Culture

“Click Something Else”: Waleed Aly Urges Australia To Hijack Daryush Valizadeh By Ignoring Him

Really want to beat this creep? Donate to women's shelter Lou's Place instead.

Another day, another sentient bag of dicks whipping up a media storm by threatening to propagate violence against Australian women. Over the past 24 hours, the nation has been overrun with debate about Daryush Valizadeh: a leader of US MRA group Return Of Kings who claims he’s on his way to Sydney to run a series of events promoting rape.

Should we deny his visa? Should we picket his talks? You likely already have an opinion on this. News of it — or the 67,000-strong Change.org petition calling for NSW Police to intervene — has been coating your Facebook feed all day. It, after all, is not the first time this has happened.

Now, in the same way he did in the wake of the Paris attacks, Waleed Aly has waded through the concern and outrage to offer a tough point of reflection in a monologue co-written with The Project producer Tom Whitty.

“Let’s agree on a few things,” he said, in the segment which just aired. “This guy here Daryush Valizadeh, or Roosh V, is sexist, provocative, homophobic, elitist, smug, and offensive … But before you let your outrage fly, you should also know this man-beast is also intelligent, calculating, manipulative, and focused almost entirely on one thing: increasing his public profile.”

“Roosh, who markets himself as a pick-up artist and author, has a formula, and it goes like this. First, he says some things of varying levels of offensiveness,” Aly said. “Once Roosh has our attention, he announces that he intends to visit a country for a ‘meet-up’ with like-minded man-beasts. And once the mainstream media takes the bait, Roosh trolls the public through his various social media channels, revelling in the free publicity and extending the life of the news story.

“Having manufactured this outrage, Roosh uses the spotlight on him to sell books, and no doubt plan his next speaking engagement, where he will entertain his audience with an arrangement of words that would not be out of place were they scrawled, misspelt, on the back of a piss-soaked broken public toilet door. We know all this, because on his website Roosh told us ‘my work has received massive coverage in the mainstream media’ … We took the bait.”

Though acknowledging the public concern comes from a good place of “social conscience,” Aly suggests it’s ultimately counter-productive. “If you really hate what this man-beast does, I challenge you to join me in by hijacking his campaign. Instead of linking to articles about Roosh, or responding to his calculated vile tweets, which just keep him trending, I challenge you to click on something else.

“Specifically, click on your social media and share a link to Lou’s Place, a women’s refuge in Sydney. You don’t know them because they don’t troll people with deliberately outrageous, sexist and vile comments. And they’re not pumped-up self-important media hacks who give trolls like that attention. They actually do amazing work, and they receive no ongoing government funding. They rely on donations from people like you. So if you really can’t stand this guy, click on your online banking, punch in your digits, and donate some money using the details on your screen.

“Let’s hijack everything he stands for and click something else.”

If you’d like to act on that, here’s some more information about Lou’s Place: a “unique, community-based refuge for women in crisis, homeless, feeling isolated or in need of support”. As they’re an independent charity organisation, they’re always in need of donations. However, if you’re not in a position to help financially, they also accept clothing, goods and services. Their lone two YouTube clips have just 136 views and 92 views respectively, but those are numbers destined to rise by the end of the night.

You can read more about local efforts to combat violence against women in Australia here.