Thursday, December 09, 2010

They Came First For the Furries...

I suppose going "Ew! Ick! Furries!" isn't quite as troglodytic as going "Ew! Ick! Gays!" but it's pretty dang close. Seriously, people. There are folks out there who like pictures of foxgirls and catboys. There are folks out there who like dressing up as pandas and unicorns. There are folks out there who like roleplaying as otter-kin and lizard-folk. There are, as far as I can tell, rather a lot of them. I've yet to understand why this is a problem.

I know, I know. The fur suits. The yiffing. The stuff that the nightly news and Law & Order and all that other junk that normal people with nothing better to do use to fill their lives hold up to tell us, "This is weird. These people are not okay. Be normal." So sure, go ahead. Freak out about a couple of pictures in a roleplaying manual because it's "adult entertainment." Then go back to your basement and pretend to be an elf, secure in the knowledge that you're safe, because you've done your part to shun the wrong kind of weird people.

30 comments:

  1. Hear, hear. It's nice to hear someone speak up for tolerance, these days. If they're not hurting anyone, it's just the pursuit of happiness, isn't it?

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  2. Really, Roleplayers shouldn't be throwing any stones. Heaven knows we have the extremists in our culture also. Just look at FATAL.

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  3. Well said. Much of my teenage gaming years was spent playing Road Hogs which looking back was all about anthropormorphic animals but I think not so different than any other roleplaying games.

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  4. I am afraid to ask what "yiffing" is, but I am generally in favor of not throwing stones while in glass houses.

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  5. Don't you know your place in the Geek Hierarchy?
    ;)
    http://www.brunching.com/geekhierarchy.html

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  6. The Geek Hierarchy can shove off.

    And any hobby that can create anything from FATAL to the more accepted but still eyeroll-worthy Book of Erotic Fantasy (and don't try to tell me that there aren't gamers who use roleplay as a kink, because I know that's bullshit) really doesn't have a leg to stand on when it comes to "some members of the hobby add a sexual element".

    (I don't see why fursuits get called out by the same groups who often take great glee in dressing up at cons as anything from elves to Klingons to Spider-Man and Sailormoon either, but whatever.)

    The number of individuals, gamers included, who have such an idiotic knee-jerk response to the entire furry fandom -- even the ones who aren't into anything furry for a sexual reason -- makes me want to smash my face into a wall. Seriously.

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  7. The Geek Hierarchy is Lore Sjoberg making this point <10 years ago, by way of irony.

    Good post, Oddysey!

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  8. People who are insecure in themselves always look for someone else to point-out, pick on or call out as being weirder, worse or much less respectable than themselves. It's the kind of Kindergarten-mentality that persists like a mental STD...and it leads to hurtful things...

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  9. Hurhurhur... She said came.

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  10. I like to be charitable and just attribute it to a knee-jerk avoidance of anything that comes close to bestiality.

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  12. First? *g*
    Don't mind James; he wears his bigotry with pride across a wide range of topics. Better to see that out in the open than presume someone is actually open-minded for absence of evidence to the contrary, IMHO.

    @Swordgleam: yep; nice to see my (totally on-topic) hook to Stapledon flew under the radar.

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  13. I think of Furries kind of like how I think of Vampire: The Masquerade players and Barry Manilow fans. How mean I am to them is inversely proportional to how seriously I am being taken by whoever I'm talking to.

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  14. I'm sorry, what's the big deal here? He makes a joke about not wanting to know the history of furry fandom? I can see the same remark being tossed off about Star Trek or Transformers or Tolkien or any other specialized facet of geek culture with an army of outspoken and encyclopedically pedantic enthusiasts.

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  15. Zak S: What?!? Barry Manilow fans?!? Ye gods, sir! You mean to tell me you don't agree that this is one the greatest cinematic moments of the past five years: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TM4rwWK-C2M&feature=related

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  16. Rob Conley: Man, I wish. :P

    irbyz: While the text of my post doesn't reflect this for purposes of clarity, I actually think that James was being tongue-in-cheek here. And taking issue with one specific comment that he made isn't going to degrade my entire opinion of the guy. He is, y'know, on my blog roll.

    Fitzerman: Atmosphere. People "come out" as furries. Like how I don't like otherwise normal dudes making casual comments they don't really mean about rape, or whatever, and giving the real misogynists the impression that they're normal.

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  17. And thanks to everyone being positive here. When I posted this I was expecting to get slammed with furry-hate immediately, so that was kind of a nice surprise.

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  18. I don't think it's fair, you using that link in "Ew! Ick! Furries!" The article doesn't have that tone at all.

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  20. > "someone better versed in such things could probably provide more details (better yet: don't)"

    Or indeed http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_DSs2bX13hVc/TP-W0ZSyGII/AAAAAAAACzc/cuSkOgFYYIc/s1600/thehorror.jpg <<< nice unbiased title, albeit I'm now inspired to run "Skiltaires against the Mythos" for fun. :p

    Slamming something one is near-clueless about on the basis of stereotype, deliberately not seeking explanation and then rounding that off with "Not that there's anything wrong with that" niceness is pretty much a standard disarming technique. Think yourself lucky you're not a RPG "collector", too. *g*

    If one sets up a deliberate remit to "explore the history and traditions of the hobby", an open mind is a prerequisite, IMHO, since no-one knows the full picture.
    (Shapero's Lords of Chaos 'zine linked on that thread dates to early 1978, btw).

    Thanks for the blog post and don't be /too/ nice. :)
    02c, anyhows... ^^

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  21. People who are insecure in themselves always look for someone else to point-out, pick on or call out as being weirder, worse or much less respectable than themselves.

    amen

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  22. Nice post. irbyz will correct my chronology (what day is it? what YEAR?) but when I saw those Other Worlds illos I thought, "oh, so that's what the Mihalli looked like when they were younger," and of the infamous "lawful werebear" Holmes touted but AD&D did not deliver. So I was disappointed by the response. Oh well.

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  23. I echo the comments of those who call shenanigans on gamers who pick on furries for being "weird" when they are a pair of elf ears away from making cookies themselves.

    I actually prefer to pick on people without my own hobby space, and thus I direct most of my energies on LARPers.

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  24. Anonymous: Not to you, maybe, and I'm not sure that's the way it was intended -- which is really my point. Grognardia made a couple of off-hand comments without really thinking about it and gave permission to the real creeps to start throwing nonsense.

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  25. While I don't really "get" furries, I also don't get hung up about them either. They're free to do their thing.

    I do wish everyone could be generally tolerant about everyone else - especially when everyone involved is a consenting adult!

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  26. Very decent post. I feel about this much the same way as David.

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  27. I might add that anybody who gets his general opinion on anybody's hobby from the media is going to probably wind up hiding in a closet for fear "they" will come and get them. That stuff's entertainment by making fun of someone who probably won't retaliate, not journalism...

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  28. This! Consenting Adults = Whatever Floats Your Boat in my book. [http://xkcd.com/471/]

    (yeah, I may be going back through your archived entries to catch up on your blog. It's been a bad internet year for me so far, blogwise.)

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  29. As a furry (and an avid roleplayer... no, not LARPing kind (and no, not the /cybering/ kind either)) I give two thumbs up to this. I'm also somewhat shocked at people's responses, but I think most genuine human beings that are open minded are atleast tolerant of the community. I can understand that from the outside it can be difficult to grasp what's going on in people's heads, but I guess that's the whole point of either being 'within' or 'without' the fandom.

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  30. Thanks for being awesome Oddysey. Please, keep up the good work.

    I went to high school with a lot of teens who were furries. They also were fans of anime, heavy metal, Eli Roth films, and were some of the first players at my table when I ran D&D.

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