It appears as though everyone hates Julien Blanc right about now. In case you haven't heard, he's the dating coach who was banned from holding his seminars on Australian soil earlier this month and it looks like several other countries will soon follow suit.
So what could have sparked all this outrage against a man who's dedicated his life to helping lonely, socially inept men navigate the hook-up and dating scene? Mostly it was Julien's Twitter account that did, in fact, feature a number of unsavory posts seeming to glorify sexual assault and misogyny.
There's no denying that this sort of rhetoric is uncool, so I can understand why they resulted in several change.org petitions in various parts of the world dedicated to shutting down Julien's lecture tour.
However, when the media latched on to this story, it seemed like his Tweets (along with a rather out-of-context photo of Julien with his hand on a woman's throat) were all most reporters needed to paint him as a violent, misogynistic pick-up artist who promotes male entitlement and the degradation of women. But I found it peculiar that none of the articles referenced any of Julien's actual lessons or video to support the claims against it. It seemed as though no one bothered to observe his seminars before siding with those who petitioned to prohibit them.
Initially, I was as disgusted by Julien's Tweets as anyone else. However, I was unable to blindly take an anti-Julien stance before seeing firsthand exactly what it is that the dating coach preaches "” not on Twitter, but during his actual tutorials. So I checked out his YouTube channel, admittedly expecting the worst, but was instead very pleasantly surprised by what I saw.
I clicked on the first video that came up, sat back, and waited to be offended. I listened attentively, expecting Julien to tell his pupils that they should force themselves on women or encourage them to rely on coercion, manipulation, and physical assault as means of getting laid. But this brand of advice never came.
After watching hours of footage, I realized that Julien's seminars proved to not only be free of misogyny, but refreshingly pro-women and pro-consent despite a few crude jokes. The most prevalent themes in his curriculum are:
- Girls aren't stupid. If you aren't authentic, she'll see right through you and you'll strike out. Always be yourself.
- Base how well your interaction with a girl went on how hard you tried, not the outcome. If you did everything you could do to get whatever result you hoped for, it was successful "” you have no control over the way she reacts, so don't let it dictate your evaluation of your own performance. It is not a woman's responsibility that you get laid; you are responsible for selling yourself to her as best you can.
- The art of `game' is all about confidence and positive thinking.
In fact, Julien attributes success with women to simply being in the right frame of mind more than anything else. In one particularly insightful section, he talks about the importance of changing how you view the world and how to create your own reality.
Julien at work, bbc.co.uk
Are you the coolest human being in the world? Probably not. But if you choose to believe that you are when talking to a girl, that's what you'll project. If you go out and get 30 rejections and one phone number "” the interpretation of that is subjective. Instead of focusing on the rejections that will make you feel bad, focus on the number you got. Think about how awesome you are to have gotten it, think about how much she wanted you, and how all the women you were rejected by are missing out big time.
This is the kind of advice Julien dishes out. It's spot on, it's useful, and it's easy to apply. And it's pretty obvious that the controversial dating coach doesn't actually condone violence or disrespectful behavior. If anything, he repeatedly alludes to the fact that women are individuals, whose needs have to be addressed, and that men shouldn't think about them as some sort of obstacle or enemy gender that wants to keep dudes from getting any action.
Moreover, Julien's lectures are quite inspiring. As it turns out, he's actually a great motivational speaker whose advice we can all benefit from. Julien's suggestions about re-framing the way you perceive yourself and certain situations can be applied not only to the art of dating, but also to life in general. I learned a lot from Julien's YouTube tutorials and have already implemented some of the positive thinking techniques he recommends. You know what "” he's actually made a pretty big difference in my every day outlook on things!
Am I excusing Julien's highly offensive Tweets? Definitely not. Even if he were being facetious, sexual assault is not something to joke around about. However, having observed what the pick-up guru actually teaches, I'm convinced that the off-color social media activity is nothing more than a misguided attempt at advertising his services. After all, Julien's target audience is lonely, sexually frustrated, and likely bitter men "” with whom the theme of male-entitlement probably resonates. However, based on Julien's seminars, once the shock-value of his Tweets reels the clients in, they are taught a very different and often very respectful brand of pick-up theory.
Yes, Julien deserves criticism for Tweeting some stupid stuff, but making him out to be a woman-hating villain is unwarranted and irresponsible. He's just a guy trying to make a living. Plus, he's a fantastic motivational speaker with a surprising amount of great tips to offer. A slap on wrist is fair, but running him out of town with torches and pitchforks is not. I know it's not a popular opinion right now, but at the risk of being attacked in a similar fashion, I'm going to suggest that maybe, just maybe, we give the guy a break.
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