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Teh furry

Discussion in 'Other Policies' started by dong, Aug 27, 2006.

  1. dong

    dong New Member

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    By that I mean the furry subculture- my user avatar references it. The question is simple enough- what do you know about it, and what are your thoughts on it.

    I get a niggling feeling that this may be more suited to the 'controversial issues' forum but I argue that this shouldn't be the case.
     
  2. Brandon

    Brandon New Member

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    Could you elaborate? I am sort of baffled as to what this thread is supposed to be about?

    Thanks
     
  3. dong

    dong New Member

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    I take that this means you haven't got the foggiest- but if it's okay by you, I'd like to wait a couple of days to see if anybody knows anything or has any thoughts. I probably should have waited until this community was somewhat larger before asking this question, come to think of it.
     
  4. l99999us

    l99999us New Member

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    i think i saw something about this on a CSI episode once. Isn't it some sort of sexual subculture where people dress up as animals and then go meet other people dressed as animals? I could be wrong on this point but am not sure (and please no one take it as an insult as i didn't mean it as any)....

    I guess as for my personal thoughts is i think it is sort of wierd but don't see how it harms anyone and if that is what you are into go for it.

    peace

    -Todd
     
  5. sarah

    sarah New Member

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    I don’t really have any opinion either way on the subject, I think it is up to the individual to decide what “does it for them” I mean I’ve done some strange shit in my day… HaHaHa
    No I’m not saying it’s strange by my standards… I just think it is another of the 31 flavors.
    I take it that’s your thing?
     
  6. Brandon

    Brandon New Member

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    Nope, this belongs right here. I am nailing it down so it wont budge.

    I take sarah's stance on this issue BTW. She hit the nail right on the head.
     
  7. sarah

    sarah New Member

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    You are right, that is more or less exactly what it is.
     
  8. dong

    dong New Member

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    Sarah, Todd, I wouldn't say that's exactly what it is, but you've brought up a good example (not an accurate one, but a good one to discuss), so I'm not insulted or anything.

    The CSI episode is one of a few notable examples where the subculture has been referenced to. But it's actually very diverse- the point being that you can't possibly stereotype it (like one habitually does) and claim that this represents the entire relevant population. The only major unifying definition- the necessary condition to call somebody a 'furry' is that they have an identifiabl interest in anthropomorphic animals- essentially animals with human traits/attributes. There is a lot of debate on this definition in itself, but unless somebody were to bring that up specifically I won't go into it. As such, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Furry_fandom isn't a bad place to start.

    In fact, that article (if I recall correctly) cites the CSI episode that Todd mentions. I would specifically admonish against the two things that the media seems anxious to emphasise: calling the subculture a sexual one, and thinking that fursuiting (dressing up in animal suits) is de rigeur, because both perceptions, while common and promoted by such media exposures, are actually incorrect.

    Sexuality and discussion/expression of such is a significant topic in the fandom, and I think this is because one of the purported features of the furry fandom is that it is supposed to be a tolerant environment (this in itself is also highly variable).

    It is perhaps interesting to note the way sexual orientation is treated within the subculture as opposed to without as there appears to be a far greater proportion of homosexually (among other 'deviant' orientations) inclined furs then there are people as a whole, for one thing- but of course care must be taken before making any kind of association. I would speculate however that "furry" is treated in a (certain) social context in a parallel way to "non-straight gender/sexual orientation", in that it is marked as 'different' and treated as such. There are of course plenty of furs who would beg to differ if somebody were to suggest that their motivation for being a part of the fandom was sexual in nature (and on a personal note, I would be one of those).

    As for fursuiting, I don't think I'd have the space or your interest enough to attempt to examine every facet of the activity or its role in furry community. Again, as to the root concept furry, different people will treat it in different ways. Some would find it fun, others will indeed associate it with a sexual fetish/paraphilia. Others don't get it at all. The same applies to all the other identifiable components of the subculture, in fact, my point would be that this is all pretty standard human behavior. Again I'd refer back to an awareness of how 'normal' is defined, etc.

    Apart from the necessary definition, there are some pretty significant features that could be noted:

    1. Much of the subculture is online and therefore global.
    2. Much of the expression is mediated visually- in art.
    3. There is, much like in any other specific social sub-group (e.g. doctors), specific jargon, modes of behavior etc. and usually this is what weirds other people out the most.

    To answer Sarah's question more directly, I wouldn't say it's my "think" per se, but yes, it does play a significant role in my sense of being, both indirectly and directly. Originally it constituted a kind of escapism and a personal realm of solace (I wasn't even aware of the fandom at this time). Lately, the people I find whom identify with me most generally have an interest in furry as well. Also, most of my drawings/art have anthropomorphic subjects. And although I don't have much direct social involvement (with conventions and the like), I do have a fairly detailed knowledge of the workings of the fandom as a whole, so if there are any more questions I would be more than happy to answer them.
     
  9. sarah

    sarah New Member

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    Just to be clear... I meant no offense with my question.:thumbup:
     
  10. dong

    dong New Member

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    Yep, that's no problem. I'm not one of those uber-defensive knee-jerk people at any rate. But the issue of social awareness has been playing on my mind for several years.
     
  11. l99999us

    l99999us New Member

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    I would like to appologize as well for any offense i have caused

    I did not mean to have CSI represent all the Furry subculture. It was really the only place I have encountered the term before as well and is thus why i referred to it. I think it was a poor source of info and i know that TV tends to sensationalize and distort things (especially when they are not commonly understood or are not common within the population). Aslo I probably shouldn't have referred to the sexual aspect when it is a wider thing all together.

    peace

    -todd
     
  12. sarah

    sarah New Member

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    I just felt the need to make sure you didn't take offense. I'm quite open-minded and I don't want to look like a**hole.
     
  13. dong

    dong New Member

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    Haha, no that's quite okay. I'd much prefer to deal with honest and well meaning people who misunderstood than those who think they know it all already. I thought I'd raise the thread because quite often the topic and the subculture is widely derided in various e-circles for a number of reasons, not least the misrepresentation and sensationalisation that Todd highlights.

    The interesting point is that much like "deviant" lifestyles, the debate, persecution complexes and attempts at justification of engaging in the subculture are often pointless, self-defeating and usually end up making misconceptions worse. There ARE people who treat furry as a sexual fetish in itself. There ARE people who also treat fursuiting as a sexual fetish. There ARE people who have all kinds of paraphilias that most people would consider unacceptable who also consider themselves furry and express it as such.

    The interesting part is how best to go about emphasising how to delineate the interest, yet also emphasise that it is not necessarily about "being different" such that one needs to be "treated as different". This is in fact not the case with some- people may treat furry or a slightly related concept of otherkin (belief that one has ancestors or one comes from a distant planet, sometimes concomitant with the belief that one has a dragon's spirit) as a means to emphasise differentness. It's quite one thing to treat somebody as equal and with respect if they respect you, but how to treat them if they purport to be different? Or even if they appear misanthropic and hostile?

    The problem is mistaking "some" for "all", and thinking that there is something morally condemnable in most of the things that may be associated. Does one attempt to engage in an argument that rests on false principles as this is the only thing that we can engage? Or should we claim that those premises are irrelevant or mistaken? Either way, it is quite clear that some people who have formed their ideas and wish to find a scapegoat cannot be persuaded otherwise.
     

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