One of my go-to SL websites is Strawberry Singh’s excellent blog. Strawberry, like other writers such as Canary Beck, take a philosophical view to SL, and blog in a thoughtful, intelligent manner.
Strawberry also runs ‘Memes’, wherein SL bloggers get the chance to comment on, or re-create, something for their own blog sites.
This week Strawberry’s meme has been a ‘Mean Comments Meme‘, which in another of those extraordinary acts of synchronicity, has been partly what we’ve touched on in recent days with several posts about the #freethenipple campaign ongoing in Iceland, a Twitter meme itself instigated by ‘mean comments -or cyberbullying.
I’ve commented on Strawberry’s blog, and you can read those comments, if you wish, by following the link (above).
My comment on Strawberry’s blog references us replicating RL events in SL, hence us re-posting Pookes, as Miley, on a ‘Wrecking Ball’
Let’s go straight to the questions Strawberry posed her readers in respect of this meme, and my responses within the context of SL Naturist.
Have you ever been subjected to mean comments online by strangers? I’ve never received ‘mean’ comments in the context of SL Naturist. What I would say is that some male avatars lose all sense of social graces (assuming they had any to begin with) in terms of routine sexism. OK…I’m a SL (and RL) naturist, so I do spend a lot of my SL time naked. It’s odd, however, to still find comments that reference ‘nice tits, love’ or ‘beautiful bush’. Even for female avatars who aren’t naturist within the game, I imagine that sexism is routine. I don’t cyber. I’ve never cybered. My profile makes this abundantly clear. Despite this, I still get asked. When I point people to what my profile says (essentially it says I don’t cyber, in a number of languages) I have previously been called a ‘slut’ and a ‘whore….for not cybering? Fellas, you need to be spending less time on SL, and more time with your dictionary if you think someone who doesn’t bump pixels is a ‘slut’.
How did you respond to them? We’ve all got a mute button. I use it. I’ve had SL friends whom I’ve thought understood my no-cyber stance, only to let themselves down 2-3 years into an SL friendship. I mute them immediately. Friendship over. With regards being called a ‘slut’ or any other form of routine sexism, I ignore it and go into ‘withering sarcasm’ mode. There’s a good number of avatars out there whose comprehension of English (even if they’re native English speakers) isn’t so great that they can come back from a put down (and muting).
How did they make you feel? Their comments say nothing about me, and everything about them. They can all be ignored. Happily, sim owners in the main have zero tolerance to any form of racist, homophobic or sexist remarks. I would imagine they would move swiftly to ban the person making such comments, whether directed at your avatar or made about specific RL groups.
Can you share some of the mean comments you’ve received and your thoughts on them? Apparently I have ‘nice tits and am a ‘slut’ (see Q1) 🙂 This wordpress blog is my online presence. I don’t do FB, twitter, Tumblr, Flickr or anything else, so my exposure to negativity or bullying is minimal. In the context of the blog, no one has ever been particularly negative, just occasionally sexist. Even there, I have ended up at sims, dancing naked, when a total stranger will IM ‘I love your blog’ and want to talk about that. Anonymity allows people to forget their manners in a RL social media context. I have no real need for these outlets, so don’t use them. Oddly enough, Strawberry references a negative comment (in world) regarding the wearing of a tattoo, and we had our first ‘troll’ comment on the exact same scenario recently, referencing RL women as ‘tramps’ for having them.
Have you ever ridiculed or negatively commented on someone else’s work, actions or personality with the intention to hurt them? In the context of SL Naturist, no. We try to promote family orientated, wholesome, ‘genuine’ naturism, rather than a ‘nude beach with sex poses’. Some people like ‘nude beaches with sex poses’. We don’t, but that’s just us. Rather than comment negatively, we don’t comment. Someone has worked hard to create a sim. It doesn’t fit our definition of wholesome, ‘genuine’ naturism, but that’s OK. It wasn’t built for us. Rather than snipe, we simply don’t comment (although we will comment about ridiculously sized male genitalia or breasts within a sim intended for ‘human avatars’: get real people).
We play SL for fun, for enjoyment. Quite why someone needs to be rude or nasty baffles me. It’s just a game, and should be treated like a game. We’ve always tried to adopt a fun, positive approach to the work we promote and have, happily, found that others react in kind. What’s the old Indian saying? ‘The smile that you send out returns to you’.