Kickstarter, sexism, rape culture, and other scary stuff…

UPDATE 6/21: Kickstarter has released an apology and a statement explaining their inaction.

They are also donating 25,000 dollars to RAINN which is a project to help combat sexism. 
Original Post 6/20

You all might have seen this little gem floating around the internet about Kickstarter and a project called “Above The Game” by Ken Hoinsky. Probably not so if you haven’t take a little time to read about it here and here and here (especially the last one) and get acquainted with what this man is saying. I’ll wait…

Done? Ok how many of you felt really creeped out and disturbed?

I’m not sure if one can really describe how this type of behavior makes a woman feel. Or a man. Or anyone who doesn’t like to be talked about like a piece of meat. This man’s words literally make me feel nauseous. If a man ever approached me in any place and talked to me in the manner that this man outlines I would not only feel uncomfortable and scared, I would be downright pissed off.

It isn’t just the fact that he is spewing this nonsense over the internet or even publishing a book about it. It’s been done before. There are literally thousands of books, websites, magazines, radio talk shows, etc. on this kind of ‘pick up artist’ stuff. What really upsets me is that this man used Kickstarter, a crowd source funding tool, to raise over $17,000 in order to create this book. That means that people actually pledged money towards this atrocity. That scares me more than anything. That money could send someone (like me) to college for a year. It could finance my whole life for one year. I could do amazing things with that money and I know people who could change the world with that money. Instead it is being used to fund a ‘book’ that, in my humble opinion, comes off as a manual for sexual assault. This opinion has been asserted by several other bloggers around the internet and it becomes more and more disturbing because Kickstarter won’t remove the project. I have not done the adequate research yet and this is just a rant right now, but here you can read a bit more about the situation.

Also in case you were interested here is the link to the subreddit where this man and many others post about how to seduce women. I will leave you all with a couple of quotes from the posts by this gem of a man….


“Decide that you’re going to sit in a position where you can rub her leg and back. Physically pick her up and sit her on your lap. Don’t ask for permission. Be dominant. Force her to rebuff your advances.”

“Make her push your hand away as you get closer to her vagina.”

“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.”

So ya. This is a really scary thing to be seeing. It’s frightening to think that there are people out there following this advice. Now Ken does mention that if a woman says no that you should back and “try again”. Let’s think about this for a moment. Legally consent requires three things: a verbal consent, both parties are sober, and the consent is given without fear of consequence. We all know that there are thousands of cases of sexual assault where consent is fuzzy at best. Both parties were drunk, one party verbally said yes but was afraid of consequences. These things mean that consent was NOT given.

As a woman I would be very frightened if I knew that any man I dated had read this book. I would not feel safe, I would feel as though he thought of me as a piece of meat or property. Something to be conquered. I do not believe for one moment that Ken believes that women are equal to men in any way, especially sexually. He portrays us as frail and sexually naiive, and most importantly his writings advocate ‘token resistance’. This term is used to describe exactly what Ken talks about in his books. That women will resist but they don’t really mean it. It is a part of the game. This is not true.

(I do not mean to exclude men in this post at all. I understand that men are assaulted just like women are. However I feel that this ‘book’ is aimed at women so that’s what I’m talking about.)

I could go on and on about how I feel about this incident. But I don’t really know if the majority of the world cares. So many people will just shake their heads and move on. That is what scares me more than anything. people don’t realize that we are living in a culture that is ok with this type of behavior. It is ok for a man to treat a woman like this. If you believe differently then stand up and say something. Get involved with the people at EverydaySexism on Twitter and Facebook. Start #shoutingback and get pissed.

This is not the world I want to live in and it is not the world anyone should have to live in.


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