1. Mediaite
  2. Gossip Cop
  3. Geekosystem
  4. Styleite
  5. SportsGrid
  6. The Mary Sue
  7. The Maude
  8. The Braiser

What's with the name?

Allow us to explain.

Good News Everyone!

Kickstarter Apologizes, Donates $25,000 To RAINN, After Offensive Dating Guide Controversy

Yesterday we brought you the story of an already funded Kickstarter project to publish a guide called, Above the Game: A Guide to Getting Awesome With Women. It came to the public’s attention after blogger Casey Malone posted some extremely problematic language within the proposed guide, already published online on Reddit, which included suggesting the user force women to do certain things and disregard their wishes to stop. After public outcry, including a petition brought to the Kickstarter offices, we have a positive update to the story. 

We have a few other updates as well, including a response from the author of the guide, Ken Hoinsky. Trigger warnings going forward.

Hoinsky writes:

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.”

You can read the entirety of Hoinsky’s statement here but suffice to say, many of us did read the entire original version, since replaced on the Reddit subsection, Seddit, and were horrified by its content. I remain horrified still that Hoinsky doesn’t seem to understand the implications of his unqualified “advice.” He seems to be under the impression you have to wait until a woman is literally screaming at you “SERIOUSLY GET THE F**k OFF ME YOU CREEP” before you stop making unwanted advances. Since some of the offensive material was found in a section meant to advise readers while they’re already on a date with someone, he thinks that makes it ok. It does not. He also writes:

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.

No, “don’t wait for signs, make the first move” is not terrible advice for someone already involved in a romantic relationship but “Don’t ask for permission. Be dominant. Force her to rebuff your advances,” also in the same section, does promote sexual assault, whether he understands that or not.

Naomi Hirabayashi, CMO of took a printed version of the petition and signatures (49,000 strong at the time) along with twenty individuals to Kickstarter headquarters in New York City. They asked to meet with Kickstarter CEO Perry Chen but spoke only with an office manager who assured them the petition would be delivered. The company consists of 61 people and it’s not very unusual Hirabayashi wasn’t able to speak with the boss without making an appointment, if he was even there at the time, so we don’t find this reaction surprising. However, an email update from the petition writers mentioned being told by several individuals Kickstarter was deleting comments about the situation on their Facebook page. We have not verified this.

However, earlier today, Kickstarter made an official statement on their blog:

We were wrong.

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.

These factors don’t excuse our decision but we hope they add clarity to how we arrived at it.

So what now? Kickstarter says they missed their window to stop the project being funded but have removed it entirely from their website (and linked to a cache version).

“We are prohibiting ‘seduction guides,’ or anything similar, effective immediately. This material encourages misogynistic behavior and is inconsistent with our mission of funding creative works. These things do not belong on Kickstarter,” they wrote. “Today Kickstarter will donate $25,000 to an anti-sexual violence organization called RAINN [Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network]. It’s an excellent organization that combats exactly the sort of problems our inaction may have encouraged.”

And excellent response to the outcry, and an example other companies should look to. But ridding the site of “seduction guides” entirely is not the point. This wasn’t about people being uncomfortable with others teaching them how to speak to women, it was about how they were teaching others to treat women.

Kickstarter’s statement also fails to address the wording of their policy which lead them to hesitate on removing the project as soon as it was brought to their attention (or during their own review process for that matter), and whether or not they’ll be adjusting it in the future so something like this doesn’t happen again.

Guide writer Hoinsky said in his statement, “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.” Which seems all too convenient now. However, the petition update mentioned reaching out to the author, “offering advice and insight from a professional author and relationship blogger (who works for us!) on how to improve his book so that it does not promote sexual assault. If this book is (apparently) going to be funded and written, we want to make sure nobody is going to get hurt. Our goal isn’t lots of clicks or to embarrass anyone, we just want to make sure violence against women isn’t rewarded…ever.”

Are you following The Mary Sue on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Pinterest, & Google +?

TAGS: | | |

  • Alana Beltzer

    Between this story, the E3 stuff, and all the stupid legislator tricks going on at the state and federal levels this week, I feel like I never want to have anything to do with men ever again. I know there are many men out there (including the vast majority of my male acquaintances, thank goodness) that find these stories as horrifying as I do but there are still far too many that still think my place is “barefoot and in the kitchen” or view me as nothing more than an object to assert power over :( And it makes me feel helpless because I don’t know what we can do to change this.

  • Mina

    Well really, I think that was a terrific response from Kickstarter, especially taking things a step farther and donating to RAINN. Their project cancellation policies are still a little too murky, but at least in this situation they did turn back and do the right thing.

  • TKS

    Unless the context is “Under no circumstances should you believe…” than I have a hard time the context would make the material any better.

    I appreciate Kickstarter’s action here.

  • Robert Vary

    I agree. It’s not a perfect response, of course, but explicitly admitting that they were wrong and WHY they were wrong, identifying what led to them making that wrong decision, taking at least some steps to prevent it from happening again, and making a monetary gesture of goodwill towards those who identified the problem are all better than most people and companies do when confronted with this sort of situation.

  • The One True b!X

    I’m unclear what other policies Kickstarter should change here.

    They can’t review projects in advance, in terms of final product, because it usually doesn’t exist in that form and would be logistically untenable anyway. And they can’t adopt a “suspend a campaign as soon as anyone complains” policy because that would be abused to hell and back. Given that short window, I see both that it was the wrong decision and how it was possible to arrive at it.

    I’m not suggesting anyone is suggesting those two policies specifically; they are just the only things that spring to my own mind that would be responsive to any further concerns. I could be missing something. What policies need to be adjusted beyond what they’ve already said?

  • Anonymous

    For what it’s worth, as a guy in the “I find this horrifying” category, I’m not sure what I can do either. But, I want to be part of the solution, not part of the problem.

  • cwormslry’s Kickstarter Petition Update: WE WON

    After our petition gained over 61,095 signatures, Kickstarter has issued an official apology and statement here:

    It’s titled, “We were wrong.” (Yup!) While they are still funding the dude, they’ve committed to reviewing their terms of service and will immediately prohibit “seduction guides,” or anything similar, effective immediately. They are also making a $25k contribution to RAINN. (No mention of us, the petition, or deleting your Facebook posts…)

    Our response:
    1. We’re proud. Despite the fact that the statement didn’t mention and the 60,000+ young people who signed the petition…clearly, we won. Nice work. Lesson? When young people ROAR, it matters.

    2. We are thrilled Kickstarter is reviewing and changing its policies to stop anything like this from
    happening again. We think it’s lame that they are still funding the project – but we have reached out to the author himself to help him write something positive. He is meeting with one of our team this weekend for coffee.

    3. We love that our friends at RAINN will receive a donation to continue to combat sexual assault.

    4. We hope Kickstarter did something nice for that office manager…

    We’re happy we won this one…there is a lot more out there to tackle. Send us your ideas for campaigns and petitions:

    You matter. When you roar, people listen and change happens.

  • Drew Humberd

    I think they did the best they could based on the information they had at the time. It would be wildly inappropriate to shut down a campaign right before its conclusion without investigation–and you can guarantee that if it had happened, PUAs would be searching out feminist KS campaigns and trying to do the same thing to them, frivolously or not.

  • Anonymous

    Labelling all men as ‘the problem’ is akin to labelling all women as ‘the problem’. You want to fight against misogyny, start by holding *individuals* accountable for their actions. Anyone worth your time finds the objectification of people horrifying, whether male or female.

  • Jill Pantozzi

    She’s not labeling all men as the problem, just saying this makes her want to have nothing to do with men. She admits knowing many who find this kind of this horrifying.

  • Anonymous

    Myself, I don’t really feel that way .. I’ve read enough anti-feminist comments from women to know that being part of the group oppressed does not provide instant insight or empathy. It’s important to keep in mind that thoughts and actions matter, not one’s sex, because the latter is exactly what’s harming everyone here.

  • RC_cola

    Besides the issue of assuming consent, there’s another problem that Hoinsky is not seeing. His target audience for this book is socially awkward guys who don’t know how to interact with women. So when he says, “Let her be the one who rejects your advances” and to “cease entirely if she is absolutely not interested”, he is assuming that his audience will be able to understand their date’s body language and/or other cues and quit before it escalates.

  • TKS

    As a dude, when we label “men as the problem,” we aren’t generalizing or applying “the problem” to each individual man. We are condemning the institutional and systemic sexism that permeates the male-dominated society.

  • Lisa M

    i think everyone is officially being too hard on Kickstarter. I respect them for 1) saying in plain language “we were wrong” and that this project is wrong. 2) Donating significantly more money than they brought in on this project to try to help. It’s really hard to admit you were wrong and i do think they’ll be spending more time on the process in the future for accepting. THis was a stellar example of how a company should own up when they’ve made a mistake. I”m sorry, i respect you a lot but i don’t believe for a single SECOND that approaching this guy to “help” him with his book would be anything but a waste of time. He’s not going to accept that. They can’t force him to.

  • LifeLessons


  • Carl Jackson

    I think the thing is, those policies are the same things they use to not shut down things like Tropes Vs. Women and it relies on the burden of proof and adequate time to investigate. We may not like the results of this particular instance, but there are other projects this will protect that might be controversial but perfectly within the rules.

    The danger here is had they ruled any other way the number of projects that were controversial that could be summarily pulled. True, Kickstartarter has profit motive here, but I’m not sure they’re wrong on the surface.

  • Anonymous

    I think Kickstarter has done the best it can under the circumstances and I’d be willing to bet they’re going to take a closer look at their policies to see where they can tighten up both wording and control.

    I find Hoinsky’s reaction- and the aggressive reactions of his supporters- to be troubling, though. This is more than just words being taken out of context. The passages I’ve seen still promote dominance and aggressiveness as something that ALL women love. It still encourages forcing a woman to do things she may not want to do and dumping all of the responsibility on her to rebuff him when in reality the guy should be able to pick up on the cues himself and take the hints she’s giving. There should be no forcing of anything. For all that he says that if a woman says no you should back off he also hints that a guy should only back off to try again later.

    His defenders are, naturally, even more depressing and clearly full of hate, which only underscores all the concerns about the project that have already been expressed.

  • Kay

    I believe that’s why the complaint “Their project cancellation policies are a little too murky” is valid. Because as it is the line between banning something for being problematic and banning something for being controversial are blurry, and the same line. They need a clear policy in place that says, “This is the CONTENT of the MATERIAL that we object to,” so that when they look at a guide that encourages continuing to press yourself on a woman who’s told you no, and look at a guide that analyzes the disappointing depiction of women in video games, they will clearly be able to say, “The first one has content that is problematic, the second one is just controversial.” Controversial isn’t in this case, and should never be, equated with problematic in a way that bans all problematic content. And it won’t have to be if they remedy their policies the right way.

  • Kate M Wieczerza

    Simply said, they should clarify in writing that projects that promote any form of sexual assault are expressly prohibited, and that any projects that are found to explicitly promote it will be canceled immediately, no investigation necessary. Obviously it’s not always going to be explicit, but in this case it was, and as they admit to having the knowledge before the deadline, the inaction was just a bunch of hemming and hawing over policy, at best.

    There are certain cases where you don’t waste time thinking about whether something is controversial. Promoting any kind of physical abuse (against women, against children, against any animal or human being whatsoever) should very clearly fall into the “let’s not waste time discussing it” category. Ever. And, again, I know 99% of the time it’s not going to be clear-cut, and an investigation WILL be necessary to determine if it’s really promoting abuse or not. But, like I said, that wasn’t the case this time around, and they need to be clear that if this is to come up again, they won’t waste time “investigating” when the answer is already laid out and ready for them.

  • Kate M Wieczerza

    I’m a little disturbed by how many people are defending Kickstarter’s inaction. I’m glad they admitted their wrong and apologized, I’m glad they donated, and I’m glad they’ll be reviewing their policies, but it shouldn’t have taken that much. When it comes to simple, clear-cut promotion of sexual assault and abuse, or any kind of abuse whatsoever, and they are made aware of it (as they admit they were), one should not take the time to “investigate”. What is there to investigate, anyway? Everyone who read it (besides the PUAs behind it, apparently) can see the problem, and understands the kind of danger it could put very real people in. Kickstarter themselves admitted that before the deadline. There was no true reason to not cancel it immediately.

    It’s unlikely that anyone is ever going to explicitly write in their campaign that they are writing a guide on how to rape women, but when the steps include ignoring all rejections and forcing physical contact on a woman whether she wants it or not, it’s explicit enough.

  • Anonymous

    Respectfully, I don’t think I said that. I don’t think “sexism has nothing to do with sex” — I don’t think sex has to have anything to do with necessarily holding sexist views. I know and have heard from enough men and women to know that while yes, obviously it is a huge factor, it is not a *decisive* factor. More critically, for me *personally*, it’s not a useful factor to consider when interacting with people in my life.

    “they are followers of a standard given to them rather than the ones enforcing it on another group entirely.”

    In many cases, yes. In many cases, I also think no, because that implies that women have absolutely no agency. Calling them “followers” seems to imply that equally, some sexist men may just be victims of a system dictating standards to them, and not responsible for critically evaluating the harm of their actions or views.

    During many (though not all) discussions and debates in my life, I’ve learned that at a point, I have to concede that a person genuinely holds a belief, and is not brainwashed or socially conditioned. It’s partly because anyone can accuse me of being conditioned or being given a standard I just accept, instead of respecting that I may have just actually thought about this and still adhere to it.

    It’s also because knowing that there are people who just are genuinely this way gives me resolve.

    If a woman believes in legislating away my right to have an abortion, she is indeed the one enforcing a standard and her standard on me. She and I are not part of a group. She is another group entirely.

  • Anonymous

    Alana, I can empathise: even as a man, there are times where I just don’t want to have anything to do with men. My family is mostly female, and my grandfather/uncles were intelligent and empathetic, so I’m particularly sensitive to the engrained misogyny which continues to be a problem throughout the world. Knowing that the world just isn’t a safe place for so many human beings, even in supposed first world countries, can be overwhelming. When the world’s such a big place, you can feel ineffectual, inadequate, powerless.

    No, you can’t change the world – but you can change *your* world. Support worthy groups, challenge misogyny and sexism when you see it, build a network of like-minded individuals. Think global, act local, and all that. I’m involved in anti-sectarian and disability advocacy groups, and I can tell you it definitely works. It can be hard-going, but it works, and there’s no feeling in the world quite as wonderful as the knowledge that you’re making the world a little better every day.



  • Laura Truxillo

    There’s also the bit where he explains that if you are able to grab a woman’s hand and put it on your dick, then she is LETTING you do that, and it’s okay.

    Which is awful because I know women who have been assaulted like this, and their reaction was to freeze up. Because hell, once a guy does that without asking for permission, you have no idea WHAT he is going to do. So yeah, great, make people think of that terrified freezing as “permission.”

  • Laura Truxillo

    They definitely need to be able to put an immediate hold on projects called into question like this. They need a policy in place so that if something like this were to happen again, even if it was only hours before funding ended, they would be able to pause the whole campaign temporarily to more fully review the requested project and look into the complaints raised. And then to completely terminate the project and refund the backers if the complaints turn out to be valid.

    “Suspend as soon as anyone complains” is a bit much. They shouldn’t say that they WILL suspend as soon as anyone complains, but they definitely should add the legalese which gives them the ABILITY to do that if the need arises.

  • Anonymous

    Exactly; you can’t force him. You shouldn’t. All that can happen is good communication. It’s up to him if he changes, and as frustrating as it is (enraging, really) how much this person promotes the rape culture, he is still a human being. I’m not saying being angry, even AT him, is bad; I would just encourage hope :)

  • Jeremy

    Took me all of five minutes to read a reporting blog, read the Kickstarter, read the supporting documents, and decide it be shut down. What took Kickstarter so long that they ran out of time?
    To my mind it appears like they wanted to play both sides. Let it go so they don’t cause a tantrum among creators (and possibly drive them to other sites) and then mea culpa and say sorry.
    Donating was a good move, though.
    What I don’t understand is why they don’t have a “HOLD” option on projects, which freezes all funds and the countdown pending investigation. It doesn’t stop a project funding if they find no cause, but gives them longer to properly investigate and cancel if needed. If they don’t have this option, they should.

  • RC_cola

    Yes, exactly. This is the same point I was trying to get at. Some people are great at reading body language or picking up on social cues and understanding when they are making someone uncomfortable. I would say most guys would inherently understand that “freezing up” is not a positive thing and would know to back off, but the ones that don’t know this (like the book’s target audience) need to be told that this is a negative/non-consenting reaction, NOT a sign to move forward.

  • Stewart Zoot Wymer

    Alana, my mother left a relationship where she was an object that was controlled and disempowered (my father) – and she never wanted to be in a relationship again where she would feel like that. She never has, and she never will, I don’t think.

    The thing I say to you, if that’s the way you wanna roll, do so. She has never regretted her decision. She doesn’t find women sexually attractive so she’s remained independent and single and is content. Another friend of mine has had similar experiences and has her kitty children. Again, a viable life choice.

    I will say, however, as others have said in this thread (and you know yourself) that not all men are like this. I for one, endeavour to be nothing like my father in any respect. However, if such a relationship makes you uncomfortable in any way, you have every right to not partake and not be ostracized for your choices. Sometimes you have to make your own changes because the world will not change, or not change fast enough for your liking.

  • Kamil Kukowski

    in this case it couldn’t be more explicit; it was in the pledger’s section …. a cutom attack plan.

  • Anonymous

    Well said. Second all of that.

  • Anonymous

    [CN: sexual assault]

    Indeed. Personally, every time I was sexually assaulted (aside from the time I was raped), I froze. One of the rapists even told me, “But you liked to be forced,” This is how they think, and they do NOT need a book telling them “Oh yeah, that’s totes okay!”

  • Anonymous

    Absolutely agree with this comment. I think Kickstarter should have paused or shut the project down regardless of it meeting it’s goal. What’s to stop others from making a film project about ‘seduction’ instead of a book? If they do, they know they’ll probably get away with it because of the way Kickstarter handled this situation. To me, it seems like they cared more about getting a cut of that money than doing the right thing.

  • Melissa

    I highly recommend that everyone read the blog post “Did Anyone Actually Read the Reddit Post Behind ‘Above the Game’?” by Esther Tung because it points out how several blogs including The Daily Beast and Jezebel edited out an important line of Hoinsky’s text: “Of course if you’re really unclear, back off. Better safe than sorry.” It also points out how Above the Game followed the progression of a relationship, not just buying a woman a drink and attempting to get in her pants that night.
    I hope besides making a $25,000 donation to RAINN to appease a bunch of overly-PC, intellectually dishonest, armchair activists who took something COMPLETELY out of context, Kickstarter refunds everyone who DID make a donation to the project and also issues a formal apology to Ken Hoinsky for greenlighting his project for donation collection instead of rejecting it outright if in fact their ToS and policies forbid material which “encourages misogynistic behavior”. You know, if that’s what their ToS REALLY said in the first place.

  • Melissa

    What the petition did was strong-arm a company into canceling a project they already allowed on their website of which they later stated the essence of the project was against their policies in the first place. I don’t buy it for one second. This is one of the things that annoys me about modern feminism – when people who identify themselves as feminists are cherry-picking what offends them. If a woman wrote a similar book about seducing men, it would somehow be seen as an empowering gesture and nothing would be said or done about it.

  • TKS

    I like your name. Shadowcat is my favorite X-Man.

    I also agree with what you said.

    I’ll stop being awkward now.

  • HeroOfGames16

    Well, IIRC the dynamics of flirting and getting intimate relies more on body language than mere words. Then again, I’d wonder if the dynamic would work if you would ask a girl or guy to ‘hold its hand’, ‘kiss that person’, ‘hug him’. Of course, when it comes to sex and whatnot, you just have to ask consent and whatnot…
    It’s very troublesome for me because I’m always the kind of person who prefers to ask someone if she wants to be kissed or if I can hold her hand, but hearing from both men and women, “That’s weird” :/

  • HeroOfGames16

    Some food for thought: Are PUAs, seduction guides or just how-to-be-an-sexually/romantically-attractive-person-to-attract-people-of-the-opposing-or-same-sex inherently sexist?

  • Anonymous

    ‘Maat, not ‘cat. She tends to show up ON walls rather than through them, but Shadowcat is one of my favorite X-Men, too. And Beast, cuz I’m a sucker for the brainy types.

    Brains are something Hoinsky seems to need, as a matter of fact…

  • Sally Strange

    My brain is starving over here. If you can’t be bothered to make a distinction between PUAs and basic dating advice, why should anyone be bothered to engage in your ignorant thought experiment? If you need to think, do it on your own.

  • HeroOfGames16

    Hey, I’m sorry if I said something wrong. I’m just a bit confused up here. I thought dating advice that stems from the PUA scenery was always beneficial for the most part, but I’ve recently found out that there’s quite some criticism towards it.
    I agree that quite some PUA tactics are questionable and seem to go by the notion that all women want to be dominated. That’s just wrong, but I wonder that if PUA is inherently sexist… if there’s such a thing as feminist-friendly or non-sexist form of PUA.

  • Ty Larson

    Gross. I was really hoping this project wouldn’t get funded. While it’s nice that Kickstarter has admitted they were wrong and is making a substantial donation to RAINN, it still doesn’t change the fact that Hoinsky and his followers still believe that taking the sorts of aggressive and intrusive actions towards women described in his writings is okay.

    You’d think that with all the public outcry against the content of his proposed book, and the language used to convey it, that a little light bulb would go off in Hoinsky’s head saying, “Hm, maybe something’s not right here.”

  • HeroOfGames16

    I see. It’s just that from both men and women, have told me to rely on body language, and that kissing should come as natural and not something you should ask permission every time because that ‘ruins the romance and mystery’. Same goes to confessing feelings verbally because that’s ‘unromantic’ whereas doing it by the ‘art of body language’ is better, according to them.

    However, due to my autism this is very problematic because I’m very doubtful when it comes to body language.
    I thought PUA or dating guides could help me to understand how to properly romance with someone because people around me were vague.
    However the guides seem to encourage or stereotype gender roles and whatnot at times. (Then again, they have a point that confidence and being true to yourself are the keys to success, at least I think so.) At times, they conflict with my morals and views on equality… but apparently they work, according to a lot of men (and women).

  • Kyla Gray

    When you’re already in a well established relationship, you don’t really have to ask. By that time, you’re already familiar with your partner and their habits. You’ll know when it is and isn’t okay to initiate a kiss.

    When you’re just starting a relationship, it’s better to ask. If you want to kiss them, just a whispered “can I kiss you?” can go a long way. She may reply, “Yes, you may” or “You can kiss me all you want.” It’s better to ask because that shows you are honestly concerned for her wants and that you don’t want to push her into something she’s not ready for or doesn’t want.

    I’m not a big fan of dating guides period. I, too, find that they often stereotype gender roles. I also find that they don’t account for people with low self-esteem which is also their primary demographic. Dating guides often tell you that you need to be confident, but they don’t offer any advice as to how to become confident despite the majority of their readers being people with a lack of confidence.

    I feel as though dating guides are only successful in short-term relationships. If you want to pick up someone in a bar for the night, then sure follow a guide. But if you’re looking for a life mate, I wouldn’t follow a guide.

  • HeroOfGames16

    Well, the dating guides I’ve read don’t go into detail how to gain confidence but they say that a few steps in the good directions are like ‘Changing the way how you look at yourself’. It’s basically that you go through a realization that relationships aren’t what creates success, but are the by-product of success. Success isn’t necessarily money, but also things like inner accomplishments, things that give meaning to someone besides a relationship.

    But in the end, gaining confidence is something a lot of us have to struggle for, but idealistically, I hope that everyone finds the strength to overcome his or her demons in the end… and achieve their happiness and dreams, whatever they may be.

    I’m more the kind of person that rather goes for a life mate. I suppose it will be a case of trial-and-error and hoping that you can establish an intense bond with someone. I am not fan of uncertainty, but the way how dating guides portray their tips and such (unquestionable, systematic and psychological strong) seems too fatalistic in my eyes.
    I guess they should be treated as ‘alternative methods’ at best, instead of “foolproof tricks that can take control of the mind of any female individual” (I have too much faith in the strength of a human’s spirit for something like that to happen).

  • BabeWoreRed

    I know exactly what you mean, I may be a totally-in-control-of-myself, badass lady who knows all of the things to do and say but on one occasion where I was sexually assaulted (not in this exact manner) I literally just froze. I couldn’t talk, couldn’t act, couldn’t even really process what was happening.
    Everyone I know was SHOCKED that I didn’t deck the guy, but I couldn’t have even if I wanted to.

  • BabeWoreRed

    And for that you get all the props!

  • Anonymous

    Donating money to an organization that tries to help victims of sexual assault and rape is great, but wouldn’t it have been even better to do something that could help to reduce the amount of sexual assault that takes place in the first place?

  • Anonymous

    I’m not sure that they are taking it seriously, actually. After all, the guy got funded, and it seems the main effect of their taking the project off their site was to make it impossible to now see the list of people who backed it. I haven’t heard them state any policy that would directly affect any situation like this in the future (like the ‘freeze’ idea I’ve heard mentioned in other posts). This seems like a huge pile of CYA, closing the barn door after the horse has long been absconded with.

  • Anonymous

    The problem with the “monetary gesture of goodwill” is that it went to an organization that helps deal with the problems that victims suffer after sexual assault or rape. Wouldn’t a far greater gesture of goodwill been something that could perhaps help fewer of these victims be created… like finding a way to block this project’s funding?

  • Robert Vary

    But the project was already funded. That’s precisely what they are apologizing for. The instant the fundraiser ended, the money was transferred from the backers to the project owner. At that point, there was literally nothing else Kickstarter to do regarding to stop that specific project, outside of hacking into his bank account and transferring the money back out. Instead, they’ve taken steps to keep such a project from being funded in the future, taken the project’s page down so it won’t look like they continue to condone it, and supported a cause that helps those who’ve been hurt by the sort of thinking found in this project. What else would you have them do?

  • Robert Vary

    “I haven’t heard them state any policy that would directly affect any situation like this in the future”

    From Kickstarter’s apology, linked above:
    “Third, we are prohibiting ‘seduction guides,’ or anything similar,
    effective immediately. This material encourages misogynistic behavior and is inconsistent with our mission of funding creative works. These things do not belong on Kickstarter.”

    Admittedly, as others have mentioned, their policies and procedures may still need some clarification and updating, but they’ve certainly taken at least SOME steps towards keeping it from happening again.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t imagine that this situation would recur in exactly the same way – and that’s all their policy seems to address. What happens when, say, a film project turns out to be all about glorifying physical and sexual abuse?

    What I was thinking of would be some policy that would give them the latitude not to make this mistake in the future, like “freezing” projects (and countdowns) upon surfacing of an issue until there can be further review. What they have now is as ineffective as the TSA playing catch-up to long-disused security issues in airports.

  • Anonymous

    First, I would have had them not issue the missive that said “It’s abhorrent, but we’re funding it anyway.” Second, I would have looked to them to initiate some kind of claw-back – something like, returning funds to the backers themselves, then going after the author to recover their expenditures. I could imagine a civil suit against the author for deceptively presenting a project and not fully revealing its non-TOS-meeting content, with resulting negative impact on the reputation of Kickstarter. (Heck, I’m a result of that negative impact right now!)

  • Robert Vary

    Their apology didn’t say “It’s abhorrent, but we’re funding it anyway.” They said “It’s abhorrent, and we’re sorry our inaction allowed it to be funded.” They’re not saying they’re going to let it happen anyway, they’re saying they’re sorry it already happened. Kickstarter can’t return funds to the backers; it already got funded and the project owner was the one who had the funds. I doubt they’d have much of a civil case, either – it’s not so much that he deceptively presented the project (he probably thought he was being pretty honest, and didn’t think there was anything potentially offensive in the material), it’s that Kickstarter didn’t look deeply enough into the potentially included material, which is part of what they apologized for, along with their inaction.

  • Robert Vary

    Well, Kickstarter’s policies already prohibit that sort of thing:

    “No offensive material (hate speech, etc.); pornographic material; or projects endorsing or opposing a political candidate.” []

    The problem here is that the definition of “offensive material” is left rather murky (what, precisely, falls under “etc?”), and it seems their procedures for dealing with potentially offensive projects that slip through their initial screening are a little slow and ineffective (as they certainly were in this case.) I think the “freeze” idea is great, and something they should totally implement. As I said, their current policies certainly aren’t perfect, and something like that could definitely help this from happening again.

    They definitely still have some work to do, but considering that there’s no way for them to transfer the money back from the project owner once it was funded, this apology and the actions that came with it are at least a start.