Eleanor Doward

Australia Denies Visa to Another Misognist, Dan Bilzerian

Dan Bilzerian’s Wikipedia page describes him tentatively as an ‘American Actor, poker player, and trust fund beneficiary’, but his status as a ‘public figure’ seems to stem from flashing his inherited cash all over social media and posting pictures of multi-coloured guns. And he has recently been denied a temporary visa preventing him from travelling to Australia. Bilzerian is the second misogynist arse-wipe to be prohibited from the country after self-proclaimed pick-up artist Julian Blanc had his visa revoked several weeks ago.

There’s no doubt that Bilzerian is an unashamedly violent, sexist and conceivably racist man. His denial of a visa comes soon after he was thrown out of a nightclub in Miami for allegedly kicking a woman named Vanessa Castano in the face. She has since filed a police report. In response to allegations, his defence was to say that ‘I am used to doing what I want,’ and that the situation was ‘gonna go two ways, either she makes a scene like she has – or she brags about it to her slutty friends’.

Bilzerian was also recently arrested at an airport in Los Angeles for trying to make a bomb. His controversial Instagram, Twitter and Facebook accounts show often incredibly problematic pictures of him surrounded by groups of women, usually with offensive captions. In one post, Dan is shown to be drinking at a club with a group of women. He edited the photo so that one woman’s face has been obscured with scribbles, and the caption ‘Ugly girls hurt my eyes, you’re welcome’.

Another post shows Bilzerian firing a gun from a jeep with two half-naked women inside it, while the caption reads: ‘To all you illiterate foreigners talking shit to me in broken English… Fuck you, this is what America looks like’. I could go on, but sifting through Bilzerian’s vile Instagram account is, frankly, depressing.

Picture via rantlifestyle.com

Picture via rantlifestyle.com

Sadly, there are thousands of men who share Bilzerian’s attitude towards women. But very few of them also have almost 7 million likes on Facebook and 5.9 million followers on Instagram. He is more influential, perhaps, than he realises. And if the comments on most of his pictures are anything to go by, millions of his followers idolise him as a role model. There are few people in the world I despise more than Dan Bilzerian, but his fame and fan-base are undeniably strong. This is extremely worrying.

One in three women worldwide have experienced physical or sexual violence and Bilzerian actively promotes the dehumanisation of women as sex objects. In some instances, this extends to a vicious hatred of women, and this normalises this kind of violence – it allows it to flourish. As you might expect from a man who needs a collection of classy crocodile skin guns and over-sized cars to replace a sadly lacking personality, his misogyny is unsubtle. In response to being denied a temporary visa, he claimed that ‘Australia looks like shit anyway. I’d prefer to stay at home with my cat and sleep with women that I hate.’ Even in presumably jokey comments like this, there is a worryingly violent undertone to the notion that his hatred of women and his sexual desire for them seem to go hand in hand. His open abhorrence of women and treatment of them as his property is breath-taking.

That said, I pass no judgement on the women who share his company. It isn’t up to me to tell other women what they should or shouldn’t do. I’m not denying their ability to make their own decisions in partying, posing or sleeping with Dan Bilzerian. I’m also not naïve enough to think that Bilzerian cares what many people think about his lifestyle or his attitudes toward women.  If he were to read this article, at best he would likely shrug it off, and at worst make some unintelligent claim about its author being ugly/jealous/bitter/sad/etc.

Here, I want to speak to those who idolise him.

Bilzerian’s lifestyle may seem perfect; he has disposable income coming out of his eyeballs, he has expensive cars, a private jet and seems constantly to be surrounded by beautiful women. But he is nothing to aspire to. He has achieved nothing worthwhile. Getting lucky with gambling and being able to pick that perfect Instagram filter for a shot of his sparkly new gun does not a role model make. The values he stands for are the notions that big rooms full of expensive crap make for happiness, once admitting that the life he lives is a ‘hollow existence’.

His philosophy is that ‘if you want to be taken seriously, it helps to have a big gun, or big tits, but not both.’ His view of the world is ignorant, simplistic, and he seems poised to gun down anyone who challenges it. This is not the world-view to aspire to. Bilzerian’s values are regressive, his philosophy un-inspiring and unhelpful.  Better to aspire to those who fight for equality in every sense of the word, who stand for acceptance of diversity, whose values are progressive and who use their influence responsibly to send out positive messages. As more and more celebrities are openly embracing feminism, while he eloquently claims that ‘feminism is bad’, I can’t help but think that the world is running out of room for people like Dan Bilzerian, big gun in hand or not.

One thought on “Australia Denies Visa to Another Misognist, Dan Bilzerian

  1. i think calling Dan racist is bizarre, he is an Armenian american (for those of you who don’t know Armenia is a country in the middle east sharing a border with Iran).

    The situation in the nightclub sounds ropey but there are two sides to that story, Dan claims the alleged victim (his ex) was drunk and attempting to drag his girlfriend off a nightclub stage.

    Yes his instagram is superficial and most pictures tend to feature #1 expensive homes / cars / guns, #2 his muscular physique and #3 his (attractive) female friends. But what exactly is the problem with that? Dan is a straight man who likes attractive women and his followers are largely straight men who enjoy looking at attractive women – does that seriously make us sexist pigs? Why is it that men are expected to hide or apologise what they find attractive and enjoy doing (as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone else)? The fact that your criticise Mr Bilzerian and his followers, but not his female friends is hypocritical. If the partying lifestyle that Dan is engaging in is wrong, surely its wrong for everyone? Why are you so critical of Dans male followers and fans on instagram but not his female followers and fans who engage with him in PERSON? I’ll tell you why, its because you have a agenda, you don’t like men being honest about what they like in women, and you always see women as victims. Yes, women are very often the victims of aggressive men, but you should judge each case and in the case of Mr Bilzerian and his instagram account, there is no sexism, no coercion, no physical aggression.

    He is a rich attractive guy hanging out with his attractive friends partying and taking photos. That’s it.

    To address other points you have made.
    “He edited the photo so that one woman’s face has been obscured with scribbles, and the caption ‘Ugly girls hurt my eyes, you’re welcome’.”
    Yeah that proves the fact that he is a superficial douchebag. Im a feminist guy with plenty of female friends and they are generally open amongst our group about their feelings for guys they are dating and trust me ive heard much worse being said by women about men. Not saying its ok, im simply saying that this isn’t sexist. Sexism is discrimination and violence against women. Being mean isn’t sexist. There’s a difference! And by equating the two you are undermining the progression of equality and the ability of society to condemn real sexism.

    “Another post shows Bilzerian firing a gun from a jeep with two half-naked women inside it, while the caption reads: ‘To all you illiterate foreigners talking shit to me in broken English… Fuck you, this is what America looks like’”
    As someone who is a ‘foreigner’, and not white, i dont find this racist in the least.

    “One in three women worldwide have experienced physical or sexual violence and Bilzerian actively promotes the dehumanisation of women as sex objects. In some instances, this extends to a vicious hatred of women, and this normalises this kind of violence – it allows it to flourish.”
    Are you seriously equating rape to an instagram account of attractive rich people consensually partying. Including a rape statistic doesn’t strengthen your argument, you’re using the outrage that people feel about rape to direct that towards people that you have just personally decided that you dont like.

    “his misogyny is unsubtle. In response to being denied a temporary visa, he claimed that ‘Australia looks like shit anyway. I’d prefer to stay at home with my cat and sleep with women that I hate.’ ”
    Plenty of my female friends always exclaim that they always end up “sleeping with the douchebag” or they find “dumb jocks*” more attractive. It’s not sexist when Dan says it, and its not sexist when my friends say it either.
    * translating to the word jock from my local slang.

    “His open abhorrence of women and treatment of them as his property is breath-taking.”
    90% of his friends, and people he hangs out with, are women, you’re seriously using the word ‘abhorrence’ in this context? This is exactly the kind of exaggeration and melodramatic rhetoric that is undermining the modern feminist movement.

    “Better to aspire to those who fight for equality in every sense of the word, who stand for acceptance of diversity, whose values are progressive and who use their influence responsibly to send out positive messages”
    Yes I look up to those people too, examples of my personal role models include Emma Watson, Barak Obama, Margaret Thatcher (not necessarily her politics but more her composure especially during the Falklands war)

    “I can’t help but think that the world is running out of room for people like Dan Bilzerian, big gun in hand or not.”
    I can tell you with certainty that the world is most certainly not running out of room for people who pursue things which they enjoy, without infringing on the rights and freedoms of others.
    Since you have written your article almost 4 years ago dan bilzerians instagram has gone from 7 million to 25 million followers and donald trump has clinched the presidency (im not a fan of his and I hope he gets impeached). Ask yourself why so many people are looking up to men like bilzerian and trump? In a world of political correctness pretend where men have to apologise for what they are attracted to and what they like (cars and women), why are guys suddenly looking up to men like bilzerian? Feminists (which includes me) are not going to win the fight for equality by constantly alienating the criticising men for being themselves in a way which doesn’t harm others. We aren’t going to win the fight for equality if 50% of the population (men) feel have to put up with feminist rhetoric which brands their entire gender into the stereotype of ‘the patriarchy’. At very least, even if you discount the points and specific examples I have made above, please consider this: your aggressive brand of feminism might make you feel good, but believe me that the overall effect you’re having by outright alienating so many men from the movement is a net negative. Lots of men feel that their ability to express their masculinity in healthy and harmless ways (such as partying and taking instagram photos) is being squashed into a smaller and smaller space. The backlash is happening, the trump disaster is a perfect example of this. We will only get more polarised in the future.

    Thanks for reading and apologies for the awful grammar (im very tired).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s