As the 21st November draws near, we are watching carefully to see if the UK will follow the good examples of Australia and Brazil to take a stand against the sexist, misogynistic and racist Julien Blanc. The ‘Pick-Up Artist’ is due on our shores this week. He hosts ‘dating advice’ events where men pay up to £1,250 to learn how to emotionally, and in many cases, physically manipulate women into having sex with them. Teaching harassment is not a skill the UK needs. It’s bad enough that one in five British women have been victims of sexual violence since the age of 16. With tutorials that will only contribute to a culture of this violence, Blanc is offering a pick-up seminar in London on November 21 – dismally, it’s already fully booked.
Blanc provides seminars to “make girls BEG to sleep with you after SHORT-CIRCUITING their emotional and logical mind into a million reasons why they should”. One of Blanc’s tactics for ‘breaking the ice’ is to grab the heads of female strangers and thrust them toward his crotch. Another of his ‘approaches’ is to grab women in a choke-hold, while he puts his finger on his lips and whispers ‘Shh’. We don’t need more misogyny on our shores. According to The Ministry of Justice over 400,000 women are sexually assaulted each year in England and Wales.
Anti-Blanc social media campaigns have gathered pace in recent days, with Twitter users sharing pictures of his hand around the throats of women posted with his disgusting hashtag #ChokingGirlsAroundTheWorld. Online petitions are putting pressure on the Home Office and Theresa May to deny Julien Blanc a UK Visa. More than 150,000 people have signed a change.org petition, drawn up by a city worker using the pseudonym Caroline Charles to protect herself from abuse, and over 129,000 the avaaz.org community petition. Forced to cut short a visit to Australia following widespread protests, Blanc was subsequently denied visas in Australia and Brazil for his misogyny and racism.
As yet there has been no official comment from The Home Office but Yvette Cooper, the Shadow Home Secretary and Lynne Featherstone, have added their voices to the calls with Featherstone telling The Guardian: ‘As the Home Office minister with responsibility for tackling violence against women and girls, I am extremely concerned by the sexist and utterly abhorrent statements Julien Blanc has made about women’.
We don’t normally advocate for petitions, but knowing that a man who routinely advises his audiences: “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 …on the dick’ means action must be taken. Please sign one of the above petitions as the UK is better off without Blanc’s ‘lessons’. The UK must show more respect for women and follow Australia and Brazil’s lead; let’s ensure his visa is revoked.