After posting my blog entry about the Global Kids event on child sex slavery, I was corresponding with Global Kids staffer Barry Joseph ("GlobalKids Bixby" in-world). Barry and I agreed that it would be great if adult SL residents could benefit from the work that was done on the teen grid event. A few emails to the Lindens later, I was the proud owner of a virtual ball-and-chain, a "slavery still exists" wristband, and a balloon with "stop slavery" written on it.
What would be cool is if residents could wear these objects and then send pictures of themselves to the Polaris Project website "Slavery Still Exists," which collects image of people wearing tee-shirts bearing that slogan as an awareness-raising exercise.
Obviously, wearing a virtual wristband and a ball-and-chain doesn’t do anything to help a real kid get out of an unimaginable nightmare. Clicking on the ball does lead you to the website of the Polaris Project, where you can learn about the magnitude of the problem, what can be done to stop it, and how you can help. For example, I didn’t know that an estimated 17,500 foreign nationals are trafficked annually in the United States alone!
That’s a good start, at least.
IM me ("Rik Riel") in-world if you would like one of these objects.
4 thoughts on “Virtual ball-and-chain to free real slaves”
I find this hugely ironic. On the TG, there you are, busy with this very worthy cause, with Global Kids. Yet on the adult grid, these balls and chains abound everywhere, and are even defiantly celebrated as a “lifestyle choice.”
Yes, perhaps if you do enough education on this on the teen grid now, about the broader world problem of sex trafficking, and the very local issues of what kind of culture to create within Second Life, these kids won’t fall into these lifestyles that *right here on the adult grid in Second Life* put balls and chains and collars and all kinds of stuff on people and make them subserviant to others’ wills in the name of “lifestyle choice”.
I think it would be great if people would think about the larger issues here and not just imagine this problem is off in Thailand somewhere. I think it’s worth about what the “lifestylers” in SL mean in general for the future of how SL is perceived by a wider audience; how it will be viewed by lawmakers in various countries; and in general, just what kind of world we are all making.
Sure, you can go on forever saying it’s freedom of choice. But why are there so many recovery programs then?
I think everyone should be allowed to do whatever they want, within the TOS CS, on the privacy of their own parcels and homes. No one should interfere; that’s the essence of a free society.
But it’s also the essence of a free society to have people who will promulgate different views, ideas, cultural norms. Some people think chains and collars clinking and clanking and people saying “Master” and referring to themselves in the third person is just fine. Others don’t. Let them compete in the marketplace of ideas. Let there even BE a marketplace of ideas — because there isn’t one now.
Recently, someone on the forums posted about how she was uncomfortable with the BDSMers roleplaying all over her more neutral club/venue. She didn’t wish to explicitly ban them or make a fuss. But she did want greater tact, greater tolerance for the fact that while somebody “choses a lifestyle,” others didn’t, and don’t want it clanking in their face.
I couldn’t agree more about the irony. In fact, the picture of my avatar in the jail cell was in a bondage / domination sex-play sim.
[HMDS] ‘Slavery Still Exists’ Items Make it to the Main Grid
To help Global Kids effort in raising awareness of slavery, Rik Panganiban will be distributing armbands and ball & chains in the Second Life Main Grid. Read his blog to find out further details and where you can pick them…
If love isn’t a game, then why are there so many players? Are you one of these players?