The role play seemed initially innocent enough; he began by giving me a tackle hug, then a gentle peck on the lips. I thanked him in kind, but what happened next made me log the hell off SL for at least four hours. The gentle role play peck turned into a long, drawn out kiss…a kiss he wrote about in detail (side eye here).
When I asked him what had gotten into him, he proceeded to describe how his tongue was beginning to slither into my mouth…all in an effort “to battle another.” Then, dude continued on by saying, “My hands explores down her sides, ending by kneading her shrouded buttocks together ‘N’ apart gently…” He then adds…and I quote “Thought I’d get acquainted with my Re Re agains.”
As he began to describe in more detail about his role play-imagined conquest, I cut the conversation short by not only logging off quickly, but by quickly deleting him off my friends list.
While many may dismiss this as nothing more than written words, I find that idea a bit hard to digest. To me, this incident is a prime example of unwanted role play, synonymous with unwanted sexual contact inherent within rape culture.
Rape culture is a real phenomenon in SL, and it is not limited to men pushing their sexual agendas onto women either. Rape culture can also be embedded in the psyche of women, who may inaccurately believe that its the women’s fault, specifically because of how they dress and their attitude. It can also be embedded in a woman’s psyche if they advocate assault against women via supporting those who routinely participate in rape culture.
To better understand rape culture, it is very important to clarify the definition of the term. According to the WAVAW Rape Crisis Center website, the term ‘”rape culture” is a term that was coined by feminists in the United States in the 1970’s (WAVAW Rape Crisis Center Website). It was designed to show the ways in which society blamed victims of sexual assault and normalized male sexual violence (WAVAW Rape Crisis Center Website). Yet, Emilie Buchwald, author of Transforming a Rape Culture, describes that when society normalizes sexualized violence, it accepts and creates rape culture, too. In fact, in her book, she defines rape culture as: