NOEMI PROUD

You stand before the court.

You feel the hostility of those around you, of the hundreds more watching in.

The sentence is read aloud.

You have been found guilty.

Guilty of preferring games filled with non-sanctioned violence. Worse, that celebrate false and hurtful depictions of women.

There’s more.

The evidence clearly shows that a disproportionate number of those you follow have expressed views which suggest they do not accept the science on the lasting harms of racism, sexism, and white privilege.

This is your second offense.

You know the penalty.

The judge motions a young woman forward. She is thin, black, pretty. She looks hungry, you think. No doubt, she will be paid well for this. You cannot hear what they are discussing. She turns to you, she nods along with the judge’s words.

Two large men grab you. You feel the power in their hands. You see only the white coats as they force you to the floor. You feel a foot on your back. You feel a shot into the back of your thigh. You sleep.

When you wake, you are inside her.

You cannot feel your body, nor your arms, nor legs, nothing. There is only your awareness.

Suddenly, a piercing hissing sound. You think you reach to cover your ears, but you have no ears, no arms, no hands. You hear a voice.

For your crimes, you have been sentenced to spend 90 days living through this woman. You will see as she sees and hear as she hears and feel as she feels. Only then will you truly understand how your white male privilege has colored your values and caused harm to the majority of society.

Only then shall you be returned to your own body.

Know also that the entirety of your digital life has been erased. You shall have zero points and no followers upon your departure. This is standard punishment.

You again fall asleep, though not before the nightmares, cutting fears that the rumors are true, that more than 30 days within another’s body causes the leech mind to go crazy. You fear you will go mad, so mad that when you are returned to your body it will be for nothing, you will just be a walking, hollowed shell of a person, with no thoughts to contribute, no work to offer, no goals to guide your life. Silenced to the world, a raving lunatic within.

This is the real punishment, you fear.

You are jarred awake. She is awake. She is seated. Speaking. To whom? You see only her reflection. Then you realize she is staring into a mirror — and speaking to you.

I know you can hear me.

My name is Noemi Proud.

I do this for money.

You have been sentenced to live within me for 90 days.

I have a surprise for you.

And she explains to you that she has done this many times before. The State pays very well. Then she tells you that she thinks what the Corporate Government does is an abomination, that what they believe is foul and repressive.

She believes that gender is not fluid. She is a woman. You are a man.

She believes every human should be judged by the content of their character, not their skin color, nor their identity. She finds the very notion of privilege to be limiting and intolerant.

There are many like her, she tells you. Women, blacks, people who think differently than is taught.

Oh, and she loves videogames.

She smiles.

Oh, and more thing. I love having sex with other women. She winks.

It’s gonna be a fun 90 days, she tells you.