Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Singapore petitions against US 'Pick-up artist' Julien Blanc

'I'm the most hated man in the world'
Sorry: Julien Blanc appears on CNN to apologise for his sexist behaviour "My intentions were never bad," he said

Controversial pick-up artist Julien Blanc has apologised for making references to violence against women and admitted: "I'm the most hated man in the world".

The self-styled 'dating guru' appeared on CNN this morning to offer a sombre mea culpa after he was widely criticised for being sexist and objectifying women.

Blanc was kicked out of Australia after shocking footage of him 'teaching' men how to harass women was posted online. In the video the man is seen grabbing women in the streets of Tokyo and pushing their heads into his crotch.

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Controversial ‘Pick-Up’ Coach Who Teaches Men How to Choke Women Banned Overseas

A controversial ‘pick-up’ coach from California was recently banned in Australia, and other nations overseas are considering similar action due to concerns over his teachings that involve crude and violent tactics used to prey on women for sexual purposes.

“It’s offensive, it’s inappropriate, it’s emotionally scarring, but it’s [expletive] effective,” co-founder Julien Blanc writes on his website for his company Real Social Dynamics.

His teachings, which include online instruction videos and live seminars, claim to help males “develop panty-dropping masculinity” and learn how to “make girls beg to sleep with you.” Blanc’s followers pay as much as $3,000 to attend his seminars.

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Is Julien Blanc really the worst pickup artist?

Julien Blanc, the pick-up artist, holds a t-shirt that reads: 'Diss fatties, bang hotties'

Before last week, Julien Blanc would have been known to few outside the “international community of pick-up artists”. Now more than 150,000 people have signed a petition called for Home Secretary Theresa May to block this Swiss-born American’s entry to the UK – in order to prevent him from running “seduction classes” with techniques which have been described as sexually and emotionally abusive.

On his website, Pimp My Game, Blanc suggests that men “make threats to hurt [a woman]; make her drop charges; make her do illegal things; threaten to report her to welfare; prevent her from taking a job; take her money and humiliate her”.

His tried and tested pickup lines include: “Get down on your knees, call me master, and beg me to kiss you”. A video apparently shows the 25-year-old grabbing women by the throat in his effort to “seduce” them – and he has already been banned from entering Brazil and Australia to lead seduction seminars, which cost hundreds of dollars to attend.

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Despise Julien Blanc, but don’t ban him
Odious though Julien Blanc is, he should not be barred from the UK. To paraphrase Voltaire, we may disapprove of what Blanc has to say but we should defend his right to say it

It was only a matter of time before a self-proclaimed ‘pick-up artist’ caught the attention of the authorities. Ever since the journalist Neil Strauss released his best-selling book The Game back in 2005, the previously miniscule underground ‘community’ has attracted (no pun intended) a growing number of followers.

Indeed Real Social Dynamics, the company which employs Julien Blanc, the controversial pick-up artist who advocates strangling women on the street and calling them ‘dogs’, appears to be a very profitable company if its packed seminars are anything to go by. There is at least enough of a market in the UK for the company to charge over £1,000 for a two day ‘boot camp’ in London’s bars and clubs.

Pick-up is big business, and consequently the views of people like Julien Blanc are being exposed to a level of scrutiny they perhaps wouldn’t have been 10 years ago when the ‘community’ revolved around a handful of people exchanging tips and tricks on the net.

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Is denying a visa to Julien Blanc the wrong strategy?

More than 275,000 people have signed online petitions to stop Julien Blanc from entering the UK. Banning undesirables from entering Britain by invoking immigration laws has a long history, but is this the best way to tackle Blanc's racism and sexism?

Trending on Change.org, and now joined by Avaaz, is a petition urging the Home office to deny a visa to Julien Blanc, euphemistically described as a ‘dating coach’. He travels the world charging extortionate sums of money running boot camps on "How To Destroy Her Bitch Shield" and train men into tricking women into having sex with them.  Even the use of the term ‘boot camp’ with all its associations of military rigour feels offensive. He tweets pictures of himself with his hand around women’s throats using the hashtag #ChokingGirlsAroundThe World which says it all.  The mildest statement on his website, Pimp, describes women as meat by referring to them as ‘game’ and encourages punters to sign up to his courses  ‘With live infield demostration (sic) of what good game actually looks like …right on your computer.’ It is nothing short of revolting.

At the time of writing, the Change petition has collected over 150k signatures and the Avaaz petition over 125K. I will not be signing these petitions, however. I have much sympathy with the anger driving this campaign, but is this strategy the correct one? The dangers of clicktivism lie not in its minimum energy -  maximum change approach to changing the world, but in our sometimes hasty response to events when faced with a barrage of emails. I have done it myself only to reconsider my original decision when the issue is debated further in the public realm. Caroline Charles who initiated the Change petition, using a pseudonym, writes in her (his?) letter to the Home Office, “We petition you to deny Julien Blanc a UK Visa when his tour reaches the UK in February 2015. He and his association - Real Social Dynamics - promote sexist, racist and criminal approaches to women.”  The Avaaz petition describes Blanc as ‘an evangelist of rape culture and he's headed to the UK. His seminars glorify choking and coercing women into sex. Australia has already revoked his visa, and it is time the UK does the same. Call on the Home Office to deny this sexist snake oil salesman a UK visa!’

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Leading UK pick up artist says he doesn't know how Julien Blanc sleeps at night
Richard La Ruina is one of the UK's leading pick up artists

Richard La Ruina says pick up artists like Julien Blanc need to be responsible for their actions and consider the inexperience of their audience. He travels the world giving dating advice to men and helping them to improve their ability to speak to women.

He has been asked how to hypnotise women, he says, and believes he wouldn't get paid if he just taught his clients how to be nice.

After controversy surrounding Julien Blanc, the American pick up artist who has is being lobbied against performing in the UK after choking women on camera, Richard told us that people like he and Julien have a responsibility of care not only for their clients, but for the women they subsequently approach.

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Julien Blanc Offered Support From Katie Hopkins As Petition To Ban Him From Britain Grows

Julien Blanc’s plans to perform in Britain have been met with a wave of hostility, but the self-proclaimed “professional pick-up artist” can count on at least one person to support his entry into the UK.

And that person is obviously, Katie Hopkins.

American Blanc has been accused of directly exploiting “vulnerable men who buy into rape culture” with arguably sexually violent techniques to “woo” women (including pedalling the hashtag #ChokingGirlsAroundTheWorld, where he tweets footage of himself doing exactly that.)

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Vile 'seduction coach' facing ban from the UK
A controversial ‘seduction artist’ accused of encouraging violence against women now faces a ban from entering the UK, it emerged last night

Julien Blanc runs a ‘pick up’ company for men which critics say uses sexually abusive methods to attract women and encourages his clients to treat women badly. He was expected to come to Britain next week to run a two day seminar, but campaigners have demanded he is blocked from entering.

'Pick-up artist' Julien Blanc has been criticised over his sexually abusive and racist methods
Home Secretary Theresa May – who has a long record of refusing those whose views and behaviour she considers unacceptable, is expected to intervene in the case. Last week a minister in her department, Liberal Democrat Lynne Featherstone, said she was lobbying Mrs May to refuse Mr Blanc a visa.

Video footage shows the 25-year-old Mr Blanc using racist language and apparently grabbing women by the throat. His other proposed methods include threatening to commit suicide and isolating women from their friends.
"One comment posted on his Twitter feed stated: ‘Dear girls, could you please save me the effort and roofie (spike) your own drink? #JustKidding’"
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No dates for pick-up artist
So-called "dating coach" Julien Blanc holds seminars all over the world on how to pick up women. The Guardian reported that he has posted photos on social media of him propositioning women in chokeholds. SCREEN / VAT NEWS / QMI AGENCY CAPTURE

Promoting abusive and negative treatment of women is no art – it’s wrong.

That’s why we’re pleased so-called “pick-up artist” Julien Blanc’s group Real Social Dynamics appears to have cancelled their upcoming Canadian “bootcamps” in Calgary, Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver.

“Pick-up artists” are guys who supposedly have the playbook for wooing the ladies into bed. Some of the more popular ones get paid to impart their knowledge to the socially awkward, and the California-based Blanc travels the world giving such advice.

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Julien Blanc 'Has Already Been To The UK', As Petition To Deny Him Visa Grows
People signing the petition to stop controversial 'pick up artist' Julien Blanc from coming to Britain - we have disappointing news

According to his blog, Blanc, who once told a seminar he had run through Tokyo "just grabbing girls heads", has already delivered one of his infamous seminars here.

So far, 146,000 people have signed a petition asking for him to be barred from the UK - which he is supposedly going to try to do later this month. Home Office minister Lynne Featherstone said she would push for this to happen, telling The Guardian: "I am extremely concerned by the sexist and utterly abhorrent statements Julien Blanc has made about women."

"If he was allowed to perform in the UK I have no doubt that cases of sexual harassment and intimidation would increase."

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Singaporean woman starts online petition against violent, racist ‘pick-up artist’
In the online petition, Ms Mah called for Mr Blanc to be denied entry into Singapore or deported if he had already entered. — Reuters pic

A Singaporean has started a petition pre-empting any possible visit by Julien Blanc, a self-proclaimed pick-up artist who recently made headlines after his visa was revoked in Australia, forcing him to cut his visit short.

Blanc, who is part of a group called Real Social Dynamics (RSD), has provoked widespread protest over his methods of attracting women, which some say advocate violence towards women and racism. His visit to Melbourne earlier this month to conduct a seminar drew crowds of protesters and politicians in the United Kingdom have called on UK Home Secretary Theresa May to ban him from entering Britain. On Friday, Brazil’s Foreign Ministry issued a statement rejecting his visa application.

The Singapore petition on http://change.org comes on the heels of similar petitions started in Japan, Canada and the UK, which has drawn more than 2,200 signatures as of last night. It was started by Charis Mah, who is hoping to collect 10,000 signatures.

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Online petition against "pick-up artist" Julien Blanc gathers close to 3,000 supporters in three days
An online petition on change.org started by Singaporean Charis Mah is aimed at preventing self proclaimed "pick-up artist" Julien Blanc from coming to Singapore. -- PHOTO: SCREENGRAB FROM CHANGE.ORG WEBSITE

An online petition to prevent self-proclaimed "pick up artist" Julien Blanc from coming to Singapore has gathered close to 3,000 supporters in three days.

The petition started on Nov 14 on change.org is addressed to Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean and is in anticipation of Mr Blanc's possible attempt to come to Singapore. As of Monday morning, it had 2,917 supporters. It has a target of 10,000 signatures.

A dating coach at California-based Real Social Dynamics (RSD), Mr Blanc travels round the world advocating the use of physical aggression and emotional abuse to convince women to have sex, according to videos of his workshops on YouTube. One of his techniques to "open" a woman is to approach her and choke her before covering her mouth to keep her quiet.

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Full Coverage:
Toronto Sun: No dates for pick-up artist
Malay Mail: Sporean woman starts online petition against violent, racist 'pick-up artist'
The Star: Petition for ban on 'pick-up' artist gathers support subhead
Channel News Asia: Singaporean woman starts online petition against 'pick-up artist'
TODAYonline: S'porean woman starts online petition against 'pick-up artist'
AsiaOne: Online petition against 'pick-up artist' Julien Blanc gathers more than 2000
Straits Times: Online petition against'pick-up artist'Julien Blanc gathers more than 1000

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Life is short in Singapore for dating website Ashley Madison

The Canada-based dating website Ashley Madison - whose slogan is "Life is short, have an affair" - has been banned in Singapore a few days before it was due to be launched there.

Since prostitution is legal in Singapore, this has led to criticism that the outlawing of the site underlines the corporate nature of the state - that adulterous relations are acceptable only if they are also commercially transacted.

related: All this fuss about Ashley Madison

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