fenris wrote:A decent depiction of the average "pick up artist" indeed. What would you expect of giving a sexually frustrated and socially awkward dude an extremely controversial and aggressive philosophy, while also tempting him with fantasies of power and sexual abundance?
I couldn't agree more, which is why I find your subsequent turnaround and attempt to defend
this ill-advised conglomeration of psychological abuse methods a tad bit confusing.
fenris wrote:The PUA material, among other things (my bold, not OP's), teaches you to:
- Talk to strangers. Instead of being a social recluse, you have to face your fears, get out of your house, and invite a bit of danger to your ego to your life.
Fair enough. This is indeed an admirable aim. Many self-help / therapy methods teach people this as well, without the stupidly high risk of letting those social or sexual frustrations run amok with aggressive new strategies for socialising. This is why it's almost always healthier for a reclusive person to get face-to-face help from another trustworthy person with coming out of their shell - they need at the very least a few heads-ups for checking their own behaviours to make sure they aren't becoming harmful.
fenris wrote:- Enjoy social interaction. Control the interaction to amuse yourself, instead of seeking everyone else's approval. This should not mean you should genuinely hurt people, as there's no amusement to be had there for both parties.
The common need to "enjoy" social interaction is on a completely different wavelength from the desire to "control" social interaction. The methods of "control" that PUA teach may make the user feel safe and insulated from harm, but at the expense of turning around and preemptively flinging the same harms they fear - belittlement, scorn, and challenges to your right to exist in the same space as the other - into the faces of the women they meet. This is not a "side-effect" of badly-used PUA; this is symptomatic of the whole system.
Enjoyment can be derived from social situations without ego-maniacally gaming to control ever single detail of interaction, even if you are by nature uncomfortable with interacting with others. Another method, one among many alternate choices, is to actually step outside your own head for ten minutes and try some basic empathy.
Put aside what you FEAR other people are thinking about YOU, and try to imagine that they have entire lives which concern them and their close friends and family, none of which is connected to / can affect or harm you in any way. You can step outside the situation this way, and just observe it as it flows naturally. There's a good deal of detachment involved in this, which you claim PUA is supposed to encourage with this gem of an endorsement:
fenris wrote:- Stop putting women on pedestals. See them as human beings, with their own flaws and immoral instincts, and accept them with all their imperfections instead of pretending they're an ideal you've created in your head. You don't need to impress them. You don't need to have them, at all. Learning to detach your self esteem from whatever a given woman thinks of you is probably the most important thing in all of the PUA philosophy.
And this is where the "among other things" comes in from the top. PUA teaches shy guys to stop putting women on pedestals by chipping away at them with barbed words and throwing them down with blindsiding passive-aggression. PUA teaches awkward guys, as another poster mentioned, that they don't need to impress women if they can convince them they don't deserve better than what's in front of them. PUA teaches reclusive guys that they don't need to have meaningful, deep connections at all because they can make themselves feel like invulnerable tiny ego-gods by manipulating women to interact with them in ways that boost their self esteem.
This is forcing
social interactions out of other human beings who never asked for them, and who, as an identity group, are disproportionately targeted by psychological and physical manipulations from others to the extent that your behavior, when you "tease" and expect that they are now obliged
to give you the attention that you want, falls solidly into the spectrum of male privilege and misogyny. As hurtful as ostracisation feels to you, unwanted attention can have the same detrimental affects on women.
That is not your fault as an individual, but if you have enough brainpower to read these words, then you are perceptive enough understand that it is a social reality you need to be aware of, and act to change it rather than make it worse. PUA makes it worse to make you feel better. That is not acceptable.
TL;DR: Great comic, Randall. PUA-apologists, please re-take some objectification and male privilege 101 courses.