Rowyn (rowyn) wrote,

On Furry cliches

RHJunior did an entry on the common clichés of furry fiction. I wasn’t going to do this, but then I decided, what the heck, it’s better than working. I charted out whether or not Sinai’s setting catered to or went against the various stereotypes given.

RH’s entry is reproduced in italics for easy reference.

1)All furry creatures are noble; all humans are cruel, unenlightened oppressors.
Nope. This was a pet peeve of GW’s, I know, so Sinai always treated humans as “just one more species.” For years any kind of oppressor/oppressed storylines were pretty much verboten. For the same reason, males and females have typically received virtually identical treatment within any given culture.

2)Furries are the product of genetic experimentation
a)created to produce a slave race for the cruel, unenlightened hyoomans.
b)created in a government experiment (by cruel, unenlightened hyoomans) to produce an expendable "super soldier."
c)created by a deranged (cruel, unenlightened hyooman) scientist/wizard as sex slaves.

No. I’m not exactly sure who or what created the myriad of Sinai races, but I’m pretty confident it wasn’t for any of the above purposes.

3)Regardless of the sexual behavior of their source species, all furries are perpetually horny and outrageously promiscuous. And NO furry species is monogamous; that's an icky hyooman hangup.

4)Regardless of source species, all furry females have breasts--- even birds, reptiles and insects. Said breasts will tend to be larger than their own heads, and defy all laws of motion and gravity.

5)Despite having exposed primary and secondary sexual characteristics, no furry anywhere, ever, has developed a nudity taboo. That's an icky hyooman hangup.
Nope. I’m not sure if there’s a single race or culture on Sinai that doesn’t have a nudity taboo, which is probably unusual in and of itself.

6)All furries say "yiff," even though no damned species on the planet makes that sound, anywhere, ever.

7)Furry society is either a perfect reflection of 2002 human society, or is some idealized version of either a)the medieval period or b) the stone age.

8)Societies mentioned in #7 will have totally anachronistic technology, medicines, slang, and philosophical worldviews.
Yes. I’m going to go ahead and agree with this even though Sinai has strange, hand-wavey physical laws and a bizarre historical background featuring all kinds of high-tech influences, which really precludes anything from being labeled “out of place”. However, just setting up Sinai in a fashion that would justify anachronisms doesn’t excuse it from catering to type. Postvixen pointed out this is common to all fanfic, and, in fact, it’s common to almost all FICTION, period. Few people do good research, and even if you do, twenty years late someone will produce evidence to the contrary anyway.

Given the chance, I would probably have fewer anachronisms, though I doubt I would be able to purge them wholly, especially to the satisfaction of an exacting critic.

8a)And anachronistically long lifespans.
Yes. And I’m not ashamed of that, either.

9)All furries are "one with nature."

10)All furry names are either cute in-jokes (i.e. "Cotton Taylor," the rabbit), or are written in backlot Hollywood Indian, and consist of no less than two words and three syllables.
Nope. Though we do have quite a few multiple-word names, most of the names are drawn from various “real world” names of varying cultures, with the occasional smattering of ‘this combination of characters looks cool’ names.

11)All primitive furry tribes are "Noble Savages," and speak in the aforementioned backlot Hollywood Indian. Ugh. How.

12)Crossbreeding between furry species is not only possible, even between races with wildly different physiognomies, but results in one of two variations:
a)All offspring are half-and-half versions of their parents
b)All male offspring are the same species as their father; all female offspring are the same species as their mother.
Despite countless thousands of years of interbreeding, species types are still distinguishable from one another.

Nope. Though there are a few examples of successful interspecies crossbreeding in the world, by and large everybody mates with their own kind.

13)Furry culture is utterly homogenous. Unless where it is a source of terrible, horrible plot-driving conflict (race wars, etc), miscellaneous species do not "balkanize" into different regions or cultures, even when wildly diverse physical structures, lifecycles, reproductive methods, body sizes, and physiological needs-- and the accompanying racial traditions-- would dictate otherwise. No Chinatown in Furriston, or any other furry society.
Nope. Even the Rephidim, the melting pot of Sinai, has “Little Babel.”

14)All furry species, regardless of their wildly different natures, will unite against the icky hyoomans at the drop of a hat.
Nope. See #1.

15)Furry races never never EVER persecute hyoomans. Nope. Never. Unh uh. Not even the large predators who might see hyoomans as easy meat, or the giant herbivores who might see them as easily bullied grain-growing slaves. Nope, just doesn't happen.
Yes. See #1.

16)Furry races are limited to races that are cute and cuddly, small and "innocent," or noble and majestic. 99% of them are foxes, skunks, rabbits, mice or wolves, with the remaining 1% going for all the "weird" animals.
Yes, basically. Though we’re definitely not limited to the short list above, but there’s still a strong tendency to make characters of the cuter species. Horses, deer, cats, and dogs, for example, are all pretty strongly represented.

17)Various extra appendages never seen and nature and totally incapable of functioning as designed will make random appearances. Including but not limited to wings, tentacles, extra arms, extra HEADS, and the like
Yes. Only wings, but we definitely have a fair array of impossibly large (by which I mean, ‘human sized’ or bigger) flying creatures.

18) The prefixes and suffixes Herm, Macro, Micro, Taur, Griff, Mer, and Morph will appear somewhere in the discussion.
No. There are occasional ‘taurs, “morphic” comes up now and then, and Vartans look like hippogriffs. Oh, and we did have some mercats on Abaddon. But I doubt that any given log would reference any one of the above, and certainly not all of them. No use of herm, macro, or micro that I’m aware of.

19)Cannibalism will be perfectly routine and accepted. In spite of this, prey animals will ignore all rationality and live right next to predators.... even though the predators will kill one of them a day as a matter of course. (we've gone over this, people. Even if there were no nonsapient meat animals in existence, there's a couple of magical 21st century products called SOYBEAN and TOFU.)

19a) In spite of the strain on the "ecosystem," predator animals will equal or even outnumber prey animals.

20)In spite of the radical differences from species to species, it will be *hyoomans* who are regarded as abnormal.... even though many furries would have more in common with hyoomans than with their furry neighbors.

21)Only hyoomans pollute. Furries will have managed to create their entire 21st century civilization without so much as a single discarded beer can.

22)Humans will be called "Hyoomans"-- as if every damned furry on the planet was actually a Ferengi in a fur suit.

23)"Magical" or "mutant powers." Massively potent ones. And lots of them.
No. Yes, there are magic-workers on Sinai. But magic is definitely neither abundant nor massively potent.

24)In spite of all the radical crossbreeding, addition of extra limbs, sensory apparatus, or bodily orifices, modifications into a "taur form", magical or mutant powers, and/or references to "experimental genetics," furries will suffer no biological side effects from having their bodily structure and functions and biochemistry thrown all out of whack. Not even so much as chronic gas.
No. As an example, the most chronically whacked-out species around (the Nobahkim) are horribly deformed and suffer as a result of their mutations.

25)In an attempt to be "more realistic," fem furs will have two and sometimes four extra breasts, even though such added ballast would make bipedal walking painfull and difficult, if not impossible.

26)All furs shall have 2% body fat and toned muscular bodies--- except in cases of fat fetishes, in which case the fur shall be an utterly disgusting pile of cellulite.

27)In cases of humans being transformed into furry creatures, the transformee will rarely suffer pain or discomfort from having their bones and internal organs change shajpe. Nor will they suffer permanent or even long-term traumatic shock, or suffer from autophobia, hypochondria, dysmorphia, or any of the host of psychological problems resulting from a sudden, extreme and involuntary body transformation.
Not applicable.

28)Societies experiencing mass transmogrifications, especially 100% population transformations, will either collapse to the societal level of "the Road Warrior", or will experience no long-term effects at all.
Not applicable.

29)Furries will voluntarily wear clothes that are too warm for their body type, too restricting, or skin tight--- regardless of having fur, feathers, or scales which would be abraded, crushed, pulled, or pinched by said clothes.
Yes. Spandex isn’t de rigeur (or even existant) but there’s certainly some who dress in improbable styles for a furred creature.

30)Even if there has never been a human in their world, furries will dress precisely like humans-- making absolutely no allowences for their own body structures, save for a tailhole here and there. Apply this same rule to furniture, household appliances, automobiles, entertainment both visual and auditory.
Yes. As far as clothing goes, I don’t think a whole lot of thought has been put into tailoring for the various species, though loose-fitting robes were the original wardrobe of choice, which isn’t exactly impractical for a furred being.

31)In spite of radically different levels of eyesight, hearing and other senses, all forms of entertainment will be equally satisfactory for all species of spectators.

32)All furries shall have personalities based on urban myth stereotypes about their species.

33)Protective gear--- spacesuits, wetsuits, hazmat suits, etc-- will have *holes for the tails, and on occasion the ears.*
Cringe. No.

34)Despite #29 and #30, furries will never display thin or bald spots, matted or rumpled fur, "bed fur" or any of the other inevitable consequences of their ill-fitting clothing. for instance a turtleneck sweater, worn constantly, will never leave a bald ring around a fur's neck.

35)The first, foremost and most avid persecutors of furries, regardless of their origins, are always "Religious fanatics." Said religious fanatics are always Christians or Judeo-Christians.
Communists, Nazis, primitive Pagans, fanatical Muslims, atheistic Racial Supremacists and/or Darwinian racial supremacists never are involved, even though these groups could even mroe easily regard anthropomorphics as subhuman, genetically inferior/less evolved, a counterrevolutionary threat to the brotherhood of Man, or as unholy demons from the forest gods.... or prey for the mighty warriors to drag back to the village, take your pick.

No. See #1.

36)Furries are universally openminded and accepting of EVERYTHING, no matter how questionable or controversial in real life--- except, of course, for Western culture, conservatism, or Judeo-christian ethic. And they always know the formula for Utopia.... which generally consists of abandoning Western culture, conservatism, or Judeo Christian ethic.

37)furries with "fur" that looks like bare skin in bodypaint.... and acts so.

38)Furries... in bikinis... laying out at the beach... getting SUNTANS.
No. I dunno, maybe the Gigis lay out on their beaches in the sun, but I’m confident they don’t tan.

Hmm. I answered “yes” to nine of these things. What do the rest of the Sinai (past and present) people reading this think? Anybody disagree with my responses? :)
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