Revelations about Bond came just weeks before Roosh V., another infamous pick-up artist and founder of the misogynist and anti-feminist website “Return of Kings” (linked via DoNotLink.com) announced a planned workshop series that would have spread Roosh’s pick-up artist philosophy — including his argument that rape should be legalized — worldwide. Roosh received enormous international backlash, and was forced to cancel the planned appearances.
Now, activists are hoping to place David Bond — whose videos include racism, as well as physical and emotional coercion of women — under similar international pressure.
In 2014, self-described “dating coach” Julien Blanc drew the attention of feminists (myself included) for a series of videos wherein Blanc engaged in street harassment of Japanese women, boasted of groping them while yelling nonsensical Japanese words like “Tamagochi” and “Pikachu”, and advised workshop attendees to use physical and verbal coercion, including choking, in order to “assert dominance”. A public outcry against Blanc ensued – coordinated in the hashtag #TakeDownJulienBlanc – noting that Blanc’s behavior is illegal in many of the countries that he visits, and these activities culminated in Blanc being formally banned from travel to Australia, the United Kingdom, and Singapore, with additional efforts focused on his travel to other countries such as Canada, Japan and Germany. Eventually, Blanc was invited onto CNN to be interviewed by Chris Cuomo, and in that segment, Blanc offered a qualified pseudo-apology for his videos and workshops.
In one of my first posts about the Julien Blanc outcry, I urged us to focus not solely on stopping Julien Blanc, but rather to see Blanc’s videos as symptomatic of the broader misogyny of the pick-up artist community. As shocking as Blanc’s videos and endorsed techniques are to the wider world, they are not unusual within the subculture of pick-up artistry. This is a community where the deep-seated fear of being labeled as a “beta” perpetuates a culture of misogylinity — the defining of masculinity through ownership of female sexuality. This is a community where #MasculinitySoFragile has been distilled into its most concentrated form, where heterosexism runs rampant, and where any notions of feminism and female agency are met with open hostility. In that context, the racialized violence of Julien Blanc’s teachings is not exceptional; rather, it is par for the course.
It should come as no surprise, therefore, that another self-described pick-up artist has stepped into the vacuum left open when Julien Blanc was taken down. It should also come as no surprise that the same racism and misogyny endemic of Blanc’s videos has reappeared.
On CNN’s New Day, host Chris Cuomo interviewed the most hated man in the world, Julien Blanc.
Cuomo’s barely contained disgust at Blanc and pick-up artistry is, itself, kind of an amazing thing to behold; at one point, he actually calls pick-up artistry “some pathetic man’s group” (which is just telling it like it is, to be honest). Halfway through the interview, Cuomo appears to just give up and start flipping through his notes — as if he can’t even stand to look at Blanc anymore.
Meanwhile, Blanc offers one of his first public apologies since #TakeDownJulienBlanc took the world by storm. He’s “really, really sorry for everything that happened”, apparently — except that, Blanc still thinks it was all “a poor attempt at humour”.
“Grab [her] and yell ‘Pikachu’ and put her head on your dick.”
These are—verbatim—some of the lessons Julien Blanc might have taught in Los Angeles, before the #TakeDownJulienBlanc hashtag on Twitter.
Blanc, a self-described dating coach for Real Social Dynamics (RSD), travels the globe promising to unlock the secrets of the “dating game.” On Thursday, Real Social Dynamics planned to host a workshop in Los Angeles, part of a series that Blanc ran in Australia before the Twitter outcry led to the revoke of his Australian visa.
Socially awkward men spend between $500 and $3000 to attend Blanc’s workshops, which promise romantic and sexual success. What Blanc really teaches attendees is a system of latent misogyny—called “pick-up artistry,” or PUA—which labels women as “targets” and ranks our worth based on appearance and sexual willingness.
Pick-up artists like Blanc consider female non-consent a minor inconvenience in the pursuit of sex.
After Australia responded to widespread digital and offline outrage by condemning Blanc’s misogyny and objectification of women, activists then turned their attention to Canada. Thousands of tweets were tagged with the #KeepJulienBlancOutofCanada. Two women — journalist Kate Wheeler and actress Maria del Mar — independently created twopetitions on Change.org asking Canadian immigration officials to deny Blanc an entry visa; as of the time of this writing, over 5,000 people had signed each petition.
Now, it seems like those efforts may have paid off: although Real Social Dynamics had until recently included a number of Canadian cities — including Montreal, Vancouver and Toronto — on their worldwide free workshop tour which may have included appearances by Blanc, those Canadian cities have now disappeared from the listing of cities that RSD’s free workshops are being offered in.