Screenshot of "Roosh V," from rooshv.com.
It was hard to tell at first whether the international call-to-meeting of men’s rights activist and pro-rape trumpeter “Roosh V” was just a sick joke, but the U.S.-based Return of Kings (RoK) blogger and vocal misogynist Daryush “Roosh” Valizadeh was apparently sincere when he attempted to organize meetings worldwide, including one in Long Beach, according to the website.
Potential attendees were instructed to wait at the designated location, from 8:00PM to 8:20PM, to identify “fellow tribesmen” by asking “Do you know where I can find a pet shop?” A like-minded man was then prescribed to answer, “Yes it’s right here,” and divulge further details regarding where to proceed.
Women and members of the LGBT community were banned from attending.
One of the meetings was scheduled to take place on the border of Long Beach and Lakewood in the parking lot of Glory Days Sports Bar, near Woodruff Avenue and Carson Boulevard, among 12 other locations in California. However, backlash at state and international levels spurred the controversial "pickup artist" and self-described “neo-masculinist” to publicly renege his intentions, in an online statement, to initiate a worldwide gathering of women-haters.
Whether or not the meetings will occur anyway, or through other means, has yet to be seen.
"There is no place for this kind of ignorance and hatred in Long Beach or anywhere else," Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia told the Post.
In Canada, the owner of the Toronto Newsgirls Boxing Club, Savoy Howe, challenged Valizadeh, saying—as quoted by The Huffington Post Canada—“Let’s go f***er. Get in the ring with me.”
According to the article, Howe has received a staggering response from women wanting to join in the protest, and while she’s not promoting violence, she says she hopes to encourage women to stand up for themselves.
According to a BuzzFeed News post, Valizadeh had promised to be in Australia for the scheduled meetings prior to the backlash against the medieval endeavor. In a related BuzzFeed post, a spokesman for Australia’s Immigration Minister Peter Dutton echoed the sentiments of Long Beach Mayor Garcia.
“People who advocate violence against women aren’t welcome in Australia," said the spokesman. "In the past, people advocating violence against women have had their visa refused or cancelled.”
In an announcement posted on the RoK site on Wednesday, Valizadeh wrote:
“I can no longer guarantee the safety or privacy of the men who want to attend on February 6, especially since most of the meetups can not be made private in time. While I can’t stop men who want to continue meeting in private groups, there will be no official Return Of Kings meetups. The listing page has been scrubbed of all locations. I apologize to all the supporters who are let down by my decision.”
However, a post following the cancellation announced that private meetups will still be held. Potential attendees must now prove they’re supporters via email before they’re given the location.
“The world is moving against us," Valizadeh wrote. "I’ve gotten reports of over a dozen organized protests at our meeting points. Dozens more are being organized privately. Since this meetup was never intended as a confrontation with unattractive women and their enablers, I’m moving to save as many of these meetups as I can before Saturday so that men can still meet in private away from a loud, obnoxious, dishonest, and potentially violent mob.”