June 14, 1979
Washington, D.C., U.S.
|Known for||Pickup artistry|
Daryush Valizadeh (born June 14, 1979), also known as Roosh Valizadeh, Roosh V and Roosh Vorek, is an American blogger, pickup artist and writer known for his posts related to the manosphere.
Roosh writes on his personal blog and also owns the Return of Kings website, Roosh V Forum, and Kings Wiki, where he publishes articles by himself and others on related subjects. Roosh has self-published more than a dozen sex and travel guides, most of which discuss picking up and having sex with women in specific countries. His advice, his videos and his writings have received widespread criticism, including accusations of misogyny and promotion of rape.
Roosh was born in the United States in 1979. He has said that "My parents are Middle Eastern immigrants so racially I'm not American but Iranian and Armenian, though I don't speak their languages." Roosh graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park in 2001 with a degree in microbiology. He began blogging about his attempts at having sex with women but once his internet anonymity was broken, he turned to blogging and writing full-time as a means to supporting himself, first with the publication of Bang: The Pickup Bible That Helps You Get More Lays (2007), and then with sex-themed travel guides on the countries he had visited.
Neomasculinity combines traditional beliefs, masculinity, and animal biology into one ideological system. It aims to aid men living in Westernized nations that lack qualities such as classical virtue, masculinity in males, femininity in females, and objectivity, especially concerning beauty ideals and human behavior. It also serves as an antidote for males who are being programmed to accept Western degeneracy, mindless consumerism, and immoral state authority.
Roosh started his writing career with pickup tips, but says, "My current work features it much less so I don’t presently identify as a 'PUA,' [pick-up artist] though I stand by my older work."
His ideas have been described as "red pill" (a reference to the movie The Matrix), and as based on "politically incorrect realism". In a Washington Times Communities interview, he states that feminism has left a legacy of weaker men who are more androgynous. He went on to say that women abstain from having sex with them in preference for "bad boys".
Roosh advocates adherence to traditional heteronormative roles for men and women, and believes that feminism has harmed women, men, and society in general. In addition, he states that men and women are physically and mentally very different and that much of women's value comes from their fertility and beauty. Roosh describes himself as "pro-woman" in that he wants women "to live a life that is according to their biological genetics."
While Roosh has been called a "men's rights activist" by The Daily Beast, Daily Mail, Salon, S. E. Smith, and others, Roosh does not consider himself one, and has called men's rights activists "sexual losers" and "bitter virgins". He does, however, sympathize with their views.
He has expressed qualified support for Donald Trump. He said that Trump's election as President of the United States would lead to the "death of political correctness". He has also said The Daily Beast is run by the CIA.
By 2016 Roosh had changed his focus from pickup advice to right-wing political commentary, especially of the alt-right variety. His book Free Speech Isn't Free discusses ways in which, he says, straight men are denied freedom of speech.
In a March 2012 report on "The Year in Hate and Extremism", the Southern Poverty Law Center included Roosh in a list of manosphere sites which it described as hateful and misogynistic. His inclusion on the list was reported by several publications, some of which mocked the inclusion for being extreme. In response to criticism, the SPLC later clarified that it was not labeling the sites as members of a hate movement, but wished to draw attention to "specific examples of misogyny and the threat, overt or implicit, of violence".
In 2014, The Washington Post columnist Caitlin Dewey stated that Roosh was one of a number of internet writers considered misogynist, writing: "Valizadeh owns the website ReturnofKings.com, which bans 'women and homosexuals' from commenting." Dewey noted that recent articles on ReturnofKings.com included titles such as "5 Reasons to Date a Girl With an Eating Disorder", "Don't Work for a Female Boss" and "Biology Says People on Welfare Should Die".
In May 2014, Roosh commented with regard to the 2014 Isla Vista killings, in which gunman Elliot Rodger shot several people after writing a manifesto attributing his actions to frustration over his involuntary celibacy, that his community "is the solution to this sort of murder rampage" and that "exposing him to game may have saved lives." Roosh argued, "Until you give men like Rodger a way to have sex, either by encouraging them to learn game, seek out a Thai wife, or engage in legalized prostitution... it's inevitable for another massacre to occur." He also stated that "if Rodger came to me, he would have received actionable and effective advice."
In February 2015, Roosh was criticized for a blog post that he wrote titled "How to Stop Rape" in which he proposed legalising rape. In the post, he said "If rape becomes legal under my proposal, a girl will protect her body in the same manner that she protects her purse and smartphone. If rape becomes legal, a girl will not enter an impaired state of mind where she can't resist being dragged off to a bedroom with a man who she is unsure of—she'll scream, yell, or kick at his attempt while bystanders are still around. If rape becomes legal, she will never be unchaperoned with a man she doesn't want to sleep with. After several months of advertising this law throughout the land, rape would be virtually eliminated on the first day it is applied." Alex Wellman at the Daily Mirror wrote "a self-styled pick-up guru appears to have called for rape to be legalised in certain situations so that women learn to protect their bodies". S. E. Smith at the online magazine xoJane asserted that "we need to talk openly not just about how many MRAs [men's rights activists] like Roosh promote rape and violence against women, but how many of them may be rapists themselves".
Roosh has since said that the post was meant as satire, arguing that its very title indicates that it was not intended as pro-rape advocacy. He also said that even if studies were to show that legalizing rape would reduce the number of rapes, feminists would still oppose any legislation that solved the problem in a way that didn't "criminalize normal male behavior and erase all responsibility that a woman has".
In 2015 Roosh scheduled speeches to take place in Montreal on August 8 and Toronto on August 15. In July 2015, Vancouver resident Sara Parker-Toulson launched a petition on Change.org that called for Roosh to be barred from entering Canada, accusing him of violating Canadian hate speech laws. It gathered over 38,000 signatures. Concordia University student Fannie Gadouas publicized the petition and was interviewed by the media following her efforts, with Montreal resident Aurelie Nix, to organize a protest event in Montreal. Nix also lodged a complaint against Roosh with the police, saying that he had incited his followers to make rape and death threats against her.
Quebec Member of the National Assembly Carole Poirier called on Stéphanie Vallée, Quebec Minister of Justice for Conditions for Women, to ban Roosh and his rhetoric from the province. Vallée responded by condemning Roosh's statements, but declined to make further comments regarding whether he should be denied entry to Canada. Reportedly in response to the negative publicity and threat of protest, the Hotel Omni Montreal, where the speech had been scheduled to be held, cancelled the event. Roosh asked that his followers assist him in a "counter-attack" against the demonstrators by collecting personal information about them. A café owner, who surreptitiously took a photograph of Roosh sitting in his establishment and published it to Instagram with an invitation to others to come confront Roosh, later said he felt threatened by the ensuing response from Roosh's followers.
Roosh stated that the event location was changed to a different venue and took place on August 8 as scheduled with about 34 people in attendance. Afterwards, a crowd of protestors confronted Roosh at a local bar and threw drinks at him, prompting him and his companions to leave the bar as the protestors followed while continuing to scream and curse at Roosh. Roosh filed a complaint with police over the incident, and police said they were investigating a person known as "Jennifer" who was alleged to be one of the assailants. Commentators in the National Post and Toronto Star, while taking exception to Roosh's opinions, later criticized the protestors for trying to deny Roosh his right to free speech, for assaulting him in the bar, and then for celebrating the assault.
Before Roosh's scheduled speech in Toronto on August 15, city councillor Norm Kelly and mayor John Tory denounced Roosh and encouraged city venues to turn him away, declaring publicly that he was not welcome in Toronto. On August 15, a protest against Roosh, attended by Member of Parliament Cheri DiNovo, was held at Queen's Park. Later that day, Roosh tweeted a photograph of himself at what he said was the event venue in Mississauga and said he delivered his speech to 56 people. Both Roosh and the protestors declared victory in their dispute over his appearances in Canada.
The Icelandic publication DV published a number of stories about Roosh's release of his book Bang Iceland, calling it "derogatory". Icelandic feminist organization Femínistafélag Íslands condemned the book as a "rape guide." Another publication labelled it "slander." Icelandic writer and media persona Egill Einarsson said the book was "as wrong as possible".
His books Bang Estonia, Don't Bang Latvia, and Bang Lithuania were met with a generally negative reaction from media outlets of those respective countries, where he was described as a "sex tourist". During an interview with Delfi in response to a question about whether he was a sex tourist, Roosh responded that he was a love tourist, not a sex tourist.
South American television network TeleSUR had a show in which they detailed: "Roosh V and other Return of the Kings [sic] members discussed plans for founding paramilitaries in Eastern Europe... They also post pictures and personal information about women for men that live nearby to stalk and threaten them. His self-published guides encourage sexual assault."
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