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http://dcist.com/2016/02/_whatever_we_wear_wherever.php

[font=HelveticaNeue-Regular,]"Whatever we wear, wherever we go, yes means yes and no means no," chanted around 50 protesters as they marched in Dupont Circle on Saturday night, gathering to show that feminism was more powerful than rape culture.[/font]
[font=HelveticaNeue-Regular,]"This is a demonstration that affirms women's demands and women's lives be respected," says Jake Ephros, one of protest organizers. Others said that their personal experiences of sexual assault, or seeing school administrators try to ignore friends' rapes, compelled them to participate.[/font]
[font=HelveticaNeue-Regular,]Organizers initially planned the protest as a response to "International Tribal Meetup Day," 165 events planned around the globe by controversial blogger Daryush "Roosh V" Valizadeh to "allow masculine men to regularly bond and converse with each other," according to a [size=small][font=HelveticaNeue-Regular,]blog post[/font]http://tribalmeeting.co/about/ he wrote.[/font][/size]
[font=HelveticaNeue-Regular,]"This began as a response to this group, but developed into something beyond that," says Ephros. "We are saying that these ideas are toxic, and we are challenging the premise of sexism and violence."[/font]

[font=HelveticaNeue-Regular,][img=81x14]http://dcist.com/attachments/dc_rkurzius/2_7_16signs.jpg[/img]
[size=x-small][font=HelveticaNeue-Regular,]Many protesters wore masks or otherwise hid their faces out of fear of retribution. (Photo by Rachel Kurzius)[/font]
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[font=HelveticaNeue-Regular,]Valizadeh writes as a self-styled pick-up artist who believes women should be submissive to men and has bragged about having sex with women too drunk to consent. In one post—which he has since claimed is satirical—he advocated for the legalization of rape.[/font]
[font=HelveticaNeue-Regular,]News of the meetups led to near-universal condemnation and [size=small][font=HelveticaNeue-Regular,]generated responses[/font]http://dcist.com/2016/02/mpd_is_prepared_for_misogynist_meet.php both globally and here in D.C., where Return of Kings members were planning to meet in Dupont Circle. [font=HelveticaNeue-Regular,]Citing safety concerns[/font] for participants, Valizadeh cancelled "International Tribal Meetup Day" and instead hosted a [font=HelveticaNeue-Regular,]press conference[/font] in the basement of a Dupont-area hotel.[/font][/size]

[font=HelveticaNeue-Regular,][img=82x14]http://dcist.com/attachments/dc_rkurzius/2_7_16roosh.jpg[/img]
[size=x-small][font=HelveticaNeue-Regular,]Daryush "Roosh V" Valizadeh at his press conference. (Photo by Rachel Kurzius)[/font]
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[font=HelveticaNeue-Regular,]"The world has gone insane," Valizadeh said, over men having a "social hour." He squarely placed the blame on the media, who he claimed had "angered a mob" by publishing lies about him—namely, that he is pro-rape and that he lives in [size=small][font=HelveticaNeue-Regular,]his mother's basement[/font]http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3432531/Pictured-pick-artist-center-international-pro-rape-storm-t-shirt-shorts-door-mother-s-home-lives-basement.html?ito=social-twitter_dailymailus in Silver Spring. He claimed that he lives in Europe and returns to Silver Spring "once a year for a month," though he wishes he could live with his mother all the time.[/font][/size]
[font=HelveticaNeue-Regular,]While Valizadeh said the media willfully misinterpreted his writing, he did not deny the misogyny in his work. "Do I believe a woman should submit to a man? Yes," he said. "Equality doesn't work." He said he was happy that people found his writing offensive, and angry that his family's address and information had been distributed online.[/font]

[font=HelveticaNeue-Regular,][img=118x14]http://dcist.com/attachments/dc_rkurzius/2_5_16_rooshedited.jpg[/img]
[size=x-small][font=HelveticaNeue-Regular,]This image, including personal information about "Roosh V," was posted on the Anonymous for Justice Facebook page. (Screenshot via Facebook)[/font]
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[font=HelveticaNeue-Regular,]An online group called Anonymous for Justice distributed his phone number, Silver Spring address, and date of birth. This came after Valizadeh called for his followers to collect and publish personal information about female journalists and protesters who covered the meetups, according to[size=small][font=HelveticaNeue-Regular,]Newsweek[/font]http://www.newsweek.com/daryush-valizadeh-return-kings-meeting-roosh-v-neomasulinism-422724. He claimed that the two actions were different. "I never threatened them," he said. "I said I was going to make a list of the names and the social networking accounts. I never said I was going to share their address."[/font][/size]
[font=HelveticaNeue-Regular,]While he spoke, a group of about seven supporters (who journalists were instructed not to photograph) watched. Wearing leather and denim jackets, they occasionally giggled when he mocked media outlets. Valizadeh alternately criticized the media for distorting his message and thanked them for turning "just a guy with a blog" into a major news topic. At one point, when Washingtonian writer and former DCist editor Ben Freed asked him why "masculine men" would fear protesters, Valizadeh responded with, "Do you lift?"[/font]
[font=HelveticaNeue-Regular,]For others in Dupont, Valizadeh provided an opportunity for opponents of sexual assault and harassment to organize together. More than 40 people gathered at the Starbucks where the Return of Kings meetup was supposed to take place for an event called Women Drinking Coffee: Sitting In for Safe Spaces, organized by Collective Action for Safe Spaces. Attendees shared events, experiences, and organizing thoughts.[/font]
[font=HelveticaNeue-Regular,]"It was awesome," says Jessica Raven, interim executive director at CASS. She says that Valizadeh was useful in providing a distillation of exactly what CASS and other groups are trying to counter. "It's much easier for new feminist activists to wrap their heads around taking on one person than to take on the fact that one in five women will be sexually assaulted in her lifetime. He galvanized people to get involved in these issues."[/font]
 
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