Monday, December 14, 2015

Rejection Rage

[TW and CW for sexual assault and rape culture, plus awful misogynistic language in images.]

I'm following some conversations between women and Pick-Up Artists with great amusement.

If you're not aware, Pick-Up Artists are exactly what they sound like: They attempt to "pick up" women through a series of ridiculous strategies and techniques, with the "game" consisting of attempted manipulation and "tricks" and the "win" conceived as ending in sex. What's amazing to me is that a lot of these guys don't realize the women they bed also generally wanted to bed them too--that there are many women out there who are actually out looking for an attractive guy to have casual sex with--and that on the few and far between occasions where the game "works" to manipulate an otherwise unwilling woman into having sex, it's rape and/or exploitation of rape culture that allows it.

But that's a long conversation and I want to get back to what's funny about it.

When discovered, or criticized, or rejected, these fellas fly into a rage. How dare the woman say no when he is so alpha!! How dare the woman claim this is not attractive behavior when they are really doing that 6/10 woman a favor!! How dare the woman laugh at his claims that women are lining up to have sex with him when she surely knows her dream is to be in that line!! How dare we suggest they're not very good at this "game" they're playing, or that to us, the situation is not and never was a game?

That maybe, just maybe, we don't actually want to be around people who literally play when we're looking for a human relationship that is not a game?

This ties into why some men on these dating sites get so upset when women "won't accept a compliment." That's the MOST common thing I see in these conversations: men expect to get attention from women when they've done nothing but comment on the woman's attractiveness, and if she ignores him or says she doesn't want his opinion of her body, they just get so angry. And generally try to convince the woman that she is ungrateful if she doesn't appreciate being told she's hot, or that she is unreasonable to say she does not want to be coveted that way, or that she actually does like it on some level if she replied at all--you know, that it is part of playing along.

Again with the playing.

They react like this is a board game with specific rules, and the women they are talking to are breaking them.

What they don't listen to at all is that the women they're conversing with don't conceive it as a game at all. They don't have a rule sheet. They are not going off script by having different likes. They are not failing to deliver what the man deserves if they never agreed to these rules in the first place.

And here the PUAs are passing around these rule sheets, explaining how The Female Will Respond Well if you do such things as giving her a backhanded compliment so she scrambles for your approval (this is known as "negging"), or "put her in her place" by reminding her that she's not attractive enough to be acting like this, or setting up contrived situations where you act disappointed in her refusal to "be spontaneous" or "be adventurous" to make her feel shame, or throw other women under the bus while grooming her to believe she is unusual or special or different because she's willing to do certain sexual things for you or trust you quickly. These are all gross manipulation tactics that are all predicated on the idea that the man deserves to have sex, and that the woman is obligated to provide sex, and that if she does not want to give sex to a man, she has no business existing in a space where he can see her.

So I'm having a pretty good time watching a rather impressive widespread mockery of a particularly virulent PUA right now. He makes videos teaching men how to shame and manipulate women into sex, and he propositions hundreds of women every week, often opening with some kind of rejection or attempt to make the woman think she isn't good enough for him. He also responds to THEIR rejection of HIM with assurance that he WOULD be able to make them enjoy sex with them; that he KNOWS they are fantasizing about him right now because all women do; that he MIGHT consider taking them on a date even after all this because he'll certainly prove no woman is immune; and finally, if the woman continues to laugh and tell him he's not attractive at all, he threatens to find them and rape them.

This particular gross guy tries to flirt with and manipulate women while claiming he's never been anything but respectable no matter what you might have heard, but then he'll spin on a dime and threaten rape, ramble about how women are beneath men in every way imaginable and exist for men's pleasure, and squeal about how he always gets what he wants no matter what. Watching the way he unwinds when he realizes he actually isn't going to get what he wants is kind of remarkable, but though the strength of his tantrums and the depth of his clear hatred for women is unusual, the underlying motivation is not.

Men have done this to me over and over and over online. They tell me they deserve me or want me, expect me to be flattered, and EXPLODE when they hear me say I think it's inappropriate to talk to me like that. In their minds, everyone should be open to being propositioned in any situation at any time--because THEY are--and everyone should be appreciative of physical compliments in any context from anyone--because THEY can't imagine sexual attention being uncomfortable or feeling predatory--and everyone should be willing to give "a chance" to anyone who asks--because THEY see inequality inherent in women's choices, and believe women's opinion on who they want to be with should be more influenced by circumstances the men value. If they can label all women as unreasonable and illogical because they do not operate by the "rules" these guys have decided make the most sense, then they can justify using underhanded techniques to bed them, and they can continue to fuel the misogyny that powers this behavior.

The MAJOR element that fuels it is entitlement.

And the MAIN reason most of these folks feel they deserve our attention is that they do not consider us to have an equal say in what should happen to us. It's motivated by a fundamentally sexist view of the world.

I know, this is not news. But it's illuminating sometimes to look at a tantrum a man is throwing over a woman's rejection and realize it's ALL fueled by the belief that he is being denied something he rightfully deserves, and that people generally don't believe they have rights to override another person's desires with their own more important ones if they don't also think the people they're imposing on are lesser humans.

Not that that's difficult to conclude when they outright say it.

Or when they respond to any interaction that does not grant them complete control of the "script" with such violent reactions that you really wonder why they're not in jail.

And then there's the part where they pretend it didn't happen and they're the sweetest person who would never do such things.

The guy who sent all of these is a "dating coach" and professional misogynist. His name is Johnny Cassell. He thinks he is "helping men" get their "confidence" so they can make their lives better and receive the sex they deserve, you know. But he is an unhinged, scary, rapey person, and the exchanges above are pretty typical for what he teaches men to believe about women and how he thinks they should be treated. I've never interacted with this fellow and I sure hope I never do--don't see what point would be considering he thinks asexual people are "freaks" (and I'm sure he harbors hilarious beliefs about what I "actually" would feel toward him if he propositions me, which in reality would mostly be intense disgust and nausea, with a side of sadness that he exists). But there are lots of people who think like him and consider becoming like him the definition of success.

It's really sad. But the tantrums ARE sometimes funny. As long as he's not actually finding and hurting any of these women he threatens. 

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