Negging Doesn’t Work in Denmark

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Pickup artists claim that the rules of The Game have been written and rewritten in our DNA over a couple thousand years of human evolution. Women, burdened with a finite number of eggs and the work of childbearing, are picky, withholding sex unless men appear to be the dominant, alpha-male provider sort. For Mystery & Co., seduction is universal. So why doesn’t pickup artistry work in Denmark?

Writing in Dissent, Katie Baker relays the frustrations of 33-year-old pickup artist Daryush Valizadeh, a.k.a. Roosh, author of the travel-seduction guides Bang Brazil, Bang Poland, and Bang Iceland. But among the Danes, Roosh struck out: He laments his nonstop rejection by “the most unfeminine and androgynous robotic women ” in Don’t Bang Denmark.

“Not a feminine drop of blood courses through their veins,” Roosh rants. He concludes that the typical fetching Nordic lady doesn’t need a man “because the government will take care of her and her cats, whether she is successful at dating or not.”

American women like to tell each other they don’t need men, but that's only true in a certain sense, and under the best of circumstances. What if you, woman-who-needs-a-man-like-a-fish-needs-a-bicycle, had a kid? What if you got sick or lost your job? It’s not that a woman needs a romantic partner — but in any of these totally commonplace scenarios, the safety net of a spouse can be the difference between falling into poverty or not.

That isn't the case in the gender-equitable Nordic welfare state where, as Baker puts it, “coupling is decoupled from dependency.” A college education and medical care are all but guaranteed, and there’s little reason to fear becoming homeless or permanently unemployed. With paid maternity leave and universal child care, the country’s maternal employment rate is over 80 percent. Baker writes:

Unlike in America, where bestsellers goad already overworked and underpaid women to Lean In even further, the assumption in Denmark is that feminism is a collective goal, not an individual pursuit. Danish women are less likely to be financially dependent on men and therefore feel less pressure to “settle” or change their behavior by, in Roosh’s words, “adopting a pleasing figure or style that’s more likely to attract men.

It turns out women who are truly secure in their financial independence are less susceptible to the vulnerability and neediness induced by “negs” and are much less beholden to self-styled alpha males. If that's not enough to get American women and beta males to agitate for paid maternity leave and early-childhood care, what will?