just stroke your cats…there’s a good fellow.

          • Fergus Pickering

            Come Kitty. The Muse will not be ignored.

          • Kitty MLB

            Come Fergus. I’d understand if the Muse was Venus rising from the waves. They’re supposed to inspire ( there isn’t even a beautiful face attached). Just appealing to the basic instinct’s of you boys. And its just, well in your face…No Fergus you can’t answer that, you really just can’t.

          • Fergus Pickering

            A sqib, O divine one. But a squib.

          • Jackthesmilingblack

            What was I saying? Spot the nutter at 30 paces.

          • Fergus Pickering

            Dear me. You can lead a horticulture…

    • I suppose you must have noticed in that case that the boobs need propping and have itsy bitsy stretch marks. They seem to want to fall apart rather than cleave together. A full Bavarian lace-up would be required for that, I guess.

      • Damaris Tighe

        I’m sure poor old Archie will be squirming & studying his shoes on reading that.

        • Kitty MLB

          How mischievous of Fenton to torment Archie
          with the thoughts of a squashed heaving bosom
          encased in tight silk with ribbons running along
          the back. I wonder if thats how Lizzie befuddled
          Darcy in Pride and Prejudice. He was also a
          gentleman like Archie…If Archie were in the gardens at Pemberly how would he respond?

          • Archibald Heatherington

            Try not to break eye contact?

    • Fifteen Beats

      In your defense, it is kind of distracting and I’m not in the least bit into breasts. Just the sheer detail and the black and white…and did they really need to zoom in like that? Okay I’ll stop now.

      • Kitty MLB

        Lovely Archie (who probably blushes) doesn’t really need defending from gentle teasing…its because he’s
        a nice old thing…we’d all give him a big hug if we could…and he can close his eyes if he want’s to.

        • Fifteen Beats

          I just thought he was being hard on himself, but…hmmm…I don’t really have a response to your comment except to say that it made me giggle.

    • lordlindley

      What article? A fine pair indeed Archibald! I wouldn’t mind meeting them, to have an intelligent conversation with their owner, obviously?

      • fundamentallyflawed

        The only comment possible to the photo is – “aye carumba”

        Is there words underneath to read?

  • stephengreen

    I find the premise a little questionable. Is ‘niceness’ a behavioural decision that one makes depending on cultural expectations? One would have hoped it was set at a deeper level than that. If a woman is being nice due to training, advantage or cultural expectations, then best get shot.

  • Mr Starter

    If women have been enjoined not to be nice nobody bothered to tell my granddaughter.

  • Colonel Mustard

    “Did feminism kill the nice girl”

    Yeah. Next.

    • Not all of them, Colonel Fusty.

      • Colonel Mustard

        Your intervention would have more credibility had you not referred to me as “Colonel Fusty”. A nice girl wouldn’t do that.

        • LOL!

          • Colonel Mustard

            Or use such vulgar clichés as “LOL”.

          • You’re the one that sees personality as ‘narcissism’. I rest my case.

          • Colonel Mustard

            I don’t think personality is ‘narcissism’ at all but what was posted here (by you under a different name?) when I made that comment certainly was. So in fact you don’t have a case to rest.

            Waxing lyrical about the finer points of one’s personality to a bunch of complete strangers on a blog is hardly an act of modesty. One can have a personality and even be pleased about it without advertising it to all and sundry. In fact a little mystery and reservation in a lady is far more attractive.

          • Oh I have my admirers, don’t you worry. And I think that ‘waxing lyrical’ is dramatically overstating things!

          • Colonel Mustard

            Boasting about having admirers is precisely the sort of thing a ‘nice girl’ would not do and tends to reinforce my case against you. But I assure you, with the greatest respect, that the number of admirers you do or don’t command is not something I worry about!

          • See, that’s where you and I differ. You think that if one makes self-references, it’s necessarily ‘boasting’. I don’t boast: I tell the truth. I also have fun on blogs. Otherwise, what’s the point?

          • Colonel Mustard

            I am happy to concede your inflated opinion of yourself, whether truth or boast, on the basis that you are having fun.

          • But I don’t have an ‘inflated’ opinion of myself. You’re looking silly: let it drop.

          • Colonel Mustard

            Tee-hee. I think we had established that you thought I looked silly when you referred to me as Colonel “Fusty”.

          • All right then, I’ll change my mind about Fusty. How about Musty?

          • Colonel Mustard

            Musty is not much different to Fusty.

            “lacking freshness or vitality; old-fashioned.”

            synonyms: unoriginal, uninspired, unimaginative, hackneyed, derivative, stale, flat, tired, banal, trite, clichéd, dry as dust, old-fashioned, antiquated, antediluvian, out of date, outdated, hoary, moth-eaten, worn out, threadbare, out of fashion, behind the times, obsolete.

            Fusty:-

            “old-fashioned in attitude or style.”

            synonyms: old-fashioned, out of date, outdated, behind the times, antediluvian, backward-looking, past it.

          • Oh but you wear it so well! ; )

          • Kitty MLB

            Dearest Colonel, mystery in a lady is imperative, to know everything would be so dull and wreck our mystical beings.
            Men that are gentleman are also very attractive.

          • Colonel Mustard

            Sorry to disappoint you Dear Kitty but I should “rather have a plain, russet-coated Captain, that knows what he fights for, and loves what he knows, than that which you call a Gentleman and is nothing else”. But to be fair the quotation long preceded the particular notion of an English gentleman that had developed by the time I was able to repudiate it by word and deed at the same time as admiring and aspiring to, unsuccessfully, its merits.

          • Kitty MLB

            You’d never disppoint dear Colonel . Ladies prefer a modest good-mannered chap to a
            egotistical Sir Galahad. Although ladies don’t
            mind being rescued very occasionally, Colonel
            especially from rabid lefties.
            But yes the word English Gentleman has changed with time.I like to watch old films
            From the 50s ( before I were born ) and always
            see David Niven as the archetypical English
            Gentleman of his time.

  • Gwangi

    What many call ‘being a strong, confident woman’ and ‘being assertive’ is in fact just good old-fashioned rudeness, bad manners, lack of consideration for others, and an expression of people’s vulgar habits and inflated opinion of their own importance.

    It applies to me or women – but when men are rude they are called that; when women behave like pigs they are called role models by the feminutsy gang.

    It’s a shame that girls are encouraged to behave like the worst of men to prove (supposedly) how strong and independent they are. Actually it proves how weak, insecure, easily led and superficial they are…

    • 20thcenturymax

      Except perhaps a drunken, leering, crude, lewd, loud and arrogant man!

      • Gwangi

        Yes, but it’s not the same, is it? Men being like that is simply not as bad – because you see, men and women are not ‘equal’ in terms of roles in relation to caring and children.

        Same reason men dying in the first world war did not cry out FATHER before they croaked; it was always MOTHER. Were they all secksists then? Women and mothers represent nurturing and caring. Thus for women to be utterly irresponsible and promiscuous goes against that, and we all have a natural innate revulsion of that sort of behaviour (would you have wanted YOUR mother to be a drunken promiscuous sleeparound then?)

        Men do not become pregnant, care for babies and small children, and are not seen as the carers – rather as the providers. That is biological. It’s to do with reproductive behaviour and biology, and instincts.

        And before you can me a misogynist, I can say now that I am repeating the view of many women – there is nothing so disgusting as a drunken, leering, crude, lewd, loud woman. Some men have always been like that – and it gets results (and gets a certain sort of woman in the sack). Just look at sailors and military men.

        • 20thcenturymax

          I do not agree at all. I would be just as devastated to see my father in this kind of state as I would my mother. Perhaps even more so because my father represents an ideal role model. Also I don’t believe that sailors and military men (or women) do a better job when they are drunk, leery, crude, lewd or loud. Do you? Really?

          • Gwangi

            Stop putting words in my mouth! I did NOT say that sailors and soldiers would do a better job when drunk! I said that traditionally these people have been men (and 97% still are) and there is a tradition of their drinking a lot (they have grog rations till 1980 I believe) and roistering in ports across the world, It was ever thus. And I am no puritan so won’t condemn it.
            Maybe you should ask your father about his youth, eh? If any of your parents is an ideal role model, there must be a lot you don’t know. Or maybe ‘boring’ does it for you?
            Just accept the reality and the biology: male and females are innately different and that is why they behave differently – it’s a brain difference which evolved because of reproductive roles. You might not like that fact, but it is a fact nonetheless.

        • SatyrosJ

          Well said!

          • Liz

            Yeah, if you want to run for the Turkish parliament.

        • Liz

          First of all you have no idea who soldiers cried for on the battle field you dork.
          Secondly are you seriously expecting women to spend their lives being better than men so men have somebody to cry over when their own bad behaviour gets out of hand? Get a grip.

          • Royinsouthwest

            Of course we know who soldiers cried for on the battle field. We have the reports of the soldiers who survived.

  • tolpuddle1

    Everyone’s in training to be nasty – WHS is full of books like “Free your Inner Psychopath” and “How to Learn from Sociopaths.” The Feminists are merely more theatrical.

    But then, pampered people always pride themselves on being “tough”, nasty, hard-nosed, assertive etc.

    Fortunately, the end of our “civilisation” isn’t far away.

  • Alexandrovich

    Hurry up Liz, I can’t stand the tension…

    • Kitty MLB

      Lizzie will turn up I am sure as a breeze to blow away all the cobwebs.

  • Damaris Tighe

    Glad you mentioned ‘pro-choice’, a euphemism if ever there was one. I’m not anti-abortion (although I’d like to see it more restricted than now) but let’s call a spade a spade. The left are always so selective with their terminology. How about calling Hamas’s policy in Gaza ‘pro-choice’? After all, they could have chosen not to start a war & not to place their weapons amongst civilians.

  • Betty Cracker

    I’ll try to say it nicely. This article is complete nonsense.

    • Damaris Tighe

      It’s the speccie’s statutory weekly s*x ‘n’ babes piece.

    • Smithersjones2013

      It’s written by someone who has been described as ‘the World’s funniest bi-sexual Republican’, given the immense conflicts that that implies its little wonder it’s nonsense.

  • Damaris Tighe

    When I was a thrusting young female yuppie in the 80s I definitely wasn’t always nice. I became nicer after a personal calamity & with maturity. The trouble with niceness, in my experience, is that it robs you of the fire in your belly. I’m a lot nicer now (except in some speccie posts!) but also a lot poorer.

    • MrsDBliss

      Richer in other ways 🙂

      • Damaris Tighe

        If I keep telling myself that will I believe it one day?

  • Smithersjones2013

    I think some people might be taking this article a little too seriously. They should check out Florence King’s bio……

    • And her writing, which at times is frankly pornographic, though she might call it something else.

  • Matt

    Ah yes, because all feminists try and prove their credentials through being rude, laughing heartily (this article is reminiscent of the Turkish PMs recent comments) and through aggressively showing their cleavage.

    THIS MAY BE THE MOST RIDICULOUS ARTICLE I’VE EVER READ

    • In that case you probably don’t read much.

    • No1important

      Trust me from a guys point of view nice girls pretty much died out with the last generation. Now mainly all that is available is ladettes. Was that the point of feminism to morph women into men or has failed completely as it was supposed to liberate the feminine?

      • StephanieJCW

        Maybe it says something about you and the girls you attract?

        • No1important

          No not really Stephanie, a large proportion of girls these days just want to be Kim Kardasian.. A girl I know posted a picture on facebook of a Celine bag (I guess it’s expensive) with the caption ” I can’t believe it, I have the best bf in the world, I love him soooo much”, or some such crap, it had over 40 likes and 20+ comments from other women along the lines of you’re so lucky, he’s a keeper. And I just thought what a sad shallow bunch of harpies. And you see them out all the time blinged up on their stupid 6inch heels going round in drunken packs, one bloke I recall commented “lookout the velocirapters are out hunting for unsuspecting men to sink their fake nails into for champagne followed by Sambuca chasers”. Possibly one of most accurate descriptions I have ever heard. Most blokes I talk these days don’t trust women as far they could throw them and have no intention of ever making the mistake of marrying one. That is what feminism has achieved, predatory women that blokes want nothing more than sex from because they know they’ll get stung any other way.

          • Fifteen Beats

            That’s not a pretty picture. I’m not like that and I don’t know anyone of that sort of predatory female type either. Then again, I’m too old (34) to be called a girl so I suspect you’re talking about young women who maybe aren’t mature and don’t have a great deal of life experience.

          • Fifteen Beats

            That’s not a pretty picture. I’m not like that and I don’t know anyone of that sort of predatory female type either. Then again, I’m too old (34) to be called a girl so I suspect you’re talking about young women who maybe aren’t mature and don’t have a great deal of life experience.

          • Ru

            You doubt d like the only thing your know about girls us what you see on TV.

          • No1important

            Yes that’s right Ru I live in a hermitage and I’ve never even seen a real girl never mind spoken with one. You do say the most random things.

          • StephanieJCW

            Being thankful for a gift you have been bought and showing appreciation is a bad thing to do?

            “Most blokes I talk these days don’t trust women as far they could throw them and have no intention of ever making the mistake of marrying one. That is what feminism has achieved, predatory women that blokes want nothing more than sex from because they know they’ll get stung any other way”

            Yep – i think this says something about you. Most men I know are lovely and would never casually stereotype all women in the manner you do.

          • No1important

            Afternoon Stephanie

            firstly I think you will find I am not stereotyping all women I think I said “a large proportion”

            Secondly they aren’t showing appreciation for a gift they have been bought, they are showing that they judge a man’s worthiness on nothing more than the ability to buy on overpriced bit of tat, revealing themselves to be shallow and materialistic.

            And last but not least “most” men will not talk to you candidly about their views on women because you are one and you would be offended, if you don’t believe me there is a reason 100% of men watch porn also try reading a book called the Average American Male by Chad Kultgen, a bit extreme maybe but the kernel of maleness is definitely at it’s core.

            Anyway Stephanie as unlike you I am not going to presume to judge what type of lady you are based on a few posts, have an enjoyable day.

      • Matt

        The point of feminism is to stop women being forced into gender roles and oppressed by the patriarchy which you all seem to represent… If a woman wants to laugh heartily or dress however the hell she likes, she has the right to. Your idea of a ‘nice girl’ is a submissive woman who acts in a way that men see pleasing through societal oppression. I’m pretty happy for us to not have that sort of person around anymore… Let women act in their own way and stop criticizing the choices they make because they don’t please you as a man…

        • No1important

          I have no interest in oppressing women, I’m happy for them to do what they want, expect they aren’t, on the whole they are now trying to conform to some media representation of what a woman should be, and it seems to be a shallow vapid materialistic party creature and it is women who press this image on each other not men, look at any woman’s magazine and it is page after page of models and celebrities, selling them the dream and articles about 6 weeks to fit into your bikini or get ready for that little black dress, and then some token article on how big is beautiful and love the skin your in, sisters together and all then back to best bikini bodies of 20XX and then behind each other’s backs they rip into each other about, how they look, what they wear, what they are doing. Don’t expect me to respect that sort of pointless soul less mannequin.

          I lodge with a “nice girl, good job, intelligent, witty, considerate dresses elegantly, goes the the gym, trains hard, drives like a demon, has a small tattoo,but is not interested in going out and getting wasted, hooking up with muscle bound dead beats, or materialistic, no she likes the odd glass of wine or two, going out for a nice meal, walk, the pictures.. etc, but she also likes to keep a home, bake a cake. Completely independent yet also still feminine. Now that is the sort of lady worthy of respect.

          So I don’t criticise women I treat them equally, I have no time for vapid self absorbed people be they men or women and I have respect for neither, so I invariably ignore them.

          • Ru

            And yet you talk of women being on offer to you.

          • No1important

            Er no I don’t, you’ve just completely made that up.

        • MrsDBliss

          So you a man are going to lecture Florence a woman and myself because I agree with her. Right.

    • Patrick Slamin

      She never suggests all feminists “push their credentials” this way, she is pointing out a general trend. “We’re increasingly enjoined not to be nice” is the freakin subtitle. The last line of your comment is a good example of what she is describing, you just come across as rude and insecure.

  • Jackthesmilingblack

    Britisher pals, you simply don’t realise how short-changed you are being when your only source of the home comforts are Brit chicks. Therefore, combine emigration with new spouse acquisition. So obvious when you think it through, except to racists for whom 100% Caucasian children is a requirement written in stone.
    Jack, Japan Alps

    • GraveDave

      Trouble is in my part of Britain most of the foreign girls still sound foreign.

      • Jackthesmilingblack

        In your place, I would give those Islamic chicks a miss.

  • Alistair Kerr

    This is one of the most convincing arguments that I have heard for the gay movement. Flush the women out of your life once for all and settle down with a civilised man! Although I do not suppose that the author actually intended this.

    • No1important

      10/10 for effort Alistair, but I’l take my chances waiting for a decent girl.. I admit though this may take a while.

    • AtMyDeskToday

      I knew a chap who flew Lancasters. He always said there’s nothing like a rear gunner to back you up. He seemed a very nice chap, was he right?

      • Alistair Kerr

        I know a bit about Lancasters, living as I do near RAF Coningsby, where the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight is based. It includes one of the very few Lancasters that is still air-worthy and which may be visted and examined. Having seen it, I’d say that you definitely needed a good rear-gunner to cover your arse when flying back from a bombing raid over Germany.

        • red2black

          I remember reading something to the same effect many years ago in a copy of ‘Biggles Cocks His Lewis’ by Captain W E Johns.

          • Alistair Kerr

            Dear red2black, I must have missed that Biggles novel. But some of the genuine titles are (to modern eyes) rather startling: Biggles Gets His Men (1950), Biggles Takes It Rough (1961), Biggles Takes a Hand (1962), and Biggles Sees Too Much (1968). Blimey! What could Captain W E Johns have been thinking of? Biggles is now definitely a gay icon. He is the inspiration for Captain Jack, played by the gay actor John Barrowman in Dr Who and Torchwood. Jack even has a friend called Algy. No one could doubt James Bond’s liking for women: by contrast, Biggles comments unguardedly that he much prefers smoking to the society of the opposite sex. He lives in a menage a trois with Algy and Ginger. I am amazed that my parents let me read these scandalous books at a tender age!

          • red2black

            I deny all knowledge of the Biggles books and their author, other than an extensive list of bogus Biggles titles inscribed on a toilet wall, of which I found ‘Biggles Cocks His Lewis’ the funniest and consequently the most memorable. Suffice to say, ‘Biggles Flies Undone’ was more typical, but arguably far more predictable. Nor was I aware that Biggles and his fellow adventurers had taken up residence in France. (tee hee)

          • Alistair Kerr

            You are obviously a much better Biggles expert than I, despite your modest disclaimer. While I knew that Biggles and Algy had served in France during World War I (and possibly II), I had no idea that they had ever moved there permanently.

          • red2black

            It was interesting to learn that the French have a particular term for accommodating three people, which I take to be similar to the ‘two up, two down’ type of arrangement as described by the Marquis de Sade, which accommodates four.

          • Alistair Kerr

            Do you recall the French expression for this kind of accommodation? I used to live in France and might recall it. But how is this relevant to Biggles? Or are you suggesting that Biggles, Algy and Ginger must have acquired one of these living units?

          • red2black

            “He lives in a menage a trois with Algy and Ginger.”
            I believe it was a chap called Kerr, corrupted by his parents at a tender age by allowing him access to the notorious ‘Biggles’ books, who first mentioned this somewhere. (tee hee)

          • Alistair Kerr

            Red2black, I see what you mean. But “menage a trois” does not necessarily imply residence in France. It was and is widely used in the UK and elsewhere; especially in front of the children and servants, who were presumed not to understand French. It is one of those foreign language phrases that has got into English (Like “je ne sais quoi” and “Schadenfreude”) and is not considered to require translation. I cannot claim to be the person who first pointed out Biggles’ very unconventional life-style. It was some witty and percipient author of writing about homoeroticism in boys’novels and comics. I am afraid that I have forgotten the author’s name. Until that moment, it had not crossed my mind.

          • red2black

            Disgraceful. I thought Schadenfreude was the German
            battleship that accompanied Gneisenau in ‘a daylight dash up the English Channel’. The dirty so-and-so’s.

          • Alistair Kerr

            You’re thinking of the battleship Scharnhorst, Schadenfreude means taking pleasure in the misfortunes of others.

          • red2black

            It was good to come ashore after such a long time at sea aboard ‘The Black Pig’. “But we’ve landed in France, Captain… home of the dreaded ‘menage a trois’!”

    • Ru

      You’re the reason girls can’t afford to be nice.

      • Alistair Kerr

        Dear Ru, I was actually being ironic. What I wrote above is a logical corollary of what the author of the article seems to be saying. But, as I make clear, I do not think that this really was the point that she was trying to make. It will no doubt cause amusement to any gays who happen to read this lively correspondence.

  • Ru

    The Nice Girl Syndrome by B.Engels:
    How women can overcome the pressure to please others and feel free to be their true selves Are you too nice for your own good? Do family members manipulate you? Do coworkers take advantage of you? If this sounds familiar, read The Nice Girl Syndrome . In this breakthrough guide, renowned author and therapist Beverly Engel, who has helped thousands of women recognize and leave emotionally abusive relationships, can show you how to take control of your life and take care of yourself. Engel explains that women today simply cannot afford to be Nice Girls, because women who are too nice send the message that they are easy targets and are much more likely to be victimized emotionally, physically, and sexually. She identifies the seven different types of Nice Girls and helps you understand which type or types might apply to you. Engel helps you determine whether the Nice Girl Syndrome is keeping you in an abusive relationship or in manipulative situations and helps you change Nice Girl beliefs and behaviors that are holding you back. Shows you how to confront the beliefs and behaviors that keep you stuck in a Nice Girl act as you replace them with healthier, more empowering ones Includes inspiring stories of women Engel has worked with who have found the courage and strength to stop taking abuse and start standing up for themselves “This book will challenge, entertain, and empower its readers.”–– Publishers Weekly (starred review) Written by renowned author and therapist Beverly Engel, who has helped thousands of women recognize and leave emotionally abusive relationships Filled with wise advice, powerful exercises, and practical prescriptions, The Nice Girl Syndrome shows you step by step how to take control of your life and be your own strong woman.

  • StephanieJCW

    What an incredibly idiotic, moronic article! Showing cleavage is ‘not nice’? *Looks down* – I just pick tops I like.

    I guess this is what happens when you have a tight deadline and no idea what to write.

    And can we stop confusing being assertive with ‘not being nice’. This is the same stereotype which sees assertive women as ‘bitches’ and assertive men as, well, ‘men’.

    • GraveDave

      Looks nice to me.

  • StephanieJCW

    What an incredibly idiotic, moronic article! Showing cleavage is ‘not nice’? *Looks down* – I just pick tops I like.

    I guess this is what happens when you have a tight deadline and no idea what to write.

    And can we stop confusing being assertive with ‘not being nice’. This is the same stereotype which sees assertive women as ‘bitches’ and assertive men as, well, ‘men’.

  • StephanieJCW

    “Nothing irritates a woman more than overhearing this kind of male laughter in public places because it ‘sounds dirty’, but frantically competitive women are even willing to irritate themselves.”

    Is this like a joke article? Tell me it is? I am confused as to when the author became qualified to speak for ALL women.

    • Well said.

      In the 1860s, in the UK, 70% of women worked.

      i.e. Working has got nothing to do with feminism. Women have always worked.

      • Damaris Tighe

        And being economically free from the necessity to work was seen as progress. Perhaps another more sincere meaning for ‘pro-choice’ would be the freedom of women to choose whether or not to work outside the home.

        • StephanieJCW

          ” Perhaps another more sincere meaning for ‘pro-choice’ would be the freedom of women to choose whether or not to work outside the home”

          And the freedom for men to do likewise.

      • MrsDBliss

        Yeah, William wilberforce. What a total get for introducing the Factories Act.

  • Nat

    article published in the future. From futuristic perspective.

  • Fellow

    “About the only euphemism left nowadays is ‘pro-choice’. It really means ‘pro-abortion’” – no it doesn’t. It means you are in favour of giving women the choice to have an abortion; even if you are personally against it and may find it abhorrent, you recognise that you do not have the right to tell a woman what to do in that situation.

    • Pro-choice? Does the baby have a choice?

      • red2black

        No. Either way.

      • The baby never has a choice. And it will have to die, sooner or later, in more or less pain: something that sentimentalists seem to forget. Every baby born will have to die. Think about it.

        • MrsDBliss

          We all die. It doesn’t make murder right.

          • It doesn’t make life purely and only a ‘gift’, either, i.e. life itself is a death sentence.

      • StephanieJCW

        When it is independent of the woman’s body yes it does. It doesn’t have greater rights to a woman’s womb than the woman who owns that womb.

        • Kitty MLB

          So it has no rights until its born. The unborn baby didn’t ask to be conceived. If that’s the way some woman feel they aught to be more careful.

  • The Spectator uses tits to get people to read its articles. Are subscription rates that low?

    • red2black

      I haven’t read the article and it hasn’t cost me a penny.
      Nice tits though. (tee hee)

      • Ru

        Your clicks support their advertising revenue.

        • red2black

          Well, as long as that’s as underhand as it gets, I’d don’t really mind. I’m sure it’s the same on other sites I comment on that have a different political complexion to The Spectator.

    • Ru

      Only the articles about women, you never see them offering their female readers a massive pair of testicles.

      • GraveDave

        Come on, is there anything attractive about men’s genitalia, anywhere. Especially when it’s all hairy.

      • Kitty MLB

        Well that would be obscene. As it would also be to show a woman’s sexual organs.

    • GraveDave

      I think they look rather nice; and far nicer for being partially dressed.

  • Ru

    Why the massive close up of a pair of tits?

    • red2black

      I think you mean ‘Why the close up of a massive pair of tits?’

  • Matt

    This ‘article’ substitutes the word ‘nice’ for ‘submissive, quiet and obedient’.

    Recognizing you’re being paid less than your male counterparts purely because of your gender and asking for an equal sum of money doesn’t make you any less nice. Wearing lower tops because you’re proud of your sexuality and your body, and you’re not going to be shamed out of something that makes you happy doesn’t make you any less nice (come on, no women ‘aggressively and competitively show their breasts’, really??). Laughing freely and heartily doesn’t make you any less nice. Being proud of your pregnancy doesn’t make you any less nice.

    Women aren’t trying to act more like men, they’re acting how they want to act, free of constraint. If the end of the ‘nice girl’ means the end of oppressive patriarchal structures, the end of the pay gap, the end of men controlling how a woman acts and what she chooses to wear, then it’s something we should all fully support.

  • James

    The modern woman is unbearable and possibly responsible for the rise in overt homosexualism.

  • grumpy_old_ben

    This is missing the point rather. Holly Willoughby is very much a “nice girl” in the sense that Jane of the Daily Mirror was, or the various sitcom characters played by Sally Thomsett in the 1970s. Rachel Riley would be another example.

    I’ve seen this described as “innocent fan-service girl” which seems to sum it up.

  • Fergus Pickering

    Bullying is male? Well really Flo. It’s obvious you never went to school. Girls bully each other like anything. They are MUCH worse than the boys because they never stop. But perhaps you WERE a bully, and consequently never noticed. Oh surely not! As for niceness, I am a great fan of Disney’s Thumper who told us, ‘If you can’t say nothing nice, don’t say nothing at all. So, in the nicest possible way, be nice.

  • Huh?

  • King Kung

    Actually, some people might like a drunken, crude, lewd, loud woman! think of it … and don’t be offended since they haven’t insulted you ( although you might! )

  • King Kung

    like a sweet pill… it helps if she smiles a bit … tqvm

  • Richard

    As Al Murray says – there are only two jobs for women, secretary or nurse!! Nice boobs though

  • EditorDesk

    Cleavage competition? How about hemlines up to their wazoo?

  • Ohso

    Niceness is a ‘sin’ – and Separatist / Neo-Exterminationist Misandry (Hatred of Men & Boys, Masculinity & Normal Heterosexuality) is The Tenure Track in the pathetic farce of Academentia – and Govt., Law, Biznezz…
    Meaning Wherever the 900 Lb Mozilla Gaystapo Gorilla sits, meaning anywhere it wants.
    SEE
    Men told not to rain on parade Unity key to Dyke March / 50,000 expected at S.F. Dyke March 50,000 expected — Men Not Advised.
    http://www.sfgate.com/politics/joegarofoli/article/Men-told-not-to-rain-on-parade-Unity-key-to-Dyke-2746314.php
    AND
    Women rule the world, if only for a little while – SFGate

    For a few hours Saturday night, Vicki Noblegot a fleeting glimpse of a World Devoid of Men —

    and she came away excited and deeply moved. “This is what the world would look like if women ruled the world, which we intend to do,”
    http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Women-rule-the-world-if-only-for-a-little-while-2746076.php

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