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The Pepe LePew Manual on Getting Pussy?
June 20, 2013 2:02 PM   Subscribe

Above The Game: A Guide to Getting Awesome with Women has raised $16,369 out of its $2,000 goal on Kickstarter. Casey Malone has called it out as "a book about how to sexually assault women" and "a rape manual", including quotes from seddit, the seduction subReddit (Google cache). A petition asking Kickstarter to withdraw funding has gathered close to 50,000 signatures, but while Kickstarter agrees that the material is "abhorrent and inconsistent with our values", it has declined to cancel the project. Author Ken Hoinsky is "devastated and troubled" by allegations that his book promotes rape, because the quotes were taken out of context. However, Jezebel reports that Hoinsky e-mailed them, "Wanna let your readers know [about the Kickstarter]? I'm sure they'll have a field day with this" which indicates he may be banking on the outrage and the backlash for added publicity. [via /r/feminism and /r/nottheonion]
posted by Lush (457 comments total) 36 users marked this as a favorite

 
/sprays down everything with Lysol.
posted by Artw at 2:05 PM on June 20, 2013 [33 favorites]


which indicates he may be banking on the outrage and the backlash for added publicity

Yep. Which Jezebel, /r/feminism and this FPP does in spades.

Ken must be laughing all the way to the bank, duping desperate men with the people who would have seen him hang doing free publicity work.

The best thing we can do in this situation is to just ignore it.
posted by Talez at 2:10 PM on June 20, 2013 [13 favorites]


I guess it's this bit? Because yikes.
IMPORTANT NOTE ON RESISTANCE:

If at any point a girl wants you to stop, she will let you know. If she says "STOP," or "GET AWAY FROM ME," or shoves you away, you know she is not interested. It happens. Stop escalating immediately and say this line:

"No problem. I don't want you to do anything you aren't comfortable with."

Memorize that line. It is your go-to when faced with resistance. Say it genuinely, without presumption. All master seducers are also masters at making women feel comfortable. You'll be no different. If a woman isn't comfortable, take a break and try again later.

All that matters is that you continue to try to escalate physically until she makes it genuinely clear that it's not happening. She wants to be desired, but the circumstances need to be right. With some experience, you will learn to differentiate the "No, we can't... my parents are in the next room... OMG FUCK ME FUCK ME HARD" from the "SERIOUSLY GET THE FUCK OFF OF ME, YOU CREEP" variety of resistance.
posted by supercres at 2:10 PM on June 20, 2013 [4 favorites]


Repugnant, yes - but yet here we are giving him even more outrage-driven publicity.
posted by deadmessenger at 2:10 PM on June 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


The best thing we can do in this situation is to just ignore it.

Indeed.
posted by R. Schlock at 2:10 PM on June 20, 2013 [3 favorites]


but while Kickstarter agrees that the material is "abhorrent and inconsistent with our values", it has declined to cancel the project

Hmm, so then these people are saying, by implication, that even though the material is "abhorrent and inconsistent with our values", they are not going to shut it down. In other words, senior management and board members at Kickstarter *support* what is being said in that tape via by their own corporate-speak, BS statement - i.e. hey have confirmed that their values are meaningless, because they don't live by their values, they just "speak" them. Pathetic, and fully in line with too many other sociopaths whose goal is profit, at any cost. What a bunch of losers!
posted by Vibrissae at 2:13 PM on June 20, 2013 [8 favorites]


The best thing we can do in this situation is to just ignore it.

That's a losing policy, with sexism. Yes, d-bags will flock to their new Messiah, but in the process, they out themselves as d-bags, and a lot of people who had never heard of this stuff find out about it, and are grossed out by it.

You can't ignore sexism because it grows best in the dark, while everybody is denying it exists. Even if it means one asshole temporarily makes bank on the publicity, you have to call it out.

The kind of people who will give this guy money were not going to be spending that money on anything good, anyway.
posted by emjaybee at 2:13 PM on June 20, 2013 [100 favorites]


The best thing we can do in this situation is to just ignore it.

The reason women like me feel strongly about this and need to voice it out is more because his target audience needs to know that no, women do not approve of these tactics, and these do not work on a large number of us.
posted by Lush at 2:13 PM on June 20, 2013 [40 favorites]


The proper response to rape promotion is not to ignore it.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 2:13 PM on June 20, 2013 [42 favorites]


The best thing we can do in this situation is to just ignore it.

For me, this isn't about Ken Hoisky. It's about Kickstarter. It's about letting Kickstarter know this is a problem, a real problem, and they need to do better. Ignoring it means letting go of an opportunity to speak up.
posted by ambrosia at 2:13 PM on June 20, 2013 [11 favorites]


The best thing we can do in this situation is to just ignore it.

Dude, if there's a guy out there telling other guys that when I smile politely and tell them "no thanks I'm not interested", that the next thing they should do is grab me and put me in their lap or take my hand and put it on their dick, I would certainly like to know that that's something i need to be more careful about.

So no, we should not ignore it. We should be speaking up about how "no, this is not cool" so the clueless guys hear the counterargument.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 2:14 PM on June 20, 2013 [58 favorites]


I'm all for shaming these people, and for shaming kickstater for profiting off of it.
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 2:14 PM on June 20, 2013 [6 favorites]


Good lord, are there really guys who believe this stuff?
posted by wenestvedt at 2:16 PM on June 20, 2013


Also, I think that Kickstarter is setting a dangerous precedent if they continue to fund this.
posted by Lush at 2:16 PM on June 20, 2013 [2 favorites]


Good lord, are there really guys who believe this stuff?

There are.

Oh, God, there are.
posted by verb at 2:18 PM on June 20, 2013 [4 favorites]


My favorite response to the dick-in-hand thing was "If I am suddenly holding an unexpected penis, I assume YOU DON'T WANT IT ANYMORE."
posted by restless_nomad at 2:18 PM on June 20, 2013 [140 favorites]


Good lord, are there really guys who believe this stuff?

Thousands.
posted by shakespeherian at 2:18 PM on June 20, 2013


I also think speaking out about this and talking about this specifically really forces people to look at the dark underbelly of the PUA culture. I've been paying attention to the manosphere for long enough that it doesn't seem like "underbelly" for me, but I've heard the whole "it's just about learning to have confidence and how to present yourself" argument about PUA and the /r/seduction community so much that I think a lot of people really don't see the misogynistic and often rape promoting elements.

And I'm also happy to shame the fuck out of Kickstarter for this.
posted by NoraReed at 2:20 PM on June 20, 2013 [11 favorites]


Good lord, are there really guys who believe this stuff?

Thousands.


and they have disposable income! blows my fucking mind that they are employed.
posted by Think_Long at 2:20 PM on June 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


and they have disposable income! blows my fucking mind that they are employed.

Why? Rape culture is the dominant culture.
posted by shakespeherian at 2:21 PM on June 20, 2013 [28 favorites]


He also did an AMA on reddit a couple of days ago.
posted by themadthinker at 2:23 PM on June 20, 2013


yeah true. as a male I'm just not as aware of it as I should be, so I'm still at the "blows my fucking mind" stage.
posted by Think_Long at 2:23 PM on June 20, 2013 [4 favorites]


The idea of token resistance, which is basically what he's describing, is indeed believed by lots of men. Part of the problem is that plenty of women believe it too.

Treating that idea as the invention of this guy or PUAs or whatever is completely wrong.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 2:23 PM on June 20, 2013 [8 favorites]


It's certainly worth looking at on terms of how not to get scammed by assholes. In this case the timing and that the objectionable content was kept just slightly offstage seem to be the tipoffs - it minimizes the chances of Kickstarter taking meaningful action while at the same maximizes the chances of the backlash to the backlash getting them a bunch of cash in that all important late stage to a Kickstarter campaign.
posted by Artw at 2:24 PM on June 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


And I'm also happy to shame the fuck out of Kickstarter for this.

I just left a comment on the most recent post on their blog - something innocuous about some dippy feature. There were a couple back-and-forth comments about the new feature, and whether it "improved" Kickstarter - and I said that "actually, a better way the staff could improve kickstarter is by rethinking their decision not to cancel that project."

It'll probably get deleted, but I don't care.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 2:24 PM on June 20, 2013 [4 favorites]


Why is it that these "seduction tricks" books always seem like a kind of sexual fan fic written by guys who spend their Friday nights alone at home rather than out with women?

Actually: I think I know why...
posted by chasing at 2:25 PM on June 20, 2013 [7 favorites]


EmpressCallipygos: “So no, we should not ignore it. We should be speaking up about how ‘no, this is not cool’ so the clueless guys hear the counterargument.”

I agree that stuff ought to be brought out into the open; I do, however, sympathize with people who would love nothing more than to deny this turd the publicity he's clearly begging us to give him. It's tough, because those things are at cross-purposes; and I think often the temptation is great to give in to the despair and say "well, a huge number of men are going to ignore what we say and give this guy money just because we called him out." And that's a possibility, yeah.

But I think the braver thing is to face that possibility and talk about it anyway. I probably won't talk about it much, because after a while talking about this awful stuff just tires me and completely empties my spiritual reserves, but I admire and respect and value those who do. Thank you for it.
posted by koeselitz at 2:27 PM on June 20, 2013 [5 favorites]


Jesus
posted by angrycat at 2:33 PM on June 20, 2013


The only guy I know who took "The Game" seriously is kind of a creep, so I shudder to think of the class of individuals this bullshit is going to attract.
posted by The Card Cheat at 2:34 PM on June 20, 2013


The Game is Neil Strauss's account of how he became King of the Losers. A lot of men read it and thought, for some reason: "Hey! Being a loser sounds great!"
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 2:35 PM on June 20, 2013 [17 favorites]


I'm wondering if Kickstarter should just update their policies re:publicized off-site material to close the loophole this dipshit is taking advantage of, but I don't know the ramifications of that, so I'll let someone else speak to that.
posted by zombieflanders at 2:36 PM on June 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


Maybe they'll sell a few copies so that women and non-creeps can more effectively shame anyone using these tactics: relevant XKCD
posted by bartleby at 2:36 PM on June 20, 2013 [17 favorites]


Sadly this will probably not be one of the Kickstarters where the backers never get their product.
posted by immlass at 2:37 PM on June 20, 2013 [2 favorites]


Great.

I actually had that happen to me when I was young. (Having my hand placed....oh, I can't even say it on here.)

I wish I'd had the ovaries to knock the everliving hades out of that guy. Because later on guess what, I was raped.

If anyone on Kickstarter is reading this, congratulations, you are indirectly funding rapes and I hope you are very very proud of yourself. And now excuse me, I feel like barfing.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 2:38 PM on June 20, 2013 [29 favorites]


You know what would be awesome?

If, at the end of this Kickstarter, Ken Hoinsky ripped off his latex mask and said ha ha all you rapey assholes who gave me money, y'all got played, I brought attention to your diseased subculture and now I'm gonna donate all that money to anti-rape/DV organizations and you're still never getting laid AHAHAHAHA also it would be cool if I could turn invisible and fly
posted by prize bull octorok at 2:38 PM on June 20, 2013 [80 favorites]


IMPORTANT NOTE ON RESISTANCE:

If at any point a girl...says "STOP," or "GET AWAY FROM ME," or shoves you away, you know she is not interested. It happens. Stop escalating immediately and...try again later. All that matters is that you continue to try to escalate physically until she makes it genuinely clear that it's not happening.


Edited for clarity on the author's position. Yikes, indeed.
posted by davejay at 2:39 PM on June 20, 2013 [4 favorites]


Has kickstarter not funded, or refused to fund, other projects based on the projects immorality?
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 2:40 PM on June 20, 2013


So no, we should not ignore it. We should be speaking up about how "no, this is not cool" so the clueless guys hear the counterargument.

The people buying this know the counter argument. If these people respected women in the first place they probably wouldn't need to spend money on some flim-flam mind game to get laid by women.

You can't ignore sexism because it grows best in the dark, while everybody is denying it exists. Even if it means one asshole temporarily makes bank on the publicity, you have to call it out.

Everyone with a brain knows it's sexist. The guy buying this know it's sexist. They don't care. It'll grow whether it's darkness or sunshine. Not that it matters since is there nothing to be lit up since the backers are pseudonyms and fairly anonymous. Nobody knows whether you bought a copy and no one need never know. Make no mistake, the only winning move in this game is to not play. You don't need to win every god damned battle to win the war against this stupid shit.
posted by Talez at 2:41 PM on June 20, 2013


The problem with suddenly becoming aware of sexism, as a woman, is that you can't turn it off. Nope. There are basically no safe spaces for you, anywhere. So yeah, I can avoid the news, I can avoid Metafilter, I can Tumblr savior the living shit out of things if I want to give up being well-informed about the state of the world (which I don't, but I could).... and there would still be assholes out there kickstarting rape-y "seduction" manuals and guess what? No matter how much I avoid the TV and the Internet, I might still run across one of these dudes or their fanboys in real life. I can pretty much literally never get a break from the bullshit. And that's worrying to me, because I am reacting more and more poorly to it. It's starting to make me physically ill to read about this stuff. I'm giving it >20 more episodes of disgusting sexism before I actually start vomiting. I already have stress-related health disorders, I don't need any more of them.

I'm thinking of becoming an anchoress.
posted by WidgetAlley at 2:43 PM on June 20, 2013 [10 favorites]


That reminds me: I'm going to need to buy a copy of at least one of these books for my daughter to read before she starts dating (and to hit my son over the head with if I find out he's used any of these.)
posted by davejay at 2:44 PM on June 20, 2013 [8 favorites]


I don't know what I find most offensive by this. Is it the in-lingo? The 'system' these clowns are trying to espouse? The fact that it seems to be rapidly lapped by all sorts of desperate dudes who have finally found The Answer to the Big Sex Riddle?

I think it's just the whole damnable thing.
posted by jquinby at 2:46 PM on June 20, 2013


Good lord, are there really guys who believe this stuff?

There would be fewer if it didn't work. I doubt I could pull off a major prescriptive change in how I interact with people if I tried, but for those who do, I've spent enough time in clubs to see that much like advertising, it works even as (and partly because) we all like to believe that we personally are immune.

The attitude that it's all preposterous nonsense is not only counterproductive in addressing it IMO, but it also sometimes shames into silence people who find out the hard way that human psychology influences humans.
posted by anonymisc at 2:49 PM on June 20, 2013 [13 favorites]


Ugh. I was just thinking about how women should get into the habit of slapping these guys in the face, and then I remembered a friend of mine got arrested for slapping her drunk boyfriend in the face, even though she was the one who called them after he refused to leave and he was physically intimidating her and shouting "bitch" when she did it...and even though he didn't want to press charges. Dammit.
posted by davejay at 2:49 PM on June 20, 2013 [4 favorites]


davejay: "Ugh. I was just thinking about how women should get into the habit of slapping these guys in the face, and then I remembered a friend of mine got arrested for slapping her drunk boyfriend in the face, even though she was the one who called them after he refused to leave and was physically intimidating her...and even though he didn't want to press charges. Dammit."

I'm totally ok with the police arresting the person who did the striking, regardless of their gender.
posted by mullingitover at 2:52 PM on June 20, 2013 [15 favorites]


This is a horrible idea, but one that kind of popped in my mind: Someone should do a spoof of this, only about how big gay guys can "pick-up" random dudes in a bar.
IMPORTANT NOTE ON RESISTANCE:

If at any point a girl boy wants you to stop, she he will let you know. If she he says "STOP," or "GET AWAY FROM ME," or shoves you away, you know she he is not interested. It happens. Stop escalating immediately and say this line:

"No problem. I don't want you to do anything you aren't comfortable with."

Memorize that line. It is your go-to when faced with resistance. Say it genuinely, without presumption. All master seducers are also masters at making women men feel comfortable. You'll be no different. If a women man isn't comfortable, take a break and try again later.

All that matters is that you continue to try to escalate physically until she he makes it genuinely clear that it's not happening. She He wants to be desired, but the circumstances need to be right. With some experience, you will learn to differentiate the "No, we can't... my parents are in the next room... OMG FUCK ME FUCK ME HARD" from the "SERIOUSLY GET THE FUCK OFF OF ME, YOU CREEP" variety of resistance.

I have long held that the real reason for male homophobia is that some men are truly frightened there might be a group of people out there who will look at them and act towards them like they act towards women.
posted by edgeways at 2:58 PM on June 20, 2013 [118 favorites]


I just had a daydream where the NSA monitored sales of this book and the government locked away the buyers in Gitmo indefinitely. Purely precuationary, you know.
posted by ogooglebar at 2:59 PM on June 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


[Folks, just link to stuff on the internet, don't copypaste the whole thing here. OP, it's cool that you're excited about this, but this can't turn into a "sign my petition" post or it's not okay for MetaFilter.]
posted by jessamyn at 3:00 PM on June 20, 2013


That reminds me: I'm going to need to buy a copy of at least one of these books for my daughter to read before she starts dating (and to hit my son over the head with if I find out he's used any of these.)

Just make sure its a used copy. So : a) the author doesn't get any money from the sale, b) takes one of the books out of circulation so someone else won't have a chance to buy it that may use it, and c) supports your local used book store. (I recently did this with one of those - 'beat your children because god says so' books).
posted by el io at 3:01 PM on June 20, 2013 [3 favorites]


I was kind of surprised Kickstarter let the funding go through, but they generally only take down projects that are fraudulent in some way and it appears the guy has written enough for a book and is likely to release it. This is a super gross project, but I suspect they felt the need to take the high road and allow the platform and participants to not fund creepy things like this, but I guess there are enough creepers on reddit to fund it many times over. I suppose it could have opened them up to unknown waters if they pulled projects they personally detested without a real internet fraud angle.
posted by mathowie at 3:01 PM on June 20, 2013 [3 favorites]


Ladies, can I recommend you keep a list of everyone who gives this douchenozzle proto-rapist money and remember to filter interactions accordingly.
posted by petrilli at 3:01 PM on June 20, 2013 [2 favorites]


everyone who gives this douchenozzle proto-rapist money

I'm wondering if, in a conversation about objectifying women ... and promot- ... it ... use of "douchenozzle" as a slur ... brain ... malfunctioning
posted by komara at 3:05 PM on June 20, 2013 [4 favorites]


Talez, my point was that ignoring them doesn't work. But it does make women more vulnerable, because this is the kind of crap no one actually believes exists until you drag it out into the light.

And, as with so many documented instances of rape culture/harrassment, many times not even then.

But. Doing nothing means 0% chance of change. Doing something has possibly more than 0% chance of change. So we do something. It's the long-term possibility that counts, not this asshole's short-term gain.
posted by emjaybee at 3:05 PM on June 20, 2013 [13 favorites]


Sorry Jessamyn and all! There was no way to link directly to the update (apart from what was linked on the original post) but felt it was relevant, and I didn't intend for it to be an advocacy I was pushing.
posted by Lush at 3:06 PM on June 20, 2013


I'm wondering if, in a conversation about objectifying women ... and promot- ... it ... use of "douchenozzle" as a slur ... brain ... malfunctioning

Nah, 'cause douches are bad for you! Seriously, they destroy the flora and fauna that keeps vaginas happy and clean. Both the human and hygiene variety are... well... bad for vaginas!
posted by WidgetAlley at 3:07 PM on June 20, 2013 [22 favorites]


komara, many (not all) people consider "douche" an ok insult, because it's a practice foisted on women after shaming them into thinking their bodies are unclean. It's actually bad for women's health, not something that women need to do.

(we've had this discussion at least once before, I know...)
posted by emjaybee at 3:08 PM on June 20, 2013 [3 favorites]


so a sad thing is now if some nice guy sez to me sincerely anything along the lines of "I don't want to make you uncomfortable" i may involuntarily projectile-vomit into the nice guy's mouth
posted by angrycat at 3:09 PM on June 20, 2013


I approve of this book being published. Not because I agree with it (I don't), but because I approve of any view, no matter how abhorrent, having equal hearing. Telling kickstarter to defund or remove the project is a bad idea. Let his ideas be widely read and refuted by logic rather than suppression.
posted by ishrinkmajeans at 3:09 PM on June 20, 2013 [8 favorites]


Enthusiastic consent is the only signal that matters. Sex without mutual enthusiasm only feels good if you have nothing else to compare it to. Masturbation is preferable to unenthusiastic sex -- no sad eyes being exchanged or risks of STIs or unwanted pregnancy.
posted by Skwirl at 3:10 PM on June 20, 2013 [4 favorites]


jquimby: I don't know what I find most offensive by this. Is it the in-lingo? The 'system' these clowns are trying to espouse? The fact that it seems to be rapidly lapped by all sorts of desperate dudes who have finally found The Answer to the Big Sex Riddle?

For those who are socially awkward, dating and sex are beyond baffling. They see guys who can go out and meet women effortlessly and wonder how they can learn that language to get that for themselves. When these PUAs come along with their books and systems, the lure is powerful. Learn and apply these methods and you'll be a star. Some of the techniques mentioned in the beginning are ripped straight out of self-help/Stephen Covey (goal setting, self-reflection,etc).

This cargo cult approach to human interaction is usually harmless, but this is definitely dangerous ground to tell misguided dorks to ignore personal boundaries.
posted by dr_dank at 3:10 PM on June 20, 2013 [13 favorites]


This isn't okay for Kickstarter to say "Oh this is gross and abhorrent but we're going to let it go ahead anyway." This completely turns me off of Kickstarter, and I will never fund anything via Kickstarter as long as this is their position.
posted by MoonOrb at 3:10 PM on June 20, 2013 [4 favorites]


Sadly, I remember How To Be The Jerk Women Love (published in 1994, now for sale on Amazon for $60-$130) on the shelf of random books in a high school class room. Intrigued, my friends and I leafed through it at lunch one day. The one part I remember was the suggestion to criticize a pretty lady, instead of showering her with praise like all those "nice guys." Then she invites you the mall, where she shows you sexy dresses. We all laughed, but it seems the ideas never died out.
posted by filthy light thief at 3:11 PM on June 20, 2013 [5 favorites]


so a sad thing is now if some nice guy sez to me sincerely anything along the lines of "I don't want to make you uncomfortable"

You know what they say about broken clocks...
posted by Skwirl at 3:12 PM on June 20, 2013


I have long held that the real reason for male homophobia is that some men are truly frightened there might be a group of people out there who will look at them and act towards them like they act towards women.

Last year I was on a winter trip to NYC. I was in meetings all day, it was crazy cold and snowy out, and I was walking about 15 blocks after dinner to get some comfort food (a very specific ice cream) before going back to my hotel. Despite being 6'3", 200lbs, and male, I was in this terrible cold and vulnerable place, walking quickly and just hoping to get to my warm hotel room and away from everything that is slightly scary in NYC when it is dark and cold and you feel alone.

I was walking down a dark avenue eating my ice cream when a dude came out of the shadows behind a stoop and just blurted out to me "hey, you want to have sex with me tonight?" a few inches from my face. It was jarring, I was already in a bad state of mind, and it freaked me out. I doubled my pace and even though I was 6 inches taller and 50lbs heavier, I was kind of terrified by the abruptness of his request, they way he dropped it on me, and whole weird sexual violence vibe of it all.

I got to my hotel a few minutes later, got to my warm room and knew I'd get to fly home the next day. Then I realized that one creepy moment when I was feeling low is pretty much what a woman in NYC probably has to deal with daily, if not multiple times a day. It's super gross, super creepy, and made me feel absolutely awful for days. I totally turned a corner on street harassment that day and am constantly thinking about how shitty it is going to be when my own daughter has to deal with this shit.
posted by mathowie at 3:13 PM on June 20, 2013 [192 favorites]


I knew there would have to be a Reddit angle to this somewhere. There are some messed up ideas floating around there. This is just another one.
posted by fingerbang at 3:13 PM on June 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


I approve of this book being published. Not because I agree with it (I don't), but because I approve of any view, no matter how abhorrent, having equal hearing. Telling kickstarter to defund or remove the project is a bad idea. Let his ideas be widely read and refuted by logic rather than suppression.

Bullshit. Freedom of the press means that you can print anything you want. It doesn't mean every platform has to promote your tripe for you, and it doesn't mean that companies that profit from that shouldn't be shamed.
posted by NoraReed at 3:14 PM on June 20, 2013 [38 favorites]


ishrinkmajeans: I'm a ridiculously strong believer in the first amendment, and free speech. But that doesn't mean that kickstarter has to associate themselves with this garbage. Similarly, I think it's okay to shame publishers that publish abhorrent material.

And while I think people have the right to say awful things, I'm not glad that the KKK promotes its messages, I'm just more uncomfortable with the government preventing material from being disseminated.
posted by el io at 3:15 PM on June 20, 2013


This completely turns me off of Kickstarter, and I will never fund anything via Kickstarter as long as this is their position.

I don't think that is their position. As far as I can tell they've been mum on the whole thing and I'm guessing they are taking the line that as a platform for projects, they don't get to judge every project on personal taste, they're supposed to just be the network infrastructure and let people do with it what they will.
posted by mathowie at 3:15 PM on June 20, 2013 [6 favorites]


: "I have long held that the real reason for male homophobia is that some men are truly frightened there might be a group of people out there who will look at them and act towards them like they act towards women."

I thought it was well-established that homophobic men are usually making a big show to conceal their deeply-felt homosexual urges.
posted by mullingitover at 3:16 PM on June 20, 2013


I thought it was well-established that homophobic men are usually making a big show to conceal their deeply-felt homosexual urges.

It can be more than one thing at the same time. Sexism and homophobia are very closely related.
posted by rtha at 3:19 PM on June 20, 2013 [6 favorites]


I approve of this book being published. Not because I agree with it (I don't), but because I approve of any view, no matter how abhorrent, having equal hearing. Telling kickstarter to defund or remove the project is a bad idea. Let his ideas be widely read and refuted by logic rather than suppression.

The reason I don't agree with this is because Kickstarter profits off of this. I would not support government censorship of this book, no matter how disgusting it is, but I would support boycotting publishers of the book. If this asshole wants to run off a bunch of copies of it at Kinko's and try to sell it, fine, he should be legally allowed to sell it. But there's a difference between disapproving of Kickstarter enabling (and profiting from) its funding, and censorship.
posted by MoonOrb at 3:20 PM on June 20, 2013 [9 favorites]


Bullshit. Freedom of the press means that you can print anything you want. It doesn't mean every platform has to promote your tripe for you, and it doesn't mean that companies that profit from that shouldn't be shamed.

I think freedom of the press has a great deal to do with money actually. I think we might both agree that the amount of money spent on political campaigns effects freedom of the press. Those who don't have enough money cannot equitably contend with those who have an excess amount - which is a fundamental hamper on a democratic process (ie elections). Being free to use commonly held public companies and institutions to publish your work is highly important I feel. For example, what if mastercard or paypal refused to allow payments for his book once it was released? What if Amazon refused to list it? These institutions have enough of an institutionally fundamental role in the access to services in the economy that this, I feel, would be an implicit, if not explicit, violation of free speech. If an institution is large enough it needs must have a "common carrier" status as referred to freedoms that we take for granted.
posted by ishrinkmajeans at 3:21 PM on June 20, 2013 [4 favorites]


Kickstarter could take their profits from the book and donate them directly to the Street Harassment Project or a battered woman's shelter, I suppose.
posted by gusandrews at 3:21 PM on June 20, 2013 [4 favorites]


flora and fauna

...fauna?!?
posted by pullayup at 3:21 PM on June 20, 2013 [11 favorites]


I don't think that is their position. As far as I can tell they've been mum on the whole thing and I'm guessing they are taking the line that as a platform for projects, they don't get to judge every project on personal taste, they're supposed to just be the network infrastructure and let people do with it what they will.

I guess this is the position I have a problem with, though. They make money off of this. They should have some say in what crosses the line into "too offensive for Kickstarter" and what doesn't.
posted by MoonOrb at 3:21 PM on June 20, 2013 [2 favorites]


Freedom of the press doesn't mean "freedom for every halfwit to have their festering pile of shit opinion funded to the tune of $16K."

I wonder if Kickstarter would facilitate a book on how to lynch people or start a pogrom.
posted by Sara C. at 3:25 PM on June 20, 2013 [5 favorites]


Talez: Everyone with a brain knows it's sexist.

This is flat wrong because it assumes that everyone has chosen a side. Kids, teens, youth and people with doubts are in a position where they may be seeing and judging both sides of an argument. To teens especially, social pressure to do good or to do bad matters.
posted by Skwirl at 3:26 PM on June 20, 2013 [6 favorites]


They should have some say in what crosses the line into "too offensive for Kickstarter" and what doesn't.

It's really begging at this point to have a bunch of people with internet clout make stunt fundraisers for even more offensive things. I wonder if their response to this was really the smartest way forward for them?
posted by jessamyn at 3:26 PM on June 20, 2013 [6 favorites]


I knew there would have to be a Reddit angle to this somewhere. There are some messed up ideas floating around there. This is just another one.

I believe they have there a subreddit devoted to gore pics of dead children.
posted by no relation at 3:26 PM on June 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


because I approve of any view, no matter how abhorrent, having equal hearing. Telling kickstarter to defund or remove the project is a bad idea. Let his ideas be widely read and refuted by logic rather than suppression.

Kickstarter is a private company, and have the agency to say "yes" or "no" to what they want to permit. Dude could publish this anywhere he wanted. There is no "suppression" going on here, at all.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 3:26 PM on June 20, 2013 [7 favorites]


. As far as I can tell they've been mum on the whole thing and I'm guessing they are taking the line that as a platform for projects, they don't get to judge every project on personal taste, they're supposed to just be the network infrastructure and let people do with it what they will.

So, do you think they would literally help fund anything? Anything at all? A white supremacy project? A video series about how to beat shit out of people? Snuff? What?

I have to suspect that they would, in fact, draw the line somewhere - may already have drawn the line, in fact, unbeknownst to us. So the salient fact we've learned about them here is that wherever their line is, this isn't it. They're fine with throwing women under the bus and laughing all the way to the bank. I wonder what they would have to see before they pulled it.

They have a Facebook page, of course. People have found it...
posted by Miko at 3:27 PM on June 20, 2013 [22 favorites]


Credit card companies can and do say "I will not allow you to process this transaction because it is a business we do not wish to enable." And while it sucks when Wikileaks gets targeted this way due to politics, there's also a whole lot of truly illegal and ugly shit that can't be paid for with credit cards because the CC companies have decided they don't want their names associated with those kinds of businesses.

Kickstarter needs to have the same sense slapped into it.
posted by seanmpuckett at 3:27 PM on June 20, 2013 [6 favorites]


These institutions have enough of an institutionally fundamental role in the access to services in the economy that this, I feel, would be an implicit, if not explicit, violation of free speech.

You do know Kickstarter isn't a branch of the US government, right?
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 3:28 PM on June 20, 2013 [22 favorites]


For those who are socially awkward, dating and sex are beyond baffling. They see guys who can go out and meet women effortlessly and wonder how they can learn that language to get that for themselves.

I agree that this book is clearly meeting a perceived need, why else would it have gathered so much funding? Does anyone here really believe that all the people contributing to this kickstarter are are really looking for a rape manual?

As a socially awkward male, if I wanted to improve my abilities in the areas addressed by this book, where are the non-rapey alternatives? Is there a kickstarter? Why aren't we promoting them instead of contributing to the publicity for this book?
posted by robertc at 3:28 PM on June 20, 2013 [4 favorites]


I knew there would have to be an Internet angle to this somewhere. There are some messed up ideas floating around there. This is just another one.
posted by justkevin at 3:30 PM on June 20, 2013 [4 favorites]


where are the non-rapey alternatives?

They do exist. AskMe has some very fine moments of this kind. Many feminist forums/blogs have published information and recommendations for getting to know women in a respectful way and having relationships with them. It's not like it's some lost Dead Sea scroll.
posted by Miko at 3:32 PM on June 20, 2013 [29 favorites]


Credit card companies can and do say "I will not allow you to process this transaction because it is a business we do not wish to enable." And while it sucks when Wikileaks gets targeted this way due to politics, there's also a whole lot of truly illegal and ugly shit that can't be paid for with credit cards because the CC companies have decided they don't want their names associated with those kinds of businesses.

When credit card companies are the ones that get to make the decision of what speech is ok to have and what isn't that isn't a society I believe in any more. I think your bringing up wikileaks is a really important point on how dissent can be stifled by the use of cutting off funding for real credible investigative journalism (which is extralegal by necessity).
posted by ishrinkmajeans at 3:32 PM on June 20, 2013 [2 favorites]


These institutions have enough of an institutionally fundamental role in the access to services in the economy that this, I feel, would be an implicit, if not explicit, violation of free speech.

This isn't traditionally how these things have been looked at. You can't use PayPal for your adult products business. You can't sell guns on ebay (with some exceptions). Netflix doesn't have porn. This is actually not at all how any of this works.

All Kickstarter offers is access to a funding platform and there is active competition in this arena right now. There may be some point in the future where they have an all-but-monopoly position on the project-funding niche but even if they did that has nothing to do with the zillion other ways you can publish your book. This has very little to do with free speech except that people like to argue that their free speech rights have been violated because other people say that what they are saying is offensive. That's not how this all works.
posted by jessamyn at 3:32 PM on June 20, 2013 [41 favorites]


robertc: Yes, I do believe that all of the people contributing to the kickstarter are looking for a manual on how to fuck women by overcoming objections through bullying and harassment.
posted by seanmpuckett at 3:33 PM on June 20, 2013 [3 favorites]


This is such a bizarre coincidence, because I'm writing a book on exactly the same topic.
posted by EmGeeJay at 3:33 PM on June 20, 2013 [30 favorites]


hoooooo boy this freedom of speech derail can die anytime soon
posted by angrycat at 3:34 PM on June 20, 2013 [12 favorites]


oh my god, that is perfect for Vine, why is it on Instagram
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 3:34 PM on June 20, 2013 [2 favorites]


For everyone gathering torches and pitchforks to go after Kickstarter's hosting of a project you're offended by, I hope you'll be quiet when christian fundamentalists do the same with someone's kickstarter project for funding an abortion clinic in Kansas.
posted by mullingitover at 3:35 PM on June 20, 2013 [4 favorites]


When credit card companies are the ones that get to make the decision of what speech is ok to have and what isn't that isn't a society I believe in any more.

They are not saying "what speech is ok to have." They are saying that they have the right, as a business, to choose to engage with certain kinds of content or not.

The concept of "free speech" in the US is often misconstrued, as you're doing. The first amendment gives us the right to protect ourselves against government bodies silencing certain kinds of speech. That's all. The rights we have there are only in relationship to government actions - not private organizations or people. Entities in the market economy are entitled to accept or reject speech, as they want, as long as they are not violating any other body of law.
posted by Miko at 3:36 PM on June 20, 2013 [14 favorites]


I want to echo dr_dank up above; I don't like to admit it, but I've read a reasonable amount of PUA literature, starting with The Game by Neil Strauss. I've come to the conclusion most of it is bullshit but they do have some good points, like the idea that to meet women you need to go talk to women. Unfortunately, after that it degenerates into insults and stuff that reads as manipulation to me. It seems to grow out of the idea that if people like James Dean can "get any woman" then why can't anyone?

I was interested in the idea as I've been diagnosed with NVLD, or Non-Verbal Learning Disorder. I also happen to be very intelligent, which means I can mostly work around it. The main effect of NVLD is that I can not easily read body language or other non-verbal cues. My reasoning was that I might use it to have better luck dating, as I've been told repeatedly by friends that I brushed off women that were interested because I couldn't read that interest. I ultimately decided they're all skeezy and have discarded most of the data.

I think that the PUA community is pretty toxic and don't agree with what they're trying to do. For people like me (diagnosed by a psychologist) I wish there was a resource I could turn to for assistance.
posted by caphector at 3:36 PM on June 20, 2013 [8 favorites]


Now I will be trying to pick apart and analyze my boyfriend's every action and word to determine whether or not he's sincere when he says "that's ok" when I don't want to do stuff. I had just, incrementally, been getting to a new level of trusting him. We've been dating for nearly eight months, I'm abstinent and haven't broken that nor felt pressured to, and I'm still scared. When do I get to stop being scared? What the fuck?
posted by windykites at 3:37 PM on June 20, 2013 [7 favorites]


Moreover, the petition to Kickstarter is also citizens exercising their right to freedom of speech.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 3:37 PM on June 20, 2013 [8 favorites]


I hope you'll be quiet when christian fundamentalists do the same with someone's kickstarter project for funding an abortion clinic in Kansas.

Heck, no, in that scenario I won't be quiet, I'll encourage them to continue espousing policies that support the full humanity of women.
posted by Miko at 3:37 PM on June 20, 2013 [13 favorites]


I hope you'll be quiet when christian fundamentalists do the same with someone's kickstarter project for funding an abortion clinic in Kansas.

Abortion is legal. Rape is not. Give me that abortion clinic kickstarter, I will be ponying up with cold, hard cash.
posted by ambrosia at 3:37 PM on June 20, 2013 [31 favorites]


For everyone gathering torches and pitchforks to go after Kickstarter's hosting of a project you're offended by, I hope you'll be quiet when christian fundamentalists do the same with someone's kickstarter project for funding an abortion clinic in Kansas.

Trying to influence a business in this manner is an attempt to appeal to their desire to make money. They want Kickstarter to know this will lose them more money than it will make them. It's not really an appeal to be moral. (though that would be nice) If Christians can make that same case, and certainly some companies have done very well responding to their sensitivities, then more power to them. I would expect the other side to be as loud as they want about it.
posted by Drinky Die at 3:39 PM on June 20, 2013 [6 favorites]


For everyone gathering torches and pitchforks to go after Kickstarter's hosting of a project you're offended by, I hope you'll be quiet when christian fundamentalists do the same with someone's kickstarter project for funding an abortion clinic in Kansas.

How about we talk about the thing that happened instead of the thing that didn't happen?
posted by ultraviolet catastrophe at 3:39 PM on June 20, 2013 [19 favorites]


ambrosia: "Abortion is legal. Rape is not. "

Oh please, I realize that the book is directing guys to be aggressive (to a fault, even) but it's absolute libel to say it's telling men to commit rape.
posted by mullingitover at 3:40 PM on June 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


Oh please, I realize that the book is directing guys to be aggressive (to a fault, even)

and

what

might

that

fault

be
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 3:40 PM on June 20, 2013 [69 favorites]


Okay, substitute "assault" for rape. My point stands.
posted by ambrosia at 3:41 PM on June 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


Oh please, I realize that the book is directing guys to be aggressive (to a fault, even) but it's absolute libel to say it's telling men to commit rape.

I agree, it's telling them to commit sexual assault. Different felony.
posted by bswinburn at 3:41 PM on June 20, 2013 [4 favorites]


it's absolute libel to say it's telling men to commit rape.

From the cached content linked above:
Let your hands roam free. Squeeze her ass. Rub the side of her breasts. Rub your hands up and down her legs. Make her push your hand away as you get closer to her vagina. Fucking ravish her.
posted by argonauta at 3:43 PM on June 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


filthy light thief: "Sadly, I remember How To Be The Jerk Women Love (published in 1994, now for sale on Amazon for $60-$130) on the shelf of random books in a high school class room. Intrigued, my friends and I leafed through it at lunch one day. The one part I remember was the suggestion to criticize a pretty lady, instead of showering her with praise like all those "nice guys." Then she invites you the mall, where she shows you sexy dresses. We all laughed, but it seems the ideas never died out."

These are the same kind of guys who will tell you in all seriousness that the key to getting laid is to "treat a whore like a queen and a queen like a whore".
posted by double block and bleed at 3:43 PM on June 20, 2013


Abortion is legal. Rape is not.

Until recently gay marriage was not legal either. Would you be for taking down a book that took a hard line stance on getting married for gays because it was currently illegal to do so? What about using nonviolent protest to espouse civil rights in the south during the 60s (which would be an illegal act)? Morality and legality are not synonymous and differing political views often are morally neutral and legally ambiguous. It may be silly to you that I would say that a horrible book about women should be allowed to be funded, but there is not an easy way of splitting hairs on what is speech we allow and speech we don't without opening the door to a judgement call that can be subverted to political ends.
posted by ishrinkmajeans at 3:44 PM on June 20, 2013 [4 favorites]


Mores shift and it is the responsibility of the public to ensure the institutions shift along with them.
posted by seanmpuckett at 3:47 PM on June 20, 2013 [2 favorites]


argonauta: "From the cached content linked above:"

I'm having trouble finding the part where this happens without the consent of both parties. But hey, who am I to get in the way of a good lynching?
posted by mullingitover at 3:48 PM on June 20, 2013 [2 favorites]


there is not an easy way of splitting hairs on what is speech we allow and speech we don't without opening the door to a judgement call that can be subverted to political ends

The issue at hand is not whether the speech is allowed or not. It's whether Kickstarter allows the book to be funded on Kickstarter or not.
posted by ultraviolet catastrophe at 3:48 PM on June 20, 2013 [4 favorites]


[If you are not trolling please don't compare the illegality of gay marriage to the illegality of rape. This thread is tough enough. Please consider easing up on the libel/free speech derail.]
posted by jessamyn at 3:49 PM on June 20, 2013 [20 favorites]


. It may be silly to you that I would say that a horrible book about women should be allowed to be funded, but there is not an easy way of splitting hairs on what is speech we allow and speech we don't without opening the door to a judgement call that can be subverted to political ends.

What do we mean by "allow"? By the government? Yes, I suspect everyone here agrees that if the government tried to make it illegal to publish this, it would be wrong.

But does Kickstarter have an obligation to allow every project to be funded? I don't think it does -- they don't even think they do, which is why they have terms of service that restrict what they will fund. They are choosing to allow this to go on. And part of allowing speech includes allowing dissenting speech.
posted by jeather at 3:50 PM on June 20, 2013 [4 favorites]


Nah, 'cause douches are bad for you! Seriously, they destroy the flora and fauna that keeps vaginas happy and clean. Both the human and hygiene variety are... well... bad for vaginas!

and

komara, many (not all) people consider "douche" an ok insult, because it's a practice foisted on women after shaming them into thinking their bodies are unclean. It's actually bad for women's health, not something that women need to do.


Don't worry, I am fully aware that douching is not a healthy (much less required) practice for women. I still personally feel that the sentiment stands. If you take your average person using the term "douchenozzle" as an insult and poll them I'm going to guess that they won't know that.

I feel the same about this as I do about "cocksucker" - it'd be easy to say, "Oh hey the vast majority of humans that have penises are actually fond of fellatio so isn't cocksucker more of a compliment?" Sure, if you want to play games with semantics but I guarantee you your average guy calling another guy a cocksucker in anger isn't thinking of it that way. Dollars to donuts he's implying that the other guy has inherently feminine (and therefore negative) traits - such as the willingness to perform fellatio.

So yeah, I get how both of those could be cleverly turned around but I don't have faith that the majority of people using those words as pejoratives mean for them to be taken that way. I'd rather just see them dropped them altogether so we don't have to spend time wondering how savvy the speaker is.
posted by komara at 3:50 PM on June 20, 2013 [4 favorites]


It may be silly to you that I would say that a horrible book about women should be allowed to be funded, but there is not an easy way of splitting hairs on what is speech we allow and speech we don't without opening the door to a judgement call that can be subverted to political ends.

Again, you are blithely ignoring what speech actually is.

Speech is writing this book, letting someone raise funds for such a book, starting a petition to get the book taken down, writing reviews praising the book, writing articles condemning, and so forth.

This is all speech. And it is all protected.

What you are talking about is when people disagree with other people, which is not the same as suppression of free speech. It's just more speech.

Suppression and violation of free speech is when the government stifles any of this speech.

Do not confuse private and government agency.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 3:52 PM on June 20, 2013 [22 favorites]


I'm having trouble finding the part where this happens without the consent of both parties. But hey, who am I to get in the way of a good lynching?

The part where this happens without the consent of both parties is the part where the text takes the implied position that "silence is consent," when that's not necessarily the case. The text advocates presuming consent, whether or not there actually is consent. The text doesn't advocate meaningful efforts to ascertain whether she's consenting; it advocates exploiting silence in those cases when she's not consenting.
posted by MoonOrb at 3:53 PM on June 20, 2013 [9 favorites]


This is not about whether speech is "allowed." These ideas are obviously "allowed" - you can go read about them on reddit or whatever other rathole you can find.

It is about consumers using their consumer voices to object to an act by a company that many of us actually patronize.

All of this speech is allowed politically.
posted by Miko at 3:54 PM on June 20, 2013 [4 favorites]


If you are "mak[ing] her push your hand away," she is not consenting to what you are doing.

What else do you think is implied when the next step, immediately after she has pushed your hand away, is to "fucking ravish her"?
posted by argonauta at 3:56 PM on June 20, 2013 [4 favorites]


I should start a kickstarter to fund my PUA book, with advice like, "Urinate on your hand, then rub it through your hair. Women are evolutionarily programmed to become aroused when confronted with the sent of a dominant man's pee."
posted by klangklangston at 3:56 PM on June 20, 2013 [69 favorites]


For that evolutionary psychology angle - nice!
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 3:57 PM on June 20, 2013 [2 favorites]


I should start a kickstarter to fund my PUA book, with advice like, "Urinate on your hand, then rub it through your hair. Women are evolutionarily programmed to become aroused when confronted with the sent of a dominant man's pee."

I am not certain whether I have not seen that advice seriously given
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 3:58 PM on June 20, 2013 [3 favorites]


What I'd like to know is why he needs $2000, much less the $16K he received, or why he needs Kickstarter at all. He provides a helpful list of his expenses on the Kickstarter page. I've self-published books myself, so I can provide actual figures to compare.

Purchase of fonts: $0. Free fonts are great. If you insist on something fancy, you can get a nice font for under $50.

ISBN number: $27.50

Copyright registration: $35

Review copies: about $8 each from Amazon

Editing: $0 if you have nice friends. Professional editors cost money, but I kinda suspect he really wanted the $2K for rent or motorcycle wax or something.

None of the costs he mentions are actual production costs, or publicity, which means he's going with some sort of print-on-demand service. So it's a waste of Kickstarter anyway.
posted by zompist at 4:01 PM on June 20, 2013 [7 favorites]


... even though I was 6 inches taller and 50lbs heavier, I was kind of terrified by the abruptness of his request, they way he dropped it on me, and whole weird sexual violence vibe of it all.

mathowie, that sounds like my experience (well, okay, not six inches taller). It's like we should form a club of "Men Who Have Been Propositioned Like Women" and floor Internet forums saying "Hey, guys, guys, guys, it's so much worse that you've ever imagined".
posted by benito.strauss at 4:01 PM on June 20, 2013 [2 favorites]


"When entering a club, it's important for those around you to know you have arrived. Rubbing the side of your head against table legs and walls will distribute your scent, thereby establishing your presence in the room."
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 4:02 PM on June 20, 2013 [58 favorites]


whether or not kickstarter should fund his project is an interesting point of discussion

Okay. I say they shouldn't, because it's scummy (as we've all agreed), and as they already don't allow through every single project, why should this particular one be allowed?
posted by jeather at 4:07 PM on June 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


It may be silly to you that I would say that a horrible book about women should be allowed to be funded, but there is not an easy way of splitting hairs on what is speech we allow and speech we don't without opening the door to a judgement call that can be subverted to political ends.

No shit. Life is judgement calls. Life—or civilized life, at least—is politics. Defend the book on its merits if you want to, but "Oh, we musn't judge them" is idiotic.
posted by octobersurprise at 4:09 PM on June 20, 2013 [9 favorites]


"When entering a club, it's important for those around you to know you have arrived. Rubbing the side of your head against table legs and walls will distribute your scent, thereby establishing your presence in the room.""

"Even urban women are drawn to male hunters — demonstrate your value by catching and eating a pigeon in front of her, and you'll be munching squab all night long."
posted by klangklangston at 4:16 PM on June 20, 2013 [61 favorites]


Discussion on feministe about pros and cons of "douchebag" so that doesn't have to be a derail. Hopefully.
posted by emjaybee at 4:18 PM on June 20, 2013 [3 favorites]


"Even urban women are drawn to male hunters — demonstrate your value by catching and eating a pigeon in front of her, and you'll be munching squab all night long."

This is starting to sound worth writing, if only to read the subsequent Amazon reviews.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 4:21 PM on June 20, 2013 [18 favorites]


"Women respect dominant men. When entering a venue for the first time, find the largest man in the room and rush him, knocking him to the floor. While the wind is knocked out of him, clamp your jaw lightly on his neck and untuck his shirt from his pants, exposing his abdomen. Only then will the women in the room know that you have subdued him."
posted by KathrynT at 4:23 PM on June 20, 2013 [73 favorites]


where are the non-rapey alternatives?

Go to Amazon and search for a human sexuality textbook. It will be the most informative thing you could do to not only learn about sex, but also theories of how love and relationships work.
posted by Rocket Surgeon at 4:24 PM on June 20, 2013 [5 favorites]


"When entering a club, it's important for those around you to know you have arrived. Rubbing the side of your head against table legs and walls will distribute your scent, thereby establishing your presence in the room.""

"Women are attracted to the scent of a dominant man. Do not wash or launder your clothing before a night out - marinate in your sweat and/or a bath of Axe body spray. Let your own body musk do the work for you - women will naturally drift towards a dominant smell. If no women approach, I recommend another application of Axe."
posted by zennish at 4:31 PM on June 20, 2013 [15 favorites]


Well, this guy has definitely 'marked his territory'; sadly, that territory is Kickstarter.

All things considered, the author might have found better resources for getting his book published than Kickstarter, which only attracted 732 of them (partly by being linked by similarly obnoxious Reddit subsites plus the negative publicity*), with less than 320 of them getting a physical book (390 getting an ebook). By comparison, Anita Sarkeesian's "Tropes Vs. Women" video series got 6,968 supporters (only 50 getting physical DVD copies). And to compare printed content, Ryan North's virtuoso "choose-your-own" Shakespeare farce is delivering over 15,000 copies.

Consider the general market for content similar to Casey Malone's. The Game spent two months on the New York Times bestseller list. It was published by Judith Regan's imprint at NewsCorp/HarperCollins which only had one title rejected by its parent company: OJ Simpson's If I Did It. So Kickstarter's standards for rejecting a project due to content are better than Judith Regan's, no worse than HarperCollins. Nothing to be proud of. But the users of Kickstarter have spoken, rather loudly.

* I've not been happy with, but accept MeFi's prohibition on linking active Kickstarters. In this case, I'm more happy about it.
posted by oneswellfoop at 4:33 PM on June 20, 2013 [3 favorites]


What I'd like to know is why he needs $2000, much less the $16K he received, or why he needs Kickstarter at all. He provides a helpful list of his expenses on the Kickstarter page.

Dude thinks you need to manhandle a woman in order to win her over. I'm not surprised that publishing is a second thing he is totally fucking clueless about.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:34 PM on June 20, 2013 [10 favorites]


For people like me (diagnosed by a psychologist) I wish there was a resource I could turn to for assistance.

Does your psychologist not have any suggestions? Dating is not super different from other types of social anxiety; techniques for one will help you with the other. You don't have to read PUA stuff, you can seek out therapists or books that help you deal with social anxiety in general, so that you can go out, meet people (including women...who are just people after all) and possibly find a connection with a few. Start by treating them with the same respect as anyone else, and if you are attracted and they seem to like you, ask them out. They will say yes, or no.

Here is what never seems to be mentioned when discussing dating; women have preferences and attractions, and their preferences are no more monolithic than men's are. At least a few women in the world, possibly many, may find you attractive exactly as you are, provided they get to know you. If there's a woman you meet who shares some of your interests and is fun to talk to, you don't need cheat codes or special techniques. You just need to talk to her, you know, like a person. Which is all she is. She may be attracted and interested. She may be attracted but already attached. She may not be attracted. You can't know without interacting with her.

I get the feeling that what some guys want (not you necessarily) is some sort of guarantee...a way to get to a relationship without risking rejection or heartbreak. But that's the price of a healthy relationship...risking rejection, or relationships that don't work out, probably multiple times. There are no shortcuts, not if you want something good.
posted by emjaybee at 4:35 PM on June 20, 2013 [23 favorites]


Consider the general market for content similar to Casey Malone's.
The author is Ken Hoinsky. Casey Malone is the mensch who called him out on it.
posted by dfan at 4:35 PM on June 20, 2013 [4 favorites]


I just had a daydream where the NSA monitored sales of this book and the government locked away the buyers in Gitmo indefinitely. Purely precuationary, you know.

I really hope you realize how stupid this sounds. Hey! Lets lock up people who play violent video games too! Those who have read 50 Shades of Grey and Twilight too because those have terrible behaviors that people follow as good advice.

I think the book is abhorrent, but your comment is right up there too. Maybe you should be monitored and locked up, just in case, you know?
posted by usagizero at 4:43 PM on June 20, 2013 [4 favorites]


so, after Kickstarter funds Klang's PUA book for Cavemen with the urine cologne and such, i'm going to do a kickstarter for my book wherein an alien lands, and, trying to pick up babes, uses Klang's PUA book and there will be all this wackiness plus some genuine pathos as the alien can't figure out what is going on and fails miserably
posted by angrycat at 4:45 PM on June 20, 2013 [6 favorites]


: "As a socially awkward male, if I wanted to improve my abilities in the areas addressed by this book, where are the non-rapey alternatives? "

How To Win Friends and Influence People is probably the best thing to read if you're looking to for a straightforward, non-manipulative way to improve your people skills.
posted by mullingitover at 4:51 PM on June 20, 2013 [10 favorites]


"Women are attracted to the scent of a dominant man. Do not wash or launder your clothing before a night out - marinate in your sweat and/or a bath of Axe body spray. Let your own body musk do the work for you - women will naturally drift towards a dominant smell. If no women approach, I recommend another application of Axe."

"On the savannah, high ground always confers an advantage even though short people were just as capable of hunting the cave bear, God. Be sure never to speak to a woman unless you are jumping up and down vigorously. This will induce a stack overflow in the height-judging module of her brain, which you can reinforce linguistically with puns like 'Nice tall-king to you," and "Stature drink? Let me freshen it up for you.'"
posted by No-sword at 4:52 PM on June 20, 2013 [30 favorites]


i'm going to do a kickstarter for my book wherein an alien lands, and, trying to pick up babes ...

MARS NEEDS WIMMENZ
posted by octobersurprise at 4:54 PM on June 20, 2013


and they have disposable income! blows my fucking mind that they are employed.

Someone doesn't work in IT.

Seriously it's like, step one go to a video game store/dev shop/major tech company office and start a conversation abotu this thing.

Step two is cry.

a lot.
posted by emptythought at 4:59 PM on June 20, 2013 [11 favorites]


''Women love providers of substance, make sure to bring a large sack of meat, preferably raw, with you wherever you go. Meat from larger animals is preferred over fauna such as chicken.''
posted by edgeways at 5:00 PM on June 20, 2013 [12 favorites]


With some experience, you will learn to differentiate...

This whole thing's vile, I mean, the idea that some resistance isn't serious enough to warrant paying attention to is seriously screwed up. but I just can't get over the fact that they KNOW at least some the women will be seriously resisting (even typing that made me feel gross) and just sort of shrug it off as a learning experience for the guy.

Words fail at describing how evil that is.
posted by Gygesringtone at 5:06 PM on June 20, 2013 [6 favorites]


it's absolute libel to say it's telling men to commit rape.

The text this book seems to be based on instructs men to take women to an isolated place, continually initiate sexual acts until stopped (including the whole "put her hand on it" thing), and then temporarily back off before initiating these same acts again -- repeating the process until they are somehow stopped definitively. The text doesn't really explain what would constitute a definitive stop here, but it does strongly suggest that both "STOP" and "GET AWAY FROM ME" do not meet that bar. It also frequently advises avoiding any attempt to establish explicit consent.

The author may not be saying "you should commit rape" in so many words, but it sure looks to me like he's providing instructions that lead there.
posted by Serf at 5:11 PM on June 20, 2013 [23 favorites]


I agree that this book is clearly meeting a perceived need, why else would it have gathered so much funding? Does anyone here really believe that all the people contributing to this kickstarter are are really looking for a rape manual?

Yes, in as far as they're donating money for a book that tells them how to trick women into sex with them through both psychological tricks and physical domination.
posted by MartinWisse at 5:12 PM on June 20, 2013 [4 favorites]


I get the feeling that what some guys want (not you necessarily) is some sort of guarantee.

That's not true. If people wanted sex with guarantee, that would be prostitution.

But for PUAs, I'm not sure they're looking for a guarantee. I'm not an expert on PUA stuff, but it sounds more like they have some ongoing internal narrative. And the common threads of these internal narratives is that they are victims in their own lives and they're not "winner" unless they get a woman (or women). The PUA material feeds into this by telling them, "Yes, you are victims, but now you're in control. Now you're on your way to be a winner!"

That's just my armchair take on it. I never trusted any of the PUA stuff before, and to admit, it's not because of some progressive enlightened view I had at the time. It was because I cynically realized why would these PUA leaders want their "followers" in stable relationships? It would destroy their customer base. They want them to keep going to "boot camps" and listening to tapes and trading stories on forums. It's a factory, not a solution.
posted by FJT at 5:13 PM on June 20, 2013 [6 favorites]


/sprays down everything with Lysol.

You're gonna need a bigger bottle.
posted by homunculus at 5:14 PM on June 20, 2013 [3 favorites]


For everyone gathering torches and pitchforks to go after Kickstarter's hosting of a project you're offended by, I hope you'll be quiet when christian fundamentalists do the same with someone's kickstarter project for funding an abortion clinic in Kansas.

Oh god, that's second order godwinism. If you're intolerant of nazis, you can't complain if nazis are intolerant of yoouuu.
posted by MartinWisse at 5:17 PM on June 20, 2013 [27 favorites]


Is it just me or does most 'pick up artist' advice seem more like something for failed pickup artists to read to make them feel better about failing?
posted by jonmc at 5:18 PM on June 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


I want to go ahead and concede the point that perhaps this book is emblematic of rape culture. If we concede that point should we also not consider that if we do indeed live within a rape culture that this book may be providing effective advice since rape culture effects the behavior of both men and women.

P.S. I've been walking late at night on the street and been propositioned as a street prostitute. I've been groped by another man. They were uncomfortable moments but not troubling. The only time sexual attention has been troubling for me is when a underage lady started sliding her hand up my leg. That was frightening.
posted by Rubbstone at 5:21 PM on June 20, 2013


That's not true. If people wanted sex with guarantee, that would be prostitution.

Prostitution is guaranteed sex you pay for. These people want guaranteed sex for free.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:21 PM on June 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


Every time one of these creepy things bubbles to the surface I am continually stunned that people believe the basic premise of any of the success stories. The narratives, such as they are, are always so transparently self-serving. It's low grade erotica told with business school jargon.
posted by feloniousmonk at 5:24 PM on June 20, 2013 [2 favorites]


"Take a tip from today's top rap singers and add braggadoccio to your approach by prefacing each greeting with a moody intro or colorful 'skit'. For example: '♪ Hmmm-hmm-hmm... ♫ Shaolin shadowboxing... and the Wu-Tang sword style! If what you say is true, the Shaolin and the Wu-Tang could be dangerous! Hey baby, can I interest you in some of this ruckus? I sure hope you aren't like the Wu-Tang, insofar as they ain't nothing to fuck with.'"
posted by No-sword at 5:28 PM on June 20, 2013 [18 favorites]


This link has probably been posted already, but if you have a KS account, here's a place to report this project.
posted by box at 5:28 PM on June 20, 2013


I want to go ahead and concede the point that perhaps this book is emblematic of rape culture. If we concede that point should we also not consider that if we do indeed live within a rape culture that this book may be providing effective advice since rape culture effects the behavior of both men and women.

yes, indeed, it may well be effective advice on how to rape someone, good thought
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 5:32 PM on June 20, 2013 [9 favorites]


Prostitution is guaranteed sex you pay for. These people want guaranteed sex for free.

But it's not free though. One still needs to spend time to find and woo someone, and money to date them. And also, to admit, people can get exhausted emotionally, which means emotion is a kind of resource that's depletable too. And add all this time spent buying and consuming PUA stuff, then the cost is even greater.

I don't think it's as simple as guaranteed sex, whether free or not. There are alternatives that exist for people seeking that sort of thing.
posted by FJT at 5:37 PM on June 20, 2013


yes, indeed, it may well be effective advice on how to rape someone, good thought

Yes, as well as the consensual version.
posted by Rubbstone at 5:38 PM on June 20, 2013


Every time one of these creepy things bubbles to the surface I am continually stunned that people believe the basic premise of any of the success stories. The narratives, such as they are, are always so transparently self-serving. It's low grade erotica told with business school jargon.

You can accept that some of the techniques will 'work', while still rejecting the premise of PUA.

People aren't that complicated. You wouldn't say LOL DALE CARNEGIE WHO CARES WHETHER YOU HAVE A FIRM HANDSHAKE OR NOT NOONE GIVES A SHIT and this is just a sleazily elaborated version of that.
posted by Sebmojo at 5:40 PM on June 20, 2013 [2 favorites]


Under section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, if you're a website that lets people post stuff -- as mathowie put it, acts as the network infrastructure for people to convey information -- you're generally not liable for any bad stuff that may result from the posting of the stuff (e.g., a defamation lawsuit based on the content of the post).

To the extent you can be considered an author of the posted material, or to have collaborated in its creation, that immunity can go away. What that actually means is currently fuzzy.

What you can do is post terms of service ("X, Y, Z are allowed here, P and Q are not") and then enforce them in a neutral way.

I have zero inside information but my strong hunch is that Kickstarter's lawyers looked at its ToS, looked at the project, and said to the business folks "Nope, this is in bounds. You can't take it down." In addition to jeopardizing its CDA 230 immunity against third party claims, Kickstarter violating its own ToS could open it up to various other forms of liability.

I'm pretty sure this was a legal decision that had little to do with Kickstarter's moral stance on this project.
posted by eugenen at 5:45 PM on June 20, 2013 [7 favorites]


Hahahhaha, I literally have read none of the comments yet (sorry, you guys, will back up and read the entire thread), but I used to argue with the writer of this "book" on Reddit about the pick up community. I remember him well as being a giant skeezeball.
posted by SkylitDrawl at 5:46 PM on June 20, 2013 [3 favorites]


He's peacocking with his balla ass spoon.
posted by SkylitDrawl at 5:47 PM on June 20, 2013 [6 favorites]


EmpressCallipygos: "Prostitution is guaranteed sex you pay for. These people want guaranteed sex for free."

Well, I'm not sure I agree even there. We're living in an age where there are options for no-strings sex for free. There are web sites which pretty much anyone can name which allow a person to discreetly find someone to hook up with. Sure, Craigslist requires some caution and some care if you want to do that sort of thing, but I'd bet dollars to donuts that almost anybody would have a higher hit ratio posting ads on Craigslist than they would negging random women in bars.

I don't think this is about sex. I think this is about power - that is, it's about the ego boost of perceived power. "Ha ha, I can score with any woman I choose!" This is supposed to be some superior state to strive for, making one better than other men. Disturbingly, this general philosophy apparently borne out of the detritus of a number of half-dismantled sexist power structures seems to be catching on in a lot of quarters, and it's kind of a bridge between the Men's Rights movement and the PUA set. For example, if you look at r/TheRedPill (warning: do not, under any circumstances, ever look at r/TheRedPill) you'll see this sort of line of thinking displayed starkly: the idea that there are "alphas" and there are "betas," and that secretly every woman truly wants an "alpha" who will take more than he will give and who will rule over her soft, pliable feminine soul with an iron hand. This is really just a working-out of the PUA mentality as a comprehensive lifestyle - a really gross and evil one.

Which is interesting, because it reminds me of what else is really not about sex but about power: rape.

I'm not trying to pseudo-Godwin there; the connection seems very real to me. In general, sexual assault is motivated not by unquenched sexual hunger but by some very unhealthy and destructive ideas about power and by a thirst in the rapist to gain control and power over another human being. The stuff this guy is writing - and PUA literature in general - is scariest to me because it introduces back into sex this notion that it's really about finding a way to gain true power - sexual power - over a stranger. Ken Hoinsky can protest that he's really not trying to encourage rape, that in fact he tells men to stop if women "really" say stop - but that doesn't change the general framing of the PUA approach: that you are a better person if you can induce people around you to have sex regardless of their prior intentions. Sure, many men will read this and see the subtle shading of difference between forcefully convincing women to actually consent to sex and forcefully inducing women to have sex regardless of consent - but many won't. Why? Because sex isn't conceived by PUAs as a mutual source of shared pleasure; it's conceived as a lever to prove one's power against by having sex with strangers who didn't initially intend to have sex with you.
posted by koeselitz at 5:48 PM on June 20, 2013 [50 favorites]


Yes, as well as the consensual version.

If you interpret most rejections as "try again in a few", how can you tell?
posted by Serf at 5:50 PM on June 20, 2013 [2 favorites]


"I sure hope you aren't like the Wu-Tang, insofar as they ain't nothing to fuck with."

I thought the idea was to come up with bad pickup material.
posted by fleacircus at 5:53 PM on June 20, 2013 [11 favorites]


The text this book seems to be based on instructs men to take women to an isolated place, continually initiate sexual acts until stopped (including the whole "put her hand on it" thing), and then temporarily back off before initiating these same acts again -- repeating the process until they are somehow stopped definitively.

Yeah, this is called "blasting through last minute resistance" in their lingo.
posted by SkylitDrawl at 5:57 PM on June 20, 2013 [2 favorites]


i really wish we'd stop dismissing these guys as sad basement dwellers that never see a real woman. i've known a few of these dudes and they're working the next cube and always talking about pedestal girls and the new ones they were scoring with, how they "won her over." sure, some of them are probably just harmless fappers, but some of them are the street harassers and date rapists and jackasses that are increasing the background radiation that we're stewing in. dismissing them makes it sound like it's not a problem.
posted by nadawi at 6:02 PM on June 20, 2013 [33 favorites]


For comparison, a book from 1962 (by a woman author who was a food critic with a MAD magazine illustrator). Times change, or not.
posted by oneswellfoop at 6:02 PM on June 20, 2013 [2 favorites]


oh and the alternate pua advice in this thread is my reason for getting to the bottom. i wasn't sure i was going to make it. good show, y'all!
posted by nadawi at 6:03 PM on June 20, 2013 [2 favorites]


i've known a few of these dudes and they're working the next cube and always talking about pedestal girls and the new ones they were scoring with, how they "won her over." sure, some of them are probably just harmless fappers, but some of them are the street harassers and date rapists and jackasses that are increasing the background radiation that we're stewing in. dismissing them makes it sound like it's not a problem.

True that. Just after college, I got stuck in a hellish roommate situation with a guy who happened to be a PUA. We lived in a college town and his standard M.O. was to play his little pick up artist games with international students who were in the area for a school year or a semester, or even just the summer term. This made everything about his PUA-ness way way way worse because the girls often didn't even speak the same language as him and were more easily taken advantage of. Needless to say, he was not my roommate for very long.
posted by SkylitDrawl at 6:06 PM on June 20, 2013 [2 favorites]


I don't think this is about sex. I think this is about power - that is, it's about the ego boost of perceived power. "Ha ha, I can score with any woman I choose!" This is supposed to be some superior state to strive for, making one better than other men.

I agree, Koeselitz, though I might add that it's not just about being better than other men – it's probably sometimes being better than women. In my experience, guys who are drawn to this stuff have suffered emotionally and socially at the hands of both other guys and women.

PUA stuff is social revenge fantasy as much as sexual fantasy, which I think also helps a bit to explain the undercurrent (or overcurrent?) of anger or violence in varying degrees.

Makes me think of high-school reunion fantasy stories – has there ever been one where the victory of the high-school loser is being suddenly attractive to the girls who rejected him, with a woman on his arm who is the envy of the guys who mocked him? But those fantasies aren't just about ego, they're about making others suffer: the girls feel regret or rejection, the guys feel jealousy and lack.

I wonder if the kinds of attitudes and behaviours espoused in this guy's posts and potential book are an equivalent of the picked-on kids turning up to school with guns.
posted by Wataki at 6:06 PM on June 20, 2013 [11 favorites]


What I'd like to know is why he needs $2000, much less the $16K he received, or why he needs Kickstarter at all. He provides a helpful list of his expenses on the Kickstarter page.

The lawyers don't work for free.
posted by mephron at 6:10 PM on June 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


Proposal: The second amendment now only applies to women.
posted by goHermGO at 6:12 PM on June 20, 2013 [5 favorites]


the money asked for is easily explained - his opinions of women are echoed in his opinion of beta males trying to be alpha - which is to say take everything you can from them and fool them into feeling comfortable with it just long enough to get what you want.
posted by nadawi at 6:12 PM on June 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


Not sure if this has been linked to already, but the guy has written a defence of himself.
posted by Wataki at 6:13 PM on June 20, 2013


He's peacocking with his balla ass spoon.

Wasn't it a melon spoon?

That somehow seems a crucial detail and I don't know why.
posted by Sebmojo at 6:15 PM on June 20, 2013


Yeah, this is called "blasting through last minute resistance" in their lingo.

Are.
You.
Fucking.
Serious.

There is no way to consensually "blast through last minute resistance." That is fucking coercion. Unless by "blast through last minute resistance" you mean "talk with your partner about why they're so clearly uncomfortable" and I think we've established that's not what it means.

I mean it when I say I hope anyone who thinks that's a good idea either wises up or dies in a fire. I am already leery of being alone and away from help with any man I haven't known for more than 2 years. I'm so glad there's a manual out there for why my wariness is fucking necessary.

The thing that pisses me off about this is that I am totally pro-seduction. I love to seduce and be seduced! I would love it if more people of every gender knew how! But seduction is not about overcoming someone's barriers. It's about inviting someone to play a game with you, a game where you both know perfectly well is going on but that either of you can gracefully exit at any time. And it's not about making people feel bad about themselves, or talking them into anything. If anybody, ANYBODY, says anything other than YES at any point, the deal's fucking off.

Real seduction is about offering someone an escape from their ordinary life for a while into something that makes them feel interesting and special and valued and intrigued, not so you can get laid, but so you can enjoy an "other" space together for a while where you both get to be as cool and sexy as you always knew you were, deep down. I think that sort of seduction is a valuable sort of service we can offer each other, a nice bit of psychological play-acting. And you know what (sadly, because it's an exception) really makes me feel special and interesting and valued? Not being treated like a piece of fucking meat by a stranger, that's what.

Seriously. Imagine a world where rape and sexual violence weren't a thing. How fucking awesome would seduction be? A guy slides up to you at a bar and says, "Hey gorgeous, how about drinking martinis and watching the stars through my telescope on the back porch?" and you can go and hang out with this intriguing stranger for a while and have sex with him or not and either way be safe. Goddamn.
posted by WidgetAlley at 6:17 PM on June 20, 2013 [113 favorites]


He's peacocking with his balla ass spoon.

For some reason I read this as "peacocking with his balls as a spoon" and for some reason still found it funnily on point.
posted by Rocket Surgeon at 6:21 PM on June 20, 2013


Yo, I posted the balla ass spoon story to SRS, oh, it feels like years ago. I miss my days as littletiger, but it was time to move on.

Yes, it was a melon spoon.
posted by SkylitDrawl at 6:25 PM on June 20, 2013 [4 favorites]


"Women are attracted to the scent of a dominant man. Do not wash or launder your clothing before a night out - marinate in your sweat and/or a bath of Axe body spray. Let your own body musk do the work for you - women will naturally drift towards a dominant smell.

I think I've seen that (minus the Axe Body Spray) given as actual advice on How To Be Attractive To Women. (I think it may have been in Anton LaVey's Satanic Bible, actually.)
posted by acb at 6:27 PM on June 20, 2013


For some reason I read this as "peacocking with his balls as a spoon" and for some reason still found it funnily on point.

Well, it'd be taking the codpiece/sporran to the next level, wouldn't it?
posted by acb at 6:28 PM on June 20, 2013


I thought it was "peacocking with his balls on a spoon." You know, tea spooning.
posted by octobersurprise at 6:28 PM on June 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


Are.
You.
Fucking.
Serious.

Sadly, yes. Yes, I am.
posted by SkylitDrawl at 6:31 PM on June 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


Its like they think Dennis on its Always Sunny in Philadelphia is supposed to be a role model, and not just a horrible person
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MZ1lc6KASWg
posted by Iax at 6:33 PM on June 20, 2013 [10 favorites]


Are.
You.
Fucking.
Serious.


There is a bunch of literature on token resistance and some of it really looks like a worthwhile read. Seriously, I want to read that paper.
posted by Rocket Surgeon at 6:36 PM on June 20, 2013 [4 favorites]


I was just looking for that "Always Sunny" clip with "The Implication" scene. You're spot on, Iax.
posted by benito.strauss at 6:38 PM on June 20, 2013


Yeah, this guy is the walking version of that Implication scene. Nobody let this man on a boat. Or near a woman. Unless that woman is crowning him King of the Unfuckable, Archduke of the Rapey, Lord Protector of the "Nice Guys".
posted by Sticherbeast at 6:50 PM on June 20, 2013 [6 favorites]


Yes, as well as the consensual version.

In rape culture, consensual sex is accidental; in that system of values, giving and receiving consent is unimportant. To take consent seriously is to oppose rape culture.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 7:13 PM on June 20, 2013 [6 favorites]


I think the book is abhorrent, but your comment is right up there too

You're right. It was a stupid, thoughtless thing to say.
posted by ogooglebar at 7:36 PM on June 20, 2013 [2 favorites]


If Kickstarter would willingly violate its terms of service to rake in the cash from two separate Penny Arcade projects, I'm not sure that they'll do a thing about this.

I'd love to be wrong, though.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 7:39 PM on June 20, 2013


That Sunny clip makes me want to watch Sunny again. I only saw the first couple of seasons.
posted by Justinian at 7:45 PM on June 20, 2013


It's not that Kickstarter is "allowing" the book or hosting it on their site. Kickstarter is profiting from this. Kickstarter is not neutral here- as a company it is comfortable profiting from something like this and that is troubling. As Miko asks upthread, where do they draw the line- or do they draw the line? How despicable does something have to be for Kickstarter to choose not to profit from it?
posted by cushie at 8:22 PM on June 20, 2013 [2 favorites]


I have all kinds of misgivings about the whole thing, but it's worth noting that Kickstarter's vig on this project would be on the order of a thousand dollars total, which sum I guarantee you no company would consider worth a PR nightmare. Given a simple choice between the two you'd set that stack of cash on fire before anyone could even blink, and utter a grateful oath while you do it.

I think the larger point about what their long-term position on supporting the funding of problematic projects will be, and how the notionally larger total sums of money involved would inform both that decision-making and public perception of their company ethics in practice, is absolutely worth discussing. But it's a good idea to keep clear the distinction between that and the idea that they primarily acted as they have so far in not retroactively canceling this project out of explicit and immediate profit motive regarding this particular, small-potatoes bit of funding.
posted by cortex at 8:32 PM on June 20, 2013 [11 favorites]


makes it sound like I am advocating non-consensual sexual advances on strangers.

You're right dude. You are advocating non-consensual sexual advances on acquaintances and people who's trust who you have gained. Thanks for not really clarifying that.

All master seducers are also masters at making women feel comfortable. You'll be no different. If a woman isn't comfortable, take a break and try again later.

And here's the thing that gets my goat. This guy is advocating a sort of frog in a pot of water type of thing. Just keep turning up the heat until you've got her pants off. If she squawks, slow down. Remind her that of course you would never ,del>boil her alive rape her.

Well. Dudes. Feeling comfortable and being safe are NOT the same thing. I don't want to feel comfortable. I want to feel respected. And I want to not have to smack your hands away from my vagina. Truly, I want to invite someone to touch me. Or to have them ask for my consent. I don't want someone's grubby paws all up in my business just because it's there.
posted by bilabial at 8:36 PM on June 20, 2013 [8 favorites]


If Kickstarter would willingly violate its terms of service to rake in the cash from two separate Penny Arcade projects, I'm not sure that they'll do a thing about this.

How did the Penny Arcade kickstarters not meet the Kickstarter TOS?
posted by Sebmojo at 8:49 PM on June 20, 2013


And I want to not have to smack your hands away from my vagina.

Too playful. Just hold his hand in yours, and use your other hand to slowly bend his thumb back until a snap is heard. That's it.
posted by FJT at 8:50 PM on June 20, 2013 [5 favorites]


I don't think this is about sex. I think this is about power

My sources lead me to believe that these things are intimately related.
posted by LogicalDash at 8:50 PM on June 20, 2013


senior management and board members at Kickstarter *support* what is being said in that tape via by their own corporate-speak, BS statement - i.e. hey have confirmed that their values are meaningless, because they don't live by their values, they just "speak" them.

So by your yardstick, if the management and board members of a publishing house were professed Southern Baptists, they would make themselves apostates by publishing a book that advocated Hinduism?

Be careful advocating that what you find abhorrent be suppressed by what are otherwise content-neutral entities. Just a few years ago, desegregation was abhorrent to the majority and homosexuality was officially a mental illness. And as recently as five years ago, California vote down gay marriage.

I don't want to read this book, but I want even less for the essentially anonymous and unaccountable "senior management and board members at Kickstarter" to decide what's morally worthy or unworthy of funding.

Congratulations to them for leaving that to each of us, individually.
posted by orthogonality at 9:05 PM on June 20, 2013 [5 favorites]


he may be banking on the outrage and the backlash for added publicity

Gee, ya think? This is one of those cases where "just don't look" applies. Censorship is rarely a good idea.

In other words, senior management and board members at Kickstarter *support* what is being said in that tape via by their own corporate-speak, BS statement - i.e. hey have confirmed that their values are meaningless, because they don't live by their values, they just "speak" them. Pathetic, and fully in line with too many other sociopaths whose goal is profit, at any cost.

Maybe they believe in the freedom of speech. This decision seems more principled than based on money. The amount is piddling.

I approve of this book being published. Not because I agree with it (I don't), but because I approve of any view, no matter how abhorrent, having equal hearing. Telling kickstarter to defund or remove the project is a bad idea. Let his ideas be widely read and refuted by logic rather than suppression.

Hear, hear.

I wonder if Kickstarter would facilitate a book on how to lynch people or start a pogrom.

I don't know all the specifics, but I don't think the book encourages nor promotes illegal behavior. Just skeevy behavior.

Kickstarter could take their profits from the book and donate them directly to the Street Harassment Project or a battered woman's shelter, I suppose.

I wouldn't be surprised at all if that happened.

Someone doesn't work in IT.

That seems a bit rude.
posted by mrgrimm at 9:13 PM on June 20, 2013


orthogonality: “I don't want to read this book, but I want even less for the essentially anonymous and unaccountable ‘senior management and board members at Kickstarter’ to decide what's morally worthy or unworthy of funding.”

Don't they already do that? They officially ban "hate speech."

It's their right to ban or allow whatever they want – and it's the right of citizens to make their displeasure with those decisions known and to exert market power. That's how it works in free societies.
posted by koeselitz at 9:21 PM on June 20, 2013 [6 favorites]


Be careful advocating that what you find abhorrent be suppressed by what are otherwise content-neutral entities. Just a few years ago, desegregation was abhorrent to the majority and homosexuality was officially a mental illness. And as recently as five years ago, California vote down gay marriage.

Somehow this strikes me as completely fallacious in a similar way to the godwin-o-matic argument presented above.

I absolutely hate this "You have to allow shitty things to be said by violent/crappy/bigoted/etc people because if you want to censor them you're no longer morally superior" thing.

I would feel far more uncomfortable with them silently nuking this one, as if they handled it similarly to how vice handled that article or microsoft backpeddling on their ridiculous plans. Responding to public outcry does not somehow make them morally reprehensible when it's for a good reason.

If someone could present an argument as to how this book is a worthwhile work of literature other than that it should have the right to get funded on kickstarter "Because like, burning books man! Fahreinheit 451!" i might listen to them. Until then it sounds like really tiresome if-then "egalitarian" nonsense.

Especially the second part about desegregation and homosexuality. It's almost a straw man, honestly. You're comparing something that the vast majority of decent people who are anti-oppression consider awful, and the majority of public opinion supporting them then and comparing it to now when those same people are opposing something they also consider awful and saying that they're somehow hypocrites for opposing the same kind of things simply because now they have a soapbox and the power to actually twist a corporations arm.

There is no dissonance here. And i definitely agree that if they allow this to stick, they're endorsing it while simultaneously showing themselves to be on the same level of crappy greedy tech+money corps like paypal who would back over your mum with a truck to make $5.

And even if this is some sort of eagle-is-crying free speech statement on their part, which you know, they could have said and their corporate doublespeak didn't even seem to address... They would still be completely ass-half-full libertarian jackasses like the reddit admins. Free speech in this sense is a tiresome hobbyhorse. You're not defending shit and only reflecting badly on yourself by being all "I don't agree with what you say, but i'll defend your right to say it to the death". If kickstarted booted this guy his rights wouldn't be suppressed or anything, despite what some reddit MRA and PUA types would argue.
posted by emptythought at 9:22 PM on June 20, 2013 [18 favorites]


How did the Penny Arcade kickstarters not meet the Kickstarter TOS?

You're not allowed to use Kickstarter to fund normal "business expenses". The argument is that PA was doing exactly that. But I think this is just looking for something to hate on PA for because Kickstarter has evolved to the point where one could argue that many of our favorite Kickstarted projects violate that particular bit of the TOS.

Consider: If PA was violating the TOS with their kickstarter, how were the inXile chaps not doing the same thing with their Torment 2 or Project Eternity kickstarters? Their company exists to make video games. Every expense thus in the pursuit of making a video game is therefore a normal business expense in exactly the same way that the PA guys using kickstarter cash to make a webcomic is a normal business expense.

I think that part of the TOS is stupid and vague and useless. And hating on PA for it is more or less part of hating on PA in general for other things and simply using the Kickstarter as a convenient cudgel. Any criticism leveled at them over it could, as I say, apply to plenty of other high profile projects.
posted by Justinian at 9:51 PM on June 20, 2013 [3 favorites]


How did the PA projects not meet the terms of service?
Let's see:

Penny Arcade project #1: replace a single banner ad on their site

Penny Arcade project #2: doing a podcast (With a $10 goal for the whole project)

The first thing verboten in the guidelines: "Kickstarter cannot be used to raise money for causes, whether it's the Red Cross or a scholarship, or for 'fund my life' projects, like tuition or bills." Seems pretty obvious to me, but vig is vig and Kickstarter is a business. Plus, it's a limited duration for removing the ad, so PA will do this EVERY YEAR. There's no project, there's no goal, just changing a banner ad that can be done in 30 seconds in the CMS.

Additionally, "Kickstarter cannot be used to fund e-commerce, business, and social networking websites or apps."

How is a podcast going to only take $10 to make? Setting the bar so low removes all risk that the project will fail and PA won't get the money. It's basically using Kickstarter as an Indiegogo flexible funding campaign. But again, I'm sure Kickstarter enjoyed their cut and I assume that some of the people were new to the site and went on to fund more projects.

Hopefully they'll at least have the courtesy of borrowing the tiers suggested by Something Awful for their next campaign. Needs more dickwolves.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 9:57 PM on June 20, 2013 [2 favorites]


That seems a bit rude.

Sorry, this is just a specific area of internet culture(and i suppose, real life culture. but it really seems to center around online communities) that i've seen a lot of up close.

And almost everyone involved in it seems to be a college aged or a bit beyond, bitter manchild who works in tech.

I work in tech, that's why i made that snide remark. Several times i've gone out to meet a friend for a birthday, or just for drinks and to catch up and it became an "Oh, you should meet my coworkers!" kinda thing at which point a bunch of these types of balla ass spoon guys show up. And even the ones who aren't specifically like that still sit around making the laziest offensive "jokes" you'd see on 4chan or reddit 24 hours a day.

I feel absolutely comfortable commenting on a culture that i am very much "within". There's some seriously problematic things that go on continuously within this "scene" and this PUA stuff is just one of the uglier festering open sores.

Consider: If PA was violating the TOS with their kickstarter, how were the inXile chaps not doing the same thing with their Torment 2 or Project Eternity kickstarters? Their company exists to make video games. Every expense thus in the pursuit of making a video game is therefore a normal business expense in exactly the same way that the PA guys using kickstarter cash to make a webcomic is a normal business expense.

+ the rest of your post, trimmed to that paragraph for readability

I really, really wish people had flipped on those other guys then. But i don't think that focusing on PA doing it was that weird. Those guys have been around for years and are experts at printing ungodly gigantic stacks of money from things like PAX. Like, early 90s rave scene fill a rental truck entirely with duffles of cash kind of money.

Their entire kickstarter was pretty much the weakest premise i'd ever seen for one as well. It was pretty much "pay for us to not have ads for an entire year or more, and maybe do a couple cool things as well". They're an established business, running fine ad supported basically asking for a handout. It reminds me of when for-profit companies dress their fundraising stuff up as charity work. In that context i get exactly why it pissed people off.

It's one thing when say, these guys show up and go "Hey, were a game dev company with a bunch of famous devs who want money to make this game". That's arguably a business expense too since as you said, they're a company that makes games. You could even split hairs and compare the two. There's even been some more grey area ones i could probably dig up.

The PA one was just incredibly blatant though, and i have no recent bone to pick with PA. Singling it out as an example of the people being hypocrites about a rule everyone else breaks just sounds like complaining about getting busted jaywalking in a clown suit tons of people jaywalk on. They were doing it really blatantly.

This is something they should have run as a campaign on their giant, heavily trafficked website.
posted by emptythought at 10:02 PM on June 20, 2013 [5 favorites]


I don't think the book encourages nor promotes illegal behavior.

Just because it's really hard to prosecute and 99% of perpetrators get away with it doesn't mean that date rape and sexual assault aren't illegal. The whole "Don't ask for permission, just put her hand on your dick" thing, along with all of the other admonitions to "ravish her" and just keep pushing when she says no is instructions to commit sexual assault.
posted by NoraReed at 10:02 PM on June 20, 2013 [19 favorites]


Especially the second part about desegregation and homosexuality.... You're comparing something that the vast majority of decent people who are anti-oppression consider awful, and the majority of public opinion supporting them then and comparing it to now when those same people are opposing something they also consider awful and saying that they're somehow hypocrites for opposing the same kind of things simply because now they have a soapbox and the power to actually twist a corporations arm.

No, the vast majority of people aren't "anti-oppression". The majority of people believe what they are taught, explicitly and implicitly, by the majority closest to them.

Fifty years ago, the vast majority considered desegregation and homosexuality immoral and contrary to God's will. 100 years ago the vast majority (of voters, all of them male) believed that woman shouldn't vote. 150 years ago, the vast majority considered slavery moral.

Like too many, you seem to think you live in some timeless, a-historical world, where what is "right" and "wrong" is or should be self-evident, where your comfortable consensus view is the view of everybody you know, the only possible view, and that only "bad people" and trolls ("outside agitators") could possibly disagree.

(Oh sure, you have vigorous arguments over unimportant details; much like a Lutheran and a Catholic of the 19th Century arguing over con-/sub-stantiation, but no disagreement that we have to bring Jesus to the unchurched heathens of Africa to keep them from eternal damnation.)

This sense of timeless unanimity about social issues -- no one could possibly think we're wrong was precisely what enabled every slaveholder's racist acts: they just couldn't believe that anyone -- anyone who mattered -- could dispute their God given right to sell a woman's children away from her.

This sense of socially sanctioned rightness was what led to those horrifying photos of lynching in the US, where the lynchers brought their children to pose, grinning with satisfaction, next to the corpse of the lynched victim. Hell, if you asked them, they were just giving a rapist (or "reckless eyeballer") his just desserts.

I'm not saying you're a slaveholder or a lyncher, of course. What I'm saying is that in every era the majority has a terrible inability to think that their mores and folkways are not universally shared by all "right thinking people."

Because only that explains how (until very recently), a majority of black civil rights leaders could even in light of their own experiences of oppression be adamantly against gay marriage.

And I'm not saying you're a bad person: nearly everyone falls into the trap of thinking that his tribe's conceits are (or should be) universal law.

It's often only the oppressed, and only because they have been oppressed, who question the "unquestionable" (self-evident, Natural Law, God's Will) foundations of their societies, who enact real change.

And that's the tragedy of the American soft quasi-liberal: you've all become the same "silent majority" you once fought, and so comfortable in being the majority that you no longer notice or care when you think your beliefs are so "self-evidently right" that that justifies forcing them on others.

Free Speech? You marched for that when it was your speech that was threatened. Now when it's just disgusting antisocial perverts' speech being threatened, well, now, that's not so bad is it?

And now you know why Governor Ronald Reagan was lauded, not reviled, for cracking down on campus unrest in California (and moved on to further greatness). People like you. Comfortable members of a majority, smugly convinced that their "right thinking" is unquestionable universal law.
posted by orthogonality at 10:11 PM on June 20, 2013 [11 favorites]


Just because it's really hard to prosecute and 99% of perpetrators get away with it doesn't mean that date rape and sexual assault aren't illegal.

Seriously, that argument is about as weak as the classics like "we didn't make limewire for sharing illegal things! it's just for anything, and people can use it however they want. If some people chose to apply it in this one way that we obviously totally didn't intend then it's not our fault!"

Look how well that held, and holds up. Same thing here.

The bits that say to stop if she like, really means no tacked on at the end are like those stickers on sketchy smoke shop tazers that say not to let them come in to contact with, or intentionally use them on other people.

Riiiiiiight.
posted by emptythought at 10:11 PM on June 20, 2013


That's arguably a business expense too since as you said, they're a company that makes games.

Yeah, but I can see the gray area there. I mean, I just started a production company and am shooting a web series pilot. My plan is to do a kickstarter to crowd-fund the rest of the first season. One could say that, since I'll have already started the company and shot one episode before I create the kickstarter, this violates the TOS because I'm a pre-existing business just asking for a handout to cover my business expenses.

Unless you want to get really granular about what constitutes a "pre-existing business" and judge each campaign on a case by case basis on whether they deserve the money or it's "just a handout", you can't really use that criteria to determine which projects stand. Otherwise you could find a way to never let anyone fund anything through kickstarter.

But I digress. Telling people how to rape women is still beyond the pale obviously.
posted by Sara C. at 10:13 PM on June 20, 2013


I kind of want to go to that subreddit and talk about How to Get awesome With Women -
Listen and talk to them
Show her you respect her.
Genuinely compliment her.
Genuinely value her.
Laugh at her humor.
Good manners matter.
Good hygiene matters.
Don't insult her.
Don't make discriminatory comments on the basis of gender, race, religion, disability status, age, sexual orientation.
Don't be a jerk.
Be an interesting person.
Be nice.
posted by theora55 at 10:19 PM on June 20, 2013 [11 favorites]


I kind of want to go to that subreddit and talk about How to Get awesome With Women -

I would like to offer an addendum:

None of this may work, and you should learn to be okay with that. No woman ever owes you her attention, and women, as a whole, don't owe you sex. It sucks, and loneliness and rejection are terrible, especially when you're being the best person you can be. But sometimes nothing you do will get somebody to like you, be interested, or even have anything to do with you, and you have to walk away, because they actually do have a right to choose who they want in their life, and your wants don't supersede that.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 10:54 PM on June 20, 2013 [50 favorites]


"And now you know why Governor Ronald Reagan was lauded, not reviled, for cracking down on campus unrest in California (and moved on to further greatness). People like you. Comfortable members of a majority, smugly convinced that their "right thinking" is unquestionable universal law."

I was wondering when we were going to get to the reduction to absurdity. Yes, being concerned about rape culture is the same as applauding Reagan's busting of hippy skulls, because both things are nominally popular among some nebulous "right thinking people."

But let's go a moment further — what connects those examples isn't so much that it's a majority, it's a smug righteousness. I mean, unless you define "right thinking people" in an entirely specious way.

And smug righteousness is pretty much the spine of your comment.

So, it's people like you that are why Reagan was lauded. Ergo, you're responsible for Reagan's cracking down on campus unrest, because you believe something and are willing to be kinda a dick about it because you're certain you're right.

I guess the part that doesn't come through so much in text: Was the parody of self-righteous anti-censorship arguments intentional? If so, high five.
posted by klangklangston at 10:55 PM on June 20, 2013 [19 favorites]


Free Speech? You marched for that when it was your speech that was threatened. Now when it's just disgusting antisocial perverts' speech being threatened, well, now, that's not so bad is it?

This is where I stopped liking your comment. I don't understand how this statement follows from the rest of your argument. Could you elaborate on it, please?
posted by quiet earth at 11:34 PM on June 20, 2013


Ugh, I just made the mistake of looking up the author on Reddit. His 'field reports' - anecdotes about harassing women, basically - include tales like this:
I grab a girl and give her a hug and a kiss. Then I decide to show [my male friend] some of the crazy physical push/pull stuff I had been doing in the states. I would grab her, pull her in, "I love you baby." (said in an obvious over-the-top way, guys, don't be creepy!)
Then I would shove her HARD towards the door. "Get out of here. Go."
I smirk because I know she isn't going anywhere. She stands by the door, doggy dinner bowl eyes on me.
And this - a boast about the sexual assault of a woman in a nightclub - is the mildest thing I saw.
posted by jack_mo at 12:00 AM on June 21, 2013 [5 favorites]


you think your beliefs are so "self-evidently right" that that justifies forcing them on others.

Well, it took me a while, but I found the lightly papered-over gaping hole in your argument. Under the word "forcing" you are conflating

1) individuals expressing disapproval,
2) advocating actions that private companies should take, and
3) governments sending in armed troops.

It's a fine froth you've whipped up, but it collapses if someone even looks at it hard.
posted by benito.strauss at 12:01 AM on June 21, 2013 [7 favorites]


Could you elaborate on it, please?

I'm also a little vague how slavery, homosexuality, and Ronald Reagan tie into whether or not people on the Internet should support a petition opposing how another group on the Internet gives funding through a private funding platform to a person on the Internet to publish a book telling other people how to treat (or mistreat) another group of people. To me, in this example, it sounds like free speech is doing it's thing.
posted by FJT at 12:03 AM on June 21, 2013 [4 favorites]



I also think speaking out about this and talking about this specifically really forces people to look at the dark underbelly of the PUA culture. I've been paying attention to the manosphere for long enough that it doesn't seem like "underbelly" for me, but I've heard the whole "it's just about learning to have confidence and how to present yourself" argument about PUA and the /r/seduction community so much that I think a lot of people really don't see the misogynistic and often rape promoting elements.


I kinda think the PUA culture has a dark OVERBELLY. I'd love some dating advice, but with a few exceptions so much of it is OBVIOUSLY morally repugnant that most sane people will run.

Fplus did one episode on Roosh and one on the general community.

Its weird because since i only read Shit Reddit Says i've got a dim view of Reddit. hopefully this will spread that view
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 12:08 AM on June 21, 2013 [3 favorites]


Have A Goddamn Spine: Kickstarter, Date Rape Manuals, and How Your Nerd Shit Doesn’t Matter

This is a large part of why you see women saying men cannot be feminists. Because they will say they support women, call themselves feminists, tweet about how much they hate misogynists, and when it comes to nerd bullshit, hypercapitalism, and being a proud consumer instead of a stand-up person, they will sell women out and continue to support a company that has profited from enabling rapists. Kickstarter made money off of Ken Hoinsky and the pathetic misogynists that donated to his projects. There is no cause, no purpose, no object worth supporting more than standing up to the thousands of years of misogyny and violence against women in our history. Worse more so that people like Ken and Kickstarter found a way to fucking profit off of telling men to force women to touch their genitals without their consent. Casey, that’s fucking pathetic.

posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 12:13 AM on June 21, 2013 [11 favorites]


MisantropicPainforest: "Has kickstarter not funded, or refused to fund, other projects based on the projects immorality?"

Not only that, but kickstarter saying that they couldn't do a last-minute shutdown of the project is a complete lie. They have done it before. For a Kobe beef scam.

Which was more important than pullin the plug on a guide to sexually assualt women, I guess,
posted by ShawnStruck at 1:00 AM on June 21, 2013


"As a socially awkward male, if I wanted to improve my abilities in the areas addressed by this book, where are the non-rapey alternatives?"

As mullingitover says, How to Win Friends and Influence People is worth a look. But Dating for Dummies is more specific and probably more helpful in this case. How to Work a Room by Susan RoAne is also useful: some of the PUA stuff like wearing "conversation starter" items is very similar to the advice in there.

As I've said before, it's a mistake to look at the more ridiculous stuff and assume that therefore PUA can't possibly work. There's a lot of sensible advice mixed in, but you can get that from mainstream dating and networking guides.

However, a lot of the PUA advocates will be guys who have tried it, seen that it works (because of the sensible advice), and concluded that therefore everything about it is gospel truth. Saying to them "haha you're all inadequate loser virgins wasting your time" isn't as rhetorically powerful as you might think: they probably really are getting a lot more sex than they used to.
posted by TheophileEscargot at 2:05 AM on June 21, 2013 [7 favorites]


Sitting around talking about things like freedom of speech and making mental comparisons to abortion clinics or hippy culture or whatever are all well and good when you're not the one that's going to be sexually assaulted in response to writings like this. Unfortunately many of us don't have the privilege of treating this like some kind of logic game. Harassment and sexual assault can't be stopped by logical arguments or we would have gotten rid of it long ago.

Instead the way to stop men behaving in these ways is to make it really clear that our society does not accept ideas like this. That's what people are trying to do in the links in this post and what many of the commenters are doing here, and is what Kickstarter should be doing too. It's not censorship or suppression of ideas, this guy can keep talking to anyone that listens. But we need to tell this guy and his followers directly that our society, not just the weak but everyone, doesn't want to hear it any more.

And frankly, it can work. I've never been catcalled or verbally harassed when in public in New Zealand because frankly, shit like that just isn't allowed. For example, if some construction worker calls out to me as I walk past I can get him fired, so they don't do it. It took a few high profile cases to get that way and I'm sure there are still exceptions, but it's just not a normal thing to happen. Too bad guys feels their speech is repressed, the law doesn't give a shit because it's there to protect the weak not empower some arsehole. Hearing about how my friends in the US are treated in similar situations makes me feel ill, more so because I know how unnecessary it is.

And sure, NZ isn't some assault free wonderland and there are still situations were I've been treated badly, but it usually involved young men in bars or similar situations behaving in ways that are directly endorsed by books such as this. Which is why we need to noisily and clearly reject these kinds of writings and the behaviours they involve.
posted by shelleycat at 3:08 AM on June 21, 2013 [29 favorites]


Free Speech? You marched for that when it was your speech that was threatened. Now when it's just disgusting antisocial perverts' speech being threatened, well, now, that's not so bad is it?

Free speech that incites criminal acts has never been protected, so I'm not going to lose any sleep over trying to get this kickstarter - or at least similar future ones - defunded, for inciting sexual assault and rape. Unless you want to argue that rape is a made-up crime used for Star Chamber style trials, I guess. Good luck with that.
posted by ArkhanJG at 3:39 AM on June 21, 2013 [3 favorites]


"Free speech" has nothing to do with it. Kickstarter is not the government, nor is it anything resembling a common carrier.

Free speech that incites criminal acts has never been protected

FWIW, this isn't really correct, at least in the US. There had been a window of time in which there was no First Amendment protection for speech advocating violence, but the current doctrine requires that the speech be likely to incite imminent lawless action. A book which says "try being more rapey" lacks the imminence factor.
posted by Sticherbeast at 4:05 AM on June 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


'kay, I'll try using really small words to explain the "free speech" derail -

I'm not Kickstarter should sit on the guy's hands and burn his computer so he doesn't ever have a chance to ever publish this book. I'm only saying Kickstarter shouldn't help the guy pay for it.

I still believe the guy has the right to try publishing this "book" of "advice", I just want it to be as difficult for him as possible financially. And, I am exercising my own free speech by telling people "this sucks".
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:42 AM on June 21, 2013 [5 favorites]


So if nobody kills this thing, and it gets funded, don't you think it would be amazing to see a reactionary satirical XKCD-lookalike comic book version? Just imagine, panel after panel of creepy dudes following this totally shitty advice. Wouldn't that speak for itself in an educational "look I'm quoting the bloody bible" kind of way? I just can't imagine it playing up shit like PUA subway riders in a good light through this medium. Can you?
posted by oceanjesse at 4:57 AM on June 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


Maybe I should draw a panel or two and see how it looks before I give this comic strip idea any more thought or support.
posted by oceanjesse at 4:59 AM on June 21, 2013


Axe body spray has been targeting the fedora crowd for some time now.
posted by Napierzaza at 5:05 AM on June 21, 2013


EmpressCallipygos: "
I still believe the guy has the right to try publishing this "book" of "advice", I just want it to be as difficult for him as possible financially. And, I am exercising my own free speech by telling people "this sucks".
"

Yeah, I don't get what's so hard to understand about this. You're not quashing free speech when you publicly express your displeasure, point out problematic things, or pressure a company to not support some evil shit. All this sexist/misogynist bullshit only goes away by constantly being addressed, pointed out, and fought against.
posted by Red Loop at 5:09 AM on June 21, 2013 [3 favorites]


He's certainly banking on the outrage, which is unfortunate. Even the disgust and protest against this sort of crap has been gamed, just as the far-right has done. Any time some idiot at Reddit or Penny Arcade or wherever says some ignorant nonsense about women and people rightfully take offense, legions of trolls rise up to defend/fund the bullshit as a protest against "misandry" and it all ends up watering an ugly flower, making it last longer in the the public consciousness than it should have.

It's frustrating because ignoring it won't make it go away; it thrives in darkness as well. I suppose the best that can be done is to call out the original person and then when these sycophants inevitable show up to say, "Yeah, and you're shit too." But it's like fighting bees; eventually you just get overwhelmed.
posted by Legomancer at 5:16 AM on June 21, 2013


Legomancer: "But it's like fighting bees; eventually you just get overwhelmed."

This is why you want the veil (of reason) and smoker (of more speech). Because bees do get alarmed, and they can sting in large numbers...but they're still just insects.

NOT INSECT-IST
posted by jquinby at 5:27 AM on June 21, 2013


I don't know if it works for bees, but you can easily defeat a wasps nest with a vacuum cleaner strapped to a plank.
posted by walrus at 5:40 AM on June 21, 2013 [5 favorites]


Part of the problem is that for dudes with bad social skills who want some sort of romantic advice it's like 90% PUA and 10% nothing. More books/sites with even basic shit like "approach people at an angle, not head on" and "actually ask them out, you idiot" and "try joking instead of fawning" would go a long way. As horrible as PUA is its almost the only game in town for advice
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 5:52 AM on June 21, 2013 [3 favorites]


I've had a book project on my mind for a while now called Treat Em Like Human Beings, You Fucking Cockweasel! that would alternate between extraordinarily condescending advice for how to behave like a human being is in fact a human being, and passages where people talk about their life or write about things and it's only revealed at the end whether the person in question was female or male or straight or gay or whatever. The moral being, did you find some of these people interesting? Some of them not so much? Cool! Sometimes those interesting people are also interested in having sex with you and sometimes they're not. But either way they are neat people and you would probably also like their friends!

Sometimes I feel like a total creep because my Machiavellian policy of having a really good friend from high school on, hanging out with him a few times at his college, and generally having a good time with his social circle up there ended up with my meeting a wonderful person who I've been dating for close to two years now in various states of bliss. Joke's on you, girlfriend whom I love! You fell victim to my cunning strategy of finding people I was interested in and genuinely liked until one of them turned out to also be sexually attracted to me! THE ALGORITHM WORKS!

I was a camp counselor to a group of thirteen-year-old boys one summer and it was hilarious and sad how much their attitudes toward dating already resembled PUA manuals. Hilarious for them, I mean, becaus thirteen-year-olds trying to get laid is always hilarious, and sad for PUAs, who were given many years to realize the error of their ways and just, like, didn't. In any event those campers admired the heck out of my awesome wisdom to have fun and make friends. It was like the whole universe opened up and dumped out a whole new set of people who happened to be GIRLS but who were still PEOPLE. And then my gawkiest gangliest camper hit it off with one of the cute popular girls and balance was restored to the universe, until he tried to sit her on top of a piano during a rendition of Don't Stop Believing and dropped her instead.
posted by Rory Marinich at 6:42 AM on June 21, 2013 [18 favorites]


"Talez, my point was that ignoring them doesn't work. But it does make women more vulnerable, because this is the kind of crap no one actually believes exists until you drag it out into the light."

I can't tell you how many times when I've tried to tell people how many guys have done stuff like this people say the problem is me. "Well there must be something wrong with you, you must be attracting that behavior and it's your fault somehow"

People don't believe that there are guys EVERYWHERE who behave like this. Yes the fact that I smile, am nice,care about people, and have a hard time telling people to fuck off adds the problem.

But I don't think I should have to live in a world where I have to go around kicking people in the balls in order to GET MEN THE FUCK OFF OF ME. These tactics have of course been being used since before books like this so talking about them IS helpful. Then the women who have been fucked over by creepy guys can describe what's been happening to them.

Just because these techniques "work" on some people doesn't mean you aren't sexually exploiting people who just wanted to be left alone and were trying to tell you that-- or maybe even thought they could develop a real relationship with you and wanted to start having sex once that had developed? The art of using people for sex who don't want to beused for sex and usingtheir own psychology against them to make them AND THEIR SOCIETY believe it's their ownfault is EVIL. It's evil. And our culture still sides with this being the fault of the victim which is fucked up because a lot of people really need a lot of training and education to see what these guys are doing to you and a lot of self understanding to understand why the techniques work and how to escape from them.

Ultimately, if men legally have the right to behave like this, I want a legal right to be able to work and go to public places and not ever have to physically be around men. Because that shit is fucked up.
posted by xarnop at 6:42 AM on June 21, 2013 [15 favorites]


And now you know why Governor Ronald Reagan was lauded, not reviled, for cracking down on campus unrest in California (and moved on to further greatness). People like you. Comfortable members of a majority, smugly convinced that their "right thinking" is unquestionable universal law.

I'm pretty comfortable calling it unquestionable and universal that rape is bad. If that makes me some kind of smug kale-eating liberal, I guess probably I'm okay with that.
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 7:08 AM on June 21, 2013 [25 favorites]


I was right with orthogonality all the way right up until he or she got it completely, utterly 100% backwards about who is "question[ing] the "unquestionable" (self-evident, Natural Law, God's Will) foundations of their societies" and who "has a terrible inability to think that their mores and folkways are not universally shared by all "right thinking people"" in this situation.
posted by soundguy99 at 7:23 AM on June 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


The other plus about talking about this is that women can hopefully see the techniques being used on them more clearly and it can help cut through that problem many women are socialized to have where we're supposed to give the benefit of the doubt and assume the guy has good intentions and that we need to keep being nice instead of running away ASAP and refusing to engage AT ALL even politely further if someone is pulling creepy boundary pushing moves. Any engagement gives them a foot in the door. People who would never hurt anyone else have a really hard time believing someone they've seen be nice or trustworthy at all could really be deliberately trying to plow over boundaries knowing there is resistance. For me it's a psychologically disturbing place to see how horrifyingly abusive some people can be in a very banal and entitled way. Someone who apparently is kind and normal outside of what they're doing in that moment. They are so comfortable with destroying anothers will they literally don't care what the aftermath or destruction for the other person is and think it's the other person's fault if they get manipulated.

I had one guy who I "dated" thought was this nice hippy guy explain to me later the "posturing" and efforts required in order to get laid and it was so creepy to look back on what I thought had been him being genuinely caring and see that he was literally pretending to care or be a friend and planning to turn the whole thing into sex every time. (I thought we were friends who sometimes had sex but apparently I was just someone he knew he could get sex out of.)

It's scary how natural some people can get at seeming like nice people while manipulating the whole situation toward sex the other person isn't necessarily wanting at all especially if they knew what was really going on or how they were being thought about and used. At the time I got treated badly by a lot of guys I was having severe PTSD and had no good friends so I was an easy target. I guess I still am but at least I know not to believe any guy is actually a friend anymore.

I've literally had men tell me that because I smiled and was nice I lead them on and owe them sex now, and I've had men say they care about my feelings and want to support me and then after say that because they are willing to be supportive they feel they should get sex or it's not fair to them and they'll withdraw the support.

At the time I thought that was "fair" and had no friends anyway but looking back I can see they targeted someone with problems and no support and offered support they knew would be hard to refuse and then pulled that. Like for example a 34 year old looking for 22 year olds at the community college? These guys know what they're doing and they know it will work on the vulnerable, especially on broken, young, uneducated, undersupported people. It's really horrible.

And the solution is not "well don't be vulnerable". People coping with disabilities, poverty, abusivechildhoods, trauma issues, or who are lacking in self defense abilities do not deserve this. Saying vulnerable people deserve it is to be a bully yourself.
posted by xarnop at 7:57 AM on June 21, 2013 [25 favorites]


Anyone who condones this shit deserves a fierce and swift blow to the jimmy. This is entirely reprehensible. You don't have to have much wrong outside of slightly wilted self-esteem to fall for this kind of completely disrespectful crap. I have often wondered at times if the whole of western civilization doesn't all boil down to the god-almighty hard-on and what to do with it.
posted by PuppyCat at 8:04 AM on June 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


xarnop - fuck yes to all of that! the other reason i hate the trope of virgin basement dwellers - some of us have dated these guys or slept with these guys or have been date raped by these guys - this is not a logic puzzle. some of us who have wizened up are looking back down the line at the women who don't know about this subculture, who don't know that someone would game them so hard, who are still being taught to keep sweet and defer. it's really stomach turning and sometimes it feels like nothing can be done - but i do lean towards shine light on these fuckers - i'll probably include a tiny diatribe about them during my next visit with my teenage nieces.
posted by nadawi at 8:30 AM on June 21, 2013 [3 favorites]




Good.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 8:36 AM on June 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


Doing it right, right there.
posted by cortex at 8:37 AM on June 21, 2013 [8 favorites]


Wow, way to do an apology right, Kickstarter! And you know it's genuine, because they take action, even if it's too late to direct it against this project:
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.
posted by gilrain at 8:38 AM on June 21, 2013 [6 favorites]


Good for the folks at Kickstarter. They were wrong, and it looks like they are sincere in trying to keep this from happening again. Both changing their stated policy and donating $25K to RAINN. Nice job, folks.
posted by blurker at 8:39 AM on June 21, 2013 [6 favorites]


Yeah, I'm pretty happy about this.
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 8:43 AM on June 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


We’re sorry for getting this so wrong.

Kudos to them for getting a sincere apology so right.
posted by jetlagaddict at 8:44 AM on June 21, 2013 [7 favorites]


To the people who supported this, either because they endorsed its content or because they support an idiosyncratic interpretation of 'Free Speech', is it a bad thing that Kickstarter cancelled this project?
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 8:45 AM on June 21, 2013


Well done, Kickstarter!
posted by MoonOrb at 8:45 AM on June 21, 2013


You know what? I am so impressed with this that I'm going to fund a project today, even though I hadn't planned to. Massive Chalice, by Double Fine, probably.
posted by gilrain at 8:46 AM on June 21, 2013


They didn't cancel the project. They say they should have, and that in the future they will cancel "seduction guides", but this one was funded no take backs.

They are donating 25,000 to RAINN.
posted by jeather at 8:48 AM on June 21, 2013


oh geez - i was holding it together until i got the 25k donation to rainn part and then i choked up. way to remove any discussion about profiting off of this, way to change your policies, way to admit to being wrong. i might not read any news for the rest of the day just to keep this warm fuzzy going.
posted by nadawi at 8:49 AM on June 21, 2013 [10 favorites]


That was a fantastic apology. I've been following the Women in Secularism stuff for a while now and so I've read some really god-awful non-apologies in the past few weeks; it's a huge relief to see someone taking women's concerns seriously, doing what they can do, changing their policies and obviously actually thinking about audience response.
posted by NoraReed at 8:52 AM on June 21, 2013 [4 favorites]


Oh I see, they missed the window.
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 8:54 AM on June 21, 2013


Yay! Now I can go plunk down money for Massive Chalice without feeling gross!
posted by joyceanmachine at 8:55 AM on June 21, 2013


Excellent apology by Kickstarter -- they literally put their money where their mouth is.
posted by Gelatin at 9:00 AM on June 21, 2013


Wow. That apology was really good. I cried. I'm still crying.
posted by bilabial at 9:01 AM on June 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


to retain your faith in humanity, don't read the comments below the apology. a good dose of "yay!!" with a big helping of "it's not enough! too little too late! how dare you apologize AFTER you do something wrong" (ok, some might just not understand apologies) and a smattering of "misandrist! this is no different than cosmo!"
posted by nadawi at 9:15 AM on June 21, 2013


I read the comments on the blog post and regret it now. It's funny how three or four comments by fuckheads can somehow sour a few dozen of the positive "thank you!" comments.
posted by MoonOrb at 9:17 AM on June 21, 2013


I remain puzzled that there isn't yet an X's Law (a la Godwin's or Betteridge's or Sturgeon's etc) for the basic internet truism of "Never Read the Comments."
posted by Drastic at 9:18 AM on June 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


Simply follow the advice of Don't Read Comments. Never steers you wrong. (I think there's also a plugin that will turn all comments areas into pictures of kittens, should look into that.)
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 9:22 AM on June 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


I scrolled down the apology page just far enough to see that whatever comment system they used is not blocked by various scripts I run, so I just closed the tab. Whew.

The only thing that makes me sad about this is how happy I am to see a good apology.
posted by rtha at 9:23 AM on June 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


That is one hell of a classy apology. Good on Kickstarter.
posted by Gygesringtone at 9:25 AM on June 21, 2013


An after the fact policy change seems like the best way to handle it, given the timespans involved, with the donation being a nice topper.

Given that it appears to be a deliberate fuckover banning the parties involved from future projects would seem like a good idea too.
posted by Artw at 9:41 AM on June 21, 2013


I remain puzzled that there isn't yet an X's Law (a la Godwin's or Betteridge's or Sturgeon's etc) for the basic internet truism of "Never Read the Comments."

In the specific, Lewis' Law.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 9:51 AM on June 21, 2013 [4 favorites]


Because I am vindictive, I hope the author's mother reads that apology and fully understands the creature she spawned
posted by angrycat at 9:52 AM on June 21, 2013 [7 favorites]


Your vindictiveness is so much more creative than the usual "die in a fire" stuff that I can't help but be impressed!
posted by gilrain at 10:01 AM on June 21, 2013


The author of the apology?
posted by Artw at 10:01 AM on June 21, 2013


of the book, c'mon.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 10:03 AM on June 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


rtha: "The only thing that makes me sad about this is how happy I am to see a good apology."

That was my reaction as well. That said, while the ideal target for my ideal universe isn't 'company fucks up, apologizes FOR REAL, donates much more than their profit from fuck up', I will certainly take it for the time being.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 10:03 AM on June 21, 2013


Things get weird here where KS is concerned.
posted by Artw at 10:03 AM on June 21, 2013


What's weird about this?
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 10:05 AM on June 21, 2013


Nice apology from Kickstarter. Hopefully, Ken Hoinsky realizes it's not too late to cancel his project and do the same. You'd think with all the negs he's getting, he'd be all hot and ready to apologize.
posted by orme at 10:06 AM on June 21, 2013 [12 favorites]


Ha ha I just read the Hacker News comments on KickStarter's apology and now I want to crowdsource money for a nuke to wipe Silicon Valley out with
posted by Rory Marinich at 10:09 AM on June 21, 2013 [11 favorites]


Nice apology from Kickstarter. Hopefully, Ken Hoinsky realizes it's not too late to cancel his project and do the same. You'd think with all the negs he's getting, he'd be all hot and ready to apologize.

He's gotten absolutely everything he could have wanted out of this, so I doubt that would happen.
posted by Artw at 10:09 AM on June 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


This isn't about him. Its about changing the culture. This was a victory.
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 10:11 AM on June 21, 2013 [4 favorites]


Since a lot of people don't seem to know this (possibly including the book's author): "Ravish" means "rape". The words are synonyms. So yes, the book is in fact literally instructing its readers to commit rape.

("Ravish" can also mean "carry off by force" without a sexual component. But if you think he's just trying to tell us to kidnap women and then not have sex with them, then (a) he's doing a very poor job of communicating that and (b) it honestly doesn't sound much better.)
posted by baf at 10:22 AM on June 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


He's gotten absolutely everything he could have wanted out of this, so I doubt that would happen.
posted by Artw at 1:09 PM


Well, he hasn't said for us to absolutely leave him alone yet, so we should keep trying.
posted by orme at 10:27 AM on June 21, 2013 [6 favorites]


But that just "proves" he is "persecuted" and therefore "right".

There really is no winning with this kind of asshole.
posted by Artw at 10:29 AM on June 21, 2013


Yeah, I've seen "ravish" used in a sort of literary sense to mean, like "seduce daringly" or some kind of semi-dominant sexually assertive behavior that is still consensual. But it just doesn't seem like the author is using it that way. It seems in context that the author is using the term to mean "rape".

Like, I was once on a second date with a dude, and we happened to get into an elevator together. There was no one else in the elevator, and I turned to him and said, "So are you going to kiss me or what?" And then obviously we made out in the elevator. I guess in some metaphorical Cosmo Magazine sense, that was me "ravishing" him.

But I'm pretty sure that's not how this guy is using the term.
posted by Sara C. at 10:33 AM on June 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


which is why the fight is not about him or about this specific pamphlet. kickstarter is no longer a platform for that shit. i don't care if they feel persecuted. the religious right feels persecuted but i'm still going to fight for marriage equality, even if that persecution complex inspires them to take shitty actions.
posted by nadawi at 10:34 AM on June 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


I've seen "ravish" used in a sort of literary sense to mean, like "seduce daringly" or some kind of semi-dominant sexually assertive behavior that is still consensual. But it just doesn't seem like the author is using it that way. It seems in context that the author is using the term to mean "rape".

Actually, I think the guy is intending it in the "seduce daringly" sense, and is just too clueless to realize what he's talking about is the "rape" sense.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:36 AM on June 21, 2013 [7 favorites]


this does nothing to improve my opinion of seddit's literacy
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 10:40 AM on June 21, 2013


he seems overall clueless about what rape is. i would bet if you got in a conversation with him about it he'd tell you that date rape is near-non-existent, and marital rape only counts if she immediately divorces him, and that molestation is nearly always made up in the misandrical family court system to steal paternity from good fathers. it also seems from his own admissions that he's the kind of guy that will gladly admit to raping women if you don't call it rape. he probably intended ravish in the other sense, but in practice he probably uses both definitions.
posted by nadawi at 10:41 AM on June 21, 2013


where are the non-rapey alternatives?

Here's an alternative: Refined Self.
posted by 4midori at 10:48 AM on June 21, 2013


I am all for seduction, which this guy is approximating rather than attaining. Seduction is all about empathizing with or knowing somebody well enough that you have some idea that they're attracted to you, and about the fact that your being able to tell that is totally hot. Somebody being aware that you're into them and liking that/being down to do something about that is totally, totally awesome. Like having a crush only the crushing defeat at the end of it is instead a crushing AWWW YISS

But that kind of seduction requires you to do things like listen to and respect the person you're trying to seduce, in part because if they aren't actually into you, you can't seduce them. Suddenly those sexy moves of yours are actually creepy rapey moves.

The awesome thing about seduction is that it's a consensual exchange of power, in a manner of speaking. You give the person you're into some measure of control over you, and they use that control to do things that you generally enjoy, and vice versa. It requires a lot of trust and a lot of maturity and the ability to make sexytime about two people together, rather than just one person alone. But people who are in "seduction" communities have trouble just accomplishing the "one person alone" part, so they have trouble recognizing that the whole reason sexytimes are satisfying is because they're shared and, like, intimate.

The people I know who are most into that kind of not-really-seduction also have a hard time understanding why they lose interest in the people they "seduce" so quickly. Some of them have concluded that it's because something's wrong with women. My fingers are crossed that they'll eventually work out that it's really because something is wrong with them.
posted by Rory Marinich at 10:52 AM on June 21, 2013 [11 favorites]


Actually, I think the guy is intending it in the "seduce daringly" sense, and is just too clueless to realize what he's talking about is the "rape" sense.

I sort of think this too, but when the rest of that passage is all about overcoming a woman's resistance, it could very well mean "rape." And if in fact he intended the term "ravish" in some paperback romance non-sexual-assault way but people interpret it as "rape," well, that's a pretty appropriate consequence of writing a how-to guide for sexually assaulting women.
posted by MoonOrb at 10:54 AM on June 21, 2013


I think it was a decent move all the way around for KS. Without meaningful action there would have been some hurt passed on to very worthwhile projects, and KS would have a significant black mark against it.

I can understand not wanting to act immediately to cancel a project without taking the time to understand it beyond just taking internet anonymous demands for it's cancellation, and if they where indeed working under such a tight window then giving a benefit-of-the-doubt one seems reasonable.

The $25K donation was key as well as the specific language. Yeah, they will definitely make it back because of the apology so it wasn't a bad business move, but they are donating move then the project itself made so it at least feels like a sincere gesture.

Everyone is allowed to make a mistake or two as long as it happens only once and you recognize what it is you did wrong and work to make it right.


Yeah some of those comments where seriously fucked up. "Dude it's just about normal self help human interaction behavior." To which one would say. "yeah, that's the problem jackass"
posted by edgeways at 10:55 AM on June 21, 2013


By the way, can I express appreciation that, problems aside, MetaFilter has so many people who're able to talk about these things so well? I come here for the geeky nerdy stuff, not the rape culture stuff, but the fact that this is community that's so good at doing both really makes me feel warm and fuzzy. And I say this as somebody who was kind of shitty at talking gender imbalance and stuff when I first joined, and whose participation in threads like this has greatly helped me realize my own vast ignorances.
posted by Rory Marinich at 10:56 AM on June 21, 2013 [17 favorites]


Hey, the word "rapey" kind of makes me feel not so great. Like it's a softening or cute-ifying of rape. Which I don't think is anyone's intent. But I've noticed that reaction whenever I see that word. Not sure how other people feel about that.
posted by MoonOrb at 10:57 AM on June 21, 2013 [6 favorites]


yuck. Why do I keep clicking on Hacker News comment threads for links that have anything to do with women? Why do I even keep going to Hacker News?

I feel sick.
posted by azarbayejani at 11:00 AM on June 21, 2013


Never let it be said minds can not be changed here eh Rory?
posted by edgeways at 11:06 AM on June 21, 2013


"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."

Welp, that does it for the draft of "Cave Her Mind: Use Her Primal Senses to Win Love (and Sex)!" where I get funding to tell dudes about hippos shooting a spray of liquid feces on each other, then rubbing over it for the sensual pleasure of touch.
posted by klangklangston at 11:06 AM on June 21, 2013 [3 favorites]


Hey azarbayejani, can you elaborate on the Hacker News stuff?
posted by oceanjesse at 11:07 AM on June 21, 2013


Hey, the word "rapey" kind of makes me feel not so great. Like it's a softening or cute-ifying of rape.

I agree wholeheartedly.
posted by komara at 11:08 AM on June 21, 2013


that's not the reaction to "rapey" that i have (for me, it's more acknowledging that rape culture involves a lot of stuff that isn't the strict legal definition of rape), but knowing that some have that reaction now i'll endeavor to not use it. feel free to remind me if i forget...
posted by nadawi at 11:10 AM on June 21, 2013


"Hey, the word "rapey" kind of makes me feel not so great. Like it's a softening or cute-ifying of rape."

I think it's actually supposed to be the reverse of that: Pointing out that a lot of actions that stop — with the fig leaf of plausible deniability — just short of rape are on the continuum of sexual assault. Rather than being intended to minimize or cutify rape, it's meant to point out that the ostensibly innocent actions that lead up to rape are of a piece with sexual assault; i.e. rape culture.
posted by klangklangston at 11:11 AM on June 21, 2013 [18 favorites]


There have been a bunch of good suggestions for "but how can I learn to interact with people without being a creepy PUA type?"

Have these been (or could they be) collected into a mefiwiki page that could be dropped into the various askme's that come around occasionally about this topic?
posted by rmd1023 at 11:15 AM on June 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


the normal word about things that are in rape land would be rapist, but that means a specific thing.
posted by angrycat at 11:17 AM on June 21, 2013


Welp, that does it for the draft of "Cave Her Mind: Use Her Primal Senses to Win Love (and Sex)!" where I get funding to tell dudes about hippos shooting a spray of liquid feces on each other, then rubbing over it for the sensual pleasure of touch.

I will help croudsource your bail money.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:20 AM on June 21, 2013 [3 favorites]


I will help croudsource your bail money.

Or reality show.
posted by zombieflanders at 11:23 AM on June 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


There really is no winning with this kind of asshole.

Dude, this was the classic Pyrrhic victory for him. I mean, sure he outsmarted Kickstarter this one time, but the way he did it means that he (and others like him) have at least one less venue to spread their crap in. Who knows, the bad press probably even convinced a few guys that weren't that into the PUA culture that it isn't just Toastmasters for Dating before they bought in.

Seriously, getting what you want isn't always winning. Sometimes it's just a real slow burn on losing.
posted by Gygesringtone at 11:24 AM on June 21, 2013 [7 favorites]


"I will help croudsource your bail money."

Is croudsource a new funding platform?
posted by klangklangston at 11:33 AM on June 21, 2013


Croudsourcing is a dynamic synergy of misspellings and cash.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:15 PM on June 21, 2013 [9 favorites]


That seems to be working quite well for Twitter.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 12:17 PM on June 21, 2013


I think one thing that complicates consensual seduction of someone you DON'T know very well-- is that people can be aroused or feel submissive but not feel safe to actually have sex in the specific situation. People can have chemistry and maybe REALLY feel strong attraction but know the time is not right to have sex because of many reasons like- not being on birth control, not knowing if the person cares about you enough to stick around after sex, being a person who values deep intimacy and trust before sex, having past trauma issues or just feeling vulnerable and unsafe---

There are many reason a person with desire might NOT want to be overpowered using their own desire and this is sometimes what people mean when they talk about seduction. Will there be birth control used? Will the guy support an accidental child if the birth control fails? Does the man assume he has the right to abandon accidental children if the woman winds up not feeling ok with abortion?

There are a lot of things people don't talk about or consider before seduction and it can cause huge amounts of pain and suffering so the "hesitance" men refer to in women who they "know are aroused" can be very valid reasons to not want to be manhandled into submitting to sex.

I think we could create consent culture that encourages healthy consent even in casual situations but that includes clarifying the person wants to be seduced. Like saying something as simple as "So, are you into being seduced?" before making your sexy moves on someone- and ideally if you know as a man you will abandon your old child if the woman won't get an abortion- let her know you have a vasectomy and are almost sure to leave her not pregnant. If you do this kind of thing playfully I think it can be done in a sexy rather than awkward way and if we make this kind of thing more popular it won't feel so awkward.

The silence is very loaded and there are many things that are probably better to talk about than to plow over before sex- especially when you consider how many single parents there are that got there as a result of not communicated about birth control and willingness to commit to accidental children. It'snot very sexy if you're a guy and you're like "Hey baby wanna have sex? Just so you know, if you're one of those bitches who won't get an abortion if I knock you up, I'll abandon the kid. So now that I told you, you and the kid would have to endure that and it's your own fault. So... let's have the sexy time, right?"

But this are things that people DO have positions on before having sex and what the positions are are a huge deal.
posted by xarnop at 12:55 PM on June 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


Actually that's the case even if it's someone you've known a while. Knowing someone a while or even intimately doesn't necessarily mean you know whether they want to be overpowered by their own desire possibly in ways that are risky and dangerous to their physical and emotional well being.
posted by xarnop at 1:05 PM on June 21, 2013


oceanjesse: “Hey azarbayejani, can you elaborate on the Hacker News stuff?”

I don't think anybody's linked to it yet, and I think this got nuked from HN's own page, so: here is the discussion in question. Yes, it is awful. It's the typical Hacker News "oh, stop hating on men so much, feminazis" crap.
posted by koeselitz at 1:14 PM on June 21, 2013




I kind of want to go to that subreddit and talk about How to Get awesome With Women

I'll add another addendum:

You're not gonna find any good answers in the back seat of a car or in some piss smelling corner of a night club. Women are not going to fix anything inside or outside of you, or change how you were in high school, or even make you feel better. Because that's not what they're there for. Sometimes it's good just to step back and learn to live by yourself. Not because it makes you more mysterious or attractive, but it's the only time it's quiet enough to really think.

Commercials and movies and even our families and friends just add to the noise. They continually feed us these toxic and poisonous ideas about relationships and sex and how we should feel and act if we don't have them and if we have them. And it's just...bullshit just to sell another few movie tickets or to compensate for their own shortcomings in life. Living your life chasing an idea that someone else has placed in front of you is never the way to live.
posted by FJT at 1:28 PM on June 21, 2013 [7 favorites]


In related "the Penny Arcade guys are jackasses" news: Steven Gaynor (of Idle Thumbs fame) and his indie game company are pulling out of PAX because of Mike's latest assholery.
posted by kmz at 1:34 PM on June 21, 2013 [5 favorites]


I don't think anybody's linked to it yet, and I think this got nuked from HN's own page, so: here is the discussion in question. Yes, it is awful. It's the typical Hacker News "oh, stop hating on men so much, feminazis" crap.

Yea, I just got a few comments in before I saw "Humans, we're animals under our clothes!" crap.
posted by sweetkid at 1:51 PM on June 21, 2013


Wow, PAX recreating the GOP "why do people think we're racist?" panel - I wonder if they'll have a confederate soldier show up?
posted by Artw at 2:03 PM on June 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


Wow, PAX recreating the GOP "why do people think we're racist?" panel

Yeah, am I the only one to feel that the PA guys are kinda out of their depth? That their popularity outgrew them like 5 years ago and ever since then they've been trying to catch up but they're always behind?
posted by FJT at 2:25 PM on June 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


I think its more that they have their fuck you money and don't care what other people think, combined with a bit of arrested development from high school trauma.
posted by Justinian at 2:36 PM on June 21, 2013 [3 favorites]


Imma scroll through these Hacker News comments until I find one that tries to "explain" courtship in programming terms oh wow gosh that didn't take long.
posted by prize bull octorok at 2:38 PM on June 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


It's pretty clear that Penny Arcade, and by extension and association PAX, are part of the problem with poorly behaving male gamers. Since the PA guys continue to double down on fratboy gamer culture, I can't support them or anything else they have tainted.

The most effective way for this shit to go away is for popular, powerful and charismatic men to step up and say "stop doing this shit." Most people are followers, sheep, and once the tide has turned against a behaviour will stop doing it.

So, what's needed is for game designers, developers, reviewers and YouTube players, and other assorted dudes, who have been avoiding the problem to step up and say "this isn't cool, cut it out" and in some of the worst cases, to say "we fucked up, we're sorry, we won't do that any longer."
posted by seanmpuckett at 2:42 PM on June 21, 2013 [4 favorites]


Gabe Newell should do it. No lie. He is the most potent, virile, and powerful man in games. Cliff Bleszinski wishes he could be Gaben.
posted by Apocryphon at 3:19 PM on June 21, 2013


seanmpuckett: "It's pretty clear that Penny Arcade, and by extension and association PAX, are part of the problem with poorly behaving male gamers. Since the PA guys continue to double down on fratboy gamer culture, I can't support them or anything else they have tainted.

The most effective way for this shit to go away is for popular, powerful and charismatic men to step up and say "stop doing this shit." Most people are followers, sheep, and once the tide has turned against a behaviour will stop doing it.

So, what's needed is for game designers, developers, reviewers and YouTube players, and other assorted dudes, who have been avoiding the problem to step up and say "this isn't cool, cut it out" and in some of the worst cases, to say "we fucked up, we're sorry, we won't do that any longer."
"

Relatedly, the developer of Gone Home released a statement: Why we are not showing Going Home at PAX.

Finacial Post released an article today: Penny Arcade needs to fix its Krahulik problem. Considering that Jerry Holkins (aka Tycho) is usually silent or complicit with a lot of this, I think it's also his problem, too.
posted by ShawnStruck at 3:27 PM on June 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


Gabe's apology on the subject. Could definitely be better, but at least he owned that his behavior was shitty.
posted by KathrynT at 3:28 PM on June 21, 2013


It's pretty clear that Penny Arcade, and by extension and association PAX, are part of the problem with poorly behaving male gamers. Since the PA guys continue to double down on fratboy gamer culture, I can't support them or anything else they have tainted.

The weird thing is i've met nothing but totally awesome people going to PAX prime almost without exception. Real awesome, solid, not shitty people who don't say or do shitty things. I've made some great friends through that convention that i still regularly spend time with years later.

It's weird. They're in charge and spew a bunch of this kind of garbage, and always double or even triple down on their bullshit and dig themselves deep graves to only offer a half "i'm sorry you were offended" type apology later with a side dish of "i have some friends who i respect who are bla bla bla"

On preview, that apology kathrynt linked is exactly the kind of mealy mouthed half ass shit i'm talking about. It seriously ends with him saying "I’m not qualified to talk about the ambiguity of sexuality and frankly I don’t give a shit about it."(i was going to paraphrase, but honestly it speaks for itself)

There's a lot of people like the people calling him out on this who go to PAX every year. Fuck, i've been a "special guest", panelist, and a "performer" there playing music(fuck, i really hope this doesn't make it easier to narrow down exactly who i am) and me and nearly everyone i know are outraged about this shit. My facebook is going to be blowing up in a bit i'm sure.

The disconnect between the people who actually enjoy and attend PAX and the people who run it is getting severe, and something is going to have to give pretty soon. They're getting to be like some kanye type characters where they really just need to sit some PR people between them and the public to screen what they're saying.
posted by emptythought at 3:34 PM on June 21, 2013 [3 favorites]


As a socially awkward male, if I wanted to improve my abilities in the areas addressed by this book, where are the non-rapey alternatives?

Superflirt

Superdate
posted by smoothvirus at 3:39 PM on June 21, 2013


On preview, that apology kathrynt linked is exactly the kind of mealy mouthed half ass shit i'm talking about. It seriously ends with him saying "I’m not qualified to talk about the ambiguity of sexuality and frankly I don’t give a shit about it."(i was going to paraphrase, but honestly it speaks for itself)

and yet the inclusiveness of a game about female masturbation was totally something that was crying out for him to weigh in on
posted by prize bull octorok at 3:40 PM on June 21, 2013


KathrynT: "Gabe's apology on the subject. Could definitely be better, but at least he owned that his behavior was shitty."

Apology? I don't see an apology. If one doesn't like being called a bigot, one should stop saying and doing bigoted things.
posted by ShawnStruck at 3:40 PM on June 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


I am not defending the guy or one word that came out of his bigoted little mouth, but "I’m very sorry about yesterday" is an apology. One that's softened and tainted a lot by the words around it, but it is an apology.

Frankly I suspect Robert Khoo told him he had to say sorry and this is the best he could come up with.
posted by KathrynT at 3:43 PM on June 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


You know how Kickstarter's apology was really great?

His is really not.

Your apology had one job, dude: to actually say sorry!
posted by jetlagaddict at 3:44 PM on June 21, 2013 [4 favorites]


I feel like they should maybe not let him write publicly anymore. He mentions putting on his "asshole hat," but I don't know how you can put on what you never take off.
posted by rtha at 4:00 PM on June 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


Also, the rewrite of the panel description doesn't make it sound interesting in the least. It sounds like "waaah, everyone is mean to us how come? waaaah" And what is there about that to discuss or engage?
posted by rtha at 4:01 PM on June 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


but "I’m very sorry about yesterday" is an apology. One that's softened and tainted a lot by the words around it, but it is an apology.

No, actually.

If you "apologize" and then continue to rant for a few more paragraphs about what you aren't really sorry about, and why then it's not. It's also not if it's a "i'm sorry you were offended" apology that also tacks a bit of "i regret what i said" which in that context basically comes off as "I regret saying it because it made me look back, i don't disagree with it though".

He's digging diagonally now, but still downwards. Maybe he's building a subway system between the holes he's dug? I wonder if it has to run under a lake or something?

Frankly I suspect Robert Khoo told him he had to say sorry and this is the best he could come up with.

It comes off as the kind of thing a bratty little kid who was now in middle school would say if a teacher or parent told them they had to say they were sorry. He's not really sorry, and he doesn't want to openly admit he was wrong. He wants to express that, but he's smart enough to get just enough of an apology in there that they have to let him off the hook.

A good parent/teacher/camp counselor/etc will call a kid on this. And i think we need one right now, because he's acting like a fucking child.
posted by emptythought at 4:01 PM on June 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


Your apology had one job, dude, to actually say sorry!

Eh, I sort of go the Scalzi route that apologies actually have to show you're sorry too. Either way, you're right that was a failure as an apology, but a massive success at feeling sorry for himself.
posted by Gygesringtone at 4:04 PM on June 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


I feel like they should maybe not let him write publicly anymore. He mentions putting on his "asshole hat," but I don't know how you can put on what you never take off.

It's the tyrant king problem though, an emperor has no clothes type of situation.

Who can tell you that dude, you've had a few too many drinks and you're making an ass of yourself when you're the emperor? I'm sure there's plenty of good people in their what must now be large organization who know that he's putting his head up his ass with his foot in his mouth over and over here. But who would actually get listened to and not just told YOU CAN'T TELL ME WHAT TO SAY, I'M THE EMPEROR! and possibly even UR FIRED LOL if they challenged him?

They're going to need to man up and realize that this isn't some little website for nerds anymore, they've created a huge influential empire. And when they speak, a lot of fucking people listened. They are in a position to come out and personally call out this bullshit like what people were discussing someone like Gaben doing above.

They could easily employ a couple of smart, "with it" women with popular gaming blogs/tumblrs to advise them and make posts on their, and maybe a good PR person. There's so many things they could do to not be pooping out their mouths, but instead be doing good. Or fuck, at least being a benevolent neutral "just the facts mam" with a smart remark here and there force in gaming.

This is entirely a death by ego thing, but they're godzilla. And their stupid bullshit thrashing around as they punch themselves in the gonads over and over is rolling over the tops of other people.
posted by emptythought at 4:06 PM on June 21, 2013 [4 favorites]


What's their incentive to do anything differently when they're making money hand over fist and there is no sign that will change any time soon?
posted by Justinian at 4:13 PM on June 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


Justinian: "What's their incentive to do anything differently when they're making money hand over fist and there is no sign that will change any time soon?"

And people still keep attending the conferences and supporting the product. I wonder what it will take for more people to stop supporting people and organizations that hurt me and people I love.
posted by ShawnStruck at 4:15 PM on June 21, 2013


Misgivings about all this aside, PAX still sounds awesome, and if anyone has a ticket and is reconsidering going please MeMail me.

You don't have to have much wrong outside of slightly wilted self-esteem to fall for this kind of completely disrespectful crap.

This sounds almost like admitting that it 'works', in a horrible sense.

I remember other controversial Kickstarter projects like Tentale Bento (the tentacle porn card game) and the rape charms in the new edition of Exalted that weren't pulled. Hopefully this will change in the future.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 4:35 PM on June 21, 2013


The fullbright company has made a principled stand against rape culture, against transphobia, & trans* bigotry, and they deserve to be rewarded for it. They’re taking a big risk by not showing their game at PAX, & I think if you agre with this, you should support this indie game when it comes out and in the meantime tweet @fullbright and @GoneHomeGame in support.
posted by ShawnStruck at 4:39 PM on June 21, 2013 [3 favorites]


This sounds almost like admitting that it 'works', in a horrible sense.

No one has said "This is stupid because it's ineffective;" most are saying "This is horrible because it's assault."
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 4:41 PM on June 21, 2013 [11 favorites]


Who can tell you that dude, you've had a few too many drinks and you're making an ass of yourself when you're the emperor?

I think the short answer is not "the null set" in this case but rather "Jerry", but I don't get the impression that he's really ready to get onboard fully and publicly with that or even really ready to seriously grapple (in an actually-form-an-opinion-on sense, not his usual talk-about-how-it's-a-confounding-thing sense that he usually uses to arms-length a lot of stuff) with some of the shit that Mike gets publicly, stupidly out of his depth on.

I mean, these guys are tight, since-forever BFFs who stumbled into this tremendous success. And for all their foibles, they are creative dudes who have successfully made some good stuff over the years and are stewards over (again, problems aside) what is generally regarded as by far the best, most inclusive, most not-shitty gaming convention experience in history. They didn't get there by being evil.

But they also didn't get there by specifically and consciously championing some of the nuanced shit that the dregs of the younger side of gamer culture often so badly, depressingly, predictably crash bodily up against and make a mess on. They're both admittedly socially awkward dudes who are thankful that they've had this weird success. Mike in particular is on the record as having had a lifelong struggle with social anxiety and anxiety issues in general that only in recent years has he even started to do any medical management of, to his apparent significant self-perceived benefit. They aren't obvious candidates for running PR on the gaming media/community empire they've ended up fostering. And ultimately I think Jerry has Mike's back, which is good for their friendship but not so good for their everything-else when shit goes down.

So setting aside any speculation about what Jerry may or may not be willing or prepared to be onboard with in terms of progressive thought and social justice and so on, I think it's an open question whether he's onboard with really, truly confronting Mike with his failure to fucking manage this shit in public. It's hard to get in your best friend's face and tell them they're fucking up and need to change, and I have no way of knowing whether or how much that has happened or will happen. But I suspect that if there's someone who can actually convince Mike he's full of shit on some of this basic way-of-being-about-things, it's Jerry, if Jerry can be bothered and be daring enough to try.

I find it all so frustrating because I do like these dudes the large majority of the time that they're just being funny creative enthusiastic nerds instead profound dickbags and dickbag enablers. It's like, don't you see how close you are to doing it really, really right instead of fucking it up so badly?
posted by cortex at 4:54 PM on June 21, 2013 [16 favorites]


This sounds almost like admitting that it 'works', in a horrible sense.

Yeah, so does rohypnol. And they're in a similar category IMHO.
posted by KathrynT at 4:54 PM on June 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


Honestly kathrynt, i would place manipulation in a category worse than drugging someone.

Rohypnol falls in to that category of what even the shitty bro dudes call "definitely rape". This stuff on the other hand gets argued over forever as to whether there's really anything wrong with it and is pretty much blatantly designed to make the target of the manipulation question whether or not it's their fault.

It's like the difference between robbing someones house and a 419 scam or something along those lines(ugh, and i'm REALLY sorry for getting anywhere near a property metaphor here, but really bear with me). It opens the door to shitty shit shit like "well i mean, you eventually handed it over to them, they didn't take it from you" while also letting the shitperson doing the manipulating go "see, i mean, they gave it to me! i didn't take anything they didn't give me. I just convinced them it was a good idea to give me what i want, which they obviously wanted to. See?".

If all we were talking about here was people drugging women it would be easy to rile up a big crowd of angry people with pitchforks to run them out of town on a rail. There's a lot of deniability and a nice big purring self-doubt generator built in to these "scripts" and this entire "seduction" process. The fact that you can even get people arguing that there's nothing wrong with it is the entire point.

This is the sexual assault equivalent of fraud. This is a con-man handbook.
posted by emptythought at 5:52 PM on June 21, 2013 [5 favorites]


Here's an interesting side issue about Mike & Jerry at PA: three days after they crowned Katie Rice the winner (a decision I agreed with, which was surprising, considering how rarely I'm in the same camp with those guys), finalist Abby Howard started a Kickstarter to launch HER webcomic idea (without a book or much other heavy-expense backer rewards) and has in LESS THAN 8 HOURS raised nearly 3 TIMES THE STRIP SEARCH GRAND PRIZE $$$.

Is this the Internet Hive Mind telling them they made the wrong choice? Maybe, but they'll never admit it.
posted by oneswellfoop at 6:05 PM on June 21, 2013


I'm pretty sure when they talked it out during final judging they both agreed whoever didn't win would be able to raise a bunch of money through KickStarter. I don't think the fact that Abby is crazy talented and has a huge following from a hugely popular web series put together by a hugely popular website is some kind of wacky twist that bears badly on Mike & Jerry's decision making. At least not that particular decision, because Katie is also seriously talented and has a ton more experience so it really wasn't that bad of a choice.
posted by Rocket Surgeon at 7:00 PM on June 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


Is this the Internet Hive Mind telling them they made the wrong choice? Maybe, but they'll never admit it.

Or maybe, if they'd picked Abby Howard, Katie Rice would have been able to raise 3x the strip search grand prize $$$ in less than 8 hours. This seems like a really weird thing for which to criticize them. A potential hypothetical which doesn't even really work?
posted by Justinian at 9:11 PM on June 21, 2013 [4 favorites]


I really hope you realize how stupid this sounds. Hey! Lets lock up people who play violent video games too! Those who have read 50 Shades of Grey and Twilight too because those have terrible behaviors that people follow as good advice.

I think the book is abhorrent, but your comment is right up there too. Maybe you should be monitored and locked up, just in case, you know?


usagizero, I'm sorry I've taken so long to respond, but it took me a couple of days to calm down. Please look carefully at my comment:

I just had a daydream where the NSA monitored sales of this book and the government locked away the buyers in Gitmo indefinitely.

Is the interpretation you put on it necessarily the only one? When I wrote that, I was thinking how Above The Game really was just a rape manual, and how difficult it would be stop someone from putting it into practice, which made me think of the U.S. government's repugnant practices of warrantless monitoring and indefinite preventive detention. The meaning I was trying to convey was: "The idea that anyone would want to use this book is so horrible that I understand the impulse to simply lock them away, the same way the government is trying to deal with terrorists."

I used the word "daydream" as shorthand for "This idea would be emotionally satisfying, though I know it can't and shouldn't really be put into effect," not "I just had a great idea, let's all start working on it now." It's my fault that I stated my idea so clumsily as to be ambiguous, but it wasn't entirely fair of you to jump to the conclusion that you did. You could have at least asked, "Do I understand you correctly?"

Bottom line: That anyone would write, publish, read or use this book is awful. Warrantless searches and preventive detention are unacceptable. Are we in agreement now?
posted by ogooglebar at 2:48 PM on June 22, 2013


To the people who supported this, either because they endorsed its content or because they support an idiosyncratic interpretation of 'Free Speech', is it a bad thing that Kickstarter cancelled this project?

I supported KickStarter's right to publish/fund it, and no, it's not a bad thing if the project were cancelled.

Kickstarter could take their profits from the book and donate them directly to the Street Harassment Project or a battered woman's shelter, I suppose.

I wouldn't be surprised at all if that happened.


...

Still not surprised. Well played PR, kickstarter.

You know what? I am so impressed with this that I'm going to fund a project today, even though I hadn't planned to.

I still need the Lysol.
posted by mrgrimm at 10:17 AM on June 24, 2013


Aaand, late but sadly not too late, Mario Bustillos of The Awl decides we're all a bunch of exaggerating whiners and calls up Hoinsky for a fun interview. Wow, thanks, Maria! Props for use of "hysteria" in the first few paragraphs.
posted by emjaybee at 11:59 AM on June 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


From the end of that article, Hoinsky says: "I am starting a public dialogue on the intersection of men's dating advice & feminist issues."

I am standing by to be amazed.
posted by rmd1023 at 12:12 PM on June 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


From the article: It is an entirely harmless book—as all books are.

Okay then!

Reddit, being the Internet home of computer geeks, is awash in guys complaining about how they can't get a girlfriend; a cliché, but true. The computer world, so short of women to practice on, is about the worst environment for shy young guys who want to learn about dating.

Glad the article stayed away from making casual and insulting gender-based statements.

Ken Hoinsky: So to leave all these frustrated, unsatisfied men completely in the dark is very, very disappointing.

I don't even know what to say.
posted by jetlagaddict at 12:23 PM on June 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


From the article: It is an entirely harmless book—as all books are.

Why does 99% of what assholes say about pretty much anything shitty nowadays sound like satire?

That sounds word for word like something colbert would say.
posted by emptythought at 12:42 PM on June 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


so short of women to practice on

Oh! So that's my purpose in this computer world? I was wondering - glad this is cleared up!

p.s.: The internet spaces I hang out in most have lots and lots of women there. Lots. And these aren't for-dykes-only spaces, you know? What they are are interesting spots that attract interesting people who mostly act like adults, not whiny adolescents.
posted by rtha at 12:51 PM on June 24, 2013 [4 favorites]


Art Yucko, in the comments:

"Grab her hand, and put it right on your close-tab."
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 1:33 PM on June 24, 2013 [5 favorites]


Please don't bring shitty comments over from other sites; it's sort of tough enough to manage the homegrown ones.
posted by jessamyn at 2:07 PM on June 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


Oh come on rtha, what they obviously mean is women between the age of 19 - 25, who will laugh at your every joke and think the particularities of how best to troll youtube is simply fascinating! Oh and abnormal high sex drive with huugege... tracks of land, are non-negotiable.

Isn't that what The computer world, so short of women... code for?
posted by edgeways at 2:15 PM on June 24, 2013


Please don't bring shitty comments over from other sites; it's sort of tough enough to manage the homegrown ones.

Sorry.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 2:21 PM on June 24, 2013


Does RJ still run the Awl?
posted by klangklangston at 2:50 PM on June 24, 2013


Hmm. Maybe he never did. Looks like I'm confused.
posted by klangklangston at 2:51 PM on June 24, 2013


I've had a book project on my mind for a while now called Treat Em Like Human Beings, You Fucking Cockweasel! that would alternate between extraordinarily condescending advice for how to behave like a human being is in fact a human being

But again, 'treat them like a human being' encompasses a lot of advice, since some people treat most people with indifference or condescension, so maybe they need to work on that. Or they treat everyone too nicely and with too much deference, so they don't build attraction. Its not as simple as the golden rule.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 6:09 PM on June 24, 2013


Or they treat everyone too nicely and with too much deference, so they don't build attraction.

I am maybe going to pretend you didn't just say that, in this thread.
posted by jessamyn at 6:20 PM on June 24, 2013 [14 favorites]



Or they treat everyone too nicely and with too much deference, so they don't build attraction.

I am maybe going to pretend you didn't just say that, in this thread.


Sorry, I phrased it really badly, and I didn't mean anything about rape or ignoring consent or even anything physical. Honestly, I'm not sure how to phrase what I'm trying to phrase without coming across as a creepy PUA wannabe, just that there needs to be more advice about interacting with the opossite sex than 'treat everyone the same', since it that doesn't always work the best.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 6:35 PM on June 24, 2013


"Treat everyone the same" is not at all the same as "treat them like a human being."

You don't (have to) treat a woman you might like to ask on a date the same way you treat your best guy friend you play music with. But looking for some set of Rules that apply to Women You Might Like to Ask on a Date is equally pointless (unless what you want is to date people who also use some set of Rules), because Anne is different from Julia is different from Leigh.
posted by rtha at 6:53 PM on June 24, 2013 [3 favorites]


Maybe not rules, but even basic general guidelines might help for the unsocialized. Hell a book about how to 'treat everyone like a human being' would be helpful, since I'm still not 100% on what that means, and I don't think I'm the only one. Lots of people still, to use Stuart Mill's forumulation, treat people as means and not as ends.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 7:03 PM on June 24, 2013


You don't (have to) treat a woman you might like to ask on a date the same way you treat your best guy friend you play music with.

And to prove your point, rtha, treating me like a best friend you want to play music with is actually the best way to come on to me.

Life's lack of instructions really is endlessly frustrating. But I think there truly are many resources for people of goodwill sincerely interested in learning how to make better social connections. It's hard to take the keening about seriously without knowing that the person has already tried seeking advice from friends and family, read a few self-help books and thought about them, used some reputable websites, read about the topic in a variety of advice-giving and opinion-based places (like AskMe, maybe), tried some therapy, etc.
posted by Miko at 7:19 PM on June 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


How to Win Friends and Influence People has been sincerely recommended by mefites I respect.
posted by rtha at 7:30 PM on June 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


And to prove your point, rtha, treating me like a best friend you want to play music with is actually the best way to come on to me.

Yea. If I wrote a book like this it would be two pages long. The first page would be that "dedicated to bla bla bla" and the second one would be "keep doing what you're doing. Talk to people and make friends with them. Unless you're being horribly offensive and constantly bothering people you'll do fine. Talk to as many people as you can, never turn down an opportunity to meet new people unless you have a good reason. Now put the book down and go do that thing you were doing with your friends before you bought this"

Every single person I've ever dated I just treated like a friend, same with all the people I've ever had a thing with of some sort even if it just lasted a couple days.

There really isn't any wrong ways to flirt unless you're being an ass. You're probably just talking to the wrong person.

9/10 times I hear someone whining about the "average frustrated chump" type stuff these books talk about I just feel like "sample size too small" is the problem.

It took me way too long to figure this out in my personal opinion, but at least it happened before I was like 40 or something.
posted by emptythought at 8:00 PM on June 24, 2013


Talk to people and make friends with them.

You might want to explain how to do that, too.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 8:33 PM on June 24, 2013


You might want to explain how to do that, too.

Practice.
posted by sweetkid at 8:36 PM on June 24, 2013


I'm away for a little bit and I miss rtha coming on to Miko?
posted by shakespeherian at 8:36 PM on June 24, 2013 [3 favorites]


Also I wrote this a while ago because people seem to find it helpful.
posted by sweetkid at 8:38 PM on June 24, 2013 [1 favorite]




Also I wrote this a while ago because people seem to find it helpful.


Just a tip: If you use sweetkid's strategy on somebody who's from a different place than you are, they may have heard it several times a day for several years, so they might just respond with a canned response.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 1:04 AM on June 25, 2013


You might want to explain how to do that, too.

Practice.


To "practice" a skill is to use it. To use a skill is to do the thing that the skill is for.

You just answered "How do I do this?" with "Do that."
posted by LogicalDash at 5:16 AM on June 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


You just answered "How do I do this?" with "Do that."

And then I posted again, with how I actually did that.

they might just respond with a canned response


There is no canned response to what I wrote, unless you just mean asking questions about where someone's from, which I just used as an example of how to get started. I didn't like reenact where you would go from there for an actual conversation.

The point of my comment is that when it is difficult to talk to people, find a few conversational hooks (like topics that are interesting to you) and practice them on one or two people, retreat, and then find a few more to practice on next time, retreat, etc.

Also, in any kind of interaction - friendship, business, romance - expect rejection and be OK with it.

But yeah you also have to practice. I mean this is exactly what all the people you think are better conversationalists or better at picking up or whatever are doing. They do a lot of practicing.
posted by sweetkid at 5:51 AM on June 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


Something I thought last night in bed but didn't post because iPhone: thinking of other people as either a means (a way to obtain something) OR an end (something to be obtained) is wrongheaded and liable to result in sadness all around. Truly people are not for using or obtaining. For example, one doesn't "get" a spouse and think one is done the work of life.

People are for being.

English doesn't seem to have the word for this and I don't know enough of any foreign languages. The concept I am trying to relate is that life is a journey and the only destination is the final one, and the people that we encounter on our own journey are also on their own journeys, and the time you share with each other, sharing journeys, and the way you feel while sharing that time, is the true reward for the sharing. It is an ongoing process; there is no "goal" or "win state".

I think that's why there's a societal disconnect; so often we're conditioned to achieve goals, to get to a destination, and instead it's not the goal or destination that's important, it's the journey itself.

So my message would be treat people as fellow travellers on an indefinite road leading towards an indistinct horizon heading to an unknowable destination and be kind, considerate, generous and loving whenever you can.
posted by seanmpuckett at 6:16 AM on June 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


Just a tip: If you use sweetkid's strategy on somebody who's from a different place than you are, they may have heard it several times a day for several years, so they might just respond with a canned response.

Or they might not. Or they might not care, because this kind of getting-to-know-you conversational dance is both a little...ordinary, and also an established and efficient way to get to know something about someone. At the very minimum, you are talking to someone, and listening to them, and (I hope), both people are using this ordinary getting-to-know-you conversation as a jumping-point to find a more personal hook to hang the conversation on.

None of the relationships I've had (friendship or romantic) have started with some kind of brilliantly unique statement or question; they all started with both of us being genuinely interested in getting to know the person we were talking to. I know that "get out of your head" is easier said than done, but....get out of your head.
posted by rtha at 6:20 AM on June 25, 2013 [3 favorites]


orme: "Ken Hoinsky realizes it's not too late to cancel his project and do the same."

So Hoinsky has apologized:
“In the most offensive and controversial parts, I chose my words poorly. Very, very poorly,” he wrote. “I meant one thing and people were reading another. THIS IS A MAJOR PROBLEM. I needed to seriously evaluate every last word of my writing to make sure I wasn't encouraging sexual assault in any way, shape, or form. I want to wholeheartedly apologize to everyone I offended.

Hoinsky also says he met with Ben Kassoy of DoSomething.org, whose petition to ban the project from Kickstarter received 50,000 signatures in one day. Kassoy's was one of “many meetings I will be having with anti-rape and anti-abuse organizations and experts to make sure that the advice I am offering is free of any tinge of sexual assault or rape vibes. I will be rewriting Above the Game under their guidance and insight,” Hoinsky wrote. “My name may have been martyred in the press, but I will be using this opportunity for good.” He will also be doing an AMA on Reddit this afternoon to further the dialogue on the intersection of men's dating advice and feminist issues.
posted by I am the Walrus at 6:50 AM on June 25, 2013


Man, this guy is just not a good writer. "Martyred"?
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 7:04 AM on June 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


Lots of people still, to use Stuart Mill's forumulation, treat people as means and not as ends.

You Kant be serious.
posted by octobersurprise at 7:04 AM on June 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


Is it just because I haven't dated men since high school (one guy) that the intersection of dating advice for men and feminist issues seems to me to be as simple as "don't be an asshole"? This should apply to both men wanting advice on dating and feminists. I feel like I'm missing something.
posted by rtha at 7:17 AM on June 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


rtha: "I feel like I'm missing something."

I don't think so. Not being an asshole is simple, but as is pointed out in lots of other threads here, 'simple' does not often equate to 'easy.'

Apparently, a cheat-code-type of approach to the wackiness and vagaries of human relationships is preferable to the efforts required to not be a putz. In the former, after all, it's not you, it's your game, man.
posted by jquinby at 7:26 AM on June 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


But again, 'treat them like a human being' encompasses a lot of advice,

That's the point.

Look, women aren't some unknowable other any more than you or I are. In fact, women aren't any harder or easier to interact with than other non-woman people. The moment you stop treating "women" as a group that has to be treated the same way, and that people can give you specific advice for dealing with, the sooner you (generic you, not you CiS) will get along better with women as individuals. That's because you'll be tuned into what the person you're talking to is like as a person, not as your pre-defined idea of their gender. The only statement I feel comfortable about making about women as a group is that they're all individual humans. We can't even get into chromosomes or primary or secondary sexual characteristics without finding all sorts of variation.

If you have a problem making friends with women because you're condescending to people then you need advice on interacting with people, not picking up women. Or if you find your canned question gets canned responses, that's probably an issue with the fact that you're using a canned question for everyone you meet without adjusting it to the situation. Believe me, I can tell when someone's asking me "what kind of music do you listen to?" because I'm a musician and that's what they ask musicians and when they're asking because they want to know about my taste in music.

So I guess what I'm saying is my advice to anyone looking to date any other person is just to remember that you're both people.
posted by Gygesringtone at 7:41 AM on June 25, 2013 [5 favorites]


That apology is nice, but it doesn't necessarily jibe with the actual content of his writing on the subject.
posted by rmd1023 at 7:44 AM on June 25, 2013


So I guess what I'm saying is my advice to anyone looking to date any other person is just to remember that you're both people.

Yep. Can those who are still having trouble with this concept please explain why? Because this comes up so very often in these threads.
posted by sweetkid at 7:45 AM on June 25, 2013


Just a tip: If you use sweetkid's strategy

I think it's useful to divorce yourself from the concept of 'strategy.'
posted by shakespeherian at 7:50 AM on June 25, 2013 [5 favorites]


It wasn't a strategy. The comment of mine that I linked to was about working up self confidence in talking to strangers, not gaming anything.

I really wrote it to help people, because it's something I came up with on my own that helped me. If anything, it's a "help with social anxiety" strategy. It's for yourself, your own personal confidence and happiness.
posted by sweetkid at 7:57 AM on June 25, 2013


I'm away for a little bit and I miss rtha coming on to Miko?

Heh. Hours after I replied it looked like I was indeed dropping hints there. Really, I was just running with her comments on the general concept of human variability - being invited to play music with me, specifically, is a great interaction because I love to play music, and it's a terrific form of communication, and usually based on mutual interest and mutual respect for another person's talents and abilities. It's evidence for rtha's point that there is no universal approach technique that will work for all women or all men. That, I think, is the fundamental flaw with this book - it's sexist, yes, but it's also idiotically reductionist. There's a code, and if you just crack it, you're IN with everyone by the sheer force of application of your special knowledge. Well, no. There are general principles for interacting with people in a respectful and human way, but because they're human, some will accept and some will reject your attempts to get to know them better. As sweetkid says, that's part of life. But a great way to get to know people is through genuine shared interests, and one of those might be music (for me) - or art (for someone else) or dogs (for someone else still) or movies (for yet another person) - it starts with self-knowledge, and knowing what in you may be the basis for a genuine connection with another person.

Not that rtha is not freakin' awesome, because she is. I was just QFT'ing.

And now that I think about it, I started playing guitar at a young teen age and there were not that many girls or women playing guitar then. I would always run across guys at events with guitars, and grew to identify this one type of guy who basically took up the guitar because it was a way to attract girls. There were a lot of them and they were awful - awful to play with, because it was not about the music or a genuine musical connection. It was about self-positioning a way they thought would be attractive. I always hated that. (Still do, as their adult versions are still out there - findable in some band dynamics).
posted by Miko at 7:57 AM on June 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


"I want to wholeheartedly apologize to everyone I offended.”

Ah, yes, the "I'm sorry you were offended" gambit. The classic mark of a non apology by an ass.
posted by emptythought at 7:58 AM on June 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


"I want to wholeheartedly apologize to everyone I offended.”

Ah, yes, the "I'm sorry you were offended" gambit. The classic mark of a non apology by an ass.


That's not what he said. Did you see the world offended and just fill in the rest. Man, if I ever piss off the internet, I'm never apologizing.
posted by nooneyouknow at 8:04 AM on June 25, 2013


It wasn't a strategy. The comment of mine that I linked to was about working up self confidence in talking to strangers, not gaming anything.

No, I know, that was gentle admonishment to CiS, not you.
posted by shakespeherian at 8:04 AM on June 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yea no I realized that, I just pictured 'sweetkid's gaming dating strategy' getting picked up by a lot of people who didn't actually read the comment, and sweetkid gaming anything is about as off-character for me as it gets.
posted by sweetkid at 8:24 AM on June 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


That's not what he said.

I have to agree - saying "I'm sorry to the people I offended" is an admission that "I" caused the offense.

There's hope for anyone. I hope the conversion is sincere. He has the power, at this moment, to set an important example and I hope it is productive.
posted by Miko at 9:02 AM on June 25, 2013 [2 favorites]



There is no canned response to what I wrote, unless you just mean asking questions about where someone's from, which I just used as an example of how to get started. I didn't like reenact where you would go from there for an actual conversation.


Trust me, if you get asked it enough, there's a canned response to "where are you from?" "Oh, where in America?"


So I guess what I'm saying is my advice to anyone looking to date any other person is just to remember that you're both people.


And again, that's so vague as to be utterly meaningless, and you don't treat all people the same. You don't treat your waiter the same as your brother the same as your lover.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 5:16 PM on June 25, 2013


You don't treat your waiter the same as your brother the same as your lover.

When you are first introduced to all those people, as a new acquaintance, what principles do you employ when deciding how to treat them?
posted by Miko at 5:18 PM on June 25, 2013 [1 favorite]



When you are first introduced to all those people, as a new acquaintance, what principles do you employ when deciding how to treat them?


Whether I'm likely to see them again, whether I'm in a hurry or not, whether they look cool or like we'd have something in common... sorry, but not everybody is some smiling Buddha who can instantly radiate positivity to every human being on Earth. PUA stuff is, again, creepy but there's more to dating and interacting with people than 'just be yourself' where 'yourself' is some kind of Jesus-like figure of universal love.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 5:21 PM on June 25, 2013


Charlemagne In Sweatpants: “PUA stuff is, again, creepy but there's more to dating and interacting with people than 'just be yourself' where 'yourself' is some kind of Jesus-like figure of universal love.”

The prioritization involved in the phrase "dating and interacting with people" is the whole point. Put another way: I really and genuinely believe that there are no tricks whatsoever to dating. There is no formula you can use, there is no magical one-two punch to dating, whether you're dating to "be awesome with women" (ugh) or to "find a special person you can spend your life with." Sad truth: there is no royal road here.

And thus one is forced to turn back to "interacting with people." That's what we're left with. "Interacting with people" implies "interacting with people well;" and that's a subset of "how to be a good person."

So the question is: how does one become a better person? This has to hinge on what we mean by "good," but in general "don't be an asshole" covers a lot of it, at least in general. Treating people kindly in small ways, knowing how to converse with them in ways that are mutually beneficial and rewarding, learning to enjoy being with them as themselves, as "ends in themselves" and not "means to an end" as Kant said. These are not always easy things, particularly for those who are awkward, but this is, I think, the best trajectory.

And behind it is a bunch of old parental advice that still sounds corny but that bears itself out. If people aren't interested in interacting with you when you're being a good person, then they've got their own thing going on and you have to respect that. If they react badly or lash out when you're doing the best anyone can to be a worthwhile human being to interact with, then they're probably not worth your time. Trying to trick people into liking you will generally end up badly. That kind of deception feeds on itself, to the point where, if you continue to engage in deceptive behavior to conduce people to like you, you'll end up believing that no one will like you (particularly not sexually) if you don't play a very complicated and convoluted game to fool them into thinking you're worthy. And at the root of that is a fervent belief that you are unworthy, that no other human being could ever want you as a friend or as a sexual partner if they weren't tricked into it.

It really does all lead back to "don't be an asshole." Aside from that duty – the duty not to be an evil person, or (more precisely and correctly) the duty to be a good person – there is no trick anyone can use to draw people in and convince them to interact. One can put oneself in social situations where there are more people, one can learn to introduce oneself and (as sweetkid recommended in that thoughtful comment) learn to make conversation, but one cannot induce other people to want to be friendly or sexual.

And – not to be glib, but it's true – if people brush you off completely just because you started off asking them where they're from, then they might not be worth your time.
posted by koeselitz at 5:41 PM on June 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


Whether I'm likely to see them again, whether I'm in a hurry or not, whether they look cool or like we'd have something in common... sorry, but not everybody is some smiling Buddha who can instantly radiate positivity to every human being on Earth.

I think we may have found the source of your problem.
posted by Miko at 5:53 PM on June 25, 2013 [5 favorites]


Didn't the Buddha say something about this? Something something cultivating something?
posted by box at 6:15 PM on June 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


And again, that's so vague as to be utterly meaningless, and you don't treat all people the same.

You seem to recognize this, but then you also seem to want advice on How To Talk To Women, as if Women are some special category of "people" that you need to talk to in some special way, and that that way would be the same for all of us. It's not, and we're not. As someone who has a fair bit of experience dating women, I can tell you that what has worked for me is: don't be an asshole; ask questions, and then shut up and listen; smile; make eye contact; when I had a good time hanging out with her, I used words and said so; I did not ever, ever play the "wait [X] days before calling;" and that's pretty much it.*

All the rest was specific to each person and wouldn't do you any good if I told you, since you are not going to be able to travel back in time to date my exes as they were when I was dating them.

* NB: All this stuff is pretty much how I act with people I am interested in becoming just-friends with, too.
posted by rtha at 7:06 PM on June 25, 2013 [4 favorites]


Oh, I do actually have one trick, if you can call it that: don't psych yourself out. Stop making up reasons (like being a smiling ball of lovingkindness or whatever?) for why whatever thing just can't work ever. I have never in my fucking life been a smiling ball of anything. I am sarcastic, occasionally mean (though never, I hope, directly to someone I am trying to befriend), sometimes a tongue-tied blob of shyness, I say stupid shit, I read the room wrong sometimes, etc. Despite not being perfect, I have gotten dates and had relationships. Stop believing there is A Secret. There isn't.
posted by rtha at 7:17 PM on June 25, 2013 [3 favorites]


There is no canned response to what I wrote, unless you just mean asking questions about where someone's from, which I just used as an example of how to get started. I didn't like reenact where you would go from there for an actual conversation.

Trust me, if you get asked it enough, there's a canned response to "where are you from?" "Oh, where in America?"


Sorry, you are totally misunderstanding the comment of mine I linked to. It is not a script for what to say. It is something different than that. You seem to not understand what it actually is, which I explained already.
posted by sweetkid at 7:19 PM on June 25, 2013


Women are people. Talk to them because they are people.
posted by shakespeherian at 7:35 PM on June 25, 2013 [3 favorites]


I'm not defending this book. I'm not defending the "dark side" of PUA which aims at deliberately blurring and crossing lines of consent.

But I think there may be some misconceptions about how PUA is supposed to work.

It's not supposed to be a guaranteed way to seduce any woman. In PUA, a man who wants to seduce only one particular woman is considered to have the dreaded disease of "one-itis". It's supposed to be a numbers game: you apply the tactics to as many women as you can until it works.

As an analogy, consider a double glazing salesman. The best double-glazing salesman in the world doesn't sell double-glazing every time he knocks on a door. He just has a higher success ratio than a poor double-glazing salesman.

It would be nice to be able to say: "hey, high-pressure double-glazing tactics are pointless anyway. I know because you'd never sell me double-glazing that way. Just treat your potential customers like human beings and you'll sell just as much double-glazing as if you read salesmanship books and went to sales seminars and tried to learn a lot of rules about how to sell effectively".

However, that statement is not actually true. If you try to use that argument to convince a double-glazing salesman to be less unscrupulous, he's not likely to be persuaded by it.

Also, it's not just socially dysfunctional twenty-first century male nerds who try to use rules to navigate the world of sex, dating and relationships. There was a very popular book called The Rules aimed at women quite recently.

Rules aren't exactly a new development either. Ovid's Ars Amatoria seems to be the first book of seduction rules, around 2AD. I also came across this 1530 advice recently, some useful advice there:
Furthermore never fart when you are dancing; grit your teeth and compel your arse to hold back the fart... Do not have a dripping nose and do not dribble at the mouth. No woman desires a man with rabies. And refrain from spitting before the maidens, because that makes one sick and even revolts the stomach. If you spit or blow your nose or sneeze, remember to turn your head away after the spasm; and remember not to wipe your nose with your fingers; do it properly with a white handkerchief. Do not eat either leeks or onions because they leave an unpleasant odour in the mouth.
I think that's PUA advice we can all get behind.
posted by TheophileEscargot at 1:43 AM on June 26, 2013 [3 favorites]


TheophileEscargot: "I think that's PUA advice we can all get behind."

Disregarding the nature of their advice, it's the notion of PUA itself that is disgusting.
posted by moody cow at 4:52 AM on June 26, 2013


Also, it's not just socially dysfunctional twenty-first century male nerds who try to use rules to navigate the world of sex, dating and relationships.

You're right, socially dysfunctional 21st- century female nerds do it too. If you ever hang around AskMe when The Rules comes up, you'll find people with a few things to say about that.
posted by Miko at 5:36 AM on June 26, 2013


It's supposed to be a numbers game: you apply the tactics to as many women as you can until it works.

Until what works, for what? What's the goal here, if it's just a numbers game and not anything to do with the person you're talking to? Doesn't that seem gross to you?
posted by shakespeherian at 6:38 AM on June 26, 2013 [3 favorites]


It's not supposed to be a guaranteed way to seduce any woman. In PUA, a man who wants to seduce only one particular woman is considered to have the dreaded disease of "one-itis". It's supposed to be a numbers game: you apply the tactics to as many women as you can until it works.

This does not make me think that I have somehow been mistaken about PUA all this time. This confirms (not that I needed confirmation) that it's gross.
posted by rtha at 6:49 AM on June 26, 2013 [9 favorites]


Why is trying to have sex with lots of women any more gross than trying to seduce one particular woman?

I can tell you that what has worked for me is: don't be an asshole; ask questions, and then shut up and listen; smile; make eye contact; when I had a good time hanging out with her, I used words and said so; I did not ever, ever play the "wait [X] days before calling;" and that's pretty much it.

Sounds like a good strategy.

I suggest that you'll have more luck if you are very attractive.
posted by mrgrimm at 9:42 AM on June 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


It's supposed to be a numbers game: you apply the tactics to as many women as you can until it works.

Until what works, for what? What's the goal here, if it's just a numbers game and not anything to do with the person you're talking to?


The goal is sexual interaction with someone you are attracted to

Doesn't that seem gross to you?

Not if I am attracted to all of the people I am talking to. And talking to people will help determine whether I find them attractive.

(Aside from the obvious issues discussed in this specific case about manipulating consent), I don't see what's wrong with having a strategy for meeting people for sex. My gay male and female friends certainly do, with little judgment from anyone.
posted by mrgrimm at 9:44 AM on June 26, 2013


Why is trying to have sex with lots of women any more gross than trying to seduce one particular woman?

I think the notion as outlined above carries a lot of implications of using people as a means to an end.
posted by shakespeherian at 9:45 AM on June 26, 2013


I can tell you that what has worked for me is: don't be an asshole; ask questions, and then shut up and listen; smile; make eye contact; when I had a good time hanging out with her, I used words and said so; I did not ever, ever play the "wait [X] days before calling;" and that's pretty much it.

Sounds like a good strategy.

I suggest that you'll have more luck if you are very attractive.



What does this mean?
posted by sweetkid at 9:45 AM on June 26, 2013


it's part of the persecution complex, sweetkid - that men who are hot are thought to be flirting while men who are plain are considered to be harassing (which isn't as true as they like to tell themselves, but whatever) - and this is used as evidence that women are just all shallow and need to be manipulated to sleep with someone, because she'd give it away to someone she was attracted to so she must be able to be convinced it to giving it up to someone who is smart enough - and if they can convince her it means they're the real alpha because they don't have to rely on looks. somehow this argument never seems to include the treatment they show women who they feel are too unattractive to approach them...
posted by nadawi at 9:57 AM on June 26, 2013 [4 favorites]


I can tell you that what has worked for me is: don't be an asshole; ask questions, and then shut up and listen; smile; make eye contact; when I had a good time hanging out with her, I used words and said so; I did not ever, ever play the "wait [X] days before calling;" and that's pretty much it.

Sounds like a good strategy.

I suggest that you'll have more luck if you are very attractive.


What does this mean?


It means that a) being a "good, normal person" is as much a pickup "strategy" as any PUA stuff; and b) in my experience, people deemed conventionally attractive have much better luck finding sex partners. In my opinion, a better "strategy" for picking up sex partners than any of the social-psychology stuff would be fine-tuning your appearance to attract those you wish to attract. (I'm not saying it's easy.)

it's part of the persecution complex, sweetkid

100% off base.
posted by mrgrimm at 10:02 AM on June 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


i'm absolutely not conventionally attractive - my face is comically unsymmetrical. i've had no problem find a large number of sex partners throughout the years. what that line of argument always seems to miss is that conventionally attractive is the minority - yet us funny looking motherfuckers still manage to get laid and partnered up all the damn time.
posted by nadawi at 10:17 AM on June 26, 2013 [2 favorites]


Like, I know mrgrimm to not be a persecution complex type person which is why I asked, but it does kind of sound like that's what you're saying, that for attractive people it's all very well to be yourself and ask questions and etc.

Which is sort of the trap that the "persecution complex" people get into because it really sounds like "well, what if you're not attractive? then you need strategies" which is really ick. I don't think that's what you're really saying mrgrimm but I think that's how nadawi interpreted it, and I understand why.

But seriously, I never understand that argument because do people really think that men don't evaluate women based on their looks, either? That's like 900% untrue, but always in these conversations it's like, "oh but if the guy's ATTRACTIVE.."

yes, everyone should make an attempt to be as attractive as possible. However, for me personally, I have completely dated people who were less conventionally attractive perhaps but dammit LISTENED TO ME when I was talking, instead of using a bunch of crap pickup lines, commenting how "sexy" I am every five seconds, "negging' or whatever.

Just listen.
posted by sweetkid at 10:18 AM on June 26, 2013 [3 favorites]


I suggest that you'll have more luck if you are very attractive.

I guess? But that doesn't mean that less-than-conventionally attractive guys must therefore be required to use "strategies" like PUA ones.

And based purely on the number of totally ordinary-looking people I see on the street and on the bus (and in stores and restaurants and so on) who are with their sweeties (and their kids), it's not like lacking stellar good looks automatically dooms one to a lonely life of aloneness.
posted by rtha at 10:56 AM on June 26, 2013 [2 favorites]


I have (mostly) stayed out of this thread for days now, because I made myself a personal rule that after a ugly exchange on this site a few years back I would never comment on any PUA-related story on MeFi ever again.

So I'm breaking my rule by posting this.

Admissions:
- I got invovled with the Seduction Community in the very early days of the late 1990s when there were only a few thousand people, worldwide, that knew anything about it. That meant that even here in DC there were maybe 12-20 people that had even heard of it. For a long time I knew who every PUA in Washington DC was.

- I was one of the founders of the oldest "seduction lair" in the country.

- I was a wingman for the (now notorious) Roissy for many years.

- I have at one time or another hung out with pretty much every famous PUA from the early years including Mystery, Neil Strauss, the entire cast of the VH1 show, etc.

These days I consider myself "retired" and not really involved with PUA stuff. I don't participate in any fourms and I don't really know what PUAs are up to these days. I don't bother reading PUA blogs. I have not heard of Ken Hoinsky or the seddit subreddit until it was posted here on Metafilter.

From what I have read, there have been no new concepts in the Seduction Community for many years now. Even Ken Hoinsky's book is really just a re-hash of "GunWitch Method" which dates back to 2000-2001.

The bad part about this is that there are really only about three core schools of thought in the Seduction Community and everything else since 2005 or so is simply just a derivative of one of them. And the problem there is some of the founding principles have giant gaping flaws which to this very day are treated as gospel.

A few years ago I was still defending this stuff - until one day a friend of mine called me a "PUA apologist." And it struck me like a thunderbolt, because I instantly realized he was right. If I even defended a part of it, then I was defending all of it, including the real sleaze balls, well, let's be real here, criminals that, frankly, I wouldn't piss on if they were on fire.

So to defenders out there - don't even try. Unless you want to defend someone like Dimitri the Lover. (I feel slimy even writing that motherfuckers nom de plume). Sorry guys, but the Seduction Community is so rife with con artists, snake oil salesmen, and scumbags that it is not worth defending.

I logged into a pickup artist forum yesterday and browsed some of the posts. I see the guys are still going around in circles, lost, just like we were 13 years ago. Trying to fill some empty hole in their lives with lots of casual sex. And the pages are still plastered with the same old ridiculous sleazy advertising for workshops and DVD sets.

I could go on and on about everything that happened but the best article I ever read that sums up my feelings about the whole thing is here:

My Life As A Pickup Artist
And here is the best quote from the entire article:
There is absolutely NOTHING normal about what a Pick Up Artist does or why he does it.

So, getting back to some of the flawed founding principles of PUA that its adherents are still going around in circles about. Years ago, one of the guys who coached me told me that Mystery was wrong about LMR. Because if a woman is giving you last minute resistance, you have done something wrong. Instead of trying to come up with techniques to "blast through" LMR you should be asking yourself why it's happening at all. I realize MeFi really isn't the target audience for this paragraph. But for those who still practice PUA - you SHOULD NOT be having sex with someone that doesn't trust you completely, or isn't completely comfortable with you. LMR means you're fucking up, and maybe even committing a criminal act!

But here's the real crux of why I'm breaking my PUA comment boycott and posting this. I think the "day of reckoning" may be at hand for PUAs. Frankly I'm suprised it didn't happen years ago. PUAs, as a whole, are going to need to make a decision, because very soon, you are going to find out that society is not going to tolerate the movement- the way it is practiced - anymore. The days when this was an underground thing practiced by a couple of dozen men in any given Western city are long gone. This stuff is mainstream now and you have a very large public relations problem.

Yesterday, I found out about this incident from Israel that happened about a year and half ago.
Activists disrupt lair meeting

I just totally raped this student chick

I believe that the clock is ticking for this sort of incident to take place in the USA where the whole movement began. PUAs are going to need to carefully consider if they want to show up to the next convention, because I think it's pretty likely you're going to meet a few hundred angry demonstrators and have the local TV station shove a camera in your face.
This is coming. It is going to happen.
PUAs are going to have two choices, either enter into a dialogue with women (yes I mean the feminists that many of you claim to loathe) about what they will, and will not, accept from the seduction community, as Hoinsky appears to be doing, or be driven so far underground that you'll have to have meetings in Saddam's spiderhole.
posted by smoothvirus at 11:02 AM on June 26, 2013 [26 favorites]


Thanks so much for sharing all that smoothvirus.
posted by jessamyn at 11:30 AM on June 26, 2013 [3 favorites]


That was really interesting to read. I'm relieved to hear that people do move on from this sort of thinking.

Some people have expressed the frustration, "Well, if I don't learn how to relate to women from PUAs, where can I learn it?" Just on a very cursory review, it seems like you could do worse than the site smoothvirus linked to for the essay - Postmasculine. I just perused the Dating and Attract Women sections and thought he had some interesting things to say. I'm not sure I agree 100% with all of his perspectives that I've read so far, but it's much more grounded and respectful than the other crap, while still having some of that formulaic quality that I think can be helpful to people who do best with explicit advice and frameworks.
posted by Miko at 12:20 PM on June 26, 2013 [2 favorites]


... in my experience, people deemed conventionally attractive have much better luck finding sex partners.

Did your "experience" also include trying to make the acquaintance of women who weren't conventionally attractive?

If so, then surely you must have felt there was something about her that trumped the physical appearance. Why do you not think this isn't also the case for women looking at men?

If not - then why not?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:04 PM on June 26, 2013 [2 favorites]


seriously I would love an answer to EmpressCallipygos' question. It just always seems like it is on the part of the woman to 1) be conventionally physically attractive 2) look past conventional physical attractiveness in men.

Just look at the proposed cover photo for this guy's book.
posted by sweetkid at 5:10 PM on June 26, 2013 [4 favorites]



Until what works, for what? What's the goal here, if it's just a numbers game and not anything to do with the person you're talking to? Doesn't that seem gross to you?


Sorry, but the dating game is slanted against socially awkward, not very attractive males. You do need to treat it as a numbers game or you'll end up taking every rejection personally.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 5:15 PM on June 26, 2013


THAT IS TRUE FOR EVERYONE
posted by sweetkid at 5:16 PM on June 26, 2013 [4 favorites]


And it doesn't mean that you treat each person as a number, or that there is one thing that will work on most or all of the people you are trying to date.
posted by rtha at 5:20 PM on June 26, 2013


Sorry, but the dating game is slanted against socially awkward, not very attractive males.

Dating is a numbers game, yes. The comment people were responding to was this

It's supposed to be a numbers game: you apply the [PUA] tactics to as many women as you can until it works.

I do not think you are trying to

- make this thread entirely about you and your own dating successes/failures
- make a defense for PUA people and continue to argue with people about that
- troll

However you are doing the first two which makes you look like you are doing the third thing. Please either make an effort to engage with the discussion people are having or consider taking a break from this thread because it's becoming increasingly about you. Feel free to also follow up with us via the Contact Form if you'd like to and we're happy to chat about it.
posted by jessamyn at 5:21 PM on June 26, 2013 [3 favorites]


All I know is that guys who have internalized that "the dating game is slanted against socially awkward, not very attractive males" and then come talk to me with the belief (true or not, I don't care) that I am a conventionally attractive, socially aware woman are annoying, transparent, gross (because of behavior not appearance) and really really not going to get anywhere with me.
posted by sweetkid at 5:23 PM on June 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


Sorry, but the dating game is slanted against socially awkward, not very attractive males.

Maybe. Life's tough - get a helmet.

You do need to treat it as a numbers game or you'll end up taking every rejection personally.

Speaking as a socially awkward, at best "unconventionally attractive" male:

Nope.

It helps a helluva lot if you quit trying to compare your "success rate" that of other guys, whether real or imagined.
posted by soundguy99 at 5:30 PM on June 26, 2013 [4 favorites]


One thing people ignore about The Game is that before he wrote it Neil Strauss was already a Rolling Stone reporter who'd written best selling books about bands like Motley Crue (half my friends own copies of The Dirt), so whatever 'sucess' he had can easily be attributed to his own interesting personality and life and not some canned routines.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 6:36 PM on June 26, 2013


but the dating game is slanted against socially awkward, not very attractive males.

So, what is "the game?" Games have rules and an outcome and imply winners and losers.

What are you trying to accomplish by dating?

This idea that it is "slanted" sort of implies that there is a competition for a certain resource or outcome. What is that resource or outcome, and why do you imagine it as a limited good that must be competed for?
posted by Miko at 7:54 PM on June 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


Sorry, but the dating game is slanted against socially awkward, not very attractive males. You do need to treat it as a numbers game or you'll end up taking every rejection personally.

The PUA "movement" doesn't help awkward nice guys, though. If anything, it hurts them. Not just in the sense that it encourages a damaging way of looking at women on an individual level, but because it also plays into a social dynamic that makes dating harder.

I'm a youngish lady who likes to go out to bars (sometimes--gasp!--by myself), and men will sometimes start conversations with me. I always make sure to indicate that I'm not interested in more than conversation--I decline any drinks, and mention early on that I have a boyfriend--but a lot of the time we'll talk, anyway, because why not?

Most of the time it goes fine, we have a nice conversation, one of us eventually has somewhere to be or friends to meet, and that's that. But there's that small percentage of times when it doesn't go well, and in a lot of ways I'm thankful that the worst it's ever been was being followed up the block by a guy who was not willing to accept that I was done talking to him and wanted to leave, even after I called my friend and said "Hey, where are we meeting? Okay, in ten minutes?" (my friend, who lives in another state, was a bit confused, but got that the subtext was PLEASE STAY ON THE PHONE WITH ME RIGHT NOW.) I managed to get away from him by going into a largish public building and hiding out for a while, but it was fucking scary.

The effect these kinds of interactions have are that I'm always wary, whenever a man I don't know starts talking to me. I'm always looking for cues, verbal and non-verbal, that he's not trying to push past any boundaries. It's exhausting, and it colors these interactions that I'd otherwise enjoy. I'm sure it would be even more difficult if I was single and actually trying to sort out if I was attracted to them or wanted to follow up later.

And, you know, I feel for awkward nice dudes. Quirks of my education meant that when I was a teenager, I had a lot of awkward male friends, some who were on the spectrum, some who were just plain shy and/or awkward and I witnessed (and sometimes was a participant in) their tentative and occasionally abortive first attempts* at dating. I still count a lot of those guys as close friends, and one as a partner, and I can understand how some guys, especially those who grew up in a harsher social environment (ie, traditional high school) would still be unsure or ill-equipped for adult dating.
*N.B. Myself and my many awkward female friends were also terrible at this, I should add. It's not a gendered thing

But even though I'm sympathetic, I kind of reach a point where all I can think is "Cry me a river," because the worst thing most men have to worry about when they approach a woman is rejection. The worst thing she's worried about is far, far worse, and justifying PUAs by saying that awkward guys have no other options is only encouraging that.
posted by kagredon at 9:53 PM on June 26, 2013 [14 favorites]


Let's try an analogy. Some people are good at cooking. Some people are not good at cooking. Why is that? Lots of elements are involved.

1. Practice. The more cooking you do, the better you get.
2. Recipes. Reading and trying out various recipes can make you a better cook.
3. Cookery courses. Going on a cookery course can help.
4. Observation. If you grew up in a house where people cook, you've probably absorbed a lot of knowledge by helping out.
5. Natural ability. A discriminating sense of taste, dextrous fingers.

Suppose you've grown up in a house where a parent is a keen cook. From an early age you helped out in the kitchen. When you moved out of the house, you enthusiastically tried variants on the things that your parents cooked. After a while, you're a pretty good cook. You know how to do all the basic things. You can cook largely on instinct: adding a pinch of this, grabbing a handful of that. For you, attending a basic cookery course at your local community college would be utterly pointless. You can get by perfectly fine without a recipe book.

Now suppose you grew up in a house where your parents never do any more cooking than shoving a ready meal in the microwave. When you moved out, you lived on sandwiches and takeaways. The few times you tried cooking, you attempted overcomplicated recipes without knowing the basics, and your souffle turned out utterly flat. For you, attending a basic cookery course at your local community college might be best thing you could ever do. A beginners recipe book that explains the very basics in detail might be essential for you. (I had a handy book in college called "How to Boil an Egg").

Being successful at dating is a bit like being successful at cooking. It takes a mixture of practice, knowledge and confidence. Some people acquire that knowledge implicitly, without having to do research or go on a course: good for them. But if you're not one of those people, making an effort to learn this stuff is very useful. The fact that some people have acquired this knowledge implicitly doesn't mean that everyone is born knowing it and has no use for instructions.

Stretching the analogy, let's say we've looked at some of these recipe books and some of them have some chapters containing horrifically bad advice. If you're one of those people who've learned to cook implicitly, it might be tempting to say "Recipe books shouldn't exist, they're not necessary anyway". But if you're not one of those people, you really might prefer to still have recipe books, just without these bad chapters.
posted by TheophileEscargot at 6:42 AM on June 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


except nearly all the recipe books of a certain theme have the horrifically bad, poison the world around you, advice. i think it's totally fine to say, lets stop with that theme of book.

there's no shortcut, no 30 minute meals for awkward guys who think they deserve to get laid by hot girls. if you're not good at dating or meeting women, make more friends, expand your social circle. not good at making friends? START THERE. trying to pick up strange women in bars is like beef wellington (and if pua were cooking advice, they'd be telling people to sousvide their steak to get a nice good sear on it, and if that doesn't work, buy my next book! come to my class!) when novice cooks should maybe try frying an egg or baking a pork chop.
posted by nadawi at 7:09 AM on June 27, 2013 [3 favorites]


HOW TO BOIL AN EGG

1. Take the egg's hand and put it on your dick.



This will probably not work out for anyone.
posted by shakespeherian at 7:13 AM on June 27, 2013 [5 favorites]


I just learned two things: 1) Ovophile is already a word, and it didn't mean what I thought it would and 2) ovophiles are also "mouthbrooders."
posted by gladly at 8:25 AM on June 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


The dynamic in this thread got really weird. Have a bunch of posts been deleted? The sense I get from CiS's posts is not a defense of PUAs at all, but rather pointing out how there isn't a whole lot of dating advice for men outside of PUA-related stuff, and that's the problem. Being happily engaged, I don't exactly keep my ear to the ground for dating advice. That said, I don't get the sense that there have been any new games in town, as far as explicitly labelled dating advice for men goes.

The PUA universe is awful, no doubt about it. So, not much on that topic needs to be repeated.

That said, there is absolutely, positively nothing inherently wrong with guys wanting to be more successful at dating. "Success" at dating can include not only serious relationships, but also casual relationships. There's also nothing inherently wrong with wanting to have sex with people. There is also nothing wrong with learning how to be more attractive to people. Obviously, such ensuing sexual encounters would have to consensual and honest and safe, just as it is equally obvious that cookbooks should not contain recipes for cannibalism or poison. There is also nothing wrong with altering your behavior to become a better person, so long as the changes are organic and warranted.

There is also nothing wrong with treating dating as a numbers game. Only an obtusely literal person would think that "treating dating as a numbers game" means literally treating every person as a fungible object. If it is socially expected that you will make the first move, then yes, you are going to have to cast a net and develop your own system for engaging with people, gauging your mutual interest, etc. It also means keeping confidence even in the face of rejection, which is a skill and a talent. It also means being honest with yourself about what you want. If you aren't actually looking for a serious relationship, then it would only be pretentious and dishonest to act as if you were.

More generally, having to deal with the "numbers game" of life is why How to Win Friends and Influence People is handy, just as this is also why most of the "good" PUA advice is just warmed-over leftovers from HTWFAIP. It does not come naturally to everyone to have these social shorthands and instincts. Whether it's romance or business or friendship or whatever, it never pays to miss out on a social opportunity or to make a bad impression. That said, this is also part of why HTWFAIP is not the whole answer, because that book is intended to be a general guide, whereas dating is its own thing.

"Treat women as people!" and "Just listen!" aren't just unhelpfully terse, but they're also not really correct. There is no one way to treat people - you treat different people differently in all kinds of different situations. You wouldn't have a recipe for "FOOD" which read "JUST MIX A BUNCH OF INGREDIENTS IN THE RIGHT WAY", and you don't just listen to people, unless you're a giant ear, in which case I'll speak more quietly.

...

I only ever read The Game, and that was years ago, but I could probably list right now all the "good" parts that are not otherwise overwhelmingly first presented in How to Win Friends and Influence People:

- It should be obvious that everything you do should be honest, safe, consensual, etc. If you don't know how to do this, then you are not ready to date anyone.
- Be appropriately confident. This doesn't mean being David Caruso in Jade, but this does mean not acting like you're too ashamed to live. A healthy level of confidence is much more charming to everyone, and it makes your own life better, too. If necessary, "fake it 'till you make it."
- Be appropriately decisive. Nobody benefits when you act as if the very idea of hanging out with you is an onerous chore that you'd have to cajole someone into doing. Being wishy-washy can come off as passive-aggressive, or as a sign that you're not really interested. Instead of saying, "maybe we should do something some time," just say "hey, let's grab coffee Thursday after work." (Obviously, don't bark this like a command, either.) The former sounds wishy-washy. The latter sounds like an actual plan, which can be accepted or rejected. And also, of course, take a hint if it's obvious that you're being rejected.
- Take care of yourself. Have a life with interests and ambitions, be presentable, get exercise, etc. Yeah, sure, be the real you, but the "real you" does not need to look like a scumbag and play video games 20 hours a day. It's also a hell of a lot easier to meet people by having a life, by the by. A lot of the PUA advice is centered around bars and clubs, but these are not great places to meet people. But hey, different strokes for different folks.
- Be "high value." This doesn't mean wearing forty gold chains around your neck and having two BMW M3s like a pair of rollerskates, but rather, seem like a person worth knowing. You will be more attractive if it's obvious that you make a good impression on everyone at a social event, and not just on women whom you'd like to date. It would look, and be, scummy and inconsiderate if you were obviously just showing up to places in order to hump.
- Don't put women on pedestals. This is a corollary to the idea that you should treat women like people. There's never really any advantage in being intimidated by someone's looks, so...don't be. People to whom you are attracted have insecurities and fears and dreams and likes and dislikes just like you do. "OMIGOSH YOU'RE SO PRETTY" is not a conversation. Neither would any woman worth knowing want to date a man who cannot mentally handle her.
- Never use pick-up lines. If you're going up to someone to talk, start an actual conversation. Make it a fun conversation that actually involves soliciting input from the other person. Don't make it too personal or too heavy. Then, make an excuse to leave, so that you don't wear out your welcome. Come back if it feels right.
- Don't box people in. It makes people uncomfortable, even if it's unintentional and neither party is 100% consciously aware of what's going on. If you're just getting to know someone, never, ever sit in such a way that you're forcing her to go into your personal space in order to leave.
- Never buy random women drinks as a means to get to know them. It can come off as skeevy and/or pathetic.
- Be honest with yourself and others. This includes not being the "Nice Guy" who pretends that he's not actually interested in casual dating. That's insulting to everyone.
- Advice for maintaining healthy, positive long-term relationships is a separate category of advice. Seek it out.

That's pretty much it.
posted by Sticherbeast at 9:05 AM on June 27, 2013 [2 favorites]


Have a bunch of posts been deleted?

We've only deleted one comment (a personal attack) since the 21st.
posted by jessamyn at 9:13 AM on June 27, 2013


and you don't just listen to people, unless you're a giant ear, in which case I'll speak more quietly.

This is ridiculous. I am one of the people who said, 'just listen' and what that means is don't have a big game of what you say based on what she says, or 'negging' her or pulling her hair back or looking her in the eye or anything, but just listen to what she has to say and act like it matters.

This may seem stupid and pointless to you, but I can't tell you how many dates I have been on where the person just does not seem to care what I have to say at all, and is just busy coming up with teasing lines and finding pointless reasons to grab at me etc. It's very easy to be made to feel like you're an interchangeable woman who is just there for visual entertainment. That's what's meant by "just listen" and "treat women like people."

I mean, sure you're right about this:

It should be obvious that everything you do should be honest, safe, consensual, etc. If you don't know how to do this, then you are not ready to date anyone.

But please stop putting down the advice that I and other people are giving in this thread. It's rude, and honestly we don't need to be giving advice in the first place except that this thread has yet again become about how awkward guys can get dates.
posted by sweetkid at 9:14 AM on June 27, 2013 [3 favorites]


"Treat women as people!" and "Just listen!" aren't just unhelpfully terse, but they're also not really correct. There is no one way to treat people - you treat different people differently in all kinds of different situations.

Actually, "there is no one way to treat people" is PRECISELY the point that women are trying to get across with the "treat women as people" advice. You are absolutely correct that there is no one way to treat people - which is precisely why trying to seek out One Single True Path for relating to ALL women is such a ridiculous idea, and why saying you have found the One Single True Path for relating to ALL women is a bullshit claim. So if you have a guy who has no problem treating other MEN on a case-by-case basis, but then chucks that approach over and tries to adopt a monolithic approach to women because "women are all like this", then...that's stupid, and he needs to know that. Because - as you say - there is no one way to treat people. And women are people, ergo...

Now, you may have someone who is having bad luck with dating - but is ALSO having bad luck making casual friends as well. That's a DIFFERENT problem - one that the dating-advice books aren't going to solve either.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:14 AM on June 27, 2013 [6 favorites]


The cooking analogy also doesn't really work because unlike recipes, there really is no combination of steps/words that will always work on a woman provided you execute them correctly, whereas if my peach cobbler* didn't turn out, either it was a bad recipe or one that I failed somewhere in the execution of.
* for the record, negging baked goods does not work. "Hey, nice flaky crust. Shame it's not golden brown."

I think CiS was getting mostly good advice, but I do think people were being a wee bit harsh on his comment that dating is a numbers game. Dating is a numbers game; not in the sense of "If you use negging, it will improve your chances of getting laid by 46.5%, with a 0.8 modifier if she's more than two points more attractive than you on a scale of 1-10," but in the sense that women aren't fungible, and you won't succeed with all of them all of the time, no matter how suave you are, because some won't be looking for a relationship or they'll looking for a different kind of person, or they'll like you just fine but there's no chemistry, etc. PUAs push this idea of a series of steps, and if you fail at them, there's something wrong with you. You need to read more books, go on more wingman expeditions, pay for more coaching sessions.
posted by kagredon at 9:15 AM on June 27, 2013 [3 favorites]


PUAs push this idea of a series of steps, and if you fail at them, there's something wrong with you. You need to read more books, go on more wingman expeditions, pay for more coaching sessions.

Omigaw. They're, like, the Scientologists of sex.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:18 AM on June 27, 2013 [7 favorites]


Now, you may have someone who is having bad luck with dating - but is ALSO having bad luck making casual friends as well. That's a DIFFERENT problem - one that the dating-advice books aren't going to solve either.

Much agreed. Whoever doesn't know how to treat anyone as a person will have trouble understanding the value of "Treat women as people." Books like The Game have no help for them. It may be that no book has any help for them, but I'm not willing to argue or admit that.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 9:20 AM on June 27, 2013


TheophileEscargot, these analogies aren't really useful - it's not that people aren't getting the process of PUA, or the ways in which PUA tactics might seem useful to introverted or socially awkward or inexperienced guys. We get that. Some of us have been (and maybe still are) these guys.

I've got 2 problems with the PUA "philosophy":

1) Relationships are not formulaic. And I mean romantic, platonic, sexual, whatever. There is no recipe. There are some vague guidelines - "Don't be an asshole", "Listen to people" - but other than that . . . . in the real world humans are messy and complicated and contradictory and illogical and emotional (yes, even the Spock-worshiping geeks - of which I was one once upon a time) and (to paraphrase Walt Whitman) are large and contain multitudes.

I totally get the appeal of hoping that there are a series of more-or-less discrete, concrete steps to take to improve your relationships with people (it would make things a lot easier), but you don't have to go very far down that path before you wind up with a very mechanistic, deterministic and dehumanizing attitude towards other people. The PUA attitude doesn't really recognize the women they're trying to hook up with as autonomous human beings with their own hopes, dreams, opinions, prejudices, weird quirks, etc etc etc. To them women are just puzzle boxes that have to be unlocked to get to the prize. Which is getting laid.

2) Look, people keep using the word "dating" re: PUA techniques, but . . . . . no.

PUA is about fucking. Not dating. Fucking.

Now, there's nothing wrong with fucking. I like fucking, myself. There's nothing wrong with having a relationship that's just fucking, and not even anything necessarily wrong with that relationship consisting of 20 minutes in the club bathroom.

What's wrong is that the CORE CONCEPTS of PUA techniques, the cornerstones upon which the entire edifice rests, are:

"The primary purpose of women is to fuck men" and

"The value and sense of self-worth of a man is based on how many women he's fucked and how attractive they are."

Take either of those two ideas away and there's no such thing as Pick-Up Artists anymore.

Sure, maybe a guy isn't getting laid as much as he'd like in an ideal world, but if he doesn't base his self-worth on number or attractiveness of partners, then he doesn't NEED to Pick anybody Up; there's no burning urge to find some kind of formula to quickly bump up the numbers so he can feel like a better man.

And similarly, if you primarily view women as existing so you can fuck them, then, sure, you're gonna look for ways to speed up the process of getting to the fucking and raising the number and attractiveness level of the women you fuck, because it's not like you care what they think - they're just there to fuck you. But if a guy can approach women as actual real complex human beings, rather than just The Keepers Of The Pussy, then, again, he doesn't NEED some kind of collection of tips and tricks and scams, because getting to the fucking ASAP is not his primary goal.

He very well might want to fuck them, or hope to fuck them eventually, but there is definitely a difference between approaching women as human beings who may also be potential consensual sexual partners and approaching women as if their only value is whether they're willing to fuck you. The Pick-Up Artist approach is the second one.

Maybe there isn't enough dating advice for men out there, and maybe PUA advice has some (mostly "borrowed") nuggets of valid advice amidst the crap, but the central beliefs required for the PUA approach are so morally rotten that I'm perfectly OK with "nuke it from orbit."
posted by soundguy99 at 9:48 AM on June 27, 2013 [7 favorites]


Also, dammit, kagredon, now I want peach cobbler, which will involve Pants, and Leaving The Apartment, and Driving The Car To The Store, and many other such Wearisome Activities. Sigh.
posted by soundguy99 at 9:52 AM on June 27, 2013 [6 favorites]


@Sticherbeast

What you have there is, roughly, a breakdown of what PUAs would call "natural game", one of the three main schools of thought from the seduction community. It was starting to get pretty popular around the time I got out of the scene, and a lot of people thought that it would become the dominant paradigm.

Apparently that did not happen as it appears to me that pretty much everyone is still running Mystery Method. When you hear about PUA's trying to seduce women like using a cheat code in a video game, they're talking about Mystery Method. Negging is from Mystery Method, and so is LMR Blasting. The techniques that Neil Strauss uses in The Game? You already guessed it.

I was a critic of Mystery Method even when I was a PUA - since it was what most guys practiced my critisicms ruffled a few feathers.

Natural game is more about improving yourself, and then making those improved qualities come across when you are courting the opposite sex. I actually found an e-book about it yesterday but the e-book had some things in it I think are bunkum (affirmations never did shit for me, there's a reason Al Franken used to goof on them on SNL), and it was linked to some coaches I think are somewhat sleazy, so I refrained from posting it.

I will mention Robert Greene's The Art of Seduction as it is not anything written by a PUA coach, although most of them have probably read it. Be aware that what is in that book is absent of any moral teachings, you can use what you learn from it for good or really hurt people with it.
posted by smoothvirus at 10:02 AM on June 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


This is ridiculous. I am one of the people who said, 'just listen' and what that means is don't have a big game of what you say based on what she says, or 'negging' her or pulling her hair back or looking her in the eye or anything, but just listen to what she has to say and act like it matters.

Yes, that is important, but the "just" is what makes it less-than-helpful advice. There is more to dating than that. If the "just" is not meant literally, then it shouldn't be there. I'm sure you mean well, and I'm sure I seem pedantic, but the improper "just" makes the advice come across as dismissive and condescending, in addition to being unhelpfully general and incomplete. It's as if someone was complaining about feeling tired all the time, and you said, "just eat better." Well - okay. Not exactly "wrong", but there's more to good health than eating better, and "eating better" is such a general concept that you'd need more detail to put it into action.

I had intended the ear joke to be a playful way of illustrating how one does not merely just listen, but if it had instead came across as being in any way an affront, then I of course apologize and take it back.

This thread does not have to be about CiS getting or not getting dating advice. He said that there was very little in the way of dating advice material for men outside of the PUA universe. Surely we all agree that that is a bad thing. There's a gap here, and that's insidious when only the PUAs promise to fill it. Indeed, he said it would be nice to have a book in that territory. It was then that people decided to give advice to him.

This may seem stupid and pointless to you, but I can't tell you how many dates I have been on where the person just does not seem to care what I have to say at all, and is just busy coming up with teasing lines and finding pointless reasons to grab at me etc. It's very easy to be made to feel like you're an interchangeable woman who is just there for visual entertainment. That's what's meant by "just listen" and "treat women like people."


The fact that those people were rude and obnoxious to you is separate from what goes into good advice and less-good advice. Yes, they should have listened, but given only your brief descriptions of them, it sounds as if they would have been rude and obnoxious (or worse) in other ways even if they had learned to listen. Nor would you have been taken with them if they had simply sat there, still and silent like stones, smiling beatifically, moving only to nod at appropriate times. Of course, that is undoubtedly not what you had meant by "just listen", but this is what distinguishes a the writing of a terrific self-help book from well-meaning bits of advice from the internet.

As for bringing up negging and hair pulling, this is once again illustrative of the problem as stated by CiS. From what you have written, irrespective of your intent, it sounds like you are drawing a strict line between "just listen" and full-on PUA obnoxiousness. This is a false dichotomy. Weirdly enough, however, it is a dichotomy with which a devoted PUA might wholly agree. In reality, there is a very large, broad, happy middle ground between the two points.

Steering the thread from away from the flames, why is it that something as seemingly banal, such as dating advice for men, gets so readily taken over by the PUAs - not just by the PUAs themselves, but by those who oppose them? Dating advice is not PUA territory. It never was and it never will be. We already know that the PUAs are scummy. There is no reason to cede this to them. When talking about the idea of what alternatives should overtake the PUA movement, this should perhaps be considered a site of possibility, for positive construction.

Also, with regard to your claiming that things might seem stupid or pointless to me, please remember that it does no good to assume the worst motives and feelings of others. If you had listened, ironically enough, you would have seen that I was talking about how the advice was overly terse and general. I never said or implied anything along the lines that people should not listen to others, nor that listening was unimportant. I said, and stand by, the point that one does not merely "just" listen.

But please stop putting down the advice that I and other people are giving in this thread. It's rude, and honestly we don't need to be giving advice in the first place except that this thread has yet again become about how awkward guys can get dates.

No, nobody needed to give any advice to him at all. Indeed, he had been asking generally for a book. This sort of project is not well-suited for a series of brief internet comments. That's not a personal attack on you or anyone else.

...

Actually, "there is no one way to treat people" is PRECISELY the point that women are trying to get across with the "treat women as people" advice. You are absolutely correct that there is no one way to treat people - which is precisely why trying to seek out One Single True Path for relating to ALL women is such a ridiculous idea, and why saying you have found the One Single True Path for relating to ALL women is a bullshit claim.

I understand what you're saying, but this reveals several problems with the initial statement.

One, it is a straw man, or something that only a truly fanatic PUA would think about, to talk about "a Single True Path for relating to ALL women." Again, it's troubling that "dating advice" is being conflated with what is functionally a PUA position. I know that it's not intentional, but it is what it is. There is a happy middle ground away from that ridiculous extreme - generally speaking, there do exist sets of strategies that will make someone happier and more successful in their love life. In other words, dating advice. There are sets of strategies that one can adopt in order to have more success in dating. No, it does not mean that acting in any certain way will with cause the Woman Of Your Dreams to be drawn to you as if by a magnet, her eyes turned to spinning spirals, beams of shimmering light streaming from your long, withered fingertips, bubbling potions and braying familiars around you as the air crackles with unholy magick, your wizard hat emblazoned with the Ed Hardy logo. It just means that you can make yourself generally more successful in this one area of life.

Two, the fact that there are many ways to treat people means that the statement is unhelpfully vague, to the point of being either tautological or wrong. The "people" category is enormous, and only contains the very most general rules of social interaction. There are other roles people have in one's life. There are not an infinite number of ways to treat my mother, or my boss, or a co-worker, or an adversary, or my fiancee, or a friend, or a stranger, or a date (unlikely, given the fiancee). There are expectations and assumptions underlying each one of these interactions, just as there are also general strategies to approach these situations. Advice can be constructed which is more specific than the general "treat people as people". No, there will never be the One Way to treat people in dating, outside of extremely general (and, one would hope, obvious) "don't hurt people" sort of stuff, but that's not the point. Besides, if things don't work out - if you weren't meant to be with someone, then it wasn't meant to be - any dating advice book worth having would get into that.

Now, you may have someone who is having bad luck with dating - but is ALSO having bad luck making casual friends as well. That's a DIFFERENT problem - one that the dating-advice books aren't going to solve either.


Again, this is a false dichotomy. There are plenty of people who are perfectly satisfied with their ability to make and keep friends, but who are "unlucky" in love, just as there are also people who are very successful in work environments but who are otherwise have no social life, just as there are also pueri aeterni who have lots of "luck" in love, but who seem otherwise to be drifters. Dating presents its own set of challenges.

...

In regard to "natural game", the phrase rings a vague bell, but I was never into the PUA scene. If that's what it is, then I guess I basically agree that? It sounds like its lack of popularity might have something to do with the fact that it's not flashy, and that by the time you've "bettered" yourself, you've figured out that "having a life" is cool, and that self-identifying as a PUA does nothing good.
posted by Sticherbeast at 11:12 AM on June 27, 2013 [2 favorites]


why is it that something as seemingly banal, such as dating advice for men, gets so readily taken over by the PUAs - not just by the PUAs themselves, but by those who oppose them? Dating advice is not PUA territory. It never was and it never will be. We already know that the PUAs are scummy. There is no reason to cede this to them. When talking about the idea of what alternatives should overtake the PUA movement, this should perhaps be considered a site of possibility, for positive construction.

There are actually plenty of books that offer alternate advice. This thread is not about there being a dearth of dating advice books, this thread is about the existance of a book that is giving a form of advice that is actively harmful towards women.

It's like, if there was a book about "how to plan meals on a budget" that advocated stalking and killing the neighbor's cats and making burgers out of them. The people issuing a hue and cry about such a book wouldn't be doing so because they're "ceding the budget meal-planning discussion", they're doing it because they don't want to see their cats killed.

Similarly, my speaking up about how scuzzy this book is is because I don't want to have strange men forcibly make me touch their dick.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:36 PM on June 27, 2013 [4 favorites]


This thread is not about there being a dearth of dating advice books, this thread is about the existance of a book that is giving a form of advice that is actively harmful towards women.

Right. I mean Sticherbeast you're picking apart the experiences of women that are being shared in this thread as "dating advice" for men, which is a pretty painful misreading.

This thread is not about sharing dating advice for men. It's about calling out a book that is "actively harmful towards women." The reason PUA is part of it is because that is where the discussion started.
posted by sweetkid at 12:40 PM on June 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


The fact that those people were rude and obnoxious to you is separate from what goes into good advice and less-good advice. Yes, they should have listened, but given only your brief descriptions of them, it sounds as if they would have been rude and obnoxious (or worse) in other ways even if they had learned to listen. Nor would you have been taken with them if they had simply sat there, still and silent like stones, smiling beatifically, moving only to nod at appropriate times. Of course, that is undoubtedly not what you had meant by "just listen", but this is what distinguishes a the writing of a terrific self-help book from well-meaning bits of advice from the internet.

This is such a bizarre extrapolation that it's difficult to believe it was made in good faith.
posted by kagredon at 12:40 PM on June 27, 2013 [1 favorite]




There are actually plenty of books that offer alternate advice. This thread is not about there being a dearth of dating advice books, this thread is about the existance of a book that is giving a form of advice that is actively harmful towards women.

We all agree that this book and the movement from which is comes is thoroughly bad. Kickstarter eventually came around on the topic as well.

CiS brought up a different, related point, which several people had been addressing as well. People talked about writing satirically condescending books about treating people as people, and people also volunteered advice to him. Are all of those comments retroactively not part of this thread?

It's like, if there was a book about "how to plan meals on a budget" that advocated stalking and killing the neighbor's cats and making burgers out of them. The people issuing a hue and cry about such a book wouldn't be doing so because they're "ceding the budget meal-planning discussion", they're doing it because they don't want to see their cats killed.


Okay, that's dissimilar from anything which happened in this thread. CiS called the PUA scene "horrible", and then said there was a dearth of books of dating advice for (presumably straight) men. I don't see very many helpful books suggested his way, but I do see a lot of advice and tension, as well as incorrect assumptions that he's still looking for PUA material specifically, or that he's endorsing PUA material, or whatever.

It's as if the most famous cookbook of all time had advocated killing the neighbor's cat. Someone then said, "I wish there were more books to actually help with cooking, unlike the horrible cat-killing book." Then people just kept saying "JUST EAT FOOD" and equating the desire for cookbooks with a desire to stalk and eat neighbor's cats. And then I come in and say, "no, he's just asking for a real cookbook, 'JUST EAT FOOD' is not helpful, and he doesn't want to eat the neighbor's cat, in fact he called that other movement horrible."
...

Right. I mean Sticherbeast you're picking apart the experiences of women that are being shared in this thread as "dating advice" for men, which is a pretty painful misreading.


This is not at all true. Which experiences am I picking apart? "Just listen" is advice. You yourself referred to it as "advice". Indeed, you said it was "rude" to "put down" such "advice". I did not in any way cast doubt upon the experiences you shared which had undoubtedly inspired that advice, as there is no reason whatsoever to doubt them. If you insist that is the case, then please specifically cite what you referring to, so that there is no further miscommunication.

If this argument is just going to be about us arguing back and forth, then feel free to MeMail me instead.

This thread is not about sharing dating advice for men. It's about calling out a book that is "actively harmful towards women." The reason PUA is part of it is because that is where the discussion started.


If the thread had not evolved into some people sharing dating advice for men, then why were people doing it? It's very possible that that wasn't your initial intention, but the ensuing argument across the thread read that way to me, and that impression was cemented further when you said that it was rude to put down the offered dating advice. If this is all a big misunderstanding, then there isn't much more to discuss, I guess. I only came into the thread again when I saw the preexisting back and forth about helpful and unhelpful advice.

The book in question has already been called out, and AFAIK nobody on this site disagrees with that call. There is no reason whatsoever to think that the general lament for a good book on dating advice for (presumably straight) men would be equivalent to anything resembling an endorsement of that book, or a similarly offensive book.
posted by Sticherbeast at 1:24 PM on June 27, 2013 [2 favorites]


Similarly, my speaking up about how scuzzy this book is is because I don't want to have strange men forcibly make me touch their dick.

I don't see anyone calling you out for speaking up about the scuzzy book, nor would there be any reason to. The scuzzy book which had began this thread is completely different than the apparently nonexistent or unmentioned book that CiS had brought up, which would be a decent, non-horrible book of dating advice for (presumably straight) men.
posted by Sticherbeast at 1:28 PM on June 27, 2013


did you completely miss the part where other books on dating have been suggested in this thread? you seem to feel like CiS needs a lot of spirited defense, but isn't it possible that people were discussing the topic of the thread and also using his comment as a jumping off point (especially since one specific comment of his is such an old canard in these discussions i'm positive it has a bingo square)? you're acting like every comment after his has been insulting him personally. if he wants detailed advice about dating books that aren't rape focused, ask metafilter is easy to get to.
posted by nadawi at 1:31 PM on June 27, 2013 [2 favorites]


Feminist pick-up artists fight Kickstarter's seduction ban

Good luck to them on proving whatever their point is, but bleh.
posted by Artw at 1:35 PM on June 27, 2013 [3 favorites]


and i very much think he is sincere about dating advice - he's discussed it before. and i very much think if he were seeking it out he would try to find good, non-pua books. i just don't really get why you've written pages of text about it/him, especially since you even say you're not trying to make this thread about him. if anything, this thread took a really weird turn when you rejoined it.
posted by nadawi at 1:35 PM on June 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


Again, it's troubling that "dating advice" is being conflated with what is functionally a PUA position

I've given dating advice right here in this thread and it was deemed insufficiently specific. CiS can't seem to articulate exactly what it is he wants, but he keeps shooting down the advice people suggest as too general, or strawmanning it as requiring a smiley Buddha nature. Books have been suggested as well, but I don't see him (or you) acknowledging that.
posted by rtha at 1:53 PM on June 27, 2013 [2 favorites]


Feminist pick-up artists fight Kickstarter's seduction ban

Good luck to them on proving whatever their point is, but bleh.


It's a good point.
posted by mrgrimm at 2:22 PM on June 27, 2013


Good luck to them on proving whatever their point is

"I disagree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to buy books on how to date-rape me."
posted by octobersurprise at 2:35 PM on June 27, 2013


It's a good point.

"This ban on the type of thing the skeevy guys were doing also affects our thing and we're not skeevy honest and Kickstarter should devote resources to vetting everything in this category of thing in case there might be some small value to it"?
posted by Artw at 2:36 PM on June 27, 2013 [5 favorites]


I'm pretty sure their point is, "Ooh! Free publicity for our projects if we grab onto the coattails of this controversy quick before it disappears!"
posted by soundguy99 at 6:12 AM on June 28, 2013 [3 favorites]


I'm pretty sure their point is, "Ooh! Free publicity for our projects if we grab onto the coattails of this controversy quick before it disappears!"

Yeah, no. I know some think that there's no such thing as bad publicity, but ask Paula Deen about that.

I don't think glomming onto the Ken Hoinsky-Kickstarter controversy is a lucrative business, fwiw, so I must assume it's a principled defense of unrestricted speech.
posted by mrgrimm at 8:31 AM on June 28, 2013


Yeah, no. I know some think that there's no such thing as bad publicity, but ask Paula Deen about that.

I seem to recall that included you back before KS made their about-face.
posted by kagredon at 8:40 AM on June 28, 2013


Sorry, I had a "hurry up and wait" sort of day yesterday, which made it all too easy to get a bee in my bonnet, or a yellow jacket in my thinking cap, or however else one would put it...

did you completely miss the part where other books on dating have been suggested in this thread?

Books have been suggested as well, but I don't see him (or you) acknowledging that.


I'm not trying to be obtuse - or perhaps being obtuse comes so naturally to me that I no longer need to try for it - but it is a long thread and it's hard to search through.

I saw all of three books suggested, and if I have missed any, then by all means please correct me:

How to Win Friends and Influence People - Great book, which you saw me talk about upthread. As you saw me write before in reference to the book, the majority of anything "good" to have come out of PUA universe is basically a collection of warmed-over leftovers from HTWFAIP. However, it is not a dating guide. It is a general guide for dealing with people in a variety of contexts. Everyone should read it, CiS included, but it's not really what he was talking about. Indeed, the reason why I provided the hand-picked (and grossness-scrubbed) list of otherwise "good" points from The Game was to show the kind of dating-specific advice that is not otherwise be contained within HTWFAIP. (I also did it to remove any incentive to seriously read The Game.) Some of that material might appear in a different form in HTWFAIP, but much of it does not.

How to Work a Room - I haven't read this book, so I cannot comment on its qualities. I assume that it's good, since it was recommended. However, this also appears to be a general guide to social interaction, apparently with a focus on networking. It's no doubt worth reading, but it does not appear to be a dating guide.

Dating for Dummies - I haven't read this book either, so again, I cannot comment on its qualities. Again, if it was recommended, then it must have been good enough to recommend. This appears to me to be the one and only dating advice book that has been suggested.

So, I see three books, two of which are general guides to dealing with people. I said that I didn't see very many books being suggested. Three is not very many, especially since only one is actually a dating guide. I discussed the one book which I had read. I could not discuss the other two books, as I have not read them. If I have missed other recommendations, then by all means correct me - I'm not willfully excluding anything.

I also saw the Postmasculine site recommended. In general, websites can provide just as much detail as books. This particular one seems interesting, from my perusal, but the Dating article seems much more like the Cracked article about 5 Ways Modern Society Teaches Men to Hate Women than like a dating advice article/book/etc. While it seems worthwhile, it's something different.

...

I will spare everyone further screeds. In the unlikely event that anyone wishes to discuss what I'm trying to say further, then I would be happy to continue in private. Otherwise, I presume that there is no need (or desire) for me to continue on this point in this thread, and that's fine. Best wishes to all.
posted by Sticherbeast at 12:12 PM on June 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


"Don't ask for permission. It's your sandwich. It's not the manager's sandwich. It's yours by all the laws of God and man and commerce. Stick your fists deeply into stacks of cold cuts and inhale their unique bouquet. Force the employees to push you out of their work station. They'll let you know if they're uncomfortable. If they say 'PLEASE EXIT THE KITCHEN IMMEDIATELY, YOU'RE CREATING A PUBLIC HEALTH VIOLATION' or 'SIR, STOP LICKING THE SPICY MAYO MISTER,' you know they're not interested. It happens. Stop escalating immediately and say this: 'No problem. I don't want to do anything you aren't comfortable with.' See how you're respecting their boundaries, but also being assertive (and covering yourself in delicious spicy mayo)?" – A Pickup Artist's Guide to Seducing a Sandwich.
posted by koeselitz at 9:33 PM on June 28, 2013 [6 favorites]


The "Awful Library Books" blog, whose examples are always cringeworthy in one way or another, is featuring a 1981 title: "The Cheap Date Handbook", along with links to other previously featured sleazefests from 1981-1991 that were culled from Library Shelves(!!!). Yes, there have been acquisition librarians with that level of judgement.
posted by oneswellfoop at 10:00 AM on July 1, 2013


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