Abuse against man in “tiger porn” case shows contempt for rights.

by Patch O'Furr

bumpThis story was shared all over the place as comedy news.  It made front page on Reddit, with amused links to r/fursuit.  It made a traffic bump that passed through other links to this site.  You may have already read it, laughed, and moved on.  One guy didn’t, though.

Man cleared of owning ‘extreme porn’ after tiger in sex video revealed to be man in costume.

Police were investigating him for unrelated reasons that didn’t find wrongdoing.  By surprise, they discovered a porn video on his computer that appeared to show a woman having sex with a tiger – an unlikely setup actually done by a person in a tiger costume.  He was sent the video as a prank by friends.

“Ha ha! Prosecutors ruined an innocent man’s life!”

His offense was forgetting to delete it.  The police charged him for breaking a vague, arbitrary law against possessing porn they could call indecent.  He suffered months of prosecution, losing his daughter, a heart attack from stress, violent attacks, “pedo-shaming”, hate, and countless burnt money for legal help to clear his name.  All because the law gave prosecutors the power to stamp on him however they wanted.

They called it a real tiger.  “You could tell straightaway it wasn’t a real tiger“.  It brings to mind the term paper tiger: “something that seems threatening but is ineffectual” – a false threat.

Why did they prosecute?  There’s many reasons why such power abuse happens.  It’s about boosting careers – cooking statistics – and feeding people into the conveyer belt of the system.  And most of all, contempt for rights.

It was more than just a weird mistake.  It reveals a culture of contempt.

Is it OK to joke about it with Tony the Tiger pics, like countless media articles and shares are doing?  Do you think the man is laughing with them? 

“This has totally wrecked my life over the last five years,” he said. “I had trouble getting access to see my daughter and missed out on many of the things a father could expect to be part of. I was beaten up in the street on more than one occasion, threatened outside my home, targeted by vigilantes and had fireworks posted through my door. I considered suicide on several occasions because I thought I would never be free of it. The only thing keeping me going is the need to change the law.”

If a woman got in trouble because someone sent her a dick pic – how much outraged sympathy would she get instead of what happened here?

Jokes and pedo-shaming was a sexist response.  It brings up a double standard for abused men.  From testicle-kicks to murder, the media treats male pain as funny and deserved.  TVTropes has a page for it: “Men Are the Expendable Gender”.  It’s more than contempt for men, too – it’s a human issue for everyone:

A spokesperson for the campaign group Backlash, who support sexual freedom, told The Independent “this law threatens anyone with a sex life they want to keep private.”

People are working to change the law: Why a woman having sex with a fake tiger shows that the Extreme Pornography Act must be repealed.

An expressive, accepting subculture like Furry should beware of this kind of abuse.  

Some people are working to cause more.  It comes from puritans with dishonest agendas to control people.  Contempt causes them to push agendas disguised as protection, with no thought about collateral damage it causes.  Contempt causes the kind of abuse in this story.  For some furries, it’s caused anti-sex panics, like the New Jersey Fur-B-Que Hoax.

It doesn’t just come from outside the subculture.  Shaming, controlling agendas also come from within.  That’s the culture of contempt.

You can see it in the inherent dishonesty of horseshit-peddlers that call a Furry hobby “sexist” against women, just because many men happen to share it.  (The false logic makes any group of 2 or more males bad for existing.) It causes them to pretend that evidence shows sexism from men when it doesn’t.  It causes them to twist human experiences into half-truths about one gender.  Like pretending that online abuse only happens to women, despite evidence that men experience as much or more.  It’s why they will stack surveys with loaded questions to push pre-made conclusions.  Like asking: “How much sexism do you feel from those sexists who dominate our sexist culture?”  It causes them to screech “Sexism!” when confronted with non-conforming opinions and facts that don’t support them.

Like this story.

The solution is just what would have protected the rights of the man: look and listen to what’s actually happening, instead of only what you want to see.  And care about others, equally.