A petition against mysoginist meetings in Scotland has garnered 35,000 signatures
A HUGE backlash has emerged against men-only gatherings of rape advocate Roosh V’s supporters in Scotland.
The US blogger, whose real name is Daryush Valizadeh, styles himself a ‘neomasculinist’ and has called for legalising rape on private property. Via his ‘Return of Kings’ website, a platform where he advocates a return to a male dominated society and rails against immigration and feminism, he has organised gatherings of his fans in 43 cities across the world.
Two meetings are organised for Glasgow and Edinburgh, at George Square and the Grassmarket respectively, on Saturday [6 January] at 8pm. The ‘tribal meetings’ are intended to provide opportunities for men to go to bars together and use the ‘pickup tips’ promoted by Valizadeh.
A petition set up on 1 February by trade unionist Cat Boyd had garnered 25,000 signatures by the end of the day. The text read:
“RooshV, a militant pro-rape pick-up artist is holding gatherings for his followers in Glasgow and Edinburgh. This makes our cities unsafe for at least half the population. Promoting rape is hate speech, and should be treated as such.”
At time of publication, the petition had over 35,000 signatures and was still growing quickly.
“Hiding or refusing to stand up for ourselves only feeds his theory that we’re submissive and easily manipulated.” Vonny Moyes
A whole host of rally events to coincide with the gatherings were set up in recent days; one in Glasgow calls for a peaceful demonstration of opposition to the “growing anti-woman movement”.
Writer Vonny Moyes, one of the organisers, said in a statement: “It’s important that we don’t approach this combatively – there’s no point fighting fire like for like. We are a reasonable country, full of brilliant, compassionate and inspiring women, and men who believe in them. Hiding or refusing to stand up for ourselves only feeds his theory that we’re submissive and easily manipulated.
“That’s why we’re going to George Square – to demonstrate that equality and a passion for something better is alive in Scotland … We want to show what equality looks like, and that there’s no place for dogmas of hatred in Scotland.”
Valizadeh has attracted tens of thousands of followers worldwide, hosting forums where men discuss their experiences ‘seducing’ women. Until now the ‘movement’ has been online but Valizadeh sees 6 Februry as “a clear signal to all that we’re not going anywhere. We have finally arrived.”
The blogger adds, “Our views are becoming known enough that we can “come out” of the shadows and not have to hide behind a computer screen for fear of retaliation.”
Glasgow City Council yesterday [1 February] confirmed to CommonSpace that the George Square gathering “does not have permission and never will”, but City of Edinburgh Council have yet to respond. The Grassmarket area is also Council property, though run via arms-length bodies.
Kirsty Haigh of Edinburgh University Feminist Association, said: “The fact that anyone could think not only calling but attending such an event is remotely acceptable shows how ingrained misogyny is in our society. We’ve called our counter-demo as rape culture has to end but it won’t unless we actively start challenging it and calling these people out.
“It’s utterly despicable that anyone should advocate committing the crime of rape, encouraging men to prey on younger or drunk women or any form of sexual assault or harassment.”
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Picture courtesy Chase Carter