Solely In Black and White: "Good Girls" vs. "Good Boys"

Thursday, July 29, 2010

"Good Girls" vs. "Good Boys"

Aminspiration and SJQ in my post idea thread posed a question that would make for a wonderful idea for a post and discussion: is it easier to be a "good boy" or a "good girl?" In SJQ's comment over there she wrote:

I personally think it's harder to be a good guy.

A good girl:
1. Is a mentsch.
2. Has some kind of paying job.

A good guy:
1. Is a mentsch.
2. Has some kind of paying job.
3. Learns Torah.

If my math is correct, this is the cause of the "shidduch crisis."

Because of the qualifications, there are only 2/3 as many good guys as there are good girls. Hence, 1/3 of good girls don't have good guys to match.

Of course it's all up to Hashem and none of this is actually true, so if I were a good girl (or even a good guy) I wouldn't worry.

While I don’t agree with every aspect of her statement, such as the math, but for the most part her points, as well as the comments here, hold true. Although I don’t agree with the words “has some kind of paying job” per se; my interpretation of that is that a good, responsible, person has the wherewithal to at least have some sort of feasible plan.

From my experience I can say being a good guy is harder than being a good girl.I’m not really sure if there even is another side to this debate. Okay, I’ve never tried being a good girl; not even on purim! :-p But seriously, how hard can it be? Good girls don’t need to attend minyon three times a day, be Kovea Itim, and have a solid yeshiva track record, just to name a few of the requirements. Also let’s face it, girls have a lot more fun in school anyway. (Yeah, I know, production, GO, drama, and other extracurricular activities build character, but good guys in good schools/yeshiva don’t have such leisures).

But the most glaring difference between a good girl and good boy: a good girl just has to say she wants a good boy in order to date one while a good boy actually has to be a good boy in order to get a good girl. Thus, there are a few big problems with this situation. Not every supposed "good girl" truly deserves a good guy. Additionally, many good girls are misled into thinking boys aren’t actually good boys based on social mores, stigmas, and brainwashing/ propaganda. (That last sentence deserves a post in its own right, maybe at a point later in time.) Most importantly, a lot of good girl don’t know what they really need, although they might have a long list of what they want. (Arguably, one could say the same of good boys, but I wonder if that’s true…) 


  1. I agree that it is much, much harder to be a good guy.

    I think that the explanation can be summed up into two basic reasons.

    1. There are many, many, many more demands on boys. As stated above, boys have to go to shul 3 times a day, learn, have good midos, etc. Girls have to dress tznius and have good midos and not much else. Sure, there are girls that are more idealistic and girls that are less, girls that enjoy learning and girls that don't, but to be a "good girl", you don't have to do anything more than dress the part and be a mentsch.

    2. Boys have a much bigger yetzer hora to deal with. Sure, many girls struggle with certain nisyonos, but boys fight a constant battle with Mr. YH that girls do not even begin to understand until they get married. I think that's a huge reason for it to be harder to be a good guy than a good girl.

  2. Good discussion idea!

    In towner- Guys do not have a bigger yetzer hara than girls! Hashem gives every person their own equal yezter harah based on their level and not on their gender. Guys and girls may have Yetzer Haras in different areas- for example a guy might struggle more with shomer negiah/girl related yetzer hara, while a girl might struggle more with Loshon Harah.

    I'm asking because I really don't know and I'm curious- is it really so hard for guys has to do is go to minyan, set time for learning, and be a mentsch?

    I'm not sure why it's more difficult for a guy to be considered "a good guy" than it is for a girl to be considered "a good girl," although I do agree with the general consensus that it is the case. Maybe it's because girls are naturally more spiritual?

    I'll just add that to be considered a "good guy" the guy has to be not socially awkward, and it seems there are more guys who are socially awkward than there are girls.

  3. Excuse me..can i speak and say that was not my mathematical calculation! please give credit where credit is due and give the rightful owner his day in the limelight!
    please re-check my comment after this dude's comment..this was not what i said at all!

  4. that being said..sterngrad- i see how going to minyan can be difficult especially during vacation as well as after long nights of studying. As for the learning, until one falls asleep over her gemara she has no idea how hard learning is.

    my question though is why is it so hard for guys to be mentchen? it truly bothers me how a guy can be so shtark but have no middos!( i think it may have to do with their inflated egos at the thought of lists of girls waiting to go out with them..but thats my personal opinion)

  5. @aminspiration: whoops, I fixed it. I meant to attribute credit to you for the post idea, not the comment.

  6. Sterngrad - I'm with you all the way! Each individual and gender has his or her own nisyonot. That being said, I'd never want to be a guy and deal w/ guy stuff.
    The socially awkward thing might be because they didn't receive 9/10ths of the "dibbur" distributed to the world. :D

    Aminspiration - "it truly bothers me how a guy can be so shtark but have no middos!" It bothers me too! I don't understand what's wrong with some of these guys...
    is it so difficult to smile, speak politely, be a gentleman, and call the girl/shadchan on time??? SHEESH!

  7. BTW sibw, I never told you how romantic your display/banner photo is. The couple over the heart and what not.

  8. It is truly difficult to find a truly good boy- what makes it even harder is that mediocre girls who've acquired the title "good girl" by going to bais yaakov and breathing, are competing for the same great guys as truly good girls. After all- every girl wants the best- right? Obviously nobody is taking away anybody else's bashert etc. but i think this issue contributes to the "crisis" by adding more names to guys already overcrowded lists, making it more difficult for them to sift through- and contributing to burnout in guys who find themselves dating girls who aren't enough for them.

  9. Stern grad,

    I agree that everyone has their YH and for girls it's harder in some areas than it is for boys. I still stand by what I said previously that for boys it is SO much harder to fight that YH. Girls don't have a constant struggle not to talk LH or do whatever. Sure, the nisayon comes up when there's an opportunity to share some juicy piece of gossip, but for boys it's a constant battle. This YH takes over their minds and doesn't leave room for much else. I don't think there's what to compare at all.

  10. @aminspiration:
    It’s relatively easy to learn mussar and have a modicum of self reflection, but it’s very difficult to actually change ones habits and dispositions forever thereafter. It’s not like swallowing a pill, a few doses and you’re healed. Having good middos either comes from good chinuch or a person who was worked on themselves excessively. Also I don’t see why boys are singled out for bad middos. I agree that our actions might be more overt, but there are girls who are lacking in the middos department as well.
    @Sefardi Gal:
    Believe it or not, there are girls who are socially awkward too!

    Thanks for the complement but I didn’t make it, I found it and added the “SiBW” to it.

    @mmmmchocolate:-) :
    And what do you expect these mediocre girls to do? Surely you’re not asking them to walk over to a shadchan and say “hey, I need a middling guy, just like me!”

    @In towner and SternGrad:
    Until we find someone who has struggled with both we won’t really know. I’m sure there are girls who struggle more than boys in certain areas of their adherence of halacha while there are many boys who struggle with their YHs more than the average girl. Simply, I don’t necessarily see this debate as a gender specific challenge, but as something which affect every individual differently.

  11. "Believe it or not, there are girls who are socially awkward too!"
    True. I've met my share...

  12. @SIBW- I don't expect the mediocre girls to see themselves as mediocre- of course all girls want the best for themselves..i'm merely stating a fact that complicates things further- boys and their mothers are preoccupied by girls who are simply not shayach.
    In truth though- an ounce of self awareness wouldn't kill these girls. I'm NOT yeshivish, i'm NOT klei kodesh- i may think i'm wonderful but if i deluded myself into marrying a boy in chinuch he and i would be miserable. Even dating a boy like that is a waste of his and my time. A girl who would be completely fine with dating a guy who is a manager in a grocery store should not be pursuing a guy who is top of his class in Harvard law. It's basic common sense....

  13. @mmmmchocolate :-) :
    Agreed, everyone could use a dose of self-awareness. Likewise, boys shouldn’t be going out with girls who aren’t right for them either. The way I see it, girls who are lacking names or perhaps yeses are not going to say no because they think a guy is too perfect for them. It just not going to happened. And why would they? Would you? I’ve often heard that girls are more likely to say yes to a guy before a date and say no thereafter while guys are more likely to say before going out. Maybe this is a byproduct of the current system, but it seems that most girls are more likely try a date even when they know it’s not likely to work regardless of how perfect their potential date is.

  14. Mr. SIBW two points:
    Girls who are lacking names will not say "no" to a guy if he sounds're right they wont...but don't say "perfect for them" because if the girl who's happy with the grocery manager was honest with herself she'd admit that though Harvard law SOUNDS perfect to isn't perfect for don't say "perfect for them" the terms "perfect" and "perfect for you" have two different meanings. "perfect" implies societal perfection, not a hair out of place...smiling widely in some little fairyland that looks like a cross between Aspen and the Hamptons. "perfect for you" means, "you're flawed in a way that completes me" that you're flaws and your strengths balance each other and you're whole. If these girls were honest and in touch with themselves they'd admit it wasn't perfect for them

    2) I don't even know why I bothered debating this all in #1. You are very clearly NOT a female...because OBVIOUSLY these girls wont turn down a yes from a great guy. But COME ON they aren't GETTING a yes from said great guy. Not in her dreams. EVER- (have you seen the shidduch market!? it's brutal) All these girls are doing is clogging the lists of great great guys. The girls who are just called "good girls" for breathing and attending bais yaakov dream big, but it's unlikely theyll even get a glance from a "good guy". SO as they sit at home, waiting for dates- they should become more self aware and open themselves up to options more similar to themselves. Everyone should aim high....but sometimes it pays to aim on our plain as well.....

  15. Meschlachkeit is no little thing. It's 90% of the good people (whether male or female). I will back up the guys in that going to shul ON TIME and making time to learn is an effort, and anyone who maintains it regularly should be on pedestal with screaming girls around him.

    I gotta say, I know very few, truly GOOD girls. Truly nice, sweet, proper, polite girls who can talk cheerfully to everyone without bias and won't talk loudly on a cell in public? Very few. I barely qualify. Menschlachkeit is not a casual noun. There's a lot of requirements to be a member.

    So no worries. No major imbalances to report.

  16. SIBW- its not that girls dont need to act with decency or derech eretz as well, its just that it seems that the statistics have inflated the already over inflated male ego (who knew it could get bigger?) and makes them think they can treat girls any way they wish because they have a whole list of girls waiting if this one doesnt work out. the girl should feel privelaged that he has even deigned to consider her..(major sarcasm in that last line..)

  17. @ Miss mmmmchocolate :-) :

    How did I get a Mr. prefix? :-p

    1)I don’t think that’s a realistically possibility. Most people know so little about their potential dates before they go out that they can’t have that kind of self awareness. Besides, one can always hope? Maybe the Harvard Law genius is looking for the imperfect girl and thus they are perfect for each other… :-?

    2)Yeah, I don’t know why you debated that either cuz I am so not a female! :-p True, in many ways, but that’s not reality. There are so many crazy shidduch stories of people meeting that it boggles the mind. Seriously, can you look at all the married people you know and say “yeah, I can see them together?” I think not. Chemistry and matchmaking aren’t exactly heavily dependent on the logical, possibly a function in the realm of mysticism, don’t you think? :-)

    I agree. Maybe guys should get a plaque and certificate of authenticity too! :-p

    It’s a shame that it’s not as easy to sift out truly good girls from the rest in the shidduch research process as it is for boys. :-/

    I was unaware of this male ego condition. It must be a new fad or something I am missing out on. :-p How does having a list of potential dates change a person? Proper people don’t allow externals to get to their head, right? Oh, and for the record there is a subset of the female shidduch population that have long lists of potential dates too… ;-) So by your logic, does that make them bad girls? :-)

  18. having the list doesnt make you bad..its the affect it has on the yea if a girl lets it go to her head id say she doesnt have middos..


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