A notorious blogger who once argued rape should be legal if done on private property has canceled his “International Meetup Day” over concerns for the safety of his followers.
The event was hosted by the website Return of Kings, which is run by Daryush Valizadeh, better known as Roosh V, who sparked international outrage last year after he authored a blog post supporting “legal rape,” which he has since clarified was meant to be satire.
Followers of his blog were set to meet Saturday night at 8 p.m. local time in 43 different countries, but the international backlash from politicians, celebrities and the media have caused Mr. Valizadeh to cancel the event.
“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,” he wrote in a blog post Wednesday night. “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.”
Dozens of counter-protests were planned at the locations the men were scheduled to meet Saturday. Politicians in the U.S., U.K., Australia and Canada have also publicly condemned the blogger, and multiple petitions have been launched to revoke his travel rights.
On Wednesday, Twitter accounts associated with the hacking collective Anonymous advocated for attacks on the Return of Kings website, prompting Mr. Valizadeh to declare a “state of emergency” on his website and lock down the Roosh V forum to members-only.
Aside from his “legal rape” blog post, Mr. Valizadeh, a self-styled “pickup artist” who leads a movement he calls “neomasculinity,” is known for his controversial writings on seduction and antifeminism. As a Muslim, he has said he adheres to the “traditional Islamic values” of gender roles.
In one post called “Women Must Have Their Behavior And Decisions Controlled By Men” on the Return Of Kings website, Mr. Valizadeh writes, “After a long period in society of women having unlimited personal freedom to pursue life as they wish, they have shown to consistently fail in making the right decisions that prevent their own harm and the harm of others.”
Other writings include “Declaration Of Holy War Against Fat Women,” ” ‘Rape Culture’ Was Manufactured To Wage An Unjust War Against Men,” and “The Equality Movement Is Allowing Women To Tyrannize Men.”
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