On Wolf (2021)

Originally written on Tumblr, crossposted here for archival reasons. Written in response to this post by Alt+H.
15/12/2021. total words: 822

   Right so... #WolfGetsReal, huh?

   I mean, none of this has really sat well to me. I'm not a therianthrope myself, but theriomythic arguably applies to me, and I am more animalistic than I let on. Species dysphoria is the one thing that affects me directly, and very little of it is social: without physical transition, which is scientifically impossible, there is no treatment nor cure for the symptoms I have.

   I haven't watched Wolf (2021), owing largely to my general disinterest in movies. It's rare I do watch films, and I'm certainly not going to waste two hours of my time watching a movie I'm guaranteed not to like. Everything I've heard about it so far says that it sucks, it's a shitty B-list movie, and has pretty well no artistic value.

   Alt+H decided to call a community initiative to drown the movie's tags talking about actual species dysphoria, owing to an interview with the director where she admitted she went out of her way not to do any research.

   Now, I'm not defending the director here, because that's a stupid move in general. But I am gonna come outright and say that I don't think this community initiative is a good idea. Actually, let me make that slightly plainer: I think it's a stupid, ill-thought-out idea at best, and an actively dangerous one at worst.

   This is a B-list movie, with zero famous actors, that very few people are going to watch. Of those few people, most if not all of them are going to either a) think it's a werewolf movie spliced with an ableist mental facility movie, or b) think it's a bad allegory for queer struggles.

   Literally nobody but us is going to go "hm let's be ableist towards the delusional with ~species dysphoria~ :)" because we're not in the spotlight outside of when we're brought up linked to transphobia. We are very occasionally that weird guy in an internet story you heard about once, and that's only if you're on the internet a lot.

   Now, I know where this idea came from: back earlier this year when Grimes put 'otherkin' in her twitter bio and changed her birthdate to that of a nuclear bomb, the otherkin community flooded the twitter tags with introductions and 101s and threads on how cool the community is. It worked quite well, I think, and it's clear this is more of that.

   We were forced into the spotlight, so we forced the spotlight to be about us, and not the misinformation. Grimes has a depressingly large following, we didn't have a choice.

   This... isn't that. The only reason anyone would watch this movie is if they're bored of Sundance films. Hells, it's even released right around two very anticipated Spiderman trailers. It's a movie destined to be overlooked, a box office flop, and forgotten.

   So tell me: if we don't actually have a spotlight, why the hell are we making one? In the twitter tag of #WolfGetsReal, I've seen not one but two bestialist / animal abusers trying to overtake the narrative and link therianthropy to bestiality. Right now, the therianthrope community is having a nightmare time trying to kick them out.

   You're telling me we should go viral with zero cohesiveness, focusing on therianthropy, and give them the chance to irreparably link therianthropy to bestiality? Because of a shitty B-list movie that otherwise would fade into obscurity?

   No. No, this is a bad idea. If we want to go viral, this is a terrible way to do it. Don't get me wrong here, talking about species dysphoria and writing up posts and essays and 101s is great. But doing it specifically to go viral, when we have some major predators already frothing at the mouth to steal the mic for their malicious and substantially evil purposes?

   It's ill-thought-out at best, and I cannot approve. There's literally no upside to this. The director wouldn't listen to us at best (if that were possible, it would have been done already), we do not have any power we can actually use, any spotlight we make right now on this issue will be immediately hijacked (and we have currently zero plan to mitigate that major issue), and making a spotlight of us being made fun of isn't something we can turn around.

   There's no upside to doing this. If we want to talk about species dysphoria, let's focus on that, not bring emphasis to a movie that should fade forgotten into obscurity.

   I know Alt+H also noted that between this and Wild Mountain Thyme, it seems the beginning of a trend. But WMT was taken almost universally by people who aren't us as a metaphor, and had a total of zero impact on the community. If we let this pass us by the same way, it will also have zero impact. And right now, I'll take no attention over almost-guaranteed-to-be-bad attention.

   So that's my thoughts on that.