It Takes Balls - Cosby and the Culture of Male Entitlement

3 years ago
This article was written by a member of the SheKnows Community. It has not been edited, vetted or reviewed by our editorial staff, and any opinions expressed herein are the writer’s own.
Bill Cosby SWScan05004 With sexual assault charges going back decades even in a culture of male entitlement Bill Cosby proves he has some balls

A picture speaks a thousand words.

35 of Bill Cosby's alleged rape victims bravely grace the current cover of N.Y. Magazine, coming together to create a powerful image. Seated in rows with the dates of their alleged assaults underneath them, these women have courageously come forward to share their stories and reveal themselves in stunning photos by Amanda Demme.

Their stories go back decades, dovetailing perfectly with the time period covered in this previously published post.

Updated, it bears repeating.

A picture speaks a thousand words, and finally people are listening...and learning.

It Takes Balls

With the firestorm of controversy surrounding college campus rapes and Bill Cosby’s multiple allegations of sexually assaulting women dating back to the 1970s, the realities of our rape culture, its insidiousness and pervasiveness have become all too clear.

When it comes to picking up women… it takes balls.

vintage Bill Cosby and illustration cartoon man as wolf Are men wolves?

From the caveman to Cosby, red-blooded men have been encouraged to be on the prowl for chicks. Licking their chops like a pack of hungry wolves, real men stalk women, never taking no for an answer, persistent even in the face of rejection.

Besides which it’s the girls responsibility to keep a man in check and refuse the brutes advances.

Yet even at the height of the 70’s sexual revolution, even with all his fame, fortune and charm it seems poor Bill Cosby still needed to rely on drugs to get a woman into bed.

Books How to Pick Up Girls Book Vintage Book 1970 How to Pick Up Girls by Eric Weber

If only he had availed himself of the wisdom of mating guru Eric Weber whose 1970 book “How to Pick Up Girls” became the quintessential guide for the testosterone driven members of the Me Generation.

It was the gold standard in helping millions of groovy guys pick up foxy ladies in the 1970s.

And it made Weber a lot of loot.

Male Entitlement

This misogynist's manifesto of male entitlement promised a fool-proof guide to meeting good-looking girls “whenever and wherever, in bars, buses trains even on the streets - without a formal introduction."

And without drugging your date.

Despite being rife with sexism it never suggests resorting to spiking your dates drink.

Cosby Women and fabulous 25 Following the advice of the "Fabulous 25," the foxy girls who Weber interviewed on how to pick up girls, would today more likely to be considered enablers of the entitlement culture at best. Or end up on the cover of "NY Magazine" 45 years later interviewed as the victims of sexual assault one of a string of Bill Cosby's “conquests.” (L) The Fabulous 25 from 1970 (R) Cover Of "NY Magazine" - Photos by Amanda Demme For NY Magazine

His formula was simple. Weber was a shy copywriter wiling his time on Madison Ave, when he decided to interview a bunch of “terrific looking women" he called the Fabulous 25. "They are all smart poised witty and good talkers the kind of girls you’d give at least one of your eye teeth to pick up," as he described them,

For  these Fabulous 25  getting picked up  is the "hip modern way to meet men…purer than a blind date more in tune with our hip, modern times."

“Here's a fantastic piece of information learned from the Fabulous 25. No matter what a man looks like, what kind of job he has, or what his personality's like, there is one simple thing he can do that will increase his stature in a woman's eyes 100%.

And that is, he can try to pick her up. That alone says something great about a man. It says he’s courageous that hes man enough to go out and try to get what he wants”

The  Fabulous 25, the foxy girls who Weber interviewed in 1970 would today more likely to be considered enablers of the entitlement culture at best; or end up on the cover of NY Magazine 45 years later as the "forlorn 35 " victims of sexual assault one of  a string of  Bill Cosby's “conquests.”

Misogyny Served Straight Up
sexist ad woman and Club soda What's better than a drunken woman? "The only thing better than a club soda that's full of life at the end of a party is a girl who's full of life at the end of a party!" Vintage Canada Dry Club Soda Ad 1970

Without missing a beat, the book immediately assaults you with a direct hit of misogyny, clearly setting the tenor for the rest of this intolerable tome.

sailors on bus ogling girl in mini skirt Vintage Benson and Hedges Cigarette ad 1970

The introduction starts casually enough.

“You’re walking down the street,” Weber begins painting a familiar scenario. “Minding your own business. And suddenly you spot a girl.”

“Not just an ordinary girl. Not just a fantastic girl. But the girl—someone so absolutely sexy, so downright delicious-looking.”

Barely able to contain his excitement he continues:

“You’ve just got to see more of her long, lean legs,” he pants. “Her fine, rounded breasts,” he salivates. “Her high, firm behind. For an instant you even consider rape.

And who could blame you? That babe just assaulted you with her beauty!

Can’t Help Myself

sexy man and woman

As Weber explains later in the book, …women want to be picked up!

“Why do you think women parade around in skirts hardly a millimeter below their private parts?” he posits with great sincerity . “Why do you think so many of them have completely stopped wearing bras and panties? Just to look pretty? Don’t be crazy. They’re showing you their breasts and behinds to stimulate you.”

What’s a man to do?

Easing into stalker mode the introduction continues:

“As you close in on her your heart starts to pound like a kettle drum. You rack your brain. How can I manage to kiss her and bite her and hug her and strip off all her clothes?"

“Should I throw myself at her feet and promise her my savings account, my car –even my new set of golf clubs?" he wonders?

Then taking a page from the Fred Flinstone rule book on courting, he continues. "Or should I just grab her long golden locks and drag her off into the sunset?”

“Your mind draws a blank. You don’t know what to do.”

Of course if you’re like Bill Cosby you might just drop a lude into her Mimosa and render the fantastic girl unconscious.

For the rest of the insecure male readers, the book is filled with hundreds of nuggets on how to “bag your prey.”

Time-tested, winning techniques like to get a girl all  laden with  disrespect, arrogance and aggression, are the hallmark of a rape culture.

If it takes lying to pick up a chick, so much the better. Dishonesty it seems is an honest way to pick up a girl.

man and woman at 1970s presidential convention Just one of his 50 great opening lines that would work well in the election season: "I'm with a company that conducts political polls. Who would you like to see as president in '72 ( carry a pad and pencil with you. Look official )"

Hard to imagine, but the author of this book, clearly a smooth make-out artist, was once a shy and lonely guy just like the insecure reader who was looking for love in all the wrong places.

Book How to Pick Up Girls ad Vintage ad for How to Pick Up Girls

What he did was simple. He asked them how an ordinary guy like himself could pick up girls like themselves. Using their responses as the basis of his book Weber offered up the tricks of the trade of meeting women, self published the results, took out some ads in National Lampoon and Penthouse and went on to sell more than 3 million copies.

On the Prowl
phone booth pick up A man must be ready to pick up a girl anywhere anytime. Vintage ad Benson and Hedges Cigarettes 1970

According to the this guide book to male entitlement culture,  picking up girls is more than your right as a man. It’s an obligation.

Once on the prowl, show her nothing comes between you and her Calvins.

“If you're serious. If you're really serious about picking up women you should be working at it 24 hours a day. You’re going to have to think picking up. In short you're going to have to be on the prowl, ever alert for even the slightest hint of a possible pick up."

men fashion SWScan09570 "Here's what the Fabulous 25 had to say about picking up . To them its the hip modern way to meet men."

Stalking is not only not forbidden it is encouraged.

“If you see a good-looking girl in the lobby of a building, make sure you get on the same elevator as she does. When she gets off, follow her — even if it’s not your floor.”

“Next time you move in on a girl, think to yourself, 'I’m doing her a favor.”

And naturally no doesn't ever really mean no.

“Show her that nothing, neither her feigned look of disinterest nor the pack of girls she hangs around with, is going to stop you from having her.”

vintage book cover Man in Charge illustration man and woman Vintage Harlequin Romance Novel

And now we come to the reason why gents can do all this. In  the chapter called Born Talented which more aptly should be called Born Entitled, Weber comes to the heart of the matter.

“Whether you know it or not you already have one great thing going for you when it comes to picking up chicks. And that is, you’re a man."

vintage photo man and woman kissing

What's so special about that? It puts you in the driver's seat, that’s what.

As a man, its your right, your privilege to approach a woman any time you want. But women - they’ve got to sit there and wait.

If a man doesn’t have a date on Saturday night, that’s okay. He can still go out on the town - to a bar, a discotheque, a wild party.

But woman - alas poor woman - she can't do anything but sit around and play canasta with the girls. If she does go out stag, she seems hard up, desperate.

Traditionally, a woman without a man is a tragic figure. But a man without a woman - now that’s a different story.

There's something romantic about the devil-may-care bachelor who instead of making dull constricting dates weeks in advance, prefers to pick up his women wherever he happens to be at the moment.

sexist Midol For Your man "The fabulous 25 said they've found there aren't enough single men to go around. And these are really super girls. Imagine how tough it is on girls who aren't as good-looking." A girl needs to keep herself appealing always...even during "that time of the month." In this vintage Midol ad (R) the reader is encouraged to take Midol not to relieve your cramps but to be the "you" your guy likes to be around!

Consequently, women are always a lot more anxious to land a man than a man is to land a woman. A woman is over the hill at 35. A dried up spinster with no romantic hopes. But a bachelor of 35 may just be coming into his own.

Keep this in mind the next time you find yourself shivering with fear at the thought of approaching a strange woman.

You are a man.

If she turns you down, you can try picking up another 2 seconds later. But she - she may have to wait 2 months for the next man to come along. Or even longer.

…That makes you a pretty precious commodity if you happen to have been lucky enough to have been born a man!

“So happy reading. And then happier hunting!


Next: How to Pick Up Girls in Action 1970

© Sally Edelstein and Envisioning The American Dream, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Sally Edelstein and Envisioning The American Dream with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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