Women are going about their business


A friend did some digging and found out who that guy in the “just grab her” video is. He’s PickUpArtist Julian Blanc. Tim Samuels went to Florida for the Daily Mail to listen to him talk. (Cool that his name is actually “White,” isn’t it, given his attitude to Japanese women.)

In a sweltering Miami afternoon, hundreds of guys are sitting in an airless hotel reception room taking notes, hanging on every utterance by the speaker.

They’ve paid up to $3000 to be here – to learn from the master himself.

On the podium at the front isn’t a religious guru. It isn’t a business leader imparting the secrets of getting rich. It’s a guy dressed in jeans and an unironed shirt – teaching men what should be the most natural thing of all: how to talk to women.

How to “talk to”? Come on.

How has it come to this, that men have to pay to learn how to meet women?

I sit through the lectures feeling a little smug and incredulous that guys are paying serious cash for a bit of confidence boosting and common sense.

But then we’re told that after lunch we’ve moving from the theory to the practical – chatting up total strangers on the street. The dread kicks in.

For a British bloke, the idea of walking up to a woman on the street, mid-afternoon, entirely sober and having to chat her up with the aim of getting her phone number is a living nightmare. Committing armed robbery or heading on holiday to northern Syria would be less terrifying.

Dude. That’s because it’s an asshole thing to do. It’s not appropriate – or considerate, or polite, or decent, or respectful of the needs of people who aren’t you – to accost strangers on the street with a view to fucking them. You shouldn’t be doing at all. That nightmare feeling? That’s because you know it’s not an ok thing to do.

Women are going about their business – catching up with friends over coffee, popping into shops, heading to fashion week events, and generally displaying no inclination to want to be bothered by men who are paying good money to learn how to bother them.

Exactly. So just leave them the fuck alone.

H/t Deanna.

Comments

  1. says

    I think you missed the most important part. When he says it would be scarier to talk to a female stranger than to go to a war zone or do an armed robbery, even though he’s (one assumes) exaggerating for effect he is admitting to being scared shitless by women. Normal, everyday women. He’s ready to wet his pants over the idea of talking to a woman.

    This is a guy with serious, deep-seated problems. And there are a lot of them out and about. Now that’s scary, (even for me, and I’m not a woman).

  2. says

    I’m not sure that’s true. I’m not sure he’s at all scared of women as such; it sounds much more as if he’s scared of behaving badly to women. He’s scared of the situation and what’s expected of him. I’d be scared too if I were put in the position of having to do such a grotesque thing – like, say, go up to complete strangers on the street and ask them for $500 to get a plane somewhere. That would scare me, but I’m not scared of being among strangers in normal circumstances, or of the strangers, or of interacting with them where that’s expected.

  3. resident_alien says

    @ anthrosciguy: Are you in/from the USA? Because that thing about talking to women being scarier than a warzone is a “Britishism” , self-deprecation is de riguer for Her Majesty’s subjects. As a rule, they are an impossible polite lot.
    Which is why the author feels uncomfortable a the thought of behaving like a rude pest.

  4. says

    Well, again – I don’t think it’s particular to the UK, either. It’s rude to thrust yourself on people uninvited. There isn’t some special dispensation that makes it not-rude for men who want to fuck someone.

  5. John Morales says

    I just couldn’t do that* — accosting people, that is.

    Not because I think it’s rude (though I do), but because I’m shy.

    * Well, maybe if it were life-or-death. Maybe.

  6. Ted Powell says

    I suggest that what the Brit considers a living nightmare is the thought of finding himself doing something that’s … NOT. DONE.
    My father was born in Queen Victoria’s time, 1890, and I can still hear him pronouncing those two words (not w.r.t. me, fortunately).

  7. resident_alien says

    @ Ophelia : I didn’t mean to imply that. Basic politeness and common decency go against such behaviour all over the world. My intention was to clear up the cultural miscommunication. I’m German *, we are generally rather less polite than the British, and that even we find that kind of behaviour unacceptable.
    *= which is partly why I’m learning to decode Britishisms.Makes me feel like dog trying to make sense of cats sometimes…

  8. says

    I’m aware of exaggeration for effect; it’s hardly a British thing. :)

    And I could be wrong about guys like this being scared of women, but I don’t think I am. They are because they lack empathy and have a difficult time (at best) putting themselves in others’ shoes. Or listening with the intent to really learn about others. (Ie., not for selfish purposes)

  9. says

    I’d like to speak up in favor of occasionally, appropriately, accosting strangers. Some of the most delightful experiences I’ve had were a result of other people speaking up and getting a chance to get to know someone new. The trick is not to make people uncomfortable, not to not accost them.

    When I was 16, I was enjoying a quiet hot chocolate by myself on a rainy day in Paris. An older woman, very French, paused by my table and asked me “Pardonnez-moi, are you an American?” She gave me plenty of room to blow her off, right there, but instead I invited her to join me in some cocoa and we sat there for 5 hours; she was a young woman during the war and told me amazing stories and we drank hot chocolate and I’ll never forget that afternoon.

    Two years ago, in Istanbul, I was trying to order amazingly delicious-looking food in a Pakistani restaurant, when a very academic English voice gently interjected, “If you need help discussing the menu with our hosts… I speak passably and could translate…?” We had dinner together and it was fantastic, and he told me stories about travelling in Afghanistan in the 50s, and the evening ended with the restaurant owner and his wife joining us and it was all wonderful.

    We humans must remember that we’re social animals and it’s in our relations with other humans that we find our greatest rewards and pleasures – not just threats. That’s why people who are rude, who don’t read body language, who harass and don’t let someone decline to interact – are anti-social. They erode what is valuable, for the rest of us, about being in a society. This is why it is rational to hate harassers and rapists, if only out of selfishness – because they diminish all our world.

  10. says

    I’ve only just realised what the correct description is for “cat-callers” and “pick-up artists”.

    They are spammers.

    They have no interest in the individual, they’re just playing a numbers game, spamming out their lines in hope of getting a 0.1% response rate.

  11. blondeintokyo says

    I have had positive experiences with people coming up to me just to talk, but I’ve also had a lot of bad ones. Since so many of the ones with men in particular have been bad, I’ve become quite wary. Nowadays I won’t even talk to a guy who approaches me on the street beyond giving brief directions or other help. If a guy starts trying to converse outside of those parameters I excuse myself, and I never, ever give him my name or any other personal information.

    Most recently, I had just gotten off the train when a guy came up to me and told me he’d seen me and had gotten off before his stop just so he could meet me. He tried to give me his business card, but I wouldn’t take it and I told him why – that I don’t trust random guys off the street. I also told him that he shouldn’t hit on girls in such a way because it makes them uncomfortable. He asked me, how then could he meet me? I said “You can’t.” and I walked off. He didn’t follow.

    Back when I was in my early 20’s I would have given him my number and we might have gone out. It is directly due to all the bad experiences I have had since then that I slowly stopped being open to it, and finally, eventually, stopped even being polite about it. When men complain that women are too guarded, or too high nosed, or otherwise berate us for not being “friendly” and thus missing chances to possibly meet a nice guy, I tell them that it is *their own fault* that I had to form such strict boundaries and develop blocking strategies. The people they ought to be berating are other men, the men who are obnoxious, rude, pushy, and who won’t take no for an answer.

    So, guys, don’t come crying to me when girls won’t give you their number. It’s not my fucking fault there are so many numpty men out there who will disrespect us if given even the slightest chance. Go bitch at them.

  12. Athywren - Social Justice Spellsword says

    @blondeintokyo, 10

    He asked me, how then could he meet me? I said “You can’t.” and I walked off. He didn’t follow.

    Being a guy, I’m lucky enough to have never experienced that attitude directed at me, but I’ve heard it expressed often enough and it’s just bizarre. It’s like they really do see women as NPCs, with whom they could have struck up a relationship if only they’d killed the area boss before exploring the temple. It’s the only way I can wrap their idea that they deserve to meet anybody around my mind. They’ve completely failed to learn that, rather than being supporting characters for their stories, other people are actually the main characters of their own, and that they have every right to not want some random person they’ve never met and don’t care about intruding on their life.

  13. ludicrous says

    From Anthro.. @ 7

    “And I could be wrong about guys like this being scared of women, but I don’t think I am. They are because they lack empathy and have a difficult time (at best) putting themselves in others’ shoes.”

    And from Marcus @8

    “English voice gently interjected, “If you need help discussing the menu with our hosts… I speak passably and could translate…?” ”

    The keyword is ’empathy’. The English bloke had it. He put himself in the other’s shoes and that is very disarming.

    For some reason the mra’s and pua’s are lacking empathy. We need to find out why that essential human ability is missing or undeveloped in them.

    Is there any research? Is there an empathy test? Is there training? Rehabilitation?

    Is there something in boy training that makes empathy unmanly?

  14. carlie says

    It’s not appropriate – or considerate, or polite, or decent, or respectful of the needs of people who aren’t you – to accost strangers on the street with a view to fucking them. You shouldn’t be doing at all. That nightmare feeling? That’s because you know it’s not an ok thing to do.

    Interesting – substitute “converting” for “fucking” in the above, and you have exactly my reaction to street/door to door evangelism, which was quite problematic during my entire upbringing in an evangelical church.

  15. sonofrojblake says

    @blondeintokyo,10:

    When men complain that women are too guarded, or too high nosed, or otherwise berate us for not being “friendly” and thus missing chances to possibly meet a nice guy, I tell them that it is *their own fault*

    Guys, don’t do that.

    Tell the truth – that it’s the fault of the dozens of gits who came before him – and he will (unless he’s one of those gits) be sympathetic, apologetic and will withdraw (and hopefully he’ll have learned something).

    If you tell him it’s his own fault, then he’s justified in taking that personally, being indignant and even angry for getting the blame for your attitude. This will of course reinforce your impression that you were right. Which, I’ll concede, may be what you’re going for. We all like to be right, right?

  16. ludicrous says

    The most common casual greeting where I live is an empathy signal, “How are you”. Its pretty hollow, not even question really but it sets an empathic tone. It at least pretends to be interested in you.

    It would be interesting to ask those street hecklers what they think the reactions of the women might be. It would be difficult but could be done. You would have to have a clipboard and look like a professional, show an official looking surveryor badge etc. Have a few disarming questions before the one you want to ask.

  17. ludicrous says

    Replying to me at 12

    I think we learn empathy by example. We are empathized with our whole lives and we apparently acquire the ability at or soon after birth. If we can empathize with caretaker as an infant we are more likely learn how and when to get our needs met, thus survive. And we continue to experience empathy more less. Apparently girls get more empathy than boys early on. Is that why they seem to be better at it?

    I guess it can go wrong, one can get betrayed and say fuck you and your fake concern.

    Maybe we should ask the sociopaths some of whom have an uncanny ability to apprehend what’s going on with the other.

    Somewhere along the line one may have a very nice experience of being empathized with and say to oneself, hey, maybe I can do that too. Then it becomes a choice and we can awarely put it into practice until it becomes automatic.

    There are lot of people who have done that, and some that have not yet.

  18. Chris Tygesen says

    He asked me, how then could he meet me? I said “You can’t.” and I walked off.

    I don’t think that it ever occurs to such a guy that wanting to meet you is all about him. It seems to be impossible for a lot of men to understand that, in that moment, on the street, they don’t have anything that women want or need.

    Or maybe it does. Maybe the PUAs do what they do in the way they do it because they understand that it’s wrong but want to do it anyway.

  19. sonofrojblake says

    It seems to be impossible for a lot of men to understand that, in that moment, on the street, they don’t have anything that women want or need.

    That would only apply to men who aren’t familiar with PUA “teachings”. A very early lesson in PUArtistry is DHV (these people love their acronyms), Demonstrate Higher Value. As in, show the target that you DO have something they want/need. Now: any ethical lesson would go start by saying “Obviously, only do this with targets who appear receptive. Don’t, y’know, harass people”.

    Except… behaving ethically massively reduces your field of potential targets. And if you can’t demonstratethis stuff working, live, out in the field, in front of your clients, and more importantly get them to do it successfully and tell people about it and write you testimonials, then you’re not going to do very well in the competitive business of selling PUA courses.

    This is the central truth – Pick Up Artists’ primary focus is NOT picking up women. Pick Up Artists’ primary focus is taking money from men. And in this enterprise they make victims of both men and women.

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