On kickstarter, rape guidebooks and why women are not a game

Dear Kickstarter (warning triggers)
by G.L. Morrison (Notes) on Wednesday, June 19, 2013 at 10:24pm


Today some artists I admire pulled their CD from the crowd-source funding site Kickstarter as a form of protest against a vile project also using the site. S. Bear Bergman, the trans activist/writer had this as his status FB message: “Hey Kickstarter, I just deleted the CD project Ivan Ivonavich and I were putting together. We won’t work with rape-enablers.”

I knew the controversy referred to but for those who did not, he included the link: http://feministing.com/2013/06/19/demand-kickstarter-remove-guide-to-sexual-assault/

I had read about it elsewhere. I knew that the noxious guide “Above The Game: a guide to getting awesome with women” was a compilation of the notes and field tests from something called sreddit. I admit to knowing nothing about reddit or its (sexual) sreddit. I was surprised to find out there were forums where rape techniques were bandied about as “dating advice”. But in my opinion bringing this to Kickstarter brought this dangerous dialogue into the light where sane people can say “WTF?!” because we have more to do with our lives than search out where the creepiest wouldbe rapists are gathering to have a chat.
I also have strong feelings about censorship (or more specifically about creating blind censors rather than holding moderators accountable for responsible moderating) and about secondary boycotts. For those reasons, I won’t be deleting my own Kickstarter account. (At this time. Kickstarter may have a response that would up the ante into a primary boycott.)

I did however cry when I went to the project page in question and read that while the asshat had been seeking $2000, he received $16369. Backers: 732. Due, I am certain, to an anti-feminist backlash because of the “bad press” received.

If you have a Kickstarter account (or if you want to create one to send a message to Kickstarter) please join me in complaining. The most cogent argument here is that rape is illegal and a guide that encourages ways to bypass consent or “coerce” it, is probably also illegal. Or should be. You need only go to the offending page then scroll to the bottom. There is a button for reporting offensive or inappropriate projects. “Report this project to Kickstarter”. There is a space once you’ve checked the box for writing why this is an inappropriate project and should be removed. Write your message in the box. For example I wrote:

Dear Kickstarter,

I know you’ve already heard this but much of what this book purports to do is to facilitate sexual assault. It is a guidebook to rape. It brags that it doesn’t include ‘pickup lines’ but field tested advice such as “make her force you to stop” and “put her hand on your penis”. The fact that the more negative attention this project got, the more cash they raked in, is a sad statement on rape culture. No different than the “Yay rape that bitch” tweets that egged on the Steubenville rapists. I can’t believe that Kickstarter would allow a guide to any other nonconsensual assault, violence or a book on how to get away with domestic violence or pedophilia. Kickstarter is moderated for a reason. Please make it safe for women artists like myself. Don’t fund this hate.

As the project already made its target goal, what is still within Kickstarter’s power to do, is refuse to play pimp –er, broker– for these fellas. Monies would go back to parties involved or just not be “taken” and the asshats would have to move to a more complicated method of funding. Also nice would be if the police were informed of said “intent to gain sex regardless of consent” and if any of the women subjected to the author’s field tests were encouraged to press charges.

  •  G.L. Morrison is an activist, poet and hater of all asshattery.

5 thoughts on “On kickstarter, rape guidebooks and why women are not a game

    1. The project was funded. The author was asking for $2,000 and netted over $16,000. Kickstarter claims that they didn’t have the time to consider all of the issues and it was “too late” to stop payment. They have changed their policy to not allow any dating handbooks in the future but the only thing “removing the project” did was to disable further comments. I don’t know whether the author was censured in any way.

      1. You’re welcome. We have a long way to go and a lot more conversations to have on how to confront rape culture.

    2. https://glmorrison.com/2013/06/21/kickstarter-thinks-redditors-creepy-dating-book-is-abhorrent-but-declines-to-remove-it/

      Kickstarter changed their policies, publicly apologized for allowing the project to be approved and funded, and donated “$25,000 to an anti-sexual violence organization called RAINN. It’s an excellent organization that combats exactly the sort of problems our inaction may have encouraged.”


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