Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Casualized use of "Rape" as slang: Why it needs to stop (Community Editiorial)

There's not a single night of gaming, or day on twitter, or hour of online browsing where I do not come across the casualized use of the term "rape." I'm not sure when or where this horrid trend started, but it has been going on for years. This habitual use is concentrated very highly in the online gaming world, especially in shooter genres, and this is especially troubling for the future of gaming community.

Saying "get raped" at the end of a match does not make you sound cool. Laughing about saying it does not make you look badass. However, it's become such an accepted phrase by so many people, that no one is willing to speak up and shut that person down. The online world is filled with so much anonymity that people feel no remorse for what they say or how they act. 99% of these people would not use this term around a woman standing right next to them, and nearly the same number would not use it next to a male friend either. The fact that they are not held accountable for their actions makes them feel untouchable, and the worst of a person's character bubbles to the surface. Which begs the question, how depraved has our community become that they can use this term as casually as talking about the weather?

Rape is not a laughing matter. It's not a term that should be tossed around lightly. Rape is an act that transcends what people know about being a victim. To fully understand rape would require you to be put in that same position which the vast majority of the world would never wish you to be in. It's an act that brutalizes the victim, causing years of mental anguish and possibly physical distress as well. Many victims come away with permanent scarring, bruising, damage to tendons or bone, and some victims never come away from the emotional trauma. Victims commit suicide everyday after suffering through the pain and trauma for years. This is not limited to women. Both sexes experience these violations, with a large amount of cases never getting reported due to feelings of shame and guilt. Some never walk away from the experience at all. Murders are a common aftereffect as the rapists don't wish to be caught. In some countries, the victims themselves are the ones who are punished through torture and public executions for bringing "shame" to the families. Lives are forcefully violated and destroyed, before they are ended in one of the worst ways to ever leave this world.

To hear the term said with conviction degrades everything a community should stand for. Wishing harm and horror to be forced upon someone is despicable. The casualized use of this term extends beyond gaming to even a regular conversation, with the entire meaning being perverted to suit the user's need at the time. Please, save our community and save our society from going down this path. Stop using this word.

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