This week, Kickstarter provided the platform for the funding of an unbelievably offensive book to be published. It’s called Above The Game: A Guide to Getting Awesome with Women. In case you didn’t know, “getting awesome” is code for forcing yourself on and basically sexually assaulting women. Awesome!
In case you didn’t know, there are a lot of misogynist jerks on Reddit. One of them, Ken Hoinsky aka Tofu Tofu, has become the self-appointed messiah-of-seduction, and posts advice threads on how to pick up women. This “advice” includes such gems as:
Pull out your cock and put her hand on it. Remember, she is letting you do this because you have established yourself as a LEADER. Don’t ask for permission, GRAB HER HAND, and put it right on your dick.
The user response was so positive for his advice threads that he decided to take to Kickstarter to attempt to fund the publishing of a “seduction manual” – because advice like forcing a woman to put her hand on your dick is “seduction” at it’s finest. I just threw up in my mouth a little. He originally set a goal of $2,000. He raised $16,369. I hate everything.
The Internet is filled with people who do not appreciate the perpetuation of rape culture. One of these people is the blogger Casey Malone, who wrote an awesome post about how disgusting this project was – and basically started the crusade to get it de-funded. It didn’t work, as Kickstarter did not respond in time. From the Kickstarter blog:
Why didn’t we cancel the project when this material was brought to our attention? Two things influenced our decision:
The decision had to be made immediately. We had only two hours from when we found out about the material to when the project was ending. We’ve never acted to remove a project that quickly.
Our processes, and everyday thinking, bias heavily toward creators. This is deeply ingrained. We feel a duty to our community ”” and our creators especially ”” to approach these investigations methodically as there is no margin for error in canceling a project. This thinking made us miss the forest for the trees.
Kickstarter titled this blog post, “We Were Wrong.” They explained why they didn’t remove the project in time, acknowledged they missed the window for removing the project and explained the steps that they will take to ensure something like this will not happen again. Most importantly, they donated $25,000 to The Rape Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN). Considering their cut of the funding for the “manual” was only a little over $800 – this is pretty impressive.
I was very disappointed with Kickstarter when I saw this project on their site. I wish they would have taken it down in time, but they didn’t. I do accept their apology, though. I think it’s great when people and organizations can admit they were wrong and actually do something to try to redeem themselves. In a week filled with empty apologies (Serena Williams, Paula Deen) – it’s pretty refreshing.