I recently wrote a book review of Roosh V.‘s book, “Free Speech Isn’t Free.” As I noted in my book review, Roosh is well known for his books on how to approach, engage and seduce women and his teachings on game. But he is also infamous from the worldwide media storm he created in the summer of 2015 when he was conducting his worldwide State of Man lecture series and the following Men’s Social Meet-ups in February 2016. These dramatic events and the media response are the basis of his new book.
My decision to review Roosh’s book may come as a surprise to you and based on your emails you think I’m completely nuts for giving him any attention. I encourage you to continue to think I’m nuts as that means you will have very low expectations and I will surely exceed them, which is great news for me. But for those of you who haven’t already dismissed me and are curious, I’ve provided some background in a bit more personal post.
Game, Dating and Seduction
Many of my readers likely do not know of my connections with the manosphere, pick up and seduction communities so my interest in and involvement with it may come as a surprise. My interest in attraction, seduction, game and sexuality started in 2010, long before I heard of Roosh.
If you get all of your information from popular media outlets, you will read all the same regurgitated crap that you already heard and you will stay just as miserable as you are now. If you dig deeper, you will find shocking, insightful, provocative and revolutionary ideas that you will at first reject with every part of your being and then when you have stopped reacting, will come to see are completely accurate.
Some examples of this are:
- Women are far more sexual than men
- You can’t believe what people say, we are all, almost always, lying whether we know it or not
- Feminism is hurting women more than it’s helping
- Nice guys aren’t nice at all
- There are political reasons why you are fat, sick and single and the powers that be want to keep you that way
I was already deep down the rabbit hole of studying human relationship, sex and dating when I discovered Roosh and his writing February 19, 2015. I noticed that he and his writers had come to some of the same conclusions about relationships and sexual dynamics as I had. I also recognized his provocative tone and style. He was a bit of a “shock jock” which in a world filled with clickbait newsfeeds and the national past time being offended seemed oddly predictable. If you are saying something counterculture, if you are disagreeing with the narrative, you’ve got to be loud to be heard. With so many voices competing for attention, to stand out you’ve got to be different. For women to get noticed, we can get naked. For men to get noticed, they get risky. And even still, there are so many naked women and risky men, you’ve still got to have an edge. Roosh’s edge is that he’s saying things no one else will say it.
@rooshv I get it. You’ve got to go atomic to get through the noise. Keep doing your thing. Your underlying points are sound. I’m reading
— Kitten Holiday (@KittenHoliday) February 19, 2015
I think u r abrasive & extreme, however U and I agree that everyone: men AND WOMEN, should be held to the same HIGH standards. (1/1) @rooshv
— Kitten Holiday (@KittenHoliday) March 3, 2015
Shortly after I found Roosh’s writings on game, attraction and seduction, he began posting his thoughts on Neomasculinity. According to his website,
“Neomasculinity combines traditional beliefs, masculinity, and animal biology into one ideological system. It aims to aid men living in Westernized nations that lack qualities such as classical virtue, masculinity in males, femininity in females, and objectivity, especially concerning beauty ideals and human behavior. It also serves as an antidote for males who are being programmed to accept Western degeneracy, mindless consumerism, and immoral state authority.”
With a different angle, the ideas and qualities Roosh valued in men complemented my own ideas about femininity and relationships. In my writing I was working to identify feminine quailities, promote them as strengths and not weaknesses and identify ways to restore them and give them a renaissance. I saw this new femininity as being far more empowering than feminism which seems to reject the feminine and celebrate the masculine all while alienating men and creating a toxic environment of animosity in heterosexual relationships.
- Women are more sexually liberated and more sexually dissatisfied than ever.
- Women are more independent and more anxious than ever
- Women are more empowered but believe themselves to be more oppressed than ever.
Empowering the sultry, earthy, powerful, lusty, stubborn, playful, sensitive and resilient nature of a healthy, grown woman is the best way for me to make my mark in the world. It has become my mission, my purpose and my passion.
Attendance at the Lecture
Shortly after Roosh published his articles with Quintus Curtius on Neomasculinity, he announced his world tour. I bought a VIP ticket to his New York City lecture, booked a flight to New York City and reserved a hotel room for the weekend. I’m not the kind of girl who hesitates.
I was a little nervous arriving at the event knowing that I would be under a great deal of suspicion, being a woman, after the problems that were caused at the previous events. I had assured Roosh I would not be disruptive, but being a short, busty, red headed woman in a room full of men, there was no way I would go unnoticed. The attendees were from all backgrounds. Some were dressed casually, some wore a sport coat. All had nametags with their forum names as opposed to their real names so they could identify each other based on their online friendships.
The lecture itself was professional and well-orchestrated. Roosh is an excellent speaker. He mixes commentary with humor. His body language was relaxed and expressive. His voice was resonant, animated and engaging. His rapport with the audience and his comfort with his subject matter made his Q&A session as smooth as his prepared speech. I spoke with Roosh briefly before the lecture, briefly after the lecture and again later that evening when I was parting for the night.
In person, Roosh is much like I imagined him from his writing. He is intelligent, thoughtful, humorous, warm and friendly. He smiles and laughs a lot. He’s also handsome and funny but I’m not here to pimp him out to the ladies. I hear he does just fine on his own in that area.
There is nothing spectacular to report about the event. The subject matter was exactly what Roosh promoted on his website (click to see the actual promotional website with all details). I was expecting an intellectual presentation about the problems modern men are facing today including a generation of men eager to drop out, unfulfilling intimate relationships with women, sacrifices men make today that their ancestors didn’t have to make. He also promised to propose some solutions including how to construct a win-win lifestyle, three mental processes to use when you’re feeling beaten and hopeless, 7 tips on how to meet women and experience intimacy in 2015. The press promoted these as “How to Rape Classes.” If there was anything threatening or dangerous about these ideas or attending, then my reading comprehension and sanity needed a reality check.
I had no trouble at the event outside of some understandable suspicion from the other attendees who were concerned I was press or that I was there to cause problems. But instead of whispering about me or attacking me, they approached me and asked me what brought me there. They asked direct questions and they listened to my answers. A few of them went into the hallway to search my blog on their phones to confirm I was being honest and to assess the tone of my content. It did not take long for them to relax and trust their read on me. They were suspicious and cautious but not paranoid. Soon we were engaged in stimulating conversations, laughing, exchanging contact information and joking around. A group of us even went to dinner together to continue our conversation about the lecture, neomasculinity, the nature of men and women and get to know each other better. At dinner the conversation was high energy and stimulating. I felt like I was at a round table of the most intelligent, successful, provocative philosophers I would ever meet in my life.
Instead of the editors, playwrights, columnists, poets and journalists attending the Algonquin Round Table, it was a crew of playboys, bloggers, philosophers, provocateurs, entrepreneurs, cultural critics and me, Kitten Holiday, the girl with the blog who snorts when she laughs and is obsessed with writing about love and sex.
The event was no different from any other lecture I’ve attended with the only two exceptions being that the audience was all male and the attendees had a genuine interest in getting to know each other as opposed to racing to the door to leave as soon as it was over. The aftermath of the event: the media firestorm, the Battle of Montreal, the chaotic and dramatic February meetups… that was unlike anything I’d ever witnessed before.
I watched the frenzy and panic of both Roosh’s lecture series and the canceled meetups as it unfolded with shock, concern and some confusion. The amount of hate this man attracted seemed completely disproportionate to his mistake. I say mistake and not crime because there was no crime.
In the infamous article, Roosh proposed, satirically, that if rape were legalized on private property then women might be inspired take more precautions about where they go, how much alcohol they drink and the trustworthiness of their companions. The basic assumption being that when we know about potential risks, we will adjust our behavior to take precautions to stay safe. To me, this is basic awareness that you would pay money to learn at any Ladies Night Out Self-Defense seminar. I’ve attended several self-defense seminars, both paid and free, and the advice is much the same. Be aware of your surroundings so you can predict, identify and avoid potentially dangerous situations. Don’t do things that would make you vulnerable.
The press ran with the “Roosh is a monster” angle and interpreted it not as a thought experiment of “How would behavior change if we lived in a world with fewer legal protections?” and instead ran with the clickbait, emotionally charged story that he had written a manifesto for rapists. Roosh was labeled a rape apologist, a rape promoter, and a rape advocate. Nevermind that he has never been convicted or accused of raping anyone. On the contrary, one woman who was fascinated with him and curious what the woman he’d been with thought of him, found a number of Roosh’s ex-lovers and interviewed them. They all thought he was a very nice guy, genuine, and kind. But no one was doing that kind of research during the media fiasco. No one was considering the real life consequences of fanning the flames into a furious frenzy inspiring violence. Or if they did, they didn’t care.
In the current year, we are challenged to embrace almost everyone and everything. Many things that twenty years ago we could easily say, “that is wrong,” we now are pressured to agree that it might be wrong sometimes or right sometimes, it just depends. But what it depends on isn’t very clear so we wait in a constant state of pending acceptance and love.
So when someone finally comes along that we can agree is wrong, like a “rape advocate,” the enthusiasm to express our rage goes unchecked. And there’s a lot of it, because it has no other outlet. It feels good to go on the attack. Outrage culture meets some unmet need we have to be at battle with something dangerous and oppressive. Living in safe times, we have nowhere to express outrage except at little offenses. Someone’s improper tone, wrong word, unconventional idea. Everyone is so angry and so eager to post their anger on social media to show just how angry they are. It must translate to some sense of honor and nobility that feeds our ego to believe we are battling a dangerous enemy, that we are inflicting justice. We are so awesome!
But if you’ve been through a serious struggle, if your life is truly in danger, the least of your worries is someone’s tone and if their opinion offends you. When you are really scared or threatened, you become numb to so many nuisances and inconveniences and offenses because they simply do not matter. The popularity of outrage culture and virtue signaling is evidence of how great we have it right now.
Bad Writing and the Death of Art and Artists
As far as I can tell, Roosh was on trial publicly because his satirical blog post wasn’t written very well. He hadn’t made his point of satire clear enough. He wasn’t funny enough. He wasn’t absurd enough or maybe he was too absurd. He didn’t articulate his point very well and that left room for interpretation. As a result he suffered threats on his life, was physically assaulted, was accused of crimes without any opportunity to explain himself or have a fair trial. In fact, the videos and posts that he did publish to clarify his points were ignored or dismissed by the press. The press will ignore your statements of fact, and evidence if you insist you mean no harm and make efforts to clear the record. But if you claim to be ISIS and intend to wage war and harm on others and claim to be willing to die to prove it, the press will treat you like you’re simply mistaken.
But maybe there was another explanation. Roosh is a man. Men really don’t have any leeway to make mistakes or take creative liberties anymore.
As a writer, I was first drawn to Roosh’s matter of fact tone, his brutal introspection, his irreverent attitude and his flexible writing style. As far as I could tell, Roosh was one of the rare modern writers who would play with the various instruments of story telling: narrative, non-fiction, autobiography, persuasion, satire and fiction. He used these devices to explore idea that I also had interest in.
In addition to his “crime” of bad writing, his fate as dreaded male in the modern world, Roosh made another mistake: He acted as if an artist and writer could and should, express himself. Society screams that;
“We love artists and writers!”
“We want artists and writers to challenge us and make us think.”
LIES. The truth is:
We love (politically correct) artists and writers.
We want artists and writers to comfort and reassure us and make us feel smart.
I am a blogger who writes badly and asks stupid questions
I don’t always agree with Roosh, just like I don’t always agree with anyone. I can’t think of a single person or figure who’s ideas I would agree with or endorse 100% of the time. In fact, looking at my own ideas and beliefs, I admit I am not even in agreement with myself, especially over time. I grow, I change, I am influenced, I learn. This is the reason we need freedom of expression and the ability to share new ideas.
I’ve always been attracted to counterculture, anti-establishment, rebellious and challenging thinking. Growing up, I had friends in many circles, artists, punks, hippies, rebels whose common values were marked by individualism, creativity, anti-establishment attitudes and tribal loyalties. I had a personal experience in my youth (a red pill) that made me feel betrayed by authority and those closest to me. I found out in a tremendously painful event that the status quo and the ideals I was raised to believe had my best interests in mind could turn on me without any warning… and did.
Since then, I have seen, time and again how those who challenge or question the popular agenda and world view are punished. The punishment might be direct with legal action or violence or indirect with limiting earning potential by slandering their name, spreading rumors or sabotaging work. The world is run not on loyalty, good will and common sense, but on self-interest, greed, fear and emotion.
As writers and artists we need to stand together to show support for each other and to set the record straight when someone is treated unfairly. As you may have noticed I also write badly (sometimes) and ask stupid questions (it happens). I also like to challenge the status quo, perhaps ruffle some feathers. I think as artists and writers we have an obligation to push boundaries and shake things up. I would never in a million years ever want to face the kind of shitstorm Roosh faced. Nor do I want to lose my job or my future potential to get a better job or take care of myself because I’m sharing my ideas and theories and creativity online with an audience. And I hope to never witness another friend or associate going through a similar ordeal.