A Response to Ken Hoinsky

Ken Hoinsky posted a response to the controversy surrounding his Kickstarter project.

In his response, he expresses that he’s bothered by the fact that his words were taken to imply a go-ahead for rape.  He argues that his advice was set forth in the context of “she’s already been on several dates with you and seems interested in sex, now what?”

My advice for this author: good advice should need no context.  Teaching a person how to treat another person shouldn’t need 100 pages of prior reading.

The lesson you should take from this debacle is that your words can be helpful, but they can also be easily misconstrued.  Imagine if a reader of your’s–someone who’s read the entire book, cover to cover–shoved that page in front of a friend and said “read this!”  What would he learn from that excerpt?  If someone copy pasted it onto Tumblr, what would that text say to someone who had no way of knowing the all-important context?

Talk to a woman in your life about awkward sexual situations she’s found herself in.  I’m sure plenty of people have been sharing their stories, and I have a few if you’re interested. Ask her how she felt and what about it bothered her.  Ask her what advice she’d give men trying to bed her.  Ask her if she likes being dominated in any way.  (If you’ve done this, awesome, but input never hurts!)

Here’s where I’m going to differ with probably a lot of the feedback you’ve gotten in the past day: some women will echo exactly what you’ve said, some down to the word.  There are a lot of women out there who strongly desire someone else to take the lead in seduction and are incredibly receptive to that.  But there are a lot of other perspectives out there, and those should neither be ignored or discounted.  Your readers are likely to encounter women with a lot of different thoughts on and reactions to some of the behavior I’ve read from articles on this project and your Reddit; your hope should be to figure out how to convey your thoughts in a way that’s least likely get your dear reader punched in the nards.

I think you should take this whole hullabaloo as an opportunity to really read over your work and examine how it could be made better, more helpful and more mindful of the person on the other end of the “seduction”.  Examine how you can make any given page of your book convey the ideals that you suggest in your statement that you hold.  Pass it off to people of every gender to proof read and critique, both as a whole work and as excerpts.  And take a second to appreciate that you’re in a really awesome position, one that affords you a special power that nobody else will have.  What do you want to do with that power?

2 thoughts on “A Response to Ken Hoinsky

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