O'Reilly portrays Dapper in vines and comedic acts, and Dapper is the epitome of "LAD", rape and harassment culture. Women can be thankful that his stage presence has now been diminished. However, now those that fought for Dapper's platform to be removed are now having to deal with his fans defending him with remarks such as "it's just banter", "if you don't like him don't watch him", and "you're stupid if you think that men really are influenced by what he says in his vines".
Well, I'm getting sick of reading these mind numbingly poor "defences" and so am going to rebut all of them in this piece.
Let's start with the always pleasant discussion of "banter". Banter - once a word used to define mutually consenting exchanges of jokes between two or more people who are comfortable with each other, now apparently is a word which is used as a blanket term to mask any horrifying thing you wish to say as a joke.
It is also convenient, as by claiming anything you say as banter you can kill two birds with one stone, by making the offended person feel like they are being uptight and simply not getting the joke, projecting your problem of misogyny / racism / homophobia / general dick-headedness as simply being another persons problem of uptightness.
For example, Bob says to Sheila, "Sheila you're such a fat slag and you definitely want me to rape you don't you?" Sheila: "No Bob that's a really horrifying thing to say, you're really misogynistic and you shouldn't say things like that because we are in 2014 and really men and women should be equal now." Bob: "Oh come on Sheila, it's banter, God you're so uptight, get a grip, it's just a laugh I'm not a misogynist at all I just really do think that women are inferior to men, but to pretend that I'm not a misogynist I'm going to make you believe that you're just uptight and this is banter."
The word is the epitome of what is wrong with our culture. "Banter" is a word which is used to mask misogyny, racism, homophobia, transphobia, islamophobia any other kind of ism or phobia, while also protecting the offender from any repercussions of what they have said.
We have a freedom of speech, yes, correct. We do not have a freedom to incite hatred or dehumanise people by saying awful things about them purely because of the way they were born, and then pass it off as a joke while our culture completely reinforces the attitude.
Secondly, "don't watch him if you don't like him" - well duh, I'm a feminist, I'm clearly not going to pay to go and watch misogyny, especially when I can experience it every day for free. It's not a case of don't watch him if you don't like him. It's a case of other people watch him and then imitate his behaviour. It's a case of him normalising street harassment and rape jokes and making them seem trivial. It's a case of by giving him a TV show in the first place saying to young boys, and girls, that misogyny is funny and you will be applauded for it and you can make money from it too. It's a case of saying actually girls, this is all ok, you are the inferior sex and we are going to laugh about it and you are going to put up (literally) and shut up.
This brings me on to the third point. "You're stupid if you think that this actually influences men". Nope. Nope I'm not stupid, I'm realistic and also very aware that human differences mean that some people are extremely vulnerable and therefore very easily influenced. Funnily enough, this can mean that if they see something which they are told is outright hilarious, then they are likely to copy that humour to try and fit in. If people weren't easily influenced, why is advertising such a colossal success for companies? If people weren't easily influenced, why are our personalities shaped by our environment and the way we grow up? It's complete bullshit frankly to deny that Dapper Laughs humour can manipulate the minds of some people. And if you genuinely believe that no person has been influenced by his normalisation of misogyny then I went to see solid, concrete evidence to prove that.
No-body is claiming that men have raped women on the grounds that "Dapper Laughs said rape was funny", or "Dapper Laughs said that women want to be raped" - I'm not naive enough to believe that, but what is very true is that he has normalised rape, sexual harassment and misogyny which makes other people (especially adolescent boys) desensitised to the issues, and therefore more likely to believe that the issues are not a problem, victim blame women - "you were drunk", "you were wearing a short skirt" or "you enjoyed it really", think that misogyny is hilarious and therefore practise rape jokes in the school playground, and continue this vicious, vicious cycle of male entitlement, objectification and rape culture.
So to reiterate, Dapper Laughs is not banter, I don't watch him yet funnily enough he still creates problems in my day to day life, and yes, his hilarious act of stark misogyny does normalise rape and sexual harassment to the extent where it becomes a topic of laughter, and we were RIGHT to sign, campaign and petition for his platform to be removed, ITV were right to listen and remove it, and his tour has been rightfully cancelled.
Because freedom of speech is a right, but nobody has a divine or natural right to preach misogyny, trivialise rape, or harass others while they're walking down the street. Nobody has a right to tell women that they want to be raped, or to tell women what they can and can't be offended by, nobody has any of those rights. Because they are wrongs. And wrongs ought to have repercussions.