Last night, sitting around the dinner table, I played this video of some of Donald Trump’s most misogynistic comments regarding women. My 20 year old son, who was only listening to the audio, immediately said that he is “negging women”. I had no clue what “negging” was so I took a look.
According to Wikipedia, negging is a rhetorical strategy whereby a person makes a deliberate backhanded compliment or otherwise insulting remark to another person in order to undermine his or her confidence in a way that gains approval. The term was coined and proscribed by the seduction community. The New Statesman describes it as:
Negging, as it is called, is in essence a trick. The idea is to undermine a woman’s confidence by making backhanded or snide remarks – give a compliment with one hand, and take away with the other. It is about control, putting the man in charge of the interaction by pushing the woman to earn his approval….
Here are a few lines that women I interview have had used on them. “You look amazing. What have you done?” “If your face was as good as your legs I’d have to marry you.” “Nice eyes – even though one is bigger than the other.” “How brave of you to wear an outfit like that,” and even: “You have a great body. Are you bulimic?” (The last interviewee adds that she was, at the time, bulimic.)
The New Statesman further describes the origins of negging:
The internet age taught the nerdy kid who was picked on at school that the world was theirs for the taking. The geek shall inherit the earth. Women, who retained an untamed sense of mystery, didn’t fit the matrix. So this community turned the opposite sex into a logical problem which could be solved. These men went online and started comparing notes and running experiments. They stole aspects of neuro-linguistic programming, evolutionary psychology, and some of the techniques of the salesman – the “close”, and so on. Then they hit “the field” looking for “targets”. They wrote field reports detailing what worked, and what didn’t. From this, the early pick-up artists were born.
It fits Donald Trump’s campaign strategy to a tee. The only difference is he has expanded the concept of negging to attack men and women equally. Remember what he said about Mexicans – “They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”
Negging preys upon people with low self-esteem. People seeking validation. It reduces the victim to strive for validation from the person negging them. And, in doing so, transfers power to the person demeaning them.
And that is how Donald Trump is seducing his supporters. He is nothing more than a repulsive, alpha male pick-up artist, preying upon people’s insecurities.