Sometimes, human beings disgust me.

(as read on Hipster, Please)

Like a lot of people, I’ve been known to look at porn. Sometimes even the freaky stuff. I generally support the right of any human being to enjoy whatever means of entertainment they like, even if it’s something I might find distasteful, or, hell, even grotesque.

The line has to be drawn somewhere, though; and I believe that line should be drawn at (well, before, really) fetishizing rape or abuse. Porn is already skewed toward the devaluation of women as human beings- sad but undeniable. I’m willing to accept that there will always be some people who take that to heart more than is healthy.

However, when Amazon starts offering rape-simulation games, it’s a pretty clear sign that something is amiss. I think it’s pretty hard to justify the existence of such a thing, let alone its availability through a major retail outlet; especially one perusable by children and teenagers. I was adversely affected by exposure to pornography as a teen, and that was just Playboy- the most innocuous stuff available. It started me on a path that took a long time to find my way back from. I eventually came to see women as people again, but what if I’d encountered something like this “Rapeplay” game during those developmental, impressionable years? I shudder to think.

I’m not against erotica, and I’m not necessarily against it being part of a young person’s sexual awakening, but as a society, we need to be a little more responsible. Even as adults, can we really justify something this egregious? What possible benefit can there be to playing a game that glorifies the mistreatment of women?

Now, I hear the argument coming- “We let kids play GTA, God of War, FPS games, etc; and run around killing and stealing, what’s the difference?” And that’s not totally invalid. But I know I ran around shooting Nerf guns and Lazer Tag guns and anything else I could pretend was a gun as a kid, and I don’t have any urge to shoot people today (well, except with Nerf guns, which I have a considerable arsenal of). Pretend violence didn’t make me more violent. Pornography did give me unhealthy ideas about sex and relationships. I only have the evidence of my own life to point to.

But c’mon, really? A rape simulator? Can we just all agree that’s fucking fucked? I mean, seriously fucking fucked.

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~ by oberon the fool on March 1, 2009.

8 Responses to “Sometimes, human beings disgust me.”

  1. With me, it was water guns. In Phoenix, when you should people with water, it’s almost welcome.

    I wonder, though, that just as shooting nerf guns didn’t make you grow up wanting to shoot people, if this new rape game won’t make people grow up wanting to rape people (or, conversely, to be rape)? It’s an awful concept, but where did it come from? When did the obsession with sexual violence reach the mainstream? And why? This might be some sort of backlash to the suppression of discussion, or the teaching of abstinence. Or some deeper nastiness. Anyway, whatever it’s roots, now the thing is in the open, being aired. Do we boycott it entirely? Watch to see how it grows? Take a vague interest? Ignore it? Protest? Write letters? Talk to people who played it and find out why?

    I, too, have observed in small part how pornography skews a growing young man. If we are mimetic animals (and we are), and what we know is what we’ve learned from watching, then really all sex becomes is posturing and a bunch of unnaturally shaved bits. I’ve felt angry for the young girlfriends of these men. Why can’t everyone’s sex ed include chapters of the Kama Sutra? Or YA erotica or something? If you’re going to learn, you might as well learn right. Oh, well. Never mind. I’m getting silly.

    Good post.

  2. Mmn. And by “should” in the first sentence, I meant “shoot”. Of course.

  3. Hm. Yeah… I don’t know. I don’t feel like it’s safe to let people experiment with simulated rape… but I’m no psychologist or anything. I know even some women get off on rape fantasies, but… I think the context it’s being presented in here is unhealthy. I dunno. I guess it bothered me enough to speak up about it.

    I don’t like shaved bits either. I wish that fad would just go away.

    On the other hand, all sex really ever is, or ever has been, is a bunch of posturing.

  4. Mickey talked about RaPeLAY on the most recent Geek Girls Rule ‘cast, among other things. She has some good insights.
    http://sirriamnicast.libsyn.com/index.php?post_id=433412

  5. Erotica very different from violence meant to control and harm. The game also forces rape victims to have abortions when they get pregnant….http://aspenbaker.wordpress.com/2009/02/27/abortion-in-video-games-rapelay/

    • Wow. That’s even more fucked up than I thought.
      It’s not news to anyone in modern times that rape is less about sex than it is about control of (or taking control away from) another person. And personally, I think that’s the greatest, maybe even the only, real sin there is.

      • CC: my comment on Aspen’s blog:
        I’m all for people celebrating and practicing their particular kinks, even the ones I think are disgusting or creepy. But rape isn’t a kink, it’s a violation.

        Now, consenting adults playing out a rape fantasy… that’s borderline for me, but the point is CONSENTING.

        Rape is not about consent- it’s specifically the antithesis of consent. There are doubtless people who enjoy acting out the conquest of an unwilling partner, and people who enjoy acting out being an unwilling partner who is conquered- and I’d bet most of those people would be terrified to be involved in an actual rape.

        Then, there are people who get off specifically because their partner is unwilling, and who enjoy the actual violation of another person’s monad. These people are evil.

        The question here is, which of these people does such a game appeal to? Does it appeal to the first sort, because a computer game can be assumed to be “consenting”? Does it not appeal to the second sort, because there’s no actual person whose will is being broken?

        I have no idea. All I can do is paraphrase Mickey’s sentiment, that I personally find the whole thing reprehensible and that if I find out someone I know has such a thing in their home, I will no longer feel comfortable relating to that person.

      • CC: my comment on Aspen’s blog, since it contains further thought on the subject by me:
        “I’m all for people celebrating and practicing their particular kinks, even the ones I think are disgusting or creepy. But rape isn’t a kink, it’s a violation.

        Now, consenting adults playing out a rape fantasy… that’s borderline for me, but the point is CONSENTING.

        Rape is not about consent- it’s specifically the antithesis of consent. There are doubtless people who enjoy acting out the conquest of an unwilling partner, and people who enjoy acting out being an unwilling partner who is conquered- and I’d bet most of those people would be terrified to be involved in an actual rape.

        Then, there are people who get off specifically because their partner is unwilling, and who enjoy the actual violation of another person’s monad. These people are evil.

        The question here is, which of these people does such a game appeal to? Does it appeal to the first sort, because a computer game can be assumed to be “consenting”? Does it not appeal to the second sort, because there’s no actual person whose will is being broken?

        I have no idea. All I can do is paraphrase Mickey’s sentiment, that I personally find the whole thing reprehensible and that if I find out someone I know has such a thing in their home, I will no longer feel comfortable relating to that person.”

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