Last week was a huge week for Roosh V and his followers. For those of you who are unfamiliar with Roosh and his gang, I’ll provide you with a little info (though I’m of the opinion that if you’ve read my blogs before, you know exactly who he is) (Courtesy Wikipedia).
Daryush Valizadeh (born June 14, 1979), also known as Roosh Valizadeh, Roosh V and Roosh Vorek, is an American writer and pickup artist known for his controversial writings on the seduction community and antifeminism. He is a leader of a movement that he terms “neomasculinity”.
Roosh writes on his personal blog and also owns the Return of Kings website where he publishes articles by others on related subjects. Roosh has self-published 15 books, most of which offer advice to men on how to have coitus with women in specific countries His writings have received widespread criticism, including accusations of misogyny and promotion of rape.
I think the biggest reaction that he’s caused is the promotion of rape, and while that reaction has come primarily from the feminist community, anyone who has a moral compass would be outraged by some of his statements.
So, in early January of this year, Roosh announced through his Return of Kings website that on Frbruary 6th his followers could attend meetups in various (over 100) cities throughout the world to discuss “men issues”. He refers to the various groups meeting up in those cities as “tribes”. In Roosh’s words about these tribes: “I’ve seen firsthand how valuable they are in providing a venue for men to be men, reviving the “men’s club” idea of old.” Evidently the idea of old includes at least a tacit promotion of rape.
Several weeks later, the Return of Kings site announced 165 different cities where meetups would take place, and listed the cities involved. This was a strategic move on Roosh’s part to garner attention for his activity that day, and the weeks leading up to the worldwide meetups brought him a flurry of media buzz. It also brought a significant amount of “hate” from the various communities where these meetings were supposed to happen.
As those various city governments went public with their intent to “ban” those events (which depending on the city, they may not have been within their rights to do), the media began to look into the background of Roosh V, and found some things they felt needed to be brought to light. One of those things was the piece that he wrote called “How To Stop Rape”, where he argued that rape should be legalized on private property, which he felt women would think twice about heading home with a dude if this were in fact put into legislation. To many govenrment entities, Roosh was advocating for legal rape. They didn’t need to hear the arguments for or against, or the post article explanation from Roosh that the article was meant to be satire.
I’m sure that he was enjoying all of this new publicity, something that he hadn’t tasted since his last big campaign, “Fat Shaming Week”, which took place back in October of 2013. During that week, Roosh and his internet cronies trolled the social media feeds of many feminist leaders & their followers, accusing them of being a stereotypically fat & ugly feminist (in their eyes, obviously), and posted fat shaming memes, altering photos, and engaging in other forms of online harassment against them. (For more on Fat Shaming Week, read http://www.dailydot.com/lifestyle/fat-shaming-week-twitter/)
Feminists seem to be the target for Roosh & his boys, since according to him contemporary feminism has led to the downfall of Western society and to the oppression of men.
Ultimately his meetup events were “canceled”a few days before, or in my opinion, made more private, using various greeting codes to meet with other like minded men. Since the media had pointed out how Roosh and his followers weren’t exactly model citizens, he began to play the victim card, calling more attention to the “plight” of the poor fellas from Return of Kings, who just wanted to get together and have some fun this weekend, but couldn’t, because feminists and guys who perceived these people as rapists had threatened them, in some cases with physical violence.
Part of that was courtesy of the group Anonymous, who doxed him (made public his address, phone number, date of birth, and other private information), which made it easier for his detractors to confront him in person. Roosh, ever the brave soul, tweeted the following the day before his scheduled meetup:
I’ve been advised to leave the entire DC area immediately.
— Roosh (@rooshv) February 5, 2016
So, in the wake of this “online harassment” which according to Roosh & his followers has brought them a ton of attention (and probably some money, as his site is laden with ads), one of his victims, Lindy West, has published an article expressing a tiny bit of empathy for Roosh & the gang. You can read that article in its entirety by going here: http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/feb/07/daryush-roosh-v-valizadeh-and-his-acolytes-pilloried?CMP=share_btn_tw
The essence of her article however, IMO, can be summed up in this short quote:
“I don’t want horrible men to be doxed and threatened online – I want them to be better. I want women to be able to fight for gender equality (or even just relay our lived experiences) without facing years of libel, stalking, emotional labor, howling rage, and relentless degradation.”
I’m a little older than Lindy, older than Roosh as well. The generation that I grew up in learned much from the old sayings that were passed down by our grandparents & great grandparents. For younger people, the phrase “Karma’s a bitch” might be appropriate in describing the reaction to this (fortunately) small handful of men who are trying to grow their ranks by staging events that will get them media coverage. With that said, I’m sorry to say that I don’t see them learning anything from these recent events. Quite the contrary, I think they’re going to dig their heels in and try harder. I absolutely understand Lindy, and her feelings, and even though behind her writing she has a little smile on her face, she doesn’t want anything to happen to this guy, the result of him getting doxed.
I wish I could be the kind of person that Lindy West is. I’m too close to women who have been raped over the years, and anyone who attempts to legitimize it will incur my wrath if I encounter them. I’m certain that Lindy has as well, but maybe her sense of ethics is better than mine. I’m happy that this has happened to Roosh & his boys club. There is never legitimacy in rape. Rape is an act of violence, plain & simple. Many of you who know me know that I’ve boycotted the NFL for the past two seasons because they’ve done little to stop violence against women by their NFL employees. They’ve given it lip service, but violence against women continues, as the recent reports about Johnny Manziel (and subsequent defense of his actions by Deion Sanders) proves that.
Male response to these kinds of situations are critical. Feminism (despite what many of Roosh’s followers think) can exist hand in hand with masculinity when men can become supporters and allies to the feminist movement. That’s not to say that feminism can’t exist without help from men, in fact, it already does, and thrives. I was raised to respect people of all genders as equal, and as I got older I realized that while my heart was in the right place, the reality was that women in our world still held on to “second place”, and that needed to be changed, and the only way to do that was to become not only a supporter of women’s causes, but an active participant where I could do so.
To Roosh, I’m sure you’re thrilled with the attention your group of guys are getting. I’m sure it’s making you a ton of money, as your book sales on how to pick up women & get “laid” in the various countries that you’ve visited are probably up. I’m sure your boys are going to step up their activities against the “fat feminist machine” that you seem to be focused on. Just remember that they have allies, and remember THIS old time saying: “what goes around comes around.”