The Return of Kings is a small but vocal “neo-masculinist” group that has made recent headlines with egregiously misogynistic and homophobic behavior, along with their goal of a nationwide legalization of rape. They recently announced that their chapters would hold their first in-person meetings, along with published addresses, and progressives and feminists -- including SDS members -- all over the globe have responded with counter-protests. Recently, the Return of Kings has announced that they are "canceling" their event, in light of the threat of "violence," but SDS chapters will proceed with their feminist rallies.
This group's leader, RooshV, also known as “the pick up artist” has been known to go on speaking tours to teach men how to manipulate, trick, and coerce women into sex. Return of Kings is the internet community that has formed around Roosh and his ideas. This group follows a “Neo-Masculinist” ideology. Neo-Masculinism, in its essence, mirrors the ideology of the most misogynist and dangerous part of our society.
One notable member of the ROK is Elliot Rodger, a California man who killed six sorority women and injured fourteen people, shooting them dead after stalking them. Before the killings, he released a video manifesto, detailing his intense hatred for women who'd refused to sleep with him and using these experiences as justification for their rape and murder. In his free time, Elliot Rodger wrote on ROK forums, which cultivated misogyny and expectations that women should submit sexually to all men and subordinate themselves in all aspects of society.
Recently this group put out a call to organize and form “tribes” in cities all around the world. While this laughable attempt at James Bond style organizing complete with “secret pass codes” is amusing, it is important we don't take it lightly. All efforts to organize by profoundly vile groups such as these should be heard as an alarm. This indicates a new boldness to organize on their part. The gut reaction to this sort of activity is to respond to their activity and to hold counter demonstrations.
While this reaction is correct, it is also important we proactively organize into a powerful force capable of defending our communities not only from highly sexist and dangerous right-wing fringe groups, but also a force that can build struggle against highly sexist and dangerous institutions of society. Though we might protest the ROK today, tomorrow, we have to strike blows against campus administrations who enable fraternity rape culture, police officers who commit and cover up rape, and even our courts, which do not take rape seriously.
Students for a Democratic Society takes a firm stance against misogyny and rape culture on our campuses. Because of this, we are strongly urging all our chapters to be vigilant of events and/or meet ups held by the Return of Kings “tribes” and to document them and hold counter demonstrations. We are also calling on all progressive students to take the initiative and organize to make their campuses a hostile place for any racist and sexist organizations, and to confront administration and struggle for progress.