The media is still abuzz over misogynistic troll Roosh Valizadeh, but journalists aren’t the only ones talking about him. In what is part of an informal and ongoing war between Roosh and the men’s rights movement, MRA Dean Esmay unloaded on the embattled pickup artist in a post for A Voice for Men.
Esmay, who resigned from his official position as an AVfM staff member last year, had some harsh words for Roosh in an article titled “Media creates phony narrative to dub RooshV an ‘MRA'”:
The media has decided that confessed rapist RooshV is an MRA. He is not. He is a snake oil salesman peddling bad advice to confused men to pollute their bodies with dangerous barely-legal hormones and other dodgy supplements, along with equally bad advice on health, exercise, and women. He is not an MRA.
Con artist RooshV and his bizarre cult of followers call their pseudoscientific advice “NeoMasculinty” and, most important of all, they hate and ridicule MRAs. That’s right, RooshV is an anti-MRA. He often even claims MRAs are “attacking” him when they aren’t, although these days it’s probably best that MRAs pretty much do attack him and his sycophantic deluded cult followers whenever possible.
Esmay refers to Roosh as a “confessed rapist,” a “snake oil salesman peddling bad advice to confused men,” and called his followers a “sycophantic deluded cult.” Esmay is not entirely off base on his assessment of Roosh, but he misfires when he tries to pin the conflation of pickup artists and men’s rights activists on an intentionally dishonest media.
The reason why Roosh and people like him are called MRAs is that, to most outsiders, he simply acts the way they believe an MRA would act. People who are unfamiliar with the “manosphere” simply don’t know the distinctions between sexist pickup artists and MRAs. They see the rhetoric employed by both groups and, reasonably, believe them to be connected. For a more thorough breakdown, see this article.
Back to Esmay’s assessment of Roosh and his followers:
For a while there was a quiet peace between MRAs and the Return of Kings rape fetishists, however, recently RooshV began not only dishonestly attacking MRAs, but has pulled the unintended trick of becoming a media darling as an MRA.
No kidding. Even though he denies being an MRA, even though he and his lowlife fans hate MRAs, and even though MRAs have made it clear they we are nothing alike (we do not “distance ourselves” from him, we utterly reject any notion he was ever an MRA) the media wants the world to believe he is an MRA.
To be clear, every MRA I know does actually support RooshV’s right to speak and be heard. And every MRA I know views him as a crackpot, a loon, a con artist and snake oil salesman, and a self-serving liar and weasel who likely lies about most of the rape fantasy sexcapade books he sells, which appear to be little but bad “50 Shades for Dudes” slash fiction.
Esmay pulls no punches here, calling Roosh a “crackpot, a loon, a con artist and a snake oil salesman” as well as a “self-serving liar and weasel.” Return of Kings readers are denounced as “rape fetishists.”
I’ll let readers decide how accurate those descriptions are. However, when it comes to whether MRAs and pickup artists are “nothing alike” or whether or not the media is being intentionally dishonest in conflating the two, I’m not so sure that’s correct.