"Men's Rights" Activists Meeting Up Across the Globe
Apparently I have been living under a rock and have blissfully avoided the idiocy of a crazy person calling himself Roosh V* (aka: Daryush Valizadeh) who blathers on and on about his “game” and has written multiple Bang books. Yup. Books about how and who to bang. YEAH.
Wanted Poster created by Angela Washko. Image source: The Hairpin
His “neomasculinity” ravings are hateful and misogynistic (among other things) and landed him on a 2012 report of misogynistic hate groups by the Southern Poverty Law Center. So, he’s clearly a mess with great big problems. But last February, he really upped the ante. Among other hideous things, this asshole has suggested that in order to stop rape, rape should be legalized on private property. I’m just going to give you a second to let that sink in.
Yes, you read that correctly. He says legalizing rape on private property is the way to end rape.
If you, like me, are sputtering and throwing your hands around and wondering what in the actual fuck this weasel is talking about, let me be more specific. He believes (and try not to actually vomit while you read this, though it will be profoundly difficult), that if rape were legalized on private property, this would mean that a woman would “protect her body in the same manner that she protects her purse and her smartphone.” Which would keep women from getting raped. Because that’s the problem. Oops! I put my body down for one second and – oh! – I went and got myself raped. Shoulda kept a better eye on myself I guess.
I mean… I can’t even. It’s just… I… sputtering.
Worse, he acknowledges (fucking ACKNOWLEDGES) that women will still get raped. His response? “Bad encounters are sure to occur, but these can be learning experiences for the poorly trained woman so she can better identify in the future the type of good man who will treat her like the delicate flower that she believes she is.”
Rape = a “learning experience”? ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?
The extent of the insanity that pours from the mind of this idiot is astounding. Just when you think it can’t get worse, it does. And he has thousands upon thousands of followers. People who subscribe to his neomasculinity cult, all outlined in his Return of Kings blog. (Don't read it.) Men who, as writer Linze Rice so aptly put it, “despise women, yet work tirelessly to get dates with them.” Although… I don’t think these “men’s rights activists” have any interest in dates. It’s all about the bang, amirite Roosh?
People like this are the reason that a misogynistic bigot like Trump could actually become president. And it is terrifying. I am frightened of our country because of men like this.
So… as insane as all of that is - and boy howdy is it - THAT’S NOT EVEN THE POINT OF WHAT I’M WRITING ABOUT. You’re scared, right? You should be.
Roosh and his flunkies are organizing “International Tribal Meetup Day” – wherein these lackeys will be meeting up all around us to whine about “the enemy.” Namely, mean women people with all our independent thoughts and actions. The women people they are trying to bang. So.
He says, “Our views are becoming known enough that we can come out of the shadows and not have to hide behind a computer screen for fear of retaliation. Up to now, the enemy has been able to exert their power by isolating us and attacking with shrieking mobs, but we'll be able to neutralize that tactic by amassing in high numbers come February 6. Let the sixth of February be a clear signal to all that we're not going anywhere. We have finally arrived.”
In her article for DNAinfo (linked above) Rice outlines the process by which these big, superior manly men will be meeting up on February 6th around the world, and for a plan meant to signify “coming out of the shadows” and a “clear signal to all that we’re not going anywhere,” it sounds surpringly skittish. There are code phrases and secret locations and people to avoid, and for people who enjoy plastering their hatred all over the internet… they really seem very panicked.
And frankly, that’s the point of all of this, isn’t it? These men are scared. They’re afraid. They’re threatened. They’re angry that they’re being held responsible for their actions. They feel helpless in the face of strong, powerful women who stand up to them. They feel so intimidated by women who are smart enough not to bang them, that men like Roosh - who never have and never will experience this kind of fear - propose rape as a solution to rape.
These men have never had to walk around afraid. They haven’t had to fear the man walking a little too close behind them in a parking garage would take their body and not just their wallet. They haven’t felt like they had to smile at the asshole who comments on their tits as they walk by in order to avoid an actual threat. They haven’t worried about leaving a drink unattended. They haven’t gone to the bathroom in packs in order to stay safe. They haven’t been in a college dorm room with someone who feels he has a right to their body because of a beer. They haven’t been pinned down on a bed, writhing and screaming to get free.
Women have. All of us have. #YesAllWomen
They have never had to experience this kind of terror, so they can’t fathom it. They feel they have a right to us. To our bodies. So instead of empathy and understanding, they respond with vitriol when women suggest that men be culpable. They victim-blame and claim that women are “babied” and “coddled” by rape laws. They make websites and organize meetups and pat each other on the back so that they never have to deal with actual women.
So what’s the best way to fight these “activists”? Make them deal with us. Make them interact with women as people. Artist Angela Washko did it successfully, and while likely infuriating, I think it’s worth our time. We can’t fight ignorance with silence. We have to be willing to educate, to speak up, to talk about it. To have the argument over and over and over until it sinks in. Because for someone, somewhere… it will. As Washko says, we need to “open up a more generous and empathetic conversation across polarized communities so we can address structural issues that create all of these oppositional worldviews.” It’s about having that difficult conversation as often as we have to in order to make ourselves heard.
And we will. We have to. As long as men like this exist, we have work to do. We have to protect ourselves because people like this are real. We have to let them know that they will not intimidate us and hate us into silence. That we will not allow this blatant hatred and call to cruelty. And that begins with using our voices.
* Note: All links to Roosh V’s site are via donotlink so as not to improve his search engine position.