A planned international meet-up a group of “men’s rights” activists was cancelled because the leaders couldn’t guarantee the safety of their attendees.
These “neomasculinist” men’s rights activists – who called themselves “Return of Kings” – have previously promoted the notion of “legal rape” and had declared that their meeting was for “heterosexual, masculine men” and that women would not be allowed to attend.
They had made plans to meet around the world, including Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, and Perth.
Their leader – Daryush “Roosh” Valizadeh – met sever opposition to his planned meetup. Opposition included a petition that received over a 100,000 signatures, local police’s opposition in Australia and a message from Australia’s former sex discrimination commissioner.
Despite this, Valizadeh had vowed to never cancel the event.
It was a vow he had to take back as even Australia’s Minister of Immigration Peter Dutton joined the opposition, indicating that he would not allow the RoK leader entry in the country.
“People who advocate violence against women aren’t welcome in Australia,” the minister said in a statement. “In the past people advocating violence against women have had their visa refused or cancelled.”
RoK had to cancel the meet-up as a result.
Valizadeh then released a statement cancelling the event.
“I can no longer guarantee the safety or privacy of the men who want to attend on February 6, especially since most of the meetups can not be made private in time,” Valizadeh wrote.
“While I can’t stop men who want to continue meeting in private groups, there will be no official Return of Kings meetups. The listing page has been scrubbed of all locations. I apologize to all the supporters who are let down by my decision.”
This is not the first time Australia’s government has taken a stand against the harassment of women. Under Australia’s Immigration Act, An individual’s visa application can be rejected if he or she does not pass a “character test”.
In 2014, then-immigration minister Scott Morrison had deported the infamous “pick-up artist” Julien Blanc on his national tour promoting the harassment of women. And just recently, Dutton cancelled “pick-up artist” Jeff Allen’s visa. Allen had planned on touring Australia to promote his company, which taught men how to harass, manipulate and degrade women.