Well, bummer. An international series of meetups from a pro-men group called Return of Kings has been canceled because organizer Daryush Valizadeh felt he could not protect the men who would be attending the rally from protestors. Return of Kings is an anti-feminist website run by Valizadeh, who identifies himself as a “pick-up artist,” and who also proposes that rape should be legal if it is done on private property.
I would like to tell you that I’m making this up, but I promise you I’m not.
The antediluvian monstrosity that is Valizadeh had initially orchestrated 165 meetups in 43 countries which would take place on Saturday, February 6th, but he announced on Twitter and elsewhere that the meetings would be canceled because the attendees could not be protected. Valizadeh has written books and essays on the “neomasculinity” movement, which promotes traditional gender roles and the degradation of women in an effort to preserve the delicate nature of social masculinity.
“I propose that we make the violent taking of a woman not punishable by law when done off public grounds,” Valizadeh wrote, bravely taking on the unpopular opinion that the only problem with rape is location. Since its publication Valizadeh has claimed that the article is “satire,” but the article does not feel very satirical.
“By attempting to teach men not to rape, what we have actually done is teach women not to care about being raped, not to protect themselves from easily preventable acts, and not to take responsibility for their actions,” says the article. Perhaps it was written in satire, but there’s little evidence to suggest that as Valizadeh’s sense of humor is neither smart nor innovative enough to warrant that description.
What’s frightening is not necessarily that his article isn’t satire, but that so many people have rallied behind the idea. The Return of Kings website has hundreds of users and Valizadeh’s Twitter account has 20,000 followers. People had planned to attend the rallies, and not in protest—and that is a very scary fact.
Though the meetings have been canceled, please be safe wherever you go, and stay away from the suggested locations of the meetups.
Valizadeh has been tracked by the Southern Poverty Law Center for promoting misogyny. He predicted that there would be more anti-feminist shootings and murders in the coming years like those committed by Elliott Rodger unless men are “provided with more ‘sexual options.’”
I have an option for you, Mr. Valizadeh, and it involves no one but yourself.