Disgusting Men Who Want to Legalize Rape Need to Be Stopped -- So I'm Speaking Out

A couple of years ago, I was the victim of some pretty intense online bullying. My husband and I had just separated, and because I write about the challenges in my life as well as the triumphs, I posted about the divorce. I then found myself at the center of a social media attack labeling me the worst Christian wife in the world -- and that's the nicest thing these sexist trolls said. I tried not to let it get to me, but now I'm incredibly concerned, because that same group of men -- who actually want to legalize rape -- are planning a worldwide public meet-up.

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The bully-battle cry against me was led by someone writing a website called Return of Kings. I'd never heard of it before, but I was absolutely shocked by what this blogger and his minions had to say about me.

Seriously -- they did a full-on, creepy, stalker-ific hit piece on me. I've been mentioned a few more times on that repugnant site, and a handful of other ones that have linked back to that post. I reported it to the FBI's cyber crimes department, but since this was all pretty new territory, nothing ever came of it.

These people also descended on my personal blog, leaving thousands (yes, thousands!) of comments, saying things like they wanted to "f*** me in the a**" to "teach me a lesson," and that I deserved to watch my kids die in front of my face.

It was infuriating, not just for what they said, but because I felt so helpless against it. My local police department couldn't help. The FBI couldn't help. My own ex-husband refused to take a stance against them, because, as he put it, he didn't want to feed the trolls. My options seemed to be shut up, or put up with it.

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I had hoped never to think of these jerks again, but they came across my radar because the owner of Return of Kings -- who apparently has a name now, Daryush "Roosh" Valizadeh -- has organized this meeting of like-minded individuals who are advocates for legalized rape.

They believe rape should be legalized on private property, and that "women are biologically determined to follow the orders of men."

In a post about the meeting (to which women, transgender men, and homosexual men are not invited, natch), this "men's rights activist" wrote, "Our views are becoming known enough that we can 'come out' of the shadows and not have to hide behind a computer screen for fear of retaliation."

The fact that these guys don't fear "retaliation" is disturbing at best, and terrifying if you really think about it. Holding people accountable is not "retaliation." Calling bullies out for saying disgusting, perverted things like they'd like to rape a woman while she watches her children die in front of her is not "retaliation." It's necessary. 

People like to turn a blind eye to this kind of drivel, and God knows that I was advised to by well-meaning individuals on more than a few occasions. But you know what happens when people stop standing up for what's right? You get a group of despicable people like this, who no longer fear retaliation.

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No, I'm not concerned that rape will ever be legalized. However, I am concerned that some of these men may become vigilantes, commit terrible crimes, and cause much more damage than a couple of lines written on the Internet -- just because too many people were afraid to say something. 

People like this are always going to exist, because sometimes people are just evil. But we need to put the pressure on them to keep their disgusting thoughts to themselves. Online threats may not seem like a big deal to some people, but when they're unchecked by the authorities or even by the public, it can lead to a group of horrible people gathering together, attempting to legalize rape.

How far do they have to go before they can be stopped? We all need to stand up and condemn the dangerous attitudes of these men -- before more than just feelings get hurt.

 

Editor's note: The meet-up was cancelled after Toronto Newsgirls boxing club said they were going to also attend so they could "show women that being powerful is an option."

 

Image via © Alexander Barnes/Demotix/Corbis

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