Update Feb. 8, 6 p.m.:
It turns out that the Return of Kings meet-ups weren't actually ever advertised by the group to be pro-rape, according to an article posted by ROK member Rob Berne yesterday. From the horse's mouth:
Media reports resulted in a shut down of the meet ups planned among our followers...The Establishment intentionally took one article written by Roosh in which he proposed a thought experiment to increase the safety of women by 'legalizing rape on private property.' The elites took a gamble that taking that article out of context and exaggerating it to the fullest extent would create a firestorm—notice that few of the slanderous articles actually linked to the piece in
question, where any reasonable person could see that it was not written earnestly.
The media twisted the followers of ROK and Roosh into 'rape supporters' simply because of one article that was obvious satire. Jonathan Swift once wrote that poor children should be eaten by the wealthy. Back in the 18th century, no one was stupid enough to take Swift’s essay seriously.
So, Return of Kings's didn't intend to host a series of meetings advocating rape. My bad. The article written by Valizadeh—the one that apparently made everyone think the ROK meetings were pro-rape—was labeled as a "satirical thought experiment" in a note at the top of the page. According to Snopes, this thought was added after he initially received backlash for the article in Feb. 2015.
Based off ReturnOfKings.com's content and the fact that the meet-ups were aimed at heterosexual male readers, I think it's pretty safe to say the meetings would have attracted a group of men who support rape culture and pro-rape attitudes.
Women of Tucson: I don't know if you were informed, but something really, for lack of a more sweeping word, fucked up
was supposed go down last night in front of the Arizona Historical Museum on 2nd Street, just steps away from the UA campus.
A group of men called the "Return of Kings" planned to meet around 8 p.m. to rationally discuss in a safe, supportive setting why they think rape should be legal, according to Complex
. You read that right—these self-proclaimed meninists want to legalize rape. Let that sink in.
This wasn't the only meeting planned, though. Return of Kings is an international group, and meet-ups were scheduled across the globe, from not-so-far away Phoenix all the way to Melbourne, Australia (and Syndey, Brisbane and
Perth) according to Complex
's article, which shared ROK's full meet-up itinerary. Luckily, though, the meetings were cancelled. Return of Kings organizer and blogger Roosh Valizadeh wrote on the the blog he felt that he could "no longer guarantee the safety or privacy of the men who [wanted] to attend.
News outlets haven't really been drawing too much attention to the other sides of ReturnOfKings.com—the blog itself. Aside from the meet-up blog (which no longer has any aforementioned planned meeting dates
on it), Valizadeh posts about lifestyle, culture, women and men. Some headlines that especially stood out to me (because they really
all stood out): "Why There Will Always Be a Sexual Double Standard," "A Three Point Primer in Female Privilege," "'Rape Culture' Was Manufactured To Wage An Unjust War Against Men," "Young Girls Are Better Than Older Women" and, of course, "11 Fundamental Guidelines for Solid Game."
I can assure you neither Valizadeh nor his crew of creepy, friend-zoned minions have any game. On his "Top 35 Most Important Articles on ROK" page, there are so many more sexist, awful headlines. It's terrifying that there are men in Tucson and across the globe who agree with Valizadeh, but in the world's current state, it's sadly not that surprising.
So, women of Tucson, I leave you with this: the local Return of the Kings scum will probably try to strike again and meet up at some point, so please try to be as safe as you can. Who knows what these rape apologists will brew up next.