On its surface, the “Nice Guy” meme appears merely to generalize a specific psychological condition.
This stereotyping would not be so terrible were it not usually married to a high-pitched tone of moral alarm and indignation. This tone transmits a large and important cultural meme: The idea that when women choose to have sex they should be meting out some sort of cosmic justice; ordering the universe by rules of honor that are essentially fair—instead of, say, procuring their own sexual satisfaction, or merely to ward off boredom.
No one expects this of men—whom everyone agrees are “dogs”—but calling that a double-standard would be a little like calling Google “a website.” True, but it’s also more a structure that gives lightning-quick access to a massive extended network of double-standards.
The Nice Guy complaint has become a primary and self-obscuring—primarybecause self-obscuring—way to argue that female sexuality carries an additional moral dimension, one that lies beyond the more straightforward matter of self-determination, and is, within this framework, clearly more significant.