This is a restored post from my WordPress. Originally posted on May 18, 2020. I still agree with everything I said here.
Recent events on twitter prompt me to address issues in a neighboring paraphiliac community. Here are several screenshots:
I already touched the topic of such behavior in this post, but I’ll repeat the key point again. This is manifestation of assimilationism, a tendency when a marginalized and oppressed group tries to imitate behavior of its oppressors. They seek to find a more stigmatized community they’d put below themselves, in hopes that the “normal” society will accept them as one of their own. So I want to talk about why this is immoral and intellectually dishonest and why it will only hurt the zoo community in the long run.
The general ethical rule under which the paraphiliac community functions is that your worth and reliability doesn’t depend on whether you can act on your interests consensually. That’s why maps get along with erotophonophiles, the latter are ok with biastophiles, and so on. The zoo community stands out a little bit (although not much if we consider objectophiles) because the topic of animal consent is quite dubious. It’s an established fact that some species express interest towards humans, and sexualized behavior with them doesn’t traumatize them, because they just see it as pleasant physical contact (adult animals do not have “a brain of a 3 year old child”). That does not rule out the possibility of mental and physical abuse of an animal, which is, obviously bad, but is not inherent to the relationship. Many zoos are interested in decriminalization of these relationships, and because of that they chose the path of appealing to the society and posing themselves as very safe and vanilla. As of now we can see several tendencies in the zoo community:
- Redefinition of zoophilia as “love and care for animals” from “sexual and romantic attraction to animals”;
- Erasure of non-canine/equine zoos;
- Focus only on monogamous submissive/bottom zoos.
Zoophilia is an attraction, a paraphilia, not a manifestation of care, and this is a hill I’ll die on, me being a zoo myself. Just like homosexuality is an attraction to people of the same gender, not hypercompassion towards them. Linking zoo feelings to care, as opposed to the ability to fall in love, is a part of trying to tailor zoo presentation to anthropophilic gaze. You know other people feel compassion for animals, so you try to market your attraction as an ultimate form of this compassion. Clever, but not true. For this exact purpose you would also want to hide zoos who are attracted to animals that cannot be humans’ companions. I recall I first noticed that when I made a frustrated post due to how I, a deer/cow zoo, am tired of being called a “dog fucker”. I expected comments from antis, but the person who had the biggest issue with it was a fellow zoo.
I cannot estimate validity of a study with less than 100 participants, but even then, the majority of some group sharing a common feature is not grounds for equating. Bisexuals are the majority of LGBT statistically, and LGBT is not “the bi community”. But erasure rarely targets just one group of people, and zoos with additional paraphilias join zoos with rarer animal preferences. Yes, I’m talking about zoosadists. There is no single sexual minority group where sadism would be grounds for exclusion. Contrary to assumptions above, gay sadists were always welcome in the gay community, BDSM groups and gay male groups historically overlap. Nobody in the map community says sadistic maps aren’t maps. Because, guess what, people are absolutely in control of their actions and can choose not to act on their attractions when it can result in harm. In order to be an ethical person, you don’t need to experience only pure and safe desires, you just need to be able to filter expression of your desires. But when you make acceptability of acting on your attractions the one and only goal of your movement, it clouds your perception. So, zoosadists fell out of favor with zoo Twitter ideologues. And I predict said non-canine/equine attracted zoos are going to be next. You cannot have healthy sex with a sparrow or a mouse. People who judge you only by how your wishes are safe in realization will go after you once they’re done with more outstanding targets.
To me a submissive zoo woman who lets her male dog fuck her and a dominant and sadistic zoo man who has interest to his pet rat, but doesn’t act on it for ethical reasons are both good and ethical people who deserve space and representation. Alienating the man only because his attraction makes someone feel uncomfortable would be a form of anti activism. When we oppose antis we say, “you have no place to judge other people’s inborn traits, judge only behavior”. When some zoos oppose antis, they say “excuse me, we’re normal, just like you, why don’t you go attack these freaks over there?”