This question is not for me specifically, but for potentially all furries. How would one best describe furries to someone who all they know about furries is the "bad stuff"? EG: That one CSI episode. I feel like if all that a person knows is the bad stuff, it would be hard to try and convince them otherwise. I'm just curious to see what you think is the best way to go about doing this.
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To understand the nature of this question, one must first understand prejudice and how prejudices come about. It’s a result, really, of how the human mind works—what I call “The Triple Threat.” 1) Human beings like to categorize everything in order to make the world easier to understand. They like things to be black and white, not 50 shades of grey. 2) The other thing about the human mind is that first impressions are extremely important. That’s when we gather our initial information about someone or something and draw conclusions. Once drawn, it is very hard to erase and redefine those conceptions, which sometimes go so far as to be preconceptions with little or no information. And 3) the third factor is that people tend to hate (or at least avoid) those things that they do not understand or that are different from them because things that are different challenge their concepts of what the world is and how it works, so, therefore, these things seem threatening to them.
Therefore, if someone unfamiliar with furries gets his or her first impression from something like the infamous CSI episode, they will quickly conclude that furry is about people dressing up as animals and having sex. Or, if they first come across it via furporn on the Internet, they will think that’s what we’re all about. The Triple Threat is why you get people who think that lesbians all wear tool belts, gay men all like to dress as women and talk with a lisp and call each other “girlfriend,” Asians are all smart and enjoy solving math equations, and Muslims are all terrorists. Utter nonsense.
This sort of thinking developed because back in our “caveman days” evaluating a situation and coming to a quick conclusion was a helpful survival skill (“Ugh! Me never see big cat with six-inch fangs before! It eat friend Trog! Must be dangerous! Me Run Away!”) Things are much less clear-cut in our modern world, although we still get things like (“Ugh! Me watch Fox News. All Fox News people say Democrats destroy ’Merica! Me hate Democrats!”)
So, how do you overcome the Triple Threat? It depends on the person who has these prejudices. If the person is particularly dense and thick-headed and has been ingesting stupidity all his life, then you likely won’t change his mind. The quicker you can get to the person after he has been exposed to something inane like CSI’s episode about furries, the easier it is to correct their thinking. The key to that is education. Charlotte Brontë said, “Prejudices, it is well known, are most difficult to eradicate from the heart whose soil has never been loosened or fertilised by education: they grow there, firm as weeds among stones.” And Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn similarly said, “It's an universal law—intolerance is the first sign of an inadequate education. An ill-educated person behaves with arrogant impatience, whereas truly profound education breeds humility.”
Educate them! Take them to a furry convention so they can see what goes on. Have them watch some informative videos (I’ve posted some here http://www.americanfurryassociation.org/videos.html). Show them all the many many many examples of the fandom that are completely G-rated. Show them the diversity of the fandom, from artists and fursuiters to writers and performers. Introduce them to actual, real-life furries because, once you get to know us you realize we are, in many ways, just like human beings! Gosh! Whodathunkit?
And, by the way, furries did not invent animal kink. That's been going on since the days of ancient Greece and Egypt.
Thanks for your question :-3
3/8/2014 08:11:51 am
It's always refreshing to me to see some one come into the furry community on the notion that we are not all about fursuiting (You do not have to own or ever have a suit to be a furry nor does wearing a suit make you one), and to come into the community with a fresh mind and not based solely on the notion that we are only a community and a fanship of furporn and that everything is porn.. There is a huge amount of diversity here and we need more good furs to make content that isn't all murry purry!
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