I was a late bloomer when it comes to women. While I could always successfully become friends with them, I could never seem to actually get dates. I always wanted to observe and learn from the men who were successful. What attracted women to them? How did they act, look, or present themselves differently than I did?
I came across a book online called The Game. Considering how long ago this was, many of you have probably heard about it by now. If not, and this may surprise you – I still recommend reading it. Some friends and I all bought copies and reading the book sparked a transformation in many of us. Less than a ‘how to,’ and more of a ‘this is how we lived our life,’ the book outlines the lives of the first nerdy Pickup Artists in Los Angeles who had developed a system to become attractive to essentially any woman they wanted.
While it sounds a bit grandiose and idealistic, it was the perfect tag line to draw in teens and early 20-somethings. While I have never, and would never identify myself as a pickup artist, I found the book valuable in the lessons it provided regarding psychology, relationships, and human interactions. It gives insight into the way men and women approach each other, view each other, and are attracted to each other. While it is too calculated and provides too much of a band-aid solution to a very real issue, the entertainment value is well worth it.
But, I am certainly not writing this to promote a book. The reason why I am writing this is because of a man named Julien Blanc. If his name sounds familiar, it is because TIME Magazine has recently called him ‘The Most Hated Man In The World.’ Julien, is a pickup artist.
What I quickly observed while learning about the pickup artist [PUA] community, and one of the many things that drove me from them, was that many of them do not learn about women because they love them, but because they most decidedly don’t. Many of them are seeking revenge on women for rejecting them all of their lives. Many of them want to objectify women because they were never taught to love. Many of them are looking to ‘game’ the system because they have felt powerless and want to gain control – effectively missing the entire point, and not realizing that relationships are not about control.
Julien exemplifies these ideas by tweeting things [on his now private account] like “The hottest women are often the most insecure, so don’t forget to tread them like trash.” “It’s a lot easier to treat her like shit if you objectify her first. #JustSoYouKnow” and “Don’t worry, I only abuse women.”
The backlash against Julien has been extreme – as Australia has revoked his work visa, forcing him to leave the country. Subsequently, there are petitions to keep him from entering the UK, Canada, and other countries as well.
Julien claims that many of his ‘clients’ have found happy, healthy relationships by using the techniques that he charges thousands of dollars to teach to men. He says he has been invited to their weddings and they are ‘eternally grateful’ for what he has taught them. While I have seen pickup artists be successful with women in the short term – people like Julien never quite seem to understand how much more there is to a relationship than the first night.
It is reassuring that there is such a backlash against Julien, because he is not alone. While he is the current face of the problem, he is just a symptom of it. He is a symptom of objectification of women. He is a symptom of entitlement to a woman’s body. He is a symptom of how men can become bitter and vengeful from rejection and turn to negative solutions.
This battle is not one of the world vs. Julien Blanc. Just as we saw in Elliot Rodger‘s violent rampage a few months ago – this issue is more widespread than a single PUA.
What is the solution? Is there one? I believe we need to teach our sons and daughters the value of each other. Love and respect. Manners. Etiquette. Codes of conduct. When these things are at the core of your being – the ideas put forth by Julien and his cohorts immediately become sickening. Tweets such as “Dear girls, could you please save me the effort and roofie your own drink? #JustKidding” become infuriating. These men become your rivals, not your teachers or idols.
We can ostracize Julien. We can ban him from virtually every country. We can vilify him and create Facebook pages against him. But we cannot forget what he really is: The mainstream face of a much bigger problem.
Men and women need to band together and create a wall of disapproval for people like this. We must stop rewarding these behaviors by allowing it ‘to work’ and we need to stand up when we do see it happening.
There is a big difference between working to help someone gain the confidence and positive self-image they need to become better with women, and teaching them to objectify her and pull her down to his level in order to have a chance. When the tide rises, all ships rise with it.
The New Chivalry Movement stands strongly against everything that every Julien Blanc stands for – and I thank you all for being part of it.
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