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THE RANT: Dapper Laughs? Not funny.

CALM contributor Jonathan Coll has something to get off his chest…

“Dapper Laughs’ rise from being a charmless, perma-tanned Cockney wideboy to a charmless,perma-tanned Cockney wideboy who is on the television has been meteoric. Dapper (Daniel O’Reilly) used the internet phenomenon that is Vine to become a presence on social media, displaying his unique sense of “humour” and flirtation through six second snippets. It’s not too difficult to imagine that the future of dating, as Dapper sees it, may be entirely six second snippets. Six second chat, six second date, six second shag.

“His entire act is at best misogynistic and at worst absolutely appalling. Numerous articles have been written on the show’s overwhelmingly negative perception of women. These pieces are entirely valid but the shade that Dapper’s “On the Pull” ITV show casts on men has gone largely unmentioned.

“The entire premise of the program is based on some pretty offensive assumptions around modern masculinity. With males of today going through something of an identity crisis as it is, seeing the way Dapper paces round bars searching for women casts men back into the role of the predator most readily associated with the Stone Age. But if in those times man could claim a wild boar with nothing more than a spear, then attempting to secure a lady with a tub of Brylcreem and some one-liners appears to be over-doing it. As he ventures out armed with a catchphrase, “She knows”, it’s as if Dapper thinks he’s just walked onto the pages of Zoo Magazine. You haven’t, Dapper. That isn’t a piece of minge. It’s somebody’s daughter. Grow up.

“The underlying assumption throughout all of this is that sex ought to dominate everything that we say and do; particularly on nights out. In the first episode of “On the Pull” Dapper discovers that Ricky, his first specimen, has a list of interests on which sex is relatively low down. Dapper is dumbfounded and finds this completely hilarious and whilst it may be slightly unusual that sex was ranked below pizza, that’s also perfectly fine. Ricky can place whatever the fuck he likes on that list and where he places sex makes him no more or less of a man. Plenty of men do not judge the merits of a night out by whether or not they pull. If I wake up with a women beside me it does not necessarily equal success: if I wake up naked with a broken phone and half-eaten takeaway it usually equals failure but the two are not mutually exclusive.

“Obviously, there’s only so far that Dapper’s charms can reach and the amount of women to be directly affected by his sleaze will be relatively small. Most women are well aware that not all men think like that and the ill-effects of the show will barely register. But ITV wouldn’t have commissioned the show without feeling there was a target market and that is a concern. The assumption that a generation of young men will be amused and encouraged by Dapper is equally as damaging as any negative portrayal of women.”

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