The toxic masculinity of Return of Kings

Written By: - Date published: 1:00 pm, February 4th, 2016 - 28 comments
Categories: crime, feminism, gender - Tags: ,

Oppose violent misogyny

Earlier this week I saw that the violent misogyny website Return of Kings were planning global meetups. There were set locations, narrow time windows and even a password, straight out of a corny sixties spy movie. I laughed and told my wife. How ridiculous are these guys? Eh?

Not so ridiculous. I could laugh at it, as a guy, because I’m not the target of their vicious, toxic and deeply conflicted ideas and practices. Women are. It’s my sister who has to clutch her keys between her knuckles as she walks to her car at night, women who have pretend they can’t hear the comments and shouts should they wear anything short, summer appropriate or, actually given experience, ANYTHING. Not so funny then.

Because it’s men that do this. And yet there’s a prevailing opinion that women need to deal with this, women need to brush it off, ignore it or fight it. It’s not a man problem. Except it is. Since the media focused on this Return of Kings group, one of the replies in comments to a call for men to challenge misogyny is ‘Why is it my job to do this? I’m not a rapist’. Which entirely misses the point about how misogyny in society, often referred to as rape culture, is not simply rape statistics or domestic violence numbers. The culture of misogyny in society fosters the belief in some men that what they do to women is OK. And it’s not.

So if your mate expresses misogynistic opinions, you pull him up short and hard. If you’d stop someone being racist or homophobic, then why let misogyny go. Calling it banter or lads talk doesn’t cut it any more, because the real consequences of too many men letting too many little remarks, comments and wolfwhistles go lead to stuff like Kim Vinnell being harassed live on air and the discussion being about what she did wrong. Or Roastbusters. I mean, fucking hell man.

The Return Of Kings meetup is intended to be a meetup of straight men, in order to discuss the issues of neo-masculinity which include hating women and how to have sex with women. The deep conflict within these these men is probably the scariest part. Their utter disregard for women as equals, their use of derogatory language and and their disgust of women and their sexual attraction to them is probably the scariest bit. They have no idea how to engage with women as equals and yet are driven to attempt to do so by their need to prove their masculinity through sex. And when I say scary, I don’t mean for me. It’s not scary for them either, it’s scary for the women involved.

So, opposition. I’m against this. Obviously. Misogyny is a problem embedded in New Zealand society, it’s not just something that these guys are trying to import. My friend Dan and I have spoken to the media about our opposition, because men don’t speak up about this sort of thing enough and that’s not good enough. It also ensures the women who are involved in organising this don’t get targeted by the misogynists.

So, as a group, we have organised a peaceful counter presence in Wellington. I’m organising a similar event in Auckland, except I’d definitely call mine a party. And to counterbalance the idea that a group of straight men can organise a meeting to discuss their superiority to women, we’re going to have an all inclusive party in Aotea Square. Straight, gay, trans, men, women – you’re invited. Misogynists? Yeah, nah. The only proviso is that you don’t act like a dickhead, don’t make women feel unsafe and have a good time. That’s pretty simple, right?

We’ve got a playlist on Spotify made up of request, and I invite everyone to bring their bluetooth speakers, put on your dancing shoes and have a good time. If the Return Of Kings crowd turn up, they’ll be met with the joy of people who are determined to combat their ideas with the withering scorn and laughter they deserve.

The Wellington event has a facebook page which you can find here.

The Auckland event page is here.

So if you can make it, come along. See you Saturday!

John Palethorpe

28 comments on “The toxic masculinity of Return of Kings”

  1. The organiser of the ROK meet ups has cancelled them. All of them. Worldwide. The level of planned protest scared them off. Nice work everyone!


    Because while we were spurred into action by these meetings, and even though them cancelling is a victory – we still want to stand and be seen for victims of misogyny and harassment, survivors of rape and sexual abuse, the LGBTQ community and everyone who is harmed by misogyny. Including men. We can’t allow these views to fester in our country. This is a great opportunity to bring awareness to a greater issue. Our work isn’t done because they are cowards.

    See you Saturday. 8pm. Aotea Square.

    Now, it’s WHOLLY possible these guys are lying and are still organising behind their password protected forum. But publicly they’ve been forced backwards from chest thumping in public places to pack ratting in the gutters. It’s a win, and we’ll be ready for them next time.

    • mickysavage 1.1

      Well done John and congratulations!

      • Cheers, but I’m the tip of a very large iceberg of people organising, discussing and preparing these actions! They have been quiet superheroes behind the scenes.

        We’re still looking for more people to join us for a dance on Saturday, although i know everyone’s wiped from todays TPPA – let off some steam!

    • Ad 1.2

      Great activist work there.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 1.3

      They were stupid enough to advertise: the Sabinist wing of the National Party is far smarter than that.

  2. rob 2

    Is pony tail pulling a start of this type of behavior? Or just people with ego issues?

  3. AB 3

    I think you hit one particularly important nail on the head in your post. These guys hate women for being desirable.
    They are deeply conflicted and f**ked-up.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 3.1

      They’re just in too much of a hurry to join an authoritarian political party – or an elite sports team – or an investment bank – or get into medicine – and make their way up the ladder.

      Scapegoats performing a service.

  4. Magisterium 4

    Come on guys, there has to be a way you can tie this to John K– sorry, I wasn’t quick enough, as you were.

    • weka 4.1

      If the hat fits.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 4.2

      OK: John Key is a man. Men are woefully ignorant of the way their privilege affects politics, in the workplace, in the home, in the house.

      For example: rapists believe all men are rapists. Rape jokes encourage them. Now I know that I don’t laugh at them any more: I simply pass on the info (whether or not that creates an uncomfortable silence). There are plenty of other jokes to tell.

      As for John Key, I’m picking he doesn’t give a fuck.

      • Magisterium 4.2.1

        Men are woefully ignorant of the way their privilege affects politics, in the workplace, in the home, in the house.

        For example: rapists believe all men are rapists. Rape jokes encourage them. Now I know that I don’t laugh at them any more: I simply pass on the info (whether or not that creates an uncomfortable silence). There are plenty of other jokes to tell.


      • b waghorn 4.2.2

        “As for John Key, I’m picking he doesn’t give a fuck.”
        Even if he did he wouldn’t admit as he wouldn’t want to offend some of his voting base.

  5. rhinocrates 5

    Well considering their views on rape and their willingness to prosecute, the police weren’t going to protect them because they would be busy joining in.

  6. rob 6

    And then a diplomat gets home/d what a joke! lucky it didn’t have a worse outcome for the victim. this sentence is a complete joke! And what lesson was sent?

  7. b waghorn 7

    Kelvin Davis deserves a mention he was on henry this morning , fizzing would be the only way to describe him.

  8. crossbow sniper 8

    Hold on a bit fellows. Just stay on topic for now. After comment 25 you can take off on a tangent into mysterium tremendum.
    The master mind of ‘Return of Kings’ is an Iranian from USA; Daryush Valizadeh. Blogger Roosh V. ‘ROK’. His main preoccupation is to impregnate as many White women as he can. Always and only White European women and girls. He also encourages all non White males to impregnate White ‘females’, and teaches Indian and Middle Eastern men how this can be done via on line podcasts. He claims that raping White women is acceptable as long as it is done on private property.

    Here is a down to Earth , a la Aussie style, rant against this very strange Middle Easterner:

    • Lara 8.1

      wait.. what?

      he teaches how to impregnate women via online podcasts?

      my visual imagination is spinning on that one….

      (just in case anyone misses it, massive snark… gotta see some humour or I’ll go mad)

    • joe90 8.2

      Here is a down to Earth , a la Aussie style, rant against this very strange Middle Easterner:

      Of Course, white genocide!.


  9. greywarshark 9

    Quite a lot of men have noticed that women seem more joyous, more colourful, more human than the average man trapped in that masculine rut with an ethos dominated by the words money, machine and materialistic.

    Counter with the alternative – Return of the Queens. The men who choose to adopt the female way, are so serious about it, that they put women in the shade. So go for it girls you brighten our lives. You accentuate the positive.


  10. Steve Wrathall 10

    Ban those who say it’s ok to rape? So to be consistent, you’ll be calling for the banning of all those who follow the Koran?

  11. Oh, he lives at the home of his mother, in the basement. How very fitting.

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