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The word "valid"
coffeebear
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Post: #11
RE: The word "valid"
Usage of the term in the context is as accurate, functional, and correct as inserting the word "literally" into everything, especially when asking other people for "validation" or some variation on that theme. To make it a little clearer, I'd like to bring up something HoneycombPup said:

(2020-10-10 10:13)HoneycombPup Wrote:  I go to a local... support group often (or at least, used to before the pandemic). People would use the word 'valid' pretty often as a way of telling each other "Hey, your experiences and identity are real and true".


Experiences and (if relevant) identity can not be observed by anyone else. Someone can say, "I experience this," or "I identify as that," but at the end of the day, we have no way of knowing if the way that individual describes what she feels is accurate (though it will absolutely be an incomplete picture), if he's accidentally misusing a word and leaving the audience with a wildly different opinion or perspective than intended, or if it's lying outright and has none of the claimed experiences whatsoever. This is why I say, whenever the subject comes up, that no one has the ability to validate anyone else. And by the same token, we lack the ability to invalidate others, as well.

"Validating" others is dangerous for two reasons:

  1. It reassures the individual that he's come to the correct conclusions when there is no way for us to possibly know this. There is no way to know what someone truly feels or experiences, and as such if someone is truly lost and looking for answers in the therian or otherkin communities, affirming the stated experiences and/or identities stands a very, very high chance of misleading the individual.
  2. It erodes the definitions and understandings that have existed for decades and it exchanges them for "being nice" to others. Look at Tumblr, look at Amino... groups with absolutely zero clue what it is they're playing at, but they keep "validating" each other's "therianthropy" leading to the ignorant toxicity we see in those pocket communities.

So the next time you're tempted to console someone, or you think you understand someone, remember...

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It would be fitting, I think, if among the last man made tracks on earth would be found the huge footprints of the great brown bear.
― Earl Fleming
2020-10-10 14:51
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Talarp
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Post: #12
RE: The word "valid"
I agree with you. I don't use this word. Not this way.

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Take care Ear Fold
2020-10-10 15:07
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little wolf
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Post: #13
RE: The word "valid"
For this reason, and many others, I am not involved in social media. I highly dislike trends. The extremely high usage gets annoying really fast and it really has no good meaning or purpose. I had this happen at the summer camp I worked at where my entire group was constantly repeating something from TikTok, to where it was every other sentence they said, and it annoyed everyone; me, my co-councilors, our neighboring groups. It got to the point where it was causing serious conflicts between my group and another. They didn't know when to turn it off and be respectful or serious. Valid should be used as it's meant to, like any other word that's become trendy, and I agree with @coffeebear; no one can validate another person. I know I have difficulty expressing what I'm feeling with words, and so when I try to explain what I'm experiencing to another person, 90% of the time what I say is only half accurate to what I'm actually feeling, if that makes any sense. The best usage of the term I think would be parallel with support. Like validating scientific observations with evidence. While it did help to find other therians and know that this was a real thing I was feeling and I wasn't alone, ultimately it was my choice whether I felt my experience was "valid." Only you can make that decision for yourself as I see it and no one can tell you whether it is true to you or not.

I have a tendency not to say much unless it has purpose or meaning. In short, the conversations I find worthwhile are those that are meaningful, and trends just completely takes that away. It's becoming the norm now, which is partly why I think I find it more difficult to interact with others.

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2020-10-12 18:14
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