A Feminist blog draws attention to the presence of role-playing rape services which can be procured in Second Life:
…while the idea of rape fantasies in general is certainly disturbing to me, I’m even more troubled that it’s even offered by Second Life as an option, as if this is one of a range of activities to make your virtual life more “real.”
The fact is, whether we like it or not, porn is real and after studying Gender issues in my final year in law school, I’m aware that the debate as to whether porn and other forms of commercialised sex is enslaving or ’empowering’ women will never end. Heck, in this day and age, why limit it to women, since we now have TV shows featuring liberated women writing columns about sexual escapades with men. Why even narrow it down to heterosexual sex (and the list goes on).
But now we’ve moved beyond what’s legal, to something which should never be allowed – rape. Which leads to yet another debate as to whether we should allow would-be rapists ‘let out’ their unhealthy desires only in a virtual arena so that they wouldn’t do it in real life.
Of course this is a much weaker argument and the right answer should be a resounding NO, but we shouldn’t stop there. When fantasies start to involve violence and an intention to hurt and degrade someone else, the person engaging in this fantasy should seek counselling.
Fortunately there is at least one counselling service in Second Life, and mental health discussion groups – but you’d wonder if the patrons of this virtual rape service would bother to seek help. We can pray.
Thanks to HH from Straits Times Digital Life for drawing my attention to the link. More reader comments on this issue, over at Gawker.
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