On Saturday 6th February at 8pm, professional pick up artist and anti feminist blogger Roosh V planned to hold “tribal meetings” around the world for heterosexual men only. Following widespread condemnation and a number of petitions to try and prevent these meetings from going ahead, as of now, Roosh V has ‘cancelled’ the meetup.
All of this happened quicker than you can say ‘Roosh V is a misogynistic pig’, so what the hell actually happened?
Roosh V is best known for an essay he posted on his website titled “How to Stop Rape”. Brilliant! A problem solver. A modern day Da Vinci. However, his other essays “When No Means Yes” and “How to Avoid a False Rape Accusation” might give you a better indication of how he believes we can ‘stop’ rape.
That’s right; he’s the epitome of a rape culture which thrives on victim-blaming. Behind this culture is a worrying undercurrent of hatred and distrust of women. Roosh V is a helpful case study as his victim-blaming ethos clearly stems from a deep-rooted hatred of women.
I visited Roosh V’s website, where a helpful pop up invited me to “learn the truth about women”. Entering my email address I was directed to a page titled ‘The True Nature of Women’. To save you the trouble of reading it, this quote sums up how ol’ Roosh views women overall:
“Within every woman on this planet, regardless of her education or background, is a bitch, a cunt, a slut, a golddigger, a flake, a cheater, a backstabber, a narcissist, and an attention whore”.
He uses this reasoning to suggest that society needs to “put constraints or limitations on a woman’s behaviour and choice.” In this article I’ll address three issues with rape culture that are represented in Roosh V’s views. Firstly:
Rape apologists are people who believe rape isn’t the fault of the perpetrator. The reasons for this include the supposed ambiguity of consent and the opinion that men can’t be held responsible for their actions because of their testosterone. What does Roosh V have to say?
“While every feminist likes to repeat the phrase “No means no,” it depends on context…
“No” when you try to take off her jeans or shirt means… “You need to turn me on a lot more.”
“No” when you try to take off her panties means… “Don’t give up now!”
Now the problem with this is, funnily enough, according to the law no does in fact mean no. I know right?! The more you know I guess.
I’m sure every woman would also agree, it certainly never means “Don’t give up now.” While you might think this is just one man posting on the internet, keep in mind that young boys and men get a lot of their information on sex from the internet these days. Chances are at least one of these boys or men are going to take this seriously. If that leads to even one girl or woman being violated then that’s a problem. Rape statistics are frighteningly high as it is with 1 in 5 women in the UK having experienced sexual violence at some point.
I hope Roosh V’s next statement will offend every man that reads it:
“Women need to understand that men aren’t robots who can suddenly stop at the drop of a dime with all that testosterone pumping through their system. Therefore it would be prudent for them not to enter situations where the average man can’t stop due to his innate weaknesses as an animal”.
Basically, once you get to a certain point, your consent no longer matters because men are animals and will have to go ahead regardless. Strangely enough, this isn’t true AS WELL. What are you like Roosh!
Humans have a lot of self-control. If a woman you’re engaged in sexual activity with asks you to stop then you can and will stop. And if you don’t then you’re a rapist and yes, it’s your fault and your testosterone excuse won’t hold up in court.
Slut-shaming is a very toxic trend aimed solely at women and girls whereby they’re held responsible for being supposedly promiscuous whereas men and boys receive none of the same judgement. Roosh V? He’s all for it:
“slut guilt…can not be wholly defeated…As slutty as the girl you fucked the other night is, she will still do her best to rationalize away her sluttiness…This is a reason why slut shaming will be a powerful way to affect the behavior of women for the rest of the time.”
So according to Roosh, women are expected to feel bad for their sexual activity but nowhere does it attribute this sluttiness to men. Because so called “slut guilt” and therefore slut shaming is a social construct invented purely to shame and control women.
How does this affect rape culture? Well if you continuously tell women that they were raped because of how they were dressed or because they put themselves in that situation then they’ll start to believe you. This is one of the reasons a large number of rape cases are never reported. We’re told it’s our fault. We feel ashamed. This contributes to the vast numbers of rapists who aren’t reported or convicted. Only around 15% of those who experience sexual violence report it to the police. Of those 15% who report it only 5.7% of rape cases end in a conviction for the perpetrator. That leaves a lot of rapists and potential rapists walking the streets.
Roosh V believes that we don’t need to educate children about consent and rape because they’ll just know what’s right and wrong. Like we just know murder is wrong from an early age. In this essay, he mocks the feminist campaign to encourage this type of education:
“a man only has to be told the phrase “rape is bad” at some point after puberty by an overweight feminist to definitively stop his future brutal and bloody rape career.”
What he suggests as a better solution, unbelievably, is the legalisation of rape on private property. He thinks that rather than educating young people about rape it would be better to place limitations on women and girls and place the responsibility for their safety in their hands.
“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”.
This is the epitome of victim blaming. When a woman who has been drinking alcohol is raped we hear “if she wasn’t drunk it wouldn’t have happened” rather than “if that man wasn’t a rapist it wouldn’t have happened”. This means women shouldn’t drink alcohol and engage in social activity in the same way as men because they’re putting themselves at risk. Wouldn’t it be just as effective to say men shouldn’t be allowed to drink and socialise to stop rape happening? And how about the large number of men who are raped? Was it their fault too?
And this is where Roosh V’s reasoning becomes truly flawed:
“Without daddy government to protect her, a girl would absolutely not enter a private room with a man she doesn’t know or trust unless she is absolutely sure she is ready to sleep with him.”
Only yesterday I read an anonymous rape victims story. This woman stayed at a male friends home because she was afraid to get a taxi home alone. She’d known this man for 10 years and was also friends with his housemates. I’m sure she trusted him and felt safe entering his home. That is until he drugged and raped her. Did she have any idea this would happen? No.
Approximately 90% of those who are raped know the perpetrator prior to the offence. Under Roosh V’s proposal the rape of women and men by their partners, relatives, friends or colleagues would be completely legal. As if the low conviction rate isn’t bad enough he wants to make it impossible to convict rapists except for the few who randomly attack women and men in the streets.
Moral of the story
You might be thinking, yes Roosh V is clearly a disgusting human being, but he’s entitled to freedom of speech. That’s true. However, everything this man writes and publishes, from what I’ve seen, incites hate, not only to women, but homosexuals, transgender men and women, and black people. By allowing this man to speak openly and on a public platform we’re allowing him to influence young or impressionable minds. He’s encouraging violence against women by blurring the boundaries of consent. He’s also breeding contempt which will in turn lead to more violence motivated by racism, sexism, homophobia or transphobia.
You might also be thinking, this man posting this rubbish online won’t have an impact on me. Unfortunately Roosh V and his views aren’t an isolated case. Prior to the ‘cancellation’ due to ‘safety concerns for those attending’ (the legal rape advocate cancels his event because of safety concerns. Bless.) many were allegedly stated to attend around the world. Roosh V claims women are evil as an easy answer for confused and angry men, in very much the same way Nigel Farage claims immigrants are evil as an easy answer for an ever increasingly confused and angry society. It is people like Roosh V that twist, shape and lie to push their own sexist/racist/prejudice/xenophobic agendas to people that know no better than to accept it. Unless we challenge these ideologies and expose them for what they blatantly are, it won’t be long before events like Roosh V’s become common place.
All the statistics I’ve cited here come from: http://rapecrisis.org.uk/statistics.php
All quotes were taken directly from www.rooshv.com
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