Wrong Versus Wrong: Internet Bullies Posing as Jokester Pickup Artists, and Fake Feminists Crying Wolf About “Rape Chokes.”
by Harmony's Riddle
Perusing the Guardian today, this headline popped up in my peripheral vision:
You may remember that I wrote somewhat unfavorably about pickup artist Julien Blanc in a recent entry; but to bar someone from an entire country based on disagreeable views? That doesn’t sound right.
Julien Blanc is obviously one of the slimier pickup artist “coaches” out there. His parent company, Real Social Dynamics, has made a fortune from digging in the bottom of the barrel, blatantly plagiarizing what they find and covering it up with bogus self-help bollocks.
His Mother Must Be Proud
Blanc’s passport has now been revoked by two countries, the UK and Australia. There’s probably something more substantive than a 158,000-signature Change.org petition prompting national governments to ban him from setting foot on their soil. Rather than writing off his situation as “feminazis win yet again” (a ridiculous phrase that always provokes a chuckle whenever I see it), I kept reading.
Then, in the comments, someone linked the piece below — and everything immediately became clear.
Such an unexpected set of links ties neatly into the theme of this blog. This whole digression began while looking at the behavior of a woman named Zoe Quinn whose antics were exposed from evidence published online by her ex-boyfriend.
In Quinn’s case, she tried to redirect attention from her actions by crying about how this was an issue for “feminism”. This was an attempt to pre-empt questions about her own tendency toward multiple infidelity, and the commensurate emotional deception required to keep her boyfriend from finding out — although, of course, he eventually did and duly warned the entire Internet about her. That story has been largely buried under sociopolitical bandwagoning (a.k.a. Gamergate), which is why I’ve written about it here.
We All Love A False Apology
Not all public apologies are false.
In the case of Julien Blanc, he has made a transparently disingenuous public apology on a major media network. Zoe Quinn conveniently snivelled and wet her eyes for the BBC. Julien Blanc chose CNN to perform his rehearsed routine about being “so sorry”. Quinn evinced a “feminist head-fake” to dodge responsibility; Blanc used the bully’s “I was just joking” attempt at absolution.
And I partly fell for it in Blanc’s case, as you might see in the next entry on this topic. I wrote that entry before finding the Tumblr link above today. CNN failed to bring to light Blanc’s worst words and actions (of which there is undeniable video as well, in case you haven’t seen it). Prepare to gather your eyes from the floor after they pop out of your head at his vile “texting game” and the sheer amount of hateful grime spewed by Blanc on his Twitter feed.
Online Bullying Is Not “Truth-Telling” Or Harmless Humour
To qualify all this: I have a a strong sense of humour that can veer a bit dark and silly, as you may have noted in the previous entry, Scientific Formula For Crude and Offensive Sexual Humour.
What Blanc writes and teaches (see the blatantly racist “ugly gaijin rampaging in Japan” video above), however, is simply abusive garbage. There is humour there — if you fantasize about emotional and sexual abuse. And that’s the problem. If you turn off your sense that women are human beings, some of what he writes is disgustingly hilarious. And if you have sisters or even female friends, you will realize that what he writes is not “truth-telling in the form of humour”. It’s not “saying what people are thinking”. It’s not even shocking, honestly. It’s just an invitation for men to mistreat and abuse women.
Any attempt at humour on the Internet can and will be misconstrued by someone, at least some of the time. Now think of the number of socially maladjusted guys who can’t even hold a conversation with a woman. Envision them reading tweets like, “I’m running out of reasons to wear a condom” and “Please, don’t cum inside me… #LOL #Girls”.
And then there’s the “rape choke” photo.
Are Guys Really That Stupid? No.
Are all the hapless, stupid men of the world unable to distinguish a joke from a serious comment? No. They may be hapless, but men in general (just like the female half of the human population) aren’t stupid. You couldn’t possibly go out and actually choke a woman you don’t even know, right?
From my experience, the real answer isn’t as simple as it seems on face value.
This post is long enough to warrant splitting in two, so watch for the second half over the next few days.