By very popular demand – an expose on the age-old question of why girls go for assholes. A fact everyone acknowledges but no one understands -- sort of the like the solar system.
The below attempts to explain why girls respond to assholes in social settings. It does not address why girls stay in relationships with assholes that treat them terribly. That’s for Oprah to handle.
Below are current theories, thanks to the help of The Board - and my first year out of college
- The "Strong Man" Theory
- Ask a girl if girls always go for assholes and they’ll say, nooo we do not! Ask a guy and they’ll say, yeah, what the fuck is with that?! So the first issue may in fact be that girls don’t know an asshole when they see one while guys can spot a member of the doucheoise from his FB profile picture. A helpful guide identifying areas of confusion:
- Arrogance - masquerades as confidence
- Sleaze – can look, at first glance, like charm
- Chronic competitiveness – may appear as strength
- Lying cheater – often posing as an amazing guy
Yes society has drawn a fine line between what a man is supposed to be: successful, strong, and commanding and what an asshole usually is: a consescending, not-nice braggart. In the female’s evolutionarily-driven search for the manliest man she can find, pieces of asshole are bound to slip in. It’s chafes to argue that our attraction to guy-burping-Alphabet is based in our belief he will best provide for our bear cubs, but apparently that’s (a piece of) what’s up.
So where are those shining examples of kindness, respect, and chivalry with that hot element of edginess we all want? Not hanging out with assholes (and the girls who adore them). Right.
- The Low Attention / No Attention Theory
A variation on the low wages is better than no wages theory. For some girls negative attention is better than no attention at all. When starved for contact, some may take whatever appears to be presenting itself – positive or negative. So if, “I see you’re one of those always-on-a-diet girls that just drinks vodka soda’s huh? (wink)” is the first “line” you’ve heard in months – it may sound to you like, “hey, let me buy you that delicious-looking drink. Mmmmm vodka – my kinda girl. My name is Matt, by the way.”
Yes, insults are some guys’ way of flirting. No, they are never, ever great guys. Think of all the greatest guys you know. Envision them insulting a girl to get her attention. Right. Playful and insulting are two very different things. Now the next time some guy says to you, “nice dance moves – is that your best impression of Elaine?” and your first thought is, mmmm who’s this hottie??…please instead turn to him, say, “disrespect will get you no where!” (finger-pointing optional) and walk yourself to the nearest therapist.
- Girls Like A Challenge (fact, not theory)
Emily put it best. “As cliche as it is, there's something about the whole thrill of the challenge.”
Weak girls go for assholes because they like the attention in any form. Strong girls go for assholes because they like the game in any form. It makes us feel powerful, competitive, and equal - even if, and sometimes more-so if, we don't want him. It is admittedly always fun to have to work for it – to take part in that delicate tango of whit and banter that signifies this person wants to play and is probably good in bed (I don’t know why we assume this, but we do). Again, evolution -- that whole chase thing.
Where we get into trouble is if our competitiveness outweighs our logic. When we want to win for winnings sake but forget to consider what we’re winning. It’s this mentality that leads to regretful mornings and very large stuffed animals you have to carry around the park for the rest of the day.
In this scenario girls are foolish, but well-intentioned.
- The Only-I-Can-Break-Him slash Our Own Secret World Theory
At its core: girls like to solve problems because it makes us feel good, look impressive, and have a stack of “solutions” indebted to us. Applied to assholes: if he’s an asshole he has problems and needs reform. If I can help him reform I’ll a. prove he really really likes me (worth it’s weight in gold slash abuse) and b. make him indebted to me and my Dr. Drew-like ways. All I have to do is work to unlock his potential and then fix him so he sees non-asshole behavior is better than asshole behavior and will love me forever. Says one board member, “And if he chooses to not be an asshole only to me (even for short periods of time), I feel like I have something he gives no one else. So in turn, he must see something in me that is unique, and so we are even further bonded.”
So it has nothing really to do with the asshole and everything to do with the girl. Yes it is evidence of all sorts of issues, but that’s not what this post is about.
Emily adds the clincher, “It’s because it's dramatic. It's an epic love story in which emotions are torrid and for awhile it seems as though in the end everything will work out. Except it never does.”
In this scenario girls are sick, but you can at least follow the logic – if you’re a girl.
- Sometimes girls just want to get laid and assholes are really easy to figure out/go home with
- Further, Really drunk girls will go for most guys. Get in there
- And there are actually instances where we all huddle up, pick an asshole, and have a little fun messing with him for the greater good of humanity. Sorry if this is confusing. We'll work on some sort of hand signal for, "I'm actually in a relationship but just fucking with this asshole so he won't ruin the night for my single friends. Apologies for any confusion."
One could make the argument that if girls stopped responding to assholes then guys would stop behaving like assholes but that’s a. never going to happen and b. would make it even harder to find the diamonds in the drunk. Sort of like if all guys wore uniforms. Convenient, but then how could you tell who's wardrobe consists of concert T's?