Toronto Mayor John Tory has joined the chorus of voices calling for the cancellation of a lecture series by author and blogger Daryush Valizadeh (better known as Roosh V), who is slated to make an address in the city on Aug. 15.
Valizadeh is the author of Bang, which he describes as “a textbook for picking up girls,” and runs the website ReturnofKings.com. Its aim is to “usher the return of the masculine man in a world where masculinity is being increasingly punished and shamed,” Valizadeh says. He advocates for the adherence to traditional heterosexual gender roles and is against “unlimited mating choice in women” because it undermines “family formation.”
Most notoriously, Valizadeh has called for rape to be decriminalized on private property, because in such circumstances a woman “will never be unchaperoned with a man she doesn’t want to sleep with.”
Unsurprisingly, his views have promoted a backlash, with Tory at the forefront.
City councillor Norm Kelly, who has a reputation in his native Toronto for his forthright Twitter account, has called for the cancellation of Valizadeh’s speech.
Valizadeh has condemned the comments.
After beer was reportedly thrown in his face by angry customers at a bar in Montreal, Valizadeh now says he is prepared to take on any new “battles” in Toronto.
It’s not the first time a self-proclaimed “pickup artist” has met resistance upon embarking on a global promotional circuit. Last year, U.S. pickup artist Julien Blanc’s Australian visa was revoked after a public outcry over his seminars.