Monday, June 23, 2008

Diversity, y'all.

Diversity. You know, you'd figure that SL was a big enough place that we could all get around and get along, but sometimes that doesn't work out.

Does it in general? Sure.

Does it always? No.

Now, this time I'm not talking about me. Or, okay, I'm not talking about only me. I have been fortunate that through changing my perspective a little and changing my surroundings a little and just being more confident, I've seen fewer and fewer people who criticize my choice of avie.

But what about others?

I have furry friends who can't go some places, or show up places and get immediately banned. I have neko friends who get looked at funny depending on just how neko they are (ears and tails? That's okay, but you have a neko skin? Wow, you're HARDCORE!). Friends who, behind their avatars, are of different ethnic backgrounds who are inadvertently subjected to racial "jokes" and epithets by folks who assume that just because your avatar is young and white, you too are young and white.

What about the transgendered, the "shemale," or those who are one gender in RL but play another in SL? How about people who are one race in RL and play a completely different one in SL?

And don't even get me started on homophobia. Through Guen, On a friend's flickr stream the other day I actually saw a picture of an advertisement, in a store, of a T-shirt for the "sexually challenged," meaning those who were homosexual.

I don't know if I've seen or noticed it more than other people, because I used to get funny looks myself or because I had a hard time finding a spot to fit in the mesh of this world, but holy crap, people. What the hell with all the ignorance? What the hell with people who screech about avatars speaking languages other than their own (I assume many of them don't realize that a great many of the avatars who DO speak English are doing so as a courtesy to the rest of us, since it isn't their first language), who exclude others who in SL or in RL are different than they are, just because they think that's the safer thing to do.

What. The. Hell.

Even LL is getting in the act in its own way, and its own time, but many of you have already blogged about that or read about it so I won't beat the horse here.

I'm pretty much over it. I have a diverse, completely amazing SL family, made up of occasional-furs, nekos, white people, black people, tan people, purple people, faeries, puppies, kitties, tops, bottoms, gays, straights, bi's, transgenders, crossdressers, and one person who is occasionally a wedge of cheese.

So, if you're among the people who are the tolerant, thanks for enriching our experience. If you are among the intolerant, do us all a favor and pull your head squarely out of your ass.

THAT BEING SAID, it's diversity week at Lounge of Dreams, and all of you are invited to come hang out with us no matter what you look like, sound like, feel like, in RL, in SL. We're restricted by LL to adult avatars only, but for everything else, anything goes.

I swear, instead of Diversity Week we should have Kick Someone Intolerant In The Teeth week.

Is that counterproductive?


Camthan said...

Kick someone intolerant in the teeth week may or may not be counterproductive.. but I may do it anyway.

Sasy Scarborough said...

/me so wants a friend thats a wedge of cheese , even if only occasionally.

I have furries, cubbies, kids, dragons, fae, vampires , well you get the point.

Its a very valid point , especially about language , we accept when Japanese people say in profiles they dont speak english , thats usually the end of it . But what about everyone else , it would be a very interestiny place if all designers for the week only spoke native tongue, in IM's and Blogs.

wow if everyone stuck to that rule overall it would be a very very different place.

Great post , I hope it gets many thinking :O)

and teeth are way too far away from their thinking place lol

xox Sasy xox

Anonymous said...

Im so many things by myself. Drow, neko, kitsune, dragon, furry, eagles, dodos, parrots, peacocks, male human, female human, mermaids, sirens, velociraptors, you name it, I've probably been it at one time. You cant judge.

Joonie Jatho said...

If I only had friends just like me, boring! LOL

Unfortunately, it seems in that regard, SL mirrors RL somewhat.

Thank you for posting this, Rosie. It needed to be said.

huggies - Joonie

Krissy said...

Joonie says it perfect: If all my friends were like me, I'd be bored to death! Ha! The diversity is precisely what I love about SL. People fascinate me. Idiots should leave their judgement at the login screen.

Anonymous said...

So sad that in this world where one can be anything one chooses, and is afforded the opportunity to do so freely, people choose to be intollerant of others. If one had to guess, one would say the general IQ of those people might be equivalent to that of an eggplant in my refrigerator at the moment... no wait... that's being unfair to the eggplant. Well said and I agree 100%.

Izzy said...

Very well said, Rosie and - indeed - it did NEED to be said. So many people are so caught up in their own little worlds, they often forget to be conscious of others and their differences; or, even worse, they are absolutely intolerant of those differences.

It would seem - in such a seemingly diverse world as SL - that "live & let live" would be the rule of thumb; unfortunately, like in the real world, this simply isn't true.

Anonymous said...

Oh I totally agree that if everyone were just like ourselves then the world would be a boring place... SL or RL. I wonder how all the cylons on Battlestar Galactica handle it since they all are essentially copies of each other? LOL

Seriously, tho... folks who can't accept diversity I simply don't hang around with. Nuff said. :-)

Great post, Rosie! <3

Dreamer said...

/me applauds wildly .. with feet, flippers, tentacles, wings or wtf it is i choose to applaud with. awesome first foray! :)