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Identify with Care
DustWolf
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Post: #11
RE: Identify with Care

(2021-04-30 5:12)HoneycombPup Wrote:  I don't think this makes sense. Even you will admit therianthropy isn't a choice, so why would you need to pass some test to "become" a therian? Some labels aren't something that you have to pass a test for. Im bisexual, there was never some "symbolic test" to prove it, and I think most people would think that would be silly, because I just am. Being therian isn't an occupation either, so relating that to native American practices doesn't make sense to me.

And what if your experiences as a therian don't fit the general norm, as Bear X has experienced? Do they not pass the test?


Even if the two of us do not agree with the need for a test when it comes for labels, it is self-evident that people feel the need for such a test to exist. Just look at the history of the therian community, all the gatekeeping and tribalism that keeps coming back no matter how hard we try to get rid of it.

It keeps coming back because it's a part of human nature. It's the same human nature that native Americans have found a way to address, though in their case as you say, their social identity is based around what we consider to be occupations.

I don't know if this is a problem the LGBT community has solved either. Even if you disregard the point that people within it still look towards the medical community to provide that symbolic test, just look at how people from the LGBT community regard us therians. They say we're not for real, but they are. They are looking for the symbolic test that gives their identity legitimacy.

Obviously creating a test for genuine therianthropy is tricky (especially considering we don't even really know what therianthropy is), but what I'm saying is that if we wanted to, we could probably do better than the guessing and gut feeling judgements that people do right now.

@BearX was after all telling us about how he had been put through an unjust test, so clearly this human desire to create a symbolic test for his therianthropy existed.




(2021-04-30 20:35)TherianofFour Wrote:  Having a way to help the young ones cement their true selves I can see being valuable. As a Cherokee descendant, we guide our youth into themselves. For Native Americans, children received one name at or soon after birth then receives another one later to fit their temperament, personality, or through some rite of passage. Their names reflected them, and essentially labeled who they were. Later their names may be changed or altered according to changes in their experiences or personality.


Stuff like this is what I love about the native American cultures. It's all so efficient and fit for purpose. Their names are literately their labels.


Of course from our perspective as outsiders, we do not understand their symbols and sometimes a poor translation will appear to add an esoteric quality. Like how songs sometimes sound better if sung in a foreign language you do not understand.

Technically there is a translation for my real name, even though most people are probably not familiar with this. My birth name would translate to Spring Merchant (I think? My brothers are Blue Sky Merchant and Sunshine Merchant). It sounds almost like a poorly translated native American name no?


In our European cultures, our given names are arbitrary or demonstrate lineage, which means nothing in the modern world, though I imagine things might have been different in the middle ages when the practice was introduced. Lineage probably equated profession, but today I challenge you to find a Smith who's profession actually involves smithing.

LP,
Dusty


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(This post was last modified: 2021-05-01 9:47 by DustWolf.)
2021-05-01 8:36
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Post: #12
RE: Identify with Care

(2021-05-01 8:36)DustWolf Wrote:  

(2021-04-30 5:12)HoneycombPup Wrote:  I don't think this makes sense. Even you will admit therianthropy isn't a choice, so why would you need to pass some test to "become" a therian? Some labels aren't something that you have to pass a test for. Im bisexual, there was never some "symbolic test" to prove it, and I think most people would think that would be silly, because I just am. Being therian isn't an occupation either, so relating that to native American practices doesn't make sense to me.

And what if your experiences as a therian don't fit the general norm, as Bear X has experienced? Do they not pass the test?


I don't know if this is a problem the LGBT community has solved either. Even if you disregard the point that people within it still look towards the medical community to provide that symbolic test, just look at how people from the LGBT community regard us therians. They say we're not for real, but they are. They are looking for the symbolic test that gives their identity legitimacy.


The transgender community had a similar issue of wanting to keep out the "fakers", but they realized it harmed their own kind in the process, so the majority of transgender people just live and let live. They've generally stopped caring about what outsiders think of them, because if people don't like them because the "fakers", they probably wouldn't have liked them anyway, and that the safety and wellbeing of the community is more important. A majority have given up wanting that test for legitimacy through medical and other means because it just hurt the community very badly.

This is why I think it's a bad idea. I see it as an easy way to harm the community unknowingly. I've seen it happen in other communities and ive never seen it be successful.

And I don't think we solve tribalism with more tribalism. It seems a bit backwards.


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(This post was last modified: 2021-05-01 16:21 by HoneycombPup.)
2021-05-01 16:18
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Post: #13
RE: Identify with Care
Dustwolf,
Yes, European names are so random sometimes. My name was literally pulled from the baby name section of an old dictionary. One brother was named after his father and the other named after an ancestor on my dad's side. My own son's name shares his middle name with his uncle.

Having a name or a label, for me, isn't bad. Being stereotyped is. Names should connect you to who you are or feel you are.

As a therian who has never questioned her identity or been confused on it I cannot relate to some that are struggling to find themselves.

But I can empathize with it from the human side.

As for tests, in the world of today, humans test your identity all the time. Especially when it concerns the internet. We have to prove our identities to buy things, sometimes, or vote, or perform bank transactions, etc.

In our religions, cultures, cliques, families, etc., we also have to prove our identities, often through shared activities and conversations.

Social animals have to constantly affirm their identities to their own group or prove themselves as one of the pack, herd, etc., to gain acceptance. I see it in animal society and human societies alike.

So, in that sense, I can understand the want or need for a system to ensure the safety and quality of a group stays as pure as it can for the type of members subscribed to it. But this is just a random thought coming out of my head.
2021-05-01 17:22
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Post: #14
RE: Identify with Care

(2021-05-01 16:18)HoneycombPup Wrote:  This is why I think it's a bad idea. I see it as an easy way to harm the community unknowingly. I've seen it happen in other communities and ive never seen it be successful.

And I don't think we solve tribalism with more tribalism. It seems a bit backwards.


I get the sense that you are attacking me because you think that I will set up some kind of test gatekeep people on TG. This is missing the point, as well as being short-sighted.

I am actually just observing the phenomena that exists regardless what any of us thinks. I think it's important to understand why something happens. And I think it is important to take into consideration how people who have encountered the same issue who have come before us, have chosen to deal with it.


@callistowolf has stated in the original post in this thread that the problems of the therian community exist, because people do not take care when choosing labels. If you take into consideration my explanation for WHY this happens, it becomes clear that the people who are not "taking care" with their identity, are actually just younger people doing what their human nature tells them to do: They are playing with labels.

Because this is human nature, most people will be inclined to do this regardless of what any of us may think. Anyone young who finds themselves in a situation where they have to consider if they are a therian or not, will be naturally inclined to not take therianthropy for the facts of what it is, but rather try it on and try various variations of it. Because this is what playing is. It's how intelligent beings learn.

Understanding this is important, so that we don't expend resources and energy battling something that is going to be futile. Instead we can work with human nature and see what we can do about the negative consequences we seek to avoid.

Like I've described before, many cultures have dealt with similar issues and have found ways to deal with them. Native Americans have used rites of passage to fulfil people's needs in this regard.


It does not mean that we absolutely must do exactly what they did. I'm just suggesting that perhaps we can learn something from their approach.

So instead of trying to cancel me, perhaps you can contribute something useful, based on this understanding?

(2021-05-01 16:18)HoneycombPup Wrote:  The transgender community had a similar issue of wanting to keep out the "fakers", but they realized it harmed their own kind in the process, so the majority of transgender people just live and let live. They've generally stopped caring about what outsiders think of them, because if people don't like them because the "fakers", they probably wouldn't have liked them anyway, and that the safety and wellbeing of the community is more important. A majority have given up wanting that test for legitimacy through medical and other means because it just hurt the community very badly.


This is a solution which basically solves the problem by excluding teenagers from the community, while simultaneously failing to acknowledge that there are young people who are incorrectly interpreting what being trans even is.

LP,
Dusty


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(This post was last modified: 2021-05-02 8:54 by DustWolf.)
2021-05-02 8:17
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Post: #15
RE: Identify with Care

(2021-05-02 8:17)DustWolf Wrote:  

(2021-05-01 16:18)HoneycombPup Wrote:  This is why I think it's a bad idea. I see it as an easy way to harm the community unknowingly. I've seen it happen in other communities and ive never seen it be successful.

And I don't think we solve tribalism with more tribalism. It seems a bit backwards.


I get the sense that you are attacking me because you think that I will set up some kind of test gatekeep people on TG. This is missing the point, as well as being short-sighted.

I am actually just observing the phenomena that exists regardless what any of us thinks. I think it's important to understand why something happens. And I think it is important to take into consideration how people who have encountered the same issue who have come before us, have chosen to deal with it.


@callistowolf has stated in the original post in this thread that the problems of the therian community exist, because people do not take care when choosing labels. If you take into consideration my explanation for WHY this happens, it becomes clear that the people who are not "taking care" with their identity, are actually just younger people doing what their human nature tells them to do: They are playing with labels.

Because this is human nature, most people will be inclined to do this regardless of what any of us may think. Anyone young who finds themselves in a situation where they have to consider if they are a therian or not, will be naturally inclined to not take therianthropy for the facts of what it is, but rather try it on and try various variations of it. Because this is what playing is. It's how intelligent beings learn.

Understanding this is important, so that we don't expend resources and energy battling something that is going to be futile. Instead we can work with human nature and see what we can do about the negative consequences we seek to avoid.

Like I've described before, many cultures have dealt with similar issues and have found ways to deal with them. Native Americans have used rites of passage to fulfil people's needs in this regard.


It does not mean that we absolutely must do exactly what they did. I'm just suggesting that perhaps we can learn something from their approach.

So instead of trying to cancel me, perhaps you can contribute something useful, based on this understanding?

(2021-05-01 16:18)HoneycombPup Wrote:  The transgender community had a similar issue of wanting to keep out the "fakers", but they realized it harmed their own kind in the process, so the majority of transgender people just live and let live. They've generally stopped caring about what outsiders think of them, because if people don't like them because the "fakers", they probably wouldn't have liked them anyway, and that the safety and wellbeing of the community is more important. A majority have given up wanting that test for legitimacy through medical and other means because it just hurt the community very badly.


This is a solution which basically solves the problem by excluding teenagers from the community, while simultaneously failing to acknowledge that there are young people who are incorrectly interpreting what being trans even is.

LP,
Dusty


I'm sorry but I was not "attacking you" or "trying to cancel you". Not once did I make attacks or go out of my way to call you names or a bad person. If you think that me giving my own opinion is attacking you, then I think that's a you problem. That's all I have to say at this point.

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2021-05-02 14:35
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Post: #16
RE: Identify with Care

(2021-05-02 14:35)HoneycombPup Wrote:  
I'm sorry but I was not "attacking you" or "trying to cancel you". Not once did I make attacks or go out of my way to call you names or a bad person. If you think that me giving my own opinion is attacking you, then I think that's a you problem. That's all I have to say at this point.


It seems obvious from the above conversation that you were reacting emotionally. I have no other explanation why points I made were glossed over and fast reactions were given to small points of the argument.

In any case, I'm open for discussions on the ideas, if anyone else is interested in talking about it. It goes without saying that I do not require that anyone agree with me, it's just that if I can see that someone is not getting what I am saying, I will try to explain it again.

In this case I guess walking away when the conversation started to get emotional, was a good idea.

LP,
Dusty


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2021-05-09 7:17
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Post: #17
RE: Identify with Care

(2021-05-09 7:17)DustWolf Wrote:  

(2021-05-02 14:35)HoneycombPup Wrote:  
I'm sorry but I was not "attacking you" or "trying to cancel you". Not once did I make attacks or go out of my way to call you names or a bad person. If you think that me giving my own opinion is attacking you, then I think that's a you problem. That's all I have to say at this point.


It seems obvious from the above conversation that you were reacting emotionally. I have no other explanation why points I made were glossed over and fast reactions were given to small points of the argument.

In any case, I'm open for discussions on the ideas, if anyone else is interested in talking about it. It goes without saying that I do not require that anyone agree with me, it's just that if I can see that someone is not getting what I am saying, I will try to explain it again.

In this case I guess walking away when the conversation started to get emotional, was a good idea.

LP,
Dusty


No thanks. I've made my points and simply disagree with yours. I feel as though your response was rather emotional as well and saying things like "So instead of trying to cancel me, perhaps you can contribute something useful, based on this understanding?" are uncalled for, rude, and not productive to a conversation to claim that someone speaking with an opposing opinion is trying to "cancel" you. Just wanted to voice that opinion, and I wont continue with this as I've made my point and it seems youve made yours. Just constructive criticism on how you respond to others.


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(This post was last modified: 2021-05-09 7:30 by HoneycombPup.)
2021-05-09 7:29
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Post: #18
RE: Identify with Care
So...

Presenting a contrasting view is not a personal attack, it is simply an individual stating a viewpoint or arguing from an opposing position.

With that cleared up, I've been having a lot of discussions on these topics in the past few days and I have observed the root of the issue to be the term "therian" as a resource used to find others that are like us. Why do we seek out other individuals and groups that are like us? Simple, it's hard-wired into our nature as social animals.

So when and how did this problem originate where various groups of people calling themselves therians begin to fight over the term as a resource?

@BearX or anyone else who was around in the AHWW days may be better able to elaborate on this than I. As I understand, SHTF over this very reason once before and everyone diverged into their own group. I can say without question that one of the main reasons we are at this point again is because we've made therianthropy easy to find. This has attracted people from all over the world with various different experiences and views on what being a therian is. This is exactly how spreading "the word" of any major religion has wrought a plethora of different denominations and interpretation of what that religion means and how it applies.

It is very difficult to look at oneself in the mirror and hold oneself to accountability but if we can be honest, we must account that it is us who have brought all these different individuals and groups to therianthropy. If anyone must receive blame for any degree of dilution or watering down, we need look no further than ourselves.

Having identified the fundamental issue of contention over therianthropy as a resource - what can honestly, practically be done about this? What can be done about our social, tribal nature that is thousands of years old and will exist in each and every one of us to some degree for thousands more?

The way I see it, our choices are twofold.

We can stop caring about the term itself, devalue it completely as a resource and accept that there is no "therian community", that there are individual therian communities which have widely different views on what it means and what's included in being a therian. This proposal will not end all strife between these groups but rather it will cease the infernal and quite frankly nauseating debate over who can call themselves a therian and who can't, what's part of therianthropy and what isn't, ect

OR

Each group can mount up, lock and load and prepare for war and we can continue beating each other over the heads regarding who's "right" and who's "wrong".

Quite frankly, I am sick and tired of the latter.

I am not immune from and I'll be the first one to say I am far from innocent in my own desire for "therian" to represent my own group, animal-people who are like me but it simply does not and I refuse to continue plunging resources and effort into a fight I cannot win. The collateral damage and the self-inflicted damage is far too great. I realize that the desire for "therian" to represent my tribe is nothing more than greed, another fundamental aspect of human nature.

I, personally, am letting it go.

If we must derive a hundred terms to describe each group of therian that exists, this seems more productive than conflict.

So what if everyone who calls themselves a therian isn't like you? Is everyone who calls themselves a human like you?

The most important thing said in this thread, the answer to all of the contention over therianthropy is this:

Quote:Ultimately, I think we should focus more on our shared experiences rather than identity or labels. Focusing on experiences will serve to bring people together, and better enable folks to decide for themselves where they might find true camaraderie.


If we can simply do this ^ instead of worrying about who calls themselves what or who is or isn't what, many of our problems will be solved.

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(This post was last modified: 2021-05-09 21:31 by LycanTheory.)
2021-05-09 20:32
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Post: #19
RE: Identify with Care

(2021-05-09 20:32)LycanTheory Wrote:  @BearX or anyone else who was around in the AHWW days may be better able to elaborate on this than I. As I understand, SHTF over this very reason once before and everyone diverged into their own group. I can say without question that one of the main reasons we are at this point again is because we've made therianthropy easy to find. This has attracted people from all over the world with various different experiences and views on what being a therian is. This is exactly how spreading "the word" of any major religion has wrought a plethora of different denominations and interpretation of what that religion means and how it applies.


Your comparison to religion is particularly apt. Whole wars have been fought over the meaning of a word, and telling people how to live their lives.

One thing that happened, and it's really only visible in hindsight, is that multiple, independent groups decided on the term "Therian" to indicate their particular type of animality. AHWW made it easy, if you had a spiritual, mental, or any other kind of connection for a critter, you were in. The definition wasn't a calcified, rigid, cudgel to beat folks with. It was flexible, existing only to embrace those who experienced a internal sense of animality. As that group fractured, the other groups with different meanings blended together, depending on where they first heard of it. Over time, it ceased to be so flexible, and hardened into it's current "identity" view.

It is the reason I push for a broad, expansive, and flexible kind of therianthropy. I predate the "grilling" era, and aggressively railed against it in the past, because it was pointless, borderline-evil, and did nothing but cause strife and stress for the purpose of weeding out certain undesirables. I'm happy we don't grill here, our joining questions limited to getting to know the person rather than squeezing them in a vice. If someone feels an intense connection, but not an "identity", that could be a form of therianthropy. It seems to me a spectrum of experiences, not only one.

I've experienced the latter sort it in the modern community, being told my experiences weren't therianthropy, despite my having been there when the term was coined. A lot of things were therianthropy, then, which aren't now in common view.

I'm hoping that more folks can adopt the view that internecine struggles such as this are somewhat pointless. I still have my own mental model of "what is therianthropy", and it is more myopic than my philosophy, but because my brain is human, it will gravitate towards "my tribe" and "their tribe". I can't help that, I can only press against it, and try to be more accepting of contrasting views.

The only thing that still causes me stress is forcing therianthropy under "otherkin" as an umbrella term. Folks should choose the term they feel fits them well, but to make one term subordinate to another when they arose independently, rubs me the wrong way. I know it's quixotic, and pointless, but I suppose it's one of those biases I should again work on.


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(This post was last modified: 2021-05-09 23:51 by BearX.)
2021-05-09 23:46
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Post: #20
RE: Identify with Care

(2021-05-09 23:46)BearX Wrote:  The only thing that still causes me stress is forcing therianthropy under "otherkin" as an umbrella term. Folks should choose the term they feel fits them well, but to make one term subordinate to another when they arose independently, rubs me the wrong way. I know it's quixotic, and pointless, but I suppose it's one of those biases I should again work on.


Yeah, that causes me stress too. I don't think I'll ever accept therianthropy being under the otherkin umbrella. I just can never see it as such because to me, otherkin = having a culture, therian = beastly.

I am still in the process of re-evaluating myself, maybe someday I'll get it pinned down.


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2021-05-27 23:02
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