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S’porean woman starts online petition against ‘pick-up artist’

SINGAPORE — A Singaporean has started a petition pre-empting any possible visit by Mr Julien Blanc, a self-proclaimed pick-up artist who recently made headlines after his visa was revoked in Australia, forcing him to cut his visit short.

SINGAPORE — A Singaporean has started a petition pre-empting any possible visit by Mr Julien Blanc, a self-proclaimed pick-up artist who recently made headlines after his visa was revoked in Australia, forcing him to cut his visit short.

Mr Blanc, who is part of a group called Real Social Dynamics (RSD), has provoked widespread protest over his methods of attracting women, which some say advocate violence towards women and racism. His visit to Melbourne earlier this month to conduct a seminar drew crowds of protesters and politicians in the United Kingdom have called on UK Home Secretary Theresa May to ban him from entering Britain. On Friday, Brazil’s Foreign Ministry issued a statement rejecting his visa application.

The Singapore petition on http://change.org comes on the heels of similar petitions started in Japan, Canada and the UK, which has drawn more than 2,200 signatures as of last night. It was started by Ms Charis Mah, who is hoping to collect 10,000 signatures.

While the RSD website currently does not list Singapore on its tour schedule, Ms Mah said in her petition that Mr Blanc might attempt to enter Singapore in the near future. “Julien Blanc and his group, RSD (Real Social Dynamics), are a group of sexist and racist ‘pick-up artists’ who have made a living by teaching men how to violate women through physical and emotional abuse. Julien gives seminars on how to pick up women using a variety of highly abusive techniques, such as economic abuse, isolation, coercion and threats, intimidation, emotional abuse and ‘male privilege’,” said Ms Mah.

Addressing her petition to Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean, who is also Minister for Home Affairs, Ms Mah called for Mr Blanc to be denied entry into Singapore or deported if he had already entered.

“To allow this man or the group that he works for into Singapore legitimises sexual assault and predation and sends a message that women are playthings or objects without agency,” she said. Last year, plans to launch a Singapore edition of extramarital dating site Ashley Madison drew widespread protest and prompted Minister for Social and Family Development Chan Chun Sing to say that such a site is “not welcome” here. The authorities later blocked access to the website.

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