Okay, this is only peripherally about Second Life, because there were a lot of SL events in support of this Real World movement.
The One Billion Rising event/movement/philosophy is aimed at stopping violence against women. I'm all for that! As a matter of fact, I'm for stopping violence against everyone. Not that it's going to happen any time soon, judging from both our history and current events.
But I do have to register my opposition to the way they are going about it. Parties. Gatherings. Events. And every person attending one of those events will, I'm sure, feel a sense of accomplishment, a warm feeling of having done their bit to stop violence against women.
How does going to a rally or a party stop an abusive husband, or a mugger? I completely fail to see the connection. Oh...maybe they want more LAWS against violence passed? Great. Have they checked to see what the response time of the local police is? A law only works if there is someone to enforce it. Moreover, it only comes into effect after someone breaks it. So...that's just fine, I guess. You can have the satisfaction of knowing the scoundrel will get arrested, while you are lying there in the hospital with your face smashed in.
I also note the debate about guns, which has moved into high gear following the tragic shootings at Sandy Hook. The anti-gun people are using this as an emotional lever to push a lot of new restrictions on us. Now, understand me...I am a gun owner, but I am all for rational gun laws. Laws like, for example, a written and practical exam before being issued a concealed carry permit. This would be similar to having to get a drivers license before being allowed to operate that other deadly weapon, the automobile. Or laws like effective background checks that will uncover mental problems and criminal activity. If every state had a Department of Firearms to handle this sort of thing, like the Department of Motor Vehicles, I'd be pleased. But almost every proposal I've heard so far would make life tougher for sane, law-abiding gun owners, while doing nothing to keep guns out of the hands of the criminal or the mentally unbalanced.
"There are no dangerous weapons. There are only dangerous men." - Robert A. Heinlein
Guns or no guns, there will always be dangerous men. Some...most...of them will only offer violence to defend themselves, their families, or society, bless them. Some, sadly, will not have such self control. In the real world, women are, on average, the "weaker sex", at least in terms of physical strength. And therefore, we are a logical target for violence.
Unless we are prepared to defend ourselves. One of my friends is a fifth degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do. She is not a large woman, but she is certainly more prepared to defend herself against violence than almost anyone else I know. I admire her greatly. Unfortunately, she has also made Tae Kwon Do her life. Those of us unwilling to give a martial art that sort of total commitment and devotion simply don't have the time to match her level of training, conditioning, and skill.
But a few hundred dollars, and a couple of hours at the range every few weeks, gives any woman the ability to defend herself against violence. Well, and one other thing. We must be mentally strong. If we have the attitude, the conviction, that no one is going to offer us violence and get away with it...we will prevent an awful lot of what One Billion Rising says they want to prevent.
Stop whining about violence, ladies. Be very dangerous instead...and you'll have no problems.
My thanks to Chestnut Rau, whose insightful blog post inspired me to speak my mind.