There’s a new word being thrown around as slang. Men who are “too nice” to women are called “simps.”
It comes from the word simpleton. Initially it was used to mock men who pandered to women in order to sleep with them. Now, it’s used of any man who treats a woman with kindness and respect.
If a man compliments a woman, opens the door for her, gives up a seat on a crowded bus, buys her a late-night cab instead of trying to take advantage, buys flowers… he’s a simp.
You might find this harmless. I do not. I agree with author Destin Gerek: “When we ‘simp’ shame, it sends a message to men that caring about the plight or well-being of women is not a ‘manly’ thing to do,” he says. “But it should be the exact opposite; to not care is the ‘unmanly’ thing.”
It gets darker. When we look down on men who are kind or sensitive or protective of women, it simultaneously lifts up traits such as dominance, aggression, and even abuse.
Of course, I can hear the frustration of some men. They fear what has sometimes been called “benevolent sexism.” This is when a woman may feel offended because you opened the door. You fear hearing, “I can open the door by myself, thank you.” There is genuine fear in some men that acts of chivalry will be taken as statements of superiority.
As for me, I’m going to keep opening doors and giving up seats. I’m going to keep buying flowers for my wife. I’m going to keep treating my daughters and granddaughters like the princesses they are.
Not because women are inferior to men. It’s because in my economy, they are simply worthy of honor. So go ahead… call me a simp.
I’ll wear it with pride.
James Emery White
Jenna Ryu, “Men Who Are ‘Too Nice’ to Women Are Called ‘Simps.’ Why This Insult Is Problematic,” USA Today, December 28, 2021, read online.
About the Author
James Emery White is the founding and senior pastor of Mecklenburg Community Church in Charlotte, NC, and the ranked adjunct professor of theology and culture at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, where he also served as their fourth president. His latest book After “I Believe” is now available on Amazon or your favorite bookseller. To enjoy a free subscription to the Church & Culture blog, visit ChurchAndCulture.org, where you can view past blogs in our archive and read the latest church and culture news from around the world. Follow Dr. White on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @JamesEmeryWhite.