'Pick-up artists' and PUA cultures and communities are hotbeds of misogyny. Pick-up artist culture has been subject to various criticisms:
- A women-hating, virulently anti-feminist culture.
- Focuses on coercive strategies: manipulate women, ignore what women say, push past ‘No’, etc.
- A commodity model of sex. Premised on male entitlement
- Takes away women’s humanity
- Treats human interactions as a formula
- Offers a combative view of gender relations
- Spreads highly traditional, violence-supportive views of men and masculinity
- Overlaps with other anti-feminist men’s rights groups and websites
Here are some accessible feminist critiques of PUA ideology and practice.
- Baker, Katie J. M. (2013). Cockblocked by Redistribution - A Pick-up Artist in Denmark. Dissent Magazine, Fall.
- Dr NerdLove, The Trouble With Pick-Up Artists, June 21 2013;
- Dr Nerdlove, Can You Be An Ethical Pickup Artist, Aug 17 2014;
- Fogg, Why I have no truck with the art of the pick-up, June 24 2013;
- Geek Feminism Wiki, Pick Up Artists;
- Kale, 50 years of pickup artists why is the toxic skill still so in demand. The Guardian, Nov 5 2019
- McKay, 7 Tips on Gender Relations, According to Men's Rights Activists and the "Manosphere". Mic, September 30 2015.
- Marcotte, How 'Pick-Up Artist' Philosophy and Its More Misogynist Backlash Shaped Mind of Alleged Killer Elliot Rodger, Alternet, May 25, 2014;
- Pennacchia, How Purity and Pick-Up Culture Exacerbated Toxic Masculinity, 2019
- Reist, Banishing the Beasts: The Slick Misogyny of U.S. Pick-up Artists Not Welcome Here (2016);
- Steadman, The sexist pseudoscience of pick-up artists, New Statesman, June 4 2014;
- Walton, 'Pickup artists' and rape culture, Citizen Times, Oct 7 2015.
- WeHuntedTheMammoth (2016). What you need to know about Roosh V, the pickup artist holding meetups in 43 countries this Saturday. February 3.
There is a small academic literature on pick-up artists and communities, as follows:
- Almog, R., & Kaplan, D. (2017). The nerd and his discontent: The seduction community and the logic of the game as a geeky solution to the challenges of young masculinity. Men and Masculinities, 20(1), 27-48.
- Clift, Elana J. (2007). Picking Up and Acting Out: Politics of Masculinity in the Seduction Community. PhD thesis, Department of American Studies, The University of Texas at Austin, May.
- Hambling-Jones, O., & Merrison, A. J. (2012). Inequity in the Pursuit of Intimacy: An Analysis of British Pick-up Artist Interactions. Journal of Pragmatics, 44(9), 1115-1127.
- O’Neill, Rachel. (2015) The Work of Seduction: Intimacy and Subjectivity in the London ‘Seduction Community’. Sociological Research Online, 20(4).
- O’Neill, Rachel. (2018). Seduction: Men, Masculinity and Mediated Intimacy. Polity.