SAN FRANCISCO—On Wednesday, February 3, a neomasculine Texas-based organization known as Return of Kings announced they would be holding international tours to rally the principals behind the blog of founder and self-proclaimed pick-up artist, Daryush “Roosh” Valizadeh. Among their list included a meeting to Balboa Park BART station in San Francisco. The group has been heavily criticized for their writing that advocates the legalization of rape on private property, which the organization believes would “put an end to rape.”
In Valizadeh’s February 16, 2015 post titled “How To Stop Rape,” he writes:
“I propose that we make the violent taking of a woman not punishable by law when done off public grounds…If rape becomes legal under my proposal, a girl will protect her body in the same manner that she protects her purse and smartphone. If rape becomes legal, a girl will not enter an impaired state of mind where she can’t resist being dragged off to a bedroom with a man who she is unsure of—she’ll scream, yell, or kick at this attempt while bystanders are still around. If rape becomes legal, she will never be unchaperoned with a man she doesn’t want to sleep with. After several months of advertising this law throughout the land, rape would be virtually eliminated on the first day it is applied.”
On Wednesday, February 3, Valizadeh announced via Twitter that “how To Stop Rape” was completely satirical, and defended his sentiments by saying he and his supporters do not want rape to be legalized; “the media is lying,” stated Valizadeh.
Return of Kings has received widespread outrage for their bold content. Return of Kings’ latest posts include “8 Things That Make A Girl Stupid And Useless,” “Germany Proves That ‘Rape Culture’ Is Merely A Political Weapon Against Western Men,” “Men Benefit From Acting Potentially Violent and Explosive Around Women” in addition to “How To Stop Rape.”
Upon announcing their tour list of 165 meetings in 43 different countries, Return of Kings received international criticism from thousands of outraged people, including violent threats via social media. Several politicians and countries, such as Australia, discussed whether they would allow Valizadeh through to the country after waves of protests emerged.
The organization was slated to hold their “International Meet Up Day” starting February 6. The group has cancelled their events, Valizadeh made a public statement:
“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.”