4 thoughts on “The Takedown of a Pick-up Artist

  1. Incredible thoughts.

    “Men have to take their share of the responsibility to change a culture that deems this behaviour permissible – while making sure they never set the terms of the discussion at the expense of women.

    Our silence isn’t golden. It’s harmful.”

    Wonderfully stated.

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    1. I appreciate your kind words, but so many of the thoughts I’ve formulated are thanks to the courage and wisdom of numerous women (some of whom are found on this site). And whatever I write has to be backed up with action to really count. Same goes for any man who thinks the behaviour of Blanc and his ilk are vile.

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  2. Indeed. You’re 100% right about women having to plot their pathway when walking the streets. If you haven’t had a chance, I’d have a read of the Pia Glenn article on street harassment that I linked to in this piece. It’s highlighted under “sexual objectification” on footnote number 2. There’s also an excellent Emily Heist Moss piece on this, too – (TW for rape culture) – http://www.rolereboot.org/culture-and-politics/details/2012-12-a-letter-to-the-guy-who-harrassed-me-outside-the-bar

    I hope the incredible work Jennifer Li has done will be a catalyst for progress. If women feel more comfortable in speaking out, that’s great. Although, I hope they don’t feel obligated to. I think men have to speak to other men to try and change the culture (am I being too paternalistic by saying that?)

    We may not be able to physically prevent people doing bad things, but we can delineate between what we deem as acceptable, and what we don’t. If Blanc – or anyone other man – tries this kind of disgusting behaviour, he should know that there will be consequences. Because of what Li has started, Blanc and RSD are now experiencing some of them.

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  3. Great article. And fantastic Julien Blanc has been deported! A real triumph for good over evil.

    Just to add to what you wrote about men acting alongside women… My sister and I were discussing the other day how men really have very different experiences in regards to personal safety. I’ll use this example my sister gave… She walks to the gym about 40 mins from her house every morning. She often encounters the same young man each morning leaving his house and they walk several of the same streets, as he is headed to work in the shopping centre near her gym. It’s still dark as they’re walking, and while my sister carefully selects a well-lit path, that’s longer and a little winding and inconvenient, the guy boldly walks straight through the middle of the car park, through dark areas near trees, past parked cars, where there’s little or no light. He is carefree. She is self-aware and although not scared, hyper-aware of her surroundings. They have a completely different experience on this almost-shared walk. And her state of alertness is lifelong.

    All of ours is. A woman does not walk alone down a street carefree. We don’t approach even our own car at night without almost subconsciously checking the backseat or glancing around to ensure we’re still alone. When we walk alone at night or early hours of the morning, if we pass a man, a fast stream of choices appear before us – cross the street? Slow down? Speed up? Avert my eyes? Boldly look him in the eye? Smile at him? Say hello? Turn around? What’s the right thing to do in this moment in this place with this man in this scenario? What will his response be to what I choose to do right now in this moment? How do I handle passing this man in the street? What’s my escape strategy?

    Men don’t have to live with that every single day the way we do. It’s not that we generally live in a state of fear, but we live in a state of alertness that varies in degree, mostly existing subconsciously, because we are so used to it. We are so well-accustomed to the reality that we are potentially prey, our state of awareness and defences are automatic.

    So when a man like Julien Blanc comes along brazenly grabbing girls on crowded streets, no matter who is around, we take it bloody personally. Because we already have so many scenarios in which we don’t feel completely safe. This behaviour is taking away our basic human right to feel like we have control over our own person in an environment where we should feel at ease.

    This man (and I use that term lightly) calls himself an expert in women. He knows nothing about women. Zero.

    Anyway, my point is, I think this whole episode could really lead the way for women to speak up and say how we really feel. Explain that our world is different in even what could be perceived as the smallest ways, like what I have described, but actually it’s huge because it’s so present in our worlds that we don’t even think about it. I’m envious of that young man walking to work. He has one goal in mind – to get to work on time. What a luxury! My sister, me, and all the other women out on their own… our goals are not just to reach our destinations. Our goal is to reach the destination without falling prey on our journey.

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