The Power to Say No
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
JUNE 20, 2016
It has come to our attention that Kickstarter was recently used to fund a book project called “Above the Game: A Guide to Getting Awesome with Women” by Ken Hoinsky that is being called “A Rape Tips book” and a “guide on how to sexually assault women.” We are deeply saddened that a project like this was not only funded but overfunded by 818% with 732 backers on June 19th, 2013 using the same service we are currently using to raise funds for our social justice kids history book series. Since Kickstarter takes a percentage of money raised, this means that Kickstarter just made money off of this project as well. While we have loved Kickstarter and its ability to crowd source projects that could not have happened without them, we cannot in good conscience continue to ask potential backers to support Kickstarter at this time.
We are saddened too because some of our favorite books have been funded through Kickstarter, great projects, radical projects, fierce social justice projects, projects like What Makes a Baby; A Rule is to Break; Oh,Oh Baby Boy; Fringe: On the Edges of the Mainstream Gay Community; and even our own I See Peace book; we are so grateful that Kickstarter could help make these books happen. And yet, this current controversy with Kickstarter has caused us to pause and consciously consider if this is the appropriate venue for us and the work we’re trying to do right now. As people and as a business we take our values very seriously in who we choose to support both with our money and our hearts and how we impact the environment. With the kinds of books we are trying to make, especially a social justice series for kids, we realized that we cannot continue to use Kickstarter for this project.
We still believe in crowd sourcing. We believe the people have the power, which includes the power to say no when something like this happens.
The books we are trying to create are books that specifically go against a project like Above the Game. We want our children, especially our young boys, to see powerful women, strong women, women who have changed history, women who are capable and confident, instilling in our boys a sense of respect and honor for women, and who do not grow up to create books like the one Ken Hoinsky created. We also want our young girls to see these same powerful role models of women to show them they can embody a sense of pride, a sense of agency and the knowledge that their bodies and their lives are their own.
We do not want books and media that perpetuate a rape culture, a culture rooted in power over that supports bullying and domination. Our children witness these power dynamics in the world and they ARE affected by them. They get played out and picked up by our children, and the dynamic continues. This is not the future that we at Reflection Press want for our children, we want our children to CHANGE the world. This means providing powerful role models for ALL of our children: transgender children, disabled children, lesbian and gay children, children of color- EVERYBODY! We want our history to inform a future where books like Above the Game are no longer a conceivable option.
We will be taking a few days to regroup and relaunch our Everybody’s History: The People. United. campaign through another crowd funding service. At the moment we are looking at Indiegogo. We are deeply committed to this work and this project and hope you’ll continue to support us as we change course. TOGETHER, we can change history for our kids and create a new reality!
Maya & Matthew