Stating the Obvious: Sexual Assault is Not Okay

by Allie Wilkinson on June 21, 2013

TRIGGER WARNING. Describes unwanted contact, may be triggering to survivors of harassment or assault.

I’m so livid that I don’t even know where to begin. Earlier this week, a Kickstarter project called “Above the Game” was not only funded, but it was funded 800 times over. If you’ve missed out on the internet buzz about this project, you’re probably wondering what the big deal is. The answer is simple:  this “seduction guide” adds to the problem of rape culture….and troublingly, Kickstarter allowed it to be funded.

Here’s a quick recap of events:

  • Blogger Casey Malone brings to the widespread attention of the internet that “Above the Game” is essentially a how-to guide for sexual assault. 
  • A petition launched asking the CEO of Kickstarter not to fund the how-to guide on sexual assault.
  • The petition received over 50,000 signatures in just a day.
  • When the petition writer attempted to deliver the petition to Kickstarter, she was told she would not be allowed to enter the premises, and was assured by the office manager that the petition would be delivered to the CEO.

Now let’s see how Kickstarter responded:

  • Wednesday: Kickstarter issued the following statement in an email sent to The Raw Story:

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.

  • Thursday: Kickstarter deleted Facebook comments criticizing them for their decision.
  • Friday: Kickstarter issued an apology, which explains their rationale for not canceling the project, and outlining the steps they have taken in an attempt to make amends.

I understand that because the offensive material was not listed on the Kickstarter project page itself, they could have missed it when initially reviewing the project for acceptance. It’s how they handled the situation after it was brought to their attention that is an issue. First, I would like to address Kickstarter’s deleting criticism on Facebook. As a result of working as a social media manager at one point, I learned a bit about marketing and public relations. When criticism comes from a small fish, you do not respond so as to not draw attention to a negative situation. If you receive criticism from a big fish, you address it because the potential for the criticism to be noticed and for your company to receive negative publicity is far greater. And when you are under assault from the whole sea? Well, the last thing you want to do is sit there and delete Facebook comments. Remember Applebee’s PR crisis a few months ago? Deleting comments is a big no-no.

Secondly, Kickstarter explains in their apology that they only had two hours before the project ended and that investigations into canceling a project take time. If they did not want to cancel the project immediately, they could have chosen to stop the clock on the project, pending investigation. The fact of the matter is that Kickstarter’s actions inaction allowed this project to be funded, and that funding cannot be withdrawn.

Since this book now has the money to become a reality, I would like to address several points of “advice” offered by the author in his Reddit series. Following Ken Hoinsky’s advice will not help you get “awesome with women”, it will lead to you getting junk-punched in your man-business. Let’s look at some of the “advice”, shall we? (Note: All points emphasized lines in the excerpts were emphasized by the author.)

All the greatest seducers in history could not keep their hands off of women. They aggressively escalated physically with every woman they were flirting with. 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.

“Getting physically aggressive? Ooh baby, yeah, that’s a turn-on”. UMM, NO. Unless a woman tells you she is turned on by you being physically aggressive, DO NOT ESCALATE TO PHYSICAL AGGRESSION. It is not arousing. It is scary. If a girl rejects your advances, leave her the fuck alone.

The concept of “waiting for signs” or “Indicators of Interest” was commonplace in older pickup theory. It is 100% garbage and needs to be erased from the face of the planet.

Never, ever, ever, wait for a SIGN before you escalate!

From now on you must ASSUME that she is attracted to you and wants to be ravished. It’s a difference in mindset that makes champs champs and chumps chumps.

Well you know what they say when you ASSUME something…you make an ass out of you and me. Assuming that all women are attracted to you and want to be ravished doesn’t make a champs champs, it makes rapists rapists. What if all women assumed you wanted to be junk-punched in your man-business? I bet you wouldn’t like that either.

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.

FOR GOD’S SAKE, DON’T FORCE A WOMAN TO DO ANYTHING, DO NOT FORCE YOURSELF ON HER, AND DO NOT MAN-HANDLE HER!

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.

While this advice is issued as a “warning” to be “better safe than sorry”, the advice would only be valid if it ended at “Stop escalating immediately.” The rest of it reads as manipulation and coercion. If a woman isn’t comfortable and says stop, don’t take a break and try again later. Just stop.

Grab her hair on the back of her head, by the base of her neck, and pull it back aggressively. Pause and stare her in the eye before going back in.

Did I mention that you shouldn’t be physically aggressive with a woman unless she has specifically told you she’s into that? I’ll say it again. Unless a woman has told you that she likes to have her hair pulled, DON’T DO IT.

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.

DON’T JUST WHIP OUT YOUR MAN-BUSINESS OR MAKE HER TOUCH IT. Seriously, unless she has expressed an interest in seeing and/or touching your member, KEEP IT IN YOUR PANTS.

Go to a bar or nightclub that will have a lot of women. Keep only one thing in mind – you are there to practice getting in close when you speak to women and NOTHING MORE. Approach 10 different girls or groups of girls (they can be hot, ugly, or anything in between) with your eye contact, nice posture, and smirk. Say, “Hi. What’s your name?” Hold that eye contact and get closer than you normally would. This is going to feel really weird and might creep some girls out till you get it right, but WHO CARES.

Who cares? You should. Creeping a girl out won’t get you anywhere with her (except maybe junk-punched in your man-business).

In fact, we should all care. While we may think that most people would understand this behavior is unacceptable, sadly, there are people who will take this advice to heart. I’ve already seen it in the Reddit comments, when one user asked, “What if it’s a girl that likes her personal space?” and had another user quote  Hoinsky’s advice of “Force her to rebuff your advances”. There are already men who engage in this type of behavior, and the world does not need a book helping others to learn it or to convince them that this is okay. Sexual assault is never okay. Standing idly by while someone promotes this kind of behavior is not okay.

For many, Kickstarter’s apology will not be enough to reconcile the situation. If you’re one of those people and need to find a new favorite crowdfunding site, here are a few niche sites:

  • Spot.us - supports community-funding reporting.
  • Emphas.is - supports crowdfunded visual journalism
  • Vourno - crowdfunding site and independent news network for video journalism
  • SciFund Challenge – supports crowdfunded scientific research

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Olivia V. Ambrogio June 24, 2013 at 8:37 pm

There’s also http://www.petridish.org/. Thanks for this post. It’s tremendously depressing in this day and age that you *should* have to state the obvious–but since it clearly is necessary, thanks for doing so with such clarity and passion.

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