Writing about abhorrent misogyny pretty much every day of every week can get a tad depressing. So I’m glad to have some actual good news to report. Good news, at least, for non-misogynists.
The #TakeDownJulienBlanc campaign has taken off internationally, and the “pickup artist” who advocates choking women as a clever “opener” has been kicked out of Australia, his visa revoked.
In an op-ed in The Independent yesterday, self-described “Aggressive Chinese Girl” Jenn Li explained why she started the #TakeDownJulienBlanc campaign and what it has accomplished so far:
Julien Blanc, a “dating advice” consultant working for Real Social Dynamics (RSD), travels around the world teaching men how to manipulate, and in some cases, sexually assault women. …
In Blanc’s videos his treatment of women is – to put it lightly – horrifying. There are videos of him going up to women, clasping their throats, while putting his finger on his lips, saying “shhh”. For reasons beyond me, he has decided to document this abuse by labelling the videos of him doing this with his own hashtag: #ChokingGirlsAroundtheWorld. …
When talking about how to “seduce” a Japanese woman, he is quoted as saying: “Just grab her… To take the pressure off, yell Pikachu or Pokemon or Tamagotchi or something”. He is obsessed with degrading Japanese women, and abusing his white male privilege. “…
By perpetuating the idea that Asian women are a “free for all” for predatory men, he is encouraging other pathetic men to abuse them. …
When I first started the campaign, I had almost no strategy; I just threw things and hoped they stuck. I called the Japanese Embassy, reported him, wrote to the press, did the hashtag thing, and started a petition on change.org.
I’m now targeting venues who are hosting his events. The campaign is still in its early stages, but something has seemed to have stuck. We have been able to shut down events in Melbourne, Brisbane, Austin, and Seattle, and Eventbrite have stopped hosting his events.
In Melbourne, as I noted a couple of days ago, Li and her supporters convinced the hotel hosting his event to boot him. Blanc ended up having to host the event on a boat, and sent an assistant along to conduct the “seminar” in his place. Locals organized a protest and the event itself was shut down. Not long afterwards, local authorities reported that they had revoked Blanc’s visa. He’s now left the country.
Li’s next goal? To shut down Blanc’s scheduled seminars in Japan in two weeks.
RSD founder Owen Cook, aka “Tyler Durden,” has posted a weird, rambling “non response” to the controversy on his website, a strange mixture of apology, defiance and self-justification. After announcing that “we’re not NOT responding. :),” he basically throws Blanc under the bus:
I think Julien’s video was absolutely stupid. It was totally out of context and he posted it to get shock, not realizing the full outcome. I’m sorry about the video. I would have taken it down if I’d seen it, but don’t monitor all social media postings.
I watched Julien’s entire Free Tour from that event today, and he talks about not degrading women and how he’s just kidding around. The full infield clips have the girls laughing and asking him to kiss them and things like that. He deliberately left this out of the video to make it inflammatory. Again I don’t approve that behaviour and frankly neither does he, he was an idiot to post that.
Then he complains that #TakeDownJulienBlanc supporters are
deliberately taking things out of context. … I see fake twitter accounts claiming to be Julien, or videos from me with sarcasm that are cut to say insane things I’m not saying, and that have context when you watch the whole thing. They know they’re doing this and think it’s funny, so there’s not a lot of dialogue to be had.
So I’m not NOT talking… it’s just that there’s nobody to talk to. 🙂 I’ve apologized in other threads and condemned the behaviour. From there it is what it is.
He follows up with a weirdly self-aggrandizing spiel:
All I care about is my ability to do good in the world. RSD has been a cool vehicle to do that. If it isn’t a viable vehicle anymore, I’ll continue to do good. The people who watch our stuff honestly have no idea what it’s like to be a shy guy trying to learn to meet girls, or the pain it causes. They have no context for why we teach guys what we teach, after years of trying different things to see what works.
It doesn’t matter. I’ll always do amazing work and make the world better. As long as I can do that, I’m happy. The vehicle is just a temporary form that has to be discarded like anything else, whether tomorrow or in 50 years. As long as I’m alive I’ll keep finding new vehicles to do good things.
It seems like SJW’s cause a lot of trouble for good men as well as bad. I think it’s important people find out about them. I think the mainstream media does a lot of messed up things as well. I’ve honestly felt guilty for not addressing these issues for a while now, but was too busy teaching “pick up” which I’m sure people sensed I did more out of obligation to the community that helped me, than it being my main focus.
So regardless of what happens, I’ll continue to do good. I’ve spent days working on RSD related stuff, no different than before. I personally expect RSD to be fine. My life is basically the same as it ever was, not really different. I’ve been planning on building something new for a long time, and have a lot of things in the works with it even before this, so if it’s not fine I’ll do other things.
I suspect the plain English translation of all that is: CRAP CRAP CRAP CRAP I THINK WE’RE SCREWED.
As far as I know, Blanc himself hasn’t offered any response to any of this yet — aside from quietly taking down Tweets featuring pictures of him choking women.
You can also sign a petition to Take Down Julien Blanc and RSD’s Seminars and Web content. Last I checked, the Change.org petition had garnered more than 30,000 signatures. There’s another one directed at the Japanese government here.
For more on the campaign against Blanc, see:
Julien Blanc, the ‘female attraction’ expert, glorifies sexual violence. The fewer seminars he holds, the better, by Somayya Ismailjee at TheGuardian.com.
Australian Government Deports Notorious “Pick-Up Artist” Julien Blanc, by Mark Di Stefano at Buzzfeed.