Thursday, June 2, 2016

We're a Subculture, Not a Sideshow

To be fair, I haven't seen Channel 4's documentary "Secret Life of the Human Pups" and likely will never see it. But the issue many kinksters--particularly those in the puppy play subset--take with stories and "documentaries" like these are that they take outliers and shine a light on them and parade them about like the norm for the entertainment of people outside of the community.

This isn't about information or education; this is entertainment.

This is vanilla people pointing at kinksters and saying "Oh, aren't they weird."

Even if it has a sympathetic slant, that doesn't change much, when the documentary isn't about the majority of those who enjoy the fetish, but rather cherrypicks a very small percentage of those fetishists who the filmmakers think will drum up the most controversy and get the most views.

Don’t get me wrong, there is a large part of the community who enjoy dressing up and there is nothing wrong with that or how anyone, including those in the documentary, consensually choose to engage in their kink. Lord knows, there's a market for these kinds of outfits. But treating the kink, or any kink, like there is one, singular standard to practice it--as if everyone engaged in it dresses up or does it 24/7--is ridiculous and erroneous. 

That would be like kinksters saying that all vanilla people only have boring, unsatisfying missionary sex in the dark with most of their clothes on because I totally heard of vanilla people who do; aren't those vanilla people weird?! It's not true, it's clearly and logically not true and a quick google search would prove to anyone who actually believed that that it wasn't true. Could vanilla people please start doing us the same courtesy we do to them and not make ridiculous, illogical assumptions about a rich and diverse group of people just because it's more fun to do so?

And, while I get the urge to kink-shame vanilla people right back, that doesn’t solve the larger issue: the fact that so much of the public perception of kink, from news to porn, is being shaped by vanilla people who care more about titillation than truth. Just like any other minority group, we deserve the dignity to define ourselves. To have our authentic voices elevated over the noise of opinion and gossip.

If they really wanted to authentically explore the puppy community in kinkland, then they should have hired someone with firm standing in the community to work on the project with them to ensure accuracy and fairness. But too many filmmakers and creators don't. Because they'd rather treat us like the sideshow they want us to be, rather than the community of people we are.

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