Yesterday, Richardson High School — which is a non-denominational public school outside of Dallas — brought in a raving misogynistic Christian dating coach to give a lecture to its students. His basic thesis: God says that women should shut up if they want boyfriends.
The speaker, who bears the unfortunate name Justin Lookadoo and styles his hair like a sea urchin with frosted tips, has authored several faith-based dating books — including Dateable: Are You? Are They, The Dateable Rules, and Chat Room Chatter: The Buzz on Prom Dates, Superheroes, and the Universe at Large. So, Dating Expert Justin Lookadoo, what makes someone dateable?
According to his website, dateability is different for men and women. Dateable GIRL RULES include:
Accept your girly-ness. You're a girl. Be proud of all that means. You are soft, you are gentle, you are a woman. Don't try to be a guy. Guys like you because you are different from them. So let your girly-ness soar.
Be mysterious. Dateable girls know how to shut up. They don't monopolize the conversation. They don't tell everyone everything about themselves. They save some for later. They listen more than they gab.
Need him. Dateable girls know that guys need to be needed. A Dateable girl isn't Miss Independent. She knows we are made for community. Needing each other is part of faith. She allows him to be needed at times, knowing he was called to serve just as much as she was.
Dateable BOY RULES are more along the lines of "Dating men are conquerors who wrap their women in modesty shrouds":
Being a guy is good. Dateable guys know they aren't as sensitive as girls and that's okay. They know they are stronger, more dangerous, and more adventurous and that's okay. Dateable guys are real men who aren't afraid to be guys.
Men of God are wild, not domesticated. Dateable guys aren't tamed. They don't live by the rules of the opposite sex. They fight battles, conquer lands, and stand up for the oppressed.
Keep it covered up. Dateable guys know that porn is bad for the spirit and the mind. They keep women covered up.
On the Dateable Quiz (you will fail it.), he makes it clear that women should talk as little as possible. He also implies that letting your date know that you've been served something that you're allergic to is NOT ACCEPTABLE. If you tell your potential boyfriend that your throat is closing up and you're developing hives all over your body, what mystery will remain for later? None. He will never call you back and God will shed a single crystalline tear into His beard. The boys' Dateable Quiz, conversely, seems to be pretty much all about never spending time alone with a woman so you don't give into your carnal desires. Healthy!
Here's a page from one of Lookadoo's books, via Patheos:
At Patheos, Sarah Moon reports that throughout the book Lookadoo refers to women as prey to be hunted by men, fish being hooked on bait, meat (three times), uncharted territory for men to conquer, and clothing for men to buy. According to an Amazon review of Dateable, the book contains this terrifying sentence: "If you go too tight, too short, or too low-cut [in your clothing choices], you are no longer a person to get to know but an object to use."
According to the Dallas Observer, several concerned parents contacted the school administration after visiting Lookadoo's website. In the words of Dr. Jaime Clark-Soles, the mother of an RHS student and a professor at Southern Methodist University: "I am extremely troubled by the fact that Richardson High School would bring in an 'expert' speaker who holds the dangerous, misogynistic views that advance a rape culture such as those expressed on his website." In response, the assembly was postponed; it was then made optional instead of mandatory.
Brilliantly, the students of RHS fought back in the most teenly way possible: they created a hashtag, #Lookadouche, on which they mocked and eviscerated the school's decision to have him speak and the contents of his lecture. Some highlights:
According to Twitter, several students walked out in protest.
By the end of the day, the administration sent out a tepid pseudo-apology:
"RHS and RISD approve of the broad messages shared with students related to self-empowerment and dating violence, but do not support some of the terminology used by the speaker to generalize student behaviors."
Uhh. I must have missed the self-empowerment part of his message?
As horrifying and unbelievable that it is that someone like Lookadoo could make a living as a lecturer at high schools around the country, it's both hilarious and heartening to see how these students responded. Even if the school won't fully admit its accountability, the student body isn't buying any of its bullshit. And that's great.
[H/T Christian Nightmares]
"Texas High School Holds Assembly Featuring Misogynistic Christian Speaker, So Students Complain on Twitter" [Patheos]