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Why pick-up artists joined the Online Right The manosphere has given up on self-improvement

Mike Cernovich: "undeniably PUA-adjacent"? Credit: Jason Kempin/Getty

Mike Cernovich: "undeniably PUA-adjacent"? Credit: Jason Kempin/Getty


January 9, 2023   6 mins

When did pickup artistry become criminal? Relying on online sex gurus for advice on persuading women into bed used to be seen as a fallback for introverted, physically unprepossessing “beta males”. And for this reason, in the 2000s, the discipline was promoted by the mainstream media as a way of instilling confidence in sexually-frustrated nerds. MTV’s The Pickup Artist shamelessly broadcast its tactics, with dating coaches encouraging young men to prey upon reluctant women, hoping to “neg” and “kino escalate” them into “number closes”. Contestants advanced through women of increasing difficulty (picking-up a stripper was regarded as “the ultimate challenge”) with the most-skilled “winning” the show. 

Today, the global face of pickup artistry is Andrew Tate: sculpted former kickboxing champion, self-described “misogynist“, and, now, alleged human trafficker. Whatever results from the current allegations, his fall is a defining moment in the cultural history of the now inseparable worlds of the political manosphere and pickup artistry, and provides an opportunity to reflect upon their entangled history.

Pickup artistry burst onto the scene in the 2000s, propelled by the success of Neil Strauss’s best-selling book The Game. More a page-turning potboiler cataloguing the mostly empty lives of pickup artists (PUAs) than a how-to guide (though Strauss wrote one of those too), the methods in the book had been developed through years of research shared on internet forums. The “seduction underground”, as the large online community of people doing this research was called, then became the subject of widespread media attention. Through pickup artistry, the aggressive, formulaic predation of women was normalised as esteem boosting, and men such as those described in Strauss’s The Game could be viewed in a positive light: they had transformed from zero to hero and taken what was rightfully theirs. 

The emergence of PUAs generated a swift backlash. The feminist blogs of the mid-to-late 2000s internet, of which publications like Jezebel still survive as living fossils, rushed to pillory them. The attacks weren’t without justification, but the world of PUAs during this period, much like the similarly wild-and-woolly bodybuilding forums, had no obvious political dimension beyond some sort of generic libertarianism. It was only after these initial critiques that it began to be coded as Right-wing by those on the Left. Duly labelled, PUAs and other associated manosphere figures drifted in that direction. MTV’s dating coaches were not part of the political landscape, merely feckless goofballs and low-level conmen capable of entertaining the masses. But their successors would be overtly political actors.

One such figure, Daryush “Roosh” Valizadeh, rose to fame via his self-titled blog and forum. An Iranian-American microbiologist and self-described “late bloomer”, Roosh discovered the PUA community during his senior year of college and “took to [it] like a fish to water”, later using his writing to share this information with like-minded readers eager to get more women to sleep with them. He also self-published a host of pickup and travel guides about the rough and at times nonconsensual sex he had around the world. In 2012, he founded Return of Kings, a site that published articles with headlines such as “The Intellectual Inferiority of Women” and “When Her No Means Yes”, as well as a 2015 piece (which he characterised as satirical) in which he proposed that rape be legalised in non-public settings. His doctrine of “neomasculinity” holds that “a woman’s value significantly depends on her fertility and beauty”, while “a man’s value significantly depends on his resources, intellect, and character”. 

While Roosh had clearly begun to move pickup artistry into a more politicised dimension — probably because he sought common cause against his critics rather than any deeply held political principles — it was his successors who drove it into full embrace with the Online Right. Roosh, in fact, has had a fairly complicated relationship with the supposed “white nationalist” elements of what journalists were all rushing to lump together as the “alt-Right”, at times defending neo-Nazi Richard Spencer and at others characterising white nationalism as “a frustrated mob that wants to control the sexual choices of all men”. He also feuded with Right-wing activists, such as Lauren Southern, for adding little to the Right besides physical attractiveness. And this stance, combined with his own lack of charisma and decidedly non-“alpha” pedigree, has limited him to fringe status. In recent years, Roosh distanced himself from both the alt-Right and PUAs, removing many of his books from print, and banning PUA and casual-sex talk from his website’s forums in 2019 after converting to the Eastern Orthodox Church. 

Mike Cernovich, by contrast, made a far smoother transition from being a PUA to a member of the Online Right, even as he also gradually drifted toward “trad” stances on various issues. His career began as a stock libertarian concerned with “false rape” accusations (he was on the receiving end of such an allegation, and advised secretly filming sexual encounters and building up a texting paper trail to ward them off). But from there, he progressed to investigations of “alpha male” masculinity — he once even praised former president Barack Obama’s “Alpha Male status” — via his Danger and Play advice blog. The site had a broad brief, ranging from nutritional supplements to male body image, but it also offered tips for becoming more dominant in the bedroom, including choking a woman during sex. Owing to a “seven-figure” divorce settlement from his first wife, Cernovich was able to devote considerable time to these online ventures. 

By this point, the worlds of PUAs and the Online Right had begun to blur; there was simply no way for self-proclaimed PUAs to find fair harbour on the Left or in non-aligned spaces. Cernovich, unlike Roosh, made a fairly rapid and shrewd transition from the alt-Right fringe to something of a “happy warrior” for the far-Right mainstream. Piggybacking on the success of his 2015 book Gorilla Mindset (“a book about embracing your gorilla nature to find dominance and power”), he rushed out MAGA Mindset: Making YOU and America Great Again to capitalise on the 2016 primary success of Donald Trump. From there, he achieved great acclaim fanning the fires of various paedophilic conspiracies and other more conventional Right-wing issues, playing a key role in the early days of Pizzagate and generally using “trolling tactics to build my brand”, as he told The New Yorker.

Given his openness about his role as a partisan troll, it comes as little surprise that he took greater umbrage at Joe Biden rubbing his daughter’s hair than he did with allegations that Alabama senate candidate Roy Moore, a Republican, had sexually abused underage girls. In recent years, Cernovich has expressed uneasiness wheavy metal and hip-hop, believing them to “open demonic portals via a spirit of fear”, and has generally become much more “trad” than he was in his Danger and Play days. He almost certainly wouldn’t have described himself as a PUA, but back then he was undeniably PUA-adjacent. Even though Cernovich became much more culturally conservative, he remains the most successful parasocial political figure from the early days of this demimonde. 

And if the brand strategy exploited by Cernovich has a clear imitator, it must be Andrew Tate. Tate personifies the fusion between Online Right grift and PUA doctrine. He believes, for example, that women “are given to the man and belong to the man” and should be dated as young as possible to minimise “sperm wars” competition with other men, while also maximising fertility. And like pickup artistry itself, he has become aligned with increasingly extreme figures, with appearances on Alex Jones’ InfoWars and a collegial relationship with the aforementioned Cernovich. 

He also seems to grasp the essence of being a PUA better than any of his predecessors: the point is not to actually sell skills that turn men into alphas who can go on dates with women; it is to use your own methods to pick up legions of hapless beta-male followers who will pay you in money or clout. Everything else is a means to an end; why else would Tate sell his own book while also condemning the men who waste time reading it? Even the alleged sex-trafficking Tate was arrested for in Romania is, in essence, an advanced PUA ruse: a so-called “loverboy” hustle in which women are lured by promises of romance and free housing, then put to work making low-budget pornographic content. If true, this is a long way from some circa-2005, zero-to-hero PUA operator trying to pop his cherry to feel like a real man. 

Was the transition of the PUA and the associated manosphere into its current state — something associated with the Right by opponents — truly inevitable? Counterfactual history is usually of low probative value since one can’t truly investigate events that didn’t occur, but here it seems impossible to even conjure alternatives. The evolving nature of social media communication forced all these discursive communities into mimetic conflicts as a critical part of the platform providers’ business plans, with controversy yielding clicks and cash. 

As this us-versus-them situation developed and deepened, the manosphere became increasingly about men selling tips on how to be men to other men, rather than anything to do with the actual improvement of all these wayward selves. The proof of a salesman’s coolness, his “alpha” credentials, came from the visible record of his likes, shares, retweets, and subscriptions. By choosing to follow some guru’s example rather than the dictates of one’s own conscience, a hapless young man becomes yet another PUA statistic. He is baited, hooked, and abandoned, with nothing to show for his love or loyalty besides a notch in the far greater man’s follower count. By that measure, the largest group of losers in the Tate contretemps consists not of the women he has already alienated or allegedly abused — but rather the sizeable contingent of lost men and boys who set store by his advice.


Oliver Bateman is a historian and journalist based in Pittsburgh. He blogs, vlogs, and podcasts at his Substack, Oliver Bateman Does the Work

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Matt Hindman
Matt Hindman
1 year ago

Seriously Bateman give it a rest. Do us all a favor and disconnect from the internet for a week. You might even feel better. Oh and while we are at it, not everything that opposes the modern activist Left’s position on “toxic masculinity” is right wing.

Last edited 1 year ago by Matt Hindman
Steve Murray
Steve Murray
1 year ago
Reply to  Matt Hindman

I’m very much the opposite of “modern activist Left” but find this analysis of male idiocy rings true. I see it as a reactionary attempt to overcome the obvious female educational and professional out-performance of males since the advent of birth control and legislation such as equal pay (even where a divide has still to be fully closed).

I’d advise anyone thinking of becoming a PUA to “man up” and simply compete with women on equal terms – if capable of it – rather than identifying with a culture exemplified by male grooming gangs. How “heroic”.

Last edited 1 year ago by Steve Murray
Milton Gibbon
Milton Gibbon
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

As you have said yourself, most girls outcompete most boys up to the age of motherhood. You have to actually come up with a solution if you want to help. There is a pro-female pay gap between young people up to the point women choose to have children. How are young men, especially those not able to get stellar marks in exams,meant to get by when soft skills are so prized by companies?

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
1 year ago
Reply to  Milton Gibbon

Young men could easily compete with their female counterparts by adapting to the requirements of the workplace rather than seeking to dominate others through their physique. They’ve been doing the latter for much of recorded history, as the long litany of wars and atrocities testifies. I find it ironic now that so-called “soft” skills are more valuable that some men do nothing but whinge about it, after being in the ascendency for millennia.

Last edited 1 year ago by Steve Murray
Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

You raise an interesting point. It seems like you are saying that men should become more woman-like in their interactions with others? If feminine qualities are lauded over masculine ones, that might explain why male-to-female transgenderism is becoming ever so popular; it might very well be a viable way for men to compete with women on a ‘level’ playing field.
However, I do think it is very rare that men seek to dominate others through physique, especially past school-leaving age. In my experience most men tend to make connections through bad jokes and humor, but tend to curtail these when women are around for fear of causing offense.
My take on this is that when men are required to act like or compete with women it makes them deeply unhappy. I also believe that the same rings true for women acting like men. We see this dynamic played out in marriages so often that it has become something of a sitcom trope where a man tries to endlessly please his wife (but does it all wrong) and the woman wishes her husband would step up and act as a leader (while ceaselessly bossing him around and insulting him).

Samir Iker
Samir Iker
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

“obvious female educational and professional out-performance”
This is the kind of delusional, obnoxious rubbish thats so typical of modern women and feminists.
You do realise that all the whining about diversity, inclusion, special quotas are from one gender only, and it’s not men?
Sports, IT and tech, STEM jobs,high ranking CEOs, well paid trade jobs…
The only obvious female outperformance in all these fields is the constant moaning about how unfair it is to be asked to compete.

The only fields where women dominate…are the safe jobs. Office jobs, government or admin, NHS, all full of female achievers.

“Young men could easily compete with their female counterparts by adapting to the requirements of the workplace rather than seeking to dominate others through their physique. ”
That’s why IT, Physics PhDs and chess grandmasters are all men. Using their physique.

And remember, again, it’s women who expect separate women’s sports with equal prizes, same pay for female till workers and males slogging in a warehouse, special privileges in banking and tech…rather than adapting to their jobs.

Seriously. This whole argument is an embarrassment, like the obligatory female superheroes and action movie stars in a world where only men are dying in the trenches in Ukraine.

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

You raise an interesting point. It seems like you are saying that men should become more woman-like in their interactions with others? If feminine qualities are lauded over masculine ones, that might explain why male-to-female transgenderism is becoming ever so popular; it might very well be a viable way for men to compete with women on a ‘level’ playing field.
However, I do think it is very rare that men seek to dominate others through physique, especially past school-leaving age. In my experience most men tend to make connections through bad jokes and humor, but tend to curtail these when women are around for fear of causing offense.
My take on this is that when men are required to act like or compete with women it makes them deeply unhappy. I also believe that the same rings true for women acting like men. We see this dynamic played out in marriages so often that it has become something of a sitcom trope where a man tries to endlessly please his wife (but does it all wrong) and the woman wishes her husband would step up and act as a leader (while ceaselessly bossing him around and insulting him).

Samir Iker
Samir Iker
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

“obvious female educational and professional out-performance”
This is the kind of delusional, obnoxious rubbish thats so typical of modern women and feminists.
You do realise that all the whining about diversity, inclusion, special quotas are from one gender only, and it’s not men?
Sports, IT and tech, STEM jobs,high ranking CEOs, well paid trade jobs…
The only obvious female outperformance in all these fields is the constant moaning about how unfair it is to be asked to compete.

The only fields where women dominate…are the safe jobs. Office jobs, government or admin, NHS, all full of female achievers.

“Young men could easily compete with their female counterparts by adapting to the requirements of the workplace rather than seeking to dominate others through their physique. ”
That’s why IT, Physics PhDs and chess grandmasters are all men. Using their physique.

And remember, again, it’s women who expect separate women’s sports with equal prizes, same pay for female till workers and males slogging in a warehouse, special privileges in banking and tech…rather than adapting to their jobs.

Seriously. This whole argument is an embarrassment, like the obligatory female superheroes and action movie stars in a world where only men are dying in the trenches in Ukraine.

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
1 year ago
Reply to  Milton Gibbon

Young men could easily compete with their female counterparts by adapting to the requirements of the workplace rather than seeking to dominate others through their physique. They’ve been doing the latter for much of recorded history, as the long litany of wars and atrocities testifies. I find it ironic now that so-called “soft” skills are more valuable that some men do nothing but whinge about it, after being in the ascendency for millennia.

Last edited 1 year ago by Steve Murray
Jonathan Andrews
Jonathan Andrews
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

I’m a bit surprised you have down votes. Absolutely compete and interact with women on equal terms. This is a delightful way to be.

leculdesac suburbia
leculdesac suburbia
1 year ago

And ironically, doing that is precisely the way for a heterosexual man to attract more women. Women can intuit whiny entitlement and it’s the ultimate turnoff. A guy who does the dishes sometimes, takes a weekend off to hike with his buddies, and holds down a full-time job while his wife might earn a little more than him, is gold.
What women want is men with inner confidence and grounding in something bigger than themselves–God, or a cause, or something of value. Men like that naturally become leaders. It’s not about money. It’s about men using their extra energy and adventuresomeness and combining it with quiet humility, so that their male strength comes through like the awesome sweat on a guy’s hairy chest after he’s worked out or cleaned out the garage–nothing hotter. Give me that guy every. single. time.

leculdesac suburbia
leculdesac suburbia
1 year ago

And ironically, doing that is precisely the way for a heterosexual man to attract more women. Women can intuit whiny entitlement and it’s the ultimate turnoff. A guy who does the dishes sometimes, takes a weekend off to hike with his buddies, and holds down a full-time job while his wife might earn a little more than him, is gold.
What women want is men with inner confidence and grounding in something bigger than themselves–God, or a cause, or something of value. Men like that naturally become leaders. It’s not about money. It’s about men using their extra energy and adventuresomeness and combining it with quiet humility, so that their male strength comes through like the awesome sweat on a guy’s hairy chest after he’s worked out or cleaned out the garage–nothing hotter. Give me that guy every. single. time.

Milton Gibbon
Milton Gibbon
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

As you have said yourself, most girls outcompete most boys up to the age of motherhood. You have to actually come up with a solution if you want to help. There is a pro-female pay gap between young people up to the point women choose to have children. How are young men, especially those not able to get stellar marks in exams,meant to get by when soft skills are so prized by companies?

Jonathan Andrews
Jonathan Andrews
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

I’m a bit surprised you have down votes. Absolutely compete and interact with women on equal terms. This is a delightful way to be.

Frank McCusker
Frank McCusker
1 year ago
Reply to  Matt Hindman

Do you have any specific comments on his article?

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
1 year ago
Reply to  Frank McCusker

Pot kettle black 😉

Paul M
Paul M
1 year ago
Reply to  Frank McCusker

It is exactly more of the same as all of Oliver’s other articles. This weird obsession with half-dressed males, lifting weights, and whatever the f**k the ‘manosphere’ is, seems highly unhealthy. I second Matt’s comment – Oliver needs to get off the internet.

Nona Yubiz
Nona Yubiz
1 year ago
Reply to  Paul M

So why are you reading all of these weird, unhealthy articles, then? Seems to me the best thing to do for both you and Matt would be to stop reading his articles, rather than instructing Oliver to stop writing them.

Last edited 1 year ago by Nona Yubiz
Nona Yubiz
Nona Yubiz
1 year ago
Reply to  Paul M

So why are you reading all of these weird, unhealthy articles, then? Seems to me the best thing to do for both you and Matt would be to stop reading his articles, rather than instructing Oliver to stop writing them.

Last edited 1 year ago by Nona Yubiz
Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
1 year ago
Reply to  Frank McCusker

Pot kettle black 😉

Paul M
Paul M
1 year ago
Reply to  Frank McCusker

It is exactly more of the same as all of Oliver’s other articles. This weird obsession with half-dressed males, lifting weights, and whatever the f**k the ‘manosphere’ is, seems highly unhealthy. I second Matt’s comment – Oliver needs to get off the internet.

I Am Phyddeaux
I Am Phyddeaux
1 year ago
Reply to  Matt Hindman

I believe the purpose of this article is not to advance any argument, but to have us passively accept the false axioms contained within – an insidious tactic.
I’ll keep it to two examples:
1. Follow the author’s link to a Cernovich tweet “Joe Biden rubbing his daughter’s hair“. Joe Biden is on film multiple times being beyond creepy and inappropriate with young teenagers and tweens – vile stuff. I once played a compilation of Joe’s sniffing and groping around girls to one of my daughters (to counter a media smear) – 20 seconds was more than enough for her. But let’s just call it “rubbing his daughter’s hair” and conflate that *proven* behaviour with an accusation.
2. The very coining of the category “alt-Right”, and its subsequent changes of definition including merging it with “white nationalism” is purely an invention of the Left.

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
1 year ago
Reply to  Matt Hindman

I’m very much the opposite of “modern activist Left” but find this analysis of male idiocy rings true. I see it as a reactionary attempt to overcome the obvious female educational and professional out-performance of males since the advent of birth control and legislation such as equal pay (even where a divide has still to be fully closed).

I’d advise anyone thinking of becoming a PUA to “man up” and simply compete with women on equal terms – if capable of it – rather than identifying with a culture exemplified by male grooming gangs. How “heroic”.

Last edited 1 year ago by Steve Murray
Frank McCusker
Frank McCusker
1 year ago
Reply to  Matt Hindman

Do you have any specific comments on his article?

I Am Phyddeaux
I Am Phyddeaux
1 year ago
Reply to  Matt Hindman

I believe the purpose of this article is not to advance any argument, but to have us passively accept the false axioms contained within – an insidious tactic.
I’ll keep it to two examples:
1. Follow the author’s link to a Cernovich tweet “Joe Biden rubbing his daughter’s hair“. Joe Biden is on film multiple times being beyond creepy and inappropriate with young teenagers and tweens – vile stuff. I once played a compilation of Joe’s sniffing and groping around girls to one of my daughters (to counter a media smear) – 20 seconds was more than enough for her. But let’s just call it “rubbing his daughter’s hair” and conflate that *proven* behaviour with an accusation.
2. The very coining of the category “alt-Right”, and its subsequent changes of definition including merging it with “white nationalism” is purely an invention of the Left.

Matt Hindman
Matt Hindman
1 year ago

Seriously Bateman give it a rest. Do us all a favor and disconnect from the internet for a week. You might even feel better. Oh and while we are at it, not everything that opposes the modern activist Left’s position on “toxic masculinity” is right wing.

Last edited 1 year ago by Matt Hindman
Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
1 year ago

Young men are becoming seriously disenfranchised in the West as well as there being zero admirable role models for them to look up to.

Moreover, because women mature faster than men, they are moving further up the career ladder and leaving their male peers in the dust. Female affirmative action doesn’t help matters either.

Another factor to consider is the female-dominated education system. For much of their lives boys struggle to break away from the bonds female authority figures put around them.

With very few ways to excel or differentiate themselves from women, it’s not surprising that boys turn to misogynistic figures to break free from female domination. I believe much of this also has to do with biology. Boys who are too well-behaved get picked on by their male peers as well as dismissed by girls.

Personally I think I would have gone the same way in my teenage years. The last type of people I would have listened to were those lecturing me on my misogyny and toxic masculinity. That the Left correlates this type of behavior with right-wing extremism shows how effete and emasculated it has become.

Last edited 1 year ago by Julian Farrows
Frank McCusker
Frank McCusker
1 year ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

What a moan. You should start a “Men’s Lives Matter” hashtag for all the whinging losers, team up with the other whingers of the BLM and MeToo

Last edited 1 year ago by Frank McCusker
Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
1 year ago
Reply to  Frank McCusker

Thanks for your comment, Frank. You probably interpret things in a different way to me, but are unable to express yourself well. Why do you think young men are responding to individuals like Andrew Tate?

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Frank McCusker

Prince Harry to be the Principal.

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
1 year ago
Reply to  Frank McCusker

Thanks for your comment, Frank. You probably interpret things in a different way to me, but are unable to express yourself well. Why do you think young men are responding to individuals like Andrew Tate?

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Frank McCusker

Prince Harry to be the Principal.

Jonathan Andrews
Jonathan Andrews
1 year ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

I agree but the solution is that men adapt.

Also, society must stop this men bad, women good narrative and stop giving women leg ups in work.

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
1 year ago

I agree with you to a point, but are men really able to adapt or are they merely maladapting? I am starting to wonder if the transgender movement really is about men ‘feeling’ like they are women. Could it be that many men are starting to realize that there are real advantages to being a women (funding, promotions, leadership roles, women-only conventions, etc.) and that play-acting as one will put them on a level playing field?

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
1 year ago

I agree with you to a point, but are men really able to adapt or are they merely maladapting? I am starting to wonder if the transgender movement really is about men ‘feeling’ like they are women. Could it be that many men are starting to realize that there are real advantages to being a women (funding, promotions, leadership roles, women-only conventions, etc.) and that play-acting as one will put them on a level playing field?

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

Reinstate some form of National Service. The last time we had it most benefited enormously.

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
1 year ago

hear hear! If only politicians could have seen what we took off the train at Brookwood station , thence to The Guards Depot Pirbright, and what passed out all those weeks later.. Many of their lovely parents, previously in the depth of despair of their sons, were in tears of joy: it was truly and profoundly moving, and yes, in our day Foot Guard and Household Cavalry Officers also did recruit training at The Depot, then called Brigadr Squad, as did I… it was a simply amazing influence on my life, and nearly 50 years later I am still friends with most who were on my Brigade Squad.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago

‘Septem juncta in uno’.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago

‘Septem juncta in uno’.

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
1 year ago

hear hear! If only politicians could have seen what we took off the train at Brookwood station , thence to The Guards Depot Pirbright, and what passed out all those weeks later.. Many of their lovely parents, previously in the depth of despair of their sons, were in tears of joy: it was truly and profoundly moving, and yes, in our day Foot Guard and Household Cavalry Officers also did recruit training at The Depot, then called Brigadr Squad, as did I… it was a simply amazing influence on my life, and nearly 50 years later I am still friends with most who were on my Brigade Squad.

Samir Iker
Samir Iker
1 year ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

“For much of their lives boys struggle to break away from the bonds female authority figures put around them.”
From my experience with my daughter anf her young friends, excessive “protection ” and bonds placed by female authority figures are as much of an issue for young girls. More so because they are even less likely to even try to break away.
And the mindset of play safe, avoid risk and lack of stoicism and inner strength that’s the result of those bonds placed by mothers and female teachers is a much greater reason women fall off in the job market beyond their 30s and as they reach mid level, much more so than either motherhood or the infamous”patriarchy”

Frank McCusker
Frank McCusker
1 year ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

What a moan. You should start a “Men’s Lives Matter” hashtag for all the whinging losers, team up with the other whingers of the BLM and MeToo

Last edited 1 year ago by Frank McCusker
Jonathan Andrews
Jonathan Andrews
1 year ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

I agree but the solution is that men adapt.

Also, society must stop this men bad, women good narrative and stop giving women leg ups in work.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

Reinstate some form of National Service. The last time we had it most benefited enormously.

Samir Iker
Samir Iker
1 year ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

“For much of their lives boys struggle to break away from the bonds female authority figures put around them.”
From my experience with my daughter anf her young friends, excessive “protection ” and bonds placed by female authority figures are as much of an issue for young girls. More so because they are even less likely to even try to break away.
And the mindset of play safe, avoid risk and lack of stoicism and inner strength that’s the result of those bonds placed by mothers and female teachers is a much greater reason women fall off in the job market beyond their 30s and as they reach mid level, much more so than either motherhood or the infamous”patriarchy”

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
1 year ago

Young men are becoming seriously disenfranchised in the West as well as there being zero admirable role models for them to look up to.

Moreover, because women mature faster than men, they are moving further up the career ladder and leaving their male peers in the dust. Female affirmative action doesn’t help matters either.

Another factor to consider is the female-dominated education system. For much of their lives boys struggle to break away from the bonds female authority figures put around them.

With very few ways to excel or differentiate themselves from women, it’s not surprising that boys turn to misogynistic figures to break free from female domination. I believe much of this also has to do with biology. Boys who are too well-behaved get picked on by their male peers as well as dismissed by girls.

Personally I think I would have gone the same way in my teenage years. The last type of people I would have listened to were those lecturing me on my misogyny and toxic masculinity. That the Left correlates this type of behavior with right-wing extremism shows how effete and emasculated it has become.

Last edited 1 year ago by Julian Farrows
D Glover
D Glover
1 year ago

Where is unHerd going? We had an article about fancying big butts, which I didn’t read. And something about ‘incels’.
Now an article about ‘pick up artists’ which I only skimmed.
Is this the direction of travel here? I won’t pay to read a rag.

D Glover
D Glover
1 year ago

Where is unHerd going? We had an article about fancying big butts, which I didn’t read. And something about ‘incels’.
Now an article about ‘pick up artists’ which I only skimmed.
Is this the direction of travel here? I won’t pay to read a rag.

Stephen Quilley
Stephen Quilley
1 year ago

Boring boring! They are not ‘on-line right’ , off-line right or any kind of right. They are the furthest extension of secular, liberal individualism and a Pelagian (via Locke and Rousseau) vision of boot-strapping, self-improvement without grace. Conservatism is about relationality, covenant, and women and men being created in the image of God. These people are liberals. They have much more in common with the narcissism of transgenderism …The logic of self-creation, self-authorship….the absurd insistence on a kind of sovereignty that denies the reality of human nature…from the moment of conception…as dependent rational animals (to use Macintyre’s phrase). They are the dark underbelly of progressivism.

Nona Yubiz
Nona Yubiz
1 year ago

They aren’t “liberals” at all: they’re not interested in politics. They’re nihilistic, they’re alienated, and yes, they’re narcissistic. Market economy feeds on narcissism. And it’s not a creation of the left, and it’s not exclusive to the left. Take a look around.

Nona Yubiz
Nona Yubiz
1 year ago

They aren’t “liberals” at all: they’re not interested in politics. They’re nihilistic, they’re alienated, and yes, they’re narcissistic. Market economy feeds on narcissism. And it’s not a creation of the left, and it’s not exclusive to the left. Take a look around.

Stephen Quilley
Stephen Quilley
1 year ago

Boring boring! They are not ‘on-line right’ , off-line right or any kind of right. They are the furthest extension of secular, liberal individualism and a Pelagian (via Locke and Rousseau) vision of boot-strapping, self-improvement without grace. Conservatism is about relationality, covenant, and women and men being created in the image of God. These people are liberals. They have much more in common with the narcissism of transgenderism …The logic of self-creation, self-authorship….the absurd insistence on a kind of sovereignty that denies the reality of human nature…from the moment of conception…as dependent rational animals (to use Macintyre’s phrase). They are the dark underbelly of progressivism.

polidori redux
polidori redux
1 year ago

This is all so alien to me that, indeed, we may as well come from different planets.

polidori redux
polidori redux
1 year ago

This is all so alien to me that, indeed, we may as well come from different planets.

N Forster
N Forster
1 year ago

Oliver, your writing style and preoccupations are very unusual for a man. Do you think you might be trans?

Rob C
Rob C
1 year ago
Reply to  N Forster

I didn’t notice anything that seemed womanish. Care to give an example?

Graeme McNeil
Graeme McNeil
1 year ago
Reply to  N Forster

Ah, conservative wit!

polidori redux
polidori redux
1 year ago
Reply to  Graeme McNeil

Wails the witless GM.

Nona Yubiz
Nona Yubiz
1 year ago
Reply to  Graeme McNeil

Those two words don’t go together any more.

polidori redux
polidori redux
1 year ago
Reply to  Graeme McNeil

Wails the witless GM.

Nona Yubiz
Nona Yubiz
1 year ago
Reply to  Graeme McNeil

Those two words don’t go together any more.

Frank McCusker
Frank McCusker
1 year ago
Reply to  N Forster

There is no such thing as trans. Your question is illogical.

Mark M Breza
Mark M Breza
1 year ago
Reply to  N Forster

No you are wrong unlike the women writers on ‘Unheard” O. Bateman never once used the word ‘I’ in his essay.

Rob C
Rob C
1 year ago
Reply to  N Forster

I didn’t notice anything that seemed womanish. Care to give an example?

Graeme McNeil
Graeme McNeil
1 year ago
Reply to  N Forster

Ah, conservative wit!

Frank McCusker
Frank McCusker
1 year ago
Reply to  N Forster

There is no such thing as trans. Your question is illogical.

Mark M Breza
Mark M Breza
1 year ago
Reply to  N Forster

No you are wrong unlike the women writers on ‘Unheard” O. Bateman never once used the word ‘I’ in his essay.

N Forster
N Forster
1 year ago

Oliver, your writing style and preoccupations are very unusual for a man. Do you think you might be trans?

Tom Scott
Tom Scott
1 year ago

I read only half of the article, and ran out of steam of it became more boring.
The US is a wondrous place where any idiot can prosper.

Mark Gilmour
Mark Gilmour
1 year ago
Reply to  Tom Scott

US bashing is wearing a little thin in the 2020s when British culture is at least as idiotic.

Nona Yubiz
Nona Yubiz
1 year ago
Reply to  Mark Gilmour

British culture has been idiotic for a lot longer than that.

Nona Yubiz
Nona Yubiz
1 year ago
Reply to  Mark Gilmour

British culture has been idiotic for a lot longer than that.

Mark Gilmour
Mark Gilmour
1 year ago
Reply to  Tom Scott

US bashing is wearing a little thin in the 2020s when British culture is at least as idiotic.

Tom Scott
Tom Scott
1 year ago

I read only half of the article, and ran out of steam of it became more boring.
The US is a wondrous place where any idiot can prosper.

R Wright
R Wright
1 year ago

It has been interesting watching rags like Vice, Vox, HuffPo etc. drive thousands of young men into the arms of faux-right wing grifters and “e-beggars” over the decade. While this piece puts the focus on ‘pick up artistry’, the same thing happened due to overzealous journalists and bloggers in tabletop gaming, bodybuilding, video games, movies and various other traditionally masculine past times. In a parallel universe we may have seen something different happen, but we are where we are.

Frank McCusker
Frank McCusker
1 year ago
Reply to  R Wright

“drive” – because for everything bad that happens to anyone nowadays, there has to be someone or something else to blame, even if it is only Huff Post. Whatever happened to a sense of personal responsibility?

Stephen Quilley
Stephen Quilley
1 year ago
Reply to  Frank McCusker

From a sociological point of view, he’s quite correct though. The rise of black identity politics, will create white identity politics – as night follows day. The dominance of radical anti-het, anti-‘cis’, anti-male politics …will create a bunch of Andrew Tate’s…. This doesn’t obviate personal responsibility. Which is why it is so galling that Jordan Peterson who is the online pope of individual responsibility….is lumped in with these juvenile reprobates.

Nona Yubiz
Nona Yubiz
1 year ago

White identity politics has existed for as long as we’ve had the concept of “White”: Black identity politics will not “create” it.

Nona Yubiz
Nona Yubiz
1 year ago

White identity politics has existed for as long as we’ve had the concept of “White”: Black identity politics will not “create” it.

R Wright
R Wright
1 year ago
Reply to  Frank McCusker

Personal responsibility runs into the buffers that is crowd psychology constantly.

Stephen Quilley
Stephen Quilley
1 year ago
Reply to  Frank McCusker

From a sociological point of view, he’s quite correct though. The rise of black identity politics, will create white identity politics – as night follows day. The dominance of radical anti-het, anti-‘cis’, anti-male politics …will create a bunch of Andrew Tate’s…. This doesn’t obviate personal responsibility. Which is why it is so galling that Jordan Peterson who is the online pope of individual responsibility….is lumped in with these juvenile reprobates.

R Wright
R Wright
1 year ago
Reply to  Frank McCusker

Personal responsibility runs into the buffers that is crowd psychology constantly.

Frank McCusker
Frank McCusker
1 year ago
Reply to  R Wright

“drive” – because for everything bad that happens to anyone nowadays, there has to be someone or something else to blame, even if it is only Huff Post. Whatever happened to a sense of personal responsibility?

R Wright
R Wright
1 year ago

It has been interesting watching rags like Vice, Vox, HuffPo etc. drive thousands of young men into the arms of faux-right wing grifters and “e-beggars” over the decade. While this piece puts the focus on ‘pick up artistry’, the same thing happened due to overzealous journalists and bloggers in tabletop gaming, bodybuilding, video games, movies and various other traditionally masculine past times. In a parallel universe we may have seen something different happen, but we are where we are.

James Kirk
James Kirk
1 year ago

Strange how men who sniff or fondle young women inappropriately and worse achieve such exalted positions as POTUS. Life’s greasy pole etc. The iceberg below sea level must be hell.

Roger Inkpen
Roger Inkpen
1 year ago
Reply to  James Kirk

Even creepier, he once said he fancied his own daughter!

Nona Yubiz
Nona Yubiz
1 year ago
Reply to  Roger Inkpen

No, that was Trump.

Nona Yubiz
Nona Yubiz
1 year ago
Reply to  Roger Inkpen

No, that was Trump.

Nona Yubiz
Nona Yubiz
1 year ago
Reply to  James Kirk

What’s really creepy to me is your obsession with this meme of sniffing and fondling young women’s hair.

Last edited 1 year ago by Nona Yubiz
Roger Inkpen
Roger Inkpen
1 year ago
Reply to  James Kirk

Even creepier, he once said he fancied his own daughter!

Nona Yubiz
Nona Yubiz
1 year ago
Reply to  James Kirk

What’s really creepy to me is your obsession with this meme of sniffing and fondling young women’s hair.

Last edited 1 year ago by Nona Yubiz
James Kirk
James Kirk
1 year ago

Strange how men who sniff or fondle young women inappropriately and worse achieve such exalted positions as POTUS. Life’s greasy pole etc. The iceberg below sea level must be hell.

Frank McCusker
Frank McCusker
1 year ago

“gurus for advice on persuading women into bed”
I remember in the 1990s seeing rubbish articles about this in men’s fitness / health magazines. The underlying assumptions were:
naive: women are not very sexual and have to be conned into having sex; andcontemptuous of women: women are fungible, so long as you get the sex, any woman will do; andcontemptuous of men: men have little interest in any particular woman, so long as you get the sex, any woman will do.
Gurus and clients, they all were dumb humourless losers then, and dumb humourless losers they remain.

Nona Yubiz
Nona Yubiz
1 year ago
Reply to  Frank McCusker

In the 60s the back of comic books were full of ads for books you could buy to help you pick up girls. All this is nothing new: it’s just scaled up massively because of the internet.

Nona Yubiz
Nona Yubiz
1 year ago
Reply to  Frank McCusker

In the 60s the back of comic books were full of ads for books you could buy to help you pick up girls. All this is nothing new: it’s just scaled up massively because of the internet.

Frank McCusker
Frank McCusker
1 year ago

“gurus for advice on persuading women into bed”
I remember in the 1990s seeing rubbish articles about this in men’s fitness / health magazines. The underlying assumptions were:
naive: women are not very sexual and have to be conned into having sex; andcontemptuous of women: women are fungible, so long as you get the sex, any woman will do; andcontemptuous of men: men have little interest in any particular woman, so long as you get the sex, any woman will do.
Gurus and clients, they all were dumb humourless losers then, and dumb humourless losers they remain.

Mark Gilmour
Mark Gilmour
1 year ago

It’s almost if decades of deconstructing the culture we once took for granted has created an opening in the market to sell ‘traditional masculinity’ back to disillusioned males who live in a contemporary culture which offers them little but shame and servility, whether it be Jordan Peterson or Andrew Tate.

Seriously -men transitioning from ‘pick up artists’ to ‘trad conservatives’; hasn’t this been the perfectly normal trajectory for a man since time immemorial? Sow your oats while you’re young and then protect your daughters from younger men doing the same 20 years later.

Mark Gilmour
Mark Gilmour
1 year ago

It’s almost if decades of deconstructing the culture we once took for granted has created an opening in the market to sell ‘traditional masculinity’ back to disillusioned males who live in a contemporary culture which offers them little but shame and servility, whether it be Jordan Peterson or Andrew Tate.

Seriously -men transitioning from ‘pick up artists’ to ‘trad conservatives’; hasn’t this been the perfectly normal trajectory for a man since time immemorial? Sow your oats while you’re young and then protect your daughters from younger men doing the same 20 years later.

B Davis
B Davis
1 year ago

What is chicken? What egg? And why on earth does anyone actually care?
Do we truly believe that the sophomoric adolescent (of any age), desperate for notches on his IKEA bedpost, is somehow equally desperate to be identified with some particular political harbor (the better to know where to pick-up chicks on intermittent election nights)?
Nah…not in the least.
What we see, if in fact we see it, is correlation not causation (from either direction). And Pick-Up Artists (those interested only in quantity) are both Blue & Red.
The key is the ‘pick-up’ desire itself….the urge to accumulate conquests, and headcount tallies. The ‘politics’ of either ‘artist’ or ‘target’ are completely inconsequential. What matters is ‘winning’.
True — there may be some vague connection between those who frequent the websites and practice the ‘philosophies’ of those named here …and the Conservative Right. Maybe. But that connection is tenuous at best and most probably a function of the shared insistence on a certain biologic essentialism. Both PUArtist and Conservative believe most definitely that men and women are different, but designed, by nature, to be together. The Conservative would say by and through the bonds of holy matrimony to build family. The PUArtist might suggest, instead, by the cleverness of any given pick-up line or Bob Seegerish ‘night move’.
But let us not fool ourselves or be deluded by these poli-sci reindeer games. The smarmy hunger for shallow bedpost notches is in no way restricted to those who might attend a Trump Rally. As many man-bunned hipsters as alt-righters have practiced those Tom Cruise grins & kino-escalations….have each attended (dripping with false sincerities and passionate intensities) all the necessary Rallies and Klatches while scouting for good-looking opportunities.
When Love is reduced to Contest & Triumphs….and the Other transformed to Achievement (isn’t that why we play any game?), politics are just another entry to the ‘number close’. “Sorry — I have to go….but I REALLY enjoyed talking about Saving the Whales, the Planet, the Snail-Darters, or the Constitution and Bill of Rights Maybe we can continue this some other time????????”
As Woody Allen / Allen Felix to Diane Keaton / Linda Christie in “Play it Again, Sam”…as urged by Bogart (PU Artist Supreme): “I have met a lot of dames…but you are really something special!” “Really?!” she responds. Allen grins & turns to Bogart: “She bought it!” Whether she likes DeSantis or Kamala doesn’t matter in the least.

B Davis
B Davis
1 year ago

What is chicken? What egg? And why on earth does anyone actually care?
Do we truly believe that the sophomoric adolescent (of any age), desperate for notches on his IKEA bedpost, is somehow equally desperate to be identified with some particular political harbor (the better to know where to pick-up chicks on intermittent election nights)?
Nah…not in the least.
What we see, if in fact we see it, is correlation not causation (from either direction). And Pick-Up Artists (those interested only in quantity) are both Blue & Red.
The key is the ‘pick-up’ desire itself….the urge to accumulate conquests, and headcount tallies. The ‘politics’ of either ‘artist’ or ‘target’ are completely inconsequential. What matters is ‘winning’.
True — there may be some vague connection between those who frequent the websites and practice the ‘philosophies’ of those named here …and the Conservative Right. Maybe. But that connection is tenuous at best and most probably a function of the shared insistence on a certain biologic essentialism. Both PUArtist and Conservative believe most definitely that men and women are different, but designed, by nature, to be together. The Conservative would say by and through the bonds of holy matrimony to build family. The PUArtist might suggest, instead, by the cleverness of any given pick-up line or Bob Seegerish ‘night move’.
But let us not fool ourselves or be deluded by these poli-sci reindeer games. The smarmy hunger for shallow bedpost notches is in no way restricted to those who might attend a Trump Rally. As many man-bunned hipsters as alt-righters have practiced those Tom Cruise grins & kino-escalations….have each attended (dripping with false sincerities and passionate intensities) all the necessary Rallies and Klatches while scouting for good-looking opportunities.
When Love is reduced to Contest & Triumphs….and the Other transformed to Achievement (isn’t that why we play any game?), politics are just another entry to the ‘number close’. “Sorry — I have to go….but I REALLY enjoyed talking about Saving the Whales, the Planet, the Snail-Darters, or the Constitution and Bill of Rights Maybe we can continue this some other time????????”
As Woody Allen / Allen Felix to Diane Keaton / Linda Christie in “Play it Again, Sam”…as urged by Bogart (PU Artist Supreme): “I have met a lot of dames…but you are really something special!” “Really?!” she responds. Allen grins & turns to Bogart: “She bought it!” Whether she likes DeSantis or Kamala doesn’t matter in the least.

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
1 year ago

Try not drinking, actually liking and loving the company of women,other than for sex, listening, caring, being able to cook, and not belonging to a ” lads/ mates/” tribe…. it works…

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago

Or join the Grenadier Guards.

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
1 year ago

Coldstream, please… !

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
1 year ago

Coldstream, please… !

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago

Or join the Grenadier Guards.

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
1 year ago

Try not drinking, actually liking and loving the company of women,other than for sex, listening, caring, being able to cook, and not belonging to a ” lads/ mates/” tribe…. it works…

Jonny Stud
Jonny Stud
1 year ago

All those words and I’m still none-the-wiser as to why PUA’s apparently joined the online right, and I haven’t even seen any evidence they ever did. Am I really paying actual money for list of anecdotes?

Jonny Stud
Jonny Stud
1 year ago

All those words and I’m still none-the-wiser as to why PUA’s apparently joined the online right, and I haven’t even seen any evidence they ever did. Am I really paying actual money for list of anecdotes?

Jonathan Andrews
Jonathan Andrews
1 year ago

I wonder sometimes if these blokes are really feminists in disguise. Cleverly imitating really awful men to distract attention from their own daft ideas at saying “look at them, look at them aren’t they awful?”

Awful thought though; maybe some men think like this.

Gosh

Graeme McNeil
Graeme McNeil
1 year ago

“Pick-up artists” are deluded, stupid losers.
Of course they are conservatives….

Graeme McNeil
Graeme McNeil
1 year ago

“Pick-up artists” are deluded, stupid losers.
Of course they are conservatives….