Should this be banned?

victimized1

Some days ago, I got this notecard named «Boycott and Protest Defiant Designs». It read:

Defiant Designs creator brittainy Beeper is selling a rape roleplay skin that are explicitly sexualized representations of violence against women by the name of «Victimized» which includes 9 layers of «3 levels of abuse» and «Victimized Face Set» which depicts a black eye, bloody nose, head gash, busted lip, and cheek scratches. In May 2007 Linden Labs put out a notification that specifically bans «rape» and «forced sex» role playing. These products are very clearly intended for such a purpose; the inclusion of «3 levels of abuse» in the skin is clearly geared for RP. There is no hiding the fact that this skin is intended for rape roleplay. The skin graphically depicts massive amounts of cuts and scrapes on a female body. Even were they not, as graphic representations of sexual abuse they represent a very clear violation of the community standards.

Please do not buy anything from the skin’s creator and most importantly please file an abuse report against these items. Be sure to include the object that is selling this skin, the creator (brittainy Beeper) and the location. It will be more effective if you report this from the item with a very descriptive report. It will also be more effective if more people report it so please pass along this notecard and spread the word.

victimized2

I thought I’d go and have a look at the «Victimized» skin before I did anything else. The landmark brought me right in front of the vendor, and, yes, I could see this was not very pleasant stuff, as you can see from the pictures. But was there really «no hiding the fact that this skin is intended for rape roleplay»?

The skin gives you the look of a seriously beaten up woman. But raped? You can be raped without being bruised, say, if you are drugged or you give in because resistance is futile. And you can be beaten up without being raped, although the two things are often connected when you’re a woman.

I looked around the shop, and could see the creator had a concept. The concept being quite a lot of bloof and violence. There were «Suicide Wrists», «Barb Wire Gag», «Stitched Shut Lips», «Gun Shot Wounds» and simply «Blood». It was also clear that everything was very well made by someone who knew what she was doing. And the fact that the creator after all was a woman, made me want to look deeper into the matter.

victimized3

I wrote a notecard telling her that I’m a member of a feminist group, and that someone had called for a boycott to her shop. I then asked her a few questions and sent it. It was given back to me the next day:

Is the «Victimized» skin intended for rape roleplay?
No.

If not, then what is it intended for?
It is intended for roleplay purposes after being beaten, I am working on a men’s line of skin that will also feature the same sort of wounds.

Does the «Victimized» skin represent sexual abuse?
No.

Have you worn the skin yourself on any occasions? If so, which?
I have worn the skin in an ad or two.

How would you describe the concept of your store?
The concept of my store is basically roleplay gear that you can put on your character to customize them after they have been attacked. Example: Hit by a car, shot, gotten in the mud.

In May 2007 Linden Labs put out a notification that specifically bans «rape» and «forced sex» role playing. Should that be banned?
Honestly, it wouldn’t bother me if it is or isn’t, I am rarely online to roleplay. I spend my time here as a designer and have had a lot of fun in the past roleplaying. I do wish I had more time for it. Nothing in my store is meant to demean women, I am a woman myself who was actually raped at the age of 14. My creations are strictly for customizing your character. And if the skin is found to be that offensive, I will remove it if requested. I do have to say though that a rape skin «if one was to be made» would have wounds around the genitals and mine does not.

victimized4

I will be clear: I would never buy the «Victimized» skin as I wouldn’t know what to do with it. It’s not my cup of tea. But: I believe Beeper when she says it’s not intended for rape roleplay, and she has a point when it comes to the skin not having wounds around the genitals.

One could argue that to make a skin that shows a woman being beaten up so thoroughly is bad in itself, be she raped or not. I would say that depends on the surroundings where the skin is being used. If it’s as a part of a roleplay where the members, women and men alike, risk being beaten up, and women can kick the men’s asses, I’d say that’s ok. But as part of a surrounding where men play abusers of women – that’s a lot more problematic, and I will write a blog post on that tomorrow. That’s when I’ll take you to Force Park.

Advertisements

~ by theresecarfagno on April 18, 2009.

13 Responses to “Should this be banned?”

  1. Isn’t that a Lovey’s skin…? The base, I mean.

  2. Thanks for drawing my attention to that store, they have some seriously well made stuff there.

  3. And btw, this isn’t a skin, just layers and stuff to be worn over your skin…

  4. These type of skins are not new at all. As someone who has a store geared towards role players, I can honestly say that if someone does not want to role play out a scene, they dont have to. The fact that this person is focusing on this one shop is a but amusing considering how many shops like this there are out there on the grid.

  5. Ok, think of it this way.. there are many “forceplay” sims on second life… are we going to boycott those places because, they support rape play? this is not unlike MANY skin places with their “beaten up” looks, and as for all the other stuff, this person is clearly, directing most of their biz to the “emo” generation, and lets face it.. lol there are very many “emos”.. the beaten look is in.
    I don’t personally care if this is a “victimized” skin.
    I do not see how it is a “RAPE” skin.
    Tuli, Beauty Avatar, Obsecene.. these are a few places I have seen the actual SKIN having bruises, or blood on the skins.. and I have BOUGHT them..
    Hell, I have one at MY store as well…
    I say, let them be.. if the person that sent out the petition doesn’t like it, then they should not be in their store.

  6. The creator’s responses to your questions were interesting. It’s nice to know that it was not created for the intent of rape roleplay but the word victimized could imply rape and I have no doubt people would use this skin for roleplay that depicts rape or violence against women. Is that all it’s used for, I don’t think so. As for genital wounds, the skin that was explicitly named “Raped” (and thus even more clearly used for rape roleplay than the “Victimized” skin) did not have vaginal or anal wounds. So the creator’s point that the skin wasn’t as realistic as real life rape is kind of moot to me.

    As for singling out this one store, it’s one of many that we have to look at and decide for ourselves whether or not we ignore or protest. There are only so many hours in the day and so many rape roleplay sims and stores. I also protest the entire concept. Why is it amusing to challenge something individually? Just because there are a lot doesn’t mean I shouldn’t bring this to people’s attention if it’s something they might agree with.

    As for just avoiding the store just because I don’t like it. Turning a blind eye never helps anything. I don’t like rape in reality, should I just ignore news about it or ignore victims who are asking for help? No. And I know I’m not alone on this.

  7. Wait, if it is not a skin but cloth layer, then it’s gender neutral. Not that it clears violence issue, but it clears gender issue.

  8. Ask the question (Abuse Report) if you want to. I mean, ask the Lindens, if it falls into your idea of violating the TOS. And I would throw away that notecard from 2007 as nothing in past blog posts governs. That said, leave it at that – stirring up outrage in lots of people could be considered a violation of the TOS as well – Harassment.

  9. […] recently there was a lot of noise about female skins that depicted scars and bruises. Later we’ll discover that those were not skins but cloth layers, which does change some […]

  10. I hate these, and others like them, and don’t understand why anyone would want to wear them, but to each his own, I guess. No one’s forcing anyone to buy and wear these, but I honestly can’t imagine who would want to.

  11. I do not think the author of the said petition understands the concept of roleplay. Rape in SL is NOT the same as rape in real life. In the game, you can choose whether you want to play a victim (of rape/abuse etc) or not. A pixellated male character CANNOT force you to take “the position”, you have to click on the pink ball yourself. If you do not like where it is going, you can always…. teleport out to a sim full of green fields and blue clouds.

    Therefore, the paraphernalia associated with female rape and abuse is for those who made an informed choice to play that role. By boycotting stores, assembling protests, YOU are the one disrespecting the women. For you are taking upon a heroic arrogant stance of one who seems to know what is right and wrong. Who are you to undermine a woman’s choice (be it to roleplay rape or not)? Does that not in itself contradict the ideals you are fighting for under the banner of Feminism, namely a woman’s freedom of choice?

  12. People are entitled to RP as they wish in SL. ROLE PLAY is CONSENTUAL. NO ONE is being held AGAINST THEIR WILL in a ROLEPLAY SIM. It is ADULTS exploring and interacting with mutual permission. I think someone needs to get laid. Or perhaps explore and understand the concept of ROLE PLAY before one makes assinine assumptions and badmouths a talented creator. I am laughing my ass off here, I mean seriously. You do realize that not every female in SL is even female right…please recognize the scope and means of the fantasy here before you say silly things. Heloiise made a very poignant and well spoken comment above that the writer of this article should take notes on. All I can do is stifle my urge to smack the crap out of the author of this article and say that Brittany Beeper is a great creator and I love her products. Some Feminist huh? Taking away the choice of women, and pretend women everywhere to live out their darkest most secret desires. May I also remind people that SL is an ADULT ENVIRONMENT. If you are offended easily by adult content, set your filters to PG and leave the rest of us out of your witch hunt.

  13. Wow, this post is good, my sister is analyzing these things, so I am going to tell her.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: