Pro-rape 'pick-up artist' cancels masculinist meetups out of safety fears for men
LONDON — The pro-rape, anti-feminist "pick-up artist" who had planned to host controversial meetups for like-minded, heterosexual men in 43 cities worldwide has cancelled those events over fears about the safety of attendees.
Earlier this week, almost 80,000 people signed an online petition demanding that followers of blogger Daryush Valizadeh, who goes by the name "Roosh V," be banned from the UK, where eight meetups were scheduled. A petition calling for a boycott of two events taking place in Scotland garnered more than 55,000 signatures. Campaigners in Australia launched a petition to prevent Valizadeh's followers from meeting in Sydney; it gained more than 100,000 signatures.
In a statement, Valizadeh apologised for cancelling the events and said he could "no longer guarantee the safety or privacy of the men who want to attend."
Valizadeh believes rape "should be legalised on private property," and regularly posts tips for "picking up" women, imploring men to "stop asking for permission" when it comes to sex.
Glasgow-based feminist campaigner Cat Boyd, who set up the petition to ban Valizadeh's meetings in Scotland, stated that Roosh V's "militant" views made "cities unsafe for at least half the population".
"Promoting rape is hate speech, and should be treated as such," Boyd wrote in the petition's description.
Valizadeh's proposed events inspired a massive backlash on social media, with some calling out the irony in his statement about safety fears.
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