And then there's the Dream Girl problem, which is that the more vague you come off -- Jung's word was "elfin" -- the more they can project their shit on you, because you just absorb it, because you have no conflicting qualities that would contradict the projection and force them to think about their insides versus your outsides and how they are actually two completely different universes. Bradley is a prime example -- Serena van der Woodsen, anybody named Daisy in any story, The Virgin Suicides -- because she knows better than to say or do anything that's gonna bite her in the ass later. But that bites her in the ass, because you're more than just a receptacle for other people's desire, and hopefully you can convince some people of that before you get your heart broken.
But just like lots of people don't ever get around to understanding that other people are people -- that they're just as real as you -- lots of men aren't ever called on to think about women that way. Like, for example, one of the steps in anima development is figuring out that women are capable of telling right from wrong. Which sounds like some sick shit, but not when you think about how most male judgments of women have to do with them being "irrational" or "a little bit stupid" or whatever it is. I mean, it's sick shit either way, but if you think about it developmentally, it's no sicker than figuring out that pets can feel pain or your parents don't go away when you close your eyes or whatever thing you need to learn. And usually the world forces you to learn these things.
But the world is tilted a certain way where it's not necessarily going to force you to figure these things out about women -- and that, in fact, this is so pervasive that women also have to figure this stuff out. Like White Pine Bay, the world is -- until very recently and for the most part still -- a story told exclusively through male eyes. Devouring ones. And so when you hit Nice Guy level, what you're really talking about is a Thing you don't understand, but has something you want and you've received just enough information to form a very, very blurry hypothesis about how to get it.
And then every time you try one of these magic tricks -- "showing emotion" or "being nice" or "acting like women are people" -- and it doesn't work, well, that's going to piss you off. Especially if the world is already tilted so you mostly get what you want without even having to ask. I am always glad I am not a woman, because this world would turn me into Norma Bates very quickly, no question; I am usually even more glad that I am not a straight man, because that is some embarrassing, sad, ultimately disappointing bullshit to come with -- and factory-standard, at that.