The issue of PU(pick up) or PUAs(Pick up artists) has been discussed several times here and I often see objections against it. So I would like to present my view on it which is rather positive.
Disclaimer: I'm a male.
1. Why is PU hated so much?
It are usually women(correct me if I'm wrong) who object against PU and present a variety of reasons. As often when it concerns humans the presented reasons are rationalizations and the real causes of the antagonism is some deeper feeling that originates for entirely different reasons than the ones presented. I suspect this is also the case with PU. For the moment I will ignore the presented reasons some of which I will address later and instead focus on what I think is the real underlying cause.
The real reason that women have a problem with PU is that it empowers men and dis-empowers women. Allow me to explain.
Good looking women will have no problem attracting lots of interested males. Usually women do the choosing, while males compete for the attention. A big part of the power a woman has over her mate is the threat of withdrawing from him sexually and/or emotionally. It usually involves great effort for a man to find another woman, this was especially true in past times when people lived in small villages with very few unmarried attractive women. A woman on the other hand will not have much problems finding another male if she is good looking.
Even in modern society women usually still have more power in relationships because even though there is nowadays an abundance of women(if you live in a big city there are literally thousands of them available) most men are still limited in that they meet women mostly through their social circle.
What changed with PU?
Picture this, a PUA(call him P) is in a relationship with women W. Say he has enough skills that he will be able to get laid or start a relationship with 1 in 50 women he approaches. Now there is some kind of tension in his current relationship, W threatens to withdraw or W has done something that upset him and he is considering finishing the relationship on his part. Since he is a PUA he knows that if he goes out 3 nights a week approaching 10 women each night he will meet 60 women in two weeks and will get laid once or be able to start a new relationship for sure. If W knows her partner well enough she will know it too. Suddenly the power balance has shifted. I still believe that women in general tend to have more power but PU shifted this towards men. W will have to consider "If I withdraw he can find another woman in two weeks.", she clearly has lost bargaining power. P knows it too and will weigh if it is worth the hassle to remain in the relationship if he can find another woman very quickly. P has more power for being a PUA than he would have if he weren't.
If you followed this reasoning, can we expect women to like PU? Of course not, it is clear that woman have to dislike PU.
Yet the thing is I never see this argument presented when PU is criticized. Why not? Because it is a power struggle and in such every gain in power by one side is a loss of power on the other side. To bring up this point women would have to admit that what they really dislike is the loss of power.
2. PUAs depiction of women
One of the presented arguments against PU is that the depiction of women is often perceived as demeaning.
Quoting from one comment:
> I think PUA memes are especially dangerous because they are half-truths, which makes them compelling and "sticky" - but that is an opinion, and I admit only passing familiarity with PUA memes which I've picked up from visiting their forums
I agree that a lot of those memes are half-truths or plain wrong, but some are correct. You also have to be careful with the source of the memes, there is a lot of nonsense written in forums. Yet if you look at the presentation of PU as done by Mystery in his writings and presented to an audience in shows like "The PU artist" I don't think there is anything there that really could be considered offensive.
Also, some depictions may be offensive, yet still true, consider:
>Humans are greedy.
Some people will consider this offensive.
Another quote from:
> You've got to show that you are assertive- even if it means being an asshole and playing on people's insecurities sometimes."...etc
I agree this is extremely offensive. Yet at the same time I suspect there is a grain of truth to it. The quote can equally be applied to women asking for a refund in a shop and it could be good advice depending on the context. How bad is that? We can't change the way the world works. Is it wrong to be an asshole if that will enable you to get a refund? Should we judge someone for being an asshole if it works for him?
3. PU as a skillset and activity
At the end it doesn't matter what PUAs write in forums but how they actually engage and interact with women in real life. And most guys who write in forums don't actually practice PU. Any PUA who is disrespectful will not get very far in conquering a woman's heart, on the contrary the art of PU is in making the woman feel good, why would she stay with a man who doesn't make her feel good?
A point never mentioned much by criticizers is that actually PUAs are the ones who are often disrespected. Some have been killed for talking to the wrong woman, I've personally heard insults, was threatened by boyfriends(the women were alone, I didn't know they had a boyfriend until he showed up) and have to put up will all kind of rude behavior(hearing stuff like "I don't give a fuck about you", etc...)
4. Presented reasons against PU
PU is manipulation as exemplified in this quote:
> The above aside...I dunno. This statement feels like manipulation via false signalling, and I find that distasteful. I think that's mostly in the phrasing though, since there is nothing intrinsically wrong in wanting to be attractive.
There is a lot of truth to that, but isn't it also manipulation for women to wear make-up, high heels, fake breasts, painted hair, plastic surgery? Yet I seldom see the latter criticized. It is simply accepted, even encouraged.
Consider a webpage titled "10 good ways for charming a woman" and you can imagine comments(mostly from women) along the lines of: "Guys, stop the bullshit just be yourselves and let the woman like you for who you are."
Yet if it is about "10 good ways to prepare for the job interview" I usually don't read this kind of objections. On the contrary it is assumed that when going for an interview candidates will dress as well as they can, have polished their CVs and often waded through lists of common questions/problems and their solutions(speaking as a computer programmer here). Not doing so would be considered sloppy. It is rare to hear: "People, just go to the interview and present yourself as you are, if the company likes you it will take you."
EDIT: I'm still being throttled even when commenting on my own post. So I won't be able to address all the comments. Sorry, this is not something I can fix.