There are douches out there who subscribe to the idea that bedding women is a game that can be learned.
For many of his critics, Julien Blanc of West Hollywood's Real Social Dynamics school is one of them. He was kicked out of Australia following uproar over his teachings (he once kidded on Twitter that women could "roofie your own drink"), and there's a movement afoot in the United States to prevent the RSD folks from finding venues for their pricey pick-up classes.
But is there really harm done when a bunch of dorks waste money on this kind of nonsense? Los Angeles attorney Gloria Allred believes there is.
She represents 24-year-old Katie Kuhlman, victim of the "Christian date-site rapist," Sean Patrick Banks, who earlier this month got 37 years to life behind bars for raping her and another woman after meeting them on dating websites.
At his sentencing, Banks challenged Kuhlman to "pass a polygraph" regarding her rape allegation. The San Diego judge in the case, Daniel Goldstein, said Banks' "hatred for women is appalling."
Allred says the case shows how someone like Banks can learn or stoke such hatred.
She said the convict studied pick-up books such as How to Get the Women You Desire Into Bed: A Down and Dirty Guide to Dating and Seduction for the Man Who's Fed up with Being Mr. Nice Guy and The Body Language of Sex, Power & Aggression: How to Recognize It and How to Use It.
She said he also had books in his possession with titles such as Encyclopedia of Rape and How to Persuade People Who Don't Want to be Persuaded: Get What You Want Every Time!
Much of that evidence wasn't allowed in court because of freedom of speech protections, she said, but she argues that it points to the extreme conclusion of the pick-up mentality—treating women as inhuman objects.
"It's even worse than picking them up," she says. "This can present a serious danger to women."
This is about control, power and pushing the limits. If he's going to treat women just as a sex object to be used and to be the object of violence then that can present a great danger to the victim. Once such victimizer is in prison for 37 years.
Allred said that Banks used fake names and plied his alleged pick-up trade on multiple dating sites. That, she argues, indicates that it was all just a game to him.
"The conversations we had made me feel real comfortable," Kuhlman told us of her initial experience with Banks. "He said all the right things. He once said he had been spending the day praying and reading scripture and wanted to focus on God and was sorry he didn't call me that day."
Knowing what was on his computer [some of those books, allegedly] and the fact that I'm not the only girl it happened to it made me feel it was rehearsed.
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Kuhlman said that we can't ban such teaching and literature, but we can warn people that there are men out there trying to play women like a video game. "Education is key," she said.
She thinks that dating sites should offer an opt-in background check option for potential partners, for a reasonable fee:
Women can be more prepared and educated to the fact there are predators. They don't always attack you in an alley.