Likeability isn’t precisely a precedence for The White Lotus creator Mike White with regards to his characters, however every boasts traits that make you root for them one second and curse them the subsequent. Albie Di Grasso (Adam DiMarco) — the licensed Good Man™ of the present — embodies this dichotomy with some viewers falling for his charms, and others calling out the thinly veiled misogyny hiding behind his performative feminism.
Dragged alongside by his household for a five-star vacation in Sicily, Albie blew into Taormina together with his “good guys end final” spiel in Season 2 and someway manipulated his approach into the hearts of the web. In case you have ever been part of the relationship scene, you will possible be uncomfortably accustomed to the trope of the Good Man.
What’s a performative Good Man?
How are you going to spot a Good Man? Effectively, they’re going to truly inform you. A Good Man will always deliver up the truth that he’s, actually, groundbreakingly good (versus anything), believing that displaying the naked minimal of respect towards ladies is deserving of a reward. You’d higher consider they’re morally superior beings, usually citing allyship to ladies with little or no motion to again it up. Immediately referenced in Albie’s feedback to Portia (Haley Lu Richardson) in episode 2, Good Guys declare ladies usually go for the “dangerous boys” and subsequently they get left behind — usually such a rhetoric could be discovered on “incel” Reddit boards the place excessive misogyny runs rampant.
Adam DiMarco and Simona Tabasco as Albie and Lucia
Credit score: Fabio Lovino/HBO
Albie has displayed nearly each single signal of a Good Man all through Season 2 of the present — giving himself the literal title, saying he’s drawn to “wounded birds”, demonstrating his saviour advanced together with his relationship with Lucia (Simona Tabasco), and so forth.
In episode 2, when Portia asks him if he’s a “good man” in relationships, Albie says: “Women are at all times complaining that guys aren’t good, however then, in the event that they discover a good man they’re not at all times .” It’s a reality universally acknowledged that if you need to say you’re a Good Man, you most undoubtedly will not be a pleasant man.
Portia picks up on Albie’s niceness, but it surely seems she believes him to be genuinely good, not performatively good. In episode 3, Portia tells Tanya: “He is very nice, like, possibly somewhat too good. I want he’d simply reduce my coronary heart proper up somewhat bit extra or one thing.” These phrases feed straight again into Albie’s perception that ladies aren’t usually eager about “good” males.
The Good Man trope is accompanied by a way of entitlement to ladies’s time, consideration, and, most of the time, intercourse, a routine that is nothing however an usually profitable manipulation tactic. Good Guys are closely motivated by the prospect of passively pleasing the thing of their want (often a lady) right into a relationship and/or intercourse.
It’s a reality universally acknowledged that if you need to say you’re a Good Man, you most undoubtedly will not be a pleasant man.
There’s a sure stage of vanity and lack of self-awareness in assuming that the one grounds an individual might presumably have for rejection are somebody being too good. And the roots of this trope have had a extreme affect on the relationship tradition of at present.
“Males who complain that they’re unfortunate in love regardless of their ‘good man’ persona could have a sinister agenda,” journalist Rachel Hosie writes for the Unbiased. “The thought is that when you meet somebody’s wants with out them having to ask, they need to meet yours. Ergo, if a person is good to a lady, she ought to repay him by turning into his girlfriend, as a result of that’s clearly how these items work.”
Albie needs to rescue ‘fairly, wounded birds’
Albie’s saviour advanced shall be his final undoing in The White Lotus. He tells Portia that he’s drawn to “fairly, wounded birds,” which makes it appear to be he solely needs to be with ladies who require some sort of rescuing. With Lucia, he will get to behave the “hero” and “save her” from the mysterious risk of Alessio, not essentially only for Lucia’s sake, however to make him really feel higher about himself.
Albie’s response to discovering Lucia is a intercourse employee can be very telling. Albie assumes Lucia, as a intercourse employee, has no company and may’t presumably consider that she is doing this by selection. He’s all too keen to imagine she is being exploited by Alessio, a person she implies is her pimp. He firmly believes she is being exploited, that she is a sufferer, and subsequently wants rescuing. His saviour advanced additionally comes into play right here. He sees Lucia because the “wounded hen” he talked about earlier. So when Lucia makes use of this to her benefit and scams Albie out of €50,000 by making up the entire story about Alessio, it doesn’t come off as that a lot of a shock.
This can be a second that serves because the turning level in Albie’s Good Man routine. We don’t get to see this within the present, but it surely completely units up the start of his mistrust of ladies, which may lead him proper down the trail that he so badly needs to keep away from. On the airport, when everyone seems to be lastly on the point of go dwelling, the three Di Grassos all flip their heads to have a look at a wonderful lady who’s strolling previous them, implying that Albie goes to prove precisely like them.
Adam DiMarco, F. Murray Abraham, Michael Imperioli star as three generations of Di Grasso males.
Credit score: Fabio Lovino/HBO
Albie’s performative feminism is demonstrated all through the collection, primarily pushed by his want to differentiate himself from his father and grandfather — he tells Portia, “I refuse to have a nasty relationship with ladies.” In episode 3, when the Di Grassos and Portia go to the home the place they filmed scenes from Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather (1972), Albie goes on a rant that the film is beloved by males as a result of it sells them the fantasy of a time when the patriarchy was hardly ever challenged. Albie retains taking a look at Portia as if he’s checking to see if she’s impressed by his lifted-straight-off-a-Twitter-thread feminist monologue that rejects conventional male gender roles.
“Males love The Godfather as a result of they really feel emasculated by fashionable society. It’s a fantasy a couple of time after they might exit and resolve all their issues with violence, and sleep with each lady, after which come dwelling to their spouse who doesn’t ask them any questions and makes them pasta,” he says.
Albie’s whole Godfather monologue can be a response to his father and grandfather’s string of infidelities. He appears in charge them each for the way in which he’s now, which is a sample additionally seen in his father, Dominic.
” the rationale I’m the way in which I’m is due to you,” he tells Bert, “You by no means confirmed me tips on how to love a lady…tips on how to be intimate…tips on how to put others first. You at all times put your self first, so I did the identical factor.” Albie is attempting so laborious to not find yourself like the boys in his household that it looks like his Good Man act will lead him to overcorrect his behaviour and wind up precisely like his predecessors.
If Albie’s feminism had felt much less performative, much less rehearsed, and as a substitute got here from a extra real place, then this scene would not have raised an eyebrow, however there’s a component of reward-seeking in his behaviour.
The sexual foreign money of performative feminism
Through the years, claiming to be a feminist and understanding the oppression marginalised genders face has turn out to be a sexual foreign money in our relationship tradition. Analysis exhibits that an individual’s stance on social points might make or break a match. In response to Tinder’s 2022 12 months in evaluation, 75 p.c of single persons are searching for a match who’s respectful of or invested in social points.
One other survey performed by Bumble discovered that 74 p.c of males say they’ve appeared inward and analysed their very own behaviour greater than ever and have a clearer understanding of toxic masculinity. Analysis performed by PhD candidate Max Stick revealed that males who determine as feminists find yourself having extra intercourse than the boys who don’t.
Haley Lu Richardson as Portia and Adam DiMarco as Albie.
Credit score: Fabio Lovino/HBO
Albie’s performative feminism comes below scrutiny once more when Jack enters the image. Through the seaside membership scene in episode 4, Albie is clearly agitated that Portia is speaking to Jack, who’s the literal embodiment of a strolling, speaking crimson flag — the “Cowabunga” tattoo, the stereotypical “dangerous boy” allure, the blatant disregard of Portia’s wants. Albie has hassle attempting to know why a lady who he has been courting for barely two days immediately doesn’t need to hang around with him. He appears to suppose he has some type of possession over her — I noticed her first, so she is mine. He’s additionally threatened by Jack as a result of it solidifies his perception that ladies go for “dangerous boys” and never “good guys.”
Sexual politics has changed white privilege in Season 2 of The White Lotus. The place the primary season was set in opposition to the backdrop of the disputes within the colonial land on which the lodge (whose identify isn’t an accident) sits, this second season sees folks use their sexuality to wage conflict on everybody round them. On this season, intercourse is a weapon, a way to regulate and assert energy, and its byproduct (significantly when the intercourse is extramarital) is damage and struggling to the particular person being cheated on.
There’s feminism and there may be performative feminism. The latter exists as a result of there’s a social, romantic and sexual foreign money hooked up to it. It is extremely straightforward to masquerade as one due to how a lot the dialog round this has been democratised. As an alternative of constructing a real dedication to feminism, full with tangible actions to again them up, Good Guys like Albie use it as a manipulation tactic to get ladies into mattress, and therein lies the issue.
Good guys get the woman. Good Guys™ don’t.