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Men's Rights Activists Will Meet Furtively In Rogers Park This Weekend

By Mae Rice in News on Feb 2, 2016 4:18PM

Photo of the tunnel by the Morse Red Line stop (via rwchicago on Flickr)

The website Return of Kings, a cyber-homebase for Men’s Rights Activists (MRAs) and pick-up artists (PUAs), is hosting an “International Meetup Day” for troubled straight men everywhere this Saturday.

Overall, the site promises a total of 165 meetups in 43 countries, including two Illinois meetups—one in Rogers Park and one in Homewood.

Return of Kings is run by Roosh V, a guy who thinks rape should be legal on private property and handles interview requests from women like this (it's mildly NSFW).

It is not journalistic to say this, but just for clarity: He is bad.

The meetups will be bad, too. You can tell because one of the National Meetup Day FAQs is “Is this a white nationalist meetup?” even though the answer to that is no.

The intention behind the meetups, according to the International Meetup Day announcement, is to make a worldwide network of MRA “tribes,” each run like an independent… fiefdom, for lack of a better word, but all loosely affiliated with Roosh V. Currently, there are three existing tribes, one of which is in Chicago. This is perhaps our city’s most dubious honor.

Though intended to help MRAs, PUAs, and other unfortunate men “‘come out’ of the shadows and not have to hide behind a computer screen for fear of retaliation,” the meetups will be run very furtively. Men will meet at designated spots between 8 and 8:20 p.m.; then they will move to an undisclosed second location.

Participants will identify each other through coded questions. (If a guy asks a fellow guy, “Do you know where I can find a pet shop?”, and he replies, “Yes, it’s right here,” then they know they’re both there for the meetup.) Doxxing, or having one’s identity exposed and affiliated with the Return of Kings “philosophy,” is a consuming fear, as evidenced by the FAQs. Clearly, there is some shame at play here.

And honestly, taken all together, the meetup FAQs read like performance art about male insecurity. Here’s a sampling of questions:

* Have the hosts been vetted? What if they are a secret feminist agent?
* What should we do if a pretty girl shows up and begs to be a fly on the wall?
* What if crazy feminists show up?
* What if I’m the only one who shows up?

Sounds like it's going to be a really chill, fun meetup that's not filled with anxiety or misplaced hatred. Cool.

Update, 11 a.m.: Chicago's FURIE (Feminist Uprising to Resist Inequality and Exploitation) will be hosting a protest on the site of the Rogers Park meetup.

According to their Facebook event, "[W]e're gonna fuck with them. We too will converge at the flagpole! We too will mutter secret codes! BECAUSE WE'RE WITCHES AND THEY'RE GONNA GET HEXED AS SHIT."

They're encouraging "very secret clandestine costumes," such as trenchcoats and fake mustaches. They're also encouraging "vanilla cis dudes" to help out by leading meetup participants to actual pet shops.

The protest description isn't all fun and games, though. It also includes a warning: "[C]areful cause... they might later try to kill us because embarrassment is murder-level upsetting when your masculinity is egg-shell thin."

[H/t The Frisky]