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Otherkin High – Because someone has to say it.
Miniar
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Post: #1
Otherkin High – Because someone has to say it.
I know, this is an article and as such it should, in theory, be in the "Articles" section, but I do not want to put this in the available-to-everyone forum section because I feel genuinely ashamed.
_

The online otherkin community as a whole (not any individual website) is a funny place filled with all kinds of people from all over the world who all share but one common thing, we all believe that we are for one reason or another, in one way or another, not entirely human, and we choose to identify with that part of ourselves to the degree that it becomes a part of who we are. We are all otherkin.

Most otherkin can agree that the online community is a dangerous place in that there is a lot of misinformation out there along with manipulative and even potentially abusive people ready to prey on anyone naive enough to take their word as absolute truth. There is a website that warns against specific individuals within the otakukin community who have been successful in bleeding several people dry of money, energy, time and self-esteem and all that just by suggesting that their victims were special and important to the predators, and all the victims were relatively intelligent people who just wanted to show gratitude to someone who was giving them space and attention and care. Many of us have heard of otherkin taken advantage of in a similar/same manner and there’s nothing that speaks against that the potential is still there. We’ve all seen the ancient and wise and powerful poster that comes in to a forum, speaks in riddles and suggest that only the worthy can see the truth in their words, and in a forum that has a lot of people who what to feel special, it’s easy to see how these people can easily gather around them a following of victims they can easily manipulate, even if those people are otherwise very intelligent.

There are those within the otherkin community that work against this simply by acting like a proverbial “voice of reason”, being quick to ask people to back up their claims of grandeur with something a little better than “because I say so”. These people can often get a bad reputation because they quite easily become so jaded and tired of being outnumbered, not to mention being constantly seen as the bad guy so they can end up not caring whether or not someone’s feelings in the matter get hurt. They tend not to set out to hurt people; they just discuss the topic, though sometimes they can slip up and be excessively blunt.

Like it or not, we all know that there are also those that are naive and/or foolish enough to believe anything and everything anyone says and sometimes have entirely irrational beliefs concerning themselves and others and would often accept things as absolute truth if the aforementioned askers-of-questions wouldn’t point out the flaws. (In other words, the fluffiest ones.)
Then there’s the meat of the community that consists of various kin, therians, multiples, vampires and other folk of varying insight, seriousness, experience, etc, who each bring what they so choose to the table.

Most of the online otherkin community as a whole consist of people who are there for the social aspect of the various forums and chats available to them. They’re there to chat and hang out and have a laugh, and maybe do a little soul searching while they’re at it. This in and of itself isn’t really a problem, as long as serious conversations still come up and are kept serious and don’t get so bogged down in “playfulness” that they become yet another tickle-war thread.

There is something that is significantly worse though than mere tickle wars and the drowning of intelligent debate in utter silliness and nonsense and this is something that is weighing the online community as a whole down at this day and age. This is a pattern of behavior that is reminiscent of TV high school dramas. A handful of otherkin base a friendship on shared interests in music or games or movies and then speak amongst themselves in private messages or anywhere away from the public debate in which they feel they can offer up their theories and identities in a safe, secluded environment, amongst friends who are not likely to challenge ones deductions out of a sometimes misplaced desire to avoid any confrontation and drama for the sake of sustaining a friendship. No one likes to argue with his/her/eir friends. This tends to result in a small clique like group of people who more often than not share kintypes and/or memories in a manner that which would at least seem slightly suspicious.

This wouldn’t be too horrible however if it didn’t come with the standard backtalk and drama associated with the high school television shows. That is to say, often these cliques revolve not just around what memories, kintypes, and theories the members share but also their common dislike, if not hatred, of specific individuals within the online otherkin community as a whole. The cliques engage in gossip, frequently heavy with insulting and derogatory remarks directed at specific individuals who more often than not haven’t done anything worse to any member of the clique than simply disagreeing with them. More often than not the members of the clique won’t actually speak up and disagree with the hated individual in the public forums where the horrible offence of debating the topic at hand without agreeing with the clique was perpetrated. There is no public debate, there is no semblance of open discussion or open confrontation, and everything transpires behind closed doors in private chats, on blogs, in emails and private messages through the websites and forums where both people are members.

Many of us have had a glimpse into the cliques, some of us belong to cliques, and some of us have found ourselves facing the spite and ridicule of cliques we’ve apparently crossed. When a clique has a member of the otherkin community as a whole in their crosshairs they are quick to track that person down and not confront it in the public forums but in personal messages or through simply reporting them for being “confrontational” or anything remotely resembling anything that they can the rules to effectively forbid or at least, frown upon in some way.

No one holds a grudge like a clique, sometimes the newest member can be taught to dislike, if even hate, another person on the word of older members, effectively carrying the torch of the grudge on from person to person to person. Anyone who’s drawn the ire of a small, tightly knit, group of people can expect to never be considered able to do anything good or correct by any member of aforementioned group ever again.

Now I do understand that we are not all friends with everyone on an otherkin forum and I fully understand the need to vent occasionally, everyone needs that, but there are certain differences between venting frustration about a person and slandering them to your friends. There are many otherkin who get on my nerves too and even I will have moments where I go to my partner and simply go “ugh, this person’s hurting my head!” but there’s a big difference between venting one’s personal discomfort with a certain individual and calling them names, even if it’s in private. There’s a certain line one crosses when one leaves the topic, the issue of debate and starts gunning for another human being on the personal level and doing this privately without the person’s knowledge is nowhere near a redeeming aspect.

If anything, the behind-closed-doors bickering and badmouthing of another person is something that we can not be proud of in any shape way or form and I would hope we’d have the integrity to try and keep our own groups from doing this.
Which brings to mind, if all of this transpires behind closed doors, how do I know about it enough to write a whole article about it? Answer is simple. I’ve watched this behavior within some of the groups I belong to as well as seen the same pattern amongst groups I’ve been outside of. I’ve seen personal messages through various, more private, means which I won’t name, from people I won’t identify, were just this sort of behavior has taken place, and I have had people send me private messages and yes, insults, instead of contributing to the thread/debate that spurned that private communication.

I for one am choosing to distance myself from this behavior. I am not going to quietly distance myself from my friends and their issues, I’m going to step up and say “this is unacceptable” and that is half the purpose of this article. I will not condone nor contribute, nor enable this pattern, I hope you won’t either.

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"Those who can't approach discussion with a basic level of intelligence and maturity shouldn't expect to be taken seriously." ~ Qualia Soup
2009-01-31 15:04
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Annwyn
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Post: #2
Re: Otherkin High – Because someone has to say it.
Freetha, that is a really good article. People need to read it and understand it. I distance myself from such behavior because it is, like you said, unacceptable--and extremely shameful.

Thank you for writing this.

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2009-01-31 16:03
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Post: #3
Re: Otherkin High – Because someone has to say it.
I think all of Castle Otherkin would gladly take part in bashing me and after I was banned (for my feelings on humanity and my "humans aka non-kin" article) a few of their members did follow me back to other forums I'm on and send me not so pleasant PMs. That entire forum reminds me of highschool *shudder*.

I do report on the fluffiest fluffballs on my LJ, but I supply their posts (people usually just know who it is from belonging to the same forums, I don't supply their name often. I did with one person because she was just...wow), my commentary and my responses. I don't PM them, etc. I keep what I have to say to them public and blog that.

I think it's pretty pathetic when people can't deal with public discussion.

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"All that is gold does not glitter, not all those who wander are lost."-Tolkien
"All that we see or seem is but a dream within a dream."-Poe
2009-01-31 16:19
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Post: #4
Re: Otherkin High – Because someone has to say it.
I know that those that know me know that I have moments of discussing "X's stupid post on Y" occasionally amongst friends, like I said, everyone needs to vent, but that private conversation usually doesn't contain anything that I don't say in public, only I do go out of my way to hold back on the vulgarity of my language in public because not everyone appreciates it if you cuss like a drunken sailor.

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2009-01-31 22:12
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Post: #5
Re: Otherkin High – Because someone has to say it.
Unfortunately, after certain dealings with certain people IRL, I had been in a "clique" that resulted in certain clique members backing me up a little too vehemently when I didn't need backing up.

And now that that's over and done with, I'm all for staying my own little self-serving solitary self. XD

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2009-02-01 10:52
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Miniar
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Post: #6
Re: Otherkin High – Because someone has to say it.
*Chopped it up to make it more reader friendly*

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"Those who can't approach discussion with a basic level of intelligence and maturity shouldn't expect to be taken seriously." ~ Qualia Soup
2009-02-01 14:15
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Post: #7
Re: Otherkin High – Because someone has to say it.
The only thing I'd like to point out is that trying to enforce rationality and honesty can turn into clique behavior and drama-bullshit just as easily.

Trying to change human behavior is a lot like giving a junker a paint job: there might be a way that it'll actually help significantly and in the long term, but we've yet to find the futuristic nano-paint to do it with.

'Course, I guess that just means I'm cynical in a different direction than you.
2009-02-02 6:26
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Post: #8
Re: Otherkin High – Because someone has to say it.
Good post Freetha. There is truth in what you said, especially so about people taking posts at face value without question. I know when I write articles I want to be questioned, when I present arguments I want to be challenged, albeit always in a respectful and civilized manner. In a way I am still seeking this ability of critique on an Other board. Acceptance is great if one agrees with an article after some thought, but so is challenge, and I think they can both exist. Sometimes the desire to belong or the desire to be can outweigh the reasoning that supports such.
2009-02-02 15:12
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Post: #9
Re: Otherkin High – Because someone has to say it.
Quote:We’ve all seen the ancient and wise and powerful poster that comes in to a forum, speaks in riddles and suggest that only the worthy can see the truth in their words

I would love to see a forum where that takes place, because usually those people are kicked out or ignored where I go <!-- s:? --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_e_confused.gif" alt=":?" title="Confused" /><!-- s:? --> It'd be fun to see someone who's more arrogant than me.

Quote:No one likes to argue with his/her/eir friends.

Well that's no fun <!-- sSad --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_e_sad.gif" alt=":(" title="Sad" /><!-- sSad --> I don't recall a day where I don't argue with my friends on something small and petty, or the occasional political debates <!-- s:lol: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_lol.gif" alt=":lol:" title="Laughing" /><!-- s:lol: -->

Quote:No one holds a grudge like a clique, sometimes the newest member can be taught to dislike, if even hate, another person on the word of older members, effectively carrying the torch of the grudge on from person to person to person. Anyone who’s drawn the ire of a small, tightly knit, group of people can expect to never be considered able to do anything good or correct by any member of aforementioned group ever again.

I already knew this, but it still scares me every time. Life's so short, I can't imagine wasting energy on working to be in some group like that.

Quote:I will not condone nor contribute, nor enable this pattern, I hope you won’t either.

I try not to. Not be too hard since I don't recall being a member of any group here or elsewhere <!-- s8-) --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_cool.gif" alt="8-)" title="Cool" /><!-- s8-) --> This foxy goes solo yo.

Nice post with very true words. I've complained of this sort of thing about real life, not just some internet places. Though I do wonder where you guys have been to deal with bs like that...or I'm just completely oblivious to everything <!-- s:shock: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_eek.gif" alt=":shock:" title="Shocked" /><!-- s:shock: -->
2009-02-03 2:07
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Post: #10
Re: Otherkin High – Because someone has to say it.
Oh I love debating with my friends, but I don't like to "fight" with them. There is a difference (no matter how many otherkin seem to think there's not).

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2009-02-03 9:22
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