When everything went down with the “How to Sexually Assault Women” PUA Kickstarter project, I was incensed. It was just one more insult added to the barrage of sexist, misogynistic, and hateful rhetoric hurled at women and good men in what appears to be a banner year for this kind of bullshit. And it was one more piece of evidence that the shitty men are winning. The PUA piece of shit earned $16K for his project, and impressionable and lonely men who backed the project will get all the wrong answers about how to approach and date women.
I, like many people, posted an 11th hour screed about this project and my disappointment with Kickstarter’s handling of it. While there are other crowdfunding resources, I had a fondness for Kickstarter for a few reasons: 1) I love its interface, 2) I love its dogged support of creators, 3) Its been really good to me. 4) I appreciate its unique barrier that requires hitting a minimum to get funding, which I believe adds a necessary incentive to backers, and 5) I had hoped to use it in the near future for a new, exciting (and currently semi-secret) project.
If you haven’t heard the outcome of this situation, here it is: Kickstarter honored the $16K the PUA bag-of-shit earned. Kickstarter apologized twice (once a non-apology, and once a sincere one). Kickstarter is barring future “seduction guides”. And Kickstarter is donating $25000 to RAINN [Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network].
Short of defunding the seduction guide project (which isn’t possible, according to Kickstarter), this is the best outcome I could have hoped for. While I fear some of that $25K will go to help women who’ve been hurt by this very project, Kickstarter did the noble thing by admitting their mistake, taking steps to prevent future abuse of their system, and offering recompense via a donation to a worthy organization.
While my ideal outcome would be a world in which crap like Pick Up Artistry doesn’t exist, that’s going to take a while, and it’s going to take the work of folks like RAINN to do it. This is a decent second option for me.
I feel good about using Kickstarter for my future projects. My experience with them was wonderful and I believe they’ve done right by their users.