Where can men find non-misogynist advice for hitting on women?
As some of my readers know, I’m fascinated by the pickup artist subculture (a community devoted to advising men on how to seduce women). It’s a very mixed bag. There’s good advice in the community for genuinely kind, shy guys. But it can be so charged with misogyny and cold-heartedness that wading through it feels like panning for gold in a sewer.
There are small communities of pickup artists all over the world, and there are message boards all over the Internet, and expensive pickup coaches are always popping up. Some of these folks are not so bad; some of them are awful. Many are frighteningly cynical; many traffic in particularly dangerous stereotypes about women. And most care a lot more about what works (i.e., how to get their penis in someone) than about what’s ethical or how to treat their targets like human beings.
“When I first found the community I was horrified by how sleazy and gross it is, but I had never had a girlfriend, and I told myself, ‘Dude, if you don’t learn this stuff you’re gonna die alone.’”
A good friend of mine recently told me that he’s been reading the blog of a misogynist pickup artist who I absolutely loathe. I was appalled. I provided a detailed feminist critique of this guy’s blog. My friend listened and understood, but in the end he said, “I hear what you’re saying, and I agree with you. The guy is an asshole and his advice is permeated with terrible opinions of women. But a lot of it is really good advice, and I don’t know where else I can find such good advice about women.”
Here’s the thing: the current pickup artist subculture has a monopoly on effective advice for how to break down social interactions and talk to women. Not all of it works, but enough of it works that it draws guys in. As a pickup artist instructor once told me, “When I first found the community I was horrified by how sleazy and gross it is, but I had never had a girlfriend, and I told myself, ‘Dude, if you don’t learn this stuff you’re gonna die alone.’”
I’ve theorized that maybe feminists should provide good pickup advice, in an attempt to counterbalance some of the awfulness of the existing community. In the meantime, however, I figure the next best thing to do is to provide a list of less misogynistic pickup artist instructors and sites, and a few very basic critiques.
First, the basic critiques. These are very, very basic; if you get me started, I’ll provide 10,000 more. But please, if you are going to investigate pickup artistry, at least keep these things in mind.
1) People are different. Pickup artists often say “women are all X,” “women love X,” “women all respond to X,” etc. Sometimes they are correct for the majority of women; sometimes they are correct for a minority of women; sometimes they’re wrong.
The bottom line is this: Anything pickup artists say about women is not true for all women. Period.
(Corollary: pickup artists are sometimes wrong about men, too.)
2) Even pickup advice that works does not always work for the reasons pickup artists commonly claim it does. Here’s a nerdy scientific analogy:
If you put a large container (like a tall drinking glass) over a burning candle and trap the flame inside without fresh air, it will eventually flicker out.
In medieval times, scholars believed in the existence of a substance called phlogiston. Supposedly, phlogiston was an invisible substance produced by fire; too much phlogiston would suffocate fire. Medieval scholars believed that flames without fresh air died because they eventually produced enough phlogiston that it filled up the available space, thereby suffocating the flame.
Today, we know that this is incorrect. Flames require oxygen, and if they are trapped without fresh air, flames go out because they use up the available oxygen.
A fair number, though not all, of pickup tactics work, but they work because women are likely to feel pressured, or guilty, or anxious. Not because women are likely to feel attracted.
So, the phlogiston theory is wrong. But at the time, it fit reality better than previous theories about fire. It explained why fire wouldn’t burn without fresh air, for example; previous theories failed to explain that. People had observable reasons for believing in the existence of phlogiston. Nevertheless, phlogiston still did not exist.
In the same way, pickup theory makes a lot of assumptions, especially stereotypes about women. Pickup artists may have some good ideas about how to flirt, but many of them will try to convince you that those tactics work because women are dumb, childish, weak-willed, gold-diggers, inherently submissive, considerably more irrational than men, or whatever other gross stereotype you care to choose. Just because a pickup artist can show you how to flirt, that doesn’t mean the assumptions behind the advice are reasonable.
In short, don’t fall for the phlogiston trap.
3) Some pickup advice only works because it capitalizes on the insecurities of women who have low self-esteem, and can manipulate those women—not because those women actually want to have sex.
For example: some pickup artists describe using “freeze-outs” on women who say they don’t want to have sex. Here’s what the freeze-out looks like: the woman says no, the pickup artist says “OK”—and then he turns away from her and starts checking his email or doing something else very boring that does not include her. If candles are lit, he blows out the candles. If they’re playing a card game, he packs up the cards. Basically, he goes cold and ignores her until she agrees to have sex with him.
Here’s why this is fucked up: because women are inundated with messages that men won’t like us unless we have sex with them. If a guy we really like suddenly gives us the silent treatment because we won’t have sex with him, that’s basically calculated to take advantage of insecurities. And yes, it will probably work with women who have low self-esteem, or who have never experienced a relationship with a guy who respected them. It might have worked on me when I was much younger.
But just because it would have worked does not mean I would have enjoyed it or felt OK about it later.
A fair number, though not all, of pickup tactics are just like that: they work, but they work because women are likely to feel pressured, or guilty, or anxious. Not because women are likely to feel attracted. This is another reason looking for ethical pickup artists is useful, because most of the evil tactics come from misogynists. (For example, Gunwitch, whose advice often reads like a textbook on date rape, and who once shot a girl in the face because she rejected him.) In the comments below, there is much discussion of specific tactics. Feel free to read and participate.
… OK, so now that’s all out of the way. Here are some references:
I appreciate Hugh Ristik’s critiques and deconstructions of the pickup artist community. I don’t always agree with him, but feminism and consent both interest him, and he has a much more careful and intelligent approach to those things than any other self-described pickup artist I’ve ever encountered.
The Authentic Man Program has been recommended by a ton of people I trust. Lots of pickup jargon.
SucceedSocially.com is a site full of thoughts on basic social skills, by a guy who’s studied a lot of pickup stuff but specifically does not identify as a pickup artist. Its goal is to get readers from socially below average to average. Seems pretty much pickup jargon–free.
ApproachAnxiety.com has various advice that only occasionally trips my misogyny meter, and also usually features pictures of science fiction chicks. Seems light on pickup jargon.
Zan Perrion and David DeAngelo are often recommended as less-misogynist pickup gurus, but I haven’t looked at much of their stuff so I’m not linking to them. (There’s some criticism of DeAngelo in comments #114, #116.) But I am linking to Juggler at Charisma Arts because he wrote this advice post that made me laugh for five full minutes. Juggler, it should be noted, specifically does not identify as a pickup artist.
Over on the feminist blog Feministe, I once started a thread that drew 322 comments picking apart pickup artistry. Some of the comments are terrible, but many are interesting and perceptive.
I once got the chance to interview the famous pickup artist Neil Strauss, author of 2005 bestseller The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists, and he was pretty cool. Here’s some commentary about the interview on Feministe.
If you’re unfamiliar with pickup jargon, welcome to the encyclopedia. Understanding pickup artistry may no longer be worth it to you once you realize how many acronyms are involved.
Why Are Men Expected to Make the First Move?
Why Do We Demonize Men Who Are Honest About Their Sexual Needs?
Lit Inspiration: Being Good in Bed Is About Attentiveness
A Good Man’s Guide to Catcalling
This post originally appeared on Clarisse Thorn’s blog.
—Image Ben Cardy/Flickr
I read an interview she did with Neil recently where he declared the PUA tricks don’t work. It made for a good ending to his PUA journey but as a former PUA and “classmate” of his I have to say that’s just not true. Neil is a smart guy and he knows that.
Of course they work but as Clarisse rightly points out, the assumptions you use when you apply them do matter…many times more than the technique itself:
Yes. Women really are different. Not all of us want sex at any given time, and no, that’s not up for debate, we can’t always be persuaded to give it up if you try hard enough. So stop trying to do that and instead work on meeting women who actually want sex. I realise the PUA community is as diverse as any. Within their ranks are men who just want sex but are pretty respecting of women’s rights to say no and walk away, individuals whose actions and philosophies I have absolutely no problem with as a feminist. There’s nothing… Read more »
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When it comes to good social advice, here’s another one that’s especially targetted at geeks that I happen to consider solid gold. Well, Actually – Miguel De Icaza ( http://tirania.org/blog/archive/2011/Feb-17.html ) It’s not really PUA advice, or even strictly dating advice – but it’s a very good example of explaining a concept that some people (including me, before I read it) don’t get. Also, while “Be Yourself” is good general advice, it’s often an over-simplification. People are complex, and can have many different sides or aspects to their identity that they might present. It also often ignores that bothering to… Read more »
I have posted this exact same comment at multiple places, hoping some women actually take the challenge. So here it goes again. All you girls giving advice, be it the author of this article, women in the comments section, or anywhere else on the internet, there is a very specific term for you in the PU community – it’s called Keyboard Jockey. In simpler words, people who just talk/post on the internet but never take any action. If you are so confident that your advice works, take on the following challenge. Find a guy in your area/city in his 20s… Read more »
Oh yes. YES YES YES!!!
Women, do this. Do this HARD. Do it like a rock star.
Go out, find a socially insecure man who’s unlucky in love, and try to teach him how to be successful without using PUA material, or copying it. I DARE YOU.
After reading the Game, Rules of the Game, the Encyclopedia of Body Language and Mystery Method and practicing some of what I learned I can’t believe some of the articles on this site were written by anyone who read ANY of these books and gave it a try. From what I gleaned, learning PU is about re-programming the male brain (through self help exercises, repeated exposure drills, etc..) to bring out the BEST in YOURSELF while interacting with women. It’s basically self help first, social skills second, and success with women a distant third – although it’s not marketed that… Read more »
Thanks for the link to the full terminology page and hello to the Good Men Foundation! The pick up arts or seduction arts changed my life. As someone who grew up pretty well in other areas of my life, I was a 23 year old virgin before I really decided to do something about it. I think it would be too shallow to just say, “PUA is misogynistic” or “unethical”. Its an artform. A tool. Understanding human psychology and field testing methods that work. Used for good or bad is up to the artist himself (or herself). The industry is… Read more »
The person writing this is writing from a spiteful condensending poin of view. Of course like any subject online there are a few people claiming to have the answer when they dont-however there are a lot of far more educated people than yourself who have attended institutions you more than likely have not attended(ivey league :mit, harvard) who have conclusively demonstarted the effectiveness of their methods and the soundeness of their theories unless you are 5’10 plus, extremely fit, almost unanimously sought be honest with yourself. I even taught the Mystery Method (a book written by an MIT student who… Read more »
Hi Clarisse. I’d like to share my views on the topics discussed on your article. Women are different but many of them think similarly for they were socialized in the same society. Pick up artist sexist advices work partly for this reason. They promote the chauvinism of the dominant male, which is often accepted by both males and females oftentimes For instance, many women want the man to lead them. I’d like that you pointed out the false assumptions on female nature; women are not weak, they are nurtured to be so. Pick up artist advice work because they teach… Read more »
Dave, the issue I take is not that you want to get laid. Most people want to get laid. But saying “get my dick wet” means you don’t seem to care about the woman, just her vagina. Possibly some sense of validation of masculinity you’re looking for from female acceptance… Solely sexual encounters that are not about relationships are fine and can be totally healthy and mutually enjoyable, but how healthy can it be if there’s a significant degree of dehumanization involved? I’m not saying the answer is necessarily to be the nice-guy friend to a woman you want to… Read more »
Seriously…a lot of whining going on here. We are all a “fish out of water” at some point in our lives. If your goal is to deceive, then you will get what you deserve. It doesn’t matter if you are male or female. There are assholes and creepers on both sides of that coin. If all you want is to “get your dick wet”, set your standards low enough and you will. But it seems like most want more than that. Just be yourself. Let go of what you think you “should” be and do what you love. Be passionate… Read more »
If PUA works, it’s either because it tells socially unsuccessful men how to get out of their own way and sometimes it works. Or because women, a sufficient number of them, can be manipulated by scripted lines and physical moves. I don’t think most folks would want to insist that a substantial fraction of women can in fact be manipulated. So that leaves socially unsuccessful men making lame pickup attempts to no avail. An annoyance, probably, but not a major problem. We already have socially unsuccessful men making lame pickup attempts. It’s not a new phenomenon. The PUA gurus want… Read more »
You are kidding right Veenees? There is so much main stream media geared to men that does treat, show and talk about women in terms of T&A. From sports (cheerleaders) music (video girls), to movies (it’s amazing how many older male actors are paired with younger actresses), to video games (Grand Theft Auto and DukeNukem), to freaking beer commercials (girls and bikinis aren’t any strangers to them) that all highlight women’s bodies over anything else. All these depictions, depict women as just sexual toys. Not people. Not human beings. Not women with real thoughts. And certainly not women over 40.… Read more »
What’s with you & porn, Erin. You coming off kind of obsessed, you’ve mentioned it in every post & comment.
I know many women who feel like Veenees. They quite simply feel feminism accomplished it’s goal, they don’t see men as the enemy, and they don’t want to be constantly haranguing (as she said) and chastising them . Clearly not a sentiment widely shared as this discussion has, for the most part, deteriorated into men vs. women.
Many of your criticisms of feminism have been reasonable, but that last masturbation crack brings down your level of discourse. While I know plenty of anti-porn feminists, I have yet to meet a self-identified feminist against masturbation. Lot’s of religious fundamentalists who view it as sinful and adulterous, lots of non-feminist women made very uncomfortable by it, but no self-identified feminists who are on the warpath against it. The 3rd wave, sex-positive feminists actually seem to have a lot of good things to say about masturbation for all parties and are waaaaaaaay less misandrist then their intellectual predecessors, probably because… Read more »
Coburn: “What’s with you & porn, Erin. You coming off kind of obsessed, you’ve mentioned it in every post & comment.” I mentioned it so often because my point’s been evaded thus far. SATC is one franchise. Porn is an entire multi-billion dollar industry. A number of men have commented that they don’t like the SATC franchise because of it’s attitude toward men, how it objectifies them, the ideas they think women are getting from them. So I’d like to know how these men feel about porn. Do they think that porn objectifies women? Do they think men get ideas… Read more »
Erin, I think no one is responding to some of your topics because this thread has pretty much run its course, and because no one wants to type as much as you did. haha But I don’t want to ignore you, so: DaddyFiles responded about the Sopranos and I agree, so that’s that. Your porn thing: the way to not objectify women is to see them as thinking, feeling, spiritual beings, coprrect? So how does that work as a practical matter? To use a classic scenario: the pizza guy shows up at the door and a woman answers, she has… Read more »
A Man, so it’s asinine for someone to not want to see their gender objectified? ———————————————————————- Coburn, I think no one wants to respond because they see the truth in what I’m putting down. Permitting objectification of women in porn or media that’s popular with men but getting up in arms about it when it comes to media made for women isn’t right. If instead I heard, “gee, yeah I know women aren’t always portrayed that nice when it comes to what men respond to and how can I better consider that”, that would be one thing. But that’s not… Read more »
MsCarla, I do need to work on myself. When I stop working on myself, that’s the day I’m dead. You’re certainly not the first poster to try and use that illogical reasoning to defame another poster. Every person here is an imperfect being that’s always striving to do better, learn and grow. (Except maybe yourself who is a perfect person, who doesn’t need to work on themselves, that your in a position to share your thoughts over the rest of us.) But amazingly enough, the rest of us are all still able to hold intelligent conversations despite are ever evolving… Read more »
Veenees, this is getting old. I already told you once before I could have better articulated that one point. “Dancing” around a topic isn’t my ability to be open about how I could have better articulated something. If I said “Feminism didn’t happen until 1970..” then you can take issue. But that’s not what I said. And this isn’t really about that. This is about you cleaving onto one little facet in an attempt to prove nothing. It certainly doesn’t add anything to the conversation. And it certainly doesn’t negate the other points I made. Infact, you pretty much admit… Read more »
Hey Erin, I’m not sure what intellectual point you’ve brought up, exactly! All I’ve read is blah-blah-blah-blah I’ve got issues with porn and then you’re turning things around to try to make me look bad. I haven’t tried to cheapen the discussion, just tried to help you to see where you make a lot of mistakes. I notice that people who like to think of themselves as intelligent often don’t see the forest for the trees when it comes to how they are perceived. If you don’t want to listen to it and try to grow from it, that’s your… Read more »
Hey Erin, I’m not sure what intellectual points you’ve brought up, exactly! All I’ve read is blah-blah-blah-blah I’ve got personal issues with porn and then you’re turning things around to try to make me look bad. I haven’t tried to cheapen the discussion, just tried to help you to see where you make a lot of mistakes. I notice that people who like to think of themselves as intelligent often don’t see the forest for the trees when it comes to how they are perceived. If you don’t want to listen to it and try to learn from it, that’s… Read more »
I have been reading all of the posts in this forum and the other one on how nice guys should not use PUA stuff. What veenness said about : “Why focus on an online group of PUA, themselves a miniscule portion of the male population? What proven effect does that online community (or any, for that matter) have on your ability as a woman to secure a well-paying job, vote for in your next local election, or develop a relationship with a man who values you as an individual?The answer is none. The only inequality that exists for women is… Read more »
Wow, lots of comments. I’ve been inside a lair, I’ve known a lot of pick up artists. I was the victim of a pick up artist (soon to be engaged to). Here’s the thing. It’s a program for nerds. Men who are bad at talking to women become pick up artists. Now, I have seen it change losers into functioning males. It can work, but it *is* all about social skills. Pick up theory teaches men to get over themselves and just go for it, but they often do this by teaching him to make her feel uncomfortable. This is… Read more »
Jen, it’s a waste of time here. This blog is inhabited by some really weird people. Dave admitted to being abused as a child, and Hook dishes out verbel abuse but cries when anyone politely disaggrees with him. Truely weird.
Meh, it’s still miles better than some ‘progressive’ feminist blogs I could name, where newcomers get shouted down, insulted and subsequently banned if they dare disagree with the official party line set by the blog’s author and his/her cronies. At least here you get a variety of viewpoints and a real discussion, not just a clique of extremists agreeing with each other. Jen: I wouldn’t say nerds really. I know a guy who’s just about the biggest nerd you can imagine, and he’s had 2 girlfriends since I’ve known him. Let’s call them socially awkward people. And yeah, when they’ve… Read more »
“functioning males”?? get the hell over yourself
Dave, I’m not so sure you’re as good a guy as you seem to think you are. C.F. “get my dick wet.”
I guess it’s a crime to want to get laid? Forgive me for being sick and tired of having the only way I get to orgasm is from my hand. No, you’re right, I’m definitely not a nice guy because I want to get laid for the second time in my incredibly long and extremely sex-empty life.
It’s not a crime to want to get laid, but maybe you should figure out why no one wants to sleep with you.
The only thing I can think of is lack of confidence because every time I’ve tried to get laid or even get a date has been a complete and total disaster. Batting .000 will do a number on one’s confidence. Objectively speaking, I’m quite a catch.
So I should just let her know she’s a bitch because that’s really what I wanted to say?
Well, It looks like what I wanted to say got moderated!
Yeah, well, you don’t know sadistic harpies until you’ve met my family. Let’s just say I was beaten for being a boy. When I say militant feminists, I mean militant. If I got caught not holding the door open for a woman, I’d get beaten until I bled.
There are a lot of trolls on this site cleverly disguising themselves as victims.
Maybe you should find a prostitute because it sounds like all you want is sex not a real relationship. And maybe you should not blame your childhood upbginrging for your lack of sexuality.
I.E>>> “The simple fact of the matter is that being raised by women and being taught how to treat women by women was the single worst thing that happened to me in being able to interact with women.”
I’m seriously considering trying to learn the whole pickup artist thing. I’m 22 and I’ve had sex once and the girl was old, fat and unattractive but I couldn’t stand being a virgin any longer. I grew up in a family full of feminists — no males at all except for me — and I got to learn “what women want from a man.” To put it bluntly… it’s a giant load of bullshit. I was the definition of the nice guy. Kind, caring, thoughtful, generous, romantic, polite, etc, etc, etc. You know what I got as a result? Tons… Read more »
Well, tell you what, Dave. I grew up in a family that was militantly anti-feminist; whenever I was around my extended family, I was told I was too opinionated, too much of a tomboy, not focussed enough on my appearance, and that no guy would ever want to marry someone like me. That’s not even from the female side of my family – that’s from my ultra-dick uncles (guys so assholish even my dad doesn’t like spending time with them). I was told exactly what men wanted – and that I offered none of them, and despite my academic and… Read more »
You’re a woman; you don’t have to work to get laid. All you have to do is sit there and wait for men to come to you. That isn’t an option for men, unfortunately.
Dude, that’s kind of an insulting and unpleasant thing to say. I’m not an especially attractive person – I am sure if I offered myself to a hundred dudes, my success rate would be in the low single-digits, if that. I was lucky that the one time I made a move on someone that it worked out for me – all I had was statistical luck. Maybe you have self-esteem issues or the sort of depression that perpetuates negative and self-defeating thinking patterns, I don’t know. But when you make comments like that then potentially you need to look at… Read more »
Also, I have done what SHE wants and THAT is the problem. Because I do stuff that THEY want, and I care about what they think, they think to themselves, “Oooh, fresh meat to take advantage of! I wonder what I can get out of this sucker.” And they inevitably get dinners, gifts, etc because I’m nice to the point of being a sucker.
Then that’s your problem. You don’t need to be a misogynist or listen to PUA’s, you just need a backbone. Distance yourself from these leach-like women, who may not realize they are harming you but who clearly are. Dinner and gifts don’t make you a good guy or a nice guy. They make you a desperate guy. Desperation is universally unattractive. Don’t play pick up games, just be confident and try and find a new crowd. Friends of mine who kept getting put on the ‘friend’ bench have had lots of luck with dating sites because no one is there… Read more »
Also, don’t stay friends with woman you have ONLY romantic interest in! That’s not a real friendship. Not fair to them, DEFINITELY not fair to you, and projects an image of you (not over the ‘friend’, not looking to date) that might hurt future chances with other women.
Dating is a very important part of human existence. It is biologically driven and societies have many rules about it. When someone calls it “game” and trots out an endless series of sterotypes about women and men, I find that sad. Sex is something a mature person shares, it is not a contest.
Sex and the City was the first show to put female sexual desire in the spotlight. The Good: it gave permission for women to feel ok having desires and sleeping around a little. (perspective of guy who enjoys getting laid: women who aren’t repressing desires and feel comfortable sleeping around a little is a GOOD thing. Let’s encourage that move away from shame and passivity.) The Bad: shallow, selfish main characters who often looked for materialistic qualities in man and who (especially Samantha) strayed into Objectification territory waaaaaay to often. Making it ok for women to talk about wanting sex?… Read more »
A-hook: Subjective. “You keep using this word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”
I like your ideas and wish to subscribe to your newsletter…
So few of these comments are about the topic at hand. This is an article critiquing PUA’s. There are plenty of other articles elsewhere critiquing the games WOMEN are encouraged to play. As a note, any woman I’ve ever met that hated PUA’s also hated the Rules, avoided advice in Cosmo and found guides to ‘landing a man’ manipulative, shallow and silly. Healthy relationships, if that’s what you’re looking for, are not founded on games; they’re ruined by them. Hot sex, if that’s what you’re looking for, isn’t founded on manipulation and insecurities. If you think it is – if… Read more »
Veeness, great post.
It’s a shame that most feminist sites take a ‘damned if you do, damned if you don’t approach to this issue. Pickup artists are demonized, but at the same time a guy who’s genuinely looking for dating advice is ridiculed and told that he probably doesn’t deserve to be with someone. At least this article, though written by a woman and a feminist, doesn’t take a mocking, snarky tone and actually tries to be helpful without ridiculing its target(s). A good start, I guess. I have one comment regarding the male game/female game thing: One big difference between the two… Read more »
Women will be the gatekeepers of sex as long as society tells them they’re dirty sluts if they DON’T play gatekeeper. The necessary corollary to the death of PUA’s is the death of any of the intentional mind games women play. The article would have done well to note that. Is it surprising PUA’s teach each other to ‘chase women’ when society tells women that they should ‘be chased’? However, the fact that (some) women can be manipulative doesn’t absolve or justify manipulative men. It’s escalation and military history shows us how that ends. The games both men and women… Read more »
Women might have a leg up deciding when sex is going to happen. But men have the leg up on deciding when a relationship is going to happen. Usually, women want relationships more and men want sex more. Stereotypes yes, but in general, the other gender has something the other gender wants. It’s not just a matter of women being “gate keepers” and having all this power and men have no choices of their own.
Christ, Society does in fact make people wear clothes. The fact that you’d be arrested for walking around naked is proof. But… What I meant was not that literally there were fashion police waking me up in the morning shoving stilettos on my feet… but that the pressures and shaming tactics for not presenting ‘femininity’ are more subtle. It’s a ‘damned if you do’ and ‘damned if you don’t’ situation. If I go out wearing the heels, make-up, and push up bra I’m accused of being ‘manipulative’ or a ‘temptress’ that is evilly seduces the menz. If I don’t …… Read more »
The solution is clearly to start hitting on “frumpy” looking women. Encourage other men to do the same. Validate women who don’t play temptress.
And if some playboy bunny saunters up to you in a bar, eyelids heavy with makeup and breasts pushed to the ceiling, politely say “no thank you” and go buy the nice lady who looks like your gym teacher a drink : )
I have several huge problems with this piece. First of all, so what if men are out to get laid? Where is it written that all men should be out there with the sole purpose of finding a soul mate? Some men just want to meet a woman for a good time, and as long as that good time is consensual then I see no problem whatsoever. Saying that all men have an obligation to be gentlemanly in their sexual pursuits is oblivious to the fact that one-night stands aren’t always a negative thing. Second, are we really pretending women… Read more »
Sex and the City is a fictional work of television.
You know this right?
And not all women like that show. Me, I hated it. I can’t stand even watching five minutes of that garbage.
1.) While I’m flattered you think I am youthful enough to be a teen… it’s pretty lame to try to infantalize me. Whatever, you’re trying to bait me with the whole, typical ‘talk down to her’ approach. Been there, seen that. Won’t work. 2.) You tried to make an argument that Sex in the City was somehow equivalent to the PUAs whose stock and trade is the objectification and ‘knocking down a peg’ of women. I point out that PUAs are real people that run expensive seminars in hotels that get paid by men of all stripes desperate to emulate… Read more »
Wow. I thought you were kid also, not due to an attempt to infantilize you, just a general impression. That’s not good!
Have you met that SpookyTimes guy? I think you two are opposite sides of the same coin. Neither of you are helping here (btw, society does not make you wear any type of clothing. It’s your choice. STOP making a victim of yourself! Stand up!)
But the fact that Samantha was pretty much hero worshipped as the woman to be most like — sexually “empowered”, CEO of her own company, and dated ‘like a man’ — is indicative of the (then and now) cultural norm, or the norm the culture was striving for. Yes SINTC was a sitcom of sorts, but the media is reflective of the culture it lives in.
And quite honestly, I had you pegged at about 17 or 19…
Sara, I didn’t have you pegged as a teenager or child. I thought you had well written thoughts. And I do think the reference to your supposed age, which has absoluetly nothing to do with discussing the topic, was an attemtp to infantalize you. By the way, the media is *sometimes* reflective of the culture we live in. It also hyper extends depictions of reality to make it more interesting and even some times bases it’s output on fantasy not reality. Trends don’t only develop because there is an interest in them with no media sway. It’s amazing how easily… Read more »
I agree with Erin. SATC was more often a reflection of what was already happening in mainstream dating. And no, Samantha wasn’t hero-worshipped as the one to be like. Part of the attraction of the show was based on the commonalities between 4 distinct personalities, that made it relatable. Even the Upper east side princess want’s to feel like a sex goddess from time to time. Even the sexually progressive can fall in love. The other part of it: the bond between the women, which is mostly irrelevant to this discussion except to say it was a big part of… Read more »
“While I’m flattered you think I am youthful enough to be a teen”
There is nothing flattering abut being called a teenager. It’s a straight up insult, whatever the circumstances, and a little uncalled for here. Young = stupid.
Yes, I’m aware it’s a TV show. But it’s a show women genuinely related to. At least the vast majority of women I know. They’d talk about who they most resembled and how they sometimes emulate the characters precisely. So while that show does not speak for all womankind, it does ring true for some women.
Yet I can never recall any outcry from anyone talking about how those ladies were working men over or objectifying them. Just food for thought.
GirlGlad4theGMP, great points and observations about the show. Daddy Files, and what about shows like Sopranos? That was a very popular HBO show that I know appealed to men with the violence and sex. It showcased a middle aged baldling, over weight man that had a mistress and was sometimes in the company of strippers or hookers. I never even watched the show that much but whenever I caught a glimpes of it, there seemed to be some kind of young busty girl or stripper on there. Also, what about porn? How that protrays women? Do most men you know… Read more »
I’m supposed to feel bad for how women are treated in porn? They’re getting paid!!! They’re willingly entering into an agreement to perform and being compensated for said performance. And the Sopranos revolved around how pathetic Tony Soprano was for acting the way he did. He wasn’t worshipped, he was a posterchild for failure. So your comparison doesn’t hold water.
My comparsion holds a lot of water. I didn’t say Tony Soprano was worshipped. I said a number of men responded to that show because that’s mostly who the show was popular with. They liked the violence. They liked the sex. I never heard one man get in a stink about how Tony Soprano was protrayed treating the woman in his family or his over all atttitude toward women and worried that other men were going to get bad ideas. And yes, of course women in porn agree to be in it. Just as the men in the SATC franchise… Read more »
“First of all, so what if men are out to get laid? Where is it written that all men should be out there with the sole purpose of finding a soul mate? Some men just want to meet a woman for a good time, and as long as that good time is consensual then I see no problem whatsoever. Saying that all men have an obligation to be gentlemanly in their sexual pursuits is oblivious to the fact that one-night stands aren’t always a negative thing.” Dang it, I was going to say something just like that: I don’t think… Read more »
I’m going to piggy back on the discussion of personal responsibility regarding how we treat those we want something from. If two people are completely on the same page and only looking for a one-night stand, I don’t see an issue either. If one person is trying to manipulate the other into doing something for their own selfish gratification, through fake kindness, affection or interest, that’s a problem. It’s my own personal opinion that we all have a human responsibility to not exploit the weaknesses of another person for our own pleasure. Why shouldn’t a man have a “gentlemanly obligation”… Read more »
I had given up on this discussion until I read your post. Well said, reasonable, tolerant thoughts. Thank you.
I’m going to leave the last paragraph alone. If we’re going to use Sex & The City and The Sopranos as the language for this discussion, I’m getting back out. We might as well use as exemplars those two morons with the eight children who put their personal business on TV.
Coburn is right. That was a great comment, Erin – reasonable, decent, humane. Thanks.
My issue with SATC, the few episodes I’ve actually seen (I swear!) is not that as a man I feel degraded, just that many of the scenarios seem so uncommon as to be hardly representative of men at all. I remember one episode quite distinctly where the big issue was all these men who only date models and no one else. Even in parts of NYC and LA, is this really a major problem in the dating scene?
I’m not sure. I’m not a model so I wouldn’t know. I suspect there might be a little truth to it with maybe men that are actually in the business? A very very limited group, certainly not nearly true for men in general. It’s not a positive image of men though. And I understand why guys would question it. But you know what? I see images of how women are projected in media that’s meant to appeal to men that has nothing to do with being a fair representation of what a real woman is. Those girls on Maxim? I’m… Read more »
There’s no magic bullet. Getting in a good relationship with someone and staying in it takes work–mostly paying attention to that other person.
If you’re having trouble paying attention to other people’s social cues, try some body language and facial expression primers. There are some very good ones out there. Me, I’m about to pick up “Emotions Revealed” by Paul Ekman, not because I need to get a date, but because I’m interested in that sort of thing.
But PUA is not about securing an LTR…it’s about the pick up, the hook up and the sex. Sure an LTR may develop, but no one is going to these classes to find their “One”…they’re going there to find their “For the Night”.
Quite frankly, I think it’s bizarre that a feminist, even one who is sex positive and bdsm friendly, and one I transiently follow in the blogosphere, is teaching PUA.
How is treating women like targets instead of humans helping promote men’s rights? Clarisse didn’t dismiss pick-up artistry out-of-hand, she dismissed misogyny. There’s a very big difference, as she later showed by providing links and names that allow for some acceptance of women as real people. Why do men’s rights and feminism have to be exclusive? If both sides want equality then that means both sides have to treat the other like human beings deserving of respect. Otherwise we’re just chasing our own tails and not doing anything to help either cause. Do women have some privileges men do not?… Read more »