Tag Archives: Nellie Nice

Is It True Men Appreciate Sweet Girls But Marry “Bitches”? ASK JANICE

Dear Janice,

Is it true that men appreciate sweet girls but marry “bitches”?


Let me put it this way: every bitch I know is married, and I (along with many of my very “sweet” friends) am single.

Okay, now let me back up and submit this disclaimer: I do not, have not, nor will I ever, support the notion of one woman calling another woman a “bitch”.  There are enough men in the world who do that for us, whether in certain rap songs, behind our backs when we reject a man’s advances, behind our back when we outperform our male colleagues on the job, and often to our face.

And let me also say that many of the qualities that are considered “bitchy” in women are admirable and even encouraged in men.  For example, a woman is a “bitch” if she is really assertive at work, barreling ahead without regard to the feelings of her co-workers, demanding respect, raises and promotions as her due.  When a man does the same thing, he’s considered “ambitious”, a “real go-getter”, yet a woman is a “bitch”.  So, yeah, I’m not a fan of the word.

That said, I have to admit to finding at least a little truth to this idea.  Granted, I’m not a man, and so I cannot speak for men when it comes to this issue.  But from what I’ve observed, while men may talk about wanting to meet that nice girl that they can take home to mom, when given a choice between Nellie Nice and Betty Bitch … they will end up with Betty Bitch every time.  And Nellie Nice will be left sitting by the phone waiting for it to ring, while Betty Bitch is getting fitted for her Vera Wang wedding gown.

Nice girls are supportive, and sweet.  Bitches are demanding and dramatic.  And guess what?  Demands get met and drama gets attention.

I think many men are attracted to those attributes they associate with nurturing.  And for many, the most nurturing person in their lives is their mother.  That fits with the popular notion that men seek women who are like their mothers to marry.  And this is where we get the disparity between what men say they want and what they really want.

You see, men tend to romanticize their moms as being sweet, Nellie Nice homemaker types (even when they work outside the home).  In reality, they are often more drill sergeant than Nellie Nice because they have to be.  Men may remember childhoods filled with homemade cookies and cuddly bedtime stories.  But usually, their overwrought and harried mother was juggling a full-time job and motherhood.  So, those cookies may have come out of the oven, but they weren’t from scratch.  And that bedtime story got read after an evening of her shouting orders, screaming demands and threats of beatings.  At least that’s how it was at my house.

Mind you, I’m not trying to say that mothers are bitches.  I’m a mom myself, and I’m so not a bitch.  But, some of the bitchy behavior that men are drawn to in their wives is very similar to their mom’s real behavior when they were growing up: bossy, dramatic, loud, cranky, demanding.  Face it: many men today grew up post-women’s movement and in homes where what Mom says goes.  And that’s the type of woman they end up marrying.

The romantic in me wants to believe that nice girls finish first.  However, the pragmatist in me doubts that’s true.  And while I have no intention of ever embracing a bitchy personality, I know that being too nice will only have me adding to my growing bridesmaid dress collection and never being the bride.  We nice girls need to “bitch” up at least a little bit if we ever want to make it down that aisle.  After all, we live in a world where, if you don’t demand it, you don’t get it.