How do I stop the oncoming flow of hate towards the furry fandom? I hate how I'm persecuted for wanting to wear a costume. I understand that yes, there is a bad side to the fandom, but that's not the whole thing. Take Indigo_Raptor, for instance. They were so young, and yet they supposedly killed themselves because of hate. I really don't like how everyone stereotypes furries as 'The fandom that f*ks cheese graters and dogs for fun." And the people who bark at me in the school hallways--my fursona isn't even a dog; Neon's a cat! And if I'm a furry, and I don't go around barking at people, how come they do? We as furries have given the rest of the world more than enough reason to at least accept us if not love us.
How do I stop this? Is it even possible?
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(Note: I could not reply to you via email because you used a school email server, which blocks emails from unknown sources like this one, so I hope you see this on my website.)
Furries such as yourself all make the same mistake in thinking that normies are specifically targeting the furry fandom with their behavior towards its members. Actually, what you and others are experiencing is one facet of a phenomenon with humans: social predation. This is the characteristic in society in which those at the top of a hierarchy (the "top dogs," shall we say) and other members below who follow said hierarchy attack those at the bottom or outside the accepted norms in order to keep the status quo intact.
You see this kind of behavior in other animals, too, not just humans. Wolves, as most know, have their alphas and betas keeping the omegas in line; monkey troops actually go to war with other troops they feel are impinging on their territory; animals ranging from pronghorn sheep to elephants have been seen expressing bullying behavior, too. The higher an animal is in the hierarchy, the more aggressive it tends to be.
Humans behave just like the "lower animals" in this respect. In areas such as business and politics, of course, there is a clear hierarchy involving job titles and salaries and power. In the school, titles might not be formalized and complete with a salary, but they are still there in loose terms such as "that lunch table belongs to the popular kids, that one is for the jocks, nerds and geeks over there, and the losers sit outside on a bench."
Groups that adhere to social norms and that gain status through achievements (real or imagined) such as winning a championship game or wearing expensive and stylish clothes rise to the top of the hierarchy. Those who challenge the status quo by being different are filtered to the bottom of the glass. Such is the fate of furries because we aren't "normal."
But targeting furries per se is just an excuse. Anyone outside the "normal" range will be subject to violence and bullying. In the recent past, for example, such violence was directed at African Americans (and still is in many ways, but somewhat less so in schools now). People will also be targeted for their religion or nationality, as is seen in all the violence still going on today against Jews, Muslims (labeled as terrorists), Sikhs (often mistaken as Muslims because haters are stupid), LGBTQIA people, the handicapable, and more.
Bullies and haters are violent and nasty not just to keep the outsiders out, but also because this behavior reinforces the status quo hierarchy and creates a social bond (however unpleasant) with a group's leaders and all their toadies.
So, when you ask, "How do I stop furry haters?" you are asking the wrong question because you don't stop them. They are a part of social behavior in humans that will always be there, and you will be attacked for anything you might be or do that is considered "not normal."
Before I continue, it is important to note that if bullying becomes violent or dangerous in any way, you need to report it to your school administration and, possibly, local authorities if it gets really bad. There are laws against bullying (go to https://www.stopbullying.gov/ for more information on that).
When it comes to annoying teasing behavior, there are a couple of strategies you can pursue:
Whatever strategy you try--or maybe you have one of your own--the important thing is to not show any weakness. As Nick Wilde explained to Judy Hopps, you should never let them see that they got to you. Don't give them that power.
Will this stop the bullying? Maybe, maybe not. As noted above, you can't really completely stop it, but you can sure keep it from bothering you.
Remember, it's not about your being a furry; it's about them using bullying to maintain their social status. Is that pathetic? Yes, yes it is. And you don't have to buy into their pathetic displays of insecurity.
Hope that helps,
A note on comments: Comments on letters to Papabear are welcome, especially those that offer extra helpful advice and add something to the conversation that is of use to the letter writer and those reading this column. Also welcome are constructive criticisms and opposing views. What is NOT welcome are hateful, hurtful comments, flaming, and trolling. Such comments will be deleted from this site. Thank you.