Community Ideals and value: building and defending

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by ChromaticRabbit, Nov 13, 2017.

  1. BahgDaddy

    BahgDaddy Voice of reason

    Let's try a different defnition.

    community
    kəˈmjuːnɪti/
    noun
    1. 1.
      a group of people living in the same place or having a particular characteristic in common.
      "Montreal's Italian community"
      synonyms: group, section, body, company, set, circle, clique, coterie, ring, band, faction;More

    2. 2.
      the condition of sharing or having certain attitudes and interests in common.
      "the sense of community that organized religion can provide"

      I generally avoid conversations where we have to throw dictionary definitions at each other. As adults, we hopefully have enough knowledge of the English language to use it properly.

      Further, the way in which you use the word community suggests that you don't view yourself as a part of it.

      Why don't you tell us what you think a community is?
     
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  2. TheArchiver

    TheArchiver Ace Documenter

    Absolutely beautiful.
     
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  3. Dongding

    Dongding The sheep

    Fandom can encompass the entire community.

    Community works as well (Not ex 1 because obviously we don't live closely in a community together) but has other defined traits for the context in which you use it which can be more specific. You don't have to even think about under what context to use because fandom represents what this collection of fans of anthropomorphic animals is. With community, it can be used to describe us almost perfectly well, but it has different contexts. It's much more effective to describe the groups that share interests.

    I don't think it's a big deal, but one term encompasses the other, and some don't like being grouped with other groups because their "interests" differ. Think of it as something that isn't furry specific. Like football or butterfly collecting as Yaka said earlier.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2017
  4. Yakamaru

    Yakamaru 100% Weaponized Autism

    Lets look at it this way: Does the people on the forum count as a community? Yes.
    Does the people NOT on the forum count as part of this community? No.
    Are we to collectivize a fandom through using the term community? No. That shit's for Communists.

    Fandom is vague. Community is more specific, as per the dictionary.

    Fandom ≠ Community. Simple as that.
     
    Ginza likes this.
  5. BahgDaddy

    BahgDaddy Voice of reason

    So, using the term community makes on a communist. Got it. :)
     
  6. Diretooth

    Diretooth Dire Wolf and Dragon Therianthrope

    The furry fandom is not, in its entirety, a community. There are furries who don't communicate with others, but still enjoy and make art. Furaffinity, the site and forums, is a community because individuals interact with each other. In a similar fashion, and something I have experience in, Therianthropes as a whole are not a community, we use the term as a catchall because it's simply easier than using themed terms like pack or pride, however, there are Therians who do not communicate, and thus are not part of a particular community, or they can associate with a particular group, but not others, and thus be part of one community.
    In a similar vein, I, a human being who lives in America, share traits with people in, let's say, Ireland. I'm white, have red hair, and have a particular affinity for potatoes as food. Does this make me a member of the Irish community? No, because I do not live there, nor do I interact with it in any meaningful manner.
    In short, furries do not necessarily a community make, but a forum filled with them are. Therians are not a community, but a forum full of them is. An American of Irish descent is not part of the Irish community, despite having similar traits. All of this is true, until there is a group of individuals who interact with each other in a meaningful way, it is not a community, and those who do not interact with said group is therefore not part of that community.
    As for the various communities that have formed out of shared interest in furry media, such as FA, Weasyl, SoFurry, et cetera, the ideals we hold clash and mingle in various ways, but since our most common thread is not spiritual, in the way that Therians tend toward; nor strictly racial, but in one aspect of culture that is prevalent throughout human history, we have less common spiritual and ideological threads, and thus it is difficult for everyone to interact in a meaningful way without discourse and, on occasion, discontent.
    Thus, how should the community of the Furaffinity Forums act? With some degree of civility without sacrificing the ideological, cultural, and spiritual perspectives of each member. We're going to fucking fight a lot, we're going to roll each other, we're going to get pissed when someone acts like an ass and we're going to get pissed when something goes against our individual sensibilities. And above all else, we should eat some pizza because pizza's delicious and that's something that most people can agree on. For those who don't like pizza, or aren't in the mood for it, substitute with your appropriate food of choice.
     
  7. Dongding

    Dongding The sheep

    U splained it gudd. Tenk u.
     
  8. I feel the same way, honestly. Online, you can relate a bit with others and have some fun just hanging out, but forums are full of people from different walks of life and oftentimes they don't get along very well which can suck all the fun out of it. One of the reasons I've been wanting to find a local meet-up event is to get more active socially IRL, which is more exciting and personal than a general online interaction.

    Forming a group of friends IRL and hanging out with them is miles better than interacting in an online community (of course, I've done little interacting myself...), though one can lead to another on some occasions.
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2017
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  9. ChromaticRabbit

    ChromaticRabbit lagomorphic

    Wow, there's some great discussion here, all sorts of great points and interesting perspectives.

    There seems to be controversy here, although I'm not actually sure there's real disagreement necessarily, if the controversies are approached just so. A number of folks here pointed out that from their perspective, fandom itself doesn't suggest community. A number of other folks see a community within the fandom that is distinctly of the fandom.

    Someone pointed out it's a heterogeneous mix of overlapping communities, e.g.: clubs, conventions, website- or game-based that may sometimes come together or operate independently, but that there's certainly no de facto centralization, more this distributed group of people with overlapping shared interests. There might also be higher levels of organization to consider, like a community of convention organizers or fursuit makers, but there's certainly no real authority beyond their own parochial institutions within the fandom.

    There are different subgroups as well certainly, communities of traditional artists, fursuiters, new media artists, poets and story authors, fans of any of the above and more, and so on, and these are all activities whose context exceeds the furry fandom per se, with lots of cross-pollination in places like anime/manga, video gaming, literature. There was some discussion about identity- vs interest-based communities (and I suppose fandom communities can go either way or both, depending).

    I agree with the notion implied by the wikipedia 'fandom' article that there's no actual obligation to participate in or identify with a community in a fandom. Some here expressed a desire to distance themselves from others in the fandom by not-participating in community and so-associating. Someone even mentioned that hey felt as if the suggestion of community was disparaging because it "collectivized" people together almost as if against their will, but I think this misunderstands how communities form. People attract together, they're not being forcibly put into some ghetto and then stereotyped or labelled, they're committing in some small way to participate for its own sake or to further some aspect of the fandom with society.

    Being in a community isn't something I see as a kind of vulnerability. Community is a way for people to come together in solidarity, and so it just seemed a bit confusing to reject the idea in any absolute terms. Often times, people want to come together because they share a perspective on themselves and the world that is easily misunderstood or often unfairly attacked by outsiders. This would seem to come up often for LGBTQI or even feminist community, who organize just to create for themselves a space safe enough to openly express their interests with one another in their own cultural context, building out some world from that solid base. This has a lot to do with the incumbent culture in which they're living. That isn't hive mind at all, that's survival for some.

    Backing up, then, I see community (or community of subsocities) within this fandom, much as I do in anime fandom. A number of folks see it so, and I think that we tend to consider ourselves a part of that quilt-work of communities associated somehow with this fandom. Other folks expressed that they consider themselves not-a-part of this fandom's community, and there's a role within the fandom for that level of participation, too. I think it would be going too far to go on and assert to the folks who do want community that their community must not be legitimate. This is a live-and-let-live moment, surely. For my part, I'd love to convince the folks who don't want any part of community in this fandom to join up anyway in a positive spirit and help to create something more within the fandom. If they choose not to, I'd certainly hope they wouldn't tear down the efforts of those who do try. This fandom is here today because people formed community and it grew around core ideas.

    I want to circle around later to discuss the 'building and defending community' concept further. The idea of a fandom community being based around "empathy and camaraderie" seems central to me, and it's been an important aspect of every other fandom whose community I've participated in. For me, without that protective enclosure of community empathy and trust, it's difficult to be myself or maximize my potential as an artist because I am made to feel insecure if there's a real possibility that exposing myself in community makes me vulnerable to the unfair disparagement of outsiders.

    Community without trust isn't community, and so central to the idea of defending it would be creating spaces where trust and empathy are cultivated, because they can be challenging and slow to cultivate, and they can die back so very readily because they can be so tender. How then do you nurture something so vulnerable? Is a community of the vulnerable kind of like a greenhouse in the wintertime-- you have to be vigilant with the safe space or the plants freeze, die back, or get stunted as the greenhouse fails or someone leaves the windows open during a blizzard?
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2017
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  10. Jay98

    Jay98 The violent man-eater

    I for one am glad you're able to formulate such an argument without resorting to a shouting match like we have before. I'm actually proud of you.

    As for the argument about certain values such as protecting each other I gotta say that I've been under attack online but never at a convention where safe spots are generally used. I've personally been one of the people who ends up defending people of all kinds which has made me many enemies indeed. But despite my autism I'm actually quite tough when the time comes to it and my experience and reasoning often helps dispel an argument. Cornering off areas for furries has been suggested sometimes but I think unless you're planning on going somewhere dangerous I doubt random people would attack people dressed up as cuddly cartoon characters in public. A certain level of anonymity helps but then again there's always people willing to commit hate crime. Not being a furry for many years I've noticed has given me a certain level of credibility in an argument as the haters see me as one of their own. However I'm experienced enough now that I can talk a hater out of a frenzy and also admins are your best friends. I think if anything we stand for the freedom of open-mindedness though it varies from person to person what's acceptable. You can't really say that we accept one thing and not another. As a whole we've learned to let go anything that doesn't breach the rules. I don't think it's a case of a war at all but more of bandit raids. each instance requires its own politics and though there does seem to be a somewhat united front against us we don't resort to a binary symbolism of them and us like haters often choose to do. In fact I think the culture is to a point of such lack in hate that they'd rather blur the lines and be accepted than start waving flags. You speak of ideals and acceptable behavior of the fandom as a whole and i rather think each sub-part decides themselves where they stand on that. A website or a forum might have its own set of rules or conduct by the genre as a whole is not so black and white unlike anime or cartoon fandoms for example tend to be. Rather than say it's too vast i think it's more of a case that it hasn't been branded. Cartoon fandoms are very much centralized around the McCarthy family and the people they works with and anime is very much focused around Shonen Jump. I know that's a huge generalization but the fact that for the largest part it reigns true really shows how these markets have been managed and the furry fandom by comparison has not. Such people like Hasbro have certainly tried but the concept of human/animal hybrids isn't as focused as Japanese animation or American children's entertainment. It's very difficult to put it into a box when there isn't one centralized source of 90% of the fandom. Every creator of popular works has their own interpretation leading to a spectrum of ideas. You can't say what ideals we stand for when we side with different people. It's like asking what country Soccer supports. It's a worldwide phenomenon there is no central idea. We have a tempered relationship of live and let live. We all have different ideas but we get along with each other and learn to accept that people will differ from us. You can call it a structured chaos but at least it's not self destructive.
     
  11. Yakamaru

    Yakamaru 100% Weaponized Autism

    You made me cream. I NEVER cream. Remind me to stop using cream on pizza. I am not even sure if it this shit's good, man..

    On the topic itself:
    By their very definitions, you can't substitute one for the other.
    They are not synonyms, and as such, you can't swap them out with one another.

    I've spoken my piece on the topic of fandom vs community already. My very existence is proof that your attempted label of Furry community doesn't work.
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2017
  12. ChromaticRabbit

    ChromaticRabbit lagomorphic

    Is it? What do you mean? Community exists regardless of whether or not you join with it. At least, that's an idea that I'm promoting. In that sense, if you're quite certain that you're definitely not a part of it, what's your purpose stepping into community spaces like these?

    Feeling out the social life, making friends in the fandom, but ... not promoting the fandom or supporting others in the fandom community per se? It's a little confusing, but I don't think your presence here disproves community, even if you consider the idea of a fandom community's empathy and camaraderie something that you would not support personally.

    Consider the alternative, though. You could commit, join the cult :3, start doing things that make the community and the fandom stronger than the storms around the world lately, and ultimately find opportunities to build people here up. It'd be be awesome! Why not? This place is an online worldwide fandom convention that never ends, so the attending and the planning and the volunteering all happen at once.
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2017
  13. JJPaw

    JJPaw New Member

    You know, the best way we can improve as a community/fandom. Is stop being so nitpicky about the terms and words used. It's almost like the furry fandom has it's own unwritten dictionary somewhere and it's so unwritten, many people fall into it that prompts someone to pop up out of no where and criticizes the user. For using a word that they have a definition of but differs from someone else's own description.

    The smaller we find things to be nitpicky and dramatic about, the more we're no better than the very society the Furry Fandom strives to be better than. We'd be about equal. In a society anymore that finds anything and everything offensive, this is the perfect time to shine through and say proudly "we're over this, we know what's what, we're mature and you guys are children! Grow up!"

    But you know, stuff like this, is steps back than steps forward.
     
  14. ChromaticRabbit

    ChromaticRabbit lagomorphic

    I'm not sure what you mean by society, or even which one you wish to compare and contrast with. We are an international fandom community that spans language and culture. To flourish, we must take the best in us and discard the worst things, the things that make people fly apart not come together.

    Having common language and shared understanding is important, but it's not about picking nits nor beating people over the head, it's about seeking some universal essence of this thing and speaking about it cogently. It's about the society of our community, and those values, too. It isn't easy, but it sure helps to be articulate. If you feel the conversation is drama or pointless, inequitable, or that all offense taken is a lie, or people letting you do whatever you want is "maturity," while having their own voices must be "drama," then there's a structural deficiency in your appoach to equality and community collaboration that seems troublesome both for you and others.

    I'm not even sure where you're getting the idea that what you're doing here is civil. You haven't even equally approached the conversation itself, you're not interested in it or in having a standing with the people having it, and you just spit and sneer. And so, about that drama, growing up, acting like an adult? Live that dream yourself, friend, and step forward into a more collaborative world of empathy and camaraderie right here and now. Accept that we're doing it because we actually do have a care and feel some passion for the topic and the fandom community too. This might not be a conversation you'll want to contribute to. If you don't, respect the purpose of a fandom community forum like this and permit these ideals to be pursued. You're more than welcome to do your own thing in your own corner, but empty disparagement is always off-topic and distracting.
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2017 at 2:09 AM
  15. Yakamaru

    Yakamaru 100% Weaponized Autism

    Using wrong labels/names for things have consequences, and as such I am against using a definition that we can't apply to the Fandom as a whole. There are people in this fandom who don't associate/interact with other Furries.

    Words have meaning, names have power. And if they are used incorrectly, will not have the influence/effect you may want them to have.
     
  16. BahgDaddy

    BahgDaddy Voice of reason

    You think there will be consequences of the calling the furry fandom and community? Even the word fandom implies a sort of social cohesion based on admiration of a specific thing. I believe this issue to indeed be nitpicking.
     
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  17. Yakamaru

    Yakamaru 100% Weaponized Autism

    No. The fandom itself as it's defined, only means "a group of people who are fans of X". It doesn't imply jack shit beyond that.

    Your subjective sense of what the fandom is does not go beyond yourself. But go ahead. Feel free to associate yourself with Communist and Nazi Furs through the word community.

    Lets butcher the dictionary and the English language because feelings and subjective notions take precedence over what words actual mean, apparently.
     
  18. BahgDaddy

    BahgDaddy Voice of reason

    No, let's just use my dictionary, because apparently it's better than yours.

    "
    a body of persons of common and especially professional interests scattered through a larger society
    • the academic community
    • the scientific community"
    If the furry community is not a community, than neither is the scientific community, because it also will likely include Nazi scientists and communist scientists. The communities composition, tasteful or otherwise, does not inform the status of its integration.
     
  19. Yakamaru

    Yakamaru 100% Weaponized Autism

    And what about those who are not part of said "communities"? Are they still part of them, or are they the exceptions?

    It's not "Furry Community*".
    *Not everyone inside the community interacts let alone consider themselves part of it.

    It's a matter of proper usage of terminology and applying them correctly, or you will not get the results you want. That goes for both inside and outside the fandom. By using incorrect terminology you don't give the message you intended to send. A community is a word you apply to everyone inside that group. It implies shit that goes beyond simply having the same interest.

    Again. Do you want to associate yourself with Communist and Nazi furs through the usage of community?
     
  20. BahgDaddy

    BahgDaddy Voice of reason

    No, but I don't have to, so this is begging the question. I'm part of the scientific community, but I don't associate myself with any scientists who might be Nazis or communists. (And even for the communists I will talk to them and engage them in debate. Karl Marx is needlessly vilified, IMO. So even here you're making comparisons that aren't valid.)

    Also a person is free to associate or not associate with the furry community at any time in any way. Simply being a furry won't make someone part of the furry community, which you seem to think it what I'm saying. Really I'm just saying the term furry community is a fully valid statement and largely means the same thing as furry fandom.
     
  21. Yakamaru

    Yakamaru 100% Weaponized Autism

    I found great synonyms for "community" on the new Thesaurus.com!
    I don't see "fandom" listed.

    It's called the scientific community because communication and interaction is kind of a requirement and is centered around a specific topic: Science. Being a scientist is a specific set of actions, behaviours and ways to approach different subjects. Being a fan of X is not.

    We're not unified. We have the option of social interaction, but it's not a requirement. We don't share a common goal. We don't share common values. We don't share interests. We don't share a common ideology. We don't share a common kink/fetish. We just exist and are fans of X. That's it.

    What do you think the word implies when some Furry in a murrsuit rapes a dog, and the word "Furry Community" is used and that shit gets blasted in media? Try to disassociate yourself from the rapist when you've already labeled yourself part of the community he/she belongs to. You can't. And neither can anyone else.

    Being fans of X makes you a fandom. Discussing the things inside the fandom makes you part of communities inside that fandom. You can be a fan of X without associating yourself with communities inside the fandom.

    Your words and actions reflect upon everyone else you decide to associate/label yourself with and the group as a whole. Failure to condemn socially unacceptable behaviour in the public's eyes means you condone it and don't have the option of disassociating yourself. Others will associate you with that socially unacceptable behaviour no matter how much you squeal.
     
  22. BahgDaddy

    BahgDaddy Voice of reason

    What the general public decides is immaterial to the validity of the application of the definition of fandom vs community. I admit I'm using the word community pretty loosely. However, if a climate scientist goes out and rapes a dog, does it also reflect back on the whole scientific community? Of course not, but that's because people are familiar with the scientific community and understand (sort of) what it's about. So your fallacy here is argumentum ad populum - in other words, what the general public thinks is irrelevant.
     
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  23. Yakamaru

    Yakamaru 100% Weaponized Autism

    Is it really irrelevant? To not wanting be looked upon as a degenerate dog fucker is not irrelevant. It's a matter of social and public image of the fandom as a whole.

    I don't see this level of degeneracy in any other fandom. I don't see other fandoms having a decent chunk of socially inept outcasts who use the fandom as a coping mechanism because they can't handle reality. I don't see any other fandom

    It WILL reflect back on the scientific community when you have numerous cases of total degeneracy varying from public sexual acts to fucking animals, whether you like it or not. People who are not part of the fandom/community will start to associate that degeneracy with the fandom/community itself if it happens enough. And this fandom have its fair share of loons and degenerates who are doing nothing but ruin the fandom's public/social image.

    Try getting a job when you're falsely labeled a dog fucker through indirect association by a shared interest.

    This shit's going nowhere. Enjoy. I'm done here.
     
  24. BahgDaddy

    BahgDaddy Voice of reason

    Right, so now you label the fandom as being full of a bunch of dog fuckers, and you'd like to just halt the conversation. Not so fast.

    I think most of this problem comes from YOUR problem with the furry fandom. As I've said before, you seem intent on not actually considering yourself a part of the equation. For your part, you don't have to consider yourself a furry, because all that is is a label. Anyone can enjoy anthropomorphic art, and I'd say the vast majority of people, in fact, do. We make movies like Aristocats, Lion King, Zootopia, Balto, and so on and so forth, ranging from anthropomorphic with Zootopia to just talking animals with the other. And appreciating that art doesn't make one a furry.

    (In fact, now that I've wondered into that circle, what they hell is a furry?)

    Within the furry fandom itself, fully 17% and probably more self identify as zoophiles. That's why conversations about the topic pop up on this forum constantly as furries try to variously deny what they are, or bash people who are, or deny they exist at all, and so on and so forth.

    The issue of the composition of the furry community is entirely a different subject than whether it's a community or fandom or something else, let's make up another word for all I care.
     
  25. Yakamaru

    Yakamaru 100% Weaponized Autism

    Nice of you to twist my words into meaning something they don't. You've really outdone yourself this time. Congrats.

    17%+ zoophiles you say? And here I thought those numbers lingered in the single digits. Good job on trying to defuse my argument. You failed. You just made it worse. I don't have a problem with the fandom. I have a problem with socially inept morons and the acceptance of degeneracy inside it, making it a safe haven for such people, and the fandom's image and reputation are going to suffer as a result. Zoophilia are one of such degeneracies I don't want any association with. Saying almost 1 in 5 is a zoophile is a BRILLIANT talking point, good job on that one too. And you wonder why I am using it as an example..

    Calling the Furry fandom a community is an insult to the dictionary. One last time: They are not synonyms and can't be swapped out willy-nilly because you felt like it.

    Fandom composition is important. When nearly 1 in 5 self-identify as a fucking zoophile, you've got yourself a problem. Feel free to make a couple of guesses on how and why.
     

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