Roosh V in 2014
June 14, 1979
Washington, D.C., U.S.
Daryush Valizadeh (born June 14, 1979), also known as Roosh Valizadeh, Roosh V and Roosh Vorek, is a blogger, pickup artist, and writer from America, known for his posts related to promoting misogyny
Valizadeh writes on his personal blog and also owns the Return of Kings website, Roosh V Forum, and the now closed Kings Wiki, where he published articles by himself and others on related subjects. Valizadeh 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, promotion of rape, and antisemitism.
Many of Valizadeh's publications have been taken down. On May 30, 2018, DreamHost took down Kings Wiki. On September 10, 2018, several of Valizadeh's books were removed from Amazon.com's self-publishing platform. He was also sanctioned by YouTube, another source of revenue for him, for violating their rules. On October 1, 2018, citing a loss of revenue and traffic due to PayPal's and Disqus's terminating their partnerships with him, Valizadeh announced Return of Kings would no longer be publishing new articles.
Valizadeh was born June 14, 1979 in Washington DC to an Iranian father and an Armenian mother from Turkey. Valizadeh 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." Valizadeh 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.
Valizadeh calls his system of beliefs "Neomasculinity", which he describes as a combination of biology and traditional beliefs on masculinity, and as a rejection of "Western degeneracy". Valizadeh 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. Valizadeh describes himself as "pro-woman" in that he wants women "to live a life that is according to their biological genetics."
In a 2013 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".
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.
In a March 2012 report on "The Year in Hate and Extremism", the Southern Poverty Law Center included Valizadeh 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 Valizadeh 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 commented 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 February 2014, The Daily Dot magazine named Valizadeh "The Web's most infamous misogynist" and observed "his extraordinarily vitriolic and misogynistic views about women and society as a whole".
In May 2014, Valizadeh commented on the 2014 Isla Vista killings. In this incident, Elliot Rodger shot several people after writing a manifesto attributing his actions to frustration over his inceldom, that his community "is the solution to this sort of murder rampage" and that "exposing him to game may have saved lives". Valizadeh 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, Valizadeh was criticized for a blog post that he wrote titled "How to Stop Rape" in which he proposed legalising rape on private property. In the post, he wrote: "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." 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".
Valizadeh 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 Valizadeh 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 Valizadeh 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 Valizadeh 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 Valizadeh 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. Valizadeh 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 Valizadeh sitting in his establishment and published it to Instagram with an invitation to others to come confront Valizadeh, later said he felt threatened by the ensuing response from Valizadeh's followers.
Valizadeh 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 Valizadeh at a local bar and threw drinks at him, prompting him and his companions to leave the bar as the group followed while continuing to scream at Valizadeh and curse him. Valizadeh 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 Valizadeh his right to free speech, for assaulting him in the bar, and then for celebrating the assault.
Before Valizadeh's scheduled speech in Toronto on August 15, city councillor Norm Kelly and mayor John Tory denounced Valizadeh and encouraged city venues to turn him away, declaring publicly that he was not welcome in Toronto. On August 15, a protest against Valizadeh, attended by Member of Parliament Cheri DiNovo, was held at Queen's Park. Later that day, Valizadeh 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 Valizadeh and the protestors declared victory in their dispute over his appearances in Canada.
The Icelandic publication DV published a number of stories about Valizadeh'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".
In Finland, Valizadeh's mention of the Helsinki nightclub Milliklubi in his article "The 5 Easiest Clubs In The World To Get Laid" had a negative impact on the club several days after it went out, according to the door man. The increased number of male visitors inspired by the article raised security concerns.
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, Valizadeh responded that he was a love tourist, not a sex tourist.
South American television network TeleSUR stated: "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."
- "About Roosh V". Roosh V. Retrieved March 31, 2015.
- Price, Rob (February 2014). "The Web's most infamous misogynist regrets nothing". Daily Dot. Retrieved September 17, 2014.
- Dalrymple, Theodore (January 13, 2013). "A Sex Tourist Swallows the Red Pill – Taki's Magazine". Takimag.com. Retrieved March 9, 2015.
- "Seksiturist: Eesti naised on paksud ja ülbed, aga välismaalased neile meeldivad – Publik". Publik.delfi.ee. Retrieved March 9, 2015.
- "Controversial Pick-Up Artist Gets Beer In His Face In Montreal (NSFW)". The Huffington Post. Retrieved January 10, 2016.
- "American Stereotypes Are So Hurtful". Rooshv.com. May 4, 2007. Retrieved March 9, 2015.
- "About". Returnofkings.com. April 23, 2012. Retrieved March 9, 2015.
- Hess, Amanda (May 24, 2014). "The Pick-Up Artist Community's Predictable, Horrible Response to a Mass Murder" – via Slate.
- Angela, Washko, (January 1, 2015). "Tightrope routines : a feminist artist interviews the internet's most infamous misogynist" (PDF). eScholarship.
- Pennacchia, Robyn. "Manosphere Sweetheart Roosh V Needs Your Help To Make A Trump Media Enemies List!".
- Greenwood, Arin (March 10, 2012). "Southern Poverty Law Center Lists 'Roosh V' On Misogyny Report". Huffington Post. Retrieved April 1, 2013.
- ADL (May 15, 2015). "Pick-Up Artist Roosh V Moves from Misogyny to Anti-Semitism".
- Pennacchia, Robyn (May 31, 2018). "This Incel-Forum-Owning, Pro-Rape VA Congressional Candidate Got Kicked The Hell Off The Internet". Wonkette.
Because in addition to taking down Incelpocalypse, Dreamcast took down all of Larson's other sites as well -- including not only the bliki, but also the wiki for Return of Kings, which he made for garbage human Roosh V, which, sadly for all of you, means that the post about how I am a clownface-would-not-bang is no more, along with a post I found there, apparently from Larson, about the host of problems that making it legal for men to kill their wives for things like "cutting their hair" would "solve."
- Murdock, Sebastian (September 10, 2018). "EXCLUSIVE: Amazon Removes 9 Books By Notorious Rape Apologist 'Roosh'". Huffington Post.
- Lamoureaux, Mack (October 2, 2018). "Roosh V Shuttering His Godawful Misogynist Website After Successful Boycotts". Vice.
- Ali, Mumia. "Bang: The Definitive Interview With RooshV (Part One)". A Voice for Men. Retrieved August 13, 2015.
- "Full text of "Commencement"". Archive.org. Retrieved March 9, 2015.
- Jule Banville, "Blogger Stud Living in Dad’s Basement, Writing Second Book on How to Get Laid", "Washington City Paper", 2008
- "Roosh Cribs". YouTube. May 7, 2008. Retrieved March 9, 2015.
- "Everything You Wanted To Know About Daryush "Roosh" Valizadeh But Were Afraid To Ask". February 4, 2016.
- "What Is Neomasculinity?". rooshv.com. May 6, 2015.
- Rensin, Emmett (February 5, 2015). "The internet is full of men who hate feminism. Here's what they're like in person". Vox.
- Bruenig, Elizabeth (February 5, 2015). "Pick-Up Artists and Pro-Family Conservatives Agree: Women Only Marry for Money". New Republic.
- Sheridan, Kate, "Roosh V files police report after Montreal woman throws beer in his face", Montreal Gazette, August 10, 2015
- Kutner, Max (October 13, 2016). "Roosh V's journey from pickup artist to right-wing provocateur". Newsweek.
- Stutzman, Christy (September 12, 2002). "Communities – Voices and Insights – Washington Times". Communities.washingtontimes.com. Archived from the original on November 12, 2014. Retrieved March 9, 2015.
- "The Masculine Mystique". The Daily Beast.
- Mary Elizabeth Williams. "Let the ironic male tears fall: The "make rape legal" guys cancel meetups because they don't feel safe". Salon.
- "MRA Roosh V Wants To Legalize Rape To Teach Women A Lesson". Xojane.com. Retrieved March 9, 2015.
- ""Men's Rights" Has Become A Euphemism For "Sexual Loser"".
- Dewey, Caitlin; Ohlheiser, Abby (February 8, 2016). "The sad spectacle of a radical misogynist's basement press conference". The Washington Post. Retrieved August 21, 2016.
- Suebsaeng, Asawin; Zadrosny, Brandy (February 6, 2016). "'Pro-Rape' Leader Endorses Donald Trump". The Daily Beast. Retrieved August 21, 2016.
- "Pick-up artists are hailing the election of Donald Trump". The Independent. November 16, 2016.
- SPLC, "Misogyny: The Sites", "Intelligence Report", 2012
- Greenwood, Arin (March 10, 2012). "D.C. Blogger Makes Misogyny Watch List". The Huffington Post.
- Mike Riggs, "The Southern Poverty Law Center Is Now Writing About Pickup Artists as Hate Groups", "reason.com", 2012-03-09
- The Corner, "What’s after ‘Jumping the Shark’?", "National Review", 2012-00-00
- ekstrabladet.dk, "Scoreguide pusher kvindehad", "ekstrabladet.dk", 2012-03-27
- "Intelligence Report Article Provokes Fury Among Men's Rights Activists". Southern Poverty Law Center. May 15, 2012.
- Dewey, Caitlin (January 24, 2014). "Hunter Moore is in jail, but that just means some other despicable character is "the most-hated man on the Internet" now". The Washington Post. Retrieved August 6, 2015.
- Winkie, Luke (March 5, 2015). "The Web's most infamous misogynist regrets nothing". Dailydot.com. Retrieved March 9, 2015.
- "Welcome to the manosphere: A brief guide to the controversial men's rights movement".
- Dewey, Caitlin; Dewey, Caitlin (May 27, 2014). "Inside the 'manosphere' that inspired Santa Barbara shooter Elliot Rodger" – via washingtonpost.com.
- Cowburn, Ashley (February 1, 2016). "Militant pro-rape 'pick up artist' has organised events in eight UK cities". The Independent. Retrieved February 2, 2016.
- Roosh V, "How to Stop Rape", RooshV, February 16, 2015
- McInnes, Gavin, "The Gavin McInnes Show 015", The Anthony Cumia Show, August 10, 2015
- Menon, Vinay (August 12, 2015). "How Canada turned a blogging Casanova into a martyr". Toronto Star.
- Roosh (February 20, 2015). "The Truth Behind "Rape Culture" hysteria".
- "Roosh-V Pickup Artist Shouldn't be Allowed in Canada Says Petition". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC). July 24, 2015.
- Campbell, Emily, "Movement underway to bar U.S. 'pick-up artist' from coming to Montreal", CJAD News, August 4, 2015
- Roosh V, Controversial Pick-Up Artist, Gets Beer Thrown In His Face In Montreal, Huffington Post (Canada), August 9, 2015.
- CBC, "Montreal woman wants 'pickup artist' banned from Canada", July 24, 2015
- Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (ICI Radio Canada), "Protestation contre la venue à Montréal d'un blogueur qui banalise le viol", August 4, 2015
- Poirier, Carole, "Venue à Montréal d'un blogueur misogyne – La ministre de la Condition féminine va-t-elle laisser Daryush Valizadeh propager sa haine des femmes au Québec?", Government of Quebec, August 4, 2015
- Richer, Jocelyne, "La ministre Vallée ne s’oppose pas à la venue du blogueur Roosh V", Le Devoir, August 5, 2015
- Dumont, Marie-Eve, "Roosh V aurait perdu sa salle pour sa conférence à Montréal", Le Journal de Montréal, August 5, 2015
- Laframboise, Kalina (August 6, 2015). "Controversial blogger facing strong opposition over upcoming Montreal appearance". Montreal Gazette. Retrieved August 9, 2015.
- Noel, Marie-Christine, "Le proprio d'un café menacé par Roosh V?", Le Journal de Montreal, August 8, 2015
- Adams, Joanna, "Roosh V's Toronto Lecture Held In Mississauga, Despite Protests: Report", The Huffington Post, August 17, 2015
- Russell, Andrew, "Mayor John Tory says controversial pick-up artist Roosh V has ‘no place’ in Toronto", Global News, August 11, 2015
- Deland, Maxime, "Roosh V: deux enquêtes policières en cours", Le Journal de Montreal, August 10, 2015
- "Beer thrown on pickup artist Roosh V. probed". Toronto Sun.
- Soupcoff, Marni, "Marni Soupcoff: In defence of a dreary individual", National Post, August 10, 2015
- Shah, Maryam, "Pickup artist Roosh V. not welcome in Toronto: Tory", Toronto Sun, August 10, 2015
- CTV News, "CTV News Channel 'Sounding the Alarm Bells'", August 11, 2015
- Vella, Erica, "MPP Cheri DiNovo petitions for Roosh V ban", Global News, August 14, 2015
- CityNews, "Protest against 'pick-up artist' Roosh V held near Queen's Park", August 15, 2015
- Westoll, Nick, "Controversial Roosh V. says he spoke in Toronto Saturday", Toronto Star, August 15, 2015
- Rosella, Louie, "WATCH VIDEO: Roosh V. says he held his Toronto event 'in the original hotel'", The Mississauga News, August 16, 2015
- Taekema, Dan, "Roosh V. claims he ‘conquered’ Toronto; critics disagree", Toronto Star, August 16, 2015
- Ritstjórn, "Ráðleggur fólki hvernig á að sænga hjá íslenskum konum", "DV.is", 2011-11-02
- "Mælir með því að hella konur fullar og einangra þær – DV". Dv.is. November 3, 2011. Retrieved March 9, 2015.
- "Femínistar fordæma flagarabók Vöreks – DV". Dv.is. November 5, 2011. Retrieved March 9, 2015.
- "Icelandic Womanhood (JB)". Iceland Review. Retrieved March 9, 2015.
- "Gillz um flagarabók Vöreks: "Eins rangt og hægt er" – DV". Dv.is. November 4, 2011. Retrieved March 9, 2015.
- "Derfor skal du ikke knalde danske piger – Ekstra Bladet" (in Danish). Ekstrabladet.dk. June 10, 2014. Retrieved March 9, 2015.
- Katrine Bøg Larsen, "Danske kvinder er grimme og usexede", "GO TV2", 2012-00-00
- Katrine Bøg Larsen, "Danske kvinder: Vi er feminine og sexede", "GO TV2", 2012-02-09
- MAGNUS BERNHARDSEN, "Kvinneforakten på nett", "dagbladet.no", 2012-08-07
- The 5 Easiest Clubs In The World To Get Laid, "Return of Kings", 2013-01-23
- HS Nyt: Väite helposta seksistä toi miesten aallon Milliklubille, "is.fi", 2013-02-08
- "Seksiturist üllitas Eesti kohta juhusuhte-reisijuhi – Publik". Publik.delfi.ee. Retrieved March 9, 2015.
- Kristaps Zālītis (December 1, 2012). "Intervija ar sekstūristu, kurš izbrāķēja Latviju". Delfi.
- "'Neomasculinist' Group Meets Worldwide to Legalize Rape". TeleSUR.