An article with the disgusting headline "5 Reasons To Date A Girl With An Eating Disorder" ignited a bitter online controversy Monday, as shocked readers took to social media to express their outrage over the premise of the piece.
Last Wednesday's post on the previously low-profile website ReturnofKings.com -- which appears to have suddenly generated enough traffic to knock the entire site down for at least an hour as the uproar grew to fever pitch Monday evening -- consists of exactly what the title suggests: namely, a compendium of supposed reasons why "a girl with an eating disorder" should be seen by men everywhere as a particularly vulnerable, and therefore attainable, potential mate, sexual conquest or girlfriend.
(ReturnofKings describes itself in its "About" section as "a blog for heterosexual, masculine men. It’s meant for a small but vocal collection of men in America today who believe men should be masculine and women should be feminine." If the post in question is eventually permanently removed from the Internet, you can scroll to the end of this article to read it in its entirety.)
The article, by an anonymous author who goes by the Web handle Tuthmosis on ReturnofKings.com and Twitter, is undeniably horrific, cynical and terribly cruel. It contends, among other things, that "girls with eating disorders" (a verbal construct which appears to be narrowly defined by the author as women suffering from anorexia) "cost less money" because they eat less; are "crazy," and therefore "exceptional in the sack"; and that "her obsession over her body will improve her overall looks."
These statements have generated hundreds of understandable and expected angry responses, including from a Web user named Torie, who posted in the comments section, "This is f***ing disgusting. You all realize that eating disorders aren't glamorous or fun or trendy, right? They are MENTAL DISORDERS that lead to depression, anxiety, suicidal tendencies, not to mention heart conditions, sometimes death."
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And another commenter, Brian Cuban, added, "One of the most appalling pieces of crap I have ever read in my life and that includes so many of the commenters. You are all pathetic and hopefully will never have someone in your family who suffers from an eating disorder. You should all be ashamed of yourselves."
These are the expected reactions to a piece that seeks to make light of eating disorders, and they are extremely valid, as articles such as "5 Reasons To Date A Girl With An Eating Disorder" often reach impressionable people who will take them at face value and potentially even follow their advice, to the detriment of women everywhere.
And it seems that it has hit that depressing mark for some readers, as one who goes by the username Archangel commented, "Good God, I love skinny chicks ... I will bust my arse for a sweet adoring waif, but I will not lift a finger for a hatefrothing you-go-grrl."
But another side of the discourse surrounding the piece has also emerged, as a number of readers have suggested it is an epic attempt at trolling, either for the purpose of generating controversy or to generate attention and, by extension, Web traffic and money. And it wouldn't be the first such attempt by Tuthmosis, who has also written misogynistic posts with titles like "24 Signs She's A Slut" and "10 Tell-Tale Signs She's An Internet Fatty."
As Web user Armchair General commented in perhaps the most succinct summation of the sentiment that the article is an offensive attempt at trolling the Web, "Publicity skyrockets." As a commenter under the username Glanton wrote, "A precision engineered nerve strike. You have to love it."
Under this interpretation, the piece may or not be based on genuine feelings about "girls with eating disorders," but whatever Tuthmosis' actual thoughts on the topic, the article is actually just aimed at raising ReturnofKings.com's profile, and yes, making money off of controversy.
It appears that if the intention is in fact to generate a wild controversy, the author has succeeded, as Twitter was afire with comments and rebukes of the story as it made the rounds Monday evening.
No matter what the author's intention was, the publication of "5 Reasons To Date A Girl With An Eating Disorder" has shown that anyone willing to spew highly offensive content on the Internet will likely generate enough response for their musings to go viral.
The world will likely never know whether the author really thinks it's a great idea to seek out "girls with eating disorders" for romantic relationships or dalliances or if the story was just an example of highly inflammatory trolling, but it has certainly shown something about the predictable nature of Internet controversy.
Here's the entirety of the original "5 Reasons To Date A Girl With An Eating Disorder," included here in case it is later taken down by ReturnofKings.com:
"Nothing screams white-girl problems louder than a good old-fashioned eating disorder.* But they’re more than that. Eating disorders have been—quite appropriately—declared a luxury reserved for only the most privileged members of the female race. In other words, the presence of one of the classic eating disorders is a reliable predictor of various socio-economic, cultural, and personality traits in a young woman–features that, in the end, are desirable to today’s American man. In a world where the “retail price” on the typical Western woman continues to skyrocket—while their quality continues its precipitous decline—there are some real gems to be found in the bargain bin. I’ve dated several girls with eating disorders—in various intensities—and all of these traits have applied to each of them. *While obesity is, in most cases, also an 'eating disorder,' this list doesn’t apply to emotional eaters, food addicts, and fatties with no self-control.
1. Her obsession over her body will improve her overall looks.
A girl who spends inordinate mental and physical energy on her looks is rarely fat. If you were to get into a long-term relationship with one of these girls, she’s also less likely to become complacent about her physique over time. Girls like this are usually deft at properly dressing their body type, which translates into a more stylish girl overall. And, because cheap clothing lines—like H&M—are shaped with straight cuts that are less labor-intensive and therefore more inexpensive, they look good in even the cheapest of shit. While they may have a 'distorted body image' on the inside, that usually means staying trim and fit on the outside. Let’s not forget that fatties, too, in the majority of cases, have a 'distorted body image,' but in the unattractive direction.
2. She costs less money.
You can go out to nice restaurants and order take-out with the confidence that your expense on her will be minimal. In most cases, she’ll get a small dish–like a side salad–or just eat a little bit of whatever communal dishes you order. If you’re a hungry bastard, you can even finish off her plate. 'Are you going to finish that?'
3. She’s fragile and vulnerable.
The case has repeatedly and persuasively been made that an inflated ego and an unearned high self-esteem are among the most unattractive traits in a girl. You-go-girlist 'confidence'—grounded in little more than years of being told she’s a unique and special snowflake for no other reason than she was born female—renders a woman into an insufferable turd who thinks the world revolves around her. An eating disorder often translates into the direct opposite: a girl who’s modest, fragile, and vulnerable. Instead of having to constantly wrestle with a difficult and obnoxious girl, you’ll be dealing with a tastefully insecure girl, who’s eager to please, and wants nothing more than your approval. She’s quick to apologize for transgressions, and will make the extra effort to see you–instead of flaking on you constantly. This level of vulnerability often brings out the best in men, whose protector instinct can’t help but get activated.
4. Probably has money of her own.
They aren’t too many poor girls with eating disorders. These girls come from money, and often continue to wield that spending power right into their adulthoods. Her instinct to please you will translate into her picking up tabs, coming to your door not empty-handed, or buying you little gifts.
5. She’s better in bed.
It’s a well-known fact that crazy girls are exceptional in the sack. A girl with an eating disorder has just the right cocktail of pent-up insecurity, neuroses, and daddy issues to ensure that your whole building knows every time you’re beating it up. Say what you will, a girl with a mild-to-moderate eating disorder—that hasn’t excessively marred her appearance—is today’s best-buy in the West’s rapidly plummeting dating market."