Controversial pickup artist teaching clients on UBC campus
Published Monday, September 19, 2016 5:05PM PDT
Last Updated Monday, September 19, 2016 6:50PM PDT
Students are calling on the University of British Columbia to stop a controversial pickup artist from instructing his clients on campus.
There was uproar at the university after Jan Huang, a self-proclaimed dating coach, was spotted teaching his customers how to approach women last Wednesday.
Fourth-year student Silken Handford-Perronnet said some of the men’s targets complained to security that they were being harassed, but were told there was nothing staff could do.
“They said it would infringe on his rights to remove him from campus,” Handford-Perronnet said.
Huang’s company, Jan Lifestyle, has made headlines before when women complained his clients, who can pay as much as $1,500 for a three-day-long “bootcamp,” refused to take no for an answer.
Some of his YouTube lessons promise to make his followers able to “Hook Every Girl” or “Pull Any Girl.”
Handford-Perronnet said she’s not against men trying to spark up conversations with women they don’t know, but the tone and persistency of the interactions matter.
“Men need to realize the social power that they hold,” she said. “Women are often very scared of these encounters, because there have been women who have been killed for saying no to men’s advances. You don’t have to look very hard to find these cases.”
UBC's response was disappointing given the recent criticism the university has faced for the way staff have handled complaints of a sexual nature, she added.
“UBC hasn’t had a stellar track record when it comes to dealing with sexual assaults or dealing with harassment on campus,” Handford-Perronnet said.
The director of campus security confirmed staff were aware of Huang’s presence at the university, but said their hands were tied because nothing criminal was observed.
“While this individual’s actions are distasteful, we are not aware of any criminality,” Barry Eccleton said in a statement.
Eccleton also encouraged any students who wish to file a formal complaint against Huang to do so, and urged anyone who sees criminal behaviour on campus to call 911.
Huang defended his lessons to CTV News, insisting that his clients are taught to respect the wishes of the women they approach.
“What I advocate and teach is literally if a girl says no and she walks away, just let her go. There’s so many more girls out there that why would you get yourself in trouble trying to go after this one girl?” Huang said.
The pickup artist described many of his clients as shy, introverted men who need his help finding a partner, and insisted there’s nothing predatory about the way they talk to women.
“Even if I didn’t exist, this would be happening anyway,” he added. “Guys would be trying to pick up girls in class.”
With a report from CTV Vancouver’s Jonathan Glasgow