We’re all doomed now »« I wish there really were a tree of the knowledge of good and evil

Putting the profit in rape

Kickstarter has a lovely new project to fund: a self-published book on how to seduce women. Well, if you call this seduction.

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.

And that’s one of the milder recommendations from the author of this book. I am relieved that I was never exposed to these kinds of ‘dating tips’ back when I was a-courtin’—I might be even more of a jerk now, and I’d probably be living alone.

If you’re appalled that such a book should be so grossly rewarded, register a complaint with Kickstarter.

Comments

  1. w00dview says

    Ugh, even before I heard of the various arguments supporting the need for feminism I was always leery of PUAs. They just give off a really creepy vibe and look like preening idiots. This sexual harassment manual has not changed my opinion of them.

  2. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    It’s not a “sexual harassment manual”. It’s a rape manual.

  3. w00dview says

    Point taken, Josh. As PZ said, the bit quoted above was the mildest suggestion. This is revolting.

  4. says

    What sickens me is not that some wanna-be rapist is putting this project on Kickstarter, but that he will almost certainly surpass his fundraising goals very quickly, with MRAs and the like throwing money at him.

  5. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Gregory, he already surpassed it 45 minutes ago. Yes. This is humanity.

  6. dorght says

    I read “The Game” by Neil Strauss, not as a guide book but out of curiosity about why and how pickup artists work. The only useful thing I learned, for application to a culture in which I would care to be part of, was that people like to be entertained. People that develop their abilities to engage and entertain others are more successful in the dating arena.
    It was interesting that after a while of the pickup artists working the same area they would have to move on because the women either had experienced the limited entertainment set pieces or became wise to the manipulations. I would assume that wisdom unfortunately came at the expense of bad experience. Bottom line is that this kind of sleaze does work and while it can be used to open a door to building relationships usually those that study and practice it are just after a one night stand.

  7. anteprepro says

    Rape definitely is the right word. Holy shit, PZ didn’t quote the worst parts! Probably warrants a trigger warning. Definitely fucking deplorable and disgusting shit below:

    “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.”

    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.”

    Report this fucker. Report him into the fucking ground.

  8. The Mellow Monkey says

    Trigger warning for sexual assault in the following quote:

    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.

    Source.

    This is advocating sexually assaulting people. It’s a how to guide on bullying, isolating and ultimately raping targets.

    It’s not a matter of creepy or preening. It’s far worse than that.

  9. Louis says

    This:

    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.

    is my “favourite”. Because THAT is going to work so well! I mean I never tire of whipping my cock out and slapping it bodily into people’s hands. It’s always a good idea to put a potentially easily damaged part of your anatomy into the hands of someone who might be monumentally pissed off by you doing so.

    Come on MRAs/PUAs/Assorted misogynists. I just cared about the state of your penis. How can you say I hate you?

    [/sarcasm]

    Louis

  10. says

    The “report” button is at the bottom of the page. When the window comes up prompting exactly what it is you’re reporting it for, I wrote “There are good reasons to believe this project promotes sexual harassment and assault of women,” with the link to Malone’s piece.

    As someone with his own project currently Kickstarting, I’m all for nailing projects like this that cast a pall over the whole crowdfunding community. Kickstarter recently dropped a completely scamtastic “Kobe Beef Jerky” project with only minutes to spare. It may be harder to get something like this kicked, as the product itself doesn’t appear to be fake, so we’ll just have to appeal to its moral reprehensibility. But Kickstarter does take public complaints and reporting seriously, so it’s worth doing.

    Now we just have to sit back and wait for the inevitable freeze peach! whining in 3…2…1…

  11. samihawkins says

    I remember when I was about 14 or so a message board I went to was flooded by this sort of prick. This is basically how I remember it:

    1. Sad lonely prick posts a laughably untrue account of them ‘seducing’ a woman, claiming that they’d approached a total stranger on the street and used their sexual harassment, er, ‘seduction techniques’ to make said stranger instantly fall in love with them and the taste of their cock.

    2. Other sad lonely pricks join the circlejerk to talk about what sexy beasts they are and how they to can get laid within an hour any time they feel like just by being an invasive ass.

    3. Someone likes me points out the bullshitty odor emanating from their claims and argues that woman don’t enjoy some creepy stranger following them around harassing them.

    4. The mob of sad lonely pricks flame me and claim I’m just jealous of their awesome ability to get laid.

    5. I find a new message board.

  12. says

    What’s the problem? Surely, there’s no possible way that this can go wrong when you’ve got such stellar advice as this:

    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.

    I don’t now what else to say.

  13. says

    Whoop, hang on people. The drive has ended, and the project is funded. Got moving on this one too late, I suppose.

    Well, all I can say is that when dudebros start putting this book’s advice to use, and find themselves getting pepper sprayed or even arrested, they may start questioning their investment.

  14. says

    Louis! I thought you were just giving me a cocktail weenie in that pub!

    Now I’m so glad I rejected nitrate-laden processed meats out of hand.

  15. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says

    You know, I’m nonviolent. but this shit makes me ragey. This is the sort of shit my abusive rapist ex did.

    So, Mr. PUA, I’ll make you a deal. If you stick your dick in my hand without my permission, don’t whine about what I do with it without YOUR permission. Blood and pain will be involved. But, hey, I’m just being dominate.

  16. grumpyoldfart says

    He’s telling stories to wank by. None of those things have happened to him in real life. If a woman told him “Go for it,” he’d lose his hard-on in less than three seconds.

  17. anteprepro says

    More trigger warning:

    Because THAT is going to work so well! I mean I never tire of whipping my cock out and slapping it bodily into people’s hands.

    Not sure I appreciate the mockery here. It might damn well work effectively. Just as intended. Because of coercion. Because doing so itself an act of coercion. An act of forcing a woman, against her will, into a sexual situation. An initiation of rape. And not everyone is in the situation, nor has the drive, to initiate physical aggression in response to such an act. For a myriad number of reasons, I don’t think many women would reflexively use someone doing this as an opportunity to attack them. One key reason is that doing so would make the assailant, who obviously has no concern for her as a person and just wants to get some sexual gratification, even more aggressive.

    Essentially: Don’t mock this method as ineffective, because that will only, truly, be mocking the victims that didn’t decide that meeting a sexual assault with a physical assault was a good idea.

  18. Louis says

    Anteprepro,

    {Sigh} {Slaps self in head} Apologies, you are, of course, right. I went for the cheap cock gag and didn’t think. My bad.

    Louis

  19. says

    To top it off, the guy describes himself as a “relationship guru”. Seriously.
    So, not only is he a creepy predator, he’s also a self-important twit.

  20. anteprepro says

    Happens to the best of us, Louis. Happens to the best of us.

    So, not only is he a creepy predator, he’s also a self-important twit.

    I think that is a pretty damn common overlap, honestly.

  21. says

    Folks, there’s nothing to be done to get “Above the Game” taken down now. The project ended, and was funded.

    There is something you can do that would compensate, if only karmically. Support a better project, coming from a better place. Toward this end I encourage everyone to back Advantageous, a feminist science fiction film. I saw the short film at Fantastic Fest last year and it was one of the most impressive things I’d seen there in years. (You can watch it online, the link is at the page.) The director is now trying to get a feature version going and it deserves to be made. It would be sad to live in a world where “Above the Game” could get funding but this could not.

  22. Muz says

    To me the dumbest part about this is, not only is it creepy, but that quote up there? That’s the whole book.
    Seriously that’s it. And this has been the lothario playbook for ever. This is every dating guide, self help guide, male confidence, meeting women guide out there. All of it. You going to pay money for this? Seriously?
    The rest couldn’t be more than voodoo hogwash about how to read women and what all the supposed codes mean. But that all might as well be new age mysticism for all its attachment to reality.
    I suppose there is one tiny addendum that’s necessary to complete the tip and that’s that you must be entirely shameless about this. If for any reason it doesn’t work; move on, until you meet someone it does work on. And there are just enough someones this does work on for this crap to stay alive.

  23. coffeehound says

    Even when a girl rejects your advances, she KNOWS that you desire her. That’s hot.

    Or it will really creep her out; and who can tell the difference, really?

  24. anteprepro says

    The post PZ links to recommends also Tweeting Kickstarter about this. Also, the report button is still there so it must still have some kind of function. I cannot find information about how reporting works, but it does say that there is a 14 day window after a project ends until the time that money is taken from backers and put into an account accessible to project owner. I think that they could still do something about this, is what I’m saying.

  25. anteprepro says

    (To be more accurate, they take money from backers over a 14 day time period, and the money is available at the end of that window)

  26. Rich Woods says

    @Gregory #7:

    What sickens me is not that some wanna-be rapist is putting this project on Kickstarter, but that he will almost certainly surpass his fundraising goals very quickly, with MRAs and the like throwing money at him.

    Most of the MRAs will happily shell out a few bucks in the hope that they’ll get to do anything more sexual than spend their lives masturbating.

  27. David Marjanović says

    she KNOWS that you desire her. That’s hot. It arouses her physically and psychologically.

    How anyone can actually believe this is far, far beyond me.

    Also, comments 12, 16 and 19.

    One key reason is that doing so would make the assailant, who obviously has no concern for her as a person and just wants to get some sexual gratification, even more aggressive.

    Being even more aggressive is a tad difficult if you’ve been only as much as punched, ever so slightly, in the balls. The pressure sensitivity of those things is a wonder to behold.

    And I seriously don’t want to imagine… pulling… on… erect… gah.

    I think that is a pretty damn common overlap, honestly.

    I bet being a self-important twit is required for being that creepy.

  28. Onamission5 says

    From the bottom of that Kickstarter page:

    “I believe I have a real chance to improve your life and the lives of others. Please consider supporting my project.”

    Two possible takes on this, both completely disgusting. Either the poster believes that women’s lives are improved through rape or he’s not including women in category: people. Or, shudder, both.

    And he’s exceeded his fundraising goals.

    *storms off, kicking furniture, hating everything*

  29. teejaykay says

    …oh dear IPU, what the Scheol? This is bubkes. Why do you NEED a manual for understanding another human being? Personally, I’d like to have this person to write a book on “how to pick up other homosexuals”, just so I can laugh at it.

    Why? Because it’d be just as laughable as a guide, too.

    …what a well-funded fuckwit.

  30. says

    David:

    Being even more aggressive is a tad difficult if you’ve been only as much as punched, ever so slightly, in the balls. The pressure sensitivity of those things is a wonder to behold.

    Depends on the aggressor, David. Some people enjoy such things, other people are less sensitive and yet other people will be so angered, the pain isn’t focused on, while the anger and adrenaline is the focus. Naturally, everything should be tried when someone is trying to assault you, but what works in one situation won’t work in another, what makes one person back off will make another person much more aggressive, yada, yada, yada.

  31. mudpuddles says

    @ dorght, #9

    It was interesting that after a while of the pickup artists working the same area they would have to move on because the women either had experienced the limited entertainment set pieces or became wise to the manipulations. I would assume that wisdom unfortunately came at the expense of bad experience. Bottom line is that this kind of sleaze does work and while it can be used to open a door to building relationships usually those that study and practice it are just after a one night stand.

    Quite right.

    Watch this YouTube video of a PUA at work (if you can stomach the sleaze): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tlWrFgIR6CU&feature=youtu.be
    These sort of creeps operate everywhere. I first saw them do their thing while I was in university and I’ve seen them all over since. They get lots of attention, they get lots of one night stands, and they also get a deserved reputation as fucking assholes, really quickly. Lots of meaningless encounters, no real friendships, then they have to move on to somewhere else because everyone recognizes them as a sack of crap. Also, if you watch the video, notice they often succeed with women who have had enough alcohol to warp their scumbag filter. Taking advantage of someone who can’t walk straight… ugh.
    If the Kickstarter “seduction” manual gets published, an honest title would be: “How to try to use lots of women for meaningless sex in a vain attempt to boost your self worth but ironically remain sad and loveless your entire life: a guide for pathetic fucking wankers.” Though it might be too long for Amazon.

  32. cicely says

    Even when a girl rejects your advances, she KNOWS that you desire her. That’s hot.

    Or it will really creep her out; and who can tell the difference, really?

    You’ve picked up a bit of message-drift, there.
    The point is…if it creeps her out, who the hell cares? Just slip The Torpedo into her hand anyway, and full speed ahead!
    -

  33. says

    I love* how he notes that men sometimes (often!) fail to interpret nonverbal cues correctly, and from this concludes that verbal cues aren’t worth paying attention to! Damn the torpedoes and full speed ahead. Assume she wants you, make her prove it via physical violence if she doesn’t!

    Gee, with advice (typo read: “sadvice”, I think it’s a neologism in the making!) like that, is it any wonder that men fail to interpret nonverbal cues? They’ve been discouraged from even trying.

  34. The Mellow Monkey says

    Caine:

    Some people enjoy such things, other people are less sensitive and yet other people will be so angered, the pain isn’t focused on, while the anger and adrenaline is the focus. Naturally, everything should be tried when someone is trying to assault you, but what works in one situation won’t work in another, what makes one person back off will make another person much more aggressive, yada, yada, yada.

    Excellent points. Expanding on that: And the victim cannot be sure of how xe (the victim) is going to react to an assault until it happens. Even if you’ve been raped before, you may not react the same way when it happens again. Sometimes, the victim freezes up. Sometimes, xe gets compliant out of fear. Sometimes, xe starts flailing, etc.

    This is something I dealt with in therapy, because my reactions to the assaults against me were very different and I felt a lot of guilt that I didn’t react defensively as I “should” have done when a friend raped me.

    When people talk about how someone being sexually assaulted could just grab onto the assailant’s balls or something and haha rapists are actually physically vulnerable! there is an implication of failure on the part of everyone who didn’t react that way. Because “wtf, why is this dude rubbing his dick on me? should I just ignore it and hope he goes away?” is actually a lot easier for a mind to process than “I AM BEING ASSAULTED. SELF-DEFENSE MODE ACTIVATE!”

    Having actually experienced a boy rubbing his penis on my bare leg against my will when I was a teenager–at a party, in front of people who didn’t help me and then called me a slut afterwards–I can assure those here talking about it, it’s not as easy to react “the right way” as they might think. Especially if you’re surrounded by people who are going to defend the attacker instead of you.

    This stupid fucking book hit a little close to home for me.

  35. says

    MM:

    And the victim cannot be sure of how xe (the victim) is going to react to an assault until it happens.

    This just can’t be emphasized enough. It’s very easy for someone, anyone to talk, to say “oh, do this, or do that,” and so on, but there’s simply no real way to prepare for any and all situations, or to know which tactic will work best in any given situation.

  36. says

    He’s telling stories to wank by. None of those things have happened to him in real life. If a woman told him “Go for it,” he’d lose his hard-on in less than three seconds.

    I am pretty familiar with the wank fantasies men send women. I do not get them often myself but I have seen many of them from friends, or in a number of groups I am a member of that share the sad, sad solicitation messages people get. I do tend to agree that many of them are people that would wither if someone actually took them up on the offer, they really just get excited writing about these things, excited by the idea that they might do some of the things they propose but would never do them. But in the end, I think the actual actions of the author are rather unimportant. There are many guys out there that actually do read these books, and actually do go out and implement them.

    I am surprised no one has dropped by to talk about how people here are such prudes and anti-sex. Is even this too disgusting for them to support or should I just wait a while?

  37. Gregory Greenwood says

    I have reported this disgusting purveyer of rape manuals to Kickstarter. I don’t know if it will do any good, but the more of us that complain the less able Kickstarter will be to claim that they didn’t know there was a problem with this jerk.

    ———————————————————————————————————————

    Josh, Official SpokesGay @ 8;

    …he already surpassed it 45 minutes ago. Yes. This is humanity.

    I officially despair for our species.

  38. kagekiri says

    @35 Rich Woods:

    You make masturbating sound like a bad thing; why?

    Being sexually active and being a rapist-defending piece of shit are not mutually exclusive states.

    Nor is being an inexperienced lonely virgin at all equivalent to being a misogynistic shithead.

    Who cares if they’re stereotypical nerdy and ugly parents-basement-dwelling “losers” or rich and handsome “winners”?

    It’s that rape-affirming attitude that is truly fucked up with them, and worth criticizing them over.

  39. says

    Kagekiri @50, I think you misunderstood Rich Woods. There’s nothing wrong with masturbation. That said, there are too many guys out there who would rather do more than that, and see the PUA way of doing things as a fine method of getting to do more than masturbate alone.

  40. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Why do you NEED a manual for understanding another human being?

    Being born with certain disabilities is a good place to start.

    The problem is that he is deliberately and dangerously misinforming people about other human beings, particularly as relates to consent.

    Ass.

  41. becca says

    It looks like the kickstarter page has been taken down: I get a 403 error when I try to go to it.

  42. says

    Becca:

    It looks like the kickstarter page has been taken down: I get a 403 error when I try to go to it.

    No, it’s still there, with a big, fat ‘funded!’ on top of the video.

  43. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Folks, don’t worry about being “too late”. Remember that defunding this one example is NOT the only goal of complaining. Pressuring organizations to take responsibility for this is also necessary work; it’s not a one-off!

  44. Azuma Hazuki says

    Ohhh, gross! Swear to whatever God does or doesn’t exist, the first guy who tries this with me, I am going all Hothead Paisan on him. Gross, gross, gross. Even if I were into guys I’d have that reaction.

  45. says

    Why do you NEED a manual for understanding another human being?

    Manuals for understanding other human beings can be wonderful things. The category could include everything from Gavin DeBecker to the better self-help books (Stop Walking On Eggshells being one that played a special role in my life a few years back) to books on combating your own privilege by learning more about how other people read certain common tropes.

    What we’re talking about here is a manual for coercing another human being.

  46. playonwords says

    If some moron carries out the hand/cock manoeuvre remember do not pull, do not try to punch in the testicles; instead you bend and then twist as far as you can preferably 180 degrees. You will probably rupture some fairly delicate blood vessels maybe even damage the structure of the corpus cavernosum and the PUA will not be using that dick for anything for a very long time.

    This piece of knowledge was gifted to me by a nurse who had once had to put it to use.

  47. Owlmirror says

    ??????
    ಠ_ಠ

    OH WHAT’S THAT YOU SAY? YOU ARE DESPERATE FOR SEX-REASSIGNMENT SURGERY? WHY I WOULD BE DELIGHTED TO HELP, AND HAVE ASSISTED IN MANY SUCH SURGERIES. WE’LL HAVE YOU ON YOUR WAY TO BEING A BEAUTIFUL LADY IN NO TIME! COULD SOMEONE HAND ME A SCISSORS? MAYBE A STEAK KNIFE?

  48. says

    MRA vs. NRA in the battle of all battles! Can your super seductive skills work fast enough to disarm a woman with a conceal and carry license in a stand-your-ground state! SUNDAY SUNDAY SUNDAY

    Advising people to physically assault someone in this day and age is not a great idea, even if there were nothing else objectionable to this worldview. Of course, this is the least of my objections, but there’s a twisted part of me that would love to see two of my least favorite attitudes towards public life clash in such spectacular manner. Don’t worry, I don’t let that part drive.

  49. sharkjack says

    @Owlmirror 60:
    You’re basically doing the same as Louis did at 12 but with more splash damage because you’re getting common harmful trans tropes into this. Louis rethought and apologized for his comment, I suggest you do the same.

  50. imthegenieicandoanything says

    There was a wonderful Onion piece involving a faux-news article about a man being arrested for having taken his romance tips from romcom male protagonists.

    This guy? I’ve met and worked with guys only 2% as horrible as this one, and they learned never to talk to me, or look me in the eye, without expecting me to cut another piece of of their fat, stupid hides, again.

  51. kagekiri says

    @51 Caine, Fleur du mal:

    Sorry, probably over-reacted; I’ve been trying to attack people for the horrible shit they actually do, not for being ugly, awkward, rejected, “losers”, whatever.

    That just seems like misplaced shaming, and considering I’m a pretty awkward and anxious dude, but hate MRAs and their fucking bullshit, it obviously got a bit personal.

    Stepping back. That line sounds a bit too much like easily dismissed ad hominem and stereotyping instead of justified criticism.

  52. doubtthat says

    I’ve known several folks who became PUA truthers. It’s a sad thing to watch. In all the cases I’ve seen, one of two things starts men down that road: really rough break-up, or virginity/long periods without female companionship extending into the mid-20′s.

    They’re the rubes in this (the women are the collateral damage, from the perspective of the hucksters getting rich off of these “systems”). The PUA’s are preying on vulnerable, angry men, using their insecurities to get rich, and arming these misguided idiots with a bunch of advice that essentially says they are less-than-men if they don’t engage in sexual assault.

    It should also be pointed out that none of this nonsense “works.” It’s simply a matter of becoming callous enough that you ignore the 100 women who turn you down for the single drunk and vulnerable woman who you can trick into sleeping with you. Why this helps the egos of these sleezebags is beyond me, but that’s the “success”: Johnny Dumbass goes from talking to zero women and sleeping with zero women to talking to 100 women over the course of a couple of months and having horrible sex with one…WORTH THE $500 SERIES OF VIDEOS!!!!!

    Every level of that culture is depressing. From the objectification, and worse, promotion of assault, to the image of “malehood” it promotes, to the comically obvious extortion model of snake oil sales…disgusting.

  53. Happiestsadist, opener of the Crack of Doom says

    Owlmirror @ #60: Wow, that’s inappropriate, transphobic and entirely unacceptable.

  54. hamsterWare says

    I could probably use a manual to help me understand other human beings. I’ve also been on the receiving end of some of the things described here, among other things. I would simply say that if you’re the type of person who’d react with physical force and noticeable anger to being held against your will on someone’s lap or having your hand put on their genitals then you’re probably not one of the people this will happen to in the first place.

    People who pull this shit test boundaries – yours, and those of people around you who might witness what they’re doing. Sometimes they do it slowly, sometimes they do it shockingly quickly, but there are always subtler precursors to gauge your reaction to unwanted touching. And other people? I think many would be surprised, but very rarely does anyone say anything. In fact, the only time anyone ever said anything at all was when a guy I barely knew decided he’d shove his hand down the back of my pants after attempting unsuccessfully to corner me all evening. And that person said “You have a girlfriend”, not “You are committing assault and by the way this girl looks like she’s about to cry”. People who do this often know how to make their actions look like “normal” flirtation and they know how to deflect questions. People who do this often know how to avoid the targets who would yell or slap or otherwise go into the offensive when their boundaries are violated.

  55. says

    From that article, assface is quoted as saying:

    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.”

    Translation:
    “Consent can be assumed. If she’s not actively shouting at you to fuck off, you’re good to go. If she does push you away, be sure to fire off this disingenuous line before moving on to your next victim. It’ll make it much less likely that she’ll press charges.”

    This isn’t about how to make the focus of your affections feel comfortable. This is about engineering plausible denial. It’s a predator manual. It’s a guide to how engage in abusive, harassing behavior and get away with it.
    And it’s this guy, who’s doing it.

  56. ischemgeek says

    Yeahno. Not willing to give Kickstarter 5% of anything. Damned if I’m gonna reward their incompetence with more cash.

  57. says

    Well, thumbs up for the old self-righteous moral indignation thing. The fact that it’s perpetuating a world in which PUA assholes can get their projects funded but brilliant and talented feminist artists can’t is secondary to punishing Kickstarter, right?

  58. sharkjack says

    Also if kickstarter had banned the project, it would probably have gotten funded some other way. That’s not a perfect argument but it’s something to keep in mind.

    Natalie Reed also commented on this on twitter today. She was wary of the splash damage boycotting twitter/ pursuing having them ban people and their works that offend you because kickstarter has been a valuable asset to getting feminist/trans etc projects to go through succesfully. Projects which normally, partially because people are offended by the notions offered in them, don’t manage to become succesful.

    I’m still trying to figure out my own position on this. I could see not supporting kickstarter on purely entertainment projects as a valid method of protest, but to also boycott activist projects you agree with would be causing a lot of splash damage and wouldn’t do all that much good.

  59. ischemgeek says

    Other crowdfunding sites exist. I can crowdfund stuff and support indie projects while still refusing to support kickstarter. And I will.

  60. Amphiox says

    If karma were really a thing in this world, then the next relationship this relationship “guru” gets to apply his “expertise” on will be the one with his parole officer.

  61. says

    Well, as for Kickstarter, while I know people are going to translate their statement in the most cynical way possible, here’s what I see them saying:

    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.

    Which I read to say, “This project was awful. But it’s not one we can withhold funds from, under our current policies. Looks like we need to come up with new policies.”

    So it’s not quite, “Fuck you, who cares!” And it’s a damn sight better than what we got from CFI.

  62. ischemgeek says

    Someone else at a different site summed up my response to the statement better than I could. “”Gosh that is super horrible and all. Too bad that we, the people who run the program, can’t do a single thing to stop a how-to rape guide from being produced. Just too bad.”

    Frankly: They have TOS for a reason. If they refuse to enforce them, or choose to enforce them selectively, it sends a message of apathy to users. Yeah, it’s worded nicer than what we got from CFI, but I still see little more than vague corporate bafflegab and a refusal to take action on the matter at hand.

    I’d like to be proved wrong, but in light of the 7-hour silence from Kickstarter after the story broke and their refusal to provide any specifics on what sort of “reviews” they’re going to institute, I doubt very much that I will be. Because 99 times out of 100, when I see a statement as vague and do-nothing as that one, nothing comes of it. It’s a stalling tactic to allow the scandal to blow over so they can go back to business as usual. Because managing to not provide funding for sexual assault manuals is hard, apparently.

    If and only if they prove me wrong by enacting and publicizing substantive changes to their supposed “policies” that aren’t detailed anywhere on their site but that apparently can over-rule the TOS and then enforcing them, I’ll go back to them. Until then, I’ll work through IndiGoGo and other crowdsourcing sites.

    Corporations, in general, only care about the bottom line, and if they have no financial hardship from a major fuckup (and funding a sex assault manual sure as hell qualifies as far as I’m concerned), they usually won’t change a damn thing. Nothing I’ve seen from Kickstarter makes me think they’re at all exceptional in that regard, so I’ll treat them as I would any other corporation that had a fuckup of this magnitude and take my business elsewhere. This does not mean I’ll cease to fund indie projects, just that I’ll cease to fund through Kickstarter because I cannot support a company that enables a rape manual to find capital.

    That they’d fund it some other way if Kickstarter pulled it is immaterial to me. The problem is that they are funding people who will teach men to think like the assholes who raped me and how to cover it up. I will not support that. If that makes me morally superior, I will wear that fucking badge with pride.

  63. gjpetch says

    Martin Wagner,

    Which I read to say, “This project was awful. But it’s not one we can withhold funds from, under our current policies. Looks like we need to come up with new policies.”

    The current kickstarter terms of service: http://www.kickstarter.com/terms-of-use

    Includes:
    “You shall not, and shall not permit any third party using your account to, take any action, or Submit Content, that: is unlawful, threatening, abusive, harassing, defamatory, libelous, deceptive, fraudulent,
    tortious, obscene, offensive, profane, or invasive of another’s privacy”

    I’d argue that advocating sexual assault doesn’t meet the current terms of service.

  64. says

    Hamster ware

    I could probably use a manual to help me understand other human beings. I’ve also been on the receiving end of some of the things described here, among other things. I would simply say that if you’re the type of person who’d react with physical force and noticeable anger to being held against your will on someone’s lap or having your hand put on their genitals then you’re probably not one of the people this will happen to in the first place.

    That’s victim-blaming bullshit.
    1.) There’s no stamp on your head that says “will react violently”. To say that it has something to do with what kind of person the victim is puts the onus on them, not the perpetrator.
    2.) There’s a vast body of research that shows that people, especially women actually react very different in such situations than they would have thought. There are probably one or two people in this world whom I would believe if they told me “I’d kick him in the nuts”. The actual response is usually stunned silence.
    3) PUAs especially and consciously manipulate women into not reacting. They teach that shit and if you’re pondering to the strong woman fallacy the only people you’re helping is perps.

    Martin Wagner

    #78: Certainly I can understand why as a rape survivor, your response would be as it is.

    That was a really shitty thing to say. If anything you should give the voices of rape survivors more credibility on such issues. This sounds awefully straw-vulcan-objective-outsider condescending.

  65. Muz says

    In fairness all this talk of it being a rape manual is probably excessive. Most of those unpleasant quotes and instances carry with them an implicit permission on the part of “the target”. This is minus the initial invasion of space, o’course. But I wager that stuff isn’t intended to be applied just anywhere.
    However none of that is explained (because the author thinks its implicit).
    Once I probably would have said people aren’t dumb enough to just follow a manual and expect certain results for this kind of topic. Life has disabused me of that notion. That’s where the real trouble is, not that the book is consciously advocating.rape.

    (another factor in the reddit is that it’s basically libertarian/Randian economics applied to “scoring” which is kind of depressing all by itself)

  66. gjpetch says

    Most of those unpleasant quotes and instances carry with them an implicit permission on the part of “the target”.

    I don’t know muz; it takes some pretty special pleading to find implicit permission in the quote “Don’t ask for permission”.

    (another factor in the reddit is that it’s basically libertarian/Randian economics applied to “scoring” which is kind of depressing all by itself)

    Mental note: never look at that reddit thread.

  67. ischemgeek says

    No, they don’t, Muz. Because right after a few token nods to “no means no,” the author advises you to try again after a few minutes and keep trying until she doesn’t say no anymore. So, no means no… until you’ve badgered her to the point where she’s too mentally exhausted or scared to say no again. Oh, and absence of no means yes. Except that it totally doesn’t except in that guy’s warped mind.

    Also the fact that he explicitly tells people not to ask for permission to do anything, and to force women to rebuff the advances. That’s straight-up calling for sexual assault.

  68. Muz says

    I agree much of it is terrible and based off some really unpleasant framework of conceiving social interaction in the first place. But I think if you actually asked the guy, he’s just being all motivational and doesn’t want anyone to truly overstep into doing something distasteful or illegal, is my genera impression from the writing.
    Taken together though, that framework and actions does probably amount to just that, yes.
    I don’t think he or his audience realises what a tiny slice of life this sort of thing is even remotely applicable to. All women are single and on the pull at a kegger all the time, or so you’d think from reading this.
    Does this sort of clueless objectification and suggested action bolster rape culture? Totally. That is a bit different from advocating rape. Although maybe only technically to some folks and their ire would be the same either way. I can understand that.

    For good head shaking material there’s a bit where he mentions that “men are really terrible about reading women’s signals”, after telling them to essentially ignore most of them and do everything but just talk to someone.

  69. ischemgeek says

    This story from Yes Means Yes is suddenly relevant.

    Tl;dr: Rapists and sexual predators know fully well that what they’re doing is non-consentual. They just don’t like to call it rape or sexual assault.

    What he’s advocating is sexual predation, plain and simple. Whipping out your dick and putting a woman’s hand on it? Sexual assault. Not asking permission before “cavemanning” a woman against a wall and kissing her? Sexual assault. Alternating physical assault with compliments and orders? Manipulation and intimidation, key ingredients in sexual predation. Trying again after a few minutes if she says no? Sexual predation. Continuing to keep trying after she says no? Sexual assault.

    He’s calling for dudes to literally do these things. Read the excerpts on Google Cache. What he’s advocating for is sexual assault, with a few niceities thrown in to help muddy the waters if it comes to a situation where she reports him – the line about “I don’t want you to do anything you’re not comfortable with” comes to mind here. The context surrounding it makes it very clear it’s not really about respecting her right to consent, it’s about making her feel bad for insisting her consent be respected and throwing her off-balance enough that she doesn’t flee. Hence, his book is a sexual assault manual.

    Don’t downplay it.

  70. says

    Muz

    . But I think if you actually asked the guy, he’s just being all motivational and doesn’t want anyone to truly overstep into doing something distasteful or illegal, is my genera impression from the writing.

    So fucking what?
    He clearly advocates for things that are illegal.
    As ischemgeek has mentioned, predators fully know what they do, they just don’t like how you call it.
    Here’s something to think about: Some countries don’t recognize “rape” as a seperate offense, the way it is often limited to “man puts penis into vagina”, leaving out other forms and of course men. They recognize different degrees of sexual assault. So why would you draw an artificial line and say “oh, well, sure he’s advocating for sexual assault, but not for that one variety of sexual assault so it’s not that bad?”

  71. Muz says

    The penis passing is under the Sex section. They are definitely making assumptions about at what stage you are at and what level of consent is assumed to be present before doing this and the article does go to some (small admittedly) lengths to tell people not to do anything that causes distress and if you see that back off.

    I would agree that the message is very mixed, however. But there isn’t an intent here to encourage people to commit sexual assault. It’s the usual persistence, assertiveness and confidence message, which in certain very limited contexts has a kernel of truth to it. It’s the lack of imparting that context, nuance and encouragement for general human understanding that’s the problem.

  72. Dr Marcus Hill Ph.D. (arguing from his own authority) says

    He’s advocating going too far in even more ways than we’ve discussed so far. We’ve seen how he advocates sexual assault in situations where (arguably) it’s socially acceptable to approach a stranger with an intent to chat them up (and to fuck off if told to do so). He also advocates street harassment:

    Go outside, find an attractive woman and say, “You know, you are absolutely beautiful. I just had to tell you that.” See? That wasn’t so bad, right? Now do it again. And again. After ten approaches, try and initiate a short conversation. Do not let a week go by without telling a beautiful woman that she is beautiful ever again. Don’t let your seduction muscles atrophy.

  73. Ing:Intellectual Terrorist "Starting Tonight, People will Whine" says

    Muz, what the fuck?

    Really? I mean…really?

    You’ve bent over backwards so far your head is up your ass

  74. David Marjanović says

    –at a party, in front of people who didn’t help me and then called me a slut afterwards–

    OK, I’m officially out of words.

    and the PUA will not be using that dick for anything for a very long time.

    Except maybe for bleeding to death? There are reasons why I didn’t want to imagine any details.

    SEX-REASSIGNMENT SURGERY

    Not the best term. Carries a whole bunch of Unfortunate Implications.

    I’ve known several folks who became PUA truthers. It’s a sad thing to watch. In all the cases I’ve seen, one of two things starts men down that road: really rough break-up, or virginity/long periods without female companionship extending into the mid-20′s.

    Let’s not go there. I’m too tired for that today.

    But there isn’t an intent here to encourage people to commit sexual assault.

    I don’t understand how you manage to deny the “Don’t ask for permission” part.

  75. Muz says

    Gilell. @90 I’m not sure I understand what point you’re trying to make so some blundering follows. I’m not talking about the law per se. That writer might be (actually I think if he did get specific about where the law draws the line on rape you could call it a sex crime manual far more easily).
    I think there’s an ethical distinction between sexual assault and sexual harrasment, even though there’s certainly some overlap between them. You might think, harm wise, they are the same or equivalent and it’s possible they are more similar than I give credit for a lot of the time.

    But I think the author of this doesn’t intend his audience to behave unethically or even to some extent inconsiderately (although his love of street harassment as ‘seduction practice’ makes that case hard to put).
    So we’re back to so fucking what. Well it makes some difference depending on what we’re accusing the work of. The worldview it springs from is awful. The behaviour it will likely result in is similarly bad. But in general most of the particular quotes and actions people are horrified by aren’t supposed to be done unless certain conditions have been met. Conditions of consent and rapport. Is it any good at explaining those conditions? Hell no. It’s more interested in its own revved up motivational voice. But the caveats are still there. Is it’s methods of creating and assessing said consent and rapport just part of the problem? Probably
    But, as much as there is certain crossover between MRA, PUAs, Stubenville-style bros and general creeper assholes, I’m willing to give this guy a modicum of doubt benefit. It’s not good doubt-benefit. I think he and a lot of other people talk this recycled crap assume a certain intelligence in their audience such that they’ll know when and where to apply this stuff in general and when to stop. And there they are sadly mistaken.(the #shoutback video is great and would probably be a shock to a lot of these guys. Well at least once the numbers get high enough that it can’t be dismissed as complaining feminists)

    About now we hit the point someone may make that none of his methods for meeting women are appropriate, ever, under any circumstances. That is certainly arguable. But I think it’s somewhat different than calling it a rape manual. He does tell people to stop and leave someone alone if these things don’t work, ultimately. Telling them to persevere at the same time is not helping the situation, but it’s there.

  76. says

    #84: “If anything you should give the voices of rape survivors more credibility on such issues. This sounds awefully straw-vulcan-objective-outsider condescending.”

    Giving such credibility is exactly what I was doing. The instant I learned I was talking to a rape survivor, I stopped presenting objections to what she was saying.

  77. Beatrice (looking for a happy thought) says

    But I think the author of this doesn’t intend his audience to behave unethically or even to some extent inconsiderately (although his love of street harassment as ‘seduction practice’ makes that case hard to put).

    Maybe he intends his audience to actually put on a top hat and do a little dance for that special lady, but that is not what he has written.

    But hey, let’s hope all the men who would read this manual are as good mind readers as you are. Then again, that would probably mean they don’t have trouble getting dates.

    The whole of your proposition is bullshit. but trying to claim that he doesn’t even intend his audience to act inconsiderately really takes the cake. No matter how hard you tried to defend the asshole, that one is really too obvious to try to deny.

  78. says

    @Muz:

    The authors intent is irrelevant, frankly. What he is writing is a sexual assault manual. He is advocating that men commit sexual assault under the guise of “seducing” women. Whether the author intends this doesn’t matter, because intent is not magic, and if a woman is sexually assaulted because some guy read this book and followed its advice to the letter, the authors intent doesn’t make her any less a victim.

    Unless the author explicitly says, don’t do any of these things without first obtaining enthusiastic consent (without pressuring or repeatedly asking), then this book is a rape manual, full stop.

  79. Beatrice (looking for a happy thought) says

    Martin Wagner,

    So nice of him to have cleared up that he doesn’t advocate for rape of completely unknown women, but just those with whom the “seducer” had already had some (romantic) interaction.

  80. Beatrice (looking for a happy thought) says

    This dude is a perfect example of why No means no isn’t enough. No means no without emphasizing a YES lets assaulters coerce and harass, and then play innocent.

  81. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Martin Wagner, you surprise me! You cannot possibly be saying “It’s not against their policies so their hands are tied,” or “They can only act if it’s explicitly outlawed in their policy.”

    Do you REALLY mean this? Do you really mean that no lines can be drawn unless a specific act is specifically forbidden in their own, voluntarily adopted policies? That’s not reasonable, that’s rules lawyering and it’s rather shocking to see it coming from you.

  82. says

    @Martin Wagner (and anyone else who has read the author’s reply): does that reply come with any trigger warnings (besides the obvious hostility to the concept of consent)? I’m trying to decide if I have the spoons for it or not.

  83. says

    His view of consent is ludicrous. It basically amounts to “If she isn’t screaming bloody murder, she’s fair game.”
    Not only doesn’t he get it, he probably thinks he’s a good guy because he’ll actually stop if a girl pushes him a way. Wow, what a champ. He doesn’t use violence. He only uses psychological coercion. He’s such a Nice Guy™

  84. Beatrice (looking for a happy thought) says

    Also, liar.
    He’s claiming that his statements were taken out of context, that the advice is for advanced stages in knowing the woman. But what do I read on his reddit page, chapet 3 Body Language & How to Approach

    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. Well you’re not gonna be able to do that if you aren’t in close! Shake her hand, hold the handshake for just slightly longer than most guys would, and close the gap between you and the girl until you can feel the sexual tension thicken up. This is how you demonstrate intent in your approach.

    Nope, not creepy at all.

    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. You are only there to practice one thing and one thing only. Plus I bet at least a couple of them will be receptive.

    (bolding mine, caps lock his)

    I rest my case

  85. Beatrice (looking for a happy thought) says

    Fionnabhair,

    I wouldn’t put any trigger warnings for the answer, but I’m not sure about your tolerance levels.

    (btw, sorry if my quoting some of his words upset you, I didn’t think they warranted a trigger warning)

  86. says

    This is going to feel really weird and might creep some girls out till you get it right, but WHO CARES

    The predators will tell you who they are. As long as you don’t use the word “rape”, they’ll be happy to let you know exactly what’s on their mind.

  87. says

    #102: Josh, obviously that’s not what I mean. It’s sounding here like Kickstarter was made aware of something that violated their TOS (which they were unaware of initially, because the most offensive content had to be unearthed on Reddit and was not included in the original listing), failed to act on it in time, and their chosen excuse was “Well, this is really appalling, but it’s not something we could have taken down anyway,” which they clearly could have. I hope they do better next time. I hope there isn’t a next time, actually.

  88. says

    @Beatrice: Thanks for answering. Your quoting of him didn’t bother or upset me, so I think I’ll be okay. Your thoughtfulness is also very much appreciated.

  89. Happiestsadist, opener of the Crack of Doom says

    hamsterWare@ #68: I dunno, I was always the take-no-shit type, which is why I was mostly just shocked, numb and frozen/dissociated when I was being raped. And it’s part of why I took so long to admit it was rape, and didn’t deserve it, because I am so tough and know so much self-defence stuff. Hooray, victim-blaming rhetoric!

    Martin Wagner @ #78: You know, what with having experience with the matter, I’d be inclined to assume survivors actually are the better informed on appropriate courses of action.

    Muz: You know, it takes a special sort of asshole to see “implicit permission” in saying “don’t ask for permission” and advice to simply wear the victim down. Any special reason you’re so invested in saying it’s not so bad?

  90. says

    So nice of him to have cleared up that he doesn’t advocate for rape of completely unknown women, but just those with whom the “seducer” had already had some (romantic) interaction.

    Indeed, this is a very handy tip for getting away with rape, since many juries will erroneously assume that previous consensual sexual contact means that rape isn’t really a possibility.

    This REALLY IS a How To Harass, Assault, and Rape manual.

  91. Happiestsadist, opener of the Crack of Doom says

    SallyStrange @ #111: Yep. The best way to not be believed is to have had any kind of consensual contact with the rapist prior.

    Because it’s apparently a thing we do, accusing teh poor menz out of nowhere.

  92. Gen, Uppity Ingrate. says

    Happiestsadist – Well, some of us women-folk apparently have them uteresus wandering around our bodies (trufax! Because Science!) Plus, we’re all kinds of emotional and hormonal and whatnot and some of the young’uns sometimes bleed for a few days every month without dying. Randomly accusing menz of rape seems downright RATIONAL compared to that!

  93. says

    #111: Also why it took so long for marital rape to be taken seriously as a concept, coupled with the Christian belief that a woman’s duty is to submit to the husband at all times, which flat-out disappears marital rape as a possibility.

  94. says

    Indeed, this is a very handy tip for getting away with rape, since many juries will erroneously assume that previous consensual sexual contact means that rape isn’t really a possibility.

    This. His “early and often” doctrine and his “escalation” stuff is a way of establishing a pattern of the appearance of consent, and of blurring boundaries between consensual and non-consensual actions.

    I went and read most of his linked posts on reddit. Beyond feeling horrified and sick every time he discussed interacting with a woman, it struck me that this stuff has a very specific audience — one that strongly craves the sort of advice he’s giving.

    His audience is essentially the “geeky” guy — a person who is self-conscious and shy, has trouble with physicality, and who’s grown up in an almost “segregated” environment in which he doesn’t spend much time interacting in a basic, person-to-person way with the female members of his species.

    In some ways, I was that guy. I had to learn that romantic relationships followed naturally from making myself a whole person — pursuing what I loved, figuring out what I *really* wanted from my life, working on my shyness, being responsible for my own happiness, finding ways to be honest and forthright with others without being hurtful, etc., etc. There was no manual for any of that — often there weren’t even landmarks.

    What gave me the absolute chills is that Hoinsky’s writings give a hint of those positive lessons in some places, but never treat women like they are real human beings. It’s like chocolate-covered poison, and I can see a whole class of frustrated, unhappy young men gobbling it up.

  95. Owlmirror says

    It took me a while of thinking about my #60 to figure out what was wrong about it, and how to articulate it.

    Using “changing gender” as a threat carries the strong implication that wanting to become trans is a bad thing, and along with the implicit shaming of the harasser/assaulter by pretending that he wants to change gender, trades on transphobia in implying that wanting to become trans is something to be ashamed of. That wasn’t my explicit intent, but of course, intent still fails to be magic.

    I shouldn’t have done that, and I’ll try to do better in future.

    My other idea was something along the lines of:

    OH YOU WANT ME TO HAVE YOUR PENIS? HOW DID YOU KNOW THAT MY HOBBY WAS PHALLIC TAXIDERMY? I’LL BE GLAD TO STUFF IT AND MOUNT IT . . . ON A SPIKE.
    AND PUT IT ON MY COFFEE TABLE AS A CONVERSATION PIECE.
    ALONG WITH THE OTHERS.

    Or something about a jar of formaldehyde.

    Which I feel is safer because taxidermists are not an oppressed minority.

  96. Happiestsadist, opener of the Crack of Doom says

    Much better, Owlmirror. (Though people don’t become trans*, they are from the beginning.) The image of trans* women in particular as predators is a really common transphobic meme, and a really, really dangerous one to trans women.

    Phallic taxidermy made me giggle, though. :)

  97. says

    @ischemgeek lol I was totally thinking about the penis museum, too. I am sure they would be Very Interested in hearing all about phallic taxidermy!

  98. says

    Kickstarter has finally responded to the whole matter, and it’s an actual apology, not a CFI-style “apology.” Among the new policies are a permaban on “seduction guides.” Unfortunately, there is no way to stop payment on the funds raised by Above the Game, as the instant the drive ended those funds went to the creator via Amazon Payments. (Something some people may not realize about Kickstarter is that all they do is host crowdfunding pages, but they do not manage your funds in any way. That is done by Amazon.) But they are donating $25K to RAINN, which is about $9K more than that guide got.

    I’m happy with how they’ve accepted responsibility here.

  99. Infophile says

    Thanks for the update, Martin. I’d heard elsewhere that they had a week to review this type of thing before the funds were sent, but I guess that was mistaken. Well, it’s unfortunate that this one got funded, but at least this should be the end of it.

  100. jherazob says

    Updates on this:

    The guide’s author responded to the accusations:

    The response

    He affirms that he was quoted out of context, and that not only he doesn’t condone assault, but that just before the quoted parts he included a section on not forcing yourself on an unwilling person, and has a chapter on the book dedicated to prevention of sexual assaults and the like.

    I made a screenshot of the Google Cache version of May of the Reddit entry (before the Kickstarter) where the relevant bit appears in case it’s deleted or altered:

    Screenshot of the guide

    I reserve my judgment until i actually read the given guide (will be busy until at least sunday), but on a cursory look it does have the paragraph the author quotes, with the warning against forcing yourself on unwilling people, and seems to be written having in mind the clueless person who can’t read a signal and needs it spelled out in crayons.

    Offtopic note: the stylesheet for comments on this blog could use some work, you can’t just include links among the text, they get flushed around.

  101. Beatrice (looking for a happy thought) says

    Martin,

    Thanks for your update. Good response by Kickstarter
    —-

    jherazob,

    Read that, noticed the bullshit. Do keep up.

  102. says

    seems to be written having in mind the clueless person who can’t read a signal and needs it spelled out in crayons.

    Yeah, did you notice how he advises people who have trouble reading signals to not even freaking bother trying and just charge ahead under the assumption that she totally wants it????

    THAT IS RAPE.