Male Socialization

One of the things I find really interesting about pick-up is the way that so much of it isn’t really so much about seduction or even dating as just learning basic social skills. Reading about, and getting to experience for myself, the way women will, for instance, put a man who approaches them into a difficult social situation as a way of learning what he’s really like (although reminiscent of the writings of Shan Yu). I’m honestly developing a healthy respect for the other sex’s social prowess.

Along with that, though, I’ve been considering how it is that men don’t learn these social skills. As a “soft essentialist”, I’m happy to accept that men and women are going to deal with social situations differently, but it does seem like men are given the shaft when it comes to being social. Compared to women, we’re children. This is a fact which may explain the frustration a lot of men feel, a frustration that leads them to accuse women of being inherently deceitful and manipulative. I don’t think this is true, generally, but a reflection of how ignorant men are of social situations.

On the other hand, women can be so relentlessly social that they never show an ability to be themselves. They go beyond being social to being obsessive-compulsive. In effect, they’re “social robots”. And that’s something that women can learn from men; to not have to define yourself in relation to people, to be fine on your own, to be able to hurt someone’s feelings when it’s the right thing to do.

But that’s an extreme. I think men as a group need the most work. And as a society, we need to do a better job of teaching our boys to keep up with the girls in social skills. I think that if we try, we’ll find men naturally developing a uniquely male approach to being social. In fact, this is a process the pick-up community has already started.

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~ by arkhilokhus on March 16, 2008.

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