by Patch O'Furr
The Complexities of Problematic Kinks – guest post by Maybelle Redmond is now moved to the archive with this editor note.
“Say THING BAD, there are no complexities” … “If you talk about the bad thing then you must support it” … “Screw you for supporting the bad thing”
Of course cub porn is a bad thing (but describing it isn’t).
It’s also deeply rooted in the community. It’s been here since the beginning. In the 1990’s Warner Bros was threatening to sue furries for Tiny Toons porn. It isn’t coming from outside or incongruent like racist stuff. It is furry. Anyone with a pencil can make it and anyone with a smartphone can share it. Some furries draw their art before they know there’s a fandom.
Self-generating porn is one reason why furry thrives without corporations that don’t make that stuff. It makes a potentially infinite problem. When they have websites for it like Inkbunny, condemning users at the bottom doesn’t stop distribution at the top. They will just keep coming to the art sites.
If we take it for granted that cub porn is bad but part of the community, it’s like when drugs are illegal but people keep using them. If you put small drug users in prison they still need humane treatment and a plan to do something about distributors. Saying THING BAD and “screw you” isn’t a plan. That’s why people can talk about complexities.
When you condemn the cub stuff you can still include consideration about how it can be self-generated and users might get habituated at young ages or include victims of abuse who need help instead of getting attacked. Attacking someone who posts cub porn they made of themselves isn’t unlike making kids face jail for sexting pictures of themselves. (Read the news story. Sorry this is such a squicky topic but how is that fair? There are better options.)
Cubs are already condemned with a bad reputation, and bringing this up will cost yours with a bunch of harassment. Even in an appropriate place with a history of speaking about community things. The article was originally meant for [Adjective][Species] but their site went inactive so the author submitted it here instead. It can’t be denied that it’s an ongoing topic that didn’t start here. Unlike here, they have articles that offer uncomplicated promotion for that stuff. But their site and Inkbunny, whose ownership aren’t close with this site, enjoy no real challenges for it.
Expecting consideration is risky with an audience who don’t have time to read a long article about Heavy Stuff. That leads to knee-jerk reactions and a communication breakdown. But apologize-and-delete-it doesn’t fix the problem and it keeps the communication broken.
Ironically, people bashed this site way harder than a “low level user” who actually posted the offending art. That was carrying out the different levels of concern that were suggested in a few comments that set off the harassment.
It’s sad to see no difference allowed between describing bad stuff and causing it. When reporters report about murder they don’t have to say they don’t support murder. Of course it’s risky to even host a discussion about problematic kinks because it can look like encouraging abuse instead of looking for understanding to reduce it. But a great deal of other work done by this site shows that this site isn’t for that.
There was no understanding. Many people didn’t read the article before lashing out. It was hosted to let the author and the comments hash it out. But nobody bothered for seven months until suddenly deciding to harass the site to absurd extremes. Since the article was seen enough, and the engagement was so disappointing, it’s now moved and you can find it archived or the author may host it.
Now here’s some feedback about the article that was stopped by knee-jerk harassment. We should have been able to discuss this.
People using kink for coping is part of BDSM where it helps them take control over bad things that happened to them. BDSM isn’t abuse, just like furry art isn’t bestiality. Cub porn can be created by people who seek that kind of coping too. That isn’t an excuse, it’s a description. Of course it’s different because the art has a danger of being an abuse tool. It was a mistake to host the article without calling it unacceptable strongly enough. But nobody bothered bringing it up when it published.
That’s how the article is liable to be criticized for too much weaving between condemning abuse, but giving victims a grey area with the idea of a “walled garden” with “policing” inside. In someone’s ideal world perhaps that could be a solution, but the less than ideal reality is that policing can be done by a group to ingratiate or excuse or show a good side while 2-facedly carrying out abuse.
The article talks about a “step forward” like that for an imperfect world, with a need for more education in society. You can say a step forward isn’t enough but at least the article recognizes a problem. Perhaps it’s the wrong solution when expecting education from general society leaves things too far out of our hands, but at least it gives something to discuss. And perhaps it’s better to have an ideal of eliminating the porn with a plan for distributors.
There is no plan. Those who attacked this site for hosting discussion will see history repeat when the problematic porn keeps coming up, and they attack people instead of causes. That’s like putting a pin in a voodoo doll and thinking it solved the problem.
For many who sent private support for accommodating discussion, but were too afraid to speak openly, good luck with it.