'Above The Game': Is Kickstarter Right Not To Remove It?

Senior Contributor
06.20.13 12 Comments


You may have heard about Above the Game. If not, it’s a book written by someone who is clearly a virgin offering his perspective on how to make a woman have sex with you. Note the wording; there’s not really a whole lot of “Women are people” in this guy’s philosophy. Among other things, he basically advises invading a woman’s personal space and forcibly putting her hands on your groin.

If that sounds vile and abhorrent, you’d be correct! But Kickstarter is not taking it down and, loathsome as it may be, I think they’re probably right not to. Here’s why.

Like It Or Not, The Market Is There

I’d love to tell you that everybody knows this guy is full of crap, something that’s painfully obvious if you’ve A) had sex and B) read any of the stuff he’s posted on Reddit under the username TofuTofu. Unfortunately, he’s up to eight times his goal. So, if the Kickstarter is taken down, he’ll just start his own site, publish the book, and we’ll be right back where we started.

Feeding This Guy’s Martyr Complex Is The Last Thing The General Public Should Do

The reality is, the people buying it are not paying to discover new and useful information. They’re paying to reinforce their beliefs. To really fix this, those beliefs have to be addressed. The last thing that should happen is giving the people who want to believe “rape culture” is just a figment of the imagination hiding in stupid vagina brains more fuel to claim they’re oppressed.

There’s No Law Against Being An Ass

The problem with taking down this Kickstarter, with taking down any Kickstarter, really, is the fact that it’s an American site. If you’ve got the right to free speech, then that right comes with the obligation to let others speak, even if we don’t like what they’re saying. Unfortunately, the ability to actually remove this book from general circulation, which is the ideal scenario, is not something Kickstarter can do. For that, it’ll be necessary to go to court, although there is precedent in this kind of case.

It Sets A Precedent To Be Used Against Other Members Of The Site

The same people funding this book started a desperate campaign to get Anita Sarkeesian’s discussion of video game tropes as they apply to women shut down, mostly because she had two X chromosomes and an opinion. And that’s far from the only Kickstarter subject to a pressure campaign, whether it’s “men’s rights advocates” butthurt a woman has an opinion, or somebody who actually has a valid complaint. While this is hardly a murky example, it’s easy to see why the site is taking a hands-off attitude.

This is not to say there isn’t anything Kickstarter can do. Kickstarter can donate the fees it receives from this project to a rape crisis center, and quite frankly should do so and encourage Amazon to do the same. Kickstarter can revise its rules going forward to be applied more narrowly or to explicitly ban this type of thing.

More to the point, if this bothers you, and it should, you should stop using Kickstarter. It’s the most popular crowdfunding platform, but it’s not the only one. In the end, the only effective voting method with crowdfunding is with your wallet.

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