Opinion: I'd trade my man card for a furry conbadge
When I was a kid, I had a magic card whose flavour text read, "She had expected death to roar, to thunder, to growl. She did not recognize it when it came hissing to her side." If Phil Elmore had designed that card, it would've probably read, "She had expected death to roar, to thunder, to growl. She did not recognize it when it came in a cute and fluffy guise." That's because Phil Elmore thinks that furry is the latest crack in the foundation of society that will lead to, in his own words, the "destruction of society." He is wrong. He is so, so very wrong.
It's a bit ironic that, on his own website, Phil describes himself as "saying, writing, and printing the truth" when he was capable of penning an article with so many inaccuracies. He's wrong about click-bait headlines (they are due to the structure of online advertising, not social media and short attention spans), wrong about the furry fandom ("Can there really be any doubt that the majority of “furries” are likely pedophiles?" Yes, there could and should be.) and, probably, wrong about Zootopia.
The article quotes an earlier piece by Emily Gaudette for the website Inverse:
Could it be a coincidence that Disney chose a fox protagonist for its first fully anthro feature, considering foxes are arguably the most popular ‘fursona’ cited by furries? Many furries name the hero of Disney’s animated Robin Hood, also a fox, when recalling their first sexual feelings for anthropomorphized animals?
It's probably more likely that they chose a fox for the same reasons that many furries choose foxes; people like foxes. A simple trip to Wikipedia would've shown that foxes occur in the folklore and mythology of almost every culture and have done so for millennia.
But it's not just furries that have him bothered; he also takes time to rail at liberals, transsexuals, bronies and feminists. Each time painting in huge brushstrokes that make this Spanish woman's work look like a masterpiece. If he was at least criticizing actual positions it wouldn't be so bad but the furry fandom is hardly a homogeneous culture. About the only consistent position is that furries are tolerant and the only disagreement is how tolerant is too tolerant. Needless to say, Phil is almost certainly against any form of tolerance.
His opposition to all these things is rooted in two places. First, and Freud would've had a field day with it, is his obsession with masculinity. He assumes that "masculinity is the fuel on which society runs, on which innovation occurs, on which industries are built and on which wars are fought to protect a free people." Not quite' but your overcompensation is revealing a bit more about you than you probably want to share. Second, he thinks anything that is not masculine enough is childish.
By embracing “furries” and other perverts, we are producing a population of incapable, weak-minded children. /…/ It presages the extinction of the rational, responsible adults who once formed the backbone of our nation.
He earlier defined childish as irresponsible, impulsive and unproductive. Could these apply to furs? Individually, sure. As a community, no. Irresponsible? Was it irresponsible when Eurofurence raised €32 000 for a charity fallen on hard times? Or when furries raised $20 000 for a restaurant that had been good to them? I'm not sure what one can say about impulsiveness when talking about a fandom but unproductive is not something you can say. The furry fandom has produced a feature length film, has over 9 million submissions to the largest furry site, and hosts authors, artists and others who've been nominated for and won mainstream awards.
Of course there are bigger questions that an article such as Phil's raises. What do we call mature, and what do we call childish? I read a short anecdote once about a person looking at the warnings on a film. It warned about adult language. The author thought about it and then gave some examples of adult language: responsibility, honesty, dedication, self-discipline. That was real adult language. So sure, he can call furries and bronies childish, but let's think about bronies for a moment.
A lot of what happens in My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic (yes, it's a show originally intended for little girls) revolves around the elements of harmony; honesty, loyalty, generosity, kindness, laughter and magic. Are those childish? In some ways it's a bit sad that a show around those values is considered childish but shows about violence are considered adult. Are our values supposed to change as well?
All things considered, I want to live in a world with more honesty, more loyalty, more generosity, more kindness, more laughter and more magic. I'd rather we cast aside our violence, superstitions, hatred and tribalism as we became adults. If that makes me childish, so be it. I still remember how to have fun. Now maybe I'll trade my man card for a conbadge, go hug a fursuiter and relax in a world where everyone is free to live their lives as they choose. Do as you will.