Students at Richardson High School, located in the Dallas suburb of Richardson, raised a ruckus yesterday when faith-based dating expert and motivational speaker Justin Lookadoo gave a speech on how teenage boys and girls can make sure that they are “dateable.”
Lookadoo’s speech garnered national attention from the likes of Gawker, BuzzFeed, Pajiba and Jezebel after students took to Twitter to protest — using the hashtag #lookadouche — and some walked out of the presentation early for what they felt were demeaning and stereotypical statements regarding gender roles.
On Lookadoo’s site, he lists “Dateable Rules” for both sexes. The first one for girls is, “Accept your girly-ness. You’re a girl. Be proud of all that means. You are soft, you are gentle, you are a woman. Don’t try to be a guy. Guys like you because you are different from them. So let your girly-ness soar.”
“Dateable girls know how to shut up,” Justin Lookadoo writes. “They listen more than they gab.”
He also says that girls should “Let him lead. God made guys as leaders. Dateable girls get that and let him do guy things, get a door, open a ketchup bottle. They relax and let guys be guys. Which means they don’t ask him out!!!”
But the one drawing the most ire from critics is the rule in which Lookadoo tells girls to know when to shut up.
“Be mysterious. Dateable girls know how to shut up. They don’t monopolize the conversation. They don’t tell everyone everything about themselves. They save some for later. They listen more than they gab.”
For the guys, rule No. 1 is, “Being a guy is good. Dateable guys know they aren’t as sensitive as girls and that’s okay. They know they are stronger, more dangerous, and more adventurous and that’s okay. Dateable guys are real men who aren’t afraid to be guys.”
Rule no. 10 for guys is, “Keep it covered up. Dateable guys know that porn is bad for the spirit and the mind. They keep women covered up.”
Richard Independent School District released a statement following the brouhaha: “RHS and RISD approve of the broad messages shared with students related to self-empowerment and dating violence, but do not support some of the terminology used by the speaker to generalize student behaviors.”
The backlash found Lookadoo looking for support on Twitter and linking to a now-defunct Facebook post that the Dallas Observer managed to grab. His plea in the post includes, in part, “They set it up like I was preaching at a school and the complaints are based on relationship stuff on a website that I don't talk about in schools. They want to know if it is appropriate for students to hear about teen relationships. For those who have seen me speak you know what I say.”
On Lookadoo’s website, he features his two books: Dateable: Are You? Are They? and The Dateable Rules. The description for The Dateable Rules tells teens what they’ll find in the book. For guys, “You’ll explore scriptural truths that will teach you to live the adventure and to risk it all for God,” while girls will “dig deeper into the Bible to learn the importance of mystery and the power of subtle beauty. So get ready. In four weeks, you will be dateable!”
If you are wondering if you, yourself, are dateable, Lookadoo has been kind enough to provide a quiz on his page. This writer is, according to the quiz, in the “Danger Zone!” In the meantime, Richardson High School students are giving Lookadoo an earful.
Either the best prank ever or the best attempt at reverse psychology to unite an entire student body. Regardless, fire ignited. #lookadouche— Es†iee.♡ (@InGodsArmy_) November 13, 2013