Return of Kings is an interesting movement to say the least, for its internal contradictions make it as viable as hierarchical theology. The main point with the movement seems to be to send women back to the kitchen (their expression) and ensure the dominance of men in all other spheres of life, for patriarchy, they say, is the greatest social system ever created.
Patriarchy is all about love, claims Eric Crowley. And gender roles. In fact, it’s mostly about gender roles because biology matters more than brains; if people don’t follow biologically defined gender roles, we will all die—except that we haven’t.
Feminism in its modern form began in the last hundred years, when industrialization moved our economic survival from requiring hard labor to requiring skilled labor. Work used to require hours of physical lifting, now it requires sitting at a desk. This transition made it possible for even the weakest women to work.
If our survival as species doesn’t depend on strict gender roles, what does it depend on? According to Mr. Crowley, it is based on the man’s feeling of independence from society.
Mr. Crowley is adamantly opposed to capitalism, which he see as an evil system that reduces people, especially men, into commodities. And who is to be blamed for the evils of capitalism? Feminism, of course (what else).
Feminism is a product of capitalism. The “you can have it all” message is an attempt by corporations to swindle women out of their biological needs. If you’re a feminist, you’re a capitalist, because you’ve make work a greater priority than community, children, or love.
In families, each member is irreplaceable, but in a company everyone is replaceable. In patriarchy, women toiled for one man who loved her and the children he gave her. In capitalism, women work for many men completely indifferent to her and willing to disposes of her the moment cheaper labor appears.
In patriarchy, selfish relationship impulses were restrained. In capitalism, they are encouraged. Each member of a tribe of community works for the benefit of those around him, but in capitalism men and women are independent agents, with no loyalty or duty to anyone else.
According to Mr. Crowley patriarchy and capitalism are different systems. He appears to equate patriarchy with agriculture and tribal life in which the man rule due to his greater physical strength. In the modern capitalistic world displays of physical strength are frowned upon, and this seems to be cause of the rise of this movement. Essentially it is a wish to turn back the clock to a time when cities didn’t exist and people lived off the land, and it's not necessarily a bad idea. But Mr. Crowley seems to forget that women did a whole lot more than just cook, and every man wasn't a king. Peasants had very little freedom and even less power.
But it's not only about the old town vs. village feud that lasted as long as both have been in existence. The movement is also about the insecurities of average men. When marriage was the only way for a woman to gain financial support, every man had a change to marry. But now that women are financially independent, men have found that women want things that they aren’t willing to give, such as equality, shared housework and childcare duties. In their opinion, being a man has become increasingly difficult and it’s all women’s fault. A man can’t even have sex with an intoxicated woman without being accused of rape, as if intoxication wasn't a reason a person isn’t able to consent.
Because Mr. Crowley wants to make a case for biologically defined gender roles in an effort to turn back time, now that women aren’t limited to a purely domestic life, he claims men no longer have a reason to work.
The reason men worked hard was to provide for their families. Men didn’t work long hours out of self-interest. They did so out of love. Most men can subsist on very little. It’s been said that civilization was created to impress the opposite gender. Without reward, there is no reason to work. No carrot, no jump.
As a society, we’ve reached a point where technology has eliminated the need for everyone to work. Just as capitalism freed women from their natural role, it’s freed men from theirs. Masculinity has been reduced to a fashion statement.
So, capitalism created feminism, and civilization that created capitalism was created by men to impress women? Doesn’t that mean that if men hadn’t felt a need to impress women they wouldn’t have created civilization, which created capitalism, which created feminism? Hmm….
According to Mr. Crowley we should all go back to living in tribes, for “authentic love is only possible within patriarchal community.” And “[T]he epidemic of single motherhood, plummeting birthrates, and mental illness is due to the rejection of traditional roles. If society wants healthy happy children and loving stable communities, it must embrace the lost values of patriarchy.” Only in patriarchal tribes did people live interdependently and in accordance with the natural order because they chose to.
Didn’t Mr. Crowley say earlier that patriarchy is all about survival, that the tribe is necessary to ensure the survival of all of its members and the biological gender roles are necessary because they ensure the survival of the tribe? Why does he now say, “We could exist alone, but we are fulfilled together”? Something’s not right here. Either a tribal life is necessary or it's a choice.
To find the answer let’s go to another blog written by Luke Stranahan:
Ultimately, you are the source of your own happiness, not women. A woman should be a part of a good life, not the point of it. I’m at a point in my life where the scales are tipping, and there are more available women that I do not want, then ones that I do. It’d be a shame to not have kids to raise right, and a man does get lonely at times, but it would be more of a shame to wife up a broken bitch and wreck what I have going now.
True independence from women is not swearing them off, but rather, realizing that you’re good either way, with or without them, so she needs to meet your standards, not the other way around as presented by the narrative.
An independent man may not always be a happy man, but he has a better chance of being so than his brother who has many more burdens than he does. Men work, it’s what we do, but a man should pick who benefits from that work very carefully, and that list should always start, and often end, with himself.
So, which one is it? Do men work out of love for their families or they work to benefit themselves?
The contradictions are created because the writers can’t say what they really mean without sounding like complete jerks. Essentially the Return of Kings isn’t about returning to a mystical era of lost happiness, it’s about men feeling the loss of privilege they used to take for granted. Women no longer swoon at the sight of a man. They demand equal rights and equal respect and this seems intolerable for men used to get a lot without giving much in return. It’s about growing up, and that is something the Return of Kings supporters refuse to do. They want a mom to cook and clean for them while they pursue their own interests; it’s the reality of every toddler.
But it’s also about sex, and sex is what the Return of Kings bloggers see as the real issue. Roosh Valizadeh spends an entire article complaining about the feeling of entitlement in modern women. A man can no longer expect to bed a woman just with a smile, and unless a man is attractive and accomplished, young women won’t give him the time of the day. But he is equally annoyed by women who are over thirty and who feel entitled to get sex; how dare they! He is essentially saying that men want young beautiful women and they should have the right to get their attention even if they have nothing to give in return. In other words, young women exist only as objects of male desire and they have no right to say no.
What to do about the Return of Kings? What can we do, other than hope that they will choose to grow up sooner than later? And while we wait, maybe they we need to find them a hobby to keep their thoughts away from all the women they feel entitled to. Isn't that what we do with toddlers who think they should get candy for breakfast.