March 25th, 2006

My Power

My More or Less Final Word on the Nice Guy Rant...

So, I'm still getting a fairly steady stream of new comments to the Nice Guy Rant. Which, I gotta say, is pretty cool. =)

However, since I could easily spend entire days on that one post, responding to comments and stuff, I feel it is time for me to just make a sort-of final post about it here, addressing some common things cropping up in comments. I'll still have the entry open for comments, and I will still read all of them. I'll still be very happy when people read it and enjoy it, especially when I end up making new friends because of it. But, I kinda got the subject out of my system when I wrote it back in July, so I don't feel quite as fired up about it anymore and I'm probably going to write about other things for a while now.

On to some final thoughts...

--It's ok to just friend me. I appreciate you asking, but don't feel you have to. I usually friend people back, but usually in the occasional flist update, so it might not happen real quickly. Intro comments are appreciated; it's nice to actually get to be friends with people on my friends list.

--Like I said above, I read all the comments and threads, whether or not I respond.

--I really appreciate all the comments and the time people have taken to say nice things to me or express their thoughts. I'm actually kinda blown away by it. =) And I'm particularly moved by the many guys (and some girls) who wrote comments saying that they saw their own behavior in what I wrote, and that they had changed or that it was inspiring them to change. It's not easy to take that kind of measure of yourself and I'm just really impressed by some of the raw honesty I've been reading. (And for those of you who have decided to make a change, maedbh7 has written a really insightful post on her own journey and her perspective on how to change big-N behavior.)

--Just to put the whole thing in perspective, back around that time I had a nasty encounter that really pushed my buttons. I noticed I was pissed about it partly because it echoed other experiences I'd had from time to time. At the time, the only audience for my LJ was a handful of mostly real-life friends, many of whom got a kick out of it when I worked up a head of steam and got ranty about it, and their sympathetic amusement usually helped me take the edge off-- and more often than not end up laughing about the topic du jour myself. So I wrote about this pattern I'd experienced, expecting nothing more than that, and writing it not only calmed me but helped crystallize my observations so that I think (hope) I can deal with this kind of thing head-on if I encounter it in the future.

That's where it came from. It wasn't like Ms. magazine came to me to commission me to write the definitive study of male mating patterns and I presented that entry as the final word on anything. Yeah, it's not scientific, and it's bombastic and somewhat generalized and all that. It's a rant I wrote because I was cranky and it would defuse me and entertain my friends. That's pretty much it. That it struck a chord with a lot of people is great, but keep the origin story in mind if you're thinking "but it wasn't [fair/analytical/deep/whatever] enough" or if you have the impression that I was trying to write an enduring gospel for the LJ masses. Really not...maybe 20 people had ever shown interest in my LJ up to that time and there was no reason to think this wouldn't be equally obscure.

--It's subjective and based in my experience, so yes, some people will disagree with some or all of it. That's fine. Trust me, if I thought I had the corner on the market of Absolute Truth, I wouldn't be writing about it for free on LJ. ;-)

--The Body Language issue: There have been a lot of interesting comments made about the question of how easy or hard it is to learn body language. Enough that I think it warrants its own post, where the discussion can be continued. I have thoughts about it. At some point I will write them up.

--If you want to know why I didn't write about [some other aspect of gender relations], the reason is some combination of 1) it wasn't the topic the post was about, 2) I don't feel I know enough to speak to it, 3) I don't agree with/have not observed the behavior you're describing, and/or 4) I didn't feel like writing about that. And yes, I chose to focus on men in that post. I don't feel that it's only ok for me to criticize men if I spend equal time criticizing women. If you feel that the behaviors of Nice Girls or any other type deserve this type of polemic, I hope you will be inspired to write it. And send me the link. =) I'll read it-- unless you're going to talk about "feminazis" and then I don't really care WHAT you have to say.

--I know I'm long-winded. I'm really pretty ok with it. Just so's you know, trying to insult me by telling me I use a lot of words is kind of like insulting me by saying "You're over FIVE FEET TALL." =)

But really, on the whole everyone has been very cool and very thoughtful and there has been a wealth of interesting stuff there, and it's been a great pleasure to read all of it and make some new friends and have two minutes of fame on teh intarweb. *g*
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