On February 17, don’t go to work – go fursuiting for a General Strike in the USA.
by Patch O'Furr
Furry buddies--let me make a point real quick.— The Wombat Resists (@UrsulaV) January 29, 2017
Marches are about visibility.
Fursuits are real damn visible.
What does Furry have to do with politics? Nothing. Or a lot. (Kinda like kink). It’s up to you. Maybe you just like talking-animal media. Or maybe you like media that’s inseparable from a culture that’s cracking apart.
This group is about talking animals, but it’s made of people, and we don’t exist in a vacuum. (The vacuum is just there to pick up all the shedding.) So for those who care… Let’s recap some previous stories that relate to this, then see what’s up now.
Start with the San Francisco Bay Area. It has the world’s most dense population of furries, and it’s the epicenter for a rent crisis. That big trend hit the local group when their premiere monthly event, Frolic furry dance was pushed out of it’s home.
Across the bay, on the day Frolic restarted, the Ghost Ship warehouse fire killed 36 fellow party goers at an electronic music show. It instigated a national purge of underground cultural spaces. This blog is written from one of those spaces, and narrowly escaped being forced out in a wave of evictions. Economic class issues are personal here.
Go back to 2012 and the East Coast. Money, sex and politics crashed into furry fandom in a mini-scandal of “fake news” with the New Jersey FurBQ Hoax. Looking back now, you might see some of the sparks that turned into 2017’s political dumpster fire. I’m talking about the way the group was split up by dishonesty and xenophobia, and manipulated as pawns for politics.
Furries got scapegoated for having a harmless party. It made me say: “Fun is serious business because it has to do with liberties.”
There’s some examples of how furries have long experience with fake news, they can be vulnerable as a subculture, and they can share a common cause with other marginal communities. (Don’t forget their sizeable queer membership.) You don’t have to agree about politics, but there are good reasons to pay attention. From anti-mask laws, to anti-LGBT legislation and anti-kink moral panic, furries will be part of many fights to come.
Speaking of fake news and manipulating the public, here’s some really dirty words: plutocracy, oligarchy, Trump. During the Gropenführer’s campaign, I tried to avoid playing into his outrage-spreading, except for one article about furries vs. conservatives, Gamergate and Trump. Now it’s a good time to push back.
Check this story from April 2016: Nation-wide radio station hack airs hours of vulgar “furry sex” ramblings. It set the stage for a recent followup: Someone Keeps Hacking Radio Stations To Play “Fuck Donald Trump”.
Radio was hacked to play 'explicit furry podcast', now it's Fuck Donald Trump. A precedent to mock the president! https://t.co/4fFFwZdWEC— Dogpatch Press (@DogpatchPress) February 1, 2017
It's been 2 days since PutinPup officially collared me and I just know we're going to be together for ever and ever and ever ❤️❤️❤️— Donnie J. Trumpypaws (@trumpypaws) February 7, 2017
Furry fandom has it’s own “alt-right” invasion with a supposed quantity of members using “ironic” memes and trolling to spread it. But it has very little creativity or substance. The point is just to beg for attention, and that doesn’t last. I get told that it’s real and there’s lots of members – but it’s always the same handful trying too hard to get me to believe it. Ignore it and it will wither. More from Vice: Even Furries Are Fighting Fascists.
RMFC will officially ban paraphernalia that is deemed offensive by those in charge of the convention. (2/4)— RMFC (@RMFC_Denver) January 27, 2017
@KikiDoodleTweet @sigilgoat Per our post last night, we will not be allowing FRs armbands at our convention.— RMFC (@RMFC_Denver) January 27, 2017
Nazis are afraid of being punched. Would you use a #fursuit to get their guard down? #AfraidofFurries #SadNazis— Dogpatch Press (@DogpatchPress) February 9, 2017
Propaganda was a big thing before an election, from low effort memes to fake news. Now, a freedom-loving subculture has more ways to push back than just lurking behind a keyboard.
FYI to smart fursuiters who care: Under Armour supports Trump, people are boycotting. https://t.co/9AZhk62G3r— Dogpatch Press (@DogpatchPress) February 9, 2017
What will furries use now that they can't use @UnderArmour and not feel totally dirty about it? https://t.co/gDo7ZmQ8M3— Kovu Cougar (@KovuCougar) February 8, 2017
I know this is a popular brand choice in the furry community. Nike makes a similar product and opposed the EO/ban. I recommend them. https://t.co/beyrevFjsn— Roux/Tracey 🏳️🌈 (@kai_fox) February 8, 2017
Looking for an alternative to underarmor? Why not something custom instead? https://t.co/e0kgFmdwle Works great/same cooling under a fursuit— Matrices (@RaisedbyDogs) February 9, 2017
General Strike: February 17.
Activists Are Calling for an All-Out Strike to Protest Trump on February 17. Buy nothing, stop work, and be on the street. See local protests around the US.
It could be silly to go fursuiting. It’s not just the heat, it’s the pepper spray! I don’t need to hear obvious criticism about that, but street fursuiting is my favorite thing. If you’re tough enough and expect low risk…
@UrsulaV Wavy Gravy would dress up for protests because police don't like being seen arresting Santa Claus or The Easter Bunny.— Bill Stewart (@BillStewart415) January 29, 2017
The country is being dragged down with heinous actions like immigrant bans targeting entire classes of people. (Remember this: Syrian Refugees Get Put Up in Same Hotel As Furries, Kids LOVE It.) There’s a part in this for you, whether you feel like openly protesting, or just quietly resisting by being you.
May this be a reminder of what the furry fandom is all about! I am proud & honored to be associated with you all.https://t.co/SEO3ghJM5y— Reo Grayfox (@Reo_GrayFox) January 29, 2017
I love that #FurryBlackHistoryMonth is a thing right now. This is dope.— EarCat Supreme™ (@KashmirDaLynx) February 7, 2017
A lot of negative in the world, have a fox that's doing all he can to stay positive! pic.twitter.com/hruidIlgKi— Hawaiian Hoosier Fox (@wildfox34) February 1, 2017
The most punk and anti establishment thing you can do, in a society that does not give a shit, is to give a shit. Caring is resistance.— Menokh Wahcoon (@Menokh) February 9, 2017
I’d love to do a fursuit protest in my town but it’s so small and somewhat sleepy that there are rarely protests where I can suit up for!
I encourage everyone to do everything within their rights they feel will help make this world a better place to live for everyone.
But I think fursuiting at a protest sends the wrong message for this situation. It would just look too goofy, and trivialize an important and serious message that other protesters are trying to convey. Yeah, there are some goofy protest signs out there, but they’re at least relevant. Fursuiting is just too much of a non-sequitur.
Skippy – you’re overlooking the Merry Pranksters and a long rich tradition of political puppetry, theater, cartoons and comedy. Jesters were the only ones who could speak truth to kings. Fun belongs in protest – you’re supposed to sing and bang pots and pans. In my zine trading days I relished the story of anarchists mocking sour-faced communists who told them “laughter is bourgeois.” I personally will go in rat suit carrying a sign with a mushroom cloud that says: “if we don’t resist, only rats will survive.” Is that furry yet relevant enough?
This sounds like Harlan Ellison’s “Repent, Harlequin, Said the TickTockMan”. I’ve always wondered how that would work in real life.
When Yugoslavia started to fall apart in 1991, and the Yugoslav Army was sent with their guns to confront the peaceful student protestors, the protestors stuck flowers into the barrels of their guns. The Army shot them anyway.
While all people can get political, I disagree that furry should have any political or social agenda.
Despite its reputation, there are a variety of political and social viewpoints in furry, and there are also many furs who are Trump supporters, GamerGate supporters, skeptical of queer identities, or even conservative Christian furries. There are plenty who have stable careers and social standing, in defiance of the idea of furry as a refuge for the dispossessed. I even saw a picture of a guy fursuiting at a Trump rally and several MAGA hats at conventions – including friends of mine.
Furry simply has liking anthro animals as its only barrier to entry, and it is dangerous to mistake this as some commitment to ‘inclusion’ on principle. I’d like to think that there is enough room in fandom for all viewpoints to have their own corner of the sandbox. We don’t have to agree but we can certainly enjoy anthropomorphics together.
Of course people will disagree about putting any particular opinion together with a hobby/social group. If everyone agreed there wouldn’t be politics.
You can’t have no politics ever… Think of when the Vermont Furs wanted to go fursuiting on a public street, and they got told to leave because of an obscure old law meant to ban the KKK from using masks. If you say “hey that’s not fair, I’m not doing anything wrong, I’m not in the KKK and I just want to express myself for no particular reason” you’re giving a political opinion. Unless you make the rules, it’s the same for everything more or less.
It’s not a party, there’s no gatekeepers or approvals – just a social group, so I think it’s kind of non-sequitur to debate whether there’s an “agenda”. Nobody expects total agreement, it’s just always going to have occasions to speak up for yourself(s).
There are some occasions to have basic standards or common causes that can overlap with the majority of the group though. It’s fine to speak out about those. So for example. Being conservative, sure fine… being an anti-gay bigot, no… get shunned and enjoy the freedom to go get different friends. Pretty basic standard. There are times to have a spine and show a conviction, not be wishy-washy and slimy and evasive. There’s nothing dangerous about that, a standard isn’t an agenda.
Beyond that, however loud people want to speak or however much they disagree, go wild… When anthropomorphism and politics go together you get donkeys and elephants and storytelling like Animal Farm. That’s why the cover is posted up top with no comment.
So what if someone is anti-gay?
I see nothing wrong with anti-gay people in fandom (and I’m gay), anymore than there is anything wrong with, say, anti-Christian people in fandom (think of all the atheists among us).
The issue of trans and queer or otherkin identities is a classic case in point…there are many more furries skeptical of the validity of such identities than you would probably like to believe, at least from the perspective of the Bay Area. As long as no one starts any fistfights or tries to expel people from cons or meets based on a mere opinion, we can all agree to disagree like adults.
Oh, that’s too bad. Heaps of false equivalence though. Gay /= christian and anti-gay /= atheist. Trans and queer or otherkin – oxford comma plz. I’d get into it but those aren’t arguments. I know the opinion about anti-gays would change when it’s tested in the world as soon as a right is needed and isn’t there. So no need.
It comes down to having a spine to have convictions, and not be wishy-washy to the end. Radical liberty to express yourself is one thing. It’s another to have a history of holocaust, lynchings, prejudice, and plain toxic ignorance. Nazis and anti-gay bigots don’t have opinions, it’s anti-opinions. They’re not being individualistic, it’s empty instinct. There’s nothing to debate about. Adults tell them to fuck off.
Thankfully very few of them are open (because they know it’s shameful) so it’s rare to have to confront them. A good test is to try to pin them to anything at all. After a certain point refusal means they’re willfully fucking with you. It isn’t “pre judging” to judge people for willful things.
Their last refuge is appealing for rights that others had to fight to get, and saying “it’s legal”. So is refusing to take showers and stinking up the place. Doesn’t mean others have to smell it. They can go be as nasty as they want somewhere else.
This group already tolerates almost anything. Christians are welcomed unlike religious groups that exclude gays. Excluding is an exception not a default. This group association has little to do with constitutional rights. So there’s nothing wrong with having a few standards on the very most basic level. Sure it can be a judgement call. This is why judgement exists. It’s part of the job for people who organize and lead things. Nothing unfair about that.
There is a Furaffinity group called “Anti-Theist Furs”. Contrary to your assertion of a false equivalency, and many furries are as attached to their religion as a source of self-worth and identity as gay people are with their sexuality. So this group could also be accused of having an ‘anti-opinion’ (a made up concept anyway with no validity), yet they manage to coexist with religious furries. They probably don’t hang out with each other, but that’s fine.
There are also may Christian furs out there who don’t believe in gay rights at all, while many furs hold the opinion that religion itself is responsible for ignorance and violence. Meanwhile, some furs (and non-furs) label anyone whose opinions they disagree with as Nazis or fascists. You even linked conservatives, Trump supporters and GamerGate types together and put them as against furry…despite the fact there are liberal GamerGaters and furries who could be called one or more of those labels. Let’s not forget about your argument with JM over women in fandom, which could make you appear as ‘misogynist’ to some. What about my defense of cultural appropriation which earned scorn from a “queer theory” fur?
So be careful when calling for the exile of those based on opinions you find distasteful…it will not be confined to your personal definition for long, and may very well end up catching you. A better solution is to crack down on violent or intimidating behavior in public, and continue to let people of all radical opinions have their own little groups within fandom which you can ignore.
I’m getting dizzy from watching the mental gymnastics. I attach “self worth” to having a silly hobby blog (it just makes me happy) so maybe I can pretend blogging is somehow equivalent to sexuality now (???)
There really aren’t many edge case, cognitive dissonance situations of self negating people to make all definitions squishy. It’s still simple. Genocide isn’t an opinion, there’s a line between this group and actual nazis and there’s no occasion to support them sliming their way in.
I didn’t link conservatives, Trump supporters and GamerGate together as one thing, but I will link Trump with bigots. I know people like to have things both ways (when they need gay rights etc they stop being against them) so I’ll just keep pointing at where the line is. Alternative facts aside most of this group is on the same side.
You’re missing the point: many Christians take opposition to their religion as seriously as gay people take opposition to homosexuality. If we have anti-theism furs, we can have furs who are opposed to gay marriage (for however ineffective their crusade).
If you’re talking genocide, almost no one actually condones genocide in furry, and absolutely none have the power to carry it out…ever. This is tilting at windmills. Most ‘Nazi furs’ are just trolls or uniform fetishists…the actual number of real Nazi furs are vanishingly small.
There are also a fair number of Trump supporters in fandom – too many to kick out. So you need to get used to them being around. You can call it ‘white supremacy’ all you want but in the end, that’s just an emotionally charged phrase for “I disagree”, as is your prerogative.
Nope, still false equivalences and squishy jellyfish equivocation.
There are occasions to protest and this is a very good one. Likely the most compelling one in many decades. Good time to be aware of more than happy fun animal stuff. If a person is too wishy washy to oppose actual nazis and their enablers in this group (they are small, since it’s such a contradiction that doesn’t belong) then let them catch up while others give adult convictions. At the very least we’ll take to heart what Menokh said in the bottom tweet.
Go ahead, chasing real Nazis out of fandom is like hunting snipe, and you’re hardly alone in throwing temper tantrums over the current POTUS.
On the other hand, I’ll gladly defend anyone in fandom who is wrongly lumped in with Nazis for merely being a Trump supporter or who is skeptical of gender and racial identity politics. That’s the great thing about “resistance”…people can resist back. In fact, the last fur who tried to make fandom shun Trump supporters got called out by people of all political persuasions.
You don’t ‘resist’ being starved out because you can’t force people to be friends with nazis or feed trolls. It’s already being done, we’re organized and it won’t help to call out any one person you don’t like.
Color me unimpressed.
Thankfully in my local fandom, Trump supporters and alt right furs generally coexist with the liberals and Trump opponents, even if they disagree on politics. There are enough of each that its impossible to run the other out.