Oh Return of Kings, that little internet compendium of fetid little trolls who sit in a troll-pile, rubbing bits of fossilized troll-poop together while gleefully squalling about how much they hate ugly chicks. Return of Kings is a disgusting, misogynistic website, a non-stop stream of vitriolic, horrifying garbage. And their links get passed around constantly.
For those of you who haven't had the misfortune of coming across this abysmal website, ReturnOfKings.com bills itself as "a blog for heterosexual, masculine men" and laments that "yesterday's masculinity is today's misogyny." Return of Kings wants to be a safe space for "a small but vocal collection of men in America today who believe men should be masculine and women should be feminine." As such: "Women and homosexuals are prohibited from commenting here. They will be immediately banned." Its publisher is the foul Roosh V, pick-up artist and psychopathic misogynist. Here are some highlights from the site's Community Beliefs:
Women are sluts if they sleep around, but men are not. This fact is due to the biological differences between men and women.
A woman's value is mainly determined by her fertility and beauty. A man's value is mainly determined by his resources, intellect, and character.
Elimination of traditional gender roles and the promotion of unlimited mating choice in women unleashes their promiscuity and other negative behaviors that block family formation.
As one would expect, we receive tips about Return of Kings posts pretty much constantly. Some sample subject lines from the past week: "I have found the worst thing and y'all need to write about it," "someone PLEASE lay the smack down on this guy!," and, succinctly, "AAAAAAAHHHH!!!!" I couldn't log onto Facebook last week without seeing several of the site's articles, followed by a sea of furious comments. Our urge has always been to overlook these pathetic imbeciles. Firstly because we do not stand for appropriating a Lord of the Rings title to name your sad hateful weblog, and secondly because this little shit-smear deserves neither the time, the energy nor the web traffic. If a feminist writer's (very appropriate, completely understandable) rage directs 10,000+ people to a particularly noxious Return of Kings post, that will make the troll king's day. The Return of Kings collective will get attention, they'll feed upon your outrage like a bunch of dementors with chin strap beards, and then they will absorb none of your well-reasoned arguments and dismiss you as probably disgusting and lonely and redolent of menses and cat pee. And then they will call you an ugly cunt.
According to Quantcast, ReturnOfKings.com got an average of 35,000 daily unique pageviews for most of the month of November. (Jezebel, to compare, gets an average of about 500,000 uniques per day). Interestingly, on the 20th, Return of Kings' traffic jumped to 500,000. This meteoric rise took place over the course of three days. And that clearly has everything to do with the viral outrage to one of its truly, truly horrific pieces, which was titled "5 Reasons To Date a Girl With an Eating Disorder."
It seems to me that there's no point in reading a post from these guys. You can ascertain exactly what its contents will be from the title: some variation of "fat chicks suck," "feminists are gross lesbians (we hate lesbians too unless they're porn lesbians)," "rape isn't even real, guys" and, "I have difficulty maintaining a basic grasp of the conventions of grammar." Why bother getting riled up over some infantile Neanderthal who will probably never abandon his revolting worldview? And why — via Facebook link, via email, via blog post, whatever — direct other people to it? Why share the hate? Why contribute to increasing their web traffic fourteen-fold?
I know that there's something deeply cathartic in hate-reading. I also know that it's therapeutic to articulate your blind rage. And now, so we don't have to give the trolls the attention they so desperately need by getting seriously worked up over their garbage, I will do a round-up of the worst recent Return of Kings articles — first I will read and summarize each; then, for your hate-reading pleasure, I will select the Most Horrific Quote; and, finally, I will write a three-sentence dismissal. Then we can all move on. Three sentences is generous. It's more than any ReturnOfKings writer deserves. But let's get to it anyway.
5 Reasons To Date A Girl With An Eating Disorder
Summary: You should date a girl with a "mild-to-moderate" eating disorder because she will be thin, she will likely be wealthy (no poor people have eating disorders!!), she will lack self-confidence and thus be easy to boss around, and, being "crazy," she will be good in bed.
Most Horrific Quote:
You-go-girlist "confidence" — grounded in little more than years of being told she's a unique and special snowflake for no other reason than she was born female — renders a woman into an insufferable turd who thinks the world revolves around her.
An eating disorder often translates into the direct opposite: a girl who's modest, fragile, and vulnerable. Instead of having to constantly wrestle with a difficult and obnoxious girl, you'll be dealing with a tastefully insecure girl, who's eager to please, and wants nothing more than your approval.
Three-Sentence Response: Eating disorders are complex, dangerous and devastating conditions that affect people of all genders, races, ages and body types, and there's nothing "tastefully insecure" about having one. Eating disorders are debilitating: they have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness, those who suffer from them tend to completely withdraw socially — and, as Rita Arens points out at BlogHer, anorexia kills your sex drive (sorry to upend your "daddy issues —> crazy in bed" logic, bro). Having an eating disorder causes one to develop a harmful attitude toward her body is a way that could never, ever be encapsulated in the feeble adjective "insecure."
[It's worth noting that this article was so horrific and misinformed that Roosh V himself issued a response.]
Fat Shaming Week
Summary: The lack of body shame in the world (there's not enough!) is absolutely ruining age-old standards of beauty, which sucks because men will never, ever be attracted to fat women. EVER. A good way to be proactive about this is to fat-shame women for a week and celebrate doing so. Activism!
Most Horrific Quote:
No matter how many ads Dove makes featuring morbidly obese women in bikinis, most men will simply not find fat women attractive. No matter how many feminists tell you to stop being "sexist" for having a natural and biological preference for fit women, most men would rather jerk off with their left hand than try to find the vaginal entry point of a fat woman.
Three-Sentence Dismissal: First things first, it's insulting to manhood as an institution to have a hoard of PUA morons putting their own depraved words into the mouths of men in general. Also, as far as most media is concerned, every week is Fat Shaming Week — so there's no need to make a special holiday of it. Finally: go read one book or look at a painting or (at the very least) crawl into a hole and stay there for a long time if you think that our rigid, stick-thin standard of beauty is a long-standing aesthetic tradition or that failing to conform to such a standard is inherently unhealthy, unnatural or unattractive.
24 Signs She's A Slut
Summary: This is a handy guide for knowing when a woman is a slut; it begins with an account of a OKCupid date punctuated by new readings from the author's Will-I-Get-Laid Meter (it goes up to 90 percent when she says "I'm not having sex with you"). From here, we're treated to a list of tell-tale signs that sounds like it was written by the most crotchety old prude to have ever existed (sluts have tattoos! sluts wear crop tops!), and, since they're all ridiculous, I will excerpt the most laughable.
Most Horrific Quote(s):
3. Has "slut face." You either recognize it or you don't.
9. Has extra body hair (arms, girl-sideburns, girl-mustache) and/or a low speaking voice. This, I'm told, is simple biology. More hair and low voice equals more testosterone. It's an imperfect metric, though, because women of certain ethnicities are just more hirsute by default.
21. Has a bad relationship with her father and/or has divorced parents. "Daddy issues" are classic, but accurate predictors of her relationship to men and sex.
Three-Sentence Dismissal: I'll do it in one: if sluts are so goddamn gross and terrible, why do you spend all of your waking hours trying to fuck them?
How Contraceptives Distort Gender Relations
Summary: This one is really bad — it's a pseudo-intellectual Darwinian-capitalist argument against birth control that starts with the assertion "Men are genetically programmed to be drug addicts." Hoo boy. The basic argument here is that sex used to be a huge risk for women because it could result in pregnancy; now, with contraception readily available, there's a huge power imbalance because women can prolong the courtship process without having to take 9 months off to give birth. It does not make sense. Sorry.
Most Horrific Quote:
Not only can she collect tribute from multiple suitors without having to give up her womb to any of them, she has much more time to exploit what once would have been a passing phase.
Those ripe child-bearing hips and expectant breasts remain ever-vestal, a false promise that keeps those hordes of men panting and clambering to have her. She can get endless adulation and unlimited free lunches until aging finally begins to erode her assets.
Three-Sentence Dismissal: Hey, do you remember how your site traffics almost exclusively in slut-hating vitriol? And how a great portion of the rest of the Internet does so as well? And you really expect me to read and respond to your batshit insane purple prose about women no longer have to pay a price for being sexually active? HAHAHA.
20 Things Women Do That Should Be Shamed, Not Celebrated
Summary: This is pretty self-explanatory — and, knowing the type of person who writes for ReturnOfKings, it's fairly easy to imagine what sorts of behaviors appear on this list. Being slutty! Being fat! Owning cats! Welfare! As with "24 Signs She's a Slut," I'm excerpting the most laughable things.
Most Horrific Quote(s):
10. Birth control, because it's "their choice." Meanwhile, men have no reliable forms of birth control apart from condoms, which if the girl is evil enough, can easily be rendered null. Let's nuke the funding to Planned Parenthood (and the multiple options of female birth control) and instead put that money into research for a real male birth control. How many girls do you really think are responsible enough to take the pill every day at the same time?
12. Doing online dating because they can't find anyone. You're telling me you had from 18-25 and yet you couldn't find a guy in any college class, job, or bar who wanted to be with you? Sounds like you're just picky. Enjoy the continuous window shopping on OKCupid.
17. Cutting her hair short. The greatest sign of feminine fertility and it's encouraged to be chopped off.
Three-Sentence Dismissal: Again, literally none of this behaviors are celebrated in mainstream discourse, so let's cool it with the self-righteous indignation about how "common sense" has been labeled as misogyny. Most of the things on this list (ex: being sexually active, not shaving one's legs and armpits, acting slutty in public, being a feminist, being a single mom, etc.) are shamed regularly and fervently by scared little regressive misogynists like the author— and all of these things are completely fine. One day all the bigots in the world will die out and our offspring will laugh mirthfully at their memory while combing their luxurious, abundant armpit and pubic hair in preparation for an OKCupid casual sex date.
And there you have it. It's inarticulate, delusional garbage. Reading it is constructive to no one; responding to it feels beneath all of us. From here on out, let's continue to ignore them — their traffic has fallen considerably already. Let's work together to banish them back into the pits of ignominy and obscurity.
And now let's all join in chant: I bind you, ReturnOfKings, from doing harm. Harm against other people, and harm against yourselves. I bind you, ReturnOfKings, from doing harm. Harm against other people, and harm against yourselves... and so on.
Image via Eka Panova/Shutterstock.