First of all, let’s get this straight. You should be able to identify as whatever makes you happy and comfortable. It’s ok to “feel” any way you do. Your experiences are your own. We just have one life, so you should be happy with it. So on a fundamental level, I don’t mind. The whole basic idea of having the “spirit” of an animal isn’t any more ridiculous than believing religion X.
What I don’t like about otherkin is not the idea of believing something that people see as weird. It’s not on the individual level at all. I don’t like the idea of a COMMUNITY that fosters unhealthy delusions.
These aren’t delusions about identity I’m talking about. I have read a number of otherkin websites and a lot of them talk about magic and/or psychic powers. Generally just the supernatural. People having “special intuition” or being “in tune with the energy of the universe.”
There’s a line that’s crossed somewhere when you talk about believing that stuff. It stops being comparable to religion/identity and begins to be a belief in completely fictional ideas.
See the original post for the rest of it, but:
Belief in magic is a religious idea and it’s very offensive to a lot of religions to say it’s fictional, most of them have a concept of magic in one or other way (even the Bible mentions magic, though speaks of it as a bad thing) to say it’s an unhealthy delusion.
Yes, some people who explore or practice magic might have mental health issues that get mixed up in it, and treat everything that happens as responsibility of a demonic force controlling their life, etc. That could become a problem when they don’t see, because of this, that they have problems in their life that need to be fixed in ways other than magic.
But, most people who practice magic do not do this, including ones who are neurodiverse/have mental health issues/differences. I have some mental health issues, but magic does not in any way cause problems with that, it does not stop me from knowing when I am struggling with something and need help, etc. It never has. Most, most, most people who practice magic do not end up seeing it in this negative way where it keeps them from trying to get a medical treatment that they need. And, this could happen with any belief. Not just magic.
I’m sorry about your brother’s experience, but, don’t use that pain to attack every person out there who uses or believes in magic.
Making masks for glasses-wearers: Follow those steps, but instead of goggles, use the plastic superhero-masks as a base. You can find them in the toy aisles of Walmart or Kmart--Captain America's has the least defining characteristics. They fit over your glasses, so if you want to wear your mask in public, it allows for that. :3
For your recipe, you might be able to use carob instead of chocolate. To my knowledge, carob is safe for humans, cats, and dogs, and it tastes almost like chocolate (I think it tastes a bit different). I don't know if birds can eat it but I can look it up if you'd like. ^v^
Oh, interesting! I would like to know if it is bird safe, I hope it is! ^v^
(Edited to add: wearemagneton says that carob is bird safe! Thank you! ^v^ So, you could use this instead in the recipe.)
- plaster paper (you can find this in almost all stores. plaster paper looks like bandages that have been dipped in dry plaster. when you wet the bandages, they become sticky and maliable!)
- a bowl of water
- a helping friend would make this easier
- aluminum foil
- your face
- goggles OR elastic bands/ribbons
1. wash your face thoroughly and make sure that you face remains slightly moist for this entire affair
2. cut the plaster paper into small strips (approximately 8 inches long and by 1-2 inches in size)
3. (optional) put the goggles on. if you pick wear goggles and let the plaster stick to the goggles/around it, you can use the goggles as “eyes” of your costume and the plaster on the edges as the eyelids. goggles will also allow you to already have a strap so that you can just wear you mask later with ease!
4. when dipping the plaster paper into water, make sure that it does not become so wet that the plaster is dripping off. try folding the plaster paper over to make sure you remove any excess plaster! this stuff dries very quickly!
5. have a friend, or do it yourself while looking in the mirror, apply the wet plaster strips to your face. MAKE SURE THAT THEY LAYER! they will become adhesive and stick together in the shape of your face
apply quickly and DO NOT cover your eyes or your eyelids, just make the plaster strips go around your eyes. remember, if you are not using goggles, that you eyes need a lot of space so that they are not constricted!
DO NOT cover your mouth or your chin, but your cheeks are okay! we will take care of your muzzle and beak LATER!
6. let the mask dry while you are still wearing it. it will look something like this when it is complete:
7. once it is dry, sand it down so that the surface you will be working with is smooth. make sure to blow off any excess dust that may catch when you are painting the piece
tada! you now have the base of a mask which fits the shape of your very own face!
to make a beak/cover for the mouth:
- if you have not covered your chin and lips, (or you cut out the piece of plaster that is wear your lips are), you can fashion a beak or a muzzle out of cardboard (MAKE SURE YOU CAN BREATH!)
NOTE: make sure the cardboard piece fits OVER the space of the mouth so that you can attach it properly
- wrap the cardboard with aluminum foil and then gently wet the foil. the foil will protect the cardboard from getting wet as long as you make sure it is sealed shut over the cardboard
- plaster the cardboard just like you did your face. upon finishing this, use the plaster strips to attach it to your mask
VIOLA you now have a base with a muzzle or beak or whatever attachments you fancy! (you can also do this for ears, etc)
It realised, that this also can be used as a base for a transformation ritual: a prayer for transformation of the self. You are making a mask based on your face, and then changing it. This can be powerful magic, if you wish it.
For a transformation ritual, I would suggest to do this:
Into the plaster, put herbs and oils that are symbolic with transformation. You can search for transformation oil on Etsy to find some ideas for ingredients.
While the mask is drying on your face, concentrate on the bond between your mask and your face. Try and fill the mask with the energy of your appearance as a human (if this is dysphoric for you, you don’t have to think of your particular human face exactly: just imagine the things that make “human appearance” in your mind, like the feel of skin, the color of your skin, the color of eyes, etc.) Picture all that “human” energy going into the mask.
Before you peel the mask off your face, make sure you can imagine the energy in the mask strongly. Peel it off and imagine you are removing your face, with possibility underneath! The mask you hold in your hands is now your human appearance, to shape as you wish.
Say to the mask, “You are my mask, the face I wear. By the power of my hands, you will be transformed.”
Then, begin to shape the mask as you wish.
When you are satisfied with the new mask, say, “It is done.” Place the mask on your face and take some deep breaths, close your eyes. Imagine the mask becoming one with your face again. Remember how it felt to wear the plaster, remember when you felt that energy going into the mask. Take it back into your body now, feel your face tingle with the energy. Leave the mask on your face until you feel that this is complete.
One idea for the use of this mask, is to keep it and let your friends and family know that when you die, you wish to wear this mask while being buried or cremated. Wearing the mask then, it will be a powerful prayer for your spirit to take a body of your true form in the next life.
The site in Lampeter, south west Wales, which also includes an altar and fire pit has been damaged beyond repair.
The University of Lampeter is well-known for its theological courses and there is speculation that the attack could be religiously motivated.
The steps giving access to…
These sorts of things just make my heart hurt.
No religion should be under such hate, at all. :\
I don’t understand why people do this kind of thing. I don’t care what path you follow that is not okay.
Ugh. Honestly, if you feel that your path tells you to attack and destroy other people’s sacred places, I think you need to look hard at the real teachings of your path and ask, is that really what you are supposed to be doing to help the world grow in spirit?
(I did say spirit animal because that’s what my great grandmother called it from her cherokee upbringing)
As I understood it, when i was little and I haven’t done further research, my great grandmother said it was that the animals protected you, or the spirit of the animal protected you, because you had a part of their spirit in you, thus it was kind of a protect your own type thing. They saw a familiar spirit in you, saw you as part of them, and thus they protected you with their life, like they would others of their kind. That’s just how i understood it. Maybe it’s wrong, that’s justh ow it came down to me and how I will pass to my children.
Hmm, interesting! I like that thought better I think.
So I guess by that, we would say, nonhumans have spirit animals the same as their kintype?
I, and autisticwolfchild collected a long list of books that we personally recommended, or others personally recommended, which have good nonhuman characters, feelings of nonhuman identity, etc.
Reblog and add to this list if you have a book that you personally recommend, or, someone you know personally recommends, for nonhumans! It must be a book you have read or that person has read and recommended. Not just all books about nonhumans, but, ones that personally moved you or someone you know, as a nonhuman.
Movies and other stories are welcome too!
These two lists are a little different organised, and I think has some duplicated ones. The first list does not have trigger warnings. The second list does have some, it’s not complete.
Williamson. J. (1972). The Moon Children. New York: Berkley Publishing
Winter. L. (2000). Growing Wings. New York: Sandpiper.
Yolen, J. (1993). Children of the wolf. New York: Penguin Group.
Besson, L., Chasman, S. & Li, J. (Producers) & Leterrierr L. (Director). (2005). Unleashed. [motion picture]. France: Europa Corp.
Eastman, A. & Feke, S. (Executive Producers). (1999-2002), Beastmaster. [Television series]. Queensland, Australia: Alliance Atlantis.
Immergut, S., Mayfield, L., & Zaloom, G. (Executive Producers) & Rader, P. (Director). (1995). Escape to Witch Mountain.[Motion Picture]. United States: Buena Vista Television.
Kagen, J. (Director) (1989). Big Man On Campus. [ Motion Picture]. United States: Lions Gate.
Khait, I. & Williams, C. (Producers) & Blaise, A., & Walker, R. (Directors) (2003). Brother Bear. [motion picture]. United States: Walt Disney Feature Animation.
Robinson, J. (Executive Producer), & Cain, C. (Director) (1986). Where the River Runs Black. [motion picture]. United States: MGM.
Sackman, J. (executive producer) & Bradshaw, J. (Director) (1996.) Specimen. [motion picture]. Canada: A-Pix Entertainment.
Tuchman, E. Himelfarb, D., Mackye, J., Bender, C., Spink, J., Heus, R., & Bress, E. (Executive Producers). (2006-2009). Kyle XY. [Television Series] Vancouver: ABC.
Weston J. ( Director). (2002). Wild Child: The history of feral children. [Documentary]. UK: Optomen TV.
Briggs, K. (2002). The Fairies in Tradition and Literature. London: Routledge.
Bruce. E. (2002). Shaman, M.D.: A plastic surgeon’s remarkable journey into the world of shapeshifting. Rochester, Vt.: Destiny Books.
Croker, T. (2008). Irish Fairy Legends. Mineola, NY: Dover Publications.
Cousineau. P. (2001). Once and Future Myths: The power of ancient stories in our lives. York Beach, ME: Conari Press.
Ingerman, S. (1991). Soul Retrieval: Mending the fragmented self. New York: HarperCollins Publishers.
LarsenS. (1996). The Mythic Imagination: The quest for meaning through personal mythology. Rochester, Vt.: Bantam Books.
McCleary. T. (1997). The Stars We Know: Crow Indian astronomy and lifeways. Prospect Heights Il: Waveland Press.
Mehl-Madrona. L. (2005). Coyote Wisdom. Rochester, Vt.: Bear & Company.
Mehl-Madrona. L. (2007). Narrative Medicine: The use of history and story in the healing process. Rochester, Vt.: Bear & Company.
Mehl-Madrona. L. (2010) Healing the Mind Through the Power of Story: The Promise of Narrative Psychiatry. Rochester, Vt.: Bear & Company.
Newton. M. (2002). Savage Girls and Wild Boys: A history of feral children. London: Faber and Faber.
Woodward, K. (1997a) Concepts of Identity and Difference. In K. Woodward (Ed.), (pp 7-61). London: Sage Publications.
Atwater-Rhodes A. (2005). Falcondance New York: Delacorte Press.
Atwater-Rhodes A. (2006). Wolfcry New York: Delacorte Press.
Atwater-Rhodes A. (2007). Wyvernhail. New York: Delacorte Press.
Bell, C. (1994). Ratha’s Challenge: The fourth book of the named. New York: Penguin Group.
Bennet. H. (2005). The BoneMender. Victoria, BC: Orca Book Publishers.
Bennet. H. (2006). The BoneMender’s Choice. Victoria, BC: Orca Book Publishers.
Bennet. H. (2007). The BoneMender’s Oath. Victoria, BC: Orca Book Publishers.
Berman. J. (2005). Bear Daughter. New York: Penguin Group.
Borchardt. A. (1998). The Silver Wolf. Toronto: Ballantine Publishing Group.
Borchardt. A. (1999). Night Of the Wolf. Toronto: Ballantine Publishing Group.
Borchardt. A. (2001). The Wolf King. Toronto: Ballantine Publishing Group.
Burroughs, E. (1966). Tarzan of the Apes. New York: Ballantine Books.
Carter. C. (1988). Star Trek: The Next Generation: The children of hamlin. New York: Pocket Books.
Donohue, K. (2006). The Stolen Child. London: Random House.
Evans. M. (1995). Nell. New York: Berkley Books.
Friedman. C. (1998). This Alien Shore. New York: Daw Books.
Harris. A. (1998). Accidental Creatures. New York: Tor.
Hesse. K. (1996). The Music of Dolphins. New York: Scholastic.
Jordan. S. (1994). Wolf Woman. New York: Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group.
Jackson. P. (1988). Born Into Light, New York: Scholastic.
Kipling, R. (1987). The Jungle Book. London: Penguin Group.
Kipling, R. (1994). The Second Jungle Book. London: Penguin Group.
Lindskold. J. (2001). Through Wolf’s Eyes, New York: Tor
Lindskold. J. (2002). Wolf’s Head, Wolf’s Heart, New York: Tor
Lindskold. J. (2003). The Dragon of Despair. New York: Tor
Lindskold. J. (2004). Wolf Captured, New York: Tor
Lindskold. J. (2006). Wolf Hunting, New York: Tor
Lindskold. J. (2007). Wolf’s Blood New York: Tor
Logston. A. (1995). Wild Blood. New York: Berkley Publishing Group.
Luard. N. (1990). Kala. London: Arrow Books
McGraw. E. (1998). The Moorchild. New York: Aladdin Paperbacks
McGuire. S. (2009). Rosemary and Rue. New York: Daw Books.
McGuire. S. (2010). A Local Habitation. New York: Daw Books.
McGuire. S. (2010). An Artificial Night. New York: Daw Books.
McGuire. S. (2011). Late Eclipses. New York: Daw Books.
McGuire. S. (2011). One Salt Sea. New York: Daw Books.
Murphy. P. (1996). Nadya. New York: Tor.
Murphy. P. (2000). Wild Angel. New York: Tor.
Reichert M. and Wingert. J. (1998). Spirit Fox. New York: Daw Books.
Rusch. K. (1997). Alien Influences. New York: Bantam Books
Roberts. W. (1980). The Girl With Silver Eyes. New York: Scholastic.
Sherman, D. (2006). Changeling. New York: Penguin Group.
Shinn. S. (2006). The Dream Maker’s Magic. New York: Penguin Group.
Spencer. W. (2001). Alien Taste. New York: Roc.
Spencer. W. (2002). Tainted Trail. New York: Roc
Spencer. W. (2003). Bitter Waters. New York: Roc
Spencer. W. (2004). Dog Warrior. New York: Roc.
St. Clair. M. (1967). The Dolphins of Altair. New York: Dell Publishing
Tolan. S. (1996). Welcome to the Ark. New York: Harper Collins Publishers.
TolanS. (2004). Flight of the Raven. New York: Harper Collins Publishers.
Pierce. M. (1985). The Woman Who Loved Reindeer. New York: Tor
Springer, N. (2001). Becoming. In B. Coville(Ed.), Half-Human (pp.1–17). New York: Scholastic.
Simner. J. (2001). Water’s Edge. In B. Coville. (Ed.), Half-Human (pp.47–63). New York: Scholastic.
Mandell. J. (2001). Princess Dragonblood. In B. Coville. (Ed.), Half-Human (pp.139–163). New York: Scholastic.
Wagoner. T. (2001). Soaring. In B. Coville. (Ed.), Half-Human (pp.165–181). New York: Scholastic.
The Last Unicorn, Peter S. Beagle (unicorn) Wings, Julie Gonzalez (dragon, winged person) Night Flying, Rita Murphy (bird person, winged person) Bird, Rita Murphy (no particular species, longing to fly) Selkie Girl, Laurie Brooks (selkie) Half-Human, Bruce Coville (varied species, the best story is about a selkie) [some stories are negative about nonhumans] Birdwing, Rafe Martin (swan) Jonathan Livingston Seagull, Richard Bach (seagull) Murkmere, Patricia Elliot (swan) Autobiography of Red, Anne Carson (monster, winged person) Gwinna, Barbara Helen Berger (winged person) [binding and cutting off wings] Wild Blood, Anne Logston (half-elven) Growing Wings, Laurel Winter (winged person) [binding and cutting off wings] Shadoweyes, Ross Campbell (monster) Wolf’s Head, Wolf’s Heart, Jane Lindskold (wolf) Spirit Fox, Mickey Zucker Reichert and Jennifer Wingert (fox) Owl in Love, Patrice Kindl (owl) The Woman Who Loved Reindeer, (reindeer) Bear Daughter, Judith Berman (varied) The Girl Who Loved Wild Horses, Paul Goble (horse) Blood and Chocolate, Annette Curtis Clause (wolf) Dragonsbane, Barbara Hambly (dragon) Wild Magic, Tamora Pierce (no particular species) The Swan Maiden, Heather Tomlinson (swan) Iron and Gold, Hilda Vaughan (fairy, character is only part of the story) [possible triggers for trying to fit a society where you don’t fit] The King of Elfland’s Daughter, Lord Dunsany (fairy, character is only part of the story) Music of the Dolphins, Karen Hesse (feral child) [psych system stuff and child neglect] Someplace to be Flying, Charles de Lint (bird, fox) The Other Wind, Ursula K. LeGuin (dragon) Flesh and Spirit and Breath and Bone, Carol Berg (fae, elementals, land-spirits) Eva, Peter Dickinson (chimpanzee) Raptor Red, Robert T. Bakker (dinosaur; good example of a book written from the perspective of an animal without anthropomorphizing and without portraying animals as being less) [hunting-related violence, death of loved ones] Child of the Owl, Laurence Yep (owl) [race, family conflict] Dragonfly in Tales from Earthsea, Ursula K. Le Guin (dragon) [sexism] Seal Child, Sylvia Peck (seal/selkie) Switchers, Kate Thompson (shapeshifters, all species) Princess Mononoke (movie) (wolf) Black Swan (movie) (swan) Skin Deep (webcomic) (sphinx, gryphon, nixie, stag, satyr) http://www.skindeepcomic.com/
What are your thoughts on Spirit Animals/ Animal Guardians? (sorry if you have gotten this one before)
Well, I don’t like to use the term Spirit Animal because it seems appropriative of Native Americans, so, I guess Guardian Animal is a good word…
What I understand about it, seems to be like, a particular animal watches over and protects a person or a family line. For example, someone’s family might be protected by Bear or someone might personally be watched by Duck.
I don’t really know how I personally feel about it, I think I don’t understand it enough to know. I personally think that, saying humans are guided by other types of animals as archetypes, can feel (the way some people say it) a little like saying, humans are something separate from other animals, and all other animals exist to be a symbol to humans.
I think that there exists archetype energy of all creatures (including humans) and we can be guided by the energy of different archetypes. Particularly, for example if we live in an area with a lot of pine trees, we might feel, the energy of Pine Tree is heavy in the air and it affects the shape of the land. I think it is human-centric to say it in the way that sometimes it is done: humans are the Thinking Species and all others are symbols that can reflect or teach human nature. Humans are an animal species too.
I do personally have some species that seem to appear over and over in my life with messages or symbols. I think that the archetype energy of some species might “adopt” a person of another species to teach them something or guide them. But, I definitely don’t think it’s limited to humans getting that guiding. I think the universe is full of forces that all guide each other, if we listen to them.
hi! i don't fully understand otherkin so i wanted to ask this to someone who does. when you identify as a different human does it count as otherkin? ok i'll give an example; say i identified as an african woman or an australian man, but i was born and raised in america. what do you think of that? i'm sorry if this is a bad question.
I don’t think that counts as otherkin, no, because, otherkin is identity of being not human, particularly.
I don’t know exactly about what you were saying, I think the question would be, what do you mean when you say you identify this way? Are you someone who is of those nationality in their parents, but is born in America because your parents moved here? (Like me, I still identify as Japanese though I’m born and raised in America.) Are you someone in a multiple system who has come in from the outside? If you would tell me off anon, more of what you were feeling, I might have better idea.
The human race naturally judge people from first impressions of how people look, talk and act, we also thrive off interaction and social communication. Imagine what it would be like if you couldn’t understand or relate to people as well as others. What if you couldn’t communicate with people the way others around you could? This is what living with Autism is like
Most of the human race are encouraged by society to judge people from first impressions of how people look, talk and act, they also thrive off interaction and social communication. Imagine what it would be like if you didn’t thrive off those things, and you saw past the shallowness that it is to “judge on first impressions”, and society treated you as broken just because you were different. Imagine what it would be like if very few people took time to try and relate to you or understand you because they saw your different way of communicating as something to fix, not something that was allowed. What if other people never tried to communicate with you, to express in ways that you could understand, but just continued to talk in their own language that is almost a code, never saying things clearly, always hiding things behind layers of half-truth that they call “having social skills”?
This is what living with autism is like.
Autism is a developmental disorder that affects a person for their whole life, despite the fact it is seen as a ‘childhood disorder.’ People with autism show significant language, social and behavioural problems and can have below average intelligence, or above average intelligence depending on the type of autism they are diagnosed with.
Autism is a neurodiversity that can not be changed, just like being neurotypical can not be changed, despite the fact that it is seen as a “childhood disorder”. People with autism often feel uncomfortable with speech and struggle with a world that expects them to behave in a particular social way that they brains are not designed for.
Children with Autism can find it particularly hard to make friends, even if they want to they just don’t know how to, so a lot of the time will end up playing alongside people or alone.
Children with autism sometimes prefer to avoid making friends because they would rather be alone than be judged unfairly for their difference, or, sometimes they enjoy being alone and find this comfortable. The ones who want to make friends, often suffer because most allistic people’s idea of “friendship” is based on the same kind of social games that autistic people hate to play. They wish to have an honest friendship, but allistic people see this as being “too rude”.
I don’t mean to be offensive, I just hope to correct a few of these things because they are focused very much on the allistic perspective. “This is what it is like to live with autism” is a story that belongs to us to tell. Only we know how it is. It might seem “sad” or “brave” for the allistic person who is outside us, for us, it is just normal life.
Otherkin friends, let’s remember what we can do when we find a troll:
you can block them, and they wont ever show up again. In case they’re a constant threat, just block them and you wont see them spamming up the otherkin tag.
just so we’re all aware. ;) Sad that we have to do this, however
Warn other people to block them.
Report them for harassment too, if they are doing anything like:
sending a death threat or saying “I hope you die”
trying to encourage you to suicide or self-harm
posting triggering images at you
insulting you with slurs
spamming your inbox when you told them to stop
encouraging other people to attack you or go to your journal to make fun of you
And continue to remind everyone on your Tumblr, that bullying, shaming and harassment are not okay, they are low ways to attack and they do not mean that person is right. In fact, it means they don’t have a better argument.
Abramović:I had very strong feelings toward everybody and I could see their auras very easily. Anyone can see an aura after a little while but I was seeing them right away, like lights. When you do nothing then everything happens. Another world appears in front of you. But of course if you talk too much about this you become "spooky" or "new age." Spirituality in art is sometimes seen badly. If you put yourself in this state you will see it is a very normal thing.
This is long, but do read it if you have time: I am reblogging because it says some things I think need to be said. Bold is mine.
Particularly, about people who criticise “Tumblr social justice”, as if they believe that 1, there is one thing called “Tumblr social justice” and it all acts in the same way, and 2, this is limited to Tumblr. (It’s not, I have definitely seen it in other places before I came to Tumblr.)
WARNINGS: slurs, speciesism, ableism, otherkin/nonhuman erasure, abuse perpetrated and experienced, sexual harassment, family abuse, body dysmorphia and dysphoria, gender dysphoria, mention of surgeries, suicide, suicide injunctions, psychiatric institutions, science and logic dogma, sexual supremacy, racism, psychosis, OCD, intrusive thoughts/urges, intersections of potential multiplicity and psychosis, bullying, mention of medications, educationism, oppressive acceptance limits, sex addiction, healthism, binarism, linearism, progressivism
I am feeling very disillusioned and annoyed at the various croppings-up of posts that go along the lines of “Tumblr SJA is so terrible and rigid and I can’t say anything I want.”
It assumes an awful lot of what exactly this thing is, “Tumblr SJA,” as if it’s any one thing, or as though “SJA” in general is any one thing. If you’re going to talk about complexity and nuance, perhaps recognize that marginalized communities are rife with complexity and nuance?
Related to the idea that it’s okay to have different views in theory but when it comes to praxis it gets more complicated— (which was a point raised in Devyn’s post here, which I had originally planned to reblog with all this commentary but eventually I decided that this post was about so many things that it wouldn’t do well as a reblog)— I think that theory and praxis are so, so interrelated that it is pretty much impossible to separate them as a general rule, though for some people or beings they may be separable (also in specific contexts). I’ve gotten so tired of trying to have conversations with people who insist that because what they’re talking about is ~theoretical~ it is okay to say certain things. And I don’t think the distinction between theory and praxis is clearly discernible, so this argument gets upheld a lot (and I didn’t know what praxis was, prior to reading that post, though I’d seen the word around a lot, but anyway).
The other thing is that most of the people I see talking about this generalized, broad idea of “Tumblr SJA” (what does that even mean?) are usually complaining because they’re getting called out on their privileges, or being otherwise privilege denying … or, in any event, trying to tell us that we’re all saying the same things (because I’m constantly accused of being part of this Tumblr SJA thing while also simultaneously being on the margins of it and completely excluded from it a lot of the time). And, like, these people who keep complaining, a lot of them seem to support the new iteration of places like d**f**positive and that other site, unpopularsjopinions or whatever, and possiblyad***f***, and so on… On sites like these, often (but not always) there are certain activists or ex-activists or disillusioned folk or whoever (among whom are many (but not all) who are frankly in a lot of ways very privileged and who say and do a lot of really abusive things) who decide that they’re marginalized in social justice discourse or communities and that they should be able to write and say and continue to do a lot of really abusive and oppressive things. Of course they’re not wrong all the time… but I think it’s really insulting for them (and a lot of these people who write these kinds of posts) to generalize what social justice means, and to use that generalization as an excuse to bully and abuse people over and over and over.
And maybe this sounds like me saying that they are all the same, saying all the same things, etc. (Also, I’m not addressing this to anyone in particular here, though I am thinking of a lot of people and more specifically certain actions of various people, including anonymous bullies). And I don’t know. I think things are far more complicated than there being any sort of “two sides” to this. And maybe that’s why it hurts so much. Like. I’m really bitter and hurt over the fact that people who started out saying they really liked me or whatever because I was posting things they agreed with… ended up harassing, bullying and abusing me because of certain identities and views I have that they don’t think deserve to exist or be respected. And these same people are often the ones who participate in these discussions of “Oh I can’t say anything because Tumblr SJA hates me” or whatever.
There’s a lot that we’re all doing wrong. There’s a lot that’s complicated. But I find it really ironic that a bunch of people who are really abusive and privileged in lots of ways get to talk about how they’re the ones who are really marginalized in Tumblr SJA discourse and don’t get to say or do anything. When I go to those sites— d***f***positive (the earlier version that no longer exists, too) and unpopularsjopinions, and various contributors’ individual tumblrs, and honestly lots of places on the internet with people writing similar sorts of things!, I’m regularly faced with racism, otherkin and nonhuman erasure, speciesism, sexual supremacy, cissexism, many kinds of oppression, whatnot.. in the name of “oh SJA is restricting us”. And yeah, the very occasional post that isn’t super oppressive. But what does that really mean? What does it mean when activists or ex-activists pick and choose which “issues” they care about, and which “issues” they’re going to mock and deride and oppress because they have the privilege to do so? Yeah, some of these same people point out this oppressive tendency… while also doing the same thing. These sites vary in degrees of harm, erasure, and whatnot— and there are no objective standards, obviously— but there is a common thread of “we should be allowed to disagree.” And this attitude is predicated on the idea that oppression and social justice is a matter of agreement and disagreement. But it isn’t. If you’re really going to talk about the complexity of kyriarchal systems, then it’s important to recognize how the structure of academic, ~logical~ disagreement/agreement is oppressive in itself.
I’m going to specifically talk about some of the kinds of hate I’ve experienced especially on tumblr because I’m not sure whether others want me talking about what they’ve experienced. So. This is by no means a complete list. But:
I’m tired of being told that I started out writing about being deaf and half-Indian but then I needed to prove I was “oppressed in every way” so I became trans*/not-really-cis/something and a cat and complicated-sexual and various other things. It’s kind of ironic because I had to prove that I was deaf, too, for that matter, or that being South Asian is a marginalized identity that I have. As for the gender and a(sex)uality stuff, I don’t even know how to talk about that yet, but the point is that I should not have to prove these things. I should not have to tell you that I have been cat-kin since I was little and that I also identify as/with other beings and species and that I never knew it was possible that that could be real, so I had to hide it— time should not matter with these things, but I am forced to constantly prove it to you. What do you want me to say? I mean really. Do I have to talk in great detail about my feelings of body dysmorphia and dysphoria and how the surgical options (and reversibilities) I would like to pursue in order to feel better about myself are never going to be possible (at least not in my lifetime), most likely, and never going to be reversible? Or how I struggle with the intersections of experienced and perpetuated abuse and trauma, sex addiction, libido affected by medications, messy sexual interactions, explorations of kink, internalized shame, horizontal projections of shame and repression, complex rollercoasters of sexual desire as well as asexual desire? Or how I feel like at the base of me there’s a part of me that’s red, red, red— and they’re all these different people and at least one of them is extremely dangerous when psychotic? Or how the very fact that I’m borderline means that my identities are always going to be chaotic, changing, and unstable— and how I do not want that to be ~fixed~ not that it can be anyway.
I’m tired of being called “bat*** insane.” I am insane, but that does not mean you get to use it derogatorily. I’m tired of being asked if whether since I’m a ‘cat,’ can I be kept as a pet. I’m tired of being sexually harassed and asked if when and if my partners and I have sex, whether it’s bestiality. I’m tired of being told to go kill myself (never mind the numerous times I’ve tried). I’m tired of this single definition of manipulation as evil that is taken for granted. I’m tired of the ableist notion of laziness being thrown about everywhere. I’m tired of the isolation and alienation of this white, western world I live in. I’m tired of how I can never explain just how intrusive, dangerous, psychotic and difficult my OCD is (no, not just about cleaning…) I’m tired of having to say, every single time, that psychosis isn’t all good or all bad. I’m tired of being derided because I don’t just take scientific dogma as fact or truth or whatever, with no attention to just how much that tied into the family abuse I’ve experienced. I’m tired of the assumption that I’m in college (I’m not). I’m tired of the assumption that since I was banned from campus, I must have done something truly terrible. I’m tired of the idea that “some people” do belong, locked up, against their consent, in psychiatric wards. I’m tired of the assumption that psychiatric wards are better now than they were before. I’m tired of people posting their songs and videos all over the place without subtitles or transcripts. I’m tired of people saying self-diagnosis isn’t valid. I’m tired of people erasing and mocking those of us who are fae, who shift, who change, who morph. Using “inhumane” as an insult. I’m tired of logic being championed as some great measure of worth, of dignity, of argument. I’m tired of binarism and gender being asserted as necessarily a linear progression, otherwise invalid- because it IS valid to transition back and forth and back again, or over and under and away and afar and close. I am tired of health being assumed to always be a good necessary thing, uncomplicatedly so. I am not an argument. I’m tired of who I am, and who I used to be, too….
I guess maybe all of this, this post, these strands of thoughts, tied together like this, doesn’t … compute, or whatever. But it does to me. It makes sense to me because it’s always this sense of: “I will accept you for this, this and this, but not that.” I guess I’m too much of that. And too much of changing that. There are these levels, I suppose, of what you consider acceptable. Perhaps what’s closer to your understandings and experiences. And beyond that… it doesn’t matter, we deserve to be degraded and punished for our identities that make no sense to you. I want this to change. I want us to work on realizing that it is not acceptable to negate someone else’s experiences. It is not even acceptable to say “I don’t understand, but I support you anyway.” Because what does that even mean? Would you ever want to understand, if you could? Why are you so definitely stating that you don’t? We understand things differently, and that’s valid. But please don’t rule us out of all potential understanding like that. (Again, Devyn wrote a great post about this).
I wish those of you who thought I was cool to begin with but then thought it was totally awesome to hate me and mock me and abuse me because I’m different from you and marginalized in specific ways you’re privileged in— I wish you’d never told me you cared or that you supported me. And I am naming it as abuse because that is what it is.
For example. Something that’s happened. You can’t just write a post months later talking about how you were going through a whole bunch of really painful stuff (which is valid) and you didn’t really mean to hurt me and you shouldn’t have done certain things (it’s not okay that you did and do these things to me, no)…. and then continue to do those things anyway. I can’t even tell my friends just how much I’m triggered by your actions or the fact that I have to deal with you in this supposedly broad conglomerate of Tumblr SJA that I may or may not be a part of— when you are everywhere, and I am nowhere.
I’m not a social justice activist, here on tumblr or anywhere else. That’s not how I choose to identify. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with this label or whatever, but I feel too alienated from these movements. I don’t belong anywhere, and perhaps part of surviving for me is learning that and trying to accept it somehow.
Would it be possible for you to put all your writings and stories on a directory post or site somehow? You have some lovely writings and its hard going into the archives of your tumblr to find them. And some, like the wolf and girl story, I would to re-read.
Well, I might have two things that can help you…
* I actually am right now going through my Tumblr archive, collecting a lot of nonfiction posts (by me and others) that I really want people to see, a “best of” maybe you can say… about otherkin, autism, social justice, etc. So, when that is done I will make a post.
Alright, I originally set up this Tumblr as a catch-all for my own avianthropy-related stuff, but then I realized that I am hardly online long enough to keep even my private blog updated on a near regular basis. Plus, I think this would serve better as a community space for other avians to contribute their works.
I activated both the Ask function as well as the Submit, for people to submit their own posts (approving submissions for me is generally not a problem, it is mostly just finding the time and extra energy to collect my thoughts and write these days). Anyone can submit, and my rules for submitting aren’t really that difficult.
Questions, comments or suggestions can be directed to the ‘ask’, or you can contact me at my Tumblr or at labmonkey01(at)gmail(dot)com.
New Tumblr for avians! <3333
I am super busy with so many ‘kin projects also these days (The Forest Voice, editing Wikipedia, need to edit and cite my introduction to nonhumans for the SJ community, etc.), so, I don’t know if I will be able to submit anything soon… but I really want to, waaa~
Most ingredients of bird seed are safe for human bodies and tasty too, in fact, a lot of people eat them as a snack. For example, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, and millet are eaten by both humans/human bodies and physical birds. If you have a bulk foods store in your area you can probably buy the last two, and, sunflower seeds are for sale in most grocery store.
I like personally to mix together different seeds, and small pieces of dried fruit, this creates something similar to a “parrot mix” that you can buy in stores and also tastes really good! (It’s like trail mix)
I don’t recommend to eat cheap pet store bird seed, not because the ingredients are bad, but because a lot of “waste” fluff and scraps goes in it, because they think “it doesn’t bother the bird’s body, so we don’t have to clean it very much”. So it doesn’t taste good and probably is not healthy for human body.
But, if you buy a good quality bird seed mix (these look really good!), it’s probably fine. Just get the ones that say “premium”. The “waste-free” mix (no shells) looks particularly good because you don’t have to crack the shell with your teeth, unless you don’t mind that. (I eat sunflower seeds with the shell on, haha.)
1. If someone with a mental illness does something violent, the mental illness is assumed to be the cause of the violence.
2. If someone without mental illness does something violent, they are assumed to have a mental illness. [Perceived] Sanity is conditional, in this sense.
3. The exception to the rule is when the perpetrator does not have a mental illness and they belong to another marginalized group that is stereotyped as being violent, such as being Black or Muslim. However, this often still overlaps with ableism.
4. Privileged aspects of someone’s identity are never blamed for violence or other wrongdoing. If a person who is white, Christian, and male engages in violence, they must be “crazy”, because whiteness, Christianity, and maleness are not considered stereotypically violent by the dominant culture, but mental illness is.*
Example: Most people who engage in violence are men, but men are not stereotyped to be dangerous simply because they are male.** Themen that are violent are isolated, and viewed as deviations from the norm—this would happen even if 90% of men engaged in violence, because of male privilege. This is not a defense of stereotyping; it is evidence of how privilege prevents stereotyping.
5. If someone violent is mentally ill, all other potential motivations for their violence fly out the window. The scapegoating of mental illness shifts the blame and focus away from other reasons why someone might be violent or engage in “criminal” or “bad” activities. Example: Violence toward marginalized groups is encouraged and is used as a weapon to keep them oppressed. By automatically blaming mental illness, even if it is partially to blame, we fail to criticize (and hold accountable) the power structures that may have contributed to the violence. (It’s also common for a victim of violence to be blamed along with assumed mental illness on the part of the aggressor.)
6. When a person with mental illness engages in violence or other “criminal” activity, it should be used as an example of how the mental health system has failed them, not as an example of how “all schizophrenics/crazy people are violent” or other damaging, ableist rhetoric. This is especially the case in a country such as the United States.
7. People with mental illnesses are sometimes quite vulnerable (more so than the rest of the population) to being indoctrinated by political extremism. See: Jared Lee Loughner, who is schizophrenic. The violence that was encouraged by the American right-wing was widely dismissed as not being potentially responsible for Gabrielle Gifffords’ shooting, because Loughner is mentally ill. Yet, it is absolutely possible for someone with a mental illness to also have political motivations—or to be more likely to take such rhetoric too literally. People with mental illness are still people and having a mental illness does not mean they are unable to think, have opinions, motivations, etc.
8. When people refer to violent or otherwise deviant people as “crazy”, they are not saying “crazy” to mean “strange” or “unusual” or “extraordinary”. They mean crazy, as in “mentally deranged” or “insane”, which is the actual definition of the word. It is impossible to separate the word from its definition, even if you think you are using it in a different sense, ie.to mean “their behavior deviates from the norm” because that means the same thing. It is associating negative characteristics with mental illness. It is ableist and it is a slur, especially if the person you’re describing actually has psychiatric disabilities that are considered forms of “insanity”, such as bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and certain personality disorders. This slur, and the attitudes behind it, have been used (historically and currently) to discredit, dehumanize and dismiss people with mental illnesses. They have also been used to justify institutionalization, ableist violence, and the general oppression of the mentally ill.
*There is no evidence to back up the assertion that mentally ill people are more prone to violence, and in fact, there is evidence proving that this is nothing but a strongly enforced ableist stereotype. The percentage of mentally ill people who do violent things is the same as the percentage of non-mentally ill people who do violent things. People often argue this point with “well a person MUST be crazy to do that [violent act]!” Again, this is not based in fact but in ableist lines of thinking and the construction of mental illness as being the reason for any non-normative or “unreasonable” behaviors. Violent behavior (self injury excluded) is not a given for any mental illness, and just because it can be a symptom of mental illness is not a valid reason for the automatic assumption that mental illness is to blame for any violent act. Also, people with psychiatric conditions are actually more likely to be victimized by violence.
**We do live in a culture that encourages male aggression, and masculinity is generally considered to be more inherently violent than femininity. However, excusing oppressive male violence against marginalized people on the basis of it being a part of masculinity is not the same as stereotyping. If one looks at the way Black maleness in particular is constructed as being violent (see #3) and contrasts that against white maleness and maleness as a general category, it’s much easier to see how maleness by itself is not stereotyped as violent.
Calling violent people “psychos” “sociopaths” “crazy” “insane” or any variation thereof is always ableist. It is harmful, it is factually inaccurate and based on deeply embedded ableist stereotyping and social beliefs about the mentally ill.
I am starting to think I need to go through my Tumblr and make a list of Posts I Think People Need To Read Always, and, put it some place. This will be one of them.
[Artwork belongs to Scrabble and their advertisement company]
Anyone reading this has probably felt that stinging sensation of dysphoria for being caught in the wrong body. The good news is, is while there may not yet be a permanent way to change our bodies completely to our liking, there are a few ways we can learn to cope with these feelings and better understand our given and wanted bodies.
All creatures great and small, though vastly different in outward appearance, have the gift of being fashioned by a pattern. That is right, a tiny ant has the same pattern for its body as a whale. This may be hard to see, but take a look at this chart.
Take a look at the colored bones, and see how they match up to one another, though they do have significant differences. Think of what your structure is like now, and how you would like your structure to be. Study the structure of your animal and try to place the pieces together- remember, even whales have pelvises, though they are not used, but this can help us visualize how our bodies connect to our true species.
Once you have this idea clear in your mind, remember that creatures were gifted with another fine tool: their auras. Using your aura, you can take control of what you feel, and even if it is only temporary, use this concept to help relieve dysphoria and take control of phantom limbs. This is something everyone can do, so do not think you are not capable of this kind of feat. This is merely a tool to help ease pain and help us connect to ourselves, like a healthy diet and exercise.
Starting out, you may want to close your eyes. Imagine at first, what parts of your body corrolate to your species and how your body may be stretched or morphed to fit yourself. Then focus on your body, one limb at a time. Fuse or stretch your fingertips and toes- move your shoulder-blades to where they belong- stretch your tailbone and give it a wag- allow your legs to shrink and your back to grow, your pelvis becoming obsolete and your swimming strengths becoming stronger. Anything you feel is right, one part at a time focus your energy on it. You may feel it heating up, and it will be easier to bend or mend that part. Once your skeleton is in place, focus on your skin and allow your true texture to set place. Those who are good at visualization at this point may have no trouble seeing themselves in their native habitat. Practice controlling this exercise, and in no time you may find yourself visualizing on the fly- making yourself more comfortable on a day to day basis while completely conscious.
I hope this exercise may help some of you out there! Remember it is not always successful the first time around, and sometimes exercises are not meant for everyone. If it causes you more distress while practicing than comfort, you may want to ease off and try a different approach.
Oh, this is lovely.
I would love to see this with even more detail, maybe with description of how to get into a meditation space for this, etc. It’s really lovely and amazing resource for our community!