In recent years, political debates globally have started to bleed into furry fandom. While many speak of furries bringing politics to the community, how about politics bringing furries into the picture?
In a proposal to Russia’s Parent’s Chamber on Wednesday (Sept 29), Andrey Tsyganov mentioned to label furries as an extremist ideology. That is among other references to the LGBT community, radical feminism and the childfree movement.
- Tsyganov is the deputy head of Russia’s Federal Antimonopoly Service.
- Russia’s Parent’s Chamber was established to, among its goals, improve the birth rate in the country.
- The childfree movement refers to a global trend where people choose to not have children.
All to increase birth rates?
Russia’s population is decreasing. This came in tandem with their decreasing annual population growth rate, which sat at 0.04% as of 2020. On Jan 15, 2020, Russian President Vladimir Putin declared boosting birth rates as ‘vital’ to Russia’s future. He linked this with economic reasons.
In trying to do this, Russia’s conservative government has put up policies, some among which have targeted the LGBT community. The most infamous of them is the ‘gay propaganda law,’ which started in 2013. The law’s debut has reportedly seen violence against LGBT people double since.
Russian state media says the law targets people ‘engaged in propaganda’ However, what the term ‘propaganda’ refers to is still open and ambiguous. In 2013, the Russian President defended the law, saying the law doesn’t infringe on sexual minorities’ rights.
International observers on the other hand say it directly bans LGBT rights and culture. The European Court of Human Rights has found the law ‘discriminatory.’
Anger among furries grow; Russian furries remain ‘calm’
Furry fandom is the only subculture mentioned in the government official’s proposal. Thus, this attracted fear, concern and anger from furries globally. That includes furries with Russian heritage or are Russians themselves as well.
Because most furries are in marginalised groups like the LGBT community, emotions are intense. States one online user with Russian heritage, “this branding makes me even more scared to go there one day.”
To state, furry fandom has a presence in Russia. In fact, the country sees three conventions held each year. They are Zverofest, SillyCon (or TupiCon) and Rusfurence.
In writing to GFTV, Rusfurence says they ‘don’t have much comment’ and are ‘calm’ facing this situation.
Hi. We don’t have much to comment. The proposal to ban has so far been made as part of the discussion. It could take years from discussion to implementation, if, of course, someone is actively lobbying for it. So we are calm, and are waiting for the (COVID-19) lockdown to be relaxed as before.Rusfurence