Kickstarter has been generally viewed as a cool crowd-funding source since its inception in 2009 – a great way to throw $20 to that friend who wants to make an indie film or start an indie band or open an indie tattoo parlor. At worst it’s sometimes seen as a way for people (often wealthy people who should be spending their own damn money, some say) to beg strangers to fund their pet projects. Sometimes these latter efforts are successful – musician Amanda Palmer was criticized for crowd-funding her album through Kickstarter, but she got her money and produced her album, and is now a vocal advocate for Kickstarter and other crowd-funding sources. On the other hand, actress Zosia Mamet (of Girls) was ridiculed last month for starting a Kickstarter to fund the music video she wanted to produce with her sister. The project was a dismal failure; less than 6% of the $32,000 the Mamets were looking for raised.
But there are worse things on Kickstarter than twee indie actresses with folkie ambitions and wealthy, famous parents – namely one Ken Hoinsky, who sought $2,000 to self-publish Above the Game: A Guide to Getting Awesome with Women, a compendium of advice he’s given out for free for the past couple of years on Reddit. You see, Hoinsky is what is known as a PUA – pick up artist – a usually self-applied moniker for men who claim to have captured the secret to picking up women. Usually these guys are more than a bit slimy, but Hoinsky does them one further – by advocating the sort of aggressiveness that some might label “sexual assault.” Among his purported advice (caution; indelicate language ahead):
“Personal space is for pussies.”
“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.
In just a couple of days, Hoinsky was able to raise 800% of his goal – over $16,000 – mostly from his fellow Redditors. Reddit, for those who don’t know, has a reputation as being a male-dominated site and a haven for MRAs (men’s rights advocates), many of whom are a bit aggrieved by recent inventions like feminism and womens’ beliefs in themselves as autonomous human beings.
Yesterday, there was a hope that Kickstarter would shut the project down on the basis of it violating their terms of service (their guidelines prohibit projects that involve “offensive material”), but as of today the company has declined to take action, citing the fact that the offensive quotes are pulled from Reddit, not from the Kickstarter description of the project itself.
Okay, point taken; still, it’s disturbing to see Kickstarter used for such an offensive, some might even say potentially dangerous, project. Personally, I’d rather fund some rich girl’s indie band.
Jennie has contributed to Imperfect Women since its inception in 2009. She writes about politics, celebrity news, and anything else that catches her interest.