November 12th 2014 –
Social Media celebrity and comedian, Dapper Laughs has been at the height of the ‘misogynic’ debate for the last few weeks, and I have found it very difficult to come to an opinion on the subject. I was surprised to watch his appearance on BBC2’s NewsNight tonight as his real ego, Daniel O’Reilly, pronounced, “Dapper Laughs is gone”. I am even more surprised to find myself feeling empathetic towards the Clapham born “lad”, whom after a recent petition, had his ITV show and upcoming UK tour cancelled (sorry, not sorry)
I won’t deny that I don’t get it. All of the criticism and uproar regarding the narrative and apparent advocacy of everyday sexism, that Dapper Laughs, portrays in his Vines. I spent six months this year writing 10,000 words on how the Internet is heightening the expectations of sex and women’s roles. I read several books and pulled apart the internet to find out the truth behind the expectations of men as “real men” and women’s constant comparison to look and act like the pornstars we see on websites such as PornHub or even the women we see past channel 170 of our Freeview box (hello, babestation). I do believe that Dapper Laughs is just one more contribution to ‘Lad Culture’ and a lot of me, disagrees with some of what his material suggests. But I do know, (no pun intended) that Dapper Laughs is exactly that – just another contribution. A contribution that like the sex industry which has been linked to rape and sex hate acts for several decades, has many followers and fans – “1.7m Facebook likes, 595,000 Vine followers and 365,000 Twitter followers”and two sold out UK tours and a Number 1 iTunes single, to be exact.
Not everybody has to be a fan. Not everyone is a fan of extremely controversial comedian Frankie Boyle or the character Keith Lemon, whom also stands on the very fine line between entertainment and offensive and yet, they haven’t been forced to retire – infact, Lemon is almost family TV. Maybe it’s not the same, but I can’t help but blame those very few that do act negatively upon watching Dapper Laughs, or those very few that set out to have aggressive sex with their partner after watching excessive porn. Yes, Dapper Laugh did suggest that sexual harassment is just a bit of a laugh, his comment in his recent tour towards a woman in the audience was unacceptably silly but I genuinely believe that none of this was his intention, particularly for his ITV Show, “On The Pull”, that seeks to help struggling men and women approach someone they fancy.
Raunch Culture is everywhere and has unfortunately been democratised and for us to deny that would be naïve. Of course, it doesn’t make it acceptable but those that are educated to be a fan but know better, do know better. I’m not an advocate for sexism and I completely oppose to sexual harassment, but I do think all of this has spoiled the fun for everybody else that did just watch Dapper for a laugh, that did relate to his relationship vines, that didn’t act upon a Vine, just because Dapper Laughs told them to sniff after sex or shout “TITS” at women on the street. It’s difficult because there is a fine line for those speaking on this debate. If I admit that Dapper Laughs is kind of alright and sometimes makes me laugh and probably isn’t a bad person, I’m a follower to the party that reckons all women must be up for it, and a bit of sexual harassment never hurt anyone, I’m a slut, or just a general ‘See You Next Tuesday’. If I disagree, and sign the petition to get Dapper Laughs off our screens, if I tell the world that his actions are vile and that he shouldn’t be deemed ‘entertainment’, then I am either jumping on the bandwagon or I’m a prude.
Nobody can win this argument but Dapper Laughs has lost. Perhaps this is a step towards the fight against misogynic narratives that culture has begun to accept. But I regret to say that it’s not really, is it? We are still faced with reality shows that promote public falacio and one-night stands. We still have the ‘LadBible’ and Tinder, giving people a platform to harass someone just on their appearance. We’re exactly where we all were before Daniel O’Reily even introduced us to Dapper Laughs just a year ago.
Good Job Guys.
(ps. my next blog post will be a lot happier, I promise)