A couple of days ago, a petition to the mayor of Toronto, signed by over 40,000 people and boosted by CBC, tried to keep “neomasculinist” speaker and author Roosh V out of Canada. Thankfully, it failed.
Roosh, a pen name of Daryush Valizadeh, was already in North America, and his speech went off just fine. The quality of Canadian defence has been off lately, which is probably why the Stanley Cup was between Chicago and Tampa Bay. Male Canucks are so henpecked that even their hockey is suffering.
Obviously, both the petition and this daft assault were illiberal and dumb. Everyone who added their signature should be quarantined in the one place that is worse than purgatory: Quebec. Finally, the city would have a purpose, keeping feminists and the French from contaminating the wider continent.
But wait, no, now I’m thinking like a progressive, aren’t I. If there’s a Canadian secession, perhaps it should be free-thinking classical liberals breaking off from loony social justice bloggers. Admittedly, such a schism in Canada would create a new country of about 12 people.
In any case, this failed feminist fox hunt is a good excuse to remind those retarded pseudo-French losers what freedom of speech is, and how avoiding and banning speech we dislike is a really, really bad idea, like almost as bad as Avril Lavigne, Rufus Wainwright, Michael Cera, Nia Vardalos or for the love of fucking Christ Shania Twain.
“The past week I received heavy resistance from the Canadian left to shut down my planned Montreal speech,” Valizadeh told me via email yesterday from the land of poutine and transgender four-year-olds. “A petition to ban me from the country topped 35,000 people and the booking to my original hotel venue was cancelled after it was leaked online, putting the entire event in jeopardy.
“The mayor of Montreal, the Canadian state-owned media (CBC), and many thousands of locals combed the entire city trying to find the event venue in order to sabotage it. I stuck to my guns, found another venue, and I successfully held the event. ”
Internet searches for Roosh V have never been higher, so if Canadian liberals were attempting to silence him or drive him into obscurity, well. Lame job guys. If there’s one thing we ordinary folk enjoy it’s something forbidden. And we don’t mind telling you so.
After the talk, Valizadeh had a beer thrown in his face. Regular readers of this column will know the high regard in which I hold feminists, and Canadians, but even by the pathetic standards of #KillAllWhiteMen or #BlackLivesMatter, this was a cowardly stunt of the highest order, and only served to gild Roosh’s victory.
“After the event, I was attacked on the street by a mob who shouted talking points that I remembered reading from CBC articles published a couple days earlier,” explained Valizadeh. “I believe this attack against me approaches a fine line of state-supported violence. I filed a police report against the perpetrators, but those in the CBC should be held responsible for inciting the naive youth of Montreal.”
Truth be told, my research team is divided on the subject of Roosh, which is why I found it interesting that my most liberal colleague was the one who stepped up to do the work on this article. He didn’t say why, but I suspect he did it for the same reason I’m writing this article: because he’s more worried about a world where ideas cannot get their day in court than anything Roosh V writes on his blog.
Veteran Reason and TIME journalist Cathy Young, who has little time for Valizadeh’s opinions on women, was nonetheless forthright on his right to speak unmolested when I asked her yesterday whether his event ought to have been shut down and whether threats of violence against speakers are ever justified.
“Threats of violence are usually more about venting than about actual intent to carry out violent acts,” said Young. “That said, given that feminists have made such a big issue of violent threats to women – and specifically to feminist activists and speakers – making or condoning threats toward Roosh and his guests certainly seems hypocritical.
“As for actual violence, I would say that it’s never justified in response to speech, though there are probably times when I would be inclined to sympathize with the perpetrator, for example. if it was a Holocaust survivor punching a Holocaust denier.”
“I will also add that, to the extent that Roosh has a following, it’s largely thanks to the toxic atmosphere radical feminists have helped create,” added Young, who has reported extensively on the excesses of the modern third-wave feminist movement.
“When preaching hatred toward men is normalized and demonising male behaviour becomes part of normal discourse, it’s not surprising that frankly misogynistic rhetoric in the ‘manosphere’ will gain more appeal. Feminists should worry less about Roosh and more about their own failure to offer a positive vision of male-female relationships.”
In other words, revolutionaries will always breed counter-revolutions.
No-platforming, a favourite tactic of the progressive left, denies us, the public, the ability to interrogate a speaker ourselves. It’s not only illiberal and profoundly anti-intellectual but it can create a halo of martyrdom around people who are already pushing at an open door – such as men’s rights activists, who rightly point to dozens of structural inequalities in the way men are spoken about and treated in today’s uber-progressive societies.
And when one person refuses to talk to another, the only remaining option is violence. By and large, it’s the political left doing the violence these days, and it’s not just directed at men’s rights activists or conservative speakers: even Bernie Sanders is getting shoved around.
With some justification, Roosh views his experience as, “one of the biggest free speech victories that Canada has ever seen, where a small group of intelligent and masculine men stood up the entire establishment and won decisively. I’m still on cloud nine from it.”
I say “with some justification” because liberals really shot themselves in the foot on this one. Valizadeh will be thanking his lucky stars for the notoriety these authoritarian pearl-clutchers just handed him. I imagine his book sales are through the roof. (He was too discreet to comment.)
As for the claim that Valizadeh is a “rape apologist,” he says this: “It’s absolutely false. My ‘How To Stop Rape’ article, a big source of the outrage in Canada, was a mere thought experiment to show how a woman who takes personal responsibility of herself will experience less sexual assault. The sad fact that they didn’t even read the article, where I clearly state the importance of consent, shows their lack of comprehension and reason.”
Disclosure: I had lunch with Roosh in London last month. We had fish and chips. We didn’t agree on everything, but I liked him and found him smart and intellectually engaging. He did not try to rape me. Even after I insisted.