Vox Newman

Picking Up a Feminist Perspective | April 4, 2011

Since I’ve restarted my blog, I’ve found myself reading more blogs and when I think about it, circa 2005 when I had my previous blog, I was also reading more of them.  I don’t know exactly why this is but I suspect it has something to do with wanting to see what other people are sharing when you are sharing.

Maybe.picking up a feminist perspective how to pick up women by women voxnewman

Recently, I’ve come across an interesting, seemingly connected thought process across several blogs, and I’ve been intrigued.  It started with a friend’s blog: he’s been having something he’s referred to as March Madness (which has now bled into April as it seems that he knows many more people who are interested in bogging than I do) in which he has people he respects post entries on subjects they care about in his ’10 Things I’ve Learned’ format.  The one I linked to started the ball rolling for me when I followed the guest poster to her blog.  She had some interesting entries dealing with internet dating.

Then I decided to check out the blogs she had ‘permalinked’ to, which I suppose are peers or people whose blogs she finds interesting or are on a similar subject and, therefore, they share links.  From one of these links, I found a great blog entry on the subject of how to deal with aggressive manipulation.  This blog is like an advice column, but worth the read because unlike Dr. Laura Schlessinger, the advice given makes sense most of the time and is tempered with enough qualifiers that, the advice is not a black and white solution in every circumstance, but rather situational and determined by the grey-area of life.

From that blog’s permalinks I found a blog entry about pick-up artists and learned that they are now referred to by their acronym (PUA) and they’re a community.  This blogger writes for several blogs and they all sort of link each other around (which I presume is the way of the professional blogger, who gets paid to blog by various organizations).  From what I can tell, she’s a guest blogger for Feministe (or new to it as she’s not in their ‘about’ section).  This blog and her personal blog linked to a professional blog entry or article which covers her interview of a PUA who wrote a book about it.  Based on the interview, it appears that Tom Cruise’s character in one of my favourite movies, Magnolia, might have given a bad rap to some of the men in the community.

I dunno, I’m still wary of the whole system.

I’m intellectually drawn to human psychology in general (probably why I write) and certain areas such as this intrigue me, mostly from a scholastic viewpoint.  I don’t know about everyone else, but I was blithely unaware of body language and therefore unable to engage in it ‘properly’ until I read some books and watched some documentaries on the subject a decade and a half ago.  Then a couple of years ago I hit on the idea that I’m not certain I’m really that up-to-speed on a pretty essential tool of human interaction.

I looked back at my past experiences and realized that much of the time, now that I’m aware of how body language ‘works’ in amorous situations, my abilities might be stunted (at least when I’m romantically interested in someone).  I’ve recalled many times where I’ve noticed the body language of an attractive someone else 10 seconds or 10 minutes after the fact, which is pretty pointless to notice because it’s much too late to do anything about it in the fast paced environment of human subconscious interaction.  So while I think much of the time I may instinctually react ‘properly’ (usually in regards to someone I’m not romantically interested in) to body language, some of the rest is just an intellectual exercise for me.

This might be why I tend to date women whose style of flirting is blatant and displayed often: it makes it easier for me to feel ‘natural’ which I suppose has some buried sense of irony.  And now that I think about it, I may not be alone: there are people out there (both male and female) for whom the pick-up is (or at least seems to be) easy and these people are sometimes derided as ‘slutty’ depending on their level of popularity with the opposite sex.  But maybe this popularity isn’t based solely on the suggestive way they dress or act, but maybe the way they dress and act reduces the inhibitions and inability of so many others who are not ‘out there’ like them but want to be.  They themselves may not be easy, but they make situations easier for people who tend to over-intellectualize everything.

To get back to the PUAs: from the interview was linked the personal blog of the article’s writer and that’s where I discovered the existence of another aspect of the PUA community: there is a movement (at least suggested by this blog) to fold PUA under the umbrella of the ‘feminist movement’, because some of the things advised by PUAs are actually in-line with feminist values and if ‘the feminist movement’ embraces the PUA community then those things which are counterproductive to male-female interaction, are based on poor information, are misogynist in nature, or are just plain wrong can be weeded out by feminists providing updated information.

This all makes sense to me.

I suppose there might be men within the PUA community or its fringes who might balk at the idea; if they thought about it from a pragmatic standpoint, however, they might realize that this answers the first question they ever had before they even considered becoming a PUA: What do women want?  Well, I have to assume that a feminist approach to the topic would explain that.  And then there’s the issue of the biggest complaint men seem to have: Why won’t women say what they want?  And again, I assume it will be carefully explained that they do and it just happens that it seems not to be in straight-forward language from the perspective of a male due mostly to a cultural divide, but a ‘How to Pick up Women’ by Women would likely help men speak the language.  In fact I think this collective grouping of bloggers should get together and write a book of that title.  I’m certain that it would sell better than any other book on the subject in the same way that I’m certain that a book about how to work for Donald Trump would sell better if it were written by Donald Trump rather than some temp he once hired.



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