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    Nov 17, 2014

    'Ban US pick-up artist' from S'pore

    AN ONLINE petition to prevent self-proclaimed "pick-up artist" Julien Blanc from coming to Singapore has gathered more than 1,000 supporters over two days.

    The petition, started on Friday on, is addressed to Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean and is in anticipation of Mr Blanc's possible visit to Singapore. It is seeking about 8,000 more signatures.

    A dating coach at California-based Real Social Dynamics, Mr Blanc travels around the world advocating the use of physical aggression and emotional abuse to convince women to have sex, according to videos of his workshops on YouTube. One of his techniques to "open" a woman is to approach her and choke her, before covering her mouth to keep her quiet.

    Ms Charis Mah, who started the petition, wrote in it: "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 on Facebook that she had consulted the Association of Women for Action and Research before putting up the appeal.

    Brazil was the latest country to deny Mr Blanc work on Friday, after details of his techniques emerged recently. An online petition urging the Brazilian government to deny him a visa collected 280,000 signatures in just two days. Brazil's actions came a week after the Australian government revoked his visa, forcing him to cancel a tour and leave the country ahead of schedule.

    Similar online petitions were started in Canada and Japan. While the governments in these countries have not banned him, Mr Blanc's tour dates there were removed from his company's website. The British have also started an ongoing petition, and government officials have asked for him to be denied a visa.

    The backlash against him gained traction when Jenn Li, based in the United States, started a Twitter campaign, after she came across a video of his lecture about Japanese women, which she found derogatory, and started the hashtag #TakeDownJulienBlanc.