The Misogyny Of Pick-up Artistry

Published Dec 19, 22
7 min read

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It is not an easy meal for anyone. The men feel that I am judging them. Mike says he thinks men should be physically stronger, so they can protect women, and waits for a response. I chew my food. Cassell tells me about a girlfriend who would prefer to pay a handyman rather than ask him for help.

It made him feel redundant. “What do you think about that?” Cassell says, fixing me with a cold look. I make a feeble joke. And so, to the bar where the staff know Cassell and don’t seem to mind that he is bringing men into the venue expressly to pester women.

The men trot over obediently. “Try that blonde at the bar,” he tells Raj. “You’d only be adding to her night. She looks bored.” Cassell suggests going up to a woman, saying “Trick or Treat?”, and then holding her wrist. At one point, Cassell sends Mike to sit with two women who are having a quiet drink.

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He is vibrating with nerves. In that moment, I feel sorry for Mike. It is easy to judge these men, but they are painfully introverted and shy – even childlike in the way they look to Cassell for answers. I don’t think they are bad people. But they are denying women the chanceto exist in public spaces without being treated as objects of desire.

The night wears on. “I’m not sleazy,” Cassell says, apropos of nothing. My feet hurt and my chest feels tight with emotion. I say goodnight. Raj and Mike look relieved I’m leaving. On and on they circle, men on the prowl..

In the process of framing the terms from several different domains are used. It can be considered as a metaphorical translation from one situation to another. The framing is also used to reduce tension of the need to succeed, because in the training, there is no problem in failure. Pickup artist[edit] A pickup artist (commonly abbreviated PUA) is a person who practices finding multiple sexual partners.

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These range from approaches that are very indirect, and stress starting with casual conversation before building into a flirt, to methods in which attraction is communicated very openly and directly. Most PUAs acknowledge the distinction between so-called "inner game" and "outer game", where the former relates to techniques directed towards increasing one's self-confidence and mindset, whilst the latter are about actual interaction with real people.

"Negging", one of von Markovik's most famous and controversial techniques, has been described as the practice of giving a woman a backhanded compliment such as "nice nails – are they real?", to weaken her confidence and therefore render her more vulnerable to seduction, or that depriving a woman of obsequious validation and attention will influence her to seek it from the man who negs her.

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This includes tactics from those which are mutually beneficial – such as being okay with the woman being on her period – to "callous manipulation" and rape. Approaching and opening[edit] Pickup artists generally assume the mindset that men should lead and initiate contacts and plans in general in order to be more attractive, and that women will not generally initiate contact although they want men to, requiring men to begin any interaction by approaching them, but many have also cultivated a sensitivity to direct and indirect signals of possible sexual interest.

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The UCLA Center for the Study of Women argues that PUA culture is misogynist, and exists on a continuum of sexist behaviours and attitudes that includes rape and murder. Media coverage[edit] Pickup artists have received increased media attention, since the publication of Neil Strauss' article on the community in , and his memoir The Game.

According to the review, "if women in the book are sometimes treated as a commodity, they come out looking better than the men, who can be downright loathsome—and show themselves eventually to be pretty sad, dysfunctional characters". Feminists tend to be critical of pickup artists. Beatrix Campbell has stated that The Game "sexually objectifies women", arguing that "Nowhere from its description do you get a sense of men being helped to be human in an easy and agreeable's not about having any rapport or relationship...

The article cites a proposal put forward by a feministblogs. org writer as an alternative to the formula used by expert PUAs: "Shake my hand. [Say] 'Hi, my name is ...' Treat me like a human being. Avoid seeing women as conquests and men as competition." An article in the claimed that pickup artist activity "isn't the lechfest it might sound like".

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com defending the community: "It's no more deceptive than push-up bras or heels or going to the gym to work out...This isn't just a game of words and seduction, it's an overall life improvement." Strauss says, "I really think all of these routines and manipulations are just a way for a guy to get his foot in the door so that if a woman connects with him, she can still choose him," and that pickup techniques "can be used for good or evil!" He argues that "women are incredibly intuitive—the creepy guys with bad intentions don't do nearly as well as the guys who love and respect women".

Some women recount experiences with men they believed to be pickup artists who tried to "pick them up", and some men recount trying out pickup techniques. Catherine Townsend, writing for , describes a negative experience with a man she believed was a pickup artist and used a lot of "negs" on her: "The problem is that some guys clearly don't know when to quit." An article in recounts the experience of the blogger "Dolly", who is the author of the popular sex blog The Truth about Cocks and Dolls, with pickup artists.

But after she met more, including two from San Francisco, she wrote a letter to the Village Voice defending them, in response to the paper’s negative article on the subject in March. “PUAs try to create a fun, positive, and exciting experience for the woman,” Dolly wrote. “The credo many follow is ‘Leave her better than you found her.’ What’s so bad about that? That they want to get laid, too? Guess what? Guys have always wanted sex and will continue to want sex.

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After spending three days immersed in a Mystery Method Corp (now Love Systems) seminar, Gene Weingarten expressed his uneasiness about "a step by step tutorial for men in how to pick up women, make them comfortable in your presence, and bed them, ideally within seven hours of your first meeting" and wondered aloud, "Is there something inherently wrong with the notion of sexual conquest as a classroom-taught skill, complete with a long hierarchy of 'lines' that work, seemingly spontaneous topics of conversation that are anything but spontaneous, tricks for seeming 'vulnerable', and tips on how to behave so as to deliver subtle but effective nonverbal inducements to intimacy?" For an article for the Times Online, Hugo Rifkind participated in a seminar by Neil Strauss.