Virtual violence

When I first joined the fashion industry as a model, I added a "Limits" section to my portfolio, very much like RP limits. I specified that I would not allow myself to be in a photo that depicts violence against women or denigration of women.

Today, I inadvertently broke that rule.

I was responding to a call for stand-ins in the MaMachinima group. The group notice didn't describe what the machinima would be about. Well, I thought it would be benign like the ones I've volunteered for in the past.

When I tp'd over, the first people I noticed were two naked women who were dancing in the air. The film maker asked me to stand by a "rack". And one of the naked dancers started chatting with me after reading my profile.

I was distracted by the chat, the lag, and my camera wiggling because of alphas all over the place.

Then I noticed that another female avie was near the film maker, and she was tied upside down from the triangular rack. Well, the film maker and I were both wearing gowns from Violator with lots of "tentacles", so I didn't notice that she had a whip in her hand. I had mistaken it as a "tentacle".

But even after I realized it was a whip, my mind zoomed in on how realistic the animation was that made the tied woman's body writhe. It didn't occur to me how violent the scene was.

If it were a man who was whipping her, it probably would have bothered me more. But because it was a woman whipping another woman (I later found out it was the film maker's own alt), it wasn't an issue about gender anymore, and somehow it felt more tolerable.

I had read "The Book of O" years ago and didn't quite understand a big part of it. But now that I've chatted with a lot of people in the BDSM community, I understood a lot more when I rediscovered the book recently and reread it. The odd thing was that the book mentioned that women actually can be more cruel against other women than men are.

What really troubles me is that I wasn't disturbed at all by the scene today. Is it because it's violence from one woman to another? Is it because I know that it's only virtual and she's not really being hurt? Or have I become immune to violence? Have I lost my empathy? Or is it something else?