"Mystery": Sexist Pig, or Performance Artist?

Written by Kendra Lancaster

I love trashy reality TV shows, I really do; and VH1 is one of my favorite channels. Over fall break, my friend and I decided to watch some late night TV and decided to turn it on to VH1 not thinking much of it.

The new show “The Pick-Up Artist 2” was playing, led by the teachings of Erik “Mystery” von Markovik. It’s a new reality competition show which takes social awkward men and teaches them Mystery’s style of picking up women. While watching his method, both my friend and I became increasingly disgusted in the way it treats women.

Mystery basically believes that in order to pick-up women, a man needs to play off of her insecurity and make her feel bad about herself to cause her to seek validation in him. While talking with girls, Mystery and his entourage encourage these men to give women back-handed compliments to make them think as if they are “disqualifying” them as a potential partner. By doing this, the women will feel the need to prove themselves as a mate to these men.

An example of one of these backhanded compliments is having one of the friends asks if the girl that the man is with is cool. The man doesn’t reply with praise, but instead, “well, she’s good enough.” That way the man is showing interest, but the girl also easily begins insecure and inadequate about herself.

Mystery also used the words “reward” and “punishment” in regards to flirting with the women. If the prospective girl gives you attention, only then do you reward her with your own personal attention. While on the flip side, if she isn’t giving you enough, then you punish her by not giving her your attention.

I can understand the basic concept of not wanting to flirt with someone who doesn’t seem as if they’re interested, but using the words “reward” and “punishment” is completely degrading to women. Those are words one uses with pets whom are being trained, not with real live adults.
After the regular episode was aired, Mystery’s “tips” feature was on next, where he took questions from his fans. One of the questions asked was whether or not men should buy women drinks at clubs. Mystery’s answer was no, because by buying a women a drink, you are lowering your “value” down to hers. Instead you’re supposed to have a girl show her worth to you.
It is horrible for a guy to tell his “students” that they should look at women as a lower being. Men and women are equal in all regards. A guy does not need to buy a girl a drink in any situation, just like a woman should not need to buy a male a drink; but the excuse should not be because of a difference in “value.” If two people are mutually attracted to each other, than they have already given the other a high value.
I am absolutely repulsed that VH1 would give this man a show, and encourage men to treat women like this. The show is all about teaching men how to successfully manipulate a girl to hook-up with them.

This show gives me little hope for men. It enforces the concept that men are only interested in a woman’s body, instead of her personality or anything else. The worst part is that the women they are hitting on, are women whom are already insecure with themselves. By giving them false validation, they will only become even more insecure about themselves in the future. Even though the man may have a fun night, but the way the women were treated in the process should make it not worth it.

Instead of a show on how to teach “geeky” guys how to pick up women, it should be about how to find something deeper. Build up their confidence, teach them how to respect themselves, how to respect women, and then finally how to put that all together and meet women in regular places. Then they can take all of that and find meaningful relationships, which are much better than one-night-stands.

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6 Responses to "Mystery": Sexist Pig, or Performance Artist?

  1. Lane Hill says:

    He does teach them confidence, albeit confidence in the wrong thing – instead of being confidence about themselves, they get confidence from seducing women.

    Plus, too much value is placed on relationships anyways, and this is a great symptom. How many of the guys on the show had suicidal thoughts mainly because they’re still virgins/couldn’t get a date/had their girlfriend stolen from a stronger man?

  2. Sarah Summer says:

    He’s just a nerd that has nothing better going for him so he using sleazy tricks – sad. Deep down he’s the one too insecure for a real relationship.

  3. David Kemp says:

    You’ll only ever get a girl as dumb as you are with those ploys

  4. Gold Steve says:

    I seriously can’t believe it. I hope Wayne is not injured for the world cup!

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