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What's Wrong with Nice Guys?

The Manipulator Files
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This Cheek Ain't Gonna Turn...

No matter what we do each day, somebody somewhere gets hurt.

If we eat meat, we are damaging the ozone by contributing to cows farting, (not to mention hurting the poor brainless bovines themselves.) If we eat vegetables, we are contributing to topsoil erosion, and destruction of natural habitats (where do you think they get the water from for irrigation?) or even to the oppression of 3rd-world peoples.... (who picks the fruits and veggies you eat?). If we drive a car to work, we are contributing to pollution. If I take that job, somebody else won't get it. If I buy that blender at a yard sale, someone else will miss out on the deal. If I stay home tonight and work on my computer, my partner may be hurt that I didn't go to a movie with him.... If I don't have babies, my mother may be hurt that she is the only one on her block without grandchildren... If I DO have babies, I'm contributing to world over-population. If I don't get married, I'm hurting my parents by "living in sin".... The list is endless. Even killing yourself will hurt others - family and friends who will miss you and blame themselves for not preventing your self-inflicted demise.

Every step of the way, we make decisions for things in our lives, and hope that we can minimize the amount of damage we cause to the environment, and the amount of hurt we cause to other humans. But we can't eliminate it entirely.

Unfortunately, far too many people don't understand the difference between "selfish", and "self-preservation". If I don't take care of MYSELF and my self-esteem, I will have very little left to give others. If I want to be happy and healthy, both emotionally and physically, I have to give to myself first, and then to others. This does NOT mean that I willfully cause undue harm and damage to others, OR that I go about my business with total disregard for the consequences of my actions. It DOES mean that I will do what is best for ME, and do my best to take into account the effect on YOU. HOWEVER, I will NOT sacrifice my well-being or self-esteem simply to avoid hurting you. Nor will I fall into the trap of pandering to emotional blackmail or manipulation.

Judeo-Christian culture upholds martyrdom, and the denial of the self as the ultimate goal. Your reward for your sacrifices will come in heaven. Christ died on the cross, after all - a martyr for the sins of man. Why should we individuals balk at doing anything less? And of course women in this culture are still paying for the original sin, and thus are expected to give up even more of their personal happiness as a result.

But what does a society which exhalts martyrdom gain from it's members? It maintains the status quo for the leaders and rulers. Martyrdom disempowers the people, and defers payment for their efforts, until after death.

Unfortunately, this expectation is so ingrained in our culture that anyone who choses to NOT to buy into this conditioning, is automatically labelled "Heartless" or "Selfish". If the person is a woman, then she is likely to be called a "bitch" as well, because one can't eschew martyrdom without standing up for oneself and retaining control of one's life. And we all know that only bitches would refuse to sacrifice their own personal well-being for that of others - especially if that other is a boyfriend, husband or family member.

Only bitches would speak their minds and be assertive about what they want (and don't want) rather than play manipulative headgames. Only bitches would say what they REALLY think, rather than spouting hypocritical platitudes. This doesn't mean a Heartless Bitch isn't compassionate. She just doesn't buy this "turn the other cheek" bullshit. Someone who is GIVING her crap deserves nothing less than CRAP in return!

Not only that but only Heartless Bitches would find the romantic "prince-charming-always-and-forever" tripe to be vomit-inducing. Never mind that feeding that kind of crap sets women up with false expectations, places undue pressure on men, and invariably leads to serious unhappiness. After all, our economy is dependent on it. An unhappy woman is a consuming woman, right? Think about it. What do MANY/MOST women do when unhappy? -- they Go Shopping or Eat.

There is a new breed of strong, self-sufficient women emerging in our society: Women who prefer to support the economy, not through misery-induced consumption, but by working hard, going after what they want in life, and making choices that are right for THEM. Though they may have strong loving relationships with the opposite sex, these women don't seek validation through the attention of men and they don't buy into culturally defined gender roles. They retain their self-esteem along the way by being true to themselves and others through no-bullshit honesty. If some people want to call them "Heartless Bitches", then so be it. They will wear the label as a symbol of honor and recognition.

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