This is something I feel abnormally strong about and it’s also something I see at least once a day or more. People using the term “rape” in conjunction with whatever just happened in their game.
I hate, with a passion, the use of the term “rape” when applied to video games. I see it all the time. We raped that team. We raped that boss. That quest just raped me.
No, you didn’t. No, it didn’t.
I realize the defense of the term is the same as the defense of using the term “gay” to mean something stupid or worthless. It’s just a word. It’s just how people talk. It doesn’t mean anything. There have been pages upon pages written, add campaigns launched, viral videos released about the term “gay” and I’m there, but I want to talk about this word for a second.
The problem is that the word rape does mean something and it means something very personal to a lot of people.
When you say you’re going to “rape” that boss, what exactly do you mean?
Are you going to leave it unable to sleep when it is dark, forcing it to either totally rearrange it’s sleep schedule or burn every light in the house just so it doesn’t start hallucinating from exhaustion? Are you going to leave it crying in the shower, washing it’s body over and over again and talking itself down from a ledge? Are you going to leave it unable to have any relationship with another human being for years? Unable to have an untainted, unafriad sexual relationship for the rest of it’s life? How many times a month will it wake up screaming after you have gone? How long will it take that boss to regain it’s sense of bodily automony, or it’s ability to feel present in it’s own skin? Is that boss going to so afraid to leave the house that it will fail out of college? Will it be unable to care for it’s own children properly? Will it scream every time someone comes up behind it? Will it blame itself for the horrible things inflicted on it? Will it spend years in therapy afterwards trying to connect the dots again? Is it going to continually wonder if it can go on social outings armed? Will it be subject to a battery of humiliating and dehumanizing tests and questions when you are done? Sometimes, and for no reason, will it suddenly lash out, punch, hit, kick, scream? Is it going to randomly and viciously flash back to the date of your encounter, sometimes in public? Is it going to have violent fantasies of cutting the tainted parts of itself off it’s body? Will it competely lose regard for it’s own safety, well being and health and regularly seek out other violent relatioships or will it just decide that it’s done with humanity as a whole and become it’s very own jailer? Exactly how many years of therapy will this boss need when you are done? Will you be leaving some of their vital organs so badly ravaged that they will never again work properly?
I didn’t fucking think so.
We all know what rape is. Rape is a forcible and violent act and it’s committed by people who I believe are missing a pretty decent part of their humanity. Rape is a decision. It’s deciding that you don’t care if she says no/is possibly not even awake/is so terrified of you she can’t say anything. It’s saying, in no uncertain terms, I don’t care about you or your humanity.
In terms of saying “I’m going to rape that boss,” I have one thing to say. What the fuck is the matter with you? You want to align yourself with a rapist? You think that’s an admirable quality? To take something vital and special from another human being and not give a flying shit about the aftermath? Really? You might be tossing the term around casually, but it’s not just a word. It’s possibly my biggest fault in life that I believe that people are generally good and I am aghast at hearing people set the rapist up as some paragon of power and virility. Give me a break. Because that is what you’re actually saying. And what you’re not saying that people are hearing is, “I’m a giant asshole.”
The next time you find yourself wanting to mention that you’re about a rape a PvP team, I want you to stop and I want you think about survivors of sexual assault as whole and telling them, “Hey, what happened to you is just a little word and besides, I’ve almost got enough points for some things made out of pixels.”
Stop trivializing people’s very real and very acute pain. “Rape” is not just a word. In the time it took me to sit down and write this, ten women have been raped somewhere in the world. Ten people have had someone damn well try to end their lives without actually killing them. Ten woman who’s pain you are piggybacking for a cheap laugh.
I would like to believe in humanity and goodness against all evidence to the contrary. Stop making it so hard.