[I]n Australia…there is an increasingly heated free speech debate over a game called “RapeLay.”…. According to the Sydney Morning Herald, in this downloadable game, “players earn points for acts of sexual violence, including following girls on commuter trains, raping virgins and their mothers, and then forcing them to have abortions.”
OK, it comes from Japan…so you almost know immediately that you have to steel yourself for something objectionable, tasteless, and/or borderline inhuman. “RapeLay”, as entertainment…or anything else, really…is completely objectionable. Turning women into objects usable primarily for purposes of sexual gratification in any sense is disgusting. Period. End of story. No questions, no dispute. Done.
So I’ve established the parameters of my argument, then. Regardless of cultural, linguistic, or any other differences, the objectification of women, even in video game form is wrong. I don’t know how I possibly could make it any more clear than that. Having drawn that line in the sand, though, there’s something I really don’t understand. How is it that one can (rightly) argue so strongly against video games that portray women as sexual objects…and yet games whose sole purpose seems to be killing and destruction are given a free pass? Why the hypocrisy? Why is it that showing a naked breast being caressed is anathema to so many upstanding, moral sorts? Why is the depiction of the owner of that same breast being graphically blown into a million pieces perfectly acceptable? Why is violence considered socially acceptable, but sex is considered a sign of depravity and moral decay?
I’m normally loathe to propose anything resembling censorship…and yet that seems to be where I’m headed with this argument, no? I’d like to think that the makers of “RapeLay” would have enough common decency (and respect for the women in their lives) to understand that this sort of video game is well beyond the pale and has NO redeeming social value. If they can’t be bothered to do so, however, at some point good and decent people have to take action. Where might that commence and what form would that take is something I couldn’t begin to tell you. This is why I would hope that public pressure would force the moral midgets behind “RapeLay” to do the right thing…and it appears that may well be happening. Beyond that, though, I can’t help but wonder where the comparable outrage is over the plethora of video games depicting graphic violence in all its glory. The underlying collective hypocrisy and blindness is truly something beyond rational explanation and comprehension.
Women’s groups should be, and are, complaining long and loud about “RapeLay” and similar games. What I can’t understand is why these same groups are as silent about violence as they are vocal about the objectification of women. Or have we really arrived at a place where graphic, technicolor violence is considered to be as American as baseball, apple pie, and domestic terrorism?
I think the evidence speaks for itself, don’t you??