It's sad to see websites publish content that devolves humanity in some vain attempt to capture more of an audience and appear closer to the top of Google.
Hell, I've been guilty of it in the past, from calling headphones developed in partnership with a rap artist "over-priced," to breaking down the racist communities on Reddit. Eye-catching headlines and definitive statements grab an online audience's attention and further optimises your website for keyword-relevant searching.
However, as is the case with many brands pulling on opinionated strings to cause controversy and conversation around them, it can sometimes be perceived to cause damage (hi Dapper Laughs). This is not the case here, and since many of you have already seen this website widely discussed in your news feeds, I will make my point concise.
Return Of Kings is not only insulting to women, people of colour and different sexualities, but it also insults the intelligence of the 'masculine men' that they're trying to target.
A cheap ploy for social engagement and high Google rankings gone awry, this is a brutal display of rape apologism, nonsensical sexism & homophobia, close-minded racism and (in a couple of situations) pedophilia.
Their significant following on Facebook, Twitter, and the amount of comments per article on the website shows a strong community of men in the minority when it comes to opinion. Their discussion of the trivialisation of rape through #BeenRapedNeverReported is ironic to say the least, purely because of their trivialisation of some everyday struggles the average white male does not have to undertake and the glorification of these objectifying behaviours. Here's a good example:
Women have to make strategic calculations throughout their days that men do not have to make, such as walking down a different street to dodge people catcalling. The fact that writer Tuthmosis is using eating disorders, a complex condition that affects people of both genders, as a category of misogynistic thinking is somewhat comical amidst the sheer pathetic attempt to dress it in intellectual dialogue.
But let's not turn this into a single-minded piece of subjectivism, as I can agree with a small underlying theme running throughout the website. It's buried beneath much of the eye-catchingly controversial content, but it's an ideology that isn't necessarily touched upon by anyone with a radical feminist agenda.
There is a belief that males should be treated equally in what has become a world under feminine control. While it's abundantly clear things are not as extreme as Return Of Kings portrays, the notion of the white male majority being condemned for the misogynistic actions of the past and the white male minority of today is definitely present. It is an interesting and open discussion men and women are having right now, leading to a better, equal future.
The damage that a closed off community like this does to the wider debate cannot be measured. The inarticulate opinions of the delusional few infect the conversations of the many. It is a reminder of how vile internet users can be in their expression of free speech, and their rhetoric should not be part of any society.
But let's not view them as this, because going back to the beginning, it's sad to see websites post controversial content out of desparation for engagement beyond their own community of internet trolls.