Monday morning, get up, get ready for work, get some coffee, and somehow get into a Twitter conversation about bronies.
Bronies, for those who are not aware, are a community of grown men who identify with (and as) My Little Pony characters. I’m not making that up. They have easily become the butt of a number of jokes, and I laugh at those jokes as judgmental as it is.
That’s probably wrong, for a number of reasons. For one thing, they are free to live their lives and pursue passions and interests as long as it’s not to the detriment of other people – i.e., they don’t use this as a means of identifying with children in a manipulative or sexual way. We are, after all, entitled to a freedom of association on any basis that doesn’t infringe upon the rights of others.
As I’ve written in the past, my knee-jerk on the parallel self-identifying community of furries is also judgmental, and shortly after writing that I also reminisced in confession that I’m not innocent of bullying in some form or another. I don’t actively search for these types of people to harass them about their identities. But when the topic comes up, and I turn it into a joke, is that a manifestation of otherwise latent prejudice (say, parallel to US Senator John McCain comparing Iranian leader Mahmoud Ahmedinijad to a monkey)?
I mean, don’t judge a book by its cover, at least to the best of your abilities to put initial impressions aside. I would happily engage in regular conversation with somebody who I know also identifies with the furry or brony community, up to the point that these things I have no interest in and think are ridiculous saturates the conversation. But I have my own right to associate with whom I want, and by extension the right to not associate with certain people in my free time. Since this extended tangent started from classifying “dateable brony” as an oxymoron it’s well within my rights to not wish to date a brony…but is extending my limits to a blanketing joke crossing some sort of line? Or do we all agree on the dateability of bronies here?