Crowd-funding site Kickstarter is doing the apology dance today, admitting that it shouldn’t have allowed the author of a self-help “guide on getting awesome with women” to post his project on the site, as some claim the book encourages men to be overly aggressive toward women. But the apology came too late to stop the project from receiving the $16,000 in funding it managed to raise by the deadline.
The project — whose Kickstarter page is archived here — came under fire after people, like comedian Casey Malone, voiced concerns that excerpts from the book seemed be giving readers advice that blurred the line between being assertive and perpetrating an assault.
For example, there’s this excerpt posted on Reddit, which some say goes too far by suggesting that a “no” might become a “yes” with a little more time:
IMPORTANT NOTE ON RESISTANCE:
If at any point a girl wants you to stop, she will let you know. If she says “STOP,” or “GET AWAY FROM ME,” or shoves you away, you know she is not interested. It happens. Stop escalating immediately and say this line:
“No problem. I don’t want you to do anything you aren’t comfortable with.”
Memorize that line. It is your go-to when faced with resistance. Say it genuinely, without presumption. All master seducers are also masters at making women feel comfortable. You’ll be no different. If a woman isn’t comfortable, take a break and try again later.
The most-quoted section from people opposed to the project comes a little further down that same page, under the header of “Sex.”
Pull out your c**k 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.
Obviously, the author has the right to write whatever he wants, and enough people ponied up to support the endeavor that he was able to bring in eight times his initial goal of $2,000 on Kickstarter.
But a large number of people were upset that the site elected to give the author a forum in which to raise funds. A petition was started to ask Kickstarter to remove the project, and it has more than 50,000 signatures.
In its apology, Kickstarter explains the reasons that the project was not pulled in time to prevent the funding from being released to the author:
*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,” writes the company, which says that “Content promoting or glorifying violence against women or anyone else has always been prohibited from Kickstarter,” and says it did not know of the offending material when the project was submitted.
Since the site can’t get the money back from the author, it has pledged to RAINN, the Rape, Abuse & Incest International Network, along with instituting a ban on all “seduction guide”-type projects going forward.