Author Topic: Critical Thinking on Furry  (Read 2383 times)

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Offline Kaloth

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Critical Thinking on Furry
« on: July 20, 2011, 12:40:07 am »
So I've been thinking too much again, only this time I find myself unable to come to a conclusion on a few points. The point here however, is that I find myself unable to draw conclusions on the Furry Fandom. I have a few questions that I think hearing opinions of others on this.

(Note: This is meant to be an intellectual discussion and so forth, nothing a say here is meant to personally offend anyone, and if I do I am truly sorry and will personally apologize if it would help)

While these aren't in and of themselves the issue I'm dealing with but the answers are what I believe will give me clarity... Without wasting anymore of your time:

Why do you call yourself a furry? I mean this in a deeper sense than the question first implies, I am trying to figure out what furry REALLY means to you, and why you would attach yourself to the group that identifies themselves by that name. I know it varies from person to person, but I want to know why YOU specifically feel strongly enough about the fandom to attach yourself to it.

My second question can be rather touchy so I'll be tactful. Other places (it tends to be less so here) where people who consider themselves furries, tend to react incredibly hostile towards people who bash them. On this point, I understand both sides of the coin to a point, and the reaction is exactly what they want. To any of you who do react in extremes to this kind of thing, why? I am a member of a couple of hobbies like I consider the "fandom" to be, and as a whole most of the people involved can handle themselves, and their hobby being bashed without all of the drama.

My third question is much simpler: Why the need to change words? I have seen it a lot in the time I have hung around this place. "Furends", Calling you hands Paws, Fursecution among other things. I don't understand the need for the wordplay and to take it so seriously when it is used.

I think I'll start by answering my own questions with all I can come up with at the moment.

1) For the better part of a year or two (I rarely notice with these things) I stopped considering myself a "fur". It wasn't because I no longer liked the art. I still do (to the point I appreciate any art). For the longest time, I said it was because of the fandom, that it seemed to... extreme? for me. I realize now that it was because of these questions... that I couldn't answer them. If I couldn't tell myself why I was a furry, why continue to call myself one?

For the other two, I did not experience either of these myself, so I really have no answer.

Offline Avan

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Re: Critical Thinking on Furry
« Reply #1 on: July 20, 2011, 12:54:00 am »
1) I define it quite simply as the genre/style and the appreciation of works in said genre/style
2) Dunno, I've seen lots of drama all over the net about the stupidest things. I don't actually see it any more among furries than anywhere else tbh.
3) Again, dunno, I never really caught on to that.
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Offline Mylo

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Re: Critical Thinking on Furry
« Reply #2 on: July 20, 2011, 02:18:46 am »
I've been asking myself the same questions ever since I found about about the fandom.  I might have to go back and edit this so it makes a bit more sense, but I'll write down the main ideas now.

Also, these are just my ideas.  I am completely open to anyone's ideas and I don't think that mine are completely true or even right...they are just what I think based on the circumstances, situations, and information I have seen.

1) Why do you call yourself a furry?

     I am a person who, among all my hobbies and interests, has a fascination with the idea of being in a body that is not my own, specifically one of a fur.  It might sound weird, but it is just a particular interest of mine that I've had since I could start remembering things.  I discovered a fandom with people who had ideas similar to mine (the same fandom with people who just like the art and people who, well, do other things...).  The fandom gave me the idea of using art and writing as an avenue for these ideas, and a group of people to share these ideas with, as well as converse.  I wanted to express these thoughts, and listen to others' similar thoughts, something I couldn't do IRL, because honestly, most people just don't care about the stuff.
     Humans have a tendency to categorize themselves and everything around them because it gives the illusion that we can induce logic and order onto our surroundings.  It's an illusion, but it is a natural human thing to do.  From an intellectual standpoint, humans are very social animals and desire to be a part of a group or accepted by their peers.  Accepted for following the group's practices.  Accepted for being a non-conformist.  Accepted because they feel respected.  Not just accepted as a person, but accepted as a friend.  The furry fandom operates in much the same way, and identifying with the name of the fandom reminds you that you are accepted in a group with similar interests.  It reminds you that you have someone to talk to.  Today, our culture emphasize the self; having the name 'furry' for some may feel like a medal, a special secret, or emblem.  There is stability in a name and a categorization that is hard-wired into our human instinct.

2) If you do, why do you react in extremes to furry bashing?

     I don't.  I've thought about this as well and have seen other people, not just in the furry fandom, but everywhere react in certain ways.  Some people see the fandom as more than just an art community...some people are borderline spiritual.  I'm not saying these people over react, but they do have a reason to, just as religious people react strongly to people who bash their religion (think South Park...).  I don't justify reacting this way, but it happens.  This question can be generalized to simply, why do people overreact to others' opinions?  I am not sure...I'll have to think about it.

3) Why the need to change words?

     IMO, there is no need to change words to accommodate a fandom or interest.  Some people find it fun or unique; I honestly don't care but everyone uses the terms so they can be understood.  I'd be fine with calling a fursona an 'avatar' or just a 'persona'.  Calling your hands 'paws' just emphasizes the role-playing aspect of the fandom.  Other names I just see as unnecessary; Sony is very guilty of this: MagicGate, Memory Stick, TruBlack, Bravia, Vaio, etc...  I suppose it just emphasizes that that word is tied to Sony, just as 'fursona' is specifically a furry persona.  Some people may say my opinion is boring...I just don't see a need in changing names, though.

4) In response to your answer...

     Sometimes, the fandom is extreme.  Sometimes, its not.  Why do we have to categorize everything into black and white, furry and non-furry?  Call yourself a furry, don't call yourself a furry.  Will that change your opinions about the art, or whatever else you liked about the fandom that made you associate with furry in the first place?  Categorizations help our world to become ordered in our eyes, but sometimes it can do the opposite.  Furry is a name (a name which I enjoy very much).  Your ideas, on the other hand, are you.

 :P That was a lot of writing...   

 

Offline Avor

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Re: Critical Thinking on Furry
« Reply #3 on: July 20, 2011, 06:19:49 am »
1)     Two gigs of furry adult artwork aside...It's a deep spiritual connection with the natural world that greatly  effects how I preceave and interact with everything and everyone, incluedingar myself.

2)     I suppose that some people are just incredible hostile by nature, you find them everywhere and in every group.

3)     I think alot of it is done to keep the furry flavour, the little things that keep the furry aspects front and center, like "fursona". Aside from that, I think it's
mosty done jist for fun, to makes something cute or light hearted. I support things like "fursastic" and "Fur of July"

Offline Emerald Blade

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Re: Critical Thinking on Furry
« Reply #4 on: July 20, 2011, 12:19:05 pm »
1) I call myself furry because I believe I fit within that group's definition, for some people however the opposite is true; they try and fit themselves into the definition of furry because they want to belong to a group.

2) I've never cared what anyone thinks about me being a furry. For some one who is defining themselves with the fandom an insult to furries isn't just an insult to their fandom or to the person, but an insult to how they define themselves, and that is a very deep reaching insult.

3) I don't usually do it but the idea is like a secret hand shake, it's something that makes the group feel a little more exclusive.
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Offline Sk Skunk

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Re: Critical Thinking on Furry
« Reply #5 on: July 20, 2011, 03:19:06 pm »
1: It's a catch-all that fits. It shows that I am a part of this madness. It is also easier than stating "I have an interest in anthropomorphic animals." For better or worse, I am a furry.

2: Some folks take things too seriously. Plenty of us (points at himself) are already on an emotional edge, feel like an outcast. Furry is something that allows them to step back, be a part of something bigger than themselves. When this is threatened, they lash out. Add in the lack of tact, or the ability to laugh at ones self, and you get rage. The same thing applies where one group of automotive enthusiasts, or sports fans, get taunted by there rivals. There have been some dust ups in this fandom for sure, but I don't know of anything that could match up to the turmoil caused by rabid football hooligans.

3: It's fun. It is also quite silly. For me, that is the essences of what being furry is. It is because this is not serious business. I have used the term paws for my hands and feet long before I ever heard of the fandom. It is cute, goofy, a release, breaks the monotony. Like anything else, it can be overdone. I would like to ask those that can't stand these references, why do you hate it? Does it embarrass you? How do you find something unnecessary, in something that is, quite frankly, unnecessary? IMHO, of the things in the fandom that cause problems, this is the least of our problems.
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Offline Arbutus

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Re: Critical Thinking on Furry
« Reply #6 on: July 20, 2011, 07:24:25 pm »
1. I guess there are three main things:
a) I'm fascinated by anthro animals, pure and simple. It's not a particularly deep thing. They are just creatures that I find very interesting in art and stories. And like Mylo, I'm also fascinated with the idea of transforming into one.
b) I originally found furry because I have an obsession with rabbits. Some people might find it weird, but I'm glad you guys get things like that.
c) Most importantly, I love the furry community. It's an incredibly nice and open and accepting group of people, which is something that's very rare on the Internet. I came to furry because I was interested in the base material, but I stayed because of the community.

2. I think Sk Skunk hit the nail on the head with this one. Nowadays, I couldn't care less about what people think. But back when I was a teenager, I cared a lot more about keeping my identity as a furry secret from everyone, and it was for the reasons of identity that Sk laid out. (I never lashed out, though. I just got needlessly emo, lol.)

3. Why not? ;) That's my simple answer. The wordplay is fun! You say you don't understand the need for it... of course there's no need for it! I see it as just a playful thing that a lot of furs do as a sort of "secret handshake." I don't do it much myself, but I have been known to at times.

Offline Yip

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Re: Critical Thinking on Furry
« Reply #7 on: July 21, 2011, 01:06:18 am »
1) Why do you call yourself a furry?
Pretty much what Arbutus said. I'm fascinated by anthro animals, and I like that the community understands this fascination. I will add that to those outside the fandom, I usually don't call myself a "furry" since it's usually easier to just let interests show for themselves. That is, I don't hide the fact that I like foxes a lot, or that I like anrtho characters. I just don't specifically use the word "furry" 'cause then I'd have to worry about if they have misconceptions about it and such. But for other furs, I do call myself "furry" 'cause it's a quick easy way to convey shared interest.

2) If you do, why do you react in extremes to furry bashing?
I don't.

3) Why the need to change words?
Like others have said, fun it a big reason. I will sometimes say things like "on the other paw" instead of hand for the simple enjoyment of it. Much like picture others here more as their fursonas than as humans. Even though I know they are humans, it's more enjoyable to live in a world of anthros.  Another part of it, however, is that words convey meaning. And in some cases the words have meaning that their non-fur counterparts do not.  If we are talking about a "fursona", we know it's about an anthro animal alter ego. "Persona", even "furry persona" does not convey the same information with such ease. Similarly, if I'm talking about yiffy pictures, it should be obvious that I'm referring to erotic artwork involving anthropomorphic animals characters. It's simply an easy way to refer to something.

By the way, it's common for people to develop jargon for any particular interest. Furry it no different.