December 10, 2018 | ° F

‘Return of Kings’ group is royal pain


Mysoginist organization endorses rape on private property


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The Return of Kings is a group that advocates for the legal rape of women, and the leader of the group, Daryush “Roosh V” Valizadeh, calls himself a neo-masculinist. It’s evident that the name they chose is symbolically designed to be a rallying cry to restore masculine authority amidst modern-day resistance to patriarchy. Contemporary society is more inclined to question the status of men and women, and it’s made strides in many aspects to rectify what’s perceived to be a gendered imbalance of power. Although women continue to be subordinated in various levels of society, these men appear to resent the progress women have taken in protecting themselves from arbitrary male violence and coerced subservience. The Return of Kings supports regressing back to times when men could unquestionably do what they want. And in advocating for legalized rape, they assert that men should be able to do whatever they want with women and their bodies, while discrediting women’s autonomy as equal human beings.

But the group’s argument for why rape should be legal as long as it’s on private property contorts logic. Valizadeh states, “By attempting to teach men not to rape, what we have actually done is teach women not to care about being raped, not to protect themselves from easily preventable acts and not to take responsibility for their actions.” He overtly faults women for having been raped, and this victim-blaming mentality ignores the paramount role of men in the process of this heinous act. "This woman shouldn’t have worn such skimpy clothing, or this woman shouldn’t have been walking at night. She shouldn’t have done this or she shouldn’t have done that." Well what about, "This man shouldn’t have acted on his predatory desires? Do men not have any self-control so as to pin the blame on someone else?" Moreover, his caveat for legal rape — that it must be on private property — implies that anything done on private property is free game. Would killing another person as long as he or she was on private property be permissible as well?

It is difficult to take the Return of Kings seriously because of the absurd platform they tout, however, the group is reported to have organized worldwide meet-ups in 43 different countries. The numbers of this group hasn’t been disclosed, but their presence in 43 countries is chilling yet somewhat unsurprising. Societal deviants are emboldened to express their true thoughts through the anonymity of the Internet and they are better able to find other like-minded people to interact with. In this case, on the website advertising the Return of Kings’ event, Valizadeh encouraged his supporters to “come out of the shadows and not to have to hide behind a computer screen for fear of retaliation.” Because they require some coaxing, perhaps the members of this organization realize they’re doing something wrong. They hold private meetings and don’t allow women or persons part of the LGBTQ community from participating. Their exclusionary practices prevent them from hearing other arguments and other perspectives. They want to continue believing their outlandish beliefs unchallenged.

Many countries no longer have kings, because it was realized that there are better alternatives such as shared governance. Kings are associated with men who abuse their power and mobilize to kill, pillage and rape. A large portion of society doesn’t want this form of monarchic rule to return. Kingship is archaic and incompatible with present societies — similar to the ideas held by this organization.

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The Daily Targum's editorials represent the views of the majority of the 148th editorial board. Columns, cartoons and letters do not necessarily reflect the views of the Targum Publishing Company or its staff.


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