Pick-up artist and misogynist Daryush Valizadeh, founder of the organisation/publication Return of Kings has announced a trip to Australia to stage ‘tribal meetings’ in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and Brisbane, with Canberra his first stop.
These tribal meetings are for ‘neomasculinist’ men to ‘come out’ with their misogynist, homophobic and sexist values. Until now, it had appeared that Canberra had avoided holding a public congregation of men who advocate that rape should be legal on private property, that women are genetically submissive to men and that a men who date fat women are contributing to obesity rates. Their claims are as absurd as they are offensive.
It was disappointing, then to see that Valizadeh has made Canberra the first stop on his Australian grand tour, saying that Canberra is an ‘unmet need’ when it comes to conducting meet-ups. In other words, he is confident enough that Aussie misogynists in Sydney and Melbourne can look after themselves, but Canberra needs a nudge in the right direction.
Whilst Immigration Minister Peter Dutton’s office have indicated that it is likely Mr Valizadeh’s visa application will be denied, it is disturbing that Valizadeh was able to locate enough misogynist men in Canberra to justify the expense and travel time to come to Australia. Canberra is apparently so ripe for the picking that Valizadeh is willing to make us his first stop. Mr Valizadeh is attempting to swoop in and rescue poor Canberrans from our fringe ideas of equality and tolerance. I’m sure he will have a lovely time in Canberra. After all, we have strong, educated and articulate women in our workforce (a nightmare for the likes of Valizadeh), we have a thriving LGBTIQ community and I’m sure feminists of Canberra will throw him a welcome party similar to those planned in other cities.
It is also disappointing that Peter Dutton has come out publicly abhorring the views of Return of Kings and Valizadeh’s colleague Julien Blanc, and yet is still refusing to meet with women and accept a change.org petition in regards to this event that received over 60,000 signatures in its first 24 hours.
The timing of Valizadeh’s attempt to reach Canberra is also the subject of much speculation, with him scheduled to arrive just 2 hours before the scheduled start of a rally being held by far-right group Reclaim Australia at Parliament House this Saturday at 1pm. As usual, there will be a strong and vocal counter-rally. Could Mr Valizadeh be attempting to make a special guest appearance at the Reclaim Australia rally?
The ideas held by Valizadeh, and his Aussie counterparts across Australia are not welcome here. If he does come, we can have faith that Canberra will show our true colours. If all else fails, we can show him the video of our new Australian of the Year/ACT Australian of the Year showing him what it really means to be a top Aussie bloke.
Jill Thomsen works in the women’s sector in Canberra, specifically in homelessness, and is a Greens candidate for the seat of Kurrajong in the 2016 ACT election.