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Tarina Sewell

I am leaving SL, for good.

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9 minutes ago, Scylla Rhiadra said:

Arguably, part of the appeal of Star Wars or Star Trek or Game of Thrones or Lord of the Rings RP must be the same. What Gor provides "extra," I suppose, is a ready-made and pre-formulated "philosophy."

Star Wars etc provide the immersive universe and back story, but character wise, you can still be more or less anything and anyone, though you might need to choose the appropriate race or creature. Though isn't part of the point of LOTR that you can do a good job of something that doesn't come naturally to you? Hobbits, usually timid, homely beings who love their creature comforts, are the ones to scale Mount Doom and destroy the ring?

In Gor, the roles and associated personalities are much, much more defined. By which I mean far more one-dimensional, narrow, boring, constricted and, therefore, easy to play if you're hard of thinking. The "philosophy" ties in with this.

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2 hours ago, Scylla Rhiadra said:

So, to repeat your earlier question: WHY? Why are women acceptable targets of the kind of hate that we wouldn't tolerate it were it directed at someone else?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rape_fantasy

Are we discussing women as the target of hate, or women as the target of fantasized sexual aggression? There's a difference.

Long ago, when you built your venue to illuminate the problem of violence against women, I looked into this a little. I'm sure the wiki page has changed over time, but it's familiar. As mentioned there, a greater percentage of women fantasize about having sex forced on them by a man than men do about forcing sex on a women. More men fantasize about being raped by a woman than raping a woman.

We can have a long discussion about the veracity of the research, but what there is suggests two things:

1) When it comes to fantasy, if there is blame, the guys don't deserve all of it.
2) Most of us are able to distinguish fantasy from reality.

It would be interesting to see comparisons of prevalence and gender distribution of rape fantasies and actual rape activity across cultures. Do women fantasize about rape because of cultural conditioning? Is there some evolutionary component? Does fantasizing about it correlate with actually doing it? Does roleplaying it correlate with actually doing it? I doubt we'll see good research in my lifetime. We're still arguing about gun violence in games leading to actual gun violence on the streets, which has consequences on the order of rape.

While I empathize with people who are horrified by the fantasy behavior of others, I can't completely shake the specter of the Law of Unintended Consequences showing us that crushing the fantasy exacerbates the reality.

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18 minutes ago, Madelaine McMasters said:

While I empathize with people who are horrified by the fantasy behavior of others, I can't completely shake the specter of the Law of Unintended Consequences showing us that crushing the fantasy exacerbates the reality.

I just finished re-reading the second Thomas Covenant Chronicles and am about to start reading the third chronicles. The bolded part is pretty much what the books are about. May not be the easiest reads (I keep having to use the dictionary lol) but once you start reading it's hard to put them down.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Madelaine McMasters said:

While I empathize with people who are horrified by the fantasy behavior of others, I can't completely shake the specter of the Law of Unintended Consequences showing us that crushing the fantasy exacerbates the reality.

Maddy, I think you are misreading what we have been saying here and, more importantly, confounding the enactment of the fantasy -- the RP -- and the attitudes that underwrite it.

We know that many women have rape fantasies. The actual social and psychological impacts of indulging in that through something like RP are much less knowable, particularly with regard to the putative "rapist": 30 years of research into the impact of extreme violence in video games is frankly inconclusive one way or another. I suspect that the impact varies enormously depending upon the individual, the context, and the nature of the RP.

But in an important sense that's beside the point. What we're getting at here is not that the RP is "bad," but that the misogyny that "justifies," explains, and motivates it -- in the case of Gor and of other kinds of particularly violent RP -- is. When you are RPing rape, in the full knowledge that both of you know that it's a fantasy that does not reflect your actual attitudes towards violence and gender . . . well that's one thing. But when you are attracted to a kind of RP because you think it actually reflects the nature of women's social roles, and the fact that "women really want and need to be raped" . . . well, that's quite another.

This is why Gor and BDSM, properly understood, are very different. Firstly, because BDSM is not gendered, as Gor is. And secondly because BDSM is about, at least putatively, empowering the sub -- the exact opposite of what Gorean attitudes towards women are about.

When a BDSM couple hop on a "rape" animation and go at it, they may be engaged in precisely the same animated activity, and maybe even the same narrative, as the Gorean couple doing the identical thing. But the fact that the Goreans are far more likely to believe that the RP enacts an essential Truth about the role of women in society, and the BDSM couple doesn't, makes all the difference in the world.

Edited by Scylla Rhiadra
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48 minutes ago, Scylla Rhiadra said:

When a BDSM couple hop on a "rape" animation and go at it, they may be engaged in precisely the same animated activity, and maybe even the same narrative, as the Gorean couple doing the identical thing. But the fact that the Goreans are far more likely to believe that the RP enacts an essential Truth about the role of women in society, and the BDSM couple doesn't, makes all the difference in the world.

During my early days in SL, I encountered more misogyny while shopping than in Gor or BDSM venues. Virtually any place I went that had "regulars" was fairly welcoming. I may have mistakenly assumed that was because RP venues role played the bad behavior, and didn't generally inflict it on the non-consenting. I did have the good sense to leave places where I knew my nature would eventually upset their immersion, but I don't think I've ever encountered a group of people I found unpleasant, just individuals.

Your experience was different than mine.

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4 hours ago, Amina Sopwith said:

 This is going to sound unkinder than I mean it to (honestly), but Gor is very good for people who lack creativity and imagination. The world, roles and rules are all mapped out for you and you don't need to think very much if you don't want to. 

No worries, you do have a point with regards to some of the population.

One of my favourite RP storylines was entirely PG, and revolved around a half-sibling relationship that crossed the rigid caste systems of Gor society. 

Another one dealt with a smalltime tavern owner's (and his band of conniving tavern girls) rise to power in a scummy pirate enclave. Again, legit by the books. 

There's something delightfully challenging to see how much influence a "powerless" character can wield through her own ingenuity. It wasn't perverting the genre anymore than telling an indepth story of smallfolk and lesser nobles not mentioned in GoT would be. 

I will concede though, that you need to find compatible RPers. You can't walk into Random Gor sim #23 and expect instant epicness. It takes some searching and some effort. This is true for other genres too.

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Posted (edited)
On 6/8/2019 at 12:57 PM, Scylla Rhiadra said:

Rosaline, I too have not been personally oppressed. The important men in my life -- from my father, and extending to lovers, friends, and partners in my adult years -- have all been loving, supportive, and fair-minded. My father's support, encouragement, and work to educate is one of the reasons I became a feminist.

Feminism isn't really actually so much about the personal, individual case -- whether "Man A" is a misogynist, or "Man B" an abuser. It's about systemic oppression, the things built into our legal and political systems, our cultural and social attitudes, that cage everyone into culturally determined roles, and that are ultimately the main reason why "Man A" won't hire a woman, and "Man B" beats his girlfriend.

And those who are oppressed by the system include men: the young boy who has been told he should be ashamed of himself for crying or feeling "weak" or "running like a girl," as well as the adult male who has been conditioned by society to be "macho" and, sometimes, abusive to women. That's what the concept of "patriarchy" means: not merely that men get to oppress women, but that we are all relentlessly regimented and oppressed by an artificial definition of "what it means" to be a "man" or a "woman."

In practice, of course, patriarchy has meant that women have been excluded from power. Whatever your own experience (and I am honestly and sincerely delighted that you have never felt oppressed), we know, from statistics, that you are (to cite only a few instances) more likely to be murdered by your partner if you are a woman, less likely to be promoted in your career, have less control over your own reproductive health, are less likely to be paid as much as a man doing the corresponding same work, less likely to be elected to office, etc. etc. etc.  These aren't anecdotal: they aren't based on my experience, or your experience, or that of my next door neighbour: we know these things statistically.

[REDACTED] It's because it is vitally important to challenge the attitudes he articulates and represents that are part of the founding myths of systemic oppression and patriarchy. This is the point that both Beth and Luna make above.

[REDACTED] And, so long as that system, however benign it may personally seem to me, or you, or Maddy, or Beth, or Luna, continues to undercut efforts to achieve full equality and justice, I'm going to keep on chopping away at it whenever I see it rear its ugly head.

you rock Scylla!  I'm so glad there are articulate people like you giving voice to my thoughts

Edited by Jagix Linden
Removed personal call outs
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4 hours ago, Scylla Rhiadra said:

But the fact that the Goreans are far more likely to believe that the RP enacts an essential Truth about the role of women in society, and the BDSM couple doesn't, makes all the difference in the world.

Hypothesis rather than fact. I've already thrown a monkey wrench into it. Sorry 😁

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Posted (edited)
35 minutes ago, Akane Nacht said:

Hypothesis rather than fact. I've already thrown a monkey wrench into it. Sorry 😁

No need to apologize. All of this is "hypothetical," if by that you mean that we can't produce numbers that provide a black-and-white picture of attitudes in Gor. I don't see how we'd ever manage to do that.

Your own account is valuable precisely because it highlights the reality that a broad generalization about Gor and misogynistic attitudes is probably not possible. That, as I've noted above, has in fact been my own experience (from the outside, looking in). I've met some very nice, accommodating Goreans. And I've run across some who very definitely were first rate sexists. As I said, I've had one helpful Gorean mod offer to show me his "female-positive" community. I've also had another, through an in-world IM, offer to rape me. (I'm pretty sure he wasn't trying to be helpful.)

And, I've also run across male Doms who were first-rate misogynist jerks; theory aside, BDSM frequently is, in practice, sexist.

So, trying to apply generalities to individual instances is going to be a bad idea. But, even setting aside Amina's very different experience of Gor, there is still the undeniable fact that BDSM is inherently non-gendered: there is nothing essentially "male" or "female" about the roles of Dom and sub. And Gor is undeniably based upon a fiction that women are made to be subservient, and that rape is not merely an entirely acceptable means of discipline, but actually what women want.

And that difference, which is a structural difference, and built in to the way in which these cultures function, matters, whether it was something you experienced first hand or not.

Edited by Scylla Rhiadra
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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, Madelaine McMasters said:

Your experience was different than mine.

Well, yes! Of course it was. My experience has been defined, as I've noted above, by the fact that I have always approached Gor as an outsider: that undoubtedly makes an enormous difference. And both of our experiences have been different from Akane's, and also from Amina's.

So, it's pretty clear, from the different accounts here, that personal, anecdotal experience is going to be of limited use in understanding Gor. I'm pretty sure you're actually unsurprised by that. It's a lousy way of making determinations about the nature of something (I am reminded of blind men and elephants). And equally, drawing generalities from particulars -- these people were very nice to me, so they must all be thus -- is equally fraught with peril.

I think I'd argue, in fact, that it's also somewhat irrelevant: there isn't a necessary one-to-one correlation between how "nice" or "welcoming" a person is, and whether their attitudes are toxic or not. One of the sweetest, most helpful men I know in RL -- he opens doors, is complimentary, offers to bring me coffee -- is also one of the deepest misogynists I know. His "niceness" to me personally doesn't cancel out or negate the fact that he's also an inveterate enemy to any woman trying to succeed in my particular field.

That's one reason why understanding and taking into account the underlying assumptions of these kinds of RP is important. I can't be sure that any given Dom is not a misogynist, but I at least know that, if he is, his attitudes are not supported by the ethos of BDSM. And while I'm sure that a great many Gorean men are not misogynist, the fact that they are engaged in RP that is actually built upon the premise that women are virtually subhuman means that their very participation in that form of RP is, at the least, a kind of complicity with it. By analogy, claiming not to be sexist while playing a Gorean master is a bit like admitting that you voted for some particularly awful political candidate -- but it's ok, because you don't really agree with them on policy "x" or "y."

The really sad and frightening thing is that every woman who plays a kajira and submits to rape as a form of discipline is, in a sense, at least potentially confirming Norman's world view to men who are already in agreement with it. Look! She enjoys rape fantasy! That means that she really, actually, wants to be raped!

The danger is probably not that the RPer who is playing the rapist is going to become an actual rapist. The danger is that he (and she) are reinforcing the misogynist narrative that still informs so much of our culture.

Edited by Scylla Rhiadra
Added slight clarification in penultimate para
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3 hours ago, Akane Nacht said:

I will concede though, that you need to find compatible RPers. You can't walk into Random Gor sim #23 and expect instant epicness. It takes some searching and some effort. This is true for other genres too.

I was there for months and I tried every role available- slave, free, panther, even that grubby homeless woman one. I got some decent RP here and there, of course, but it was never long before it was derailed by a fanatic complaining that it wasn't True Gor or someone with an abusive personality. And when I read the books, I understood why

Perhaps a lot of people have read only one or two of the earlier ones. They're still awful, with women falling in love with men who throw them into sacks of manure and that cardboard feminist character who exists purely to be wrong about everything, but they're not even half as bad as they become soon after that. Which alone is enough to put me, personally, off anything based around it. But when I'm surrounded by "by the bookers" and "true Goreans"...yeah, I'm noping out of there and I'm going to form opinions about what kind of people they are and what kind of culture they're creating.

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Amina Sopwith said:

...yeah, I'm noping out of there and I'm going to form opinions about what kind of people they are and what kind of culture they're creating.

okie dokie. I was just sharing my own experiences - make of it what you will. ☺️

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3 hours ago, Akane Nacht said:

okie dokie. I was just sharing my own experiences - make of it what you will. ☺️

I have, thanks.

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Posted (edited)
12 hours ago, Scylla Rhiadra said:

This is why Gor and BDSM, properly understood, are very different. Firstly, because BDSM is not gendered, as Gor is. And secondly because BDSM is about, at least putatively, empowering the sub -- the exact opposite of what Gorean attitudes towards women are about.

YES YES YES. You have got it in one, as usual.

These books go out of their way to make the case that women never win. Even contraception has to be unpleasant.  Something I couldn't understand when reading them was how, on so many occasions, Norman did seem to be going somewhere I could fantasise about but then fark it up at the last moment, for fear that there might actually be some power exchange going on. Power exchange is at the heart of BDSM but Norman, with his how-to of abusive relationships, actually goes OUT OF HIS WAY to reject it!

The basic example is numerous cases of women being kidnapped. So far, so standard BDSM fantasy. But then in Gor, the actual fun bit for the woman - the bit where it's all about how desirable and not responsible she must be - just goes to hell. Instead, she can expect sexual rejection (she'll probably get given a kitchen tunic and be laughed at) and at some point, to be called fat and ugly or unfavourably compared with another. No joke. And then there's a babble paragraph about how this is important because women must never ever feel that they have ANY say in what's happening, even though the point of actual BDSM is that you ARE reflecting off each other and the sub DOES have influence. I know you can't go into explaining power exchange during the fantasy story but why does Norman feel the need to go into actively rejecting it? And why am I apparently the only person who can see it when it's right there over 200 effing pages???

I swear to God I'm operating on another planet. Is one person's "tension" and "incompatible RP" another person's RED ALERT AWOOGA AWOOGA, HOW-TO OF ABUSE, SOCIOPATHS AND GENERAL SHART GOBLINS ALERT, MOVE AWAY FROM THE SIM klaxon?

 

 

Edited by Amina Sopwith
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If you've read more than the first 10 of Norman's so called novels, you have permanently warped your brain.

Amina also left out the exact same paragraph appearing in the same novel several times. And on the same page! That was no printer's error. It was Norman going off the deep end.

Norman is a prime example of what is wrong with white men's society. EVERYTHING!

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Posted (edited)
34 minutes ago, Selene Gregoire said:

Amina also left out the exact same paragraph appearing in the same novel several times. And on the same page! That was no printer's error. It was Norman going off the deep end.

Good God, I didn't even know about that one. Christ alive. To quote a friend of mine who was sitting and observing in a Gor sim: "Is this the pinnacle of human accomplishment? I hope a meteorite wipes us all out."

Edited by Amina Sopwith
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10 minutes ago, Amina Sopwith said:

Good God, I didn't even know about that one. Christ alive. To quote a friend of mine who was sitting and observing in a Gor sim: "Is this the pinnacle of human accomplishment? I hope a meteorite wipes us all out."

Nah. Just zap them from orbit that way the people who live on reservations and reserves will survive. Even if no one else deserves to survive, they do.

Just notify me in enough time so I can get back to my home rez first. :P

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On 6/10/2019 at 1:32 PM, Beth Macbain said:

My objection to it is that women deserve better porn (and there is MUCH better out there) and that whatever his name was isn't a dominant. He's a psychopathic abuser and it was presented as being erotic and thousands upon thousands of women and teenage girls read it (or watched it) and came away thinking it was sooooooooooooo dreamy and are going to get destroyed by women-hating miscreants in the name of 50 Shades of Abusive Behavior. 

Not a big fan of Twilight I see. 😉 

For those who don't know, 50 shades was originally a Twilight Fanfic.  I am NOT joking, 50 shades is Twilight fanfic with the names filed off and the sparkly vampire stuff taken out.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fifty_Shades_of_Grey#Background_and_publication

On 6/11/2019 at 1:45 AM, Amina Sopwith said:

  ETA: Norman's philosophy (if you can call it that) as expounded in the Gor books

It is my duty to shop, such is the way of things in Bore.  And since it is my duty to shop, my Mistress should supply myself, her Kajira, with an allowance...oh say 100000L$ a month for a start.  Those fatpacks won't buy themselves.  By shopping I'm being true to my Borean nature.  On Earth, sometimes Fashionistas don't shop, by doing so they deny their true shoppity shop nature.  But here on Bore, a fashionista knows her duty, to shop and shop some more.  And she does it well, because it pleases her Mistress, and her Mistress wants a pretty Fashionista, but who cares about Mistress, right.  Shopping is the most important thing, such is the way of things in Bore.

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2 hours ago, Selene Gregoire said:

If you've read more than the first 10 of Norman's so called novels, you have permanently warped your brain.

Amina also left out the exact same paragraph appearing in the same novel several times. And on the same page! That was no printer's error. It was Norman going off the deep end.

Norman is a prime example of what is wrong with white men's society. EVERYTHING!

DAMN! We did it wrong all the times...

Norman understood the minds of his followers, telling them once is simply not enough ...

Why do we even argue with them? Logics is not what will get us there... it is a waste of energy. We just gotta tell them: "You are plain wrong!" and repeat ourselfs until we outnumber old Norman's repeats of: "... is the natural order of things."

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Posted (edited)
21 minutes ago, Fionalein said:

Norman's repeats of: "... is the natural order of things."

Yeah, his obsession with "natural order". This is the dimwit who created a world with tangibly less gravity than Earth, yet produces men who are three times stronger. He wouldn't know the natural order of anything if Charles Darwin hit him over the head with it. The whole subculture is an affront to natural selection.

The characters are offensively thick too, you know, unsurprisingly. My personal favourite was the Gorean Master who travelled to Earth, kidnapped a woman and then, having brought her to the Counter Earth, warned her not to get any ideas about her desirability because there had been a lot of sackings lately and there were loads of new women on the market and prices were falling dramatically. Yes, this fathead travelled through space to gather commodities for a market that he knew was over-saturated and depreciating. What an absolute tool.

Edited by Amina Sopwith
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9 minutes ago, Fionalein said:

DAMN! We did it wrong all the times...

Norman understood the minds of his followers, telling them once is simply not enough ...

Why do we even argue with them? Logics is not what will get us there... it is a waste of energy. We just gotta tell them: "You are plain wrong!" and repeat ourselfs until we outnumber old Norman's repeats of: "... is the natural order of things."

I gave up arguing with the lifers years ago. Now, I just toss the facts back at them, turn my back to them and walk away, never looking back. It will either sink in or it won't. If it doesn't, it was never going to. You can't fight willful obtuseness.

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5 hours ago, Fionalein said:

Why do we even argue with them? Logics is not what will get us there... it is a waste of energy. We just gotta tell them: "You are plain wrong!" and repeat ourselfs until we outnumber old Norman's repeats of: "... is the natural order of things."

This is exactly how I deal with supporters of the Orange Monstrosity. 

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This is impressive thread drift.

I've read through it all, but all I can surmise is that I won't be visiting Gor.

And although I did have one brush with BDSM here in my early days... (unexpectedly), I'm way off understanding what it's about, and don't feel a compelling need to read up on it.

I really have lived a sheltered life.......

I suppose I could summon the Peacemaker before the thread gets locked........👩‍💻

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