You might want to reassess your romantic life, San Francisco, because this bro named Bryce Anderson, cofounder of something called the Man Skills Academy, has some thoughts about dating in San Francisco. And surprise! They're hella bad. [Update: the original article seems to have been taken down and replaced with an excuse for why it was written, but as one commenter points out below, the original piece can be found cached here.]
Bryce has the courtesy to warn us about what we’re about to get into first: “WARNING: If you’re a female living in SF, you may find this article mildly to highly offensive.” Thank you, Bryce, for exhibiting classic guy idiocy right off the bat.
Bryce’s screed is the most tone-deaf and garbage thinkpiece about San Francisco since Peter Shih’s infamous “10 Things I Hate About You: San Francisco Edition.” Putting aside the plain awful writing, the most “can you believe this frickin’ guy??!” aspect of this article is the way he promotes stereotypes about women and then wonders what women can do stop those stereotypes. The onus sure as hell isn't on women to break those generalizations, dude— it's on the sexist men using those stereotypes in the first place.
The first section is quite a doozy, it’s titled “Women In SF Are Just Not That Attractive – City of 7’s.” Bryce delves into the tired cliche that San Franciscans are simply not attractive, and to his credit says “a woman’s worth cannot and SHOULD NOT be evaluated based on physical appearance alone.” But then he immediately chips at his newfound credibility: “However, the general consensus among SF men, is that SF women are …well … somewhat homely looking when compared to other major US cities ... SF men report that women here don’t seem to take as much pride in their appearance as women do elsewhere ... However, wearing yoga pants and a Patagonia fleece everyday isn’t exactly motivating these guys to renew their GQ subscriptions.”
Now comes the part where he tells women how to get their shit together. First remedy: “Put a little more thought into your fashion/style/appearance. Even if SF guys rock hoodies and sneakers non-stop, you can still dress it up and inspire them to do better.”
So it’s slob for me but fancy for thee? If women want to leave the house in sweats and crocs, then so be it. Not to mention fashion shouldn’t be a prime factor in your dating — a well-dressed asshole is still an asshole.
The other solution for this “problem” is “Remember… men, like to feel like men. Subtly guide them into acting in the ways that you desire.” Yes, but how does this help dispel the “SF women aren’t attractive” stereotype?
Next up, he trots out the old “4to9er” trope which says that SF women are fours who think they are nines. Again, you're aiming for the wrong audience, bud. Please address the perpetrators of those middle school locker room jokes, not San Francisco women. In his discussion of the “4to9er” Anderson brings a disclaimer that has to be read a dozen times to be believed: “The 1-10 attractiveness scale is something that every man with a wenis uses or has used at some point. It definitely objectifies women. I did not create it. I’m referencing it because it’s a real thing and ubiquitous among men on the dating circuit.” Yeah, um, I’m gonna use this sexist thing that’s not real but I’m not to blame since I didn’t make it. The rest of this section is a thoughtful analysis on beauty standards — just kidding. It features such hair-tearing lines as "A '7' is actually a great find. Here is why, when she dolls it up, she can become an '8' or '9'," and “For the record, ANY SF lady could be labeled a 4to9er after karate chopping a man’s ego for simply saying hello.”
And how can women slay the “4to9er” dragon? Read on to find out!
“Be nicer. Every man that talks to you is not necessarily trying to get in your yoga pants. Okay, 80% of them probably are.” So one hundred percent of of catcallers are men but it’s the women who have to be nicer? Got it. Ladies, be nice to that creep on Muni even though he likely sees you as just a possible notch on the belt.
The other two sections are more obnoxious drivel that rehash cliched stereotypes about gender roles in a tone that gives off a vibe like this guy is doing humanity a favor it didn’t need. If you’re going to be sexist, guy, at least be original. And it of course it ends with a plug for his “academy” which he swears “women absolutely LOVE.”
I personally think this academy should disappear, but if it’s going to exist, how about amending the curriculum to include courses like “How To Treat Women With Respect” “Objectifying Women is Wrong Part 28” and “Women Don't Exist To Accommodate The Whims of Your Needs and Pleasures.”
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