In light of the recent mysogynously motivated shootings I just wanted to share an experience I had a few years ago. That being said, I am lucky to have many incredible men in my life and one particularly amazing one <3 I was once approached by several large men on Robson. They surrounded me. Touching me and spouting insincere, strangely rehearsed-sounding comments about my body and my hair. I felt panicky but I couldn’t shake them even though I was walking quickly and not making eye contact. I was alone and quite honestly, pretty terrified. The one time I did look up, I saw a shorter man in a hat watching the situation intently from a distance. I’m not sure why his face stuck with me, but it did. Several months later, a friend of mine mentioned the PUA community in Vancouver. I had no idea what it meant, so I googled it. I found myself on a website for a “Pick Up Artist school” in Vancouver where men pay to learn how to “pick up eights to tens” -because apparently a woman’s worth is determined by where she fits on a scale of physical attractiveness. The “school” boasted that its students would be able to “score” new numbers from “quality” girls every day of the week. It encouraged prospective “PUA’s” to ignore personal space and to make physical contact with their “targets” and to assert dominance and control. I was horrified, but I kept on reading. Out of morbid curiosity as to who was behind this garbage, I clicked on the “Meet the Founder” page, and there it was - that face, the one in the hat that had been watching his pupils harass me. Assessing their “game.” Disgusted and angry, I decided to send him an email. I told him how uncomfortable his students had made me when they physically harassed me and how it was sexist, unethical and dangerous that his business taught men that women are nothing an emotionally manipulative game to be played in order to get what they want.
He responded by saying: “My program wouldn’t exist if stuck up bitches like you would loosen up.”