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Banning a rape advocate is not true censorship

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The following is just one of Roosh V (Daryush Valizadeh)'s sexual encounters written in his 'Bang' Books: "In the middle of the night I got another boner, put on a condom, and jammed it back in while she was half-asleep. I came and passed out again with the condom still on my dick...."

The book's nothing more than the active advertising of rape, with passages describing sexual violence and the victimisation and rape of women.

The pro-rape and misogynistic views stem from Roosh V's belief that feminism has gone too far, and from repressed men who want a space to be masculine. Thus it has prompted the idea that a period of cultural hyper-masculine growth is necessary. Roosh V publishes various articles on his website "Return of Kings", the worst of which proposes that rape should be legalised on private property because, and I quote, "If rape becomes legal, a girl will not enter an impaired state of mind where she can't resist being dragged off to a bedroom with a man who she is unsure of." He claims this is a "satirical thought experiment", but it seems that his desire to legalise rape is not only serious but malicious.

Let us focus on the recent petitions calling for the banning of Roosh V from holding meetings around the world, and the fact that he cancelled meet-ups in cities around the UK because he couldn't "guarantee the safety" of men wanting to attend.

Many people have told me that despite his toxic and immoral opinions, the notion of freedom of speech means we should hear his views and banning him from the country is therefore unacceptable. While I like to agree that freedom of speech is important, I prefer not to prioritise freedom of speech over the welfare of women (and men) both of whom would be at a greater risk of being raped after the circulation of Roosh V's thoughts. For a minority of men, Roosh V's views offer a space for those who feel their masculinity is under threat and they are being marginalised and ignored within a feminised society.

Personally, I don't believe that Roosh V should have the freedom of speech to spread such destructive messages. I ask you to think about this as an issue of race or religion; if there was advocacy of violence towards a specific racial or religious group, would we stand for that?

Additionally, there is a difference between freedom of speech and banning someone from the country. We are not robbing Roosh V of his freedom of thought and speech - he is easily accessible on the internet, but we are removing his platform on which to preach these views. We are removing from our society a place for people to spout pro-rape poison. Freedom of speech is important to a point but we should not be granting a neo-masculine, misogynistic, rape artist a platform, no matter how much we believe in 'freedom of speech.'

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1 Comment

Daniel Gronow Posted on Wednesday 17 Feb 2016

If you admit that Roosh V has other rostrums from which to spout his misogyny, then why advocate no-platforming? It seems to me that no-platforming implies a certain fear of the speaker, or else the lack of a convincing counter-argument, both of which are certainly untrue. By refusing Roosh a platform, you are not depriving him of an audience, but rather depriving the audience of an opportunity to propound their own vastly superior opinions.