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professional pick-up artists run woman-tricking business to help guys get laid

seriously. Sam sent me a link to this article, in Aussie online mag The Age, which is all about these men who earn their living teaching other men to be smarmy in bars and other social events. I post it as fair warning to women: men are willing to pay someone to teach them how to trick you into thinking they are charming so they can get into your pants. And some men are willing to take that money.

Wellington has taken at least a dozen phone numbers tonight, but he has no intention of using them. Tonight’s about business, not pleasure: it is his job to teach men the art of seduction. He is a professional pick-up artist.

“At a very young age I learnt that I liked these soft, curvy, nice-smelling things called girls,” Wellington says. “So I started to teach men how to be better in their presence.” That’s putting it mildly. [emphasis mine]

Wellington and his friend James Marshall run a business called The Natural, offering weekend workshops in seduction. These cover skills such as body language, conversation, presentation and “touch training”. Two days of intensive, one-on-one tuition costs $880.

So, these guys think they are teaching men how to be “natural” with women. It couldn’t be that they’re teaching men how to be sleazy and dishonest? Why is it that teaching men to be confident with women is automatically about tricking women into thinking the man is something he’s not – smooth, suave, charming? Then again, the whole thing is about performance – gender is one big long performance, an imitation that really has no original in the first place, and why shouldn’t we just learn to be different at it? I dunno, maybe because nothing is honest in this world anymore! Nobody knows how to be honest with one another! At least, not when it comes to sex. Here’s more:

“What we’ve got now is a big generation of closet heterosexuals being quite asexual in their approach to women. They become their best friend, but their own worst enemies. I call it ‘Best Friend Syndrome’.” Marshall calls such men “moths”.


“Hovering around the light, banging their heads against it occasionally,” he says. “People occasionally say to me ‘you guys are womanisers, this is a sleazy thing to be teaching’. And I say, ‘well, what I think the most sleazy thing is pretending to be a girl’s friend for three years waiting for a moment of vulnerability’.”

Marshall and Wellington aren’t alone in their belief that men are now sexually neutered and need to regroup. [emphasis mine]

Oh yeah, men are ‘sexually neutered’ in our society. Everything from advertising to movies to TV to music to fashion treats women like objects to be used for male sexual graitification, objects that couldn’t possibly have a sexuality of their own to express, but men are ‘sexually neutered’ – sure, I’ll buy that. When monkeys fly out of my ass.

Get ready, girls. This is how they do it. Memorize this shit, so you know exactly what to watch out for (for the record, the guys in this article don’t teach this method, they teach one that they claim is more ‘direct’ – this method comes from asshats in California who run a similar woman-tricking business):

“Indirect gaming” is counterintuitive. Don’t talk to the “hot babe” (HB) or “super hot babe” (SHB) you’re interested in; talk to her friend and look like you’re having a great time. Next try a “neg” — a backhanded compliment to show the woman you are indifferent to her beauty.

(“Beautiful nails — are they real?”; “Nice dress — I saw it on another girl just a minute ago.”)

Once the HB’s interest is piqued, you could lead her up a “yes ladder”, asking questions that require an obvious affirmative answer. (“Can I ask you a question?” leads to “Are you adventurous?” leads to “Can you prove it?”).

Gross, right? Treat her a little bit like shit, then she’ll like you and think you’re clever and charming. Women, learn these methods well. Don’t get sucked in.

[One man] has a different agenda; he has paid for wingmen services, but will not say with whom. He refuses any form of identification, but is at pains to explain that he is no Average Frustrated Chump.

“In the year or so I’ve been in the Lair I’ve approached probably 10,000 women and slept with about 100.” But he says there was a problem with the “quality of women”; the wingmen services allowed him to zero in on better “targets”. [emphasis mine]

“Sarah” is that sort of target.

She believes she uncovered a pick-up artist on a date last year. “We were at a bar just talking and it became quite obvious that this guy had a method,” she says. “He was very smooth, very attentive, very focused on the conversation like there was no one else in the room.

“But when I challenged him he was quite honest with me — he told me how he has a particular way of picking up women, that he usually picks them up just for sex, that he would never go for somebody who’s not a ‘9’ or a ’10’ on a scale of 1-10.

“He said to me ‘you’re not a 9 or a 10 but, I don’t know, I was intrigued’.”

A classic “neg”, but Sarah wasn’t biting. So the PUA went for broke and suggested to Sarah that she might like a slot on his “sexual roster”.

“I pulled away and said ‘sorry, I don’t go on people’s rosters’. I’m single and I’m thinking to myself, ‘is this what I’m out there facing’? I’m hoping to God I don’t come across them too often.”

Sarah says the revelation of pick-up strategies made her feel physically ill.

“There’s no serendipity or consideration for the other person’s feelings. It was just so male-centric and one-sided that I was just absolutely disgusted.

“I feel like we’re saturating ourselves with the desire to be with somebody and not actually just going out and living our life and being open and giving ourselves a chance. And the pool of respectable gentlemen is narrowing.”

Three cheers for Sarah! God, the ego of these men – “quality targets”? Jesus. Where is there any room for honesty, for authentic feeling (beyond sexual arousal)? With all the trickery going on here, we only distance ourselves further from the chance for anything genuine at all. Didn’t these people see “Hitch”?

Wellington and Marshall heartily disagree. They say their “direct” method eschews the Jedi mind tricks and ridiculous aliases of the “indirect” school.


“It is ‘natural game’ and it’s direct,” Marshall says. “Being honest; showing that you think they’re attractive; showing that you admire them; or showing your intentions straight off.

It’s not about the opener, not through what you say — it’s just how you’re feeling inside and how you’re expressing that.”

Note: these ‘direct’ moves include things like how to stand, when and where to touch a woman (on the arm, the on the small of the back), and *exactly what to say*. Yeah. Real “natural.”

So, this is what we’re dealing with out there in the world of hetero dating. Predators teaching men to be predators. And getting paid very well to do it. Maybe I’ll start a business of my own, and I’ll call myself a date doctor, and instead of teaching men sleazy tricks to get into a woman’s pants, I’ll teach them how to actually treat women with respect. But, oh, wait – a business like that won’t make any money! The ones that make money are the ones that teach men to trick women. Because apparently, some men would rather learn how to trick a woman than learn how to be respectful and genuine.

[Sam, muchos gracias.]

398 Responses

  1. I can’t think of a thing to add except, “UGH” my skin is crawling.


  2. UGH indeed, although I find the whole thing quite interesting when you look at it in relation to things like Cosmo magazines. What do these magazines do other than try to teach women to pick up men? (The main difference being that women are taught to try and “reel a man in” to a relationship through being sexy and sporty and mysterious (but not too mysterious) etc etc whereas the men are being taught how to get a girl for the night. The other main difference would be that in the “indirect” method expressed above the object is to pull the woman into a game whereas a magazine tries to teach women to be as attractive as possible so that he’ll make a move.) Both are disgusting practices if you ask me, men do it and women do it too, and what you get is a lot of confused frusterated and lonely people. I have no issue with learning to be confident or learning proper ettiquette, because I think that a lot of these things were taught by parents and regular social events at one time that we simply don’t have anymore. Should men learn to stand up straight to increase their chances? Sure, why not? Give them an opening line so that they are not frozen in the fear of rejection? Also okay by me! What’s not okay is the entire script, hook line and sink’her attitude… that is just gross. Especially the “neg”. Make a woman feel less than special to play off her insecurities and make her more likely to take you home? That is just gross. (Also interesting is that in women’s magazines we’re supposed to learn to compliment his best features so that he feels manly and strong and connects this feeling to being around us. Equally manipulative, but at least in this case there is some focus on the other person’s positive feelings (not to defend these magazines..))
    Ugh indeed…


  3. Hi ladies,

    Yep, it’s all pretty icky. And M, thanks for bringing up the Cosmo crap. It’s so very true. I stopped reading magazines quite a while ago – even the non-Cosmo kind got tired after a while, because it’s all the same old consumerist crap about buying stuff to make you feel better about life. So I’m just so far removed from that world. But you are absolutely right, women are also taught this kind of BS, but from the other direction.

    And what is really most interesting to me, is that the focus of each gendered approach is so very opposite! For women, the idea is to secure a long-term commitment, with men it’s to secure a one-nighter. Because that’s how we value one another: women are valued most highly in terms of their relatinoship to a man (which is supposed to prove their femininity), and men are valued most highly in terms of their many sexual conquests (which is supposed to prove their masculinity). Except not really, because men are able to secure respect in other realms as well, while women are jsut shut out of that. Like careers.

    So what we have is feminine goals being so far removed from masculine goals in terms of dating practices that it’s no wonder society likes the Venus/Mars explanation of gender relations.


  4. Well…I’m disgusted too. This post kinda surprised me and yet didn’t in a way — today’s society seems to be always trying to find the most efficient way to do something, even ‘relationships’ with ‘speed dating’ and now a pickup coaching course…even a particular psychological method with which to do it. It’s another example of how the bar scene has become a overly sexed, hyper-dating scene.

    As an aside on a related issue… the objectification of women who work in the bars has become even more prevalent, making the whole bar scene about objectifying women, I believe. A few examples to illustrate this:

    In a few bars in Calgary, the typical ‘attractive’ waitress has been taken to a new level, whereas some bars are actually paying their waitresses for breast implant surgery. These waitresses serve as ‘beer tub’ girls — placed at the entrances to the bar similar to a greeter at Walmart. Other bars are taking the “Coyote Ugly” type approach to a more extreme level, where ‘shooter girls’ (girls dressed up like Cowgirls with toy guns and bar shots as bullets in a belt) are paid by patrons to put the shooter between their breasts and ‘feed’ the buyer the shooter, all while standing on a 4 foot bar (in mega short jean shorts and ripped/almost non-existent tank tops.) This is prevalent in almost every popular bar during the Calgary Stampede celebrations. Yet another bar regularly features a specific ‘lingerie night’ where the bar staff all wore revealing lingerie (and not a nightgown, some women only wore patches on their upper half). I laughed at how the male bar staff wore full length house coats (covering everything) and the girls who were pretty much naked. In others places, the female bar staff are hired to dance in cages all night wearing bikinis. The bar with ‘the beer tub girls’ also has girls that specifically sell cigarettes. These girls are all dressed the same, wearing a red vinyl (plastic looking) outfit (hat, short skirt, long knee high boots, and a blonde wig). These girls stay in the same spot all night, standing still on a podium, almost as if they were barbie dolls (the best visual example I can think of is the stewardesses on that luxury boat as seen in the film, the Fifth Element).

    I’m interested to see if these examples are also prevalent in other cities as well. When I was doing my research in Halifax on the bar scene 5 years ago, I didn’t see anything to the extent on what I’ve seen in Calgary over the past few years. I was surprised to see what I saw, but also surprised that others didn’t notice how blatantly objectifying it was as well. Yet, people still go to these bars, almost not aware of what they’re being subjected to, almost subliminally.

    When I look at the bar scene as a whole, I think it would be easy to conclude that bars are becoming more and more about sex, objectification and watching/voyeurism. With all of these things, I appreciate when I go to regular neighbourhood pub, order a regular beer, wings, and play some pool, in a bid to avoid the now all too typical scene.


  5. I wonder how many of those people were inspired by the movie Hitch? Anyways, that is so patronizing towards women. I had a friend once meet a really nice guy at a party, then she overheard him bragging to another guy how he “had her where he wanted her” and how he was manipulating her…what an ass! She of course did not speak to him again.

    You say you’ve lived in Calgary? Any advice for a feminist looking for feminist work in Calgary?

    Cheers, Kerrie


  6. Thinking Girl

    We are modern cavemen only recently removed from bare survival. So many of us are governed by our genetic history without being aware of it.

    For me I say why be a one night stand seeker. But for the women I say why try to get your hooks into a man. Be with the one you want because you want them, not for either security or status.

    Of course this will take examining your everymove thought and feeling for underlying biological forces.

    If it helps remeber we are more than 90% animal in our minds. The animal is always just below the surface. I recomend a book by Desmond Morris called “The Naked Ape” it is a look at humans through an animal behaviourists eyes and is quite a good read. If you cant read the book read the reviews at this link.

    http://www.amazon.com/Naked-Ape-Zoologists-Study-Animal/dp/0385334303


  7. What amazes me is that apparently women fall for this shit? I mean, wow. Guys would not do it if it did not work, right? Ick. Ick. Ick.


  8. RG> I live in Calgary now. Advice? Well, the only advice I could give to anyone coming to Calgary is ensure you can live off what you may be making. There are many that move to Calgary that become surprised by the cost of living. I know I was. But if money isn’t an issue, I guess the only thing would be to watch out for the conservative attitudes here, its much like lil’ Texas!


  9. Dave – you speak the truth, my friend. The objectification of women for male profit is a time-honoured patriarchal tradition that has flourished in the bar scene. Economic exploitation of women who work at bars by owners who demand more and more T&A from their staff to increase revenue is pretty common. Our culture gets more and more pornified all the time, and it can’t be avoided.

    When you were researching in Halifax, did you see the cigarette girls at the Marquee? They had gold lame outfits and walked around selling ciggys to mostly drunk guys who felt it was their prerogative not jsut to buy their wares, but also to grope the cigarette girls. Some “tip.” A grope from a drunken asshat. Super. But yeah – it definitely sounds like Calgary is way worse than Halifax for objectifying female bar staff. yikes.

    Rainbow Girl – hi there, welcome! I saw you commenting over at Rachel’s, right? The name stuck with me.

    I actually think it’s the other way around – that “Hitch” was inspired by those sleazy Love Doctor guys out in Cali. I have no evidence of this, but it’s my suspicion. I’d check it out, but I’m too lazy right now! :) Gross about your friend.

    No, sorry, I’ve never lived in Calgary, so I can’t be of help there. Any Calgarian feminists out there who can help Rainbow Girl out?

    Steve – actually, I pretty much eschew most evolutionary accounts of why men and women do the things we do. More than looking for biological motivations for the things I do, I look to ways that I’ve been socially conditioned to behave. However, I’ll check out the link, and that book if I’m able.

    Renegade – yes, exactly. They do it because it works. I would never say womena re easily fooled, or gullible, or anything like that. But we are conditioned to be generous, polite, receptive, and to please others. I think that might have something to do with it.

    Dave again – yeah, so I”ve been told about the conservative nature of Calgarians, and Albertans more generally. What was it – 12 years of Ralph Klein? More? Brutal. My aunt, uncle, and 2 cousins lived there for years, and my aunt absolutely loved it – she called it the best city in the world. I was like, even over Paris? London? NYC? Montreal? LA? Rome? Sydney? Rio? Tokyo?

    I have my doubts.


  10. Great post and comments. Our society puts far too much emphasis on appearances and outward perceptions, thus this kind of behavior. I would say that both sexes are equally guilty of pretending to be something they are not in order to get ‘close’ to a potential partner, whether it is for a relationship or just for sex.

    Unfortunately, the conventional wisdom in the media is that “sex sells”, and it is being taken further and further along the continuum in order to overcome desensitization and market saturation.

    I personally have been predicting a backlash against this kind of behavior and we are starting to see it in things like this story on Foxnews: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,121608,00.html


  11. TG> I did research in most bars in Halifax, but didn’t see the ‘stamped barbie’ look…then again, that was back in 2000. Interestingly, the research I did is coming out as a book, written by George Rigakos, who has done some feminist-oriented publications.

    A few articles came out as well, here’s one: http://crpr.icaap.org/index.php/crpr/article/viewArticle/22/41


  12. Shoulung – thanks for your comment. I agree. Men and women are both pushed into a weird, strange dance int he dating world. I don’t know how all those games are supposed to be helpful, or at all conducive to intimacy. Of course, not everyone is looking for a lasting relatinoship, or even intimacy, but all the pretending we do certainly doesn’t get us there.

    DaveAh, great. I don’t remember when I saw the cigarette girls, but I think it was later than 2000. The Marquee shut down last year or so, it only opens now as a venue for specific music shows. Shame, I always had a fun time there.

    Thanks for the link – very interesting. I was struck by the discussion of the panoptical effect of CCTV in bars, and the reverse sort of effect, what he called the synoptic frenzy – everyone there to be watched, to be noticed, to be looked at. We all become spectacles of a sort in a nightclub, that is a really interesting point, and at the same time, we are also watching others. I have a better understanding of your comments about voyeurism in the bar scence now. Thanks!


  13. Haha this is all too funny if you ask me.

    Women dont know what they want.

    You take a girl on a date and compliment her, buy her dinner, be nice and friendly. You drive her home and all you get is a kiss on the cheek…if that.

    She complains that guys are as#holes and dont respect yet she bonks them and wont have it any other way. What happended to that nice guy? HE’S LEFT IN THE GUTTER…He’s confused and doesnt know what just went down. He was a typical girls ‘perfect’ guy. Nice, friendly, DTE and guess what he didnt get anywhere.

    These ‘pick-up’ courses is what women WANT men to learn…so they become men again.

    Anyone here who has taken my workshop speak up and let all know how it’s helped you.


  14. Alex – yeah, I think women do know what we want. We certainly don’t need some smooth-talking, sex-expecting Rico Suave to tell us.

    Dinner and a compliment doesn’t entitle a man to sex. It doesn’t even entitle him to a kiss on the cheek.

    I don’t think women want men to learn how to be something that they’re not in order to pick women up.

    And it’s been a couple of days now, and nobody’s spoken up about how your workshop has helped them. I guess posting on a feminist blog isn’t going to get you a whole lot of traffic for your project of tricking women to help guys get laid.

    Now run along.


  15. The seduction community is alot more complex than you make out here thinking girl. A lot of people have the same initial reaction, but when they delve deeper they normally see it as a good thing.

    If you actually met a pick up artist you would probably fall for him. The best ones I know are extremly fun, interesting, happy and well adjusted. They’d be someone who you would love to introduce to your friends.

    Most would also tell you before sleeping with you that they are not after a commited relationship. And thus you might part ways.

    The good method aren’t about teaching “trickery” or being “sleazy” because these things don’t work. You can’t trick a girl into bed, the very idea is prepostrous.

    I’m happy to discussion on MSN or something about it and give you things to read that should inform you more.


  16. Roger – see, that’s where our ideas about this differ. I see the whole act of hiring someone to teach you how to pick up women as being, in itself, sleazy – as well as the act of teaching a guy how to be successful at picking women up. Taking courses and learning how to be something other than what you are in order to pick up women is, in itself, tricking women into bed.

    What I don’t see in the “seduction community” (gross, by the way) is anything honest or genuine or respectful going on. There’s just horny guys who want to get laid and don’t want to actually treat a woman honestly or respectfully. When a guy leaves his house for the night, armed with a bunch of tricks he learned from some “seduction specialist” or wahtever you want to call it, in order to find a “quality target” and get her into bed, that’s intrinsically sleazy.

    I have nothing against one-night-stands. And I have nothing against sex for sex’s sake. But for christ sake, be honest about it, be genuine, be respectful. If you need to use tricks on a woman to get her to sleep with you, I don’t know, that’s kind of lame, and kind of misogynist.


  17. I totally agree with Alex on this article.
    I’m not gonna sugar coat it so try to bare with me here:

    Women have make up and there are also classes on how to apply it as to make themselves look better and in return get more attention from the opposite of sex. Make up would not exist if it were’nt for this exact reason. This is fact. They have magazines telling them to do this and that to attract and get the guy of their dreams. But who I’m sure you don’t associate yourself with is to that there are girls out there that actually use these little aesthetic “Tricks” and pick up techniques they learn from magazines and such for exactly the same reason as you say their male counterpart in these groups. The only difference is that it’s been around for so long that it’s become the norm and a way of life for girls to be sexy and mysterious whether it be fake or not. It does’nt matter cause the the animal in us always win’s us over whether we know it or not. With this said, females are in fact PUA’s themselves and they KNOW IT!(let’s not kid ourselves here)

    In return men have evolved. The normal “nice guy” thing that girls supposedly want doesn’t work to get to a girls heart.And yes I’m sure there are alot of angry guys out there cause all they have been is nice and have been thrown in the gutter cause the females confusion/insecurities(I can’t tell the difference and I bet they can’t either) nine out of ten times has lead her to the guy that treats her like dirt. Offcourse the nice guy is gonna look for an alternative whether it being changing his appearence or his attitude. Girls change at the snap of a finger to impress a guy. And by doing the nice guy thing we then YES turn into “moths”. It’s definately not our fault. The circumstances of the times have made us this way. We have all tried the nice guy approach. Now it’s time to evolve.

    The thing’s they learn in these groups could be used for evil, Yes I definitely do agree but they could also be used for good. Self esteem and etiquette. A guy getting the girl of his dreams. Yes we have dreams too.
    Both sexes have their own little trade secrets. Where they’ve learned and how they’ve learned is ere-levant.

    They can both be used for good or bad. It’s pretty much case specific. Do not generalize here.

    It’s a neverending cycle. Human’s will be human. This will never end.

    Make your kidney shift?


  18. hey Manko, what does my kidney have to do with your rant?

    If you had taken the time to look around you, you’d have seen that this is a feminist blog. Most of what we do here is critique patriarchy, the dominant and coercive social system that privileges men and subordinates women. Part of that critique includes femininity practices, like wearing makeup, to take your example, and doing things like acting coy and making your entire life revolve around a man. Actually, if you’d read the comments at the top, you would have seen that M already mentioned how disgusting are all the things that women are encouraged to do in order to attract a man. So, your little rant isn’t anything we feminists don’t already know, and don’t already dislike. The difference is, we don’t put all the blame for these behaviours on the individuals who practice them, we look at them within a larger social context of power relations dictated by patriarchy. There’s something larger going on with why women are pressured, by that coercive dominant social system called patriarchy, to make men their whole life than simply getting laid, which seems to be the only goal for these PUAs, as you call them. Things like that society places higher value on women who are married and have children, and things like more single women live in poverty (especially if they have children) than single men due to the fact that women still make 70 cents to every dollar men make in the workforce – which makes a woman’s best chance of improving her economic situation getting married to a man.

    you know, I think it’s a shame that nice guys have a hard time. But here’s the thing: maybe they are trying to date the wrong women. Instead of using disingenuine trickery to learn how to pick up the women that have rejected them in the past (which to me smacks of my old saying, “men like a confident women because it’s more of a challenge to dominate them”), perhaps they should be looking for a different kind of woman. Maybe guys need to stop objectifying women and placing them on pedestals as something they have to attain or possess, and stop feeding their insecurities that they aren’t good enough for these women that they themselves have objectified. Maybe, they need to see women as real human beings, and ask themselves why they would want to be with a woman who doesn’t like them for who they are as a nice guy, and just maybe, they should try asking out another kind of woman, who isn’t playing the games and tricks.

    Mind-blowing, I know.

    You know, none of my women friends have ever said that they would like to date a guy who’ll treat them like shit. Every one of them would prefer to date a guy who’s kind and generous and sincere and reliable and respectful. Yet, almost every woman I know has in fact dated a man who treated her like shit.

    I guess what I’m trying to say is that the heterosexual dating framework is fucked up, and it needs a reboot. Rather than being more dishonest and more tricksy and more game-playing, perhaps what we need to do is unplug and make dating about meeting someone, getting to know who they really are, developing some honest feelings, and going from there.


  19. I totally agree with TG. Personally I don’t feel any attraction or desire of sexual relations with a woman who I’m not committed, don’t love and respect deeply.

    Learning etiquette and how to be fun itself can be a good thing. But what these “seduction” businesses are doing is to use these skills to deceive women just to have sex with her. Hence girls are ‘these soft, curvy, nice-smelling things’ for them, and men who are best friends of women are ‘moths’ (assuming that the only interest men have in women is sexual). Majority of my good friends are female, so I feel quite insulted, but probably I should rather be proud to be called a ‘moth’ by such a disgusting misogynist.

    When do we learn that what really matters is character not appearances? Humans will always be humans, socially-conditioned beings. Media obsession with appearances and sexualisation of women are what condition people to behave accordingly; so these are not intrinsic human nature. We are not slaves of sexual lust, it’s the opposite, and by that virtue we are different from animals.

    By the way the Age is the best newspaper, south of the Equator. Brilliant journalism.


  20. The modern dating scene truly is depressing, for a ton of reasons, including the ones discussed on this post. But I have to say, something about your analysis bothered me a little, Thinking Girl. You seem to only be extending some empathy to one side of the coin. It has been brought up that women too are guilty of practices to artificially attract a man, yet the first thing you do is point out how this is a result of the patriarchal system. You said: “we don’t put all the blame for these behaviours on the individuals who practice them, we look at them within a larger social context of power relations dictated by patriarchy.” No argument there; I think that’s a good way to look at a lot of things, including the dating scene. But when it comes to the men doing this, you are just as quick to call them sleazy and disgusting and put the blame on them. This may not be your opinion, but what you seem to be saying, essentially, is that the women doing it are victims of the patriarchy, and the men doing it, they are sleazy and dishonest. Now I’m not going to disagree with either of these, but it seems to me like it’s a little inconsistent. If you are going to blame the people for something, blame all of the people who are doing it; if you are going to blame the system, make sure it applies to all of the people affected by it. It’s not really your analysis or conclusions that I take issue with, but rather how and to whom you apply it. In the same comment where you say that it is not about blaming the individuals, you basically go on to do just that when you say: “I think it’s a shame that nice guys have a hard time. But here’s the thing: maybe they are trying to date the wrong women.” It can’t be that the system is fucking everyone over, it has to be that these guys are going for the wrong gals, huh? I don’t know, you may be right about most of this, but again, I just don’t think you are being very consistent with who and what you are denouncing.

    P.S. My kidney just shifted. Now what the fuck do I do, Manko?


  21. LL – yup. yup. yup.

    Kyassett – thanks for commenting. I disagree. I don’t think I’m being particularly inconsistent. Patriarchy affects everyone, yes, but it doesn’t affect everyone equally. The system is fucking everyone over, but it’s not fucking everyone over to the same degree. That’s the whole point – women have it worse under patriarchy than men do. Patriarchy privileges men and subordinates women. So there’s no sense in trying to pretend that men and women should be treated equally by an analysis of patriarchy. Men and women aren’t equal under a system that privileges men and subordinates women. And it is a mistake to treat men and women alike, when patriarchy makes them dissimilar.

    Look, I don’t deny that women and men both use tricks to try and snag a hetero partner. And patriarchy – through the prescription of gender roles – affects both men and women’s efforts. But it doesn’t affect them both the same, or equally.

    Do you see what I’m saying?


  22. Hi Thinking Girl. I think you misunderstood what I was trying to say, or I wasn’t clear enough. I wasn’t making any kind of argument about the degree to which men and women are affected by the patriarchy and how we should analyze that. What I was saying is that the areas where you condemn individuals and where you make excuses for them within the dating scene are inconsistent. You’re saying that men and women’s actions are both influenced by their gender roles, yet the only ones you are condemning as individuals are the men. I know that this post is about a specific group of men doing a specific thing, but when women’s flawed actions are brought up, you all but excuse them by saying that society conditions them to do these things.
    I’m trying to limit this argument to the dating scene because I feel like gender roles within society are way too complex for generalized blanket statements. So, what I’m saying is that both men and women are trying to accomplish the same basic goal of attracting the opposite sex, albeit in very different ways. A good portion of these people from both sexes do this with varying degrees of dishonesty. Their reasons for doing such things and the ways in which they go about doing them are both a result of societal pressures and individual choice. My critique of your argument is that you are saying women’s actions are caused by societal pressures and men’s actions are essentially individual choice, therefore you are allowed to denounce one group without denouncing the other. I just can’t get behind this one-or-the-other logic. That is why I was saying you were being inconsistent in condemning one group’s actions and not the other, when both groups are pressured by society to go out and attract the opposite sex in whatever way they can. You seem to have a lot to say about what the guys are doing wrong and what they should do instead, yet the only fault you seem to find in women is being influenced by societal pressures. It’s not a huge deal if we’re only talking about the bar scene, but it’s inconsistent, nonetheless.


  23. Kyassett – I didn’t misunderstand you at all. you may not be making an argument about how patriarchy affects men and women differently, but I am. I could offer a more heavy critique of what women do here, but it would ultimately be a critique of patriarchy. The concept of choice becomes fuzzy when we’re talking about oppression. Patriarchal oppression of women would have to be removed for me to talk about these things as entirely free and autonomous individual choices.

    But patriarchy doesn’t oppress men. So, the heavier critique goes to men’s actions here, the explicit purpose of which is to deceive and take advantage of women. Why? because this is more clearly a matter of individual choice than when women adhere to dictates of patriarchy that are oppressive.


  24. But if society dictates men’s roles as it does women, even if that means giving men more power, does it really mean that all of men’s choices are completely autonomous and free? And in modern western society, are women really without choice and control over how they act in the dating world? You obviously are not compelled to act in a dishonest way to “reel a man in” (at least I assume you don’t do this), so what does that say about you and your free choice as a woman?
    Societal pressure and individual choice: you’re saying it’s one or the other. I’m saying it’s both. Who’s right? We may never know. All I know is that I’m still waiting for Manko to come back and clear up that kidney comment. It’s been eating away at me for a few days now.


  25. No, not all of all men’s choices are completely free and autonomous, and not all of all women’s chocies are not free and autonomous. and I’m not saying it’s one or the other. I agree that it’s both. It’s just both to different degrees.

    yeah, the kidney thing is bugging me too. what does that mean, anyway?


  26. Oh, by the way, someone just arrived at this site by searching for “how to pick up feminists”.

    nice.


  27. Yeah that “different degrees of free choice” stuff is tricky business. I sure as hell am not going to be the one to open that Pandora’s box here. At least not until I have plenty of time on my hands to argue. Really, the only reason I brought this up in the first place was that it didn’t seem to me like you were taking the combination of free choice and societal pressure into account for both sexes. But maybe you were and this is just the conclusion you came to. In my personal opinion, I would say that society places a significant amount of pressure on men to put up a front and act in a way that they think women want them to act. That being said, it is completely within the realm of free choice to take a class on how to do this for the sole purpose of getting laid, and the men that do are as sleazy as they come. I would also say that the women who employ dishonest tactics for the purpose of “bagging a man” aren’t too much lower on the ladder of sleaziness. But that’s just me.

    “how to pick up feminists” – LMAO. Maybe you should teach a class.


  28. I kind of think that femininity itself is all about this – to be cute and coy and whatnot to play for men’s sexual pleasure and ultimately to highlight male power in contrast. (masculinity, on the other hand, is not just for women. It’s for other men as much as it’s for women. both are about competition with others of the same sex, but with femininity that competition is for male approval, while with masculinity, it is for power.) But femininity isn’t exactly optional. Femininity is often a matter of survival under patriarchy. So I’d be hard pressed to call all the women who practice femininity “sleazy.”

    Yeah, maybe I should teach a class. I wonder how many guys would sign up for a class that strips them of masculinity as much as possible? :)


  29. Hard pressed to call women who try to attract men in a dishonest way sleazy just because they are women? Not me. Fuck ‘em. And in today’s world, would you really say that a woman looking to hook up with a man in a bar is often a survival situation? I don’t know who you’re trying to fool here but it ain’t me. Yes feminity itself supports male power, but manipulation for personal gain is still manipulation, no matter who does it.
    You know, maybe I’m just trying to make this point because I can’t stand the dating scene altogether and I really hate to leave anyone out when I give the whole institution a big ‘fuck you.’ As far as I’m concerned, it’s full of shit-heads no matter whose side you’re on. Then again, I might be a little bitter…


  30. How to pick up feminists?!?!?!??!!

    Uh…step one…respect?
    Uh…step two…don’t be a tool?
    Uh…step three…repeat as needed?

    Oh well…I guess we feminists really got it going on, or something. I’ve always thought so.

    PS: Thanks for the advice everyone! Really appreciate it as a newcomer and Dave, as for your advice on living within my means: Har, har :)


  31. I did realise that this was a feminist site. And no offence taken but it was not a rant.Rather I felt the article needed some raw straight arrow info from a different male perspective since I thought it was lacking. (Not cutting anyone down)Everyone’s entitled to their own opinion ofcourse, and this should go without saying.

    “I guess what I’m trying to say is that the heterosexual dating framework is fucked up, and it needs a reboot. Rather than being more dishonest and more tricksy and more game-playing, perhaps what we need to do is unplug and make dating about meeting someone, getting to know who they really are.”

    I truly do believe that this dating scene definately needs a reboot. No doubt about that, but I think society is neck deep in quicksand and we’ll surely get sucked under if we try to simply swim out of it. In other words. I don’t think it’ll ever recover. Call me a pessimist if you like. I’d like to think of myself as a realist. Guess we’ll have to wait and see if it topples over on itself in years to come.(I HOPE SO) Until then I think it’s useless to try and fight the scene. We as humans have a limited shelflife and time is a precious comodity. We are all quite impatient as well. Seeing all the “game” players getting “who” they want.(Sometimes that “who” being your segnificant other) This especially makes us feel impatient and screwed over to the point where we start to evolve we start to believe that this is the way of things. Not one of our finer moments I agree but I’m sure that every guy and girl has gone through this proccess. Someone will always be tempted to throw in a lie here and there if it’s in their best interest.
    I think that these “Pick up artist’s” are just are just using a different kinda of “artilery” to make the “dating scene” more equal.It has never been.Women have always had the sexual power . Women know this already or should. Cause women are beautifull “as they are” correct? The make up and whatever it is they learn from magazines/friends/media as well as the pressure they feel to abiding by these teachings is in itself “artilery”.
    These “pick up artists” are simply trying to catch up and make the “sexual powers” equal cause they more than likely have been fooled/ruled by the (above stated). And I’d be lying to you if I told you they were that they happy about it. The Dating scene will only get worse from here.

    Shakabuku anyone?


  32. Kyassett – well, I was referring to Manko’s point that women who wear makeup are trying to attract a man through dishonest means. Makeup is part of femininity and dictated by patriarchy, but it’s more than simply trying to attract a man. It’s so deeply embedded for people to practice femininity, and women do it in all sorts of circumstances even where there will be no men around, that it’s about more than that. so I don’t think that something like that is always sleazy, right? Going along with the patriarchal mandates of your gender isn’t about sleazy, it’s about survival. and women are punished for going along with it, by guys like you and Manko who see it as sleazy and dishonest, never mind that the entire point of femininity is to mark oneself as inferior and make oneself both a target and a symbol for male power – and they are punished for not going along with it, because they aren’t girly enough, they don’t care about their appearance, they have no pride, they don’t try to play the societally disctated role. So yeah, compliance with femininity isn’t just a matter of being sleazy. and I would argue that the ones being manipulated by femininity are women, not men.

    I can’t stand the dating scene either. I just don’t really engage with it, you know? I don’t want to participate in this kind of crap, just want to go out and have a fun time with friends, maybe meet some nice new people every now and then to chat to, get my groove on every once in a while. I dunno. Dating, like actual dating, can be fun but the pick-up scene isn’t really dating to me.

    Rainbow Girl LOL at your pick-up advice for feminist-seeking men. “don’t be a tool” – hilarious!

    Manko – don’t worry, I think the “male perspective” in all its shapes and forms gets enough airplay from the patriarchy, you know?

    I get where you’re coming from, like survival from within the system for frustrated people who can’t seem to compete with the manipulative competitive bastards who are taking all the good women at the bars. If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em, right?

    No, not every guy or girl has gone through this process. Some of us are still single because we’d rather not behave like asshats. Some of us don’t get nearly the play we could if we tried these tricks because, well, the tricks are repulsive to us.

    As far as women having the sexual power – please read the many posts on rape and sexual violence for a different perspective on that.

    And women being “beautiful as they are” – wow, that is definitely a twisted way to look at the multi-billion dollar beauty industry, plastic surgery industry, and general pornification of our society. Everywhere I look I see the message that I’m not good enough as I am, but here’s something I could buy to make myself passable. If these things are artillary, and the pressures to abide by them is as well, then whose artillary is it? ‘Cuz it sure ain’t the ladies’. It’s patriarchy’s artillary to keep women in a position of subordination by self-policing and self-marking.

    which brings me back to the point Kyassett was trying to make. Full circle comment!


  33. Yeah, I really wasn’t talking about makeup. I’m talking about actions and behaviors, such as playing off of men’s emotions, that “hard to get” crap, and whatever else a woman might say or do to appear attractive that is dishonest or manipulative. I really wish I could point to a specific article or website or something that shows this in a more concrete way, but all I really have to offer is what I’ve seen and heard. From what I’ve seen, there are women who play off of men’s insecurities in almost the same way the pickup artists are telling men to use the “neg.” Of course saying this is sleazy is using my own words. It doesn’t really fit the cultural definition of sleazy because it is practically seen as natural a lot of the time. Men often expect to get crap like this when they approach a woman in this situation so that it gets to the point when it’s hard to tell if she is trying to play hard to get (god, the very idea of this pisses me off) or if she really doesn’t want anything to do with you.
    Makeup, on the other hand, is exactly what you said it is, Thinking Girl. I’m not saying that makeup is sleazy and I’m sure as hell not “punishing” women for wearing it. You really don’t need to explain to me how fucked up our society’s perception of “beauty” is, or how the “beauty industry” capitalizes on that. I see it first-hand when my girlfriend and I are about to leave the house and she feels like she needs to “just throw on some makeup,” after I tell her countless times she’s gorgeous and doesn’t need it. Fuck. Yeah, we have a long way to go as a society. Anyhoo, although this could technically be seen as a dishonest representation of one’s appearance, it’s not what I was referring to when I was talking about the dating scene. Makeup is virtually mandated – verbal manipulation is not.
    Manko, you make an interesting point about the “trying to keep up with the pack” aspect of the dating world. However, I sure don’t agree with you’re comment about women being seen as beautiful as they are (like TG said, think beauty industry). I will say that men actually are at the mercy of women in this situation more often than not. This can be seen in the fact that the onus is almost always on the man to make the first move and do the approaching. Really, who faces rejection more? Who dishes out the cash to buy the other person a drink just to start a conversation because that’s what society demands? Who typically walks home with a fake number scribbled on a napkin? This all ties back into the pressure put on both genders to try to be more of what society says the opposite sex wants.
    One more thing, Thinking Girl. This is a total side-note, but I wanted to clarify something you said in your last comment. When you say “I think the “male perspective” in all its shapes and forms gets enough airplay from the patriarchy,” I want to say that this much more society’s projection of the “masculine perspective,” rather than a truly male one. Just like the opposite perspective presented is one of femininity, rather than that of women. At least that’s my take, being a male and all…
    “Shakabuku anyone?” God dammit, Manko, you’re like a walking enigma.


  34. KYASSETT:I tottaly agree with you on your last comment 100%. And 200% on your last paragraph. You hit the nail right on the head.It’s exactly what I was trying to get across. I’ll admit that I’m a little rough around the edges in my writing but you swoop in and smoothen it all out for me.

    Thanks. :)

    You get a prize:
    Shakabuku: A swift, spiritual kick to the head that alters your reality forever.


  35. Why thank ya, Manko. I actually looked up Shakabuku right after I typed that, and now I have to see Grosse Point Blank again. I’m still trying to figure out the kidney thing though.


  36. lol. It’s a good movie. I definitely suggest you watch it again. I for one cannot get enough of it. I think people NEED shakabuku once in a while.

    But as for the kidney answer….I’m afraid it will have to wait until the next time you smoothen out something I’m trying to get across. I’m trying to build incentive here. lol. Besides I don’t think the answer would be appropriate for this article/site especially as I don’t want to offend “Thinking girl” or give anyone the wrong idea. All I can say is that the answer is obvious. It has been altered to a degree for a purpose to generate curiosity and questions. IT DID. And it definitely intrigued both sexes. “Thinking girl” and “Kayssett”. Apparently female and male’s brains aren’t wired that differently.
    Thinking girl: Do you think that it’s possible that maybe women portray the same mysterious, Enigmatic characteristics as I subconsciously or consciously with their appearance and tactics to gain curiosity and therefore attract their mates?

    Maybe they play the game better then you thought and just don’t know it. But then again. This as I understand is a Feminist site. And the comment is coming from a man.

    So we’ll make it simple, give it a blind eye and pretend it’s patriarchy.

    The answer as to what my “Make your kidney shift?” is was clear and it had been mentioned in this article in the “neg”ative. But has now been rectified and been used for the positive and greater understanding of what is truly going on. lol

    Been a pleasure. :)


  37. ah, yes. yet another thread going down the “but you don’t say how it all still revolves around men and more specifically me!!1!” path… with the added bonus of complete derailment into “i say random things just to provoke a reaction” territory. sigh.

    what you refuse to see, kyassett, is the very simple point that while both sexes have to abide by very strict, unfair and repressive gender roles, only one of those is opressive (as t.g. always says). in other words, to fit socio-cultural gender norms and be accepted both men and women perform, BUT women perform femininity even if they know it’s ultimately to their detriment while men perform masculinity knowing it’s ultimately to their benefit. which applies everywhere we move. this whole nonsense about “women having the (sexual) power” in the heterosexual dating scene – hm, isn’t it interesting, then, that men haven’t thought to solve the problem by seizing the same kind of “power” and don’t start teaching/taking courses on how to get dolled up, objectify themselves, dumb themselves down, assume a passive role and on how to use tricks and manipulation from that position? oh, yeah, that’s right, men wouldn’t do that because that’s set up to be humiliating, it’s what the inferior gender has to do. and let’s think about why, conversely, more women don’t try the “masculine” non-passive, objectifying-of-others tack (though some do)… it’s a combination of the fact that even if you can adopt it, such a role can only take you so far (since you’ll still be a woman), the fact that if you’re going to perform a role anyway it might as well be the one that will let you fit in socially, and the fact that objectifying others etc. kind of sucks.

    personally, i guess i don’t even really care who of those who perform is more to “blame.” i just don’t think that you can address the problem by encouraging people to perform “better” in some way. what’s needed is for men and women to look at these gender performances from a feminist p.o.v. – to understand how “masculinity” and “femininity” fit into the patriarchal order and that for men giving up masculinity means renouncing a superior status and its privileges while for women giving up femininity means turning your back on the maximum value society places on you – whatever they then choose to do themselves. i know i, for one, wish more people just stopped performing, period. even though it’s so hard.


  38. Ruxandra – yeah, pretty much. Thanks for jumping in there, I was just getting frustrated banging my head against the wall with this thread. At least Kyassett responds to my points, even though from his perspective he can’t see what I’m getting at. Manko doesn’t even bother to respond, yet he thinks somehow that he’s “won.” The only intelligent thing he’s managed to say is that men and women’s brains aren’t wired all that differently after all. Which, of course, we all knew anyway. Because gender isn’t really biological, but socially based. But then a guy like Manko wouldn’t really want to know about that, seeing as it would mean he and his kind don’t really deserve all that social privilege that they’ve been afforded.

    Manko & Kyassett – As for women being “mysterious and enigmatic,” and “playing hard to get,” I don’t really think that’s the case. I think that’s a discourse set out by patriarchy to justify men continuing to objectify and ultimately harrass women who aren’t interested. What sucks is that gender role discourse tells women that they shouldn’t be direct in letting a guy down because it might hurt his fragile little ego, and instead they should be nice and let him down easy. Which gets read as women “playing hard to get” or “being mysterious” when really, they just want him to leave her alone. Conversely, male gender role discourse tells men not to give up so easily, that women just don’t know what they want and men are supposed to show them, that “no means maybe, and maybe means yes.” The funny thing is, in my experience, even when I am completely direct, a lot of guys don’t take me seriously – it literally takes me telling them to fuck off before they actually will stop bothering me. And then of course, I’m a bitch.

    And no, it’s not just a “masculine” perspective that gets aired out in society, because there’s always guys like you two who will jump and and set the record straight.


  39. God damn, up until this point, I’ve been very happy with everyone’s consideration and rationality in this discussion, but now it seems that it has become “boy vs. girls” once more. Please, for the love of god, stop trying to place me on a “side” of the argument and stop lumping me in with Manko just because the two of us disagree with you. Up until the last couple comments or so, Manko and I have been in almost total disagreement with each other, so I really don’t think it’s fair to try and make us into “da menz,” just because we are, in fact, men. And Manko, that’s super duper if I’ve “smoothened” out what you want to say, but it’s not what I’m trying to do here. My discussion with Thinking Girl started out as being almost totally different from yours, so I don’t know why we’re all of a sudden this tag team.
    Anyway, Ruxandra, you said: “isn’t it interesting, then, that men haven’t thought to solve the problem by seizing the same kind of “power” and don’t start teaching/taking courses on how to get dolled up, objectify themselves, dumb themselves down, assume a passive role and on how to use tricks and manipulation from that position?”
    And then you answered your own question with: “the fact that if you’re going to perform a role anyway it might as well be the one that will let you fit in socially.” So I guess you took care of that one for me? You do make an interesting point about the role of mysterious and “hard to get” being passive and self-objectifying and I can see this being true in some cases (mainly movies), but honestly, I just don’t see it happen like this very often in the real world. Now I say this from the perspective of someone who has many a time sat with female friends at a bar rather than a guy trying to pick one of them up. When one of them is approached in this situation, it sure looks to me like they hold the power in the conversation and they know it. So I don’t know, maybe I have weird friends.
    After that, you said: “personally, i guess i don’t even really care who of those who perform is more to “blame.” i just don’t think that you can address the problem by encouraging people to perform “better” in some way.” All I can say is word-the-fuck-up. This is exactly what Thinking Girl was saying when she said the whole dating scene needs a reboot, and I wholeheartedly agree with both of you on this. The discussion we’re having is simply about roles within the current system, which is still relevant, unfortunately, because it doesn’t look like the dating scene is gonna get that reboot anytime soon.
    Now honestly, Ruxandra, I know I couldn’t possibly kick you out of a discussion even if I wanted, but I was really just trying to have a conversation with Thinking Girl about a critique of something she said on her blog. If you’re going to come in and ridicule what I have to say and talk to me with a tone of condescension and general unfriendliness, I really don’t want to discuss anything more with you. Now if you want to bring up some relevant points and maintain the civilized tone that everyone has generally had so far, I’ll gladly engage you.
    Thinking Girl, sorry, I didn’t realize this was frustrating you so much. You said “At least Kyassett responds to my points, even though from his perspective he can’t see what I’m getting at.” I thought this was funny since it’s exactly how I feel about you at this point. What’s frustrating me here is that you keep blowing up the conversation to a discussion of patriarchy as a whole, whereas I’m just trying to limit it to the dating scene. I do understand where you’re coming from in doing this, however. From what I gather, you feel that everything we do is part of the patriarchy and if we examine something, we have to examine how it fits into the patriarchal framework. I get it. I agree to a certain extent. However, in this particular discussion I think it is more effective to analyze things on a smaller scale to really get a good look at people’s actions and motivations for doing them. Men hiring pickup artists to learn how to lure in women is a very personal thing and exists on a small scale. Yes it has ties to the larger framework of the patriarchy, but that is not exactly what you were discussing originally in your post. You were talking about how sleazy these men are and the disgusting tactics they use. When someone made mention of women doing similar things, you instantly stretched it out into a discussion of their place in the patriarchal framework. That is what I originally commented on, and the fact that I saw this as inconsistent was the only point I really wanted to make. You don’t have to agree at all; I really wasn’t trying to convince you. I was just offering an honest critique from someone who regularly reads your site. Really, I think I’m about to call it quits on this conversation unless you feel like you haven’t gotten your point across and you want to keep going. Otherwise, thanks for discussing this with me, sorry if I frustrated you.


  40. well, kyassett, the fact that you didn’t realize the frustration was my point. ’cause it was pretty damn obvious – as was the fact that you’re the one who put yourself in a team with manko. you seem to wonder why i commented. all i can say in my defense is that the wall of perspective that t.g. was starting to bang her head against must’ve blinded me to the fact that this was about being as friendly and civilized as possible. again, sigh.

    i also commented because i had some other “relevant points”. :) you mentioned a couple of them (but left out most). for instance, you mentioned my question:

    isn’t it interesting, then, that men haven’t thought to solve the problem by seizing the same kind of “power” and don’t start teaching/taking courses on how to get dolled up, objectify themselves, dumb themselves down, assume a passive role and on how to use tricks and manipulation from that position?

    and say i answered it myself with a point about the choice to perform your assigned gender role, if you’re going to perform at all. actually, no, if you look carefully i did answer that question but directly, right after i finished it, with this:

    oh, yeah, that’s right, men wouldn’t do that because that’s set up to be humiliating, it’s what the inferior gender has to do.

    in a nutshell, that’s the point you STILL refuse to hear and acknowledege about this whole discussion, which is why you keep coming back to the same question even when that concern has already been addressed. i guess if my comment had been more ladylike, maybe you’d have understood my relevant point that it’s not at all inconsistent, as you say, to criticize courses teaching men to be better predators as extra-sleazy and dishonest but to view the conforming to gender roles from a feminist perspective, in which both women and men are restricted by – and manipulative of – these roles, but women are ultimately at a (major) disadvantage. what would come closer to being inconsistent would be to say that courses teaching men tricks are sleazy but courses teaching women tricks are not… and even then you’d still have the fact that according to the gender roles such courses try to reinforce women are not supposed to be sleazy, predatory… etc. (check out the discussion about cosmo above, and see if there’s any inconsistence.)

    but maybe if i’d been more ladylike what would actually matter in this discussion is that we agree about the gist of the problem, the b.s. that is the whole performance of gender? heh, i’ll try my best in any future comments i will make.


  41. A “General” comment In my defense:

    Thinking Girl: I can appreciate and learn from your feminist views on things. Otherwise I would have quit after the first post. And I understand why this would be so frustrating to you that you would be banging your head. For this I apologize for it was never my intent. It is a lot like talking to a wall is it not? The feeling is quite mutual. And I understand your position as well as your direction here. But was let down miserably as to your response where you so bluntly posted:

    “Manko doesn’t even bother to respond, yet he thinks somehow that he’s “WON”.

    And here I thought that this was a conversation about understanding the opposite of sexes and why they do the things they do in the DATING SCENE. Jeez I guess I was dead wrong. This conversation has nothing to do with winning as you clearly pointed out that for you, IT IS. I’m not one to play “games” so why would I bother to respond? My responses and questions the majority of the time have been twisted and warped to the point where it’s recognizable from its origin as much as the dating scene itself is. Perhaps you yourself see it more as a GAME rather than a serious conversation about our actions in the dating scene. A lot like what we’ve turned the dating scene into, a game. I was under the belief that this conversation was about these “Pick up artists” and how sleazy it was to be one. I myself strictly and distinctly tried to stay to the topic at hand and at the same time paint a picture to illustrate a small portion of human behavior. And by doing so have reprimanded me as the the “bad guy”. I guess if this is a Game indeed, then I would indeed be seen as the defense by now eh?. Very typical.

    On another note:
    As you made ever so clear by stating:

    “But then a guy like Manko wouldn’t really want to know about that, seeing as it would mean he and his kind don’t really deserve all that social privilege that they’ve been afforded.”

    I’m curious as to what you THINK “My kind” is? I must say that was a little uncalled for. But only leaves me to assume that you think that I am indeed a “Sleazy pick up artist”. I might be pressed to start “Name calling” myself. But believe I am better than that.
    So….
    You couldn’t be more wrong. I have a great girlfriend that I’ve been with for 2 years that I treat with utmost respect and in return get equal respect. And I think I do indeed deserve “all” that social privilege that I’ve been afforded.
    This would be another yet again another example of you Jumping to conclusions and generalizing.
    And I’ve grown fond of it in this article.
    No hard feelings here. I only had to separate myself from the guys in question pertaining to the topic.

    Kyassette: I don’t honestly think you and I are at so much disagreement as you’re trying to let on. Only difference between you and I is that you are soft spoken and sometimes the idea isn’t felt as much as is rightfully deserved. Your tactic definitely has it’s place undoubtedly and is sometimes needed. I commend you. *bows*
    I do wish I could say that this wasn’t a “Boys vs Girls” but it so clearly is. It’s funny how these conversations always turn that way. The stubbornness in both sexes never gives in. Never giving into an idea. Perhaps another perspective to educate the other so that both can try and make a difference for the better.

    It is for this exact reason that I’m afraid this change will be a slow coming one, As much as women and men have progressed. The Stubbornness we both possess will always keep us from excelling in this common goal. (myself included)

    We all want what we can’t have. Males and females are both guilty of this. This is true for the most part whether we admit it or not. If a girl act’s like a “bitch” then he will want her more. The same thing goes for guys. Give her the same cold shoulder and she will want him more. It’s been proven countless times. But the girls will always have the upper hand in that situation which is why I believe they have the sexual power. Cause like Kyassette said:
    “Really, who faces rejection more? Who dishes out the cash to buy the other person a drink just to start a conversation because that’s what society demands? Who typically walks home with a fake number scribbled on a napkin? ”
    (Sorry to drag your quote into my comment Kyassett but it was SO true.)
    So who actually gets hurt in these circumstances more often? I Personally believe that these “teachers” are doing a good thing. Their aim has been misinterpreted by those who haven’t actually looked into the subject deep enough or by the same people that have been taught and taken it to the “dark side”. Which is fair enough as well cause a lot of women have taken their “Charm” to the same extreme as well. Now I doubt patriarchy and not specific individuals are responsible for this monstrosity within the dating scene. You can only go so far about patriarchy (as I’m sure it plays a part, no doubt) in this specific topic.

    I’m not here to win. I don’t see it that way.
    I’m here to give clear cut perspective of how I see the situation as a male and that is all.


  42. Kyassett – thanks for your comment, actually. So you do get what I’m saying, that patriarchy is the Matrix of our lives and nothing we do is outside of it or uninfluenced by it.

    see, there’s this thing called standpoint theory – have you heard of it? basically it says that there are things we cannot konw because of who we are, where we are situated within a social context. our experience of the world is always an interpretation of it, from our particular perspectives. And this is why I put you and Manko in the same basket. You are both men, and that places limites on the kind of knowledge you can have, because you can never get outside of yourself and be an un-situated knower. And being men, the privileged sex in patriarchy, means not only will you never be able to know certain things because of your position, there is sort of no need for you to know about certain experiences because they don’t and will never apply to you. that’s where I was coming from with my comment.

    I realize you’re just trying to limit the convo to something that happens within a particular microcosm, but the thing is, microcosms are all situated with a larger universe, and that universe is patriarchy. I don’t know how to break it down any simpler than that. we can’t really dissect something that involves gender without including an analysis of how patriarchal power relations play a role. Because our very identities are constructed within these power relations. I didn’t mention it in the initial post, because it’s implied. I don’t need to include a mention of how gender occurs within the larger power relations of patriarchal discourse in every single post, because that is what this entire blog is about! And re: the supposed inconsistency I demonstrated, I have said it’s not really inconsistent, and I think Ruxandra also made some good points about that, so if you continue to disagree, my take on that is that you are not willing to really shift the framework you’re using.

    I’m not unwilling to continue the discussion with you, even though it’s frustrating at times, because I think you might one day open up to the possibilities of what I’m saying. You seem like a willing enough ally to feminism, but just not willing to completely let go of the male privilege discourse. You need a kick in the framework, and I’m trying to give it to you.

    And that is, after all, why I do this.


  43. Ruxandra – thank you for everything you contribute to my little corner of the blogosphere! you’re the best!


  44. Manko – no, it really doesn’t have to do with “winning” for the sake of winning. It actually has more to do with keeping on this path of doing my best to talk about feminism and gender and patriarchal power relations because I and billions of other people have a lot invested in turning those power relations over and creating a truly equal society.

    and I’m sorry, but I don’t think I’m the one playing games. I’ve been as straightforward on this thread as I always am in every thread. I’m not the one who has seemingly purposely presented arguments in a confusing manner in order to draw attention and get people asking questions. That’d be you.

    when I said, “manko and his kind” I was referring to men. That’s it. I didn’t make any kind of assumptions about you being a pickup artist – I try not to make assumptions about people at all from what they post. “yet another example of [me] jumping to conclusions” – again, you’re the one who jumped to a conclusion about what I had said, not the other way around. Point a finger and three point right back atchya, ya know?

    and by the way, this:

    And I think I do indeed deserve “all” that social privilege that I’ve been afforded.

    is EXACTLY the fucking problem. As a man, you have been afforded social privilege by patriarchy that you did nothing to earn or deserve. and that is the ENTIRE FUCKING POINT.

    you seem to like movies, so check this: white male supremacy AKA patriarchy IS the MATRIX. There is not escaping it, it is the mainframe on which the programs of our lives are running. Remember how it felt when you first say The Matrix? Now, plug in patriarchy. That’s the framework of the world we’re livin’.


  45. I appreciate that, Thinking Girl. Now I really don’t want to sound combative with this, or come off with an “I know you are but what am I” tone, but are you taking the standpoint theory into account on your own behalf? First let me say that I realize my position in society only really allows me one specific viewpoint. I can do everything I can to empathize with others and get outside of myself to see the world, but I can really only *live* my life as the person I am. Just like anyone else, including you.
    I would think that as someone familiar with this and other philosophical theories you would be the first person to apply this to yourself, but so far, it hasn’t appeared that way. All I see from you are absolutes and statements that suggest you are the end-all and be-all and the very final authority on all things on which you write. There’s never any mention, when discussing male and female gender roles that you are only privy to your own experience, that you do not truly know what life as a male is like, or even the remote possibility that you may (gasp!) be *wrong.* Your assumptions are doled out as if they are the absolute truth, leaving very little room for your standpoint theory. Instead it’s ‘my framework is X, my experience is Y and my privilege is Z,’ and I of all people am the most limited to the understanding of any of these. It boggles my mind seeing how absolutely right you think you are by assuming my disagreement must stem from a failure to understand you. If I think you are wrong, it’s because my privilege, my framework, my penis limits my understanding of the world around me. It’s not at all possible that you are (again, gasp!) wrong.
    Now is it possible that all of this truly does limit my perspective and keep me from “coming to the light?” Sure. I like to think that’s not the case, but like you said, how the fuck would I know? But what happens when the finger is pointed back at you? How do you *know* you’re so right and I’m so wrong? What if I was to assume that your failure to agree with me comes from a failure to get outside yourself and understand what I’m saying? Have you made any attempt to look at this outside of the framework that you apply to everything, or have you just assumed that your particular view is the absolute truth? I’ll grant you the idea that I can’t know everything about life as a woman if you’ll grant me that you can’t possibly know for certain everything you claim about my point of view (especially from a few comments on the internet). You’re adamant that the inconsistency that I pointed out earlier is not at all that. Well I’ve listened to you and considered you points and I still think it is. Is that because of my limited worldview or is it because of yours? Maybe a “kick in the framework” would do you some good as well. I really am trying to view things through a different lens. Are you?
    See, this is what I think of the standpoint theory: it is probably very true and can be a helpful aid to self-improvement, but it doesn’t do a whole hell of a lot of good in an argument. At the end of the day, each party walks away secure in the knowledge that he or she is correct and that the other person can’t really know the truth because he or she can’t possibly know shit about shit. It forces people to agree to disagree, but secretly “know” that they alone are correct.
    As to your little resolution to help me be a better feminist, if it had come from anyone else, I would have interpreted it as a tidal wave of condescension. But coming from you, I see it as a puddle of sincerity with a few surface ripples of condescension (I’m a fucking po-et and I know-it). Again you make the basic assumption that you are right and I am wrong and with enough “help,” I can be put on the correct path (reminiscent of my uber-religious aunt). Um, thanks? Seriously though, a good deal of what you write does force me to re-examine the way I look at things and I think that really can help anyone to better his or herself. I would just like for you to extend to me the idea that if I see things differently or flat-out disagree, it might be, but is not necessarily due to my maleness, and that I may just disagree with you. And still, as unbelievable as it is, you may even be (Jesus-creeping-shit, GASP!) wrong! Not saying that you necessarily are here, but it’s something to think about.
    Finally, there is my category, because everyone needs as a category to fit into, otherwise they’re losers. You said: “You seem like a willing enough ally to feminism,” and that is the first time anyone has put me into such a category, other than “da menz,” or just “men.” As much as I agree with most of it, as you may have guessed, I really would not call myself a feminist. I’ve never been one for labels, but even if I had to pick one, feminist would not be it, due to some fundamental assumptions that it makes which I do not necessarily agree with. These are things that most people agree are pretty key to being a feminist, so I don’t really fit the description at all. However, I think a lot of aspects of modern and post-modern feminism are definitely true and I think the collective good outweighs almost all of the bad, so “feminist ally” is a title I can live with. There ya go, that’s more about me than you ever wanted to know. And I’m spent.


  46. I almost forgot to mention someone while this blog got bigger and bigger. I totally skipped over
    Ruxandra. (My apologies)
    Ruxandra: As to your remark.

    “i say random things just to provoke a reaction”

    It wasn’t a derailment of the subject at hand at all. Animals have acted and behaved in strange and bizarre ways to attract a mate as long as time itself and still to this day. This was going on way before we as homosapiens ever even existed. Is it so hard to believe that perhaps some of this is indeed ingrained into our subconscious through evolution and being a certain sex has nothing to even do with it? You seem intelligent. Are you to reject evolution as well?


  47. sometimes i’m pretty optimistic seeing awesome men who are feminist, and i go for whole days at a time without flashing back to that one guy in the women’s studies class who genuinely believes it’s his duty to show the women where they’re completely mistaken and who cannot and will not rest until a feminist discussion, whatever it may be, is brought around to the most important subject: him.

    that guy is always this close to agreeing with feminist ideas, if only feminists didn’t have everything so very wrong. i mean, yes, men are perhaps privileged, but have feminists ever thought about the fact that women have all the power in the dating scene and how this hurts men more? and, yes, violence against women may be a problem but look at all those male-bashing jokes: let’s not ignore the fact that sexism against men is everywhere too! (or, yes, there’s something patriarchal about the culture of objectifying women’s bodies and relegating women to the sex class but that analysis doesn’t apply at all to, say, his own enjoyment of playboy.) and, yes, having to conform to gender roles sucks and we should resist the pressure to do so, however don’t forget that as a man he’s not required to listen but when he gives you a piece of his mind he needs to be heard and coddled – feminists can be so bitchy and uncivilized when they disagree with him. and, yes, there’s standpoint/situatedness theory to shine a light on perspectives of marginalized groups, but we can’t mention that and not point out how he, as a member of the non-marginalized group, is affected and implicated at least as much; if you think there’s something to the idea of double consciousness which only members of marginalized groups have to develop for survival you’re wrong and you need some extra dose of male perspective! which you may have figured out is the dominant one but he’s here to say that it’s actually lacking. sure, you may be on to something when you talk about the whole male privilege thing but what you don’t realize is that in fact men don’t get (or even choose) to profit much from this privilege. approximately ever. especially him.

    ’cause this does revolve around him. but other than that, feminism’s quite all right…

    t.g., i say keep on keeping on. :)


  48. thank you, manko. oops, i just realized i didn’t keep my previous promise to remain as ladylike as possible in my comments. and it was stupid of me: now my chances to attract a mate on this blog have plummeted to zero! i have no idea why i go against my deepest instincts like this. i should look into it.


  49. Kyassett – well, see, certain kinds of standpoint theory further argue that the view from the margins is a better one because privilege does indeed interfere with one’s ability to know.

    Here’s the thing: I’ve already lived the kind of framework you’re operating (seeing as it’s the dominant one and all). And I did get a kick in the framework. And now my framework has shifted away from the dominant one, multiple times in fact – and I don’t think I’m done yet, either. Nobody knows this better than the people in my life, my parents who don’t understand what the heck I’m talking about half the time, my best friend who is happy and supportive of my newfound perspectives (how did she stand me before?). I know that there are things I will never be able to know from my particular standpoint: I will never know what it is like to be a person of colour, or to be transgendered, or to be gay. Or to be a man. But being part of a widely oppressed group, I have learned the lessons of patriarchy in order to survive under it. Some people don’t have to do that. Lucky them; that is quite a… what do you call it… privilege, no?

    I don’t think our disagreement stems from your failure to understand me; I think it stems from your failure to understand you, and just how you fit into the dominant social framework that is patriarchy.

    I guess I should revamp my entire writing style, since I’m making all these ungrounded assumptions like they are the be-all, end-all, capital-T Truth of the matter. Maybe I should assume a more passive voice in my writing, and make it clear with every post I write that my own standpoint limits my ability to really know anything. Silly me for not allowing my standpoint to paralyze my thought processes and prevent me from voicing my perspective. Silly me for thinking that the way I write academic philosophy papers would translate into the real world. Silly me for thinking that constructing a sound argument is a good thing that might bring me good things in my life. Silly me for not just assuming that I am wrong and heading myself off at the start. Even though you yourself admit that what I write about makes you think about things in a different way – silly me for thinking that might be valuable to people in their own lives and in a larger sense of social change. I’m just a girl, after all. Can’t change that.

    funny thing is, I was right where you are in terms of framework just a couple of months ago, on another issue. And lucky for me, my friend was able to push at me and challenge me enough that my framework shifted. It took a long time, but I finally understood that there are things I will never be able to know because of my own privilege, because of the way the world revolves around that, because I simply can’t abandon it. It’s a visceral kind of gut thing, and when you get it, you get it. And everything changes about how you approach it, how you talk about it, how you accept your own role in the power relations that make up society. That’s why I think I’m right, and you haven’t internalized the lessons of gender theory, except how they relate to you through your lens on the world. the thing is, the lens you think you’re using to talk about gender is like a set of glasses: there’s this whole grey fuzzy area at the periphery, and you can take them off any time you want. But underneath, you’re still myopic. Is this true of everyone? sure, in different ways. All I’m saying is, we need to order some contact lenses, or get some lasik surgery. that is the end of my analogy, I’m not sure if it worked. :)

    as for my relative condescension, again, I’ve been just where you are, this side of “getting it,” resisting and arguing that the simple matter of my disagreement on the issue was not proof that I had a problem with my operating system, and that I didn’t want to have to simply agree with everything my friend said all the time in order to be a good ally – if I disagreed, I simply disagreed, and maybe it was because (gasp!) he was wrong. And do you know what? THAT is actually where the condescension lies. Telling my friend that his lived experience of something was wrong. Like I, the privileged one, would know better than he would. Like I, the privileged one, could better identify his experience than he. Do you understand what I’m saying? When I finally “got it” I was deeply, deeply regretful, embarrassed, and ashamed of myself. I’m not saying you should feel any of those things, but I’m saying, you’re still talking like you know better what the experience of oppressed people is than they do. When you get it, you’ll start talking much differently about these issues.

    You claim to be trying to see things through a different lens. Well, try harder. Just for a while, go about the world as though you have accepted that this disagreement is not because I am wrong, but because you have an inability to see things because of your privilege as a man. Just tell yourself that patriarchy exists, it is everywhere in every aspect of every relationship we have with other people, and you are part of the privileged class, that the privileged class is an arbitrary social construct, and you don’t deserve that because you never did anything to earn it. Just try it. Tell yourself I’m right, and you’re wrong, in fact, tell yourself that everything you disagree with about feminism is right, and you have been wrong all this time, and see if anything shifts for you. This might take a while.

    Of course I referred to you as a feminist ally. It is obvious that you’re no feminist. For exactly the reasons above.

    I know, who am I to say this to you, I don’t even know you, just a name on a computer screen. Who am I to challenge you in this way, challenge your patriarchal authority about how the world works, to refer to you as part of the problem. I don’t know, I’m just a girl. And ultimately it won’t really affect my daily life if you never do what I suggested. But, it might jsut affect yours if you do.

    best of luck.


  50. Ruxandra – thanks, this is exactly what I felt was going on here. It seems like the guys who almost agree with feminism are the hardest ones to reason with, because they think they’re doing so well, taking that women’s studies class, learning about these theories, engaging with the feminists about these issues, and even agreeing that women should be treated equally. Except the thing is, these guys are kind of just as dangerous as the outrightly hateful misogynists. They don’t think they are, they would deny it vehemently, but that’s just part of the whole phenom. progressive liberal allies are dangerous because they don’t actually support fully the arguments of the group they ally with. They’re not willing to give up the privilege (even if they could). They’re not willing to learn the lessons, not really, and they’re certainly not really willing to dismantle the power structures involved.

    I’ll keep on keeping on as much as I can – as long as I’ve got true support from friends, like the support you’ve given me here for the last several months. I deeply appreciate it. Thank you.


  51. Wow, it’s so late to come into this debate I’m not even sure where to begin. I’m afraid that at this point responding to the comments would not be effective and so I will address the original post instead. I think one of the first things that needs to be addressed is the fact that these tips are intended for the bar scene. Now I don’t know about you but I don’t look at bars as a place to find a girlfriend, if you’re going to a bar to meet women, it’s likely that it’s for a one night stand. You’ll also find that the majority of women there who are looking to meet a man are of similar disposition. So now we have two groups, men and women, both more than likely simply looking for a quick fuck (ignore the members of both groups who are just there to drink or socialise, for obvious reasons they don’t really factor in here) and trying to figure out the most effective way to do it. For women it’s easy, I’m sorry but the simple fact is that if you are a girl and would like a one night stand, you put one some revealing clothes and go to a bar. That’s really all it takes, eventually a man will approach you and you can go home with him if you so desire, if not, likely another will be along shortly. Hell you’ll probably get some free booze out of the deal. Now if you’re a man looking for a quick lay your job is a bit more difficult, in fact I don’t even know exactly what you have to do, I’ve never done it personally and because I’ve never been particularly motivated for a one night stand I’ve never pursued it. But I hardly think it’s despicable to take a course if that is your aim. The simple fact is that for hookups (and I’m explicitly referring to mutual one night stands) women hold the cards, no matter how disadvantaged they may be in other areas, in the one night stand bar scene, women are in power. But wait! What about these poor girls who are going to the bars looking to meet a nice man to take home and start a serious relationship with? They are in the wrong place, guys don’t go to bars looking for girlfriends because the majority of women who are available there are bar stars and just aren’t good girlfriends. Same for the guys in this scene, they are not great boyfriends because they don’t want to be. If you’re a guy or a girl looking for a relationship the bar is a stupid place to look, post a personal, go to a library or bookstore, maybe some sort of social club, a place where people are actively looking for new friends and companions as opposed to a quick fuck. Is it wrong for guys and girls to want one night stands? If both parties consent then obviously not. If girls just want to get laid they should dress slutty and go to a bar, if guys want to get laid they should act sleazy and go to a bar. If either group is looking for a respectful mature relationship they should stay the hell away from the bar. I see this as a problem of not distinguishing the pickup game from the dating game. They have different rules and are played differently, if you try and play one game by the others rules it won’t work and that’s where problems arise.

    I’d also like to address dating briefly. I think the reason so many women complain about men being jerks and not being able to find a nice guy is because they go to the bar to find boyfriends and never consider the quiet sensitive guy you befriended at the museum or wherever. The guys at bars are putting out signals that they are sexually interested in the girl, who in turn misinterprets this as them being interested in a sexual relationship, while interpreting the quiet guy who would never be so forward to put a move on as simply wanting friendship. So here we find out problem, at least as I see it. The women are going after the guys who just want to fuck for relationships, while treating the guys who want relationships as platonic friends. The guys quickly sense that they are in the “friend zone” (I don’t like it either but it sure as hell exists) and either simply cease to hold romantic feelings towards the girl and harbor a secret crush for all eternity (which isn’t cool for either group). It seems to me that these days the real inequality between the genders is not in the bar scene (as I said, when it comes to hooking up women have the upper hand if anything) but the dating scene and it’s due to a lack of equality. Most women will not ask a man out, simple as that. A lot of guys, fearing rejection (there are very few more painful words in the English language than “I don’t think about you that way” or some derivative) never ask out girls they’d like to pursue a relationship and so you have a whole bunch of women complaining about how all the men they date are jerks and a bunch of nice guys whining about how women never approach them and end up going home with the jerk that’ll treat them like shit. So I guess my challenge is this; All you feminists out there, want to advance equality in the dating game? Ask a guy out, if you’re single and you see a guy you’re interested in, try making the moves, the really good ones are usually the ones who wouldn’t dream of being so forward as to approach you for fear of offending you or rejection. As for nice guys? Well I’m sure that some of the blame falls on them but I have to admit I’m not sure what to do, all my relationships started from a woman pursuing me, I’m sure there’s a solution. In conclusion, if guys just want to get laid, let them go to the bar and use whatever skeezy line or maneuver they can think of because all the girls they’re approaching there are looking for the same thing. People looking for a relationship, get the hell out of their way or don’t get offended when it doesn’t work out like you wanted.

    I hope I haven’t offended anyone too much with this post. I honestly didn’t mean to and I certainly think that gender equality is a noble goal. Maybe if we’re all just a little bit more clear about our intentions we can sort this whole thing out peaceably.


  52. t.g., i’m glad to be of any help though the credit should go mostly to your blog and your writing, you’re the awesomest! :)

    offtopic here but since i’m commenting anyway, i wanted to let you (and sage, if she’s reading this) know that i finally translated, modified and adapted that letter about taking steps to prevent v.a.w. and discrimination – and it’s going to be published in different places, and passed on, and used for activism in general. it also added it to a longer compilation of texts that will be used for international women’s day. so thanks!! [oh, and btw one part that was added to the letter has to do with the recent news that the romanian government will be trying to legalize prostitution because they've calculated that they're missing out on the opportunity to get 1% of the GDP out of taxes, which is the sole discourse being used: legalization as a way to exploit prostitutes more. and people seem barely phased by it. incredibly depressing... especially combined with the news about rampant gender-based discrimination in other areas. it all just goes to show how important the stuff from that letter about society needing to place greater value on - all - women's lives really is. anyway, i guess there will be more on this in my blog against racism entry.]


  53. * i mean, “my blog against sexism entry” (for international women’s day). i’m sooo sleepy and i think i got distracted by something else i’m writing right now.


  54. Well, Thinking Girl, I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve read your last comment directed at me. I’ve been coming back to it all day, trying to think of how to respond to such a comment. Something about it, something I couldn’t quite put my finger on just didn’t sit well with me. Actually it’s a feeling I started to get a few comments back and it became undeniable after reading this one. I kept asking myself, why do I have such a strong aversion to what you’ve said to me? Then I began to think, is it because of my worldview? Is it actually because my narrow lens through which I view the world is being challenged and I have to come to terms with the ugly realities of existence in this world? Do I feel this resistance to want to agree with you because I fear that deep down in my gut you might be right? Then it hit me. An epiphany came out of left field and plowed into me like a freight train, and suddenly it was all clear to me. Is my overall distaste for your comment a direct result of my male privilege and that is why it’s so hard for me to want to grasp what you’re saying? NO! That’s not it! Then what is it, you ask? My revulsion to your overall stance toward me stems from the fact that I’ve already heard it FIFTY MILLION FUCKING TIMES! From whom, you ask? Born-again Christians – and there is nothing in this world more arrogant, more preachy, and more condescending than a born-again Christian (except maybe Ruxandra). It’s the same exact god damn argument and I tell you, it grows tired. I grow tired of it. This “hey man, I’ve been where you are and I’ve seen the light,” crap. “Trust me, I know exactly how you feel ‘cause I’ve been there, man and it sucks. All you have to do is let go of what you know and understand that I am right and you are wrong and soon, young grasshopper, you will see the light.” Well fuck that. Now do understand that I hold you as infinitely more intelligent and more enjoyable to engage with than these people, but you have to realize that you’re using a very similar argument to try to invalidate nearly everything I say by saying you’ve been where I am and you know better. Yeah, that’ll convince me. You’d have a better chance of biting me on the neck to see if I turn.
    Do you know for a fact where I’m coming from, Thinking Girl? Do you know what my framework is and how my experiences have helped to shape that? Because I believe you said yourself that you don’t. I’m going to ask you this once and for all: how do you KNOW you are right? What makes you so god damn sure that everything I say is a result of my worldview and that your worldview is the correct one, or at least *more correct* than mine?
    Now regardless of your ‘holier than thou’ argument, I’d be a fool if I said you don’t have some very good and very interesting points. And while I’m not big on your delivery, I am actually going to try to put your little prescription of “assume feminism is the absolute truth” into action. And while I’m doing that, I have my own little prescription for you, Thinking Girl. You ready? I want you to click your heels together three times and repeat to yourself: “I do not know everything there is to know. To try and be absolutely correct at all times is neither possible, nor is it a worthwhile goal because someone will always have a different definition of what correct means. It is not my place to try to invalidate the opinions of others simply because they have a limited perspective, seeing how my perspective is every bit as limited.” I want you to repeat that little mantra a few times, THEN, I want you to go buy “The Wall” if you don’t already own it (the album not the movie), load both discs into a very loud stereo, dim the lights, drink half a bottle of wine, and let the healing begin. (The last few steps are more or less optional, but the mantra and the half-bottle of wine are absolutely necessary.) If all goes according to plan, this time tomorrow I should be arguing from your side and you should be arguing from mine.
    All sarcasm aside, I will agree that re-examination of one’s own lens is a very important thing, and it’s something you said that I do take to heart. What I don’t like is the fact that there’s no leeway with you. I can’t be right unless I’m agreeing with you, otherwise the way I was born is limiting my ability to comprehend the situation. I can’t get behind that logic, sorry. Maybe it’s my privilege, but it just doesn’t work for me. You seem to be so sure of your absolutes that I find myself increasingly skeptical of what you’re saying. And please don’t take that as a blow to your writing style. I know what a persuasive argument is, and your “I’m just a girl, maybe I should give up” spiel was a feeble attempt to somehow make me look bigoted by assuming that I somehow think your opinion as a woman means less than mine. I shouldn’t have to say this, but that’s obviously not the case (plus, I wouldn’t try to take anything away from your ability to argue, seeing how we’ve gone from me critiquing something on your blog to you critiquing my very existence. Even if Stephen Hawking had a working voicebox, with all his logic I don’t think the fucker could pull that one off in argument, so mad props to you.) No, what I was getting at is the fact that once you get past the authoritative statements and absolutes that compose a good persuasive argument, you actually seem to believe that your view is the single correct one.
    Now continuing with your continuum of continual condescension, you didn’t seem to like the fact that I don’t agree with all aspects that comprise feminism. Never mind that there are about a zillion different types of feminism and I couldn’t possibly agree with every aspect of each one, again, my disagreement obviously stems from a failure to understand, or to “let go” of my privilege. See a pattern here? Before I continue, just ask yourself can you at all fathom why I might feel a little like I’m being talked down to? If you think failure to agree with all aspects of feminism is a result of ignorance, consider radical feminism. I mean ultra-angry, extremely radical feminism – like the kind of people who would actually be okay with the term feminazi. Do you agree with all aspects of that? I’m guessing no. You don’t seem to be advocating political lesbianism or the rampant misandry that can found in those circles. Why not? Have you just not “let go” enough yet? Or do you truly believe that these things are not right? If that’s the case, what gives you the right to say so and not me? And furthermore, if problems can be found way the fuck at the psychotic end of the feminist spectrum, is it not at all feasible that there may be problems or inconsistencies a little closer to the center – like where you are? If they do in fact exist, does my gender prevent me from being able to identify these? I don’t think so, but it looks like you do.
    On one final note, I would like to reiterate the fact that I don’t think you are necessarily wrong on most things (I don’t think I made that at all clear enough before). There are things I disagree with, but I understand that I don’t – and can’t – know everything. My only issue is that you write as though you think you do.
    Sorry this comment is so ridiculously long. If you simply look at the length and say “fuck that I’m not reading all of this,” I’ll understand. Of course if you are reading this sentence then you’ve probably already finished the comment by now, so sorry again.


  55. hehe! the jab at me was sweet. i must admit i’m shocked i wasn’t a paranthesis for feminazis.
    but other than that, q.e.d., and no surprises.


  56. P-stone, I agree 100%!


  57. Haha, did you like that one Ruxandra? I don’t like the term feminazi by the way. And just for the record, no matter how much you frustrate me or insult my intelligence, my distaste for arguing with you will never EVER match my distaste for talking with born-again Christians. If that ain’t sweet I don’t know what is.


  58. Change of pace:
    I think this blog is finnally getting on the right track.
    P-Stone: You did come in here a little late in the game but I could’nt have said it better myself. The solution is so simple. And I definately agree with you 100%.

    Kyassett: WOW……….:)

    As for me……I have no comments for a change.(which I’m sure some are happy about:)) And I like where this blog as is right now.(not that anyone needs my approval) So I will say nothing more for the time being. I just wanted to share my joy for I have been banging my head and getting concusions from thinking about this for the past few days. Did’nt think I’d get so involved. lol


  59. yes, the “right track,” as i was saying.

    i for one can’t wait to hear what else the men who’ve thought for all of 2 seconds about what feminists are saying and why their analysis makes them uneasy (and then decided that “NO!” the problem is not them but the feminists, naturally) will feel the “girls” and “all you feminists” need to be set straight on. so that they themselves can stop the thinking already. NObody should have to suffer the pain and frustration of self-introspection like that. and by “body” i mean “man.” naturally.

    all sarcasm aside, the most old school part about this discussion is how common sense points that depart in the least from the patriarchal order need to be reiterated by a man and re-infused with just the right dose of misogyny in order for it to resonate at all with the 2-second self-introspecters.


  60. P-Stone – hi there, thanks for coming by.

    First of all, I completely agree that bars are not good places to find lasting relationships. Even though I personally know a few couples who have met that way. Nevertheless, many people of both genders do indeed go to bars in hopes of meeting someone to spend the rest of their lives with. Also, many people go to bars to have fun with friends, without any desire of meeting someone with whom to have either a relationship or a hookup. So, I don’t agree that the only reason people go to bars is to find a hookup. I don’t think it’s a good idea to simply ignore the people who don’t fit into your scheme, because they are also affected. Like, for example when a woman is out with friends, and not looking to hook up, and she gets hit on and doesn’t want the attention, and then the guy thinks she’s “playing hard to get” and won’t leave her alone, and she feels threatened and has to leave the bar or call over security and have the guy thrown out. IT happens.

    Nevertheless, there is nothing wrong with going to a bar looking to hookup. The issue that I have with these guys learning specific tricks to use is that they are, well, using tricks. And when you’re using a trick on another person, you’re not being authentic. You’re tricking them. You’re manipulating them. You’re being disingenuous. THAT is the issue. And when you’re a member of a dominant social class, and you’re using deceit to engage a member of a subordinate social class and manipulating them into doing something you want them to do, well, that’s pretty shitty.

    As for women just putting on revealing clothes and going to the bar, the thing is, sometimes women want to wear revealing clothes to a bar and NOT be hit on. It becomes a warning to women not to wear revealing clothes unless they are looking for male attention, and that’s kind of a problem. Women don’t alwasy do things for the sake of men. And to say that they do, or should, or should only in particular circumstances, limits women’s choices and freedoms.

    As for your comments on dating, and women choosing the wrong guys to date, I mentioned above that perhaps guys are choosing the wrong women to date or hit on. It’s a two-way street. Do some women end up dating assholes because their patriarchally prescribed gender role dictates that they must wait for the man to make the first move, and shy guys never do? yes, of course. Do some guys end up being turned down by a woman whom they have objectified because she is some flavour of attractive to him meanwhile ignoring the girl next door who might not have all her feathers out? yes of course. Sadly, the recourse for men is to learn how to be more successful picking up the kinds of women who have turned them down in the past, while the prescription for women is to ask out the shy guy. Doesn’t that seem a bit unbalanced?


  61. Ruxandra – great news about the letter, bad bad bad news about the legalizing prostitution, and the lack of protest. I’ll write more in my March 8 post too.


  62. Kyassett – well, think what you want, of course. I think there’s a major difference between talking about shifting a paradigm that is socially constructed after some deep emotional work, and becoming a born again christian. and perhaps in order to see what I’m saying you need to get over your aversion to christianity. (something I managed to do myself recently, also, actually. but you don’t want to hear about that – that would be further condescension on my part, right?)

    In any case, you make a good point about not agreeing with all aspects of all forms of feminism. But then, you didn’t really specify that in your initial comment, and when someone says they don’t agree with “feminism” (or all aspects of it), in my mind, I boil that down to not agreeing that women are oppressed and that is a state of affairs that is unfair and needs to be corrected. Because that is the central tenet of feminism, in its most simple form. so, lack of clarity on both our parts.

    We don’t like the word Feminazi. It’s completely derogatory, pejorative term most often used to try to shut up feminists. and I don’t think ANY feminist would be ok with being called that. In fact, I would venture that if he or she did, he or she isn’t really a feminist after all.

    so, the question of how do I know I’m “right”? Well, for starters, try that every single voice on this thread that has been in disagreeance with what I’ve argued is male. I guess it must be something in the water… in all those different cities. ;) but seriously, where there’s smoke there’s fire, and the fact that every dissenting voice here is a male one, speaks volumes.

    But does it come down to my being “right”? Not really. You’ve read enough of this blog to know that I have serious relativist leanings, which makes it kind of funny that you think I make these absolute statements like I hold the Big Book of Truth About Everything or something. It’s not really about being “right” – like Dr. Phil says, it’s about being happy. I happen to think that the way I’m looking at the world is a BETTER MODEL than the one you seem to be displaying. Why? Because it’s about equality, respect for all people of all kinds, and empowerment for marginalized people. The libertarian-ish sort of framework you seem to be displaying doesn’t allow for that. So that’s what it is for me. It doesn’t have to be “true” in an objective sense of the world in order to be better.

    And that’s why I argue with the strength that I do. In fact, that is the driving force in my life. If I just said, “yep, everybody’s got a different framework, and that’s ok, even the asshole bigots and misogynists and homophobes, cuz mine is limited too by all the work I’ve done to shift those dominant social discourses in my mind” then what is the fucking point? I mean, do you see the improbability of that statement? How ridiculous is it to do the work of seeing things in a different way than the norm, and then shift my perspective back again, to the dominant social discourses that are all about wielding power over marginalized people? that would be a major BACKSLIDE.

    get this, if you get anything: it’s not the way you were born that is the problem – it’s the cultural values attached to your socially assigned gender role that is the problem. This is where things get fucked up for feminism, because a lot of people don’t quite get this point. It isn’t the fact that you have a penis that is the problem with the way you’ve been socially instructed to look at the world. It’s the fact that society has chosen to place value on that sex assignment and to disvalue other sex assignments.

    that’s about all I have to say. If you really do take to heart what I’ve said, that’s great. Like I said, it won’t affect my personal life, but if you do it, it might just affect yours.

    now, know that my intention is not to censor you or encourage you not to come back, but if you’re serious about taking my suggestion to heart, you need to stop arguing with me now. Just go and do the work, and come back and let me know how it goes (and not in a day – it takes a long time for this kind of stuff to sink in. Like for me, it was 3 months.)


  63. Manko – dude, see what I mean when I say that you don’t even bother to respond to the critiques of your points that have been made? you just did it again. which kinda makes me think that you CAN’T. and sorry, but the direction has been turned around on you, yet again.

    Ruxandra – yes, exactly. EXACTLY. and thanks for saying I’m the awesomest! :)


  64. Hurray! My first comments argument! I have to admit I’m a little disappointed it didn’t take place over at my own blog but I’m starving for discourse so I guess I’ll take what I can get. Well now, on to responding to your responses.

    I’ve known people who have met their significant other in bars too, it certainly does happen, but we agree that generally people who are going there are looking for hookups, the vast majority at least. I addressed the groups that are out to have fun with their friends, they don’t factor in because they’re not trying to meet anyone new. If you’re out with your girls and some strange dude sits down at your table, say “Sorry we’re not interested, thank you though.” Now as for this guy who thinks your poor friend who just got up for another beer is playing hard to get, well if women didn’t actually play hard to get we wouldn’t be having this confusion now would we? Some guys definitely can’t take a hint and you’re right that that shouldn’t happen, and it’s unfortunate that security has to be involved. But this same sort of thing happens to guys, it’s just the other guy in question wants to fight them instead of fuck them. Some men are assholes and won’t take a hint, it’s nothing to do with feminism, it’s everything to do with some guys just being assholes.

    Ok, so it’s a trick for a guy to go to a class that probably teaches him things like, acting confident, dressing well, maybe shows him some pickup lines. But a woman who dresses in a low cut shirt and mini skirt and dances on the speakers is doing what? It’s at least as much of a “trick” as what the guys are doing. I think of both behaviors more like a mating ritual, everyone’s puffing out and displaying plumage, in the case of girls it’s flesh and flirtiness, in the case of guys it’s knowing to make eye contact and pay attention to what she’s saying.

    I have to admit I find your next point a bit ridiculous. If you’re going to get all stluttied up and go to the bar, where there are lots of girls who are dressed that way because they ARE slutty and looking for a one night stand, then I can’t muster up a whole lot of sympathy for you when a guy misreads the signals.

    Getting down to your last comment here’s how I see it. When people are looking for partners they are looking for one of two things: a relationship, or a hookup. So the problem we have is women are trying to date the guys who want hookups and men are trying to hook up with the girls who want relationships. The disparity goes both ways. Girls who are looking for a relationship shouldn’t be going for the smooth talking chap who bought them a drink. Now leaving hookups for a second let’s move on to dating. If we’re really going to be fair and equal here, which I think is the goal for everyone, let’s have it work both ways, guys can ask girls out but girls can ask guys out too. Everyone gets a chance to be rejected or accepted and nobody has to sit there being ignored thinking “why doesn’t s/he notice me?”

    Summing up, my advice for women: If you don’t like it when you tell a guy off and he thinks you’re playing hard to get, stop playing hard to get so damn much, it’s not entirely our fault if sometimes the signals get crossed and we mistake playing hard to get with legitimately not interested. If you go to a bar dressed like a slut, don’t get offended when you’re treated like a slut. As for guys that won’t leave you alone, I can’t help you there, I’ve been to bars where guys wouldn’t leave me alone too. Difference being that they wanted to smack my face into a wall for a while, not take me home for a mutually enjoyable romp between the sheets.
    Now my advice for the men: If you can’t tell if she’s playing hard to get or really wants you to leave, fuck her, she’s not worth your time, either she’s into playing head games or she really wants nothing to do with you, either way just stop responding and they’ll stop doing it, eventually if both sides do their part we won’t have this confusion and girls will be able to say “not interested” without fear of being misunderstood. Those were my recommendations for the moderates of both genders, now to the extremists.
    Asshole men: Stop treating women like objects for your pleasure, they have all the same rights as you and deserve your utmost respect.
    Asshole women: Stop assuming that every man is out there to oppress you, we’re not all pigs and it really offends us when we get lumped in with the asshole guys I described above. You’re right that our society is unfairly balanced in favor of men. Most of us don’t like that any more than you do and are not contributing to it at all. I’m sick of being blamed for the sins of men in the past and my shitty contemporaries in the present.

    One last note, good call moderating the comments on this one, it’s kept this conversation above the minimum level of decorum and we’re all the better for it.


  65. Sorry for the spam but I thought of one quick thing that I just couldn’t pass up, it’s a little inflamatory but whatever. I don’t go to gay bars in hot pants and then get offended when some dude offers to suck my dick. Why do women get offended when they go to straight bars in hot pants and some guy offers to take them home and fuck them? We’re both doing the same thing, so why if a guy did it would everyone recognize he was being an idiot but when it happens to a woman she’s a poor oppressed female?


  66. Holy fuck, P-stone, you’re in for it now.
    I’m not ignoring your comment, Thinking Girl, I just don’t have time to answer it right now, and I figured it’d be a good idea to opt out of this thread before it becomes a massive shitstorm. I think I’ll send a response via e-mail. Until then, have fun with this.


  67. Kyassett: I probably am. It’s too bad, I’m not trying to stir up shit for its own sake, I’m just frustrated. I treat women as equals, I think of them as equals and so do all the guys I know. I wonder sometimes if maybe the correct approach for feminists would be to stop complaining about how they’re marginalized and oppressed and just start acting like they’re equals. Most guys are already ready to treat you like it, the few that don’t usually aren’t any more popular with men, I loathe mysoginists personally. I’d like to pre-emptively apologise for the inflammatory nature of my last comment but I think the point is worth considering.


  68. Man I’m spamming this so hard and I feel terrible but kyassett please don’t go, I’ve really enjoyed reading your comments and it’d be a shame if you made the rest of your thoughts private. I feel especially bad since your leaving the discussion is timed so closely with my entering it and I’m a pretty poor replacement. I have no intention of turning this into a shitshow and everyone else seems to have exercised restraint. I really hope you’re not leaving on my account, if that’s the case I’ll drop out instead


  69. yeah, I”ll have to get back to this later.


  70. KYASSETT: I think you’ve made a lot of great points; I thought your comments were interesting and worthwhile.

    TG: Your suggestion that KYASSETT live life looking through the “TG is right” lens reminded me of how few female feminists actually make any effort to see the reality of ‘life as a man’ instead of taking the ‘men are (universally) privileged’ POV as gospel. Offhand, I know of only one, Elizabeth Gilbert, who wrote a fascinating article for GQ (“My Life as a Man,” Aug. 2001) about her spending a few days literally living as a man. I quote a relevant part of it here. Male “privilege” ain’t always what it’s cracked up to be, it seems.

    But returning to the topic at hand, HughRistik at feminist critics is pulling together an interesting and substantive look at the seduction community here.

    ruxandra:

    hm, isn’t it interesting, then, that men …[don't] get dolled up, objectify themselves, dumb themselves down, assume a passive role and … use tricks and manipulation from that position? oh, yeah, that’s right, men wouldn’t do that because that’s … humiliating …

    It’s got nothing to do with it being humiliating. If ‘getting dolled up, dumbed down, & passive’ was an effective strategy for men to get laid, I guarantee you that there would be a large number of men who would do just that.


  71. kyassett, here’s an easy definition of what being feminist is about generally speaking (a common thread through the zillion of feminisms, if you will): when someone makes blatantly (hetero)sexist points around you, you don’t go “man, you’re screwed, now the feminists will get you” – instead, you call them on it yourself and address the problem.

    also, p-stone: if you’re really “sick of being blamed for the sins of men in the past and my shitty contemporaries in the present,” then the first step is to not be one of these contemporaries yourself. half of what you’re saying is common sense and the other half is the shitty stuff: if you’re going to give advice to people, follow it.

    with the point you think is really worth considering (so much so that you can’t help making it even though you know it’s going to offend and inflame), you’re essentially arguing that the last person who should have a say in whether to feel offended by how they’re approached sexually by someone else is yourself. right? and that the person doing the approaching is actually the one “oppressed” by their own helplesness to resist temptation from the “idiot.” the fact that your inflammatory point doesn’t work if you put the guy in hot pants and a woman offering to take the hot pants to their obvious conclusion doesn’t matter one bit, right? and anyone who wears hot pants (possibly shorts) around guys is saying “have sex with me, i’m a slut,” right? and it’s no surprise that nothing men wear (that’s not codified as “gay” and/or “feminine”) has the same effect, right? and it doesn’t matter that for women it’s not just hot pants that have the same effect but pretty much any piece of “feminine” apparel, esp. anything “in fashion.” and there’s absolutely nothing gender-specific behind the idea of “slut,” is there?

    what if i decided that anyone who wears a short-sleeved t-shirt is not only trying to look good (sexy, appropriate for bar-going, or what have you) but putting out signals for one and all: “i welcome your advances.” you’d be ok with that, right? and your reaction, as a t-shirt wearer (or even as a non t-shirt wearer but as a person), would not be to tell me: wtf, i can dress however i want, you can’t just make assumptions?! and if my t-shirt rule were to become generally accepted you wouldn’t try to change it and make the point that the main problem is with the assuming, not with the wearing?

    anyway, the larger point here, your assertion that:

    Ok, so it’s a trick for a guy to go to a class that probably teaches him things like, acting confident, dressing well, maybe shows him some pickup lines. But a woman who dresses in a low cut shirt and mini skirt and dances on the speakers is doing what? It’s at least as much of a “trick” as what the guys are doing. I think of both behaviors more like a mating ritual, everyone’s puffing out and displaying plumage, in the case of girls it’s flesh and flirtiness, in the case of guys it’s knowing to make eye contact and pay attention to what she’s saying.

    is also kyassett’s concern about the “inconsistency” of t.g.’s analysis. i’ve said this before, but the mating ritual is simply the part where women and men act out their respective roles. and that’s already wrong, and yes bad for both sexes (though, like all other social interactions, it relies on women conforming to a “female” status, which is by definition inferior: passive, objectified etc.). HOWEVER, men taking courses on how to be better predators is another level of manipulation, it’a both about increasing dishonesty and about seizing more power. so if you’re going to compare those courses to anything, it should be to some similar courses for women. and it was established pretty early in this thread, with the discussion around cosmo magazine, that those would be wrong too. of course! that’s exactly the problem: anything that further reinforces the performances rather than pointing out how harmful they are and breaking them down is BAD. but the thing is: if you’re going to criticize at that level (and that level is what t.g.’s post is about), you have to do so from a feminist perspective, where you actually look carefully at what gender norms mean, who really has “power” and how things should be changed. unfortunately, p-stone, your whole discourse – which brings this thread onto the “right track” for guys – doesn’t do that in any consistent way. if it’s not clear to you why just from the fact that what you’re saying is, to manko, bringing the thread onto the “right track,” then reread what t.g. has said so far. carefully. try to understand my questions from this comment and to answer them… and don’t do inflammatory. just don’t!


  72. It’s got nothing to do with it being humiliating. If ‘getting dolled up, dumbed down, & passive’ was an effective strategy for men to get laid, I guarantee you that there would be a large number of men who would do just that.

    why isn’t it an effective strategy for men? that’s the question. and it has everything to do with being humiliating.


  73. Oh Jesus I hope I haven’t scared kyasset and thinking girl off this thread, at least they were both trying to be reasonable. Look guys, seriously, I meant what I said, if my presence here is going to devolve this into a flame war and judging by ruxandra’s barely intelligible post that is indeed where we’re heading then just say so, I’ll pack up and leave, you guys where having a reasonably respectful and intelligent dialogue about a pretty tricky subject and I’d hate to be the one to ruin it. So I’ll try and address whatever points I can glean from ruxandra’s response but after that all either of you has to do is say the word and I’ll leave. Now on to business. I think my point about the hot pants was distorted (probably my bad for being a smart ass, I just can’t help it sometimes)
    Let me put it this way: We have agreed that primarily people go to bars and more specifically clubs to hook up. So there will more than likely be a large number of women at the venue wearing revealing clothing as a way of signaling that they would like a quick lay. Now men, also wanting a quick lay, pick up on these signals. Let’s see here, we’re in a bar, people hook up here, that girl is wearing some revealing clothing, I bet she wants to hook up. But wait! She just wanted to go to a bar where people are hooking up and wear revealing clothing but NOT be hit on. Well I ask you, how the FUCK are we supposed to know the difference? It’s not whether or not you have the right to wear whatever you want, but I’m sorry, if you go to a place full of sluts and players, dressed like a slut, expect a few cases of mistaken identity over the course of the night. If you’re just walking down the street in a blouse or whatever and random dudes start coming up to you and telling you how hot you look or whatever then you have a right to be offended. But if you’re among a large group of girls who are dressing sexy because they want guys to pay attention to them then it seems pretty silly to me to get offended when a guy tries something with you. You’ve given no indication that this isn’t exactly what you want.

    “what if i decided that anyone who wears a short-sleeved t-shirt is not only trying to look good (sexy, appropriate for bar-going, or what have you) but putting out signals for one and all: “i welcome your advances.” you’d be ok with that, right? and your reaction, as a t-shirt wearer (or even as a non t-shirt wearer but as a person), would not be to tell me: wtf, i can dress however i want, you can’t just make assumptions?! and if my t-shirt rule were to become generally accepted you wouldn’t try to change it and make the point that the main problem is with the assuming, not with the wearing?”

    Well the thing is that pretty much nobody but you thinks that t-shirts are a big “fuck me sign” but pretty much EVERYONE thinks (and they’re not usually wrong) that going to a bar dressed all slutty does mean “I welcome your advances” so in that case you are kind of inviting it.

    Interesting so we agree that taking a course on hooking up is no worse than reading all those stupid “how to snag a man” articles in Cosmo. In that case why do I detect a significantly smaller amount of outrage directed at Cosmo? To me both are pretty skeezy but they’re both mostly used by skeezy people on each other, so be it. Again, the problem is when you try and play the dating game in a place where everyone else is playing hookup. If you go to a hockey rink in hockey gear, don’t be surprised if you get checked. If you go to a bar dressed all sexy, don’t be surprised if you get hit on.

    Now I’ve saved the best for last, you say “then the first step is to not be one of these contemporaries yourself. half of what you’re saying is common sense and the other half is the shitty stuff: if you’re going to give advice to people, follow it.” What exactly has made you think that I am one of those contemporaries? Just because we happen to disagree on this particular gender dynamic is a far cry from be being a mysoginist. How typical that it’s ok for you to assume that I must be some pig of a man based on very shaky evidence but it’s wrong for a guy to get the wrong signal in a bar. I have respect for everyone until they do something to lose it. I treat women and men differently (because they are different) but equally. I firmly believe in equality for everyone regardless of race, gender, sexuality or religion. How typical of you to assume that I’m just a big stupid wrong man. You think I’m a chauvinist? How about you ask some girls who actually know me? How about you ask my girlfriend of the past year who I love very much and treat with more devotion and respect than anyone else on this earth. Ask Manko’s girlfriend who is a childhood friend of mine since the fourth grade. You piss and moan about men making unfair assumptions about you, maybe you should look in a mirror.

    If you constantly look at the world through a “I’m a poor oppressed woman” you’ll find examples of oppression everywhere. Try just looking through the “men and women are equal” lens for a change, it’s the one I try and use. Now I’ll admit that there are still some pockets of misogyny in society but it’s not an overarching conspiracy, it’s just a few sad, ignorant men clinging to the past. I’ve done nothing to be lumped in with them and I take a great deal of offence that you would think I do.

    One last thing and this isn’t really related to anything to current in the thread. I recall either ruxandra or TG making the point that since it was only men taking the one side, we must be wrong. I should point out that this fairly obviously means that all the women are taking the other side. Unless women are always right and men are always wrong I think that was a pretty disingenuous comment.

    Once again, Kyasset or Thinking girl, I don’t mean to derail your thread, say the word and you’ll never hear from me on this blog again. But do think about what I’ve said.


  74. hi, ruxandra’s cousin here.

    just kidding.

    p-stone, the first thing you didn’t understand about my comment was that i wasn’t “flaming” you at all. i don’t know what you expected if you thought that was flame war-level harsh. i simply addressed some of your points. most importantly, i did NOT say you were “a pig of a man” – i’ve never used any expression like that in my life, and i wouldn’t. i made no assumptions about you whatsoever, i commented that of the things you have said here half are of the “shitty” non-feminist kind that for me at least are not “on the right track” (“dressed like a slut” belongs to this category).

    and, yeah, you really didn’t understand my point about the whole concept of slutiness, or any of the other non-shitty approaches to the issue that i suggested trying. it could be my fault that you didn’t get it, but your response to the t-shirt question, which misses the whole point by miles even though the scenario seems to have been intelligible enough, makes me think otherwise.

    anyway, i don’t believe there’s too much to discuss as long as you insist on the goodness of slut-shaming and -blaming. i will mention, however, that your whole point about there being less outrage directed at cosmo isn’t based on much. personally, i’ve been boycotting the majority of women’s magazines and especially cosmo for many years now – they scare and depress and disturb and outrage me. thing is, i would never defend or even excuse them for any reason. least of all, i can’t imagine happening upon a discussion about how these magazines are harmful and my first reaction being to argue that men are sleazy and so men can’t complain about these magazines ’cause they’re just needed as backlash/to even things out. for one thing, i’d be (and am) more worried about how these magazines reinforce the whole shitty system and hurt the women they’re aimed at, and trying to do something about that problem. but anyway, if i did end up defending the magazines (under duress or something), i don’t think i could then legitimately claim that my view was the only objective one on the matter.

    and that was probably very unclear also.


  75. I’d like to submit that I normally go to bars with the intention of picking up women. That or having a good time with good friends.

    I choose to pursue one night stands because it’s fun. Part of it is the thrill of the chase. Clubbing is a bit of a game and as p-stone mentioned, is full of mating ritual and display. It’s a lot of fun really. But the end goal of course is to meet an attractive and fun partner. Rarely is the goal to meet a life partner. Folks with that mindset are in for heartbreak.

    There are women who enjoy going to bars and having sex with random strangers. There are men out there who do the same. Frankly, I think most people who engage in this behavior are just downright into are experimenting and having fun. Fun is a key component to life.

    Many men I know are hard working, good people. We’ve had relationships in the past, but they’re hard to maintain when you do a 12 days on, 2 off schedule. Up north you’re in a camp with a bunch of dudes and when you come back for a brief hiatus we miss and want to hang out with women. I don’t understand how meaningless sex in these cases is a negative. If both parties understand what is occurring in a one night stand, and are safe and practical, then all is fair and ethical. It’s important to remember that it takes two to tango.

    The new show Keys to the VIP is a great example of this culture:
    http://www.thecomedynetwork.ca/servlet/an/comedy/2/20060724/TCN_Show_KVIP

    My comments may be taken as abrasive or slimeball or whatever, but I’m here to represent the target of your blog.

    I think it’s interesting that these “pick-up artists” have isolated their bar moves to a formula. From a social science perspective, it’d be really interesting to do research on their methods. For science!


  76. Ruxandra: My references to flaming weren’t so much in regard to your comments as much as between us we seem to have scared off kyasset and thinking girl, which disappoints me, they were both more moderate and articulate arbiters for their respective points of view than we are in my opinion.

    Now while you’re technically correct that you didn’t directly refer to me as a “pig of a man” if you’ll permit me to quote you:

    “also, p-stone: if you’re really “sick of being blamed for the sins of men in the past and my shitty contemporaries in the present,” then the first step is to not be one of these contemporaries yourself.”

    Does that not imply that I am a chauvinist or misogynist? Am I not right to be offended by this mis characterization? You claim to have made no assumptions about me, I find these two claims incompatible. Am I one of my shitty contemporaries or a neutral voice over the Internet about whom no characteristics can be assigned?

    Perhaps it is my use of the word slut that offends you. Forgive me for not clarifying that I apply the term to both men and women who seek random partners for sexual encounters. If you have a more appropriate gender neutral term for those actions I’ll be more than happy to use it in the past, again my intention is not to be inflammatory, I was simply using the term that I found appropriate.

    Your t-shirt example is a misnomer, everyone wears t-shirts, they express nothing and give no clear signals, also, an important aspect of my point was context. Perhaps there is a certain location where a t-shirt signals a certain intent but I’m not aware of it.

    I don’t think that I was blaming or shaming sluts, they’ve made a personal decision (both men and women) as long as everyone involved in their antics are aware of the rules and there’s consent then I say let them have at it. It’s not the thing for me personally and I’m sure it’s not how you want to spend your Saturday night either but if a random man and woman decide to go home for some no strings attached sex then it’s nobodies business but theirs.

    Fair enough on the point in regard to Cosmos, if you’re going to say that they’re just as deplorable as these dating schools I can do nothing but agree. Both offer some good advice (grooming tips etc. that are pretty neutral) and some devious tricks to snare members of the opposite gender, these of course being the parts that we object to. A breakthrough! We agree on something! I’m overjoyed, maybe this thread will survive after all (hear that kyasset and TG? we’re playing nice, want to come back?)

    I’d like to get back to the t-shirt metaphor for a second and take another swipe at making my point, using the most polite language I can muster. I see bars and particularly night clubs as a sort of playing field. There are players on both sides and they wear uniforms. The men not so much as they identify themselves as players through their actions (approaching women and attempting to sleep with them) The women, however need some way to signal themselves as players to distinguish themselves as the spectators. Generally this is done by wearing revealing clothing, dancing alone on the dance floor and various other flirtatious behavior.

    These basic rules should not come as a surprise to anyone who has spent any time in clubs, like them or not they are fairly universal. Now the problem arises when a girl decides to put on the uniform, go to the arena, but not play the game, see where I was going with that hockey metaphor? Again, if you go to a playing field (club/bar) and wear a uniform (revealing clothing) then people will assume you are there to play the game, simple as that. If you don’t want to play then maybe put on a little more clothing, I’m not asking you to wear a burqa and outside the “arena” you’re certainly free to wear whatever you want. For instance I suspect that you could wear considerably less at a swimming pool without attracting undue attention. But again, if you’re on the field, in uniform, then don’t be surprised if someone wants to play.

    Forgive the sports metaphor, it’s less than ideal for several reasons but it was the best I could come up with, I hope I’ve clarified my point.

    “you’re essentially arguing that the last person who should have a say in whether to feel offended by how they’re approached sexually by someone else is yourself. right?”

    Sort of, if you go to a place where the game is, the girls hang around in revealing clothing and wait for guys to approach them sexually then I think it’s naive to expect yourself to be treated differently unless you do something to signal that you desire this treatment, so in this one particular situation, I would say that yes, if you go to a bar dressed like all the girls who are there looking to pick up men, you have nobody to blame but yourself if you’re approached sexually. I cannot stress enough how this is only the case in this specific scenario because everyone has clearly established the rules. Just play by them and it’ll all be fine.

    “the fact that your inflammatory point doesn’t work if you put the guy in hot pants and a woman offering to take the hot pants to their obvious conclusion doesn’t matter one bit, right?”

    It doesn’t work? Are you sure? I’m pretty sure any guy that shows up in a bar in hot pants is asking for attention just as much as a girl, he just probably won’t because he’s likely to get his ass kicked.

    “it’s no surprise that nothing men wear (that’s not codified as “gay” and/or “feminine”) has the same effect, right?”

    You’re technically correct that men don’t have as much of a uniform for going to the club as women, however as I explained that’s because they express their desire to play the game more directly by actually approaching the woman. Have you ever approached a strange man in an attempt to attract their interest? I can assure you it is incredibly nerve wracking and stressful. I’m sure most men would be more than willing to trade places and be the ones who put on a certain outfit and just sat around waiting for suitors. Unfortunately that’s not how the game is played. Perhaps if we get a more equal footing where men and women do the approaching then men will develop a dress code as well, but as it is there’s no point, your move ladies.

    “and it doesn’t matter that for women it’s not just hot pants that have the same effect but pretty much any piece of “feminine” apparel, esp. anything “in fashion.””

    Well no, that’s not true, go to the bar one night in a hoodie or even a blouse with a reasonably high neck line. Go back another night in a little low cut thing. Try swapping pants for a skirt, I bet dollars to donuts you’ll notice quite the difference.

    “what if i decided that anyone who wears a short-sleeved t-shirt is not only trying to look good (sexy, appropriate for bar-going, or what have you) but putting out signals for one and all: “i welcome your advances.” you’d be ok with that, right?”

    Hey I’m ok with you thinking anything you want. Again, the problem there is that not everyone agrees with you but virtually everyone has agreed on the dress code for (what’s the term I should use here, promiscuous women?) women in these specific locations does mean “I welcome your advances” The problem with t-shirts is they’re generic, you can’t judge people based on them because everyone is wearing them. If we were to all decide that, say, men wearing a purple t-shirt meant “I welcome your advances” then I’d certainly hold them accountable if they went out wearing a purple t-shirt and were offended to be hit on.

    Well, hey, that wasn’t half bad. You were polite, I was polite, this conversation might be saved yet.

    Oh, an interesting little PS. I showed my girlfriend this article (she’s ok with my comments in case you’re worried I’m in the doghouse ;) ) and it turns out she knows, or rather knows of Dave and Thinking Girl from some manner of feminist news letter based in Calgary. Fancy that eh? Small world


  77. P-Stone – good luck scaring me off a thread ON MY OWN BLOG. :P I’ve just been busy these past days and honestly quite tired of repeating myself to folks who don’t seem to have done the work in terms of understanding what patriarchy is all about.

    I fail to see how much more “civil” or whatever I’ve been than Ruxandra. And I fail to see how anything she has said is “unintelligible” just because you don’t understand it or refuse to try because you’re too attached to your privilege. By the way, I support 100% everything she has said; I never give anyone permission to speak for me, but I might as well have in this case, because Ruxandra is making all the right points in my opinion.

    Now I don’t know if I want to or have time to go back and repond to every single point you’ve made, but here’s the gist of what I have to say.

    1. your gay man-hot pants example is not only inflammatory, it’s offensive. I don’t appreciate any kind of derogatory comments about any marginalized groups, and I will not tolerate it. Go and read the comment policy again, and take it to heart before you re-enter this discussion. In fact, you’ve been put on my moderation list, so any further comments from you will be held in moderation for approval.

    2. Here’s the main point: Women are oppressed by patriarchy. Men are not. It’s very simple. Patriarchy affects men and women in different ways, and while I absolutely agree that men experience detrimental effects from patriarchy, oppression is a very different thing than that. So even when men and women are in the same situation, doing the same thing, they are not equal under the eyes of patriarchy. Women are always going to subordinated because they are women, while men may be subordinated in other ways, but not because they are men.

    3. You can’t escape patriarchy. It is everywhere. It is the MATRIX. It is the institutions of society, it is bred into us from birth, it is INESCAPABLE. And it privileges men and subordinates women. And unless you’re actually willing to give up those privileges in real concrete ways, then yes, you too are suporting and contributing to patriarchy. Read that sentence again until you understand it. This is what Ruxandra was talking about when she encouraged you not to be like the men you are complaining you are not like. Because in subtle ways, you are being like those men. Keep on reading.

    4. You’re missing the point I’m making in your little bar pickup scenario. What I’m saying is, not all women want to pickup when they go to bars, and it doesn’t matter what they’re wearing – they are not, by virtue of being in a bar and wearing provocative clothing, asking for male attention. And that is not irrelevant, because in this male-centred society, everything that women do is seen as revolving around men. And that is harmful, because it leads to bad bad stuff for women when men make the assumption that women exist for men. Which is what you’re doing, whether you realize it or not. You cannot assume that every woman who goes out to a bar dressed in a low cut top and a skirt is looking for some guy’s attention. This kind of assumption leads to stuff like RAPE – and then victim-blaming, which I’m sure you’re familiar with: the old argument that “she was wearing skimpy clothing so I assumed she wanted sex.” And guys who just don’t take a hint has EVERYTHING to do with feminism. whether she’s “wearing the uniform” or not, simply wearing provocative clothing is not enough evidence for a guy to make the leap to “she wants to have sex with me, because all women who dress provocatively are “sluts” who will fuck anything, and I’m something, so surely she wants to fuck me.” Surely you can see the extremely flawed logic in this! This is what Ruxandra was talking about when she said you were slut-shaming and -blaming. Which brings me to my next point:

    5. There is nothing wrong with people having one-night stands. It doesn’t make them sluts. And “slut” is indeed a gendered term, whether or not you choose to apply it to men or not. Using the word “slut” for women who dress in provocative clothing and go to bars, even when they ARE looking to pick up, degrades those women and makes it acceptable to treat them like shit, which can certainly lead to sexual violence, which is then blamed on the “slut” for being so “slutty.” See how it can slide? Language is important.

    6. There IS something inherently different about men paying for a course in how to pick up women and using those tricks, and women dressing in provocative clothing, wearing makeup, whatever else you find in those dreadful Cosmo-type magazines. One is about teaching men, who are already given social privilege and power by patriarchy, to become sexual predators. The other is about women complying with patriarchal dictates that make men central to women’s existence and make women into passive objects for males. One is about giving those who already have power, more power; one is about teaching those who do not have so much power to be even more subordinate. And THAT is the problem with pickup courses. For the final time. I’m really sick of explaining this. Read this as many times as it takes to understand it.

    7. Most feminists actually DO act as though we are equal. And most men actually DON’T respond well to it. Why? Because of #3 – most men don’t want to give up their privilege for anyone. They actually think that they deserve it, even though they have done nothing at all to earn it.

    I think that you can probably take what I’ve said here and apply it to whatever else you’ve said, since you seem to be simply ignoring what Ruxandra and I have been saying about patriarchal power relations (I wonder why that might be, maybe because you don’t want to really deal with this discourse because you’ve got too much wrapped up in being on the privileged side of the equation) and repeating your own “analysis” of the situation. Now, I’m sorry if you think I’m not being “civil” or whatever anymore, but I’m pretty much finished with repeating myself. If you have anything further to repeat, please remind yourself that I have already responded to all of this as presented by you and others, and re-read what I and Ruxandra have already written. If you continue, please know that I will likely respond by quoting myself, because I honestly have more important things to do than continue to come up with new ways to make the same points, and I don’t mean that in a “dismissive of your existence” kind of way, I mean that in a literal, “I have some very important paperwork and assignments to complete for school” kind of way.

    By the way, I highly doubt that your girlfriend knows me or even of me, or Dave for that matter. I don’t live in Calgary, have never lived in Calgary, and don’t have anything to do with feminist newsletters in Calgary (unless of course Dave and I have been quoted in some publication without our or my permission, in which case I would be very interested to know more!). While Dave does live in Calgary, I would be highly doubtful he would be involved in feminist newsletters, either, seeing as he has a very busy life, and it’s not likely he would call himself a feminist in any way, even though he is supportive of some feminist goals. Dave, if you feel the need to correct this, go right ahead, but I’m pretty sure I’m not mistaken on this.


  78. Kelson – I was with you right up until you posted that link. Man, that is some misogyny if I ever saw it.

    As I’ve said, there is absolutely nothing wrong with going out on the town looking for someone to hook up with. What I think is dreadfully wrong is making it all about objectifying women and tricking them into thinking you’re a nice, decent guy when really you’ve made a bet with one of your buddies that you can take her home, or whatever. It’s actually not about “leveling the playing field” for guys, it’s about giving guys even more social power than they already have so that they can more successfully prey on women, who don’t have the same kind of social power.

    anyway, as I indicated, I’m pretty tired of this discussion, so I’m gonna take a break and do some other stuff. thanks for coming by.


  79. Ok I’m done. Seriously, this is my last post. Two more things and then I’m leaving. I’m at least as frustrated about not being listened to and having my points considered as you are. I had a huge response all typed up that I made after reading the discussion policy and the entire thread again and it addressed all of thinking girls points against me. But frankly I’m fed up, you’re convinced the only reason I could possibly dissagree with you is either because I’m a man or I didn’t read your comments enough. Well I’m not about to get a sex change and I DID read the comments several times so I guess there’s nothing more for it.

    You’ve decided that the only way to view the world is through the lens of patriarchy, well if that’s how you’re going to do it then I imagine you will see patriarchy everywhere. “When you only have a hammer, the whole world’s a nail” I try and view the world with a slightly more open mind, even if you think I don’t.

    Allow me to quote thinking girl briefly

    “your gay man-hot pants example is not only inflammatory, it’s offensive. I don’t appreciate any kind of derogatory comments about any marginalized groups, and I will not tolerate it. Go and read the comment policy again, and take it to heart before you re-enter this discussion. In fact, you’ve been put on my moderation list, so any further comments from you will be held in moderation for approval.”

    How exactly was my comment offensive to gays? Honestly, I totally get how it was inflammatory as I said several times (I certainly regret saying it now that I see all the shit it’s stirred up.) But really, how is it offensive or derogatory to gays? All I said was that, since gay clubs presumably work like straight clubs (people are trying to hook up with whatever gender their sexual preference dictates) if I, a man, were to enter a gay club, dressed provocatively especially, it would be unreasonable for me to not expect a gay man to express interest. Really I’m having a hell of a time wrapping my brain around how saying that gay men want to have sex with men is derogatory, last I checked it was just the definition of being gay.

    Anyway, I’d like to thank you all for getting me thinking about this, it’s led me to having some very illuminating conversations with the women I know, none of whom are so close minded and while I haven’t really taken a lot from this blog I learned quite a bit from them, so indirectly I thank you. I’ll come back in a day or two cause I’m really curious about why you think I’m homophobic but after that I’m done. Personally I think you’re spending your lives feeling more pissed off and oppressed than you should or have to and I want nothing more to do with it.


  80. I will pose this as a set of questions. Then I’ll make some comments to break it up, and put the answers below. I invite you to ask yourself these questions, and come up with your own answers before reading my own.

    Q1: What kind of men have no use for these “pick-up classes” because they know the material?

    Q2: What kind of men would use these “pick-up classes”?

    Q3: What kind of women would likely be on the receiving end of the lessons learned from these classes?

    Q4: What kind of women would not be on the receiving end of the lessons learned from these classes?

    Q5: How is this giving men more power?

    Q6: How is this oppressing women?

    =====

    Regarding the “club scene”
    Suppose a woman goes to a bar with her friends. They’re going because they want to drink and dance, not because they are looking to “hook up”. They dress up all attractively and such and go. At the bar, they get hit on, and feel that they are victims because of it. To that I say “are you a complete moron?!” If you run around in the woods in a turkey costume during hunting season, you WILL PROBABLY GET SHOT, and guess whose fault it is. The analogy is sound, because these chaste women in the example are disguised as promiscuous women (dressed attractively), and in a time and place where everyone knows that many people are there for social and/or sexual reasons. Men are indeed the aggressors, and women the lures, but ultimately it is the woman’s perception and judgement that rules the outcome of any advances. In this setting, the women, despite being “passive”, are the ones with the power of the final say.

    Is there something wrong with the club scene in regard to the battle of the sexes? I would wager that those who frequent the clubs will have no complaints in that regard. People go there because they want to. People who go there generally know what they are getting into, and if they don’t, they are making a mistake. People are not telepathic, and cannot read minds, so they can only make their decisions with the information that they have – that information is what they see. If a woman LOOKS like someone trying to attract a man’s advances by all reasonable deduction (“I’m at a bar where people hook up, she is dressed attractively. Elementary my dear Watson.”), there is nothing wrong with treating them like one and making an advance. Did I just advocate sexual abuse? No. The setting, the subject and the situation all point to a reasonable conclusion. By asking, offering or attempting to convince her, he is not violating her rights any more than a salesman violates the rights of a customer, or a religious missionary violates the rights of people they try to convert.

    Regarding the Extremist Frame of Mind
    I say this to all of you, without discrimination, and heck, even to myself. I invite you to consider, just for a moment, that this may or may not apply to you. I can’t think of anything convincing to even sway an extremist one bit. In fact, I doubt there is anything in the world that can convince an extremist. Most extremists are even in denial that they are extremists at all (just like how 90% of people think they’re above average intelligence, or good drivers). Extremists have been known to shape the world, from Ghandi to Hitler, but I am hard pressed to think of a world-changing extremist who didn’t have a existence marked by hardship, suffering, insanity, persecution and/or death as a result of their ambition. I doubt any of them were truly happy. I’m very happy (Are you?), and I live in the same world you do. I also tend to live in harmony with the world, as-is, and the changes I make are to my own piece of the world, and to myself so I can better live in it. Self-destructive extremism is the sort of thing that would not only hurt me, but also my friends and family. I hope your friends and family are okay (are they?).

    =====

    A1: The men who already have the “social power” you are so unhappy with. These people are (more often) not very considerate or decent to begin with. Essentially, the selfish people who have no issue with treating women as objects.

    A2: The men who do not have the social power. They are generally intimidated by women, or get caught in the “friend zone” because they’re considerate, timid, shy or not socially skilled. Generally, the kind of men who are lonely, and/or unconfident will come to these. If you think a class will magically transform these sorts of people into sexual predators, think again.

    A3: Potentially, anyone. But generally and most often, women in circumstances where hooking up is the norm. Ask yourself how they get in those circumstances, and who’s responsible for putting them there.

    A4: Women who are in the circumstances where hooking up is not appropriate. This covers the vast majority of a normal life. That being said, don’t worry: you will not have to fret about going into your own backyard and some closet pervert leaping out of the bushes and smooth-talking you into a one-night stand. Scary world though this may be.

    A5: It’s not. The greaseballs are still the same, except some tiny subset (the teachers) have a job on the side. Meanwhile, some subset of the timid, lonely and socially inferior men will gain some level of confidence and social ability to be more confident and comfortable around women in a social setting. I was one of those lonely socially inferior guys, and I would have loved a “shortcut” like this at the time. Though, to be honest, I wouldn’t have met my fiance if my past were altered, so I have no regrets.

    A6: It isn’t. Women still can say “no” or “buzz off”. This is a class on specialized social interaction, not “how to rape 101″, not “controlling women 101″. They aren’t handing out gadgets that use mind control, nor date-rape drugs. Ladies around the world are still able to use the same judgement and influence they always could. In fact, if there are more men out there (from A2 above) who have confidence and skills normally possessed by the sleazeballs, isn’t that a good thing for the women (of A3 above)?


  81. Sorry about this, but I stumbled all over this snazzy little article, describing EXACTLY the stereotypical kinda fellow who would sign up for these classes.

    http://www.duggmirror.com/general_sciences/Why_the_Nice_Guy_Fears_Approaching_Women/

    Ahhh memories. It’s rough being obsessively selfless. Thank goodness I’ve learned a little self-interest since those lonely days, when I couldn’t ask a girl out if my life depended on it. Now, though, I don’t need those classes, as I’m not a overly-considerate, lonely guy anymore.


  82. P-stone – ah yes, the frustration at having one’s position and privilege questioned, the frustration at having it pointed out how you are contributing to patriarchy and women’s oppression. But yet I’M the one who should listen, to your points, because they are so very different from all the other points made by patriarchy-supporters, or at the very least because YOU are special and unique. So, now that you feel you’ve been dismissed because you’re a man, how you like them apples? Imagine feeling that way everyday. That’s what patriarchy does to women, and what you are trying to do by pandering to it through your inane comments, which of course I should see as blindlingly brilliant enough to actually revert back to a male-dominant framework. Like I said on another thread, once you’ve taken the red pill, you can’t just take the blue one and get back to where you once belonged.

    I haven’t decided to view the world through patriarchy – you have. I have chosen to deepen my analysis of the world and look at it through a feminist framework. therein lies the difference. And the funny thing is that everywhere YOU look your vision is clouded by patriarchy and in particular the privilege it has given you for no reason whatsoever besides that (presumably) you have a penis. now that’s a reason to impart privilege – a penis. yup. sure is a special thing. only 49% of the world’s population have ‘em. But obviously, YOU deserve all the privilege you have been afforded.

    Anyway, you asked a “serious” question. You asked what was so offensive about your gay-man hot-pants example. Let me be plain: you’re imlying that gay men want to have sex with any man, like sex-crazed maniac animals. Kind of like how you implied that any woman dressed provactively in a bar is a “slut” and that “sluts” want to have sex with any man.

    So, ciao P-stone. Before you leave, you should check out the post that you half inspired with your little “you’re spending your lives feeling more pissed off and oppressed than you should or have to” comment. Because after all, gender oppression doesn’t REALLY exist, and isn’t REALLY all that serious anyway. Thanks for showing me the way.


  83. Thinking Girl
    After reading through the comments on this page and analyzing many of them I understand many of the points being brought up but I think you are taking a very bias opinion of what p-stone has to say just because of his Male priviledge. The beginnings of this conversation seem well thought out and reasonable but it seems that you cann0t accept p-stone because he is a man though he seemingly wants to try and understand the issue and bring up his own beliefs but yet because he is a man you try and turn everything around on him, if we want equality for everyone we have to allow it to everyone on the first go not stack it back and forth just to make men “see” what its like, that is just being childish and immature. I don’t think he is implying that all gay men want to have sex he is implying that if he dresses like a “player” then someone in the crowd is bound to treat him like one assuming someone there finds him attractive. If we want womens equality we need to treat each other with equal respect and I think because of todays society unfortunately there will always be people guys and yes even girls that take advantage of unaware prey. If there were more guys like p-stone around we would be alot better off than we are now.


  84. Men learning how to be better at picking up women is nothing shocking at all. It’s expected human behavior. Every gender does it.

    A great majority of western women constantly spend their time learning beauty tricks to attract men. Padding their bras or getting implants, using make-up to cover flaws, wearing black to look thinner, lip gloss and eye liner and studying tricks to maximize features. Etc. How am I supposed to know who they really are?! What slimeballs!

    And to add to that, as a man I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve met women who are after my bank account or at least a free drink or two. It’s always been downright tough for both genders to find honest and trust-worthy people.

    Yet as a man this has never bothered me! I can actually respect the work and skill it takes to maintain beauty achievements. And although I understand that some women are out to use me, I can also recognize that there are good ones out there that are simply trying to get their foot in the door.

    So make-up is pretty rad, really. And hot.

    Ultimately, anyone, whether a man whose learned to be a smooth talker, or women stuffing her bra, will eventually be judged by their true merits and personality. The posers/fakers you’re concerned about will always be exposed.

    To conclude, thinking girl, you need to stop the drama queen and victim attitude. It’s downright pessimistic and ultimately not attractive. If you’re strong enough then you should work towards something positive instead of complaining about men ruining your life. I recommend you slap on some make-up, head to a club, work a free drink out of a man and get fucked!*.

    (*unwind)


  85. Malignor – yeah, I don’t think women are the ones with the final say. Check out rape statistics sometime, you’ll see what I mean. A woman’s NO is quite often not sufficient to stop men’s aggression. And under no circumstances is a rape victim to blame for her (or his) own rape. I personally feel that a woman should be able to wear anything she likes without aggressive slimy guys approaching her because of it. FOR THE LAST TIME, a woman’s dress is not an indicator of her desire to have sex with anyone.

    As for your comments about “extremists,” see this post, which these comments helped inspire. Don’t pretend you care about whether or not I’m happy, and my friends and family are happy, and whether or not I’m ruining their lives with my feminist ranting. Seriously, you do realize how dismissive and condescending that is, right?

    And I think you’re missing the point about this post and the many many comments since yours. These classes aren’t really about teaching guys to respect women. It’s teaching men how to be able to sleep with more women, by misrepresenting themselves, thus tricking them, by not really taking no for an answer. It’s teaching dishonesty and manipulation, of a socially oppressed group I might add, lest we forget, by a socially privileged group. And that is slimy, no way around it.


  86. Diver – OMG, you are totally right. Wow, I have never been shown the light so clearly before. I’m so glad you showed me that i hate men, don’t really want equality, and should be grateful for the scraps i’m given from patriarchy’s table.

    /sarcasm

    If you really think that this entire thread was about trying to show men what it’s like, you really should probably go find a feminist 101 blog. there’s one linked in the sidebar.


  87. Kelson – wow, thanks for that brilliant suggestion! And such a deep analysis of why women spend so much time on their outward appearance – which of course has nothing to do with all those nasty societal pressures about feminine beauty and appearance, handed down by patriarchy!

    But you’re so right, I mean, all this “victim” politics is probably making me so unattractive for all the guys out there who are reading, I guess I’ll never find a man that way! And I bet a good deep-dicking would be just the thing, because after all, cock is a cure-all for every problem facing women today! All those women who are abused, sold into slavery, starving, begging on the streets, denied education, forced into child marriages, raped, denied birth control or access to abortion, economically depressed – all of them should just slap on a little makeup and go down to the bar and find themselves a man who’ll fuck her senseless. That’ll cure ‘em of their woes for sure!

    /sarcasm

    Go fuck yourself. may you never get laid again: a pox on your dick. don’t ever come back here, you misogynist asshole.


  88. HO-LY HOT FUCK. I was gone for a few days and I sure as fuck did not expect to come back and find this. Sorry this comment thread got so disgusting. I like to think that at least you and I were having an honest debate, disagreements aside. Can’t say I expected to see anyone telling anyone else to get fucked though.
    Sorry for never responding to your last comment. As I said, I haven’t had much of a chance lately, but now, frankly I don’t have any interest in continuing this discussion (meaning I’ve forgotten what the hell we were talking about and I’m too lazy to go back and re-read our comments). And I’m guessing that you’re just about on the same page. I’ll leave by saying thanks for the discussion and sorry once more that you have to deal with more than a few pricks amongst the roses.


  89. Hey Kyassett – how refreshing to hear from you! (and I mean that, no sarcasm at all!)

    Thanks. yeah, it got pretty ridiculous. Look what happens when you critique heterosexual power relations in the pickup and dating scene. I guess guys don’t like hearing how their pickup tricks are dishinest and manipulative and contribute to women’s oppression.

    I hope the matrix-shifting work is going well :) – keep me posted!


  90. [...] Posted March 15, 2007 In reading a comment on Thinking Girl’s blog about the difference between women’s and men’s acceptable approaches to turning interest…, I was reminded of a story my parents told me about when they were dating in college (ca. 1970) [...]


  91. Kelson – I told you to fuck off, and I meant it. You’re not welcome to make comments here. If you want to exercise your “right” to “free speech”, then go create your own blog.


  92. Malignor – while I appreciate the time it must have taken to put together your last two comments, they did not adhere to the discussion guidelines for this blog. please read them before attempting to post another comment.

    Also, read this, and this. Learn about how you display male privilege by showing up here and demanding that I teach you about feminism here, and learn more about male privilege here. Learn about MY feminism here.

    Once you’ve caught up on your reading, and actually understand what’s being said rather than knee-jerking according to your pre-conceived patriarchal mindset, you may try to post another comment, which will of course be moderated, and may or may not be approved.


  93. I thoroughly doubt that this will likely not be posted. It does not matter, as this is for you, TG, and you alone.

    I know the discussion guidelines. I also know that you enjoy the privilage of interpreting them any way you wish, to justify doing whatever you want. Especially since this is your blog, and you are right to “rule” it as you see fit. The power of personal (mis)interpretation, especially as a means to (falsely) justify your (monochrome, shortsighted) view, is something you certainly have a knack for. You wield it like a 2-edged sword, and your strikes with that sword have bloodied the reputations of people like me, but have also carved deeply into the flesh of your own cause.

    For example, I love how you jump to conclusions about people and judge them, and pack them into neat little boxes with terms like “pre-conceived patriarchal mindset”. It’s so much easier to judge and pigeonhole people than to treat them as individuals. It’s also great how feminism is all about treating people the same (not by preconceived gender roles), yet your words constantly, repeatedly, nauseatingly, and cruelly, ram a wider and wider wedge between men and women. Difference tends to create inequality, and conflict. You, yourself, label males on this blog in an antagonistic manner (look up at your own responses in this very blog), and that is exactly the sort of thing that invites conflict. This flavors your words with childish and petty undertones.

    Secondly, you are very repetitive; a figurative “broken record”. Terms like oppression and patriarchy sure are big, strong and pretty words, but again it damages your cause to use them as you do. When you start sounding like a robot, your credibility suffers. I’ve read through links and logs and 99% of it is all fluff and big words, signifying nothing. I find it pitiful that so little is said with so much enthusiasm and so much wasted time and breath. Words like your favorites, “patriarchy”, “oppression” and “privilage” become vague and colorless over time, and for all the words you use, you don’t even seem to scratch the surface. Though you sometimes sound like a robot, the engineering is abyssmal because that robot seems to only pretend it’s doing something.

    Thirdly, you make a bunch of rules, then you seem to find cowardly ways to use them against your critics and censor them out while replying triumphantly. Then, of course, you break the same rules yourself, making you look even less credible (I love your reply to Kel – textbook example of breaking your own rules). Then your naive little followers stroke your ego right on cue, and tell you how great you are, just like blog after blog. Though this is displayed to the public, it’s really only meant for your yes-girl fanclub. Why you hunger so much for praise from gullible nobodies is something worth wondering “why”.

    There is help out there. Find it. Yesterday.


  94. Part#2 of comment on March 19.
    This is the part where you censor me out and reply all big and tough, right? Don’t forget to say it in a way that makes you sound like a nice person. After all, this is a public blog. The last thing you want to do is be real, complete with the good bad and ugly. Even better would be to edit or be selective in what you include, like leave out this, or just allow this and try to demonize me for your little TG-fanclub.

    Funny, I remember this originally being about people using deception for achieving social objectives. When’s your next class?


  95. Malignor – I decided to approve your comment, after some consideration. Even though you said it was really just for me and you didn’t care if it was published or not, I don’t know whether you really were just trying out some reverse psychology or not. But I thought I should publish what you had to say, and respond, because people should know what kind of BS gets spewed at feminist blogs by people like you.

    You said:

    “I know the discussion guidelines. I also know that you enjoy the privilage of interpreting them any way you wish, to justify doing whatever you want. Especially since this is your blog, and you are right to “rule” it as you see fit. The power of personal (mis)interpretation, especially as a means to (falsely) justify your (monochrome, shortsighted) view, is something you certainly have a knack for. You wield it like a 2-edged sword, and your strikes with that sword have bloodied the reputations of people like me, but have also carved deeply into the flesh of your own cause.”

    Well, since I was the one who made up the rules on commenting on the blog that I invented, I don’t see how I’m interpreting them in any way other than the way I intended them to be. It is my blog, and I can do whatever I want with it. Including not put myself through the energy-draining exercise of responding to comments that are clearly hostile to both me personally and to women and feminists generally. The world can be a tiring place when you choose to open your eyes and look around, and sometimes I’d just rather save my energy for something more important than setting some anonymous commenter straight or engaging with him in a debate (because it’s always, ALWAYS, men that have a serious problem with what I’ve said and don’t really understand the basics of gender theory in the first place – I’m not pigeonholing, just pointing out something that is true… some men who comment here have done their work on feminism and are true allies, and some don’t know too much about feminism but are at least respectful in their questions).

    And I’m not sure how it hurts feminism to refuse to engage with someone like Kelson who has repeatedly told me all I personally need to cure my own experiences of sexism is a good fuck. Just try to understand how that might make a woman, a feminist woman, feel. Feminism isn’t hurt by anything I’ve done or said here. nice try with that particular guilt trip, though.

    And since you’ve commented here anonymously, I don’t see how your personal reputation has been harmed in any way by my choice not to publish your previous comments, but instead to try to at least let you know I had read them and in part to answer your question about male privilege and how it DOES affect you. I responded to Kelson the way I did because his comment which I chose not to publish was so hateful to women generally and me in particular. If he had said the same to me in person, I can assure you I would have told him exactly the same thing to his face. But I suppose your problem is that you didn’t get to see the hateful words he had for me, which would have probably pleased you greatly. Well, like I said, this is not a place for unfettered freedom of speech, so if you or anyone else doesn’t like the way I manage my blog, go get your own.

    You said,

    “For example, I love how you jump to conclusions about people and judge them, and pack them into neat little boxes with terms like “pre-conceived patriarchal mindset”. It’s so much easier to judge and pigeonhole people than to treat them as individuals. It’s also great how feminism is all about treating people the same (not by preconceived gender roles), yet your words constantly, repeatedly, nauseatingly, and cruelly, ram a wider and wider wedge between men and women. Difference tends to create inequality, and conflict. You, yourself, label males on this blog in an antagonistic manner (look up at your own responses in this very blog), and that is exactly the sort of thing that invites conflict. This flavors your words with childish and petty undertones.”

    Ah yes, the pigeonholing. Because somehow what you have said is so very different. So far, you’ve accused me – oh, sorry, people like me, of making ourselves and our friends and families miserable, said that rape doesn’t matter to a discussion of whether or not women hold the power in a situation where men hit on them and they tell them no thanks, said that women don’t have a right to wear whatever they want to because if they dress in tight or revealing clothing it’s confusing to men, proudly displayed your male privilege while insisting you don’t have any, told me to stop whining about such inconsequential things as dating and start worrying about more important things (even though you have spent a good pocket of time talking about the same issues here yourself, and obviously haven’t perused much of my blog to see that I talk about those kinds of things all the time, AND when I have brought up something more serious, i.e. rape, you have yourself dismissed it as irrelevant), accused me of the evil censorship on my own blog, accused me of bringing down feminism and harming people’s anonymous reputations, accused me of pigeonholing men, accused me of breaking my own rules, accused me of being deceptive and misrepresenting myself, reminded me (and my fellow feminist blogger colleagues) that all our work here and elsewhere to promote feminism and women’s rights is a waste of time – presumably because things will never change, and for using the lingo of the movement too much so it’s boring to folks like you who don’t really want to hear it anyway and will likely never change their minds. And all of this is so very different from other male anti-feminist detractors…. how?

    Feminism isn’t about treating everyone equally. It’s about getting equality for women. Please note the difference.

    As for me being antagonistic, yep, I’ll cop to that one. When you’ve been bombarded with comments about something so obvious, that are full of people not understanding or really listening to what you’re saying, or wanting to do either, some of which comments are actually really offensive and hateful, yeah, sometimes a person can respond with extreme sarcasm, and sometimes call someone out as being a misogynistic asshole. If the shoe fits and all that.

    However, that’s what commenters get when they act antagonistically – the same in kind. IT is most definitely not following the rules to tell someone all she needs is a little cock. And in these cases, I reserve the right to respond however I please. It is, as I said MY BLOG. Don’t like it, don’t come here – get your own blog.

    You said:

    “Secondly, you are very repetitive; a figurative “broken record”. Terms like oppression and patriarchy sure are big, strong and pretty words, but again it damages your cause to use them as you do. When you start sounding like a robot, your credibility suffers. I’ve read through links and logs and 99% of it is all fluff and big words, signifying nothing. I find it pitiful that so little is said with so much enthusiasm and so much wasted time and breath. Words like your favorites, “patriarchy”, “oppression” and “privilage” become vague and colorless over time, and for all the words you use, you don’t even seem to scratch the surface. Though you sometimes sound like a robot, the engineering is abyssmal because that robot seems to only pretend it’s doing something.”

    IF I sound repetitive, and other feminists do too, it’s because it still needs to be said, because patriarchy still exists and is going strong and women are still oppressed. Don’t like those words? How about this: men still control society, and women still get the shaft. OR: male-dominated social systems are still the accepted norm, and women still get treated like shit. OR: women don’t have enough social power, men have too much, and that sucks. OR: women still get raped at an alarming rate, still live in poverty at an alarming rate, still contract HIV at an alarming rate, still get beaten in their intimate relatinoships, still don’t make enough money to meet their basic needs and those of their children, still don’t get educated to the same degree as men, still get sold into slavery by their own families, still get kidnapped and turned into prostitutes, still get used for male sexual pleasure, still don’t have full reproductive freedom including access to information and resources and abortion – and men don’t experience these same problems to the same extent. And that’s not fair.

    As for being robotic – well, that’s a new one. Many of my posts are written in fits of passionate rage and anger and frustration and sometimes sadness and hurt. Perhaps I’ve been robotic, maybe that’s true. Maybe it’s been because sometimes I need to stop feeling so much in order to get the words out.

    I don’t think it’s a waste of time and breath and energy to keep talking about issues that are important to women’s lives. Not at all. And I, and my fellow feminist blogger colleagues, are certainly not saying nothing, full of fluff, or going to stop. But good try in trying to make me, and other feminists reading this, stop our work because we’re not “making a difference” or not “Scratching the surface.” The surface of what? Your patriarchal mind-set? well, the discussion certainly kept you coming back.

    You said:

    “Thirdly, you make a bunch of rules, then you seem to find cowardly ways to use them against your critics and censor them out while replying triumphantly. Then, of course, you break the same rules yourself, making you look even less credible (I love your reply to Kel – textbook example of breaking your own rules). Then your naive little followers stroke your ego right on cue, and tell you how great you are, just like blog after blog. Though this is displayed to the public, it’s really only meant for your yes-girl fanclub. Why you hunger so much for praise from gullible nobodies is something worth wondering “why”.”

    Once again, my rules… I can apply them and be pretty confident that I’m not misinterpreting them. And when someone has behaved badly, why shouldn’t I throw them the fuck out? I could just ignore them altogether, and not “reply triumphantly while censoring them” or whatever. Maybe that would be better. In Kelson’s case, I wanted him to know very clearly that he wasn’t welcome here, because even though I told him that, he didn’t seem to believe me, and tried to post another comment. Sorry to be so robotic and repetitive. In your case, I wanted you to know that I read your comment, I didn’t want to publish it, and for you to understand why, but also to know that I didn’t really put you in the same class as Kelson, so you were welcome to post again after you’d done your homework. I thought that would have been clear by the much more polite way I addressed you. I guess not.

    wow, “hunger for praise from gullible nobodies.” that’s a hell of a way to put “appreciate solidarity among like-minded people.” I guess we’re all so gullible for believing that we can, if we work hard enough, collectively make a difference in the lives of women. And that makes us nobodies. Yup, that seems about right under patriarchy… oops, I mean a male dominated social system… whatever.

    AS for the TG-fanclub, or whatever, just… whatever. seriously, you haven’t read much of this blog, have you? I get dissent all the time. Right now on a post, actually, I’ve gotten some dissent about what I’ve written – and guess who from? Other feminists! Imagine that – we don’t always agree!

    Also, I’ve gotten plenty of dissent from people here who aren’t feminists – and you know what? They managed to do so with respect. It isn’t impossible – it really can be done. And you know, even p-stone who commented here, posted on his own blog that I and other feminists are “Stupid”, and guess what I did? I posted a link.

    By the way, some of the dissenters I’ve had here are people that I actually know in real life! And some of them have even come back to comment again, not in dissent, but in support… not because I’ve convinced them of anything necessarily, but because…I dunno, I guess I must not be that bad after all.

    I’m not the one who needs help. but thanks for trying to drive me to distraction!

    You said:

    “This is the part where you censor me out and reply all big and tough, right? Don’t forget to say it in a way that makes you sound like a nice person. After all, this is a public blog. The last thing you want to do is be real, complete with the good bad and ugly. Even better would be to edit or be selective in what you include, like leave out this, or just allow this and try to demonize me for your little TG-fanclub.”

    Well, the free-speech rhetoric doesn’t really work on me, since I don’t believe in unfettered free speech. And I’m not sure how telling Kelson to fuck off and that I hope he never gets laid again and put a pox on his dick necessarily indicates that I’m trying to portray myself as a nice person. It’s funny, you know? Because as big and tough as you think I’m “pretending” to be, I actually am pretty tough. I’m also pretty sensitive, and actually a very nice person. And real. And honest.

    And that’s about enough, now. Since I published your comment, I hope you’re happy – I think you’re the one who’s managed to show your own colours here. I don’t need to do any demonizing – you’ve done a fine job yourself.

    and now… get ready…. you’re not welcome to post comments here anymore, Malignor. I won’t be publishing any more of your shite. Try if you like, but this is the end.

    Now run along.


  96. Wow, now that was an interesting comment thread.

    I just have one small thing to add – forgive me if it was said already, I might have missed it in all this sea of text.

    For those that wonder about why women would “fall for” the silly tripe that passes for “pick up techniques” I think perhaps they are judged too harshly. Perhaps it is not the case that they “fall for” anything, but instead that they are there looking for a one-night-stand, and so they pretend to “fall for it” to facilitate the eventual encounter.

    Ok, I lied, I thought of something else to add. It probably helps for this part to imagine you are an anthropologist studying the behavior of primates known as “humans”. Ok, say, for the sake of argument, that Bars are the place to go if you are a man or a woman looking for a one-night-stand. And say that according to “the rules” of how such encounters go, it is the man that has to approach the woman to initiate one. So now, you are a man, you enter the bar looking for a similarly-minded woman – who do you approach? How do you even know who to approach? And if you’re a woman, how do you signal that you should be one of those approached? Well, your choice of clothing is pretty much the main signal you can give off – short of wearing a neon sign, I wonder what else could act as a signal. I would assume that a revealing set of clothing would probably be what would be standardized, for obvious reasons.

    So now, the situation is, a woman dresses revealingly to signal her interest in a one-night-stand, a man looks for such a signal to know who to ask for a one-night-stand. Assuming that is the case, having a woman in the room dressed that way who is NOT interested in a one-night-stand can create confusion in this whole scenario. It has nothing to do with women being allowed to wear what they want or not, it is just that the one-night-standers have a particular scheme in place, and there is potential for confusion if someone not thinking about that scheme unintentionally adopts one of its signals.


  97. Oh man did I not want to come back here. I’m not getting back into the actual debate, I just wanted to respond to a couple things.

    TG Discussion Policy: “If you disagree with something I or someone else has written, please join in the discussion. However, the rule of philosophical debate is: attack the argument, not the person.”

    TG: “Go fuck yourself. may you never get laid again: a pox on your dick. don’t ever come back here, you misogynist asshole.”

    Right, your blog, your rules, and you’re breaking them. Don’t want him to comment again? How about this: “I find your attitude and ideas repugnant, you are not contributing anything to this discussion, you have been banned, please do not attempt to post again” Says the same thing without breaking your own rules.

    Also, it’d be much appreciated if you could make some effort to differentiate between issues facing women in the developed world (Canada, the US, the EU etc) and the developing world. We’re talking about the night club scene in Canada and you bring up genital mutilation and forced prostitution? That shit doesn’t happen in Canada, it doesn’t apply, it’s hard to discuss the state of women in Canada if the people you are discussing things with fail to differentiate between their situation and the situation of women in Africa and the Middle East.

    You linked to my blog eh? That was nice of you, I don’t see where but I’ll take your word for it, maybe I’ll make some new friends (or enemies.) Did you read anything else on it? Like anything? Leave some comments, I’d be delighted to have you on my blog even if I’m not welcome on yours. I should point out real quick that while I did put the words “stupid” and “feminists” in a blog post title I edited it after thanks to some prompting from RenEv to clarify that my opinions are only in regard to yourself and ruxandra, they do not encompass feminists as a whole.

    Anyway, I’m dissapointed in myself for being sucked back into this so I’m going to leave again. Toodles


  98. Hi DBB – yeah, interesting all right. Look what happens when you question men’s god given right to be deceptive in securing a sexual relationship! Nobody would ever get laid again!

    seriously though, yes, it is true that sometimes, woman could possibly pretend to “fall for it” in order to facilitate the whole process. I mean, from what I hear, women fake orgasm all the time to speed up a bout of bad sex, so there you go.

    I think what I find most frustrating with this discourse, and these classes, is that it doesn’t facilitate genuinity and communication. It’s about tricks, ways to manipulate within pre-existing oppressive gender roles. Including the whole way we dress thing. It’s all about tricks. Maybe instead of relying on what somebody’s wearing to signal their interest, we might think about talking with them. I realize, of course, that this means putting oneself out there in a way that they might not feel comfortable with, because of previous experiences with rejection. But I don’t know, like, why the rejection?

    It’s all just wound up and tangled together. Is it possible to be honest in interactions with people in which your primary goal is to try to have sex? I think it might be. But we just don’t know, because we haven’t tried it for so long. we keep on relying on these ridiculous tricks to protect our fragile egos instead of engaging with a person on a real level.

    thanks for commenting.


  99. p-stone – see, now that was a much nicer comment.

    May I also point out:
    TG Discussion Policy: “you are expected to conduct yourself with a modicum of decorum toward myself, your lovely and generous hostess, and my other guests. If you do not, you will likely be put in your place by myself or another of my guests. If you persist, you will be asked to leave.”

    Also: “If you have something to add to the discussion, please do so after carefully considering your language and tone. Be respectful.”

    And: “I absolutely will not tolerate comments that are misogynistic, racist, homophobic, or slurs against the (dis)abled, religious or ethnic groups, or the underprivileged. ”

    And also: “If you have been asked to leave, do not take this lightly; this means you are on my reserve nerves and that is not a pretty place to be.”

    And finally: “Finally, sometimes I am not perfect. Sometimes I break my own rules. Sometimes I get frustrated with a line of discussion, especially one that I have reiterated over and over again. Sometimes I get snippy and sarcastic. Sometimes I get frustrated with commenters who refuse to acknowledge the seamlessness of my ironclad logic. :P If this happens, I apologize in advance.”

    See, Kelson didn’t adhere to the discussion guidelines by telling me and the other feminist commenters and bloggers to go get ourselves fucked to solve our problems. I have given fair warning to those who wish to engage in misogynistic commentary that I won’t tolerate it, and that when you’ve been asked to leave that means you are on my last fucking nerve which is not pretty, and that sometimes I break my own rules when I have been pushed too hard. So, no inconsistency.

    Also, just so you know, forced prostitution and female genital cutting DO indeed happen in the developed world, and, right here in Canada. I happen to know a young girl who was kidnapped and taken to another city and forced to sell sex – and I happen to have gone to school with the asshole who did it. Furthermore, FGC happens in immigrant communities in Canada, the US, AU, NZ, and Europe. It also happens to people who are intersexual, and more and more, women are “choosing” to undergo elective cosmetic surgeries to “correct” vulvar “imperfections.” IS it relevant to a discussion of dating? I dunno, maybe, maybe not… it certainly is to a discussion of power relations under patriarchy.

    you do realize how childish and silly it is to call myself and Ruxandra “stupid” right? I mean, it’s ridiculous to call someone stupid when you’re the one who doesn’t understand what they’re saying.

    There you go, your dose of spoonfed feminist theory for the day. gotta run!


  100. Thank you for your comments on my comments (and now I’m going to comment on your comment on my comments…)

    First, right off the bat, I need to correct you on something – I don’t think men have a god-given right to anything because I’m an atheist, and so there is no “god” to give anything to anyone.

    Second, I made no comment on whether or not the techniques were good or not, no comment on the deception aspect of it. Frankly, I really don’t understand or pay much attention to the whole “bar pickup scene” because I frankly don’t much like bars, don’t go out and meet people like that, and even if I wanted to, I’m too much of an introvert to really consider it. I intended to limit my comment to two narrow issues – one, why women might seem to “fall for” something so ridiculous, and two, why it is that how one dresses fits into the whole “bar pickup scene”.

    I would think that even if men and women were scrupulously honest in the whole “bar pickup scene” there is still the issue of knowing who to approach in the first place about a pickup, so whether they are honest or not is irrelevant to the point I was trying to make. Because even (and especially) if you start with honesty about wanting a one-night-stand, odds are if you approach the wrong women with such a proposal you are going to get a nasty reaction, so again, going by outward appearance, men are going to try and only ask a woman who looks like she might be interested.

    Anyway, thanks for the comments. It was (and I suppose still is) an interesting discussion.


  101. DBB – sorry, I don’t think I was clear. I didn’t mean to suggest that you were the one who thought that men have a god-given right to be deceptive in order to get laid. I was referring to previous comments in the thread. I don’t think anyone has a god-given right to anything, either, as I am agnostic myself. so there we can agree! :)

    Yes, it did occur to me that many women are not amenable to being approached by strange men in bars. I’m not really suggesting that men or women walk up to people they’re interested in fucking and just lay it all out there. I am suggesting that perhaps if there was more honesty in general about the whole approach, not vulgar crudeness but not so much of the tricks these pickup artists employ, then we could move to a way of being in this kind of situation that is more genuine, more authentic. And I agree with some of the previous commenters who have suggested that men shouldn’t be the only ones to make such approaches. I’m all for equal opportunity in making passes.

    thanks, keep on coming back. (what kind of lawyer are you?)


  102. I’m all for equal opportunity in making passes as well. Not that it matters as much for me personally anymore. But it would be nice. Right now, despite various issues, I think women have it easier than men in that regard because they have a choice – they can sit back and not approach anyone, and still they will be approached, giving them opportunities, or they can make the approach themselves and get more opportunities. A man usually has to make the approach himself or just be alone. (Though there is a small chance some woman might approach, this isn’t as high as it should be if things were equal in that regard).

    I’m not sure I have a kind yet as a lawyer. I handle every kind of case, but only on appeal. I guess that would make me an appellate lawyer, though I don’t know if I’ll remain exclusively that. It does give me the opportunity to read an awful lot of trial transcripts.


  103. This is my first time commenting, and I’m working through this series of comments in a totally haphazard way, but they’ve made me realize two things:

    1) Men really, genuinely don’t seem to get, or to want to get, the fact that there really isn’t a “slut” (god, I hate that word) costume, other than being recognizably female. That’s all it takes to be approached in a bar, whether you’re there looking for a hookup, or just having an after-work beer with friends. I’ve been hit on while reading books, for the love of Pete. That’s what it means to be the sex class – we’re presumed to be available to and in search of male attention EVERY TIME we’re out in public, no matter how we’re dressed, no matter what we’re doing. And men go to bars for reasons other than hooking up, and no one hassles them if they’re just watching a game or hanging out with their buddies. But, in general, it doesn’t work like that for women. Why would that be?

    2) I’ve decided today, in the last hour or so, that “I believe that men and women are equal” is the gender equivalent of “I’m colorblind” or “I don’t see people as black/brown/etc.” in terms of annoyingness and willful inability to see how that statement is, in itself, one of privilege and power. Because, you know what? You may believe it, but it ain’t necessarily so.


  104. Just wanted to point out something about the original post. This comment, made by the wannabe PUA:
    “In the year or so I’ve been in the Lair I’ve approached probably 10,000 women and slept with about 100.”
    sums up what these ‘classes’ are all about. The ‘success’ they promote for the guys paying for pick-up techniques are mostly gained through sheer…numbers. Even I doubt that in a random blind, a man would be rejected by 9,900 women, which is what the guy above seems to be saying! Yet he’s emphasising the ‘successful’ 100…WTF???
    I think these classes are actually a scam operating ON the men who pay for them: the guys running the classes, and pocketing the cash, are exploiting their paying clients. Whereas the paying clients are under the impression they are learning to exploit women….
    what’s the betting that the ‘successful’ 100 would have maybe slept with him anyway?


  105. Erin – I’d say the main reason why women are hit on everywhere is that men and women are socialized such that generally, if you are a man, and you want to meet a woman, you always have to make the first move. That isn’t sexism. That is a mating strategy. Men who don’t hit on women, unless they are gorgeous or famous or otherwise in that top-tier, will be alone and stay alone forever when it comes to romance. (Obviously a bit of a generalization, but it holds generally true).

    So, men have to make the approach. That means there are lots of women being approached. If it were reversed, and women generally always made the first move, there would instead be a forum where men would complain about being accosted everywhere by women when they are just trying to be out with their buddies. So if you really want to change that dynamic, then you, as a woman, should go out and always make the first move, teach your daughters to do the same, tell your women friends to do the same… but be prepared to find out that almost none of those women want to change that dynamic, because it is ultimately to women’s advantage – they get two choices – one is to sit back and do nothing and you can get approached, the other is to do the approaching yourself. That’s better than with men, who generally have only one option. Stick their necks out and approach. And, more often than not, get “shot down” for doing so.


  106. Thinking Girl:

    First off, I would like to enter this discussion by thanking you greatly for blogging on this little-talked-about yet very cruel phenomenon of pick-up-artistry and how it burns women within a patriarchal context. I myself have been preyed on by pick-up-artists and players, and the experience was mind and heart-shattering. I almost suicided once because I made the mistake of falling in love with someone who was out to get women to fall in love with him, just to shatter their hearts. Words fail in expressing the depth of his lack of conscience and callousness. After getting severely burned, I started going to a website that he had talked about–a website that his buddy was running. I found out that his friend had advertised his predator friend’s exploits in emotionally hacking women to pieces. Weirdly, the website seemed to alternate between trying to shame and embarass the predator into good behavior and patting him on the back and winking at him. I was horrified–quite possibly more at the ambiguity and the fence-straddling than I would have been at an honestly misogynist position.

    I’m not going to go into great details of the giant mind game; as it is, I’m sure some butthead will argue or think that I deserved what I got. If there is such a person here, I only wish it were humanly possible for people to access others’ memories; you would be able to see how often I kept visualizing my hand going around a .45 or a shotgun to put in my mouth and my finger or toe pulling the trigger, or getting on the roof of the tallest building in town and throwing myself off, watching my own body cartwheel around and around just before it hit the pavement…You would have seen the looks of consternation and horror on the face of my therapists when I would break down and shriek in therapy…And you would have seen the anguish of my supervisor and friends as they tried to pull me from the grave. Even now I’m starting to weep, because I can feel that black maelstrom trying to suck me down even now. Not all women use “ineffectual” methods to attempt suicide; I got myself immediately into therapy when I started having the ideation because I knew that if I attempted suicide, I would have succeeded. If anyone thinks patriarchy is harmless or doesn’t exist, they haven’t checked the body count, female *and* male–or they just want to look the other way. Thinking Girl, I want to thank you for having the guts to stick to your guns. If the pick-up-artist men don’t like it, they should stay off the blog then. If people don’t think feminism has a valid premise–if they really don’t think men oppress women and want to hide from that ugly, nasty truth–then they should quit trying to crash discussions by feminists and leave us the hell alone! Feminist viewpoints are increasingly demonized and silenced throughout mainstream society, a society that paradoxically accuses us of enforcing censorship! I don’t see feminist viewpoints represented on the “PUA” websites. Why should we coddle them? We owe you *nothing.*

    DBB: Hey, I’m not trying to jump you here, but I think I need to add my two-cents’ worth of experiences. I’m a woman–and there are *lots* of times I have approached and asked out men! I realize that in one of your previous posts you did make allowance for the small minority of women who initiate contact; I think the discussion needs to hear from one of us! I *have* asked out quite a few men. You know what happened? Almost always, the men looked at me as though I had sprouted a third head! They usually didn’t say anything overt, but the attitude was, “How dare you! How dare you approach *me*!” And I almost always slunk away, feeling as though I had about as much worth as the nearest nematode. For all I know, maybe some of it was supposedly “revenge” for all the times the pretty girls alledgedly crapped on *them*. *Then* I’ve heard around more than a few corners from dating advisers that men insist on making the first moves, paying for the meals, being the “leader,” etc. Frankly, I think this enforced “etiquette” (if this indeed is how men really feel) is a damn pile of chauvinist bullshit. You can claim till the cows come home that women are in the power seat by having these mythical “two choices” , but it’s a dubious claim because women are *forced* socially to “stay in their place” and have men come to them by vicious methods of disapproval. There is one hell of a lot of recent opprobrium especially thrown at teenage girls for “man-chasing,” because the younger women of today *will* actually go out and chase boys. I’ve heard it on the local talk radio stations, and the levels of contempt and pity for these kids is astonishing. What actually happens when women and girls *do* own their sexuality and “go for it?” I can tell you that the old double standards are alive and well–and making a horrifying comeback. I think in all honesty that it’s cruel to state that “almost none of those women want to change that dynamic, because it is ulimately to women’s advantage…” The young women and the feminists like me do–*and what happens to us?* When some of us argue that women should be free to make the first move, we get thrown a lot of garbage about how that’s castrating and how evolutionary biology has programmed men to be in control and how we’re labeled stupid/in denial/unnatural/butch/self-destructive–or anything else derogatory you can think of! And other women watch assertive women get run over–believe me, we’re sometimes made real examples of. None of this is particularly encouraging to women to make the first move. I will grant you that women are way too cowardly in terms of fearing disapproval from other people; that *is* a given. Unfortunately, when you’re socialized to think that your worth is based on how other people think of you, it’s quite difficult to buck the programming. Still, it would be good if more women said “fuck it”…

    We’re also told all the time about how we don’t know what we want, how we claim we want nice guys but actually go for the jerks, etc., etc., etc. Personally, it’s looking more and more to me that this is merely the dating equivalent of saying “when you say no, you really mean yes.” It was an old argument used against rape victims, and it’s been heavily resurrected against women who are looking for gentle men who can’t find them. *When the jerks are the only ones willing to date, what other choices are there for women???* Or, what about that all-too-common phenomenon–the “nice guy” who, six months down the road, shows his real colors?? None of this is meant as a personal attack, DBB, but I think you need to hear from the women who have done their level best at the dating scene–and got run over, left just like skunk road kill at the side of the highway. Everybody feels sorry for the “nice guy” who never “gets the girl,” but what mention is made of the atypical female misfit who doesn’t play by the rules? And, of course, the woman who gets her heart constantly broken by men gets blamed…”well, it’s your fault because you’re always choosing the wrong guys…”

    People:
    I’ve gone to the pick-up-artist websites, and I’ve started to educate/harden myself against these tactics. Best yet, I’m choosing to remain celibate until I get married; and you better well believe that any man I get involved with had *better* be a genuinely nice guy–or he gets shown the door. Period, stop, end of discussion. At 44 years of age, I’ve been preyed on by the best–and I’m thoroughly, absolutely, sickeningly fed up and enraged about having the hard truths of my experiences denied, shrugged off, dismissed, rationalized away, or minimized. Patriarchy fucking sucks. There is one hell of a lot of a sense of male entitlement to predation out there, and quite frankly it is starting to get me truly volcanically angry. I’m not the only woman who’s getting ferociously fed up, and believe you me, there is a backlash brewing that will make the late 60s-70s look like paradise for chauvinists. What galls me is that many men don’t grasp the fact that the same entitlement mentality that makes it “OK” for them to lie to women for sexual purposes is precisely the same mentality that fueled Serbian rape camps under Milosevic and fueled the Taliban denial of basic medical care to women in Afghanistan. The entitlement mentality is this: a) I’m a man, and therefore it’s my destiny (manifest, biological, religious–pick your rationalization) to control and to *be* in control of others and situations, and therefore b) as a man, I’m entitled to control women by any means necessary–deceptive or violent, and c) “you women” had better go along with the program, because d) deep down inside, that’s “really what you want, isn’t it”? I read the entries by Kelson, Malignor, and P-stone–and ALL of them subscribed to that philosophy (you could see it in their behavior, if not always in their actual words.) Then when they got called on the carpet by Thinking Girl and had actual boundaries enforced on them, they whined and bitched and shrilled about how TG had *such* a double standard–thus deserving to get their butts thrown off the blog, *when they knew damn well what the rules were to begin with and who and what worldview they were dealing with.* No, they were just here to make trouble and manipulate Thinking Girl and the other feminists here into intellectual and emotional surrender to their “manhood.” Paah! What a bunch of horsehockey.

    Well, I’m telling it on the mountain, and I’m shouting it from the rooftops–this isn’t what *I* fucking want, and I’d *RATHER DIE* than than give any man control over me ever again, simply because of what his genes are and what’s between his legs. To borrow the JDL slogan, “Never Again.” And I *know* I’m not the only woman out there who feels the same way. And kudos to you, Thinking Girl, for having the spine and the guts to stand up and resist.


  107. Ah, just when I was about to shut down comments on this post because of the tripe I was beseiged with (some of which was so vile I didn’t bother posting it), I get an Erin, a Kate, and a Scarred – thank you all! I’m so happy that you all showed up to add your pieces, thank you thank you.

    Scarred – I feel you on the backlash a-brewin’. Count me IN!


  108. Ok just to be clear up front, cornucrapia=p-stone. I’m not trying to hide my identity or anything, just started using the name I use to post on my own blog and to comment elsewhere.

    TG: Here’s my problem, the oppression that you, as a woman in the developed world (Canada, the EU, the USA etc.) experience is NOTHING compared to what women in the developing world (Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Nigeria etc.) suffer. It may stem from the same origins but to compare the two is totally disingenuous. Certainly there are isolated incidents of the behavior you described but they are first, extremely rare and secondly totally unacceptable in western society. When discussing systemic abuses of power isolated incidents are inappropriate material for illustrating a point. It would be inappropriate for me to bring up Lorena Bobbit for similar reasons. The sort of things considered acceptable or mainstream in our society that you would deem patriarchal pale in comparison to the atrocities that are socially acceptable in the developing world. You say that as a man I can never understand the privilege I enjoy over you, I submit to you the idea that the enormous privilege you enjoy a Canadian prevent you from possibly understanding the oppression of a woman in the developing world. For instance, I have the privilege of not being approached by random women at a nightclub, I can just go there, have some drinks and dance if I so choose, an option not available to you. Compare that to a girl in Afghanistan who is essentially not considered a person, she has absolutely no opportunity for education (I understand you just got into law school, congratulations, seriously that’s quite an accomplishment and I commend you for it) and can look forward to a life of being treated like property by one man after another, most likely physically assaulted and quite probably raped. Women over in Afghanistan are so oppressed that they LIGHT THEMSELVES ON FIRE to try and escape it. Perhaps a parallel example to illustrate my point. I’m an atheist, in Canada or more so the States this does come with some degree of oppression, people who find out my beliefs might not trust me as much and I’d certainly have trouble running for elected office. However this in no way gives me the right to compare my situation to that of an apostate in, say Saudi Arabia. Same belief or identity and the reaction probably stems from the same origin but regardless it would be totally inappropriate for me to bring up beheadings in a debate regarding the circumstances surrounding life as an atheist in the developed world. I’m not saying that either issue is unimportant, I just feel that associating the two as you do is unfair. I feel that by comparing your plight to that of women in the developing world you exaggerate the state of your oppression. Again, both are important issues, but they are very different and it’s important to keep them separate, it’s a disservice to both causes to do otherwise.

    “You do realize how childish and silly it is to call myself and Ruxandra “stupid” right? I mean, it’s ridiculous to call someone stupid when you’re the one who doesn’t understand what they’re saying.
    There you go, your dose of spoonfed feminist theory for the day. gotta run!”

    Yeah it was a bit childish to call you and ruxandra stupid. I’ll admit that. But to quote you again: “Finally, sometimes I am not perfect. Sometimes I break my own rules. Sometimes I get frustrated with a line of discussion, especially one that I have reiterated over and over again. Sometimes I get snippy and sarcastic. Sometimes I get frustrated with commenters who refuse to acknowledge the seamlessness of my ironclad logic. If this happens, I apologize in advance.”
    It works both ways, I was frustrated and upset and I reacted negatively. Don’t judge me too harshly, this is the same thread where you told someone you hoped his dick fell off, my comments are pretty innocuous compared to that. I should also point out that I didn’t do it on your blog, you have a discussion policy and it’s not polite to come in and break those rules. However, my blog, my rules, I respect that about yours, I’d expect the same in regard to mine. Also, frankly it strikes me as conceited that you assume the only reason I could possibly not agree with you is because I don’t understand what you’re saying. I do, I understand it, honestly, I just disagree with it. I understand the temptation, I certainly feel the same way about you to some extent, I feel I’ve made my arguments at least as logically and articulately as you have, maybe you just don’t understand me? I also have no idea what theory you spoonfed me with this particular post, you mentioned your discussion policy, a couple of isolated incidents of barbarism that I was already unfortunately aware of, then you called me childish and silly and alluded that the only way I could learn was to be spoonfed information. Forgive me for missing the theory there, maybe I really don’t understand what you’re saying.

    Scarred:

    “I’m not going to go into great details of the giant mind game; as it is, I’m sure some butthead will argue or think that I deserved what I got.”

    I’m a little disappointed that you’d say that, mainly because I suspect from the rest of your post that you think I’d be one of those buttheads. Honestly I don’t think you deserved what you got. Nobody deserves to have their emotions manipulated in the way you describe, regardless of gender. There are manipulative, callous people in the world and everyone to some extent or another has been screwed by them, nobody likes it. Obviously your experience was more intense than most and for that you have my sympathy.

    At this point maybe I should clarify what I think women in a night club “deserve” although that’s not the word I’d use. If you are at a night club, you have to expect that some men will approach you. That’s it, that’s all. You shouldn’t have to be touched or maintain an interaction with someone if you express disinterest but I’m sorry, that’s what men do in night clubs, they approach women, if you’re a woman in a night club that will happen. Alternatively think of it this way. I’m a man, if I go to a night club and try and start a conversation with a girl, she will assume I’m hitting on her. Even if I just happen to like her shirt or something or want to chat for whatever reason, she, and if she has one, her boyfriend will assume that I am hitting on her, it’s expected behavior, I may not like it but I accept that in this particular setting this is the way things work.

    “I’m a woman–and there are *lots* of times I have approached and asked out men! I realize that in one of your previous posts you did make allowance for the small minority of women who initiate contact; I think the discussion needs to hear from one of us! I *have* asked out quite a few men. You know what happened? Almost always, the men looked at me as though I had sprouted a third head!”

    This is a tricky one, I don’t have all the facts so I’m going to try and be cautious with my response. I would like to point out that many men have approached women and received similar results. The scenario you’re describing suggests that a man, who would ordinarily have wanted to go out with you, didn’t because you made the first move, essentially doing his work for him. Now it’s possible that this was the case, at least one of those times but can you understand why I’d find such a scenario unlikely? Unfortunately the more likely reason you were rejected in such a manner was probably a combination of surprise (not many women ask men out) combined with unavailability of some sort, maybe he has a wife or girlfriend, maybe he’s a confirmed bachelor, maybe he’s gay, or maybe you’re just not his type. You mentioned that you’re 44, that’s a different age demographic than I’m in (22) so maybe it’s different now, maybe the men your age really do get freaked out if a woman asks them out, their loss. I’d just suggest a bit of caution when your evidence is anecdotal, I highly doubt DBB and I are the only guys who’d like to see more women doing the pursuing. A little footnote, the ladies who are asking the gents out are the only reason I’ve ever had a girlfriend so they hold a special place in my heart. Keep it up ladies!

    “We’re also told all the time about how we don’t know what we want, how we claim we want nice guys but actually go for the jerks, etc., etc., etc.”

    I certainly don’t think this is always the case, I think what you’re hearing there is some frustrated nerdy guys. It’s definitely not always true and it’s not like girls pick jerks on purpose, and they certainly don’t “deserve” any shitty treatment they receive. Again, to me this is more likely just a bit of venting from guys who are super nice to their female friends and watch them go off and fuck the captain of the football team or whatever, who proceeds to treat them like dirt. I don’t know why girls do this but they sure do, and yeah, nice guys who sit on the sidelines observing do get a bit upset about the whole deal. I think a lot of this stems back to the odd dynamic where the men have to approach the women and not vice versa. I’m a shy guy, I don’t like bothering people to ask them the time so I don’t generally go up to women and ask them out (or I didn’t when I was single, obviously I don’t ask women out for a different reason now) since such an action would be an obvious imposition. Contrast that with a man who is just out to “get some tail”. He’s not going to care about bothering the girl, he doesn’t care about her. If she rejects him, whatever, he’ll just move onto the next. So you’ve got a system where a larger than normal percentage of the men are jerks. This doesn’t really help anyone, the nice guys are single, the women are being preyed upon by assholes etc. Nobody likes it but the only solution I can think of is a more egalitarian method of determining who approaches who. Since right now men are doing the bulk of the approaching it strikes me that the onus is somewhat on the ladies to change this trend, sorry.

    “a) I’m a man, and therefore it’s my destiny (manifest, biological, religious–pick your rationalization) to control and to *be* in control of others and situations, and therefore b) as a man, I’m entitled to control women by any means necessary–deceptive or violent, and c) “you women” had better go along with the program, because d) deep down inside, that’s “really what you want, isn’t it”?”

    “Kelson, Malignor, and P-stone–and ALL of them subscribed to that philosophy (you could see it in their behavior, if not always in their actual words.)”

    I’m confused, I don’t think any of those things, nor do I think that my words suggested such a belief. What behavior are you referring to specifically? How do you know my behavior beyond my words? That being the case, what words of mine caused you to think this or presume a behavior that would suggest that based on my words? If you’re going to claim that I hold such offensive beliefs I’d like a little something to back it up. Being called a misogynist is not something I take lightly.

    Once again I’m sorry you were manipulated, I’m sorry for your pain. But I don’t think that it’s fair to paint all men or society in general with the same brush used to describe this one particularly evil individual (or individuals). Some of us are really nice guys, even if you don’t like our opinions.


  109. *THANK YOU* for having the guts to discuss this issue, TG. It’s up to you if you want to shut down this line of discussion, as it’s *your* blog, but I’m wondering; what are the odds that maybe you’re getting besieged because in essence that’s what the slimebags are trying to do–shut down this discussion on the PUA tactics and how they’re hurting women? The PUAs are cunning in a smarmy if self-destructive way; my feeling is that because they know you’re moderating–and thus have to wade through all the garbage just to edit the posts–they’ll try to slime you as much as they can just *to get you* to shut down this thread. In essence, it’s an attempt at sexual assault via verbiage for the purposes of censorship and control. For this very reason, I’d keep the thread going and maybe enlist some help in moderating. That way, *YOU* get a break from wading through the sewage and the scumbuckets don’t get the upper hand. Just a thought…

    The PUAs have all the representation on the web that they need; my point of view is that they don’t need to be crashing other websites and blogs to try to enforce *their* views on other people, especially the potential victims of their vicious little tactics. Personally, I think it’s high time that psychologists, psychiatrists, and the potential victims of their predation should get together and form counter-tactics. The PUAs think that they’re entitled to dominate all the women they want, break as many hearts as they want, undermine and sandbag people’s choices, and increase the risk of exposing other people to STDs. (Condoms stop AIDS but aren’t that effective against HPV.) Frankly, I think any man (or woman, for that matter) who would use the tactics of Ross Jeffries or the other PUA ringleaders out there *by definition* is sociopathic or narcissistic; this means that effectively he *has* no conscience in dealing with others and should be recognized and dealt with as such. NO ONE is entitled to sex from another human being, and I think it’s high time that psychological manipulation toward that end be exposed, confronted, and shut down. I view it as every bit as conscienceless as identity theft or defrauding elderly people.

    Any thoughts out there, people?


  110. Scarred, you are absolutely right in identifying why – I’m guessing – TG has got, and will continue to get, abusive messages from any PUA promoters who happen to spot this post.
    Nobody feels as threatened as a charlatan whose tricks are showing. And the very rhetoric these men employ – attack as the best form of defense! attack as the best form of making yourself feel secure about your own identity! – means that they *will* feel justified in reacting angrily and desperately to any criticism of their worldview. They won’t respond with logical rebuttals of the criticism, but with threats, descriptions of violence, sexual violence, put-downs of women etc.
    What the PUA artists are selling to the men who get sucked into them is the seductive promise of power over women and the justification of entitlement thinking. Who would feel attracted by such promises? Men who feel powerless and insecure as individual agents. They’re frustrated because they feel unsuccessful/rejected on the dating scene. The women they have liked haven’t seemed to like them back or respond to their honest attempts at approach. Now most logical people would figure that this frustrating lack of success was maybe due to either a)bad luck in terms of the random encounters they have had, b) something they are overlooking in terms of their approach or c) some combination of the above. Because, the fact is, there are LOTS of people all around them who ARE successful in hooking up. The problem is that if the unsuccessful guy starts considering these things, he will figure that he might have to do some changing himself, or at least get out more and try and meet different women from the ones he’s been meeting. Anyone who considers women as PEOPLE and human beings as deserving of respect as himself will have to face this fact.
    That’s where the PUA ‘communities’ come in. They know full well that the society we live in encourages men NOT to think of women as human beings equally deserving of respect and consideration. (It’s just the lip-service men pay to get women into bed!) They also know that people have a natural tendency to resist change and are lazy. So they say to the unsuccessful guy: “Don’t worry, dude. It ISN’T you that needs to change so much as the way you VIEW women. See, women are these cunning, haughty selfish creatures who are paradoxically attracted to dominant men (through their biology) and unable to resist selfishly putting a guy down/hurting his feelings by not wanting to have sex with him (through women’s slightly more stupid brains which thrill at the thought of exercising power over weak men, as all weaker creatures will). Most of all, women are NOT like men and do NOT deserve the same respect, hence you are OK to talk about them like they were a problematic enemy from Resident Evil. Plus, that fantasy you might have had about getting ALL the women you want, whenever you want? Hey! That doesn’t come from the pre-commodified porn you’ve been sold your whole post-adolescent life or they way that we as men get told by our culture that wanting MORE than one woman is the ULTIMATE fantasy…no, that really *does* come from your own head, and since men are the only ones that matter and the contents of your head rule supreme, then it stands to reason that you have a RIGHT to enact the contents of your fantasies on others…don’t feel guilty about it! (Plus, don’t ever connect the fact that we’re pushing THAT particular fantasy as the *right* one with the fact that it ties in neatly to making us more money and supports everything we’re trying to sell you!) By the way, we’ll pay lip-service to the idea that you can use our methods to meet your life-partner, and have a real relationship, if that’s what you say you want (at least until we’ve had more chance to brainwash you into thinking that ‘wanting’ that sort of thing is stupid – because, after all, where would our business be if everybody wanted to settle down?)”
    Once the PUA has got it clear with the potential client that sex with women really IS a man’s right, then they can start selling their wares – the promise of special wisdom which, once learnt from the Masters, will enable the client to exercise amazing powers of influence over women, using mind control! While this makes me laugh, so reminiscent is it of both Scientology-style claims and the mystique of boyhood Superheroes, it also sickens me that it only works by playing on the insecurities of others. It’s a bit like the Wizard in Oz – works by convincing men there really IS a way to play God with human emotions, and never allows any discussion about why thinking about the people in your life this way might not actually lead to happiness or fulfillment, just an empty feeling inside like you used to get when your toys didn’t talk back to you as a kid, no matter how many times you treated them to tea parties or blew them up in explosions.
    I could go on but this comment is getting way too long.
    To answer your question, Scarred, about what can be done: I believe the best way is to educate and inform people about the techniques the PUAs are using. Let men see the claims for themselves, in the clear light of day (and logic), without all the mystique and sales speak associated with the PUA books and websites. People should watch more Derren Brown who exposes how ‘mind control’, suggestion etc works, to the extent of making people believe in fake ghosts. Learn about NLP and subliminal advertising, all of that. Work out that the PUA techniques depend on women NOT being aware of what’s being done, in order that they remain ‘suggestible’ – after all, hypnosis requires the consent of your mind, at least an open mind…For men, realise that the claims made by PUA schools are exaggerated, and depend on the fact that the potential client does not know that ‘all women’ are not variations on the same theme, and not of the same suggestability, or that other factors are coming into play when they ‘succeed’ in the real world, since interaction with women occurs OUTSIDE your own head, and you are not controlling the outcome of fate.
    Oh, and one last thing. Regarding the argument: “but women’s mags do it too!” – whilst I am no defender of ‘pick-up tricks and tips’ for women, there is a big difference between advertising advice for women on “how to score a man” and the sort of advice given to men. With women’s mags, it is assumed that the ‘man’ IS the prize, whereas for PUAs the ‘hunt’ and the ‘sex’ is the prize (as well as the ‘respect’) – the actual woman, in herself, is irrelevant (yes, she must be attractive – but the test for that attractiveness is the opinion of other men, i.e. this is part of the ‘respect’ – plus, no matter how attractive YOU might find her as a man, you would be a sap to end your fight there, because there’s lots of other women to bed!)
    Both are annoying and patronising IMO, but they are different in focus.
    Advice for TG if you do feel threatened by the PUA ‘industry’ – don’t worry, just make your posts and comments long and detailed. Since PUA’s are brainwashed into NOT listening to what women have to say, they will only ever be able to skimread your arguments at best or their minds will blow. What with the predisposed suggestibility and all…in fact, PUAs, if you have just read that *last* para and processed it’s meaning as the only ‘clear’ information, and are now tempted to go back and read my comment that you skipped over, my advice is, DON’T. Heads up – it contains embedded suggestions that might influence you into feminist thinking (inserts evil, Ming the Merciless-style laughter here)…


  111. cornucrapia – listen, I don’t really think I need a lecture from you on the problems women have in developing countries and the degrees of domination that exist between western women and third-world women. I’m well aware of the human rights abuses women face in the developing world, and I’m well-versed in post-colonial feminist theory… which clearly you aren’t, since you’re committing the no-nos that post-colonial feminists despise, like using immolation as evidence of women’s domination without giving a parallel analysis of, say, domestic violence that results in murder in the west. I’m very well aware of the situation of Afghani women, as one of my classmates has been doing work with an NGO in Afghanistan the past year or so and has described in great detail the kinds of problems women are facing there – as well as measures they are taking to subvert male power, by the way. Post-colonial feminists actually challenge western feminists to examine the ways their own cultural practices reek of patriarchy instead of pointing to third-world women as the “other” or the ones who are “really” oppressed. What post-colonial feminists think is unfair is not comparing the domination of third-world women and western women, but NOT comparing them, NOT giving a strong enough analysis to how patriarchy plays out in the west, and in KEEPING them separate. I’m saying that when people like Kelson say stuff like “all you feminists just need to go get fucked”, that is a completely inappropriate response to feminism, which is concerned with a heckuva lot more than pickup artists in a western context.

    As for this: “Certainly there are isolated incidents of the behavior you described but they are first, extremely rare and secondly totally unacceptable in western society. When discussing systemic abuses of power isolated incidents are inappropriate material for illustrating a point.”

    I wouldn’t call some 20,000 cases of FGC in the united states in the run of a year isolated incidents, or extremely rare. Nor would I consider the tens of thousands of women who are “voluntarily” undergoing FGC under the name “labioplasty” as NOT being victims of systemic sexism in our society. But, you knew all about that, so I guess I have nothing more to add.

    Which is, by the way, the spoonfed theory from last time, that apparently you vomited right back up again to spit back at me without digesting it fully. Maybe smaller bites this time? Seems like you did miss my point altogether. I wonder why I thought that you didn’t understand what I was saying… :)

    Oh, I don’t really care if you think that I’m stupid, or if you post something along those lines at your blog. Like I’ve said here, my blog, my rules, don’t like it, get your own.

    Lookit, p-diddy or whatever (hee hee, sorry I couldn’t resist that one… go ahead, call me silly, it is something I cultivate), I don’t mind you commenting, actually, now that you’re not being so inflammatory and offensive. I’m still a little bit annoyed at having to spoonfeed you feminist theory, but whatever, post-colonial feminist theory isn’t exactly feminism 101, it’s definitely more advanced, so it’s not quite so irritating as trying to explain what patriarchy and privilege are.

    Thanks for the congrats!


  112. Thanks, Scarred and Kate – I hadn’t thought of that, actually, so thanks for pointing out that particular kind of manipulation. I’m not going to shut comments down, I’ll just continue to moderate on this post so I can catch comments that are really misogynistic or commenters who have previously been very inflammatory and offensive before they hit. I’m super-glad, though, that you two seem willing to take up this particular line of discussion, as it’s been WEEKS now for me and I’m getting tired. So thanks very much for your help moderating discussion around here! It’s very much appreciated!

    Kate, your diatribe inside the mind of PUA pros in your last posting made me laugh out loud! Thanks for that!


  113. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Postcolonial_feminism
    I tried to look up this whole postcolonial feminism deal, but this is all I could find, pretty half assed. Perhaps you or some of the other ladies who frequent this blog could clean it up? Not for me necessarily but everyone.


  114. Cornucrapia – or, you (and everyone else) could read some of the post-colonial feminist authors that were listed at the end of the Wiki article, and find out more for yourself, instead of asking feminists to do your homework for you and make post-colonial feminist theory into bite-sized morsels for easier spoonfeeding.

    again, asking to be spoonfed feminist theory is an expression of male privilege. I’m not trying to be a pain in the ass, just pointing out the consistency with which male privilege is a pain in the ass for feminists.


  115. Thinking Girl and Kate: I’ve got a lot more to add to this thread, but first, I’ve got a matter to clear up first.

    CORNUCRAPIA AND OTHER PUAs/PUA SYMPATHIZERS: this is the first and last time I will ever address you OR your ideas on this site. This is what I have to say to you:

    A) I’M HERE FOR SURVIVAL, NOT “FAIRNESS.” If you think I’m being “unfair” or irrational or man-bashing or unjust, I frankly just don’t give a damn. I’m not here to get your approval, your comfort, your desire, or your blessing. I’m here to dialog with women who are interested in analyzing and short-circuiting the kind of subliminal predation that PUAs and other manipulative sociopaths are inflicting on others. You don’t like that? TOO BAD. I almost ate a .45 once; be damned if I justify myself to anyone. Life’s too short. You don’t agree with me? GO AWAY.

    B) I’M NOT HERE TO BANTER WORDS WITH YOU OR ARGUE. Cut the crap. You know what you did in your previous posts, and you know what you’re doing now. Your disingenous garbage isn’t fooling me as to what your real motives are, and you really must have a special sort of contempt for me and other women to imagine that I’m going to buy it, so can the act right now. Want acceptance? Get a dog.

    C) I’M NOT HERE TO BE “PERSUADED OF THE ERROR OF MY WAYS”–I’m here to get mentally armed and figure out a way to help others *be* armed.

    D) YOU WILL NOT GET ANOTHER POST FROM ME ADDRESSING YOUR WORDS, YOUR SELF JUSTIFICATIONS, YOUR ATTACKS, OR THE LEGITIMACY OF YOUR IDEAS. AND THIS WILL APPLY TO ANYONE I SUSPECT IS A PUA OR PUA-SYMPATHIZER. PERIOD, STOP, END OF DISCUSSION. This means that anyone who is going to argue with the premise of feminism, tries to tell us that we’re just “exaggerating,” wants to “defend men,” attempts to justify PUA ideas and behavior, or tries to “speak up” or make us feel sorry for the plight of “nice guys” who don’t get dates is going to be roundly, thoroughly, coldly ignored. Understand? I’ve already spent way too much time allowing my attention to be vampirized off of a very important subject–how *not* to get victimized by PUAs, and how to help other women avoid the same fate. The *only* reason I’m answering you at all is that hopefully other women unfamiliar with sociopathic and/or narcissistic tactics will get a good realization of what the real motivation is beneath the facade of “rational argument.” Rail, , plot, sneer, smile or snivel all you want to. I don’t give a flying fuck. This is one discussion you don’t get to control or derail by getting any more negative attention or “acting stupid” and in “need of education”, and my advice to you is to go ELSEWHERE to prey on women, because I am thoroughly, coldly, resolutely insistent on hardening myself against these tactices and helping other women get hardened. Your bullshit *WILL* be shut down one way or another; this is a guarantee. I’m not going to play around on this issue.


  116. Thinking Girl: I apologize for violating the rules of your blog. However, I did violate them for a reason. Cornucrapia and others like him are not here for a genuine dialogue; they’re here to disrupt a desperately needed analysis and discussion on how to prevent women from getting victimized by PUAs and other users of subliminal domination and control. I would advocate that Cornucrapia’s more recent “reasonableness” is a sham. He knows damn well that this blog is not for the purposes of reinventing the feminist wheel; he’s delibrately playing stupid in an effort to derail the conversation. He’s by no means a stupid person; he knows what the score is, and the fact that he keeps trying to get negative attention–which thus diverts valuable time away from analyzing and stopping PUAs and other fraudulent predators–is proof of his real intentions, which are anything but benign. His being a pain in the ass isn’t accidental–it’s delibrate, and the motive is to stop the exposure of these antisocial methods of communication and the mental armament of women against them. We are better off ignoring him and others of his ilk.

    I know that it’s your thread, and your right to do with it however you choose. I would like to advocate that the discussion on this thread be limited to women analysing and combatting these dishonest, fraudulent, and victimizing methods of “communications.” I realize that I’m being controlling and advocating a severe limiting of a discussion. My argument is that when one is dealing with enemies who desire to prey on you (and make no mistake, these men *ARE* our enemies–they only view us as potential lunch, targets, or furniture–nothing more), it is imperative that a safe house, a base of operations is established. The intellectual equivalent of that is insistence on focusing very narrowly on the subject matter of a discussion with an overriding focus in mind by trusted, proven parties. There may come a point when this discussion and analysis may need to go private, but that’s further down the road. (Maybe sooner than I think.)

    Kate: I’d like to spend some time seconding your observations and adding some of my own. BTW, thank you for verifying my observations; it was comforting and edifying. I thought to myself, “Why the hell are these losers bombing Thinking Girl with their crap? They *know* it’s not going to do any good in the sense that it will be posted? *WHY?*” Then the answer hit me with a thunderclap. It wasn’t what was being said; it was its *function* and *purpose*! What is it doing? Well, it *was* wearing down TG. *That* had to have been the goal. PUAs and other predators say or do things calculatedly in order to get certain effects; the words frequently aren’t the actual message or goal. Essentially the goal was to end the discussion, because the analysis was getting way too threatening, and TG wasn’t backing off from her main premise. She couldn’t be wooed, guilted, sweet-talked, “out-reasoned,” or otherwise manipulated. Thus the necessity for much cruder tactics.

    You had used a very important word in your description of these people: CHARLATAN. This is important. A charlatan is an imposter–a con man, a *criminal*. Criminals come in various specialties: identity thieves, bunco artists, con men, pickpockets, crackers, etc. While (unfortunately) PUA deception is completely legal, it has exactly the same criminal mindset as what con men and identity thieves have. Although not all con men are sociopathic, my understanding is that most *are*. I would like to propose that a serious study and review of the antisocial personality disorders (sociopathy/psychopathy, narcissism and Machiavellianism–sometimes nicknamed the “Dark Triad”) become an integral part of our analysis. I am by no means a psychologist or psychiatrist, but I am beginning to believe more and more that a thorough and rigorous study of theoretical and applied psychology is an absolute necessity in analysing and discussing this cruel phenomenon. To this end, I would like to propose a couple of books and authors:

    “Snakes in Suits: When Psychopaths Go To Work,” by Paul Babiak and Robert D. Hare, Ph.D.”
    (published by Harper Collins). As far as I know, Dr. Hare is considered the foremost expert on psychopathy today, as his is the creator of the standard tool for diagnosing psychopathy. He apparently does a lot of consulting work for the FBI. I have this book myself, and it is *excellent,* written with the lay person in mind–and it *does* have some highly practical advice in how to combat psychopaths. Dr. Hare makes the very interesting and pertinent observation that psychopaths (surprisingly) like to target narcissists for their destructive purposes. Narcissists, apparently, make tempting targets because they’re highly arrogant and tempted to meet and beat psychopaths at their own “game”–a deadly mistake, because a real psychopath is a true shark in the water for whom a narcissist is badly outgunned. Also, when victimised, narcissists keep quiet and keep the predation a secret out of humiliation and embarrassment–and the psychopath *thrives* and *needs* an environment where his/her victims keep silent in order to pursue agendas. Is this ringing a bell? Is anyone doubting that the PUA ringleaders are filling their pocketbooks and getting their jollies while victimizing their little minion-pupils and the high-value-targets–the women–all in one go? Ross Jeffries and the other PUA mentors *must be* enjoying themselves immensely at how they get to prey on their little footsoldiers *as well* as sticking it to women by proxy. The sick thing is that some of the little minions really do get *pretty good* at this stuff; then *they* get to be PUA mentors. Would anyone care to bet me that they have very high scores for Antisocial Personality Disorder?

    “Without Conscience,” by Robert D. Hare, Ph.D. I don’t have this book, but it’s my understanding that it *is* a seminal work.

    “The Sociopath Next Door,” by Martha Stout, Ph.D. Dr. Stout served on the faculty in the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard. Her book is chilling and yet very heartening. What she calls sociopathy is what Dr. Hare calls psychopathy, but the disease is the same–and she, too, has some excellent advice in how to combat the predators. Some advice she has is what I would like to quote for the blog:

    “7. Do not join the game. Intrigue is a sociopath’s tool. Resist the temptation to compete with a seductive sociopath, to outsmart him, psychoanalyze him, or even banter with him. In addition to reducing yourself to his level, you would be distracting yourself from what is really important, which is to protect yourself.”

    “8. The best way to protect yourself from a sociopath is to avoid him, to refuse any kind of contac or communication. Psychologists do not usually like to recommend avoidance, but in this case, I make a very deliberate exception. The only truly effective method for dealing with a sociopath you have identified is to disallow him or her from your life altogether. Sociopaths live completely outside of the social contract, and therefore to include them in relationships or social arrangements is perilous. Begin this exclusion of them in the context of your own relationships and social life. You will not hurt anyone’s feelings. Strange as it seems, and though they may try to pretend otherwise, sociopaths do not have any such feelings to hurt. You may never be able to make your family and friends understand why you are avoiding a particular individual. Sociopathy is surprisingly difficult to see, and even harder to explain. Avoid him anyway. If total avoidance is impossible, make plans to come as close as you can to the goal of total avoidance.” This echoes what I’m advocating in terms of shutting down the PUA idiots on the blog. Just axe them. They’re playing games with us because they view us as toys. Shut ‘em down. Believe me, they *HAVE* no feelings to hurt.

    I would like to add a commentary on the “psychoanalyze” part. I believe Dr. Stout here is advising that we don’t go into the “because his parents burned live iguanas to the tunes of the Partridge Family while wearing orange-and-purple polka-dot overalls, this must be why he’s so messed up.” However, it’s okay to get aware of the psychological and behavior mechanisms by which the predator preys. Dr. Stout also makes a terrifying assertion that is most probably accurate: she believes that 1 in 25 Americans fit the diagnostic criteria for sociopathy. Meaning, people, that there are a *lot* more predators in American society than we realize.

    This is only a beginning. I myself would like to become much more highly educated on the antisocial personality disorders in general. It’s *very integral* to our discussion; I would lay money that the PUA communities draw the sociopaths and narcissists *like flies*. The very nature of the PUA community, dedicated to achieving power and control over women, *WILL* draw these types. That’s a guarantee. For now, though, I’d like to add some thoughts on suggestibility, gullibility, and hypnosis.

    We must not underestimate how patriarchal family controls actually set up many women in this culture to be easily suggestible. It is a little-known fact that children from severe abusive/neglectful homes often manifest a much greater capacity for disassociation and other manifestations of suggestibility and hypnosis–self- or other-induced. Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Somaticization Disorder (pardon my misspelling) and Disassociative Identity Disorder, disorders that result from varying degrees of childhood abuse and neglect, all induce greater degrees of suggestibility in their victims than what usually shows up in untraumatized children. It is estimated that 1 in every 4 girls will be sexually abused in their lifetimes. The estimated ratio in boys that will be sexually abused is 1 in every 8. While this is a high ratio as well, *notice how the sexually abused girls outnumber the boys by a 2-to-1 ratio.” And sexual abuse is traumatic enough to encourage a great deal of disassociation, suggestibility, and hypnotizability in children. The garden-variety sexist accusation leveled against women is that we’re more gullible and suggestible than men are; the sociopathic con men, of course, figure that “suckers” ask for what they get. The sad thing about this sexist accusation is that it unfortunately accurately mirrors reality, which is horrifyingly sexist: women are *SET UP* to be more gullible, disassociative, and suggestible. I don’t believe for a New York minute that women are *innately* more suggestible than men are. But most certainly we are more traumatized than men are.

    If you also add in the factor that even well-adjusted, happy women are indoctrinated with the burden of caretaking, fostering, and maintaining all sorts of pleasant relationships as an all-consuming index of their femininity, you can see how most women are guaranteed to become predator popcorn for these conscienceless monsters.

    I would like to become much more acquainted with the work of Derren Brown. Can you recommend any books or websites? And I also agree with you: a thorough study of Neurolinguistic Programming and other methods of subliminal persuasion is an absolute must. I’m also thinking that a thorough study of facial microexpressions and non-verbal “tells” is a necessity. Any ideas for starting points?


  117. Scarred – that was awesome. Actually, in response to some of the points you made, I edited, again, my comment policy.

    OK, so on to the important matter of what to do about PUAs. I have been thinking about this all day, actually, because I think you and Kate are absolutely right: there has got to be some effort put forth to find out these strategies and make them known to women. Disseminate their strategies to their primary targets. And I think you guys are also right to say the first step in a line of defense is to learn how not to be affected by these strategies, and then pass along that information as well.

    I agree, Scarred, that these people are sociopaths. I have heard the 1 in 25 are sociopaths thing before, and I totally believe it. Not all sociopaths are criminals, you know? Personally, I think the sociopaths that aren’t criminals are most likely successful businesspeople. I am pretty sure I’ve worked for and with some of these people, in fact. (And considering I’m about to go to law school, I have a feeling I will encounter many more down the road.)

    so how to begin? maybe a place to start is with the books you suggested. I think learning about sociopathology is an excellent suggestion, because there are so many of them out there, and arming ourselves with information and tactics to avoid being taken in by them is the psychological equivalent of carrying mace and taking self-defense classes – we shouldn’t have to do it, but it’s probably a good idea. I also think that we must continue to do our feminist work, so that the gender power imbalances that are so prevalent in patriarchal society begin/continue to shift and make it less likely that these kinds of tactics will be taken by men.

    Another place to begin is perhaps PUA sites and books that they have written on the “phenomenon” they are selling. Just a fact-finding mission, you know? And I think we have a lot to gain from people like yourself who have been victimized by PUAs.

    I really thought your analysis of why women are more suggestible than men to these subliminal strategies was really interesting, and very smart. Which brings me again to continuing our feminist work, so that these imbalances are not set up from the beginning. Working to get stiffer penalties attached to child molestation and child sexual assault, pedophilia, child pornography, incest, etc. Working to get help to child victims, get them out of dangerous homes and into emotional therapy.

    Let’s keep talking about this. by the way, did you read my other post that began this topic? It was my own relatively mild encounter with a pickup strategy that showed itself to me as a clear strategy, as it was happening, which wasn’t a first, but kind of was since it was an alternative to the typical aggressive pickup strategy I’d been familiar with up till then. I’ve dubbed it the “alternative nice guy approach.” Find it here.


  118. I read your post, and *WILL* add on tomorrow. I’m just one to say one thing, sincerely and without being sacriligious: thank God Almighty that He/She has finally answered my prayers, and that *finally* some real progress on the theoretical level is going to be made in combating these monsters.


  119. Yikes. I’m sick this Sunday. Tell you what, girls, I’ll post big time on Monday. I’m gonna take a day of recuperation, I need it. We’ve got a bug going around at work, and it appears I’ve caught the respiratory gift that keeps on giving.:) (Yuck.) Be back soon.:)


  120. Scarred – hope you feel better soon. In the meantime, if you’re up to it, check this out: I was just reading a few articles on the site XY, which is a pro-feminist site for men who want to figure out what they can do to help alleviate gender oppression. Awesome, right? Well, check out these specific links, that deal with the tactics used by MRAs… sounds SO familiar!

    Are men evil? this article talks about the psychological similarities between MRAs and men who commit domestic violence against women. A quote: “And this response, i.e. the perceived threat, is likely to be strongest where the women’s advocates have presented intelligent and compelling arguments about the tragedy of violence against women.”

    Backlash: Angry Men’s Movements – this article talks about MRAs as a backlash movement against feminism. Sounds kind of like the PUA movement as a backlash against the perception that women hold all the cards in a pickup or dating situation.

    Responding to Men’s Rights Groups – by the same author as the last article, much of the same stuff but some new info as well (I think).

    I think that basicallu, underneath it all, PUAs are really MRAs. They’re talking about asserting something that is their “right” – sexual access to women – and they’re doing it through trickery and manipulation, just like the MRAs are doing with fathers’ rights and male domestic violence victims.


  121. This will be my one and only posting to this page unless I am directly asked by the moderator.
    I have to say there are many very good points expressed here and there is also some one sided slander.
    I can only comment from my own knowledge and experience. As a student of the human condition in all its glory and gore I have looked into the PUA community. There are a great many different people involved in this community. There are those only intent is to have as much sex as possible, and also there are those that are looking to find a person to share the rest of their lives with. As with any group there is more than one approach to “pick-up arts” some do involve hypnosis and NLP while others are closer to a confidence building program. So far I have seen nothing that condones any criminal or amoral act. There is a extremely small percentage of people who will use any tactic in order to hurt others and we all must be vigilant in watching for such individuals, but as a society we must not condemn a whole group for the actions of the few.
    In reference to the men who in a bar/club situation that approach women, but don’t seem to understand that the person they are talking to are not interested, these are people who have been drinking and as such their judgment has been impaired. Am I excusing such behavior, no it is rude and improper. Most “pick-up artists” do not drink when they go out with the intent of picking women up, also most pick-up programs teach that 1 in 4 women are interested in meeting a male romantic/sexual partner and as such if they receive resistance they know that who they are talking to are not interested in meeting someone at that time.
    Most of strategies used by real “pick-up artists” are behaviors which are learned by watching men who are “successful” with women and then are researched for how well such a strategy works and also the social, psychological and/or biological trigger which causes such strategies to work. As to whether deception is involved that is a matter of opinion that in itself can be a whole other debate.
    When asks me about the “pick-up” and dating communities online I always point people towards the works of David Deangelo, Mari-Jo Tyler, John Alanis, and Shelly McMurtry. And I highly recommend before forming an opinion on any group to get as much information about it as possible and not to follow snap judgments, which as often as not are correct but not always for the right reasons. Judging any group by the malfactors in it can lead only to discord and misunderstanding.


  122. Wanderer – in regards to your points raised about the PUA community. I do not hold anything against the PUA ‘community’ as individuals. As human beings, every person is entitled to basic respect, I believe, whether I agree with their personal philosophy or no.
    What I object to is the IDEOLOGY behind the PUA business. Because it is a business. People who join a ‘seduction community’ may be looking to experiment or gain confidence or meet the ‘love of their life’ but this is not what most PUAs are selling. To be honest, I have researched these places and found those people with genuine motives to be a very small minority, the ‘beginners’, and they are ENCOURAGED to lose such notions in order to “raise their game”. People who are just looking to raise their own confidence WITHOUT exploitative techniques is *not* what I, TG or any other critique of PUAs is aimed at.

    Scarred, you are testament to the hurt, pain and anger that can result from someone who was exploited emotionally through these techniques. You have a powerful voice. I hope people will be impacted by what you say and remember your message, and get WISE.

    I don’t see the PUAs as a cause of male exploitation so much as a symptom. Let me explain. A guy who goes deeply into these techniques, swallows the whole ideology of the PUA mindset, is either a) someone without the strength of character or intellect at the time to recognise it for what it is or b) someone for whom the mindset is not that far away from what they already think: i.e. that women are there to be exploited for his pleasure.
    Insofar as it might be a), then I can sympathise to some extent with the guy who might get sucked in – he is suggestible too, maybe for the reasons you mentioned before.
    I’ve seen people defending these sorts of techniques as a sort of ‘self-esteem’ class for men. (See examples above). Those shy men who can’t get up the courage to speak to women, who have no social skills – isn’t it a good thing that there is a service out there to help these guys? They really do see women as human beings! They just need some coaching on how to be more empathetic with them!
    Well, sorry, but this is bollocks. In fact, it is dangerous bollocks. If these ‘Masters’ cared about improving men’s self-esteem, then they would be running self-esteem classes. These are NOT self-esteem classes. In fact, the only self-worth and self-esteem they are offering to men is bought at the expense of women. Their whole message rests on that. They tell men who are shy, lonely and insecure that their self-worth and confidence may be regained or developed THROUGH success with women – and by success they mean hoodwinking, deception, and domination. Wanderer seems to have profoundly misunderstood the meaning of what deception is, since he or she states that it is a matter of opinion whether hypnosis and NLP techniques are such. There is a reason these sorts of techniques are used in wartime, torture and other desperate acts, acts which attempt to assert and prove power. There is also a reason, to give a more quotidian example, that if you were hypnotised into handing over your wallet to a thief you would be justified in feeling that you had been decieved.

    Wanderer says:
    “Most “pick-up artists” do not drink when they go out with the intent of picking women up,”

    There is a reason most ‘pick-up artists’ do not drink when practising their ‘seduction’ techniques – they know that the ‘target’ is most likely to be drinking, and thus more or less impaired in judgement compared to a sober person. This ‘not-drinking’ is all about increasing their advantage, making the interaction LESS equal, fair and about genuine interest in another person. They are not regarding the woman as a person, but as a target. If anyone reading can’t understand why this is wrong, then I would say you have a terribly reductive notion of human interaction. (Hey! Were you concieved as the result of target practise?)

    Also:
    “also most pick-up programs teach that 1 in 4 women are interested in meeting a male romantic/sexual partner and as such if they receive resistance they know that who they are talking to are not interested in meeting someone at that time.”
    1) 1 in 4 women…where do they get this statistic?
    2) …are interested in meeting a male romantic/sexual partner..well, lots of people are interested in meeting or not meeting. Doesn’t give you any rights over her, buddy.
    3)”if they recieve resistance” – as creepy as the terminology is here, I’m going to assume resistance = not going along with the PUAs line. This might mean a number of things, from, ‘she finds you physically repellent’, to ‘she finds you attractive and WOULD be interested if it weren’t for those wierd, creepy lines you keep coming out with’ . What it categorically does NOT, always, mean is that “she is just not interested in meeting someone.” It means she is not interested in carrying on talking/whatever with YOU.
    This assumption makes me hella angry! Like women can be persuaded to sleep with ANY man who got the right ‘line’ – cos, deep down, she just wants a good…*cough*, sorry, I meant, deep down she is interested in ‘meeting someone.’ WHO, it don’t matter – just someone ‘male’ will do. Sigh…

    Selling PUA class as ‘self-esteem’ class is wrong.
    It’s a terrible, cynical lie. I really really wonder whether the ‘Masters’ know that, too. True self worth is never at the expense of another.
    I’m not against people developing social skills. But why the whole put-down of women disguised as benevolent Othering? “Women need to feel emotionally connected before they will have sex with you, so it’s important to establish that connection. We’ll teach you the techniques and the talk to implement that.” That’s the explicit message. Implicit is the message: this is what women need, but’s it’s not what men need – men are just out for the sex, we all know that, but
    one can’t possibly expect a woman to understand, so let’s decieve her instead.’ This manages to be offensive to BOTH sexes! It’s obviously offensive to women – who wants to be decieved into sex? But actually, I think it’s equally as offensive to men. ALL HUMAN BEINGS have a need for emotional connection. To deny this to men, to ask them to deny it to themselves, is hugely damaging. This is not only a feminist understanding – some in the Men’s Rights movement understand this too.
    To encourage men to see themselves as only wanting or needing sex as a physical pleasure, a sport, something to be competed for as a prize, is incredibly patronising, damaging and sad. That, actually, IS where Cosmo and PUAs seem to reach agreement. It’s a very limiting view. Some PUA rhetoric recognises that men feel emotion, too – and promptly pinpoints this capacity as precisely WHAT has been causing men to be “unsuccessful.” Men who care about women – in the world of PUAs – are saps, losers, the guys who never get the girl.
    It’s my opinion – and many might disagree, but it’s a philosophical viewpoint, that to be human, to be wholly alive, means to experience emotion. In order to live, really, really live – rather than just settle – a person SHOULD try to feel MORE, not less. There are so many things which contstrain us from really feeling things, upbringing, society, shame.
    I always feel sad when I contemplate something like this PUA phenomenon, it’s so…anti-feeling. Although I feel angry on the part of the women who might get exploited, I also feel sad for the man who believes himself to be the exploiter. He’s hardened his own heart.
    So actually, while I am very sorry for what happened to you, Scarred, I just wanted to point out that, IMO, as a human being, it is YOU that may be richer for the experience, and your ex who is the one living a constricted life. Please don’t take that the wrong way. It’s how I’ve had to deal with things in my own past, that have hurt me.

    I have a problem with this: “My argument is that when one is dealing with enemies who desire to prey on you (and make no mistake, these men *ARE* our enemies–they only view us as potential lunch, targets, or furniture–nothing more), it is imperative that a safe house, a base of operations is established.” Whilst I can understand and sympathise with you on where you are coming from with the language you employ, I absolutely refuse to see this as a ‘combatant’ situation. That is the rhetoric the PUAs use to encourage men to ‘hunt down the targets’ etc. I REFUSE to think about human beings that way, not only because I don’t believe it’s right, or helpful to do so, but because I think it’s falling into traps set by the sort of thinking that PUAs thrive on. Please understand, I am not saying we shouldn’t exert efforts to counteract PUA ideology, but that rather than see it as “firing back” we should simply aim for understanding and truth.
    Also, I don’t know how helpful it is to characterise the men drawn to PUA rhetoric as sociopaths, narcissists etc. Whilst this might be true or not, it might actually cause a woman or man reading to think: “oh well, OK it doesn’t apply to me or mine”.
    Bear with me on this. I don’t think someone might be ready to read that, unless, like Scarred, they have felt suicidal. Remember, we’re all taught to view ‘socio-‘ Or ‘psycho-‘ -paths as people who are not us, but strangers. Whereas this PUA thing is dangerous IMO because it tries to appeal to regular guys.
    I guess what I am saying is: while people who are already AGAINST PUAS will be sypathetic to reading them as sociopaths, I think the people most in danger from them, are not wise to them – and we should be wary, therefore, of painting them too dramatically. Folks can make up their own minds, with the facts before them.
    It might be useful to do a sort of “dual dialogue” – I would be happy to do this – take the PUA promotion, editorial and sales speak and right alongside it offer rebutting facts and point out the gaps in logic.
    Scarred, you are invaluble in terms of raising awareness because you offer the experience of someone “after” the event – someone who tells us about the consequences of PUA tactics. I’ve noticed that these books, websites and promotions aren’t all that big on talking about “what happens next”, even with their own followers. It’s all ‘shrouded in mystery'; “how far can we go?” and “how many can we bed?” -No-one talks about what happens if you actually achieved this, it’s not investigated, just promoted as an assumed good thing.
    BTW Derren Brown is an entertainer/magician/’mentalist’ from British TV. What’s interesting is that he exposes all sorts of cons for what they are – cons. Though if you watch his show, he does also keep some tricks ‘back’ as it’s primarily entertainment. His website is here:
    http://www.channel4.com/entertainment/tv/microsites/M/mindcontrol/

    TG – your posting of the links with PUA and MRA thinking is spot on. A lot of it is the same rhetoric. Ever see Magnolia, with the creepy Tom Cruise character?…
    There’s nothing new about the theories behind these ‘new’ strategies – for me, the clue is always when they say, or imply: Women are always totally different from *you*
    You know what – there’s a specific link to racism with the PUAs too. Maybe not all PUAs, but the ones I am familiar with. I live in Japan, and there are PUA websites *specifically* devoted to exploiting Japanese women in this way. By the western guys who live here. Oh boy – I could write a whole lot about that, but I won’t right now as I’ve taken up so much space in your thread already.
    -Cheers, Kate


  123. I followed your web thread for Are men evil? and examined more closely the ideas of Roy Baumeister in examining characteristics of offenders; I would be more than happy to add commentary as to how I believe they apply to PUAs as well as MRAs.

    Point 1: “They often feel their actions are justified, as they themselves are victims.”

    From what I can tell, PUAs are always carrying on about how men are *so badly* disadvantaged in the dating scene, and the snarling (covert or overt) directed at women’s supposed unfair advantage in getting sex or dating is stupendous at times. Many PUAs tout themselves as former “nice guys” who finally are getting some action now that they know how to “take charge” of women and the dating scene. Clearly, many if not most PUAs feel extremely victimized by women–never mind that their tactics and methodology are all about taking conscious choices away from the women they encounter!

    Point 2: “They often have over-inflated and fragile egos or sense of self-worth.”

    Yup. One look at the seduction gurus is proof positive of that. This is one of the classic characteristics of narcissism, a trait many domestic abusers, PUAs, and men’s rights activists share. The narcissistic stance toward the world is this: “I’m all that matters to me; my needs, my wants, are all in all, and nothing else is real. And if you challenge me, I will *destroy*/*silence*/*harass*/*put you in your place*/*get revenge on* you.” Look what happened on this blog thread. Look at the enormous amount of obscene entries you had to wade through and eliminate; look at the harrumphing self-justification the PUAs and PUA sympathizers indulged in as well as their sneaky or outright vicious efforts to shame or stop or smear us. *ALL BECAUSE WE’RE TALKING ON *YOUR* *OWN* *BLOG* ABOUT A MATTER THAT *YOU* WANT TO TALK ABOUT–THAT REALLY HAS HURT A LOT OF WOMEN.* We don’t go to their blogs and crash *their* parties, do we? Hell, no! We’re sticking to *our* own party–a party that (unfortunately and stupidly) many would label as “Ivory Tower academic ineffectuality.” But *this* can’t be tolerated, you see. They see us as daring to turn our noses up at the Great Male Wee-Wee–an “insult” they’ve experienced so often before. They must feel revictimized. *Never mind* that I almost once murdered myself in despair over being deceived by a sociopathic sex addict whose MO is ruining women’s hearts and minds. *Never mind* that you and the other women who have had PUA tactics thrown at them have reported feeling slimed, creeped-out (meaning, violated) and offended. The fact that we *DARE* talk about this is unbearable to them.

    I find it particularly telling that–while accusing *you* of dictatorship and censorship–their own attempts at silencing, sliming, ridiculing, or shaming opposing voices is an eloquent and thorough proof of the depth of their narcissism. Because control *MUST BE MAINTAINED* at all times; this means gagging anyone who doesn’t agree with you–by browbeating or trolling if necessary. I find it hilarious that Malignor especially accused you of doing this, conveniently and blindly ignoring the fact that 1) you posted clear, undeniable rules, and 2) he was on your web-turf, in *your house*, and that 3) you weren’t trying to stop him from expressing *his* opinions on the web; you just simply applied the Billy Joel adage, “but not on my time”–only, more, “but not on my webspace.” Feminism–and particulary the anti-PUA viewpoint– is way underrepresented on the web as it is. An interesting sidenote: many wife-beaters also have heavy scores for narcissism and also for sociopathy/psychopathy. And I read the MRAs as more sophisticated wife-beaters with the ulterior motive of getting their domestic violence and house dictatorships legalized–or at least decriminalized.

    Point 3: “Their identity is strongly tied to identifying [with] an ‘in-group’ and demonising outsiders.”

    I forget some of the highly derogatory acronyms that the PUAs have formed for the nice guys who have the temerity to argue with them, but they’re slimy and vicious. I’m not sure PUAs demonize women so much as they bowdlerize them; to demonize your targets/prey/patsies would be to accord them an importance that PUAs–by their very insecure–cannot afford to give them. That might *honestly* be said to be the only real difference between PUAs and the MRA/domestic abuser group; the PUAs sneer at and look down their noses at women, the MRAs/DV people do much more of the overt demonization. However, there is no question that PUAs delibrately objectify the women they hunt in ways that Sam Keen would clearly identify as dehumanizing. My observation is that while the military is famous for conditioning recruits in bootcamp to look at dangerous enemies as objects for destruction, the PUAs do so to short-circuit their own consciences in order to view women as objects for (il)legitimate hunting.

    *NOW*–having said that, is dehumanizing always a bad thing? Absolutely not, if you have a dangerous and distasteful task to perform, such as hunting terrorists or child pornographers. You had *BETTER* dehumanize your quarry in your mind if you want to save other people, and that’s the long and the short of it. However, the PUA dehumanization is completely unconscienable. It sets men up to look at women as though they were 8-point buck white-tail deer; the anecdotes PUAs tell on their own websites have the verbal feel of the pictures taken of hunters with their trophies or fishers with their big catches. This culture wallows in an undeniable “necessity” to devalue the individual humanity and importance of women, relegating them only to the trophy/non-trophy piles. (BTW, this is not to badmouth hunters and fishers–most outdoors people, men and women alike, are fine individuals actively involved in conservation and environmental efforts. And we *do* have a hunting legacy in our genes, no question about it. What’s illegitimate is the reduction of the same members of our species to trophy prey, prey for sexual or thrills sport.)

    Then again, maybe I’m completely wrong about PUAs not demonizing us. Again, look at *what happened* on this blog. Amazing at the amount of crap you had to wade through, and the outraged shrillness of the PUA/PUA sympathizers on this blog. Wow. I have to correct myself. There is *ONE* group that the PUAs demonize–feminists and any woman who openly and actively opposes what they do. Again, don’t watch the words so much with these “guys”–watch the behaviors. And TG, unquestionably, we scored a home run in exposing these assholes and getting on what appears to be their Most Wanted lists.:) I am led to remember and quote the words of Judith Herman regarding the attacks on the therapeutic community who have helped the victims of incest, sexual abuse, child abuse, and domestic violence tell their stories. Her words apply just as much to us as to the therapists, counselors, psychologists, and psychiatrists who have been attacked for helping their patients:

    “Some attacks have been downright silly; many have been quite ugly. Though frightening, these attacks are an implicit tribute to the power of the healing relationship. They remind us that creating a protected space where survivors can speak their truth is an act of liberation. They remind us that bearing witness, even within the confines of the sanctuary, is an act of solidarity. They remind us also that moral neutrality in the conflict between victim and perpetrator is not an option. Like all other bystanders, therapists are sometimes forced to take sides. Those who stand with the victim will inevitably have to face the perpetrator’s unmasked fury. For many of us, there can be no greater honor.”

    Point 4: “They often downplay the importance of their actions.”

    Well, we know that domestic abusers frequently deny how hard they hit their women or how serious the injuries really are. I’ve seen this repeatedly myself. MRAs, of course, want to downplay how frequent domestic abuse and male aggression really occurs. And the PUAs, when confronted on their methodology, worldview, tactics, or results of their behavior like to say, “Well, it’s just about getting dates or partners, for crying out loud.” See how that works? “No, I didn’t really hurt that girl…I mean, what did she expect? We met at a bar/the beach/the museum/at McDonald’s…naw, she’s just being a drama queen…no, we didn’t really have anything going on…naw, she knew it was a one-night stand/naw, it was just phone sex over a month’s period…Yeah, I told her I loved her, but–you know–that’s just what women want to hear…” And so on, and so forth.

    Point 5: “They commonly set up situations in which violence is almost inevitable.”

    My commentary on this modifies this somewhat; I would argue that “conflict” should be substituted for “violence” regarding the behavior of PUAs and MRAs (except those MRAs, of course, who manage to hold a family captive while engaging in nefarious politicking). The behavior of a PUA is going to essentially tick off any female, and essentially the (uneducated, kept in the dark) female is going to (alas, ineffectually) fight back. The PUA community dismisses this as “testing”. In their minds, when women get angry and challenge men, this is what they call a “test”–supposedly a subconscious behavior on the part of a woman to find out if her “mate” (egads) is strong enough to back her down and reestablish control and dominance. This PUA mindset really blinds this group to the actual effect their behavior has on their girlfriends, wives, and even themselves. It’s a type of Blanche DuBois denial; weirdly, it may even be a type of disassociation shown when a narcissist loses control of a situation and can’t do anything about it. Frequently, the first act a narcissist will do when meeting genuine opposition is to ignore it or pretend it isn’t “real.” For example, I know the little girl of one of my acquaintences whose father is a real narcissist. My acquaintence has to share child custody with this idiot even though he’s a psychiatrist nightmare. The kid is only 5 years old. *Already* she’s imitating her father when she runs across verbal opposition or limits from her mother: she will blank out (you’ll see this on her face), and sometimes she’ll say in a small little disassociative voice, “I don’t want to talk about it.” *JUST* like her world-class narcssistic father. My gut hunch is that part of the reason why you got harassed so badly in being thrown a bunch of slimy shit to wade through as a moderator is that these idiots *HONESTLY THOUGHT* that the rage that you, Kate, and I were showing were just *TESTS.* They couldn’t see the fury, *really* couldn’t acknowledge its depth and power. To them we’re just a bunch of hens looking for the biggest, toughest rooster on the block. When you actually started to boot them off the blog and enforcing the rules, they had to have been overcome with a towering rage, many of them. *Wow.* You meant what you said, and you said, “Uh-uh. Not here today, not ever, bucko.” This is the unforgivable sin to a narcissist, someone standing up to them; hence the vindictive, verbally abusive behavior. We weren’t testing, because we meant fucking business all along. Too bad, so sad they couldn’t see it. But this denial is a part of the constant conflict reenactment symptom they’ve got going on.

    Point 6: “They tend to think in terms of short-term gains rather than long-term consequences.”

    How true that is; how *true* that is. Even the PUAs who are “interested” in long-term relationships don’t consider the real ramifications of their controlling behavior and how it corrodes their integrity, self-discipline, and trustworthiness. In this sense, they *VERY MUCH* share the mentality of the alcoholic or addict: it’s all about getting that fix *today*. Never mind tomorrow when you’re jonesing and needing your horse, your spoon, and your needle: gotta have it. Never mind if there’s a chance that the HVB (High Value Babe) might have the HPV strain from hell, a carcinogenic mutation so evil that the odds of *YOUR* penis getting cancer are vastly increased. Never mind if you look like a total fuckhead–or worse yet, predator–to a group of women whose blog you tried to crash. Gotta have that control fix! Similiarly, the PUA lives from control fix to control fix, never truly seeing how their lives and the lives of others around them grow warped and twisted. On the other hand, there’s a part of them that knows how sick and self-degraded they’ve gotten. Neil Strauss in his book “The Game” had an opening phrase on the frontispiece–I believe the sentence was, “Hate the game, not the player.” Yeah, well, Neil buddy *had* to have known that he was being a scumbucket on one level–why fear hate if you really don’t think you’re doing anything wrong? One way of looking at the contempt that PUAs have for women is by examining the relationship between the junkie and the smack dealer. The smack dealer is peddling heroin; the junkie *thinks* he can’t live without it. The junkie approaches the dealer with cash and more than a bit of trepidation, as he views the dealer as having *all* the power–because he’s holding what the junkie *really wants,* you see. Maybe the junkie’s frequently been given weak heroin, a bad product, or overcharged. How often do junkies assault, steal from, fuck over, or kill dealers? Consider that in terms of regard, PUAs regard women as the sex dealers. Their methodology, IMO, echoes the attitudes and strategies of junkies toward heroin dealers. The only apparent difference is that the junkie *usually* won’t be so blatant in showing his loathing of the dealer. Usually. Then again, when desperation strikes…

    Point 7: “They tend to deal with being confronted with their actions by citing external causes.”

    Alcoholics cite work and family stresses–often saying or thinking, “If they wouldn’t make me drink…” Domestic abusers say, “If you wouldn’t provoke me/would just do what I say/wouldn’t make me have to straighten you out…” MRAs say, “If those evil feminists wouldn’t go after us men so much, how dare we get locked up on domestic abuse charges and lose custody of our kids…” And the PUAs? “Well, if women would just do the pursuing…well, it’s biology–if we just hadn’t evolved that way…if women didn’t play their own games…if we could get sex straightforwardly…if women would just bed nice guys…” Etc., etc., etc. *Almost always* there’s an excuse, a rationalization, an outward movement toward blame. Alcohol, heroin, domestic abuse, patriarchy, sex, and violent/deceptive power plays are *NOT* the birthright of any human being. We may have self-medicating, territorial and mating drives, but woe to the hapless human who thinks it is his/her perogative. Nothing is sadder, more pathetic, than an individual who truly thinks the world owes him a lay, a bottle, or a punching bag.

    Gee, typing all this down actually makes me sort of sad. As much as I’d be willing to kill the PUA as soon as look at him, I feel badly sorry for him as well. Can you imagine what it’s like to *have* to do this? Can you imagine what it’s like to *have* to approach the opposite gender like this? I am reminded of the famous photograph of Saddam Hussein when they finally caught him hiding in the bottom of a spider hole near Tikrit. The dictator looked like a poor, bedraggled New York transient, with only about half the dignity of the Bowery Bum wino. Once upon a time, Saddam commanded one *hell* of a lot of fear and terror, and some begrudging respect. He had terrorized the Iranians with over 180-plus chemical attacks and was once such a apocalyptic figure that TWO major wars were launched to get him, TWO. To the end he kept trying pathetically to hang onto his power and control, and finally met his end being hung while a bunch of Shiite gunmen gibbered, laughed, and rejoiced. Sic semper tyrannis, but wow, I have to tell you that I felt sorry for him at the end. Ultimately, even the scariest psychopaths are nothing but pathetic rabbits in the face of that ultimate predator, Death. I think it comes down to that ultimate question of what you want to put on your tombstone: “I was a monster who preyed on other people,” OR “I lived, laughed, loved, and made the world a better place for all of humanity.” You sure as hell can’t do both–you have to choose one or the other. And you only get one chance.


  124. Hey – TG – I left a comment a couple days ago but it might have got swallowed since there was a link on it! Let me know if so & I’ll rewrite


  125. Hi Kate – thanks for letting me know – it got stuck in the spamulator.

    I’ll be back either tonight or tomorrow to discuss further; gotta run to class!


  126. Kate and TG: I am grateful for this opportunity for discussion, and I am *especially* thankful for both of your points of view.:) I hope my posting is OK in spite or (maybe because!) of excessive length. I will admit I’m being verbose, but wow, this is a subject that by its very nature is over-the-top, and our side of the subject is very *badly* underrepresented. For example, I tried searching the web for anti-PUA or counter-PUA discourse in addition to what we’re doing. *I couldn’t honestly find anything!* I used Dogpile *and* Google, entering various entries, and *couldn’t* get anywhere, meaning I couldn’t find any active anti-PUA websites, blogging, or anything remotely resembling what we’re doing! If I’m being excessively dependent on this blog, I apologize…but this really seems right now to be the only conversation I can find on the net regarding this topic from our point of view.

    In fact, what I *did find using the Dogpile metasearch engine when I looked for anti-PUA entries was *this* piece of misogynist tripe! It’s a blog named the Inferno, by some supposed Ulrich:

    http://ulrich-inferno.blogspot.com/2007/02/of-feminists-and-puas.html

    (TG, please let me know if I entered this right so that someone can click on it and go to the link.)

    At this site is a towering accusation thrown at feminists. It’s a sophisticated version of the “castrating bitch” argument, only placing it on a societal-wide level, and frankly, I’m really angry at this man’s not-so-subtle threat. Look at what he’s saying: “Feminism might just be another stupid test that women are giving to men. Our fathers and grandfathers failed, and the results for our society have been disastrous. However, this ‘test’ is going to backfire on women in more ways than the suffering of the glut of spinster cat-fanciers. When the balance of equality is restored, I don’t think women will ever have it as good as they’ve had it before.”

    I can’t read this as anything other than a threat. This man essentially just insinuated that he would be happy to see us all burn at the stake in order to “save” civilization, IMHO. He states one of the main points of his belief, which is that a “real” man should move to a country that’s more “male-friendly.” *Gag.* Probably such as eastern Pakistan or the Sudan. There’s no question that he regards *US* as the enemy, and he has no moral or ethical problems objectifying us or demonizing us, none whatsover. This leads me to my next thought:

    Kate: I want to start out by saying I really appreciate you speaking your mind and pointing out the weaknesses of my position(s). I thought very carefully about your objections to what I was saying regarding the language and attitude I take toward PUAs in terms of regarding them as the enemy. I sat down and took a hard look at myself and what I had written, and your point of view. I go back and forth between the truth and understanding point of view and the militaristic point of view I take. I think I can describe the struggle as follows:

    Audre Lorde said that you cannot dismantle the master’s house by using the master’s tools. The master, of course, is patriarchy. One of the primary tools of patriarchy is dehumanization (Sam Keen’s original term); it’s how the patriarchal systems of the world get their populations to engage in war, commit all sorts of atrocities, and keep *all* of the isms in place: racism, sexism, homophobia, etc. I know you’re aware that it’s a tool of the patriarchy, and *that’s* why you absolutely refuse to use it–because, as you’ve eloquently stated, you’re committed to seeing *everyone’s* humanity, not just the people you agree with. This is the *far more* moral position to take! I concede, hands down, that it is *vastly* more ethical than my own inclination. I have to admit a strong sense of shame in realizing that I view *anyone* with hatred regardless of their points of view. Yet, here is my problem:

    I don’t think Audre Lorde was completely right. I think that frankly the *only* way that we’re going to be able to dismantle the master’s house is by using one or two of the master’s tools. I think the main reason why patriarchy has been so effective in its suppression of women and indigenous peoples is *the very nature of its ruthlessness*. Many men will *never* see *our* humanity. What do we do in a case like that? Can we honestly think that we can get serial rapists, PUA coaches, MRAs, the Taliban/”Islamic” extremists, the hardest-core Christian right, etc., to see our humanity? I doubt it very strongly. They’ve got too much emotional investment in keeping us down, and the addiction to power runs too heavy in their veins. We may insist on seeing their humanity, and that makes us bigger people, yes…but it also makes us a heck of a lot more vulnerable, in my estimation. How free can we really be if we see their humanity and they don’t see ours?

    You had pointed out that you refused to “see this as a combatant situation. That is the rhetoric the PUAs use to encourage men to ‘hunt down their targets’ etc. I REFUSE to think about human beings this way, not only because I don’t believe it’s right or helpful, but because I think it’s falling into traps set by the sort of thinking that PUAs thrive on.” Problem is, once someone’s declared open season on you, how can it *not* be a combatant situation–in other words, how can it be only rhetoric? Once someone’s declared you prey, how is it falling into a trap to realize “the game” (yuck, I hate that, but I can’t think of a better way to say it) is on and that you had better become unprey, and *fast*–or you’re lunch? And how do we defend ourselves if we’re not prepared to do *whatever* it takes to remain unprey, if we aren’t willing to dehumanize someone who’s dehumanized us first? I guess what I’m saying is, what do you do to defend yourself if you’re on the hit parade if you’re not willing to get as down and dirty as the person/ people who started it? Maybe this is the crux of the argument: nonviolence versus militant self-defense/revolution, Martin Luther King versus Malcolm X. In the Palestinian equation, it’s Abbas versus Hamas. (These struggles can also apply to verbal struggle.) What to do? It’s a helluva conundrum.

    Now, I can already think of one very good counterargument to this one I just put forth. One can reasonably submit that PUAs aren’t *real* predators, merely ineffectual “Gor”-fantasy-novel-wannabes who will never be the threat to our lives and our freedoms that, say, the Taliban or the Iranian extremists are. One can argue quite well that these guys would *like* us to be shivering in our boots out of fear of them, and that in reality 99.9% of them are just either dweebs or recovering dweebs, ants trying to cast elephant shadows. There’s a lot of potential truth in that argument, and I’m going to have to think about that, because it *is* a good rejoinder to my argument. The *last* thing one wants to do in dealing with an offender or offenders is to exaggerate their power.

    Still, I have to say this: I believe their methods are extremely threatening to the mental integrity of the women they’ve used them on. I can speak from experience on that one. Maybe I’m the exception rather than the rule, but my powerful gut hunch is that I’m not the only one. You were and are extremely *right*, Kate, in pointing out that hypnosis and NLP have been used in “wartime, torture, and other desperate acts.” Amen to that. Later, I will propose to bring into this discourse information about mind control as researched by the military, the CIA, and other intelligence agencies if people are interested, although that gets into *TRULY* terrifying territory. As you probably know already, I’m an American. Unfortunately, our country is suffering right now from the reign of King George the Second; that means *anyone* spouting a different opinion that the Neo-Con position is suspect. So, when I hunt for information on the Net, I’m gonna have to be careful.

    BUT–there’s one argument you made, Kate, that has got me 100% convinced and won over to your side. You *rightfully* pointed out that it isn’t useful to identify PUAs as sociopathic or narcissist, because while it might be true, the labeling will affix a “freak” component to their behaviors and activities that would enable someone to say, “Well, that’s not me or mine.” You’re absolutely 100% correct on that position. People *would* see that as being overly dramatic or comic, and they’d distance, go into denial, or get turned off. Absolutely! In fact, that’s a warning that Babiak and Hare made in their book “Snakes in Suits, a warning I had forgotten!–

    “Rule 1: Do Not Label Anyone a Psychopath: As noted earlier, it is not useful to label someone a psychopath; in fact, to label your boss a psychopath may make the situation worse for you than it already is. Even if you have reviewed all the traits of the psychopath and believe your boss or coworker demonstrates them, your company may not be in a position to take your side. Companies are very pragmatic and respond to information about *behaviors* relevant to the work at hand rather than subjective feelings about another person.” Substitute the acronym “PUA” for “boss” and “people” for “companies,” and the same rule applies for our purposes. So yeah, from here on out, I’m not using terms like “sociopath” or “narcissist” or “psychopath” regarding PUAs in a public discourse–not until the public realizes that it is, in its own way, every bit as invasive and degrading as rape. When rape awareness first hit the American public in the late 60s-early 70s, people didn’t understand how predatory rapists really were. However, in the millenium, you can turn on a television episode of “Criminal Minds” or “Law and Order SVU” and hear words like “psychopath” used all the time in reference to rapists. But until the public *gets* there, there’s no point in *ME* going there, so I won’t. This discussion, this nascent consciousness-raising, is *TOO IMPORTANT* for me to screw it up.

    Having said all of this, I think that we can agree on the following points: 1) the PUA ideology and methodologies *must* be counteracted, 2) Its victims and exploited must be helped, and 3) its potential prey, meaning women and girls, must be notified and “immunized” mentally and emotionally. What is starting to shape in my mind is the possibility/probability of eventually forming a think tank and clearinghouse to deal with this growing problem. And I really believe it’s a growing problem, I really *do*–I’m thinking that it has contributed a *lot*–in a very underground and sneaky way–to the growing disrespect and contempt younger men have for the women in industrialized societies, particularly America.

    I think your idea of a “dual dialogue” is a masterful one, Kate, and I really think it’s great; this would be an invaluable effort. One of the things that I’m thinking about doing is researching mind control, hypnosis, NLP, and PUA methodology on the Net, and creating an archive of my own relating to techniques, methods, etc. I don’t see myself starting the think tank or clearinghouse just yet, but maybe this is its beginning. Certainly, we’ve started a discussion that is *only* going to lead to greater and greater discoveries and involvement; this discussion has got 125 entries and has heated up tremendously. I personally think that from here on, it can only get better.:) I appreciate the compliments that you’ve given me; I hope that in the future I can be only even more powerful in paying testimony to the cruelty that lurks in the hearts of PUAs and other mindgamers. And your analysis is going to be *HELL* for the PUAs to deal with.:) BTW, I’m hungry to hear what you have to add about what’s been going on in Japan with Western PUAs going after the native Japanese women; I would *love* to see an analysis of the brazen racism in their motives and methodologies.

    TG: An interesting spiral back to one of your observations: this Ulrich is an outspoken MRA who featured a link to a PUA seduction blog as a source of inspiration for his worldview. So, yes, your theory has at least one solid, verifiable corroboration on the Net!:) This I got only after cursory research, so yeah, I think you are very much onto something that’s by no means “mere” academic theory. In fact, I don’t think it’s a theory–it’s the truth! And hats off to you for making the connection!:)


  127. One last thought for tonight:
    Facial Action Coding System (FACS) was developed to check out facial microexpressions as to ascertain people’s genuine emotional states. I believe its main creator was Paul Ekman…I’ll try to get more info on that. I’ve heard it’s invaluable for flushing out deceit…


  128. Scarred, I hear what you’re saying about the need to “not be lunch” – while I am not comfortable dehumanising anyone, I am totally online with regards to bringing down the mindset. I see ideas like this (the PUA ideology) as a kind of cultural meme – you’re spot on I reckon in relating it to other versions which are more mainstream. The desperate vision of the ‘naturally violent, dominant Alpha male’ as something which is both ‘biologically determined’ in origin and yet something which needs full-time checking, guarding, shoring up and bolstering through ‘techniques’ is almost hallucinatory with denial…
    The link you posted (and the further link in the post) were pretty illustrative of the strong overlap between the MRA extremist camp and the PUA cultists…they literally cannot hear anyone else, because they cannot afford to – their belief system wouldn’t withstand it, since it is a fine example of confirmation bias.
    Actually, reading the PUA sites made me realise something about them. They are so full of self importance that it’s funny. These sites are funny. If you want to fight back against them, and what they stand for, then maybe humour isn’t a bad place to start. And no I don’t mean laughing *with* them, I do mean let’s make them a laughing stock.
    Because the scary thing is that, when you read the stories of men who ‘converted’ to the mindset of this belief, it’s often because they claim they see no other alternative but ‘emasculation’ – they can’t escape the idea that it’s eat or be eaten when it comes to relationships. This view is pretty damaging for a person to hold about themselves, but you know what? It tends to require a lot of concentration, and absolutely NO self-reflection; whereas, when folks start laughing at such things, it can start to lessen that sense that it’s so serious/respected a position. I’m not entirely convinced about this, but its worth thinking through.


  129. Brain: Humor as weapon…that’s a good thought. My own problem is that *I* couldn’t pull it off, but I think it would be great if *someone* could pull it off. I think as a tactic it’s *MORE* than worth trying. It couldn’t hurt for starters as an experiment, and I think we’ve got nothing to lose.

    I’ll be very busy from tomorrow (Friday) until Monday morning, so I’ll take a break from this thread and come back to it first thing Monday morning. First thing on my agenda will be to put forth propositions on how to deal with the PUA community; also, hopefully, my break will give other people a chance to speak.:) Believe me, I’ll be back.


  130. Woops. I forgot to sign the last post before, that is Brain = Kate!
    BTW, TG, I am loving your blog at the minute. Great discussions happening left, right & centre. I hope this thread is not getting to be too much trouble to mod. If it is, then post that here & I would be happy to continue the discussion at my blog.


  131. Brain – I thought that might be you! thanks for clarifying, and glad you’re enjoying roaming around my blog.

    no, it’s not too much to keep up with, just too much right now – I am finishing up the term at school and had an exam today, and a paper due on Monday, so I won’t have much time to devote this weekend. but do feel free to continue on, either here or at your blog, whichever you like. I’ll be back, soon enough.


  132. Ok, I know it’s bad form to only read half of the discussion and then jump in with your own thoughts, but jesus, this is a long thread and I already have so many thoughts in response that if I were to read the whole thing first my comments now would be ten thousand words long.

    A little context on myself. My mother is a radical feminist academic. Actually, nowadays, she is also a lesbian. I grew up surrounded by feminist discourse and I do consider myself to be a feminist. Perhaps it’s because I grew up with feminism that when I got to the age of questioning things, I questioned feminism, along with many other things.

    I do believe that patriarchy exists and that women more often get the worse deal in a patriarchal society. In recent years, though, I have been re-thinking some of my feminist ideas, especially around these themes of dating, sex, etc. The idea that women, all women, are always the most disadvantaged because it is, after all, patriarchy, just has not matched with my experience. As an intelligent, confident, accomplished and quite physically attractive woman, I actually do feel pretty powerful in the sex/dating realm. I want and enjoy relationships and I also like (respectful) one night stands and short-term light-hearted flings of a mainly sexual nature. So in the sex/dating realm then, life is actually pretty awesome for me. Because more men want to have sex with women than the reverse (whatever the social/cultural/biological explanation may be), I actually do have a great ability to get the friendly, fun sex as well as the more deep relationships that I want. I don’t ever have to worry I’m oppressing anyone with my sexual desire, either, which is a bonus. I’ve also observed my brother’s life. He’d like a relationship, I know. I’m sure he’d also be into a bit of casual sex. He is a smart and lovely person, yet at 25 he has never had a girlfriend and has not had a great deal of sexual experience at all, mainly, I think, because he doesn’t exactly fit the masculine role. He’s simply not very appealing to the vast majority of women because he’s not super confident or super wealthy, he’s a bit shy, is a kind, decent, intelligent person, and isn’t willing to do the kind of dishonest and not-very-nice things a lot of men do to get laid. I can’t look at this situation and say that because we live in a patriarchal society I am the victim here, because the fact is that my brother and men like him have a worse deal than I do. They are lonely and unhappy and are missing out on the physical contact that most people crave.

    Someone mentioned that the male perspective already gets enough airplay – but, obviously, there are many male perspectives, and the perspective of men who don’t manage to live up to their gender roles is hardly one that we hear a lot of or that garners much sympathy.

    Regarding feminine gender roles: no doubt partly due my upbringing, I have never felt that I would be more valued were I to be or pretend to be helpless/stupid/pathetic etc. I DO feel immense societal pressure to be physically attractive and I find this very, very upsetting, very opressive, very negative. Doing things to “improve” my appearance definitely maximises my social value. But I also feel that even though I’m a woman, modern western society values me more as an intelligent, strong being than a helpless one. I don’t actually feel any societal pressure to be airheaded or incompetent. Is this just me, or have those expectations actually changed over the past few decades?

    Thinking Girl –

    I think you’re kidding yourself if you think that a significant number of women (high status women particularly) don’t “play hard to get”. I’m not proposing that all or a majority do, but I think a significant number do. I know women who do – Iam thinking of one friend in particular who is generally an intelligent, great person, but who has all kinds of rubbishy “rules” in her head about nabbing a guy. She literally refuses to call the man or take any initiative in the relationship for an entire two months, the idea being that this will make the fellow want her more and have to prove to her that he’s really interested.

    I completely disagree with the idea that men like Manko and Kyassett are just as or almost as bad as blatant misogynists. In fact, despite being a woman, I am pretty much in accordance with most of what Kyassett has said. Something that used to completely drive me around the bend with an otherwise lovely and intelligent ex-boyfriend of mine was the way that, when we disagreed, he would insist that I simply didn’t understand his argument or didn’t want to accept it for some reason, and could simply not countenance the idea that I had considered his argument and just did not think he was right. That’s the kind of attitude you appeared to be taking towards Kyassett, and I can see why he protested. Reading what he said carefully, Kyassett seemed like exactly the kind of man feminists should be willing to engage with – he seems truly interested in challenging and examining his own beliefs, and explicitly said that a lot of what he’s read on your blog has influenced his thought. To dismiss him because he doesn’t agree with you 100%, and to say that his disagreements can only spring simply from the fact that he’s a man and can’t possibly understand, just seems like a terrible way of going about things. What kind of person is going to continue the discourse when their views are disregarded on the basis of their gender, rather than the ideas examined? It was totally clear to me from Kyassett’s ideas and way of expressing them that he did not think your gender affected the quality of your ideas or right to an opinion, and yet you pull this “oh, I’m a girl, maybe I should just give up?” stuff! When he has said nothing at all to indicate he thinks in this way, your comments to that effect just strike me as substanceless rhetoric. Personally, I’m more interested in fighting real misogynists, violence against women etc. etc. than in fighting the hypothesised misogyny of men who actually appear to like women just fine, to be willing to engage with feminist ideas, etc.


  133. HI Caitlin – yes, of course, other things like self-confidence and shyness play a part in the dating world. But that doesn’t mean patriarchy isn’t also at play. Lots of things are at play besides patriarchy, but in a patriarchal society, you can’t take patriarchy out of the equation because it is everywhere. And pointing to yourself and your brother, both raised by a feminist mother who likely raised you both not to be the typical Feminine Girl and Masculine Guy, doesn’t prove that patriarchy isn’t part of the dating world. sorry.

    I know I have an exceptional group of friends, who don’t play those silly “Rules” games – but your friend, isn’t that just proving the point that patriarchy dictates how women should act in order to be more appealing to the opposite sex? I also kind of think that no matter what, patriarchy is at play – remember all those guys above who said stuff like “guys wish women would do more of the work in dating situations”? Isn’t that jsut another way of maintaining male power, by getting the girls to come to them? It isn’t enough that guys don’t have to assume a submissive position in order to attract the opposite sex (not that all women do, but those women who do are indeed assuming a submissive position because femininity is inherently submissive) – they also want it so that they don’t have to do any “work”!

    See, this is the thing that these guys weren’t wrapping their heads around. Femininity is inherently submissive. It’s all about signifying with your body that you are submissive. So women who assume femininity to attract a man, because that’s what patriarchy says is attractive, are not powerful, they are acting to signify their submission. If the tables were turned, and suddenly it was women who were responsible for initiating contact (as men have traditionally been doing because to be feminine is to be submissive and approaching a man to signal sexual interest is definitely un-feminine), men would not be required to assume a posture that would signify their submission. Because, after all, this is still a patriarchy. it isn’t jsut the role of who is initiating and who is waiting to be approached that signifies who has the power in a dating situation.

    As for chastising me for the way I handled Kyassett, a reader with whom I have been interacting for a number of months, I was encouraging him to go further, not trying to suppress him. He’s not ready to go there yet, to examine just how deeply male privilege plays a role in his life to the point where it is impossible to escape it and it colours everything he sees and says and thinks. He may just disagree with me, but how much of that is related to male privilege… well, it’s hard to know. I’m asking him to understand that he will never be able to know some things about women’s oppression because of his standpoint as a man in a patriarchal society. It’s not his fault, any more than it’s mine I was born into this system as a woman. It’s simply a matter of access to knowledge based on embodiment. And because he can never know some things, perhaps he needs to assume an attitude of humility and listen to what women, who ARE in a position to know, are saying, even when his initial reaction is to disagree – that perhaps that initial reaciton is based on a knee-jerk reaction that is related to protecting his own privilege. And Kyassett is precisely the kind of guy who might be able to grasp this idea, because he IS a guy who isn’t a blatant misogynist, who is interested in feminist thought. This is way too subtle an argument for misogynists to handle – which is why I directed those comments to Kyassett, after some months of interaction, and not to one of the other guys in this thread who I have no prior relationship with and who are obviously not there yet.

    So thanks for the slap on the wrist, Caitlin, but really, it sounds like you’ve got a bit more work to do in understanding standpoint epistemology before you can engage with that part of this discussion. Now, the discussion has moved on from that point, and I’m not really all that interested in backtracking, so I’m kind of done with these basic assertions that patriarchy does in fact play a part in the realm of dating and picking up. If you want to follow the rest of the comments through – which yes, you’re right, not doing IS in bad form – and engage with the discussion as it’s going on now, then fine, I’ll look forward to hearing from you about that.


  134. Caitlin, I appreciate your comment immensely. Honestly, I wish you were here a month ago to give me a hand. I’m breaking my own rules by commenting on this thread after I said I was done, but I wanted to say thanks for trying to understand where I’m coming from. It’s nice to have a feminist agreeing with what I’m saying and understanding that patriarchy or not, women may just have some undeniable advantages in the dating world. It’s also nice to hear a feminist perspective in disagreement with Thinking Girl’s stance, just to add some weight to the idea that her interpretation of the way things are is not the sole correct one.
    And Thinking Girl, telling another feminist who disagrees with you that she still has work to do is…humorous? I don’t know exactly what it is, but it’s something. Just as it is a good thing to question the current social system, I think it is a good thing to question certain aspects of feminism and make sure it all adds up, just as Caitlin is doing. She –another feminist- says that her experience has not at all matched what you are saying. I don’t know if that’s something to simply be brushed off as you have done.
    As to what you said about men wanting women to do some approaching as being another extension of patriarchy – I have to say that I think you’re way off base. Let’s break this down: if patriarchy dictates that women be submissive and simply wait to be approached, how are men who want women to break that submissive status and take part in the approaching contributing to that? Why are you so quick to rule this out as men being lazy and not wanting to have to do any work? Do you have anything at all to back this up? Forgive my audacity, but are you letting your own prejudices and preconceptions color your assumptions on this matter? See, this is where I think YOU need to do some listening. You can never know what it is like to be a man approaching a woman, so rather than make all of these assumptions about how they view this situation, why don’t you listen and try to understand exactly where they are coming from.
    Other than that (and all that stuff about me not being ready to “go there”), thanks for your kind words, Thinking Girl. I really do appreciate (and was actually a tad bit flattered by) some of the things you said. But I still think some of your ideas are a bit off on this subject, as they do not match my or several other people’s experiences.
    On another note, I said I was done discussing standpoint theory on this thread and I really am. I just couldn’t help commenting on a few things that were said, but I really don’t want to start this discussion up again. The thread has long since turned back to what the post was originally about, and it looks like Scarred and Kate are really getting a lot out of it, so I don’t want to take anything away from their opportunity to discuss this topic.


  135. Kyassett – well, what I meant was that if Caitlin is going to criticize me on standpoint theory, she should have a good grasp of it, which I took her not to have from her comment.

    Of course other feminists might disagree with me. Feminists are not a monolithic group. Moreover, feminists are each individual women with specific standpoints resulting from their particular intersectional identities. No woman can speak for all women. But neither can any woman say that her personal experience negates a worldwide system of male dominance that infects every social situation, either. That is just plain ridiculous.

    You said, “if patriarchy dictates that women be submissive and simply wait to be approached, how are men who want women to break that submissive status and take part in the approaching contributing to that?”

    Because the men in question are not interested in reversing the patriarchal order. They are not requiring a fundamental change in gender relations. They are not willing to relinquish their privilege as men . They are saying, all other things being equal, they sure would like it if the ladies started approaching them for a change. Not to elevate the status of women, but so they don’t have to do all the approaching and deal with any rejection. The whole argument is constructed so that the shy guys will be on equal footing with the aggressive/confident/foward guys – not so that women will have more options or more power.

    You said, “But I still think some of your ideas are a bit off on this subject, as they do not match my or several other people’s experiences.”

    well, a number of people here think that your ideas are a bit off on this subjet, as they don’t match up with their experiences. So why then should my ideas be wrong about this, particularly when they match up with a dominant cultural discourse of male power, while yours are correct? Why would you argue that I am dismissing people’s experiences, when you’re doing the same thing?

    For the record, I’m not attempting to dismiss other people’s experiences. What I’m saying is that they aren’t necessarily relevant to a discussion about how professional pickup artists are part of the patriarchal order that seeks to dominate women. I’m also saying that other people’s experiences in the dating world do not negate the experiences of patriarchy that others have.

    But that’s all I want to say about this, because I do want to get back to the other discussion, which I’m finding very interesting. Thanks for bowing out to let others have a say.

    And to Brain and Scarred, I WILL get back to the discussion we’ve been having.


  136. Brain and Scarred – check this post out over at Alas. and the comments, surely you must read the comments.

    entitlement. mentality.


  137. Wow, I’m glad to have inadvertently contributed to this discussion. The PUA businesses run on the insecurities of guys like Glitch as well as the whole mindset that feminism exists to thwart men’s dating prospects.

    The whole time I was reading this thread, I couldn’t stop picturing the Tom Cruise character in Magnolia leading this type of seminar – which made Kate’s comparison of pick-up artistry to Scientology read as even funnier to me.


  138. defenestrated – thanks for that. wow, you got through the whole thread? good for you!

    Yes, Tom in Magnolia is an image that keeps coming to my mind as well. unfortunately.


  139. Thinking Girl, there’s a huge difference between what you and I are doing here. I am only trying to speak for myself and my experiences, where you are trying to put words into the mouths of the opposite sex based on your own opinions. I think it’s important to recognize your assumptions of why men want women to approach them are just that – assumptions. You can go on and on with any rhetoric you want, but unless you hear from (and actually LISTEN to) the actual men who hold these opinions (and not just the misogynist dipshits), you’re not going to get much farther in that area. Not that it seems to concern you all that much. Here, I’ll give you a testimony from a real live man who holds such an opinion. *I’M* one of those guys who would like women to actually approach men at the same rate as men approach them. And it’s not because I’m lazy, or I want to further my male power, or I don’t want to have to do any work. I think the dating scene is fucked up, as I said before. It’s fucked up that women have to concentrate so much on their looks and it’s fucked up that men have to do almost all of the approaching. I’m not thinking of leveling the playing field for shy guys and aggressive guys (I really don’t think women doing the approaching would help that anyway); I’m thinking of putting more equal responsibility on both sexes in the dating world. If you want to call that advocating male supremacy, be my guest; I really don’t care. And you’re right, that alone is not calling for a huge revamp of all power structures on earth, but you have to start somewhere right? If society makes a shift to more equal opportunity and responsibility in the dating world, I don’t think that could hurt the shift to more equal opportunity and responsibility elsewhere. At least that’s my two cents.
    Oh, and I’m not trying to negate anything you say. Just pointing out the fact that there are other perspectives you seem to not want to hear. But it doesn’t matter. It really doesn’t matter at all. You can come back with every ounce of rhetoric and theory and whatever the hell else you can dig up but it won’t change the fact that what you are saying largely falls out of sync with what a whole bunch of people have experienced. And it also doesn’t change the fact that as much as you would like to, you can’t speak for men in situations like these. So although it hasn’t meant much before, I really mean it when I say I’m done with this thread. I also meant it when I said I want to honor others’ opportunity to take advantage of a thread on something they find important, so this is it. Tear this comment to shreds for all I care. I’m out. No mas!


  140. I may have missed it as I kind of sped read this thread (and I rhymed!) but you mention these men “just want to get laid.” Doesn’t that pre-suppose that the women they’re after don’t which is a little sexist?


  141. Thinking Girl, Brain/Kate, and Denefenestrated: it’s so good to be back!:) Thank you for keeping this blog thread going.:)

    Defenestrated: Thank you for joining the conversation!:)

    Not ready to make the *Big* post for the day, as I was doing some fairly heavy online research. HOWEVER, I’ll be posting again tonight–*twice,* the first being commentary and observation and the second being links to research. The second post tonight *will* need moderation, so I just thought I’d give you a heads up. Tonight I *PROMISE* you some mondo big analysis.:) (Well, as big as someone without real training can give…)

    TONIGHT!:)


  142. Anthony – sexist to women? I presume that’s what you meant… well, I did mention several times that I don’t have any problem whatsoever with people, men and women, who jsut want to hook up for sex, and are honest about that. What I do have a problem with is men taking advantage of the relations of power that flow in their favour in order to manipulate women by misrepresenting themselves.

    Monkey – I’m not going to publish your comment. It’s misogynistic, and inappropriate. I’ll refer you to the discussion policy, in case you missed any of the several links I’ve already posted to it, in which I state I will not accept any misogynistic comments, and consider commenters who attempt to denigrate the basic tenets of this blog to be trolls. So, stop trying to post your comment. If you want to get your say, there are any number of MRA blogs out there – go there, your misogyny will be much better received.


  143. Kyassett – seems I hit a nerve. hmmm.

    Look, what I’m trying to do here is offer a feminist analysis of professional pickup artists. And this is an analysis that comes from listening to men who are engaged in this practice, and those who defend them. Since the original post I’ve read a lot about these guys, and from these guys. I’m more convinced than ever that power relations privileging men are being used to manipulate women in these situations. I’ve also read a lot about “shy guys” who actually blame feminism for their social awkwardness and inability to get laid, which belies a mentality that men somehow are entitled to sex from women just because they are men. MALE PRIVILEGE!!!

    So, great that you think women and men should be on a more equal footing in the world of dating. Here’s what you said, “I’m thinking of putting more equal responsibility on both sexes in the dating world.”

    I’m all for personal repsonsibility, you know, like you’ll never get what you want if you don’t ask, that kind of thing. But I’m not sure where women should be taking more responsibility… to not… what? follow gender-coded behaviour/roles? and where is the converse responsibility for men not to do the same?

    I’m confused because you seem to be trying to divorce the political from the personal, from the intimate. This is, in my experience, one of the KEY areas that gendered power imbalances play out. So while it’s great to want to encourage women to do revampe their gendered behaviours and attitudes, unless men are willing to also change their gendered behaviours and attitudes in order to more equitably distribute power, it’s not going to work out so well for the women. It’s going to be a lot of modified behaviour with little actual change in the result.

    In any case, it’s good we’re done here. with all due respect, your experiences don’t really apply here, as they don’t disprove my general theory that patriarchy plays a big-ass role in dating and picking up. sorry.


  144. SHEERKANAKJFUFUCUDKCFUCK! Try saying that aloud. That’s the noise I just made after I read your comment, Thinking Girl.

    “So while it’s great to want to encourage women to do revampe their gendered behaviours and attitudes, unless men are willing to also change their gendered behaviours and attitudes in order to more equitably distribute power, it’s not going to work out so well for the women. It’s going to be a lot of modified behaviour with little actual change in the result.”

    I’ll give that a big word-up. I wasn’t really saying anything to the contrary; just not saying all of it, but I completely agree.

    As for the rest of what you said…whatever. SHEERKANAKJFUFUCUDKCFUCK! You keep saying you want to end this discussion and yet you keep bringing up points that further it, and I keep saying that I’m done commenting, and yet here I am again. We need to stop. Truce. Please stop bringing up insightful points that make me want to respond, since I obviously have no self control. I need a thread that’s like an AA meeting for this thread. One tempting comment and I’m back on the wagon (or off the wagon, or whatever the fuck). Seriously – I’m done. If I comment in this discussion again, please just delete it. If it’s that important, I’ll email it.


  145. Okey dokey.

    when I tried to make that sound, it came out like FUCKADUCK. at which point I stopped. :)


  146. Hello Thinking Girl. Many thanks for a most interesting discussion. To quote you;

    Because the men in question are not interested in reversing the patriarchal order. They are not requiring a fundamental change in gender relations. They are not willing to relinquish their privilege as men . They are saying, all other things being equal, they sure would like it if the ladies started approaching them for a change. Not to elevate the status of women, but so they don’t have to do all the approaching and deal with any rejection. The whole argument is constructed so that the shy guys will be on equal footing with the aggressive/confident/foward guys – not so that women will have more options or more power.

    What do you mean by that? How do you know these shy guys dont want a fundamental change in gender relations? What actions would they take if they did?
    It would be nice to be able to successfully approach a girl/ woman without imposing my patriarchal dominance so any tips are gratefully received.


  147. Chocobot – I am curious as to what you mean by this: “It would be nice to be able to successfully approach a girl/ woman without imposing my patriarchal dominance so any tips are gratefully received.”
    I’ve never heard the phrase patriarchal dominance before. Or, are you saying that all the ways you can imagine approaching a woman involve dominating her??? Please explain!


  148. I’m back. I *had* meant to post my observations and a second post of links, but I went down for a nap and found myself waking up 11 hours later on early Tuesday morning. You might say my body had its *own* politicking to do:P, and I admit to feeling tons better. It appears that I have a sinus infection that’s *finally* going away; the fluids, rest, and increased nutrition seem to be doing their curing work. I decided to take a step back and do some long-view observation, so I took the time to read this blog thread from the very beginning to the end *carefully*, and the other thread on Alas. I’m going to propound a theory that appears to be going off onto an unrelated tangent, but I *promise* I will segue back into the main subject of this thread. This “diversion” is *important,* and I think you’ll see why. In dealing with an opposing ideology and its proponents (such as patriarchy and its dating application, the PUA methodology) it is critical to observe carefully what is going on–not only to that which is being spoken, but that which is being acted upon and *not* spoken, and I think I’ve hit on a major, major weak spot in the underlying motivation of the PUAs, PUA sympathizers, and the pseudoniceguys involved in the dating scene. But first, I’ll explain my thinking process prior to hitting on this trail.

    I went through this thread and through the Alas thread on the dating scene, and I kept looking at the behavior and the comments that the PUAs and their symps kept making. I’ll use one quote as a springboard to my observations: “I think that these ‘pick up artists’ are just are just [sic] using a different kina of ‘artilery’ [sic] to make the ‘dating scene more equal. It never has been. Women have always had the sexual power. Women know this already or should. Cause women are beautifull [sic] ‘as they are’ correct? The make up and whatever it is they learn from magazines/friends/media as well as the pressure they feel to abiding by these teachings is in itself ‘artilery’. These ‘pick up artists’ are simply trying to catch up and make the ‘sexual powers’ equal cause they more than likely have been fooled/ruled by the (above stated). And I’d be lying to you if I told you they were that they happy about it. The Dating scene will only get worse from here.”

    Here are a number of my immediate (although, I think, still accurate) observations that spring to my mind:

    Point 1: He and other PUAs/symps are going on the delusion that women have *the* “sexual power.” He mistakes a woman’s right to say no to men who approach her as being in control of the dating scene. What he hasn’t figured out is that women do *NOT* have the recognized right to approach men in the dating scene–not on a widespread basis, and *NOT* to the level that men have. I know this, because *I’VE* approached men–not in bars, but *I’ve* made repeated attempts to intiate dating with men, with *almost* complete and abject failure each time. If someone is limited to having to pick or refuse advances and not allowed to *make* advances as well, that person or persons does *NOT* have the “sexual power.” Holly made the same observation I did on the Alas thread–that there are *nasty* social consequences for women who step outside the passive role and actually try to initiate dating relations. *I CAN VERIFY THIS.*

    Point 2: By labeling women’s makeup and attempts to be “beautifull” [sic] as ‘artilery’ [sic], he betrays one of the fundamental patriarchal stances towards women: he views beautiful women, and perhaps beauty itself, with a great deal of antagonism and hatred. People, we can identify this meme as such: BEAUTY AS WEAPON. This man really *does* view beauty as a weapon; he feels quite victimized by it. I will also add that as far as I can tell, many to most men *do* view beauty as a weapon. We *all* know about Helen in Greek mythology, who had the “face that launched a thousand ships.” What people refuse to recognize, however, is the following *hard, hard* truth: Helen wasn’t the one launching those ships–the *MEN* were! Beauty only lies in the eyes of the beholder, and that beauty is only as influential as the perceiver will allow it to be. Shit, even the PUAs will cop to *that* one; the PUA coaches *teach* their pupils to dehumanize and disregard the beautiful women they’re attracted to as a way to disempower their prey. What they haven’t realized, though, is that the women *never* had “the power” to begin with, ever. Beauty isn’t power. It’s influence *at most*, and that’s an *entirely* different animal, albeit *somewhat* related. I’ll try to define these terms later on. And yes, I know about so-called “firestarters”–women who have used their looks to manipulate men to fight among themselves in nasty barfights, etc. All the *MORE* reason for people to start viewing beauty in its proper context, mere influence rather than actual power–and to start taking responsibility for one’s actions instead of blaming one’s behavior on other people’s looks, etc. When someone attracts you, *this is ONLY influence.* You have the power to choose your actions 100% of the time, unless there’s concerted sandbagging aimed at undermining your conscious choices and awareness. This is where NLP (neurolinguistic programming), hypnotic states and other nasty PUA tricks fall into play here. (FYI, I’m delibrately ignoring rape/sexual assault and other acts of violence *for the time being only* in this catagory.)
    Returning to the meme BEAUTY AS WEAPON, I can tell you catagorically that most women don’t view beauty as a real weapon. Frankly, most of us view beauty as the only real way we ever have at receiving positive attention from most men. That’s the truth. Yeah, I know television and fiction is rife with these stories of women using their beauty to “spoof” their way into off-limit places or distracting “the bad guy” so that he’s “sockable,” but people need to unplug their televisions and start watching real life. And the really nasty thing of it is, even with women who successfully use their beauty to manipulate male attention, there’s always innately a truckload of self-doubts within the women no matter how much attention they get. *THIS* is something the PUAs utilize!

    Point 3: Focus in more closely on one of his sentences: “These ‘pick up artists’ are simply trying to catch up and make the ‘sexual powers’ equal cause they more than likely have been fooled/ruled by the (above stated).” Uh, what do the PUAs think beauty confers–meaning, what do they think they’ve been fooled about? Did they commit the ancient Greek mistake of thinking that beauty equals goodness and truth? When Western heterosexual women are mostly valued *by men* only for their appearance and can only get status in the eyes of men *by* beauty, what are these women going to primarily work on *other than* beauty? What did the PUAs *think* they were getting? And as for “ruled,” who rules whom? Are the women ruling the men–or are male delusions ruling the men?? Who or what is in actual control here?

    (Just a side note: bless the Lord for the Internet, because people can actually *think* and not get distracted by personal appearances and all this other crap.)

    This leads me to my next two observations. Brain/Kate, I’ll propose the following primary two memes operating in the world today regarding women:
    Meme A: WOMAN AS PREY. This one operates primarily in the Western industrialized world (i.e. North and South America, Australia and Europe) but also has a strong representation in areas of Africa plagued by civil war and certain areas in Asia such as Japan and other areas. This meme seems to take over when Meme B is rejected by the legal system and/or population.
    Meme B: WOMAN AS CHATTEL. This meme operates heavily in the Middle East, northern Africa, rural India, certain other areas in Asia, and the international sexual slavery traffic, a transnational entity that has picked up a life of its own. This meme you will also see in the criminal underworld as a whole, such as the drug cartels, biker gangs, and urban gangs (somewhat, although not always). When Meme B is overturned in areas, Meme A invariably kicks in. And in areas where Meme A is primary, there are always parties trying to reinfect those areas with Meme B. These may be the two primary patriarchal memes directly responsible for motivating populations to practice female subjugation, but I’m not sure.

    Point 4: Note what the PUA says: “And I’d be lying to you if I told you that they [the PUAs] happy about it. The Dating scene will only get worse from here.”

    Again, people, this is a threat. Worse for whom? Women. Make no mistake, people, this is an unmistakable threat directed at women in the dating scene. This is a tacit admission on the part of the PUA that he knows that a) women are not happy about these nasty, deceptive, controlling tactics, and that b) the PUA methodology in many respects is a type of patriarchal revenge being exacted on women by men in the dating scene. He knows damn well this is misogyny, and he *doesn’t care*, because he thinks he and men like him have an axe to grind. If you consider the PUA methodology carefully, please realize that this is one of the last legally and socially acceptable ways for men to victimize women in the Western world. *Everything else has been exposed and is being combatted,* from domestic violence and rape to sexual harassment and discrimination. He *knows* it, and other PUAs/PUA symps know it too. *This* is why Thinking Girl has received so much vicious flak on this blog for this thread. This thread is an active danger to the PUA methodology and community’s way of life; they know it. Why else the concerted, nonstop hostility?

    You don’t direct hostility, “correction,” and ridicule towards someone you think is harmless. People–even for the most part the mentally ill–don’t waste energy and efforts on the ineffectual. If this thread wasn’t doing any good, we’d be ignored by now–I guarantee it. Take heart, Thinking Girl–these efforts we’re making *MEAN* something. You may take the continued harassment as a *tribute* to your efforts, and I mean that *quite seriously*.

    ****************************************************************************************************

    Now, onto the “segue” part of my analysis. After making these immediate observations (which, of course, takes *forever* to write down), I kept getting struck by something I couldn’t quite put my finger on. The PUA harassment on this blog can be tied to two basic emotional motivations, sadism and angry fear. Sadism at TG’s expense, because it’s fun to slime your “enemy”, degrade them, and to try to wear them down–isn’t it? And angry fear in the form of extensive and massive denial, rationalization, and outright belligerence. Then I went over to the Alas! blog and read the thread–and kept getting struck by the enormous sense of angry fear by the PUAs/PUA sympathizers/pseudoniceguys. Not so much sadism…but one *HELL* of a lot of rage and fear on the part of the men at the concept of not getting laid enough or not getting dates or getting rejected. The sense of male entitlement and the enormous rage when women don’t cooperate with that sense of entitlement is stupifying. I thought to myself, “Fer crying out loud, what the hell is wrong with being celibate? Are you going to *die* if you don’t get your willie wet? I mean, really, idiots, are you really going to DIE if you don’t get laid?” I couldn’t figure it out. Men didn’t *use to* act like this; I can remember the 60s/70s/early 80s, and men didn’t behave this badly or on *this* wide of a scale. But there is an underlying current here…and I finally put my finger on it…

    TERROR. Honest-to-goodness TERROR. In some ways and in some cases, *precisely* the same kind of terror one has when you’ve just learned that you have terminal cancer and that *you’re going to die.* These men quite literally have been acting as though they’re going to die when they get baulked–meaning, not laid and not in control. That’s what I sensed as the major underlying current of the nature of our opposition. It’s terror. The kind of gut-wrenching, existential, subconscious/unconscious fear that intensifies to the point where it *will* spill over to the conscious mind. When it does, it’s got to be slammed down back into the unconscious by any means necessary by the unprepared. Where does this terror come from? Now brace yourselves, because I’m going to get all psychoanalytic on us…*BUT*…this “tangent” is worth it, because I believe that it explains a tremendous amount of the irrational fear, rage, and sadism dressed up as “rational” argument from the PUAs/sympathizers/pseudoniceguys.

    We’re dealing with terrified men clinging to a method of self-anesthetizing, and “emasculation” is only the surface of their fear. Many, if not most, of these men probably qualify for a diagnosis of sexual addiction. The addiction is there to self-soothe and mask the real unconscious panic. The *real* fear we’re actually dealing with is the fear of death. I refer you to Terror Management Theory…

    Terror Management Theory is a concept developed by Sheldon Solomon, Jeff Greenberg, and Tom Pyszczynski, three psychologists who base their works on the thinking of Ernest Becker, a Pulitzer-Prize-winning psychologist who wrote a book titled “The Denial of Death.” I’m not good at paraphrasing, so I’ll use a direct quote from a book review I found online. (In the very next post, which will need to be moderated, I’ll put down the link for this review and other links to Terror Management Theory.)

    “Their theory, known as the Terror Management Theory, or TMT, is a combination of social psychology and existentialism. ‘The theory proposes that innate annihilation anxiety, combined with the human knowledge of the inevitability of death, creates an ever-present potential for terror,’ says Greenberg. This subconscious ‘terror’ leads to the cognitive construction of immortality through social connections to institutions, traditions or symbols. When people are reminded of their mortality, and the permanence of these psychological constructs comes into question, people feel threatened and become motivated to bolster their security providing system, often leading them to lash out at those perceived as responsible for the threat. According to the book, TMT can be applied to the American public as well as the terrorists of Sept. 11.” (Source: book review of “In the Wake of 9/11: The Psychology of Terror” by Lashell Stratton, volume 33, No. 8, September 2002, on the American Psychological Association’s main website.)

    E. James Lieberman has this to say about TMT and this book by Pyzcsynsky, Greenberg, and Solomon: “The book’s focus is the half-hidden everyday terror that lurks everywhere: plain, ordinary, inevitable death. The co-authors, psychologists whose research on terror management theory is known to readers of scholarly journals, summarize it here for a larger audience. Their efforts test a thesis of social anthropologist Ernest Becker, best known for “The Denial of Death.” According to Becker, human beings need two kinds of support against the knowledge that we must die: self-esteem and a sustaining cultural world view. Self-esteem buffers anxiety, including death-fear. A good society provides its members with meaning, value, and sustenance at the least cost to themselves and their neighbors. Because cultural world views differ and clash, the validation system (religion, political ideology) that provides a sense of security may be threatened by a neighbor’s different ideas. Feuds, vendettas, crusades, wars, and today’s terrorism prove how hard it is for different world views to coexist.”

    NOW, consider these truths.

    Truth A: feminism has taken a ferocious beating within the last 20 years. Our experiences, observations, and truths (I mean that in the relativistic sense) have not received fair media coverage for a very long time; consequently, many, many people are very underexposed to feminism and have only a cursory, stereotypical view of it.

    Truth B: the spectre of AIDS and highly carcinogenic HPV (forget herpes, that’s reasonably harmless,comparatively speaking) has turned dating and sexuality into a field infested with the biological equivalent of landmines. Women, being more highly attuned by both biology and psychology to avoid sexually risky behavior, have more or less retreated into our sexual shells. It probably IS a lot harder to find a willing female sexual partner in 2007 than it was in 1977; I can just about guarantee it, unless she’s in her early-to-mid-twenties. It also doesn’t help that the Sexual Revolution brought a lot of broken hearts in its wake; women were frankly unprepared for the unbelievably callous and uncaring behavior many to most men show towards their sexual partners after the first time, hence the unfortunate phrase “fuck and dump.”

    Truth C: We live in a world where religions, spiritualities, and secular belief systems are seriously at war with each other. Many scientists are busy casting doubts and aspersions at the concept of even a rudimentary afterlife or concept of God and ridicule efforts at parapsychologists attempting to research out-of-body experiences, consciousness the body surviving after death, and other paranormal phenomena. On the other extreme, we have the Islamofascists and the Christian Far Right giving a *very, very* bad name to organized religion. Then we have the New Age, and this gives paranormal and psychic aficienados a *bad, bad* rep as being silly and superstitious. The upshot of all this is that it is *increasingly easy* for an intelligent person to slide into great terror at the idea of going into oblivion when death occurs. I know, because *I’VE* had this a lot in the last 5 years–and I’m by no means a coward, or alone. What goes on inside my head is the human condition, purely and simply–and I know it when I see it. (BTW, I believe I’ve managed to overcome it. Later on, when people get to know me really well, I’ll be happy to share it–maybe when I get my own blog!:))

    Truth D: there is an *explosion* of pornography in Western culture because of the Internet, and also an *almost guaranteed and concomitant* explosion of sexual addiction and increasing frustration among men, who are the primary consumers of pornography. There has also been a huge “pornification” of our culture, particularly in marketing and movies. It has also spawned a backlash. Don’t like your life, your culture, or your society? Don’t like the way the world is bouncing? Don’t like the fact that your girlfriend or wife is demanding your attention, or just filed for divorce? Go home and masturbate while looking at Internet porn! A simplistic way of living, but it has become *all too* common. The loneliness and alienation this type of living spawns *has got to be fueling* an enornous amount of rage in men at women. I’m positive that a lot of men are increasingly angry at women in part because of the conditioning and stimulation that porn, especially *violent* porn, gives them. Even the nonviolent porn is bound to stimulate *a lot* of resentment, if nothing else on a subliminal level, because men are getting stimulated and don’t have an “outlet” other than masturbation.

    Truth E: the world has become a very dangerous place, and even the Western world has lost its sense of security. The threat of annihilation has become *THAT* much more immanent. Consider the following:

    The bombing of the US embassy in Kenya:
    The bombing of the USS Cole:
    The two separate bombings of the World Trade Center–the first one in 1993 or 1994, the second one on 9/11/2001 with airplanes that took out the towers:
    The bombing of the London subway:
    The bombings in Madrid, Spain:
    The bombings in Russia attributed to Chechnya insurgents:
    The particularly horrific bombings in Mumbai, India involving several train stations:
    The invasion of Afghanistan:
    The two invasions of Iraq:
    The kidnapping of 15 British soldiers by Iran:
    The constant attacks on Iraqi citizens by local insurgents and Al-Qaeda terrorists:
    The daily coverage of this and many, many other incidents by the news media:

    *HAVE I MADE MY POINT YET?*

    The feeling of terror has become commonplace. There’s one *hell* of a lot more terror *out* there, and consequently a lot more reason to self-medicate. Existential terror and anguish has become more intense than ever nowadays, and people’s outlets *from* that terror have become more and more restricted. Hence, sexual addiction and male sexual domination have become the new “drug of choice” for a lot of men.
    *NOW*, segueing back into the original subject of this thread:

    The PUA methodology and community provides a phony sense of “self-esteem” and a morally bankrupt cultural worldview. However, it meets–in a very immediately gratifying and plastic way–the two kinds of support Ernest Becker notes as being necessary against annihilation anxiety. Its members use the PUA methodology, actions, and ideology as a way of self-medicating. It *works*–sort of…

    Except when feminists and other women start questioning it and threatening it.

    HENCE the unbelievable storm and fury on just one blog. *Now* have things become crystal clear? They have *for me*.

    Without too much detail, I will also state that the fear of death has been the great underlying fear that all of my other fears have merely masked. I had *personal* and up-front experience with the fear of death, oh yes I did…and I can *testify* that it really IS the Great Fear, the fear which spawns and masks all other fears. I *can personally* attest to the validity of Terror Management Theory; hell, to me it’s a fact, not a theory. The theory as presented by Solomon, Pysczynski, and Greenberg has got some holes and needs more refining and research…but I can attest to this: annihilation anxiety IS the Primal Fear…it really is.

    And it’s the one thing the PUA community is busy running just as fast as it can from…


  149. Links for Terror Management Theory:

    http://www.apa.org/monitor/sep02/newbook.html

    http://ajp.psychiatryonline.org/cgi/content/full/161/8/1508

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terror_management_theory

    (I hope this last link is correct–if not, let me know)

    http://web.uccs.edu/kgeddes/introduction.htm

    (I *especially* recommend this last link as an excellent introduction. It has a section labeled “Affective Influences on Romantic Relationships”: I particularly recommend you read that one.)

    http://apa.org/monitor/jan05/mortality.html

    http://apa.org/monitor/jan05/expressions.html

    http://www.terrorpsychology.com


  150. “Anthony – sexist to women? I presume that’s what you meant… well, I did mention several times that I don’t have any problem whatsoever with people, men and women, who jsut want to hook up for sex, and are honest about that. What I do have a problem with is men taking advantage of the relations of power that flow in their favour in order to manipulate women by misrepresenting themselves.”

    See now I think that’s more the issue than what this thread started out by addressing. It seems people are getting more upset by the fact that these men are pretending to be assholes (although I’m sure you think they’re assholes just for pretending to be something their not) rather than getting upset at the fact that, like it or not, being an asshole or perceived as a potential asshole is seen as something that will help a guy get a hook up.
    I think these guys don’t even understand what they’re learning or why. I think a lot of them think it’s about disrespecting women and making them feel small, when what I think it’s actually about is appearing as (or preferably actually being) someone who’s confident enough to walk away from a potential hook up if she’s not his type. But these guys are so insecure they see it as making someone feel small so that you can lower their standards long enough to get in their pants.


  151. Scarred, there’s a lot to think about/digest from that last comment – I’ll have to get back to you on those ideas. It feels like you have a LOT to say, and not just on PUAs…BTW if you do start your own blog, be sure to let me know. This is a big subject – gendered power/domination – and PUAs are one symptom of it in a world full of such obsessions… I’m not so familiar with psychoanalytic theory (sp?) but, you know, the fear of death and the link to sexual desire doesn’t seem hard to believe. It’s quite a common theme in art/literature for instance – characters who always seem to get it on after a funeral and so on.
    I wonder, though, how this links to the PUA demographics. I get the sense that the PUA business is appealing to mostly younger men. But actually, the main “players” – and the men who get obsessed with the ideology and the ‘game’ all seem to be older. I’m not sure.
    You know, I had a friend, who described her experience with a guy she had met and briefly dated. She told me about the conversations they had and the strange way he acted, and all of it sounded like he was definitely using the PUA techniques. This was last year. I sent her some links to PUA websites/forums so she could check it out. I thought she’d be shocked etc. But she just said “Oh, sure, guys back home (in the US) are always into this sort of stuff.” She’s slightly younger than me – early 20s – and I’m not from the US, but I was actually quite shocked that she just…accepted this as normal. I mean, there’s a disconnect there, that this sort of thing is not a problem, that it’s just part of being a ‘playa’. I think that, for lots of young het women, it doesn’t seem serious (also check out the coverage PUAs like ‘Mystery’ have gotten from women’s magazines like Marie Claire/Elle here: http://www.themysterymethod.com/)
    You talk about ‘beauty as weapon’ and the falsity thereof – and I agree with you – but the fact is, many women buy into/accept this view of their power, too. So the idea of guys using ‘game’ is pretty normal. I would further add, to your meme ideas – women as prey/women as chattel – that these are combined with the prevalence in our culture of: women as the doorkeepers of morality, especially sexual morality. Feminism has been investigating and exposing this one for decades now, but we aren’t even close to getting rid of it in mainstream culture. I think, partially, because women themselves cling onto this belief; in a world where masculine power is denied to you (unless you make a great deal of sacrifices) then any sort of power can be appealing, even though it’s a double-edged sword.
    Somehow this links most strongly to the idea of beauty as power, too. I think it’s interesting the link you make to the greek concept of beauty as truth; the idea and the aesthetics of beauty have been so confused and conflated in our culture with the feminine/women that to call a man ‘beautiful’ now sounds more unusual than not. Yet the feminine is also seen as monstrous, because of the power it has assumed. The terror – I think it is terror – that misogynists seem to express towards women: I often wonder, just what they think a woman IS. In that ‘she’ seems to symbolise some kind of feminine principle he must control/dominate/destroy – when the only battle he’s fighting is against the feminine side of himself.
    One final point, for now: the ‘women as doorkeeper’ influence is strongly associated with many religions. I’ve written on my blog about the ‘modesty movement’ in Christianity. I see this as related to a lot of cultural influences surrounding women’s sexuality, which the PUA mentality also buys into, although they simply say it’s ‘facts about the way women behave romantically’. But in order to see women as the prey/target, one must first believe that they are ‘guarding’ something from men – i.e. their sex, and the access to it. (Women’s sexuality as part and parcel of their status as chattel, if you like). Personally, I consider this a rather damaging lie, whether it results in men thinking of women as precious cargo to be kept safe for their future husbands (the modesty movement) or as consumable goods to be bought/stolen/bargained for (the PUA ideology). Both of these are denying women their full humanity – as people, with desires and a sexual identity of their own.


  152. BlackAmazon’s got an insightful post about this.

    Anthony – I’ll get back to you later


  153. Anthony – your comment rubbed me the wrong way, but I couldn’t put my finger on it. it seems like you think we should be upset by the fact that women are falling for assholes, instead of putting the blame on the assholes themselves.

    I actually don’t think these guys are PRETENDING to be assholes – I think that they really ARE assholes. Not for pretending to be something they’re not, necessarily. But for manipulating women by using dishonest trickery and lies.

    I do think that most of these guys start out as insecure. I think they come from a place of being really really resentful of women – especially “hot babes” who have in the past not given them the time of day. And they are falling over themselves to prove that women don’t deserve male respect, and to “put women in their place” as subordinate to men. And misogyny driven by patriarchy is definitely at play. Here’s an example of what I”m talking about:

    Jason, Clifford’s Seduciton newsletter: “There’s an attitude to take with super HB’s (and all women really) that is pure gold. The thought is that “INSTINCTUALLY women KNOW their role.” The key word here is INSTINCTUALLY. What this means is that on an “instinctual” level women ARE all the same! They get their juices flowing when they are in the presence of a MAN who is living HIS ROLE. MAN is the dominant one, NOT woman. And deep down inside women KNOW this. This has NOTHING to do with being an asshole. This is about being a MAN who is NOT afraid [which doesn't necessarily only have to mean the usual "TARZAN NOT AFRAID!!" macho stuff, but also not being afraid to be honest, sensitive and caring when the time is right].

    You have to be the MAN who has all the sexual power. And when a woman (no matter how hot) sees and feels the presence of a man whom she recognizes as the dominant one while SHE isn’t, she does what every woman does – that is SURRENDERS to the more powerful being. And all that acting like she’s hot and knows she’s the stuff and all those other “head up in the air” tricks are just a test and a way to weed out all the men who are less powerful than her and don’t know their role as a MAN.”

    that’s straight from the horse’s mouth, so to speak. This is the way guys are approaching this. Exploiting women’s subordination so they can get laid.

    THIS is why we’re pissed off.


  154. ‘The thought is that “INSTINCTUALLY women KNOW their role.” The key word here is INSTINCTUALLY. What this means is that on an “instinctual” level women ARE all the same!’
    I love the way this guy considers his own misogynistic thought process to be a Q.E.D., logical proof about the world and all women in it!
    BTW T.G, I think my previous comment got caught in the spamulator again.


  155. Brain – thanks for letting me know. I don’t know why the spamulator is catching comments lately. it’s annoying. sorry.

    Brain and Scarred – Scarred, your last comment WAS interesting, for sure. The link to fear of death – while I was reading that, I began to develop a theory of my own… that perhaps this is also linked to a fear of loss or lack of control. Feminism over the past 40 years has made some serious progress for women. And for at least some men, I feel this is cause for major distress, as their unearned privilege begins to be upset and questioned. It’s no longer “the best man for the job” – a lot of the time it’s the best WOMAN for the job. Women are becoming more and more independent – a quality associated with masculinity traditionally – and participating in public life more and more, in politics, the media, academia, etc. And this is making some men very very nervous, very very resentful, very very angry. The whole “castration” thing – women are taking on more masculine traits (masculine only because they have been denied to women for so long), and suddenly, some men don’t know where their place is in the picture. there has certainly been a backlash against feminism, and representations of women have become more and more degrading in mainstream culture (pornification). And I think one of the biggest backlash movements is to try to control women in the private sphere of interpersonal intimate relationships. the prevalence of domestic violence, the modesty movement, the incidence of rape and the subsequent fear-mongering about women being “careful” – all of this is like psychological warfare against women as public figures. By undermining women’s confidence, independence, self-respect, and identity, some men are seeking to regain control of their own privilege as the dominant gender class.

    I think PUAs are related to this – taming the independent woman, using trickery like NLP to influence her. it’s obviously not at all about any kind of respect for women, as that quote I pulled out above shows. But more than that, I think it’s also about trying to undermine women’s own self-respect.


  156. General thoughts for the thread at large:

    1) How many women are beaten, raped, murdered, ridiculed, ostracized, or punished when they don’t bow before the Great Alpha Male? And not merely by the Great Alpha Male, but by *society* in general who punishes people who step out of the hierarchy? What happened to Loreena Bobbitt when she cut off the penis of her husband after he raped her? *She went to prison.* What happens to Afghani women who stand up for themselves? *They get murdered.* You think “instinctual surrender” to the Great Alpha Male is for pleasure? Absolutely not–*it’s out of fear and self-preservation.*

    2)What these PUA imbiciles don’t and won’t understand is what Starhawk has tried to tell people–that, in general, when women appear to “surrender” in sexual pleasure, *IT’S TO THEIR OWN PLEASURE*–not the man! All too often men think they’re conquering women when women actually enjoy themselves and have real, bona-fide pleasure. But no, hell no, they won’t listen to us…we can’t be believed, doncha know? *heavy, extraordinary sarcasm*. Yeah. The PUAs only listen to what *they* want to hear…true, some women confuse surrendering to their own pleasure as surrendering to a man…when they’re young, inexperienced, or have been so badly abused they can’t tell what’s up from down…And then there are genuine Beta women out there, sure…But you think *all* women are Betas? Dolts. That’s the logical equivalent of saying all fish are carp…

    3a)Sure, submission is instinctual–FOR ANY OUTGUNNED ANIMAL. Not just women. Why don’t the PUAs join the armed services and place themselves in the tender care of the drill instructors? Marine Corps, for example? Or the beloved sergeants who train Navy SEALS or Airborne Rangers? They’d find out RIGHT QUICK what *surrender* and *submission* is all about, and they’d find out just how *deep down inside* the PUAs would be *all the same*–quivering in their boots!! Sure. And while they’re at it, why don’t they meet a *FEMALE* drill instructor? The female drill instructors would eat them FOR LUNCH. But no, I suppose a PUA would just think a full-nelson and a knee in the back is just a “test”…

    3b)My boss is a former Army DI and a former bodyguard for a full-bird colonel. And I have it from HIM, who is one HELL of a lot more of an educated authority on dominance and submission than ANY stupid PUA, that the *female* DIs* *ARE EVERY BIT AS FEARSOME* as the males. And oh, by the way–this Great Alpha Male is actually a Great Alpha Transgender person; “HE” is really a “SHE” locked in a male body and too old for the gender-reassignment surgery. *Yah.* She knew she was actually a she rather than a he *since she was five years old.* Yet, this person–one of my very closest friends, BTW–became an ultimate soldier by Army standards. *This person* was trained to be the Ultimate Alpha by the Ultimate Military in the world. I think *this person* can be trusted one hell of a lot more than Ross Jeffries or Clifford or any of these other losers…

    4)You don’t think tons and tons of men–true, genuine submissives–don’t pay craploads of money to the dominatrixes to get their rocks off? You don’t think submissive males don’t spend a huge amount of time looking for the dom female mate? You think that’s an illusion? You think the sub males don’t “surrender,” don’t really know sexual ecstacy? You think a lot of men aren’t innately, instinctually, deep down inside Beta?? Idiots…

    5) Ergo, the PUAs can shove their D/S theories regarding gender where the sun doesn’t shine.


  157. Brain and Thinking Girl:
    Thank you for your thoughtful and insightful posts! I will respond soon in *much more* detail to the ideas in both of them…and I’ll also be adding some thoughts on sexual addiction and covert depression in men from Terrance Real! I believe, to put in a pseudonutshell, that: A) annihilation anxiety has spawned a huge attempt at patriarchal resurgence in the Western world, that B) sexual addiction, covert depression, and reactionary bigotry/prejudice/stereotyping is the way many, if not most, Western men are using to cope self-medicate this intensifying terror, and that C) PUA methodology, rightwing religious organizational tactics, the nascent Modesty Movement and other patriarchal maneuvers are the practice–how the self-medicating impacts the *OTHER*–women, the GLBT community, people of color, foreign nations, etc.

    I *am* going to address each of your posts individually too, because I think both of you have added some *EXCELLENT* refining points and new ones that are a part of the mosaic we are forming in resisting PUA methodology. And *yes*, this can be applied to *other* patriarchal methodologies!!:)

    Oh, yeah, Brain, I almost forgot:

    My definition of POWER:
    POWER=ability to coerce and control regardless of what other people think; generally, Chairman Mao’s definition–“political power grows in the barrel of a gun.” Power isn’t all bad: for example, I can with sheer muscle coerce a 20-lb dumbbell to “curl” 10 times (when I was in shape.):)

    INFLUENCE=ability to persuade, manipulate, and “get” people to see things your way or to elicit reactions from other people. *However,* influence*–unless bombarding and overwhelming or subliminal–*ALWAYS* IS DEPENDENT UPON THE COOPERATION OF ITS RECIPIENTS. This is why women who think beauty is power are seriously deluded. Not everyone agrees on what’s beautiful, and even if they are affected by beauty, some people have *phenomenal* self-control.


  158. Scarred – a few things off the top of my head – one, I think in practice that unless you are living in a place where basically groups of armed gangs run everything, more power is about ‘influence’ than ‘power’ as you’ve defined them above. Influence is a powerful thing.

    But really, I wanted to respond to something much much earlier while I still remember it. You made a comment that included some conclusions based on your experience of asking men out and being turned down. Welcome to the world of being the asker – you risk rejection when you do that and rejection sucks. You attribute all sorts of base motives to it, like they don’t like women doing the asking, but that seems unfounded to me – how about a simpler explanation – they weren’t interested. Just because you ask does not mean you are entitled to a positive response. If a man asked you out and you turned him down, is it because you don’t like men asking or because you aren’t interested in that particular man?


  159. Disgusted Beyond Belief:

    Thank you for reading my posts; I know they take time.:)

    About influence: I have found that true influence is often intertwined with power, and it is a maxim that *generally* the powerful prefer to use influence rather than naked brute force, as it *does* tend to upset the emotional apple carts. Yet, just because the powerful choose to use influence doesn’t meant that at the *ROOT* of their base isn’t power. A case in point: Dick Cheney. Cheney *prefers* to use influence and work quietly behind the scenes, but this man has a *tremendous* amount of power conferred onto him by his office and his wealth. His *connections*, I would argue, confer influence proper. Yes, he *has* them to call on–yet, they *could* theoretically turn him down. However, he’s got his *own* immense power…stuff I’d prefer to look at at a much later date…
    Let’s see if I can use an illustration.
    OK, here we go.
    In the Reagan Era:
    Margaret Thatcher had POWER. She got the British war going with Argentina when Argentina invaded the Faulkland Islands!
    Madonna only had INFLUENCE.
    Madonna, I believe, *thought* she had power. Unfortunately, her influence didn’t stop her from being Sean Penn’s punching bag.

    About men turning me down:

    I’d be the first to admit that the men I asked weren’t interested, and *that’s* their right. I don’t question the idea that *NOONE* deserves an affirmative answer, and that most certainly rejection is a part of the risk you take when asking. However, very *rarely* have I been turned down graciously or comfortably. More often, I’ve been stared at as though I’ve got a third horn growing out of my head, or that I was treated like an upstart. I grant you that my conclusion is subjective, but I don’t believe it’s unwarranted–and here’s why.

    *I’m* not the only woman who has noted the phenomenon, and I’ve heard in an *awful, awful* lot of places (especially where surveys were done) that the vast majority of men still consider it *their* prerogative (spelling correct?) to initiate relations. I’ve heard it *over* and *over* again, and *believe* me, I wasn’t the originator of this. Shit, frankly, the biggest complaining I’ve heard about females initiating romance and sexual relations was on one of the local talk radio stations featuring a female host who was “concerned” (gag) that young women were “throwing themselves away” by being so forward with young men. She thought the young women were showing signs of (gag, pardon my bias) of low-self-esteem. There *definitely* wasn’t any of the “you go, girl” attitude that I’ve usually come to expect from that host, either…

    Now, you could argue that this is a case where women are *colluding* with patriarchy to their own detriment–*and I would agree with you!* However, collaborators do this for their own benefit and “survival”, and you would *logically* think they wouldn’t collude unless they’re escaping a negative reinforcement as well as getting a positive one.

    Now, I will offer one concession…*I’M* 44. It very well could be that the men I’ve asked out had a generational problem going on. *Young men* (namely, teenage years to 24) *seem OK* with being asked out, from what I’ve heard…hence the lament on the radio station! It very well may have been that the era of single motherhood and feminist advances *could* have done the trick here. *BUT*, my experiences, IMHO, still stand. I believe it was either Holly or Bean on the Alas! thread who seconded my experiences–that there are *social penalties* for women who take the lead. Maybe they *are* going away and aren’t present in an up-and-coming generation; I’ll concede *that*. I won’t concede for older generations of men, though.

    I do thank you for challenging me.:)


  160. Scarred, far be it from me to tell you what to do with your time – but to echo Brain, if you had a blog, I for one would read it.

    This conversation has been incredibly educational for me – too much so for my thought processes to have worked up much of anything coherent so far. But given the apparent impulse of some people to jump in with completely non-substantive criticism and denial, it seems worthwhile to pop in with some very sincere but completely non-substantive praise and kudos :)


  161. DBB and defenestrated: I want to thank you both for the challenge *AND* the praise. I’m just grateful–and amazed, frankly–that people are reading my posts and actually thinking about them, considering how lengthy they are. The fact that people are disciplining themselves to read about such ideas *and are actually responding intensely* is a sign (to me) that it’s the historical time to address them.

    DBB: I respect your challenges and would like to address them; give me 2-4 days to work up a proper response and rejoinder for dialog. I *do* think you have some interesting ideas about the power/influence dynamic, and I’d *love* to parse/debate that with you…I *do* disagree that women have the same social freedom of approach that men do, *BUT*–you have some good challenges, and I want to address those with you. BTW, I’m in complete agreement with you that those men have the absolute *right* to reject my advances–to me, that wasn’t the issue, but rather the *paradigm* they seemed to be going on, i.e., “Me Tarzan, you Jane.”–HOWEVER, I understand that it’s time for me to at least try to bolster my observations on this issue.

    defenestrated: I would *LOVE* my own blog, but I’m not quite ready just yet for it, I think–I’m going to need to learn more about stuff like Internet security and proper moderation. I’m thinking that maybe in 6 months I’ll have my own blog…part of me thinks that to *REALLY* have a worthwhile blog, I should get some higher education, like some actual degrees. Essentially what I really am is a self-educated intellectual; I’ve got some real strengths in some areas of my thinking and glaring weaknesses in others. Higher education and more training in critical thinking will most likely correct the weaknesses and intensify the strengths. Perhaps a blog could also further these goals while I become more financially solvent for college. I appreciate your support more than I can say; thank you!

    I’ll be back Saturday morning for the conversation and post more insights from Terrance Real, rejoinders, refining points, etc.


  162. “Essentially what I really am is a self-educated intellectual…”

    So…what you’re saying is, you’re “self-smart?”

    Awesome.


  163. Scarred, let me make it clear that my last comment was not meant to mock you. I just saw this clip the other day and your comment kind of reminded me of it so I thought I’d share. Keep on with the comments though, you have a lot to bring to the table, fancy degrees or not.


  164. Scarred – I gotta tell ya, I’m at the end of my degree, and this blog, the interactions I’ve had with commenters here and those I’ve had being a commenter at other blogs, has taught me just as much if not more about shit (shit being the loose term for everything that interests me) and how to argue effectively than any course I took at uni. Seriously.


  165. Scarred – the only qualifications needed for a blog are a computer, an internet connection, and having something to say. You qualify for all three – go for it! Security – not an issue. You can blog annonymously.

    And what I’m talking about with the asking out is – how could you really know what the men were thinking? Even if you asked them, they likely would not have given you a straight answer. I’ve asked out women who have turned me down – almost none of them told me the true reason – they just weren’t interested. Usually it was some excuse or another. I don’t attach base motives to that – I’m sure some just were trying to be nice about it, others might have just felt bad about rejecting someone, yet others might have had trouble with the general concept of confrontation.

    But really, the only reason to reject an advance (assuming you are available) is if you aren’t interested in that person. For whatever reason that is – not that there’s anything wrong with the person rejected – not everyone is attractive to everyone else. I don’t think women really can even start to understand what it is like to be a normal (not super hot or famous) man and HAVE to face repeated rejection like that. But you now have some small idea of what it is like to be a man in the dating world. ;)


  166. DBB – what you’re ignoring here is the social context of male and female gender roles. What Scarred is getting at is that men who approach women, while I’m sure this is psychologically difficult, do not risk stepping outside their socially prescribed gender role. But women who ask out men DO step outside their gender role, and not only that, but also risk dislocating the man she approaches from his gender role. So yeah, sure, it is likely true that the men who Scarred has approached weren’t interested for various reasons, but one of those reasons may have been that they felt their masculinity was threatened by a non-traditional woman. And this could be something that they don’t even realize.


  167. TG – Sorry, I just don’t buy that. When someone is interested in someone else, they will be THRILLED if they are asked out by that person, man or woman. And especially in this day and age, women asking men out, while still not the norm, is not exactly shocking, either.

    If someone is interested, I somehow doubt they’ll turn down an approach just because of gender roles. I can tell you from my personal experience as a man and from every single man I have ever discussed the subject with that what you hypothesize above has NEVER happened, to my knowledge. Does that mean it is impossible? No. But it makes me doubt Scarred’s rejections were anything but your garden-variety “not interested” as experienced by the majority of “askers” of both genders.

    Do you have any evidence that men who were otherwise interested in a woman turned that woman down because she asked them out beyond yours or other women’s speculation?


  168. DBB: “I’ve asked out women who have turned me down – almost none of them told me the true reason – they just weren’t interested. Usually it was some excuse or another. I don’t attach base motives to that – I’m sure some just were trying to be nice about it, others might have just felt bad about rejecting someone, yet others might have had trouble with the general concept of confrontation.”

    I think that you’ve really hit on it with the last one (trouble with confrontation), which sheds light on the other possibilities you mentioned, too. Women aren’t born afraid of confrontation; we quickly learn – usually without realizing what we’re learning – that what’s broadly described as confrontation (which includes everything from turning somebody down to asking for a raise to telling a harasser to leave you alone – that even just entering into confrontation carries serious penalties that it just doesn’t for men.

    It doesn’t always happen, but women have a reasonable expectation that a guy she turns down with a simple “I’m sorry, I’m not interested,” assuming he doesn’t get physically violent, is going to resort to tactics of humiliation and intimidation to either guilt her or shame her, in order to get his ego back in line. Eventually, we learn that it’s a lot safer to just come up with a plausible “I have to wash my hair” excuse – obviously false or not, it creates a certain plausible deniability that heads off any of what the guy will certainly see as counterattack. For her simply saying no.

    The flip side of the automatic psychic violence a woman avoids by letting a guy down nicely is a learned sense that being nice in that way (in a way that has assuaging the male ego as its only goal, and has nothing to do with the feelings of anyone else, such as herself) is “natural” and “right,” and that if she doesn’t act that way she only deserves the aggression that may-or-may-not come out and attack her if she steps out of those confined rules. After all, the world is full of men ready and willing to commisserate about how awful and horrible and difficult it is for them that not every single woman they find attractive and approach is into them (and doesn’t have a good excuse for it).

    And guys come to expect that any time they’re rejected, the girl will “naturally” and “correctly” do so in such a way that makes it as little as possible a reflection on him (because she’s learned how to avoid emotional or physical violence), so if she doesn’t, he sees it as being just outright mean, and why do those feminists teach women to be so mean?

    Thing is, if she does play by the rules and let him down nicely, the guy (who, as only feminists seem to realize, isn’t inherently stupid) can’t help but pick up on something being not quite true. A guy who understands why women act this way won’t be offended, in much the same way that he won’t take it personally if a woman walking by herself at night crosses the street to avoid him. If he thinks about it at all, he grumbles (to himself! and to male friends he wants to educate) about how women have to put up that barrier to fend off the guys who aren’t as well-meaning as him.

    On the other hand, a guy who wants to see women kept in their confining role (who may or may not realize that the boundaries for that role are enforced through constant, systematic violence) takes it as another gem to add to his list of reasons why women just ask for it when violence (physical or emotional) is committed against them. He takes the woman’s self-protective falsehood as an excuse to go to a big long seminar and learn how to entirely misrepresent himself to women, or simply complains to anyone who will listen about how she didn’t (or did, it doesn’t really matter what she does) tell him that he was a Really Nice Guy while rejecting him.


  169. And on blogging without higher education, to second what others said: For one, I doubt more than a relative handful of bloggers have any set standard of qualifications (BitchPhD comes to mind, though), and I think that’s what makes the ‘sphere so vibrantI’ve done a lot of my most revelatory learning through writing and reading on the internets. It’s like the our-era equivalent of the invention of the printing press and the newfound ability of people not-the-church to publish books: when culture stops – or reduces, whatever – getting its information and worldview from a few self-selected “qualified” elites, culture flourishes. We’ve all been stuck listening to what the people who have the qualifications to work in tv and journalism have to say for so. damn. long. that I can’t think of it as anything but positive when more and more people join the conversation. The interlinkededness of the blogosphere helps to somewhat ensure that people with similar interests will find each other and will congregate around the not-necessarily-qualified voices that speak to the largest number of said people, and we’re not all stuck listening to what some white dude in a suit has to say about whatever he’s decided today’s topic is, just because he’s got the time slot.

    If approached in this way, the blagosphere can be like taking the most awesome courseload you can dream up, and getting to pick the members of your discussion groups from everybody who’s ever taken the class.

    I love the internets!

    And as far as learning from this environment: With the unrelated subject that I have my degree in (theater), I’ve had huge insights from particularly the feminist blogosphere that gave me a whole new set of skills with which to approach my work. It’s even made a lot of stuff from my formal education that I thought I understood make a lot more sense to me than before, as this (feminist) angle of thinking really cracks open a lot a lot a lot of inexplicable human behavior. And human behavior is pretty much whatcha study in the non-techie parts of theater.

    The feminist blogosphere has yet to help me too terribly much with techie concerns ;/


  170. DBB – well, of course you don’t buy it, because you seem to deny that power relations exist on a widespread social level that colour the interactions that individuals living within those cultural contexts have with one another. You’ve never heard of the term “emasculate” before? You don’t think men are threatened by women who aren’t feminine in all the traditional ways? Also, note that I said this could be the case even if the men don’t realize it – because socially derived gender roles are so deeply embedded in our cultural discourses that sometimes we don’t even realize they influence us in particular ways? it’s like second nature – after all, people are taught these roles everyday in every way from the time they are BORN – even before that in some cases when parents find out the sex of their fetus in utero.

    As for your question, yeah, I do actually know a couple guys who feel emasculated when a woman approaches them – especially if they were sitting there noticing the woman and working up the nerve to go and talk to her and she turns the tables on them and approaches first. Gender roles are pretty deeply ingrained here.

    Defenestrated – good analysis!!! More evidence of the dangers of stepping outside the female gender role: violence.


  171. OK, I’m back. I missed this blog thread while I was gone.:) I can see the conversation has heated up a bit when I was gone; I really do find this a pleasure.:) Cool! OK, in the immortal words of Monty Python, “Here we go…”

    To *try* to make my posts more readable, I’ll attempt to break my entry into 2-4 entries addressing various people and subjects. Hopefully this will make it easier for people to read stuff, as I know I tend to be lengthy.:P
    **************************************************

    On Beauty

    Brain and the Blog:
    For the sake of intellectual honesty, I’m forced to agree with you (unfortunately, to my bitter knowledge) that many women *do* buy into the “beauty as power” meme. I *don’t know* of too many women who do this…*but*, if I’m honest, I have to realize that I keep some pretty *unusual* company, certainly not mainstream. You’re right in the sense that some to many women *must* buy into it, otherwise we wouldn’t be getting the ridiculous iconography of Pamela Anderson, Britney Spears, Cosmopolitan magazine, and Brangelina thrust upon hapless societies around the globe. (Shudder.) *I’ve* never bought into the “beauty as power” scenario for long–I got disabused of that STAT when I was 19-22. I *do* agree with you that women who buy into it seem to hang onto it, and from appearances hold on with dear life, and I *DO* THINK that it’s due to the fact that real, honest-to-goodness, genuine power is mostly denied women. Any port in a storm, you know?

    What flakes me out is that if a woman (or man) is honest and observant–*ALL IT TAKES* to disabuse oneself of the fallacy that beauty is power is to come across that *ONE PERSON* who isn’t attracted to you, and see how far one gets. A classic example from my life: between 19-22, when I was *very* sexually active, I was not found attractive to some men on the basis of my being *NOT* blonde. Yeah. No kidding. I’m brunette/brownette. Some men’s tastes run *ONLY* to the blonde, from what I experienced, and if *you’re* not in that catagory, *you’re* shit outta luck. Other people aren’t interested if your body doesn’t fit their specifications. Some people’s range of attraction is broad and wide, others have a very limited spectrum of what is considered sexually attractive. Some people prefer the androgynous type, others prefer traditional male or female casting for their objects of desire.

    People:
    Let’s say, for example, that someone *does* find another person really attractive and goes “ga-ga” over them. Let’s say, for example, that Hugh Hefner gets infatuated/falls in love with Pamela Anderson. Could she seduce him into bed? Most likely; Hefner’s morals would allow it, and she’s absolutely his type. Could Anderson get Hefner to become a rightwing Christofascist over time? ABSOLUTELY NOT. Hefner is *way, way* too invested in a hedonistic philosophy and lifestyle; it’s how he built his financial empire, and he’s had too much exposure and experience with beautiful women to be truly malleable as a personality. In other words, Anderson would have a certain, specific, limited *influence* on Hefner–not power. To me, it’s self-evident. I’m astonished, however, that to many people it isn’t. *I know feminism has tried to disabuse people of this fallacy for years.* It astonishes me that people are still clinging to this. The *ONLY* two reasons I can think of as to why people still hold onto this notion is that 1) critical thinking skills are not being acquired and developed by most people, and 2) women (and men) are clinging to these notions out of unfulfilled psychological reasons–deprivation, etc.
    **************************************************
    On Memes:

    Brain, I agree heavily with you that the meme BEAUTY AS WEAPON links heavily to the meme BEAUTY AS POWER. I think that BEAUTY AS WEAPON IS a subset of BEAUTY AS POWER. What I like to try to do with memes is to try to identify and classify them and try to figure out which of them are the “main” memes, so to speak, and which ones are the secondary or tertiary ones. I realize that one can’t *really* do this and be *completely* accurate–the map is not the territory, and all that–but a shorthand method of classification really helps my thinking processes, and sometimes just creating a tree is very useful:

    WOMEN:

    WOMEN AS OTHER–prime, which spawns the following:

    WOMAN AS OBJECT, secondary, and

    WOMEN AS POSSESSOR OF SEX–(tertiary) thus:

    WOMAN AS DOORKEEPER–4th
    WOMAN AS PREY (for sexual predators)–4th
    WOMAN AS “EVIL TEMPTER” (for religious types attempting to repress their sexuality)–4th
    WOMAN AS REGULATOR (one could argue that this is related to but slightly different than WOMAN AS DOORKEEPER)–4th

    You can also work it like this (IMHO), sort of another “Meme Tree”:

    WOMAN AS OTHER (prime)
    WOMAN AS SOURCE OF PAIN (secondary)
    WOMAN AS SOURCE OF DANGER) (secondary)
    ergo,
    WOMAN AS ENEMY (tertiary)
    WOMAN AS TARGET–4th
    WOMAN AS DEVOURING ONE–4th
    WOMAN AS SLAVE–4th (what one does to enemies you’ve conquered)
    WOMAN AS PRISONER–4th
    WOMAN AS PREY–4th (this can also be applied in a nonsexual sense)

    Then, you can have *this* nifty little perversion:

    WOMAN AS OTHER–prime
    WOMAN AS OBJECT–secondary
    WOMAN AS RESOURCE–tertiary
    WOMAN AS CHATTEL/PROPERTY–4th
    WOMAN AS SLAVE–4th or 5th, depending on how you want to work the tree
    WOMAN AS COMMODITY–4th or 5th, depending on whether the woman is still physically a free agent or whether she’s “owned”. If the woman is a free agent, I think this plays out when women become models or icons of beauty and attempt to use their looks as power or something to bargain with. If the woman is coerced, this plays out in prostitution/the sexual slavery trade and underground polygamy such as that practited by renegade Mormon sects in Utah and its surrounding environs. This meme is parallel to WOMAN AS PREY but arguably has a financial twist to it.

    I think meme analysis and classification (provided that people don’t use this too rigidly) has got an enormous amount of potential regarding oppression of women, and I by no means think we’ve even *BEGUN* to fully tap this resource. I’m sure you’ve heard of the term “meme warfare,” and that’s what we’re engaged in. Personally, I think I should become a lot more educated in the concept of memes, and my appetite is being pleasurably whetted by our conversation.:)


  172. Thinking Girl–you are quite right in that there is an increasing psychological warfare being conducted against women as public figures. I agree that there is a delibrate undermining of women’s confidence, independence, self-respect, and identity–a systematic and not-accidental dehumanization of women being increasingly practiced. And oh yes, the PUAs are being quite delibrate and systematic about it–no argument! That’s why I’ve taken to calling their tactics a methodology. Patriarchy proper seems to be the actual *ideology*. The PUA methodology is warfare on the *personal* level, the MRA manuevering is warfare on the *political* level. That’s stereotypical and simplistic, but it seems to have more than a grain of truth in it.

    Brain and Thinking Girl:
    Off topic and a side-note, but highly related:
    My own gut-hunch, paranoiac as it might be, is that if the dehumanization is allowed to continue unabated and unchallenged, it’s going to lead up to a horrifying loss of civil rights for women, even in the West. I’ve told other American women that, YES, what’s happened in Afghanistan, Iran, and Kosovo *can* happen here, no question! Yes, women *can* lose the right to vote, we *could* see an institution of rape camps eventually under certain conditions, and it *could* eventually get so bad that women could lose all access to medical care.

    This has the potential of getting bad. Really, really bad. I’ve got some ideas about what to do, but some of them are off-topic for the thread.

    Regarding the thread, you could argue that countering PUA methodology is only one small step in fighting the dehumanization of women in the West. Still, in some ways, it might be extremely critical. PUA methodology sucks in that it *IS* really effective for the unprepared and uneducated, and it could serve as a *template* of sorts for other patriarchalists who would, for example, like to spread memes of disenfranchising women for the vote? Or other such uglinesses?


  173. DBB: OK, addressing your challenges. I stepped back and thought about your ideas and challenges, and this is what I came up with:

    Point 1) The reason *why* I thought the men were frequently rejecting me on the basis of gender roles is primarily based on my *reading* their body language and actions. Now, I will admit that I have had a few men decline me quite graciously. One said he was gay, and I knew he was telling me the truth–truly a nice person. The other, I think, because he was attached. Again, no problem. HOWEVER, many men would frequently just stare at me in shocked silence, and you could *feel* the revulsion, the*waves* of revulsion coming off of them. Okay, yes–this is subjective. Could I prove this in a court of law? No. Could I prove it scientifically? No. I have no access to an MRI or PET machine, and I *doubt* these men would have sat still for their brains to be imaged.:P (hee, hee, I’m getting funny pictures in my head, sorry) In other words, my assertion for this is–“you had to be there.” Could I be wrong? Yes, for maybe two or three of them. For the majority? My bias is NOT. Just my opinion, but dere it iz. Oh yeah, one other piece of proof. I asked a guy out, and he was pretty rejecting at the time. A few weeks later, and then HE asked me out. Strong gut hunch is that he was really a very sexist pig who found me attractive but was mortally offended at the *idea* of a woman doing the asking. (Subsequent time spent with him showed that he was a mind-game player and had real issues with women.) I suspect he was just much more obvious, whereas other men were more subtle and managed to conceal their sexism much more readily–covering it up with silence and shock, so to speak.

    Point 2) There are more and more parents (apparently) complaining that teenage girls are chasing teenage boys fo sex, etc. It appears to be a growing topic of complaint. Less than six months ago, I heard a talk show host on a local radio show complain about how she thought the teenage girls were showing low levels of self-esteem by “throwing” themselves at boys. HUH?? It’s astounding to me that girl initiating dates, encounters, etc. is read as a sign of low self-esteem on their part when boys are given a free pass at this sort of thing. IMHO, telling a group of people that they have “low self-esteem” in some instances is a form of showing disapproval and opprobrium. In the Middle Ages, if you wanted to dis someone, you dwelt on their sins. In the modern era, if you want to diminish someone, attack their mental health reputation! Now, if it’s culturally acceptable for women to initiate dates, encounters, etc. with men, why are parents bitching about what the girls are doing?? This leads me to my next point–

    Point 3) I am willing to concede that it’s acceptable for females in the 12-24 year-old range to do the initiating to males within that range–it sure seems to be, anyway. This particular generation coming up seems to be very much A-OK with women making the first move. OLDER generations, though? Oh, there’s *still* a tremendous amount of disapproval and revulsion for that. *And,* it doesn’t help that the older generations are raining down disapproval on the young ‘uns. It ties in to that resurging patriarchy…


  174. DBB: Oof, I posted a reply to your challenge, but it’s awaiting moderation. Just thought I’d let you know that I *did* address it.

    Defenestrated: I agree with your analysis of the dating dynamics and women’s behavior. There are times when I’ve gently turned down men, only for the occasional one to get nasty. And really, all it takes is one nasty event to get a woman to start being more obtuse/indirect/dishonest/careful, etc. Martial arts is a good antidote to fear, however…:)

    And you know what? It *IS* time for me to get a blog. I’m thinking within the next month.:) When I do, I’ll post it here FIRST.:)

    KYASSETT: I couldn’t get your posted link to work–I would have enjoyed seeing that.:) No, I’m not hurt or offended, and I appreciate the humor/support. C’mon, guy, I know you get frustrated at times–but why don’t you post more often? You *know* you want to!:) (Sorry, I couldn’t resist.) (Aside: this thread is addicting, isn’t it?)


  175. On Terrance Real:

    Terrance Real is the co-director of the Harvard University Gender Research Project and is a member of the senior faculty at the Family Institute of Cambridge. He’s also had 20+ years as a family therapist. He wrote a book titled, “I Don’t Want to Talk About It: Overcoming the Secret Legacy of Male Depression,” and in this book he makes a powerful case that men are just as depressed as women are but that it tends to manifest in ways that we previously have not recognized as depression, per se. He terms such initially unrecognizable depression as *covert* depression, and he’s got a *lot* to say about how men engage in behaviors such as sex addiction in order to ward off *overt, consciously-felt* depression. This book is immensely useful to *anyone*; I really recommend getting it and reading it.

    How does Terrance Real’s theory on male depression tie in to the PUA community? BIGTIME. Remember my post on how the PUA essentially interacts with women as though they’re junkies approaching drug dealers? I have to amend that somewhat. Upon further reflection, the PUA actually treats a woman as though she were the *drug dealer* AND sex with her as the heroin. If we are to combat PUA methodology, we must (IMHO) first and foremost understand the forces driving it–the root annihilation anxiety and the depression and addictions used to mask and ameliorate the annihilation anxiety. Methinks that Terrance Real has got his finger on the pulse of the PUAs without knowing it; probably he just thinks of the PUA phenomenon (if he knows about it) as a manifestation of sexual addiction. (It is, but it’s intrinsically *much more* than *just* that.)

    The next post, I’ll delve into Real’s ideas a lot more thoroughly. Incredible; he’s got an enormous amount to say about how the socialization of boys sets them up for complete relational inadequacy; he’s also got some excellent rejoinders to the idea that men are innately “less” emotional than women and hence biologically less interested in intimacy. He blows that out of the water by mentioning some little-talked about observations of male infants. (It sure as hell was stuff *I* didn’t know about.) I’ll delve a lot more into that next post.


  176. (regarding the comments rather than the article itself, sadly)

    “I don’t think it’s a good idea to simply ignore the people who don’t fit into your scheme, because they are also affected. ”

    This is said, yet blatantly ignored by the one who posted it.
    One thing that frustrates me to no end about people who stereotype too much like that is their great refusal to admit that the people in the group they’re trying to stereotype can have great variations within it, and the things they claim applies to all (except for freaks exceptions which confirms the rules) in the group usually only applies to a part of the group – sometimes very few, sometimes the vast majority. According to that quote, the minority in the last group shouldn’t be claimed to be ignorable, yet this is the way too many so-called “feminists” say, while as they claim every single woman counts, and male-centric macho guys say about women and claim every guy counts. Apart from the cases where people claim that “Pfft, those people who might be mistaken for people of my group totally don’t count! They’re embarrassing and not a true Scotsman!” I understand very well that people simplify when speaking of groups (and that one must do so in able to be able to handle the group as a single unit), but that demands that people never forget that what they’re handling is a simplification that isn’t auto-true for everyone. The claims that “all guys are like this deep down” reeks of the same disgusting rhetorics I’ve heard idiot ‘macho’ guys use about women, which ticked me off to no end.
    If you want people to help your cause, then alienating them is the most foolish thing to do – make them understand and help you. Make them start respecting you as much as other by acting in ways that shows their beliefs blatantly wrong – if enough people do it then it will be obvious and no longer ignorable that the stereotypes they keep in the back of their heads really do not work and need to be abandoned.
    Being aware of gender structures within society is very good, and it’s important to make both males and other females aware of it. Making men or females feel they’re automatically stuck in either definition is folly though, social gender structures are exactly that; (most if not all) behavior towards opposite/same genders isn’t hardwired, but can change. Give people the chance to become willing to change. People can be perfectly willing to give privileges up, but they have to gain something else that doesn’t necessarily be the exact opposite. Many (or so it seems to me, might just be some) women of the offspring-spawning variety happily get more rights/privileges that used to be “male”, yet they’re terribly reluctant to let their guys get more rights to taking care of their child, letting the guy be the one who takes care of the kid more than traditional, because “Oh no! That makes me a bad mother!”, not realizing that it’s yet another gender role, even though it’s partially biological. The people catering to children such as doctors tend to turn to the mother for vital information, even after they’ve been notified that the father knows as much if not more. Stuff like that is frustrating and needs to be changed. The more people who do show that a certain stereotype isn’t as applicable to them and shows other the same respect, the less ignorable new ways of seeing people will be, and in fact will be a necessity. Being a victim of past scarring events doesn’t mean that you should keep reducing yourself into a victim for the victimizers, it won’t make the certain future victimization of yourself less scarring – strengthen your mind and defend yourself with actions that aren’t knee-jerk reactions. Sometimes people can’t afford not resorting to low level survival instincts, for instance when a small group of people face genocide, but women stand for a significant amount of the world population. Women as a group can afford not to act like little children that kept getting beaten up by the only existing adult and thus needs to catch and confine their oppressor in a cage to prevent them from continuing their behavior. We aren’t an as small and powerless minority as what some old gender roles would like us to believe, nor is threatening others a good way to get them to join and agree with your cause.

    Eh. I’m not sure what this incoherent ranting will achieve, I just had to get this out. And now, I’m off to breakfast and a big cup of coffee.


  177. Scarred, I absolutely cannot get your description of Fear as Death out of my brain.

    Like, I’d heard the idea before, and it always made some intuitive sense. But in this context, in a discussion of men/women and Othering –

    by golly. It’s making me feel armed with new knowledge.


  178. “(regarding the comments rather than the article itself, sadly)”

    Is there an article way up there?


  179. Oh, wait – substantive comments…

    According to that quote, the minority in the last group shouldn’t be claimed to be ignorable, yet this is the way too many so-called “feminists” say,

    [while as they claim every single woman counts, and male-centric macho guys say about women and claim every guy counts].

    Apart from the cases where people claim that “Pfft, those people who might be mistaken for people of my group totally don’t count! They’re embarrassing and not a true Scotsman!”

    [I understand very well that people simplify when speaking of groups (and that one must do so in able to be able to handle the group as a single unit), but that demands that people never forget that what they’re handling is a simplification that isn’t auto-true for everyone. The claims that “all guys are like this deep down” reeks of the same disgusting rhetorics I’ve heard idiot ‘macho’ guys use about women, which ticked me off to no end.]

    J.A. – nobody thinks they get listened to/recognized enough.

    All feminists do is consider our opinion first.
    Is it really so hard for the menz to just come second for a minute?


  180. T.G. – I’m hoping that my 1st comment-in-this-series was moderated for the reason I’m hoping. And that my second-comment-in-this-series
    is somewhat illuminating for-that-reason.

    [just a lil o'that first/second justsaposing]


  181. Defenestrated and Co.–FYI, I haven’t given up on the thread. I’m just taking some time off to get some things done/recuperate. I should be back Friday or Saturday. I’d thought I’d get to more Terrance Real by now, but I had more stuff to do than I thought. The *NEXT* post, though, I promise!

    Defenestrated: isn’t Terror Management Theory illuminating?? Seriously. If you get a chance, click on some of the links that I provided, and if you’re interested, Google “terror management theory” on the web, and especially look for the names Ernest Becker, and last names Solomon, Greenberg, and Pyszcznski. See ya soon!:)


  182. Seriously. If you get a chance, click on some of the links that I provided, and if you’re interested, Google “terror management theory” on the web, and especially look for the names Ernest Becker, and last names Solomon, Greenberg, and Pyszcznski. See ya soon!:)

    And you think you Need Qualifications to start a blog and put some writing all in one place?

    Dude, you could teach a freaking class already. Whatever experiences you’ve had n whatever all this reading you’ve done…well, I for one sure as hell am learning a lot from it.


  183. Scarred – it took me a little while to absorb what you’ve been saying, sorry for the delay in conversation.

    you said, “Patriarchy proper seems to be the actual *ideology*. The PUA methodology is warfare on the *personal* level, the MRA manuevering is warfare on the *political* level.”

    hell yes. I couldn’t agree more with this. brilliant.

    I also liked your meme tree. very helpful in seeing the inter-relatedness of the various symptoms of misogyny/white male supremacy.

    You said, “if the dehumanization is allowed to continue unabated and unchallenged, it’s going to lead up to a horrifying loss of civil rights for women, even in the West.”

    absolutely. it’s already happening, as women’s reproductive rights are being challenged and undermined, as gendered violence and rape is made light of and goes largely unpunished, as blatant misogyny in our entertainment supports patriarchal ideologies and represents women in demeaning ways, as our culture continues to be pornified more and more. This stuff is a threat to women’s citizenship, clear as the day is long.

    interesting, the stuff on “the PUA treats women like drug dealers” – and male depression… one of the comments I didn’t approve here was pretty heavy on the male depression/resultant misogyny/feminist-blaming tip.

    JA – sorry, I couldn’t tell what you were trying to say. that was a bit incoherent, like you said. I’ve re-read several times, but I don’t know who you’re addressing and what you’re trying to tell them. if you like, post again and try to be a bit more clear, and I’ll try to respond. if possible.

    defenestrated – thanks for keeping the comments going here, and for attempting to respond to JA, which I think is perfectly relevant as a reminder to everyone from time to time. I for one am sick and tired to death of the menz trying to make everything all about them every minute of every fucking day all the time forever. sometimes, it’s a time to LISTEN. NOT TALK.

    *sigh*


  184. Nathan – no, I’m not going to publish your comments. Too full of misogyny, feminist-bashing, and male arrogance. And for christ sake, if you really expect me to email you a response to that drivel, you obviously haven’t read thoroughly enough here, or you would already know what I would say. So please, stop wasting my time with your bullshit.

    Actually, that goes for any of you who think you’ve got a delicious response to these arguments that is going to change my mind. you’re really not welcome in this conversation. you’re not going to convince me of how great PUAism is for men, or for women, or for me in particular. All you do is support my position, and make it more and more clear how threatened you are by these insights. I won’t be publishing any further comments that support PUAism in any manner. so don’t bother wasting your time, and don’t waste mine.


  185. Okay, I’m back.:) Took me long enough.:P Seriously, though, I had some crap to clear up first.
    **************************************************
    Thinking Girl, I just thought I would take some time to say how regretful I am that I haven’t been posting for the last few days. I haven’t forgotten about this subject, and I plan to keep contributing until it’s time to do something else. I’m glad that the thread has been revitalized; I was afraid that it would end in the wake of the Virginia Tech shootings and the upholding of the late-term abortion ruling by the Supreme Court. I’m overjoyed to see that it’s continuing.

    And, actually, it *needs* (IMHO) desperately to continue due to the fact that the weapons of the PUA community is language and communication, albeit frequently in a subliminal and hypnotic form. As I’m sure you’d agree, language and other types of communication is *precisely* what’s being used as a frontline assault against women’s rights in the West and the Islamic world, as I’m sure we can all agreee. (Very good classic case in point–people using the phrase “pro-abortion” to describe the people who argue the pro-choice side of the abortion argument, a *classic* and *successful* denigration of an opponent known as an *ad hominem* attack.)

    In fact, a very good observation can be made that just before a widespread repression of women begins, one can observe a *big spike* in vocalization of repressive ideas and words against women, although women may or may not be in a position to detect such communication; how much would someone like to bet me that just before the Taliban clamped down on women in Afghanistan, there was a huge upsurge of anti-female and anti-feminist rhetoric in the madrasas of eastern Pakistan–right where the Taliban have their point of origin?? What I would have given to have been a fly on the wall in one of those schools with an Urdu, Pashto, and Arabic interpreter! Similiarly, I believe we’re detecting a big spike in anti-female rhetoric in American society, which is extremely ominous for American women. And if we are to defend ourselves, the very first thing we must do is to combat the systemic and not-so-accidental dehumanization of women in the rhetoric being used against us.

    Before closely examining the language and communication methods that the PUA community uses, however, I’ve proposed to examine the PUAs themselves through the lenses of sexual addiction and covert male depression, a theory of Terrence Real’s. I *AM* going to cover at least a *part* of Real’s theory in this post, but I realized that *first and foremost* I need to deal with sexual addiction in this post as a rapidly growing phenomenon in Western society.
    **************************************************

    The Origins of Sex Addiction (from the website of Dr. Michael Johnson, Ph.D.

    To paraphrase Dr. Johnson, child abuse is the etiology of sexual addiction; he estimates that approximately 80% of all sex addicts experience one type or another of abuse in their formative years. Child abuse (and neglect, I might add) creates the core feeling of shame, which Dr. Johnson terms the “Master Emotion” for addicts. I will go on to quote Dr. Johnson verbatim about shame and its effects:

    “Shame is the feeling of being defective to the core. Shame is a rampant and very destructive force in our culture. Shame is the inevitable consequence of child abuse.

    To feel shamed is to want to hide oneself because of the felt fundamental defect in self. Shame-based people conceal theirtrue selves from others and ultimately from themselves. They commit a sort of psychological or spiritual suicide and instead take on socially acceptable roles beneath which they hide. The role may be ‘nice guy’, ‘super- mom’, ‘perfect one’, ‘needy one’, ‘helper’, ‘winner’, ‘loser’, and so forth. The core of shame motivates the person to disappear in the eyes of others and to go through life hidden away within the role.

    Disappearing to one’s self poses a different problem. The pain of shame is intolerable and exposing one’s self to this annihilating feeling [REMINDER IS MINE: DOES THIS RING A BELL, PEOPLE?] is avoided at tremendous costs to the person. The shamed may distort their perceptions and memory to avoid the horror of the felt inner self. The shamed may cut off their connection to their own feelings selectively or altogether. The shamed may fill their lives with phony emotion, compulsive and obsessive activity [such as PUA methodology?? bugging feminist bloggers?? ring another bell??] mood altering substances and experience, or numbing stimulation. In any case, the goal of the shame-based person is the same–to shut off the burning pain of the deep and inescapable knowledge that the self is flawed. And in any case, all such efforts *ultimately fail* [emphasis mine].

    People dealing with chronic feelings of shame develop many ways of coping. Othen this includes addictions. It is certyainly a common route to sexual addiction.” (From the website “Get Your Life Back–Help with Sex Addiction,” by Dr. Michael Johnson.)

    Now, I’m going to backtrack temporarily to quote Terrence Real from his book “I Don’t Want to Talk About It: Overcoming the Secret Legacy of Male Depression”. The reason *why* I’m backtracking is that this sense of shame spawns two very seemingly different but very related coping styles that addicts have to struggle with, *and they heavily impact how sex addicts and their co-dependents interact with each other and the world.* Grandiosity is the inverse of shame; it’s how highly-shamed people try to fight shame. Real has this commentary:

    “In overt depression, the anguish of shame, of the toxic relationship to the self, is endured. In covert depression, the man desperately defends against such an onslaught. A common defense against the painful experience of deflated value is inflated value; and a common compensation from shame, of feeling less than, is a subtle or flagrant flight into grandiosity, of feeling better than. Quite a number of theorists have noted the ‘narcissistic defense’ of using grandiosity to ward off shame. One research team administered psychological tests measuring grandiosity and shame to a sample of one hundred college students. Their results validated long-standing clinical observation. Those subjects who scored high on grandiosity scored low on shame, and vice versa. The researchers conclude: ‘There are two patterns that shame and grandiosity take in pathological narcissism: one in which the grandiosity is in the foremost of consciousness wherein shamelike feelings are denied and an opposite pattern where shame feelings are more conscious and grandiose feelings are disassociated. The central point is that grandiose behavior is a defense against images of the self as worthless and inferior.’ The authors also note tt the men in their sample scored significantly higher than women in grandiosity, while women subjects scored high in shame. The flight from shame into grandiosity lies at the heart of male covert depression.”

    Real also mentions the following: “Overt depression, prevalent in women, can be viewed as internalized oppression, as the psychological experience of victimization. Covert depression, prevalent in men, can be viewed as internalized disconnection–the experience of victimization warded off through grandiosity, *perhaps through victimizing.* [emphasis mine]”

    Now, I’m going to point towards Thinking Girl’s experiences in moderating this thread as a demonstration of this truth. Watch an excellent example of grandiosity and covert depression in action as I quote TG in having to ward off a PUA:

    “Nathan–no, I’m not going to publish your comments. Too full of misogyny, feminist-bashing, and *male arrogance* [emphasis mine]. And for christ sake, if you really expect me to email you a response to that drivel, you obviously haven’t read thoroughly enough here, or you would already know what I would say. So please, stop wasting my time with your bullshit.”

    What “Nathan” (if that is his real name) is manifesting here is *grandiosity.* This is the stance of “better-than”; he sincerely believes that he has a right to harass TG, stick his nose up in the air at us, thirsts to believe in male superiority, and really doesn’t think he has to be accountable for his actions on the blog or to women in general. What I want to point out is the enormous cost to himself that he’s generating, a cost that his unconscious shame and self-hatred won’t allow him to face. What is Nathan doing to himself?

    Act 1: he has destroyed any chance he might have had in influencing the discussion here on the thread. He could have chosen to argue his point with the honest passion of KYASSETT or with the elegance and class of DBB; instead, he has alienated TG and has guaranteed that he and his viewpoint will never be represented on this blog. Period.

    Act 2. By choosing to attempt to victimize a group of feminists who are sticking to a single blog and dissecting the PUA phenomenon, he has only PROVEN THE TRUTH OF OUR PERCEPTIONS. He has provided further proof of what PUAism does to men and has further cemented my (and our) conviction that the PUA community is a bunch of quietly desperate patriarchal sex addicts unable to deal with women as people.

    Act 3. Nathan’s grandiosity has revealed that he *most likely* hasn’t even read the thread in its entirety like he should have; he obviously doesn’t feel that he has to, as I’m willing to bet that in general he doesn’t feel that he has to be accountable to “mere” women. *Because* of that act of self-deprivation engendered by his arrogance, he has deprived himself of an opportunity to experience other viewpoints, *viewpoints that could have helped him.* He’ll never see it until he’s on his knees, but his mental swagger is more crippling to him than a wheelchair for his body. Pitiful.

    Act 4. Nathan has revealed much more of his vulnerability than he will most probably ever consciously realize. From a strategic point of view, he’s letting loose an *awful* lot of blood in the water and cluing us in on the Achilles’ heel of the PUA community. TG has also picked up on this: “All you do is support my position , and make it more and more clear how threatened you are by these insights.”

    Act 5. Last but certainly not least, Nathan in his harassing arrogance is self-medicating–and thus prolonging–an inner turmoil, an awful pain in his soul that can ONLY be healed by honestly turning and facing the agony of shame-based depression. The anguish of shame is a secondary fear to actual fear of death, but it is only slightly less powerful; if you buy the idea that all fears are simply disguised forms of the fear of death a la Terror Management Theory, then the shame-based core fear is one of the least disguised ones–and hence that much more ugly. The more Nathan tries to fuck around with this blog, the more he puts off dealing with his real demons and feeling better inside his own skin.

    Pity him, people. It’s what he deserves. Pity him and pray for him (if you’re religious). Otherwise, just look at him as an example of what sexual addiction and PUAism can do to a human mind. Yet, also realize that *he is responsible* for what he is doing to himself and to others. Yes, pity him–but not too much. Not so much that we don’t work like hell to stop PUA methodology and patriarchal ideology.
    **************************************************
    From Dr. Michael Johnson’s website:

    What is Sexual Addiction?

    “A behavior becomes an addiction when the addict can’t stop despite negative consequences, mood alteration occurs, the addict is in denial, the behavior is chronic and escalating, and withdrawal symptoms appear when the behavior is stopped. Compulsive sexual behavior involves these five elements.

    1. Can’t stop despite negative consequences: Sex addicts may suffer the loss of valued relationships, employment, money, and even legal consequences, yet continue to ‘act out’ their addiction.
    2. Mood alteration: Sexual excitement and behavior are mood altering. The difference between non addicts and addicts is that addicts use the mood-alteration to deal with difficult emotions and situations.
    3. Denial: Sex addicts rationalize, minimize, and excuse their compulsive behavior. The addict distorts reality without realizing it. Denial justifies continuing the behavior. Usually, only significant, negative consequences fracture the denial.
    4. Chronic and escalating acting out: Sex addiction is not a phase; it is chronic. The addict needs increasing ‘quanitity’ to fill the need. The increased dose may be achieved by intensified behavior, more frequent behavior, or both.
    5. Occurence of withdrawal symptoms: Research with sex addicts finds that they often have many of the same withdrawal symptoms as alcohol and drug addicts. These include sleeplessness, intrusive dreams, high levels of anxiety, irritability, and roller coaster emotions.

    In summary, it is clear that compulsive sexual behavior has all the elements that make up an addictive disorder.
    *About 6% of the population are sexually addicted.*
    The seeds of sex addiction are sown in childhood and often include ingrained ritualistic patterns that are hard to break without help. Shaming experiences involving sexuality along with other abuse set the stage for the development of addictive sexual behaviors in adolescence. ‘Feeling bad’ comes to be associated with ‘feeling good.'”

    Johnson also goes on to make the following observation about sex addicts in relationships that I find highly pertinent, and that I will comment on.

    “Typically, partners [significant others] of addicts have ‘gut instincts’ about relationship issues and sex. Partners often spend months or years trying to get the addict to share their inner world. Addicts cover their guilt and shame by turning the tables and making their partners feel ‘crazy.’ This fosters mistrust and deception. One partner is preoccupied with sexualizing their world while the other is preoccupied with the addict’s thoughts, feelings, and activities.”

    Now, in a weird little sociological sense, we have a situation similiar to this going on the blog. *Now*, I would not say that we’re codependent on the PUAs–not at all. We’re looking to analyze their methodology and mentality so as to empower ourselves and other women to escape and avoid these dumbass charades. *However,* have not the PUAs done everything on this blog to try to make us feel “crazy?” In a weird sense, they’re giving us the same treatment they’d give a significant other–the same attacking, shaming, objectifying, distancing and discounting behavior. This is because we’ve made the “mistake” of appearing to be obsessed with their feelings, thoughts, and actions in a negative light. However, what the PUAs haven’t grasped is that *we’re* NOT their girlfriends, and that we’re not looking to prevent them from falling on their faces. Quite the opposite. We’re interested in getting wise to their games and helping other women get wise as well. Also, we haven’t been trying to “get them” to cough up their deepest feelings and motivations–rather, we’ve been *observing them,* which is a hundred times much more valuable. However, if you’ve noticed, the PUAs have been treating us much as though we were a bunch of errant concubines. In a sense, annoying as they are, they’ve done us an enormous service because we’ve had a rather unique opportunity to observe and analyze their behavior from a reasonably safe and detailed vantage point. I feel bad for you, TG, that you’ve had to put up with so much bullshit, but if nothing else you *have* come away with a valuable prize–just how weakly compulsive a misogynist PUA really is.

    I will refine an observation of mine. The more I observe the PUAs, the more I believe that properly they are power addicts that *use sex* *rather than* strict sexual addicts. My gut hunch is that some sex addicts aren’t looking to be “alpha-male” patriarchialists but, more properly, are just using sex itself much like other people use alcohol or crack for self-medication. The PUA, on the other hand, is definitely self-medicating by use of *power* over women. In *that* sense, they are probably *MUCH* more dangerous to women. The PUA definitely thinks he’s got a right to dominate women, no question about it–and intoxicates himself when he succeeds. I suspect this differentiates himself from the garden-variety compulsive sexual hedonist addict who is trying to drown the pain of existence with sexual ecstacy. *Maybe.* Then again, how much respect for women can a man have when he treats them like hypodermic needles?
    **************************************************
    Dr. Johnson’s description of the sexual addiction cycle:

    [Point of note: if wishing to observe PUAs, substitute the word "power" for sex, and you have the same process...]

    “Addicts feel that sex is their most important need.

    The sexual addiction cycle begins when emotional pain is triggered. This may be pain, sadness, fear, shame, anger, unresolved conflict, stress, or loneliness. If the addict doesn’t take care of the pain in a healthy way, he or she may move into the second stage of the cycle–disassociation. In this stage, the addict moves away from his or her feelings. A separation between thought and emotion occurs. If an addict does not reconnect thought and feeling, the third stae–the altered state–begins. In this stage, disassociation is so complete that sexual acting out makes sense. Euphoric expectations of acting out predominate in thought. Awareness of negative consequences is absent. The person then moves on to the stage of *ritual preparation to ‘act out’.* The preparatory rituals vary greatly among addicts. For instance, this may be making a phone call to a sex line, going to a bar or a bookstore, or picking up a prostitute. The next stage is ‘acting out’ behavior itself–whatever it is for each addict. The final stage is merely the passage of time until the cycle begins again.
    Gotta log off–I”ll post again in a second.


  186. Sorry about that; my roommate had to use the computer for just a bit.:) Back to topic.
    **************************************************
    Okay. Now, I get on to actually discussing Terrence Real’s theories. Finally.:)

    Now, before going any further, I’m going to point out that one can actually set up an “Event Tree,” or “Tree of Origins” for the etiology of sexual/power addiction. One can set it up thusly:

    Event 1: Annihilation Anxiety brought on from an abusive/neglectful childhood
    Event 2: Genesis of constant and pervasive shame in the personality core
    Event 3: Depression–either covert or overt,
    Event 4: Sexual/power addiction–or any other addiction you would care to name, from alcoholism to meth addiction.

    *This* is why I’ve chosen to start with Terror Management Theory and work my way to sexual addiction and depression. Yes, granted, I detoured into sexual addiction before I got into depression proper, but due to the fact that everyone seems to know about depression but not sexual addiction, I thought it proper to go into sexual addiction first.

    Now, onto Mr. Real. I’m going to quote him verbatim and allow him to speak for himself:

    “There is a terrible collusion in our society, a cultural cover-up about depression in men.

    One of the ironies about men’s depression is that the very forces that help create it keep us from seeing it. Men are not supposed to be vulnerable. Pain is something we are to rise above. He who has been brought down by it will most likely see himself as shameful, and so, too, may his family and friends, even the mental health depression. Yet I believe it is this secret pain that lies at the heart of the difficulties in men’s lives. Hidden depression drives several of the problems we think as typically male: physical illness, alcohol and drug abuse, domestic violence, failures in intimacy, self-sabotage in careers. [MY NOTE: I don't want anyone to think that in any way depression is an excuse for domestic violence: it is NOT. Real himself will tell readers that in his book.]

    We tend not to recognize depression in men because the disorder itself is seen as unmanly. Depression carries, to many, a double stain–the stigma of mental illness and also the stigma of ‘feminine’ emotionality. Those in a relationship with a depressed man are themselves faced with a painful dilemma. They can either confront his condition–which may further shame him–or else collude with him in minimizing it, a course that offers no hope for relief. Depression in men–a condition experienced as both shame-filled and shameful–goes largely unacknowledged as unrecognized both by the men who suffer and by those who surround them. And yet, the impact of this hidden condition is enormous…

    Current research makes it clear that a vulnerability to depression is most probably an inherited biological condition. Any boy or girl, given the right mix of chromosomes, will have a susceptibility to this disease. But in the majority of cases, biological vulnerability alone is not enough to bring about the disorder. It is the collision of inherited vulnerability with psychological injury that produces depression. And it is here that issues of gender come into play. The traditional socialization of boys and girls hurts them both, each in particular, complementary ways. Girls, and later women, tend to internalize pain. They blame themselves and draw distress into themselves. Boys, and later men, tend to externalize pain; they are more likely to feel victimized by others and to discharge distress through action. Hospitalized male psychiatric patients far outnumber female patients in their rate of violent incidents; women outnumber men in self-mutilation. In mild and severe forms, externalizing in men and internalizing in women represent troubling tendencies in both sexes, inhibiting the capacity of each for true relatedness. A depressed woman’s internalization of pain weakens her and hampers her capacity for direct communication. A depressed man’s tendency to extrude pain often does more than simply impede his capacity for intimacy. It may render him psychologically dangerous. Too often, the wounded boy *grows up to become a wounding man* [emphasis mine], inflicting upon those closest to him the very distress he refuses to acknowledge within himself. Depression in men, unless it is dealt with, tends to be passed along. That was the case with my father and me.”

    Now, I’m going to reassure people here; Terrence Real is NOT an essentialist. He doesn’t think that nature has ordained this state of affairs and that biology is necessarily destiny, and in fact he offers some *excellent* evidence in his book that this is *not* inevitable. What he *does* offer is convincing proof that men’s covert depression is the result of nasty patriarchal pedagogy that trains boys to be nasty little unfeeling dominators–who grow up to be unconsciously depressed, acting-out men. In the next post, I will offer Real’s theory and proof that just as many men in this country are as depressed as women are, *but that* men are socialized to act it out and *pass it on* in offender behaviors geared towards displacing the shame outside of them altogether–to the point where offending men plain JUST DON’T KNOW THEY’RE DEPRESSED. Neat trick, but Real is extremely convincing about this. The horrifying thing about this is that it is very possible for a man in this Western culture to be utterly convinced that he’s on top of the world and yet show most to all of the symptoms of a personality disorder or have a family that in essence is doing the feeling and acting for him regarding the depression. In fact, men often, if not most of the time, manifest depression by having a chemical dependency, *sexual addiction,* gambling addiction, problems with offender behavior in domestic violence, or a personality disorder.

    What does this have to do with the PUA community? EVERYTHING. I would be willing to bet dollars to doughnuts that many, if not most PUAs are actually moderately to severely depressed without their even knowing this. Happy men–genuinely happy men–don’t have a need to dominate women or become control freaks. Happy men don’t namecall other men (i.e., use the epithet “Average Frustrated Chump”), treat women as objects, or act like all-round jerks.

    I’ll get more into this next time I post.

    **************************************************

    Once more, I feel compelled to thank the readers of my posts very, very much. When I’m away from the blog, I honestly watch the time sometimes to find out *when* and *how* I can post here on various subjects. It *is* only a matter of time when I get my own blog. That day will be here soon enough.:) You guys are the winds beneath my wings–I mean that. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.:)


  187. Checking to see if this thread is closed…hopefully not.:)


  188. OK. Good. I’ll be posting tomorrow.:)


  189. Scarred, nope…onto 188-9 comments, and still going. Plus, I doubt TG would close it without notice.
    I just wanted to say, that even when I haven’t posted for a while here, it doesn’t mean I’m not reading. I know others are too. I’m still considering a lot of what you’ve said: a lot of the psychological theory is pretty new to me (I have a, maybe irrational, suspicion of psychological/psychoanalytical approaches…me & Freud fell out around the time of the ‘wrongly situated’ female orgasm back in Uni).
    However, you have a (in my experience) pretty unusual and thought-provoking take on such things, so I’m totally up for listening and learning.
    Plus, my post on PUAs here in Jp WILL be up on my blog one day. I’m still doing research. Trying to keep my eyes and ears wide open ;)


  190. I have been following this thread with a lot of interest.

    I think one of the most troublesome things about PUA culture and practice is that it puts dangerous tools in the hands of every asshole who has anger with women.

    You can imagine the bad things that happen when a guy who doesn’t really like women very much drinks the PUA KoolAid and wants to “get even” – in his own mind – with all the women that turned him down when he asked them out in the past. It’s pretty unhealthy for a man to work out his own psychological issues on unsuspecting women, but such things do happen. Thanks, Scarred for your detailed analysis of the psychological phenomena – it’s scary how twisted some of this stuff gets when you dig under the surface.

    What ever happened to being honest and being your self in dating?


  191. I second what Brain said!

    Tyler D – thanks. exactly. I would even argue that from what I’ve read about this, that the whole thing is all about that – getting back at women for past rejection. It’s completely 3rd grade.


  192. Thanks thinkinggirl.

    Brain: Plus, my post on PUAs here in Jp WILL be up on my blog one day. I’m still doing research. Trying to keep my eyes and ears wide open ;)

    How do you think things differ between Japan and America in this area?

    The “Nice Guy(tm)” (who is not really nice) narrative here in America always seems to always go something like:

    I made friends with girls in high school and when I confessed to liking them, they didn’t want to date me. They would say I was such a nice guy and really deserved to find a girlfriend. They would continue to tell me about all their jock boyfriends how badly they treated them.

    CONCLUSION: women only like assholes. I must get in touch with my inner asshole…and show all those girls that never gave me the time of day… and we’re off and running.

    Japanese culture must put an interesting spin on these dynamics.


  193. Okay…*whew.* Back to this thread.:) More stuff to chew on.

    I’ve begun to read and study the two beginning primers on NeuroLinguistic Programming, “The Structure of Magic, vol. 1&2″ by Richard Bandler and John Grinder. My understanding is that these were the seminal works of NLP, first published in 1975.

    Thinking Girl, Brain, and Defenestrated: You would be *fascinated* to find out that in volume 1 of this series, Bandler and Grinder list Noam Chomsky as a *big* influence! Turns out that the venerable Professor Chomsky is a transformational grammarian (TG, I’m almost *certain* you know what that is!:)), and he apparently did some brilliant, brilliant work in the linguistics field. (I didn’t know that!–I thought his first love was PolySci).

    Turns out that the bibliography of this series is divided into three parts:

    Part 1: Transformational Grammar
    Part 2: Therapy
    Part 3: MODELING/FORMAL SYSTEMS/EPISTEMOLOGY [emphasis in capital letters mine. Ring a giant bell, TG and Brain? I’m positive Standpoint Theory is intimately connected!)

    I won’t get into an analysis of NeuroLinguistic Programming *per se* on *this* post just yet due to the fact that I’m going to have to teach myself it quite thoroughly (or learn it elsewhere from a center) in order to be able to deconstruct it an explain it thoroughly. I will however, for the *time being,* make two very important points:

    Point 1: Bandler and Grinder wrote “The Structure of Magic,” vols. 1&2, for the express purpose of giving psychotherapists more effective tools in order to help their patients. NeuroLinguistic Programming *did not* start off as being a weapon in the hands of predators. Bandler and Grinder felt that they had unlocked the secrets of such psychotherapeutic greats as Milton Erickson and Virginia Satir and wanted to spread their “magic” to other therapists. The sad story of NLP is that a great healing tool can be used for diabolical purposes in the hands of the wrong individuals…truly, it’s disturbing. (Little side note: the personal history of Richard Bandler turned very, very dark as well…my next post will show his Wikipedia entry. At one point, he was suspected of murdering one of his students, a sex worker and NLP student, if the Wikipedia entry is to be believed…)

    Point 2: Chomsky has three books listed in the bibliography: “Language and Mind,” “Aspects of the Theory of Syntax,” and “Syntatic Structures.”
    I’m thinking these books would be more than worthwhile to check out due to the fact that Bandler credits Chomsky thusly: “The linguist’s objective is to develop a grammar–a set of rules–which states what the well-formed patterns for any particular language are. This discipline is based on the brilliant work of Noam Chomsky, who initially developed a methodology and set of formal models for natural language…What transformational grammarians have done is to develop a formal model of our language, a model of our model of the world, or, simply, a Meta-model.”

    *This* tells me that I’m going to have to study Noam Chomsky as well! If my memory serves me correctly, Chomsky was/is a regular commentator on the American military/industrial complex, and he always struck me as being highly skilled in deciphering and debunking the bullshit that the media put out when it furthered the aims of the Establishment (or The Man, if you prefer more of a slanguage moniker.:)). You’ve got a link to his wonderful website, TG, and believe you me, I look forward to studying his books and articles on linguistics.:)

    Methinks Chomsky’s linguistic studies have given him a *phenomenally sensitive* bullshit meter…:P

    On Richard Bandler:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Bandler

    Noam Chomsky’s *excellent* website is linked to this blog!! Check Thinking Girl’s link to it.:)\

    http://www.richardbandler.com

    A weekly online magazine of NLP:
    http://www.nlpweekly.com

    **************************************************

    Tyler D.: Both of your posts are accurate, insofar as they go. The PUA community likes to sometimes pam themselves off as decent individuals and often like to go by the more politically correct name of the “Seduction Community,” and they have various outfits, such as “Real Social Dynamics,” or “Speed Seduction” or “Stylelife.” Most PUAs are in complete denial as to the level of anger and hatred they have buried in their psyche and hide it, most of all to themselves. The pretense meme is that it’s always The Other Fella Who’s Dangerous and Takes Stuff Out on Women and Shouldn’t Have These Tools–*I’m* OK. It’s what Terrence Real would refer to as the extrusion of a depressed man, the placing outside of himself the origins of any given problem. The surface ads and explanations on these websites are that this is all about creating a “new experience” in dating and “building confidence and success” with women. The reality is phenomenally different. I will quote from the Main Forum section of the Real Social Dynamics website:

    “AFC behaviors that I use…this is how you get mltr’s” (written by Jaytonbye, SENIOR MEMBER [emphasis mine])

    (Note: “AFC” stands for “Average Frustrated Chump” in the PUA lexicon–their sneer term for any man who isn’t into their mindcontrol games.)

    “now [sic] that i’ve [sic] met a punch of PUA’s…something I notice is that most of them have got the whole ‘asshole’ style of game down tight…but I wanted to point out, that old afc styles work really well once your comming [sic] from a position where the girl REALLY likes you.

    some chick just sent me this corny shit on myspace:

    *give her one of your t-shirts to sleep in.
    *leave her cute notes.
    *kiss her in front of your friends.
    *tell her she looks beautiful.
    *look into her eyes when you talk to her.
    *let her mess with your hair.
    *touch her hair.
    *just walk around with her.
    *FORGIVE her for her MISTAKES.
    *look at her like she’s the only girl you see.

    Etc., etc.–

    [continuing to list what he considers to be "Average Frustrated Chump" behaviors. ALL of them have to do with treating women humanely, as people.]

    Then, jaytonbye goes on to become even more blatant in his misogyny–and hatred of men who engage in loving behavior with women:

    “now, this is the gay shit that made most of us Beta’s in the first place….but, after you’ve been fucking a girl…slowly implementing this type of shit will help you become more of an emotional entity to the girl….(a few of these are still gay NO MATTER WHAT though)

    DON’T BE BETA….if you try to do all this shit, your [sic] gay.

    ~choice”

    Yeah, “don’t be Beta.” Yeah, don’t be human. If you are, *you’re* a *faggot.* This is some of the most homophobic, anti-humane, anti-female, *anti-male* attitudes I’ve ever seen.

    From the website of Real Social Dynamics:

    http://www.realsocialdynamics.com/community/showthread.php?t=6102

    A little point of note:

    Tyler Durden is one of two founders of Real Social Dynamics, one of the top PUA schools in the country.

    So, Tyler D.:

    Is your last name Durden?

    No, never mind–don’t even answer. No point. From now on, I’m not responding to a single post that you try to make. I broke a rule of mine even responding to you, but I decided to do so for the following reason.

    I was suspicious when I initially read your posts but figured that my radar was just on hyperhigh setting. Then, a little birdie sat on my shoulder and urged me do research. I did. I found out that Tyler Durden was one of the big name players in the PUA community as one of the founders of Real Social Dynamics. And my own highly sensitive bullshit meter went way off. I will not tell you what it was in your posts that set my meter off–I’m not going to give you any ammunition. Just suffice it to say, I decided to act.
    That’s when I decided to expose just what’s beneath the surface of one of the most brazenly manipulative acts I’ve ever seen.

    I’ll tell you what happened to being honest and being yourself in dating:

    It went the way of the dinosaur when men like you decided that committing hypnotic and behavioral fraud was preferable to actually loving someone. It went the way of the dinosaur when you decided that women only care about you when you’re dominating them.

    It went the way of the dinosaur when men like you refuse to accept that *no means no* and that when Thinking Girl says “you’re not going to convince me of how great PUAism is for men, or for women, or for me in particular,” *It also means that TG and the other women in this blog don’t want to be seduced by PUAs.* Quit “reframing.” It’s delusional. Your trolling doesn’t get you anywhere and it *hurts your soul* and exposes your weak spots.

    Got it? We don’t even want the PUAs who don’t think they’ve tasted the PUA KoolAid.

    You and your accomplices (and oh, yes, I’m using that word *very* delibrately) behave as though the feminist women on this blog are the Big Game women to pick up–to you, we’re the female equivalent of Cape buffalo, tigers, or jaguars–much more exciting than what *you* think of as the average “white tail” chickie! Plus, it’s an opportunity to *test out* various written techniques and analyse head weaknesses until you find “techniques” that “work”.

    No, *you’ve* drunk the PUA Kool-Aid, Tyler “D.” Not “a guy”–that’s *you*. Yes, it *is* scary how twisted some of this stuff gets–especially when you can’t stop yourself from acting unethically, immorally, or manipulatively. Women AREN’T big game animals, small prey, or creatures to tame and domesticate. We’re not playthings to have fun with, experiments to run, “chicks” to “sarge,” or animals to hunt. We’re not looking for “Alpha Males,” and we don’t care to kneel down to them. You need less Desmond Morris and a more of a search for a REAL Higher Power such as what the 12-Step programs for sexual addiction recommend. My advice is, contact The Meadows treatment center for sexual addiction. Their website is as follows:

    http://www.themeadows.org/

    Phone number: 1-800-MEADOWS
    (800-632-3697)

    They’re a Level 1 psychiatric acute hospital. Terrence Real is on the staff, and they’ll give you excellent treatment for your sexual and manipulative compulsivity. Pass this on to your buddies–they need it as well. A wet groin will not warm a cold soul.

    Maybe you view this as a personal attack or a flame. What this really is, is a confrontation–maybe even an intervention, if it works right. Once you get your head on straight, you’ll see I just did you the *biggest* favor a person could have done for you. Perhaps you think that getting married and having children is “beta” and thus not for you, but I tell you this for a certainty–if you had a daughter, you’d vomit if you saw someone treat her the way you just treated us. You have any sisters, Tyler? A living mother? Women cousins? Would you want *them* treated this way? Let’s hypothesize for a moment, Tyler, that there *is* a God. Could you face Him/Her and admit to what you just did? Or have you made too much money to “go back” now? And staying away from women when you’re upset or “off your game” doesn’t work…that’s called sexual anorexia, and it doesn’t do a damn thing to get your disease under control. It just doesn’t. It takes more of a man to *get* help and admit you’ve got a problem than to keep on denying nothing’s wrong. It will only get worse over time, Tyler…and it’s a hell of a way to flush your life down the toilet. Any addiction *will end* in one of three ways: jail, the asylum/treatment center, or death. At least with the treatment center, you can still have your life and freedom (once you get out).

    [edit: private comment to TG from Scarred] I cruised the web…and found out about Real Social Dynamics. Even some of*the other* major PUAs don’t like him! Here’s another “fine” sample from Real Social Dynamics:

    http://www.realsocialdynamics.com/community/showthread.php?=6110


  194. Thinking Girl…please check the spamulator…I think my post got lost in there…thanks.


  195. Tyler Durden is the name of the character played by Brad Pitt, in the movie Fight Club. I obtained from this name my handle that I use to post on blogs. I admire the character for his independence, rejection of materialism, and criticism of cultural expectations.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fight_Club

    I was not aware of this other bloke using the same name, but I suppose it’s not a surprise that other people would be drawn to such an interesting character.

    A pity that a PUA-type would take what I view as the positive message of the movie and twist it into something involving manipulating women.


  196. Tyler Durden has to be one of the most common internet aliases out there. I see at least one Tyler Durden on every major forum I read. When I saw the name here, I instantly got the Fight Club reference (pretty cool movie by the way), so I wouldn’t be so quick to assume that any two Tylers you see on the internet are the same. That attack may have been a little bit unfounded, Scarred, I don’t think I would call anything Tyler has said here subversive in any way.


  197. Thanks Kyassett.

    To be honest, I am a little bit upset and shaken by the words of Scarred because they do feel very personal despite the indirection of an alias.

    I am heartened by the fact that in reality those harsh words were aimed at one of these characters that practice this type of manipulation for pay, and who happens to have a similar, and common internet alias.

    I am a simply a man who is attempting – however imperfectly – to live as a feminist ally and to understand the different ways in which patriarchy, male privilege, male violence, homophobia, and other adverse influences have shaped my understanding and perception of the world thus far.


  198. Tyler D – I didn’t take anything you said as being subversive, either. If I had, I wouldn’t have published your comments – as evidenced by a couple of posts above. I immediately figured you were referencing Fight Club as well – one of my more favourite movies for just the reasons you stated (although of course things didn’t work out quite so well in the end).


  199. Tyler D. and KYASSETT:

    I apologize. You’re 150% right. KYASSETT was right that the attack was unfounded. I owe you both an explanation and some amends.

    Two problems I have/had, and an explanation:

    A. I haven’t been on enough Internet forums; actually, I tend to be very limited in my focus on the Internet. Consequently, I wasn’t aware that “Tyler Durden” is a very common Internet alias. That’s *MY* fault, KYASSETT, as I should take some time to become more acquainted with Internet aliases. For this, poor Tyler paid. I’m genuinely sorry, Tyler. My intention is to *NEVER* intentionally slug the innocent, but I’m *still responsible* for hurting you. When hit with a bullet, it hurts just as much if it’s “friendly fire” as it does from the other side. You didn’t do anything to deserve my ire. The fault is *ALL* mine. And yes, I’m willing to accept that you *are* a feminist ally. Your humility and empathy in the face of a ferocious broadside are the proof of this.

    B. My movie illiteracy is quite great and at this point downright inexcusable. I didn’t know “Tyler Durden” was a character in the movie “Fight Club.” I honestly watch so few movies that compared to most Americans I’m culturally illiterate! My nose is constantly kept in books, which is a *good* thing, *but not if it makes me so culturally illiterate I don’t recognize a common cultural moniker.* I grew up in the era of Mrs. Calabash and Mrs. Magillicudy (sp?), but it’s not right for me to verbally slug someone because of a common alias I didn’t recognize. This was due to my jumping to conclusions; again, it was wrong. This shows a character defect that I’m going to have to work on.

    Explanation: KYASSETT, you are absolutely right in the sense that what Tyler wrote in his post was *completely* inoffensive. Yes. *150% correct.* My anger was that I thought he was a closet PUA or other type of seduction artist coming into the blog thread under false pretenses, and that he was going to try to be manipulative on future posts while using innocuous introductory posts. As you can see, it was mistaken identity and a good dose of unfair impulsivity on my part. I’ve been researching the PUA websites and Neurolinguistic Programming, but I’ve *only* been in a few forums with PUAs–and I didn’t see “Tyler Durden” listed as a name, except for the Real Social Dynamics website. He’s listed as one of the two founders. I didn’t realize it was an alias, and I know TG’s had to put up with one *hell* of a lot of PUA trollers looking to pull bullshit. I know that the people on this website are *big* girls and boys capable of taking care of themselves; unfortunately, I let my hyperprotective (codependent) streak get the better of me. Having been on the receiving end of extremely manipulative NLP–a skilled practitioner can fly *right* under your radar if you’re not damn careful and pick up on what he/she is doing–I get very afraid when I think about the other women on this blog or thread, and how they could get in the crosshairs of some of these predators.

    Some people might argue that NLP is only effective face-to-face, but unfortunately that’s not true; marketing uses it often in written ads. It’s *less* effective, granted, if it’s not face-to-face, but it *can* work over a period of time in the written form if you’re not aware of it. Hence, there’s still something of a vulnerability when reading a post on the blog, but if you’re careful you won’t get sucked in. Still, I worry about people on the blog who have yet to discover NLP methodology and don’t know what to look for…but that’s a worry I’m going to have to let go of if I’m going to act halfway appropriately.

    I’m not going to make excuses for my behavior; there are none. I *do* hope to offer reasons. I’ve talked in previous posts about how PUAs are predators. I’m not kidding. I can’t bring myself to trust *any unknown man* until I know for a fact that he’s not into manipulative hypnosis or not into romantic psychological warfare. Is this just? No. *No,* it is not, and I know it tends to make life hell at times for innocent men like Tyler. Is this what I *feel*I need to do in order to keep from attracting another predator or keep my women friends/acquaintences safe? Yes. Yeah, it is. I’m in therapy right now, and I’m doing what I can to clean up my own act. We haven’t reached the part yet where I can work on the hypnotic/seduction abuse, but it’s coming. Truth be told, I might have been double-whammied. (Future posts will reveal more about that.)

    If it’s any comfort, Tyler D., as ferociously as I attacked you, I can defend you *just* as ferociously. You’r quite right that the attack felt personal; it was designed to get inside the head of a PUA/seduction artist. Only a predator would have deserved that kind of blitzkrieg, and for that I’m deeply, deeply *sorry*

    Yet, I hope both of you understand that there *have* been predators on this thread. Malignor was probably at the very top of the list, but I’ve read a couple of posts where I believe delibrately written ambiguous wording was used in order to manuever. Then there was the moronic Nathan and Monkey (never got posted, but really tried to slime TG) and the other assorted assholes, some posted, most not.

    Tell you what…my next post will quote a couple of examples of some of the attitudes of what we’re up against. I’ll post a couple of threads to these people, nice little snapshots of their inner world. One word of warning, though…hang onto your stomach. You’ll see what I mean.


  200. This is Predator number 1. His moniker is Ataraxia. He was responding to a pretty humane poster named Gil, and his monstrousness came out.

    http://messageboard.tuckermax.com/archive/index.php/t-11819.html

    Ataraxia:

    Ataraxia
    02-28-2007, 04:40 PM
    The difference between a pickup and a seduction is that seducers fall deeply in love with the ones they seduce (they are not just out for sex), and for that they are forgiven by them because even after the seduction they are still charmed by the fact they were loved enough to fall in love with..
    that the seducer truly was theirs, if only for a time.
    Gil.

    [Ataraxia's response]
    I disagree. Many posts seem to distill motivation for Seduction to sex (PUA’s) or seductions of deep love. My motivation to seduce is entirely different. When I get involved with a woman my entire goal is to get her wrapped up emotionally in me while I remain completely detached. As long as she wants me but doesn’t need me I am interested. As soon as she needs me I end the relationship in the most compassionate manner possible. I will tell her why I can’t be with anyone and compliment her qualities that I do find attractive. I do it for the flattery and to give them a demonstration of what they should be looking for. Nothing irks me more than people settling for less. When I bring a woman to the height of my seduction and vanish I have set the standard for future men to outdo me.

    I never blantantly lie. I just avoid the topics of commitment and use what I have learned. Say less than neccesary, be vague, and let their minds go wild.

    Seduction is not for love or sex. It can be seduction for money, power, status, or merely because the seducer can do it.
    **************************************************

    He said it; I didn’t. Anyone who thinks that the “Seduction Community” is about consensual love or sex is living in a fantasy world. “Nothing irks me more than people settling for less. When I bring a woman to the height of seduction and vanish I have set the standard for future men to outdo me.” No, what he has done is set the stage for a woman to eat a .45 or jump off a building. This man’s got a giant case of megalomania that’s lethal to any woman who falls for him. (Yeah, I know I need to avoid tossing psych labels around…but how else *on earth* can I describe him? If I use the word “evil,” people will just tend to think I’m being religiously judgemental.)

    He claims that he lets the woman down “compassionately,” but that could mean anything from a goodbye call to a note left at the door. And how can anyone say that delibrately wrapping someone around your little finger while making sure you remain “detached” is anything less than predatory? Am I being *clear* about why I think PUAs just view women as game animals? I know HUNTERS who have more respect for deer or grouse than these conscienceless bastards…

    And did you note about how he brags about how he doesn’t “delibrately lie” but listed his other ways of deception? I hope this throws some light on why I get very suspicious. I’m sure his victims have no idea, *no clue* that he’s a PUA: no clue that they were targeted *just* because he was “irked.” May the real God save us all from those who would play God…

    **************************************************
    http://www.realsocialdynamics.com

    From the Main Forum: thread is entitled “The Claw”:
    Flannery’s claw stack

    ——————————————————————————–

    I field tested the claw yesterday and came up with some of my own stuff, to incorporate around the claw

    1. ruff up her hair with your hand (need to be well calibrated though), then when she gets a bit peeved claw her in firmly to show complete frame control dominace [sic]

    2. claw her in close and whisper in her ear/lick the side of her face for a second then turn your attention away from her for a bit

    3. claw her in close and press faces together and start gently swaying together with the music

    4. claw her in close then when you talk to her lower your tone, give her piercing eye contact and speak so slow to her that it seems ridiculous (this puts her in a fucking trance my friends)

    I could not believe how natural the claw felt, i was nervous reading about what i had to do but it just came out

    any other little tricks you guys have?
    __________________
    I know I’m going to die, so my revenge is living well

    **************************************************
    As far as I can tell, this is about “mildly” manhandling a woman in order to show dominance. From the thread, it’s practiced apparently right off the bat. How many women are manhandled daily by men as though they were children? Happens all the time. It ranges anywhere from being gently taken by the arm or the shoulder to getting shoved. Here, it’s being *practiced delibrately* to the point where the woman gets peeved and then he pushes beyond her limit. To show dominance. This is a type of assault. What would have happened to that poor woman if she turned around and slugged him like he deserved? He would have had a legal chance to press charges, and in some situations, *it just might have stuck,* especially if he made sure no one was around to see it in a dark corner of the club? Plus, even if she doesn’t get in legal trouble, this woman will get the unfair reputation of being a “hotheaded, crazy bitch” if she (justly!) decks him! People side with *rapists* against victims; I’m sure she’d suffer *some* kind of social fallout. (You *know* he’d tell his buddies.) People can argue–justly–that she shouldn’t care about the reputational fallout, but unfortunately women have been hypersocialized to fear disapproval. (Also, just to clear up a common misconception: PUAs don’t *just* stick to the bars and the clubs. Many of them will go out in public, open places to test their skills.)

    Also, notice his terminology. CLAW. Not “hair tug”; not “follicle play”; not “pigtail dunk in imaginary inkwell”; CLAW. He and others of his ilk fancy themselves *predators* with fangs and CLAWS. I read how one poster referring to women as “bunny rabbits” that were helpless to prevent his devouring them. I understand these are “just” metaphors, but they reveal a very, very real destructiveness to their mindset. A lot of PUAs LOVE hurting women. It’s legal sadism, and IMHO, many are as sadistic as any rapist or wife beater. While I can’t prove it because I don’t (yet) have the evidence, I wonder if a lot of women get suicidal after getting burned by one. I wonder. Don’t know, though…

    So, I hope that this puts some of my ferocity in perspective. I have no excuses; that’s true. On the other hand, I do have *lots* of reasons.


  201. Oops. I think the spamulator caught my post again, TG…probably because it showed a couple of links to a PUA website. Methinks these guys spam *quite* a bit…


  202. If it’s any comfort, Tyler D., as ferociously as I attacked you, I can defend you *just* as ferociously. You’r quite right that the attack felt personal; it was designed to get inside the head of a PUA/seduction artist. Only a predator would have deserved that kind of blitzkrieg, and for that I’m deeply, deeply *sorry*

    Apology accepted – it was an honest mistake and perfectly understandable. I guess it’s not a surprise that one of these guys would want to identify with Tyler Durden as a strong male character.

    But I’m a big boy, and ‘teh internets’ have seen lots of worse and more personal attacks for far less valid reasons.

    I think the alias that I unfortunately share with this manipulative character is popular among men who believe that they are trying to grow personally by rejecting certain assumptions that society imposes upon us.

    I’m trying to analyze factors like those I mentioned earlier – male privilege, entitlement, homophobia, racism, etc – to figure out how they shaped my attitudes and assumptions as I was growing up. I think the first step for me was saying, “what if?” Saying “what if I have benefited from male privilege?” or “what if I have benefited from racism and white privilege?” and following those questions to their conclusion is very mind opening.

    The PUA culture also views itself as rejecting prevailing assumptions about male-female social interaction, but it substitutes other (incorrect) assumptions – women have all the power and privilege in such interactions, manipulation and deception is the way for men to take their power back (reassert male privilege and “put women in their place”), and all women are secretly looking to work in the kitchen and laundry room and be dominated by a big alpha dude. A lot of this is just old-school patriarchal assumptions coded in an avant-garde form and, apparently, now used to sell seminars and DVDs. It must pay well, telling men what they want to hear.


  203. You better believe it pays well to tell men what they want to hear. What I don’t understand is how the male PUA students can’t figure out how *they’re* getting preyed on. If they think they’re at the top of the food chain in this whole deal, they’re out of their minds…I guarantee you that Ross Jeffries is laughing all the way to the bank. And unlike your cocaine or heroin overlords, he’ll (most likely) never have to worry about DEA sting operations…

    Unfortunately, the old-school beliefs are getting recent updates and nasty, effective techniques that goes with it. I’m not saying that women are completely helpless in the face of it, but we *are* woefully behind the curve in learning how to deal with it. I plan to do something about it, hence my decision to study NLP and the nasty PUA methodologies that they use along with it.

    I am glad that you’re examining the “ism” conditioning we all grow up with. I myself think I need to work on my white privilege mindset and upper-classism (although being a member of the working poor since I was 19 appears to have cured me of a *lot* of its delusions). Socrates so truthfully said that the unexamined life isn’t worth living. Unfortunately, American social life doesn’t encourage introspection or examination of cultural factors like homophobia or racism and how it impacts our internal world. Americans are good activists in our own way, but we get easily derailed from genuine societal change because of our lack of introspection, which causes us to be naive about just how deeply ingrained so much of this stuff is.

    And the lack of introspection *makes* it harder to deal with this stuff. *To catch* a lot of PUA mindgames and manipulation, one has to pay very strict attention to one’s feelings and trust one’s gut. Sometimes one will be wrong; most of the time, the gut is what’s right.


  204. In my experience with the seduction community, I have found it to be a mixed bag. I am not here, however, to argue for what I think are the merits of the community (though I’m happy to outline those arguments if anyone asks), since Thinking Girl has made clear that she is making this thread a space for a critique of the community. Nor am I here to argue Feminism 101; I do that enough on my own blog. I am here because I believe that there are problems with the seduction community that deserve a critique, and that feminism provides ideas that are useful for such a critique. (This may seem strange considering that I run a blog called FeministCritics.org, yet I have never argued that feminism is all wrong. In fact, there are certain aspects of society where feminist analysis makes a lot of sense, and the seduction community is one of them.)

    The seduction community is a group of men who believe that women are attracted to what pro-feminist author R. W. Connell would call “hegemonic masculinity.” Prior to the community, some of its members buy into masculinity, and some do not. What they agree on is that women are attracted to masculine men (we’ll save the question of how true this is for later). Since they believe that the vast majority of women have such preferences, they believe that the only practical way to approach sex and relationships with women is by learning to perform masculinity better. Unfortunately, the performance of masculinity, as feminists have correctly pointed out, can have negative consequences both for these men and for the women they interact with. For example, in seduction forums, I have protested the maxim “don’t give a shit,” a classic example of male stoicism. Only a sociopath truly doesn’t give a shit. This doesn’t mean that PUAs are sociopaths, but it is disturbing that they feel they need to adopt stoic and quasi-sociopathic attitudes in order to be successful with women.

    PUAs believe that women are attracted to dominant men (aka “alpha males”). They believe that this is “proven” by science (actually, the scientific research is a bit more complex). Obviously, this view is problematic from a feminist standpoint, considering feminism’s emphasis on demolishing male dominance over women. PUAs employ various tactics to establish themselves as the dominant person in the interaction (e.g. “displaying higher value,” or “DHV”). These techniques range from subtle conversational tricks, to more obvious ones, such as manhandling women physically. (Btw, the Real Social Dynamics guy posting about the “claw” technique is, I think, a good example of why RSD, and Tyler Durden, have a bad reputation in the community at large. If that guy posted his “claw” technique on most seduction forums I’ve seen, he would get laughed at for that term. However, being physical with women, often in a dominant way, is a common technique in the community at large. The technical term for physical touching is “kino.”)

    There are several aspects of the seduction community that I would be interested in hearing your (that is, feminist posters in the thread who are critical of PUAs) perspective on:

    Reading this thread, I get the sense that you view that community as a monolith that is evil and misogynistic. In response, I am wondering: Is the community all bad, or just mostly bad? There are many different methods and schools of thought in the community, and disputes among the gurus. This thread focuses a lot on hypnosis and NLP, which are primarily popularized by Ross Jeffries. Other schools of thought (e.g. Mystery Method, David DeAngelo, Juggler, Real Social Dynamics, Pickup 101) draw only minimally on NLP, viewing it and hypnosis as outdated and ineffective.

    Those familiar with the multiplicity of perspectives in the community might find your critique to have a lot of truth in it, but to be overgeneralized and oversimplified. For instance, Scarred picks a couple examples of people posting on forums about seduction to prove how predatory and misogynistic PUAs are. In the example of “Ataraxia,” it’s easy to agree to that his attitude is predatory. Yet his practices are not representative of PUAs in general; they aren’t usually out to get women to fall in love with them. In some ways, that’s actually backwards: PUAs often try to make sure women don’t fall in love with them, especially PUAs who aren’t interested in relationships. Why is this? Because it will help them avoid “drama” and “stalker chicks.” I don’t disagree that misogynistic thinking is prevalent in the community; I just think the misogyny works somewhat differently.

    I think posters in this thread are on the right track when they focus on the average guy in the community who just wants to get a bit more attention from women (not just on the guys who do have hyper-masculinist or sociopathic attitudes), and wonder what aspects of the masculine ideology of the community are attractive to such guys.

    I will be interested to see your views of the community change (if they do) when you all have had an opportunity to fully research the various styles and philosophies in the community. Perhaps you might see some as being less misogynistic than others or even as having beneficial aspects towards women; alternatively, perhaps you will see them all as being different flavors of misogyny.

    Instead of delivering a lecture on all the different styles of pickup, I will just show you. Compare the styles of Ross Jeffries, Pickup 101 (here and here), and David DeAngelo. Notice the variations and similarities of the methods and attitudes towards women that these styles contain.

    I have a lot more to say on this subject, but only if it is welcome. The bottom line is that I know, as an insider, that many aspects of the seduction community are misogynistic and objectifying towards women, that this is an injustice, and that either the community must change, or an alternative to it must be created for guys who are struggling with women. If merely my experience in the seduction community, and my view that some aspects of it that are positive and ethical (a view that I won’t argue here unless asked to), are enough to disqualify me from this discussion, despite my willingness to look at the seduction community from a feminist standpoint, then I’ll leave you guys to do your thing. If Scarred especially doesn’t want to respond to me, then I totally understand (what happened to you was wrong, and I see how it would make you suspicious about men).

    On the other hand, if you all want to learn more about the logic behind PUA ideology, to find out more about the practices of PUAs, resources to help you research the community, or to hear what I think is wrong (or right) with it, then let me know and I’ll do my best. While part of me hopes that people here will come to see things the way I do, I know that not everyone is going to. Ultimately, all I can do is give information and my own perspective, and you all will make up your own minds.


  205. Hi Hugh – I’m familiar with your blog, and your sorta MRA/PUA defensive PHMT stance on most things. I don’t agree with your general standpoint, but I’ll allow your comment to stand here, because it’s possible that what you have to say might be helpful to the discussion, and because you’ve been absolutely polite and followed my discussion rules, and because I think dialogue and discussion is important and including different perspectives is key to that. My primary concern is to maintain a “safe” space for commenters to discuss this topic, and for that reason I have added you to the moderation queue; all your posts will be moderated. That said, the only comments I have ever prevented have been ones that have been obviously vitriolic, misogynistic, racist, homophobic, and/or threatening. And of course, I use my own discretion as to what fits that criteria.

    I for one would like to hear a bit more about what you think the problems are in the PUA community, and perhaps what alternatives might be helpful to increase honesty and communication within the dating sphere (so long as they don’t involve women just being nicer or more willing to sleep with guys or some such BS). In my mind, guys who have problems with women need to figure that shit out for themselves; I don’t mean by themselves, but I do mean without blaming women and without demanding women be more accomodating and without resorting to underhanded trickery. I mean, figure out what your problem is and solve it, and if that means maybe dating a different kind of woman, or giving up misogynistic attitudes about women as objects, or growing the fuck up, then so be it.

    I do acknowledge that it’s tough out there in the realm of dating, for all parties. Everyone wants to have affection and positive attention in their life, and wants to avoid rejection. But consolidating misogyny into a pickup method is manipulative and sexist and morally wrong.

    And yeah, for the record, I’ve checked out a number of different PUA “styles”, and I find them all misogynistic and disingenuous and manipulative and deceitful. I’m sure that some men – like yourself, apparently – find some aspects of PUAism to be positive (after all, if it works, that’s what a lot of men are interested in – the ends justify the means), but I certainly do not. I’m pretty sure that whatever positive things could be cited within PUAism (common ones seem to be increasing men’s self-confidence, posture, and general appearance – things that I have no problem with in and of themselves) could just as easily come from another source that didn’t have so much misogyny and hatred of women attached.


  206. Hi Hugh
    I’m not familiar, with your blog, but I just clicked briefly, and saw the headline:
    “Should we Ban the Phrase “Gender Neutralized”?”

    -don’t take this the wrong way, but it tickled me…I kinda love the gender wars sometimes (I have a strange humour).

    I don’t have a problem with you joining the conversation, and in fact am interested in this:

    “Perhaps you might see some as being less misogynistic than others or even as having beneficial aspects towards women…”

    -because I am not aware of any PUA techniques which even discuss the benefits for women. If you could point to discussion of such that would be good. I am mainly familiar with the ones that follow the so-called Mystery method but I have looked at others and I can’t say any of them seem, well, non-sexist. My views on the seduction community as a whole: I did write about it in an earlier comment – not sure how to link to it, but it was April 2nd, in reply to Wanderer.
    Also, one of the main things I find disturbing about the business side of it is the lack of follow up. I mean, these sites sometimes have ‘testimonials’ from their customers, but where are the voices of the happy multitudes they are targeting? What about the women getting ‘serviced’? (Not sure how to phrase it)…


  207. A Note to the Thread in General:

    While I *focus* *primarily* on the use of NLP hypnosis in the PUA methology, by no means am I claiming that’s *all* that’s used. And the kinesthetic manipulation that almost all PUA schools investigate and use were honed to a razor’s edge in NLP.

    The two threads I posted are *anything but* “straw-man” examples to knock down here. I posted the examples that *I thought* were the most *HONEST* and forthright ones, one each off of *two* websites. IMO, *ANY* man who is going to go into any one of the schools for PUA instruction *in my belief* has already drunk the PUA Kool-Aid. The question *is* whether he’s conscious about it or not. The examples I posted are PUAs who don’t lie to themselves about mental aggression towards women. Even Zan Perrion and Neil Strauss are suspect in my book, and they seem to have the most ethics of the bunch.

    Zan Perrion I will never trust because of the company he keeps: he has allowed himself to be around other PUAs although renouncing the title for himself–a damn shame, because in some ways he really is a decent human being, a swan among ravens. But his feathers have been sooted, so to speak, by allowing himself giving advice to other PUAs who almost certainly didn’t have his cleaner motives. And his “passion” for multiple women leaves me suspicious. If he loves women so much, why run through them like water? Does he love women, or the idea of Woman? I don’t doubt that what I’ve seen of his website appears to be very humane and egalitarian…but I don’t have his DVDs and his training modules, so how can I verify that he’s teaching what he’s preaching? And if he’s so humane, why did he allow himself get *ANYWHERE* near the PUA Mystery, who is known for some pretty fucking inhumane shit.

    And Mystery’s compadres are by no means nice people either. Get a load of this; check out THIS nice little thread when a woman isn’t compliant:

    http://www.themysterymethod.com/forum/showthread.php?t=37865

    If this thread doesn’t show up on the blog, TELL ME and I will quote its contents. Just *LOOK* on the detailed *massive* assault recommended by Reston 12000 on this independent woman’s self-esteem. If **********I*****************acted this way towards a man, I’D BE CALLED A *CASTRATING BITCH.*

    I can break out Ross Jeffries’ books and do direct quotes from them. They’ll mirror the same hate and misogyny that the Tyler Durden/Real Social Dynamics people do. Actually, in spots he makes them look tame.

    And while Neil Strauss *does* have an elementary conscience, he still participates in the “Alpha Male” dominance games, albeit with as much attempt to not consciously hurt or offend the women he’s seduced. But even someone with a conscience can hate or have strong anger deep in their innermost selves.

    Strauss will also be the first one to tell you that the PUA tricks he learned and wrote about in the game are positively rotten for relationships. He knows the dominator tactics are poisonous for human connnection. From his interview in the online magazine Urban Daddy:

    http://www.urbandaddy.com/articles/494/ud_profile

    UD: How does The Game change when you’re in a relationship?
    NS: Nothing you learn in The Game helps in a relationship…the rules are almost the opposite. With The Game you learn don’t give people generic compliments, don’t take her out on romantic dates, don’t buy her things. Well, when you’re in a relationship, you’re always going to be wanting to give generic compliments and getting her things.

    Strauss is also *very* honest when it comes to the effects of “The Game.” He isn’t bullshitting: he knows the PUAs have turned the dating scene into a landmine for women. Witness the following:

    UD: What are you working on now?
    NS: I’m working on a version of The Game for women.

    UD: I was going to ask you about female pickup artists and how The Game works from the female perspective.
    NS: The female version of The Game is about how not to get hurt. And how to trust and not expose yourself to danger.

    As I’ve said before on this thread in a post in a galaxy far, far away, Strauss put on the frontispiece of his book “The Game” the following message: “Hate the game, not the player.” If he wasn’t afraid that he or other PUAs were going to be seen as monsters?

    Can someone name me even one feminist who has begged not to be hated for fear of being seen as evil?

    And while we’re at it, if PUAdom is so great for women, why would “Style” (Strauss’ moniker) write a book to advise women on how to protect themselves? Neil Strauss may be a lot of things, but the man isn’t stupid or blind, I’ll give him that. Would someone like to bet me that Strauss sometimes lies awake at nights worrying about what he’s done? Note that I said that *a lot* of PUAs like to hurt women. A lot doesn’t mean *all.* One can be part of an inhumane system and yet not be a sadist. There are a lot of stark raving *alcoholics* who feel horridly when they’re sober when they consider what they’re doing to their families. Doesn’t stop them from drinking, though. And if Strauss can’t bring himself to renounce PUAism and not teach it anymore, what does this say about his sexual compulsivity?

    *However.* I state catagorically and without remorse or reserve that *any system that encourages and puts women beneath alpha males* is inherently destructive to the psyche and integrity of women. *ANY* system. Even if Zan Perrion gets every woman on earth to celebrate him as a god, it’s still *destructive* to them. Only *God* should get to play God. Although I *am* a dyed-in-the-wool theist, I admire atheists for refusing to bow down to *ANY* person, place, or thing. I *do* think there’s a God, but it sure as hell isn’t any PUA (or human being, for that matter) on earth.
    **************************************************
    I’m returning to my previous policy of March 31st, 2007, 9:45 am. What others choose to do on this thread is OK with me, I’ll accept it…but as for me, I’m returning to my silence regarding PUA apologist arguments. This is one discussion you, PUAs, don’t get to control or derail. MY MISSION IS TO STOP YOUR INFLUENCE. I *will* succeed, and in fact I’m succeeding now…because the truth will *ALWAYS* out.
    **************************************************
    From here on in, my posts are going to be about stopping PUA methodology in its tracks, or suggested methods of resistance, or responding to other posters who want to stop it as well.
    ******************************************************************************************************************************************************
    TG, Brain, Defenestrated: I just created my own blog–finally!! When I’ve got some essays posted on there, I’ll share the URL.
    !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  208. I just got a copy of The Game as I am curious about deconstructing this creepy business. I do have a younger sister and hope that she is aware of the guys out there attempting to play these kind of (no pun intended) games.

    It seems like the apologists claim that mind game approaches are no different from wearing cologne or getting a good haircut, and in one sense I agree, but probably not in a way that they would like to hear.

    Personal grooming, working out, and other self-improvement methods lie on the perfectly benign side of techniques intended to improve one’s chances of attracting partners and lovers. I think such things are neutral, even admirable. On the opposite extreme would be criminal activites such as the use of rohypnol or physical coercion (aka rape) in order to induce compliance in a non-consenting victim.

    Although I know very little about the actual techniques used, it looks like the NLP/mind tricks lie somewhere in the middle – on the one hand, they seem to involve a lot of personal attitude adjustment, positive thinking, and mantra-ish, New Agey, woo-woo methods. On the other hand, they also use hypnotic and trance techniques to invoke compliance in others. (do these things actually work? It sounds like pseudoscience and my bs detector is going off the scale…but then I haven’t really done all that much reading on the phenomenon either.)

    So, somewhere on a tightrope stretched between a new haircut and date rape drugs… not really a great place to live and exist, in my opinion.


  209. I just got a copy of The Game as I am curious about deconstructing this creepy business. I do have a younger sister and hope that she is aware of the guys out there attempting to play these kind of (no pun intended) games.

    I have a daughter. I get *terrified* when I think about the ramifications for her emotional safety. This thread is convincing me that I should get her some materials so that she can protect herself. Yeah, Tyler, I’d get her a copy of “The Game.”

    Although I know very little about the actual techniques used, it looks like the NLP/mind tricks lie somewhere in the middle – on the one hand, they seem to involve a lot of personal attitude adjustment, positive thinking, and mantra-ish, New Agey, woo-woo methods. On the other hand, they also use hypnotic and trance techniques to invoke compliance in others. (do these things actually work?

    Yes, Tyler, they really *do* work. Depends on the practitioner: depends on the suggestibility of the target victim (something that is by no means her fault, because many are very suggestible due to childhood abuse). Depends on how much knowledge the target victim has. But yes, under the right circumstances, they really do work. Not on everyone, not all the time. But they do.

    NLP and other styles of subliminal hypnosis work like this: they don’t violate one’s willpower so much as they fly right under the radar of conscious awareness, so that the person is *pixy-led* to do whatever the NLP practitioner wants.

    Are they invincible? No. If someone spends her/his time programming their subconscious mind to sound an alarm when subliminal communication is going on, and if due care is taken to watch one’s feelings and *avoid any action* until the conscious mind *knows* and *analyzes* what’s going on, you can resist these techniques. *Also,* educating oneself to learn specific NLP techniques to recognize when they come up is highly recommended. I myself hope to research and develop new methods of resistance. One of the best ways to resist this sort of influence is to train the mind to believe that if anyone goes after oneself subliminally, one *will* win.

    However, here’s the kicker: they also work on men too! There are many NLP marketing and sales techniques. Oh, yes, men are just as vulnerable. I don’t know *where* people get the idea that men aren’t suggestible; they most certainly are. Notice how the PUA students *hang* on the words of their gurus. Just notice how *transfixed* they are on getting power. Remember, hypnosis doesn’t have to entail the really super-deep, not-feel-the-pinprick level of insensate unconsciousness. Some psychologists argue that *any* change in the type of awareness we have (and it can range from the hypnagogic state between waking and sleeping all way to keenly paying attention to the television) is legitimately called hypnosis.

    To my way of thinking, the PUA methodology *also* has a lot to do with the manipulation of people through their desires. What you want is what you’re manipulated through. Many to most women want love, attraction, and attention in their lives; some women just want sex. The majority of women are relatively easy to manipulate in sex and romance. Men, on the other hand–at least in this culture–value power, wealth, and status in their lives; I would *logically* think they’d be more vulnerable to outright bunco and promises of power.

    This link isn’t about NLP, but it does talk about some interesting gender differences regarding suggestibility…oddly, women are more suggestible when *NOT* stressed, but men are more suggestible *when* stressed. This study *suggests* (not *proves*) that when both genders are not stressed, women are much more suggestible than men. On the other hand, stress was the Great Equalizer when both men and women are stressed; the statistical difference comes down to just about dead even: both genders then score at 69% in this study. Here’s the thread; be sure to check out the sections entitled “Results” and “Preliminary Analyses”
    out of this published study:

    The Journal of Credibility Assessment and Witness Psychology, 2002, vol. 3, no.1, pp. 23-45.

    Study: “The Role of Preexisting Stress on False Confessions: An Empirical Study.”

    http://truth.boisestate.edu/jcaawp/200203.htm


  210. TG, I think my post *got caught* in ye old spamulator again…


  211. Thinking Girl said:
    Hi Hugh – I’m familiar with your blog, and your sorta MRA/PUA defensive PHMT stance on most things.

    Cool. Btw, I neither identify as an MRA or a PUA. But that’s a different discussion. As you can see, I’m fine with following your discussion rules while posting here. I don’t think a complete understanding of the seduction community will be possible under those rules, but I respect the dialogue you want to foster, and if I feel the need to say something outside of them, I’ll post it on my own blog and (maybe) put just a link in this thread.

    As for problems with the seduction community, there are many. In my view, you guys here make too big a deal about some aspects of the community (like the jargon, which isn’t as bad as it sounds, and doesn’t necessarily reflect how PUAs actually feel about women), while in other areas, you haven’t yet stumbled onto some of the most troubling aspects of it (like the daddy / big brother frame that I will get into below). I think that some methods and figures are more wholesome than others, but I actually agree with you, Brain, and Scarred that none is without some kind of gender ideology that should be viewed with suspicion. It’s not like there are evil PUAs and good PUAs. All PUAs are morally ambiguous to some degree.

    Let’s get started with a point raised by Scarred:

    *However.* I state catagorically and without remorse or reserve that *any system that encourages and puts women beneath alpha males* is inherently destructive to the psyche and integrity of women. *ANY* system. Even if Zan Perrion gets every woman on earth to celebrate him as a god, it’s still *destructive* to them. Only *God* should get to play God.

    I agree. Males acting like the “alpha male” and “displaying higher value” place themselves above women. Unfortunately, this is a requirement to attract many women. Yet men placing themselves above women is part and parcel of what you feminists call “patriarchy.” It encourages women to see themselves as less than their “man.” What happens when you have a whole society of couples like that?

    The other problem with the notion of “displaying higher value” is this: why would I want a relationship with a woman that I saw as “less” than myself, and who saw herself as “less” than me? That kind of asymmetry is a barrier to connection and real intimacy. I don’t think a man displaying higher value, and establishing himself as the leader of the interaction, is automatically wrong, especially if the woman is fine with it. Unfortunately, specific ways of establishing higher value can be unethical.

    Take the example of Cocky & Funny techniques from David DeAngelo (aka Cocky Comedy, or C&F). I don’t think there is anything wrong with a few cocky and humorous comments here and there. Often, women will shoot right back at you, so it’s even. However, in many cases, prolonged use of the Cocky & Funny persona is a barrier to real intimacy and communication. Of course, true intimacy and communication will not develop in every interaction between a man and a woman; they may find out that they are not compatible. In short, cocky humor isn’t evil in and of itself, but it lends itself to an unhealthy male-dominant dynamic when it is overused.

    This is the kind of problem that I think is most common with practices of the community, rather than being outright predatory or evil. I do think it is somewhat unethical to deliberately engineer interactions in a way that you know will inhibit intimacy, increase alienation, establish the woman as lower than you, make it hard for you to show any vulnerability without your masculine facade crashing down. Treating women like your little sister, or your daughter (i.e. the “daddy frame”), isn’t what I would call “predatory,” especially if the women involved participate and enjoy the interaction; but I do think it is far from optimal from an ethical standpoint, because it leads to damaging gendered power dynamics.

    Many PUAs would call me an “Average Frustrated Chump” for saying this, and argue that those tactics are necessary, and that I should stop moralizing. In contrast, I do think that it is possible to approach (some) women in a way that gendered power dynamics can be kept to a minimum. Some day, I hope to prove this. I think if PUAs spent half as much time working on this approach as they do on figuring out new ways to dominate women with low self-esteem, they would greatly improve not only their own lives, but the lives of the women they interact with.

    Ironically, I think the overuse of dominance tactics by PUAs brings out submissive, emotional, and feminine behavior by women, or attracts the women who already have those qualities in abundance. Thus, it proves the PUA view of women: that they are submissive and emotional creatures. And if women are submissive and emotional creatures, you know what you gotta show them? Dominance.

    Most PUAs haven’t figured this out yet, which annoys me to no end, but some have. They believe that establishing oneself as the leader and the person with at least slightly “higher value” is still necessary to attract the vast majority of heterosexual women. Yet they have realized that there are multiple ways to do this, which don’t have to focus on arrogance or cutting women down. Compare, for instance, this video of our good friend Mystery to this video of a Pickup 101 instructor.

    Both of them are leaders of their interactions, yet the Pickup 101 guy does so just by being confident, relaxed, and a bit teasing, while Mystery has a major battle of verbal sparring. I don’t think what he is doing in this video is self-evidently evil, especially because she started out by being pretty harsh to him (though since we didn’t see how it began, we can’t know whether or not he did something to deserve it), but I do think that it is conducive to a highly gendered interaction, and the accompanying alienation and lack of intimacy. To some extent, I think Mystery realizes this, and he tells her that she will eventually have to “turn off the asshole” for him to build “rapport” with her. Yet if so, then why does he use such a combative style that requires both people to be assholes to each other to build sexual tension? No wonder his relationships don’t last.

    What do you guys think of those videos?

    P.S. Scarred, I don’t know if you count me as a “PUA apologist” or not, but I understand if you don’t want to respond to me. I hope the fact that I don’t think the community is all bad won’t stop you from appreciating my critiques of the community. Ultimately, I would also like to see a world in which the seduction community didn’t exist.


  212. Ironically, I think the overuse of dominance tactics by PUAs brings out submissive, emotional, and feminine behavior by women, or attracts the women who already have those qualities in abundance. Thus, it proves the PUA view of women: that they are submissive and emotional creatures. And if women are submissive and emotional creatures, you know what you gotta show them? Dominance.

    Hugh (cool handle btw), I think this makes a lot of sense. The method used acts as a filter for the kind of people who are likely to respond to that method. The whole thing thus behaves as a self-fulfilling prophecy. And the feedback that one gets tends to confirm what one believes – if one acts dominant and it works, why act respectful in the future?

    I have to admit, this discussion has opened my eyes a lot. Previously I thought that the whole PUA training thing – which I had previously heard of in passing – was simply a real-life Queer Eye for the Straight Guy episode where you would learn fashion, grooming, exercise habits, self-confidence tips, and so on. Likewise, I thought NLP was a motivational speakers’ positive thinking technique, rather than persuasion, hypnosis, and compliance methods. Pretty harmless, right? Not exactly, as I have found out.

    My assumptions about what this all involved as of only a few weeks ago were pretty erroneous – I have definitely learned a lot. The masculinist and gendered assumptions of the whole business are pretty stark.


  213. The method used acts as a filter for the kind of people who are likely to respond to that method. The whole thing thus behaves as a self-fulfilling prophecy. And the feedback that one gets tends to confirm what one believes – if one acts dominant and it works, why act respectful in the future?

    You have just put your finger on the Achilles’ heel of the PUA mindset, Tyler; *precisely*. The entire thing becomes a self-contained feedback loop that has a complete inability to see *anything* past its primary assumption. I don’t care *HOW MUCH* Desmond Morris they quote or how much evolutionary biology they gibber: their main premises, that most or all women are innately submissive to men and are only attracted to Alpha males, is friggin’ DISPROVABLE. And their behavior and practices are going to guarantee that they see the world this way. If women were as innately submissive or as emotional as they *think* we are, the human race wouldn’t have survived. Who the hell do these bozos think were fighting the cave lions, cave bears, and dire wolves that invaded the cave when the men were out hunting??

    Hint: I can guarantee you it wasn’t Arnold Schwarzenegger in his role as the Terminator…(*humor*)
    And it wasn’t Ronald Reagan either in that B-movie extravaganza, “Hellcats of the Navy,” although goodness knows he was old enough to see the Pleistocene Era.:P

    Another hint: where does a 100-lb. grandmother get the ability to pull a 1200 lb. vehicle that has fallen off the carjack onto her grandson? (more serious)

    [I know I'm preaching here to the choir, but bear with me, I need to blow off some steam. This whole issue tends to piss me off big time...I'll allow myself one good vent, and then that's it.]

    And a point was made on this blog in one of the posts that Afghani women were so oppressed that they set themselves on fire to escape it. I can verify that thousands of Afghani women have committed suicide to escape conditions in that country. If women are so innately submissive and defeatable, why would they be doing that?? Afghanistan’s *home* of the Alpha Male. Sounds like the women *aren’t* enjoying themselves *after* all…I grant you that the women would be showing more Alpha behavior by directly trying to kill their subjugators, but when you’re reared *without* the knowledge of how to use weaponry or defend yourself, it’s *more* than a little hard to fight back…but methinks that if the United States government spent effort and money on training Afghani women to fight the Taliban, I think the women would go balls to the wall in going after these monsters.

    Actually, I stand corrected…Afghan women *are* going into the Afghan Army. Unfortunately, they’re not being trained for combat positions–why, I have no idea, because women see combat there every day of their lives. But at least they’re being trained to fly choppers…just found that on the Web. Maybe an female infantry unit in the future? We can only pray for that…

    I will again stand by my post of April 12th, 2007 of 9:54 am. The examples there disprove the PUA premises. The very *existence* of the dominatrix and the female drill instructor completely busts their main theory. They also have nothing to say about male Betas who go out looking for Alpha women. They would just simply laugh Starhawk out of hand as just issuing a “shit test”, and I sincerely doubt that *very many* of them would go to *MILITARY* boot camp and find out about *real* Alpha-Beta power dynamics. And of course, what the hell kind of a man feels a need to subjugate a woman and make her Beta?? Is this a “real” man?? I’m sure many to most just rationalize to themselves that they’re *just* bringing out the innate submissiveness of women…what they haven’t figured out yet is that *ANYONE* with enough pressure, coercion, manipulation, or even outright torture can be made “Beta.” *Anyone.* PUAs don’t think Alpha male chimps lose fights and fall from grace in the wild??

    And also…the very *existence* of the Beta male disproves their premise too. Many, many, *many* men are Betas. This isn’t a bad thing!! There are a lot of submissive men out there. My feeling is, as long as they weren’t abused into submission and that it’s a real choice for them, why not?? Personally, I *like* the girly men–and I *don’t* like the Arnolds! The only reason that a couple of PUAs got to me was because I didn’t realize what the hell I was dealing with–I was completely unaware of what was going on; it flew under my radar. Had I been aware of what their plans were, believe me they’d have been toast. All of my real relationships have been with what the PUAs would call Beta men. A lot of them were *damn* girly; at least three wound up getting gender-reassignment surgery; yup, they were Male-to-Females. Do these idiots *really think* it’s just a “shit test”?? You could hold a gun to my head to try to force me to recant my position: I’ll say, “Pull the trigger.”

    *Ugh*, I’m not going to go on and on about this…suffice it to say, I’m tired of people twisting evolutionary biology to fit their own subjugatory ends, and then when bringing up counter examples being told that I’m “not accepting” of the facts and that I don’t want to admit that men and women are “different.” May God forgive them, because they certainly have no idea what they are doing. Tyler, thank you for bearing with me…I *had* to vent. Gaah.

    *************************************************

    Okay, I promised I’d lay out methods of refusal and resistance to shut down PUA methods and attempts made on people. I’m starting to put together some beginning first-step packages. I still haven’t researched NLP thoroughly, but I’ve cottoned onto some nascent attitudes that I believe that the Resistor must adopt and use.

    Attitude 1 (more of a worldview, really): “I am one unto myself, complete and whole. I don’t need anyone to complete myself, justify my existence, or make me happy. If I want to be with someone, that’s OK…but I need *no one* to justify my existence.”

    Attitude 2: “I wait before making any and all decisions. I move at my own pace and my own time. Anyone who rushes me, gives me ultimatums, leads me around or tries to, or puts me down for not jumping when he/she says to is OUT OF MY LIFE, IMMEDIATELY. *I* am the one who decides what I do, and when I act.”

    Attitude 3: “I analyze, observe, and critique what is being said to me or thrown at me. I pay strict attention to the words if possible. If I don’t understand something, I ask questions and ask people to repeat themselves. IF ONE QUESTION GETS IGNORED, OR *ANY* HOSTILITY OR ANGER OR HUMOR GETS SHOWN WHEN I SAY SOMETHING, I TURN ON MY HEELS AND WALK WITHOUT SAYING ANOTHER WORD, in spite of any abuse, invective, pleading, mockery, or anything else that gets said after that.”

    Attitude 4: “I exercise great skepticism and neutrality/poker face when strange men or people walk up to me and intitiate a conversation.”

    Attitude 5: “I allow no one to isolate me or my friends. I will not go anywhere alone with someone after just meeting them.”

    Attitude 6: “I ACT ON MY THOUGHTS, NOT ON MY FEELINGS. I recognize feelings of attraction that rise, and then I shut them down by realizing that many women have been physically, emotionally, spiritually, and sexually preyed on by men who knew how to elicit attraction responses. I call to mind cases where women have been savaged in these ways by recalling cases where they’ve been preyed on. I will allow *no man* eliciting an attraction response to “reassure” or “comfort” me; I will rely on reason and not on other people’s blatherings or on my own wishful thinking to indicate whether someone is “safe” or not. Feelings are not facts, AND THEY ARE NOT INDICATORS OF SAFETY BECAUSE THEY CAN BE MANIPULATED. In fact, emotional feelings and attraction are not the same as real intuition. If I *do* get feelings of ‘wrongness,’ danger, or manipulation, I will only look to myself for validation–AND WALK AWAY.”

    Attitude 7: “I don’t allow strange men to touch me or get in physically close to me within my boundary around me. Period. Touching is reserved for people who I really trust, like girlfriends or platonic men friends I’ve known for awhile, or romantic partners proven to be gentle and non-manipulative. To touch me, someone must earn my trust FIRST.”

    Attitude 8: ” I think about all actions taken *first*. I don’t allow people to give me commands no matter how “harmless” they sound, unless I’m at work and being paid–or an authorized law enforcement agent is giving me orders. *GOD* is the only Being I will obey without question. I will not give my consent to following “small” little orders, nor will I allow myself to be trained like a domesticated animal. I will educate myself to the ways that domination, coercion, and control occur–and I WILL STEEL MYSELF TO REFUSE AND RESIST *ANYONE* WHO TRIES TO ORDER ME AROUND. PERIOD. I will educate myself about the Stanley Milgram experiments, and decide that *I’M* THE ONE WITH THE POWER TO REFUSE–NOT THE MEN IN THE WHITE COATS.”

    I will reeducate myself about the concept of obedience. I will learn to see how truly manipulative and poisonous it really is. I will dethrone obedience and compliance as “virtues” in my life and see how they’re really vices that the weak use to avoid responsibility. Only God deserves unconditional obedience. And by the way, other people don’t get to speak for God…”


  214. I’d say giving obedience to a male figure such as a mythical god is something you could also do without. It isn’t that “no one except god deserves obedience” – it is that NO ONE deserves obedience, period. No “except god” – not just because god does not exist, but because even if a god did exist, he would be either like the god of religions and unworthy of worship or worship would be unnecessary. In my view, no one deserves worship, period. The whole concept of worship, of a human being prostrating themselves before anything, is demeaning to human dignity and should not be seen as a virtue anymore than accepting one’s status as a slave should be considered virtuous.


  215. I hear what you are saying, DBB…and I should have made room for an alternative atheist POV in my statements. I’ll explain why, though, that I didn’t initially…

    Most people as far as I know believe in a God. (I do.) Some people believe in a female or androgynous mythical figure, such as what’s featured in Wicca. And some people don’t believe in a god, and that’s okay.:) When I wrote my piece, my intention was to give the majority of people a “platform” from which to work. However, I should have thought of a Attitude 8B, so to speak, for those who ARE atheists or agnostics and would like to use or have their stance replicated. Because atheism deserves to be represented too! I was really tired when I wrote that last piece, and frankly I just spaced it.

    My own feeling is that freely chosen worship to something transcendent is not necessarily demeaning to human dignity as such. Many people have religious and spiritual feelings of awe, worship, and communion with a Higher Power they view as greater than themselves. I *don’t* feel that’s necessarily dangerous to mental integrity, particularly if the people aren’t using it as an excuse to become a robot or are using it to exert power over other people. (I’m thinking of the many, many people involved in 12-Step and Recovery philosophies and programs that help get them off of substances or compulsive behaviors) Some people in these programs are atheists and steadfastly refuse to accept the idea of a supernatural higher power but instead choose something tangible as their higher power–i.e., recovery philosophy or the group. I will point out that in these groups, the Higher Power is not seen as Something to Obey or You’ll Land in Hellfire, but rather a guide to life that helps steer the course . Also, many people agree with you that if a Higher Power were to exist, it wouldn’t be the domineering figure represented in a lot of religions. They experience their HP as a friend. (The ancient Persians had a nickname for God…”The Friend.”)

    I *choose* to make room for a Higher Power in my life called God, based on certain very unusual experiences in my life. And while I did say that “only God deserves unconditional obedience,” my experience through my own lenses through my own lenses that very seldom will He/She ask for it. Usually emergency situations only, to save my life/physical safety or someone else’s! But, you’ve got the right *NOT* to accept the idea of a Higher Power…and I should have thought to specify that.

    You know, that’s just it…my experiences with God/my Higher Power have not been *anything* involving coercion or control…it’s been more like an experience with Love Itself. But it *IS* a valid criticism of organized religion, that it *HAS* acted as an organ of social control and programming obedient, compliant populations…so I can understand why people would be extremely wary of *anything* that talks about God in any way. A pity, really, but there it is.

    But, that’s been *my* experience, and I don’t expect you to believe me.

    And BTW, welcome back, I’ve missed you on the thread.:)


  216. Man, I love how this thread is like the little engine that could – it keeps on plugging away! I also love that I can sit back and learn – I’ve learned SO MUCH (like Tyler) from folks commenting on this. Thanks to all of you for keeping me stimulated and engaged (even when I’m not commenting regularly).

    Scarred – I love the Attitudes. (I would agree with DBB about the God point, although I don’t think it’s demeaning to human dignity to believe in a god figure.) The attitudes are awesome, they should be like a mantra for women on the ‘scene’. OH, and CONGRATS on the blog – give me the address and I’ll post a link in the blogroll!

    Hugh – yes, I know you don’t identify as MRA/PUA.

    The point Tyler picked out, about the PUA framework being a self-fulfilling prophecy, is excellent. Because of all the little ‘tests’ PUAs use to identify good ‘targets’, women who don’t fall for their manipulations simply don’t count – they’re not considered not successful, because they’ve already been weeded out. The pool from which PUAs work is small indeed – but the whole thing is about figuring out which women (i.e. the ones who have internalized feminine oppression!) will be receptive and then infantalizing them and manipulating them.

    I watched that Cocky Funny thing – I was completely appalled at the things those assholes thought were funny. Like walking along and pushing your target into a wall, and insulting her every chance you get in order to get a rise out of her/cause her to internalize shame and become more docile. I don’t appreciate cocky in the slightest, although I do appreciate funny. I just don’t think the two go together so well… and I certainly don’t think that what those guys found funny was funny in the least. I watched the Mystery video as well – what an ass – and the Neils Hoven one too, which wasn’t overtly misogynistic but I still found creepy and manipulative, although I can’t quite put my finger on why….

    I don’t know why someone would want to be with a person they considered their lesser either.

    Treating women like your little sister, or your daughter (i.e. the “daddy frame”), isn’t what I would call “predatory,” especially if the women involved participate and enjoy the interaction

    I would definitely call this predatory! It’s infantalizing, treating a woman like an inferior, treating a woman like a little child who needs to be directed and guided! It’s absolutely predatory – it’s completely paternalistic, and presumes that women don’t have any agency of their own but will blindly follow along with whatever they’re told or guided to do. As for women ‘participating and enjoying’ this kind of interaction – well, once again, we’re back to what kind of ‘target’ would be compliant to this, and again it’s women who have internalized feminine oppression. I realize that this can be construed as questioning women’s autonomy, but I think women who comply with patriarchal dictates should be questioned, quite frankly. I think it’s really really hard to eliminate all vestiges of internalized feminine oppression, particularly when you’re confronted with it on a daily, constant basis by our pornified culture. Possible? Yes. Immensely difficult? Also yes.

    I think it’s possible to approach a partner without gendered crap too. In fact, I’ve got a friend who is quite successful at doing this.


  217. “Man, I love how this thread is like the little engine that could – it keeps on plugging away! I also love that I can sit back and learn – I’ve learned SO MUCH (like Tyler) from folks commenting on this.”

    I very strongly believe, although I haven’t searched *every* corner of the Web, that this is the *very* first thread/blog/site run by a feminist dedicated to resisting PUA tactics, although I’m not totally sure of that. *Believe me,* I have looked on and off. This thread fills a *VERY* badly needed function. We can *ALSO* view this as the nascent beginning of the real resistance of the linguistic tools of patriarchy. I know that sounds a tetch arrogant, but I don’t really think so…the closest I’ve seen on *that* subject was Suzette Hadin Elgin, and I’m thinking that she was onto something but *might* not have looked as deeply as she could have into the psychology and non-verbal tactics of linguistic patriarchal oppression. To use a famous quote from a movie (though *I* haven’t seen the movie!), “If you build it, they will come.” You’ve built it, TG–and they are coming!:DD You can be *quite* proud of yourself. I only hope *my blog* grows up to be just like *your* blog when it gets older!:DDDDD”

    “I love the Attitudes. (I would agree with DBB about the God point, although I don’t think it’s demeaning to human dignity to believe in a god figure.) The attitudes are awesome, they should be like a mantra for women on the ’scene’. OH, and CONGRATS on the blog – give me the address and I’ll post a link in the blogroll!”

    I’ve got the blog up and running, but give me approximately 2 weeks before I give you the address…I’m such a gosh-darn perfectionist–I’ve got it up, but I’ve only put one post on there…and I need to, IMHO, have more for people to search out and read before I invite them. Yes, I’m being anal…but I want to make sure I have *something* for my readers to chew on.:P Plus, I need to get some technical advice from WordPress and figure out how to upload some photos onto the blog and get some posts/threads going.:)

    Yeah, I hope I’m never pushy about my theist stance–that’s the *LAST* thing I’d want to be. I could, however, humorously argue a point in favor of the atheist position–surely if God existed, He/She would have zotted Mystery and Ross Jeffries with lightning bolts?:P

    There’s a lot more on the Attitudes that are coming here. You’ll be pleased to know that I put my money where my keyboard is and went out and bought a copy of “The Game.” I will be greedily devouring it–quite possibly more than the Bandler-Grinder books, although I think that might be a mistake–and I’ll be making commentary, as long as people don’t mind my *furor scribendi.* [passion for writing]

    I agree with your position that treating a woman like a little sister or child *is* predatory. You expressed this quite elegantly. I was thinking the same thing in almost the exact words–specifically, I thought it *was* denying the agency of women. I think, too, that women have been quite thoroughly brainwashed out of their agency by poisonous pedagogy (childrearing), and that *part* of the task of feminism probably should be to help women get that developmental growth in agency that boys get but very frequently is denied women. In simpler terms, that means that women need to be more educated about power tactics, how to recognize and counter domination, watching out for stealthy and Machiavellian tactics, how to band and bond together as a team, etc. I have *OFTEN* thought that women need a lot more Sun Tzu than Helen Gurley Brown.

    I will also point out one more thing: PUA gurudom tactics seem to enable PUA gurus to prey on their students. I don’t think it’s classic sexual predation, but my gut feeling is that more often than not, a lot of it is supercontrolling.


  218. They aren’t teaching men to be charming and natural anymore then is a dirty used car salesmen.

    I believe in self improvement but what they call “self improvement” is actually learning how to lie and be manipulative to get what they want with only their self centered desires in mind.

    the tactics do work on low grade drunk women without brains and when they get low grade women using low grade low life tactics then they delude themselves to think women are low grade because their “self improvement” tactics which are lies can NOT attract honest women so they pant all women as liars and use it to further justify how they think about women…

    These guys are going from one extreme to another and since they went to being totally socially inept they got better results by being crude so they praise it and think that is they way to be. They are totally brainwashed by their cult guru….

    I’d say some of these gurus are better or worse then others, and many are really big low life’s.. Some are more or less neural and put in your hands how you will use the material.. like having knife in your hands you can use it in a open honest way.. or the other…

    the seduction community is the equivalent of the Cosmo magazine that women have.. maybe it’s lame and unethical, but unfortunately it’s reflection of the state of things..

    nothing is wrong with being seductive, but their is a open honest way to sell cars seductively to truly help a person make decision hey will be happy with and refer to their friends about and come back for repeat business and a used car salesmen con man kind of way to approach it, and it depends on ones intent and attitude and if they respect the other person and treat them as they would like to be treated or is they treat the other person as a object or trophy or other kinds of lame shallow ideas etc..

    Nothing wrong with learning sales as long as you use what you learn to represent and communicate open and honestly what product you offer.

    My advice to you women is be sure to work on yourself and by being open and honest with yourself within you will be able to EASILY spot and see this kind of dishonesty without once you have dealt with your own shadows no one can get past you and deceive you. Know yourself, study and learn deception and truth and how to discern between the two. Study propaganda lies deception and honesty openness and communication, and try your best to understand yourself and others.

    Unfortunately many women do seek and reward abusive men and of course it perpetuates what we have today… If their wasn’t a medium for it them it wouldn’t’ exist… And unfortunately the media pushes and perpetuates it very badly, and there is enough women that reward bad behavior.. It takes two..

    Smart honest women don’t fall for lies though…If they do it means they need to do some inner work and figure what dark shadow spot in them allowed form them to be deceived… Women are naturally very smart and intuitive, but they are being attacked and broken down by the media etc to make them less in touch with that natural intuitive perceptive side.. But without personal responsibility one can not overcome any challenges..


  219. Brad: I thought a lot of your post was right on, and I will address it point by point–but *FIRST,* I’ve got some new Attitudes to post first–some of which were inspired by your post.:)

    Attitude 8B: (For atheists and agnostics): “I think about all actions taken *first*. I don’t allow people to give me commands no matter how ‘harmless’ they sound, unless I’m at work and they’re paying me for it–or an authorized law enforcement is giving me orders that are neither immoral nor unethical. I will obey NO ONE and NO THING without question. I will not give my unthinking consent to following a bunch of “little orders,” nor will I allow myself to be trained like a domesticated animal. I will educate myself to the ways that domination, coercion, and control occur–and I WILL STEEL MYSELF TO REFUSE AND RESIST *ANYONE* WHO TRIES TO ORDER ME AROUND. PERIOD. I will educate myself about the Stanley Milgram experiments, and decide that *I’M THE ONE WITH THE POWER TO REFUSE–NOT THE MEN IN THE WHITE COATS. I will re-educate myself about the concept of obedience. I will learn to see how truly manipulative and poisonous it really is. I will dethrone obedience and compliance as ‘virtues’ in my life and see how they’re really vices that the weak use to avoid responsibility.”

    Attitude 9: “I will learn to look to myself exclusively for approval. I will learn to love and approve of myself in the face of the direst opposition, if need be. I will develop honor, integrity, strength, compassion, justice, knowledge, truthfulness, and courage within my own self to the very best of my abilities–and WALK by these internal virtues rather than looking to other people for approval, validation, or strokes. If someone’s attacking me or trying to guilt-trip me or throw challenges to my virtues, I will examine myself to make sure I’m living up to my own codes of honor–and ignore the attacker, as this is manipulation. I will allow no one to manipulate me by playing on *ANY* of my insecurities.”

    Attitude 10: “I will realize that I’m completely morally responsible for my actions–that no matter how others may claim to take the responsibility for my actions, *THEY CAN’T.* The men in the white lab coats or the player in my bed can’t take away the stain of what I’ve done–only *I* can. Therefore, I will no longer be allow myself to think, “I was only following orders” or “I was conned into doing something I didn’t want.” NO. ONLY 100% RESPONSIBILITY CAN HELP ME PROTECT MYSELF 100% OF THE TIME. I CHOOSE MY ACTIONS, EVEN IF I WAS FLYING BLIND, SO I’M *STILL* RESPONSIBLE.” (Obviously, this is not true anymore and goes out the window if someone’s been raped.)

    Corollary to Attitude 10: While being defrauded *is* a genuine victimization, my new attitude, 10B, must be: “I was defrauded, but it’s my responsibility to learn all the ways that someone can be defrauded. I’m still 100% RESPONSIBLE for my ignorance and vulnerability, and that’s going to change. I will see where my weak points are, and if I can’t figure them out, I’ll go get help to find them. Once finding out where the weaknesses are and just how I was fooled, I’ll correct them and learn new knowledge about methods of dishonesty. If I fall down and fail sometimes, I will pick myself up, forgive myself, and realize it’s just part of the learning process. Then I will go on to SUCCEED, because a person can only get wiser with these attitudes.”

    (The idea behind Attitude 10 and its corollary is that while the con artist/bunco/fraudster/pick-up artist is 100% responsible for committing the crime/fraud, the victim is 100% responsible for the vulnerability. If people can suggest better wording for these ideas that help people take responsibility without blaming themselves for being victimized, I’m open to suggestions.)

    Attitude 11: “Success is the only option.”

    OK, now to respond to Brad’s post:

    “They aren’t teaching men to be charming and natural anymore then is a dirty used car salesmen.

    I believe in self improvement but what they call “self improvement” is actually learning how to lie and be manipulative to get what they want with only their self centered desires in mind.”

    Amen to *that,* Brad! You’ve got it. I just got through reading “The Game,” by Neil Strauss, and I’m horrified at the level of manipulation these men commit. Weirdly, I’ve come around much more to Brain’s side, that the vast majority of them *aren’t sociopaths or psychopaths* but just very, very desperate men who have some serious insecurity issues that border on gender dysphoria. In a nutshell, I mean men so insecure about whether or not they’re really men and men so lonely that they’ll do *ANYTHING* to validate themselves through conquering women. And I’ve learned something: when someone is in so much pain that they’ll do anything to quench it, they can wind up doing some mighty monstrous acts. Some of these idiots are psychologically *on fire* so that they’re looking to douse themselves–and they think the only pool of water that’ll do it is women. It turns their *behavior* completely narcissist or sociopathic/psychopathic, although they themselves aren’t really that way. Their pain TURNS them self-centered–so self-centered that they become an active menace to the female world around them…Does this excuse their behavior? Not in the least! But this *is* a case study in how neediness can create evil…and man, I was and am horrified.

    That’s why I’ll never refer to them as “the Seduction Community”–that gives them way too much dignity and respect. Nope, they’re the PUA community. And you are *absolutely* right in that many of them are very, very brainwashed by their own gurus. Not all of them–but very many of them. There’s maybe only two “gurus” that I’ll give the time of day to and acknowledge as having some real ethics and morals: A. Neil Strauss, and B. Zan Perrion. Note that these aren’t the hypercontrolling assholes…

    “the tactics do work on low grade drunk women without brains and when they get low grade women using low grade low life tactics then they delude themselves to think women are low grade because their “self improvement” tactics which are lies can NOT attract honest women so they pant all women as liars and use it to further justify how they think about women…”

    *That’s* where I disagree with you, Brad. The tactics work on *vulnerable* women, not necessarily *only* on drunk, low-grade women. The NLP Speed Seduction stuff works, ironically, on the brighter, more curious women…with greater imaginations who unwittingly *allow* themselves to be led. The Mystery Method and other methodologies that emphasize a lot of non-verbal cues and controlling behaviors *tend* to work better on the less intelligent or less worldly “bimbos” (the “low-grade women”) who either have impaired judgement from alcohol or don’t recognize when they’re being corralled/controlled and can’t seem to exercise agency in the face of Alpha males. That’s the diabolism. I’ll explain.

    People have this idea that hypnosis works only on the weak and stupid who readily give up their volition. NOT TRUE. Hypnosis of all types works much better on the highly intelligent, inquisitive, and *imaginative*–who are not schooled in *recognizing* their own vulnerabilities or the methods of deception out there. In other words, it’s a deficit of knowledge, detection, and recognition, not will-power. (Although I will concede that it requires a special type of will-power to *learn* all one can about NLP in order to avoid being controlled and to learn SELF-programming. IMHO, everybody in America needs to learn this type of agency.) I checked out your website, Brad…turns out you’ve got quite a bit about NLP on there.:) As you well know, NLP recognizes that there are many, many types of hypnotic states–in fact, a good working definition of hypnosis is watching and learning something. (That’s why I’m coming to emphasize more and more critical thinking in combatting NLP pick-up artistry, and also in actually learning NLP and how to combat mind control.) *ANY* person who can learn is vulnerable to being influenced through NLP. *Any* person. The better the learner, the greater the vulnerability–until you *take* the blue pill and actually *learn* about NLP and other hypnosis/mind control methods.:) (Included in these ideas are things like mass marketing and government mind control, because *it’s out there,* and it’s deadly–to morals and ethics, to our society. Our mass hypnosis right now is killing people in Iraq!) *Then* the vulnerability ends, because now one has decided to learn the methods of mental harness–either to avoid being controlled and to work on oneself, to help others with their consent, OR to control others.

    I’ll respond much more to your post tomorrow or the next day, Brad…your post is extremely helpful.:)

    You know, it dawns on me–more than anything, we feminists are kicking off a war on mind-control aimed at women. If we do this right and develop our *own* methods of resisting mind-control, this could be extrapolate a general anti-mind-control insurgency across America and the Western world…IT’S TIME TO AWAKEN HUMANITY AND HELP OUR SPECIES RESTORE ITS OWN AGENCY. I argue that the very first arena we should take on is the PUA one, but IMO, let’s not limit ourselves there.


  220. Scarred – wow, cool – neat that this is the first feminist response to PUAism. I’m glad I didn’t password this post, or start a new one with a password, like we had discussed privately. I considered it, but I just didn’t want to close off such a rich discussion that I and others were learning so much through. I know that hundreds of people read this blog everyday, and only a handful end up commenting, so the number of comments on any post certainly does not speak to the influence it has. Thanks again for participating here with me. You’ve really helped illuminate a lot of things here. Good on ya! Can’t wait to read what you’re writing over at your own blog (so glad you did wordpress, way better than blogger)!

    I fully agree with you that women have often been brainwashed out of their agency. And we sure do need to become more educated as to the inner workings of the dominant masculine culture – we can’t afford not to.

    Love the new Attitudes – yaya! I’m with you on the personal responsibility deal – it’s a bit of a conundrum, in a way, because I believe that so much of the way society is run is very deterministic, and both limits and shapes how people live. Despite this, however, ultimately empowerment can only come from within – we cannot empower other people, we can only remove the obstacles to their own empowerment. And I think personal responsibility is key to empowerment. A couple posts I wrote about this: here and here (you need to read through the comments to get to this part here). Also, I wrote a bit about false consciousness here and here.

    Brad – thanks for your comment, and welcome. I agree with almost everything you wrote. The main point of contention I have with what you wrote is your use of the term “low grade women”. just rubbed me the wrong way. It hink what Scarred said, about such women being vulnerable, is a very good and much better way of putting it.

    All in all, yeah, I think you’re right – women do need to be secure in themselves in order to be able to avoid this type of manipulation and predation. We need to be self-aware and secure so that we do not become vulnerable. We need to be free from societal influences that pressure us to become prey and trophy, object for male gratification.

    Scarred – it’s pathetic, really. The only option some men see available to them to be “real men” is to denigrate and subordinate women. Gender roles have got to go!


  221. oh, and by the way, looks like we’ve attracted some attention:
    feminists on pua


  222. Oh thinking girl.. Theres some sleezy ones out there, but theres also a whole lot who genuinely like sex _and_ women. I dont know if your a big fan of romance flicks, but i am. Ive always wanted to be the don juan who just says exactly what women need to hear to make them swoon with pleasure. Before all of this stuff i always used to get too nervous to even talk to them. Now i have actually lived out some don juan encounters with women. I only have 2 rules. I never leave a women worse off then when i met her, and i never lie (unless she knows im lying (i like to roleplay ))


  223. Don Juan, how do you know that a woman knows you are lying? Plus, what are your criteria for deciding whether a woman is left worse off or better off after meeting you?


  224. A REMINDER:
    to those readers who have come over here from a link on a PUA site (several are up now) and want to defend PUAism and PUAs, especially by attacking women and feminism: you are not welcome in this discussion. This is a discussion aimed at taking your asses down, and we already well know how you feel about what we’re doing. You’re threatened because your pathetic manipulations are being exposed, and you’re scrambling. Your comments will not be published here, because they do not follow the discussion policies for this blog. You’re trolling, and I don’t publish trolls. You’re misogynists, and I don’t publish misogynistic comments.

    The moderation/discussion policy for this thread is officially this: if you are not here to discuss ways to deconstruct PUAism, you are not welcome to post on this thread. Period.

    Don Juan – yeah. I know that some guys are really actually nice, and really actually love women. I also know that some guys only pretend to be nice and love women. Those are the ones I’m concerned with here.

    And what Brain said. (thanks B!)


  225. Thinking Girl and Brain:

    Just an FYI, although I’m sure you already know this: it is a STANDARD PUA/Casanova/user rationalization to lie to themselves and pretend that the women “know” that they’re lying. The truth of the matter is that often the women have no clue what’s truth and what’s untruth.

    And to anyone honest who’s reading this thread: ANYONE who claims that they’re leaving women “better than they found them” is either a) a complete megalomaniac, b) a hardcore narcissist, or c) seriously deluded. READ ME, AND READ ME WELL: YOU *CANNOT* UNDERMINE SOMEONE’S MENTAL INTEGRITY, DECEIVE THEM, OR DOMINATE THEM WITHOUT AT LEAST *SOME* NEGATIVE CONSEQUENCES FOR THAT PERSON’S PSYCHE.
    YOU MAY NOT SEE THE CONSEQUENCES, BUT IT’S THERE, ALRIGHT–IT’S THERE. Purely, and simply, people: women are not forests or fields to plant–there is no “leaving” us better. If you can’t relate to women as fellow human beings and equals, really, you’re better off being celibate or politically gay. Shit, even going to prostitutes shows more baseline integrity…at least there’s no lying to the prostitute…

    Patience, TG and Brain: I’ve got an “About” post and one post on my blog; and soon, in about 3-5 days, I’ll be up and running for public posting. The initial posts are going to be personal, but WTH, isn’t the personal political?:)


  226. Wow, what a great post. It’s going to take some time to work through all the comments, but I’m so glad to see that you’re taking this on. I worked at a bookstore when The Game came out, and I was really bothered by it.

    Any time I see someone advocating lying as an acceptable way to pursue sex or romance, I cringe. It’s unhealthy and unfair and, as Scarred points out: it is a STANDARD PUA/Casanova/user rationalization to lie to themselves and pretend that the women “know” that they’re lying. The truth of the matter is that often the women have no clue what’s truth and what’s untruth.

    Anyway, I’m sure I’ll have more to say after I’ve read it all, but I’m so excited!

    Purely, and simply, people: women are not forests or fields to plant–there is no “leaving” us better.

    Absolutely!
    That sort of attitude- that you’re going to leave a woman better than you found her- is the whole knight in shining armor attitude, and it’s dangerous and flawed.

    I’ve certainly left relationships better than I went into them, but it was because both of us were learning and growing from the relationship, not because my partner had some agenda to “fix” me or make me better. It’s through mutual trust, honesty, and effort that people grow. If you’re setting out to fix someone or being dishonest, how can you grow together?


  227. My own general impression of the whole thing can be summed up in two words: Dating sucks. And that goes for everyone, regardless of gender. I’m so glad I’m out of that game.


  228. Roy: Thank you for your support, I really appreciate it. I really appreciate your attitudes toward love, sex, and relationship. These are the healthy attitudes that *everyone* should have for *their* own health and happiness. Weirdly, the author of “The Game,” Neil Strauss, would wholeheartedly agree with you. As nasty as “The Game” was, I think it was necessary for it to be written. Essentially, Strauss outed the PUA community. I won’t defend Neil Strauss’ behavior, but then, neither would he, I’m sure. Like I’ve said, Strauss is only one of two PUA gurus *that *I’ve* read that seems to have a conscience. In the end, he wound up in a relationship himself, and he’s said in interviews that a relationship requires almost the *exact* opposite of what PUAs advocate. An honest man, at least. He says he’s coming out with a book for women that’ll teach us how to avoid getting hurt while retaining trust. [??] I’m going to have to take a look at the book when it comes out. I won’t say he’s a feminist icon, but I’m at least willing to call him a person of conscience–and in that community, that seems to be *damn rare.*

    DBB: Yeah, I can relate. Dating *does* fucking suck. You are quite fortunate to be quit of it. I won’t say dating is *equally* rotten for everyone, but on *that* score, I’ll agree that it’s an awful scene for everyone. IMHO, I think the differences in danger and awfulness for men and women seem to be like this; for men, dating seems to be like polio. For women, dating seems to be like plague. Plague as a bacillus is more lethal (left untreated) than polio (left untreated), but one sure as hell doesn’t want either disease, *that’s* for sure. Marriage is much more beneficial for one’s psyche, and I rejoice for you.:)


  229. Roy – thanks for your comment. what a nice change from the comments I’ve sifted through the past few days from PUAs and PUA sympathizers. yikes.

    “Any time I see someone advocating lying as an acceptable way to pursue sex or romance, I cringe.”

    Yeah, you said it. And when it’s combined with patriarchal oppression, as in using women’s inferior social status to prey upon them even further in intimate relationships, well, double cringe.

    DBB – yep, dating game is kind of a nightmare sometimes. I’m not in that game either, but I am single. and I like it that way – I just might stay that way forever!

    Scarred – interesting – I’ll be interested to read that book myself, and especially the one he says he plans on writing for women. I’d still take anything he says with a grain of salt, but good to know he seems to have a conscience.


  230. TG: Yeah, I hear you about taking Strauss with a grain of salt. IMHO, the jury’s out until I read his new book.

    Actually, now that you mention it, other PUA gurus have written books geared toward women after they’ve educated men, especially David D’Angelo. I’m planning on getting them, but my gut hunch is that most of them are playing a giant social engineering game…*first*, they train men o how to do behavioral control on women in order to elicit “attraction” (gag) and then offer advice to women on how to get ahead in the dating game. I’m especially wary of D’Angelo, as I’ve spotted him advocating a submissive stance for women. It is not for nothing that Ross Jeffries referred to him as “David De Anushole.”:) (Sorry to be gross, but Strauss mentioned that in “The Game.” Thought you’d get a kick out of that.:))


  231. I don’t know if the follow-on books for women by the various salesmen in this business are due to a sense of conscience or a sense of fairness – I rather suspect that they are due to the discovery of an untapped market for their product (with minor tweaks).

    (“Hey women! A man who has figured out the dating game for real will teach you what he knows! Four easy payments!”)

    Seems like the arms dealers in Lord of War – you sell to one side, you sell to the other, people die, everybody gets rich. So it goes.


  232. “I don’t know if the follow-on books for women by the various salesmen in this business are due to a sense of conscience or a sense of fairness – I rather suspect that they are due to the discovery of an untapped market for their product (with minor tweaks).”

    Strauss’ case, I *think* it’s a case of conscience–but the jury is way out until I see and read the book. We’ll find out. (I get the feeling based on what I’ve read in his book “The Game” and also on interviews he’s done after he wrote the book.)

    The others? Unquestionably there is *more* than a touch of the arms dealer in their souls. I think the PUA gurus set out to create a really predatory dating scene, and now they’re about to get richer selling to the other side. Yeah, it’s an arms race mentality, alright…pretty fucking sick. And it’s *laden* with agenda–the restoration of patriarchy to the dating scene. Nice people, eh?

    That’s why I’m doing independent research on PUAism, NLP, mind and behavioral control, and subliminal persuasion and marketing. It’s going to *take* me awhile to come up with a really good package, but I’ve at least started on the research. I’m hoping to eventually set up a national clearinghouse that will collect stories, data, and information on how to protect oneself on the dating scene. Women need to start sharing their stories about this sort of predatory behavior, just like we did with sexual assault and battering.

    Blog up withing 1-2 days–Tuesday by the latest. All I have to do is write 2 more essays, and I’ve got it up and running.

    The first posts I have on there are essays, but over time more and more information will be posted on my blog. *FOR FREE,* if I can possibly do that. But what this is going to take is education and awareness…getting women to tell their stories and to listen to each other. That’s what brought down the legitimacy of rape and domestic violence in the United States, and methinks that’s what’s going to bring down PUAism down.


  233. Hi Thinking Girl. If you allow my comment, please use this one instead:
    Women love sex. Men love sex. Humans have sex. Men have not been taught by their fathers how to be real men. Men are learning how to be real men. Real men are not women. Real women are not men. Women do not approach. Men Approach. Real men help women to become real women. Women fantasize about real men. Real men are no longer a fantasy. Welcome to heaven.


  234. Thinking Girl

    Before going any further i will admit that i came here as a result of being linked via a PUA site however, I would say in my own personal defence that i am not here to mount a defence of PUA ideology i am purely here for dialogue since i have a somewhat ambivalent relationship vis a vis PUA .

    To put it my ambivalence bluntly its the result of two pressures. First is, i would like to be able to, if i meet a woman that i like to be able to talk to her and most of my life i simply havent had the guts to do this simple thing, thus i inevitably stumbled on the world of pick up. The other pressure is that nekkid mysogny makes me want to vomit and i would say that a huge percentage of PUA discourse is laden with it.

    I consider myself to be sympathetic towards feminsm firstly because in my family i’ve experienced the extremitys of male dominance in the household and the damage it causes (domesitic violence), secondly because i have a wonderful daughter who i want to be able to do whatever she dreams of with her life and not to have her dreams and the fulifiment of them shaped by patriarchal society. I am not well versed in feminist theory though, ive studied a little as a lay reader and also in my first year uni political science course.

    Whilst i acknowledge the fact that i am a white heterosexual male (although im working class hehe but lets not trade oppressed identitys to justify where we come from ;)) and am thus susceptable towards internalising and reproducing patriarchial and mysogynist assumptions. That said, I do have a rather self critical mindset and am always welcome to be pointed out when i am working on those assumptions. So, thinking girl i am hopeing that on the basis of me not wishing to promote PUA “especially by attacking feminism or by attacking women” that you allow me to proceed albeit with the (im sure) required moderation.


  235. Scarred
    [b]
    Strauss’ case, I *think* it’s a case of conscience–but the jury is way out until I see and read the book. We’ll find out. (I get the feeling based on what I’ve read in his book “The Game” and also on interviews he’s done after he wrote the book.) [/b]

    I think he is just about the money. I dont know how reliable this info is, but according to wikipedia on David DeAngelo, he was accused with some substance i believe of doing exactly that. Creating a market to use ‘techniques’ to women, and then setting up another company to teach women how to spot the good guys from the ‘playahs’.

    Looking forward to your blog.


  236. By the way, many of my female friends tell me that I’m a feminist too.


  237. good luck in your life..being a positive person would help you be happier too


  238. That was beautiful, Duncan. Figuring out what the fuck you just said is like trying to decipher the lyrics to I Am the Walrus. It can’t be done.


  239. Scarred, Tyler D – yes, indeed, the gurus work to set up the whole scene as predatory, and men to be hunters. which makes women Big Game, I suppose. it’s like a safari, and women are the lions the hunters aim to catch. it’s sick.

    Duncan – I have no idea what you are trying to say. are you defending PUAism as a way for men to become “real”? what IS a “real” man, or a “real” woman? I argue there is no such thing; the concepts “man” and “woman” have changed so much over historical and cultural contexts it is impossible to talk about what a “real” man or woman is without locating the discussion within a particular time and place. I don’t know what you’re getting at; your comment is a bit enigmatic. care to explain yourself a bit further?

    stixzz – I’m allowing your comments. Just be mindful of where you are commenting, and who you’re entering into dialogue with, and understand that you will be shown the door if your comments are about anything other than deconstructing PUAism.

    I’d like to bring up something you said above. you said:

    “i would like to be able to, if i meet a woman that i like to be able to talk to her and most of my life i simply havent had the guts to do this simple thing, thus i inevitably stumbled on the world of pick up.”

    this is kind of classic Nice Guy (TM) fare. and I think that lurking in there somewhere is male privilege, a niggling little voice that objectifies women, makes women into things that owe something to men, namely, their legs spread wide with a smile. (and if it hasn’t been made clear enough yet in the millions of comments on this thread, it’s not all about you in particular, it’s about the discourse.)

    I think a lot of misguided Nice Guys do end up in the world of PUA, because they don’t know how to communicate with women. BUT that male privilege is still lurking in there, saying that women should just be easier to have, they should come down off that pedestal of objectification they’ve been put on and stop acting like an unattainable object and start acting like an attainable one. and if they won’t do so, then GD it, here’s some tricks to knock them down. There’s something underlying a so-called Nice Guy’s move into the world of PUA, and that something is male privilege (if not outright misogyny).

    because the PUA movement isn’t really about self-confidence and better posture. it’s not just about shy people who get tongue-tied when they meet someone new that they’re attracted to. it’s about forcing women into their assigned gender roles, and about asserting masculinity.

    BTW, Scarred has made it clear enough she doesn’t respond to PUAs or PUA sympathizers, even when directly addressed by them. just so you know.

    TB – thanks. yes, being a positive person does make me happy. furthermore, it makes me hopeful. it keeps me driving forward, helps me see the good in people in spite of overwhelming evidence to the contrary, and keeps me from crumpling up in a ball of tears each night when I read the news. Because I am a positive person, I believe the world can be better. And it keeps me committed to doing what I can to make it so.


  240. lol @ Kyassett.

    duncans post does articulate though one of those fantastic fallacies that lie at the heart of the PUA community: ie setting up an natural-essentialist view of what constitutes the behaviour of women and men. But then goes on to argue that, women/mens roles do not conform to this anymore because of society (ie socially constructed) and thus men are in need of being taught to be what they allegedly naturally are.


  241. OK thanks TG for letting me in on this discussion i will try my best to work within the parameters you have set.

    [quote]this is kind of classic Nice Guy (TM) fare. and I think that lurking in there somewhere is male privilege, a niggling little voice that objectifies women, makes women into things that owe something to men, namely, their legs spread wide with a smile. (and if it hasn’t been made clear enough yet in the millions of comments on this thread, it’s not all about you in particular, it’s about the discourse.)
    [/quote]

    Of course its not about me its the discourse., For me it is very simple, i just want to be able to be more honest with the people i’m around. I.E if i have workmates, they are workmates, female platonic friends they are female platonic friends etc etc. But if i have a romantic/and or sexual intrest towards someone, i’d like to be able to convey that in an open and honest manner, without using manipulation to get an affirmative. Just because i like someone in that kind of way certainly does not mean from my standpoint that they should reciprocate.

    [quote]I think a lot of misguided Nice Guys do end up in the world of PUA, because they don’t know how to communicate with women. BUT that male privilege is still lurking in there, saying that women should just be easier to have, they should come down off that pedestal of objectification they’ve been put on and stop acting like an unattainable object and start acting like an attainable one. [/quote]

    sadly i’d say that viewpoint is fairly dominant in the PUA community although there are other viewpoints lurking around which tend to argue genuinly for personal development, ie makeing yourself into a person that has more to offer another person.

    [quote]because the PUA movement isn’t really about self-confidence and better posture. it’s not just about shy people who get tongue-tied when they meet someone new that they’re attracted to. it’s about forcing women into their assigned gender roles, and about asserting masculinity.[/quote]

    again there is little i can argue with there. Although, again i do have to stress that whilst this is the dominant viewpoint in PU there are others which are somewhat more positive

    [quote]BTW, Scarred has made it clear enough she doesn’t respond to PUAs or PUA sympathizers, even when directly addressed by them. just so you know.[/quote]

    fair enough. IMHO though, it might be benificial for Scarred to make the PUA critique being developed to be more nuanced if in the context of being in dialogue with some insiders of the community. So as to prevent the arguements drawn not be straw men..


  242. I would like to become much more acquainted with the work of Derren Brown. Can you recommend any books or websites? And I also agree with you: a thorough study of Neurolinguistic Programming and other methods of subliminal persuasion is an absolute must. I’m also thinking that a thorough study of facial microexpressions and non-verbal “tells” is a necessity. Any ideas for starting points?

    Heres a link to various derren brown books and B&G NLP stuff. Hope that i got this posted before money had to be spent on any of these books!

    NLP SHIT


  243. YES, FINALLY!

    I’ve got my blog (semi) ready to read.

    Let me just post this to see if you can get there by clicking on the website section of my post here: hang on.


  244. The threat of annihilation has become *THAT* much more immanent. Consider the following:

    The bombing of the US embassy in Kenya:
    The bombing of the USS Cole:
    The two separate bombings of the World Trade Center–the first one in 1993 or 1994, the second one on 9/11/2001 with airplanes that took out the towers:

    The bombing of the London subway:
    In response too.

    Scarred
    April 10th, 2007 at 1:13 pm

    The bombings in Madrid, Spain:
    The bombings in Russia attributed to Chechnya insurgents:
    The particularly horrific bombings in Mumbai, India involving several train stations:
    The invasion of Afghanistan:
    The two invasions of Iraq:
    The kidnapping of 15 British soldiers by Iran:
    The constant attacks on Iraqi citizens by local insurgents and Al-Qaeda terrorists:
    The daily coverage of this and many, many other incidents by the news media:

    You are clearly mistaken here when you speak of “annihilation”.
    These incidents, whilst undoubtedly tragic are specific retaliatory acts in response to specific grievances by the victims of American/Russian/British foreign policy. Cause and Effect. Violence never happens in a vacum. There have been eloquent reasons articulated for each of these atrocities – we would do well to heed them.

    If you know history, you will know that such acts are as inevitable as the changing of the seasons.

    You mention Chechnya – the city of Grozny was pounded by artillery. Both Yelsin and Putin killed tens of thousands of civilians in that pointless war.
    According to the Lancet, at least 655,000 Iraqi civilians died as a direct result of the illegal US/UK invasion in 2003. You neglect to mention those deaths.
    Or the 1 million plus Iraqi children who died due to the “genocidal” sanctions policy prior to the war.

    If you are concerned, you should be concerned with the imminent tragedy that awaits mankind with Global Warming and when the oil runs out
    These two areas should be the area of your focus and concern.

    “We are on the edge of the greatest die-off humanity has ever seen,” said Lovelock. “We will be lucky if 20% of us survive what is coming. We should be scared stiff.”
    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/science/article1751509.ece

    “As oil ceases to be cheap and reserves start to deplete, we will be left with an enormous surplus population that the earth will not support”
    http://www.newstatesman.com/nssubsfilter.php3?newTemplate=NSArticle_NS&newDisplayURN=200508010016


  245. I am also a PUA and I make no apologies for it.

    I must preface this by saying that I am coming here from a position of solidarity.

    I have extensively read Germaine Greer, Andrew Dworkin, Naomi Wolfe & Simone de Beauvoir. I am very au-fait with the current thinking on gender theory and feminism. I always found Dworkin a little extreme however I really enjoyed The Female Enuch (which I read at 16)

    I have also extensively read Richard Dawkins, Steven Pinker and Matt Ridley. Biology is destiny they would argue.
    If you view PUAs through the lens of evolutionary biology,it seems entirely logical.
    If you view PUAs through the prism of gender struggle – never the twain shall meet.

    What makes a good PUA?

    Loving sex and knowing women love sex and that there are hypocritical double standards in place by society.
    Society *is* oppressive and we are products -to a certain extent- of social conditioning so our deepest, darkest desires are suppressed and suffocated by a society that has a concerted effort in suppressing us all. (I am a big Noam Chomsky fan)
    A good PUA will give the requisite level of oxygen to allow such sexual fantasies bloom in a women. Like the way Connie in Lady Chatterley’s Lover couldn’t resist a bit of alpha-male masculinity from someone below her social-status.

    The Game admittedly focused a lot on the creepier aspects of the “scene”: NLP, Negs, Social Robots etc……

    Sisters, I can assure you that most wannabe PUAS are just little nerds looking for a girlfriend. In reality it is just an over-rated “self-help” movement for guys.

    The really good ones just have a rock solid sense of inner confidence and don’t give a fuck what other people think. We also have charismatic personalites that radiate and sparkle.
    We are always willing to escalate an interaction to a sexual level with a willing woman.
    That’s it.
    Elegant means the complex rendered simple and that is an elegant summation.
    No games- no manipulation – no deceit – no lies.

    As long as sex remains a gene mixing mechanism, there will be people – both men and women- driven to procreate by any means necessary.


  246. Woo-*hoo!* It’s still only half-formed, but IT’S MY BABY!:)))

    (Okay, that was silly, but I had to pat myself on the back.:))

    Okay, I’ll post another essay by this Saturday or Sunday…and *then*, I’ll start posting very serious and informative links on my blog.

    TG: sorry I’m using the same theme that you are on *your* blog, but truly, none of the other themes WordPress had fit the bill. I almost went with Neo-Sapien or Hemingway, but Hemingway didn’t have enough of a contrast between the black background and the print (gray! it *should* have been WHITE or YELLOW!), and Neo-Sapien had a great header but didn’t seem right for an academic feel that I wanted. So, I hope you don’t view me as a copycat–I apologize if you do. At any rate, once I get some pictures of pitbulls uploaded to the blog, that should *hopefully* customize it so that the blog gets more of a distinct character.:) Also, I have to remind myself that great blogs weren’t built in a day, so I have to be patient with myself. However, one of the reasons why I’ve featured a link from my site to your site is that I want my blog to eventually expound on the ideas we’ve got going on *this* thread (i.e., Terror Management Theory, sexual/power addiction, meme warfare, NLP analysis, etc.)

    Okay, now onto a pretty long post. It’s been awhile since I’ve kicked back and just let it rip, so I’m going to do that here.

    One of the things that I think is important to avoid being manipulated is to make certain that *we think our own thoughts.* This means that we must be very certain to come to our *own* conclusions by using rational thought processes. We do this by a) going on our first impressions *carefully*, b) using logic, rationality, and thoughts, and c) changing our opinions only on the basis of hard evidence, and d)being very wary of what sort of evidence is being presented, *who* is presenting the evidence, and *what* possible agenda they might have. Lenin had a good observation on this: he said that we must ask ourselves, “Who benefits?” when certain outcomes occur or when certain ideas are presented.

    One of the little-understood facts of the PUA community is that PUAs and PUA gurus are constantly trying to “neg” and “AMOG” those who are not of their group or school or method, or someone who they deem as a rival for their “target’s” attentions. I’ll define the terms as follows (definitions are straight out of “The Game,” by Neil Strauss:

    neg–noun: an ambiguous statement or seemingly accidental insult delivered to a beautiful woman a pickup artist has just met, with the intent of actively demonstrating to her (or her friends) a lack of interest in her. For example: “Those are nice nails; are they real?” 2. Verb: to actively demonstrate a lack of interest in a beautiful woman by making an ambiguous statement, insulting her in a way that appears accidental, or offering constructive criticism. Also: neg hit. Origin: Mystery

    AMOG–1.noun: [alpha male of the group or alpha male other guy]: a socially comfortable male who competes with a pickup artist for a woman or interferes with a pickup artist’s game. Origin: Old_Dog. 2. Verb: to remove a potential male competitor–through physical, verbal, or psychological tactics–from a group of women. Also: outalpha. Origin: Tyler Durden [of Real Social Dynamics--my add-on. Scarred.]

    You *must* understand, however, that the “neg” and the “AMOG” tactic doesn’t have to apply to the competition for the PUA’s female interest. It can also apply to the opposition’s field of inquiry or interest, or anything else the PUA deems a threat. The idea behind the “neg” and to “AMOG” someone is to *lower their social value* in the eyes of the group. It’s an undermining technique, and it can really sandbag someone to the unwary, the naive, and the gullible. AVOID FALLING FOR IT.

    Consequently, a reverse “neg” can be applied. Let’s say, hypothetically, that a group that *knows* it’s despised wants to advance an agenda. We’ll pick, for an imaginary situation, the Ku Klux Klan. Let’s say that the KKK wants a candidate to be elected into an office but knows that an endorsement would spell a death sentence. The KKK could simply go out and denounce the candidate furiously! The unsuspecting might say, “Wow, this guy’s getting trashed by every racist in the state; I should vote for him!” And they *just* might line up–given other factors–to vote for the crypto-Klan candidate. A far-out example, to be sure, but not exactly beyond the pale…

    This is why I’m wary when I see people either badmouth or praise Neil Strauss, particularly when he’s the only PUA guru I’ve seen who openly acknowledges the oppression of women. He lays it right out:

    “One of the tragedies of modern life is that women as a whole do not hold a lot of power in society, despite all the advances made in the last century. Sexual choice, however, is one of the only areas where women are indisputably in control. It’s not until they’ve made a choice, and submitted to it, that the relationship is inverted–and the man is generally back in a position of power over her. Perhaps that is why women, to the frustration of men everywhere, are so cautious about saying yes.”
    “The Game” by Neil Strauss, pp. 93-94.

    Now, feminists like myself and Thinking Girl seriously question as to whether women really have as much agency about sexual choice as Strauss thinks we have–especially given the realities of date rape and PUAism out there–BUT the rest of his observation here is right on. No bullshit, no lying to oneself or others. Strauss is *absolutely* not selling any wolf tickets here. This is precisely why domestic violence, marital rape, MRA child-custody-hijackings, etc. occur. Our patriarchal culture makes damn certain the dice are laden in favor of men, and no effort is spared to make certain men mostly win.

    Strauss’ observations about women and his (former? current? Who knows and who cares?) significant other Lisa Leveridge go as follows:

    “Lisa was neg-proof. Next to here, other girls seemed like incomplete human beings. For most of their childhood, females are conditioned to act subservient to male authority figures. Once they grow up, a certain subset of them–many of whom end up in Los Angeles–move through the world psychologically stunted, constantly dumbing themselves down in the presence of the opposite sex. They believe that the techniques they used to manipulate their fathers will work just as well on the rest of the world, and often they’re right. But Lisa wasn’t a doormat designed by the expectations and desires of the men in her life. She lived the advice that most women hypocritically give to men: She wasn’t afraid to be herself.” “The Game,” Strauss, pp. 398-399

    I strongly believe Strauss is “negging” on women in general with the hypocrisy remark. This might only be a reflection of his personal frustration at seeing how many women fell for PUA tactics. He did, after all, fall seriously in love with Leveridge, whom he asserts is “fiercely independent” [exact quote from "The Game"]. On the other hand, I can attest to personally witnessing the girls in my high school dumb down and act silent and/or stark-raving stupid around the boys in my class. *I didn’t,* and the social opprobrium I faced was horrific. I know for a fact that women can and do act stupid around men, and frankly, it has always pissed me off. Then again, the social consequences have always been fairly serious for women who don’t hide their intelligence around men. *I know*. *I’ve* paid some serious consequences at times for not being deferential and acting stupid.

    My point in all this? Judge people by their actions and words, *NOT* by what other people say about them, unless a) the reporting party is a reputable private detective, law enforcement agency, journalist, etc. with impeccable credentials for honesty and impartiality, and b) *the evidence is forensic and immutable*, i.e. unaltered tape recordings of conversations, forensic evidence, courtroom testimony that both the prosecution and defense agree on, hardcore documentation, etc. I have no idea as to what Neil Strauss’ motive is in terms of his future book directed at women. I don’t know if the advice he’ll give will be immensely helpful and genuinely agency-building for women, or if it’s going to be more of an arms-dealer mentality. Like I’ve said before, jury’s out. I checked the Wikipedia entry on David DeAngelo and was unable to find the information indicting Neil Strauss on being a dating “arms dealer.” I *have* seen stuff from DeAngelo that indicts *DeAngelo.* If someone could bring up the exact URL for the information on Strauss, I would be appreciative. I will add the caveat that we have *NO* idea who is posting *what* on the Internet…one of the reasons I prefer hard copy if I can get it…

    NOW, I’m going to offer the counter-argument against Neil Strauss. If he’s so damn pro-woman and supposedly a graduate of Vassar, how the *HELL* could he have participated in the PUA community? This is like Ralph Nader becoming the CEO for Halliburton!! And it’s true: first and foremost, we judge people BY THEIR ACTIONS. The fact that Strauss joined this community in my eyes means that he participated in behavioral and mind control on women, NOT a good or nice thing to do. So, I have absolutely no illusions about Strauss being a nice guy. What *my gut hunch* so far is that he probably feels guilty as shit about what he did. Time will tell if my current assessment is correct. I can always amend my opinion when more facts come in, and gut hunches aren’t facts. But my philosophy is as follows:

    Think Your Own Thoughts, or
    TYOT.


  247. I believe this last critique is based on a complete misunderstanding of what “negging” is. I’m not here to mount a defense for PUAism, if anything I’d rather inform so that you can better formulate your critique. Afterall, if you’re going to attack or critique something you should at least have a good understand of what it is you’re attacking.

    Negging/AMOGing (and to a large extent David DeAngelo’s cocky-funny) is based on the understanding that only people who are very socially comfortable will have the self confidence to joke around with strangers and make fun of them. In fact the only people who would usually make fun of someone are their known friends. Hence making fun of/negging/cocky-funny are all ways in which you could signal to someone that you are so socially comfortable with a stranger that you are willing to instantly treat them as your friend.

    The very important corollary to this, which underpins the whole PUA scene, is that those who are very socially comfortable as seen as attractive to the opposite sex. In the terms of the pick-up community being socially comfortable is to be seen to possess “high social value” and those people of high value (male or female) are those who are most attractive to the opposite sex. In terms of your current discussion you are using “alpha-male” as a shorthand for “high value”. Although it is not the case that the alpha person in any given group is male.

    Anyway, I digress, and I apologise for the long preamble but it gives the background for the point I’m getting to. In the current discussion it is suggested that negging is merely a way to put people down and specifically to lower the value of a woman, placing her in a social submissive role within the conversation. But the reality of negging is that it is little more than the kind playful banter people engage in with their friends. My quite serious question is that if you’re going to warn women to look out for predatory men “using negs” what tools can you equip them with so that they can differentiate negs from a perfectly normal pieces of conversation?


  248. Manipulating women to have sex with you?…that is ridiculous.

    Just go up to them and ask them to have sex with you?

    Why all the games?

    Sex is natural, it feels good, and makes men and women feel good.

    Like, duh, if you want to have sex with someone, just ask them if they’d like to have sex with you.


  249. One of the little-understood facts of the PUA community is that PUAs and PUA gurus are constantly trying to “neg” and “AMOG” those who are not of their group or school or method, or someone who they deem as a rival for their “target’s” attentions.

    Negs are definitely popular within the PU community but they are by no means deemed as universal. I have posted a couple of posts I discovered after a quick web search to give a couple of examples to demonstrate this point.

    neg example 1

    Last night I was explaining to my wing, a guy with Aspergers, how negging is dumb because it is used to cut girls down. I told him that it comes from lack of inner game, because by doing it, you are automatically assuming the girl is of higher value, or better than you. Then you cut her down out of insecurity and revenge for this “subjective” fact. This is a bad mindset. You are being reactive because you place her frame higher than your own. I told him you could never get too far with this girl because you are already assuming she is better than you, and IF she stays with you, she will only do so if you keep cutting her down, putting her in her place per se. she would have to be pretty low self-esteem to take this as well.

    neg example 2

    By “negging” you are demonstrating lower value, as well as trying to qualify yourself to her.

    The point of negging is to bring her down a notch or two. That automatically sub-communicates that she is above you, and that you have to try to bring her down to “your level”

    The other point of negging is to show that you are not intimidated by her beauty, and that you feel comfortable enough around HB9’s and 10’s to the point where you can behave that way around them, but it just sub-communicates that you are also trying to qualify yourself to her at the same time.

    “I negged you, because I’m not intimidated by you” so to speak.

    It’s like when you’re about to get into a fight, and your opponent says “I’m not afraid of you” or “You don’t want to fight me”

    By saying that, it shows that he is indeed afraid of you, but he’s trying to convince you he’s not.

    Same principle applies to “negging”

    I checked the Wikipedia entry on David DeAngelo and was unable to find the information indicting Neil Strauss on being a dating “arms dealer.”

    I didn’t make my point clear, my apologies. I was just arguing essentially that this ‘arm dealing’ thing is a precedent that has already been done. (At least according to the wikipedia article). But from my own personal experience with ALL PUA gurus (including the ones that I have a wee bit of a leaning towards), they are all in it for the money, and just like any good capitalist, the best way to maxamise returns is through finding new markets. Reminds me of the growing male cosmetic industry, some bright spark in some boardroom had the epiphany that there was another 50% of the population that was an untapped potential market.

    Neil Struess by doing programmes such as the “annihilation method” subsequent to “the game” being realised would to me, indicate that his bank account credentials weigh more to his concern than his feelings towards women.


  250. [...]  http://thinkinggirl.wordpress.com/2007/01/29/professional-pick-up-artists-run-woman-tricking-busines… [...]


  251. It will never sieze to amaze me, how people project such a negative frame on something they can’t understand.

    Pick up artist.

    If you think that everything about dating is honest, you are kidding yourself. Maybe It should be, but it’s not. Honesty died with chivalry.

    Or are you telling me, thinking girl, that you are 100% honest, with who you are, to everyone you meet? This may seem irrelavant.. but before you move on to bash what i’ve said, I want you to think good, long and hard about that.

    consider the images you project to your fellow human biengs. How much of that image is truely you?


  252. My quite serious question is that if you’re going to warn women to look out for predatory men “using negs” what tools can you equip them with so that they can differentiate negs from a perfectly normal pieces of conversation?

    And “kino” (flirty touching). For example in mediteranian cultures people are quite “touchy feely” and it is most certainly nothing sexual and/or sensual about that.

    On that point of “negging” and “playful banter” perhaps it is a case of mystery simply commodifying (sp) normal human behviour through the means of giving names to it. By doing so he can therefore turn it into a product and thus line his pockets.


  253. For more information on PUA ideology, i would suggest reading mystery’s (mystery method) ‘Venusian Arts Handbook’. It lays the basis for the mystery method which is probably still the most dominant form even today. It’s basic framework a huge percentage of the PUA community still uses even though there may be variations around that theme.

    Now one could buy the thing, or, have a look on torrentspy, limewire etc to find the e-book instead.

    Ross Jefferies (ugh by far the worst!) shit (speed seduction) can also be found using those means.

    David DeAngelo’s stuff can be aquired that way too.


  254. I still don’t get it, if you like someone of the opposite sex, it means that you want to have sex with them, because it is NATURAL, and it FEELS GOOD. So, I tried today, and the woman told me to ‘f**k off’???? what the heck??? that’s BIZARRE.


  255. and supposedly a graduate of Vassar, how the *HELL* could he have participated in the PUA community?

    I don’t get the connection – so he attended an elite college – why would that be mutually exclusive with being involved in the PUA business? If anything, it might make him more jaded or cynical about male-female interactions.

    So, I tried today, and the woman told me to ‘f**k off’???? what the heck??? that’s BIZARRE.

    Um, yeah. I sure wouldn’t have guessed that something like that would happen.


  256. stixzz – thanks for the links to check out.
    Scarred – hooray for you!!! congrats on getting things up and running the way you wanted. I’ll add you to the blogroll right away.
    I don’t care about the theme at all, it’s a pretty common one. if only I knew how to make my own template. *sigh* I wouldn’t even know where to begin. I do change mine up from time to time though.
    yup yup “TYOT”. yeah baby!
    yes, the negs. so many people who want to comment about the negs. Scarred, you are TOTALLY RIGHT that these tactics, used to place the PUA at the top of the hierarchy and affirm his masculinity and male privilege, are not just reserved for targets, but also for anyone that threatens that delicate hierarchy. tell me, if this hierarchy is so ‘natural’, why must it be so vigorously defended?
    Dan – well, thanks for your two cents. however, I completely disagree with your version of ‘negging’. what your analysis is missing is the fact that pre-existing relations of social power are at play, relations that position women as subordinate or less powerful and position men as dominant or more powerful. so what you may think is playful, friendly banter is really working to reinforce gender roles and gender power relations. not to mention that men who use these teasing and insulting techniques are basically just shining a big old bright light on their privilege. please, learn more about male privilege, here.
    Dan, you wrote:

    “My quite serious question is that if you’re going to warn women to look out for predatory men “using negs” what tools can you equip them with so that they can differentiate negs from a perfectly normal pieces of conversation?”

    well, I don’t really see this as so much of a problem, actually. Since I don’t agree with you that ‘negs’ are the same as normal friendly banter, I think it’s fairly easy to spot a ‘neg’ in a conversation with someone you’ve just met. I think the whole point is to make a note of how comments that are slight insults or jokes at your expense make you feel. And, like Scarred said, Think Your Own Thoughts.
    Women are taught from an early age to disregard their gut feelings about things, in order to be “nice” and subordinate, not to make a fuss, to be “sweet” and “give people the benefit of the doubt.” Unfortunately, this ingrained lesson places women in danger more often than not because it enforced the status quo, it prevents the boat from being rocked, and the status quo is a nasty thing for women. I think the best lesson women can learn is to TYOT, and listen to their gut, their instincts, and stop being so fucking nice.
    Honesty – this is all I”m sayin’. keep it real, keep it honest. simple.
    stixzz – thanks for the examples of negs you provided. please read carefully to note the underlying assumption, that “really, after all it’s ridiculous to think about women like they’re better than you, or higher value, or whatever, because how oculd they be? you’re the alpha dog, bro!” The discourse is still there that women are really not equal to, and certainly not better than, men. do you see it hiding there?
    “you are automatically assuming the girl is of higher value, or better than you.” “You are being reactive because you place her frame higher than your own. I told him you could never get too far with this girl because you are already assuming she is better than you.” “That automatically sub-communicates that she is above you, and that you have to try to bring her down to “your level”” (can’t you just hear the “how ridiculous!” in the background of that one?)
    ACE – no, I’m not kidding myself. I know that the world of dating is not honest, not up front. But what I’m saying is that it should be, and that PUAism certainly doesn’t help anyone be more honest with one another. it’s based on tricks and manipulation.
    not that it’s relevant, but yeah, I am pretty honest about who I am and what I’m about, with just about everyone I meet. And I’m certainly honest with the people I am intimately involved with. I do my level best to conduct my life with honesty and integrity.


  257. Will – “Sisters, I can assure you that most wannabe PUAS are just little nerds looking for a girlfriend. In reality it is just an over-rated “self-help” movement for guys.”

    that doesn’t make me feel any better, considering the arsenal of manipulations PUA gurus put in the hands and minds of these ‘little nerds’ that always seem to involve putting women down and forcing them into stringently narrow gender roles.

    “The really good ones just have a rock solid sense of inner confidence and don’t give a fuck what other people think. We also have charismatic personalites that radiate and sparkle.
    We are always willing to escalate an interaction to a sexual level with a willing woman.
    That’s it.”

    this is called privilege, and knowing how to take advantage of it. and taking advantage, within the context of unequal gender power relations means taking advantage of women.

    sorry, I”m not buying it.


  258. Thinking Girl said:

    however, I completely disagree with your version of ‘negging’. what your analysis is missing is the fact that pre-existing relations of social power are at play, relations that position women as subordinate or less powerful and position men as dominant or more powerful. so what you may think is playful, friendly banter is really working to reinforce gender roles and gender power relations.

    This is exactly the problem I have with negs and many other PUA techniques: they create a gendered power dynamic. Gendered power dynamics are sexy for many people, especially women. Yet that doesn’t mean that it is ethical to create those dynamics even if they can be effective. Negs are not just playful, friendly banter.

    As stixzz points out, however, realize that negs are a controversial technique in the community (they are primarily used by practitioners of the Mystery Method, but not by many other methods). So anyone who goes around slamming the community in general for using negs really doesn’t know what they are talking about. As you point out, sometimes the reasoning for avoiding negs still retains a masculinist logic. Other times, negs are seen as harmful to women, and stixzz’s first quote protests how negs “cut women down.”


  259. OK, a sense of perspective is required here:

    For instance, one poster thinks there is a moral equivalence between rape and “Game” and she is going to start a one-woman crusade to save the sisters of the world from us!!

    “getting women to tell their stories and to listen to each other. That’s what brought down the legitimacy of rape and domestic violence in the United States, and methinks that’s what’s going to bring down PUAism”.

    This is morally delinquent.

    She is doing a criminal disservice to women all over the planet by implying that rape and domestic violence are on a par with seduction.

    This is grotesque and hugely offensive to imply that there is a moral equivalence between rapists and puas. In a single paragraph, she has spat in the face of all the people that have lobbied for sexual assault, date rape and domestic violence to be taken seriously.

    As I said, I am very familiar with Andrea Dworkin and Germaine Greer. I think that some of their more extreme and discredited sound-bites have shaped your opinion.

    In the Female Enuch by Greer she said that:
    “Sex for a woman is just rape by consent”
    Dworkin famously uttered this outlandish quote in 1976:
    “Seduction is often difficult to distinguish from rape. In seduction, the rapist bothers to buy a bottle of wine”.

    Greer has famously recanted a lot of her views and saw herself as a “deluded prude”.
    If you still think that such thinking is applicable and relevant, then you will clearly see PUAs as the enemy.
    However, I know plenty of intelligent, cultured, left-wing women who champion the cause of equality who also enjoy a good multi-orgasmic fuck from a confident, interesting and charming man.
    Despite the protestations from Greer, Dworkin who are in alliance with the very reactionary forces of conservatism who have oppressed females on this issue, humans will continue to enjoy consensual sex.
    Campaigns have been conducted and waged against peoples libidinous and lustful ways before – they all shared one feature in common.
    They all failed.
    Any jihad that will be launched by misguided “feminists” against PUAs is doomed to equal failure.

    The reactionary forces of social conservatism and right wing economic power elites, along with Islamofascists in the developing world are the real enemy of women -not PUAs.
    By switching the focus from your real enemy to puas, you are doing your sisters a disservice and are betraying your cause.

    If you are *that* concerned about ethics (as you mention the word a lot in you blog)may I suggest that you would be better placed at removing the war-criminal from the White House and become a tax-resister as your tax dollars are fuelling a war-machine that the Pentagon has amassed:innocent women and children in are being killed as a result every day in places like Iraq and Palestine.


  260. Hugh R: “gendered power dynamics are sexy for many people, especially women.”
    -not sure what you mean by this, and why women especially?

    Will-
    you say you are very familiar with Greer and Dworkin, but from the sounds of it you are much more intimately familiar with anti-feminist argument.

    “In a single paragraph, she has spat in the face of all the people that have lobbied for sexual assault, date rape and domestic violence to be taken seriously.”

    Your above post is far more insulting to the people who lobbied for those things – who were (sshh!) feminists. Yeah, you know, the people you were just so venemously slagging off.

    Are you familiar at all with the arguments put forward by anti-feminists around that time? You should look them up…they, too, told women to focus on the “wider picture” rather than incidences in their own lives. Still do, in fact.

    Your argument against PUA resistance is bogus. You’re assuming that we can’t do two things at once. Think about what you’re saying. If political and tax resistance is a priority, then how is learning to resist mind games, think critically and educate oneself going to prevent women from questioning the state system, exactly?

    Here’s the thing, Will: if PUAs are investigated and found to be simply promoting non-coercive consensual orgasms *all round* then you’ve got nothing to worry about, have you? I mean, thanks for being so concerned and all about a few dissident feminists ‘betraying the cause’ but if that’s what you think we’re doing here then tell you what, why don’t YOU follow your own logic and go spend your energies elsewhere campaigning against more important outrages?


  261. Oh but Will, one more thing. I just love the way you call for a ‘sense of perspective’, and so clearly differentiate between the personal and political….then proceed to call any discussion critical of PUA ideology a “jihad”.


  262. “getting women to tell their stories and to listen to each other. That’s what brought down the legitimacy of rape and domestic violence in the United States, and methinks that’s what’s going to bring down PUAism”.

    This is morally delinquent.

    She is doing a criminal disservice to women all over the planet by implying that rape and domestic violence are on a par with seduction.

    Bullshit.

    Let me say it again: Bullshit.

    What she did was draw a comparison. It does not necessarily mean that PUA are the same as rapists, it means that she thinks that there are some parallels to be drawn.

    There are people who believe that lying ot someone in order to get sex from them can be rape, and it’s not nearly as ridiculous as you’re making it out to be. If I tell a woman that I’m 29 when I’m 28? Okay, probably not a big deal. If I’m one of a set of identical twins, and she mistakes me for my twin for some reason, and I know this and don’t tell her the truth so that I can sleep with her?
    Is that what PUAs are doing? I don’t think so, but when you advocate lying and manipulating women in order to get them to sleep with you, I think it’s absolutely an unhealthy practice. So, really, save your moral outrage and condemnation.

    However, I know plenty of intelligent, cultured, left-wing women who champion the cause of equality who also enjoy a good multi-orgasmic fuck from a confident, interesting and charming man.

    Which proves, what? Exactly? Disapproving of PUAs is not the same as disapproving of sex. Even sex with confident, interesting, and charming men. It’s a disapproval of lies and manipulation to get sex. It’s disapproving of the idea that sex is a thing that men have to take from women through almost any means necessary.

    Despite the protestations from Greer, Dworkin who are in alliance with the very reactionary forces of conservatism who have oppressed females on this issue, humans will continue to enjoy consensual sex.

    Which is great! Sex is awesome. I love sex. I want everyone to have as much sex as they personally feel like having. If you want sex four times a day, I wish you luck and hope that you find a partner/partners who want to get you off four times a day. Sex is pretty great, and I sincerely hope that everyone has exactly the quantity and quality of sex that they want. The problem is with the idea that you can get real consent through dishonest means. I’m an advocate for informed, positive consent. In order for consent to have any value, both parties have to be aware of what they’re actually consenting to. If you’ve lied and manipulated, how can your partner give you honest informed enthusiastic consent?


  263. This is unbelievable

    1) my first post stated that men and women want to have sex with each other and should just go up and ask to have sex with a person they find attractive.

    2) my second post I tried going up to a woman yesterday in a parking lot and asking her if she’d like to have sex with me, and she told me to ‘F**k Off’!?!?!… I was told to “f**k off”…whoa…and then, someone said to me, “man, don’t do that, you’ll get your head kicked in”…whoa, ok, I better not do that then.

    3) Last night, I saw I girl I wanted to have sex with, and so, I thought “I better not tell her the truth, that I want to have sex with her”…and so I said, “Hi, I noticed you from over there, I think you’re beautiful,”

    she smiled and said “thanks”

    PERFECT!!!!!

    So, then I said “would you like to go out some time, and she said “no” “.

    F**K Man.

    so, I tried two more times, and I was getting really really frustrated. I mean, these are beautiful girls, and I’m a tall, lean, healthy man….like, sex is natural and it makes us feel good.

    So, on the 3rd try, I said, “why don’t you want to go out with me??”…and she laughed and then said “well, you’re really nice, but, you’re just not my type”

    I said “oh, ok, what is your type??”

    she said “well, that’s personal don’t you think?”

    I said ‘No…..why? I like you, I’m not afraid to say so, tell me what you’re type is, I’m curious”

    so she said “I like someone who is tall, who has dark features, who … I don’t know …it’s hard to say, you can’t put some things into words, I’m really sorry, you’re just not my type ok”

    and I could tell that she was feeling uncomfortable and so I left.

    Wow.

    I mean, that last girl couldn’t tell me what she wanted, ‘some things you can’t put into words’,
    what the heck does THAT mean??

    But, what struck me, really, is that she didn’t even know why she didn’t like me. That is stupid.
    **I** know when I don’t like someone.

    3 girls all said “no” to me.

    and one told me to F**K Off.

    I didn’t feel good at all. In fact, I felt stupid.
    so, now I know,

    1) asking a woman for sex will get you nowhere
    2) telling a woman you think she’s beautiful
    will get you nowhere.

    I just stopped. It started to hurt my feelings I must admit. I mean, getting told to f**k off, and then, complimenting women and having all of them say ‘no’. Ouch. I felt bad. Is there something wrong with me? Am I gross? What?

    This is really really really weird.

    Sex is natural and feels good.

    I don’t get it. There are supposedly an abundance of women for men…I keep hearing things like “there are plenty of fish in the sea” and stuff like that.

    It’s not true, well….. for me, it’s not true I guess.


  264. To the thread in general:

    About “negging” and AMOGing:

    This is how Neil Strauss said in “The Game” about “negging”:

    “If the target [woman] is attractive and used to me fawning all over her, the pickup artist must intrigue her by pretending to be unaffected by her charm. This is accomplished through the use of what he called a neg.

    Neither compliment or insult, a neg is something in between–an accidental insult or backhanded compliment. The purpose of a neg *is to lower a woman’s self esteem* [emphasis mine] while actively displaying a lack of interest in her–by telling her she has lipstick on her teeth, for example, or offering her a piece of gum after she speaks.

    ‘I don’t alienate ugly girls; I don’t alienate guys. I only alienate the girls I want to fuck,’ Mystery lectured, eyes blazing with the conviction of his aphorisms…'” “The Game,” p. 20-21

    Question: if anyone doubts Neil Strauss’ veracity or accuracy about Mystery AND his definitions of “negging,” then why isn’t he getting his ass sued off by Mystery and other PUAs?

    So, if people are going to accuse me of “not knowing” what I’m talking about because I’ve used these definitions for “negging”, then they’re going to have to accuse Neil Strauss and Mystery as well of “not knowing what they’re talking about.” In my world, that’s called “having a difference of opinion”–also, *thinking for yourself.*

    Now, there has been mention made that most schools of PUA don’t teach “negging” and that it *is* a highly controversial technique within the PUA community, not “universal.” Certainly the technique most likely originated with the Mystery Method, but I certainly don’t believe for a New York minute that it stayed in *that* school. I submit that one doesn’t have to call it “negging” or teach it in order to engage in it. People have observed that the “cocky-funny” DeAngelo techniques can have the effect of lowering the self-esteem of someone you’re dealing with. This isn’t a form of “negging”?? Also, I’ve seen PUA advice to the effect of, “If she asks you a question, ignore it…etc.” This *also* has the same effect. “Negging,” IMHO, doesn’t have to be verbal. It can also be unspoken.

    Another point: probably many PUAs don’t stick with one school; most likely, like Neil Strauss, they attempt to learn a *whole bunch* of methods from various schools and apply/try these methods until they find the ones that work for them. Uh…am I to believe that a whole lot of “negging” and “AMOGing” isn’t going on?? Bullshit.

    Now, I’ll buy that *perhaps* *not all* PUAs “neg.” I can buy *that* claim. However, I refer you back to my words:

    “My point in all this? Judge people by their actions and words, *NOT* by what other people say about them, unless a) the reporting party is a reputable private detective, law enforcement agency, journalist, etc. with impeccable credentials for honesty and impartiality, and b) *the evidence is forensic and immutable*, i.e. unaltered tape recordings of conversations, forensic evidence, courtroom testimony that both the prosecution and defense agree on, hardcore documentation, etc.”

    This should mean, among other things that: a) if someone is not “negging” consistently over a period of time, I’ll buy that person is not into it although he might be a PUA, and b) I’M GOING ON WHAT I SEE, READ, AND HEAR. If I see or read a whole lotta “negging” on line, etc., I’m going to believe that a whole lotta PUAs do this–enough to justify my speaking in general shorthand.

    *AND,* the PUA gurus “neg” and “AMOG” each other pretty mercilessly. Want the proof? ——

    ***********************************************
    [Check out the links from Google's sidebar (I think that's what it is) when I typed in "Neil Strauss" and brought up the Google links: (p. 1)]

    Sponsored Links:

    I Worship Neil Strauss
    … But I’m Still a Nerd
    Please help me, Vin DiCarlo
    http://www.DatingDiablo.com [These guys, more than anyone, do more classic "negging" than "AMOGing"--Scarred]

    Neil Strauss Exposed
    Learn What Neil Strauss Won’t
    Reveal In His Book “The Game”
    http://www.playboyskool.com
    ["AMOG"--Scarred]

    ********************************************
    [This is what came up when I Googled Ross Jeffries--p. 1:]

    Ross Jeffries is a Scam?
    Free course gives secrets to easily
    attract hot women like a rock star!
    http://www.WomenLoveYou.com
    Sponsored Links

    **********************************************
    [This is what came up when I Googled "Mystery Method"--p. 1]

    Mystery Method Exposed
    Learn What PUA Mystery Doesnt
    Teach You About Women And Dating
    http://www.Playboyskool.com

    **********************************************
    [What I got when I typed in "Style"+"Neil Strauss":]

    Learn To Seduce Any Girl
    If You Want To Be A Master, You
    Must Learn Only From The Master!
    http://www.TheMysteryMethod.com
    [The implication, of course, being that all others aren't masters. Scarred's commentary]

    ************************************************
    [And it isn't just geared at Strauss. Look what I got when I typed in "David DeAngelo" (page 1):]

    What is DYD Hiding?
    Learn the secrets that Double Your
    Dating won’t tell you
    http://www.MakeHerChaseYou.com

    David DeAngelo Exposed
    Learn What David Deangelo Doesnt
    Teach You About Women And Dating
    http://www.Playboyskool.com
    ***********************************************
    [And a link off of Google dissing Real Social Dynamics!--]

    Seduction Lair Blog: Yet AnotherPoor Review Of Real Social DynamicsI am going to try and make this review of my experience of the Real Social Dynamics workshop as unbiased as possible and let you decide come to your own …
    http://www.thundercatseductionlair.com/2006/02/yet_anotherpoor.html – 46k – Cached – Similar pages

    ***********************************************
    [How about Ray Gordon, the redoubtable "Anti-PUA?" (Gag). Here he is:]
    “Living,” Mystery said, “costs too much.” — From “The Game”

    The above references a suicidal ideation from Erik “Mystery” von Markovic
    which was spoken to author of “The Game” Neil Strauss.

    This was a very well-calculated move on Mystery’s part to ensure that Style
    would feel guilty if he ever killed himself, to blame for not making him
    rich and famous. Call it “suicide game.” It is what cowardly, selfish
    toddlers like Mystery do when confronted with financial hardship.

    Mystery knew full well what he was doing and exactly what effect it would
    have. Style, not wanting a suicide from Mystery having over him, had little
    choice but to cave in to the psychological abuse and give the baby what he
    wanted.

    The unfair advantage gained from Mystery’s suicidal gambit enabled him to
    become the focal point of The Game, and for him and Neil to cross-promote
    each other while simultaneously validating each other’s pickup prowess.

    One would think an alpha male would never resort to such a tactic, but
    Mystery isn’t anything close to an alpha male. It’s a shame Style was so
    weak as to cave in to an extortion like that. Doesn’t say much for him as a
    man or for those who enabled him.


    Ray Gordon, Author
    Price And Probability (The Value Handicapper’s Bible)
    http://www.cybersheet.com/horsepix.html

    Would someone PLEASE become Ashlee Schull’s new #1 fan? She deserves
    better.

    (Ray Gordon is the author of Cybersheet.com and claims to be the inventor of the “pivot.”)

    *************************************************

    Are you with me so far? Is it clear from Internet Google ads that PUA gurus and schools are dissing/”negging”/”AMOGing” other schools, teachers, methods? *I dug this up with CASUAL Google searches.* This was by no means hard to dig up. Capische?

    Now, here’s the *hard-copy* info: what Neil Strauss reported on the quarrel between Ross Jeffries and David DeAngelo:

    “Worse than Mystery, in his [Jeffries} mind, was a former Speed Seduction student named David DeAngelo.” Strauss goes on to detail the alledged nature of the quarrel between Jeffries and DeAngelo, which was over Jeffries seducing one of DeAngelo’s girlfriends. Supposedly. Strauss goes on to quote Jeffries as follows:

    “You know my cheapjack imitator David DeAnushole is having his first seminar in L.A.,” Ross said. “The guy is so fucking good-looking and well-connected in the nightclub scene it just astounds me that people think he could ever understand their situation and the difficulties they encounter with women.

    I [Strauss] made a mental note to sign up for the seminar.

    ‘There’s a certain view of women that David DeAnushole, Gun Bitch, and Misery have,’ Ross continued, working himself into a rage. ‘These guys are focusing on the worst tendencies of some of the worst women out there and spreading it like a cloud of fertilizer on all women.'”–“The Game,”, Neil Strauss, p. 125-126

    Later on, Strauss reports in “The Game”(p. 426-429) that Papa and Tyler Durden of Real Social Dynamics worked in a highly Machiavellian fashion to push Mystery and Strauss [Style] out of Project Hollywood.

    You don’t call this AMOGing someone??

    Strauss has said in “The Game” that PUA gurus dis each other and demand allegiance. This isn’t AMOGing someone??

    And if the “AMOGing” is this blatant and open, am I to believe the “negging” (which is supposedly much milder) doesn’t happen *that* often?

    Uh, I was born during the day but not yesterday…

    ***********************************************

    If someone reads this entire thread from beginning to end, I think I’ve established a pretty damn valid pattern of admitting when I’m proven wrong. However, I STAND BY MY “NEG”/”AMOG” OBSERVATIONS. I believe what my *own* eyes tell me, not someone else’s perspective. I think the problem is NOT that I don’t know what I’m talking about, but that I have a *REAL GOOD* fix on the problem.

    Remember the beginning of this thread–the article that Thinking Girl was commenting on? I’ll repeat the section on “Sarah’s” story”
    ***********************************************
    “Sarah” is that sort of target.

    She believes she uncovered a pick-up artist on a date last year. “We were at a bar just talking and it became quite obvious that this guy had a method,” she says. “He was very smooth, very attentive, very focused on the conversation like there was no one else in the room.

    “But when I challenged him he was quite honest with me — he told me how he has a particular way of picking up women, that he usually picks them up just for sex, that he would never go for somebody who’s not a ‘9′ or a ‘10′ on a scale of 1-10.

    “He said to me ‘you’re not a 9 or a 10 but, I don’t know, I was intrigued’.”

    A classic “neg”, but Sarah wasn’t biting. So the PUA went for broke and suggested to Sarah that she might like a slot on his “sexual roster”.

    “I pulled away and said ’sorry, I don’t go on people’s rosters’. I’m single and I’m thinking to myself, ‘is this what I’m out there facing’? I’m hoping to God I don’t come across them too often.”
    ************************************************

    When there’s smoke, there’s fire. And from what I’ve seen here, there’s enough smoke to generate a five-alarm fire…


  265. Got one comment awaiting moderation, so I’d like to use *this* post to respond to a couple of *HONEST* criticisms of my ideas:

    ***********************************************
    On the idea that Neil Strauss is a capitalist “arms dealer” pandering to both sides of the battlefield:

    “Neil Struess by doing programmes such as the “annihilation method” subsequent to “the game” being realised would to me, indicate that his bank account credentials weigh more to his concern than his feelings towards women.”

    Okay: I’ve heard of the “Annihilation” method Strauss taught just prior to the release of “The Game.” *This* is more of a valid point for your claim of his opportunism, but not *necessarily* “bulls-eye,” so to speak. Here’s why–

    I will admit that when I heard about Strauss teaching this method, I was creeped out. I thought, “You son-of-a-bitch, how dare you??” *Then,* I had a series of counter-thoughts:

    Counter A) I have no idea *what* the Annihilation method is–purportedly, it was taught in dead secret. What if Strauss pulled a joke and told his 5 students, “You don’t need game”–and then handed back the money they paid to learn the method? Would these guys talk about what happened then?? Remember, *that* method hasn’t been exposed to broad daylight.

    Counter B) Thundercat remarked on Strauss’ incredibly Machiavellian nature. What if Strauss got so fed up with PUAism in general that he taught an anti-method, i.e., a method guaranteed to fail? I could *see* him doing that and laughing all the way to the bank…

    Counter C) I don’t remember the exact sources, but apparently there’s rumors floating about that the “Annihilation” method is “lame.” This would seem to fit in with my Counter B) thought.

    Counter D) Strauss (in his book) seemed to be incredibly taken with the “fiercely independent” [his words] Lisa Leveridge. I dislike labeling people, but I’ll hazard a guess…perhaps Strauss is a closet “Beta”–i.e., a submissive person who prefers a dominant partner. It must be noted that Leveridge left Strauss for another man; Strauss didn’t leave Leveridge. I doubt such an individual who’s more submissive would have a real desire to teach a method guaranteed to really fuel an “arms race” mind/behavioral control aimed at inducing submissives.

    I’ll throw out this thought: what if Strauss is more of a classic “subversive” than an “arms dealer?” *THAT* I could see. I could see Strauss getting into conning people for the express purpose of sandbagging efforts he didn’t like and raking in a *whole* lotta money for it.

    In the military world, even arms dealers *tend* to prefer certain sides to others…


  266. Honesty – you asked out, what, four women? I’d be willing to bet I could find MILLIONS of women who would not be interested in dating me. So what? You keep looking. You only need to find one woman, ultimately, unless you are into bigamy or whatnot.

    I don’t really have any advice to offer except this: Stop feeling sorry for yourself. I can guarantee you that doing so is NOT attractive to women.


  267. Tyler D.:

    Just a quick response to your questions:

    and supposedly a graduate of Vassar, how the *HELL* could he have participated in the PUA community?

    I don’t get the connection – so he attended an elite college – why would that be mutually exclusive with being involved in the PUA business? If anything, it might make him more jaded or cynical about male-female interactions

    You are right in the sense that it wouldn’t be *mutually* exclusive, but I would have hoped that Strauss *would have been* more exposed to feminist/women’s studies thought via Vassar, which was originally an all-women’s college. Weirdly enough, he does preface a lot of his chapters in “The Game” with quotations from feminist authors such as Betty Friedan, Carol Gilligan, and Gloria Steinem. Let’s see if I can make a good analogy…

    It would be like someone who graduated from Jerry Falwell’s college, Liberty University, a known bastion of right-wing Christian learning, turn around and advocate atheistic socialist revolution. You see what I mean? Usually purty unlikely. That’s why I bit Strauss and implied, “He’s a Vassar graduate–what’s his excuse?”


  268. Hey DBB,

    “I can guarantee you that doing so is NOT attractive to women.”

    No.

    You are wrong.

    You have no idea how I look, you have no idea how I approached those women, you have no idea of my tonality and body-language.

    You have NO idea.

    You cannot guarantee ANYTHING at all.

    You are making this up. This is like me saying,” you are short, and fat, and bald, I can just TELL, from your posts.”

    That’s how ridiculous your statement is.

    Anyways, keep trying I guess.

    Be honest right? Be myself right?

    So, I would say “hi…..my name is Honesty, I saw you from where I was sitting, and I just had to tell you that I think you’re beautiful ( women have told me that women LOVE compliments, AND it’s true, I DO think she is beautiful ) would you go out with me some time”

    There, how’s that?


  269. Let’s see if I can translate what Honesty is saying without the snarkiness. (If my theory about what he is trying to communicate sarcastically is wrong, then he can correct me.)

    In this thread, several people, including Thinking Girl, advocate the virtues of honesty, and decry manipulation. “Honesty” comes in and sarcastically agrees with them:

    Manipulating women to have sex with you?…that is ridiculous.

    Just go up to them and ask them to have sex with you?

    Why all the games?

    Sex is natural, it feels good, and makes men and women feel good.

    Like, duh, if you want to have sex with someone, just ask them if they’d like to have sex with you.

    He is implying that if men can or should be honesty with women, then they should just be able to ask women to have sex. Then he sarcastically “goes out and tries it,” and reports that it didn’t work. In his scenario, he asks women why they reject him, and they can’t give him a clear answer. What he seems to be arguing is something like this:

    If men are to be honest with women, it means being honest about their sexual desires for women. Yet being honest about sexual desires with women too soon (at least by verbalizing those desires) will turn women off and make them uncomfortable. Therefore, it is impractical to be honest with women, at least in this way. It’s easy to think of other examples of his thesis: for instance, being honest about insecurities and vulnerabilities early on. Another example would be using bad puns (a while ago, I realized that although bad puns are a big part of my sense of humor, I would have to hold them back with most women unless she started punning first).

    I think he is correct that it is a bad idea for men to be honest about certain things when they approach women. Perhaps Thinking Girl and others would agree. If so, then they should make clear that they agree with PUAs that complete honesty is impractical. Then the conversation should be about specific what things a man can and should be honest about, and which parts of himself he should display or hide; I think this is where the real disagreement lies between PUAs and their critics.

    The crux of this debate is that PUAs believe that some types of honesty and authenticity are impractical because they will turn the woman off if revealed too soon, or at all. If critics of PUAs disagree, then they should argue that PUAs are wrong about what is practical with women, or that the impracticality of a certain type of honesty doesn’t justify withholding it.

    Note that there is disagreement within PUAs about how much honesty is practical and desirable with women. Contrary to what some posters here assume, lying is a not a widely accepted tactic in the seduction community. I think people just assume this because the stereotype of “players” is that they lie to women to get them into bed (specifically, lying that they love her or want a relationship with her), and PUAs seem similar to “players.” Yet PUAs in general do not recommend lying, especially about relationship commitment, to women. In fact, in the masculine ideology of PUAs, such behavior is seen as AFC and effeminate (also deliberately misleading women about your intentions is seen to cause “drama,” which is bad). There are some white lies that PUAs will tell. For instance, there is a routine that starts like this “did you see the two girls fighting outside?” In reality, there weren’t two girls fighting outside, the “lie” is just a conversation starter.

    Still, some PUAs believe that the methods and behaviors of other PUAs are inadequately genuine, or fake in unnecessary ways, so clearly there is at something to Thinking Girl’s critique of lack of honesty in the community. Neil Strauss (aka Style), the author of The Game wrote a post on men becoming what he calls “social robots” that has become part of the seduction canon. Someone as high level as Strauss coming out and saying this made it “cool” for other PUAs to question some of the more artificial methods and mindsets in the community. Also, some methods have a high focus on getting to the point where a guy is comfortable enough in his own skin to truly be genuine, rather than being anxious, such as Juggler’s Charisma Arts. PickUp 101 and other versions of “direct” methods actually advocate a compliment-based approach based on extreme sincerity which is close to what Honesty insists doesn’t work with women (of course, this is an advanced technique, blah blah blah that has to be delivered with a lot of confidence, etc…).


  270. This entire arguement is ultimately unfounded. The entire thing is predicated on a media article in The Age, what is effectively the commericial literature of a handful of companies and a sensationalist book written to sell many copies. Do any of you seriously believe that any of those have given you any true indication about what the PUA scene is actually like?

    Thinking girl dismissed out of hand my analsyis that negs are little more ways of joking around but I’m pretty sure that she hasn’t been out with any PUAs and witnessed it first hand. In the end of the day you’re making the same mistakes that guys who are new to it make. There aren’t any magic tricks that will fool women into bed with you. The reality is far removed from the rhetoric and marketing.

    Fundamentally though, for the guys who are most successful/skilled in the PUA scene what they are doing is indistinguishable from completely normal conversation/flirting. I really don’t understand how you can warn people away from this unless you are seriously suggesting that women should never, ever, ever talk to strangers. Which at best is wildly unrealistic.


  271. Dan said:

    This entire arguement is ultimately unfounded. The entire thing is predicated on a media article in The Age, what is effectively the commericial literature of a handful of companies and a sensationalist book written to sell many copies. Do any of you seriously believe that any of those have given you any true indication about what the PUA scene is actually like?

    As you observe, most of the posters here have no clue about what the PUA scene is like. They are simply jumping to conclusions based on preconceptions and stereotypes about men as players. When they reference PUA materials, they just cherry-pick certain attitudes or methods, and have no idea how representative of the community they actually are. The one feminist here who has actually encountered PUAs has only met one or two.

    That being said, what feminists are saying in this thread isn’t entirely false. There are aspects to the community that are troubling from an ethical standpoint, so it is deserving of a critical evaluation. Feminism provides a language and set of concepts that are useful for this evaluation.

    Dan said:

    Thinking girl dismissed out of hand my analsyis that negs are little more ways of joking around but I’m pretty sure that she hasn’t been out with any PUAs and witnessed it first hand.

    Hey man, I also disagreed with your analysis ;) First, “negs” are taken to mean many different things. At least one interpretation of the “neg” is that its goal is to lower a woman’s value relative to yours. Regardless of whether one thinks that doing so is justified, that is still a power game, which is not just “joking around.”

    There aren’t any magic tricks that will fool women into bed with you. The reality is far removed from the rhetoric and marketing.

    Here I agree. I don’t think pickup techniques are at the level of “mind control,” as some people in the thread insist. If there are any pickup techniques like that, I certainly haven’t seen them yet.

    Fundamentally though, for the guys who are most successful/skilled in the PUA scene what they are doing is indistinguishable from completely normal conversation/flirting. I really don’t understand how you can warn people away from this unless you are seriously suggesting that women should never, ever, ever talk to strangers. Which at best is wildly unrealistic.

    Yes, skilled PUAs will be more or less indistinguishable from the guys that women typically find attractive. Screening out PUAs only makes sense for women who have tastes in men that differ from most women. For most women to try to screen out PUAs, they would have tons of “false negatives” where they incorrectly screen out attractive guys who aren’t PUAs.

    As you say, what good PUAs do is indistinguishable from normal conversation/flirting. Yet part of the feminist critique, a point that Thinking Girl was trying to communicate, is that even so-called “normal” conversation/and flirting is pervaded with gendered power dynamics in our society. So yes, something like Cocky & Funny is a reflection of how many naturally attractive men behave, but it does place the man in the dominant position, which is why it works with many women. What feminism argues is to critique that use of power.


  272. I think he is correct that it is a bad idea for men to be honest about certain things when they approach women. Perhaps Thinking Girl and others would agree. If so, then they should make clear that they agree with PUAs that complete honesty is impractical. Then the conversation should be about specific what things a man can and should be honest about, and which parts of himself he should display or hide; I think this is where the real disagreement lies between PUAs and their critics.

    Hugh, you make in interesting point. The school of “be yourself” is just fine as far as it goes, but perhaps not the best advice to give to, for example, a 300 lb introverted Dungeons and Dragons aficionado who lives in his mom’s basement and yet wishes somehow to meet women and have a dating life.

    And obviously the more extreme methodologies of the PUA culture feel fundamentally dishonest to me.

    There has to be a middle ground somewhere in here.


  273. Scarred, thanks for your response re: the Vassar connection. I’m not sure where my head was at but I had forgotten that it was formerly a womens’ college.


  274. Tyler D

    Hugh, you make in interesting point. The school of “be yourself” is just fine as far as it goes, but perhaps not the best advice to give to, for example, a 300 lb introverted Dungeons and Dragons aficionado who lives in his mom’s basement and yet wishes somehow to meet women and have a dating life.

    And obviously the more extreme methodologies of the PUA culture feel fundamentally dishonest to me.

    There has to be a middle ground somewhere in here.

    Exactly! You said what I was trying to say, but much shorter.


  275. On the subject of negs, I’ll do my best to explain them. Warning: this will get somewhat technical.

    Scarred said:

    So, if people are going to accuse me of “not knowing” what I’m talking about because I’ve used these definitions for “negging”, then they’re going to have to accuse Neil Strauss and Mystery as well of “not knowing what they’re talking about.”

    One clarification: if this refers to my comment, I didn’t say that you didn’t know what you was talking about on the definition of negs, I said that anyone who slams the community in general based on negs doesn’t know what they are talking about, because most schools of thought in the community don’t rely on negs.

    As for definitions of “negging,” that’s difficult. When Scarred says that if she doesn’t know what she is talking about with negs, then neither do Neil Strauss and Mystery, that might not actually be as far off as she thinks. Neil Strauss and Mystery have both given multiple and conflicting definitions of the neg that have changed over time.

    Scarred quoted Neil Strauss:

    Neither compliment or insult, a neg is something in between–an accidental insult or backhanded compliment. The purpose of a neg *is to lower a woman’s self esteem* [emphasis mine]

    One note here about lowering self-esteem. Something I’ve noticed is that many PUAs think that people with high opinions of themselves have high self-esteem. That is why they try to demonstrate “high self-esteem” by acting they are “the prize,” or think that women who are full of themselves have “high self-esteem.” In short, self-esteem is used when arrogance or narcissism is really what is meant. What negs are for is to cut down the arrogance and narcissism that beautiful women are perceived to have in clubs, due to so many men constantly fawning over them. My interpretation of the neg is that the intent is to deflate an attractive woman’s overly-inflated ego; of course, this still may have the effect of lowering her self-esteem. It also has the effect of bringing an antagonistic vibe into the interaction; Mystery likes this vibe and works very well with it (see the video I linked to earlier), but I don’t.

    Of course, this is just my interpretation of the neg. As I mentioned, there are a bunch of different interpretations of what exactly a neg is and isn’t. That’s why I don’t think it’s a good place to start in a discussion of the seduction community, because it’s difficult to pin down what PUAs are actually advocating.

    Scarred said:

    submit that one doesn’t have to call it “negging” or teach it in order to engage in it. People have observed that the “cocky-funny” DeAngelo techniques can have the effect of lowering the self-esteem of someone you’re dealing with. This isn’t a form of “negging”?? Also, I’ve seen PUA advice to the effect of, “If she asks you a question, ignore it…etc.” This *also* has the same effect. “Negging,” IMHO, doesn’t have to be verbal. It can also be unspoken.,

    I’ll do my best to explain the differences between negs and cocky & funny (aka “C&F”). Let’s start with Strauss’ definition of a neg from above:

    Neither compliment or insult, a neg is something in between–an accidental insult or backhanded compliment. The purpose of a neg *is to lower a woman’s self esteem* [emphasis mine]

    In his book The Mystery Method: How to get beautiful women into bed, here is what Mystery says (pp. 94-96):

    A neg is not an insult but a negative social value judgment that is telegraphed. It’s the same as if you pulled out a tissue and blew your nose. There’s nothing insulting about blowing your nose. You haven’t explicitly rejected her. But at the same time, she will fell that you aren’t even trying to impress her. This makes her curious as to why and makes you a challenge. [...]

    You can go overboard if she thinks you think you are better than her (which happens more often than you’d expect). Not only is it cruel to drop a woman’s self-esteem out from under her (regardless of the fact that most 10s will readily do this to guys), but not-too-surprisingly it doesn’t get you the girl. Get as close to the breaking point as you can without crossing the line. When you reach the point where she is about to retaliate, start appreciating things about her (but not her looks).

    Notice how this is consistent with my perception above that the intent of a neg is not to lower her self-esteem.

    A famous example of a neg he gives is “Nice nails… are they real? Oh… well, they still look good.”

    Mystery defines some some subtypes of negs that include the “shotgun neg,” the “sniper neg,” and the “tease neg” (yes, the analogies to weapons give me the willies also). The shotgun neg is to lower her status in a group with her friends, such as “where’s her off button?” and “is she always like this?” A sniper neg is used when the “target” is the only one to hear it, and to make her think that she has make a social faux paus (e.g. that she spat on you while talking and that it grossed you out). The tease neg, according to Mystery, is not supposed to be perceived as inadvertent, but rather as deliberate flirting (e.g. “Don’t make me come down there!”). (Personally, I don’t like him calling teasing a type of negging, because it is fundamentally different from his other negs.)

    Now, where does cocky & funny end and negs begin? That’s a tricky question. Some types of C&F are similar to what Mystery calls a “tease neg.” So there is a bit of overlap. For the most part, however, negs and C&F are different things: non-teasing negs are never C&F, and some types of C&F aren’t teasing.

    For something to be C&F, it at least has to be (a) cocky and (b) funny. Many of the negs Mystery describes are neither cocky nor funny. For instance, “nice nails, are they real?” is neither. Furthermore, many types of C&F aren’t negs. It’s only a neg if it’s a “negative social value judgment about her,” that lowers her value. C&F includes lots of techniques designed to raise the man’s value, which isn’t the same as negging. See the section on the “five flavors of C&F” in this article (which is actually a good primer for many PUA techniques in general). The second flavor has some similarities to negs, which the author points out, but other flavors are different. For instance, saying that he is sick and tired of women trying to “use him for sex” raises the man’s value, but doesn’t lower the woman’s.

    Another point: probably many PUAs don’t stick with one school; most likely, like Neil Strauss, they attempt to learn a *whole bunch* of methods from various schools and apply/try these methods until they find the ones that work for them. Uh…am I to believe that a whole lot of “negging” and “AMOGing” isn’t going on?? Bullshit.

    Yes, PUAs learn from different schools. That doesn’t necessarily mean that they pick up negging and AMOGing, however. Whether there is a whole lot of negging and AMOGing going on depends on what you define as a “whole lot.” What I maintain is that most seduction methods don’t rely on negging and AMOGing as Mystery conceives it, and many gurus actively present a low opinion of it. Mystery Method uses negs, but not so much AMOGing (at least, Mystery doesn’t mention AMOGing in his book and advocates befriend other men instead). Real Social Dynamics uses AMOGing (I don’t know how much negs they use). David DeAngelo uses C&F in ways that has a bit of overlap with negs. Yet PickUp 101 doesn’t do negs (they don’t really use C&F, but rather a type of banter that has a different flavor). Juggler of Charisma Arts doesn’t use negs or C&F. Ross Jeffries doesn’t do negs, and while he insists he invented C&F, it doesn’t seem like a big part of his methods. Sebastian of TheApproach uses neither.

    Basically, if someone wants to criticize the tendency of negs and AMOGing in the seduction community, I have no problem with that, and I will probably even agree with them. However, I do think that it is premature to believe that most PUAs use negs or AMOGing, or that they are representative of the seduction community in general.

    *AND,* the PUA gurus “neg” and “AMOG” each other pretty mercilessly. Want the proof? ——

    Well, keep in mind that their ads are often influenced by their marketing people. Also, most of the examples aren’t negging or AMOGing, but just plain insults. For instance, Ross Jeffries calling David DeAngelo “DeAnushole,” and Mystery “Misery” aren’t negs or AMOGing, which are more subtle, they are just plain insults.

    Strauss has said in “The Game” that PUA gurus dis each other and demand allegiance. This isn’t AMOGing someone??

    Nope, it’s not. They are power games, yes, but AMOGing doesn’t just refer to male-male power games or status-jockeying of any type; its meaning is more specific than than that. AMOGing has to at least have a veneer of coolness. An example of an AMOG tactic is “nice shirt, man… I had one just like it in high school!” You see how this is a subtle put-down, but not a direct insult?

    Remember the beginning of this thread–the article that Thinking Girl was commenting on? I’ll repeat the section on “Sarah’s” story”

    If that guy posted a Field Report of his interaction with that woman, and reported honestly what happened, he would get scathing responses. Ranking the woman with the 1-10 scale to her face, and offering her a place on his “sexual roster” (WTF??) is NOT the kind of thing that PUAs actually advocate, because it just doesn’t work. The PUA in that article was either a total idiot or a beginner. In the language of PU, his behavior was very bad “calibration” (adjusting one’s behavior to the woman’s ongoing emotional state and individual personality) and will trigger “ASD” (“Anti-slut defense,” the fear of being perceived as a slut). There are many valid criticisms of the community that don’t rely on painting the behavior of a few guys, who don’t even follow the lessons of the community, as representative of it as a whole, which is what that article does.

    Anyway, all this talk of how representative of PUA behavior certain tactics like negging and AMOGing are sort of misses the point. The point is that practices establishing a male-dominant, female submissive power dynamic are typical of the seduction community (and also establishing dominance over other males). That is where I agree with feminists in this thread. Exactly which of these techniques we categorize with which labels is not the point. Some of these gendered and gendering techniques are more damaging than others, but they all require ethical examination.


  276. Hugh – thanks for hearing me about the gendered power relations created by PUA.

    Will – well, I think Kate and Roy handled your ridiculous comment pretty damn well (thanks you two!!!), but I will add this: I don’t live in your fucking USA. not everyone who writes in english lives in the USA. so your particular chastisement is really out of place. now you’re on warning.

    Honesty – wow, those mean bitches. they should’ve just laid down and spread their legs for you in thanks for the compliment. those cruel objectified things, how dare they have agency. I mean, you were even honest with them that you were objectifying them! how on earth could that have made them feel uncomfortable? jeez.

    I think Hugh (thanks, Hugh!!!) dealt with you pretty well. funny, I had my suspicions about just what he was talking about when you first posted, but benefit of the doubt took over. you proved me right, I should always follow my gut instinct. thanks for proving my point on that. Anyway, you are also on warning.

    Hugh wrote (Tyler, you want middle ground, pay attention to this):“I think he is correct that it is a bad idea for men to be honest about certain things when they approach women. Perhaps Thinking Girl and others would agree. If so, then they should make clear that they agree with PUAs that complete honesty is impractical.”

    not to put too fine a point on it, but OF COURSE it would be ridiculous to tell someone every single little detail about yourself the moment you meet them. OF COURSE you withhold certain information from people when you meet them. After all, there’s this whole part of life called “getting to know” other people. It can take an entire lifetime to accomplish this!!!! My best friend, for example, I’ve known since I was about 9. I’m still learning about her! People are complex beings. of course we don’t spill our entire life stories directly after ” Hi, nice to meet you.” That doesn’t mean you aren’t being honest with them. What I’m talking about as being unethical is actively manipulating and/or lying, within the context of gendered power dynamics, in order to get a woman into bed. Withholding details about yourself isn’t the same as actively manipulating in order to get a woman to sleep with you. Implying that these two are the same is disingenuous strawmanning, and it’s ignoring the deck stacked against women in the context of gendered power dynamics.

    Scarred – thank you!! I hear you.

    Dan – so what if there aren’t any magic tricks that will fool women into bed? that’s not really the whole point. the point is, a hell of a lot of guys are trying to find magic tricks to fool women into bed. and what they end up doing is reinforcing pre-existing gender roles that harm women in order to accomplish their goal. and the women they are successful with have already internalized those harmful gender roles. so PUA is taking advantage of women who are already vulnerable by way of harmful gender roles.

    that’s about as simple as I can put it. All the little tricks and methods these PUA gurus teach are about reinforcing gender power relations that women are already oppressed by. PUA is taking advantage of and reinforcing sexism and mysogyny in order to get laid. Period.

    By the way, Dan, you said (about me): “I’m pretty sure that she hasn’t been out with any PUAs and witnessed it first hand.” And Hugh, you agreed: “most of the posters here have no clue about what the PUA scene is like…The one feminist here [not TG, but Scarred, for those who aren't up to speed] who has actually encountered PUAs has only met one or two.”

    but according to your argument, guys, wouldn’t I have just simply not known whether someone was a PUA or not? Dan: “for the guys who are most successful/skilled in the PUA scene what they are doing is indistinguishable from completely normal conversation/flirting.” and Hugh: “skilled PUAs will be more or less indistinguishable from the guys that women typically find attractive.”
    I mean, I could have jsut thought a guy was engaging in friendly banter with me, not using PUA tactics to try to cut me down and lower my self-esteem. So, which is it? Is it that PUAs are indistinguishable from “completely normal” “guys that women typically find attractive”? Or is it that PUAs are dong something very different, different enough that even anonymous commenters on my blog who don’t know me personally can tell that I haven’t ever encountered a PUA in the flesh?

    a little consistency, fellas, please.

    Hugh – I think you’re splitting hairs on the neg/AMOG deal. And I think you know it, too, because at the end of your comment you acknowledge that this isn’t the point.

    However, I will say that I actually think that talking about PUA tactics, identifying them, shining a bright light on them, is a very important part of what’s going on in this thread. What this thread has become about is helping women identify PUA tactics so that they can protect themselves from guys who use them. Because guys who use PUA tactics are reinforcing sexism and harmful gender roles on women. AND THAT IS BAD FOR WOMEN. Not just personally, because they might feel taken advantage of and used like an object, but also for women as a group in society.

    something else is troubling me about your comments, and that is the monolithic brush with which you paint women. for example, you said: “Gendered power dynamics are sexy for many people, especially women.” and “skilled PUAs will be more or less indistinguishable from the guys that women typically find attractive.”

    underlying these comments are a couple of ideas that make me uncomfortable and are quite sexist. 1. that women are a homogenous group.
    2. that women find sexism sexy, and enjoy being treated in harmful ways under sexism.
    3. that women are lacking in agency as a result of enjoying being treated poorly under sexism.
    4. that women are objects because they lack agency.

    I know that you haven’t said these things explicitly, but this is an underlying current in some of your comments, and I wanted to bring that out because it is not true and it is not helpful and it has no place in this discussion. perhaps you don’t see this current in your comments and/or attitudes, but I do, and at least one other commenter above made note of this as well. this is an example of limited perspective/standpoint due to social position. (in this case, AKA male privilege.)


  277. To the Thread in General:

    For now, I’m going to take some of Thinking Girl’s comments and use them as a springboard for some of my own (if I may, TG:)):

    “underlying these comments are a couple of ideas that make me uncomfortable and are quite sexist. 1. that women are a homogenous group.
    2. that women find sexism sexy, and enjoy being treated in harmful ways under sexism.
    3. that women are lacking in agency as a result of enjoying being treated poorly under sexism.
    4. that women are objects because they lack agency.”

    I haven’t dug through a *huge* amount of PUA literature, but my knowledge of it is increasing more and more over time. I can tell you that through *most* of it that *I’ve* seen, there is this underlying thread that most to all women only find “Alpha” males–i.e., controlling, dominant, confident–attractive. I have also seen repeated statements to the effect of “Don’t believe what women say, believe what women do.”

    Why aren’t more people looking at the ferocious, *action-based resistance* that I, Thinking Girl, Kate, Defenestrated, and other women on this thread are putting up? Thinking Girl put up this thread on January 29th of this year. IT’S MAY 27th, ALMOST FIVE MONTHS LATER. This thread has 276 comments on it, more than any other thread on this blog. I’ve gone and started my own blog dedicated to shutting down PUAism, the influence of mass marketing manipulation, and behavioral and mind control in the Western world. It needs to be built up one hell of a lot more, but that’s in the works. I started posting on this thread March 27th. It’s two months later, and I’m only getting more and more motivated to refuse and resist. And *HOW* much did I post in the past on this thread, *before* I made up my mind to get my own blog?

    In other words, PUAs conveniently overlook and skim right over our long-term behavior. Maybe because it disproves the basic PUA hypothesis?? (Now, obviously, not everyone who has certain sexist assumptions is not a PUA. *That,* I’ll happily agree with.)

    People can argue that it’s only hot air, but it takes one hell of a lot of energy, will power, and drive to keep typing at a keyboard and keep pounding away at a subject. Methinks that five months of hard-core resistance that’s only going to increase should be proof enough that OUR WORDS ARE TRANSLATING INTO BEHAVIOR.

    This means that–
    a) Wow, some to many–maybe most??–women REALLY don’t like being treated like shit and don’t find it sexy,
    b) Some of us are so incredibly pissed off that we’re going to devote a chunk– a BIG chunk–of our lives to stopping this bullshit, and
    c)sexism makes things one hell of a lot worse, even if it *feels good* on the surface and in the short-term.

    Andrew Vachss has a saying: “Behavior is the truth.” Okay. Our actions have MORE than matched our words. If PUAs can’t bring themselves to believe us when we say that women *really don’t like* being treated like shit, that’s *their* problem. Not ours.

    Now, I’d have more respect for the PUA argumentation if I saw a lot more of the following argument:

    “Beta females prefer alpha men; beta males prefer alpha women. Both men and women within their own gender will divide up into alpha, beta, etc. groups, and beta groups prefer to be led by alpha groups.”

    This leaves the damn sexism out and is a much closer approximation to social reality. People can yawk about how women universally prefer alpha men because we’re supposedly looking to be protected and provided for, *but you know what? Not every woman in this day and age of Remington, Smith and Wesson, and Winchester is looking to be protected, not even subconsciously!* There’s been no real mention of how human psychology–yes, even on the deep atavistic levels!!–has been affected by the modern industrial revolution. Put bluntly, a *lot* of women aren’t looking for some man to protect and provide for them–not even subconsciously. *Many* still are, yes–but the independent women’s numbers are growing, IMHO.

    And you know what? I’m willing to gamble and believe that many women are much more self-sustaining and independent deep down inside than the patriarchy cares to acknowledge, *and that all they need is to have people help them reclaim their agency.* More and more women are learning how to protect themselves via firearms, martial arts, etc. Unfortunately, violent crime by women is starting to rise at a significant rate, and more and more experts are beginning to think that women *have the potential* to be every bit as violent as men. (Note that “potential” and “actual” are different concepts.) That harks back to what I said a while ago on the thread about alpha behavior in women. If people want to bring up evolutionary biology, *who the hell stayed back in the caves and fought off the sabre tooth tiger or dire wolf headed for the kids?* *By themselves?*

    While alpha roles don’t require violence, they at least require the *propensity* for violence–if nothing else to get on top and *stay* on top. Sometimes alpha roles simply require superior intelligence, but frequently it’s linked to ability to “win the fight,” by *any* means necessary.

    If someone were to say, “Well, maybe you’re right about the biological end, but I find that women generally are a lot more submissive than men are because of social conditioning, and we have to deal with it,” I’d say BRAVO! We’re on the same page! Now, let’s go fix the problem! Instead of *taking advantage* of women’s conditioning, LET’S DO THE RIGHT THING AND FIX IT. Not reinforce it or take advantage of it to get one’s willy wet or keep a harem going.

    Now, I’m going to deal with the rejoinder: “Yeah, but if what you’re saying is true, that women don’t like being dominated, why do they keep falling for all these jerks, if they really don’t want the Alpha male?”

    Pay attention. Pay close, close, attention because this comes from the PUA community. One PUA teacher *actually* told the truth about this. He didn’t attribute it to biology: he put it *right* where it belonged, on *poisonous pedagogy*:

    **************************************************
    Mike Pilinski, OFF OF HIS OWN WEBSITE—taken April 11, 2007
    http://www.highstatusmale.com/forum_011.htm#third

    When giving advice in his own column

    Hi Mike

    My new girlfriend told me something the other day that just kinda pisses me off. It’s about her ex-boyfriend—which she stayed with for a couple years—who was basically a piece of dogshit the way I see it. All these stories of drama and how he made her balloon up to a huge weight and everything (she’s lost it all since them, and looks great now).

    I realize I have my faults too, but why is this fuckin’ abusive shit so common? My girl is really pretty, and I ask myself how the fuck this could’ve happened? I know her father was not a big part of her life, and her home life is kinda bananas as well sometimes. What’s going on here do you think?

    Dave

    Hey Dave, [Pilinski responding]

    If you end up marrying this girl and ever have daughters with her, remember this…

    A girl’s FATHER becomes the working model for all her future lovers.

    These girls with bum-ass dads who ignored them or are drunks or were just never there for them mess these chicks up more than you might imagine. Women like this develop a kind of radar that allows them to spot the EXACT kind of loser their dad was, so they can they latch [sic] right onto him. Why? Who knows…maybe they want a second chance to “fix” daddy and make it all better this time around? It never works of course. Half these parents out there don’t seem to understand that the goal of raising kids is to produce well-balanced adults twenty years in the future, not little well-behaved machines designed to fix mom and dad’s own fucked-up head problems.

    Shit, there’s an idea that will fly along with the pigs once they get around to sprouting wings.

    If you have a great, loving dad who builds esteem in his little girl—she becomes a rational adult who knows enough to naturally avoid these kinds of jerks. Those who catch the bad treatment spend the rest of their lives chasing ghosts. Judging from the success that all the pricks and losers of the world have scoring hot women, there’s a great deal of damaged goods walking around just looking to be hurt again. Sad but true.
    **********************************************

    I don’t agree with Pilinski that the women are “just looking to be hurt again”; I think they’re caught in a terrible subconscious compulsion, although maybe he didn’t have a way to come up with the exact words at the time. He did, however, describe a heavily observed, discussed, and researched phenomenon. It’s a mild form of what psychologists call trauma reenactment. People–and BTW, not just women–who grew up with abusive and/or neglectful parents not really present for them will repetitively, *compulsively* seek out people who maltreat them. Why? Because it’s about trying to find Mommy and/or Daddy and finally producing an outcome where the frozen little boy or girl inside “wins” and gets the unconditional love and support that they need *but never got.* And it’s demonic; the person in the grip of this *will* compulsively seek out abusive or aloof, controlling people until encountering really, really good therapy. But really good therapy *clears it all up.*

    And this is *also* why many men find themselves over and over with “bitches.”


  278. TG, you can delete that last comment that’s in the moderation queue; it needs rewrting on my part. Thank you.:)


  279. There’s some business here I’m going to address before I do another post on “negging” and “AMOGing”:

    “Yes, skilled PUAs will be more or less indistinguishable from the guys that women typically find attractive. Screening out PUAs only makes sense for women who have tastes in men that differ from most women. For most women to try to screen out PUAs, they would have tons of “false negatives” where they incorrectly screen out attractive guys who aren’t PUAs.”

    Well…just as PUAs have developed covert methods of engaging in behavioral control of women, the idea of screens for women is that *over time* they’d get more and more refined. Yes, this is what as known as an “arms race.” It’s just been kicked off.

    “Fundamentally though, for the guys who are most successful/skilled in the PUA scene what they are doing is indistinguishable from completely normal conversation/flirting. I really don’t understand how you can warn people away from this unless you are seriously suggesting that women should never, ever, ever talk to strangers. Which at best is wildly unrealistic.”

    You know what? There seems to be this reoccuring PUA war meme going on this thread…”Resistance is futile.” That’s what PUAs want us to believe. *BULLSHIT.* Resistance is *never* futile. Sometimes it’s unsuccessful, but every “failure” is just an opportunity to learn more.

    If PUAs think they’re going to demoralize us to prevent us from fighting them, *I SAY* they’re out of their minds.


  280. thinkinggirl wrote:

    “Honesty – wow, those mean bitches. they should’ve just laid down and spread their legs for you in thanks for the compliment. those cruel objectified things, how dare they have agency. I mean, you were even honest with them that you were objectifying them! how on earth could that have made them feel uncomfortable? jeez.”

    I didn’t expect them to lay down and spread their legs for me, that would be ridiculous.

    I thought they would open to some form of communication.

    Are you serious, you think that telling a women she is beautiful is that objectifying them?

    ARE YOU SERIOUS!?!?!

    So, Thinking Girl….

    YOU give ME, an completely non-sexist way to introduce myself to the opposite gender which **In
    your mind does not objectify them at all, and, which will seem attractive**

    this is your blog. You brought this up.

    Time for you to take responsibility here.

    Since you don’t like what these guys are doing, and you don’t like what I’m doing, I’m asking you respectfully, to tell me, what is acceptable to you, to say to these women.

    Don’t be sarcastic either…that’s too easy.

    TELL ME…what is an acceptable way to introduce myself to women in your mind that is non-sexist and completely fair.

    SO, Ok. Let’s break this apart,

    So, I would say “hi…..

    is ‘hi’ ok with you? yes or no?

    “my name is Honesty, ”

    is this ok with you? yes or no?

    “I saw you from where I was sitting,”

    is this ok with you? yes or no?

    ” and I just had to tell you that I think you’re beautiful ”

    is this ok with you? yes or no?

    “would you go out with me some time””

    is this ok with you? yes or no?
    ———————————————-

    so, I’ve been very very clear, adjust the parts
    you think are outrageous and sexist for me
    please, and I will go and try that.

    You started this topic, time to take responsibility.

    No sarcasm, passive aggressive quips, patronizing, or condescension. Waaaaaay too easy.

    We have a problem, and I’m asking YOU for a solution.

    So, tell me what to say.


  281. Okay. Addressing objections to what I wrote about “negging” and “AMOGing”:

    “As for definitions of “negging,” that’s difficult. When Scarred says that if she doesn’t know what she is talking about with negs, then neither do Neil Strauss and Mystery, that might not actually be as far off as she thinks. Neil Strauss and Mystery have both given multiple and conflicting definitions of the neg that have changed over time.”

    Okay. That seems like one of the more valid objections I’ve read. The kick is, “negging” *IS* a subjective phenomenon–it appears to have *multiple* connotations and denotations, depending on the PUA/PUA guru.

    So if defining “negging” is difficult and subjective, why be so stringent on the definition(s), given that there seems to be a lot of disagreement *ANYWAY?*

    “One note here about lowering self-esteem. Something I’ve noticed is that many PUAs think that people with high opinions of themselves have high self-esteem. That is why they try to demonstrate “high self-esteem” by acting they are “the prize,” or think that women who are full of themselves have “high self-esteem.” In short, self-esteem is used when arrogance or narcissism is really what is meant. What negs are for is to cut down the arrogance and narcissism that beautiful women are perceived to have in clubs, due to so many men constantly fawning over them. My interpretation of the neg is that the *intent* is to deflate an attractive woman’s overly-inflated ego; of course, this still may have the *effect* of lowering her self-esteem.”

    This is a sophisticated analysis, and an intelligent one. Problem is, it relies on the PUA/PUA guru’s *word* that the intent is *only* to deflate the perceived narcissism. How do you know the motives of the given “negger” aren’t much darker? Maybe some of the “negs” are playful; maybe some of them are *precisely* meant to smash a woman’s sense of self. A PUA can *tell* you it’s just to get inside the defenses. You sure you want to take *his* word for it??

    This then brings up the question: “Why should I?” It also brings up the question of why a PUA feels compelled to cut down the arrogance and narcissism of beautiful women while reserving that for himself. Why do I suspect that sex isn’t the only motive…

    “That’s why I don’t think it’s a good place to start in a discussion of the seduction community, because it’s difficult to pin down what PUAs are actually advocating.”

    Actually, a “neg” is an *excellent* place to start even if the definition(s) are difficult to pin down. The “neg” isn’t the nastiest PUA manuever in terms of devaluing women, but it *sure* brings huge questions into the picture of what PUA motivations are really all about. Just the term “neg.” Makes ya think…

    [Get as close to the breaking point as you can without crossing the line. When you reach the point where she is about to retaliate, start appreciating things about her (but not her looks).]

    “Notice how this is consistent with my perception above that the intent of a neg is not to lower her self-esteem. A famous example of a neg he gives is ‘Nice nails… are they real? Oh… well, they still look good.'”

    Sure, it *is* consistent with your perception…except I think Mystery’s lying through his damn teeth to others about what his true inner motivations towards women are. *BUT*–we’ll proceed.

    “The shotgun neg is to lower her status in a group with her friends, such as “where’s her off button?” and “is she always like this?” A sniper neg is used when the “target” is the only one to hear it, and to make her think that she has make a social faux paus (e.g. that she spat on you while talking and that it grossed you out).”

    That lends one *HELL* of a lot of credence to my objection that Mystery is selling people wolf tickets when he claims he’s not out to lower women’s self-esteem. I don’t care *how much of a smile* a PUA has on his face; if he said to someone in my group, “Where’s her off button?” or “Is she always like this?”, I’d be insulted–and *stay* insulted.

    “What I maintain is that most seduction methods don’t rely on negging and AMOGing as Mystery conceives it, and many gurus actively present a low opinion of it.”

    The rejoinder I have to this is, *as Mystery conceives it.* Since the definition of “negging” *is* imprecise, why *not* broaden it?

    [Strauss has said in “The Game” that PUA gurus dis each other and demand allegiance. This isn’t AMOGing someone??]

    “Nope, it’s not. They are power games, yes, but AMOGing doesn’t just refer to male-male power games or status-jockeying of any type; its meaning is more specific than than that. AMOGing has to at least have a veneer of coolness. An example of an AMOG tactic is “nice shirt, man… I had one just like it in high school!” You see how this is a subtle put-down, but not a direct insult?”

    Naah, that’s where I think you’re being too strict and nit-picky. “The Game” lists the verb AMOG as follows: “to remove a potential competitor–through physical, verbal, or psychological tactics–from a group of women. Also: outalpha. Origin: Tyler Durden.” There’s nothing in there that limits “AMOGing” to *subtle* tactics. Granted, the subtle tactics may be more preferable, but loud and shrill or brutal can still be “AMOGing.” A more valid criticism of my use of the verb “AMOGing” would have been to state that “AMOGing” is done exclusively to remove the rival male from the group of women. Still, one way to really fry a rival’s ass would be to lure his students away…and thus deprive him of women *by proxy*. Heh…that’s “AMOGing” by proxy, really, when you think about it… (I have often wondered how many of the PUA gurus get vicarious thrills of knowing how their students are out hunting women…and what happens when they lose their students–and the proxy women.)

    It’s like this. The *proper* use of a paperweight is to hold papers down on a desk. Nonetheless, if it’s tough enough, it *can* serve as a hammer, prop a door open, or be used as a rock. Maybe it’s designed for *one* thing but, in a pinch, can have multiple uses…

    “There are many valid criticisms of the community that don’t rely on painting the behavior of a few guys, who don’t even follow the lessons of the community, as representative of it as a whole, which is what that article does.”

    This guy may not be following the *lessons* of the community, but he sure has the *chauvinism* down pat, though, doesn’t he? In that sense, he’s a *great* representative. No, he’s not the fastest learner out there, but as far as I can tell, most PUAs sure have his attitudes towards women. I’m personally *glad* he was sloppy. He was caught, and I’m *glad* for it.

    “Anyway, all this talk of how representative of PUA behavior certain tactics like negging and AMOGing are sort of misses the point.”

    It’s not missing the point if the *POINT* is to develop strategies to avoid being taken in by PUA snares and behavioral/mental manipulations.

    If you wanted to posit, for example, that strategies should be developed to counter feelings of devaluation to avoid being manipulated instead of countering specific tricks, I’m listening. My own feeling is that one will need strategies against general devaluation *and* specific tricks. THAT’S why I zero in on specific tactics. If you have alternative/complementary suggestions, feel free…

    “The point is that practices establishing a male-dominant, female submissive power dynamic are typical of the seduction community (and also establishing dominance over other males). That is where I agree with feminists in this thread.”

    This is true, and your consistent stance on this has led me to believe that you *are* telling the truth when you say you’re not a PUA.

    “Exactly which of these techniques we categorize with which labels is not the point. Some of these gendered and gendering techniques are more damaging than others, but they all require ethical examination.”

    What they require is *resistance*. I understand that you’d like to persuade people to not use them by using ethical arguments and examination, but frankly, there are way too many PUAs are power-addicted/misogynist/desperate to listen to you, IMHO. I *get* what you’re trying to do, but frankly, I think it’s futile. If someone can’t see off the bat why these are from the Dark Side of the Force, there’s not really much, IMHO, you can do. Maybe they’re too lonely, desperate, and hurting; maybe they’re misogynistic and sadistic. My life experiences have taught me that if someone can’t figure out why eliciting attraction through behavioral and mental controls and manipulations isn’t wrong off the bat, there’s not much you can do for them…until they fall down and hit rock-bottom.

    Then again, maybe you’ve had better luck in persuading people to abandon unethical behavior…I don’t know what your background is, so it’s *conceivable* you’ve learned how to reach the ordinarily unreachable.

    **************HOWEVER****************

    My own feeling is that I’m not going to rely or wait for someone’s good will to protect myself. I’m going to formulate methods of resistance and protection NOW. I have no problem with the idea of examining PUAism from an ethical standpoint, and if you want to engage in dialogue here about that, I’d be happy to read your insights. Problem is, I’ve already wasted too much time on discussing its ethics. I want to stop it. NOW.


  282. Withholding details about yourself isn’t the same as actively manipulating in order to get a woman to sleep with you. Implying that these two are the same is disingenuous strawmanning, and it’s ignoring the deck stacked against women in the context of gendered power dynamics.

    On the continuum from “awkward and naive self disclosure in the name of total honesty” to “engineered manipulation and trickery” is the reasonable middle ground of “typical social interaction between reasonable adults”. That is something worth striving for in your dealings with others. The gendered power dynamics is a separate but highly important issue and will certainly make the meaning of “typical” quite different across male-male, male-female, and female-female interactions.


  283. Why did you edit my comments TG.

    They were honest.

    I ask you again.

    Tell me what to say to a woman I find attractive that is acceptable to you?

    Please.


  284. Thinking Girl said:

    not to put too fine a point on it, but OF COURSE it would be ridiculous to tell someone every single little detail about yourself the moment you meet them. OF COURSE you withhold certain information from people when you meet them.

    Concealing aspects of oneself or of one’s personality could be construed as a lack of authenticity, which could be construed as dishonesty. I think the confusion here is because terms like “honesty” and “manipulation” mean different things to different people.

    What I’m talking about as being unethical is actively manipulating and/or lying, within the context of gendered power dynamics, in order to get a woman into bed.

    Again, I think the terms here are creating the confusion, and risk making it sound like you are saying something more extreme than what you actually mean. First, as I mentioned briefly above, lying isn’t really a PUA technique (apart from white lies to embellish story-telling); in fact, lying is seen as AFC and unmanly. As for manipulation, that is a potentially valid criticism. I think what is necessary here is to define exactly what you mean by manipulation, outline which PUA techniques constitute manipulation in your view, and show why they are wrong (or more wrong than typical female behavior to attract men). If you just throw around a word like “manipulation,” which can mean so many different things, PUAs have several rejoinders:

    The first is to say that everyone manipulates in social interaction, that manipulation is morally neutral, and whether it is right or wrong depends on the goals and intent of the manipulator. PUAs see their goals of sex (and sometimes relationships) as positive for both them and women; therefore, their manipulation is seen as justified.

    The second is to grant that manipulation is an unethical form of social influence, but to say that then someone must show how PUA practices are unethical. Rather than saying “manipulation is justified, because we have positive intent,” this rejoinder says that “manipulation is wrong, but then we aren’t manipulating, because what we are doing isn’t harmful, but just normal social influence.”

    The third rejoinder is that manipulation can be in a moral grey area, but that it is a necessary evil. The argument is that women behave in ways that influence male sexual psychology, then it is also OK for men to behave in ways that influence female sexual psychology.


  285. When I said that only one feminist posting here had met any PUAs, Thinking Girl points out that I can’t really know this: if it’s true that PUAs are indistinguishable from average attractive men, as I’ve claimed, then people in this thread could have run into PUAs without knowing it. This is true. What I should have said is that only one person in the thread has met any PUAs who they knew were PUAs. Unless you knew a guy was a PUA, you can’t use his behavior to assess PUAs.

    First hand experience is important, because PUAs can respond to any critique of their practices by claiming that you can’t really understand what they do without watching them in real life, and that what they do isn’t as bad as some of their language might sound online. To assess the truth of that claim, it would be necessary to watch a bunch of PUAs of different schools of thought in real life.

    Of course, I’m not suggesting that anyone who wants to criticize PUAs must meet tons of them to validly do so. There might be practical and personal reasons why someone would not want to do so. They are left with second-hand accounts and videos. Hopefully as the seduction community becomes better-documented, what they are actually doing will come to light.


  286. Thinking Girl said:

    something else is troubling me about your comments, and that is the monolithic brush with which you paint women. for example, you said: “Gendered power dynamics are sexy for many people, especially women.” and “skilled PUAs will be more or less indistinguishable from the guys that women typically find attractive.”

    I’m glad you and Kate brought this up. I should have been more clear that these are statements about women’s average preferences. Rather than saying that “gendered power dynamics are sexy for most people, especially women,” I think it would be clearer to say that “submission plays a more central role in women’s desires than in men’s, on average.”

    It seems to me that whether a claim like this is sexist depends on how plausible that claim is, and how much evidence there is for it. Something that I’ve noticed is that many radical feminists think that it is a plausible, and make claims about women’s desires for submission or sadomasochism that are just as extreme as the claims of PUAs. In Intercourse, Andrea Dworkin claims that in male-dominant gender hierarchies, women learn to “eroticize powerlessness and self-annihilation.” Similarly, MacKinnon (Feminism Unmodified, p. 7) writes that for women, “subordination is sexualized.” Sandra Bartky, in Femininity and Domination suggests that, “surely women’s acceptance of domination by men cannot be entirely independent of the fact that for many women, dominance in men is exciting.” and that many, perhaps most women have submissive or sadomasochistic desires.

    Since there are women, including feminist women, who claim that women sexualize submission, I don’t think the perception can simply be chalked up to male privilege and social standpoint.

    I think when we see radical feminists and PUAs agreeing, there must be something going on. Of course, they differ on the reasons that they think that women are submissive: PUAs are more like to think that the reason is biology, while radical feminists believe that the reason is patriarchal socialization. Still, I don’t think that the perception from both PUAs and some radical feminists, that there is a link between gendered power dynamics and female sexuality, should be taken as a serious possibility. The question is how big this link is.

    I’ve recently been doing some research on female sexual desires for my blog, and I’ve been finding that some aspects of the PUA view of women are consistent with the research, and others are not. First, it seems pretty obvious that men who are submissive and shy tend to be very unattractive to women. Second, there are many studies finding an association between dominance and female sexual attraction. What some of these studies find, which is inconsistent with PUA ideology, is that dominance is only attractive to women in interaction with certain feminine qualities, such as interpersonal agreeableness. Third, being submissive and passive is a common theme in female sexual fantasies (a bunch of studies find this, including ones by feminist or feminist-influenced researchers).

    Interestingly, one of these studies (by Zurbriggen & Yost, 2004) found that no significant differences existed between men and women in fantasies of submission: men had submissive fantasies too (this won’t surprise Scarred). BUT men had more fantasies of dominance than women. Does this mean that women are more submissive? That depends if by “more submissive,” we mean “have more fantasies of submission” (which the study did not find), or “are more likely to fantasize about submission when having power-related fantasies” (which the study did find).

    The PUA dogma that the vast majority of women are sexually submissive, and are attracted to “alpha males” is not literally true. It is possible, but current research does not support it. But the question should not be, “is the PUA view of women true?” The question should be, “does the PUA view of women work in producing results?” As I said above, for PUAs, the truth is what gets you laid.

    If only 30% of women fit the PUA view, rather than 95%, they will still be able to have decent enough success with those women to believe that their view applies to 95% of women. Clearly, PUA views of women are able to produce enough results with women that men continue to flock to the seduction community and pay the gurus for materials and seminars (and even the ones that don’t pay a dime congregate in internet forums with tens of thousands of members). This isn’t a case of the emperor wearing no clothes: he is definitely wearing something, though it may not be what he thinks it is.

    PUAs believe that the majority of women are sexually submissive, and that the way to arouse them is for men to be dominant both sexually and socially (women such as dominatrices are considered anomalies). To accomplish this goal PUAs establish themselves as higher in social status than the woman, by performing masculinity. This is where techniques like negs and C&F come in. Some of these techniques are correctly characterized as “sexist,” and can cut down a woman’s self-esteem and agency. Yet even for women who are submissive, treating them in a diminishing manner might not actually be necessary to turn them on, contrary to the methods of some PUAs.

    In my opinion, the PUA view of women identifies some tendencies that do exist, but then exaggerates those tendencies and overgeneralizes them. Also, it’s possible to agree partially or even totally with the PUA description of women, without agreeing with the seduction community’s view of the practical and ethical implications of that description.

    A good point that Scarred brought up was the existence of males with submissive desires in search of women to dominate them, and how the seduction community doesn’t really acknowledge their existence. Personally, I am more submissive than dominant, so I really get tired of PUA tactics based on demonstrating dominance and strength; why the hell do I always have to be the strong one? What the seduction community would argue on this subject would be something like this “the vast majority of straight women are subs, NOT doms, therefore if you are a male sub, you are out of luck and should learn to take the dominant role if you want to get anywhere.” My personal experience is sadly consistent with what the community says so far, and I hope that in the future I will learn to identify and have relationships with women for whom the stereotypical male-dominant, female-submissive paradigm isn’t necessary.

    Even if most women are subs and want nothing to do with male subs, like the community says, what is “most?” 90-99%? Or only 60-80%? If the latter is the case, then there could be a pool of women with non-stereotypical sexual preferences that the community ignores. I once watched a guy on a PUA forum challenge the notion that “alpha” traits (based on dominance) are of primary importance in success with women, and that “beta” traits (based on connection and affiliation) are unattractive to women; he thought that both types of traits could be either attractive or unattractive to women depending on how they were displayed. Furthermore, he argued that the reason “beta” traits were considered to be unattractive to women was because PUAs had no idea how to use them. For arguing this, he was flamed off the forum.


  287. When a person has to defend their ideas, those ideas become further entrenched into the persons mind.

    Even if they have the subtlest of feelings that they just might be wrong, the act of arguing for, is an investment into that idea, and pride, and ego, and ones identity as a ‘such and such’ kind of person, starts to get threatened. And this is painful. Because not only does one have to mourn the loss of something they have invested into, but, then they are standing on a new ground that they are unfamiliar with, and naturally they feel insecure, and have to learn new attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors.

    So, ThinkingGirl, I have not been rude, I have followed the rules, and, yet, you will not publish my harmless comments?


  288. Scarred – wow, that was one heckuva springboard! glad you found my comments helpful as a basis for further ideas.

    oh yes, and RESISTANCE!!! yes, exactly.

    Hugh – thank you for addressing some of my concerns, that was actually helpful.

    Tyler – yes, exactly.

    Honesty – please stop acting like a petulent child. I told you you were on warning, because your comments were disingenuous.

    No, sorry, I’m not going to give you a pickup line to use on women. Seriously. Let’s just take a wild guess as to what comment would come from you if I did:

    TG: here’s a pickup line to use on women. ______(insert pickup line)
    [H "goes off" and "tries it out" - unsuccessfully, of course.]
    H: yeah, well I used your pickup line and it didn’t work, so I guess PUAs must be right after all!

    Get real, Honesty.


  289. Hugh, I wanted to respond to your post. I apologise in advance if this is a bit rambly (it’s 3am here). First, thanks for replying to my (&TG’s) question about gendered power dynamics. I can understand a bit more clearly where you’re coming from. The studies you linked to sound interesting and I will have a read of them when I get some time.
    As you know, I am coming from a feminist perspective. And I think you’ve outlined pretty beautifully in your post above why PUA ideology is a Tool of the Patriarchy ™. Dominance and submission and the naturalness thereof – yeah, from a feminist/queer theorist/post-stucturalist viewpoint I have a few problems with seeing them as natural. They are tied so closely to heterosexual sexuality, and by extension, gender roles, that it is pretty much a subversive act to declare yourself a submissive man. As in – submissive – but not – feminine…
    I’m not surprised that guy got flamed on a PUA forum. He would probably get flamed on 95% of forums, PUA or otherwise.
    Here’s how I see it. Under patriarchy, dominance and submission are too often, and too easily, elided into “normal” and “degraded”. That is, the idea of submission is itself degraded.
    The question of whether and how submission itself may be a radical act is an interesting point; I’m thinking here of certain queer writings on the idea of Lacanian jouissance – but that is kind of tangential to the justification of PUA ideology. It’s relevant to discussing PUAs insofar as it is relevant to the critique of patriarchy itself: i.e. pretty damn relevant, but as part of an overall critique which prioritises resistance. The question of whether and how submission IS natural AND tied to female sexuality is very relevant to discussion of PUAs, though, since it seems to be the bedrock of the theories that constitute PUA ideology. I don’t agree that questioning the truth of the PUA view of women isn’t what we should be asking – for me as a feminist, it’s pretty much the main problem: but then, I see the question about truth and the question about whether it works or not as being intimately related to each other!

    PUA ideology works to make female submission natural. That is, all the writing I’ve seen tends to tie that to biology, the mysterious female mind etc. So far, so patriarchal: it’s nothing new. Sometimes PUA stuff tends to just ignore – as you say – the idea of male submissives. But I think it ignores them in specific ways: it ignores them as agents. Actually, it implicitly acknowledges the existence of male submissive impulses and behaviours all the time. It refers to those things as AFC or some other, rejecting term. (Yes: I’m addressing submissiveness here as a social behaviour, not a strictly sexual one, but I am following the logic of the PUAs themselves by doing so.) PUA ideology DOES acknowledge male submissives therefore, but it very much works to degrade them – either by encouraging men to repress such impulses and behaviour in themselves (internal degradation) or by actually pointing to this behaviour in non-PUAs or dissidents like the guy on your forum (external degradation). As far as all the PUA literature I’ve seen is concerned, submission IS low status.

    So it naturalises submissiveness for women i.e. says it is correct and healthy for women to be submissive socially and sexually (socially because sexually: another major flaw in PUA logic). It does not critique the prevailing cultural dictum on submission i.e. that submission usually means degradation. Further, it actually reinforces that paradigm by disparaging submissive behaviour in men. Yes, I know that your argument is partly that PUAs think ‘the truth is what gets you laid’ but my argument is also, partly, that what PUA gurus are selling is a crock for men as well as women. As you say, some guys will not care about the truth or the ethics of what they choose to follow – which is why we need resistance AND critique. Resistance because many do not care. Critique because some do.
    All of the above that I’ve related regarding PUA ideology – and how I see it – will not be that new or surprising, I hope, because, well: this is exactly how patriarchy works. Patriarchy being about dominance and submission aka power. And, just like under patriarchy I have no doubt that there’s a lot of confusion, even dissention, amongst PUAs themselves as these men struggle to bring their manifold experiences of self and sexuality into line with what the PUA schools tell them is successful behaviour. In fact there may well be MORE confusion because – why are these men here, why are they paying out for this stuff or spending time studying it if they aren’t beforehand at the very least uncomfortable in their assigned gender role under patriarchy?
    Of course, some men aren’t aware they’re living in a patriarchal bind; some, as you are no doubt aware Hugh, think they’re living in a matriarchy imposed by feminists and/or women – as such these men go to PUAs to validate their right to BE a patriarch.
    PUA might as well stand for Patriarchy Uber Alles because that is what I hear them preaching.
    Of course it is successful. Women are socialised to respond! (In fact we are all socialised to respond to some extent).
    And yeah – some women probably ARE aware and all that and respnd anyway because women actually do like sex, all kinds of sex (maybe not from Honesty though – hey, Honesty, I went up to a man on the street the other day and asked him to have sex with me and he told me he had a girlfriend/was gay/ was impotent/ had testicular cancer and had just come from radiotherapy/ didn’t want to be a parent/ didn’t fancy me/ was too busy/didn’t like feminists/didn’t believe in sex before marriage/was too shy to show his body to someone he’d just met/ was hungry/had PTSS/was on anti-depressants and had a low libido……
    maybe men just don’t want to be honest about how much they want sex all the time???)
    So here’s the message from PUAs: dominance is normal and healthy – for men. Same shit, different day. Hugh, I think your argument is with the way dominance = normal and submission = degradation. Yeah, it’s a very important question to ask about PUAs – and about patriarchy. Rad fems DO work within that framework, you’re right, but they didn’t invent it. They tend to want to overthrow it.
    But back to PUA ideology. Why resist it? Because it says – women are submissive – but also – ‘let’s exploit that’. Yes – one can argue that some (even most) PUAs are are nice and well intentioned and actually believe that what they are doing isn’t exploitation but is actually, somehow, freeing women to “enjoy submission”. (Though for me this argument isn’t valid if we are talking about NPL etc since I think that is in itself exploitative). However – encouraging people, men or women, to enjoy their sexuality as natural and free ONLY insofar as it lines up with what “natural and free” are defined as , for men and women, in terms of power and control, under patriarchy aka three millenia of the same shit – that is not free. It is not natural. There isn’t the option of opting out or saying “you know what – this just don’t feel right.”
    There’s a lot more I could say on this any why I’m not feeling it but this post is getting way too long now.
    But, I ask: can we just agree that:

    submissive people (whether that submission is ‘natural’, innate, or socialised and gendered) have a right (ethically speaking) not to be exploited?

    And that therefore, PUA ideology should be critiqued (Hugh) AND as Scarred says, resisted?


  290. thinkinggirl,

    “please stop acting like a petulent child. I told you you were on warning,”

    Nope, the email address I gave you is real, except you wouldn’t know that, because there is NO email warning from you in my inbox. I have NEVER received anything from you….period. Now, it’s possible that there’s a delay of time…I know that hotmail sometimes messes things up…so that is possible.

    “because your comments were disingenuous.”

    This is clearly, absolutely and utterly clearly, the filter through which you have chosen to view my comments.

    This is a choice.

    How do you KNOW, what I’m feeling??

    You people blow my mind. You KNOW that I’m lying?? Would you like me to take a tape recorder with me and tape my interactions?? Because I will.

    Who of you has the courage to try this. Don’t you think I’m nervous trying this stuff? I could get beaten up…lol.

    But, I’ll do it. You guys are speculating, and theorizing, and I’m willing to tape the interactions and then post it to yousendit if you want??

    Hey Man. I am soooooo lonely.

    Thinkinggirl….if you have a way for me to have these women respond to me in a positive way, please please please give it to me.

    Yes, I see that I was getting impatient up there.
    But wouldn’t you if you were lonely and hurting?
    Because I am. I am lonely and hurting.

    So, I’m the only one on the board who will step up and go into the REAL WORLD and tape my interactions. Can’t you give me some credit for this?

    TG .. if you won’t give me something to say .. who will then?? Somebody step up to the plate please.

    Give me something to say, I’ll tape it, and put it on yousendit ok?


  291. Brain – great, thanks. I couldn’t put it into words, what it was about Hugh’s response that bothered me. You put your finger on it nicely. great job.


  292. The PUA dogma that the vast majority of women are sexually submissive, and are attracted to “alpha males” is not literally true. It is possible, but current research does not support it. But the question should not be, “is the PUA view of women true?” The question should be, “does the PUA view of women work in producing results?” As I said above, for PUAs, the truth is what gets you laid.

    I find it interesting that despite a being a subculture with a focus on results, PUA teachers still feels the need to wrap their system in a form of theory and ideology. I think we agree here that the philosophy is essentially grounded in patriarchal dominator culture – Man must be the alpha conqueror and lead the conquered, dominated female who defers to his strength and leadership. And yet how this patriarchal goal is actually accomplished differs in all the different ‘guru’ approaches, and the justification is generally different in each case (generally evolutionary biology, or discovering and then appealing to the deepest psychological fantasies of a woman, or other such post-hoc reasoning). As Brain said better than I have, PUA ideology works to make female submission natural. That is, all the writing I’ve seen tends to tie that to biology, the mysterious female mind etc.

    I appeal again to the idea of a filter that I mentioned earlier in the thread (I don’t remember whether I was the first person to mention this or whether I was expanding on someone else’s point). PUA approaches are naturally going to select for highly attractive women who are willing to interact with a glib and persuasive stranger, who are willing to be led by him through a series of social interactions, and who actually exhibit a desire to have sex with him relatively soon. Anyone else will be filtered out from consideration at some stage of the process.

    The approach is unlikely to work, for example, on a highly religious woman who is waiting to have sex for the first time on her wedding night with her husband[*]. For even more obvious reasons, PUA methods would not work on a lesbian woman either. At the risk of belaboring the point, PUAs are focusing on a relatively small percentage of women, those with characteristics described above, and a relatively small percentage of men – those who are willing to go to certain lengths and absorb this type of ideology in order to have “better luck at getting laid”. Men to whom such techniques and ideologies don’t appeal aren’t offered an alternative from the menu, they are simply dismissed as frustrated chumps and similar. As Brain puts it better and more simply: There isn’t the option of opting out or saying “you know what – this just don’t feel right.” So this gendered determinism and ideology remains part and parcel of the whole PUA business.

    A question that is perhaps kind of academic (but still interesting) is whether things have to be this way: is it completely inevitable that people teaching techniques for men to meet women and be successful in dating are going to slide down this slippery slope of exploiting the asymmetries in gendered interaction? As the last few posts demonstrate (if there was any doubt before), the picture is obviously not as naively simple as the “Man=dominant, Woman=submissive” that is sold in PUA programs.

    I have been wondering if the theory is painted on after the fact to appeal to authority and further justify charging a lot of money for the programs – for the “gurus” to admit, well, we just tried out a lot of stuff and wrote down what worked is hardly worth thousands of dollars for a weekend seminar, but if it’s backed up by Psychology! and Neuroscience! and Biology! and Chemistry! and Evolution!, well, that could be a different story.

    [*] We could argue that she is a victim of patriarchy in a different way, but because of her personal convictions and practices, such a woman is unlikely to face a specific threat from PUAs.


  293. Honesty – you’re exhausting me.

    why would I email you a warning when I already told you in the comments here? here’s me, talking to you:

    I think Hugh (thanks, Hugh!!!) dealt with you pretty well. funny, I had my suspicions about just what he was talking about when you first posted, but benefit of the doubt took over. you proved me right, I should always follow my gut instinct. thanks for proving my point on that. Anyway, you are also on warning.

    In case you missed it, Hugh said this, again about you:

    He is implying that if men can or should be honesty with women, then they should just be able to ask women to have sex. Then he sarcastically “goes out and tries it,” and reports that it didn’t work. In his scenario, he asks women why they reject him, and they can’t give him a clear answer. What he seems to be arguing is something like this:

    If men are to be honest with women, it means being honest about their sexual desires for women. Yet being honest about sexual desires with women too soon (at least by verbalizing those desires) will turn women off and make them uncomfortable. Therefore, it is impractical to be honest with women, at least in this way. It’s easy to think of other examples of his thesis: for instance, being honest about insecurities and vulnerabilities early on. Another example would be using bad puns (a while ago, I realized that although bad puns are a big part of my sense of humor, I would have to hold them back with most women unless she started punning first).

    Now, it’s too bad that you feel sad and lonely. really. but it’s not up to me to help you get laid. really. When you say things like: “Thinkinggirl….if you have a way for me to have these women respond to me in a positive way, please please please give it to me,” it creeps me out. Why on earth do you think I would have the answers as to how to manipulate women who are not interested in having sex with you to do so? Why would you think I would want to help you do this? Why are you treating women like they are all the same? Why are you treating women like objects that you want to have and control?

    Really, if you are truly a sad and lonely guy, I feel for you. but I’ve had enough of these requests for “feminist-friendly pickup lines” or whatever you want to call it. I still don’t really believe you, seems like you’d want a line to use in order to prove it doesn’t work and the only way to get women to sleep with you is with PUA techniques. The truth is, I don’t have a line for you that will work on any woman. I don’t even think PUAs would claim that. All I can say is, treat women like they are people with feelings and interests and opinions and agency. Not all women are the same, not all women will find the same kind of guy attractive.

    Oh, and please don’t miss what Brain said, since you don’t seem to read the comments too well:

    hey, Honesty, I went up to a man on the street the other day and asked him to have sex with me and he told me he had a girlfriend/was gay/ was impotent/ had testicular cancer and had just come from radiotherapy/ didn’t want to be a parent/ didn’t fancy me/ was too busy/didn’t like feminists/didn’t believe in sex before marriage/was too shy to show his body to someone he’d just met/ was hungry/had PTSS/was on anti-depressants and had a low libido……maybe men just don’t want to be honest about how much they want sex all the time???

    ok, so that’s done now, get it?

    Tyler – great contribution, thanks! really good analysis. I especially think we should be keeping the filter deal top of mind in discussion this: PUAs target a specific kind of guy, and teach those guys to target specific kind of woman. Just like advertising: if you try to sell something to the wrong target audience, you won’t be successful.

    And I also want to reinforce a point of Hugh’s and Brain’s that you also picked up on: not all men want to act like this. Some men feel uncomfortable with this dominant masculine ideology. Also, note that some men who feel they are submissive by nature don’t like that and don’t want to be submissive, and so sometimes this is a reason why some men turn to PUA. All of which, of course, means that it’s not natural, but learned. Gender is performative, an achievement accomplished through repetitive performance of behaviours and attitudes. If these PUAs are teaching men how to be more dominant, doesn’t that necessarily mean that male dominance is not natural?????

    And back to Brain for a couple minutes: yes yes yes – all this talk of freeing women to enjoy being submissive smacks of empowerfulness, right? how women doing anything that is normally associated with women is suddenly somehow empowerful – you go girl! NOT FREE. NOT EMPOWERMENT.

    Also, I completely agree that submissive people have a right not to be exploited.


  294. TG – Thanks for your feedback and for extending my point further.

    how women doing anything that is normally associated with women is suddenly somehow empowerful – you go girl! NOT FREE. NOT EMPOWERMENT.

    There was a good discussion at Pandagon (don’t have the exact URL) within the past week or so about what is feminist and what is not, including unlikely activities like pole dancing (!) being viewed as a form of female empowerment.

    A good argument was made that the need to view activity X (for whatever X) as scoring points for female empowerment really highlights the gender imbalance that exists. For example, when men go play rugby and drink beer afterwards, they don’t reflect on how empowered and free they now feel as men. (Perhaps because empowered and free is viewed as the normal and logical state for men?)

    but I’ve had enough of these requests for “feminist-friendly pickup lines” or whatever you want to call it.

    I’ve always found “Hey, baby, let’s you and me go back to my place and check out my first edition Andrea Dworkin and Shulamith Firestone books over a glass of fine Chardonnay?” works great. [*]

    [*] MEN: PLEASE DO NOT ACTUALLY TRY THIS!


  295. stixzz – thanks for the examples of negs you provided. please read carefully to note the underlying assumption, that “really, after all it’s ridiculous to think about women like they’re better than you, or higher value, or whatever, because how oculd they be? you’re the alpha dog, bro!” The discourse is still there that women are really not equal to, and certainly not better than, men. do you see it hiding there?

    Oh aye totally. I wasn’t really giving those examples really to back the merits substance of the claims made, more just to show examples of other viewpoints, rather than any endorsement of them.

    Counter A) I have no idea *what* the Annihilation method is–purportedly, it was taught in dead secret. What if Strauss pulled a joke and told his 5 students, “You don’t need game”–and then handed back the money they paid to learn the method? Would these guys talk about what happened then?? Remember, *that* method hasn’t been exposed to broad daylight.

    He realesed 1000 (i think) copies of the “annihilation method” on DVD and sold them for something in the region of thousands per copy. (too lazy to do the neccesary web search to get more precise figures – sorry.) Which subsequently became available on peer to peer programmes which means that if you have a search on torrentspy im sure it wouldnt be difficult to locate. (but it takes feckin ages for it to download). I’ve seen it myself, it is basiclly mystery method repackaged – one of the dvd’s has mystery doing a lecture on it.

    Honesty. I think the fact that you seem to be coming with the belief that women are somehow obligated to do something with you just because you want that of them is probably impacting upon your “sucess” with ladies. Your tone also seems to demonstrate somewhat bitter tone towards women, i dont think that will be a very attractive quality.


  296. Just a post to Stixzz, to acknowledge our discussion about Neil Strauss:

    “He [meaning, Neil Strauss--Scarred's comment] realesed 1000 (i think) copies of the “annihilation method” on DVD and sold them for something in the region of thousands per copy. (too lazy to do the neccesary web search to get more precise figures – sorry.)”

    Don’t worry about it, Stixzz–it’s immaterial anyway.

    “Which subsequently became available on peer to peer programmes which means that if you have a search on torrentspy im sure it wouldnt be difficult to locate. (but it takes feckin ages for it to download). I’ve seen it myself, it is basiclly mystery method repackaged – one of the dvd’s has mystery doing a lecture on it.”

    Okay, Counter A is incorrect about the “Annihilation” method not being released. Thank you for updating me. (It gets damn hard to keep up with all this stuff, as things so rapidly change.)

    However, you brought up an interesting point. You observed that the “Annihilation” method was simply “Mystery Method” rehashed–apparently just repackaged and gone over, am I correct?

    That, to my mind, lends some credence to the idea that while Strauss had mercenary motives in mind, he might not have the classic “arms dealer” mentality but in fact may be more of a “subversive.”

    “Counter B) Thundercat remarked on Strauss’ incredibly Machiavellian nature. What if Strauss got so fed up with PUAism in general that he taught an anti-method, i.e., a method guaranteed to fail? I could *see* him doing that and laughing all the way to the bank…

    Counter C) I don’t remember the exact sources, but apparently there’s rumors floating about that the “Annihilation” method is “lame.” This would seem to fit in with my Counter B) thought.

    I will first and foremost state that *I’m not defending Neil Strauss,* just stating that for me, the jury is still out on him. If the “Annihilation method is released, and it’s a rehashed version of Mystery Method, that would lend credence to my Counters B and C. I don’t know how effective the “Annihilation” method is, but if it’s a rehash, it’s most likely not as effective as the Mystery Method. That would *especially* lend credence to Counter C. Strauss might have made his “Annihilation” method *just* effective enough on occasion so that he didn’t get suspected of being subversive and to try to buy time to build his stuff for women. He’s a tricky S.O.B., I wouldn’t put *anything* past him. Rather than jump to conclusions, I’m choosing to watch him over a period of time.

    But you seem to have a stance of *not* paying for PUA methods and being suspicious of those who sell the info, and I have to applaud this, as there’s a very persuasive meme out there that all information should be free *ANYWHERE.*:)) Plus, in my mind, there’s no question that a *LOT* of the PUA gurus prey on their accolytes: the whole business looks very exploitative.

    I’ve thought about downloading stuff off the Internet, but man, it’s risky business; be very careful in doing it. You never know when some virus or worm from hell is going to mess you up like a f***er. I’m sure you’ve got some good anti-viral software, this is an enormous bonus.


  297. Okay, long-promised, nascent methods of resistance. These are elementary tactics that women can adopt to protect themselves. Here’s the link to my posting on this issue on my blog:

    http://feministpitbull.wordpress.com/2007/05/30/methods-of-resisting-pick-up-artists-advertising-and-other-manipulators

    If this doesn’t work, just try clicking on my blog,
    http://feministpitbull.wordpress.com

    It should be the first essay on there right now. We can discuss it here or there, either is okay with me.


  298. Props on getting 300+ responses to your article!

    I love women and would be mortified if I hurt one.

    I feel the same about men, but I don’t currently sleep with them.

    We all want love and happiness. Wo/Men.

    A lot of us got into seduction related fields of thought because we wanted love, but did not quite realize that love comes from within. No amount of pick up tricks will ever fulfill the desire for love. Love is to be given, it cannot be taken.

    Men: If you still desire women, simply change all your negative feelings about women to positive. You’ll enjoy their company alot more, you’ll never be scared, and your new positive outlook will effect the world around you. Same process for women.

    Don’t let anyone define you! Letting people get under our skin is letting them define us, which marginalizes our ability to change this situation!

    I look forward to a world where we live together in harmony and men don’t need to learn stupid tricks and women don’t have to either.

    For any clarification, send me an email. Use “vanilla heart” in the subject line to get past my spam filter.

    Love,
    tmagwitch . yahoo


  299. Hi there,

    I used to be a real nice guy but i never got any ladies and the only girl friends i had were the ones that i got accidently or due to some stroke of luck or fate.

    The community helped me become more confident and sure of my self. I thank them eternally. The guy who taught me about how i should meet women made sure i understood the following:

    Never lie the women you meet
    Remain totally honest at all times
    Display your interest in her blatantly
    Telegraph your intentions blatantly
    Learn to be a man, project your self to her.

    How do i meet women, you may ask? I approach them and tell them how beautiful i find them, approach them like the beautiful creature she really is and tell her exactly how happy i am to meet her and that i would love to get to know her.
    It is straight up honesty and confidence. Nothing more.

    I thank my teachers and the community for moulding me into a man who can be honest with women, confident as a man and approach women without being dishonest or manipulative.

    My question: Why does this bother you?


  300. on May 30, 2007 at 10:14 pm nottoofaded

    I think that people are acting like this is new information, there have always been people looking for pointers and help, but it sounds like a bad thing when someone says pickup line, but not so bad if they say, introducing themselves. It sounds bad when you say desperate, but it doesn’t sound so bad when you say unrequited love. (possible spelling error there) Many people have read or seen the play Cyrano de Bergerac, and by the end of the play we feel bad for him, he didn’t have the self-esteem to love the woman he did… and he wasn’t the only one who suffered! Certainly alot of the people who learn these techniques will begin trying to “bed” as many women as possible, but if they are genuinely insecure, or they find that the life isn’t what they thought of, I’m sure that most of them will firstly notice that women are people too, rather than fearing them, and will then begin to acquint women with who these people really are. They will realize that it isn’t the number of women a guy gets but it’s how men can enrich the lives of the people around them and perhaps their own lives. I don’t believe that there so many women-haters or some similiar less extreme term for them, for guys alot of their self-esteem is based around the area of women. Because our relationships with one another are important, some of these people may weigh too much on this type of thing, but if they do solve this type of thing they may find respect.
    And now for those who hate these Pickup Artists, I read a quote by Oscar Wilde earlier in the day, “Selfishness is not living as one wishes to live, it is asking others to live as one wishes to live.”


  301. “Maybe I’ll start a business of my own, and I’ll call myself a date doctor, and instead of teaching men sleazy tricks to get into a woman’s pants, I’ll teach them how to actually treat women with respect”

    You wouldn’t make any money because such a system would never work.

    95 percent of the guys who are buying pick up tactics book probably tried the “treat women with respect” approach and did nothing but strike out with it.

    I know I did.


  302. Yeah id agree that the jury is out on streuss, definately there is some kinda conflict going on inside him that hes trying to resolve.

    But you seem to have a stance of *not* paying for PUA methods and being suspicious of those who sell the info, and I have to applaud this, as there’s a very persuasive meme out there that all information should be free *ANYWHERE.*:)) Plus, in my mind, there’s no question that a *LOT* of the PUA gurus prey on their accolytes: the whole business looks very exploitative.

    I agree with that position. Capitalism sucks, yeah the market pretty much mediates most of our social relationships if there is any way to ‘buck’ the market then i’m up for taking it. I just don’t think that ones purchasing power should have anything to do with relationships.

    These guys are basiclly commodifying knowledge that they gained for free in the general discourse of the ‘community’, i don’t think they seem to realise that community is related to the idea of ‘in common’ which is a completely different idea to the notion of private property.

    That said, to the chaps that have helped me improve my life without hurting other people in the process then once my financial situation is in a better state then i will give them thier monetary ‘entitlement’.


  303. Some housekeeping:

    Just a reminder kids:

    to those readers who have come over here from a link on a PUA site (several are up now) and want to defend PUAism and PUAs, especially by attacking women and feminism: you are not welcome in this discussion. This is a discussion aimed at taking your asses down, and we already well know how you feel about what we’re doing. You’re threatened because your pathetic manipulations are being exposed, and you’re scrambling. Your comments will not be published here, because they do not follow the discussion policies for this blog. You’re trolling, and I don’t publish trolls. You’re misogynists, and I don’t publish misogynistic comments.

    The moderation/discussion policy for this thread is officially this: if you are not here to discuss ways to deconstruct PUAism, you are not welcome to post on this thread. Period.

    How nice that I’ve already said this, so I can actually just cut and paste.

    To make it explicitly clear: Honesty, this means you. You are not really here to discuss ways to deconstruct PUAism, you are kind of here to defend it in a round-about way, as you indicated by the comment you left “for me only” (which, by the way, is completely annoying and I have warned against doing in my comment policy, which you clearly either have not read or have chosen to disregard, either of which options do not make it more likely that your comments will be published here) from which I will only quote and not publish in full:
    “I’ll write a post for you about the community. I know a LOT about it, and you’ll like it.”

    There is no free speech here. This is a private blog, owned by me. I do not owe you freedom of speech. Your government might, but I don’t. I don’t even believe in unfettered free speech. So, if you want to speak, find someplace else to do it. Start your own blog! Two people from this thread already have. Why don’t you? Then you can post whatever the fuck you want, on your own damn blog. you can even link to this thread; I don’t give a rat’s ass. So, in no uncertain terms, what I want you to do is put on your big boy pants and frig off. K?

    Hugh – I couldn’t tell if your last comment was sarcastic or snarky. I chose not to publish it in case it was the latter.

    to the guys who’ve been helped so much by the PUA community: phrases like “learn to be a man” are inherently problematic, as gender is an unnatural (read: not biological) social construct achieved through repetitive performance of certain behaviours, and ultimately ends up harming women as a group and privileging men as a group, which of course means inequality. I’m not bothered by personal confidence and charisma, nor am I bothered by learning how to develop these things. What bothers me is the gendered power dynamic involved in these interactions that on the whole puts women at a disadvantage.

    Chris – yes, I know such a business would fail, as I stated in the very next sentence that you chose not to quote: “But, oh, wait – a business like that won’t make any money! The ones that make money are the ones that teach men to trick women.”

    In any case, I must say that I resent the implication in your comment that women don’t really want to be treated with respect.

    Disconnect – I love an idealist! thanks!


  304. I didn’t quote that part because i’m telling you why it wouldn’t make any money while ones that teach men to “trick women” do.

    You can resent the implication all you want. In doing so and ignoring it will just make the problem worse. Women control the dating game. Us men will take our cues from all of you. If women right now decided that men who stood on their hands were attractive you would see workshops teaching men how to stand on their hands.

    You want men to think treating women with respect is the way to go. Then women need to start responding well to men who do treat them with respect. If that worked. Men would do it. But it doesn’t. Those pick up tactics do work and are proven to work.

    No point in getting angry at men for using what works. Get angry at your fellow women who probably dumped and rejected those same guys buying those books who are now finding success they never had with the “respect approach”.

    I see the same scenario play out in the discussion forums for pick up tactics whenever somebody new joins up. They post saying how they tried using the “treat women with respect” idea and failed and got rejected. Six months later at the same forum and after a few seminars he has plenty of dates.

    You can resent all of this all you want. Just don’t pretend it isn’t the truth. If it wasn’t then there wouldn’t be a pick up tactics community. As I said, We men take our cues from you women in the dating game. We do what works in general, What women respond to in general.
    If you really want to see these businesses go under. Work on the women who are giving these guys all the advertising they need by dating guys who use those tactics while rejecting nice guys who try to come at them with respect.

    If you refuse to acknowledge that side of it then this is just going to get worse. Why?
    Well, Just go visit those forums and you’ll see all those guys there becomming more jaded, bitter and resentful towards women for the fact that those tactics do work while just being yourself, nice and respectful didn’t.


  305. re: TG

    “Hugh – I couldn’t tell if your last comment was sarcastic or snarky. I chose not to publish it in case it was the latter.”

    I’m kind of disappointed, actually. I was looking forward to Hugh’s reply.
    However, I understand and respect that TG’s blog = TG’s rules.
    Hugh, maybe you could rephrase your reply or repost it at your own blog?

    Chris, above:

    “Well, Just go visit those forums and you’ll see all those guys there becomming more jaded, bitter and resentful towards women for the fact that those tactics do work while just being yourself, nice and respectful didn’t.”

    I have visited and observed this, amongst other things. It’s part of my problem with PUA ideology, that it encourages men to think like this and blame women.

    “I see the same scenario play out in the discussion forums for pick up tactics whenever somebody new joins up. They post saying how they tried using the “treat women with respect” idea and failed and got rejected. Six months later at the same forum and after a few seminars he has plenty of dates.”

    Thank you Chris for outlining so clearly here what PUA encourages – lack of respect for women.
    “Just abandon your principles! It works so much better!” Stixzz makes the connection to capitalism, and I think this type of marketing is tied to the dark underbelly. Should it be applied to relationships? Well – if you’re thinking – why not? Then consider the fact that it might be more honest to admit what you’re into is a sort of quid pro quo prostitution. The problem then becomes that some PUA thinking teaches that one must approach all women as if they were prostitutes that one didn’t want to pay for.

    I understand that you already blame women.
    If you re-read (or read) this thread, this argument has already been made upthread. The idea that “women control the dating game” has been refuted.
    What would you call a woman who became “jaded, bitter and resentful” towards a man who refused her sex? Just a thought.

    “Work on the women who are giving these guys all the advertising they need by dating guys who use those tactics while rejecting nice guys who try to come at them with respect.”

    I see you’re a feminist, then…;)
    I mean, what do you think feminism actually does? Encourage women to date men who don’t respect them?
    The line of thinking you espouse here – holding women responsible for men acting dishonourably, is sexist and insulting to both genders. It insults women by insinuating that they don’t want to be treated with respect, as TG has said. It insults men by implying that men are somehow so weak they will do anything for sex, including jettisoning the idea of human rights.
    What’s worrying is that this line of thought is often extended to rape apologism – i.e. if women control sex, and men will do anything to get it “from” women, then what happens if women say no? I mean, the guy has TRIED respect and it hasn’t worked, right? He’s tried all the lines and tricks and they didn’t work (shit I bet he wants his money back) – guess what, she STILL says no. Seems like there aren’t many options left for him in that case.
    In fact, we know what happens in that case because it has happened many times.


  306. re: The Prince:

    “How do i meet women, you may ask? I approach them and tell them how beautiful i find them, approach them like the beautiful creature she really is and tell her exactly how happy i am to meet her and that i would love to get to know her.
    It is straight up honesty and confidence. Nothing more.”

    I wouldn’t have a problem with this, except I’ve never come across a PUA method that espouses this.


  307. Chris said:

    95 percent of the guys who are buying pick up tactics book probably tried the “treat women with respect” approach and did nothing but strike out with it.

    If guys find it so easy to deviate from a path of treating women with respect, then they obviously never had respect for women in the first place.

    re: The Prince:

    “How do i meet women, you may ask? I approach them and tell them how beautiful i find them, approach them like the beautiful creature she really is and tell her exactly how happy i am to meet her and that i would love to get to know her.
    It is straight up honesty and confidence. Nothing more.”
    I wouldn’t have a problem with this, except I’ve never come across a PUA method that espouses this.

    None of the mainstream ones do, but when you come towards the direct ‘school of thought’, you tend to find viewpoints like that more common.

    Ranko Magami’s direct method is essentially about gaining the self confidence to be able to tell a woman you like exactly that at the first approach.

    Whereas indirect such as mystery method et al teach that ‘intrest’ should not be telegraphed. It instead teaches ‘active disintrest’ ie you approach a group and select your ‘target’ amongst them. You show no intrest to her whatsover but that through manipulative techniques such as demonstrations of higher value, negging the ‘target’ etc the woman you are intrested in will eventually give you ‘indicators of intrest’ and it is at that stage that you show intrest towards her.

    Mode One teaches a simelar thing. Its very much about ‘radical honesty’ ie if you want to have sex with someone be upfront and tell her (even in your first conversation lol), if you have romantic intentions be honest about it, or platonic, be honest about it. As opposed to manipulation such as being a woman’s ‘friend’ to get into her pants. A thing i like about mode one is that unlike other methods i’ve come accross it doesnt believe that ‘attraction can be created’ so therefore pyschological tricks are completely out of the equation. Alan Currie (author of mode one) does not come from the seduction community either.

    Zan also teaches simelar stuff, talks a lot about honesty and respect for women per se (although i do find the viewpoint of respect for women to ‘get into their panties’ to be somewhat disingenous. But in fairness, i havent had that much aquatence with zans material so i might be giving forth a very distorted picture of it.


  308. I see the same scenario play out in the discussion forums for pick up tactics whenever somebody new joins up. They post saying how they tried using the “treat women with respect” idea and failed and got rejected. Six months later at the same forum and after a few seminars he has plenty of dates.

    There’s a lot of flexibility in the “treat women with respect” idea.

    On the one hand, one can dress badly, behave in a awkward way, suggest a date out of the blue immediately upon walking up to a woman – “um, I think you’re really, um, pretty and maybe we could go out sometime?” – and probably get rejected.

    On the other hand, one can dress well and exude personal confidence, walk up to a woman and speak to her as a human being, show a sense of humor, and get to know her for a bit before saying something confident and specific like “You know, I have to get going but I’d like to continue this conversation. Let’s go for some coffee later on in the week. I know a great little Italian espresso place in the East Village. Wednesday evening is free for me – how does that look for you?”

    Both approaches are honest and superficially extremely respectful, but the first is passive and focuses on the “Dating Process” and all its ritualized nonsense, whereas the second is active and focuses on communication and interaction between two people. One could behave respectfully or disrespectfully in either scenario.

    Or, in shorter terms, “man respectful of women” is not automatically the same as “ineffectual loser who gets no dates”.


  309. on June 3, 2007 at 1:10 am nottoofaded

    Brain quoting princes idea does exist… I have heard that a guy named David X who suggesting complete honesty, and listening, he suggests rather than telling a woman how beautiful she is, you tell her what it is about her that you find beautiful.


  310. Brain, Tyler – thanks for responding to Chris. BTW, Brain – Hugh didn’t respond to you, he responded to something Tyler said.

    to the thread in general – I have to say, I’ve written about a lot of topics on this blog. Important topics. Rape, incest, violence against women, racism, the war in Iraq, gay marriage, environmental issues, politics, economics, human rights, health care. etc. But, everyday, THIS post is the one that gets the most hits, and THIS post is the one that gets the most links, and THIS post is the one that gets the most comments, and THIS post is the one that people email me about, and THIS post is the one that draws in requests for interviews. THIS post. The one that exposes the tricks guys use to hit on women and get them into bed.

    Not that this isn’t an important topic, because I think it is. But what’s fascinating is that the majority of the response to this post is from guys who are freaking out because they don’t like hearing resistance to what they are doing, because they want to continue doing what they’re doing with a clear conscience, because they don’t want to think of themselves as sexist, because they don’t want to admit to themselves that this shit won’t work on every woman out there, because they don’t want women to find out about what they are doing and what tactics they are using. Because somehow, they think that because they are heterosexual men, they have a “god given right” to sleep with women. why not? they have a “god given right” to everything else. And after all, women are either objects men can use to get off, or they want to be manipulated because (alternatively) it’s a natural inclination women have or else women are so empowerfulled that they can literally choose oppression for themselves.

    So, I guess when you threaten men’s ability to get women into bed by exposing their lame tactics, this is what happens: hate email, hate comments, hate comments about you on other forums, and general denial and reverse finger-pointing and blame-shifting. Because apparently I and the other commenters here who agree with me don’t know the TRUTH about PUA.

    And once again, back to my favourite theory, standpoint theory: when someone has something invested in maintaining the status quo, their knowledge is limited and their vision blinded by their investment. But those who are oppressed by the status quo are able to see more clearly the ways in which they are harmed and others privileged by it, and their knowledge is more intellectually honest and reliable.


  311. To the Thread:

    “And once again, back to my favourite theory, standpoint theory: when someone has something invested in maintaining the status quo, their knowledge is limited and their vision blinded by their investment. But those who are oppressed by the status quo are able to see more clearly the ways in which they are harmed and others privileged by it, and their knowledge is more intellectually honest and reliable.”

    This is absolutely true.

    Turn back the clock to 1835. Slavery apologists often kidded themselves about how happy the slaves were in the Deep South. Often, the slaveholders made damn sure to keep up that propaganda. Frequently, the slaves were forcibly made to dance and look “healthy, lively, and pliable”: check it out:

    http://www.lctreview.org/article.cfm?id_article=63670481&page=1&id_issue=15896043

    So far on this thread, I’ve heard LOTS from PUAs claiming how happy “da womenz” are from their tactics. Funny, I’ve only seen one defense from two “women”. And *DAMN* if “they” didn’t suspiciously sound like the male PUAs who had been writing earlier and thrown off the blog. ***Funny,*** that…and if all of a sudden we get “women” on the thread claiming they’re happy with PUAs, you’ll know who’s scrambling to make a Potemkin village…

    As this article says, slaves had windows of opportunity to manuever to try to get out of having the wrong master or to form an “alliance” to do “slave stealing” to get freedom. They had certain, very limited choices, yes. Just like women today. To confuse this with actual freedom and equality, however, or to say that slaves *ENJOYED* this reality is a delusion of the greatest mental illness. And to claim that women LIKE or CREATED this state of affairs is LYING OF THE HIGHEST ORDER. Lie, lie, lie all you want to, but it sure as fucking hell doesn’t make it true. Keep denying the contrary evidence of this thread, yes, just keep it up. PLEASE DO. Please keep revealing your idiocies!!

    Am I saying that the women of today “have it as bad” as the slaves of the 1830s? No, not at all. However, damned if a lot of the dynamics aren’t fucking similar. Our bodies STILL are regarded more like property of the public domain than as belonging to ourselves, and the small advances we’ve made are regarded like a giant invasion by the Religious Right and other patriarchs.
    Granted, it isn’t legal to beat us and put scars on our back; why, we can even get an education, vote, serve in the military, and get jobs! But if you think for one “cotton picking” moment that women are truly free today or that they benefit in any way, shape, or form from the current relational reality with men, you’re out of your minds. All of the PUA apologism on this thread has been to claim that “women like this state of affairs” or that “women like PUAs,” or that “PUAs are good for women. Drop the acronym “PUA” and put in the word “pimp,” and then tell me if that’s still true. For giggles, drop the word “women” and put in the word “slave.” And if you think that’s too far off the mark, just ask Neil Strauss. In his book, “The Game,” he himself noted that there was a fine line between a pimp and a PUA. They both prey on women. One leaves marks on the body, the other doesn’t. One extracts compliance and obedience through initial trickery and then terror; the other extracts compliance and obedience through image management and manipulation. It’s as simple as that.

    “You want men to think treating women with respect is the way to go. Then women need to start responding well to men who do treat them with respect. If that worked. Men would do it. But it doesn’t. Those pick up tactics do work and are proven to work.”

    Yeah, buddy, keep telling yourself that. WE DON’T NEED TO FUCKING START DOING ****ANYTHING.***** ANY decent relationship I have ever had was with a man who DID treat me well, listened to me, and treated me with respect. Keep telling yourself that old, stupid delusion. I am reminded of the following words of a female anti-slavery abolitionist:

    “When Bonaparte told a French lady that he did not like to hear a woman talk politics, she replied, ‘Sir, in a country where women are beheaded, it is very natural they should like to know the reason.’ And where women are brutalized, scourged and sold, shall we not inquire the reason? My sisters, you have not only the right, but it is your solemn duty…” (Lydia Maria Child)

    Well, in a society where women are duped, manipulated, and conditioned, it is VERY fucking natural that they should “inquire the reason.” And now, we’re taking it to the next very logical step: we’re going to not just “inquire the reason,” we’re going to STOP this garbage. Resistance is coming, this we promise. We promise this to our daughters and our DAUGHTER’S daughters, and if you don’t like it, go jump off a building or eat a .45–*******JUST****** ********LIKE**********
    *************************I*************************
    was considering.

    “So, I guess when you threaten men’s ability to get women into bed by exposing their lame tactics, this is what happens: hate email, hate comments, hate comments about you on other forums, and general denial and reverse finger-pointing and blame-shifting.”

    The persecuted are vindicated by history.


  312. Suzette Hadin Elgin described it best. She said that women [in America, and probably by logical inference most of Western culture] are primarily oppressed by LINGUISTIC means. She said that’s why men frequently laugh and are blithe when laws are passed to further women’s rights–because they know (subconsciously, at least) the actual mechanism of the way to keep women down: language.

    Yet, this thread is analyzing and is spreading a critique and resistance to PUA methodologies, many of which are at least in part driven by verbal tactics–and in turn will probably inspire a further look at linguistic oppression of women, one that goes much deeper than the usual battle over “chairperson” versus “chairman” debates. NO WONDER Thinking Girl is getting a shitstorm; the Man Behind the Curtain is *finally* about ready to be exposed.


  313. Some more to the thread in general:

    How about some more evidence from me about how women actually really do respond to nice men?

    Check out my posting behavior on the thread.

    Question: Who have **I** been nice to?
    Answer: THE MEN WHO HAVE BEEN NICE TO ME.

    Tyler D., (when I figured out he wasn’t a PUA), Hugh Ristik, Roy, KYASSETT, stixzz, DBB…these are ALL the male posters I’ve been civil, even nice to. Sometimes the debates were lively, but I stood and delivered…with logic and civility:

    “What they require is *resistance*. I understand that you’d like to persuade people to not use them by using ethical arguments and examination, but frankly, there are way too many PUAs are power-addicted/misogynist/desperate to listen to you, IMHO. I *get* what you’re trying to do, but frankly, I think it’s futile. If someone can’t see off the bat why these are from the Dark Side of the Force, there’s not really much, IMHO, you can do. Maybe they’re too lonely, desperate, and hurting; maybe they’re misogynistic and sadistic. My life experiences have taught me that if someone can’t figure out why eliciting attraction through behavioral and mental controls and manipulations isn’t wrong off the bat, there’s not much you can do for them…until they fall down and hit rock-bottom.
    Then again, maybe you’ve had better luck in persuading people to abandon unethical behavior…I don’t know what your background is, so it’s *conceivable* you’ve learned how to reach the ordinarily unreachable.” (This isn’t the *cuddliest* of posts, but it was courteous and even conceded that my opponent may have a gift in persuading the (usually) close-minded.)

    PLUS, I respected my debating opponents and gave praise where I thought praise was merited.

    “This is a sophisticated analysis, and an intelligent one.”

    I even got a bit protective with stixzz, sort of “mother hen-like”:

    “I’ve thought about downloading stuff off the Internet, but man, it’s risky business; be very careful in doing it. You never know when some virus or worm from hell is going to mess you up like a f***er. I’m sure you’ve got some good anti-viral software, this is an enormous bonus.”

    Apologetic to Tyler D.:

    “Tyler D. and KYASSETT:

    I apologize. You’re 150% right. KYASSETT was right that the attack was unfounded. I owe you both an explanation and some amends.”

    And very friendly to Roy:
    “Roy: Thank you for your support, I really appreciate it. I really appreciate your attitudes toward love, sex, and relationship. These are the healthy attitudes that *everyone* should have for *their* own health and happiness.”

    Now, when someone was being an Alpha prick, which one of them was I nice to? EVER?

    Now, I go to this thread to discuss this issue; it’s not a bar where people meet each other. However, I can guarantee you that in the bars I *have* been, I’ve been quite nice to the men who were nice to me. Someone *tried* to pick me up once by being a jerk. It didn’t work; I got contemptuous, and he slunk off. I left the bar that night with the good-looking Nice Guy.:)

    And if you can’t bring yourself to believe me, then watch my posting behavior throughout this entire thread. But then again, it would contradict the doctrinal trance being played out here that women only respond to jerks. Can’t afford that now, can we?

    BEHAVIOR IS THE TRUTH.–Andrew Vachss.


  314. I think some women do respond to ‘jerks’ but im sure there are some deep routed pyschological reasons for why they do so such as being abused themselves. When i was married, my wife came from a highly abusive household, because she was mentally scarred from this and carried a belief that all men had the potential to be abusers(pretty much all men in her life had been so) she basiclly done all sorts of abuse to me for a period of 3 years, to test me to see if id end up the same as her father etc…..

    But heres the thing PUA chaps – just because some women respond to jerks because of deep rooted psycholical reasons , does that mean you should EXPLOIT that vulnarability? Do you think exploiting the vulnarbility of a woman who is very drunk to be ethical? Or how about if you placed a little pill in her drink? BTW these are rhetorical questions to show that this is NOT ACCEPTABLE.


  315. A giant round of applause to you, stixzz:
    (Sound of hands clapping)

    THANK YOU!!

    And by the way, I offer condolences on your ex-wife giving you abuse. I am deeply, painfully sorry that you went through that. However, I applaud you on your compassion in recognizing that in many ways you were suffering her father’s abuse *by proxy.*

    That’s the way dysfunctional families are: “The sins of the fathers (or mothers, or both) are visited on the children (and their significant others) to the fourth generation.” Unless someone gets serious therapy along the way and breaks the cycle…


  316. thought I’d post a link to this post at Alas; I think it’s pretty good. Thin line between ordinary guy behaviour and rapist behaviour, indeed.


  317. [...] to thinking girl for this one. The title pretty much says it all: there are men out there who hire themselves out as [...]


  318. Um…sorry for the off-trackness I’m about to pull:

    Scarred, don’t I know you from somewhere?

    * * *

    Maybe it’s just a past life I’m thinking of. I coulda sworn you were my sister in my dream last night ;)


  319. Coulda been. You never know.:P

    Tell you what. I give permission to Thinking Girl to give you my email address at the email address you use to post on this website. Feel free to contact me, and we’ll chat.:)


  320. FYI, I will come up with another thread-pertinent comment soon–probably in a day or so. Bear with me…Thanks.:)


  321. Hmm…well, then, Scarred.

    You had fun with that phone call last night then, eh?
    (I’m always the Monkey in the middle, no?)
    ;D

    ::scurries off to read your blog, in any event!::


  322. [...] two years I have been blogging has drawn the most attention, the most comments, and the most hits? This one. It’s called “professional pick-up artists run woman-tricking business to help guys get [...]


  323. Thanks Scarred :)

    You are totally right, our family was abused by my exwifes father too. We failed to address the impact he had wrought upon us at the beginning, and i guess the perpetual poverty that we suffered as a result of not being able to work due to mental health issues and whatnot would inevitably create the pressures ripe for family breakdown.

    Thats not to say that we didnt have our own responsibilitys too but he did defiantely set the tone for us but at least we have broken the chain of abuse that has existed in her family for at least 4 generations. What you say, Scarred, paraphrasing the bible is very true (sins visiting themselves on later generations)…. I would say more on this but haha, there is only so much i can say in the public even with internet anonymyty…


  324. “[…] two years I have been blogging has drawn the most attention, the most comments, and the most hits? This one. It’s called “professional pick-up artists run woman-tricking business to help guys get […]”

    I know, Slant Truth. Yes, and this thread has spawned *TWO* blogs, one of them mine. Isn’t it scary?? Unbelievable on a certain level. And you know what? It apparently just picked up even more posting…I got a feeling I’m going to be posting on here TWO YEARS from now. I don’t know whether to laugh or cry, so I’ll just laugh.:) Unbelievable. Wouldn’t this be weird if this was the subject that’s revitalizing feminism?? Well, any way over the finish line…

    Feel free to visit my blog. I haven’t set up precise details on PUAism, but more is coming.

    stixzz: I hear what you’re saying about family torment. I’m recently going through a minor-league version of it. Being something of a Biblical student (minor league), the Scriptures have a lot to say about really messed-up family dynamics. You can be atheist and still get a lot out of it by reading the story of David and Saul, Ruth and Naomi, etc. Try reading it from a family dynamics therapy point of view. Now, *that’s* weirdness…

    “We failed to address the impact he had wrought upon us at the beginning, and i guess the perpetual poverty that we suffered as a result of not being able to work due to mental health issues and whatnot would inevitably create the pressures ripe for family breakdown.’

    Yup. And my guess is that his impact on the minds of the people around him was primarily LINGUISTIC. Although he certainly could have physically and sexually abused your ex-wife, prior to doing this actively, he had to have SAID thoughts to himself or spoke them out loud to her. I have become convinced, along with Suzette Hadin Elgin, that the roots of patriarchy are *linguistic,* language-oriented in nature. Words and word-constructs in general almost always precede actions; verbal abuse or rationalizations (mental world views engendered by linguistic constructs) almost always proceed abusive activity. One of the biggest ways this occurs is in a process called dehumanization, a term I believe was coined by Sam Keen.

    This is an example of how dehumanization works. One of the classic ways was in the old-style military boot camp, although to credit today’s military I don’t believe they do much of this anymore. In the 1960s and 70s, when training recruits, they were indoctrinated into viewing the Vietnamese as “gooks.” Not soldiers, not civilians: the word used was “gook.” What this did was enable the recruit to do the job of killing *that* much more readily. The goal was to quit seeing the enemy as a human being and as just a thing; the transition was easily made from seeing a Vietnamese human being to “gook.”

    THIS is why my hair stands on edge when I see PUAs, pick-up artists, use the term PUA, or AFC (average frustrated chump) or HB (hot babe) or UG (ugly girl). I don’t think a lot of PUAs (yuck, maybe I’m doing the same thing myself) understand just how much *DEHUMANIZATION* they’re doing to themselves or to other people. I’ve noticed that there’s a big trend towards calling themselves the “seduction community;” maybe they’re coming to realize just how much they’re robbing themselves of their own humanity. Problem is, how much is a genuine sea change versus a white-wash? Language *does* have immense power, but it’s not unlimited. For example, I can call an Abrams tank a motorized, turretted land vehicle, but it’s *still* a killing machine. This is the paradox of language, power and limits…


  325. Scarred said:

    THIS is why my hair stands on edge when I see PUAs, pick-up artists, use the term PUA, or AFC (average frustrated chump) or HB (hot babe) or UG (ugly girl). I don’t think a lot of PUAs (yuck, maybe I’m doing the same thing myself) understand just how much *DEHUMANIZATION* they’re doing to themselves or to other people.

    Have you ever spent any time on a forum for discussing computer games, Scarred? PUA forums are similar to them in many ways, down to the acronyms and tendency to study everything in a rational and systematic way. Yet when you apply such systemizing thought to people, it results in conceptualizing people as objects.

    In various types of human interaction, it is necessary to treat people as objects to some degree. When ever people take roles, like teacher/student for instance, they treat each other like objects to some degree. Understanding that human beings are biological machines that give outputs based on inputs in law-like ways is necessary for humans to interact in any practical way. Yet while recognizing the animal-like or machine-like aspects of humans is necessary, there is a point where it gets taken too far and gets in the way of seeing their humanity. At that point, objectification becomes dehumanization, and a line must be drawn.

    Something to remember about the language of PUAs is that it doesn’t necessarily represent how they actually think and feel about women. Sometimes it does, and sometimes it doesn’t. Remember, some PUAs came to the seduction community believing that women are perfect, asexual, angelic beings in every way that must be “respected.” I put respect in quotes, because it is really another type of objectification (perhaps the word should be respectification?). For some PUAs, hearing talk about banging some SHBs (Super Hot Babes) will be a breath of fresh air; the overly-cynical attitude towards women will “cancel out” their former overly-idealistic attitude towards women. Yet with other PUAs, unfortunately, I think one kind of objectification simply replaces another.


  326. Scarred said:

    I’ve noticed that there’s a big trend towards calling themselves the “seduction community;” maybe they’re coming to realize just how much they’re robbing themselves of their own humanity.

    I don’t know who coined the term “seduction community,” but I don’t think it is so far off as a description of what the thing actually is. PUAs are a community in the sense that they share a similar worldview, similar goals, and common experiences. Even more than that, the seduction community is a brotherhood as much as feminism is a sisterhood, and perhaps even more. If a PUA is visiting another city, all he has to do is get in contact with the local Lair in the area, and he will be able to find guys who will go out with him as his “wingman.” I don’t think that calling the “seduction community” is either a whitewash or not a whitewash, because I don’t know if PUAs are calling it that to look good.

    I don’t think a lot of PUAs (yuck, maybe I’m doing the same thing myself) understand just how much *DEHUMANIZATION* they’re doing to themselves or to other people.

    Virtually everything negative you have said about PUAs has already been said by some PUA, sometimes by many PUAs. The difference is that PUAs in general either don’t buy these criticisms, or if they do see some truth in them, they can see no practical alternatives to what they do. Some of them already believe that what they do is beyond reproach. Some don’t start out believing that, but work as hard as they can to convince themselves. Some believe what the community teaches, but don’t want to believe it. Others see ethical dilemmas in what they do, but feel they are forced into it if they want to get anywhere with women. They view some aspects of pickup and seduction as a necessary evil. Others, like the pickup artist I mentioned who was flamed off the forum, embrace some teachings of the seduction community while rejecting others.

    (This is actually one of the reasons that “PUA” is a problematic label, as you have realized. It lumps together men who believe that 100% of what the community says is the gospel, with men who believe that 10% of what it teaches has greatly improved their lives, while the rest is crap, and don’t self-identify as PUAs. But if you tell anyone that has taken some of the knowledge of the seduction community that he is a “PUA” like all the rest, despite his rejection of some of its teachings, he might believe you.)


  327. “Others see ethical dilemmas in what they do, but feel they are forced into it if they want to get anywhere with women. ”

    Ah, male privledge. The ends justify the means if the ends means getting some pussy. When you see women as nothing more than inconvient barriers to pussy access it’s no wonder they have to resort to emotional manipulation to “get some”.

    They sound like a pack of pathetic misogynists to me.


  328. What a really interesting conversation ongoing about this topic.

    What I can’t get past is why as a women a man saying certain things I like to hear, having good body language, and generally being attractive is emotional manipulation in a bad sense.

    In general, isn’t being attractive emotional manipulation? A person’s good looks, charm, etc “manipulates” me into wanting them emotionally, sexually, as a friend, whatever the case may be.

    So, I guess, what I am wondering, is the general objection here that the traits that I like are being scientifically reduced, reproduced, and sold as product?


  329. “What I can’t get past is why as a women a man saying certain things I like to hear, having good body language, and generally being attractive is emotional manipulation in a bad sense.”

    how is any of this even remotely related to the tactics discussed in the post? Are you saying that what you want to hear are backhand compliments?

    “So, I guess, what I am wondering, is the general objection here that the traits that I like are being scientifically reduced, reproduced, and sold as product?”

    The objection is that they teach men to crap on a woman’s self esteem in order to get her into bed. The objection is that these things don’t teach men to interact with women as human beings deserving of respect, but as inconvienent barriers to pussy. The objection is that whiny, useless Nice Guys(tm) think they are entitled to sleep with whomever they want by any means neccessary to get it.

    How did you get the idea that this is about saying what women “want to hear” having good body language etc? This is about nothing but sheer and callous manipulation.


  330. It’s a pity that I didn’t hear of this conversation ages ago. I’d have loved it.

    HughRistik is speaking some truth here. The “seduction community” is a blanket term that encompasses all people that study the romance/attraction aspect of social interaction. That’s it. There’s misogynists, misandrists, feminists and everything in between.

    One of the reasons that it gets such a bad name is that the non misogynists move on pretty quickly. They come, are amazed to see in black and white exactly why they’ve had no success whatsoever with their love life, fairly quickly fix it, wind up meeting the girl of their dreams and eventually marry them. They’re in and out quickly. They don’t usually hang with the old crowd after, and they don’t necessarily post on the boards. They’re done with the community because it helped them to become a better person, and as a result, they found a better life.

    The misogynists, the players, the users are the ones that stick around. The knowledge that the seduction community has is usefull, it is “power” and these people use it for all the wrong reasons and do all the wrong things with it.

    So what I’m saying is that not everyone that has read and learned this material is a bad person, not all of them are deceiving women, not all of them are misogynists. Some just needed a little help from their brothers to realize their full potential.

    If you dig around, you’ll find some very sleazy PUA’s saying some very sleazy things. But if you dig around you can also find self identified feminists saying very misandric things, and also saying some very misogynist things.

    Please don’t paint us all with the one brush.


  331. How did you get the idea that this is about saying what women “want to hear” having good body language etc? This is about nothing but sheer and callous manipulation.

    Not sure if you’ve read the whole thread (I wouldn’t blame you if you skimmed it or jumped over a lot of posts – it’s pretty long) but I wrote a bit earlier on about the continuum of “techniques” used in the PUA world and concluded that some are benign, and some aren’t.

    I don’t think anyone would criticize a man who got in better shape, started using deodorant regularly, dressed better, and so forth, because he wanted to meet and date women. Conversely, many of us on this thread and elsewhere do criticize men who practice lying and emotional manipulation to persuade women into bed – for obvious reasons.

    The PUA culture contains all of these things, from the benign to the more harmful. If an apologist or supporter wants to downplay the more aggressive side, he can point to the self-improvement aspects – “it’s just a support group for shy guys who aren’t successful with women, nothing to see here”; if he wants to pitch it to a more jaded and angry audience, he can bring out the “men are X, women are Y, according to evolution” material or the aggressive negs.


  332. That’s positive info on what to me was an otherwise loathsome group of people. However, how could anyone honestly come to the conclusion that the objection is to men improving themselves?


  333. “Have you ever spent any time on a forum for discussing computer games, Scarred? PUA forums are similar to them in many ways, down to the acronyms and tendency to study everything in a rational and systematic way. Yet when you apply such systemizing thought to people, it results in conceptualizing people as objects”

    That’s **exactly the** problem, Hugh…I’m starting to have a *big* problem with the concept of conceptualizing people as objects–particularly when it comes to the use of acronyms to describe women who are the targets of seduction. I’m tired of numbers being applied to women, such as the scales of 1 through 10, I’m tired of people thinking it’s valid to describe a woman as a SHB or UG, and I’m tired of women being objectified and *hunted.* Period. Gamers are *smart* enough for the most part to understand that a real human being doesn’t have hit points, but PUAism has no problem applying the numbers and letters to women. Truthfully, I think the PUA objectification acronyms are much closer in spirit to how the military uses language than the gamers.

    “In various types of human interaction, it is necessary to treat people as objects to some degree. When ever people take roles, like teacher/student for instance, they treat each other like objects to some degree.”

    You know, I’ve been to all sorts of schools, and have participated in the teacher-student dynamic all the time. I can honestly say that very seldom did I feel that I was being treated like an object by a teacher, and the last time I felt dehumanized by one was back in the fifth grade. I’ve read all sorts of online stuff written by professors, teachers, instructors, etc., and not once did I feel dehumanized or objectified. I’ve also on occasion talked to gamers and have even participated in the Dungeons and Dragons/Warhammer stuff (real life, not online). *Not once* did I feel objectified or dehumanized. It was understood that we were all in *character*, and that this was *fictional.*

    Yet, when I’ve gone online and visited a lot of the PUA websites, my skin frequently has been crawling when I look at them. There have been exceptions, of course…but for the most part, Hugh, I’ve had to really develop some cast-titanium hide *just* to look at the websites. I’m not trying to be harsh or argumentative, but I hope you realize from the get-go that I’m going to trust my own viscera more than I am arguments in defense of the motives of PUAs, or the supposed necessity of *some* types of objectification. The women they’re *bedding* sure as hell aren’t NPCs (non-player characters), you get my drift?

    ‘Yet while recognizing the animal-like or machine-like aspects of humans is necessary, there is a point where it gets taken too far and gets in the way of seeing their humanity. At that point, objectification becomes dehumanization, and a line must be drawn.”

    Yup, and for me, I’ve drawn the line at PUAism. I see very little in the community that’s justifiable, and frankly, from what I can tell, men can get it elsewhere *than* the community. As Tyler D. pointed out, there are techniques that are benign and some that aren’t–and as far as I can tell, ALL of the benign ones you can get elsewhere.

    ” If a PUA is visiting another city, all he has to do is get in contact with the local Lair in the area, and he will be able to find guys who will go out with him as his “wingman.” I don’t think that calling the “seduction community” is either a whitewash or not a whitewash, because I don’t know if PUAs are calling it that to look good.”

    True enough, and who really knows? However, I’ll point something out, another interesting linguistic observation.

    “Lair.” That’s really interesting, don’t you think? “Lair.” Not “local chapter,” which is what the National Organization of Women does to describe their local groups. Not “team,” which is what athletes use to describe their local outfits. LAIR. The Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary, copyright 2002, lists the definition of “lair” as follows: “1 (dial. Brit): a resting or sleeping place: BED. 2A *the resting or living place of a wild animal: DEN.* [emphasis mine.] B: a refuge or place for hiding.”

    Now, a lair is what you call the resting place of wolves or cougars. The denotation of this word refers to wild animals, but the *connotation* refers to *predatory* wild animals. If PUAism isn’t a predatory, objectifying methodology, *why is the language used predatory and objectifying?* And if you’re willing to concede that PUAism (at least the mainstream aspects of it) are predatory and objectifying, why **not** be highly, highly suspicious of people getting near it?

    It’s like this. I’m sure there *are* some bank robbers or identity thieves who are good people that just made bad choices. But do you want to go out of your way hob-nobbing with these people? Wouldn’t it be the **wiser** course of action, in order to protect one’s bank account and identity, to **stay away** from such people?

    So why shouldn’t women make concerted efforts to **resist** and **stay away** from a group of people who have decided that it’s okay to try to use a variety of techniques geared towards undermining women’s choices and increasing their own for purposes of seduction?

    [FYI: stixzz had brought up a number of seduction methods in an earlier post that appear non-predatory. I'll address these later.]

    I’m sure that not every PUA is predatory. But you know what? Honey draws flies, and language shapes thinking–or draws those of like mind. Let’s just say that the statistical dice have most likely been loaded in favor of attracting or creating the *real* bad apples…and leave it at that.

    “Virtually everything negative you have said about PUAs has already been said by some PUA, sometimes by many PUAs.”

    More verification of my point of view. What’s the problem?

    “The difference is that PUAs in general either don’t buy these criticisms, or if they do see some truth in them, they can see no practical alternatives to what they do.”

    I’m not out to argue them out of their point of view, Hugh…****I’m out to arm women.**** *That’s* the difference. Some people may choose to try to talk the PUAs out of their POV, but that’s not something I’m willing *OR* able to do. Even if I have the motivation, it would be the practical equivalent of the rabbit trying to talk the wolf out of hunting it. You see, I’ve got the wrong chromosomes to be persuasive here…and PUAs are very busy telling each other, “Don’t listen to what women say…listen to what they *do.*” So you see, there’s no sense in *MY* saying anything. I’ll just arm my sisters.

    While I’m a radical feminist in my own right, my own focus to fighting patriarchy is different than many of my sisters. For example, my response to the recent DeAnza gang-rape would be to 1) educate college women to *not drink* in front of men, and 2) to arm college women with firearms and military-style combative martial arts. This doesn’t mean that the poor DeAnza victim “put herself” in that situation or “asked for it.” Not at all. What it means is that she needs training to recognize linguistic methods of manipulation, windows of vulnerability, and combat training. If women wait for men to change, we’ll never see the end of patriarchy. Some men will agree with us, others will not…and it doesn’t seem to make a damn bit of difference what our arguments are, because power over others is the most enthralling addiction there is–and DAMN hard to argue someone out of. My linguistic researches are geared towards empowering women, not persuading men. I leave that to others.

    “Some of them already believe that what they do is beyond reproach.”

    Yes, Hugh. So do some devout religious rightwingers. This is PUA rationalization of the nastiest order, and I’m not qualified, able, or willing to argue people out of their perceived manifest destiny or density (apologies to Local H). I prefer to let my actions do the talking regarding this.

    “Some don’t start out believing that, but work as hard as they can to convince themselves. Some believe what the community teaches, but don’t want to believe it. Others see ethical dilemmas in what they do, but feel they are forced into it if they want to get anywhere with women. They view some aspects of pickup and seduction as a necessary evil.”

    **************************************************
    Prior to tackling these arguments, I’m going to issue a disclaimer: while I regard PUAism as a group of methodologies based on a very negative ideology, patriarchal masculinity, I’m not going to–for obvious reasons!!–place it in the same league of negativity as slaveholding or Nazism. However, the arguments that you’re using to apparently defend PUAs have been observations of slaveholders and/or Nazis. So, I will go on to answer them.
    *************************************************

    You know, Hugh, some Nazis were really, absolutely convinced from an ideological POV that the Jewish people were racially inferior, Germany’s greatest enemy, and had to be destroyed lock, stock, and barrel. Some Nazis only joined the party for social connections and had to really work hard to convince themselves that the Jews were The Enemy and that Nazi ideology was valid. Some Nazis believed the racial ideology but didn’t want to believe it. Others had a real ethical and moral dilemma with Nazism but didn’t see any alternatives to get Germany out of the gutter and felt forced to *be* Nazi, because they didn’t see alternatives. They viewed the Nazi Party’s actions as “necessary evils” to restore Germany after the Versailles Treaty. Some Nazis were executed when they embraced certain positive party points such as the rebuilding of Germany but openly rejected the negative racist stuff. Some Nazis were Nazis in name only.

    NAZISM WAS THE IDEOLOGY THAT WAS DIRECTLY RESPONSIBLE FOR THE MURDER OF SIX MILLION JEWS AND FIVE MILLION NON-JEWS. It was directly responsible for getting 90% of Germany destroyed, and caused unbelievable amounts of suffering throughout the world. An entire world war was triggered by Nazism, among other things, and the suffering and hell engendered by it *to this day* has made it a title of horror throughout the world. *Virtually all* of the arguments you’re trying to use to ameliorate my view of the PUA community are essentially the descriptions of the variations one can find in textbooks describing membership in the Nazi Party prior to and during WW2. Well, I’m sure there *were* nice people who belonged to the Nazi Party, yet I’m not seeing any person who would even think of arguing that a person of Jewish descent should give a Nazi a break. *That* is left, wisely, up to the Jewish person.

    So, why the pressure on women to give breaks to students of methods *based* on objectifying us for sexual hunting??

    PUAism isn’t in the same league as Nazism. But it’s a nasty, destructive methodology based on a soul-destroying, destructive ideology,–patriarchy, sometimes called “hegemonic masculinity.” (A description you gave earlier, Hugh.) WHY do people expect women–especially feminists–to be tolerant of this??

    You had mentioned, in one of your earlier posts the following:

    “PUAs believe that women are attracted to dominant men (aka “alpha males”). They believe that this is “proven” by science (actually, the scientific research is a bit more complex). Obviously, this view is problematic from a feminist standpoint, considering feminism’s emphasis on demolishing male dominance over women.”

    This view is *more* than problematic from a feminist standpoint, it’s downright oppressive. Can you honestly believe that I, a feminist, won’t fight PUAism tooth and nail?

    “But if you tell anyone that has taken some of the knowledge of the seduction community that he is a “PUA” like all the rest, despite his rejection of some of its teachings, he might believe you.)”

    What’s your purpose in writing this? Are you afraid that I’m going to alienate men right into the arms of the PUA community? If what I’m saying is going to push them there, I’ve got bad news for you, Hugh; he’s already there and he’s looking for an excuse to *go there,* whether he knows it or not. I don’t know of ANY human being in my acquaintance who reacts well to the idea of being hunted, “even if” it’s just for supposedly “consensual” sexual relationships. And that’s what PUAism advocates and encourages: hunting women with behavioral and mental/verbal techniques to “get laid”, whether “natural” or “unnatural.” At its very best, PUAism reminds me of Madison Avenue–the full weight of advertising and mass marketing that has created and is fueling a consumer society. At its very worst, PUAism acts as a methodological arm to MRAism, the New Patriarchy. If men are going to hold it against me and other feminists that we react **VIOLENTLY** to the concept of being hunted and manipulated, my own POV is that **that’s just too damn bad.** Shutting my mouth ISN’T an option.

    Let’s put the shoe on the other foot for a moment. There was a dumb-ass book that came out called “The Rules,” which advocated that women adopt some highly manipulative, “hard-to-get” behavior to get men to marry them. When it came out, a lot of feminists and other women snarled at the idea or turned our noses up at it. If I’m not mistaken, a lot of men were pretty angry and upset too–and they *should* have been! I *don’t think* the feminist resistance was organized to The Rules like what’s developing here, but you can believe that a lot of us–myself included–thought that the whole idea was unprincipled, nasty, and patriarchal. I sure as hell sneered at it, and I know that my POV tends to be pretty close to the heartbeat of mainstream radical feminism. I DON’T FAULT ANY MAN for being extremely angry at the authors of The Rules, or distrustful of any woman who would adopt their tactics. The behavior the Rules authors were advocating were skanky, nasty, and highly manipulative. As far as I can tell, they made the Cosmo crowd look positively harmless. And if men have EVERY right to be angry and furious at the idea of being hunted for marriage, why shouldn’t women be furious at being hunted for sex? Or marriage? Or anything else?

    “One note here about lowering self-esteem. Something I’ve noticed is that many PUAs think that people with high opinions of themselves have high self-esteem. That is why they try to demonstrate “high self-esteem” by acting they are “the prize,” or think that women who are full of themselves have “high self-esteem.” In short, self-esteem is used when arrogance or narcissism is really what is meant. ”

    It’s precisely a lot of this myopia that makes a lot of PUAs probably truly dangerous to the women they hunt. How many heads have been screwed with by small-time Svengalis made dangerous by a little knowledge? It stands to reason that quite probably quite a few minds have been messed up, regardless of PUA intentions. Also, consider this: how many PUAs take offense just when they’re told “no, I don’t want to go to bed with you?” Or don’t get the obedience and compliance they want? Thinking Girl is ANYTHING but arrogant or narcissistic, she’s just a strong-principled, articulate feminist, like we all should be, yet how many PUAs have dive-bombed this thread, **really** divebombed this thread? All because she and the other feminists on this thread wouldn’t back down?

    I’m sure *some to a lot* of the women PUAs hunt are arrogant or narcissistic. And people with narcissistic characteristics are notoriously vengeful. This means that some of these women are probably very dangerous to the PUAs that have hunted *them!* And I don’t care what kind of “screening” the PUA gurus claim to “teach” their followers–you mess over or manipulate enough women, eventually you’re going to find a woman with blood in her eyes, even a non-narcissistic one. PUAism gives the tools and the methods to hunt and attract women whom the PUA is attracted to…and, of course, the PUA is going to go for the “SHB” instead of the “UG.” Problem is, looks are absolutely no indicator of morals, ethics, or anything else. Or, maybe the “SHBs” get very tired of being hunted…and turn the tables on the PUAs who hunt them, either by lawsuit or exposure? Or maybe the PUA picks up a ferocious strain of carcinogenic human papilloma virus and comes down with cancer of the penis or throat cancer 5 years later, because *every man on the planet* also hunted the “SHB”??

    (And no, condoms aren’t enough to keep men *or* women from being infected with HPV; unlike HIV, which is very easy to prevent transmission with proper condom usage, HPV spreads quite easily with or without condoms. Gardasil’s an excellent vaccine and hopefully will be made widely available to inoculate children, but get rid of one STD, and another tends to pop up.)

    Or, if the STD and “psycho-bimbo landmine” arguments aren’t enough to convince men that PUAism probably isn’t a good thing, how about the danger to their wallets? *A lot* of techniques are free and available over the Internet, but a lot of them aren’t…and it’s *spendy* getting access to a lot of the materials. Frankly, the PUA industry to me is beginning to look like it’s taking advantage of men the way Madison Avenue and the beauty industry takes advantage of women.

    Women are *regularly* the targets of predatory advertisers that have the goal of making us feel inadequate *as we are* with the intention of selling us makeup, losing weight, getting a new wardrobe, etc. etc. Seems to me that the PUA industry is targeting men for not getting “laid enough” or having not enough dating. The *titles* of some of these outfits are alluring to the men who feel inadequate: “Double Your Dating” (like this is a GOOD thing?? What about quality, not quantity?), “Speed Seduction,” “Mystery Method,” “Real Social Dynamics,” “Thundercat Seduction Lair,” etc. And just LOOK at the moniker for a man who isn’t happy with his sex life: “Average Frustrated Chump,” or AFC. This plays on people’s fears of not wanting to be average, not wanting to be frustrated, and not wanting to be a chump, i.e., naive, easily taken advantage of and not in the know. “Chump” in the M-W dictionary is defined as “fool,” “dupe.” Who wants to be that? No one, and especially not MEN–who are brainwashed from knee-high into believing that if they’re not in control of any and all situations, they’re not men. The very acronym and phrase “AFC” doesn’t just name the fears of men, **it takes advantage** of the fears of men. That’s ugly, and *damn* unfair to a lot of men.

    “I once watched a guy on a PUA forum challenge the notion that “alpha” traits (based on dominance) are of primary importance in success with women, and that “beta” traits (based on connection and affiliation) are unattractive to women; he thought that both types of traits could be either attractive or unattractive to women depending on how they were displayed.”

    Wow, a PUA with brains *and* observational integrity!! Sounds like a cagey, intelligent guy. I’m serious–this guy was onto something!

    “Furthermore, he argued that the reason “beta” traits were considered to be unattractive to women was because PUAs had no idea how to use them.”

    Imagination and accuracy!! This guy really had a clue! I CAN PERSONALLY VOUCH for the accuracy of his observations. The men who I had the greatest relationships with were Beta men who *knew* how use their Betahood to be *alluring* rather than *begging.* It **works,** believe me. Did the PUAs in the forum listen up and take notes? What did they do next?

    “For arguing this, he was flamed off the forum.”

    But of course. This guy wasn’t interested in patriarchy, he simply just wanted a better sex life and advocated the research of tactics not predicated on enforcing an ideology with a particular method. He sounds like someone I would personally like…straight, honest, enterprising, practical, and ethical. Yes, he was flamed off the forum…because at its roots, PUAism *really* isn’t about getting laid, it’s about ****control.**** And I feel badly for that man, because he deserved one hell of a lot better than what he got. But guess what? It wasn’t feminists that did that to him, *it was other PUAs.*

    What happened to this man directly contradicts this cute little blame-game propaganda forwarded by a PUA on this thread: “Women control the dating game. Us men will take our cues from all of you. If women right now decided that men who stood on their hands were attractive you would see workshops teaching men how to stand on their hands.”

    Uh, BULLSHIT. PUAism isn’t about doing what it takes to become more attractive, it’s about wresting perceived control away from women. The very treatment of this dissident man in a PUA forum is proof of this. The proper use of Beta techniques would have been a *perfectly* appropriate area for seduction study–that is, if you want to be pragmatic. Whatever works, right?? Wrong. This man was flamed off the forum for daring to commit a thoughtcrime against patriarchy.

    “You want men to think treating women with respect is the way to go. Then women need to start responding well to men who do treat them with respect. If that worked. Men would do it. But it doesn’t. Those pick up tactics do work and are proven to work.”

    BECAUSE IT’S ALL OUR FAULT. Right? IT’S ALL WOMEN’S FAULT. Just like when a woman gets raped, it’s her fault. When she gets beaten, it’s her fault. When she gets deceived wth PUA tactics, making the mistake of responding to asshattery–even if it’s under the radar and she doesn’t understand that it’s subjugatory– it’s her fault for responding to asshattery. Because it’s ALWAYS OUR FAULT.

    But what happens when a woman shoots her attacker? Or presses charges against her abusing husband and takes the kids away from him to protect them, thus ceasing to collude in abuse? Or arms herself with knowledge against pick-up tactics and won’t tolerate alpha-male asshattery, like what we’re doing on this thread or on my blog?
    Or is maybe more of a Lisa Leveridge Alpha female who likes Beta men?

    WELL, THEN, SHE’S A BITCH. Woof, woof, to quote Laurell K. Hamilton’s fictional character Anita Blake. An undesirable, man-hating, castrating, unempathetic bitch who turns men into eunuchs and “manginas.” An upstart, uppity, pathetic, impudent crime against nature who doesn’t know her place in the scheme of things and doesn’t respond to Alpha males “properly” and should either be ostracized or cut down like the “abomination” she is. Problem is, some of us aren’t so easy to cut down, because some of us are just like pit bulls.;) It’s not my intention to set up “straw man” arguments, per se, *but this is what female experience is like.*

    Look, I’m not out to delibrately alienate men. I’m sure a lot of people would argue otherwise, but that’s the truth, IMO. I’m not here to piss off or shit on men, but if you think I’m a natural-born diplomat or that I’ll walk on eggshells, sorry, that’s the house two doors down and on the left. Not mine.

    I’m not going to feed men a line of bullshit and pretend I think PUAism is ethical, healthy, or justifiable. I think it’s *INTENSELY* damaging and horrible–directly to women, indirectly (but quite possibly even more so, over the long run!) to men. Neil Strauss wasn’t whistling “Dixie” when he warned his fellows about being “social robots;” if anything, I think he underplayed the danger, quite possibly because he knew that if he worded even stronger warnings, he’d get booed off the PUA stage.

    Sometimes it takes feminist “villains” like myself–the “Wicked Witches” of the American West–to tell people like it is. *Then,* after we get booed at, flamed, egged, etc., people start thinking about what we’re saying–especially if we have the courage to KEEP sticking to our guns!–and there’s acceptance after awhile. Sure, there’s the “Big Lie” technique…but I prefer something called “the Big Truth” technique, which is keep telling the truth as I see it, *no matter what.* I *really think* that’s part of why TG gets flamed so much on this thread; there’s a subconscious, or maybe quite conscious, strategy to wear her down so that she’ll just close the thread and give up. If TG ever gets to *that* point, I’d be *more* than happy to volunteer to transfer the thread over to my blog and keep it going. :DDD Because, you see, resistance is *always* worthwhile.:))))) And somehow, I don’t think I’m the only one who would take over for TG.;)

    I stick to my original guns:
    “My own feeling is that I’m not going to rely or wait for someone’s good will to protect myself. I’m going to formulate methods of resistance and protection NOW. I have no problem with the idea of examining PUAism from an ethical standpoint, and if you want to engage in dialogue here about that, I’d be happy to read your insights. Problem is, I’ve already wasted too much time on discussing its ethics. I want to stop it. NOW.” And the *best* way I can figure to stop it is by educating and empowering women to do the *right* thing–by themselves and their daughters, and their daughters’ daughters.

    I’ll add this thought, though; it’s not just PUAism that needs to be stopped. It’s the culture of advertising and mass communications, and methods of mind control, that needs to be stopped. All of these things are related: they *all* are the products of a decadent Western civilization that has *forgotten* just what it is like to be *free.*

    **************************************************

    There’s an interesting conversation between Brain and stixzz where stixzz points out the possibility of non-manipulative pick-up stuff. Let’s see what happens:

    Brain:
    “I wouldn’t have a problem with this, except I’ve never come across a PUA method that espouses this.” (Regarding a claim by a PUA that there’s straightforward stuff out there by PUAs.)

    stixzz posts the following items:

    “• None of the mainstream ones do, but when you come towards the direct ’school of thought’, you tend to find viewpoints like that more common.”

    Interesting. Okay, I’m intrigued. Let’s bite.

    “Ranko Magami’s direct method is essentially about gaining the self confidence to be able to tell a woman you like exactly that at the first approach.”

    Like what happened in the 60s, 70s, and early-to-mid 80s?? Wow, that’s cool. I remember straightforwardness; holy carramba, makes me feel like it’s been since the Pleistocene. I also can remember when people *COULD READ BODY LANGUAGE.* Holy cow! *What* a **concept!** Yes, I firmly remember meeting an 18-year-old kid my own age, a good-looking redheaded young man with freckles, with healed burn scars on a good chunk of his legs. (He got caught in a fire when he had been younger, poor guy. It didn’t dim my attraction for him one bit.) At the end of the time spent with him during that one day, we shared one **hell** of a good kiss. And we *both* initiated it. We leaned forward just about simultaneously.:) Oh, man, pardon me, I just had to go down memory lane…:D Man, I *miss* the late 60s-early 80s. STDs weren’t raging out of control, and people just seemed one hell of a lot nicer back then…You also found a lot more of that happy straightforwardness.

    (Weird, radical thought: what if the advent of AIDS and other nasty STDs are the actual trauma to American social culture causing increased tension between the sexes, etc.? Shades of Wilhelm Reich! A thought someone else could take up, maybe…)

    “Whereas indirect such as mystery method et al teach that ‘intrest’ should not be telegraphed. It instead teaches ‘active disintrest’ ie you approach a group and select your ‘target’ amongst them. You show no intrest to her whatsover but that through manipulative techniques such as demonstrations of higher value, negging the ‘target’ etc the woman you are intrested in will eventually give you ‘indicators of intrest’ and it is at that stage that you show intrest towards her.”

    This, along with Speed Seduction and the Real Social Dynamic crew, **seems** to be the mainstream of PUAism. It’s dehumanizing, it’s nasty, and it’s all about enforcing behavioral control in order to get mind control, i.e., to get the “target” to jump to your wishes. And, nastiest yet, it instills and/or rewards the erroneous patriarchal conviction in men that women like to be dominated–and provides methods to **achieve** that control.

    “Mode One teaches a simelar thing [meaning, similar to Ranko Magami's method--Scarred's commentary]. Its very much about ‘radical honesty’ ie if you want to have sex with someone be upfront and tell her (even in your first conversation lol), if you have romantic intentions be honest about it, or platonic, be honest about it. As opposed to manipulation such as being a woman’s ‘friend’ to get into her pants.”

    I’ve got an anecdotal story for you, stixzz; one I think you’d like very much. I was in a laundromat with a female friend of mine; we were doing laundry together when this hot guy came walking in. He had a good body, and he carried himself with confidence and sensuality; he *slinked.* That’s as good a way as I can put it. Not strutted, not swaggered…he *slinked.* Slightly. Just enough to get the sense of his (very comfortable) sensuality. He sidled up to me, and for the next few minutes, we just