A Toronto Transformation

Blanc can Stay Home , Toronto has Enough Sex Offenders

slutwalk toronto protest sign "because we've had enough" Trigger warning: discussion of sexual assault and violence against women

For just over a week, Toronto has been abuzz over allegations that Jian Ghomeshi, a much beloved CBC radio host who claimed to espouse feminist values, was fired by the station over allegations he had abused and sexually assaulted a number of women, which rose from 3 to 10 as the week went on.

The women’s accounts of the non-consensual and violent acts committed against them make for stomach-churning reading. And my stomach rolled all over again when I read and heard the reactions to the story. When they got wind that the allegations against him were about to be made public, Ghomeshi and the PR team he hired to help him weather the inevitable media firestorm posted his version of events on his Facebook page. He claimed to be the victim of a smear campaign by a “jilted ex-girlfriend” and that the CBC had objected to his private, consensual BDSM predilictions.

I was amazed to see how many people, many of them lovely and intelligent, took his statement at face value before the Star shared their information about the first three women to come forward. My Facebook news feed was sprinkled liberally with messages of support for the former Moxy Fruvous member.

I guess for some it must have been in part because people felt like they knew him after hearing his voice on the radio day after day. Many were all too happy to believe the “jilted ex” narrative, because I guess Jian has money and status and power and because as we all know, “bitches be crazy”?

But most disturbingly, I think a lot of people believed him simply because we do not believe rape victims. And even if we can be convinced that rape occurred, we still ask them what they could have done to stop someone from raping them.

Some people were genuinely baffled as to why this was the first time we were hearing about these incidents. They couldn’t fathom why a woman who had been assaulted would not immediately report it. If you are one of those people, tweets under the hashtag #beenrapedneverreported are required reading, as far as I’m concerned. There are unfortunately a million valid reasons not to report sexual assault, (in fact, when I think about it, I don’t think any of the people I know who have told me about being raped actually reported it) and you’ll find a heartbreaking number of them on twitter.

I think a lot of people believed/believe Ghomeshi without question even now, when ten women have come forward, and countless others have relayed their stories about his inappropriate and disturbing behaviour, because of all of these reasons. I think they believe him because of rape culture.  A culture where someone like Ghomeshi could convince himself that hitting and choking women who had never agreed to be hit or choked was well within his rights.

Which is why I was incensed to learn that the reptilian Julien Blanc, a “pick up artist” who gives online courses and workshops teaching men how to manipulate women  into having sex with them and posts pictures of himself #chokingwomenaroundtheworld to social media is planning to bring his disgusting misogynistic bullshit to Toronto in January and March of 2015.

Sadly, the choking photos are just the tip of the iceberg for this creep, who advocates approaching women on the street in Japan by grabbing the back of their heads and pushing their faces into your crotch. There are videos of him doing this and encouraging men in a seminar to do the same, because according to Blanc, “if you’re a white male, you can do what you want. I’m just romping through the streets, just grabbing girls’ heads, just like, head, pfft on the dick.”

He’s vile.

He and his company, Real Social Dynamics, are currently facing backlash in Australia, where venues have cancelled his seminars after widespread protests, petitions from the public and tweets sent under #takedownjulienblanc.

His company’s site lists two sets of seminar dates in Toronto in January and March, and while the venues have not yet been listed, I for one will be keeping an eye out, ready to petition whoever is hosting this creep to cancel any of his events.

Because if there’s one thing Toronto doesn’t need, it’s a man who teaches other men that choking women is a good way to get to know them.

Click here to sign a petition to shut down Blanc’s social media pages.

8 Responses to Blanc can Stay Home , Toronto has Enough Sex Offenders

  • Leanne says:

    Oh. My. God. I can’t believe people sign up for this creep’s seminars. *shudder*

    I am really glad that BDSM communities from across Canada have been speaking out against Jian, saying that what he describes is absolutely not something that they support/are into. That in BDSM culture, it’s the submissive that has all the power, and if someone is not completely into it, then everything shuts down right away. The fact that his PR firm has since dropped him as a client speaks volumes to the truth of these allegations, and so many people have been coming out of the woodwork to say that they’ve heard rumours of such things but never witnessed them. I read a Slate article yesterday where the author regrets that he never spoke up or treated Ghomeshi differently as a result of these rumours, because doesn’t him continuing to smile and shake his hand in a friendly manner (to better his career) perpetuate that Ghomeshi’s behaviour was okay?

    It’s been terrifying and disturbing to read about how entitled this man feels/felt that he could treat anyone this way (and attempt to justify it). I can only imagine that his dad would have been incredibly disappointed in him. My heart breaks for those women, and all women who have been sexually harrassed or assaulted by a man in power and who felt they couldn’t tell their stories (both because how victims of these assaults are treated and because it may have meant throwing away their career aspirations in the meantime — whether or not they reported, they couldn’t possibly stand to be around this vile individual any longer).

    I am thankful that this brings this issues of sexual assault and harrassment into the spotlight, and I’m hopeful that change will happen (it may be naive of me). Even the fact that MLAs have stepped up to report harrassment and the swift action taken as a result show that people may be feeling like a) they can speak up, and b) that we can no longer ignore this creepy, disrespectful behaviour.

    • metamorphocity says:

      I agree, I feel sick for the women who went through what they did, but I am glad and hopeful that this case is high profile enough that it is causing more people to discuss and think carefully about issues of consent, about rape culture, and about how we, as a society silence victims of sexual assault and harrassment.

  • Elly says:

    That is DISGUSTING. It’s so horrible, and unnecessary. I know I’m preaching to the choir, but women are not objects to be manipulated! What a disrespectful horrible person! I’m heartbroken for all those women, how terrible 🙁

  • Marco Adamovic says:

    Petition signed, and disgust reading off the charts.

    “Because if there’s one thing Toronto doesn’t need, it’s a man who teaches other men that choking women is a good way to get to know them.” .

    Well said – conversation, humour and consensus are 1000% more effective, sane, and respectful.

    Great post.

  • Liliana Polcari says:

    I can’t believe this craziness exists, what kind of freak would ever think this is possibly, ever remotely acceptable, and worse yet, even has a following…very sad and frightening day to know this type of insanity is out there.

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