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There is a person in the periphery of my life–I can’t say how I know this person without outing him/her, so I’ll just call him/her “Pat.” So Pat, to the best of my knowledge, believes the world revolves around Pat. Pat has no qualms about making unreasonable requests of everyone around him/her, but Pat makes no effort to reciprocate. Pat actually doesn’t even have the common decency to apologize for inconveniencing others–nor does Pat express appreciation when people go out of their way to help him/her. No, Pat simply breezes through life EXPECTING that everyone will bend over backward for him/her. Because Pat is a special snowflake with whom everyone is blessed to simply share square footage.

So how does Pat get away with it? Easy. Pat is disgustingly nice. Not kind. Not compassionate. Not generous. Not caring. Just nice. Pat will smile regardless of what’s happening in the conversation, laugh at all jokes (even his/her own), make physical and eye contact–all of the necessary social cues to tell people that Pat is super-nice. People are generally caught off-guard by Pat’s unreasonable demands when they spring from such a “nice” person, so they just comply. Why wouldn’t they? Pat is so nice, clearly he/she has no ulterior motives and just needs some help. Again.

Why are we talking about Pat? Because Pat is the perfect example of our shitty culture of niceties. Somehow we have devolved into a society that believes that nothing is more important than being super-nice. It’s not enough to just be neutral. Or earnest. Or honest. No, we all have to go out of our way to smile all the time and make mindless small talk with everyone who stumbles into our personal space and go out of our way to accommodate everyone, regardless of how much it puts us out. Women are especially indoctrinated with this bullshit. To be a lady is to be nice. They’re practically synonymous. We’re taught to be agreeable and pleasant and friendly. These are not bad qualities–when they’re genuine. Forcing these qualities, just for the sake of being “nice,” is what I have a problem with. I want people to be kind because they want to be kind, not because they feel obligated to do so. I have known enough “nice” people in my life to know that most of them are big, fat fakers who don’t care about anyone but themselves and will abandon others in a heartbeat once shit gets tough. I don’t have time for that.

For the record: I don’t get how everyone seems to associate my hatred of “niceness” with an endorsement of just being a huge jerk all the time. No. I just think that people should be free to be neutral. We shouldn’t feel obligated to smile and make small talk and hold doors. We should do it because we want to. And when I do it–it’s because I want to. And that’s often. And it’s genuine. I hate seeing people go through the motions just to avoid judgment, and I hate feeling like I can’t get a read on someone’s real motives. That’s why I am the way I am: You may hate me and think I’m a bitch, but you will never wonder how I feel about you. I will let you know. I would prefer everyone extend me the same courtesy.

Which brings me to the topic at hand: I think this is why “women prefer assholes.” It’s not that we like being treated like shit, or that we like “bad boys.” I think we’re just sick of being lied to by people who act nice but are assholes deep down. At least the douchebag frat-bro isn’t trying to pull one over on us–we know what we’re getting into. We’re forever on-guard against other women who put up a sweet front but are really just catty, insecure backstabbers* and against dudes pretending to be decent just to get into our pants. It’s actually pretty refreshing to have someone just be up-front with who they are. Like, yes, I’m an asshole and you’re free to love me or leave me. I don’t care. I’m doing me.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why I think women “prefer assholes.” We’re tired of liars and fakers. My new mantra is: Better an honest asshole than a nice liar.

* Sorry, I’m coming off of best-friendship deterioration number five, so I’m a little jaded these days when it comes to having (straight) female friends.

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