About Daryush "Roosh" Valizadeh
Roosh has repeatedly advocated for predatory and forceful sexual behavior in his books, on his Roosh V blog and on his popular manosphere platform, Return of Kings. He pushes the idea that women are intellectually inferior to men, worth only the sexual pleasure and fertility they can provide and should be prevented from voting. He calls this set of hateful beliefs “neomasculinity.” Roosh has mingled with the racist “alt-right” but, always up for a misogynistic fight, has recently butted heads with women of the far-right movement.
In his own words
“[E]ven if you accept the most rosy interpretation of my writing, without all the distortions from the media, can you name someone who is more extreme than me when it comes to sex relations? Maybe I really am a monster.”
—Roosh V, Roosh V Forum, July 10, 2018
“No means no — until it means yes. The sex was painful for her. I was only the second guy she’d ever had sex with. I didn’t think she was lying, because pumping her was like jamming my c--- through a medieval keyhole. She whimpered like a wounded puppy dog the entire time, but I really wanted to have an orgasm, so I was “almost there” for about ten minutes. After sex, she sobbed for a good while, talking about how she had sinned in the eyes of God, but in an hour she got horny again and we went at it once more.”
—From the self-published book 30 Bangs: The Shaping of One Man's Game from Patient Mouse to Rabid Wolf, March 2012
“There are less homosexuals abroad. I don’t care what gay people do in private, but it annoys me to be surrounded by their flamboyant, deviant, and abnormal behavior in public, especially with their excessive displays of affection. I also don’t care for gay men hitting on me when I’m never in gay establishments. Thankfully, traditional beliefs are alive and well in many foreign countries, and homosexuals have to be more respectful of how they behave in public. Another benefit to more traditional societies is that women understand their role of appearing beautiful and submitting to strong men, something that is sorely missing in American culture.”
—“10 Reasons Why Heterosexual Men Should Leave America,” RooshV.com, December 16, 2013
“How can any man who approaches a girl today see her as more than a c-- bucket? Because let’s be real: she has been serving as a c-- bucket thanks to a perverse culture that methodically trains and encourages her to take buckets of c-- from men who make her vagina tingle, all as a way to help her “grow” as a person, find herself, and become strong and independent, which means not sobbing for more than a day when the latest bad boy she fell for turned out to be a selfish person who didn’t value her beyond the sexual. This is the girl who’s going to be your lifelong faithful partner? The girl who’s going to be the mother of your children? I cringe at that notion, as should all men. I rather be an evolutionary dead-end that let a w---- be the mother of my child, but men today are being trained to accept the w---- mother and to be the soft cuckold, the sucker that gets to buy the goods at full price even though it has declined 80% of value from its peak.”
—“The Decimation of Western Women is Complete,” RooshV.com, December 15, 2014
“I saw women wholly unconcerned with their own safety and the character of men they developed intimate relationships with. I saw women who voluntarily numbed themselves with alcohol and other drugs in social settings before letting the direction of the night’s wind determine who they would follow into a private room. I saw women who, once feeling awkward, sad, or guilty for a sexual encounter they didn’t fully remember, call upon an authority figure to resolve the problem by locking up her previous night’s lover in prison or ejecting him from school ... I thought about this problem and am sure I have the solution: make rape legal if done on private property. I propose that we make the violent taking of a woman not punishable by law when done off public grounds.”
—“How to Stop Rape,” RooshV.com, February 16, 2015
“Because we have given women suffrage, it has become necessary to gain their votes by promising whatever they want in the moment, including the removal of all gates to the sexual market so they can engage in the great game of “alpha male hunting,” which has led to such unbridled chaos and sterility that we have to import third-world people as these empowered female voters abort nearly 60 million American babies. The demographic crisis the West faces today is primarily due to allowing women to do as they please instead of imposing healthy standards on their behavior and choices. The direct cause of this horror movie is giving women the vote.”
—“How to Save Western Civilization,” Return of Kings, May 23, 2017
“I've fornicated with many girls under my Donald Trump portrait AFTER they told me they hate him and that he stands for the worst evil in the world. A girl's word means literally nothing. If she sees you as a Chad, she will go against everything she stands for to bang you.”
—Twitter, February 3, 2018
Roosh was born in the United States in 1979 to an Iranian father and an Armenian mother. He grew up in Maryland with his mother after his parents divorced, and eventually attended the University of Maryland at College Park, where he studied microbiology.
Roosh describes himself as “a late bloomer” who looked 12 years old when he was 18. Not knowing “how to get laid,” he was advised to befriend girls to seduce them. After he failed to find women willing to sleep with him, in his senior year of college he discovered pick-up artists (PUA) online. A community of men who give advice to other men on how to get women to sleep with them, PUAs often toe the line between consensual and non-consensual encounters. By his own account, Roosh “took to [pick-up artistry] like a fish in water.”
Soon enough, Roosh decided to share his seduction strategy online. While reportedly working as an industrial microbiologist, Roosh started an anonymous blog (for fear of losing his job), DC Bachelor, where he shared his pick-up stories and advice. Roosh eventually replaced DC Bachelor with a new blog, now in his name, Roosh V. in 2006, as well as setting up his Roosh V. forum in 2008, which is now 31,000 members strong.
Roosh quit his job as a microbiologist after six years, and decided to travel first to South America in search of “meaning and foreign women” and later to Eastern Europe. Meanwhile, he started his dubious and infamous Bang books, a series of pick-up and travel guides in which Roosh repeatedly boasted of nonconsensual sexual encounters. After the first Bang book, self-published in 2007, Roosh milked the brand to create a series of spin-offs, from Day Bang (how to casually pick up girls during the day), to 30 Bangs: One Man’s Game from Patient Mouse to Rabid Wolf, to his Bang travel guides, which followed his libidinous and often nonconsensual adventures from Poland to Colombia. Between his travels, Roosh spent some time living out of his dad’s basement.
Preaching violent misogyny
As a preferred target of Roosh’s anti-feminist and “fat-shaming” writings, feminist Lindy West has noted that pick-up artistry or “game” as Roosh teaches it, has evolved into teaching elaborate ploys to get women to sleep with men, regardless of their consent.
Some of Roosh’s key moves include following a woman down the street until “she hits a Don’t Walk signal” to then drop pick-up lines, entering a woman’s home without asking, or pretending to need to use her bathroom. “If a girl is willing to walk home with me, she’s going to get the d--- no matter how much she has drunk,” Roosh gloats. While Roosh shows that he is unafraid to boast of rape, he seems to be fully aware of its legal definition. In one of his Bang books, he writes:
While walking to my place, I realized how drunk she was. In America, having sex with her would have been rape, since she legally couldn’t 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.
In another instance, he writes:
We moved to my bed. I got her down to her bra and panties, but she kept saying, ‘No, no.’ I was so turned on by her beauty and petite figure that I told myself she’s not walking out my door without getting f-----. At that moment I accepted the idea of getting locked up in a Polish prison to make it happen.
None of this is remarkable for someone who has made it his life’s mission to teach other men that “no means no—unless it means yes.” After the books sparked a backlash, Roosh claimed that he had deliberately embellished the passages to look more “macho.”
In 2012, Roosh founded Return of Kings, a website festering with misogyny with a stable of writers. Return of Kings headlines include: “When Her No Means Yes,” “The Intellectual Inferiority of Women,” “Why Women Shouldn’t Work” or “Don’t Let Your Girlfriends Have Homosexual Friends.” As a result, Roosh’s online platform has reached some significance; Roosh has 37,300 followers on Twitter as of February 2018, and 37,000 on YouTube. Return of Kings has 20,300 Twitter followers.
On these platforms, Roosh regularly depicts women as manipulative, fickle liars who don’t respond to logic and have to be battled and conquered, writing that the “only reason very few girls are seen as losers is because they have a p----, and just about all p------ feel good, regardless of who it’s attached to.”
Roosh jumped into public view with a February 2015 article proposing that rape be legalized on private property:
Less women will be raped because they won’t voluntarily drug themselves with booze and follow a strange man into a bedroom, and less men will be unfairly jailed for what was anything but a maniacal alley rape. Until then, this devastating rape culture will continue, and women who we treat as children will continue to act like children.
Roosh later insisted that the piece was satirical, but it fell squarely in line with his own approach to sexuality and disparaging attitude toward women.
Like many male supremacists, Roosh uses online harassment techniques. He organized several “fat-shaming” campaigns to coerce women into losing weight, inciting his followers to send photos “every time you see a girl with a bit of a muffin top.” He was invited to discuss those “campaigns” on the “Dr. Oz” show in April 2015, where he was confronted for his cruelty. Roosh first attempted to present himself as caring about “public health” and trying to decrease the obesity crisis. When shown studies demonstrating that fat-shaming actually does not help women become slimmer, Roosh claimed he was solely concerned with obesity in America because he found overweight women unattractive. When asked why he only fat-shamed women, Roosh could only answer that men (unlike women) respond to “logic.”
Roosh organized a multi-city speaking tour in the summer of 2015 focused on “The State of Man,” which generated protests when it hit Canada. Undaunted by the controversy, Roosh organized a series of meet-ups in 43 countries in February 2016, sparking global outrage. Approximately 58,000 people signed a petition to ban Roosh from Scotland, about 92,000 people signed a petition to ban him from the U.K., and around 100,000 people wanted him banned from Australia. Roosh was since banned from the U.K. The events led him to a new book reflecting on these experiences, Free Speech Isn’t Free: How 90 Men Stood Up Against the Globalist Establishment – And Won (May 2016.)
Though Roosh claims he is not political — save his sense of kinship with Donald Trump — in a March 2017 piece entitled “How to Save Western Civilization,” Roosh proclaimed he had found the answer to the decline of Western civilization:
To appease female voters and their destructive nature of promiscuity and drama, a symptom of which is collectively propelling a book about a woman being brutally dominated by a man (50 Shades Of Grey) to one of the best selling books of all time, society has veered so far to the left that it is crumbling at its base through declining birth rates and collapse of the family unit…Take away the power of women to vote, and the degradation stops.
In March 2015, Roosh set up the Poznan Institute while living in the Polish city of the same name. Its objective was to further his “developing ideology” of neomasculinity.
In his seven-point summary of the doctrine, Roosh wrote:
A woman’s value significantly depends on her fertility and beauty. A man’s value significantly depends on his resources, intellect, and character.
In the manifesto, Roosh emerged as an odd traditionalist. He blamed the decline of patriarchy for allowing women to get in touch with their “hypergamous nature” and thus enabling the collapse of marriage, as well as the government for sustaining women and removing their incentive to marry and live with men. Curiously for a single 40-year-old who built an entire career on briefing men on how to obtain sexual access to “easy women,” Roosh defended “traditional marriage [a]s the best path towards societal stability.” However, he added, modern marriage “turns husbands into hostages within their own homes” because of the institution of no-fault divorce, allowing women to leave their husbands.
Picking up some traditional talking points from the men’s rights movement, Roosh also fed into the narrative of male oppression, writing that “men are the mules of society.”
As Roosh writes in the founding document of “neomasculinity," published in May 2015:
We’ve arrived at the point where men are so consistently oppressed from birth to adulthood that any notion of female oppression can be immediately laughed at on its face … A boy born today will be institutionally, systematically, and deliberately oppressed by all facets of society while a girl born today will be given undeniable preferential treatment over him.
Though Roosh’s narrative of male victimhood is seemingly identical to the men’s rights activists (MRA) vision, Roosh disagrees with their strategy. Roosh criticizes MRAs for being “more focused on begging authority figures for rights and benefits instead of adjusting to modern-day realities.” He also berates them for being “anti-social, bitter virgins.” (Recently, Roosh has called for a truce with MRAs after a conversation with prominent MRA Karen Straughan, saying he would like to establish “common ground.”)
For Roosh, men are not fully victims, since through “game” (seduction methods) they can reclaim the circumstances of their life. Roosh thinks of “game” as almighty. After Elliot Rodger went on a murder rampage in 2014, killing six people and injuring 14 in Isla Vista, California, because of his anger at not being able to have sex with women, Roosh blamed the murder on Rodger’s lack of exposure to pick-up artistry, declaring:
I'm trying to think of ways our enemies will come after us because of this, but if anything, we're the solution to this sort of murder rampage. He is self-delusional and massively entitled, but exposing him to game may have saved lives.
In fact, Rodger had very much been radicalized by a website called PUA-Hate, where men expressed anger at being unsuccessful at sleeping with women even with PUA (pick-up artist) methods. They then turned their bitterness toward pick-up artistry into calls for violence toward women — in large part because of their feelings of entitlement to female bodies. Similarly, Roosh refers to women as the adversary. As he writes in the founding document of neomasculinity:
The only question that remains is what these men will do when the enemy, who will not voluntarily give up the power it has gained in the past three decades, decides to put down his revolt for good.
Ties to the racist “alt-right”
Roosh momentarily got quite close to another ideology rife with misogyny — the racist “alt-right” — which he claims was spawned from the manosphere. Roosh’s speech at white supremacist Richard Spencer’s National Policy Institute in 2015 drew an instant backlash from some corners of the white nationalist movement, as he is a non-white man who brags about having sex with white women. Roosh eventually condemned the movement publicly, not for its ideas but because the "alt-right" was “a frustrated mob that wants to control the sexual choices of all men,” as he described in a piece on Return of Kings.
But Roosh didn’t completely sever ties with the racist, white nationalist movement. He rushed to support Richard Spencer when he was caught on camera in November 2016 speaking to an audience, who broke into Nazi salutes at his cries of “Hail Trump! Hail our People! Hail Victory!” Roosh also positively reviewed the alt-right, antisemitic author Kevin MacDonald’s book on Return of Kings.
Ultimately, both Roosh and the "alt-right" share the underlying belief that feminism is behind the decline of Western Civilization. Roosh also relentlessly writes about the Western World’s decay, but unlike the "alt-right," he blames it mostly on Western women. As a result, he fetishizes women from Eastern Europe, who he views as more submissive and traditional. This then ties into the anti-immigrant rhetoric of Return of Kings: though the website occasionally indulges in anti-immigrant or anti-Muslim narratives, it is open to attractive female immigrants. But apart from this exception, Roosh has no qualms sometimes parroting the "alt-right." In November 2015, he tweeted:
“Roosh, isn't your dad Muslim? Why aren't you supporting open-borders and immigration?" Because I like civilization.
Misogyny is a key feature of the "alt-right," and it’s no surprise that Roosh draws followers from its confines. But Roosh’s quasi-fanatic devotion to women-bashing is still somewhat divisive among white nationalists. In January and February of 2018, the "alt-right" echo-chamber was entertained by debates between Roosh and various women on the far-right. These heated discussions took place as a result of Roosh’s latest misogynistic crusade: an attack on the hypocrisy of “t--------,” a disparaging term for young, attractive women who have risen to popularity in and around the "alt-right." These include sought-after YouTubers like Lauren Southern and Brittany Pettibone, who help mainstream far-right ideals. This rise in otherwise anti-feminist female voices has led to constant debate and backlash surrounding women’s place in the movement. Roosh seems to be squarely opposed to them and accused the women of using their looks and pretending to be traditional as a way to get followers and money.
As he deplored in a January 2018 livestream on “T-------- in the Right,” the "alt-right" used to be all male, because of “the seed of the manosphere in the alt-right” and was then corrupted by the women coming in and “telling us what we can and can’t talk about.”
In a characteristically petty follow-up discussion hosted by Andy Warski, a YouTube personality who organizes debates (nicknamed “bloodsports”) between white nationalists and far-right figures, Roosh accused far-right women, such as Lauren Southern, of adding no value to the movement beyond their physical appearance. Unable to resort to arguments beyond his trademark misogyny, he was widely seen as having lost the altercation. Despite the humiliation, Roosh was not to be destabilized. It wasn’t that he had mishandled the confrontation. Rather, it was that:
“Once you debate a woman, you’ve already lost.”