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Feb 28 2014

Cynthia Gockley and the Disgusting Cowardice of PUAs

I’m almost surprised that I’m writing this blog post, but not quite. I’m writing this blog post because it might help displace a smear piece written by a pickup artist about a feminist woman, which is currently showing up as the top search result when you Google her name (I won’t link to it).

PZ explains:

A woman using the pseudonym Cinzia La Strega has been an active commenter on feminist blogs, and has her own blog in which she mocks the absurdity and repulsiveness of PUAs on the web and twitter. She’s annoying to Matt Forney because she laughs at him — she actually reads the nonsense he posts publicly and, rather than becoming aroused, she ridicules him. She must be punished for making him impotent.

So he dug into public records, social media, all that sort of thing, tracked down her identity (it wasn’t hard; she admits to not being a technical person and made no major efforts to hide, other than by using a pseudonym), and exposed her in detail. I won’t be linking to that post. I’ll just tell you that he published her name, her place of employment, her RateMyProfessor page (she’s a community college teacher), her address, her phone number, her weight, photos, her sexual history, accounts about her unpleasant pedophile uncle, her relationship with a transexual “woman” (the scare quotes are Forney’s), and engages in a lot of bizarre remote psychoanalysis. And most damning of all, he accuses her of being a FEMINIST right in the title.

And now the first Google result when you search for “Cynthia Gockley” is the hateful, asinine blather of some dude who is that threatened by a feminist on the internet. That threatened, you guys. It’s part of his apparent strategy to “destroy feminism” using SEO (search engine optimization), and it includes trying to destroy the reputation of a woman who did nothing but write blog posts about how ridiculous PUAs are.

So hey, where are all you guys who talk about free speech all the time? Because there’s no such thing as free speech when those with power use their speech to silence, intimidate, and smear those with less power.

I think what strikes me the most about this is just how cowardly it is, and what a blatant attempt it is to keep people from coming to their own conclusions about pickup artists and about feminism. Tactics like this are used by people who realize on some level that they can’t win through reasonable debate, and so they resort to shutting up those that disagree with them through whatever means necessary, including online stalking and harassment.

I’ve met plenty of people who think that pickup artists are either smart psychology-oriented dudes who know what women want, or silly awkward nerds trying to game their way into a hookup. Some PUAs are probably some combination of these things, but if you look at their beliefs about women, their methods, and especially their responses to criticism, you’ll see that it’s really much more malicious than that. And while I tend to avoid ascribing malice to people where ignorance will suffice, what this Matt Forney dude (never even heard of him until now) is trying to do is pretty blatantly malicious.

Anyway, hopefully this post will bring more visibility to what’s going on and maybe provide an alternate narrative to any potential employer who happens to Google Cynthia’s name. Here’s her blog, by the way, if you want to give it a read.

And now I’ve entirely lost faith and humanity and am going to eat some chocolate and play some video games or whatever.

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  1. 1
    masculineffort

    Matt Forney is about as much as a Pick Up Artist as Cleopatra was a Celibate Nun. No body who gets with women regularly would spend so mch time on a Blog. Nobody who has sex with women regularly would have that much anger and hatred. People who are successful with women are pretty relaxed and laid back guys.

    The real players I know would just laugh at Forney. Forney is one of those awkward guys who have nowhere to hide in the real world and so try to become the Bullies on the web. Please don’t call him a PUA. He is the farthest thing from one.

    As for Pick up artists. They are just trying to improve their social skills by being more charming, extroverted, dressing better etc etc. What do you have against that?

    1. 1.1
      Miri, Professional Fun-Ruiner

      That was a nice No True PUA fallacy there. :)

  2. 2
    Al Dente

    The guy is a doucebag who hates the idea that others don’t recognize his studly studliness like he thinks they should. So like all good studly studs, he’s whining about this lack of appreciation of his innate studlihood.

  3. 3
    smrnda

    Thanks for the blog link – now I have another blog to add to the reading list.

    PUA seem rather insecure and hostile, probably because they spend so much time convincing themselves How Great They Are and the claim is, regrettably, not backed up by reality.

    1. 3.1
      rapiddominance

      Even if some of them are good at what they do, why are they training other men to be more competitive with them in picking up women–the answer, I speculate, is “ego”. For them, its more about bragging. Proud, egotistical people who think they’re smart don’t seem to take a strong, intellectual challenge very well. They also don’t like being exposed for who they really are. The level of cruel retaliation being reported in this post is indicative of this.

      1. 3.1.1
        smrnda

        I have an odd theory that the PUA themselves don’t actually do what they advise, mostly since most of it seems highly unlikely to really work.

        So I think it’s ego, but in a different way. The PUA creates an alter-ego of themselves, tells other men to apply their program. The program fails for these other men, and the fault is always with those men not pushing the PUA method far enough. So the sap who falls for the PUA ‘advice’ continues to make women uncomfortable, continues to fail, and is in a sense continually berated by the PUA because the Program Works. It’s a mix of egotism and sadism, men are encouraged to make women uncomfortable, and the men don’t get the results they think they will, and the cycle continues as the men being failed by the PUA ‘method’ become more misogynistic as the method continues to fail.

  4. 4
    garvan

    Matt Forney isn’t an actual PUA though. He claims to be a legitimate full-time troll, or at least that’s what he’s going by after he got exposed for being a fraud.

    http://mattforney.com/trolling-for-a-living/

    Manboobz covers this

    http://manboobz.com/2013/04/27/big-manosphere-reveal-matt-forney-was-ferdinand-bardamu/

    1. 4.1
      queequack

      Because I have way too much time on my hands, I went and poked around this Matt Forney’s blog. His biggest hit seems to be something called “The Case Against Female Self-Esteem”:

      The idea that women should have self-esteem or need it, beyond a low baseline to ensure they don’t commit suicide or become psycho stalkers, is one of the most disastrous social engineering experiments of the modern era.

      So, yeah. Personally, I don’t think Forney is a troll so much as a sort of inept fireband- the internet equivalent of Ann Coulter or Bill O’Reilly. Like those two, I think he mostly believes what he says- or at least, there is a general ideology that he is legitimately invested in pushing- but he couches it in the most deliberately offensive, belligerent language he can so as to attract attention. It’s a marketing strategy, basically.

  1. 5
    Quick, while I have the TERFs and MRAs distracted, go solve all the problems! » Lousy Canuck

    […] They attack me because I fight to have rape taken seriously, despite — no, in fact, because of — my own experience almost two decades ago. And so these MRAs sought to destroy my reputation by Google-bombing my name, associating it directly and inextricably with rape, knowing that someone might look me up, see my name and “rapist” on a website, and assume it absolutely must be true or else it wouldn’t have been published on the internet. And this sort of Google-bombing isn’t even a new tactic for MRAs. […]

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