Sunday, December 16, 2007


In light of the Megan Meier MySpace Suicide Case - we felt it was a good time to rerun this one:
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By: Whitney Galbraith

Is Rape really possible on the Internet or is it just a form of sexual harassment. We all enter into this virtual world scared and alone, knowing that your alone you should take same precautions that are taken when you are walking home alone at night, anything is possible.

When anything is possible on the Internet, being raped by definition of rape is impossible. According to Collins English Dictionary rape is: "The offense of forcing a person, esp. a woman, to submit to sexual intercourse against that persons will." Yet, on the other hand another definition of rape is: "Any violation or abuse: the rape of justice." The first definition of rape is impossible of taking place whereas the second one is a better explanation of what took place. The definition of Virtual Rape is exactly what happened, but the word rape is a very strong, powerful word to be using for the explanation of sexual harassment.

The use of the word rape is unacceptable because it gives the reader a false impression about what the story will be about. Until, I knew the definition of Virtual Rape I thought this woman was a nut to think that she had been raped. A different title should have been used from the beginning so that the reader starts with an open mind and not as I did. I read that a woman was raped on the Internet and immediately had a bad impression about the following story. This woman on the Internet did experience a violation except for the fact that she was involved in a virtual world.

When entering into a virtual world one has to be able to escape reality on some levels. Escaping reality means that you must not take things personally even when they are directed toward you. However, some things are very hard to ignore therefore we must be able to understand that these things being said to us are just words put into sentences, and these sentences can be disturbing coming from a stranger. What the words make up seem extremely real especially because this woman was personally and emotionally involved, this needs to be avoided so that people don't experience the feeling that this woman did. These threatening sentences should be easier to accept coming from a stranger, because we don't know is on the other end and we can question their mental state when they say abnormal things. Many people enter not these virtual worlds to be able to fulfill their fantasies. We must remember that there are no rules and therefore many people's imaginations go wild. As we have seen some of these things can be very revolting.

We also enter into this virtual world when we turn on the TV. We watch TV either with complete concentration or none at all, either way it doesn’t affect us. A virtual world computer experience is exactly the same in the sense that your concentration level doesn't matter.

In real life we do space out (disinhibition syndrome) but if you were driving down the road without some level of concentration you would most likely crash. When you are watching a movie most of the time you are very interested and often feel apart of the show. When you turn off the movie that feeling is gone.

When we have a movie actor that addresses you as his audience and he is virtually raping you, you are not likely to keep watching that movie. In actuality most people would shut off the show or watch it but wouldn't take it very serious, computers are the same, we shouldn't be taking virtual world experiences seriously. Yes, computers are a little more personal, but being able to distinguish between real life and virtual life is the task. One has to use their imagination and common sense to be able to do so.

Every person is different, but we all have feelings and we all experience things differently. Hearing this ladies story about being raped on the Internet is scary but very difficult to even try and understand how or why she stayed logged on and in contact with this guy when she never had to. She could have approached the situation very differently, but not being able to know how she felt we can not say she did the wrong thing. Everyone has the right to respond to things differently, but we should all be able to justify to ourselves why, it makes it easier for the individual to be able to understand.

The mental pain that this woman experienced was real, yet the events that made her feel this way took place in a virtual world. This proves that yes, there may be a virtual world, but not letting these things affect your real life is virtually impossible. Instead of trying to understand why these things happen we should try and prevent ourselves getting into these situations. When something happens to us the thoughts and memories are always there. This woman wasn't physically hurt, but she was extremely mentally hurt, and this possibly more damaging for her. The feeling that she experienced was that of sexual harassment. Sexual harassment by definition is: "The persistent unwelcome directing of sexual remarks, looks, etc." Collins English Dictionary This is what this woman experienced, not rape by definition.

By definition this woman experienced a form of sexual harassment that was said to have been rape. I agree that this may be a very threatening and disturbing experience, but if you don't like what is being said to you log off. I think that it is hard to determine how we should take this, for that matter how should we take anything. Any topic can be blown out of proportion with the right attitudes involved. This rape on the Internet was taken a little too far, but not quite far enough because it can still take place. Some how there needs to be rules, but until there are rules people need to understand that unbelievable things can happen.




In Our Humble Opinion, the author totally missed that many Online "Rape" Victims (aka Emotional or Mental Rape) are survivors or victims of other sorts of abuse and therefore vulnerable. Vulnerable people DON'T SEE RED FLAGS. They aren't stupid or naive. They don't have the ability to see the dangers. They often suffer from issues of abandonment and repetition compulsion

Many times these people "freeze" when something that traumatizes them appears online - unable to turn off the computer for a few minutes, or until after the damage is done. This unfortunately is an outcropping of PTSD and needs to be taken into account rather than questioning why the victim didn't just log off.

Emotional & Psychological Rape on the internet is very real & very traumatic.- Fighter

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