James Blunt, the British one-hit wonder whose song "You're Beautiful" was everywhere in 2004, is now the resident "agony uncle" for the U.K. edition of Metro. Unfortunately, his responses thus far have revealed Blunt to be a bit misogynistic. In fact, his most recent column is making international headlines.
A reader named Josh wrote, "My girlfriend and I are going through a bit of a dry patch. We've been together for just over two years and used to make love every day. Now I'm lucky if I get any action once a month. She says she is happy and loves me but is always too tired for sex. What can I do to spice up our sex life?"
Blunt responded, "A dry patch… Hehe! Mate – dump her. We've got to send a message to girls worldwide that this is just not acceptable."
It's worth mentioning here that Blunt got the advice column because of his notoriously quick-witted and humorously self-deprecating comebacks on Twitter. Metro probably hoped that Blunt's snappy replies to people tweeting about him would translate into a relatable, modern-day twist on the old-timey newspaper columns. If it's satire either Blunt or the paper were going for, however, they need to be more clear that they're joking.
The message isn't getting across to readers, because they quickly took to Twitter to express their discontent. "Your Metro column about dumping girlfriends who aren't up for sex is abhorrent. Consent remains a huge issue in relationships," @laurasnapes tweeted. "WOW! @JamesBlunt's 'advice' column - hadn't realised @MetroUK had turned into a 'lads mag' #sexist #transphobic #vile," @AndrewGwyn wrote.
Although this specific instance is making news, this isn't the first time Blunt's advice has been completely misogynistic. In one recent column, a reader named Victoria asked Blunt what she should do about her boyfriend — with whom she had planned to buy a house and have a baby — having a sudden change of heart. "Is it definitely him expressing those desires, or are you pushing your desires on him?" Blunt responded. "When a man knows what he wants, he goes out and gets it. If he's unsure, it generally means he doesn't."
That is A. not helpful (there's no advice about potential action Victoria can take), and B. capitalizes on the tired stereotype of women pushing commitment on their partners and thinking it's something they both want. Blunt's advice generally follows that outdated, patriarchal mindset.
Due to the increasing pushback on Twitter, Blunt has started referring to what he offers in his column as "advice," in quotes. Meaning: It's on us, the reader, if we take it seriously.
So, there you have it. A column prompting readers to write in if they've "got a problem for James to solve" shouldn't be misconstrued as actual helpful problem-solving. Silly Metro readers and anyone else looking for real advice from a column billed as exactly that. We should all apparently know better. Sigh. (Digital Spy)