TORONTO – A local female boxer is throwing down the gauntlet against organizers of a so-called “tribal meeting” for Toronto supporters of a controversial men’s website.
Return of Kings, a “neomasculinity” website notorious for its inflammatory opinions on women and gender equality, has planned meet-ups for 43 different countries Saturday, including 10 Canadian cities.
Savoy Howe and the Newsgirls Boxing Club had initially wanted to confront the “tribesmen” at their meeting, but now instead plans a public rally and a direct challenge to Return of Kings ringleader, widely known as Roosh V.
“I challenge douchebag to get in the ring with me,” she said.
When told Roosh has said he’ll be in Australia on Saturday, Howe opened up the challenge.
“I’ll take the fellow that represents the Toronto chapter,” she amended. “I’ll start with him.”
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Howe, a former provincial champion who teaches boxing to female and transgendered survivors of violence, says she changed her earlier plan to confront the meeting after warnings of the “brutal” online harassment tactics of Return of King’s supporters.
The website encourages attendees to videotape anyone attempting to disrupt the meetups and Roosh V. said he’d “exact furious retribution” on them.
She realizes that her challenge paints a bullseye on her own back.
“I’m scared s—tless,” she said. “But what’s the alternative? To be scared now, or be scared forever? If this guy’s system grows, a lot of people are gonna be scared.
“I don’t want to be a martyr, but this is crazy. Somebody has to stand up against this, and I’m kind of in a good position.”
Along with her in-the-ring challenge, Howe hopes encourages Torontonians to attend a rally at city hall on Saturday night.
“Let’s show these douchebags that Toronto will not stand for this,” she said.
Mayor John Tory and other city leaders have already told aspiring attendees and Roosh V. himself that their “intolerance, hatred & misogyny” are unwelcome, and the public outcry has already led to the group to change most meeting points to secret locations.