There has been a controversial Kickstarter called "9 Year Old Building an RPG to Prove Her Brothers Wrong!" which was attacked by mens rights activists on Reddit for exploiting gender issues. Essentially, people believe she is a scammer because she is a multi-millionaire asking for free money, she's breaking a Kickstarter rule, she's exploiting her children and gender issues to make money, and her actions indicate that she has questionable business ethics. Many people actually sent her discouraging messages, sometimes wishing harm on them. I've read all of the comments on Reddit, as well as other articles that include her rebuttals, but I don't think she's trying to scam people, I think she's just trying to be a good mother.
When I read the Kickstarter page and watched the video, my first thought was that this is a juvenile project. It makes sense, since the girl is only 9 years old. I remember the "boys vs. girls" thing lasted until.. well, never! Feminism, in my opinion, is juvenile in some respects, but I think I'm going to literally have to write a book about that someday to explain why. In any case, I do think it's silly that a mother would encourage this, but not surprising at all for a feminist to do. To me, this project was just a silly fun thing to do that allowed the little girl to be creative and accomplish something. Obviously the mother, Susan Wilson, didn't take it seriously and think it all the way through (who would have seen this coming?) Unfortunately, many internet users took it very seriously and looked for any dirt they could find on her.
I was compelled to write about this because my opinions are usually quite different from most people, and I feel that Susan Wilson's situation deserves another point-of-view. It's easy to judge others based on their apparent actions, but I think intentions are more important. In any case, all of these strangers are assuming to know her intentions, which is unfair and unwise -- an injustice to anyone. It's easy to make anyone look like a bad guy, especially if they have a lot more money than you. I saw many comments that expressed how unfair it is that this little girl is able to "break the rules" to get free money to make a dumb game, which her mom could easily pay for herself! Whoa. Really?
First of all, its not breaking any rule; it clearly states that she is going to make a video game that will be given to backers. It doesn't say that she has to make a good game. The class will of course be fun for her, but even the whole purpose of the class is to make a game, so there's the end product right there. Kickstarter is aimed to support the creation of creative projects like that. Why is it totally acceptable for a business to use Kickstarter to raise money for a game? The only difference is that the overhead costs are different. For the business, its to pay rent and utilities, employees, and whatever else. For the girl, it's to cover some of the costs of the camp (i.e. business fees). Secondly, it's not entirely free money. The backers will receive something in return, depending on how much they pledge, just like all Kickstarter projects.
Of course her mom could easily pay for it, if she were truly wealthy. According to the latest update on Kickstarter, she's unemployed and isn't wealthy, despite having been successful in the past. $829 wouldn't phase me if I made a million dollars a year, but I would make my child work for it somehow. Easy come, easy go. I bet these same people would attack her for spoiling her kid if she just paid it herself. Obviously, the idea was to encourage her daughter to start a project with a goal in mind, and then achieve it. Not one person, EVER, pulled themselves up by their own bootstraps; people had to choose you over someone else for that job or that sale. The whole point of Kickstarter is to get "free money" in exchange for something else: a game, a film, whatever. Supporting a Kickstarter project is directly enabling a person to accomplish their dream, who have ALL made mistakes, wronged others, lied, cheated, hurt others, including the backers themselves. It's easy to forget that nobody's perfect, so it's unfair to judge others. It takes a great deal of strength and courage to act on your ideals.
It's surprising how vicious strangers can be. It's ironic how people are wishing harm on someone they view as "evil." I don't care who you are, you are the epitome of evil if you sincerely wish harm on another person. This world lacks true understanding. It's not easy being different or controversial. I like to voice my opinions on the internet just so people are exposed to other point-of-views, but sometimes I get attacked for having radically different opinions by even the most "open-minded" people, and frankly, it's rather stressful. Sometimes I feel anxious when I see that I have a new message or comment. I can't possibly imagine being the center of backlash like this. Perhaps I should get used to it since I'm putting myself out there on the internet, expressing my opinions. I think a little differently though -- I hope my work will help others become slower to judge, attacking my ideas more than myself personally. Most of all, I hope I'll be a better person that can overcome these challenges and dismiss the people who want to drag me down to their level.