Nigel Bowen and the Evil Feminism

Nigel Bowen is whining about his favourite topic again: how feminism is to blame for things that are unrelated to it.

And, surprise surprise, it’s in The Punch: Is the pick-up movement men’s answer to feminism?

Surely a better question is ‘Why are you writing about this when the pick-up movement peaked in 2005 when Neil Strauss published The Game and has been seen as pretty daggy since then?’.

Oh look, his opinion piece is actually about that book. How sad. Oops, I mean, that evil feminism.

Granted, pick-up artists want to sleep with women (and some want to sleep with hundreds of them) but that’s hardly an unusual mindset among the male of the species and not, in itself, evidence of misogyny.

This is true. Except that The Game uses the “neg” – insulting a woman to make her interested in you, simply because you want to fuck her. That’s hardly a respectful attitude towards women. And makes it hard to argue that there’s no “evidence of misogyny”.

Ever since second-wave feminism kicked off four decades ago, people have been wondering if an equivalent movement for men would emerge.

Really? Most people have been wondering if women are ever going to be paid the same as men. And if we will ever have a society that values the input of men in child-raising. I can’t imagine many people have been wondering if we need a social movement so that the work men do isn’t consistently undervalued, and so that men don’t have their arses grabbed at work, and so that men’s careers aren’t punished because they took six months off work a decade ago.

What’s interesting about the burgeoning, globalised pick-up artist community is not that it’s a reaction against feminism but that it is, by and large, an intelligent response to it.

Oh, this is going to be fun. I am eagerly awaiting Bowen’s discussion of this intelligent response. Particularly since the pick-up movement has NOTHING to do with feminism and is simply about superficial guys who want to have sex with hot women, but always get turned down because they’re creepy/funny-looking/smelly/boring.

At the pick-up school I visited (Damien Diecke’s School of Attraction), the PUA line on feminism seemed to be that it was necessary and largely praiseworthy but had resulted in some unfortunate consequences, chief among them men believing they had to suppress their masculinity.

Yes! He’s so right! I always make ManFriend suppress his masculinity! After all, it’s hard for him to be masculine when I have his testicles in a jar.

Exhibit A: The sensitive guy, who becomes everything women say they want in a man, only to find none of them are interested in him as a sexual partner.

You know, it’s pretty obvious when a guy pretends to be something he’s not because he wants to put his penis in your vagina. It’s also insulting because the dickheads who do this are making it very clear that they only see you as a vagina. It’s sad – and embarrassing – that people like Bowen haven’t yet worked this out.

The sleazy reputation may once have been justified but as Diecke observes, the community is heading away from that sex-crazed, game-playing, manipulative place it started.

So Bowen, at what point did it become an “intelligent response to feminism” that was not “evidence of misogyny”?

The increasing number of men flocking to pick-up gurus aren’t so much chasing sex as self-transformation.

They yearn to be the respected, powerful and, yes, desired man of their dreams.

What on earth does this have to do with feminism? I have a strong urge to pat Nigel Bowen on the head and say “there, there, it’s ok mummy’s special boy, the mean feminists won’t hurt you anymore”.

18 responses to “Nigel Bowen and the Evil Feminism

  1. This is ridiculous. Why does me being a feminist mean I don’t want to sleep with men sooooo much that they now have to go to special classes to ‘trick’ me into doing it? Is that the point he is making? I couldn’t quite work it out.

    Also, a pick up school run by a guy who’s last name is DICK! That is awesome.

  2. Oh, where to start? How about here: “…as it happens, the pick-up community emerged out of California’s touch-feely personal-growth movement and was created by exactly the same sort of people who kickstarted feminism – highly educated, middle-class types with socially liberal views.”

    So, feminism is about ‘touchy-feely personal growth’ but the PUA thing is okay because it was started by highly educated, middle-class types. And yes, I know he’s vaguely implying that feminism was also started by educated types, but that’s only a grudging admission after the snide ‘touchy-feely’ comment. (And does he think that ‘highly educated, middle-class types’ can’t also be complete jerks??)

  3. Ugh a ‘community’?

  4. Kat Caterwaul

    It’s true. A group dedicated to getting your end wet is totes an intelligent response to a movement dedicated to being treated like a human being.

    Oh, Nigel, there’s no such thing as a masculinist movement for exactly the same reason we dont have Straight Pride parades or White History month – They’re not needed. The members are already part of the dominant culture and can see that reflected in their daily lives, no doy.

    (I came to the realisation the other day that if a dude tells you his life is ‘worse off under feminism’, he’s probably right. but only because the life he wants to live doesn’t correspond with treating women like actual people.)

  5. Hi, I’ve been reading NWN ever since you were shortlisted for Best Australian Blogs 2011 (so, not very long, really) and I’ve been enjoying it immensely. I can’t help feeling, though, that your talents are wasted on targets like Nigel Bowen. You’re right, of course, Bowen sounds like he’s got serious problems (emotional as well as intellectual) but why read rubbish like that in the first place? I didn’t even know the Drum, or Bowen, existed until I discovered them here, and I certainly wouldn’t read that kind of dross normally. It’s like taking a poke at shock-jocks on the radio. Yes, those guys are cynical, if not demented, but only idiots listen to their shows anyway, so what’s the point of exposing the fallacies and inaccuracies in what they say? Are there not bigger fish for you to fry?

    • Aww, thanks Graham Storrs. There are lots of fish, but I quite enjoy pointing out the rubbish that The Punch publishes. It gives me a warm glow to laugh at them. Having said that, I do think it’s important to challenge nonsense when we see it.

  6. This is a general comment more than specifically related to this post, but I just thought I should let you know that finding the News with Nipples has been like stumbling upon an oasis of sanity while staggering through the dismally depressing landscape of Australian journalism. Thank you!!

  7. Pop quiz. Who can spot the error in this piece and for a bonus point why it should never have been made: http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/politics/for-desperate-boat-people-devil-is-in-the-deals-detail–or-lack-of-it-20110727-1i04g.html
    Sorry for hijacking your blog NWN but this has been ticking me off all day.

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