Disgusting Article Recommending Dating Girls with Eating Disorders Triggers Massive Social Media Backlash

Publisher defends it on First Amendment grounds.

A nauseating article, jam-packed with misogyny and malevolence, has ignited an online firestorm, with thousands condemning the publication for the callous take on a serious social issue.

The article entitled, ‘5 reasons to date a girl with an eating disorder’ which was posted last week by Return of The Kings, a "blog for heterosexual, masculine men," has an anonymous or pseudonymous author and is offensive from start to finish, as you can probably tell from the headline.

Having gone viral, it has triggered a firestorm of protest, with online readers unleashing a torrent of abuse across Twitter and calls for the website to take the article down, Huff Post reported.  Some of the responses:

       “Sick to my stomach. Eating disorders aren’t a joke”.

       “This is the most appalling, piece of shit article I’ve ever read”.

       “Wow, really? There has got to be something that can be done to force this site to take this down…”

In response, the publisher issued a statement today in reply to the angry public reaction in which he justified his decision to publish the article on freedom of expression grounds:

“On November 13, I allowed publication of Tuthmosis’ article 5 Reasons To Date a Girl With An Eating Disorder. I did so because it contains value for men who want to date thin women in America, a country that is currently facing a devastating obesity epidemic, which we recently highlighted with Fat Shaming Week.

“Was Tuthmosis’ article offensive? Was it tasteless? Not to me and not to the bulk of our male readership. It is not our job as a men’s publication to ensure everything we write does not offend 7 billion human beings on this planet, so there is no legitimate reason to remove the article, and those who are calling for it to be removed should instead visit the graves of America’s great founders and speak into the ground about why they don’t believe in free speech simply because their feelings have been hurt by mere words. As a staunch believer in free speech, I will do all I can to make sure ROK contributors like Tuthmosis can share their opinions and experiences freely, especially when it does not advocate for violence or breaking the law.

Articles such as this raise the issue of the growing trend for online sites to publish content that are not only shocking but completely offensive tripe all for the sake of making a quick buck. How people of conscience react is the question. As Huff Post explained:

“The question then is: How do we react to it in ways both constructive and meaningful? Should we stand up and add our voice to the fray, hoping to educate or, at the very least, to stand in solidarity with those who are being maligned? Or should we stay silent in the hope that by keeping the haters in a cold, dark place for long enough, they will eventually be silenced themselves?”

Jodie Gummow is a senior fellow and staff writer at AlterNet.


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