That’s not “dating advice”

Julien Blanc is scheduled to visit the UK for a “lecture” series on how to assault women, but there’s a petition drive urging the government to deny him a visa.

Thousands of people have called on the Home Office to deny a visa to a controversial US “pick-up artist” who holds seminars that critics say teach men sexually abusive and racist tricks to attract women.

Well, you know, it’s not really “critics say” – it’s just an obvious fact. It’s no good pretending that grabbing strangers by the back of the head and pushing them onto your crotch is not sexually abusive. It’s no good pretending that’s just “banter” or “flirtation” or “seduction.”

The City worker who started the petition said Blanc’s seminars promoted dangerous behaviour and attitudes towards women. Caroline Charles, a pseudonym she is using because of the abuse and vitriol experienced by other female campaigners against sexism, said: “Julien Blanc dresses up his seminars as dating advice, which at best is disingenuous – he focuses on tricking women into having sex, in order to make money.

“It is wrong on every level – it is promoting violence against women and girls, it takes advantage of men and it sends a message to survivors of sexual assault that they will not be listened to. To allow someone into the UK who is explicitly promoting these things is abysmal.”

It also conflates rape with sex, which seems like a bad idea for everyone except possibly committed puritans.

Video clips of Blanc on YouTube show him shoving women’s faces into his crotch and on one occasion assaulting a Japanese checkout worker – who appears to be deeply uncomfortable – by kissing her neck and ear. He is shown speaking to a room full of men who laugh at his anecdotes, at one point commenting about women in Japan: “If you’re a white male, you can do what you want. I’m just romping through the streets, just grabbing girls’ heads, just like, head, pfft on the dick.”

This is what I’m saying. The shoving faces into his crotch part isn’t free speech in any sense, it’s assault. The videos aren’t assault, but they are promoting assault. I don’t think assault-promotion should be protected speech.

Sarah Green from the End Violence Against Women coalition said that there was a strong legal case for denying Blanc a temporary work visa for the UK. “Some of the behaviour Blanc demonstrates in his videos amounts to sexual harassment and sexual assault,” she said. “More broadly this is part of a culture that makes light of assault, that tells victims they will not be taken seriously. We need a social conversation about why this type of ‘advice’ is commercially viable.”

The threshold for denying a temporary work visa is a lot lower than the threshold for, say, arrest, I’m guessing. I don’t think Julien Blanc should get a temporary work visa for the kind of “work” he does.


  1. Dunc says

    It also conflates rape with sex, which seems like a bad idea for everyone except possibly committed puritans.

    And rapists.

  2. rorschach says

    Even the protofascist Australian immigration minister managed to cancel this guy’s visa last week.

  3. latsot says

    I agree. I don’t think this is the sort of work we want done.

    There’d be a national outrage if someone promoting racist or – probably – homophobic behaviour wanted a visa to come and do it here. It’ll be much harder to get people outraged about a promoter of sexual assault against women, I expect.

    But let’s give it a go. 51k is a good start.

  4. sonofrojblake says

    Julien Blanc dresses up his seminars as dating advice, which at best is disingenuous – he focuses on tricking women into having sex, in order to make money.

    No, he doesn’t. His focus is not on tricking women into giving him sex (seriously – you think someone who’s had their head forced into his lap is going to go home with him?), his focus is on tricking MEN into giving him MONEY. His victims are not just the women he assaults, but also the men he bilks out of really quite amazing amounts of money for this garbage, to say nothing of the women those men may go on to assault “for fun”.

    It’s a depressing cycle of misery, but make no mistake, Blanc’s focus here is not sex, it’s money.

  5. Kevin Kehres says

    The videos aren’t assault…they are evidence of assault.

    Evidence…as in admissible in a court of law. As in, if the victim filed a police report, the prosecutor would take one look at the evidence and lick her chops over having a slam-dunk case.

    Sadly, these videos are evidence of misdemeanors, so it’s not like there’s any real prison time involved. And prosecutors, being busy people, are not likely to go looking for cases to add to their workload.

    But they are evidence nonetheless. And it does not matter what the victim’s response to the assault is in the video. Completely and totally irrelevant. A crime took place, they videotaped it, and posted it on YouTube.

  6. John Morales says

    lesofa above, saw this in local news: Pick-up artist Julien Blanc will be refused Brazilian visa, foreign ministry says

    Brazil has said it will deny a visa application from an American “pick-up artist” who was forced out of Australia last week after a social media campaign against his methods of teaching men to seduce women.

    In a statement, Brazil’s foreign affairs ministry said there were “enough elements” about Julien Blanc’s background to deny him a visa.

    Blanc teaches men to seduce women using techniques that include choking and intimidation.

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