Monday, 26 July 2010

Announcing the "Consumer Watch": A New Feminist Blog for Second Life

The SL Left Feminist Network is excited to announce the launch of a new blog focused upon feminist issues and Second Life, the “SLLU Feminist Network Consumer Watch.” The “Consumer Watch” will highlight and analyze products available for sale in Second Life that tap into the lucrative market for violent pornography and role play.

Why have we decided to create this new information source?

At one time, “Your World, Your Imagination” was the sales pitch, and indeed, philosophical underpinning for Second Life. Thousands of residents took this mantra to heart, and sought to make this virtual world a place to explore their own expansive imaginations, and transcend the narrow limits of our everyday physical existence. One result has been the creation within this virtual world of unparalleled new forms of art, of landscapes of breathtaking beauty and scope, and of liberating experiments in social organization and personal identity.

But there has always been, of course, a darker side to Second Life, epitomized in the subcultures that have chosen not to see the boundless potential of this virtual world as a way of imagining something better for human kind, but rather as a means of indulging in the some of the very worst instincts that still prey upon our culture. Nothing embodies this retrograde approach to the potential of Second Life more than those varieties of role play that fetishize and indeed celebrate sexual violence. Dolcett, Vore, snuff and rape role play, sexual age play, Gor, and some of the more extreme fringes of BDSM have parasitically infested Second Life for nearly as long as the application has existed, ensuring that this virtual world reflects not only the very best that the human imagination can conjure, but also, sadly, the very worst that human civilization has wrought.

If Second Life truly were nothing more than a mere “fantasy world,” and the borders between it and “real life” as impermeable as some like to pretend, the existence of grotesquely violent sexual role play here would be offensive, but not necessarily worrisome. But Second Life is, in truth, an extension of “real life”: those who enact scenes of violence against women here are indulging their real life predilections, while those who immerse themselves in such role play are carrying those experiences and their emotional and psychological consequences with them back into the physical world. What happens in Second Life DOES matter; it both reflects and impacts upon the real world.

And for this reason, it is time to shine a little light upon the darker corners of this, our virtual world.

"The SLLU Feminist Network Consumer Watch" is committed to doing just this. Features will focus upon animations, skins, clothing, and furniture available for purchase that normalize and trivialize gender violence, or otherwise reinforce dangerous and harmful misogynist attitudes. In addition to providing an overview of such content, usually highlighting the work of an individual content creator, each blog article will include a feminist analysis of the reviewed products.

Through its examination of these products, "The Consumer Watch" will offer a frank and often deeply disturbing insight into those subcultures within Second Life that role play explicit and extreme scenarios of sexual violence. It will demonstrate that rape, snuff, and other violent forms of sexualized role play are expressions of harmful and deep-seated misogynist attitudes, and it will argue that such role play, far from being harmless "fantasy," does impact negatively upon real life perspectives on and approaches to gender equality and social justice.

Because the most democratic and effective means of responding to the sale of violently misogynist content is the consumer boycott, "The Consumer Watch" will also maintain a running "Boycott Notification" list of content creators.

We invite you to visit the “Consumer Watch,” and join in the conversations there.

The first two blog posts for the "Consumer Watch" are now online:

"Battle Royale Redivivus"

An analysis of the unresolved "Battle Royale" skin controversy that swirled around Gala Phoenix's *Curio* skin line in October of last year.

[WARNING: Contains mild images of violence that may be triggering]

"In Which We Dipp into the Dark Side"

With images:

Text only:

An examination of a few of the snuff, rape, and bondage devices offered for sale by Dipp Canning's *Dip Dexines*.

[WARNING: Contains language and images of extreme violence.]

For a general introduction to the “Consumer Watch,” see:

Questions and comments regarding the “SLLU Feminist Network Consumer Watch” can be sent to:

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Sunday, 18 July 2010


by Lemonodo Oh

France has seen
repeated general

with resistance initially
stoked by
the ...

austerity, capitalism,
cuts, david cameron

have grown
because of the

economic downturn. ...
more user fees

for other public
services are

part of the
package. ...

We should be
inspired by

resistance to cutbacks
in Greece.

is killing us',
U.S. Social

meets in Detroit ...
Being part

mass movements is
a better

for labor than
simply ... student

to budget cuts
and the

The end
of my action

was part of
the plan,

by the
summer of ... out

a violent, imperialistic
capitalist agenda

the real rulers. ...
Further, without

the big picture
of people's

capitalism ... Severe
budget cuts were

including the
closure of 11

public ...
Trade Unionist
and Socialist Coalition

against cuts
and privatisation ... on

6 May - who
are against

pro-big business
agenda of

main political parties. ...

that Tony
Blair had to

sanction ...
in the
form of the

New Labour part-privatisation
academies agend...

Panther ·
Black Agenda
Report · Black Commentator ...

readers are
having fun with

State Capitalism and
World Revolution ?

don't think I
got ... in

forms of resistance —
sometimes individualized,

organized. ...
The Debate

Strategy in the
Anti-Budget Cuts
Movement ...

large protests
and resistance have

central ... A
key part of

theatre is
to mask its

true agenda behind
a charitable
theme. ...

In order to
pay for

extravagance, our government
has cut

Part of the
reason for

rejection of
the ND in

2009, ...
Though the
drivers' association leader

of opposing
the “global neoliberal

agenda”, ...
When the
global capitalist crisis

in 2007,
Greece like most

other ...
Sweeping budget
cuts by the

Greek government have
provoked a ...

resistance took place,
of course,

the context of
a ... flowing

the Lisbon Agenda
and the

levels of structural

(2000 –

2004). .....
They were
significant for the

participation of the
CUT ... He

taken their part,
their lot,

future as his
own. ... imposed

the first
to produce a

resistance movement
to it, has

long been a ...
eliminate the

cut health
and welfare spending,

and privatize education. ....
In The

The Rise
of Disaster Capitalism ...

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