Normally, we prefer to ignore the gross, misguided world of pick-up artists, but Julien Blanc could bring out the activist in anyone. If you're not yet familiar with Blanc, the "dating coach" currently clogging the Internet with a festering rat's nest of misogyny and racism, here's your three-point primer:
• He travels the world teaching guys how to trick and force women into sex with "tactics" like alcohol and choking. See his handy hashtag #ChokingGirlsAroundTheWorld.
• He just got kicked out of Australia for being, well, a racist, misogynistic sexual predator.
Blanc has a large and growing international fan base of men seeking his advice as a dating coach. Using his company, Real Social Dynamics, Blanc produces seminars like "Pimp," which promises to help participants develop "panty-dropping masculinity." In the world of pick-up artists, Blanc stands out for his open advocation of sexual violence. Aside from the whole chokehold seduction, he embraces rape culture and domestic abuse as opportunities for men to attract and hold onto women. Last month he uploaded a chart listing the warning signs of domestic abuse, and commented: "May as well be a checklist... #HowToMakeHerStay."
Thousands of men and women seized on the campaign, urging countries not to grant Blanc visas and hotels not to host his seminars. Blanc and his team were touring Australia when Li's hashtag took off, and both came to the government's attention. On November 5, Blanc's Melbourne Hotel announced that they'd canceled his reservation and publicly denounced his conference. One of his seminars in the city was shut down after protestors picketed outside the venue.
Finally, Australian Immigration Minister Scott Morrison announced this morning that Blanc's visa had been revoked and that he'd been deported last night. After investigating his background, Morrison stated that Blanc "was putting forward abuse that was derogatory to women, and that’s just something — those are values abhorred in this country.”
Though Blanc has yet to comment on the campaign, he quickly deleted most of the tweets on his #ChokingGirlsAroundTheWorld hashtag. Meanwhile, tens of thousands have joined the Twitter takedown and signed Jenn Li's Change.org petition demanding that all governments and private companies follow Australia's lead. That's not to say Blanc doesn't have his own supporters. Another petition on Change.org popped up in his favor, decrying Li's hashtag as "censorship." As of this publishing, it has 1,400 signatures (compared to Li's 32,400). Says one Blanc supporter: "Julien is the real victim!"
Blanc and his supporters, we're afraid, might not heed this very public condemnation. In his own words: "If you're a white male, you can do what you want."