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Marie Resch

A Safe Place for Women

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After the Women's March on the 21st, I searched Second Life for groups and places people may have created to support the March and/or women and/or many of the issues that have been brought to public discourse.

Not finding anything, I went ahead and created something I am calling A Safe Place for Women.  It consists of both a discussion group and a place above my land on the Mainland.

SFW, as we call it in abbreviation, is for anyone who identifies as female, from any background, and those who support them.  It is a safe place to gather, both to talk about issues, and also to hang out without feeling like you're in a "meat market" which often happens with club atmospheres.

Right now, all I have is the group, and a clubhouse up.  The group is free to join, and there is no charge for hanging out in the area I am providing.

I am looking for others who would be interested in helping me spread this vision, add more things to the hangout area, etc.  If you are interested, please feel free to contact me inworld.

Marie Resch

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Alwin Alcott wrote:

lot of females in sl are rl males....

...and your point is?

Many men participated in the marches that were all over the world to support their wives, mothers, sisters, daughters, and friends as well as because they believed in the issues that the march represented that went far beyond just 'women's' issues.

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Strawman.

The OP was clear, all those who identify as women are welcome. There's no "threat" from tolerance.

Your "point" is condescending and driving this wedge, IMO, reduces safety for everyone involved.

 

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I think Alwin has a point which deserves to be considered.

There are certainly female avatars run by men who seem to be acting out some pretty unhealthy feelings about women. Everyone has to find the balance of caution and openness they're comfortable with, but it is important to keep in mind people can be quite different to the way they present themselves.

This has nothing to do with feminist men, or trans women, or anything like that. It has to do with misogynists hiding behind female avs.

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You have a very valid point, but, to be fair anyone can be intolerant or intolerable for many reasons.  Those people can be handled individually by banning them from the group and/or land where the meeting place is, if they cause trouble.  The OP can appoint officers with this authority for when she's not on line to handle things herself too.

The OP has a good idea where people can go to discuss things and exchange ideas and get support.  She shouldn't be discouraged just because some men drive women avi's.  It makes no difference.  It's how people act, not who or what they are in SL or RL that should be the way they are judged.

 

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Sorry, disagree. I echo Amethyst's sentiment that the OP doesn't need discouraging, given that the OP had already considered the possibility raised by Alwin. The Womens March had already considered this possibility, too.

Individual cases of poor behaviour can still be addressed without this "concern".

Generalised suspicions aren't useful, they put marginalised voices at risk and prevent people from seeking help and support.

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Freya Mokusei wrote:

...

Generalised suspicions aren't useful, they put marginalised voices at risk and prevent people from seeking help and support.

This is very true.  I have a woman friend in SL (who I know for a fact is a woman) and have known other women in RL whose voices sound like a man's voice but they are biologicially a woman.  Some women are born this way, other's have had it happened to them due to medical problems.

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Exactly.

The last thing anyone needs is to be told that they're not "enough of a <group>" to deserve support. If a person has concerns they feel can be addressed by any support group/safe place, they should feel encouraged to try without worrying that they'll get chased out of town.

Thanks for the focused reply and perfect example. :-)

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Why did I even bother? Sorry for just wanting to make sure this was taken into consideration and that people were as safe as possible in a virtual environment.

That isn't discouragement. That isn't preventing anyone from seeking help and support. It was simply wanting to make sure those involved are careful and aware.

Cause I have been in groups which have been infiltrated and it can get pretty messed up.

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Marie Resch wrote:

After the Women's March on the 21st, I searched Second Life for groups and places people may have created to support the March and/or women and/or many of the issues that have been brought to public discourse.

Not finding anything, I went ahead and created something I am calling A Safe Place for Women.  It consists of both a discussion group and a place above my land on the Mainland.

SFW, as we call it in abbreviation, is for anyone who identifies as female, from any background, and those who support them.  It is a safe place to gather, both to talk about issues, and also to hang out without feeling like you're in a "meat market" which often happens with club atmospheres.

Right now, all I have is the group, and a clubhouse up.  The group is free to join, and there is no charge for hanging out in the area I am providing.

I am looking for others who would be interested in helping me spread this vision, add more things to the hangout area, etc.  If you are interested, please feel free to contact me inworld.

Marie Resch

Let me see.

Barely one page into this and already there has been suggestions on how to remove 'agitators'.

Sounds like a recipe for exclusion rather than a 'safe space' of tolerance to discuss issues.

There are no safe spaces where politics is concerned.

 

ETA So this hangout isn't on the Gor sim you were advertising?

 

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Again, it was considered in the very first post in this thread.

The language was pretty clear to my eyes - recognising that identifying as a woman is what separates the trolls from those encouraged to find support. I don't see any benefit in dwelling further on the tiny (tiny) fraction of folks who engage in harmful behaviour. The inclusive message is more important, for reasons already outlined.

I'm sorry if more was read into my reply - I only meant to communicate that I disagreed with the approach you and Alwin were taking. It's not a condemnation of anything else, Alwin and I have fairly dissimilar approaches. :P

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If that's what the OP meant with those words, it went COMPLETELY over my head.

This is being dwelt on largely because of the disagreement. En route to taking me to task, you and Amethyst both agreed in passing with the point I had hoped to make. If it had been left at that, we'd have moved on already.

Every group I've run or participated in has had some sort of code of conduct agreed on at the beginning, like agreeing to confidentiality and keeping things within the group. I think there is room (and need IMO) for discussion about internet safety in a place where people are likely to talk about sensitive matters. If I were to be involved, should I not bring it up? I've had plenty of conversations about that kind of personal safety with cross dressers and trans women in SL. I want all of us to be safe. And all I'm suggesting is that participants be aware of these sorts of possibilities so they can find a good balance between caution and openness for themselves.

Maybe drama is so rife that everyone will take the idea and turn it into a witch hunt. I hope not. But then when I see what's happened here and how quickly, perhaps I shouldn't be so optimistic. I had been thinking about what in my store I could contribute for decoration. Now I think I'm not likely to fit in and should best stay away.

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Hello!

Looks like this is the start of a great conversation happening here, please remember when participating in the discussion, to be mindful of the Community Guidelines and to keep it relevant to the topic at hand. If you can't, it may result in your post, or even more unfortunately, the entire thread having to be moved.

-Tommy Linden

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This has nothing to do with Gor.

To address the idea of agitators - I've run groups before, I know how to handle them, and yes, I will have officers willing to help me with this.

Doing my best to make this inclusive for those who need a safe place.

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I am very happy to see the amount of interest and discussion on this topic and I look forward to working with some of you inworld.

 

Thank you!

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Bitsy Buccaneer wrote:

I think Alwin has a point which deserves to be considered.

There are certainly female avatars run by men who seem to be acting out some pretty unhealthy feelings about women.

This has nothing to do with feminist men, or trans women, or anything like that. It has to do with misogynists hiding behind female avs.

I've noticed often in SL that I have observed some very overtly hateful attitudes towards women, from female avatars. Now... on finding out RL gender for the small segment for whom that gets revealed - not all of them turn out to be men.

Something I have seen in RL as well.

I have a RL sister in law that forced her daughter out of the home for talking to boys, and admitted this was casual conversation, not sex-talk.

One of the primary leaders of rape-squads in the Rwandan genocide was a female MP before things erupted.

- Those are extremes.

It is also quite fair to say that many of the avatars that I found most hateful were in fact RL men.

And there is a reason I don't really feel comfortable around men in my life, SL or RL. Not an issue of sexual violence, but direct violence in my youth.

 

The truth is you cannot use 'identity' as a way to create a safe space. To find people to fit a safe space, you need to know those people. Despite my general fear around males and whites in RL (for a linked reason), that I always try to find ways to overcome, for much of my youth the core person in my 'safe space' was a white guy.

- there's the gut panic reaction, and the informed one that allowed me to make that friend.

No simple litmus test ever works for these things. We've always got to fight to overcome our instinctive biases, even when those biases come as reactions to real things that happened to us - we need to remember it was individuals and not categories that did those things.

Not easy, the panic might always be there - but you work past it.

 

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I apologise then, that we've been talking at cross-purposes.

This thread is far cleaner this morning, your concern stands a lot more honestly. Perhaps you can remember to see my comments in the context of yesterday, but it's clear we should move on.

My opinion - as someone who's not involved with this project in any way - is that the clearest, most authoritive results would be achieved by discussing safety directly with the organisers. I imagine your queries would be well received and quickly satisfied, these folks (again, just my opinion) seem to know what they're doing.

If I were to guess, I'd say the specific environment of this forum (being public, its specific history, having different guidelines) makes it especially easy to question motives and derail conversations. Open questions and invitations for opinion quickly dilute authoritive messaging from the source. I don't want to dwell on that, and I'm not blameless either. I try to be careful not to speak for anyone except myself, or to put myself in any kind of position of authority. 

I'm just a person doing a thing. :)

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I return to the forums and lo.....do I laugh or do I cry?!   Am I triggered or triggering?!!   

 This post is a gem, a beaut, and even has a Linden leaving a comment.  Well, laying the law down...but hey, still.  Some of the forum elite clique have posted thousands and not a Linden, so bet they pretty miffed he he.

To answer the serious OP seriously.......I think you will find there are plenty of quiet and even deserted sims without requiring a special one to recover from men/male avs/Donald Trump/Alpha rays/Books by Nabokov/Books by John Norman/Hippity Hop records/Milo Yiannopoulos/ancient (male) nude statues in the British Museum/Flights of Fancy/pre 2008 SL avs with clothing layers/football (mens)....etc etc.

 

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There might be a down side to even advertising the meeting place because it might be griefed. If you are on the mainland, try to find a place where no Linden road/water can become the griefer's "safe space".

There's always a challenge to both remain open so you can even find members and interested parties in the first place. If it's closed you'll never find new people/enough people.

But griefers do watch the events calendar to pick out things to grief.

You can have the meeting announced on the calendar and the forums, but have a back-up spot. Then when everybody gets there, if it griefed, IM everyone but the griefers the back up SLURL.

 

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