QoT nails it, again

datePosted on 23:44, August 11th, 2009 by Lew

I practically need to script this post.

Go and read Queen of Thorns’ thorough fisking of apologia for George Sodini.

L

categoryPosted in Blogosphere, Crime, USA | printPrint

18 Responses to “QoT nails it, again”

  1. Mikaere on August 12th, 2009 at 10:38

    Meh. That fisking is only right up to a point. In my experience, women tend to be attracted to alphas – men with high value (which is largely subjective, but tends to include leadership traits).

    Seems that the killer’s problem is that he was Low Value. He was probably quiet and considerate and nice and unobtrusive. None of which is bad, but without some alpha-ness, he was never going to attract the kind of women he wanted.

    And he got sucked into the Get Fit, Get Tanned = Get the Girl thing, which probably contributed to his frustration.

    Another thing is that if you are sufficiently attractive, it seems that you can get away with more social transgressions, hence the Women Like Jerks meme.

    It’s a tragic pity that Sodini didn’t do some research. There are entire business models around teaching men like him how to change they way they behave towards women so that they are more attractive.

  2. Lew on August 12th, 2009 at 10:55

    Mikaere, I think the whole problem is the idea that ‘women’ are attracted to some specific thing or set of things, and that these things can (should) be put on or manipulated in order to ‘get’ women.

    L

  3. Mikaere on August 12th, 2009 at 11:10

    Lew, I disagree. The whole problem is that very many men do not understand that women are more likely to have an emotional locus whereas men are more likely to have a rational locus.

    “Change her mood, not her mind” is an axiom within the pickup artist community.

    It you find that you are unable to attract women, what’s wrong with learning more about the process and actually changing your behaviour ? Isn’t this known as personal development ? “Putting on” – ie. being dishonest – is a different thing all together, and I despise it, so I agree with you on that count.

    It’s very sad that some men lead lonely lives because they don’t understand how to be attractive to women. In the case of Sondini, it appears to have had tragic consequences.

  4. Michael on August 12th, 2009 at 11:10

    I think rather that those ‘whole business models’ are (part of) the whole problem, Mikaere, if what you’re talking about is that awful PUA nonsense

  5. Lew on August 12th, 2009 at 11:16

    Mikaere, do you mean to channel the set of ‘irrational women’ tropes, or is it just how you think?

    L

  6. Mikaere on August 12th, 2009 at 11:28

    Lew, you’re the one using the word “irrational”. It’s not what I said, nor is it what I meant, and you know it.

    Michael – how did you arrive at your opinion ? Have you attended a PUA bootcamp ? If so, I’d like to hear your evaluation.

  7. Lew on August 12th, 2009 at 11:33

    Mikaere, if “women are more likely to have an emotional locus whereas men are more likely to have a rational locus” isn’t meant to be read as opposing ‘women = emotional’ against ‘men = rational’, then perhaps you’d consider rephrasing it so that, you know, it doesn’t say exactly that.

    L

  8. Mikaere on August 12th, 2009 at 12:22

    OK, I’ll clarify by adding this:

    Emotional and rational faculties are not mutually exclusive, which means women can be both emotional and rational (and vice versa with respect to men). The implication is that a man is more likely to be attractive to a women when he is cognisant of her emotional processes as well as being cognisant of her rational processes.

  9. stargazer on August 12th, 2009 at 13:16

    mikaere, in amongst all your generalisations, it would appear that you haven’t read some of the links QoT has in her post. i’d suggest you spend some time on these, they’re excellent reading. in them, you’ll find that mr sodini did in fact do some of the “research” that you speak of, and paid businesses to teach him how to relate to women. kate harding, in particular, shows why these are so destructive and stupid. link: http://www.salon.com/mwt/broadsheet/feature/2009/08/07/nice_guys/index.html

  10. Michael on August 12th, 2009 at 13:39

    goodness gracious no, Mikaere, I have never been to any ‘PUA bootcamp,’ and never would, because everything I’ve ever heard about them indicates that they channel verbatim the very kind of destructive and misogynistic stereotypes that you seem so keen on perpetuating and that apparently drove George Sodini to murder. In fact, I only hope that the negative publicity they are now attracting contributes to heightened public awareness of their harmfulness and more generally that of the misogynistic environment that allows them to flourish.

  11. Mikaere on August 12th, 2009 at 13:43

    Thanks Anjum, that was an interesting read. Like any industry, the PUA industry has charlatans like that Steel Balls guy as well as groups who actually have valuable propositions. Kate Harding may be right, and Sodini may have been irredeemably broken or perhaps going to a seminar that promotes that aggressive view that Nice Guys Must Die contributed to his frustration and anger and ultimately fuelled his hatred of women.

    Telling a guy the real reasons you’re not interested — you don’t find him attractive, he’s way too old for you, you get a distinctly creepy vibe off him, whatever — or offering no explanation at all, because you just met this guy and owe him nothing, would be “rude.”

    The PUA material I have read talks about this defence mechanism as being normal and OK. They say it’s OK that women have boundaries, and that many women get sick and tired of being hit on whenever they go out. They provide strategies to deal with this, and tactics to demonstrate value/develop attraction as well as to determine if a women is interested in you etc.

    Who knows, maybe if Sodini had the tools to meet someone and fall in love, things could have turned out differently.

  12. Lew on August 12th, 2009 at 13:49

    All of this PUA malarkey calls to my mind the words of a song by Chris Smither:

    No love today, none tomorrow, not now, not forever
    You can’t see what comes for free, I think you’re much too clever
    For your own good I will tell you what’s right before your eyes
    Intelligence is no defense against what this implies
    In the end no one will sell you what you need
    You can’t buy it off the shelf, you got to grow it from the seed

    L

  13. Mikaere on August 12th, 2009 at 14:45

    Billy Corgan sums it up for me:

    Mother, weep the years I’m missing
    All our time can’t be given back
    Shut my mouth and strike the demons
    Cursed you and your reasons
    Out of hand and out of season
    Out of love and out of feeling so bad

    When I can, I will
    Words defy the plans
    When I can, I will

  14. Pascal's bookie on August 12th, 2009 at 15:14

    Mark Ames has his take here

    ( Warning may contain traces of Mark Ames. )

  15. Lew on August 12th, 2009 at 23:53

    Mikaere, I’ve read and reread your comments, and can’t come to any conclusion other than that you think George Sodini’s actions were, if not defensible, then in some way understandable on the basis that he wasn’t getting any and that does crazy things to a man. That if he had just been ‘higher value’ or had more game he would have been a-ok.

    I don’t accept this because I don’t buy a bunch of the apparent premises.

    In the first place, I don’t buy that these concepts of ‘high value’ and ‘low value’ are especially meaningful in the sense they’re being used; that is to say, ‘high value’ does not entitle and ‘low value’ does not disentitle a man to sex with a partner of a certain ‘value’. For a start I think the measure of ‘value’ is bogus, and represents what (a few damfoolish and narcissistic) men think women think rather than any actual useful measure of value. This is what I was getting at with the initial response, to the effect that you can’t just generalise blithely about complex concepts like ‘value’ and diverse groups like ‘women’ in such a way and expect your measures to stand. To do so is trivialising and insulting, and bound to be a poor approximation of reality in any case.

    This PUA frame of reference is odious misogyny masquerading as self-improvement. Ultimately it’s a teleological gloss over Darwinian fitness, with the genetic transfer (intergenerational) minimised and the status (intragenerational) emphasised. Even taking this broken frame of reference, ‘value’, to be meaningful, must be a function of actual performance: by definition in the evolutionary sense, men who can’t attract partners without working on their game are ‘low value’, while those who don’t need any such work (though they might lack appearance, charm, money, etc) are ‘high value’. By definition, those working the game are failures by what ought to be their own standard. It’s broken in concept and apparently broken in practice.

    That’s just for a start.

    L

  16. Mikaere on August 13th, 2009 at 10:33

    No Lew, I wasn’t at all intimating that what Sodini did was understandable. I don’t care what your problems are, violence is a shit response.

    What I was saying was that it may have helped Sodini if he had the tools to develop a relationship. Clearly he didn’t have those tools, so would have needed to acquire them from someone. Years of counselling would have helped too.

    The concept of value is not about entitlement. In fact, the PUA material I have read explicitly states that men have no entitlement even to a women’s attention, let alone sex. You need to earn a woman’s attention, and if she’s attracted to you then great, you might be able to develop a relationship.

    The High/Low value paradigm relates is a generalisation of the kinds of things that (according to PUA theory), women look for. Some of it is security related e.g. wealth, status, power. Other aspects include being fun, having and interesting personality, good humour, interesting achievements etc.

    Even taking this broken frame of reference, ‘value’, to be meaningful, must be a function of actual performance: by definition in the evolutionary sense, men who can’t attract partners without working on their game are ‘low value’, while those who don’t need any such work (though they might lack appearance, charm, money, etc) are ‘high value’. By definition, those working the game are failures by what ought to be their own standard. It’s broken in concept and apparently broken in practice.

    Not really. The PUA name for this is pre-selection (that is, being previously selected by a different women to be her partner) and is another dimension of value. It helps to be pre-selected, but it’s not necessary (for obvious reasons).

    The fundamental concept is to accentuate your positive attributes. The PUA have theories about what consitutes positve male value, and I really don’t have a problem if they assist men in understanding this. They might be wrong about it, but even if the only thing that happens is that some men feel more confident when approaching women, is this a bad thing ?

    Finally, I’m not defending PUA behaviour. There are charletans (like that Steel Balls guy) and some, like Ross Jeffries, who are openly manipulative. I have no truck with men who are manipulative or dishonest, or blame women for a man’s inability to attract. And I acknowledge that there are plenty of examples of PUAs who are complete arseholes.

    But, there are some who I think are onto some interesting ideas relevant to the hetero courtship, and some of these ideas seem to gel intuitively.

  17. Pablo on August 13th, 2009 at 12:34

    Sometimes we make too much of things. From what I have seen on his videos Sodini was exhibiting psycho tendencies and wimin were well advised to steer clear of him. One date would have been enough to figure that out. It is not about being nice or bad, it is about being terminally deranged.

  18. QoT on August 13th, 2009 at 23:07

    I find it difficult to categorise Sodini’s problem as merely being “poor guy, he just didn’t understand how to build relationships“. This is a man who assessed that only “30 million” women in the US were “desirable”. And “years of counselling” is the kind of vague claptrap we could use to mitigate any murderer – if only Ted Bundy had had some counselling. Clayton Weatherston just didn’t have the right tools to cope with his manifold issues.

    And Mikaere, you insist on categorizing those PUAs who Sodini *did* get advice from as “charlatans”. If you’d care to direct me to a single person working the “here’s how to pull” line who doesn’t advocate that women are shallow b!tches and men are entitled to sex and to manipulate women into sex, I’d be very interested.

    The fundamental concept is to accentuate your positive attributes. The PUA have theories about what consitutes positve male value, and I really don’t have a problem if they assist men in understanding this. They might be wrong about it, but even if the only thing that happens is that some men feel more confident when approaching women, is this a bad thing ?

    These are exactly the kinds of messages that Sodini’s actions are an extreme – but not contrary – result of. He was “accentuating” the “positive attributes” to raise his “value”, and he was told that this would attract [fuckable] women. And it didn’t, because shockingly, women aren’t ambulatory vaginas putting out in response to Primeval Urges To Enhance The Gene Pool.

    Sodini (like many, many other men who have not manifested their frustrations as violence) didn’t feel confident approaching women – he felt entitled to women’s attention and sexual attraction because PUAs were telling him that he was doing the things necessary to pull women – and not just “women”, women he WANTED to pull on no other criterion than their “desirability”.

    “Making guys more confident” is not the issue, and that should be obvious when the discussions happening around this are on things like “women feel too intimidated/are too well-trained in meekness to give a flat-out refusal” or “men feel they have a right to use tricks and manipulation to coerce women into sex”.

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