Outrage over Kickstarter’s refusal to pull a project characterized in petitions and across social media as a “rape manual” and guide to sexually assaulting women led the company to issue a lengthy apology Friday.
The project (a cached version of which can be found here) purports to be a “seduction guide” for men looking to manipulate women into sleeping with them. While it has the typical mouth-breathing, misogynistic veneer you’d expect from a “seduction guide”, the real controversy stems from parts of a draft that surfaced on reddit (though it’s since been redacted).
“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.”
The advice continues to escalate in aggressiveness, recommending that men physically lift the women they’re flirting with and place them on their laps.
“Don’t ask for permission. Be dominant. Force her to rebuff your advances.”
Regarding sex, the guide advises:
“…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…”
…You get the idea.
While Kickstarter didn’t act swiftly enough to remove the project (it reached $16,369 of its $2,000 goal), the company’s apology (which you can read in its entirety on the company’s blog) does make it clear that:
“content promoting or glorifying violence against women or anyone else has always been prohibited from Kickstarter.”
The post claims that had Kickstarter been presented with the damning material from reddit earlier they would have never greenlit the project, and that the reason they didn’t remove it was because tight time constraints did not permit a full investigation.
In an attempt to ensure this incident isn’t repeatable, Kickstarter has banned future seduction guides from its service, stating:
“this material encourages misogynistic behavior and is inconsistent with our mission of funding creative works.”
The company has also pledged a $25,000 donation to RAINN, a charitable organization designed to combat sexual violence.