Extreme misogynistic group denounced in Edmonton
Maligned pickup artist Roosh-V plans worldwide 'Return of Kings' meet-up
The views of a controversial American blogger, known for his pro-rape, racist and misogynistic behaviour, are not welcome in Edmonton, according to municipal leaders and women's rights advocates.
Daryush Valizadeh, a self-proclaimed "pickup artist" better known as Roosh-V, has attracted controversy through a series of self-published books and articles advising men on how to seduce reluctant women in various different countries.
The founder of Return of Kings, a "neo-masculinist movement," Valizadeh's writings have suggested that sexual assault on private property be legalized, encourages men to pursue women with eating disorders and believes North American culture trains women to be "big-mouthed, rude, and disrespectful."
A worldwide meet-up of the group, taking place in Edmonton on Saturday, has many on edge, including Mayor Don Iveson who tweeted about the rally.
Not acceptable in <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Edmonton?src=hash">#Edmonton</a>. Nor, I suspect, anywhere in this country in this day and age. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/TurnAwayReturnOfKings?src=hash">#TurnAwayReturnOfKings</a> <a href="https://t.co/wnV6RcCkEe">https://t.co/wnV6RcCkEe</a>—@doniveson
"I think it's great to see community leaders standing up against something so vile against women," said Danielle Paradis, a feminist writer and organizer of Edmonton's annual Slutwalk, which decries the victimization of women.
"It does have the effect of bringing a little bit more attention to the meet-ups than I would like, but it's always nice to see men speak up against misogyny."
"The Equality Movement Is Allowing Women To Tyrannize Men," "Women Should Not Be Allowed To Vote" and "Rape Culture Was Manufactured To Wage An Unjust War Against Men," are just some of the opinion pieces Valizadeh has shared on his blog.
"Every once and awhile they like to chuck something awful into the Internet, usually about women," Paradis said.
"Sometimes it's hard to take it seriously because it's so far out there, but at the same time, it's very problematic."
Although Saturday's rally was initially planned for Churchill Square, the listing has since been removed from the website and replaced with instructions on how to access the details of a new "secret" location.
"The world is moving against us. I've gotten reports of over a dozen organized protests at our meeting points, " reads a post on the Return of Kings blog, which alludes to numerous protests that have been planned in cities across the globe, in conjunction with the rally.
"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."
Although the prospect of a rally is unnerving to Paradis, she says efforts to expand the Return of Kings movement in Edmonton will be unsuccessful.
"I think they are more likely to have counter-protesters than they will have people that are actually showing up to the event, especially with all the scrutiny they've been under."