Posted in Mom, personal, Pirate
June 21, 2013

Kickstarter, Pick Up Artists and Parenting

If you’ve been on the internet recently, you’ve probably heard about the kickstarter for a ‘dating guide’ that upset a lot of people. Heck, if you were on my twitter feed, you probably saw no less than a dozen retweets about it.

Here’s the skinny, the Kickstarter was to publish a seduction guide based off a series of posts to a subreddit. While the Kickstarter itself (which means the submitted pitch) didn’t include the contents, it did include a link back to the subreddit, and the contents that were to be published were extremely problematic.

I’ve seen so many people discuss this, that I’m not entirely sure what else I can cover. Kickstarter itself did apologize for the ordeal. They say that they missed the deadline to stop the funding, but that in the future, they won’t allow seduction manuals of any kind. They also donated $25k to RAINN.

As a woman, that’s a relief. Though I admit, that a dating manual created to counteract the sorts of advice put out in media (through magazines and pick up artist shows) would be a welcome addition to the world. Mutual consent is sexy.

The main problem that I (and thankfully, a lot of other people) have with a book like this is that the foundation of it is that a man should ignore a woman’s reactions in pursuit of what he’s interested in. That you can turn a no into a yes, when that’s unbelievably creepy and rapey. No should just mean no.

And don’t get me started on the idea that gimmicks or playing mind-games will win a woman over.

I have two boys. And I’ll be honest, a lot of the things that I teach them come from how I wish the world was. I’ve already blogged about how I’ve worked hard to strip gender from interests. So that they now it’s fine if boys do ballet or if girls play sports or watch Star Wars.

I spend a lot of time with manners. Saying thank you, holding the door for people. The Little Kidlet dazzles the crowd by introducing himself to people. (Though that one is mostly him- he watched us a couple times and discovered adults swoon for a 5 year old who shakes your hand and tells you his name)

As the boys get older, I plan on making sure that they treat the people they’re interested in with respect. That they understand that they don’t need to pretend to be anyone other than themselves when they meet someone. That honestly, it’s just painful to pretend to be someone else- because if they do decide they like the fake version of you, you can never stop being that lie. That if someone isn’t interested in being your friend or dating you, it might be painful, but that’s when you stop.

I plan on teaching them that there’s nothing wrong with complimenting a girl that’s pretty. But that there’s a line between a compliment and harassment, and a time and place. There’s a difference between taking a chance in asking a girl out and alienating her. That commercials like Audi’s Prom Super Bowl ad aren’t feel good ads, but something cringe-worthy. I do take issue with him kissing the girl. All it needed was a shot of her looking at him interested, but clearly with a guy, to make it appropriate. But instead he kissed a girl at random (from her POV at least). It shouldn’t matter that she liked it.

I’ve been aggressively pursued in the past. I’ve had guys tell me to my face that they believed TheBoy was imaginary, that I brought him up because I thought I was “too good” for them- and yes, called a bitch or other names for turning them down. I’ve had other guys tell me, in all seriousness, that if it didn’t work out with TheBoy that they wanted to be on a waiting list. (A list that Jerad once started compiling once he and I became friends- just as a joke. It was uncomfortably long.) When I worked at Disneyland, I had fathers tell me how attractive I was and slip me their room numbers. I’ve been asked by older men if I would be interested in being their mistress. Outright.

When I listen to stories from other women, I was lucky. Think about that for a minute. (And take the 8 minutes it takes to watch the video in that link)

My boys will be gentlemen. I owe it to the next generation that they be more aware of how they treat others. Because it’s the right thing to do. I can help correct the problems of tomorrow. It starts with me.

And you.

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