Following major backlash earlier in the week over a “seduction guide” Kickstarter called “Above The Game: A Guide to Getting Awesome with Women” that seemingly promotes rape, Kickstarter issued an apology for not pulling the project while it had the chance. The crowd-sourcing company posted the apology in a blog post titled “We Were Wrong.”
“The posts offended a lot of people — us included — and many asked us to cancel the creator’s project. We didn’t,” Kickstarter writes, explaining that the project was about to end when they first heard about the backlash and that they bias “heavily towards creators.” “These factors don’t excuse our decision but we hope they add clarity to how we arrived at it.”
The apology continues, “Let us be 100% clear: Content promoting or glorifying violence against women or anyone else has always been prohibited from Kickstarter. If a project page contains hateful or abusive material we don’t approve it in the first place. If we had seen this material when the project was submitted to Kickstarter (we didn’t), it never would have been approved. Kickstarter is committed to a culture of respect.”
Though the money raised for the project can’t be returned, Kickstarter is going to donate $25,000 to anti-violence organization RAINN, and has removed the project page. Similarly, the site promises that no more “seduction guides” or anything of that ilk will be allowed to be promoted on Kickstarter.
“We take our role as Kickstarter’s stewards very seriously. Kickstarter is one of the friendliest, most supportive places on the web and we’re committed to keeping it that way. We’re sorry for getting this so wrong,” the apology concludes.
“Above The Game: A Guide to Getting Awesome with Women” earned $16,369 for a $2,000 goal. It raised money from May 29 to June 19. The project was created by Ken Hoinsky of Milford, Conn. It was a chapter called “Above The Game Part 7: Physical Escalation & Sex” that earned the book so much heat after it was posted on Reddit. The chapter encourages men to try to engage sexually with women even when they resist.
“[Successful seducers] aggressively escalated physically with every woman they were flirting with,” the chapter reads. “They began touching them immediately, kept great body language and eye contact, and were shameless in their physicality. Even when a girl rejects your advances, she KNOWS that you desire her. That’s hot. It arouses her physically and psychologically.”
It continues in bold, “Don’t ask for permission. Be dominant. Force her to rebuff your advances.”
Though the chapter does include an “Important Note On Resistance,” the underlying message implies that everything short of actually raping someone is actually a great method of “seduction.” Hoinsky penned a response to the rape allegations on this blog, claiming the chapter was taken out of context.
“The thing that the commenters on social media are leaving out is that the advice was taken from a section in the guide offering advice on what to do AFTER a man has met a cute girl, gotten her phone number, gone on dates, spent time getting to know her, and now are alone behind closed doors fooling around. If ‘Don’t wait for signs, make the first move’ promotes sexual assault, then ‘Kiss the Girl’ from The Little Mermaid was a song about rape,” he writes. “Additionally, the book contains an entire chapter on sexual assault & rape, preaching men what not to do. Of course no one has seen those parts yet because the book hasn’t been released yet.”