Critique on “How To Stop Rape” by Roosh Valizadeh

“Roosh Valizadeh, an American blogger, pickup artist and writer, graduated from the University of Maryland with a degree in microbiology. He initially started working as an industrial biologist but after leaving his job, he started his local blog called “DC bachelor” which later he named as “Roosh V” “(“About Roosh V (Daryush Valizadeh)”). Roosh Valizadeh has always succeeded in attracting the limelight through his controversial pen. His blogs have made him controversial as well as notoriously famous. It can, then, be assumed that he chooses one of the debated topics and mocks them through his sarcasm to sate his appetite for fame. In 2016, Roosh Valizadeh published his blog on “How To Stop Rape“. His words for such a delicate issue has guaranteed his pen the controversy he demands. In this blog, he proposed a solution to rape culture by making it legal when committed on private property. Furthermore, he supported his argument by providing a stance that legalizing of rape under private property would make women more conscious about their chastity and would make them think twice while stepping with someone, who they do not know, in private property. While the proposal to legalize rape on private ground may achieve Roosh’s objectives in his own train of thought, his solution compromises credibility in research, practicality in the claim of policy and seriousness in tone.

In the blog, Roosh Valizadeh, considering the rising rape culture in U.S, proposes that in order to eradicate rape from the society, it should be legalized on private grounds. He proposed this because he believes that “if a man and woman both drink at a party and have sex, she was in all likelihood raped since she could not give full legal consent”(Roosh, “How to stop Rape”). Adding to this, he further says that he has seen woman numbing themselves with an excessive dosage of drugs or alcohol that it gets difficult for them to recognize with whom they step into the bedroom. All this dilemma of consent creates trouble to the authority to recognize either she is raped or she reported it rape after she felt guilty upon laying with her friend. In order to get rid of all these situations, Roosh proposes that rape should be legalized on private property. This solution would make women think twice while drinking or stepping into private property with her friend whom she does not trust.

Roosh’s blog lacks credibility of research to support his claim. His research from “future Pulitzer prize winners”claims that “women are not getting raped by violent offenders while taking a jog in the park or walking through dark streets – they are getting raped by men they already know, especially at college”(Roosh, “How to stop Rape”). The claim significantly lacks credibility: who conducted the research? what were the statistics? These are two unanswered questions that spring to the mind. In the same text, he continues, “I also read that men must be taught not to rape”(Roosh, “How to stop Rape”) but, once again, he does not mention the source of his reading, raising further doubts on his  writing. The only reference he mentions in his text is that he carefully examined the articles on Salon, BuzzFeed, and Huffington Post; these, however, include articles based on individual’s biased opinions rather than the educated opinion of an expert. Furthermore, he lacks qualifier to distinguish between often and rare occurring crisis; women do not always get raped by the men they know. Elaborating upon this, he presented  an image that women are raped by the men they know or study with in college. Contrary to this, rape incident of Brynne Thomas is one of the examples. “A group of men attempted to rape Brynne Thomas, those men not only tried to transgress her modesty but tried to take her to their home, an incident she briefly mentioned in her TEDx talk, “A Life Of Rape Culture” “(Brynne, “A Life Of Rape …”). Not only did she not know the men who attempted to rape her but she had never studied with them in college too. In a nutshell, it is not necessary that women will be raped, or that such an attempt will be made on their person, only by the men they know or studied with in the college though the statistics can vary.

Apart from credibility, his blog lacks practicality in the claim of policy. In his own mind, Roosh has created a stage where all the actors play their part as designated by Roosh’s own subconscious, and the result of these he uses to address one of the most important issues of today. Roosh assumes that making rape legal on private property, will stop women from stepping into  private property with the friends they don’t trust; this will further prevent women from acquiring such a stage of numbness that eventually wears off their conscious and consequently it will cause a decrease in rape. This scenario assumes that rape is inevitable and provides a solution to an imaginary threat. All women need to do is; take security measures such that they are not numbed to an extent that they lose their conscious and also to judge a man completely before they enter with him to private property. This is his solution for stopping rape which clearly signifies his “practicality” towards the issue. First of all, it does not take into account the scenario of a woman who may be perfectly conscious, but who is nonetheless raped in private property. It should be taken into consideration that all women are not housewives but some are the only source of income of their house. They manage to run their home by working within different fields of work. Addressing only the women who step into private property with their friends, is similar to addressing a single person rather than a crowd. Bolstering the case further, a situation was reported to Miranda Davies while she was doing research for her book “Women and Violence” which she also mentioned in her same book. It states that “Ambia Khatum told us she was subjected to repeated attempted rape by her male employer. She said that on one occasion, Baba wanted to have sex with me and he took a knife and put it to my throat. That time he broke my thumb”(Davies, Women and violence, p. 53). Secondly, what about the man who appears to be trustworthy but takes full advantage of the woman once she is numb. Should he need not be  punished because doing a vile act under a wrong scenario – raping an unconscious woman – is fettered to be punishable. He too should be punished for his act just as much as any other person who has committed rape. Author’s proposal provides immunity to the perpetrators of rape, i.e if one rapes a woman in a private property, he is free to go and he has every right to rape woman and courts are all likely to consider him innocent in accordance with the law because rape is legal out of public grounds, according to Roosh. Roosh’s writing tells us that he fails to understand  that two wrongs do not make a right. Rape is evil, regardless of any situation.

Roosh’s tone is sarcastic throughout his blog, showing insensitivity instead of the sympathy required while talking on such a serious issue. Instead of addressing the issue seriously, Roosh keeps undermining and loathing women as evident by his choices of words and analogies. He has used word like “overweight feminist” for women. A word like this shows Roosh’s mockery of women and, indeed the entire issue of rape. His lines such as, “If rape become legal, she will never be unchaperoned with a man she doesn’t want to sleep with”,  “Bad encounters are sure to occur, but these can be “learning experiences” for poorly trained women so she can better identify in the future the type of good man who will treat her like a delicate flower “she believes she is”(Roosh, “How to stop Rape”), signifies his approach for women. His words betray his thoughts regarding the role of women and their position in his mind as only a means to an end, the end being sexual gratification. Furthermore tagging  occurrence of rape as “learning experiences” is hard to digest. Continuing along the same vein, his use of analogies such as, “if rape becomes legal under my proposal, a girl will protect her body in the same manner that she protects her purse and smartphone”(Roosh, “How to stop Rape”) merely presents his opinion of women. Comparing a woman with her purse and possessions disrespects  the woman and inappropriately addresses the issue. Roosh’s other blogs help us to have a clear image about his views and opinion of women. According to Roosh, “When it comes to women, nature bestowed only three roles upon them: reproductive sex, child rearing, and homemaking”(Roosh, “The 3 Purposes of Women”).While Roosh prescribes women certain functions in society, he denies her the freedom to make her own choices. Indeed this freedom is only restricted for men. It is certainly ironic that the same person who restrains women has no qualms about using female gynecologists.

In his writing, traces of legitimacy can be found. He states that “by attempting to teach men not to rape, what we have actually done is teach women not to care about being raped”(Roosh, “How to stop Rape”). In the light of this line, men are mostly imaged as rapist by our society. According to a principle of economics, people always respond to incentives. Likewise, inculcating men not to rape has made women not to care about her being raped. This change in traits of women has given malefactors an opportunity to carry out their chain of crimes. Cases of rape which can easily be prevented are also occurring due to the lack of prevention. On the contrary, It can be seen that major victims of rape are women and the perpetrators are men. The statistics of U.S Bureau of Justice states that “91% of rape victims are female and 9% are male, and nearly 99% of rapists are male”(Khan, “Top 10 Countries…”). Taking these statistics into account, Women being victims of rape and men being the perpetrators are the most typical characters of rape. In order to spread awareness among both- victims and perpetrators- a person of mutual gender would be the most convincing. Like like dissolves like, an awareness among men can also be spread at large if it is done by men. So in order to aware men not to rape, words from men would be more persuasive.

In conclusion, the blog does not provide credible information to rely upon, lacks practicality in the claim of policy and non seriousness with respect to tone. Instead of considering rape as a crucial topic to debate upon, Roosh has put his biases entwined. Roosh has, throughout his blog, considered only those women who are raped whilst they are drunk or by friends they study with but he, due to his biases, couldn’t able to consider the situation generally. He should understand that there is not any criteria for women to be vulnerable to rape so instead of loathing those women who step into private property with their friends or numb themselves much with alcohol or other drugs he should have addressed the perpetrators of rape. Furthermore, Roosh should have addressed the topic with the seriousness it deserves along with the credible information to support his claim.


Citations

  • “About Roosh V (Daryush Valizadeh).” Roosh V, Web. 16 Nov. 2016.
  • Brynne, Thoman. “A Life Of Rape Culture | Brynne Thomas | TEDxYouth@TCS.” YouTube. YouTube, 31 May 2015. Web. 16 Nov. 2016.
  • Davies, Miranda. Women and Violence. London: Zed, 1994. Print.
  • Khan, Ejaz. “Top 10 Countries With More Number Rapists & Rape Crimes.” Wonderslists, 24 May 2015. Web. 16 Nov. 2016.
  • “How to Stop Rape.” Roosh V, 16 Feb. 2015. Web. 18 Nov. 2016.
  • “The 3 Purposes of Women.” Roosh V. N.p., 17 Oct. 2016. Web. 18 Nov. 2016.
  • “Victims of Sexual Violence: Statistics | RAINN.” Victims of Sexual Violence: Statistics | RAINN. RAINN, Web. 16 Nov. 2016.

Featured Image Credits: Huffington Post

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