UPDATE: Kickstarter has issued a rare response to Casey Malone, the blogger that originally displayed outrage at the campaign and sparked a media firestorm around the world’s largest crowdfunding platform.
This morning, material that a project creator posted on Reddit earlier this year was brought to our and the public’s attention just hours before the project’s deadline. Some of this material is abhorrent and inconsistent with our values as people and as an organization. Based on our current guidelines, however, the material on Reddit did not warrant the irreversible action of canceling the project.
As stewards of Kickstarter we sometimes have to make difficult decisions. We followed the discussion around the web today very closely. It led to a lot of internal discussion and will lead to a further review of our policies.
This comes in response to increasing media backlash against Kickstarter for allowing the campaign to be funded, and for taking their 5% cut of the proceeds.
For the rest of the story, read below…
The Internet is abuzz this morning after a Kickstarter campaign was successfully funded yesterday. The campaign will fund the release of a book called Above The Game: A Guide To Getting Awesome With Women.
Al Jazeera collected some of the tweets criticizing the book…
— Susan Schorn (@SusanSchorn) June 19, 2013
— creeping horror (@redfivetwo) June 19, 2013
— Bill Cameron (@bcmystery) June 19, 2013
— Sabrina Morgan (@SabrinaMorgan) June 19, 2013
Project creator Ken Hoinsky posts advice for the “confident modern male” under his Reddit handle TofuTofu and posts regularly to subreddits like /r/seduction. Yesterday he posted a public comment on the incident…
I am devastated and troubled by the allegations that my book, Above The Game: A Guide to Getting Awesome with Women, promotes rape. That couldn’t be further from the truth. A handful of quotes were taken out of context and posted on Tumblr which steamrolled in a game of telephone where hardly anyone bothered to read the original version.
People took advice from a section on “Physical Escalation & Sex” and posted them online. Devoid of context, they appeared to be promoting sexually assaulting women when that wasn’t the case at all.
The gist of the controversial advice is “Don’t wait for signs before you make your move. Let her be the one who rejects your advances. If she says no, stop immediately and tell her you don’t want to do anything that would make her uncomfortable. Try again at a later time if appropriate or cease entirely if she is absolutely not interested.”
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.
That cherry-picked advice, without that important context, makes it sound like I am advocating non-consensual sexual advances on strangers. I would absolutely never do such a thing.Ken Hoinsky
In light of the recent hoopla, a discussion/debate has broken out on /r/seduction regarding the news and the new found traffic it is driving to the page. Some fellow Reddit users have voiced support for Hoinsky…
It sucks that it all happened like this. Tofu’s posts and replies to comments and questions in this sub helped greatly toward me becoming the person I am. I can’t believe anyone would take it out of context just to attack him. Some people have too much hate.
However, not all on the social media platform are supportive of TofuTofu or the Redditor’s approach to the campaign…
I am not here with hate in my heart. I am here with what I feel is good sense and compassion. You are making yourself into an apologist for someone who has, in writing, backed the idea of nonconsensual sexual activity and made it quite clear his view is not that women are an equal member of society to be respected, but instead commodities for the purpose of consumption.
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