June 28, 2013

Book Funded by Kickstarter Promotes Violence Against Women. ~ Anne Davis

*Warning: this article contains sexual and possibly offensive language.

Violence against women is reaching an all-time high worldwide.

More than one in three women worldwide report being hit, touched, assaulted, or threatened with violence by a current or former partner according to new research published this month in The Lancet and Science.

The same day these reports were published, a Kickstarter project for a manual on how to pick up chicks funded—more than funded, actually—the book, Above the Game: Getting Awesome With Women. It pulled in $16,000 worth of pledges—eight times it asked—for amount of $2,000.

The phenomenon of the pick-up artist (PUA) isn’t new, but using the internet to disseminate skills and techniques to “get women” gives PUAs a much wider audience. From avoiding the dreaded “friend zone” (which is, just as you think, where a woman is a friend and not interested in being viewed as a sexual conquest) to practicing come-ons on multiple women on the street, the language and ideas behind the PUA movement definitely come off as seeing women as objects to possess instead of fully autonomous beings with whom to form deep and meaningful relationships.

Ken Hoinsky, a game developer and Redditor known for his seduction tips, is behind the project. Hoinsky gave readers a sneak peek at the book to come on the Reddit forums.

Some choice bits:

To quote Rob Judge,

“Personal space is for pussies. I already told you that the most successful seducers are those who can’t keep their hands off of women…Trust me, if you’ve got that ‘I’d fuck me’ smirk on your face, standing tall, holding eye contact, right up closer to the girl than most guys, she will KNOW that you desire her and want to get to know her better. You can literally say anything at this point and you’ve made a direct approach. Congrats!”

He takes the idea of a pick-up artist to a whole new level when he suggests that men physically pick up women without their permission.

“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…Even if she rejects your initial advance, you’ll have raised your chance of success in the future.”

Or, as one of my friends succinctly put it,

“‘Even if she rejects your initial advance, you’ll have raised your chance of’ . . . Charges being filed against you: sexual battery, simple battery, sexual assault!

“And once you do get in her pants, don’t forget that it’s your way or the highway.
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.”

Hoinsky responded to his critics with a video posted to his site in which he says any reading of his book that indicates he would promote sexual assault are way off base. “I fully admit that there are parts of the book where the words could easily be misconstrued, and there are indeed parts in the book that are harmful. Seeing this and realizing that has absolutely given me the motivation and the drive to go back and completely revise all the parts that could be harmful to readers.”

Kickstarter has issued an apology on its blog, saying,

“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.”

Kickstarter put its money where its apology is and donated $25,000 to RAINN.org, the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network. RAINN has also responded by creating an Indiegogo campaign to raise funds to fight sexual abuse.

Kickstarter has left up the product page in a cache form available through its blog post, though it has pulled the original down. The project funded before Kickstarter could close it down, so Hoinsky will get the money.

So where does this leave us? We still have that shocking statistic—more than 30 percent of women suffering some form of abuse or threat of abuse from her partner, worldwide. This book will still be written and published, and with the amount of publicity surrounding it, it’s sure to be a success.

Upvotes on Reddit show an 84 percent approval rating for the sample Hoinsky put online. Hoinsky has teamed up with DoSomething.Org to do a thorough review of the manuscript and “completely revise all the parts that could be harmful to readers.” However, he assures his fellow Redditors, “the final book will be in the same style you are used to. I’m just taking us to the next level.”

Infographic from WHO on prevalence of violence against women:

Full WHO report: here.

Casey Malone, the blogger who saw this project and alerted the world: here.


Anne Davis lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband, two kids, and two turtles. She’s a home educator living in one of the best school districts in the country. She enjoys writing about politics, education, parenting, women’s issues and Paganism.



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Ed: B. Bemel

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