Thursday, November 12, 2009

how strong must I become so that no one will be hurt?

"An unperson can’t tell about beatings, rape, torture and murder, if she does, she will not be believed."

Why do I bring this up? Some years back--so long back I won't even bother digging up any extant links that may still exist--there was some debate on virtual rape. Is it rape, the respondents asked, if it's not physical and in the flesh?

The rational answer to this, of course, is no. If one can log off the net, if one can port out of the setting, then one cannot be raped--or, by extension, tortured, beaten or murdered. In a sense, it's all consensual violent acts on the grid; one can always get away. Even if it's only by virtue of pulling the computer's cord to disconnect everything.

And that's all well and good--and that's actually a truthful position--but I spoke (from personal experience) on those occasions when the lines blur. Sure, I said, we may be able to leave any particular roleplay, but by the same extension if we are living in that moment, if we are caught up in the emotions of the rp--we may forget we have these options. We may forget we can just type out You know what? This is stupid. No. I'm gone.

And go.

With that in mind, Lillie Yifu has a thought-provoking entry on her journal, about the Lindens' subsidization of rape clubs. At first glance, this seems beyond outlandish. Especially with the arrival of Zindra, and the Labs' insistence on "cleaning up" the grid for business, educational and commercial ventures--why would they ever protect a virtual 'rape room'?

But LL is doing more than that, in that [its] policy enforcement is clearly intended to mainstream rape. LL does not enforce its rules against rape parcels almost at all. Despite personal knowledge of them by LL employees, despite repeated reports, despite flagrant violation of its own rules.

How is this possible? It's not the first time Miss Yifu's mentioned it.

But--as has been pointed out innumerable times before--business clients (the market the Labs desperately want to get into) don't care about furs, vampires, ageplay, BDSM, or forced sex. They really, really don't. What business clients do care about is platform stability. Platform security. Knowing that the company one does business with isn't open to hacking for passwords or credit cards (and the Labs have been hacked, notably, twice).

Compared to what life's like on the grid now (severe lag, crashing, inventory issues, widespread sim issues, scripting burdens, server strain, and gridwide breakdown), what's a little bump and tickle between victim and oppressor?

(Btw: the "BnB Forced Sex RP" sim doesn't appear to be there, because they have cleverly changed their name to BnB Forced Sex Roleplay ( still on Mature land). Cheeky devils. I suspect people who weren't able to follow that stunning renaming on their part will have to content themselves going to Stolen Innocence, Brigadom Market, Pirate Cove's Orgy in Forest, or SlutLand. Unless they want to not violate LL's stated rules--not that the Labs seem to care--and actually do Adult things on Adult land. Good thing the Lindens are cracking down on 'rape rooms', I feel so much safer...)

The Living in the Metaverse blog takes on content theft, protests against the Lindens, and November 5th. I pretty much agree with their perspective--it didn't do a hell of a lot of good, and the Lindens didn't notice. As expected. As noted in the comments, at least one respondent planned a major sale that day, never knowing!

So much for 'getting the word out'.

Also from over a year back on the same blog, how to avoid drama:

Stay firm. If that means to be rude or impolite… well life is rough sometimes. If you have to stop answering IM's, avoiding some places, muting people… do it. There is no "just one more time" excuse. Make a clean cut. Now. Go live happily.

That's something I still find extraordinarily hard to do, but you know what? Maybe it's time to toughen up. Mute those I need to. I already shrug off sim bans--honestly, they only get in my way if there's something I want in there, and that so rarely happens. And in the case of that one chain of sims I just keep my virtual rear clear of--hey, it makes everyone happier. And I finally realized "everyone" now includes me.

Maybe muting isn't so bad, all things considered. After all, it could be worse. And it has been.


Sphynx Soleil said...

You've been linked via a blog on the aggregate I read. Prepare for possible deluge. :)

Emilly Orr said...

Oh, goody.

And I mentioned that porn blog that picked up an entry earlier.

Though it's so odd what gets picked up and flung wide from this blog, I never know just what's going to catch on.