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?
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
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.