Guest post by Huskyteer. Huskyteer writes stories and poems about talking animals. Most of these are published within the furry fandom, but sometimes one escapes into the wild. She enjoys motorcycle adventures, aviation museums, karate and cider.
It’s one of the most iconic moments in literature. Even if you haven’t read the books, or seen a TV or cinema adaptation, you’re probably familiar with the image of a little girl walking through the back of a wardrobe into a snowy forest lit by an old-fashioned streetlamp. Both the scene and the title of the book – The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe – are sufficiently recognisable to be used as shorthand and appear in parody.
If that scene is all you know, it’s worth delving deeper. As well as the wise and noble, but also slightly terrifying, Aslan – ‘not a tame lion’ – there are creatures ranging from sublime unicorns to ridiculous but heroic mice. Badgers, bears, moles, mice, not to mention non-humans like centaurs, fauns and dryads (the Narnian mythos tends towards the classical).
Continue reading The Furry Canon: The Chronicles of Narnia
Furries, or so it seems to me, have a split in their views. When it comes to sex, we are all in favor for allowing two individuals to get up to whatever they want, so long as they both consent. However, when it comes to money, we suddenly become a lot more wary about letting others make their own decisions. Surveys done by [adjective][species] seem to agree with this; finding social liberalism much higher than economic liberalism. It would seem that attitudes are correct on the former, but these are contradicted by the latter. In this essay, I will attempt to show why capitalism, and a free-furry-market, are ultimately a huge boon for the fandom.
Continue reading Capitalism, and why it is good for the furry fandom
You know how much we love data. If data were a person (with apologies to Brent Spiner), we’d have a total crush on them. We really like data.
So it is that we’re basically ecstatic to see the release of the Fur Science! e-book.
FurScience.com is the home for our wonderful friends over at the International Anthropomorphic Research Project, who has contributed to this site in several ways through the guise of Nuka/Courtney Plante. The IARP does several studies through the internet and through conventions – and these are scientific studies, unlike our Furry Survey, which is primarily a market survey – and through the data that they have gathered, they’ve pulled together a fantastic resource for furries and non-furries alike.
The Fur Science! e-book is a fascinating deep dive into several of the studies that the IARP has done, ranging from demographics to therians and bronies, and everything in between. If you like data just as much as we do, you’ll certainly enjoy paging through the 174 pages of graphs, charts, and explanations. Hats off to Nuka and crew over at the IARP for pulling something like this together.
You can download the e-book for free as a PDF here, and check out the rest of IARPs information and offerings on their webpage.
The [adjective][species] Philosophy Survey is an investigation into what furries think of the world, morality, and knowledge, amongst other things. No prior knowledge of philosophy is needed to complete the survey, and most of the questions will be ones that most people have thought of in their spare time anyway. What we are particularly interested in is if the answers given have any correlation, both with one another, and with the fandom’s demographics: Do older furries tend to hold different views than others? Does one species lean more towards scientific explanation than others? This survey hopes to give insight on these questions.
Overall, the survey will likely take about five minutes or less, though participants are encouraged to think about each question as they go. The results will be anonymous, and used in visualizations. Various comparisons with the general views of society will also help to understand if furries have any majorly varying ideas to the general public. Additionally, where applicable, the results will also be contrasted with David Chalmers “What Do Philosophers Believe?” survey, which gathered the beliefs of professional philosophers from across the world. The survey will run for 2 months, after which, after some time for analysis, the results will be made public (though no personal information will be given, and all results will forever be anonymous).
Thank you for your time. This is an area of furry that many of us wish to explore deeper, and the data from this survey will go a long way to analyzing the community at a deeper level.
You can take the survey here.
Up until this point, there has been a lot of discussion around furry; on what it means to be a furry, how the identity interacts with the way we see the world, etc… However, it is often beneficial to reflect upon the things we have said, and the way in which we use words. I believe, and will attempt to show in this essay, that we hold an incomplete grasp of words within the context of furry.
Continue reading The Meaning of Furry
Jonathan Livingston Seagull, a 1970 novella, hereon referred to as JLS, is really bad. How bad? Read on.
Continue reading The Furry Canon: Jonathan Livingston Seagull
When I first heard about the concept of post-con depression, the idea made a lot of sense. We have a massive community of people who meet each other over sites like Twitter, Tumblr, Reddit, and various furry art hubs. These groups of people travel across or fly over states, countries or in some cases continents and oceans to see these online friends possibly once a year for a weekend, if that.
That’s already bittersweet.
Continue reading Looking at post-con depression through a lens of literary theory
Guest post by Oxley. Oxley is a relatively new member of the fandom, having only been actively involved for a year–at the time this article was written, he hadn’t attended any conventions, but hopes to continue his work in this area at Midwest Furfest 2016. He is currently looking for feedback and other opinions on this article, and can be reached at his email.
The year is 2015, and marriage has finally been confirmed as a right for all Americans, whether gay, straight, or otherwise. Though the legislation has brought the queer community (sometimes referred to as MOGAI, or “Marginalized Orientations, Genders Alignments, and Intersex”) farther than it has ever been before in its fight for civil rights, talk of marriage now overshadows other important LGBTQ+ issues: many groups still find themselves marginalized and vulnerable in society. As the struggle slowly progresses, though, queer America has found both allies and enemies in the strangest of places. Individuals from some of the most conservative corners of politics have shown solidarity to the queer community, as have major corporations and brands. Nonetheless, their backing has often been motivated by political or economic gains—after all, in many places it would be considered political suicide to denounce marriage equality. Rather, various other communities and subcultures have often proven to be most readily and enthusiastically supportive of social progress. Countless YouTube stars have advocated for marriage equality or even used the site as a medium through which to come out, while common names in music have vehemently opposed restrictions on marriage.
Perhaps the most perplexing source of support for queerness in America, though, comes from the ever-controversial furry fandom. For years, furries have had intrinsic ties with the queer community, as only a minority within their numbers are straight. While furries as a whole have certainly never been a strong voice against equality regarding gender and sexuality, though, their advocacy of gay rights is nonetheless imperfect, and often detrimental to those who do not fit the more easily-recognized definitions of “queer”—that is to say, the transgender population. Still, observing a subcommunity as being a largely queer space offers a peculiar analysis of it, from an angle that is not often used. That said, the intersections between the queer community and the furry fandom provide a valuable insight into modern conventions of normativity, and the queer community’s interactions with society as a whole.
Continue reading Acceptance and Affurmation: Examining Queerness and Normativity Within the Furry Fandom
Equus, Peter Shaffer’s 1973 play, features a cast of humans and horses. The horses, of course, are humans dressed as horses. They are intentionally abstracted, usually wearing nothing equine beyond minimalist horse heads and tack that never obstruct their human faces. The horse costumes are the extent of bodily anthropomorphism in the play. The horses’ actors and actresses move like horses; they do not speak. Why do I render my verdict, then, that Equus belongs in the Furry Canon?
[EDIT: After warranted critique, I’ve decided to reverse my verdict. While Equus should not be part of the Furry Canon, I think it addresses matters relevant to the furry experience, albeit torqued by mental illness. Read on for my reasons.]
Continue reading The Furry Canon: Equus
Would I recommend Anna Sewell’s 1877 classic Black Beauty for inclusion in the furry canon? Yes, but with one qualification: the book’s central conceit is innovatively furry; the rest of the book is not.
I will begin with the furry element of Black Beauty: it is, as its subtitle proclaims, the auto-biography of a horse. More than just the story of a particular, modern horse’s life—not merely as a symbolic or allegorical gesture—it is a horse’s life told in the first person. In his own voice, Beauty guides us through the daily adventures and boredoms of a horse’s life, commenting on his masters’ behavior, his material condition, and his emotive reaction to it all. Though Beauty never vocalizes an English word, he is a talking horse by virtue of the fact that he addresses us.
And I am sorry to say it, but this is the extent of the book’s anthropomorphism. Despite his internal rational faculties, Beauty is definitely a horse. Throughout the entire book, I waited for him to act in some way that would reflect the thoughtfulness of his narration, but no: this is not a fantasy, and Sewell makes sure that Black Beauty’s behavior fits solidly within equine parameters.
Continue reading The Furry Canon: Black Beauty