Category Archives: sexual harassment
A Sexual Assault How-To by a sleazeball Redditor? Thanks, Kickstarter! [UPDATED: Kickstarter: "We were wrong."]
So you may have heard about that Kickstarter that raised $16,000 for a loathsome Reddit PUA’s “handbook on how to bully women who don’t like you into sex, while preserving your claims to believe you had consent should you need to tell the police,” as Amanda Marcotte aptly described it in her post on it yesterday. Slate’s Alyssa Rosenberg also has some thoughts on it.
I don’t really have anything to add.
There’s a petition up demanding that Kickstarter simply refuse to fund what is essentially a how-to guide to sexual assault. Last I checked, it had gotten nearly 60,000 signatures.
EDITED TO ADD: Casey Malone, who wrote the blog post that brought this awful project to the attention of people outside of the sleazier corners of Reddit, wrote Kickstarter about it and got a response suggesting that Kickstarter, while planning to go ahead and fund the project, will be reexamining its policies as a result of the controversy. Malone posted some further thoughts.
EDITED AGAIN: Kickstarter has offered an apology. You can find it here. But I’m just going to repost the whole thing:
On Wednesday morning Kickstarter was sent a blog post quoting disturbing material found on Reddit. The offensive material was part of a draft for a “seduction guide” that someone was using Kickstarter to publish. The posts offended a lot of people — us included — and many asked us to cancel the creator’s project. We didn’t.
We were wrong.
Why didn’t we cancel the project when this material was brought to our attention? Two things influenced our decision:
- The decision had to be made immediately. We had only two hours from when we found out about the material to when the project was ending. We’ve never acted to remove a project that quickly.
- Our processes, and everyday thinking, bias heavily toward creators. This is deeply ingrained. We feel a duty to our community — and our creators especially — to approach these investigations methodically as there is no margin for error in canceling a project. This thinking made us miss the forest for the trees.
These factors don’t excuse our decision but we hope they add clarity to how we arrived at it.
Let us be 100% clear: Content promoting or glorifying violence against women or anyone else has always been prohibited from Kickstarter. If a project page contains hateful or abusive material we don’t approve it in the first place. If we had seen this material when the project was submitted to Kickstarter (we didn’t), it never would have been approved. Kickstarter is committed to a culture of respect.
Where does this leave us?
First, there is no taking back money from the project or canceling funding after the fact. When the project was funded the backers’ money went directly from them to the creator. We missed the window.
Second, the project page has been removed from Kickstarter. The project has no place on our site. For transparency’s sake, a record of the page is cached here.
Third, we are prohibiting “seduction guides,” or anything similar, effective immediately. This material encourages misogynistic behavior and is inconsistent with our mission of funding creative works. These things do not belong on Kickstarter.
Fourth, today Kickstarter will donate $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.
We take our role as Kickstarter’s stewards very seriously. Kickstarter is one of the friendliest, most supportive places on the web and we’re committed to keeping it that way. We’re sorry for getting this so wrong.
That is an apology. Some people could learn a thing or two from this.
Now, some WEAK ASS BETA MANGINAS think that you shouldn’t deliberately annoy waitstaff because, you know, they’re human beings like you and me simply trying to get through their work day, and why the fuck would you want to deliberately make their lives worse for no good reason, that sounds kind of pointlessly rude, I mean what the hell’s wrong with you? Heck, even I used to think that. But that was before I discovered the RED PILL subreddit.
On Slate, daddy blogger Andy Hinds guiltily wrestles with his sexual fantasies, wants us all to watch
In Slate, writer Andy Hinds has provided us all with one of the most cringe-inducing “unsolicited penis updates” since our old friend Paul Elam filled us in on which “fuckmuffin” body parts make his Little Elam happiest.
Hinds starts off by assuring us he’s one of the feminist Good Guys, a stay-at-home-dad who respects the heck out of the ladies:
Canadian feminist activist receives death threats and other abuse after being targeted by Men’s Rights Activists
And so the MRAs have found yet another woman to hate.
Earlier this month, as many of you no doubt know, a Men’s Rights group sponsored a lecture at the University of Toronto. The event drew protesters, and the protesters drew MRAs with video cameras. One of the MRAs filmed a confrontation between a red-haired feminist activist and a number of MRAs who continually interrupted her as she tried to read a brief statement.
Her crime? She wasn’t exactly polite in responding to the interrupters. And so, after video of the confrontation was uploaded to YouTube, and linked to on the Men’s Rights subreddit and elsewhere, she became a virtual punching bag for the angry misogynists of the internet.
I ran across this remarkable painting, titled “The Irritating Gentleman,” on Sheltered and Safe From Sorrow, a blog devoted to Victorian mourning rituals and other creepiness from that period. The gentleman in question seems to be a Victorian era Pickup Artist in action. He’s even peacocking, Mystery style, with that bow tie and stupid hat and even a non-ironic handlebar moustache. Probably the only thing keeping him from wearing aviator goggles is the fact that airplanes haven’t yet been invented.
What makes it all the worse is that the PUA’s target is clearly in mourning. As the blogger behind rawr I’m a tumblr notes:
She’s wearing all black in 1874. Black gloves, hat, cloak, and dress. In public. The whole nine yards. That’s not a fashion choice or a gothic thing. Back then when people wore all black like that, they were in mourning for someone who died. No one did mourning like the Victorians, that shit was an art form to them.
Someone in her family has died—she could even be a young widow. No one’s accompanying her either. With the carpet bag? She’s traveling alone while still in deep mourning. Look at the closeup. She’s got tears in her eyes. She is upset, devastated in a way that one is only when someone has died. And the guy’s still bothering her, like her problems are flippant bullshit and she needs to just smile or pay attention to him because ladies are supposed to be pleasing for men no matter what shit they’re going through. That’s not a look of “what an ass.” That’s a look of devastation that even in her pain, she’s expected to give people like him focus. She’s not mad. She’s hurt. And to add insult to injury? Everyone would be able to tell. It was a clear sign and still is in ways that someone is mourning, to dress in black crepe like that. He would know why she’s wearing all black, and he’s still demanding her attention.
What an insufferable dick.
The so-called manosphere may be a tiny (if noisy) corner of the internet, but here’s yet another reminder that many of its, er, “values” are shared by people other than angry Spearhead commenters and NWOslave. Some of these people even have access to real power. At the Values Voters conference this week, at which Republican VP contender Paul Ryan gave a talk, a group called Modesty Matters distributed flyers whose text reads as if it had been cribbed from posts on The Thinking Housewife or the CoAlpha Brotherhood forum.
As ThinkProgress.org reports:
Modesty Matters criticized women for dressing “immodestly” at church, and blamed women for causing men to stare lustfully at them.
Women must “embrace MODESTY in dress and behavior,” one of the handouts read. Women dressed immodestly in church are “an insult to a holy God,” another said.
Some other choice bits highlighted by ThinkProgress:
From the “Modesty: It’s nothing to be ashamed of” pamphlet: “Since men are particularly visual, immodesty in church can trigger lustful thoughts.”
“My men’s bible study group talks frequently about controlling our lust, thoughts, and eyes. Yes the problem and responsibility are ours, but is it really reasonable for the women of the church to make it THIS difficult for us?”
From the “True Woman Manifesto”: “All women, whether married of single, are to model femininity in their various relationships, by exhibiting a distinctive modesty, responsiveness, and gentleness of spirit.”
Frankly, I don’t think women are completely responsible for all of this terrible immodesty.
Obviously, James Brown deserves part of the blame as well. Here’s footage of him lobbying congress on the controversial “hot pants” issue: