Beware the Softboy, the most sinister type of fuckboy
He’s ‘not like other guys’…he’s worse
by Amanda Ross
He’s lurking everywhere. The Softboy is very respectfully sliding into your DMs because he would love your thoughts on his newest Medium post. The Softboy is turning off a Tarantino movie because he’s “not cool with how he portrays women.” The Softboy is curating you a playlist filled with The Smiths and songs from the Garden State soundtrack.
Do not trust him.
The Softboy is a fairly recent development, created as a sort of response to the backlash against overt male assholes. Where an out-and-proud asshole might wear a tight white tank-top to show off artificially tanned muscles and a faded tribal tattoo, the Softboy pairs a prefab oxford with a sweater because he cares. He doesn’t listen to fist-pumping rap like those other boys — he listens to Bright Eyes because he’s sensitive. Everything a Softboy does is artifice, a performance to prove to you that he’s not like other men. And that’s why you have to watch out for him.
You’re caught so off-guard when he doesn’t immediately treat you like roadside trash that it’s blinding. “Guys,” you text your group chat after your first date of IPAs at a cozy little bar he recommended. “He’s actually…nice.” As the weeks progress, you’re regaled with tales about his beloved mom and sister, the creative nonfiction he writes that always feature non-binary characters, his childhood dog, Sadie.
Then things begin to turn dark. You realize you haven’t had sex in a non-missionary position since you met because he thinks it’s degrading to not look into a woman’s eyes while “making love.” You notice that he tells you how unlike other girls you are a lot, which is gross because, as we all know, other girls are beautiful sunbeams and our teammates, not opponents. “I’m so glad you don’t feel the need to dress like a slut to get attention,” he mutters into your ear at a wine bar, eyes flicking over a waitress wearing a cutout dress from Miss Guided that’s actually been sitting in your shopping cart for like, two weeks now.
You’ll break up when he finally snaps and calls you a bitch. Or a whore, or a cunt. He hates women just like every other fuckboy, but he’s just tricked himself into thinking he doesn’t. The Softboy is the most sinister breed of fuckboy because he thinks he’s nice. Eventually, when woman after woman exposes him for the snake he is, he’ll retreat into the shadows of Reddit to learn all about Red Pill theory and scold himself for being such a beta all these years. He’ll blow up your phone with screenshots of the new guy you’re dating, accompanied by texts that say things like, “So this is him, huh? LOL thought you were better than that. Guess not. You’re like the rest.” How dare you spurn him, a Nice Guy™ with his vinyl records and horn-rimmed glasses?
Wait, never mind, he texted back.
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