A woman in Montreal says she's receiving death threats after trying to stop a controversial anti-feminist blogger from coming to Canada.
Aurelie Nix said she has been threatened with rape and death since American blogger Daryush Valizadeh posted links to nude photos of her, which had been taken professionally and were posted on the internet, on his forum on Sunday.
"I've had to take precautions for my safety because the people who follow him seem limitless," she said.
Valizadeh, known online as Roosh V, is a men's rights activist who received international attention when his blog published an article saying women with eating disorders are attractive because they're more "delicate."
He's written prolifically on seducing women, including a book series where he reviews the sex appeal of women based on country, as a sort of Lonely Planet guide for sex tourism.
When he announced he'd be coming to Montreal and Toronto as part of a world tour, a collection of feminists, including Nix, set up a petition lobbying the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) to stop him from crossing the border. That petition now has over 12,000 signatures.
"I am facing a whole bunch of resistance and censorship efforts from the degenerate freaks on the far left. The militant left," Valizadeh said in a video online.
In a thread on his blog called "Battle of Montreal," Valizadeh called for a counterattack, which involves collecting personal information on organizers of the protest.
Regardless of mounting criticism, he's committed to holding his event in the city on Saturday.
"The first outcome is this event will be held on the scheduled day. The second outcome is I go to jail," he said.
"This is my life's work. These are ideas and a philosophy that I spent the last 15 years putting together. I'm not going to let a few hundred freaks on the left stop me."
He also had some choice words for Canada, noting he's lectured in Germany, England and the United States without any problem.
"The fact that there is outrage here proves that Canadians, as tough as they like to appear because of the cold climate and killer moose, may be the most sensitive and fragile people in the Western world," he said.
Nix said she's received multiple death threats, both on Valizadeh's forum — where men have debated how and if they'd have sex with her — and on her personal Facebook. Other women involved in the protest have locked down their online accounts to avoid threats.
Location still unknown
Valizadeh scrambled to find an alternative venue for his talk earlier this week when the original hotel cancelled on him.
Initially, he tried to keep the venue private, but when it was made public, he said police called the hotel and warned them to hire extra security for the safety of their guests.
"The hotel freaked out and they contacted me and said, 'Sorry, there's no way we can hold this event,'" he said.
He said he's planning on disseminating the new location via encrypted messages so it doesn't become public. Nix said protesters are still planning on picketing the event if they find out where it is.
In an earlier interview with CBC, a constitutional lawyer said the border agency could have the grounds to stop Valizadeh from coming into the country, but hate speech, under Canadian law, must cause a risk to a group of people.
Mathieu Bouchard is skeptical that Valizadeh's comments have, up until now, qualified as hate speech. Still, he said that border agents could theoretically stop him if they determine he's likely to promote hate speech while visiting Canada.
"There's certainly an argument to be made," Bouchard said.
Clarification: An earlier version of this story said Valizadeh posted nude photos of Nix. In fact, he posted links to nude photos of Nix.
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