When I first encountered the work of artist Angela Washko, she was playing World of Warcraft on her own terms. Instead of slaying dragons, she was creating an artwork by way of social experiment: wandering around inside the game, she would use her avatar to initiate discussions with other players about feminism. “Would you mind telling me how you define feminism or what makes a feminist? :)” she would type. The responses would come: “I believe feminism is being a girl expressing hormones a certain way differing from a man”; “The same way you define maleism… its not fucking real”; and so on, while the [...]
Recently, a friend told me about PUAHate, a website announcing itself as "The Forefront of the Anti-Pickup-Artist Movement." Its mission statement, posted on PUAHate's splash page, reads: "Revealing the scams, deception and misleading marketing techniques used by dating gurus and the seduction community to mislead men and profit from them."
At first glance, this seemed reasonable, even great. The PUA community profits tremendously from young men struggling with anything from simple social discomfort to full-blown personality disorder. I liked the idea of a site debunking PUA myths about picking up women. But when I clicked into the forums of PUAHate, I saw that the stated purpose of the [...]