There’s nothing wrong with Obama’s pick-up artistry
Reading Marx to attract girls is cringey, not creepy
In a gone-viral vignette from his newly published memoir, Barack Obama described how his intellectual development was simultaneously a “strategy to pick up girls”. So, he read Marx for the “long-legged socialist” he shared a dorm with; Frantz Fanon and Gwendolyn Brooks for the “smooth-skinned sociology major” and for the “ethereal bisexual” he read up on Foucault and Virginia Woolf.
Reactions have poked fun at how frankly cringe Obama’s attempts to “game” were. But some of the responses online have gone as far to claim that Obama’s actions were “creepy” and “predatory”. Supposedly, Obama was deviously attempting to “trick” the women he fancied into dating him under false pretences.
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Read the passage in question and this interpretation becomes puerile. Obama never regrets the fact that his attempted “pick-ups” developed into “affectionate, but chaste friendships”. He doesn’t sound bitter. In fact, he writes with a tinge of embarrassment at the honest but cringe ‘pick-up’ strategy of a slightly unwise young man.
According to our dating customs, the burden so often falls on men to initiate any potential romantic encounter with a woman. The man is the one who has to gain women’s attention and interest, and demonstrate why they should spend their time with him above other potential suitors.
Thus, men will do various things that have the effect of catching a woman’s attention: work out, develop their sense of humour, perfect their fashion sense, have a successful and accomplished career, or, as Obama did, become more learned.
Why? Because, in general, women, among other things, are attracted to men who possess intelligence, culture and can carry a conversation with them. So it makes sense for Obama, at a stage in life where self-discovery and dating are normal, to read the Critique of The Gotha Programme to impress his socialist friend with the slender gams. He sought to ignite a connection between them on common intellectual interests — and while a lot of things can be said for Marx’s materialist conception of history, it is not known for being a golden ticket to getting laid.
The truth is that men and women will, at times, try to develop interest in the same things as their crush as a way of breaking the ice with them; to establish the first conversation that perhaps may lead to something more. This isn’t manipulation or trickery. This is one of the awkward ways humans form shared bonds.
Overall, an anonymous yet shrill moralism is becoming louder and louder; one that can only imagine seduction as one-sided male manipulation of helpless female dolls; one that promiscuously conflates the cringe and hamfisted with “creepy” and “predatory” behaviour and almost gets off on it; one that views sexuality, as Foucault himself eerily predicted in 1978, as “a kind of roaming danger, a sort of omnipresent phantom, a phantom that will be played out between men and women.”
It is a good thing that in modern society men and women can freely exercise their liberty, whether for a hook up, a passionate tryst or even an affectionate but chaste friendship. A mentality that demonises healthy and good-natured seduction and courtship not only undermines the sexual autonomy for both sexes, but is fundamentally pessimistic and anti-human.
Yep. And if a man doesn’t try to show himself off from his best side, they’ll berate him for not making the effort to make himself attractive. There’s no winning.
I’m honestly a bit curious to see how this is going to end. With every man chemically castrated and all reproduction done by artificial insemination? It sounds like a ridiculous dystopia of the sort I usually roll my eyes at, but it really does seem like it’s the only thing that will satisfy them.
As soon as you layer the explicit goal of attracting women, which let’s face it is a huge motivator for most men, to any form of self development it gets labelled as misogynistic. One wonders what’s the correct way to convince women without being”manipulative?”
“Burden so often falls on men to initiate any potential romantic encounter with a woman.”
True. Men will continue to in clumsy trial and error efforts & due to evolutionary psychology we will overestimate women’s interest rather than run the risk of missing the opportunity.
I believe that the woke hate hierarchies and self development like Jordan Peterson, fitness and exercise and now even reading because they hate hierarchies in general. To engage in self development is to accept the inherently inequitable nature of hierarchies and as such you are complicit in oppression of someone. The idea that one should ‘improve’ themselves is the antithesis of the woke ideology that you are as ‘valid’ no matter what e.g. fat celebration etc. Hard work, aspiration and discipline are seen as values of “oppressive and patriarchal whiteness” or something.
Whatever…I read Obama’s first book and I certainly won’t be reading anything else he writes. What a fraud he turned out to be.
Evolution refuses to stay in the background.
Who thinks that people are interested in his “pick up artistry”? Obama struck me as asexual more than anything else, but even if he was a tailhound of rock star status, it’s a bit unseemly for a former president to be writing about that. The same people who lost their minds because Donald Trump said out loud what everyone knows to be true – that women behave differently around rich and powerful men than they do around regular guys – are now marching to an entirely different tune.
This isn’t about a value judgment that in modern society men and women can freely exercise their liberty, whether for a hook up, a passionate tryst or even an affectionate but chaste friendship, because no one is arguing otherwise. Men and women in free societies have always exercised their liberty for those things; most just had the good grace to not share the details with the rest of us. At least Nixon in post-presidency, wrote weighty books on issues of the day that would inspire people to think; Obama remains stuck in the politics of himself.
Obama and his kin have a lifetime free pass from the woke mob and act accordingly. If one of Trump’s children had openly smoked marijuana at a music festival, or had Melania spent $8 million on a single two-day trip to Dublin, there would have been howling and gnashing of teeth from every corner of the Leftist universe. Yet, St Barack and The Mooch do and say whatever they like, even if it veers into outright racism or bare faced lies. Nothing is too morally bankrupt for them to exploit.
Whatever. Here’s a politician who writes nothing but autobiographies, morbidly obsessed with himself. And people call Trump a narcissist. Obama was born in Kenya until it became inconvenient to his political aspirations; he has composite girlfriends. I admire Ralph’s stamina if he could read this brick from cover to cover, but certainly won’t emulate him. Did he actually read it from cover to cover?
I marvel how it now seems necessary to be lectured on standard wisdom that we all knew until the day before yesterday. And that both Ralph Leonard and Barack Obama risk being cancelled for daring to even mention the emperor has no clothes.
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