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The continued albiest bahavior in fandom spaces

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Figured this would fit here, as its a more broad world centric topic then just furry.

But i have noticed and been continually disappointed and shocked at continuous and blatant, and even violent abliesm in fandom spaces, even in ones that claim to be more progressive.

from hostility towards the psychically and mentally disable, claims of supporting autistic folk only to turn around and harass those displaying common characteristics, calling anything one considers strange "insane" or "psychotic"  and calling any character or person displaying genuinely deplorable behavior these as well, it makes me end up feeling very unsafe and wary of any space, even the ones i am supposed to feel safe in.

I am autistic and psychotic, among other things. and time and time again people who claim to be sportive of these things turn a blind to to genuinely harmful behavior and language.

in addition, when people tend to speak up about these things, they are so commonly shut down and told it is not a big deal or to shut up. its incredibly disheartening at best and terrifying at worst.

i would like to hear anyone elses thoughts on these phenomenon and behaviors, have you also been directly harmed for your differences in these ways?

 

deporitaz

Member
I am lucky to be in circles of majorly neurodivergent and mentally ill people who are willing to listen and want to do better always. Furry events can be tricky still, lots of jokes at our expense :c

 
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Darkstar

Member
Yeah, I’ve honestly seriously struggled to make friends in the fandom due to the ableism, ever since I joined as a kid. I’ve been harassed for my social awkwardness or struggling to respond to messages growing up, mostly by wholeass adults, so I kinda gave up tbh. I do way better irl so I can make use of social cues at least but even pre-pandemic i couldn’t get out too much. But even at furmeets and stuff people were just really mean to me about my awkwardness sometimes :(

It’s truly made me afraid to put myself out there and now I constantly obsess over whether or not I’m saying the correct things. It’s especially hurtful when I see some of the people who were cruel to me preach about acceptance online. A lot of furries make it a very hostile environment for us, I think without even realizing it some of the time. The fandom is partially about helping socially anxious people come out of their shell, but I guess I’m perceived as doing it the “wrong” way. 

 

Zythyx

Staff Catter
Staff Team
also autistic and psychotic here; it pains me how our conditions seem to be only seen positively if theyre ‘quirky’ and ‘cute’ enough. if we show anything besides what ppl think we should, suddenly we’re considered freaks or any other number of socially isolating insults. and dont even get me started about how people with bipolar and BPD are treated in fandom spaces. character bad = bpd, apparently. 

 

RyuuYouki

Tanzanite Founder
Hi! BPD and type 1 Bipolar here! I’ve constantly struggled to form friendships, especially when I was younger. Not just in the fandom, but in general. In recent years I was finally able to get some professional help in managing my symptoms. I also have ADD, dysthymia, anxiety disorder, and PTSD. 

Ive made a lot of friends in the fandom since a lot of people have similar “quirks” that I do. But a lot also don’t. I swear to god if one more person tells me “it’s all in my head” (no shit Sherlock where else would my brain be located) or that I just need to have a positive attitude I will yeet myself into the sun. 

I do my best to manage my BPD. I USUALLY can tell when I am getting irrationally angry and am going to have an outburst. I’ve explained to people this issue and that if I say “hey I need to drop this convo and come back to it later” they need to drop it and let me leave. But so many people won’t. They’ll just keep going and keep poking even when I politely ask them to stop or try to leave. Eventually I’ll loose it and then they get all defensive. “Why would you yell at me?! There is no reason to be angry”

No shit! I know that! That’s why I wanted to leave/stop talking but your ableist ass felt your need to finish the convo NOW was more important. :flips a table:

 

Sifyro

Member
I'm trying to get the translation of "ableism" "ableist" to my language (spanish), but its getting confusing because i get different definitions :'D

Can someone explain the meaning of these please?

 

Pumpkigutz

Member
I'm getting so TIRED of seeing people in the fandom use r*t*rd as an insult or to describe something considered "dumb"

Like great I'm glad you think people like myself and my friends are worthless enough to joke about all of the damn time. Being autistic can SUCK when it comes to meeting strangers because so often they use terms or phrases that just degrades innocent people who are just trying to survive in this already awful world. We're tired of being the butt of everyone's jokes. It's really not that hard to be considerate of others. People need to stop talking like it's before the 2000's because many, if not ALL of us, are sick and tired of hateful speech. It's 2020, there are jokes that are actually funny to say, but you choose to use degrading terminology because people still think offensive humor is funny, when it really isn't and never has been.

I just want myself and others to be treated with a lot more respect. It's not fun seeing people make fun of you for just being born the way you were, especially when they don't even know who you are. I thought I graduated highschool, but with the kind of interactions I see in the fandom, it really feels like I'm still stuck in it socially. And it's sad to know most of it is from grown adults who should know better.

I hope one day this fandom grows past that and people don't have to feel bad for being who they are. I just want everyone to be happy and safe, that's all. Humans aren't perfect, and it's up to us to work as a community to help each other grow and be better people.

 
I'm trying to get the translation of "ableism" "ableist" to my language (spanish), but its getting confusing because i get different definitions :'D

Can someone explain the meaning of these please?
ableism and abliest is prejudice towards disability, nurodiversity and mental illness

 
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Ganymede

Member
I have trouble phrasing things but you described what i feel most of the time very accurately. I am autistic and have other mental illnesses that make it hard to interact with others. Sometimes I feel so out of place it's suffocating. Thankfully I have friends who understand me but it is so debilitating hearing people say the r slur so often, or make fun of people for the way they type, not getting a joke, etcetera. I remember telling someone a while ago about my psychosis and they were extremely dismissive of it to the point I can't bring myself to discuss it with people who I actually trust. Hope this made sense.

 
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wolftacos

Member
The furry groups I'm in (and also other fandom groups) tend to be made up of other people who are neurodivergent, or are NT but understand. The pro to this is that it's very easy to talk about things, the con is that these groups tend to be very small.

I'm always shocked when I step out of my small circle and see how people in the fandom behave at large. It is the same thing I see if I go from talking to my non-furry friends to talking to the general public. Just this massive, hostile switch.

I don't think this problem is unique to the furry fandom, but it's way more evident because of how many furries tend to be ND and open about it. So it's easier for people to latch on to calling them horrible things. I think this is a symptom of a much bigger problem. When a random ND stranger online understands that having OCD-driven violent intrusive thoughts doesn't make you a soon-to-be-serial-killer better than the therapist that threatens to call the cops on you when you want to discuss it, there's a big heckin issue going on here.

After I was diagnosed, I couldn't say the "A" word online because I was terrified to do so, because of the way furries and many other online communities use autism as an insult and to imply that someone's faking an illness for free internet points. I can finally say that I'm autistic with confidence, but it took more than a year of work to say the word out loud or to post it online. And in a fandom that claims to be as open and accepting as this one, that's a problem. It's a problem outside, too, which I think is what feeds it in the first place.

For now I tend to stick with my small groups.

 
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RyuuYouki

Tanzanite Founder
I have trouble phrasing things but you described what i feel most of the time very accurately. I am autistic and have other mental illnesses that make it hard to interact with others. Sometimes I feel so out of place it's suffocating. Thankfully I have friends who understand me but it is so debilitating hearing people say the r slur so often, or make fun of people for the way they type, not getting a joke, etcetera. I remember telling someone a while ago about my psychosis and they were extremely dismissive of it to the point I can't bring myself to discuss it with people who I actually trust. Hope this made sense.
I feel this. I’ve a lot of executive function issues and trying to explain to someone wanting to do the thing, but you physically CAN’T do the thing because your neural pathways are a train wreck is like trying to explain rocket science to a newborn. “Well just do the thing, it isn’t hard”. Maybe not for you Karen, but not all of us are neurotypical.  I’ve gotten to the point I don’t even try to explain with most people. It’s easier just to make up some excuse they will except. 

 
I feel this. I’ve a lot of executive function issues and trying to explain to someone wanting to do the thing, but you physically CAN’T do the thing because your neural pathways are a train wreck is like trying to explain rocket science to a newborn. “Well just do the thing, it isn’t hard”. Maybe not for you Karen, but not all of us are neurotypical.  I’ve gotten to the point I don’t even try to explain with most people. It’s easier just to make up some excuse they will except. 
speaking of exutive dysfuntion, im not rly responding in here bc my speach is just not hapening today, thats why i keep reacting to everyone, letting yall know im seeing ur posts lol ^^;

 

wormcoffin

New Member
All of this tbh 

My little brain has a cocktail of mental illnesses bouncing around in there & I also suffer from severe ADHD. People are so crass and rude about it that I've only started being semi vocal about my experiences after being in this fandom and simply on the internet in general for about 9ish years.

I'd go as far as saying seeing ableism so rampant in the fandom is part of the reason I just pushed my issues down until 2018.

Thankfully my very small group of friends all happen to be nd & mentally ill as well so I don't have to worry about it there, but even so much as saying "hey all I need to go on a mental health vacation from art" makes me feel like 

-either someone is going to come at me for it 

-I don't deserve it bc I've had the neurotyoical mindset drilled into me. 

It's a damn shame that being nonprejudiced & accepting stops at neutodiversity & disabilites. It's nasty :/ 

 
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Shagoli

🦖
Staff Team
I'm fairly open about having severe unmedicated ADHD. My symptoms make any participation in fandom spheres next to impossible, but it feels like all the worst of it is concentrated in furry spaces. I can't sell commissions knowing that if I don't provide service better than the average abled artist, people are going to shittalk me for prioritizing personal projects, forgetting other stuff, leaving those personal things unfinished for the foreseeable future... It feels like I just shouldn't talk about it when abled people are around, knowing just how little room people give to artists in general. My brain constantly feels like an ashamed, anxious tumbleweed caught in a never-ending cycle of "I need to do this thing" and "I can't bring myself to do anything productive." I know I haven't done it yet, I know I'm not doing it right this moment, and I know my promise that I'm going to make it worth your time and money sounds hollow, but I can't help it. I can't even do what I want to do.

 

RyuuYouki

Tanzanite Founder
I'm fairly open about having severe unmedicated ADHD. My symptoms make any participation in fandom spheres next to impossible, but it feels like all the worst of it is concentrated in furry spaces. I can't sell commissions knowing that if I don't provide service better than the average abled artist, people are going to shittalk me for prioritizing personal projects, forgetting other stuff, leaving those personal things unfinished for the foreseeable future... It feels like I just shouldn't talk about it when abled people are around, knowing just how little room people give to artists in general. My brain constantly feels like an ashamed, anxious tumbleweed caught in a never-ending cycle of "I need to do this thing" and "I can't bring myself to do anything productive." I know I haven't done it yet, I know I'm not doing it right this moment, and I know my promise that I'm going to make it worth your time and money sounds hollow, but I can't help it. I can't even do what I want to do.
This. Executive dysfunction is a BITCH. People just can’t fathom the concept of you WANT to do the thing, but you just physically can’t. I don’t WANT to sit here on my phone doing nothing or staring at that crack in my ceiling for three straight hours while my body SCREAMS at me to get food and use the bathroom, but here we are :/ 

edit: People don’t seem to realize there is a difference between lazy and dysfunction. Lazy is I can do the thing, I just choose not to. Dysfunction is I want to do the thing, but I can’t. 

 
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wolftacos

Member
I'm fairly open about having severe unmedicated ADHD. My symptoms make any participation in fandom spheres next to impossible, but it feels like all the worst of it is concentrated in furry spaces. I can't sell commissions knowing that if I don't provide service better than the average abled artist, people are going to shittalk me for prioritizing personal projects, forgetting other stuff, leaving those personal things unfinished for the foreseeable future... It feels like I just shouldn't talk about it when abled people are around, knowing just how little room people give to artists in general. My brain constantly feels like an ashamed, anxious tumbleweed caught in a never-ending cycle of "I need to do this thing" and "I can't bring myself to do anything productive." I know I haven't done it yet, I know I'm not doing it right this moment, and I know my promise that I'm going to make it worth your time and money sounds hollow, but I can't help it. I can't even do what I want to do.


Holy dang I never even fathomed that not being able to do commissions and having a lot of fear/inability to keep going with them might be related to ADHD. I thought I was just... really bad at them. This answers questions I didn't even know existed.

 

rodentprince

New Member
It's punching down, unfortunately. A lot of people already see furries as "weird/degenerate" so by punching down you can distance yourself from that and feel more validated and accepted in the general public eye. It's an insecurity thing. A kind of, oh yeah I know it's weird, but at least I'm not like *insert x behavior, insert x type of person".. without thinking about how neurodivergence often accounts for those types of behaviors. Another issue is people making stereotypically deranged / evil characters and throwing around a bunch of psychiatric labels as Fun Flavortext, though thankfully I don't think I've seen that as often since edgy sparkledog deviantArt days..

Tip for ADHDer's struggling with commissions! Get into streaming. It helped me a lot to stay on track with some sort of audience, timeslot, etc. Forces you to be in that present "this is happening now until it's done, there's people watching me!" It's super hard for me to overcome my "getting into the flow" performance anxiety so I usually make sure I at least have my sketches prepped beforehand, but other than that.. having an audience really helps me keep on track, social factors in general are a huge motivator (or demotivator, welp) for me. I've even taken to streaming at friends that I know are busy just to try and trick my brain a bit. (Also try not to get sucked into the "Oh, now that this is late I need to make sure it's Extra Good to compensate for it /puts it off even longer now that I've piled my perfectionist unobtainable art standards on top of everything else.")

 

Grinalbi

Member
Does PTSD fall under something like this? Like for one, I am so... very... TIRED of how often people will use "triggered" to refer to characters and people alike being offended/"overreacting" to something. Like, I feel like I can't even use triggered anymore to describe the things that are happening to me because it's been misused so much by assholes who think it's funny and insignificant. (Also I'm aware that the term trigger/triggered also applies to other things like anxiety, OCD, etc; just using it as an example)

Also, I have no idea if this counts as ableism nor do I know how common it is as a problem for others, but I often take forever to type. Like, it takes my brain quite a bit to write out sentences and check spelling and in addition I also often have to look at the keyboard and check what keys my fingers are going to press. It happens quite a bit in the fandom Discord servers I'm in; so often when I'm trying to type something out, and because I'm so slow, I get a lot of comments mocking me for taking so long to type my messages out (they can tell bc of the thing that it does where it'll say _____ is typing...). It's so frustrating!! Bc I have to sit there and be like "If it's longer than a few words then it's going to take my brain ages to figure out what I want to say, please stop making fun of me for this, I legitimately can't process this any faster". And it's lead to quite a few times where I end up very slow and behind in conversations bc everyone else seems to be going at normal speed and I'm sitting there still typing out my response for something that happened in the convo 5-10 minutes prior lmao

Hell, just typing all this out, I'd estimate I've been sitting here for almost 10 minutes bc it takes me so long to be able to form the sentences that I want to write. It's werid bc I don't really have this problem when speaking but writing/typing is another story... also why I often have to go back and edit/re-edit things I sent if the option is available.*

Side note: I've suspected for a few years now that I may have autism or ADHD or something, but the problem with that is I know that I have depression, PTSD, and anxiety so it always becomes a fun guessing game of "Is this behavior the result of something I already know I have or is it a sign of something that hasn't been diagnosed yet?"

*When I say I don't have the problem with speaking.... well, I slightly do, but not nearly to the extent that it affects me in non-verbal form, if that makes any sense.

 
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Does PTSD fall under something like this? Like for one, I am so... very... TIRED of how often people will use "triggered" to refer to characters and people alike being offended/"overreacting" to something. Like, I feel like I can't even use triggered anymore to describe the things that are happening to me because it's been misused so much by assholes who think it's funny and insignificant. (Also I'm aware that the term trigger/triggered also applies to other things like anxiety, OCD, etc; just using it as an example)

Also, I have no idea if this counts as ableism nor do I know how common it is as a problem for others, but I often take forever to type. Like, it takes my brain quite a bit to write out sentences and check spelling and in addition I also often have to look at the keyboard and check what keys my fingers are going to press. It happens quite a bit in the fandom Discord servers I'm in; so often when I'm trying to type something out, and because I'm so slow, I get a lot of comments mocking me for taking so long to type my messages out (they can tell bc of the thing that it does where it'll say _____ is typing...). It's so frustrating!! Bc I have to sit there and be like "If it's longer than a few words then it's going to take my brain ages to figure out what I want to say, please stop making fun of me for this, I legitimately can't process this any faster". And it's lead to quite a few times where I end up very slow and behind in conversations bc everyone else seems to be going at normal speed and I'm sitting there still typing out my response for something that happened in the convo 5-10 minutes prior lmao

Hell, just typing all this out, I'd estimate I've been sitting here for almost 10 minutes RIP bc it takes me so long to be able to form the sentences that I want to write. It's werid bc I don't really have this problem when speaking but writing/typing is another story...

Side note: I've suspected for a few years now that I may have autism or ADHD or something, but the problem with that is I know that I have depression, PTSD, and anxiety so it always becomes a fun guessing game of "Is this behavior the result of something I already know I have or is it a sign of something that hasn't been diagnosed yet?"
ptsd is a mentall illness so it absolutly does count, i tottally feel you on this, i have to force myself to use the word trigered now bc of all the bullshit the word has gotten online and it absolutly STINKS up a storm.

and i have sort of the opisite problem with typing lol, i tend to type rly fast (when i actually can get myself to type anything lmao) and make a lot of typos and spelling mistakes and ive often been mocked for it online, or corrected in what people THINK is being kind to be but actually just infriates me. i have a hard time with spelling and garammer and such even if i do slow down and its been somthing ive delt with and been a huge sore spot for me my whole life, so unless its like, my close freinds corecting me or i ask for corection it just makes me feel like shit, and no one seems to want to respect this and its conection to my learning disabilties (i have recenlty come to terms that i may very well be dyslexic)

and i tottally feel you on that last part too, its been a long long game of figureding shit out, i dont have a lot of diagnoisis either because i simply cannot have the energy, time or money to invet in getting them (on top of being told by a therpasit in the past that i should avoid seeking out certain ones for my own sfatey!) i could go on for hours about the process of getting diagnosis and issues with mental health services tho lmao so i wont get into that.

before covid i was supposed to finally start getting a proper diagnosis for autism, i had a percritopn from my doctor as i felt the last time i was tested was bunk, seeing as i was literally given tests for TOLDERS at 18, i mean what the hell man?

but i said i wont get into that too much so ill stop myself here lmao.

 
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