This article is about the blurring of lines between human and non-human animals. It looks at how the furry identity muddies the idea of what it means to be a person by challenging the human/animal duality, and draws parallels with similar false dualities such as male/female, straight/gay, and animal/machine. This is all tied into science fiction, futurism, and feminism.
I realise this is an odd opening to my article. However I think this opening is necessary for those of you who saw the word “cyborg”, and guessed that I’d be writing about Randomwolf as a robot who learns that the most powerful force on earth is love. If you were hoping to read about the activation of Randomwolf’s emotion chip, you may stop reading now. This article is about how furry links with cyborg philosophy. Robot Randomwolf never learns anything about these things we humans call “feelings”.
The Cyborg Manifesto, an essay written by Donna Haraway first published in 1985 (full text here*), is a thoroughly readable and prescient exercise in futurism and feminist theory. Haraway posits that technology will strongly influence the way we perceive identity, and that this will have a knock-on effect to the world in general. And while Haraway doesn’t predict the rise of the furry community, furries fit neatly into her predictions.
Continue reading Furries, Therians, and the Cyborg Manifesto
Pornography tends towards extremes. Genitalia is emphasized and often over-sized; bodies are idealized; the sounds and smells of sex are either downplayed or overplayed.
Such distortions of the real world are both good and bad. They are good because it’s what people want, and people should be free to fantasize however they wish. They are bad because they set an unrealistic precedent for the real world. And so people enjoy consuming outlandish depictions of sex while often simultaneously feeling bad for personally failing to meet that unattainable standard.
The problem especially obvious when it comes to pornography that depicts women with penises, or men with vaginas*. These depictions are, give or take, of transgender people, and are usually wildly unrealistic. It’s bad enough that such pornography reinforces the tendency for transgender people to be thought of as biological curiosities, and worse that the terminology used to describe this pornography—d-girls and c-boys—is degrading.
This article is about the conflict between two competing demands. There is the libertarian demand for freedom to produce and describe pornography in a straightforward and useful fashion, and the humanitarian demand for transgender people to be treated in a respectful and reasonable fashion.
(And one quick warning before I go on: beyond this point I will be direct in my use of crude terminology.)
Continue reading D-Girls and C-Boys: Troublesome Terms in Furry Porn
Tolerance is one of the great features of the furry community.
We need to be tolerant. Our community contains a lot of people who are sometimes marginalized in general society: gays, transsexuals, zoophiles, kinksters, even geeks.
This tolerance is sometimes positive acceptance, but it’s often simply neutral, the absence of rejection. Furry behaviour is often more tolerant than general society simply through such tacit acceptance. This is clearly demonstrated by the language we use, especially online where less direct methods of communication are less significant. Put simply, intolerant or offensive language is not appropriate in furry spaces.
There is one significant exception: women. Some furries, especially online, use sexist language. Worse, it’s being ignored, perhaps tacitly accepted, which fosters an environment which is unwelcoming towards women. Furry culture might reasonably be considered a sexist one.
Continue reading A Bitch About Furry