Rai Fargis speaks out on the issue of SL children being banned from the 'celebration of diversity' this year. (Note of interest: his was the top post on a search I ran to test the efficiency of sl5b child as a search term--as he suggested in an earlier forum post.
Vint Falken's also gone the list method, and one of mine made the list. At this point, I figure why not? This is the fifth post on the topic, not that any of them will effect change of any kind--two days with nothing but "We feel your pain, we wish we had better news" from whichever token Linden who lost the draw for straws that day? Please.
Ann Launay at the SL Universe forums puts it quite succinctly: They're basically treating kid avs like a dirty little secret which, it seems to me, is only adding fuel to the fire. Indeed.
Serena adds, This starts here, with the child avs. Next thing they'll do is restrict either furries or transgendered from SL6B (next year). They will keep doing this until they have killed off all "socially abnormal" groups. I think that's potentially true, too.
So how do we fight back? Same way we fought back with the ageplay issue when it spilled into the doll community, I suppose. And the answer to that one is: we didn't. Most of us ducked our heads and stayed out of sight for a while, when all this happened the first go-round. (Well, unless you're me, in which case, you agree to pose semi-nude for a risque doll art exhibition that earns you three days of death threats from people who saw the image in an advance preview showing, because your fellow model was tall and male, and you were small and young-looking.)
Eh, I shouldn't say that. We may not have been as visible in those scary anything-that-looks-like-a-child-is-bad days, but there was solidarity. And there continues to be solidarity.
With any luck, Second Life's children will find their own solidarity through this. I truly hope they do. Because the last thing I want to see happening is SL kids deciding that they need to close their doors and not interact with the rest of the grid.
Ultimately, we are choosing to live in a world where who we are, and what we want, is both easier to represent and easier to attain, in a very real sense. And there are those, as there always will be those, who wish profoundly that who we are, and what we want, match what they want--which is to fit in, to be "normal", to be "just like everyone else".
The secret to diversity? No one is normal. Trust me on this. You, your sister, your neighbor, the fellow down the street who used to own the casino and now owns the bondage club, the people one sim over who pretend to be Twi'leks and Jedi, the people three sims over from them who pretend to be steampunk Victorians, the people three sims from them who have wings and pointed elf ears...NO ONE is normal. There is no normal.
And while you may sit there and say, hey, I don't chain women up, I don't have cat ears and fur, I'm not an adult pretending to be a child...again, trust me, who you are? Looks just as abnormal from the perspective of the Gorean with the leash, the neko in the plaid skirt, the fur in the ballgown, the child with the airship.
Diversity. The celebration of diversity. The honoring that we are all different on the surface, and the understanding of diversity's true meaning--that all of our differences matter not a whit, because we're all the same under the skin. We are one people, one family if you will, in this light--and it's up to us to understand that those differences are of value, they add distinction and interest, and with respect, and that understanding, there can be tolerance in abundance.
Just for the record? That is the lesson the folks at the Labs are profoundly missing in all of this. And I will admit to not a little puzzlement and astonishment that this lesson they're missing, this fight they are quietly waging against Second Life's assumed perversity, they're choosing to take to the doorsteps of those avatars who have done them no wrong--who, in fact, in years previous have campaigned vigorously for Second Life to be accepted, lauded, and embraced.
It's short-sighted to the point of myopia, in fact. And it does lead me to wonder: who's next on the chopping block this time?