Of Otherkin, Furries, Etc.

Comments and insults are still coming in about my disagreement with requireshate. It’s become apparent that I should clarify a few things.

I have not equated the suffering that anime otaku go through with the suffering that women or gays go through. I did bring them up in discussion, and perhaps I was not clear enough about that (though I tried, on twitter, to explicitly note that bringing them up was not a matter of equating them.) I apologize for any confusion or distress that might have caused.

I really wish this train wreck of misinterpretation had not occurred.  I was only trying to get a clarification about her feminist reading of Claymore when this thing blew up.  I was certainly not trying to make anything about me.

I do feel that “weaboo” (“fucking weaboo” as used repeatedly by requireshate) is a dismissive insult towards anime otaku and should not be used.  If “nobody gives a shit about weeaboos other than weeaboos,” as she asserted, then to my mind, that is all the more reason to treat them with compassion.

I am not agreeing with anyone who personally insulted requireshate about this, nor have I personally insulted her or directed any offensive language towards her.  I specifically took pains to note in the comments here that I did not agree with insults towards her.  She has not shown similar restraint, but then, that’s what started this.  I RTed everyone who responded to the ongoing twitter discussion, just as she did, but retweet does not imply agreement.

My ideal of respecting people and their right to self-determination means that I generally believe otherkin, furries, and other self-identifying groups ought to be taken at face value. When I said I bristled over requireshate’s callous dismissal of them she mocked me for it, but I was not joking. It is the only ethically consistent approach that I have found.  I in no way assert they have endured anything like what the LGBT community or others have faced (and I bring up this example specifically because it is one they often bring up) but they do repeatedly self-identify as nonhuman despite it being adverse for them to do so. I don’t think any group should have to go through suffering, bashing, etc. just for their identity to be accepted, and this is the logical consequence of that.  I also don’t feel it’s productive to draw a line and say “this group is legitimate; that group is not.”  Acceptance of others as they are is the whole point of this.

I noted previously on this site that I only claim to be a classical feminist.  Given the number of second-wave feminists now expressing their disbelief that I would call myself feminist, this is a distinction that probably bears repeating.  I have argued, as many feminists have, that gender roles are socially constructed, in accordance with the sociological understanding of gender.

Finally, though it only makes sense to me that feminism include men at some point in the process (because its goal is to affect society, and men are roughly half of society) I have never said someone is a “bad feminist” or anything like that for disagreeing with this.  My opinion on the best mode of progress remains my opinion.

Published in: on May 14, 2012 at 3:02 PM  Comments (6)  
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6 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I don’t know the whole story behind this post, but I’m definitely rooting for your level-headed logic. It seems to me that your ethics are well thought out and, in a sense, pure. You apply your ideals equally to all groups of people. Pretty admirable considering most people seem incapable of doing so. I also want to say that I agree with your opinion on feminism. It only makes sense that if feminism is about creating equality between men and women then it should include both men and women.

  2. Up until now, I’ve just been an observer. Allow me to say what I’ve observed.

    Diversity is sacred in society, yet the feminists want to distill membership to a select few. Just a breath ago, they found solidarity with everyone else who wasn’t a “white male.” These sweet words have been tools all along. Like a gun or a shovel, they can only be ascribed “good” or “evil” in the hands of a user.

    Look past the tool, and see the user’s motives. See it in a more personal light: your actions threatened to cast her from her lofty academic position and associate her with otaku. This would’ve reduced her legitimacy to her target audience. Thus, you were ostracized with great prejudice, dropped like a moldy piece of bread. “Shame on you for putting a woman in such a delicate and unmentionable position!” seems to be the message.

    Alas, the only people who seek treble damage for slights are lawyers and people of flimsy esteem. Sometimes they’re one and the same.

    • Agreed on the apparent motivation, you put it better than I did yesterday.

  3. >I am not agreeing with anyone who personally insulted requireshate about this, nor have I personally insulted her or directed any offensive language towards her.

    If we’re going to get down to semantics (the way narrativeeschatology suggested we always should), “immature little girls” is not a personal insult, as it clearly applies to a category of people and not any singular person. I applaud you for always taking the high ground, but I’d be most interested in how you’d go about extricating her from this category given the behavior she has exhibited. After all, you have not been able to completely extricate yourself from being (falsely) identified as a “weeaboo” during this merry-go-round. 😉 I don’t know about you, but insisting on the privilege(!) to insult you does not strike me as characteristic of mature adult-like behavior. If I went around saying that feminists who dislike immature and sexist male anime fan behavior are “immature little girls”, then we might have a problem. But I think my Asian American gay minority status entitles (lol) me to some sarcasm over specific and deliberate rude behavior.

  4. ” I tried, on twitter, to explicitly note that bringing them up was not a matter of equating them”

    Then why did you make the comparison in the first place? Readers will, quite naturally, assume there is a reason why an example is given; they are used to the mass media carefully choosing its “representative examples” to fit an agenda (i.e. represent a peaceful protest with a picture of the one guy throwing bricks to get everyone thinking it was a riot).

    You subsequently explained that your argument could have been made with other, not exaggerated, comparisons – which would have avoided all of this.

  5. Buckets and labels are cheap; high ground, low ground, just as well. I can do everything I need to do regarding these topics without a single word. Much of this comes off as noise to those who live and experience through actions.

    It’s not magic.

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