The self-proclaimed “most hated man all over the world”—guarded by his security detail of a few large, buff men—held an hour-long press conference in the basement of a boutique hotel in Dupont Circle in Washington, DC, on Saturday evening.
The blogger who wrote that “the violent taking of a woman” should “not be punishable by law,” was there to play the victim card (even though he eschewed the term), and to insist that he has never been (technically!) “pro-rape.”
“I’ve never been accused of rape, I’ve never been charged, no follower of mine has read something [by] me and gone on to rape...not a single woman has been hurt,” Daryush “Roosh” Valizadeh, leader of “neo-masculinist” group Return of Kings and horny “pick-up artist” blogger, said in his opening remarks.
While on the subject of rape, Valizadeh also took the time to comment on the allegations against Bill Cosby, in the way you might expect. “The evidence I’ve seen is girls wanting to be with him and take drugs with him,” he said. “I don’t think [the women] are being honest.”
He bashed the media (“you guys”) for turning him into a rape-y boogeyman, and for billing him and his group as “pro-rape” over his notorious essay that he says was satirical all along. (He’s since added a note to his post saying as much, but his other writings on consent-free sex don’t help his case, to say the least.)
Reporters from The Washington Post, The Washington Times, Vice, German TV, Reason magazine, Martha Stewart’s publication, and The Daily Beast (the last of which he referred to multiple times as a “CIA operation”) were in attendance.
An angry Valizadeh paced before reporters and said the flood of media reports labeling him “pro-rape” had led to death threats at his family’s Silver Spring, Maryland home.
“My mom is angry,” he said, “She wants me to hit you guys back.”
Valizadeh belongs to the genre of Pick Up Artists (PUA), a semi-underground subculture of lonely and/or misogynistic men who obsess over the art of sleeping with women. The 36-year-old Washington DC native has written over a dozen books (self-published, obviously) that claim to teach readers how to bed women of a particular country. Titles include Bang Ukraine, Bang Poland, Bang Lithuania, etc.
His recent work has focused less on Pick Up and more on Men’s Rights Activism, and a school of anti-feminist nonsense that he branded “Neomasculinity,” which rested on 24 tenets including: patriarchy, weightlifting, red pill truths, sexual marketplace value, and male-only spaces.
Though Valizadeh has been well known for his hateful rhetoric (The Southern Poverty Law Center included him on a women’s hate group list in 2012), it was a seemingly innocuous plan to gather followers for a men’s-only happy hour in 165 cities around the world on February 6, that sparked international condemnation.
Women’s rights activists campaigned to shut the meetings down, and a club of women boxers made it clear that they’d be joining any meetup in Toronto, leading Valizadeh to cancel the events, saying he could “no longer guarantee the safety or privacy of the men who want to attend.”
Beyond his attention-hungry online scribblings about casual sex and how women should be submissive, his politics are, in his words, rather “nationalist.”
“I would say [my personal politics are] anti-globalist, which The Daily Beast represents a globalist type of [agenda]—anything that benefits the current top-1000 men in the world, and the U.S., and Europe,” the blogging pick-up artist told The Daily Beast. “You have globalists and you have nationalist. So I would lean more toward the nationalist: tradition, patriarchy, local solutions instead of globalization...Donald Trump comes the closest to what I think is true.”
He later clarified that he admires Trump for being “anti-establishment.”
“[Trump is against you, [the press]...The enemy of my enemy [is my friend],” Roosh said.
Trump has also been widely criticized for his attitudes toward women, including declaring, “you have to treat 'em like shit.” Roosh’s preferred Republican presidential candidate was also once accused of “rape” by his ex-wife.
Roosh is at least happy he can “cash in” on the media frenzy on this, though. He claims that “a lot of girls” have been contacting him, and that he might be able to turn this renewed international attention into a lustful boon for himself. He says he has slept with many, many, many women, but would not offer up a rough number or estimate.
Though he boasted innumerable sexual conquests in dozens of countries, no woman has yet come forward to corroborate his claims or come to his defense. In 2015, international artist Angela Washko started a project where she sought out women who had slept with Valizadeh.
When Washko became the target of harassment from Valizadeh’s online community, she put a hold on the work.
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