Lifestyle

PUA Academy is Back, Having Learned Nothing at All

What will it take to get rid of this dangerous subculture?
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We couldn't (and shouldn't) ignore them then, so we can't ignore them now. After a too-brief time as the subject of public condemnation and a hiatus that clearly signified nothing, the lost boys of the Pick-up Artist Academy are back, still spewing the same dangerous ideas about sex and relationships.

Hardly a month after all the headlines and angry Facebook posts that forced PUA Academy into a shutdown of its accounts, they're back online: Facebook, Instagram, their own website—everything.  The "PUA Academy Forum," which was a Facebook group for community members, seems to have been reorganized into a smaller group called "PUA Academy Lounge." But because they were first exposed for the revenge porn and "lay reports" in the Forum, the Lounge is ostensibly stricter.

Also, as if to declare that they've learned nothing from the media attention they received last month, they even added an "As seen on" billing to their cover photo (which, while we're here, is an unauthorized use of our logos):

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They've also resumed their churn of videos, including coverage of PUA Academy seminars, in which "coaches" speak in front of groups of men. Notably, the new videos seem to be more carefully edited to avoid blatantly offensive language like last month's "Gusto nilang nagpapa-force." Their recent content seems to be more geared towards handling rejection and being confident—which in themselves are fairly innocuous, if trite.

But the harmful narratives remain: They still promote the notion that women naturally prefer bad guys, and so men shouldn't be too nice to women (the concept of "negging" still comes up). They still have an astoundingly outdated and completely false view of women. One of their more popular new videos shows a PUA coach running around a mall to collect as many women's numbers as possible within two hours, often by lying and being completely disingenuous. So don't be fooled by the makeover: They're still playing a game, still treating women as "sets," and still growing their community of angry men.

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We've already gone into detail about how—despite insistence that it is a harmless self-help subculture—the PUA Academy really teaches a dehumanizing approach to dating. But because they've returned, it needs to be reiterated: This is a subculture of self-confidence by way of objectification, and while not all its members will turn out to be predators and misogynists, it certainly encourages that sort of behavior, and ultimately makes room for the cruel treatment of human relationships.

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