Trigger warnings: eating disorders, slut-shaming, and general douche-baggery.
I recently received a link for two articles hailing from a site called “Return of Kings.” My roommate implored me to read them, and after doing so the disdain I felt towards the authors and proponents of said articles was overwhelming. The titles of these articles; “5 Reasons To Date A Girl With An Eating Disorder” and “20 Things Women Do That Should Be Shamed, Not Celebrated,” are enough to turn one’s stomach. Lets start with “5 Reasons To Date A Girl With An Eating Disorder.” The author Tuthmosis starts by writing “Nothing screams white-girl problems louder than a good old-fashioned eating disorder.” He then generates a list to support the title’s claim:
1. Her obsession over her body will improve her overall looks.
2. She costs less money (when taking her out to a meal she will most likely order a “small dish—like a side salad—or eat a little bit of whatever communal dishes you order”).
3. She’s fragile and vulnerable.
4. Probably has money of her own (“There aren’t too many poor girls with eating disorders”).
5. She’s better in bed (“It’s a well known fact that crazy girls are exceptional in the sack”).
These views, and the man championing them, are reprehensible. Rather than illustrating every flaw I see with this man’s platform, I’ll focus on the bigger picture. Eating disorders are not a “white-girl problem” nor are they only a problem that women exclusively with money face. Furthermore, women aren’t the F
only people to fall victim to this horrible condition.
A user called Trouble.Maker wrote “20 Things Women Do That Should Be Shamed, Not Celebrated.” His list partially consisted of the following: being fat, single motherhood, birth control, lying about their body type when online dating, divorce, cutting her hair short, and being a feminist.
Under the birth control portion he wrote, “How many girls do you really think are responsible enough to take the pill every day at the same time?”
The most disturbing part of this entire site was the amount of encouragement the authors received in the comments section of their posts. Countless men were enthusiastically providing additions to the aforementioned list.
When I revisited the site to attain references for this blog entry I clicked on the website’s “About” tab. It listed their community beliefs, which included: “Women are sluts if they sleep around, but men are not. This fact is due to the biological differences between men and women.” As well as, “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.”
The site reads,
“Return Of Kings is a blog for heterosexual, masculine men. It’s meant for a small but vocal collection of men in America today who believe men should be masculine and women should be feminine…Women and homosexuals are prohibited from commenting here. They will be immediately banned.”
I have no illusions when it comes to the existence of misogynists in America, but the legitimacy these beliefs have been given by being published in black and white for all to see is beyond disheartening. Wrapping my head around someone’s malicious belief system towards women, or any social group, is an impossibility. This blatant display of anti-feminism makes me even more thankful for the beautiful group of forward thinking women I have chosen to align myself with, and I’ve never been a firmer believer than now in the phrase “strength in numbers.” There are a lot of people left to change in this country, but an even larger number of us who are willing to catalyze the change.
Heidi Palmer is a first-year WILLer and a third-year undergraduate student pursuing a double-major in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and Social Work. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.