Being nice should mean being genuinely kind, caring and empathetic. But in reality, the standard’s much lower. Just saying “please” and “thank you”, tucking your shirt in and failing to commit violent crimes can win you the “nice” label.
And yet we put huge amounts of value on that label. “Nice” young men can avoid rape convictions even when the jury admits they think they forced sex – because the jury can’t see that forcing sex makes a person not nice, even if he dresses preppy, has a great smile and helps old ladies across the street. Conversely, “nice” young women don’t get raped, and if a woman is raped, it’s instantly taken as proof by these very same people that she wasn’t nice after all. (Of course, many people are not that dense; I’m just illustrating a point with what I hope are examples familiar to us all.)
And then the jurors in this situation are also “nice”. They clean their teeth, are good neighbors, maybe go to church. Juries who flat-out state that they believe there was forced sex but that’s what the slut deserved somehow do not get disqualified from “nice”. They don’t go home to find their neighbors turning a cold shoulder… because the neighbors are also “nice”.
Throughout history, “nice” people have had slaves when it was the trend. “Nice” people have decided to believe other “nice” people incapable of abuse when accused (usually by women, children, or people of lesser race, class, orientation or other privilege). “Nice” people think it’s rude when, after they’ve nosed incessantly into the question of why you don’t talk to your mother, you inform them that she can’t seem to refrain from emotionally abusing you if you allow her the slightest contact with you. You were supposed to tell them what they wanted to hear, even if it was a lie. Lying is “nice.”
Civilization is supposed to shield “nice” people from unpleasant truths! How dare someone violate the sanctity of ignorance! Never mind home truths like the fact that something like 1 in 5 children are sexually molested before they reach 16, and the vast majority of “nice” people are deluded into thinking they know no one who either was molested or committed molestation. Thus perpetuating the cycle.
“Nice” in this context means “privileged” – nothing more, nothing less. It’s the mechanism that allows raging maniacs to declare that they’re super-nice guys and women are stupid, filthy hos for not begging to suck them off and get all sorts of sympathy. Being “nice” alleviates your responsibility to fix a system which benefits you at the expense of others.
“Nice” allows that minority of truly evil people – the ones who actively create situations of slavery, abuse, discrimination, etc. – to go much further than they would have without the enabling of nice folks who “see no evil”, and imagine they can “do no evil” just because they never forget birthdays.
I hate “nice” people. I know that’s not very nice of me, but I prefer someone whose motto is “see all evil, hear all evil, fight all evil.”