Why Mean Comments Leave Me Baffled

(NOTE: Based on time elapsed since the posting of this entry, the BS-o-meter calculates this is 8.442% likely to be something that Ferrett now regrets.)

I don’t consider myself a ‘Bad Dude’ nor a ‘Nice Guy’ but I can spot a bruised ego and bad writing when I see it. I hate labels because they put limits on people. Your premise that ‘Nice Guys’ don’t get sex is ignorant. Then again, I consider the source. By the way, 1990’s Hawaiian shirts, a goatee, fedora, fingernail polish, and back hair don’t make you a ‘Bad Ass’ dude. What they do make you is just like your writing? Out of touch and needing to be noticed…

Now, that’s the sort of comment that leaves me a little stung, but not for the reasons you’d think.
It was left on the FetLife cross-post of my “Why Nice Guys Don’t Get Sex: Reason #1 In An Infinite Series” essay, and that sort of furious essay reminds me of middle school.  Now, I don’t begrudge a few angry comments; after all, that post was about a behavior I find odious (and took aim at), and made some generalizations that could sting if you were caught in the cross-fire, so I don’t mind a few slams back. It’s only fair, after all.
(My favorite is the guy who claimed that women are having sex with all those assholes only because you’re such a wonderful guy, they know they don’t deserve you, and so they close their eyes and fantasize about you guiltily the entire time they’re banging jerks.  Um, I’m sure that happens often.)
But the angry comment here, when analyzed, is pretty detailed.  See, my default profile pic on FetLife doesn’t even have me wearing a hat.  Nor does it display my sad, thatchy abundance of back hair.  So to leave this comment, the guy had to go through all of my pictures, specifically taking stock of all my many flaws, just so he could leave a comment that was meant to be personal and cutting.
He failed, sadly.  They usually do.  If he’d read any of my writing or my status updates (which he probably didn’t do because that would be too time-consuming), he’d have known that I don’t consider myself a Badass at all.  I’m a neurotic train wreck who occasional partakes in ritualized acts of violence for sexualized pleasure, sure!  But note that I don’t call myself a Dom, or a Master.  I don’t swagger much, except occasionally when it comes to rejoicing in my fireplay skills (and even that’s mostly out of a vaguely surprised “I did it!”).  In fact, most of my writing is about me fucking up in some way, using it as an example to talk about How Not To Do This.
So it’s like, “Dude, if you were going to do the research, you should have done it all the way.”  There are plenty of ways you could have hurt my feelings – you just didn’t dig deep enough.
(Which is what most insults are, weirdly.  If you look at what people are picking on you about, it usually reflects what they’re most terrified of being.  Dude is probably very concerned about his badass status, and as such thought that trying to remove mine would be devastating.)
What wounds me is the time.  I see a lot of dipshit writings on the Internet that I disagree with.  If motivated, occasionally I’ll even argue them in the comments.  But it would take a lot to get me to do research to try to find personalized ways to insult them. I’ve spent time looking up links to defang someone’s argument, absolutely, but spending time rooting through their profile to try to find the things that I think would hurt them?
That’s mean.  And yet here’s the guy, taking time to do craft a personalized insult to a stranger.  The actual insult doesn’t hurt; the intent does.  It makes me wonder whether what I wrote was actually that bad, causing a self-reflection that’s troubling… And yeah, I probably could have written it better.  I’ll get ’em next time, tiger.
Yet there’s that pathetic attempt.  Someone took a shot at me, and missed.  And I wonder if that’s how Superman feels as the bullets bounce off him, going, “Do they really mean to do that?  Do they know what they’re trying to do?”
Not that I’m Superman, of course.  More like Jimmy Olsen; occasionally lucky, given more adventures than he truly deserves, but a little too cocky to be a true hero.

10 Comments

  1. Skennedy
    Oct 23, 2012

    All I thought when I read your original post was that it doesn’t seem my world has the Nice Guy / Asshole dynamic, for whatever reason. Not that I can’t relate in my youth. I certainly didn’t see anything worth crying about.
    I do love the labels/limitations discussion – it’s always as simplistic as labels, themselves, can be, y’know?

    • Arwen
      Oct 23, 2012

      I think your writing is really funny and insightful. And mere words cannot do justice to my uncontrollable eye-rolls whenever I’m on a date with a guy who complains ad naseum about nice guys finishing last and never getting the girl. <— So… you're sitting with chopped liver here? And good job with that self-fulfilling profecy.

      • Arwen
        Oct 23, 2012

        *prophecy (damn my spelling dyslexia)

      • TheFerrett
        Oct 24, 2012

        Oh, for fuck’s sake, they’ll complain about it while you’re there?

        • Jericka
          Oct 24, 2012

          Yes, sometimes they do complain about it while out with a woman.
          But, the last one that did that also complained about his ex-wife all evening to the point where I wondered if he recalled that he was supposed to be on a date with me.

          • Alexis
            Oct 26, 2012

            Yes, some “nice” guys actually complain about how women only date assholes to actual women. I was once stuck next to a toxic bachelor at a party (I’m married, so he knew not to hit on me), and he spent half an hour explaining to me why the last woman he dated was a bitch. Then he told me he was “too nice” to get laid. For the record, I married a respectful, kind, loving man who told me how much he was attracted to me on our first date, but completely respected all of my wishes and boundaries. “Nice” guys who whine that their female friends won’t bang them are like stealth assholes. Most women prefer an honest barbarian–they’re more fun and less whiny.

  2. Linda
    Oct 23, 2012

    Just to let you know I came here because I read your article on Jezebel. I liked that you used the analogy of Christians bugging someone.

    • TheFerrett
      Oct 24, 2012

      Thank you! (Even if I am, y’know, a Christian. Seriously!)

  3. Frelance
    Oct 23, 2012

    on the plus side, he’s inspired me to go watch a bunch of Katt Williams 😛

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