As I noted last week, celebrated male feminist Sam de Brito wrote an extremely embarrassing article in 2005 praising the pick-up artist seminars organised by RSD, the company that now employs borderline-rapist Julien Blanc.

After online political magazine Crikey picked up my story, frog-in-a-sock de Brito issued a petulant denial, both in the comments to this blog and in Crikey’s comments:

De Brito may be right about never having met Blanc, but he is at best mistaken about the people running the operation. Blanc’s almost-as-personally-creepy employer, Owen Cook (who calls himself Tyler Durden, because so edgy, yah) is RSD’s co-founder, has been part of RSD since it was founded, and was part of RSD at the time de Brito wrote the original piece.

But anyway. Hack writer falls for professional con-artist’s spiel, writes terrible article, is found out later, issues embarrassed apology clearly distancing himself from the original piece, albeit with some slightly sketchy handwaving to suggest the organisation was fine in those days. All done, right?

Sadly, no.

Celebrated feminist Sam de Brito’s column this week is all about how, although Julien Blanc is a creep, the people who tried to #takedownjulienblanc were far too horrible to his poor male followers.

Julien Blanc is a creep… I’d guess this is because he was vastly unsuccessful with women in his teens, probably mocked or humiliated by them.

Well, I’m glad we’ve established whose fault Blanc’s creepdom is.

The piece goes on about the travails of poor unfortunate men, pausing briefly to wave a ‘some of these geeks are Asian, and it’s racist for white chicks to be mean to them’ shield about the place, before getting to the punchline:

No man goes out of a night worried he might be raped, sexually abused or catcalled and these are all serious instances of aberrant male behaviour that we must address, punish or discourage as a society.

The flipside of this is your average man can go out every Friday and Saturday night for five years, buy himself a drink and stand at a bar and NEVER have a woman start up a conversation with him.

You may now extract your face from your palm.

When I read this, it reminded me of something that I couldn’t quite place. After a few moments, I realised it was a quote from an actual feminist writer, Margaret Atwood:

“Why do men feel threatened by women?” I asked a male friend of mine. So this male friend of mine, who does by the way exist, conveniently entered into the following dialogue. “I mean,” I said, “men are bigger, most of the time, they can run faster, strangle better, and they have on the average a lot more money and power.” “They’re afraid women will laugh at them,” he said. “Undercut their world view.”

Then I asked some women students in a quickie poetry seminar I was giving, “Why do women feel threatened by men?” “They’re afraid of being killed,” they said.

In a feat of unprecedented literary genius, celebrated male feminist Sam de Brito has taken Atwood’s stark declaration of how women live in constant fear of male violence, agreed with it completely, and then used it to argue that the real problem here is that it’s hard for men to get laid.

I have lost the ability to even can.

Thanks to @msloulou77 on Twitter for making me aware of the new de Brito piece’s existence.

5 thoughts on “Some men never learn

  1. The point of his article that many men go to these seminars (which he specifies are on a sliding scale of seediness) because they have no ability or confidence and they are willing to try anything in order to get laid / have a relationship. I know men like this, they are constantly ashamed and depressed that they get little attention from women. What he says is true. What’s the fucken problem? You write like a smarmy, gossipy teenager in my opinion.

  2. Thanks for this – I just read SdB’s latest piece of rubbish and felt the urge to gag. Serious, actual vomit.

    I agree that many of the men who pay for this “advice” must be sadly misguided and need MUCH better role models. However, if you read through the various forums, tweets etc. by the PUA “fraternity” they’re expressing their need for “love” quite oddly. They seem to be expressing it in terms of hatred, violence and deeply entrenched misogyny. But hey, that must be women’s fault, right? Nothing to do with patriarchy, rape culture and the ongoing commodification of both.

    Hey Sam, guess what! Like the rest of the 1/3 of women who will be raped or sexually assaulted in their lifetime, when I was a teenager I was verbally and physically bullied, harrassed and assaulted by some boys at high school. And guess what? I didn’t start calling men the equivalent of “bitch”, “whore”, “slut”, “cunt”, “just currency”, “too ugly to be raped”, and all the other gorgeous “I just want to be loved” rhetoric from the likes of RSD and their supporters. I didn’t go on the laugh at rape jokes where the victim is the butt of the “gag” (there’s that word again) not have I ever thought it’s hilarious that people I PAY to admire run around the street assaulting people.

    And guess what Sam? Being raped is not the equivalent of not being able to have a conversation with someone in a bar.

    I agree that anyone who is shy or socially awkward shouldn’t be mocked for that and I don’t like the tone of some of the criticism of PUA & followers either. And no-one, male or female, should humiliate ordemean anyone they meet in a bar, club, the streeet, wherever (you know, like walking up to them and shoving their head to your crotch #sohumiliating #alsocriminal #sonotwhatwomenareknowntodoveryoften). It’s not particularly evolved behaviour and I’m hoping that’s what the human race in general is trying to do.

    Sam, you have, as this article beautifully illustrates, your head so far up your own arse you can’t see that what you’ve written on this is basically blaming women for the behaviour of men, aka victim blaming. It’s women’s fault that men behave like this?

    Wow, sisterhood really IS powerful – we have remote controls that make men act a certain way. I can’t find mine, I’ve looked under the couch and everywhere….

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