20 June 2013
I’ve been on the Internet a long time. I’ve seen everything from the first spam onward.
I entered my first internet controversy in 1993. I’m sure you’re all shocked. This resulted in attempted (but failed) personal harassment in 1995. That feud is still ongoing and has its own Wikipedia page.
So you might say that I’m no stranger to the long-term consequences of Internet tiffs.
My observation is that there are two basic rules for companies who are primarily Internet-based:
So, about Kickstarter.
Specifically, about the Kickstarter for Above the Game: A Guide to Getting Awesome With Women. (Update: now archived here)
Nothing in the Kickstarter copy specifically says that the guy is promoting rape tips. This is an important point.
However, Casey Malone did more research. He came up with the following quote from his reddits:
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.
That? Is assault. It is also disgusting. It was also, per his implication on the Kickstarter page, part of the content of the book.
So here’s Kickstarter’s official response:
Update, 6:51 p.m. EST: Kickstarter emailed a statement to The Raw Story regarding both the project and the public response:
Kickstarter reviews projects based on our guidelines and the information creators share on their project pages. It’s a process we’ve refined over four years and continue to refine daily. We strive for fair and thoughtful policies that maintain the health of the Kickstarter ecosystem.
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.
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.
I’m sure you’re all sobbing about this decision. I’m sure you’ll enjoy it all that much more when you’re in the unemployment line kicking yourself for not standing up for the women and men who have been raped. Or cosmic irony, which I do not wish for in this case.
But if you have a company that thinks men forcing women’s hands onto men’s dicks isn’t against company policy, I pity the women, if any, you have at your workplace. (Update: link to list of Kickstarter employees.) And I think your workplace needs to cease to exist.
About rape. I have been raped. I don’t generally make a big deal out of it. In fact, I tend to minimize it in the way women pull that bullshit for reasons listed in the post I’m about to link to.
Therefore, I’m going to end this with what I think is the most useful post I’ve ever read about rape culture and how women respond during and after rape: Harriet’s Another Post About Rape.