I have questions about some of the response to the PUA/Roosh V meet-ups.
Some people, especially men themselves, seem to be suggesting that it is up to straight and cisgendered men to practically oppose these gatherings in order to take the strain and responsibility off those less able to. In particular this has been suggested to mitigate the risks of Roosh K’s followers exacting revenge through the threat of doxxing.
In one instance I’ve even seen a suggestion that antifa ‘manarchists’ would be better suited fighting these rapists than engaging in street fights with fascists. (As if punching a fascist is something only white cisgendered men do and that that is somehow wrong because it’s only an expression of their ‘masculinity’ and not antifascism. Actually they should be saving women, not racialised people.)
What irks me is that this proposition seems to come in the form of ‘men, it is your responsibility to do this because others can’t’ rather than ‘men, you benefit hugely from the rape culture that we are subjected to. It’s your response to stand up to this because you should be fighting every day to end rape culture’. And I think it sounds a lot like ‘go fight these men to show you are not a rapist and assuage your guilt’.
The role of men in combating and ending rape culture has to be everyday, it has to be self-reflexive and it has to be about challenging patriarchal entitlements amongst friends, family, colleagues and other men they have sway over. I don’t think it should be one of substituting oneself for people you think are weaker than you and are in need of your protection. Rape and abuse doesn’t happen simply because people can’t protect themselves, it happens because we protect those who do harm others from any sort of accountability.
There will be women and non-binary people organising in opposition to these PUA gatherings because they are always organising against patriarchy and rape culture. Go join them, take your lead from them and don’t replace yourself for them.
And if you really want to protect people from rape, continue to do this in all those instances where patriarchal entitlements are less obvious than a bunch of rapists gathering in public.