By Carleigh Turner, Web Editor
An organization that calls itself “Return of Kings,” had planned 165 meetings in 45 countries to take place Feb. 6 at 8:00 p.m. , according to its website.
This meet-up of “men’s rights activists” was supposed to allow “fellow tribesmen” to identify each other and share the views of their leader, Roosh Valizadeh, and his frankly misogynistic, myopic and downright disgusting views about making rape on private property legal.
Thankfully, the meeting was cancelled due to Valizadeh not being able to guarantee the “safety or privacy” of those attending the event, according to a blog post on his website.
I do appreciate our first amendment and how it allows people to voice their opinions, unpopular or not. I also believe that no one should ever be silenced, no matter their opinion. However, the first amendment also grants that I may criticize what I believe to be a terrible use of this freedom.
Although horrified by the alarming reality that people like this exist, I was proud to see the resilient power of my female counterparts and how they responded to the possibility of such an event.
I was especially proud to see the all-female boxing team, The Toronto Newsgirls, that planned to make an appearance at one of the rallies.
Imagining a group of spunky, tenacious women wearing boxing gloves showing up at a pro-rape rally definitely gave me the warm fuzzies.
As someone who has attempted to fight against sexual assault with the written word, it was cathartic to see women willing to use their fists to do the same.
Valizadeh, among the waves of backlash, still attempted to salvage his international gatherings.
However, this did not prevent feminist groups and individuals around the world from standing up to “Return of Kings” with an onslaught of meetings to combat the event. One, in particular, was to be hosted by the Feminist Uprising to Resist Inequality and Exploration (FURIE).
They planned to meet at the same location as “Return of Kings” members, “ready to stand up for gender justice as [“Return of Kings” members] slink away into the shadows,” according to the Facebook group for the meet-up, MRA Pro-Rape Clown Counter Demo.
FURIE members refused to let Valizadeh’s threats deter them.
“The world is moving against us,” said Valizadeh on his website. “Since this meet-up was never intended as a confrontation with unattractive women and their enablers, I’m moving to save as many of these meet-ups as I can before Saturday so that men can still meet in private away from a loud, obnoxious, dishonest, and potentially violent mob.”
FURIE said on its Facebook page that its members would respond with a “big show of feminist super-strength” and Valizadeh’s comments only reinforced their reasons for shutting down groups such as this down.
The feminist group also encouraged wearing capes, trench coats, fake mustaches and holding signs with directions to “The Pet Shop,” mocking the code word for those belonging to “Return of Kings.”
Valizadeh’s blog post about making rape legal was putrid and repulsive. Reading about someone praising the “violent taking of a woman” made me sick to my stomach. However, knowing that a makeshift army of formidable females and menacing males had my back made me feel powerful.
Watching the world stand up for women was an amazing sight, despite the violent hate speech being spewed by Valizadeh.
After taking dramamine to curb my nausea, I took a nice, long look at his blog, and I have to say, his tips on “game” need some work.
First of all, referring to your wife as a “world class cock sucker” is probably not going to get you anywhere. Secondly, showing a woman you are unafraid by momentarily losing your cool when she “steps out of line” to let her know you’ll “go there” if need be, is definitely a precursor to abuse.
So women and women supporters of the world, thank you for being so steadfast and not allowing this proceeding to take place. I am comforted that Valizadeh now has a small concept of what it is like to be a woman in this world saturated by rape culture. We are finally getting somewhere and I am so proud to be included in your community.