The Telltale But
“He’s a nice guy, but…”
If I had a dollar for every time I heard this… I’d be rich!!!
Girls (and boys, of course) are trained from birth to excuse every single shitty thing a creature with a penis does. It can be anything from lying, to stealing, to fighting, to some pretty heinous stuff. But boys will be boys, so it’s all good. And conversely, girls and boys are trained to criticize and mete punishment out for everything that girls and women do, innocuous or not.
As girls turn into women, they adopt a convenient little survival mechanism that a) helps them rationalize poor decisions they make about men, b) keeps them in the good books of compliance with men and handmaidens, and c) just makes life marginally easier on the surface and in the short-run.
This little mechanism is, “He did/does xyz, but he’s a nice guy.” In that single sentence, you immediately know the guy isn’t nice.
‘But’ is a contrast word. Sometimes, contrasts can exist harmoniously:
He is tall, but fat.
In this case, it is possible to be both tall and fat without being a freak of nature or a paradox.
However, when women start talking about men’s behaviour and personalities using ‘but’ in an effort to defend an asshole, excuse something that has just happened to her at the hands of an asshole, or to placate or dismiss someone who has witnessed or suffered at the hands of a Super Nice Guy TM, the contrast can’t possibly exist.
Nice people don’t do shitty things to others. Or conversely, people who do shitty things to others are definitely not nice folks.
So next time you hear a girlfriend, mother, sister, daughter, coworker or other woman tell you how the boyfriend who calls her a ‘fat bitch’ is actually a nice guy except for when he drinks and trundles out the misogyny that lies beneath his sober exterior, you know she is just trying to survive in a world where men hate her.
Oh how I’d love to say, “I’m a nice lady, but I use weaponry on violators of women” and be excused just like men are. Actually, I’d probably use ‘and’ rather than ‘but’, because I think nice women have a duty to carry out public service acts of niceness such as eliminating those who commit crimes against them and their sisters.