One Fur, One Vote: The Politics of the Fandom
Politics is always in the air. You cannot avoid even though at times you wish the whole thing would go away. Look at the American election – after all, it is impossible not to. Months and months of coverage, much of it pointless and reporting rumours. All of these stories about Barack Obama being a secret Muslim, an elitist, a socialist, not to mention the “Terrorist fist-bump” and “Not being black because this father was white”. At least we British only limit general elections to a few weeks.
But what about politics in connection with the furry fandom?
Well, the obvious answer is that there is no connection. After all, there has never been a furry politician, a furry political movement or pressure group trying to affect government, and no policy has been directly affect the fandom or mention it, or at least none that I aware of. If there has been, please let me know.
However, that is not to say that furries are not, to use the expression, “Political animals” (not to be confused with Political Animal, a satirical series on BBC Radio 4 with John Oliver and Andy Zaltzman). According to the University of California, Davis study, most furries were in some way had an interest in politics. Of those who were, most claimed (around 40%) that they were “Liberal” or “Very liberal”. Around 7% were either “Conservative” or “Very conservative”, and 16% considered themselves “Moderate”.
Perhaps it is not surprising that the fandom is liberal. When you see the amount of yiff around the place, it is probably clear as water that the fandom is left-wing in its political tastes as well as the sexual.
It has to be said that my political views tend to be lean towards the left, although technically speaking I consider myself to be a “Philosophical anarchist”. For those not aware, it is best to compare it with a normal anarchist. An anarchist is someone who believes that no-one should rule the people. A philosophical anarchist is someone who believes that while it is best that no-one should rule the people, revolution is not the solution and it is a process that takes time in order to achieve. Basically, it is anarchy for cowards. I want anarchy, but I do not want to be around when it happens.
While the fandom is left-wing, it is of course much more complicated than left wing/right wing. There are liberals, socialists, communists, Marxists – all sorts of different groups. Not only that, but will be environmentalists, animal rights people and so on. It is not known how many furries fall into each of these groups. May it is none. Maybe each furry has their own private ideology, or perhaps most furries have the same goals, in which it would be possible to form our own political philosophy.
There are still some things that could be said to affect the fandom. In the UK, a new law is being introduced. There is this thing called the “Extreme pornography” coming into law on 26 January 2009. According to the Criminal Justice Bill of 2008, Part 5, Section 63.7, it would ban pornographic images that depict things such as “Serious injury to a person’s anus, breasts or genitals”, “An act which threatens a person’s life” and “A person performing an act of intercourse or oral sex with an animal (whether dead or alive)”.
That may mean that someone’s image that you may have seen on Fur Affinity, such as those of people having sex with animals, would be made illegal under UK law. However, this law does become complicated in many ways. For example, FA is an American website.
Another thing is that the law constantly refers to acts carried out by a “Person”. However, does a furry count as a person? Could furries be a loophole in the law? After all, there is a considerable amount of “Cub yiff” which if it were more widely known would probably be banned under laws covering paedophilia. If furries were not a loophole however, it could lead to arrests of artists who specialise in such art and more negative coverage of furries in the media.
One other factor concerning the legality is that the law states that, “a reasonable person looking at the image would think that any such person or animal was real.” Luckily, I think most people think that Sonic the Hedgehog is fictional.
What do we do about this? Well, for one thing it is best to take an interest in this and join pressure groups to change the law. Other than that, it is best to keep an eye out about what you are posting and what you are keeping.