This online comic shows how pick-up artists morphed into the alt-right

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/01/17/this-online-comic-shows-how-pi.html

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A good breakdown of this tire-fire misogynist movement. There are so many aspects of the manosphere that can be discussed, like the history of right-wing thought in the MRA sector, the pervasive Libertarian attitude in the manosphere of sex and relationships as zero-sum business transactions to be gamed so they “win”, and Jordaddy’s role as a “respectable” gateway into the manosphere for all the confused and frustrated young white men who aren’t getting what they’re “entitled” to.

ETA: this just came across my newsfeed:

https://melmagazine.com/en-us/story/youtube-red-pill-men-right-wing-hate-radicalization

[note: article contains descriptions of various forms of physical and psychological abuse by the “Red-pillers” toward their partners]

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Don’t forget about…uh…ethics in game journalism.

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That was really interesting, and instantly accessible. Part of me wants more detail and more in depth. Part of me wants to flee.

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Inferiority is pretty much the purest distillation of the MAGA crowd.

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“These guys are being told that they’re losing their identity, but what’s really happening is they are missing out on the opportunity to meet some really cool people.”

Bingo.

If you think of female humans as trophies, or if you want a loveless marriage based on looks and subservience, buy a RealDoll.

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Moira Weigel at Harvard has been studying this. Attended a lecture she did on “PUAs, NLP, EP and other “sciences” of seduction on the alt right” back in November 2018.

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They had me from the very first panel;

While I was a little older, I also had never heard of PUA’s until that awful tv show, which I hate-watched for a brief period of time.

As for the toxic ideas the show disseminated, sadly, none of that was new to me.

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I didn’t get very far into that, but “Sarah” really dodged a bullet with that one. Actually, it’s more like she was shot, but it didn’t hit any major organs and she somehow believes the bullet can change.

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It’s worth reading. Lots of good details and links, including about why women choose these horrible men, why they stay with them for as long as they do, and the complex mix of victim-blaming they sometimes get from supposed allies when they leave. Here’s a sample from later on.

Last week, the Huffington Post ran a feature about Nina Kouprianova, the wife of U.S. neo-Nazi and alt-right leader Richard Spencer, detailing instances of verbal, psychological and physical abuse she endured while married to him and assisting him in his goal of establishing an all-white ethnostate in the age of Drumpf. Kouprianova claims that she denounces Spencer’s ideology and was simply providing assistance to her ex-husband out of love and care for him, rather than his movement.

As the article made its way around the internet, many people found themselves asking the same question: How much sympathy should we have toward women whose partners lurch further to extremism during the course of their relationship — especially if these women tend to be the ones held responsible for bringing the men back from the brink? Indeed, in knowing the views and attitudes of social conservatives in regard to issues like immigration, rights for minority groups and LGBTQ issues, should these women have avoided dating such men entirely

Also, one thing I’ve noticed since MRAs came to my attention more than a decade ago is that the nastiest and most virulent ones always seemed to be from the UK. This may just be my perception based on my own reading, even though I always expect this to be more of an American malaise.

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Read through the comic and it did a pretty good job of connecting the dots between the evolution of these groups and their f*cked up ideologies. I think there was a certain amount of crossover with those groups and the whole gamer gate BS as well as the mentality is so similar. I never understood how that pick up artist show lasted as long as it did it was super cringy and the shows host was one of the biggest piles of sh!t to be smeared across TV screens.

I’m a little late to the whole toxic masculinity discussion, but I’m assuming these kinds of actions (pick up artist mentality and the objectification of women and the entitlements expected along with it) would be a perfect example of one of the many facets of toxicity that a lot of men would agree is pretty messed up. In high school these were the guys a lot of my class thought of as massive tools.

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Man, that’s a rough one. But there’s some really common warning sign the article highlights; JAQing off, being anti-establishment but voting conservative (especially in a country with more than two options), treating your work time like it doesn’t matter, isolating themselves and expecting you to do the same, etc. Plus I liked some of the links:
https://melmagazine.com/en-us/story/beware-the-devils-chadvocate

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I told some real life people recently that if you are a teenage boy feeling frustrated that you can’t get a girlfriend and you seek online communities of other teenage boys who are also frustrated, you are about 4 clicks away from Nazis. They found it very hard to process. Maybe I’ll bookmark this comic.

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I see what they did there; the “devil’s chadvocate”…

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That angle of it is one of the creepiest things I’ve ever heard. Because it’s people advocating straight up brain washing

That seems to be the first intro for a lot of people. The other one was Niel Strauss’ The Game, the best seller that basically spun off that show. There was this weird couple of years where the pick up thing was treated like this goofy, but fundamentally sympathetic oddity. And just as quick as it came to national attention it curdled into hat wearing nards yelling at women in bars.

It was around the same time, either right as the book was published or the gap between the book and the show. That a lot of the key misgynist movement sites and sub reddits were founded or started to really kick off. Clearly that had already started, and the whole pick up/“seduction” thing had always been deeply fucked up. But it just seems like in popularising it the book and the show just kicked it into over drive. Both in how fast it grew, and how quickly it turned into a political movement.

Absolutely. Gamergate is sort of this key moment in the alt right. The alt right seems to be the confluence of the men’s rights/PUA movement, white supremacist movements, and elements of far right activist/political theory. Particularly that whole dark enlightenment thing.

So you can view gamergate as either the 4th peg, in organized online fandom and trolling. Or the first activist action that had all these groups working together at scale.

They seem to have been bound together by this deeply, openly sexualised racism. Like poke any end of the alt right with a stick. And all discussions end up in “who’s penis was in the white woman, and why wasn’t mine”. And the alt right seems to have injected this weirdly thirsty tone into right wing politics. The right wing is straight horny ATM.

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This bears repeating, even if the aspiring advocate in question is not named “Chad:”

"The Devil’s Chadvocate is not there to be persuaded or defused, only to exhaust you. After he has irritated several people into muting him, he innocently protests that he was “just asking questions.”

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The panel is too kind to that piece of garbage.

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What is ironic is all these toxic males blaming the times and feminism for their inability to find women they want - they would probably have a worse go at it in say the 1950s or even earlier. They were called things like milquetoast back then. You can see these sort of characters in some of the Twilight Zones, for an example.

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In a Bar setting, where alcohol is ready available, the shame of stupidity really is a two way street in the pick-up arena. Years of bartending have given me a unique perspective.
But by adding politics to the mix, you are just upping the anti on the shenanigans.

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Same here; you ‘see some shit’ in that line of work.

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