Content warning: rape apology, misogyny
Pick up artist and rape apologist Roosh Valizadeh, known by the moniker Roosh V, has cancelled plans to hold simultaneous worldwide meetings for his supporters this Saturday following controversy, according to an announcement on his website Return of Kings.
Addressing his supporters, Valizadeh said: “I can no longer guarantee the safety or privacy of the men who want to attend on February 6, especially since most of the meetups can not be made private in time. While I can’t stop men who want to continue meeting in private groups, there will be no official Return Of Kings meetups. The listing page has been scrubbed of all locations.
“I apologize to all the supporters who are let down by my decision.”
The decision, made in the face of a wave of condemnation in cities across the world, including multiple plans for counter-protests, nullified 165 planned meetups in cities across the world. Earlier, a meet-up in Edinburgh’s Grassmarket Square was pushed underground by its organisers after the Edinburgh University Feminist Society announced a counter-march that accrued over 400 attendees on Facebook.
Prior to their cancellation, a 70,000 signature petition had circulated calling on the Scottish Government to shut down the Edinburgh and Glasgow meetings out of public safety concerns.
Valizadeh’s movement, styled as “neomasculinity”, has come under fierce criticism over its misogynistic origins and mission. Promulgated through his website, Return of Kings, the movement has been defined by sexist and often violent posts celebrating patriarchal supremacy and advocating emotional manipulation and female denigration. Last year, Valizadeh was widely condemned for writing a post that advocated legalising rape on private property as a deterrence mechanism for women.
Organisers of the planned Return of Kings meet up, or “tribal meetings”, as they were described, had not replied to The Student at time of press.
It remained unclear whether Saturday’s planned counter protest by the Feminist Society would proceed in light of the development. But in previous comments to The Student made following yesterday’s decision to make the meetings private, Maia Almeida-Amir, Campaigns Organiser for Feminist Society told The Student that the march would go ahead to “serve a double-purpose of making women in the area aware of the danger these men pose” and to “[make] it clear that misogynists and rape apologists aren’t welcome in Edinburgh.”
Image: Bartek Kucharczyk