Feb. 6 was supposed to be a momentous day.
Feb. 6 was supposed to be the day the writers and lurkers that make up Return of Kings, an anti-feminist website, would finally congregate. Though RoK began as a platform and forum for a fascinating breed of American heterosexual male — men allergic to political correctness who mourn the supposed slow death of masculinity — RoK had apparently expanded greatly over the years of its existence, so much so that Roosh Valizadeh, RoK’s head honcho, called for members around the world to meet at specific locations for male bonding sessions. Like, hella male bonding sessions. No women and homosexuals. Treehouse boy clubs with happy hour drinks.
Filipino members were scheduled to meet up at the “R” structure near one of Greenbelt’s driveways, on or before 8:20 p.m. Roosh’s blog post on the legalization of rape was largely responsible for the outrage the followed, and upon hearing of protests being organized around these various location, Roosh cancelled the meet-ups.
I figured some people were going to convene at the R anyway, so I went to see for myself.
On Feb. 6, I waited by the R at around 8:10, feeling passersby drilling hard stares into me. The plan was to pose as someone who lurked through RoK’s pages, a straight 20-something studying the tenets of neo-masculinity. Five minutes in, I overheard Roosh’s name, and moved to a nearby spot where I met an Australian named Hesse Kassel, and an American whom I will call Chad.
Kassel is a retired economist of stocky build and mild-mannered temperament. He wears glasses, takes his time with his beer, and finds the act of raising one’s arms to call a waiter’s attention rude and discomforting. He later revealed himself to me and Chad as a writer for RoK, responsible for articles such as “5 Lines That Potential Wives Cannot Cross” and “8 Reasons It Doesn’t Get Better For Homosexual Men.” Hesse Kassel also isn’t his real name. He is afraid that if he is found out, an angry social justice warrior will throw bricks through his window.