Hello Kess, This is your second year as a member of the One Billion Rising in Second Life team, and you are closing out this year’s Music in SOLIDARITY portion of the event.
Samantha: How does it feel to be a part of the team working on such a global cause?
Kess : I‘ve been a lot more involved this year than last year. Last year I was on the Skype call with the lead team, and I was totally in awe of the enthusiasm and motivation of the team. This year it’s been an honor to not only DJ and CLOSE out the Music event but to be part of such a talented team of organizers who have risen to every challenge before them to make this the best One Billion Rising in SL so far! From my perspective, I am grateful to have been able to use my skills in marketing and publicity to help spread the word and message of what OBR is about.
Samantha: Why are you RISING for One Billion Rising in Second Life?
Kess: Why do I Rise? Someone asked me a few weeks ago whether I had ever had an unwanted sexual encounter. I laughed and said ‘I’m a woman…of course I have’. I thought afterward how sad that is. That we accept that it’s just part of our life and part of the cross we have to bear as women that we almost accept being groped and our bodies ‘manhandled’ because someone else can’t control their actions. I was 17…I was out drinking in a club, and a chap was flirty on the dance floor. Later I left to go to the restrooms and unknown to me he followed me then forced himself into the cubicle I was in and attempted to force himself on me. I froze for what seemed like hours but was really just seconds, and then I snapped out of it and screamed. When someone else came into the restrooms, he panicked and ran back out. I never told anyone. I was drinking underage. I had flirted with him. It would be my fault I thought. Even now writing this that feeling of terror rising in me, the wanting to scream but being frozen is still vivid in my memory. That was 30 years ago, and still women have to justify their actions and behavior, and I rise because with changes that are happening in the world today if we don’t rise, don’t support each other, don’t say enough is enough then it will get worse, not better. I rise for the 17-year-old me and because this older version of me knows better now.