UPDATE: The Saturday meetup has been canceled. Read more here.
ROGERS PARK — A group of men's rights activists are planning to meet on the Far North Side Saturday night as a way to "come out" proudly about the difficulties they face as men who both despise women, yet work tirelessly to get dates with them — and Chicago feminists will be there to welcome them.
It's part of an "International Tribal Meetup Day" in which followers of the Return of Kings blog are supposed to heed the call of their leader, blogger Roosh Valizadeh, 36, who has been a staunch proponent of "legal rape."
"I propose that we make the violent taking of a woman not punishable by law when done off public grounds," he wrote on his blog in February 2015.
Aside from his pro-rape stance, Roosh also is looked upon by his followers as a "pickup artist" who claims to have an expertise in women that can help his fans get dates.
The meetup is the solution to what Roosh said is a problem among his followers: building meaningful friendships.
Though he says his fans have "normal friendships," he believes his followers may struggle to have real-life, dependable relationships.
By meeting in person, the men can more strongly connect and bond, as well as reaffirm their beliefs about "the enemy" — more specifically, the women they are trying to "pick up."
"Up to now, the enemy has been able to exert their power by isolating us and attacking with shrieking mobs, but we’ll be able to neutralize that tactic by amassing in high numbers come February 6," Roosh wrote. "I will exact furious retribution upon anyone who challenges you in public on that date."
Despite meeting in a public place with a goal of proudly declaring their feelings, the men's group said it still wants privacy and has concerns about being "doxxed" — meaning it would prefer counterprotesters not record and identify members, nor publish pictures or videos of them online which could interfere with their employment or private life.
As safeguards, the group said it vehemently excludes women (if one is nearby, it is acceptable to "get her number and then tell her to buzz off"), gay and trans men, and men under 21.
The men are to meet at a flagpole near Devon Avenue and Sheridan Road at the border of Rogers Park and Edgewater Saturday night at 8 p.m., where they are instructed to ask "Do you know where I can find a pet shop?"
Members who are part of the group are to respond, "Yes it's right here." Details for the event page warn men not to get confused and walk to the nearest pet store.
At 8:20 p.m., the men will follow their designated group leader to the actual, secret meeting location, although the event organizers claim the event's purpose is to empower men to "come out of the shadows and not have to hide behind a computer screen for fear of retaliation."
Chicago is one of a handful of places around the globe considered a hub for the Return of Kings followers, also known as "tribes," that are managed by a local "chief" and "elder" who communicate with fans in online forums.
The forum is considered to be in a "state of emergency" leading up to Saturday's event.
Roosh wrote that he's not concerned "feminist agent[s]" might infiltrate the group, but also told his followers who plan on attending that the event does not require "high trust," and members should be careful about giving out personal information.
The men's group may not need to worry about undercover women trying to get into the club, as the women's group Feminist Uprising to Resist Inequality and Exploitation, more commonly known as FURIE, will be alongside the men counterprotesting.
In an online event for FURIE, the group said it plans to "clown" the men, but acknowledged some of the danger involved — specifically the group's thoughts on men who mass murder women.
After Elliot Rodger killed six people near the University of Santa Barbara in May 2014, Roosh called Rodger the "first feminist mass murderer" and asserted he would not have killed had he only "learned game" when it came to dating women.
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