Yesterday there was an event called One Billion Rising across the world, with a large party occurring on four sims in Second Life. You can read more about it here and here. This dance party was intended to bring together women and their allies in the fight against violence against women.
When I first heard about the event I was confused. It was impossible for me to connect women dancing with real world impacts that would stop a rape or maybe prevent a young girl from subjugating herself to her controlling boyfriend, for example. I honestly could not wrap my head around the concept. After the confusion came anger and then disgust. Rather than explain my thought process I will link you to a post by Whisky because her post sums up my objections to the concept. Please read the comments as well because when you do you will see that lots of people chimed in to support the "Unpopular Opinion."
With great fear in my heart I questioned One Billion Rising on plurk a few days ago. Some of the event organizers are on my timeline and I did not want to offend, but I did want to understand how a bunch of people dancing does anything other than make them feel good. The conversation was civil but not enlightening.
What I am thinking about this morning is this -- what happened to me? I never used to shy away from debate. I was never afraid to state my opinions and stand up to those who disagreed with me. Over the past year I have either mellowed or my introverted nature combined with the experience of being cyberbullied in SL have turned me into a shadow of the woman I am.
Why did I not blog my critical thoughts about One Billion Rising? Why was my plurk on the subject so timid? Why have I not explained why I pulled back from Art Screamer? Why have I not composed the post about why I think the LEA is a terrible influence in the SL art world.
It is not because I can't defend my positions on these topics. I can and do in private. I have not spoken up because I have become afraid to speak my truth to the SL world.
Over the years I have seen what happens to people who express ideas outside the main. They are ostracized, labeled wackadoodles,. They are kicked out of groups and uninvited to parties. Often these brave people are the subject of malicious gossip and on occasion pointed and personal Shopping Cart Disco Secrets show up on Sunday mornings.
I want to be me again. I want to speak my mind.