Daryush Valizadeh (commonly known by his pseudonym, “Roosh V”): a self-titled “pick-up artist” and passionate anti-feminist has caused recent controversy with his opinions on sexual assault.
Roosh V believes that rape on private property should be completely decriminalised. His reasoning for this being that women who are attacked while in someone else’s home have consented to being there, and therefore must accept anything that takes place. It begs the question: does this work both ways? If a man enters a woman’s property, can she attack him? If he is on her private land, surely she would be entitled to castrate him?
Disturbingly, Roosh V isn’t the only person who thinks this way. He is said to be followed by thousands of supporters online, with his website having over a million views. He planned to embark on a world tour beginning Saturday 6th February to promote his views about rape and feminism. While it’s impossible to know his exact reasoning for this idea or how he rationalised it, perhaps it could be argued that he was thinking of women’s best interests? Is he trying to protect us from going anywhere without a trusted male chaperone, whom we should be with at all times to prevent these attacks? It seems unlikely that he is thinking of women, as only straight cis gender males are allowed to go to his meeting. Any other person who dares to show up will be filmed against their will – a stark contrast to the men who attended his talk shown on Reggie Yates’ recent documentary “Men at War”, who had their faces hidden to protect their identities.
He argues vehemently that any woman who opens up about her rape to the media before the police is absolutely a liar, no questions asked. He asks the viewer to: “Name one public rape allegation that led to the conviction and imprisonment of the alleged rapist. I can’t even think of one.” What Roosh V fails to understand (or fails to accept) is that less than 6 percent of rapes in England and Wales that take place ever result in the rapist being convicted.
“All public rape allegations are false.” That is the message we are receiving loud and clear from Roosh V. He says that any woman who speaks to the press about being raped before she contacts the police is unquestionably a liar; she wasn’t raped; she is simply “crying wolf.”
I feel that it’s important to explain something here to anyone who sympathises with Roosh V. “Crying rape” is not a thing. When a person “cries wolf” it is to get attention, to have people coming running to save them. I hate to break it to Roosh V, but this is not what happens when a woman claims she has been raped. I doubt the boy who cried wolf faced questioning on his clothing when the wolf appeared. I doubt he was accused of having a victim complex, of “leading the wolf on”, or for being drunk when the wolf appeared. But I digress.
He wonders why someone who is too afraid and traumatised to talk to the police about their attack finds the courage to talk to the media about it. This is a valid point. Innocent until proven guilty is often the best approach when accusations are made via the media without evidence. However, obviously the media aren’t going to internally examine you while you’re already likely in a lot of pain. They’re also unlikely to ask that you don’t wash yourself before being examined, so that the rapist’s sperm is still present as evidence of the attack. The media is simply an outlet for people to be heard – and sometimes, although not always – understood and believed. To compare a rape victim’s trauma of trying to prove the attack happened over opening up about it online years later is ludicrous.
Roosh V offers the ever so helpful advice to people who are supporting rape victims: “Give her the number of 911, in case she forgets it. Give her a Google Map of the nearest hospital so she can get treated for her physical symptoms and trauma of rape.” Wow. This is breaking news, guys. This guy knows how to really help women. Give them a phone number and send them a link. Sorted.
Roosh V was supposed to be embarking on his tour beginning Saturday 6th February. However, he has cancelled, as he was afraid of the public’s reaction. He claims he fears for the safety of himself and his followers while out and about in public. How ironic.