I am all for calling out sexist behavior and if you’ve spent more than five seconds around me, you know I have a lot of opinions about Nice Guy Syndrome. However, there is an art — no matter how ranty — to calling out bad behavior, and doing it poorly does a cause no favors.
Feministing — one of the biggest feminist blogs on the internet — posted a link to a Tumblr account called “Nice Guys of OKCupid.” I’m posting the link to the Feministing article but not the Tumblr account, because of what I’m about to say here.
Admittedly, my knee jerk reaction to the Tumblr site was vicious glee that someone would so unapologetically call out “Nice Guys.” But after consulting with some trusted friends, I’m now wholly uncomfortable with “Nice Guys of OKCupid” and even more so with the fact that Feministing linked to and condoned the account.
The Tumblr account takes pictures and text from the profiles of OKCupid users who exhibit “Nice Guy” behavior and posts them for the purpose of calling out their shitty attitude towards women. Normally, I would be in favor of addressing this kind of behavior, but this Tumblr account fails on primarily two points: 1) it posts pictures without permission, and 2) it levels personal attacks at the people it calls out.
Posting pictures of women without permission and for the purposes of mocking/attacking them is an issue that is discussed regularly in feminist circles, and it has been addressed on numerous occasions by Feministing. So to see Feministing condone posting pictures of people without permission does not sit well with me. It’s blatant hypocrisy.
If we want to call out “Nice Guy” behavior, we need to address the actual behavior. A Nice Guy’s looks, manner of dress, etc. should not factor into it at all. A better way to post OKCupid horror stories and bad profiles is to do so without pictures and again, to focus on the behavior and not the looks. The Tumblr account is rife with remarks about how these guys look, which just makes whoever’s posting this come across as an asshole with a vendetta instead of someone genuinely concerned with address the damage caused by “Nice Guy” behavior.
I understand being angry at “Nice Guys” who whine about the Friend Zone and are generally bitter and angry towards girls. They scare me as much as they piss me off. But I can’t stress enough the importance of addressing the behavior and not the individual people. I think the text of public OKCupid profiles is fair game if one is calling out a person who already made contact. I realize that we can argue that the pictures are also fair game, but there are things called ethics and good manners.
That is to say, use judgement and discretion when calling people out. If we have already established that taking and/or posting pictures of women without their consent for the purpose of attack is unethical, then we have to extend that reasoning to pictures of men.