A feminist's guide to making guys like Roosh V irrelevant

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Who is Daryush Valizadeh?

A self-styled pick-up artist who thinks rape should be legalised wants like-minded Sydney men to meet up and bond later this month.

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Men's rights villains don't get more odious or more enduring than Roosh V, one of the modern movement's founding fathers and perennial favourite in the endless competition of World's Worst Dropkick. As part of his endless quest to re-subjugate women and make the world a shittier place, Roosh and his loyal band of misogynist stooges have designated February 6 as the day they'll come together in meetups around the globe to swap tips on not wiping their bums after dropping a log, violating chicks' boundaries, and generally being pathetic saddos.

The rationale for these meetups is a kind of perverse solidarity where blokes whose views are rightly judged to be laughable garbage are able to connect with each other, like when you turn on a light in the kitchen and all the cockroaches scurry into one dark corner to preen each other's filthy antennae.

Going into any level of detail about Roosh's well-deserved reputation for grossness is sort of like listing the reasons why it's a bad idea to eat your own turds, so rather than raking him over the coals again I thought it'd be interesting to consider achievable ways we can annihilate the relevance of guys like him.

Daryush Valizadeh.

Daryush Valizadeh. Photo: @_AMERICHAN_

Luckily Roosh himself is quite honest about the social conditions that allow his hideous movement to gain traction, which makes it easy to theorise ways we could reduce him to the brief and shameful historical footnote he deserves to be.


Katie J. M. Baker's essay 'Cockblocked by Redistribution'  is the definitive take on this subject, one I go back to every time Roosh is in the headlines. Baker actually bothered to read Roosh's Bang series of seduction manuals, in which he advises the desperate and dateless weirdos of the world on how they can trick and bully women from various countries into sleeping with them.

The theme of Baker's piece, and Roosh's hilarious book Don't Bang Denmark, is that slimy pickup artist techniques simply don't work in a social climate of widespread female empowerment and autonomy.

This is a crucial point for anyone who'd like to see Roosh and the MRAs flushed down the S-bend, and it relies on making a distinction between Roosh's obvious personal degeneracy and why, exactly, it is that anyone listens to him. It's likely impossible to eradicate emotionally fragile man babies who'd like to reverse the gains of feminism, but it's definitely not impossible to pen them into irrelevancy and fatally limit the spread of their views. It's similar to the approach world health authorities take to incurable diseases: quarantine, prevent transmission, ensure vulnerable populations are secure and protected.

Baker quotes Roosh at length on why he finds the women of Denmark impossible to bed:

"'A Danish person has no idea what it feels like to not have medical care or free access to university education,' an awed Roosh reports. 'They have no fear of becoming homeless or permanently jobless. The government's soothing hand will catch everyone as they fall. To an American like myself, brainwashed to believe that you need to earn things like basic health care or education by working your ass off, it was quite a shock.'"

I admit to being shocked the first time I read this, mostly because a master tactician like Roosh should know the first rule of winning a battle is to not reveal your weaknesses to the enemy. Thankfully Roosh's self-image is so disconnected from reality that it's not even clear he knows that's what he's doing, so it's easy for anyone smarter than him (basically everyone) to formulate devastating strategies that take advantage of the fact that he has no comprehension of the fundamental structural sexism that enables him.

Because as it turns out, Roosh's American context is crucial to his success. In a situation where women are systematically disadvantaged by a weak welfare state, threadbare legal protection against discrimination, limited access to healthcare and a culture of cutthroat competition and machismo, they're forced to accede to various behavioural dictates enforced by men like Roosh to gain secure access to the material goods of life. Depressing as that may sound, it's actually good news: the easiest way to get rid of his crew of slovenly sexist mouthbreathers is to struggle for proven measures to improve women's lives.

Instead of playing visa whack-a-mole with encroaching PUAs, the proven effective technique is to shut them down at the source of their power over women, which is material in nature. That's not to say that getting incredibly outraged online and making fun of neckbeards isn't helpful; it is, and I hope it continues for as long as they insist on making an embarrassing public spectacle of themselves.

But one of the lessons I hope we've learned, in these past ten years or so of giving misogynists negative attention online, is that it has benefits mostly in terms of galvanising support from people who already agree that they're awful. If it were effective in the sense I seek, of driving them underground into little cultural bunkers where they can do no harm, I wouldn't be writing this today; I'd be dancing on their grave while singing Girls Just Wanna Have Fun, as is right and proper.

So while you're kicking the outrage over Roosh into high gear, I hope you'll spare a moment to consider oraganising in support of measures by which we can grind him into the dust: making sure that his targets aren't coerced into giving him the time of day.

Support paid parental leave, support single parents' allowance, support funding for frontline domestic violence programs, support universal daycare, support sex and relationship education for kids and teens, and support campaigns for equal pay. Create a world where women laugh in the face of limp idiot nobodies like Roosh V.