Here I describe a controversial figure in the Manosphere. Much ignorance has been put forth about him, and even efforts to block his entry from entering various countries, basically because he’s been saying lots of things that are very politically incorrect. (Thus, he has quite a bit in common with David Irving.) So, here from my very small corner of the web – so far – I will try to dispel some of the ignorance.
Q: Who is Roosh?
A: He is Daryush Valizadeh, a fellow from the DC area. He studied microbiology and worked in the business for a while. Eventually, he got out of the corporate rat race and since then has been doing much travel abroad. He’s written several books, as well as blogging about political commentary and dating advice.
Q: Is Roosh a pickup artist?
A: It’s pretty fair to describe him as such, as he’s written quite a bit on the subject. However, lately he’s mellowing out a bit and getting into more serious pursuits. More writing, less partying.
Q: How did he get into the pickup scene, and why?
A: While in college, he sought to improve his social life. His findings led to him publishing several books on the subject. If he comes across as a cynic, he certainly has his reasons. I wrote a book about seduction too, and although I have a more moderate perspective on things, I understand exactly where he’s coming from. The social scene is a mess, and a lot of conventional dating advice is obsolete and counterproductive. Enduring years of deprivation because of that is certainly no walk in the park; after you figure out what really works, it does take a while to blow off steam and make up for lost time.
Q: Is Roosh a sex tourist?
A: Some of his critics have called him that. He calls himself a love tourist. I would add that a sex tourist pays for it, and Roosh doesn’t. (See, he’s not such a reprobate after all!) He’s travelled to many countries, written books about his adventures, and provided cultural notes for benefit of others who might like to check out the nightlife scene in far-off lands. (When I’m travelling abroad, regular sightseeing stuff and recovering from jet lag keeps me too busy to socialize, so I don’t have anything to add to that body of knowledge.) Some of these books caused a bit of an uproar. Anyone who feels that their country has been unfairly criticized can take comfort that he writes a lot more about what’s wrong with American society.
Q: What is Roosh’s ancestry?
A: This question comes up from time to time. His father is Persian and his mother is Armenian, giving him an overall Mediterranean look. Therefore, he’s probably the most famous Armenian-American other than Cher and the Kardashians.
Q: Is Roosh Muslim?
A: Come on, he’s too much of a party animal for that! (He’s unlikely to become a guest speaker for the 700 Club either.) In case you’re wondering about the beard, he just happens to like that look. The question does come up sometimes too, though. His father is Muslim, his mother is Christian, and (unlike the President) he was brought up Christian. He tends to view religion as overall a good thing for society, but in practice, he doesn’t write very much about the subject compared to everything else; therefore, likely it’s not something that plays a big part in his life.
I wrote this FAQ in May 2016, which as of now was over three years ago. Unexpectedly, it’s starting to get some more traffic lately. (I do keep up with my site stats. Hi, guys.) I do have an update for this item. Specifically, Roosh is now religious, devoutly Christian, and this fairly recent development came as a surprise to some. He prefers the Eastern Orthodoxy which he experienced during his early years. Statements in his podcasts indicate that he does see value in genuine Catholic traditions, but has some misgivings about the sola scriptura principle in some currents of Protestantism. As for Mormons, he feels that we didn’t leave a very lasting impression in SLC. To that discussion, I’ll add that Deseret’s oddballs do make a point of letting it all hang out.
Q: Why all the controversy?
A: Much of what he’s written about has to do with how political correctness and feminism have wrecked American culture and are screwing up other societies around the world. He describes some of his views on his bio page. Basically, he’s barbecued quite a few sacred cows over the years. Some of the things he’s said haven’t exactly been very diplomatic. Even so, I really can’t fault him too much for telling it like it is, in his own words. For that matter, you can’t even breathe these days without offending someone. He’s gotten himself on the naughty list of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Likewise with the ADL, after he reviewed a book they don’t care for. However, the group that dislikes him the most is the Social Justice Warriors, and the feeling is mutual. In case you’re not familiar with them, they basically make a religion out of political correctness, feminism, and other forms of cultural Marxism.
Q: What’s the matter with feminism? How dare anyone criticize that?
A: Roosh has made his views pretty clear elsewhere on many occasions. I’ll explain further in my own words. Feminism started as a noble quest for equality – they did have some valid points, back in the 1880s – then it got hijacked in the 1960s by radicals. Actually, a good number of them were just nuts. The original equality-based goals were achieved long ago, but no compromises or concessions will ever make the radicals happy. Women in the Western world have it better than any other time in recorded history, and are now in a socially and legally advantaged position. (Ask a guy who’s lost his family in a divorce, just for starters.) Feminists don’t realize this because of their propensity for double standards, phony statistics, and finding increasingly tinier things to gripe about. Their rhetoric is usually very shrill and divisive, and a society where two halves are at odds with each other is a miserable one. Further, they’ve deconstructed the traditional social contract between the sexes, and the fallout has been very bad for both men and women. For one item of many, radical feminism encouraged women not to be feminine and men not to be masculine – but it turns out that men don’t like unladylike women, and women don’t like wimpy men. (Hint: never act like a wimp!) For another, traditional morality restrained people’s baser instincts – something that was good for women, actually – and getting rid of that threw the baby out with the bath water.
Q: What’s the most controversial thing Roosh has said?
A: His article “How To Stop Rape” has generated a ton of bad press, mainly by people who either 1) didn’t read it and relied on what other people said about it, or 2) were too mentally challenged to realize that it was a satirical thought experiment and not a serious proposal. Granted, the subject matter is explosive, but that doesn’t excuse professional journalists and politicians from not taking the time to check their facts about what he did or didn’t say. Feel free to read it yourself. Nobody is obligated to like him, but it would be great if people stopped lying about him. I might add that he did an epic smackdown on a roomful of journalists; the only way it would have been better is if the camera had shown them squirming like politicians in a church.
Q: So what was he really saying in that article?
A: The short version is: supposing consent was assumed when someone enters another person’s bedroom, then people would pay more attention to their personal safety. Again, he didn’t suggest this as a serious proposal, any more than Jonathan Swift really was ever in favor of eating babies. He certainly didn’t recommend to go out raping anyone, despite what you might have heard somewhere. Rather, he was pointing out that the personal safety angle has been neglected in favor of essentially wishful thinking. Personal safety includes things like not getting blackout drunk.
Q: Does Roosh advocate eating babies like Jonathan Swift did?
A: Read what I wrote, not what you think I wrote. Sheesh!
Q: Isn’t talking about prevention like blaming the victim?
A: A heinous crime is always inexcusable, but it doesn’t follow that discussion of prevention should be off limits. Prevention helps keep people from getting victimized. Here’s a better angle to look at it. Suppose you go to work but don’t lock the door. If someone steals your TV while you’re gone, whoever did that is still a goddamn thief who should go to jail, but it’s also true that locking the door would have saved you the trouble. That’s not a complete solution, obviously – the law hasn’t yet won the war on burglary. Still, “teach people not to steal” wouldn’t be an effective answer. Society already teaches that, because theft has been illegal since forever. For that matter, being a criminal gives you a very bad name in civilized society, and rightly so. If making something a felony doesn’t cause the rate of that particular crime to go to zero, then prevention measures should be considered too. I might add that witch hunts aren’t the answer.
Q: What can be done about this problem, as far as serious proposals about prevention?
A: I’ll have to defer to Mark MacYoung about that one. First of all, he’s a better authority on crime prevention than I am. Second of all, the whole subject really makes me sick. On the other side of the rotten coin, it also makes me sick to hear about people getting their lives ruined over false accusations. Roosh’s site has a number of items about that too.
Q: What can a guy do to prevent false accusations?
A: I wrote about that, and it was the toughest chapter to finish – again, the subject is detestable whichever side you look at it. The short version – guidelines, but not a complete solution – is the following. First, make sure you get a clear “yes”. If she’s kissing you passionately and taking off her clothes, it was once a no-brainer that she wants more, but society has lost its brains. Second, don’t sleep with anyone who 1) is drunk or high, 2) anyone you don’t know, or 3) anyone mentally unstable. With item 1, “how drunk is too drunk” is a very broad gray area, ranging from mostly safe (one drink), might be a problem (buzzed), ethically questionable and extremely risky (blackout drunk). Passed out drunk is, and always was, a crime. Drunks get a wicked case of selective memory – if you’ve been around enough of them, you know what I mean – and this is what could get you in a lot of trouble no matter how enthusiastic she was at the time. So instead of going home with her, get her number and hopefully she likes you the next day. Regarding item 3, you don’t know about someone’s mental status right away, hence item 2. You don’t want to be with someone who will make nasty accusations about you for revenge; neither someone who will throw you under the bus because she has second thoughts later or got caught cheating on a boyfriend you didn’t know about. Some commentators even recommend recording all your encounters. If that’s illegal in your jurisdiction, you’ll have to decide which is the lesser of two evils. Anyway, be careful out there. By the way, I’m not a lawyer; consult one if you need one; hopefully you never have to.
Q: What other stuff has Roosh written about that isn’t meant to be taken seriously?
A: Lately, he wrote a guide, complete with infield photos, about picking up babes in the women’s restroom. That worked great for me, because I’m a lesbian in a man’s body. (What did you expect with a name like Rainbow, right?) I totally went through a box of condoms in a single day using his advice. Honest!
Q: Where is Roosh staying?
A: I’m not telling. Neener neener neener.