Thanks, Feministe, for pointing me toward this piece at Marie Claire: “Why Men Prefer Innocent Girls to Bad Girls” by Rich. Rich’s friends divide women into categories called Innocent/Good Girls and Bad Girls, and I’ve got bad news for women with opinions, self-confidence, and a sexual history.
“Across the board, the guys agreed they prefer an innocent woman over a “bad girl.”
Fortunately, Rich lists and explains his reasons.
Men like to be leaders on the journey that “corrupts our innocence.”
“Guys just want to be the leader of that journey instead of the followers. I guess it’s like white fresh snow versus the snow that’s turning black on the side of the road in under the haze of car exhaust. The fresh snow is more of a palette for adventure.”
If you are not coded as “innocent,” you are THE FILTHY BLACK SNOW OF LATE FEBRUARY instead of, I don’t know, a fresh white snowbank where a man can, uh, mark out new territory.
They don’t take us seriously because they don’t want to introduce us to their mothers.
“Sure a bad girl can be fun and enticing, but she’s not the type we’d bring home to mom in most cases.”
I’m not sure how those two things follow. Does he need a permission slip from his mommy in order to date? My mom has two master’s degrees and raised my brothers to take women seriously, full stop. Was Rich raised by some weird TV throwback? Or is this more about his and his friends’ need to have a category of women they feel okay having casual sex with but not treating respectfully ?
Then, I think we’re getting somewhere, because Rich admits what we’ve assumed all along: He finds confident (by which he means bad) girls intimidating.
“I don’t do well with intimidating women. I love confidence, but that confidence has to be a quiet confidence — not in your face confidence. Most guys don’t want to admit it, but they don’t necessarily want to be in bed with a girl who knows more than they do.”
Oh, Rich, you’re just like a guy who wants a strong, opinionated, outspoken, smart woman…as long as she never disagrees with you and pretends that you are smarter than she is to preserve your fragile ego. Since you say that you have less experience with sex than a Catholic schoolgirl, let me teach you something about sex right now: If you could put your crushing insecurity aside for one second, you’d stop thinking about sex as something that you “perform” and women “find wanting, because they are comparing it to other experiences” (DIRTY SNOW!) and start thinking about it as an interaction between two equal partners who are both figuring out how to make the other person feel good.
And Rich, I believe you when you say that you don’t do well with “intimidating” women, and I’d like to help you out. First, women are human beings with their own thoughts and desires and histories and personalities. All of them are different from each other and no matter how much experience and knowledge you acquire each woman will present her own set of rewards and challenges and you’ll have to learn about those one woman at a time. So when you talk about “types” or put them into categories like “bad girls” (who you feel justified in taking less seriously) and “good girls” (who get the enormous privilege of meeting your mother – I’m sure she’s proud of you), it just makes you a douche.
If you are a virgin and just want to find another virgin and both of you can start from scratch and that’s really important to you, then just say that and go after it. Keep in mind that you’d better marry her – because by your logic if you break up you are turning her into someone else’s dirty snow. And you will also be dirty snow, but don’t worry – the larger culture buys into the same crap double standard you do.
Rich goes on to say a few more inane things about promiscuity and dressing provocatively, and then he takes it out with a bang: A bad girl is tough to control.
“We hate to admit it, we usually like to be in control. A bad girl is tough to control — we never know what she’s going to do next.”
A bad girl – again, I’m defining that as someone with a) more sexual experience with Rich b) her own desires, thoughts, needs, opinions, c) an excess of self-confidence and worth that Rich finds intimidating d) who sometimes shows a little cleave or otherwise presents as something other than a blank slate or a package of mystery waiting to be unwrapped) – is tough to control.
You say you’re looking for romance, Rich, so good luck finding that easily-controlled woman who is confident but not so confident that she scares you (maybe by being more experienced or better at something than you and not afraid to act like it) who has no little or no sexual history (so you will feel important and sexy). If she starts feeling good about herself because you’re taking her to meet your mother, Manboobz has some gift-recommendations for keeping her self-esteem low.
And good job, Marie Claire! Your quest to turn your readers into the kind of women that Rich can control continues apace! Maybe they will feel so bad about themselves they will need lots of expensive expensive makeup.
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