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Full Version: Why Are Some Therians So Touchy About Being Otherkin?
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Elinox, you keep putting words in our mouth over the same sentence; please don't do that. At no point have we remotely insinuated that either group is in any way superior or more valid. If you're interpreting it that way, then it's insertion of your own assumption that we consider provable to equal more valid, which simply isn't the case.

Kardegray Wrote:What’s the difference? Experiences are the same more or less across the board. Sure there is community separation past and present between the therianthrope as its own entity - but so is there a unicorn community and draconic community standing alone out there.

Notice a certain commonality in these three groups (therian, unicorn, draconic): they are all 'beast' type identities. Unless explicitly stated otherwise, these are all entities typically represented as insapient, prior to their integration into the human brain.
Not all, but the majority of otherkin, identify as entities which are specifically represented as sapient, independent of the human brain.
While both groups may experience shifting and a differential between human culture and the mentality of their kintype or theriotype, there is a decisive DIFFERENCE (which is what you're asking to have demonstrated) between an already sapient being happening to inhabit a different but still sapient body, and an insapient being having its consciousness superimposed on a sapient body.
Purely in terms of comparative experiences, otherkin more often have things like past life memories, dreams of other worlds, societies, cultures, other beings like them... and therians more often have things like prey drives, herd instincts, pack-forming urges. One of the reasons the two groups have so many totally separate fora from each other is that the experiences of the one group ARE so different from each other in this regard, and it's frequently the case that therians in sites inhabited by nontherian otherkin have difficulty finding personal relevance in discussions of experiences with the members of those sites.
Also, while it is by no means a rule that otherkin tend to have humanoid body structures in their kintype, it is certainly vastly more common among otherkin than among therians, so in discussions of phantom limbs or even the entire phantom corpus, there is less to derive which is personally relevant than what can be derived from discussions with fellow therians (for therians) or fellow nontherian otherkin (for otherkin). We know exactly one primate therian, and we've yet to encounter any other bilaterally symmetrical bipedal therians who lacked digitigrade legs in their kintype.

As for the unilateral statement that 'otherkin' is specifically 'identifying as nonhuman, while having a human body,' that does directly exclude all fictives who are human in species.
If otherkin want to be inclusive of fictives, then the label needs a fresh definition, and if the label is to be redefined, then it no longer applies to therians.
If otherkin do not want to be inclusive of fictives, meaning human fictives as well as nonhuman, for reasons relating to the 'validity' of those identities, then we have no real hope for the community, because it is inherently hypocritical.

We still don't see what is so hard to respect about, "Please just don't call us that. It doesn't apply."
If sentiency and culture (but of course define those words sense more and biology is strongly hinting more and more that a number of nonhuman animals have more of a culture and sense of self-awareness then what was once given to them) is so much a dividing line - say bye-bye to all the dolphins, elephants, and other nonhuman animals which tests have shown just how intelligent they are.

Plus saying that basically subjugates all the bestial and not as human-like in self-awareness otherkin out just because some other percentage of it is like that. Also being “humanoid” in form does make something insentient, have a culture, or so on. What about those non-therian otherkin who experience that have “prey drives, herd instincts, pack-forming urges” and no or few “past life memories, dreams of other worlds, societies…?” They don’t count in all this?

(For example our adlet, harpy, and werewolf members are just as bestial and not ‘exactly human-like sentiency’ as various other animals. In our system we don’t see any difference between us from those that are therian and those that are not without how much are nonhuman identity effects our experiences. )

Estelore Wrote:We still don't see what is so hard to respect about, "Please just don't call us that. It doesn't apply."
Because some therians don’t mind and do think it applies. No one can tell what someone can and can not define themselves as, but that works both ways. No one can tell us we are or are not otherkin either (that includes those us that are by everyone else's definition and the definition that has been passed around for years).

- Kardegray
Please do not confuse sentience and sapience. We specifically referred to sapience. All vertebrates can easily be categorized as sentient, but only humans and a couple other primate species have indicated anything passable as sapience, regardless of degree of intelligence in terms of tool use and group communication.

We never said those exceptional cases do not count. We said that the non-exceptional cases are the respective majorities in these groups, the trends and tendencies which are predictable, expected, and apparent. Now you're putting words in our mouth.
'Subjugates'? Wtf.

Kardegray Wrote:Because some therians don’t mind and do think it applies.

Then let THEM self-label, but they certainly oughtn't expect the rest of us to be friendly about having the label applied to us. Therians who don't want that label aren't being 'touchy'. Otherkin who push the label on therians are being invasive and disrespectful. It is not 'touchy' to respond negatively to invasiveness and lack of respect.
This is literally what we've been trying to convey this whole time. Having said this *counts* three times now, in no uncertain terms, and having the rest of the thread repeatedly not get it... we're out. This conversation has nothing left in it for us.
Estelore Wrote:Not all, but the majority of otherkin, identify as entities which are specifically represented as sapient, independent of the human brain.
While both groups may experience shifting and a differential between human culture and the mentality of their kintype or theriotype, there is a decisive DIFFERENCE (which is what you're asking to have demonstrated) between an already sapient being happening to inhabit a different but still sapient body, and an insapient being having its consciousness superimposed on a sapient body.

I think you are associating humanoid kintypes with human-like sapience, which is often not the case. Many humanoid kintypes experience very bestial shifts because many humanoid beings are very bestial in nature. A whole lot of them have a humanoid form and an animalistic form and while the humanoid form may be sapient, the animalistic form rarely is. Conversely, some very animal seeming kintypes are sapient. It's not so easy to blanket earthly animal types as "animal" and everything else as "not animal" the lines are not so clearly defined...and as Kardegray pointed out some earthly animals are pretty dang sapient and even if they're sentient and not sapient, they're still more sentient than a chunk of non-therian otherkin types.

Estelore Wrote:Purely in terms of comparative experiences, otherkin more often have things like past life memories, dreams of other worlds, societies, cultures, other beings like them... and therians more often have things like prey drives, herd instincts, pack-forming urges.

This is just not true. I'd say in my time in the therian community and greater otherkin community I have seen a pretty equal number of individuals who experience things like past life memories and a lot of non-human animals have their own cultures. Plenty of non-therian otherkin have prey drives, herd instincts, etc. because plenty of beings that are non-earthly animals have those attributes.

Estelore Wrote:One of the reasons the two groups have so many totally separate fora from each other is that the experiences of the one group ARE so different from each other in this regard, and it's frequently the case that therians in sites inhabited by nontherian otherkin have difficulty finding personal relevance in discussions of experiences with the members of those sites.

Again I'd say this is incorrect. While it may hold true for you and some individuals, it does not hold true for everyone or even a majority. If it did, you wouldn't see such an overlap between therian centered forums and general otherkin ones. On the werelist alone there are plenty of otherkin who weigh in on discussions pertaining to shifts and so forth because they experience very very similar things.

Estelore Wrote:Also, while it is by no means a rule that otherkin tend to have humanoid body structures in their kintype, it is certainly vastly more common among otherkin than among therians, so in discussions of phantom limbs or even the entire phantom corpus, there is less to derive which is personally relevant than what can be derived from discussions with fellow therians (for therians) or fellow nontherian otherkin (for otherkin). We know exactly one primate therian, and we've yet to encounter any other bilaterally symmetrical bipedal therians who lacked digitigrade legs in their kintype.
There are very few bilaterally symmetrical bipedal animals that are not primates. Anyway, as I said humanoid =/= human and the vast majority of people with humanoid kintypes have alternate forms that are very animal. For example, most angelkin I've met note other forms like dragons, lions, on and on it goes that are definitively animal and not humanoid.

Estelore Wrote:As for the unilateral statement that 'otherkin' is specifically 'identifying as nonhuman, while having a human body,' that does directly exclude all fictives who are human in species.

Honestly, human fictives just like multiples whose headmates are human I wouldn't consider to be otherkin. Human in a human body, even if it's more than one human or a human that is of a "fictional" source I wouldn't exactly consider to be otherkin. That being said, fictives who are human but hail from a non-earth world/universe/whatever I'd consider a different species of human and thus otherkin. That's just me.

Estelore Wrote:If otherkin want to be inclusive of fictives, then the label needs a fresh definition, and if the label is to be redefined, then it no longer applies to therians.

How so? Including fictives doesn't all of a sudden mean that therians and otherkin don't experience the same things and don't fit into the same umbrella, it just extends the umbrella.

Estelore Wrote:If otherkin do not want to be inclusive of fictives, meaning human fictives as well as nonhuman, for reasons relating to the 'validity' of those identities, then we have no real hope for the community, because it is inherently hypocritical.

I don't find it to be hypocritical to define otherkin as having a "non human" identity in a currently human body excluding human fictives. I see no validity issues with identifying as a human fictive, I just don't consider human beings (fictive or otherwise) in human bodies to be otherkin. Otherkin implies *other*.

Estelore Wrote:We still don't see what is so hard to respect about, "Please just don't call us that. It doesn't apply."

What's hard is that you're implying that all therians are not otherkin when a whole lot of them have no problem being identified as such. You not liking to be included in the otherkin umbrella does not somehow denote a majority and your opinions on the differences between therian experiences and non-therian experiences does not mean that you're correct in your assumptions.
Sorry, when I put your reply into a word file it didn’t recognize the word sapience and I’m not very familiar with the word so I thought it was a misspelling.

I wouldn’t consider either my case as “exceptional” nor anyone else’s in our system (at the very least if not including a number of other otherkin I know). We are just as we are. Being and feeling nonhuman is what makes use label ourselves as otherkin. I’m stating I find the idea of anyone saying any group is a certain way based on some percentage (which I strongly disagree that they are some kind of grand majority, I think roughly equal give or take some would much more fair) and ignoring the rest of the group is wrong.

I have never said that all therian have to accept that they are otherkin. (Again I have said this.) And like I said, in the very next sentence mind-you after that sentence you quoted, “No one can tell what someone can and can not define themselves as, but that works both ways. No one can tell us we are or are not otherkin either.”

I don’t consider you to be touchy at all. In fact, I respect you and you sticking by your opinion. I actually started this thread because of therians who I have watched blow up on other therian who do label themselves (not others) as subset of otherkin for being a therianthrope.

I have never said nor considered therians who don’t want to be labeled as otherkin to be touchy or anything (and if I did I apologize on my lack of words now, but know those are not my words and if you even think that for a minute I can tell you you are wrong on that point). But likewise, in return then I expect others to ward others the same if they so choose to not to call themselves otherkin but rather some other word. So more I expect those therians who do label themselves as a subset of otherkin not to get jumped on in return.

- Kardegray
Estelore Wrote:Elinox, you keep putting words in our mouth over the same sentence; please don't do that. At no point have we remotely insinuated that either group is in any way superior or more valid.

If both groups have equal validity, then why not group them together? It makes logical sense to do so unless one group (therians) wants/needs to feel separate than "those fluff bunny otherkin". Whether or not you personally are making the distinction for that reason is irrelevant to me. What is relevant is that you seem to have some confused facts about both communities.

Furthermore, 'insapient' isn't actually a word. <!-- s:? --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_e_confused.gif" alt=":?" title="Confused" /><!-- s:? -->

Estelore Wrote:One of the reasons the two groups have so many totally separate fora from each other is that the experiences of the one group ARE so different from each other in this regard, and it's frequently the case that therians in sites inhabited by nontherian otherkin have difficulty finding personal relevance in discussions of experiences with the members of those sites.

Then why does every otherkin forum I've ever been on have a therian subforum? Also, we have plenty of therian members here and not one has ever mentioned not feeling similarly to those experiences shared here.

Estelore Wrote:We still don't see what is so hard to respect about, "Please just don't call us that. It doesn't apply."

Clearly, you have not read all of mine, Sera's or Chimera's posts as all three of us have mentioned, multiple times I believe, that if you don't like a certain term not to use it. Simple as that.

As I said before, this discussion is about WHY some people make that distinction. You've mentioned some, but we've made relevant counter-arguments and the basic underlying theme is still the same for both groups.

Estelore Wrote:Please do not confuse sentience and sapience. We specifically referred to sapience. All vertebrates can easily be categorized as sentient, but only humans and a couple other primate species have indicated anything passable as sapience, regardless of degree of intelligence in terms of tool use and group communication.

By the way, here are the actual definitions:
Sapience = sa•pi•ent (adjective): having or showing great wisdom or sound judgment.
Sentience = sen•tience (noun): sentient condition or character; capacity for sensation or feeling.

I would argue that many animals exhibit sound judgement regarding hunting techniques, caring for young, etc. Also Orcas, for example, actually share wisdom among their pods so they actually have a group history according to research I've read. And many animals also exhibit sensations and feelings (grieving for a lost one, recognition of self and of patterns, etc.). So both words are relevant to earth-based animals as well as otherkin.

Estelore Wrote:It is not 'touchy' to respond negatively to invasiveness and lack of respect.

As before, please use whatever term you feel best applies to your own experiences. If that's therian or otherkin or, hell, the grand high ma'lokey, good on ya! The point with this thread is why some people feel the need for a distinction.

Seraphyna Wrote:Honestly, human fictives just like multiples whose headmates are human I wouldn't consider to be otherkin. Human in a human body, even if it's more than one human or a human that is of a "fictional" source I wouldn't exactly consider to be otherkin. That being said, fictives who are human but hail from a non-earth world/universe/whatever I'd consider a different species of human and thus otherkin. That's just me.

It's not just you as I agree with this wholeheartedly.
Interestingly, while looking through Orion Sandstorrm’s A Directory of Otherkin Writings and Other Works, Organized by Topic I found him stating this -

“For simplicity‘s sake, in this document I adhere to using certain words in certain ways: I use ―otherkin to include people who identify as legendary creatures, elves, dragons, Faeid, and Faeborn (even though some elves and Fae-born have made the case that they aren‘t otherkin, and Faeborn has a more specific definition that is not synonymous with otherkin).

Later… “Faeborn vs. Otherkin by Melishal. 2002-06-21 - Definitions for these terms, and the differences between them, as the author believes these terms sometimes overlap but are not synonymous. Argues that ―otherkin is too vague, and that ―The definition of Faeborn has been the same for nearly ten years … [it means] A person that is a transmigrated soul of a non-human being from this world and/or other worlds that is of possible mythical/mystical origins, currently living in a human form. This would mean that the word Faeborn was coined in about 1992. <!-- m --><a class="postlink" href="http://promethianweb.com/fae/modules.php?op=modload&name=News&file=article&sid=60&mode=thread&order=0&thold=0">http://promethianweb.com/fae/modules.ph ... =0&thold=0</a><!-- m --> (defunct)”

So really its not only some therianthropes who dislike being called otherkin, yet people overall still call them otherkin. Sure in the end today it seems most fae we have run into have accepted they fit under otherkin but apparently some years back their were some that disagreed as vehemently as therianthropes today. Which makes we wonder the question - if there were, say, a portion of the fae community that still did not consider themselves otherkin would people be dividing them out of the otherkin like they do with therians?

- Kardegray
I'm confused. Maybe it's the number and length of posts, but I got lost somewhere. Does the term "Otherkin" have a negative connotation of which I'm unaware? I always sort of saw it as a blanket term for the sake of simplicity. Not that this is the first argument I've ever seen about what should fall under that blanket, but usually those arguments are from people who DON'T fall under it, and believe they should.

I guess the other thing I don't get is, why would someone who doesn't like the word come to a website called "Otherkin Phenomena?"
"Otherkin who push the label on therians are being invasive and disrespectful. It is not 'touchy' to respond negatively to invasiveness and lack of respect."
- Estelore

This implies it's disrespectful to be called otherkin; that it's a negative thing.

Now, in my views, I define 'Otherkin' as various things that aren't considered 'normal' or that may also be considered 'supernatural' in some ways (or not 'mundane', which I do not consider derogatory but simply a word to easily label those who aren't otherkin without using something stupid like 'mortal'). This doesn't include every single thing, but what I generally do include in it is the traditional definition of otherkin, therians, vampires, multiples, energy manipulators and fictives. I see it as an umbrella label, as some said earlier similar to scientific categorization. Where the family is 'otherkin' and the genus is 'therian', it is under the umbrella, but that doesn't mean it's exactly the same. I really only do it this way for the sake of clarity, because therians and otherkin are basically the same, with a few small differences, and not always any differences. Myself and many of my headmates would be really odd cases and probably not even therians or otherkin by your definitions. I would also like to see where you got these 'facts' from, did you take a survey? Then I would believe you. But what I've heard around other forums, such as this one, therian-wilderness, werelist and then some, there's generally an equal division of opinions on the things mentioned. Also, what do you mean by 'sapience?' If you mean that it's humanoid or has similar intelligence, wolves have a very high intelligence and have a similar society to humanity, which is a big theory as to why there are so many wolf therians; because they are so similar to humans. Well anyway... that's just my views on this.
Seric Phriam Wrote:"Otherkin who push the label on therians are being invasive and disrespectful. It is not 'touchy' to respond negatively to invasiveness and lack of respect."
- Estelore

This implies it's disrespectful to be called otherkin; that it's a negative thing.
Not really. I'm thinking here of a couple of cases which have taken place within the GLBTIQQA(etc.) community. <!-- sSmile --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_e_smile.gif" alt=":)" title="Smile" /><!-- sSmile --> There was actually a controversy some years back as to whether Intersex people should be added on to the GLBT acronym. There was an argument against this from an Intersex representative, who said that not all Intersex people identify as "Q" (not, "Questioning" -- I'm shortening this because I know it's still a pejorative word in some countries and I don't want international censors coming down on me) and that Intersex status should not be associated with "Q" status because even though some Intersex people were "Q", the two statuses were distinct.

This could be taken to say that "Q" status was inherently a bad thing and that Intersex people were being "touchy" about being included as "Q"...or it could be said that being Intersex was an entirely distinct concept from being "Q" and that although the communities overlapped, the "Q" community did not have the right to appropriate the entire Intersex community even as an overarching concept, because that is labeling people as something they do not feel themselves to be, without their consent. Hence, incorporating Intersex people as a group into the group of "Q" without those people's consent, is inherently disrespectful of Intersex people's capacity of self-determination.

Now...just because some Therianthropes do not want to be called Otherkin, does not really have to get into issues of which label is "better," which is ultimately an incredibly destructive argument. (It's very similar, so far as I can see, to issues of some "Genderqueer" people not wanting to be included under the label of "Transgender.") The fact that I can see is that some Therians don't want to be called Otherkin -- and it's an issue of respect for their own right to determine their own identities, to acknowledge that. There is overlap between the communities, with some Therians identifying as Otherkin. However, apparently, "Therian," does not mean, "Otherkin," to all Therians. Just like "Genderqueer" does not mean "Transgender" to all Genderqueer-identifying people, and "Intersex" does not mean "Q" to all intersexed people.

The solution is rather simple, and that is to ask a given Therian how they self-identify and if they're okay with being called "Otherkin", then try to remember and respect that answer -- and for Therians to remind, not attack, others if those others are actually trying to respect their identity, but slip up. It takes some extra work, but it evades the "who's more valid than who" argument.
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