Friday, October 19, 2007

Welcome to the Second Life Women's Club

OK, here's the skinny - and don't let this scare you away from Second Life if you are new to the service or just thinking about joining.

The first day I arrived in Second Life, I was sexually harassed. The worst parts about the experience were not the nasty things the male avatar was saying to me or the way he pressed up against my avatar and pushed it/me around. It was the fact that my husband was sitting next to me while I was logging into SL for the first time, and the experience was very upsetting to him.

For me, online harassment was something that happened every once in a blue moon. Having been online since 1987, nothing really shocked me. But out of respect for my husband, I stayed off SL for about a month. Eventually, I couldn't resist logging back in to see what was happening in-world. I had a feeling I would love it. And I do.

As a woman in SL, I'm actually not too worried about harassment. Since that first day when I learned that people actually hang out on Orientation Islands to harass new users, I haven't been bothered at all. I find that if you look for trouble - or online pornography for that matter - you'll find it. But if you aren't, you don't just stumble upon an orgy. You really have to go seeking it out.

I now use SL in various ways:

1. Exploring
2. Shopping
3. Networking
4. Making and meeting up with friends
5. Organizing events and attending events
6. Starting a business (selling SL & real world tshirts with fun slogans)
7. Meeting and greeting new users
8. Teaching
9. Building
10. Writing about it (for and on the Cybergrrl Oh blog & Elysian Isle blog)

I feel like my Second Life is just an extension of my First Life - not so separate from it but enhancing it in new ways.

So I've started the Second Life Women's Club for women like me who are busy but enjoy being online and want to get the most out of their Second Life. I believe that women helping women is an incredibly powerful thing. So join our club, stop by our clubhouse (you have to IM Cybergrrl Oh for a landmark), and let's talk!

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