The Most Sexist Website On The Internet?

Written by: Laura Gozzi

Last week, I was asked to write a piece about sexism on the internet. I didn’t think it would be a particularly difficult task – after all, how often do you come across websites so retrograde that they stir deep hatred of our depraved, misogynist society that you didn’t even know you had in you? Tumblr blogs in particular can be a goldmine for militant feminists looking for a reason to flare up, as many of them are simply a collection of gifs and quotes that follow a certain theme (and by “theme” I mean “rubbish humour”) such as the highly sophisticated “Women In The Kitchen” Tumblr (“How many men does it take to open a beer? – None. It should be opened by the time she brings it”). Other blogs had done all the hard work for me by putting together a selection of the very worst of the internet – from “Misogynistic Lyrics That Aren’t Rap” (does what it says on the tin) to my personal favourite, Bitch Make Me A Sandwich, in which tweets from people who post the hilarious phrase “make me a sandwich, bitch” on their accounts are paired with another one of their often mundane and revealing tweets. (An illuminating example: tweet 1: “Make me a sandwich bitch”; tweet 2: “#MyLifeIn5Words: single single single single single”).

During my search, the almost comically chauvinistic (and thankfully extinct) UniLad page was one of the first to come up – it’s now been laid to rest, was a sort of badly written forum in which male college students swapped advice on how to pull unconscious freshers and various other tales of barely-consensual, borderline-illegal sex. An even more disheartening (because you can’t even blame it on the WKD-induced brain mush and null emotional maturity of college students) website is very much active and depressingly serious Return Of Kings (includes the extremely popular articles “How To Be With Four Women At The Same Time (Because One Is Never Enough)” and the equally grim ‘You-Go-Girlism Is More Toxic Than Feminism: The Insidious Effects Of Irresponsible Female Ego-Boosting”).

So, the internet is packed full with content that pretty much anyone would find rubbish at best and really offensive at worst; well, alright, but I knew that already. The real surprise came when I ran out of sexist websites and had to resort to Google to find more. I took a wild guess and Googled a few keywords that I thought would lead me to horrid, misogynist websites written by retrograde cavemen; so I started with the straightforward “what men want”, followed by “sexy Halloween costumes” and “girls+kitchen+men”. Oddly enough, though, the raunchy blogs I was expecting didn’t come up. No – I’d poke the internet incessantly, as if to provoke it to hand me its very worst, and yet I would inevitably be directed to the one and only supposedly empowering, iconic magazine for “fun, fearless females” that, ironically, included all the wicked keywords: Cosmopolitan.

I knew Cosmo wasn’t perfect, and I also knew that, while it’s brilliant for long waits in airports, it isn’t a particularly enlightening read in any other context. But when I decided to try another test and insert “men” in the Cosmo website’s search box, I was baffled by the results. “25 Ways To Seduce A Man”; “What Men Want (and How to Give it to Them)”; “Recipes for Seducing Your Man”; “Makeup Looks Men Love”; etc. Pretty much every article I came across offered female readers advice on ways to improve their looks or their whole self for the benefit of men. What struck me the most was not only the subtle creepiness of Cosmo’s advice, but also the fact that, were you to patch up all the glimpses of women that emerge from the magazine’s pages, you would probably obtain the kind of female specimen that all those horrible, exploitative Tumblrs and blogs are about.
cosmo1

The second, more unexpected problem I found with Cosmo was that, since many of its articles are centred around men’s pleasure and satisfaction, said men are inevitably shown as seriously lacking emotional depth and being little more than sex-machines that can easily be bagged thanks to a particular hairstyle or a certain raunchy text message. In brief, I found that Cosmo (and many other analogous magazines) seem to oversimplify the psyches of both men and women: its articles revolve around the ideas of “sexy” and “fun” attributes that are almost never meant for a girl’s self-improvement, but rather for her partner’s benefit and the uncontrolled inflation of his ego.

An excerpt from a Cosmo piece (“12 Steps To Make Him Fall In Love”) exemplifies this idea perfectly: “Ask for his help: in this day and age when women are fiercely independent, a man can feel less able to give her what she needs – other than sex, what does he have to offer?” How degrading and insulting to both sexes, and what a range of antiquate stereotypes emerges! And in such a respected, well-established publication? In my opinion, it is significantly more harmful than an ignorant teenager’s tweets and rants about sandwiches.

I was genuinely struck by the fact that my research of defining keywords always led me to one of the most famous magazines “for the modern woman”: doesn’t that say a lot about current gender roles? Doesn’t the subtle kind of Cosmo sexism, then, work in both ways? By demeaning women, it demeans men too, as they are perceived as the gullible recipients of endless seduction techniques, and reinforces the common assumption they are only capable of shallow sexual relationships void of any real emotional attachment.

Is it that surprising, then, that sexism on the internet thrives and grows every day, if even the publications of today’s post-militant feminist society end up doing little more than strengthening the conception of women as men-pleasers – and men as simple receivers?

10 Responses to “The Most Sexist Website On The Internet?”

  1. Raj

    Women are put on the earth to please men and take care of his children while he protects her. Problem is that most men cannot protect their women anymore (culture and feminism). So women run aloof and do what they want; men turn to begging them for sex. Thanks to sites like "Return of Kings," men can feel free to express their thoughts rather than be beaten for thinking conservatively while feminists do the same thing and get away with it.

    Reply
    • zoey

      Raj – To put it simply, you need to get your head out of your ass. It is truly baffling that in 2013 you could possibly think that with all of the amazing women in this world – that contribute so much to our global community – that they were only put here to please men and care for children?! Take a look around, you pitiful excuse for a man. Women are emerging from the centuries of oppression and proving themselves to be equal, if not superior. It is sadly obvious how insecure men such as yourself are; How scared you are that a woman could have more power than you. In addition, your definition of feminism is clearly incorrect. Wanting equal rights, equal opportunities, and equal treatment is not feminism – it is justice. Finally, you would not be left “begging” for sex if you weren’t such a bigoted, ignorant, and delusional douche bag.

      Reply
  2. Faster

    You think that's bad, you should see the misandrist sites. Active suggestions/celebrations of violence, overt deranged hatred, you name it.

    Reply
  3. Joanna

    in the past it would be so accurate to focus on man only but times have changed a bit. as a non-feministic, eastern woman, I'm so ok with pleasing my man and taking care of children all the time but since men are not providers and protectors anymore (which means, they forgot about their main obligation – as you pointed out), I don't feel obliged to do anything as I need to take care of too many things. So guys, go back to your role and everything is going to be just fine!

    Btw, the problem with ROK (which I follow from time to time) is not that it's chauvinistic. it promotes the culture of endless expectations and egocentrism, which at the end is going to bring just disappointment and loneliness. Let's talk with authors in 40, 50 years and we're going to see who is fully happy… Ofc, they could "tic-tac" on me as much as they want because of things i just said (which as far as I noticed, is the main response for some girls talking uncomfortable things) but as happily married 27 years old, expecting my first baby-girl, well…I'm pretty sure I'm going to be in a right place for 40 years from now…

    Reply
  4. gmt

    The truth is hated by politically correct feminists, supported by the welfare state paid for by men. Even so, I'm glad my ancestors crossed the pond to the US.

    Reply
  5. dahrunicus seancheagh

    Your Comment: how dare these awful men get together to discuss mens’ issues? they need to mind their p’s and q’s and be good little boys. they should focus instead on dying in wars, or working the grimy, strenuous, dangerous jobs women rightly turn up their noses at. get back on that fishing boat, you awful, rapey, dirty, creepy man! there are women who need things, and that oil/food/construction project/computer program isnt going to create itself! back to the mines, and no more guff from you, mister!

    Reply
  6. Actual Casanova

    Don't give them too much attention. I used to follow roosh and as soon as a few people lifted his skirt up he stopped posting on his old blog. He started his new blog to run away from the heat but we all know its a joke. These dudes have not touched a woman in their lives and they don't get laid, they make up stories as they go and are 1st class Keyboard Jockeys. Nobody likes Roosh, real PUAs and players don't take him serious.

    There is a fine line between supporting feminism (which I don't do) and actually going on to hate women. Sexual frustration will do this to guys. Whats worse is Roosh tries to convince the world he has success with women just like the guys on his forum and blog do only to be laughed at. He is like Paddy Tanniger from Family Guy (the dude that goes "wanna fight about it") every time.

    Don't give him attention, it is the only thing fueling his popularity. I don't support feminism but that guy and his site is a joke, along with every single writer on it with their fake and made up credentials.

    Reply
  7. Dr. Steve Brule

    "Sexual frustration will do this to guys." Your comment makes no sense. Return Of Kings is anything but "beta", which you are describing. Ironically you sound like the type of guy you claim those guys are. Or a woman, who knows.

    Feminism appears to be one-sided, and living, breathing double standard! Down with men & all they ideas they stand for! Rrrrrawrrr the mighty scream of the bitter, unhappy feminist.

    The author here (Laura) has cherry-picked items from the internet, and put an inaccurate slant on what she presented. What she conveniently fails to tell you is:

    1. Return Of Kings features quite a few articles regarding self-improvement
    2. It supports the proven idea that a man should develop and possess the characteristics a a typical, healthy woman desires: a man with confidence, leadership abilities, and in general "alpha" traits. (This benefits women greatly)
    3. The sites covers the harsh reality of society's ills, and the realities of male-female relationships, especially the *very* harsh realities of the truth about women.

    I cannot described it as a woman-hating site at all. To do so is very innacurate.

    It is not a site for those are easily butthurt, "militant feminists" (a.k.a. bitter, angry women who do not possess a truly fulfilling place in life), or those not willing to accept that truth is rough sometimes. A lot of the authors are well-educated, and well-versed with social experience not just a bunch of "hot air."

    Reply
  8. radegunde

    "the *very* harsh realities of the truth about women." And then:

    "I cannot described [sic] it as a woman-hating site at all. To do so is very innacurate. [sic]"

    It's not enough that the comments here have to be unspeakably depressing, but they manage to contradict themselves, too.

    Reply
  9. mazhar

    stop this degeneration and destruction of young and fresh minds . do not spread this contagious disease of sexuality to all the cornors of world..you are doing no service but poisioning the future generation for its eventual catastrophe. sorry you deserve no praise but an abuse.

    Reply

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