Following the implosion of Roosh Valizadeh’s Return of Kings international meetup, the pickup guru and “neomasculinist” cult leader staged a press conference to chastise the media for what he deemed to be lies about himself and the gatherings. In fairness, the impression that many people walked away with after reading articles about his meetup was incorrect. The meetup was not, as some news outlets stated, a “pro-rape” or “rape legalization” event.
Nonetheless, people were justifiably outraged by Roosh and his noxious followers who regularly consume the misogynistic and homophobic content on RoK. Instead of an international meetup of sexist men, we were instead treated to the spectacle of Roosh conducting a small press conference in Washington, D.C. What transpired can only be described as bizarre.
Roosh kicked things off by reading an opening statement for the handful of journalists at the table, blaming the media for the negative coverage and the eventual doxxing of his family members by Anonymous. As he told his meager audience, if anything should happen to his family it will ultimately be their fault. When he was done (momentarily) castigating the press — essentially treating all websites that discussed Roosh as if they were a single entity conspiring against him — he opened up a Q&A portion of the conference.
When asked why people think he’s a rapist, Roosh went on a rant about how he was made into a scapegoat by the media. People “need a target to get all the rage that the citizens have, to put it on someone that doesn’t conflict with the agenda of your bosses and the ruling establishment,” Roosh said. All this anger is directed toward him because he’s a “scapegoat,” but he vowed that he would “harness all this coverage that you guys are giving me” and “convert it to money and women.”
A female reporter then directly confronted him over passages in his Bang book series in which Roosh hinted at having non-consensual sex with numerous women. Roosh flatly denied the allegations but, as the reporter noted, in at least one instance Roosh had written quite clearly that a woman he hooked up with was too intoxicated to consent. Most likely she was referring to this infamous quote from his book Bang Iceland:
While walking to my place, I realized how drunk she was. In America, having sex with her would have been rape, since she couldn’t legally give her consent. It didn’t help matters that I was relatively sober, but I can’t say I cared or even hesitated. I won’t rationalize my actions, but having sex is what I do. If a girl is willing to walk home with me, she’s going to get the dick no matter how much she has drunk.
Clearly Roosh stated that he knew this woman was drunk and that she “couldn’t legally giver her consent” to having sex with him, but he went through with it anyway because “having sex is what I do.” (More examples of Roosh’s hazy relationship with the concept of consent can be found here.)
When he was reminded of this admission, he dismissed the reporter’s question by calling this an example of “macho sex writing” and an attempt to “come across as an aggressive guy.”
In another awkward exchange, Roosh was asked for his opinion on the “future for male/female relations.” Roosh predictably replied that the point he tries to get across on Return of Kings is that gender equality is a myth and that we need to return to the bygone era when men ruled over their submissive wives. To make things even more odd Roosh began to praise the patriarchal societies in Muslim nations where, as he put it, “rape cannot happen” between a husband and wife.
He accused the reporters of “lov[ing] Islam” and refusing to write about Islamic countries while singling him out for criticism. One audience member corrected Roosh, stating that journalists do, in fact, write articles critical of how women are treated in Islamic countries.
He also said that he would be backing Trump in the 2016 presidential election, because of course he is.