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Pickup artist Roosh V says women shouldn’t be blamed for rape, then blames women for rape

Daryush Valizadeh, better known as "Roosh V," talks to reporters during a secret press conference.
Daryush Valizadeh, better known as "Roosh V," talks to reporters during a secret press conference.
Roosh V, YouTube

Infamous "pickup artist" Daryush "Roosh V" Valizadeh told reporters on Saturday that the media "lied" by calling him a "pro-rape advocate" — but during the same press conference he also made comments that blamed women for rape.

"If a woman got raped, that is a sad thing. It’s a bad thing. But whose fault is it? Is it the woman’s fault? No, I’m not saying that," Roosh said. "But a woman can do things to reduce the likelihood that she will get hurt. If I get a BMW car right now and I leave the key inside and park it in a bad area and it gets robbed, whose fault is that? Is it the thief's fault, or is it my fault for being a moron?"

He also said that he doesn't think the women who say Bill Cosby raped them are being "honest."

"The evidence I’ve seen is girls wanting to be with him and take drugs with him, and then 20 years after that say he hurt them," he said, trailing off skeptically.

When reporters pressed him on whether he had raped a woman he said was too drunk to legally consent in one of his books, Roosh dismissed it as "macho sex writing."

Pressed again on whether having sex with a woman too drunk to consent met the legal definition of rape, he shot back, "How about the man?" and later deflected: "You're trying to redefine the definition of consensual sex so that every man is on the hook for rape."

Roosh called the press conference after he officially canceled a series of meetups for fans of his Return of Kings blog and his "neomasculinity" philosophy.

As I wrote earlier, some reports inaccurately called the meetups "pro-rape rallies." This is mostly because of a blog post Roosh wrote, which he insists is satire, arguing that if rape were legal on private property it would dramatically decrease the incidence of rape because women would be more careful about whom they went home with.

This led many to say that Roosh wants to "make rape legal." He says he doesn't — but he still defended the post's victim-blaming analysis about women's "personal responsibility" at the press conference.

"If the government wasn't completely holding the hand of adult women every step of the way and telling them that nothing you can do is wrong, maybe they [women] would do a little bit of a better job not incapacitating themselves with alcohol and drugs and meeting random guys on the internet that they don't know and going to his house to watch Netflix," Roosh said.

Feminists argue that, to the contrary, women already hear too many messages about how they need to take responsibility for avoiding rape. They are routinely shamed for drinking too much if a rapist takes advantage of them — and shamed for anything else that they may have done leading up to the attack, such as walking home alone or wearing a revealing outfit. But instead of reducing rape, these messages lead people to blame victims — and that helps make sure that most rapes go unreported and the vast majority of rapists go unprosecuted.

Roosh also blamed the media for inaccurately reporting about a "rape rally" when he was really just trying to have a "social happy hour" for men, and for helping to make him "the most hated man in the world."

And while he said he prays nothing happens to his family members after the hacking group Anonymous released their address online, he seemed pleased with the attention the incident has gotten him.

"I acknowledge that as a writer, my job is to get attention," he said. "I'm gonna harness all this coverage that you guys are giving me. Convert it to money and women. That's what I'm gonna do."