Furry is not a Fetish

Furry is not a Fetish

The Oklacoma City news site The Lost Ogle recently ran a piece in response to the cancellation of Oklacon. The piece itself is generally sympathetic to furries and appears to take their side against the banning of Oklacon from Oklahoma State Parks. My problem with the piece, however, has to do with a lingering problem with the inaccurate way the media, as a whole, have come to understand the furry fandom – as one part fetish, one part fursuit. On the one hand, we should all be relieved that media coverage of furries has been on an upswing in the past decade, where furries were characterized unsympathetically as freaks; indeed, most furries can almost reflexively rattle off the names of television shows, magazines, and websites that contributed to the stigma furries have feared and felt from the general public whose knowledge of furries is little more than what they’ve heard from these sources. It would seem the media have grown tired of the same old narrative that reads “Look at these freaks in costumes! Aren’t they just so perverted and weird? Can you believe how bizarre their sex lives are?” Instead, modern media pieces about furries read more like this: “It’s unfortunate the way society has treated these harmless sexual deviants. We, for one, are open-minded enough to say ‘go ahead and do whatever crazy sex thing you want!” I think many of you will agree that while the latter story comes off as kinder, it nevertheless comes off as a bit back-handed. And the reason why is pretty apparent when laid out this way: the media, despite wanting to be sympathetic to...