Plug: Teenage Mutant Ninja Nice Guy

Not especially related to the turtles, except insofar as the newest series provides a good subjects with which to wrap my thoughts on “Nice Guy-ism” around.  Have a look.

(Content Note: Nice-guyism, Consent, Sexual Assault, Rape, Stalking)

I’ve mentioned that the newest, Nickelodeon produced Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series displayed several problematic elements when it came to April O’Neil and women in general. While some of my concerns have been ameliorated somewhat—namely, Ms. O’Neil has obtained a modicum of some much-needed focus—the show still feels like the product of people blissfully unaware of their male privilege and how it can manifest. One of the reasons why this is the case is the continued lack of women in the universe—April continues to be an exception in an exclusively male world. Another is the way they’ve turned Donatello into a Nice Guy™.

A Nice Guy—who is different from a guy who’s merely nice—is traditionally defined as a person who is romantically interested in another—let’s call hir L.I.–but who decides not to express his interest out of fear of being rejected. Instead, Nice Guys use friendship as a back-door to a relationship, thinking that if they do everything right, L.I. will automagically decide that yes, zie wants to start a relationship with them.


Like with most Nice Guys, little Don’s said or done shows that he truly cares for April. His crush arose before he knew the first thing about her. He actively believes she can be reduced to an algorithm he can figure out. He doesn’t trust April to say “yes”. Several of his interactions are punctuated by dishonesty. And, as if that weren’t enough, he does things like taking candid pictures of her (which he then puts as his desktop background), and using cameras to be able to watch her from afar are marvy.


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