RAPE Crisis Scotland, Engender, Scottish Women’s Aid, and The National are joining forces to call for the Scottish Government to introduce an offence of incitement of hatred against women.

It comes as protests have been organised in a bid to disrupt the Scottish meetings of militant misogynists who follow the teachings of rape advocate Roosh V.

As revealed in yesterday’s National, the so-called “pick-up artist”, who has called for rape to be made legal, has organised meetings for his supporters to attend in Glasgow’s George Square and Edinburgh’s Grassmarket this Saturday. Roosh V himself is unlikely to be there.

At the time of going to print a petition calling on the Scottish Government to ban the American from coming to this country had been signed more than 25,000 times.

Organisers say hundreds have expressed an interest in attending the demonstrations. Sandy Brindley from Rape Crisis Scotland said that the planned meet-up showed that there was a gap in the law.

“Lots of other jurisdictions include women in their hate crime legislation. We don’t have any hate crime legislation for women and I do think what this exposes is a gap in the criminal law. If what he is doing is promoting rape then an incitement to hatred offence would enable us to deal with that.“

This new offence, Brindley said, would deal with online misogynistic abuse and rape threats: “I think what we need is clear legislation that says this is a crime, it’s incitement to hatred and you could be prosecuted for it.”

A Scottish Government spokesman said “threats of sexual violence” would be covered by the Criminal Justice and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2010.

“It provides that it is a criminal offence for a person to behave in a threatening or abusive manner that would be likely to cause a reasonable person to suffer fear or alarm. This would include threats of sexual violence,” he said.

National columnist Vonny Moyes, who organised the Glasgow protest, said it was important to make a stand: “It’s important that we don’t approach this combatively – there’s no point fighting fire like for like. We are a reasonable country, full of brilliant, compassionate and inspiring women, and men who believe in them. Hiding or refusing to stand up for ourselves only feeds his theory that we’re submissive and easily manipulated.”

The National asked Roosh V for a comment, sharing some of the concerns of our readers. He simply said: “Whoever contacted you is an idiot, and you yourself are an idiot if you believe their hysterical and false claims.”

There was consensus across the political parties and parliaments over Roosh V’s planned meetings.

Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson tweeted: “Never heard of this guy before but it – and he – sound disgusting and dangerous.”

In Westminster, Edinburgh MP Tommy Sheppard tabled a motion condemning “the organisation of sexist and hate-mongering meetings across the United Kingdom by so-called pick-up artists Roosh V”, arguing: “Not enough is done to educate men who may become predators”.

Hamilton, Larkhall and Stonehouse MSP Christina McKelvie tabled a similar motion in the Scottish Parliament saying the speeches were “clear acts of incitement that must not be tolerated by the law”.

There has been a similar outcry in Australia, where reports of a meet-up in the Sydney Herald saw demonstrations and petitions organised.

Roosh V, real name Daryush Valizadeh, has written 22 books. He claims they are guidebooks on “seducing” women. In one book, Bang Iceland: How To Sleep With Icelandic Girls In Iceland, he justifies having sex with a girl too drunk to give consent.

“I realised how drunk she was. In America, having sex with her would have been rape, since she couldn’t legally give her consent. It didn’t help matters that I was relatively sober, but I can’t say I cared or even hesitated,” he writes.

In an article last year he called for rape to be made legal on private property, arguing a woman who consented to go into a man’s house had consented to have sex.

Events have been organised by Roosh V in 43 countries.

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