A self-described pick-up artist who once advocated for the legalization of rape in certain circumstances is planning a series of meetings with like-minded men around the world – including here in Toronto. But angry backlash and the threat of protests have forced him to make the locations of next weekend’s meetings a secret.
On his website ReturnofKings.com, Roosh V, also known as Daryush Valizadeh, wrote: “The world is moving against us. I’ve gotten reports of over a dozen organized protests at our meeting points … If you want to attend one of the newly private meetups, send an email to the address(es) proving that you’re one of us.”
In a blog post from February 2015, Valizadeh argued that making rape legal in a private home would eliminate any ambiguity surrounding consent.
“I propose that we make the violent taking of a woman not punishable by law when done off public grounds,” he wrote.
“Without daddy government to protect her, a girl would absolutely not enter a private room with a man she doesn’t know or trust unless she is absolutely sure she is ready to sleep with him.”
On Wednesday, Mayor John Tory tweeted: “No place for intolerance, hatred & misogyny in Toronto.”
Councillor Norm Kelly joined the growing chorus rallying against Roosh V, tweeting that his “take on life is worthless garbage…”
It was a comment Roosh felt compelled to respond to:
In the meantime, a group of female boxers from Toronto Newsgirls boxing club said they were planning on confronting the group, which was initially set to meet at Queen’s Park on Saturday. Now that the meeting’s location has changed, the group is trying to organize a protest at city hall.
Newsgirls owner Savoy Howe said the group often threatens those who try to expose them. “I’ve received information from people who have been stalked by these guys. They threaten serious retaliation to any female or trans person that shows up to this event.”
“What I’m suggesting is we have a huge protest at Nathan Phillips Square…”
Online hackers and activists Anonymous have also threatened to take down Valizadeh’s website and access information, prompting him to warn members to change their emails.