On Masculinity and the Return of Kings

Washington, DC (TFC) – The world is abuzz with the perceived threat of meetups organized by a website known as “Return of Kings.” It’s a website that claims it caters to “heterosexual, masculine men.” I thought “Hey, I’m a heterosexual guy who drinks his whiskey straight and who is more at home in the wilderness than in a shopping mall. Maybe this is a website for me.” It didn’t take long for me to realize this wasn’t a website for guys like me. It’s a website for guys who want to be seen as masculine, but who have no idea what that even means.

It casts its readers as paragons of independent thought, power, and masculinity. Their readers are the direct descendants of the tough, no-holds-barred, rough and tumble frontiersmen of a bygone era. A time when men were men, and women were women. A time when a man would speak his mind no matter the consequences. Of course, the introduction page refers to the site as “safe space” for those men to talk. It’s easy to remember how John Wayne and Gary Cooper would cower in an isolated echo chamber to assert their masculinity in those glorious days of yesteryear. I’m just a simple guy, but I can assure you the leathery men these readers idolize did not need a support group to reassure them of their masculinity.

The introduction page shows the bi-polar nature of these gentle readers in greater detail. The website constantly elevates the “provider male” to supreme status because that’s who the readers believe they are. Of course, the ROK Community Beliefs include the idea that “men will opt out of monogamy and reproduction if there are no incentives to engage in them.” Isn’t the much-worshiped “provider male” supposed to provide the incentives?

Not to shatter the fragile little egos of the readers, but there is nothing on this site about what it means to be a man, much less a masculine man, and certainly not a great man. Great men throughout history differ greatly, but they all share one common characteristic. They attempted to free some oppressed subset of the world.  It doesn’t matter where you fall on the ideological spectrum. If you name a great masculine male figure, he will have invariably fought or otherwise used that masculine aggressiveness to help his pet cause. Even if later he was shown to be on the wrong side of history, he fought to empower what he perceived as the weaker among us.  This entire site is designed to maintain the “subservient” (their word) order of things. It promotes the idea that women should not be able to vote because masculine men should reign supreme. One of the most masculine men in American history reignited his political career as Commissioner of the NYPD. While commissioner, he would go undercover and try to catch his own cops taking bribes. If he caught them, he would fire them and beat them senseless in the street. He became Assistant Secretary of the Navy and declared war on Spain even though he had no authority to do such a thing.  He resigned his post so he could form a volunteer force of men to take to Cuba where he fought on the front lines. He won the Medal of Honor. He became President of the United States. In that office he broke up powerful trusts and monopolies, made certain Latin American countries could maintain their independence from Spain, desegregated California schools, and became the first President to invite a black man to eat dinner at the White House. Later, he won the Nobel Peace Prize for negotiating an end to a war the US was not a party to. Then there was the time he was about to give a speech and he was shot by a would-be assassin. Bullet in his chest, he gave the speech anyway. He spoke for more than an hour before seeking medical treatment. He then went on to explore Africa and the Amazon, where he discovered a new river. That man, Teddy Roosevelt,  is the pinnacle of American masculinity. He’s also the only person in history to receive the Medal of Honor and a Nobel Peace Prize. It might surprise the future “Kings” to know he’s listed as a “Founding Feminist” by feminist.org and he actively supported women’s suffrage. I guess taking your cues on masculinity from some guy whose only accomplishment is being able to con a bunch of people into believing he knows what he’s talking about is cool, too. I mean Roosh Valizadeh’s resume of masculine activities certainly compares to a man who gave a speech with a bullet in his chest.

The site pushes a pro-subjugation narrative and seems to encourage or at the very least excuse rape. It’s amazing that readers who believe themselves to be powerful and intellectually astute don’t see the contradiction. A male rapist is a man who lacks power in his everyday life, so he lashes out and attempts to briefly obtain that power. Rapists aren’t powerful. They lack power. They’re insecure in their own masculinity. This is true of the readers of the site, but that isn’t the image they have of themselves.

While simultaneously promoting the idea that women should remain chaste, there are dozens of articles about how to pick up and sleep with women. The idea of virtuous chastity comes from the misguided idea that somehow a penis can fundamentally change a woman. It’s an idea propagated by men who are concerned about the size of their anatomy or their ability to please a woman. It’s a puritanical idea. Puritanical ideas, by the way, are condemned on the website anytime they interfere with the readers belief that they should be excused from any norms of social behavior. For example, DUI laws are condemned as “Puritan-like” (the word is puritanical, incidentally).  This contradiction tells us what we really need to know about this group.

The publishers and readers are men who believe they are special. They believe the world owes them something and they feel left behind because they weren’t picked first. They’re the result of being told everybody is a unique and individual snowflake. That’s true. However, being unique does not mean you are correct, nor does it mean that your ideas hold any value. This site doesn’t advocate masculinity, it’s simply an instruction manual for guys who aren’t masculine on how to fake it. Worse, it doesn’t instill the most important parts of traditional masculinity. Things like honor, integrity, and concern for the oppressed are lost in the self-serving and flat out delusional ramblings. Instead, it uses this faux-masculinity as an excuse for poor judgement and behavior.

justin kingThe readers have deluded themselves. They believe they are something they’re not because on the internet a person can present themselves as their ideal self. There could be no greater reality check for these individuals than walking into the location of one of the proposed meetings and finding out they are all the whining, sniveling little worms they pretend to hate. I say don’t protest these meetings. Allow these little boys the “safe space” they need to discover the plain fact that nothing about them or their belief system is masculine.

After reading several of the articles, I have some free advice as a side note to the readers of the website. One recent article describes “how to avoid being labeled creepy.” It provides the advice of ignoring the label because it’s just a framing established by women, while stressing the importance of displaying dominance. Don’t want to be labeled “creepy”? Don’t be creepy. It should also be noted that if you need to be told to take charge and display dominance, you aren’t the dominant super-masculine male you pretend to be. It’s an act. Do you think it’s possible the reason so many of the articles include the caveat that you’ll be repeatedly rejected is that women can see it’s simply an act? More importantly, being anything other than who you truly are leads you into a false relationship which inevitably ends in failure. The myriad of articles describing the best ways to stalk, coerce, trick, or otherwise manipulate a woman into having sex betrays the same issue. If you have to read dozens of articles about how to chase a woman, maybe that’s not who you really are. As far as the masculine aspect of that behavior, well… I don’t even chase my whiskey.