Above the Game

Demand Kickstarter remove guide to sexual assault

*Trigger warning: This piece discusses sexual assault*

Above the Game

You know what always gets the ladies in bed? Assaulting them.

This is the guidance redditor Ken Hoinsky wants to offer to the world in his new book, Above the Game: A Guide to Getting Awesome with Women, for which he’s already raised nearly $16,000 on Kickstarter. Apparently the “game” of which he is “above” is securing consent, and his advice is a play-by-play description of sexual assault. Casey Malone picked out some highlights:

Get CLOSE to her, damn it!

To quote Rob Judge, “Personal space is for pussies.” I already told you that the most successful seducers are those who can’t keep their hands off of women. Well you’re not gonna be able to do that if you aren’t in close!

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.”

Decide that you’re going to sit in a position where you can rub her leg and back. 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.”

Hoinsky’s fundraising is set to close at 11:56am EDT today. Visit the book’s Kickstarter (major trigger warning; don’t listen to the video) to report the project and Tweet @kickstarter to demand that the company pull the page and return all promised funds to the donors. Here’s a sample Tweet you can copy and paste:

Hey @kickstarter, “Above the Game” promotes sexual assault. Take down the page NOW and refuse to fund the book http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/tofutofu/above-the-game-a-guide-to-getting-awesome-with-wom?ref=home_popular

New Haven, CT

Alexandra Brodsky is an editor at Feministing.com, student at Yale Law School, and founding co-director of Know Your IX, a national legal education campaign against campus gender-based violence. Alexandra has written for publications including the New York Times, the Atlantic, the Guardian, and the Nation, and she has spoken about violence against women and reproductive justice on MSNBC, ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, FOX, and NPR. Through Know Your IX, she has organized with students across the country to build campuses free from discrimination and violence, developed federal policy on Title IX enforcement, and has testified at the Senate. At Yale Law, Alexandra focuses on antidiscrimination law and is a member of the Veterans Legal Services Clinic. Alexandra is committed to developing and strengthening responses to gender-based violence outside the criminal justice system through writing, organizing, and the law. Keep an eye out for The Feminist Utopia Project, co-edited by Alexandra and forthcoming from the Feminist Press (2015).

Alexandra Brodsky is an editor at Feministing.com, student at Yale Law School, and founding co-director of Know Your IX.

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Join the Conversation

  • http://feministing.com/members/ninamazing/ Nina

    I find this “backer reward” especially chilling: “I will craft you a custom attack plan for whatever you’re struggling with.” And it CLEARLY violates the Kickstarter guidelines, which specify “no offensive content (hate speech, etc.)”.

  • http://feministing.com/members/picadiloe/ Thomas Dykes

    I know this is besides the point, but you went ahead and mentioned that this guy is a “reddit user”, as if the entirety of reddit is about sexual assault. A look at this guy’s posts shows that he mostly posts to r/seduction, the PUA reddit. This makes sense, as that subreddit is a den of rape culture, assault culture, and all around misogyny. You could probably gin up a week’s worth of content from that subreddit alone. r/seduction is terrible, and it’s terribleness should probably be better reported and classified so people can understand the problems with this stuff, but blaming r/seduction’s evil on reddit as a whole doesn’t help. A counterexample to “reddit is trash” would be r/twoxchromosomes, which currently has a lovely top post about a woman in the middle of transitioning, describing what it’s like.

    In short, please hate more on r/seduction specifically, and less on reddit as a whole. Thanks.

    • http://feministing.com/members/aszele/ Alex Szele

      No offense, but the point is legitimate. It was acceptable to point out that the South was the stronghold of slavery regardless of how many decent people in the South weren’t directly involved in it and may have even opposed it.

      Point being: there are wonderful places on reddit, full of beauty and kind insight, but the existence of those threads does not absolve the site as a whole of the fact that its internal policing is completely ineffective. It takes months and huge amounts of effort to remove subreddits dedicated to clearly illegal activity (creepshots for example) only to have them spring up again and again with zero consequence.

      Reddit has a reputation as a den of racists, misogynists, and sex offenders for one simple reason: Reddit lets itself be a den of racists, misogynists, and sex offenders.

      • http://feministing.com/members/picadiloe/ Thomas Dykes

        I think you’re giving reddit too much credit in saying its “internal policing is completely ineffective”. I don’t think its internal policing targets misogynistic, rapey, or abusive imagery, videos, or comments. This is because, unlike feministing, Reddit is not expected to be an echo chamber. There’s a requirement here that commentary is “progressive”. That is, if I start being a misogynist dolt, my comments will be taken down, as those are the stated rules. This is done because the moderators want, for lack of a better term, an echo chamber. There is nothing wrong with that, many subreddits operate on rules similar to this site.

        This is not the case for Reddit as a whole. Reddit’s rules are minimalist in nature, as reddit is ” a pretty open platform and free speech place”. The one rule that isn’t obvious to such a site is the ban on child pornography, which is a legal and moral stand against cp. As a result, cp has largely moved to the secret internet (.tor), and it is very hard to find it on the site.

        Reddit’s reputation as “a den of racists, misogynists, and sex offenders” is quite unfairly earned, in my opinion. None of the offending subreddits (mensrights, seduction, maledom, etc.) make the front page, and have to be found via search. Misogynist, racist, or otherwise offensive comments do become top comments, but the vast, vast majority (99.9%+) of posts, videos, and comments posted are Politically Correct. That is, the mainstream of reddit is politically correct, with some racism, misogyny etc. on the fringes. The goal of political correctness, which is to ban racist, misogynist, and other offensive content from the mainstream in order to make such views look strange and abnormal, is successful when it comes to reddit. There exists a small echo chamber, consisting of a few subreddits, that generates most of the offensive content, which is made available to the subscribers of said subreddits only.

        In terms of illegal material/material that “crosses the line”, such as creepshots, reddit’s community has started to take matters into its own hands. It is impossible for moderators to review the massive amount of content that goes through reddit. It therefore falls to r/shitredditsays, r/feminism and the like to locate and report such subreddits to the authorities. There are likely some small subreddits, with 10 – 100 followers, dedicated to illegal content, and it is very difficult to stop them. If those subreddits grow, they will eventually fall within the line of sight of somebody who reports them, and down goes the illegal/highly offensive material.

        If these small subreddits were rooted out at the base and banned entirely, or if r/mensrights and r/seduction were taken down, would that stop those people from posting their views? Of course not. They would simply do it elsewhere. r/seduction’s 130k subscribers could start a website all by themselves and have enough content to run, as could the 70k+people on r/mensrights. These subreddits clearly have effectively reached their target audience (men who are afraid of/shy around women, men who feel that they have been wronged by women/a system that unfairly favors women), and these people have found a place to congregate and share their thoughts. They have found their echo chamber. Should they be banned from having their echo chamber because their views are vile, offensive, or backwards? If they are not broadcasting their views to a wide audience beyond those who select themselves to be broadcasted at, what harm are they doing? Clearly there are a bunch of dudes who feel that their ineptitude with women could be helped by adopting a brash, aggressive approach that may cross the line into sexual assault (and they are willing to pay, given that the offending kickstarter got 8x his fundraising goal). Banning their echo chambers is the wrong tactic. It will not stop lonely desperate dudes from thinking that aggressiveness is the same as confidence and charm, and it wont make any of the sad souls on mensrights feel any more put upon. It will only move them elsewhere, where they can’t be monitored and mocked for their more absurd views. Indeed, one of the best posts I’ve seen on feminste (or maybe it was here) was a “best of” selection of the comments on hotair.com in response to a story about the HPV vaccine being available to teenagers.

        In conclusion (sorry for the book), reddit is more effective at curbing illegal content then you think it is because of self-policing, reddit is less misogynist/racist/offensive than you think it is, reddit cannot stop posts, conversations and discussions from occurring about subjects you don’t like, nor should it. Reddit is, to some degree, a mirror of humanity (albeit a mirror with a white, male, 20 something foreveralone sheen). If something there is clearly illegal, call it out and the mods will ban it. If something is offensive, such as somebody suggesting the way to get a girl into bed is by sexually assaulting her, feel free to point it out, mock it, and trash it as much as possible. But getting something like this banned when it isn’t truly in the mainstream and the only crime committed is offending you, that isn’t going to work as a strategy for curbing such content in the long run. It’s better to devote attention/pressure to systemic abuses, or mainstream offensive content, then to hunt down and target the enemy’s echo chamber.

    • http://feministing.com/members/lareine/ lareine

      Agreed. Don’t tar all of reddit (or especially r/aww, for Pete’s sake) with the same brush as r/seduction or r/mensrights.