By Aaron Reiss
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Highlights from Hair Balls
Last week, students at Richardson High School near Dallas were treated to an assembly featuring Justin Lookadoo, a porcupine-looking religious "motivational" speaker. Lookadoo is the man behind the Web site R U Dateable and related books, in which he presumes to tell 16-year-olds how to find a suitable mate.
Among his nuggets of wisdom: Dateable girls "know when to shut up," and datable guys are "real men" who are "stronger and more dangerous" than girls.
Needless to say, the shit hit the fan. Parents of students at the school say they were never notified of the assembly, and students claimed they were told the assembly was optional only after it was over. Luckily, there is hope for the youth of today. The entire presentation went viral after several students, disgusted with Lookadoo's message, started trolling him on Twitter with the hashtag #lookadouche. Classic.
A video of Lookadoo espousing his worldviews has been removed from YouTube. Someone's on damage control.
Lookadoo's Web site shows his philosophy is firmly rooted in conservative Christian doctrine, with references to God scattered throughout. Never mind that his Dateable rules seem like a dumbed-down, teen-friendly version of the controversial 1995 sexist self-help guide also called The Rules.
I took the girls' version of his R U Dateable quiz, answering honestly, and guess what — totally undatable. How to break that to my husband of eight years?
But the most troubling aspects of Justin Lookadoo's philosophy don't stop at his message to teens. Let's have a look at just who Justin Lookadoo is.
1. Taxpayer Money Probably Paid for Him to Speak at Richardson High School.
The school hasn't yet said how it paid Lookadoo's speaking fees, but a PDF on his Web site offers the following helpful advice:
"Justin has a variety of programs suitable for all age groups and all kinds of schools. He is covered under many federal programs, including Safe and Drug Free Schools, Campus Improvement, Title I, Title IV, Character Education, Abstinence Education, Pregnancy Prevention, Tobacco Prevention, and many others."
2. He's a Creeper, Part 1.
On his Web site, Lookadoo.com, Justin Lookadoo lists his age as "legal in every state."
Ohhh, I get it. A statutory rape joke. Funny!
(A PDF of his FAQs, presumably given to people who want to hire him, says the same.)
3. He Doesn't Even Follow His Own "Rules."
One day last week, Lookadoo's R U Dateable partner appeared to be Haley DiMarco, also a conservative Christian motivational speaker. By the next morning, though, her presence had been totally scrubbed from the R U Dateable Web site (don't blame her). Luckily, the text version is still cached.
DiMarco's bio says, in part, "She's got the answer for everything... And it isn't only students; adults even want a piece of her mind too."
Hmm, maybe if she had just shut up and been respectful to the more powerful men in her life, she'd still be a part of R U Dateable.
And in another interview, Lookadoo describes his spouse as his "loud-mouthed, skydiving, WEIGHT-LIFTING" wife. For what it's worth, he also says he met her at a restaurant and refers to her as his "wife-to-go."
So what's the consensus? Full-of-Shit Huckster or Genuinely Confused About the Battle of the Sexes?
4. He's a Creeper, Part 2.
These pictures from Facebook...
5. He's Affiliated With a Pray-the-Gay-Away Church.
Lookadoo has been a speaker for various Christian summer camps run by Exodus, a now-defunct ex-gay ministry. In addition to the fact that Lookadoo's message totally ignores nontraditional hetero gender roles (such as stay-at-home dads), it totally makes outcasts of non-hetero students. Not the most inclusive message for a high school to advocate.
6. He Perpetuates Rape Culture.
Saying that "men of God are wild, not domesticated" is tantamount to saying that men are animals who can't control their urges. Saying that girls who are datable "know how to shut up" is tantamount to saying that women should have no voice, shouldn't protest and shouldn't complain afterward. This is the very definition of rape culture.