- 1 9 questions about furries you were too embarrassed to ask
- 1.1 1) So being a furry means you run around in a fur suit all the time, right?
- 1.2 2) Is being a furry just a sexual fetish?
- 1.3 3) So what is a furry, then?
- 1.4 4) What is a fursona?
- 1.5 5) Can I get a music break?
- 1.6 6) So being a furry isn’t really about sex. What do furry fans actually do, then?
- 1.7 7) Are furries the same thing as bronies?
- 1.8 8) What kind of people are furries?
- 1.9 9) Do furries think they’re animals?
- 2 What’s a Furry?
- 3 Inside the misunderstood culture of furries
- 4 What are furries? Inside the world of people obsessed with fur culture
- 5 It’s not about sex, it’s about identity: why furries are unique among fan cultures
- 6 Deviance and the furry community
- 7 The furry fandom as a social group
- 8 Furry language
- 9 Commodification and infrastructure
- 10 Approach
- 11 Constructed deviance
- 12 Deviance within the fandom
- 13 Enough is enough
- 14 A slippery slope
- 15 References
9 questions about furries you were too embarrassed to ask
Fans of anthropomorphized animals such as Sonic the Hedgehog or Pokémon, known as furries, have come in for a lot of mockery throughout the years from users on message boards such as Something Awful and 4chan. Furries are frequently depicted as sexual fetishists in mainstream media stories, who are joined by a shared passion in insex in animal costumes. However, according to poll results, many of these preconceptions are incorrect (very few furries think sex in animal costumes is a good idea, for instance).
1) So being a furry means you run around in a fur suit all the time, right?
Anthrocon 2007 included a procession of fursuiters. It should be noted that the majority of those on the conference floor are not dressed appropriately. (Source: Douglas Muth) Though the terms “fur-suiting” and “furry community” are frequently used interchangeably in the general press, research conducted by the International Anthropomorphic Research Project (IARP), which examines the furry fandom, indicates that fur-suiters constitute a minority within the community. According to a 2007 study conducted at a furry conference, just 26.4 percent of respondents stated that they had a fursuit and only 30 percent stated that they were wearing one.
In all, just 13 percent of respondents claimed to own a full suit, while 34.3 percent claimed to be dressed in apparel or accessories related with their furry character, or “fursona” (more on that in a sec).
2) Is being a furry just a sexual fetish?
No, however there are sexual elements there, just as there are in any other fandom (video games, comics, etc.) that is popular. While some furries engage in sexual activity with other furries (known as “yiffing,” after the sound foxes make during sex), others are more interested in the subject for reasons other than sensual fascination with the subject. In the media, furries are sometimes subjected to stereotypical representations that overemphasize the sexual side of the fandom, like in this scene from 30 Rock: Furry According to Lisa Katayama of Boing Boing, Josh Strom remarked, “We go conventions to socialize with our peers, perhaps purchase items such as art or badges, participate in a discussion panel, or watch a show.
For starters, only a small proportion of furries own complete fur costumes, which are quite rare.
An online survey conducted at Furry Fiesta 2013 revealed that 96.3 percent of male respondents and 78.3 percent of female respondents admitted to viewing furry pornography (which, it should be noted, is a broad category and usually looks quite similar to regular porn, albeit with furry traits added); men reported looking at furry pornography 41.5 times per month on average, while women reported looking 10.5 times per month.
However, they also stated that the majority of their engagement in the fandom was non-sexual in nature.
When asked whether sexual material played a part in their introduction to the fandom, over half of male furries and a vast majority of female furries stated that it did not. (Project for Anthropomorphic Research in the International Sphere)
3) So what is a furry, then?
A furry is defined as someone who has an interest in anthropomorphized animals — that is, animals who have been given human features such as the capacity to speak or the ability to walk on their hind legs — in the widest sense. Those who identify as furry span a wide range of interests, from people who are simply fans of television shows and video games featuring anthropomorphic animal characters (such asSonic the Hedgehog orPokémon) to people who develop a highly specific furry character (“fursona”) with which they identify, to “otherkin” who believe they are not fully human on a spiritual or mental level.
“It has its roots in the science fiction fan community,” he explained.
4) What is a fursona?
A fursona based on the film The Lion King (Nala15) According to social psychologist Plante and fellow Anthropomorphic Research Project members Dr. Sharon Roberts, Dr. Stephen Reysen, and Dr. Kathy Gerbasi, a fursona is a “furry-themed avatar” that furries use “to represent themselves while engaging with other members of the fandom.” “A fursona is something that almost every furry possesses,” Plante stated. “It’s far into the upper 90s – 97 or 98 percent,” says the researcher. Making a fursona entails choosing an animal — real or mythological — to represent oneself as, or, less frequently, creating a new legendary animal for yourself to symbolize your interests.
“For many, it’s just a cutesy avatar that they use to represent themselves to others,” Plante explained.
5) Can I get a music break?
Yes, without a doubt! In addition to being great visual artists and story writers, many furries are also accomplished musicians who include furry themes into their work or otherwise incorporate their musical interests into their fandom. At Anthrocon, the world’s largest furry conference, held in Pittsburgh every year, here’s Bucktown Tiger, a furry pianist, performing a piece of Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata in 2010:
6) So being a furry isn’t really about sex. What do furry fans actually do, then?
Furry fan activities may be divided into two categories: internet fandom and furry conventions. In each case, there is a striking similarity to the fandoms of science fiction and comic books. In the same way that comic book enthusiasts collect and display their artwork, furry lovers do as well. In a 2012 synthesis of many polls done online and at various conventions, the Anthropomorphic Research Project discovered that the great majority of the most popular furry websites are dedicated to art.
Plante estimates that about half of furries attend conventions on an annual or semiannual basis.
This is comparable to how conventions such as Comic Con allow attendees to interact with their favorite movie directors, actors, and comic book creators.
“If a fan is considerably more casual, it may be sufficient to simply purchase the books and see the movies in the series.
“These gatherings are the first places kids can go where they won’t be teased or bullied for their interest in comic books or cartoons when they’re no longer children,” Plante added.
7) Are furries the same thing as bronies?
a group of characters from My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic (My Little Pony) No, but they aren’t completely cut off from one another either. The term “Bronies” refers only to fans of the television program My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic; initially, the term only applied to male fans, but the meaning has been widened in reality. One thing that bronies and furries have in common is that they are both fascinated with anthropomorphized portrayals of animal characters. According to the results of the 2012 survey synthesis, over a quarter (23.5 percent) of furries identify as bronies.
Approximately half of furries regard bronies to be a subset of furrydom; another 28 percent believe they are connected but not a subset; and 22 percent believe there is no link at all between them.
Surprisingly, there were relatively little variations in demographics between the furry and brony fandoms, according to the study.
8) What kind of people are furries?
A group of fur-suiters gather before a rehearsal of the musical Furry Tales on the eve of Anthrocon 2007. (GreenReaper) According to surveys, furries are primarily male and white, are disproportionately homosexual, bisexual, or transgender, and are younger than the general population, having an average age in the mid-20s. According to the 2012 survey synthesis, 79.2 to 85.7 percent of furries who attended conventions were male, as were 78.3 to 84.6 percent of furries who participated in online forums.
According to poll results, just 3.8 percent of furries have one or more children, which may be a reflection of this.
Furthermore, they are far more likely than the general public to indicate a non-straight sexual orientation, with just around a third of those polled expressing exclusive heterosexuality: (Project for Anthropomorphic Research in the International Sphere) A further research, performed during Anthrocon in early July 2014, discovered that over 90 percent of those who participated identified as white.
9) Do furries think they’re animals?
It’s complicated. About one in three furries describe feeling not 100 percent human. A tiny percentage (8 to 14 percent) claim meaning this in a bodily sense, with many more expressing they feel not completely human psychologically or spiritually. Approximately 38 to 53 percent of those polled express a wish to be 0 percent human if they had the option. Furries and other persons who identify as non-human in some major degree are known as “otherkin.” In other words, “therians” are otherkin who identify with a real-life species that lives or has existed on the planet in some way, shape, or form (wolves are the most common).
Some scholars have hypothesized that the presence of otherkin and therians indicates that these people may be suffering from a “Species Identity Disorder,” which is similar to the “Gender Identity Disorder,” which is used by psychiatrists to categorize transgender individuals.
Critics have replied by claiming that the analogyobscures more than it enlightens.
What’s a Furry?
The term “furry” refers to a varied group of fans, artists, authors, gamers, and role players that identify with the furry aesthetic. A fursona is an animal character created by a furry to represent themselves in the community and to serve as an avatar for them to interact with other members of the furry community. On virtual worlds such as Second Life, some furries dress in elaborate costumes or accessories such as animal ears and tails, or they portray themselves as anthropomorphic animals in their online avatars.
- Furry fandom is a worldwide phenomenon, with hundreds of local organizations operating in different parts of the world and dozens of conventions organized each year.
- Otherkin, like therians, have a spiritual connection to non-human species; however, this connection extends to magical creatures like as dragons, griffons, and minotaurs, as well as to other human species.
- The majority of furries (84 percent) identify as male, whereas just 13 percent identify as female, and 2.5 percent identify as transgender.
- Furries are approximately three times more likely than the general population to identify as exclusively heterosexual; furries are approximately five times more likely than the general population to identify as exclusively gay.
- Numerous unfavorable prejudices regarding the fanbase of furry creatures were put to the test, and they were shown to be baseless.
- 37.1 percent ).
- Approximately 60 percent of furries stated that they had experienced discrimination towards furries from society, and approximately 40 percent of furries believed that being a furry was not socially acceptable in their community.
A large number of furries have reported that when seeking counseling or treatment for unrelated disorders, they have been turned away by therapists who overlooked the problems they were having (e.g., depression) and instead concentrated on the problem of “being furry.” Our research has also revealed that other fan groups despise furries, indicating that furries’ suspicions are well-founded.
- Although negative stereotypes that pathologize or attempt to “explain” furries in clinical terms are prevalent, furries do not significantly differ from the general population in terms of their self-esteem, psychological well-being, or relationship satisfaction.
- In contrast to preconceptions that characterize the fandom as only a fetish, the most often claimed reasons for joining the furry fandom include a sense of belonging, relaxation, and escape from the monotony of everyday life, as well as an admiration for anthropomorphic art and storytelling.
- Fursuiters often represent themselves and connect with the fandom using fursonas that are idealized representations of themselves, who are typically more extroverted, friendly, extraverted and confident than they are in real life.
- According to our findings, furries who identify with these idealized versions of themselves have higher self-esteem and higher levels of life happiness than those who do not identify with these idealized versions of themselves.
Furries, despite having more active fantasy lives than the general population, are no more likely than the general population to engage in pathological forms of fantasy (e.g., delusion, escapism, excessive fantasy), and they are more likely than members of the general population to engage in fantasy for healthy, beneficial reasons, such as inspiring creativity, social interaction, and recreation, than members of the general population are.
Inside the misunderstood culture of furries
(CNN) To the rest of the world, the furry community wishes to convey the following message: their culture is not about sex. In fact, many members of the furry community are dissatisfied with the way their group has been depicted by the mainstream media in general. According to experts, the majority of people believe that images of sexual fetishists in furry costumes and cavorting at wild parties are incorrect and plain unjust. For those who are unfamiliar with the term “furry fandom,” we’re referring to a worldwide group estimated to number hundreds of thousands of people who identify as such.
- What do they do to celebrate?
- The various approaches cover a wide range of topics.
- If that’s the case, you could be a furry.
- You may also be a furry, once more.
- It’s possible that you’re a furry.
- Take, for example, long-time furry Joe Strike.
- “It’s a lot of fun to take on the persona of someone else – especially someone intriguing and enticing like this.
- However, this is not the case.
According to Rod Stansfield, who is better known in the community by his pen name Rod O’Riley, “If you honestly believe that furry fandom is about costuming, then you’ve missed the point.” “Stating that furry fandom is about wearing fur costumes is like saying that ‘Star Trek’ fandom is about wearing pointy ears,” says the author.
After visiting science fiction conferences in the 1980s, Stansfield and his business partner Mark Merlino discovered that the furry fandom was growing into its own entity. At the end of 1989, they planned a “experiment” they named ConFurence Zero at a Holiday Inn in Garden Grove, California, which is widely regarded as the world’s first known “furry convention and seminar. Despite the fact that only 65 people attended, with only two or three dressed in costume, ConFurence Zero served as the beginning of something of a movement.
According to the event website, Anthrocon, one of the largest conventions in the world, gathered over 8,400 attendees, with roughly 2,000 dressed in costume, last summer.
“We were only the ones that presented it to the rest of the world.
That was taken up and ran with by the public.” Three decades later, the furious fanbase has grown significantly, leveraging the power of the internet to reach out to one another, organize, communicate with one another, and share — through videos, podcasts, and original artwork.
“I simply want to help the rest of the world understand our fandom a bit better,” adds Stormi Folf, who prefers to go by his fursona “for the sake of his own privacy and security.” “I’m well-known as a furry, but only my family and close friends are aware of my true identity,” he explained.
In terms of vocabulary, it is a subculture like any other, complete with its own jargon.
- In terms of nomenclature, it is a subculture like any other, complete with its own set of rules.
The fandom has expanded to the point where it has attracted the attention of academics. On the website furscience.com, a group of scientists has developed a long-term study effort to follow furry opinions and backgrounds by requesting furry people to participate in questionnaires and provide answers. “It is predominantly white in terms of demographics. They have a tendency to be middle-class, and they have a tendency to be what you would call nerds “says Dr. Courtney Plante, an instructor at MacEwan University who is collaborating on the study with researchers from Niagara County Community College, Texas A&M University, and other universities, according to a release.
- Among their favorite things to do are video games, computer games, board games and anime, as well as science fiction and fantasy, according to Plante.
- In addition to holding costume dance events at conventions, nightclubs have gotten into the act as well.
- A resounding 84 percent of those polled describe themselves as male.
- “The fanbase, like any other segment of society, has its share of sexism, which is understandable.
- “We’ve discovered that the great majority of fursuiters and their fursuits do not have a sexual element to them,” says Plante of the findings.
- Furries, like any other group, accept that there is a minor degree of sexual behavior at their gatherings, just like any other group.
- The term “yiffing” may refer to anything from friendly embracing or nuzzling to really going at it, according to Strike.
For the sake of argument, I’d say 15 percent is a reasonable estimate “”I’ll take it.” It’s unfortunate, adds Stansfield, who was a co-founder of the inaugural event, that the furry fandom is mischaracterized as a “sex style.” According to the author, “Everything made by human beings has some degree of what people consider to be attractive,” and “attractive” is a huge, wide, unquantifiable term, whatever you define it.
Can the furry fandom heal?
A large number of furries have experienced bullying at some point in their lives. According to the findings, they reported “much more bullying than the usual individual.” According to furscience.com, 61.7 percent of furries between the ages of 11 and 18 reported been bullied at some point in their lives. When compared to bullying rates among US children in grades 6-12, there is a significant difference. According to the website stopbullying.gov, around 28% of people have reported being bullied.
- “Research has shown that furries benefit from social connection with like-minded persons in a recreational setting, which has been linked to higher levels of self-esteem and life happiness,” according to the website.
- Strike expresses it in the following way: “When they put on the fur suit and transform into someone else, they feel a great sense of liberation.
- You develop into this type of free spirit.
- “Without fear of being criticized,” it is simpler to socialize when wearing a costume.
- “The most intriguing aspect of the narrative is simply how shockingly normal furries can be despite having a bizarre activity,” adds Plante.
The future of furries
The future of the furry fandom appears to be promising. Plante thinks that the fanbase has between 100,000 and 1 million members — and that number is rising every day. “The fact that it’s an uncommon passion to have makes me doubt that it will ever become widely popular. However, I believe that with time, it will become mainstream in the same way that fans of ‘Star Trek’ and ‘Star Wars’ got normalized, and in the same way that fans of ‘Lord of the Rings’ were normalized.” Even if normalization is achieved through the medium of cinema, Stansfield expects that technological advancements will pave the road for this by making it more affordable and simpler for furries to produce Hollywood-quality films.
“The tipping point will be reached when we reach the point where a Pixar fan can build a Pixar movie in their garage,” he predicts.
What are furries? Inside the world of people obsessed with fur culture
This is not a fetish, but rather a way of life for me. “Fursonasdocumentary is about a community,” Dominic Rodriguez, the film’s director, stated.
As it turns out, the furry world encompasses much more than just their fluffy costumes and their fursonas (fursuits). We can learn a great deal from them since they are an innovative group with something extremely significant to teach us.
The good kind of weird
What exactly is a fit of rage? Perhaps the answer to that question is less difficult to find than previously thought. Furries are people, including physicians, students, singers, moms, and artists of all types who are captivated by the anthropomorphic (animal features that resemble human attributes). That being said, not all furries go to such far as to don a fursuit. For some, the suit is more of a rite of passage than anything else. But, in essence, a furry may be defined as someone who clearly identifies with or likes the fandom.
- Let’s take the example of Boomer the Dog, also known as Gary, a 48-year-old man who adheres to the dog mentality and has adopted it as a way of life.
- The furry is less important than the culture, however, for many people who identify as furries.
- They have the opportunity to create original stories in the most imaginative manner.
- A tangible feeling of belonging has been found by people from all walks of life, including those from various origins.
- They are the nice kind of bizarre; they are strangely inclusive.
First impressions are lasting impressions
As Uncle Kage, chairman of the Anthrocon, the world’s largest Furry convention, puts it: “Every family has its uncle Frank.” A huge myth regarding the Furry Fandom has existed for many years, and it continues to exist now. It’s. Not. All. About. The. Sex. After seeing a developing rage fandom among science fiction convections in 1980, Mark Merlino and Rod Standfield set out to find out what was behind the phenomenon. By 1989, what began as an experiment had evolved into the world’s first known furry conference, ConFurence Zero, which took place at a Holiday Inn in Garden Grove, California, in 1989.
To be honest, who can blame them for promoting sex as a means of attracting young people?
Conway argues that, despite everything, there is always “Uncle Frank.” “But you know, that uncle, you can’t really tell him not to come because he’s family, but no one really wants him to come since he’s a nuisance.” He is referring to those sex maniacs who, for decades, have been able to portray members of the LGBT community as sexual fetishists dressed up in furry costumes.
As a matter of fact, the furry community has expressed dissatisfaction with the way they have been depicted by mainstream media.
Furthermore, conventions such as Anthrocon have extremely severe codes of conduct in order to prevent any sexual activity. Sure, sex is a part of the culture, and the vast majority of furries are college students in their twenties, but so is participation in Greek activities.
Behind the mask
In a society filled with stereotypes and social expectations, it should come as no surprise that the furry fandom has evolved into a safe haven for those seeking to express themselves and find a sense of belonging. According to the findings of a study undertaken by furscience.com, a large number of furries have been “much more bullied than the typical person.” According to the findings of the survey, 43 percent of children between the ages of 4 and 10 reported being bullied. Bullying was reported by 61 percent of those between the ages of 11 and 18, and 15 percent of those between the ages of 19 and 24.
Because of their furry customers and masks, it is quite simple to leave preconceptions behind, allowing participants to express themselves and interact with others in a liberated and creative environment.
However, according to the website, many furries have profited from the interaction with like-minded individuals while participating in leisure activities.
In other words, whether it is a recreational activity or an entrepreneurial endeavor, the furry community offers a welcoming environment in which to be yourself.
It’s not about sex, it’s about identity: why furries are unique among fan cultures
Furry fandom, an esoteric subculture united in their love of all things anthropomorphic, can be a successful business – especially when handcrafted fursuits are considered haute couture in the fashion world. A single design can take up to 200 hours to complete and can sell for thousands of dollars if done well. The company also follows seasonal fashion trends: one year it’s neon colors, the next it’s grumpy-looking figures, and so on. Everyone aspired to be a sled dog for a season one time. It’s all about the fur, of course – even sharks, reptiles, and birds are wonderfully furry – and Los Angeles’s fashion district is home to boutiques that specialize in hundreds of different kinds.
- In Dee’s one-woman fursuit enterprise, Menagerie Workshop, she caters to the whole furry spectrum, from hobbyists who are pleased with a pair of ears or a tail to lifestylers who go all out with role play, such as “scritching” (scratching and grooming).
- Her customers range from SpaceX employees to artists.
- Dee has also According to her, “what attracts people in is the fact that they can build a persona that is a better version of themselves.” “It’s entertaining to simply be foolish and let your imagination run wild.
- Dogs and large cats will never go out of style, while hybrids such as “folves” (fox and wolf) and “drynx” (dragon and lynx) are gaining popularity in the pet industry.
- No two sculptures are similar, however most can be machine cleaned and polished with a few strokes of a pet brush to keep them looking their best.
- Furries have a reputation for being less innocent than they appear in the media, and this has contributed to their negative portrayal.
- The show Entourage presented a pink bunny fursuit as a sexual prop, and in CSI-episodeFur and Loathing in Las Vegas, furries are portrayed as fetishists mainly in it for the “yiff” – furry porn or sex.
We don’t like it because it doesn’t represent the reality that we see in the fanbase.
Consequently, fur fandom has been stigmatized to a far greater extent than other related geek niches, such as anime and cosplay.
She later changed her mind.
“And I still have questions.” Even today, Dee, who quit her advertising job in Denver in 2012 for full-time fursuit making, doesn’t use her real name for business.
People are terrified of things they don’t comprehend, and I believe this is the reason behind this.
Earlier this year, she came across Facebook posts from people stating they were planning to carry firearms to Anthrocon, the world’s largest furry conference, and personally notified the FBI of the situation.
For Kage, “Furry Fandom is unusual among fan communities in that we are not consumers, but rather creators.” “Star Trek enthusiasts are going after a fantasy that belongs to someone else.
“Furry fandom is not now – nor has it ever been – formed of a sexual fetish,” Conway says.
He quotes comic book scholar Mark Evanier: “Furries are admirers of each other.” “People don’t understand it, but the entire anthropomorphism is quite mainstream,” adds Gerbasi, who launched the multidisciplinaryAnthropomorphic Research Project, which has researched approximately 7,000 furry enthusiasts from all continents, save Antarctica (which actually held a tiny furry meeting, too) (which actually had a small furry gathering, too).
While there are some demographic tendencies – approximately 80 percent are male, many work in science or tech, with a disproportionate percentage not identifying as heterosexual – the data, by and large, gives little evidence that furries would be mentally problematic.
“A love of animals and a fascination with the idea of them acting as we do transcends most national, geographic and religious boundaries.” While the fursuits are the most visible, they only make up only about 20 percent convention-goers, Conway adds: the rest are performers, writers, puppeteers, dancers, artists and “just plain old fans”.
Twenty-nine percent of them reported experiencing being a “non-human species trapped in a human body”.
The condition, which Gerbasi et al labeled “species identity disorder”, had a physiological component too, with many reporting experiencing phantom body parts, like tails or wings.
As the furry scene continues to grow – last year’s Anthrocon attracted 6,348 visitors – the fans hope for greater acceptance.
“We have scientists, lawyers, physicians, firefighters, soldiers, police officers, schoolteachers, construction workers, custodians, musicians, journalists – just about anyone that is likely to pass you on a city street may well be a furry fan.” Dee too, who remains at sidelines of the subculture but frequents conventions to advertise her business, agrees that the tendency to make furry fandom shorthand for sexual paraphilia is utterly misguided.
Throughout Menagerie’s history, only one client ever asked for a suspicious alternation – a zipper between the legs – which Dee agreed to at $1,000 extra, adding that if he ever down the road needed repairs (otherwise offered at $40/hour), she wouldn’t work on it, “because that’s gross”.
Slipping into a fursuit can be catharsis – allowing an otherwise shy and reserved person to transform into someone, or something, else – if only momentarily.
“Maybe the character is this really buff tiger guy but it doesn’t seem to matter the person is a shorter, overweight, typical nerdy-looking guy.
“They put on that costume and they just become someone completely outside themselves. It gives them anonymity to just, you know, be who they are and act how they want.”
Deviance and the furry community
As a vast social group that presents itself both online and offline, the furry community may be found in many places. It is primarily concerned with the appreciation of anthropomorphic characters (animals endowed with human characteristics), and members are encouraged to create their own ” fursona “: an anthropomorphic character that represents them, mostly online but occasionally also in person, to express themselves. The purpose of this article is to examine how the furry community is perceived as deviant by non-furries, as well as how deviance is produced inside the furry community.
There is a big social group known as the furry community that exists both online and in the real world. It is primarily concerned with the appreciation of anthropomorphic characters (animals endowed with human characteristics), and members are encouraged to create their own ” fursona “: an anthropomorphic character that represents them, mostly online but occasionally also in person, to represent themselves. This study will examine how non-furries characterize the group as deviant, as well as how deviance is produced both within and outside of the group.
In the furry fandom, there is an official supervernacular that is only used by members of the community. When used together, a supervernacular is a collection of little bits of linguistic and other visual indicators that, when combined, generate and activate a common language that may engage participants in complex kinds of interaction (Blommaert, 2012). The phrases “fursuiter,” “furry,” and “fursona” were all introduced to you in the preceding paragraphs, and you should be familiar with them.
It is frequently used in conjunction with “what’s this?” and is intended to convey astonishment, although it may also be used in other settings besides that.
Finally, it should be noted that fursuiters serve as a symbol of the furry fandom, which has an impact on the terminology used to characterize the community.
When it comes to emblems, “fursuit pieces” like as ears and tails can be regarded emblems as well, and can be worn by furries on a day-to-day basis as well.
Commodification and infrastructure
Due to its size as a social group, the furry fandom has developed its own offline and online infrastructure, which facilitates the commodification of its members. Furry-specific platforms are included in their online infrastructure, which not only extends beyond established worldwide platforms utilized by non-furries. A social networking site dedicated to the furry community, such as Furaffinity, is an example of this. The messaging tool Telegram is also quite popular, and the fandom has a large and active group on the social media platform Amino as well.
- There are several examples, such as furmeets, which are gatherings planned by furries for furries, and cons(conventions), which are bigger gatherings that are not always organized by furries.
- These parts of infrastructure play a key role in the commercialization of the furry community, which is one of their most essential functions.
- Furry fans’ online and physical infrastructures give opportunities for artists to make a profession by making artwork and costumes for the fandom.
- A site where artists may sell their wares online, it is called after the location where products is sold during conventions.
- Figure 3 is an illustration of such a conversation.
Having said that, furries are more likely than not to favor properties that include anthropomorphic animals.
An technique based on digital ethnography was used in my investigation. An approach to doing research “on online activities and communications, as well as on offline practices impacted by digitalization” known as digital ethnography is defined as follows: (Varis, 2014). This is accomplished by the collection of internet data (typically in the form of screenshots) and the observation of a specific group through the prism of the study’s subject matter. In order to safeguard the confidentiality of the informants, consent was sought before screenshots were taken.
Furry Amino, a community on the social networking site Amino, is the subject of my investigation, which is now underway.
For starters, the userbase is large, allowing for a large amount of information to be collected.
Finally, I already had some familiarity with the platform and had a few connections who were prepared to assist me, which made data collecting much simpler.
Furries are frequently seen as abnormal by other groups. They are seen as strange and repulsive as a result of widespread misunderstandings or a reliance on unbalanced information. These misconceptions include the notion that furries support bestiality, that the fandom is centered around sexual activities, and that furries are primarily unwell males in their thirties. It would be possible to spend the entirety of this blog dispelling all of these myths, but I will instead focus on how non-furs learn to accept these fallacies.
- A common explanation for these beliefs is that furries have been unfairly represented in regular media outlets.
- The recent favorable exposure the fanbase has received in the media (such as this Vox video), however, suggests that this explanation is no longer wholly valid.
- These misunderstandings carry over into the offline world, where they can have negative consequences for people who are involved in the furry fan community.
- This continuing trend is particularly well-known for its “furry wars,” in which members of the gaming community declare “war” against members of the furry community.
- Not only are members of the gaming community taking part in the furry wars, but so are members of the weeaboo (anime fans) community and the meme community.
- The anti-furry Discord server seen in Figure 6 is one of a number of anti-furry servers that encourage participation in the furry wars.
- Can these raids still be justified as good fun and as a part of the meme, or do they have to be stopped?
- Furthermore, this meme normalizes prejudice towards this population and aids in the dissemination of false information.
The sender’s plainly inaccurate portrayal and stereotyping of a furry may be misinterpreted by another user as a call out of a legitimately destructive group of people who are furries.
Deviance within the fandom
Within the fanbase, there is an interesting contradiction that may be seen. Despite the group’s emphasis on acceptance as the norm, deviation is nonetheless produced inside it. It is my intention to address the most significant groups that are perceived as deviant in this section of the article while also attempting to explain why they are construed in this way.
Women and subgroups
Women are underrepresented in the furry community, which might cause them to feel intimidated and threatened. They are frequently subjected to harassment, including body shaming and inappropriate sexually explicit communications (Plante et al., 2016). Female furries are attempting to close the gender gap in the furry community by establishing themselves as established artists within the community. In fact, they outweigh the number of male artists who sell their wares at furry events. They are also more likely than men to become involved in the fanbase through their artistic endeavors (Plante et al.,2016).
- This is the process through which numerous subgroups are created.
- Subgroups that deviate from the accepted norms of the furry fandom are despised and denigrated.
- Extreme-right groups are already subject to widespread societal scorn that extends beyond the confines of the furry fandom.
- The community has a strong anti-fetish sentiment toward organizations such as baby-furs, mursuiters (those who have sex in their fursuit), andvore endorsers, among other things.
Enough is enough
To be a rapper, one must have just enough, not too much; the same is true for an art enthusiast, an academic, a sports fan, a video game player, and so on (BlommaertVaris, 2015). Similarly, in the furry community, this is true as well. If you have an excessive number of fuzzy accents, you may be perceived as cringy. Let us consider the song seen above, which is a parody based on exaggerated versions of typical furry speech and behavior. It is regarded as cringe-worthy because it is overtly sexual (a reputation that the fanbase is attempting to shed) and because it contains an excessive number of “furry” terms and phrases.
This type of behavior is frequently linked with newcomers to the fandom and younger furries who have not yet grasped the nuances of the furry identity and the vocabulary that goes along with it, among other things.
A slippery slope
As previously noted, attempting to strike a delicate balance between having enough furry identifying cues and having too many may be a difficult task. If you exhibit an excessive number of identification markers or engage in undesirable behavior, you run the danger of being labeled a deviant. Many people outside of the furry community consider the furry community to be a deviant group as well. When the line between innocently poking fun of a group and actively trolling it is crossed, it is frequently unclear, which may lead to the spread of false information and disinformation.
Becker, H., et al (1997). Outsiders: Case Studies in the Sociology of Deviance is a collection of case studies in the sociology of deviance. Press freedom is guaranteed. Blommaert, J. et al (2012). Supervernaculars and related dialects are a type of dialect. Dutch Journal of Applied Linguistics, Volume 1, Number 3, Issue 3, Blo. 10.1075/dujal.1.1.03blo. Blommaert, J. et al. P. Varis, et al (2015). Writing on modern identities: essays on sufficiency, accentuation, and radiance Papers from Tilburg University in the field of Culture Studies.
Using Digital Ethnography in the Field: Principles and Practice SAGE publications are available.
International Anthropomorphic Research Project: A Synopsis of Five Years of Research (Furscience) Waterloo, Ontario, Canada is the location of this event.
Varis, et al (2014) Ethnographic research on the internet.