In January, Sam Pepper uploaded a video called “How To Get A Girlfriend Easy” in which he sneaks up behind or beside unsuspecting women on the street and handcuffs them to himself. He then tells them they’re “his girlfriend now.”
When one victim reacts furiously, saying “No! I don’t know you! Take it off!” and demands that he remove the handcuffs, he refuses and replies with “We’re dating now.” She tries again, “Look, I don’t know where you’re from, but we don’t do this in America. Take this off,” while fighting with the cuffs. He refuses again, insisting they’re “going on a date.” She then tells him that she’s married, to which he says “No, you’re married to me now,” and refuses yet again to remove the handcuffs.
At the end of the video, another woman is pleading with him to undo the handcuffs, and he refuses to until she kisses him on the lips. Pepper appears to think the entire scenario is hilarious at best and endearingly misguided at worst, while the women being “pranked” are visibly livid, terrified, and profoundly uncomfortable.
NONE OF THESE THINGS ARE PRANKS.
We need to stop calling assault by white men on men of color and women of all races “pranks,” because it makes them seem lighthearted and fun, not like the violent criminal acts they are.
I LOVE IT WHEN PEOPLE WALK THEIR DOGS WITHOUT LEASHES LIKE THAT DOG JUST LOVES YOU SO MUCH THAT THEY WILL TROT HAPPILY 5 FEET IN FRONT OF YOU AND WON’T RUN AWAY EVEN WHEN THEY SEE THINGS THAT ARE PROBABLY MORE EXCITING BECAUSE THEY ARE SO LOYAL AND ITS SO CUTE
“Most writers were the kids who easily, almost automatically, got A’s in English class. (There are exceptions, but they often also seem to be exceptions to the general writerly habit of putting off writing as long as possible.) At an early age, when grammar school teachers were struggling to inculcate the lesson that effort was the main key to success in school, these future scribblers gave the obvious lie to this assertion. Where others read haltingly, they were plowing two grades ahead in the reading workbooks. These are the kids who turned in a completed YA novel for their fifth-grade project. It isn’t that they never failed, but at a very early age, they didn’t have to fail much; their natural talents kept them at the head of the class.
This teaches a very bad, very false lesson: that success in work mostly depends on natural talent. Unfortunately, when you are a professional writer, you are competing with all the other kids who were at the top of their English classes. Your stuff may not—indeed, probably won’t—be the best anymore.
If you’ve spent most of your life cruising ahead on natural ability, doing what came easily and quickly, every word you write becomes a test of just how much ability you have, every article a referendum on how good a writer you are. As long as you have not written that article, that speech, that novel, it could still be good. Before you take to the keys, you are Proust and Oscar Wilde and George Orwell all rolled up into one delicious package. By the time you’re finished, you’re more like one of those 1940’s pulp hacks who strung hundred-page paragraphs together with semicolons because it was too much effort to figure out where the sentence should end.”—
Thanks for taking the time to read this letter. As fellow YouTubers, we have much respect for others who put so much hard work into building their channel. It’s not easy, and you should be proud! That said, we’ve noticed that in your success, there has been a lack of respect in return…namely, for women and girls.
You may have noticed that your latest video “Fake Hand Ass Pinch Prank” has garnered considerable negative attention. In this video, you sexually violate a number of unsuspecting women on the street, many of whom are visibly confused and upset at being touched by you without permission. One woman even says “I don’t like that!” while you proceed to laugh and touch her more. In “How to Make Out with Strangers”, made a year ago, you pressure women on camera to make out with you - again, many of whom are visibly uncool with it. Confused and caught off guard, they painfully follow through with your requests, clearly uncomfortable. In “How to Pick Up Girls with a Lasso”, you physically restrain women on the street with lassos - many of whom look alarmed to be restrained by a stranger.
You’d probably be alarmed too, wouldn’t you? Imagine someone on the street comes up and rubs their hand on your bottom, or a girl walks up to you with a camera and forces her mouth onto yours while you’re trying to figure out what’s going on. Imagine walking down the alley alone, when a guy much larger than you physically restrains you with rope and pulls you toward him. You probably wouldn’t like it, right?
People don’t like to be violated and they don’t like to see their friends and girlfriends be violated either (hence the group of men that tried to beat you up in the lasso video). And yet, history suggests that perhaps you find this humorous. It is very disturbing that we live in a world where the violation of women and girls’ bodies is not only funny, but profitable, and can garner considerable notoriety and views on YouTube.
We are deeply disturbed by this trend and would like to ask you, from one creator to another, to please stop. Please stop violating women and making them uncomfortable on the street for views. Please stop physically restraining them and pressuring them to be sexual when they are uncomfortable. Please show some respect for women’s right to their own bodies. While it may seem like harmless fun, a simple prank, or a “social experiment”, these videos encourage millions of young men and women to see this violation as a normal way to interact with women. 1 in 6 young women (real life ones, just like the ones in your video) are sexually assaulted, and sadly, videos like these will only further increase those numbers.
We realize that people make mistakes, and that sometimes it’s hard to see the ripple effect of one’s actions. We really hope that you will take a step back and consider the power you have to be someone who makes the world a better place. It’s not too late to make a change! We invite you to join us in ending widespread bodily violation that takes place in so many forms all around in the world.
So my friends and I found a dog the other day and we turned it over to Animal Control, because it wasn’t well taken care of, at all. Anyways, there’s a good chance it’ll be put up for adoption and I fell in love with the dog. So, I hoping to that I can get him, but I have to talk to my landlord first. And I’m just waiting on a call back from him so I can ask. I’m hoping he says yes and I’m hoping the dog is put up for adoption (there was no way it should have been going back to its owner.)
I think the best part of being a woman is the sexual security that we have. I mean like even a straight woman could know that she’s not interested in women, but she can still sit on another girl’s lap and hold her hand and maybe even kiss her if they were that close. If two guys even make eye contact with each other they have to screech “NO HOMO” at the top of their lungs to make sure everybody knows that they are not gay.