I say no to rape-promoting meetups in my city

[Serious content note for pick-up artist rhetoric, rape culture, racism, anti-Semitism, sexual assault and psychological manipulation]

6 February won’t just be Waitangi Day and Bob Marley’s birthday this year. It also sees – allegedly – a set of coordinated meetups for “neomasculinists” – adherents of the teachings/writings/bizarre YouTube videos of “Roosh V”, variously described as a “pick-up artist”, “relationship guru” and “incredibly creepy rape promoter”.

The Stuff article on the meetups planned in Australia/New Zealand provides a pretty good summary of the beliefs of Roosh and his fans. But it’s really easy to look at one paragraph with ridiculous concepts like “rape should be legal on private property” and shrug these guys off as a bunch of fringe weirdos.

It’s much worse.

Let’s put some numbers on this. RoK has 11,000 followers on Twitter, with 12,500 “liking” the RoK Facebook page. Roosh himself has nearly 18,000 Twitter followers. The Quantcast page for RoK’s January site stats show 1.1 million unique global visitors and 3.7 million pageviews. RoK’s advertising page suggests a sponsored post would garner “5,000 – 15,000 views”.

And immediate online reach isn’t where this ends. The attitudes and ideas promoted by people like Roosh V are tacitly reinforced by far too much mainstream culture. The dudes reading Roosh are telling their friends about it. They’re going out in public and putting Roosh’s teachings into practice. This can, literally, only end with women being psychologically bullied and manipulated and physically assaulted.

It still sounds a little extreme. But here’s a sample of what Roosh V and Return of Kings promote.

Roosh even has a crisis response strategy ready for the “inevitable”, i.e. one of his followers committing an act of mass murder.

Yeah.

The list goes on, and on, and on. That’s the thing. This isn’t a movement led by a guy who one time had a messed-up idea about when rape is or isn’t acceptable on private property. This is a full, active, insistent ideology.

It’s horrific. And now the kinds of people who idolize that kind of thinking are declaring their intentions to meet publicly in Auckland, Wellington and Dunedin.

There’s a silver lining. I know many other people will be there too, to let them know that we oppose their violent, hateful ideology. We don’t even need to be angry. We just need to be men and women of all stripes having a great time together, in defiance of every Roosh utterance about roaming witch mobs forcing men into sexual servitude and the dangers of pussy inflation.

RoK attendees at Saturday’s meetups are to perform the sign/countersign “Where is the nearest pet shop?” / “The pet shop is here.” So I think we’ve got our theme song.

My thanks to the tireless work of David Futrelle at We Hunted The Mammoth, the internet’s premiere documenter of men’s rights activist douchebags.

If you intend to turn out on Saturday, do keep yourself safe. It’s laughable that the RoK FAQ for the meetups has attendees worrying about being identified and doxxed when their own guru has actively encouraged the doxxing and harassment of his critics. Be aware that these are vicious, vindictive dudes. Your safety is more important.

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