A number of my readers and followers on Facebook and Twitter have been posting about the “covert” plans by self-proclaimed masculinity guru and begrudging-ass-wiper RooshV to hold secret meetings across the world for the readers of his blog Return of Kings on Saturday, February 6th and wanting to either spread the word and what I thought about the whole thing.
And to be perfectly honest: I don’t think much of it at all.
Don’t get me wrong: I think Roosh is a racist, misogynistic scumbag who dreams of elaborate revenge fantasies on the women who’ve wronged him. His supposedly Swiftian proposal1 of legalizing rape on public property is par for the course for someone whose Red-Pill-wanna-be pick-up manuals talk about the time he got a woman so drunk that she couldn’t resist when he decided to fuck her. His site caters to the sort of person who thinks that emotional abuse is an ideal part of maintaining a relationship and that one should only date women with low self-esteem because then they’ll never leave you.
But honestly? I think people are overestimating the impact of his supposed world-wide “I-Really-Wish-I-Were-Tyler-Durden-Because-I-Missed-The-Point-Of-Fight-Club” rally.
To start with: it’s pretty much a sad trombone of a joke. Not that I think it’s a prank – although I certainly wouldn’t put it past Roosh to try to pretend he’s got a Xanatos gambit running – but because the whole thing is like watching a couple of ten year olds playing secret agent. With supposedly “secret” meeting places that you can only access by a) being a heterosexual, cisgendered male of a certain age and b) knowing the seeeeeeekrit passphrase (which is openly broadcast on a public website), it’s like the world’s saddest LARP as dudes pretend that they’re actually part of an underground society that’s fighting back against an oppressive force that… makes them trim their nails and clean their buttholes, I guess. They’re looking for any opportunity to claim victimhood and pretend to be under assault from an Illuminati-like army of feminists armed with hair dye and wet-wipes. The Hellfire Club it ain’t.
(I will now pause for the inevitable claim of “Ha ha you fools, you fell for my cunning plan; the real event was elsewhere, now don’t you feel silly?” which is almost inevitable and we can all pretend to believe him.)
While I’m sure that some of his true believers will show up looking for Roosh’s pet shop (which I think should now be a phrase that means “scratching one’s itchy butthole”), I don’t think it’s going to be a massive gang of rape-apologists looking to get beers before psyching themselves up at their seeeeekriet meetings before going out to harass women who’re just trying to have a drink in peace. If you get more than a double-handful world wide (aside from the various organized protests… more on that in a second) , I’ll be vaguely impressed that this many people had that much time on their hands and nothing better to do.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying we should ignore it or make the usual statements of “don’t give them the attention, that’s what they want”. I think attention should be paid. I think it’s worth noting that these events are planned. I really don’t buy the argument that bringing more attention to RooshV and his brand of rape apologia and hate/fear of women benefits him the way that people often think. It really doesn’t matter whether people ignore him or call him out because he’s going to try to spin it as though it were his master plan all along and his fans will act as though he’s a brilliant tactician instead of a grown-up saying “I meant to do that”. RooshV’s a circus clown who desperately wants people to think that he’s a ringleader.
But more to the point: Roosh’s grandiose proclamations and childishly byzantine arrangements all work against him. Not only are people pointing and laughing – an appropriate response, in my opinion – but it’s leading to more and more people being aware of who he is and what he stands for. That, in turn, means that more people are standing in opposition. Already, mayors across Canada are making official statements that Roosh and his disgusting views are unwelcome in their cities while the Australian government has stated that he will never be granted a visa to enter the country. It’s a little hard to make a speaking tour and sell your self-aggrandizing rape-manuals when entire countries are telling you to piss off.
It has also lead to several organized protests, including ones in Montreal, Las Vegas, Chicago and Washington, which encourage others to be aware that these attitudes exist and for more people to stand up against it. In fact, I rather suspect that the counter-events are going to be louder and larger than the mutual-backslapping society that Roosh is trying to throw together, which is as it should be. The more people – men especially – who tell him and his fellow travelers that they and their bullshit are unwelcome, the better. I think shining a light on them and making people aware that this is still a thing and still has an audience is a net benefit to the rest of the world.
Frankly, I think Roosh’s rallies are going to have all the impact of a wet fart and all of the smell. I think the best thing we can all do is point and laugh before getting back to creating a world where his brand of rape advocacy, disgust for women and contempt for his fellow men is further marginalized.
Now with that being said: Roosh has his fans, and those fans are loud and aggressively hate women. It’s easy for me as a guy to not see them as a threat, especially when they get together into would-be mobs, because I don’t live with the very real risks that women face on a daily basis. I think that women are entirely justified to feel threatened when a bunch of dudes with chips on their shoulders towards women and a belief that consent is something that happens for other people show up in numbers to psyche one another up about how bad-ass they really are. Be safe, watch out for each other if you’re in the area of the meetings and take care of yourselves.
- Apparently nobody ever told Roosh that satire doesn’t actually mean “I really believe this but I don’t want to actually own that I said it…” [↩]