After reading about George Sodini (the man who shot up a gym full of women because he couldn’t get a date) and his involvement with various”Pick-Up Artist” gurus, I decided to repost my reaction to my one encounter with someone who plays The Game.
The Game, if you don’t know what it is, is a collection of creepy pseudo-scientific “techniques” – popular with so-called “pick-up artists” – that are supposed to magically make hot young women want to sleep with angry middle-aged loners. They range from the innocuous “Approach every woman you meet and ask for her phone number” – can’t hurt, right? – to the obviously misogynist like “negging” (giving a backhanded compliment that’s really an insult to knock down her self-esteem and throw her off guard – “Wow, that dress is really flattering. It’s great that you’re so good at finding clothes that minimize your butt”) and the downright creepy and technically illegal – “Put your hand on her thigh even if you’ve just met her and she tells you to stop”.
It’s creepy and sexist and just really sad, in my opinion. Anyway. Around a year ago I was in a bar with another girl having a meeting about something business-related. We ran into a guy who we both know slightly. He invited himself and his friend to sit with us, took control of and derailed our conversation, tried some extremely amateur mentalism on both of us (failing miserably in my case at least), spouted a lot of “battle of the sexes” nonsense and generally was a complete douchebag. After I heard more about “TEH GAME!!!1!!!!!!111!!!1” (Editor’s note: I’m going to write it that way from now on. Just try and stop me) I realized that he was one of these pick-up artist types and, for whatever reason, had decided to practice on us. Even though I’m married and the other girl has a boyfriend. Whatever.
And so I wrote this post.
To the men who hate women
You know who you are. You’re the guys who post on Craigslist about how North American women want too much and don’t know how to please a man. You’re the batshit insane dude who comments on Globe and Mail articles about how rape victims deserved what they got. You’re the guy who’s lonely and thinks all women are against him because they don’t respond to your pick-up lines.
You’re the guy that thinks men and women are locked into this never-ending manipulative game, where she’s trying to “tame” you and make you into a non-man, so you have to keep her at a distance to protect yourself. You think that approaching a woman in a bar and saying, “I find you extremely desirable” is a reasonable way to begin a relationship. Let me tell you something:
Nobody, but NOBODY, in the entire world is actually playing the game you think they are. I do not know a single woman, married, single, or promiscuous, who is looking to take a man down and make him into a pussy. Women want the same things as everyone else – friendship, love, sex, a chance at a connection.
Also, when you try a creepy line on a woman and she turns you down, it isn’t necessarily because she’s a cold-hearted bitch. First of all, any woman who’s ever spent time alone in a bar knows how uncomfortable and vulnerable it feels. Your instinct is to keep strange men away, not engage with them. Second, there are lots of reasons why she might not be interested that have nothing to do with you. She might be in a relationship already. She might be a lesbian. She might be a Mormon fundamentalist just escaped from a plural marriage. She might be an amputee fetishist and you still have both legs. Hell, she might have eaten some bad nachos and feel like throwing up. It’s not all about you.
Moving on, think about it how relationships actually form. How did everyone you know who’s in a relationship get into it? They got to know each other somehow in their normal life. They worked together. They were in a class together. They were both fans of the same band. They were hypnotized together at a mentalist show. He rear-ended her car and they clicked. She sold him a motorcycle. They both commented on Pharyngula. Did your dad pick your mother up in bar? I bet he didn’t.
All I’m saying is this: Women are people, not arrogant robots. Treat us like we have feelings and needs, think about things from our perspective every now and then, and step back from the adversarial battle-of-the-sexes bullshit. And don’t be a douche. You’ll be a happier man.