Battlechicken July Challenge

So, I have never done one of Battlechickens challenges, but since I am getting out there a little more in the community I thought it was high time I did :)

I have been considering writing a post on this topic for the last few weeks, about something quite personal and I just never found the right sort of context and this topic has come up, which allows me to kill two murlocs with one stone.

I have put it behind a cut as it may trigger and be hard to read. It is also long winded and waffly, as is my style :D

So given the amount of people that read my blog and the percentage of you that link stories about the gaming culture, I feel no shame in saying that I retweet and read a hell of a lot of information about the use of the word “rape” in game.  Even my post a few days ago mentions a guildie coming online and using the word quite offhand, but in a manner I do not like.

I was raped, many years ago now, but it was a horrible stage in my life.  I was strangled, quite literally to the edge of death and cut with a pocketknife.

Why do i mention those two little bits of detail?  Because being raped is not like it is in the movies – a 5 minute montage with shitty music in the background.  It is not something people walk away from in the next scene – and it is certainly not something that has no effect on you.  My honest opinion is that movies have ruined people’s ability to clearly understand what happens during something like a rape. I am sure there are no standards for what evil bastards can do to another human being, but they are all different – every single person that has gone through what I have will be able to tell a different story.  None of them are nice.  You don’t take vengeance on the person in the next movie hour. We live with those scars for life.

When I was seeking counselling for it, I had to tell people close to me about it.  I had to write the events down, as much detail as I could remember.  I had to re-live it almost daily as it were and I had to look into the eyes of the people I love like my hubby after he had read that story and try not to see imaginary emotions in his face.  I would see hate and disgust every time he looked at me.  It simply was not there – he loved me and he hated the guy that had done this horrible thing to me, but i couldn’t see that because I was in horror that I had to tell him at all.  Whenever people use the word rape as a derogatory in game, it makes me feel how I felt when I getting counselling.  The word flips a switch in my head that reminds me it happened.

There are days when I forget what I went through – days when I feel like the world is my oyster.  Days when my life is perfect and I am happy.  There are days when I am scared to go outside or even check the mailbox.  I can’t stand crowds now, I fear and loath being around people because anyone of them could be an evil bastard.  I am stronger now. I don’t let the fear show as much, if at all.  I want my hubby to see how much better I am, that I am not affected by it anymore. That I am safe with him.  But some things set you back and can’t be helped as it is a sudden hit to the brain – i don’t have time to block it.

There is a supplier who comes into work who one day said he “was sweating like a rapist” – I had to go home that day, and I hate him now.  I pity the woman he is marrying. I refuse to even call him if we need him and I certainly don’t like being alone at the shop if he drops past – in fact I always get as close to a phone as I can so I can dial emergency response if I need to.  I have no idea if he is a rapist – I am not going to ask. But I won’t trust anyone that uses the word as offhand as he does – including people in game.

When I was GL I had set rules we didn’t use the word rape – and I would boot people after the second time they said it.  First time, I generally got narky with them – in chat or vents I didn’t care – I pulled people up mid sentence. Second time they said it, they got booted.  End of story.  You ask why?  Because Azeroth is my escape as much as it is yours. Why should I have to consider rape at all, when I am enjoying blowing up bosses with fireballs? Why do you think it is ok to trigger me every time you do some PVP or get hacked?  If your mother, sister, brother, girlfriend or boyfriend got raped – would you feel differently? if you knew they had been held down against their will and almost killed – would that make you use the word less because it is then associated with something more horrible to you?

I have discussed with my hubby many times the fact that people use the term in game far too much, and sadly I can’t change the player base to stop saying stupid things like that.  I do have to be able to just ignore comments like that and that is generally what I do now. My ignore list on my mage contains every single person that has said the word rape in game that I have been witness to.  It is a very very long list.  I have to delete people every few weeks so I can fit more on, but it suits my purposes.  Generally if they say it once, they say it regularly and they are going to say it again, so I would prefer not to see the jokes and humour associated with having my life nearly ruined.  Of course guildies saying it is still an issue, as I don’t want to put them on ignore as it causes friction, but I can’t be in a guild with people who have the mentality that raping is ok.  Yes, that’s how my cooky brain determines the use of the word rape – if you can say it so offhand, then perhaps you could do it, or have already done it?  How would I know…I don’t know you in real life, so you are not someone I want to associate with.

Anyway, I am sorry this post was a little heavy handed for the morning, but I hope that if I can stop even one person from saying it, I will have achieved something. So there you go, something personal about me that affects my life in so many ways.

22 comments on Battlechicken July Challenge:

  1. Navimie July 14, 2012 9:13 am

    Oh my. That is a hard tale to share. I really do understand where you’re coming from because I don’t use the word because I worry about upsetting people with the same reasons you have listed. Your feelings are strong about the use of that word and most if not all people would agree with you. Make it clear to others if you hear that word, people often don’t use it thinking of it in the bad way that it is. Educate them. Make them understand. For those who have not experienced it first or second hand (like killing, death, or dying) people use the term very offhandedly but once you explain it to them, they will understand and be more respectful and hopefully you will also change their way of thinking.

    • dragonray July 14, 2012 3:13 pm

      Thanks Navi, I do hope that every now and again someone stops saying it when I give them an explanation as to why I find it abhorrent, But not everyone learns.

  2. Hyperious July 14, 2012 10:14 am

    I’ve known more than a few women who have dealt with that horror. I applaud you for having the strength to talk about it. I have seen the pain in their eyes, and I can feel it in your words.

    It’s for this reason that I make it a point to never use the word in any manner other than its actual correct use. Furthermore, I’ve found that whenever I see someone else use it, like in a BG when they’re like “getting _____ at the blacksmith”, I generally put them on ignore. Anyone who can use the word so carelessly and callously is unworthy of my attention.

    I’m sorry that you, or anyone else, has ever had to experience this. But I admire the courage it takes to soldier on.

    • dragonray July 14, 2012 3:14 pm

      The statistics for women that have death with it are huge, when i first heard how high I was appalled. It is amazing any of us have the strength to go on, so thank you for your words :D

  3. Ambermist July 14, 2012 10:37 am

    My husband and I were just talking about how flippantly the word is thrown around. He said that the connotation is different these days, and I agreed and said that that is PRECISELY the problem. How on earth is it okay to take a word that means something so horrific and scarring and make it okay to use when you’re being roflstomped on a battleground?

    Thank you for sharing this; I can’t possibly imagine what it is to live with this and I’m so impressed and inspired by your candidness and strength. You are amazing! <3

    • dragonray July 14, 2012 3:19 pm

      Thanks Ambermist – as I mentioned in my post, I think people use it so flippantly (great description by the way) because they don’t really understand what can occur or what it really means. Not to get overly generalised here but young teenagers probably don’t really get the concept unless they are well and truly versed in sexual manners and older males (from my experience of asking anyway) think rape happens in about 3 minutes and it is over, so the actual idea is skewed from the out with them. Not to be too detailed but my experience lasted over an hour, by my recollection of time, and although hard for me to even type about – i feel so strongly about this issue, I felt it needed to be out there for others to read.

      Thanks for taking the time to comment and for suggesting the topic :)

  4. mctacky July 14, 2012 1:49 pm

    The casual use of that word by some is truly abhorrent.

    • dragonray July 14, 2012 3:19 pm

      I second that Tacky!! It is too casual, but then so are so many words like we discussed the other day.

  5. Morrigu July 14, 2012 5:04 pm

    I hate people using ‘rape’ all the time too. I was raped when I was 17 by the boss of my first ever job. I’m now 32 and for the most part live a normal life, but it took a lot of counselling and willpower to get that way, and there are still times I have problems. For example I am nervous of older men, even my fiancés dad. And telling people you love about what happened never gets easier. When things got serious with G 4 years ago I had to tell him about what happened, not an easy conversation to have.

    Sadly I don’t just get rape references in games. I work in a pub and in the last few weeks have had to ask to regular customers not to joke about it, which didn’t go down well with one of them.

    Anyway, you are very brave for writing this post. Sending lots of hugs your way.

    • dragonray July 15, 2012 9:24 am

      My sympathies for your experience Morrigu, I am returning your hugs!

      YOu are very correct – having the conversation with a loved one is not an easy process, but must be done.

      I am sorry you had to correct people at work, that would not have been pleasant.

  6. Erinys July 14, 2012 10:42 pm

    First of all, massive hugs. Standing up and talking about what happened is never easy.

    I was raped as a student by someone whose uniform should imply trust and whilst I’m not particularly bothered by the word itself (for me words are words, it’s the act which cut so deep I still have flashbacks when people touch me), I now always try and stop people using it in a casual fashion or at least try and get to them to talk about why they think it’s ok. For ages when I first started playing, I was afraid of showing vulnerability so tried to ignore it but it took another Priest coming to me in tears to realise that what a massive issue it can be for others and also how pathetic I was being. I think it hit doubly home because I hadn’t reported my rape for a variety of reasons even though I was pretty sure I wasn’t his first and so it felt like I was letting people down again.

    I’m semi ok with use number 1 because a lot of people are just ignorant rather than trying to be outright malicious I think, my husband says I’m still terribly naive though.

    I think you sum it up perfectly with this:

    “Because Azeroth is my escape as much as it is yours”

    And because of that, we need to work together to ensure that we all feel comfortable and safe when playing. There are plenty of words without triggers which describe steam-rolling other teams in pvp or defeating boss encounters, referring people to a thesaurus can have some effect.

    <3 for the bravery.

    • dragonray July 15, 2012 9:29 am

      Thanks for your bravery as well in putting it out here that it had happened to you. As with Morrigu, I am sending you massive hugs!

      I never reported mine either, and I never will to be honest. It was bad enough living through it, and then living though it again with counselling. I got sick of the details and the re-hashing, I just wanted to forget it had ever happened in the first place.

      There are many other descriptors out there, my favourite being, “we lost that quickly”, it’s pretty hard to say that though..so I can understand how it would confuse some people :p.

      • Morrigu July 15, 2012 10:45 pm

        I didn’t report my rape either. The guy was from a wealthy family and always bragged about how his mother would hire him a top lawyer, and he threatened my family. I know now he was full of shit but as a traumatised teenager I believed him. Plus he had been treating me badly in front of people before hand, and no one did anything so I figured I was on my own. However 6 months after I left my job (I stayed there for a month after it happened, it was hell) he was prosecuted for assaulting 3 other female workers, and pleaded guilty. His mother refused to pay his legal bills and so he didn’t get that fancy lawyer. What I don’t get is his girlfriend went ahead and married him anyway.

        After it all came to light I got a call from one of the people who owned the store where it happened and he said he was so sorry about what happened, and he wished he’d been able to stop it. It wasn’t his fault, he wasn’t there, but it was a nice gesture.

        • dragonray July 15, 2012 10:52 pm

          That was a lovely gesture from the store owner, but you are right, when young and naive (for lack of a better word) you do tend to accept what people say at face value rather than considering they are buttholes.

          I will never understand why women can marry people like that, but each to their own I suppose.

  7. mataokashaman July 17, 2012 9:19 am

    Thank you for sharing this. The stories I know of do not belong to me, but to others, so I’ll leave it at that, and help fight the good fight.

    • dragonray July 17, 2012 10:07 am

      No problem, as proven on my blog with previous comments, there are so many affected people out there, we need to make a stand and push back onto the people who are offensive, so I thought it would be good to just get it out there why i hate it so much :)

  8. Carole July 17, 2012 7:51 pm

    Hi :), thank you for sharing this, a difficult read. You, and also others, have shown great courage in sharing your experiences *hugs* to you all. I have strong views about the use of the “R” word in game and personally consider that Blizzard should make it that its just not possible to use this word at all. Good luck to you (and the others) in the future. Carole :)

  9. Cymre July 28, 2012 12:39 pm

    I’m so sorry to hear this happened to you and the others above. It’s also not a word I like to hear so casually so I never use it either. It does make me sad that it’s used so often and players may even use it with humour which makes it even worse.

    I applaud your bravery for sharing this horrible part of your past and if anything it can only make you stronger.

    • dragonray July 29, 2012 11:10 pm

      Thanks Cymre. It is never easy, but it something that I think we never consider the people behind it. One way to help change it though is to make people realise that there are people that have suffered through things like that.

      Maybe enough people will see it and change. we can hope right?

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