There have been some comments recently that I’ve been pretty hard on the pick up community in the last month or two. And that’s true. Every once in a while I need to be reminded to show the PUA’s a little love because obviously I wouldn’t be here or writing this if it weren’t for them.
And lo and behold, an article about a research study on PUA techniques came out this morning. And by “research study,” I mean a presumptuous piece of radical feminist garbage. Either way, it’s given me a perfect opportunity to stand up for all of my fuzzy-hatted, time-constrained brethren. Fellas, this next club soda with lime is for you.
The article, titled “How Sexists Find Love,” is based on some new social psychology research done on PUA tactics and the receptiveness of various women. The studies, done at the University of Kansas, actually have intriguing results. But the language in which the results are described, as well as the language used in the article, is truly irritating and a perfect example of how otherwise well-intentioned feminists taint their entire cause by injecting ideology into science.
“Women who are charmed by the tactics found in manuals like Neil Strauss’ “The Game” are generally either interested in casual sex — or they’re sexist. It turns out the same is also true of the men who use these strategies. For the most part, this means that pickup artist techniques work to pair up like-minds, which seems harmless enough, but it also comes with some worrisome implications…
The results make perfect sense: Women who want a no-strings hookup are attracted to men who clearly broadcast their interest in sex, and ladies who subscribe to sexual stereotypes about their own gender will take a liking to aggressively dominant men. Conversely, men who simply want to get laid are more likely to turn to the sort of “tricks” found in “The Mystery Method: How to Get Beautiful Women Into Bed,” and dudes who think of women as sexual gatekeepers or trophies are more likely to treat them as such.
OK, I actually agree that the intentions that you approach women with will determine which kind of women you end up meeting. In fact, I spend an entire chapter in my book talking about this “assortment” effect. I call it Demographics. Basically, if you think all women are cheating sluts, then you will sub-consciously screen for cheating sluts. If you think they’re all angels that need to be worshiped, you will unconsciously screen for women who appear to be angels and need to be worshiped.
But PUA theory is neutral. The study makes the assumption that PUA tactics are inherently sexist and interested in casual sex. You could “neg” a girl in a club or in a marriage, it can theoretically be equally as effective in either situation. You could date a girl to get to know her well and enter a relationship with her. Or you could do it to try and sleep with her. The tactic is neutral. The intention is the determinant variable. This ignorance shows that the researchers lack a fundamental understanding of the very thing they’re studying… which honestly doesn’t bode well for the rest of the study.
And predictably, the wheels soon come off. Here’s where the article goes from annoying to infuriating:
What’s especially interesting about this study is that it not only confirms that there are sexist ideas behind pickup artist strategies — as has often been the criticism — but it also shows that sexist women are complicit. “Women are not just sexual gatekeepers,” he says. “It’s not like they’re helpless, non-participants in this interaction. Instead, sexist women are essentially choosing sexist men.” This is what’s called “assortment mating” in social psychology – basically, people tend to unconsciously filter out dissimilar individuals. “Even though they don’t know that they’re using these strategies for these reasons and even though these strategies aren’t used because you’re inherently trying to show your sexist attitudes, what it essentially does is help sexist people find each other,” he says.
What are these sexist ideas she’s speaking of? That men are “dominant and aggressive” and that women are “sexual gatekeepers?” Sorry, that’s not sexism, that’s simply accepting traditional gender roles — gender roles which there is plenty of evidence suggesting contain at least some sort of biological basis. More feminine women prefer more masculine men and vice-versa. What the hell is sexist about that?
Yes, I like to have casual sex. Yes, I prefer to be dominant and aggressive. Yes, I prefer women who are a bit coy and submissive. Does this make me a sexist? Since when does preferring girlie-girls make me a sexist?
This is what pisses me off about certain feminism, anyone who doesn’t buy into their ideology of gender neutrality is immediately labeled a sexist and a misogynist. It’s the same ideological stunt right-wingers in the US pull when they say that anyone who doesn’t support the wars in the Middle East are terrorists. It’s a bunch of bigots crying bigotry.
And then the researcher has the gall to point out a “link between sexist beliefs and acceptance of date rape and sexual coercion,” which is totally unnecessary and I suppose is intended to insinuate that PUA’s are somehow likely to be rapists. That’s like me conducting an entire study claiming that all Jews are greedy, and then wrapping up the study by mentioning, “Oh, and by the way, drug dealers are greedy as well.” It’s amazing that this shit actually gets published and taken seriously.
But wait, I’m not done yet. Here’s the kicker, the research was based on women self-reporting. And anyone who’s hit on half a woman before, much less slept with a dozen, knows what women say they respond to sexually and what they actually respond to sexually are often miles apart. In fact, there have actually been studies done showing that women are often completely unaware of when they’re turned on by a man and when they’re not.
There’s a correlation doesn’t equal causation fallacy adrift here. Do “sexist” women respond well to game tactics? Or could it just be that women who are comfortable in a traditionally feminine role see no reason to hide their preference for dominant men? Do only women interested in casual sex respond well to “game” tactics? Or could it just be that women who are comfortable with their sexuality are more candid about what turns them on? Because I can tell you, I’ve successfully used “game” to seduce plenty of women who weren’t particularly submissive or feminine, and plenty of women who weren’t that interested in casual sex either. And I know I’m not the only one. Not by a long shot.
There’s no useful conclusion that can be drawn from this data. All it shows is which male behavior women perceive themselves to be attracted to (or wish they were attracted to), which honestly, you could figure out by subscribing to Cosmo. It has no verifiable proof on which male behaviors they actually ARE attracted to. It’s reading garbage like this that makes me really, really want to go get a PhD at times.
Are there sexist PUA’s? Of course there are. But there are sexist non-PUA’s as well. PUA may attract more than it’s fair share. But I don’t think sexist attitudes are implicit in (most) PUA advice. I think many men teach or interpret the advice in sexist ways. Which is not surprising, after all… it’s a thinly-veiled support group for people with a lot of anger and emotional baggage towards the opposite sex. You know, kind of like feminism.