I did a BBC radio interview the other morning with BBC London. It’s a serious talk show with Penny Smith and Paul Ross; they were debating the merits or otherwise of Julien Blanc being denied entry to the UK.
My view was that we were right to ban him. There was precious little time to air the arguments one way or the other on live radio, but for what it’s worth here are my thoughts:
I am sympathetic to the argument that by banning him we gave him a lot of free publicity; we certainly did. But a few days prior to the ban I was incensed to hear an item on the BBC Today programme which was nothing more than light banter about his so called ‘dating advice’ to men. The BBC had already given him some very good PR which provoked a twitter storm of outrage. Blanc runs dating seminars, that is true, but his advice to men certainly meant, in my opinion, that he met the criteria of being likely to incite violence. I can do no better than quote Sarah Ditum in The New Statesman:
In his videos, he prescribes techniques such as “the choke opener” and “just grabbing girls’ heads … head on the dick” for men approaching women – in other words, he instructs his audience to commit acts of violence on women. On his website, he promises to teach his subscribers “how to overcome every single objection she might have when you’re pulling her to sooth her mind, and fuck you the same night”. It’s a prospectus (he calls it the “Pimp Method”) where consent is not even up for discussion. “There is no such thing as rejection because it’s never over,” he says in one video. There is a word for refusing to accept “no” as an answer to your sexual proposition: the word is rape.
In the UK every year, approximately 85,000 women are raped and 400,000 are sexually assaulted. As few as one in 100 of these crimes may result in a conviction for the rapist. In this context of systemic sexual violence against women, Blanc’s seminars are essentially recruiting rallies for perpetrators. In with all the pseudoscientific flannel about “game” and “zones” and “vibing”, the only reliable principles a follower can learn from Blanc are those of coercion. That’s why it made sense for him to post a picture of the Duluth model (a chart describing different forms of intimate partner abuse) with the caption “may as well be a checklist #howtomakeherstay”.
Pretty sickening, eh?
I understand the arguments that it’s better to face your enemy, let them discredit themselves, what about free speech, etc, but in a month when we’ve had disclosure that lots of sex crimes go unreported, and worse, are not even followed up by the police, when Universities are reporting a rising of the ‘lad culture’ and female students of all ages report being harassed, can we really allow someone who openly encourages men to abuse women to ply his trade in the UK?
I don’t think so. I applaud the decision to stop him coming to the UK. It was reported that Blanc issued an apology. Good, I welcome it; I hope he meant it and I hope the 35 year old Julien will look back at his 25 year old self and be ashamed.
Posted on November 25th, 2014 by Jane