“But there is also gendered aspect to it and that aspect is very important especially because the term has a feminist background. Nice Guys (TM) fail at performing masculinity. They are passive when they should be active. I always felt that the Nice Guy(TM) trope is a way to police masculinity. Nice Girls(TM) might behave in the same way but it’s different because women and men have different roles in the prevalent dating script. ”
THIS, a hundred times over. The most common and conspicuous attribute of the “Nice Guy (TM)” that so many women and feminists rail against isn’t his bitterness or his supposed sense of “entitlement,” it’s how stereotypically feminine his behavior towards the opposite sex typically is. The typical” Nice Guy (TM)” is a guy who is uncomfortable with and/or inept at the standard male role of being the one who initiates, and so he tends to favor a more passive strategy- he makes himself visible to women whose interest he would welcome, is pleasant towards them, tries to present an appealing image, perhaps gives off some demurely ambiguous hints of romantic/sexual interest, and hopes that she’ll make the first move. Or, alternately, he becomes friendly with a woman out of platonic motives but later develops a romantic interest, then places his hopes in the same passive strategy.
In other words, the typical “Nice Guy (TM)” is a guy who acts like a typical woman. Even his means of consoling himself after repeated failure, lamenting the opposite sex’s shallowness and unreasonable standards of beauty and attractiveness, is stereotypically feminine. Combined with his other failings of masculinity, as a man who is sexually unsuccessful and who publicly talks about his pain and distress (and mere emotional pain, at that!) in public, and it’s no wonder that- just as most any school of feminist theory would predict- he inspires so much hostility and disgust.. I don’t buy into the idea that contempt for gender non-conforming men is actually disguised or redirected misogyny, but if I did and was going to argue for that position the intensity of the hatred and contempt directed at the figure of the “Nice Guy TM” would be one of my go-to examples.