Welcome to a new thing called: Chats with Cheshire!
Cheshire is a female Mecari- Trickster. Likes playing pranks on people and other Mecari. Likes to joke, laugh, and have fun. Mischievous in her nature and quirky. She is sassy and tells it how it is. Addicted to oranges.
This is the part of the blog where we get down to the sensitive issues out there in the fandom, and I keep it real with everyone listening. It’s honest-talk mixed with serious discussion. So strap yourselves down and get ready!!!
- The NASA Intern:
—This was something I debated on writing about because honestly, the whole thing just breaks my heart in so many different ways. But probably not in the ways you might expect. But, this turn of events happened rather quickly.
August 21st, 2018- a woman in the Furry Community posted on Twitter about getting the internship at NASA.
She was excited and happened to use the F-Word in her Tweet. Nothing too crazy, right? It was then that she was responded to by Homer Hickam who basically pointed out her use of language, only for her to respond that he could “suck her dick and balls”.For those that might not be aware, Homer is a former NASA engineer and part of the National Space Council User Advisory Group- and while not her boss, he is a very important figure when it comes to NASA and the space community. It was later reported not even a day later that the woman went on to lose her internship…but what seems to get lost-in-translation is the ‘why’ of it all, and the ‘who’.
- Homer Hickam did not fire her:
—For those that don’t like to read or research, there was a rumor going around that Homer Hickam was the one who revoked the woman’s internship after she told him to suck her dick and balls. However, this is not the case. Homer was not involved with her internship at all…rather it was the heads of that particular program in NASA that revoked it. It was Homer who appealed that she may keep her internship despite her behaviour because he as actually impressed with her resume.
Unfortunately, NASA had been tagged in the Tweets via her friends using #NASA, and they were not thrilled about being connected with such language and lack of professionalism. However, due to Homer’s appeal, they said that the Twitter user could reapply for the internship in the future.
But naturally, this is the Furry Fandom…and while many understood the decision by NASA, most saw it as an attack on Furries. Worst-still, most saw that it was Homer who got the internship taken away which then resulted in several furries attacking Homer’s Twitter page, threatening him, and harassing him.
- She was fired due to lack of professionalism:
—Whether you want to admit it or not, she was fired due to unprofessionalism. It had nothing to do with being a Furry, it had nothing to do with gender, and it had nothing to do with race. All those things were excuses used by the people trying to support this woman for how she acted online.
In the real world, you represent your job ALL THE TIME, not just when you are on the clock. Your profession, your group activities, every church or organization you are apart of follows you. Have you ever watched the news? When someone is arrested they will say where that person worked, what groups they were part of…people will constantly attest to what this person did in the community. Yet, we like to think that in some way, after we clock out we are no longer tied to any of those things.
This goes ESPECIALLY for social media.
People supporting the woman were saying: “It’s just Twitter”…and don’t you see how stupid that makes you sound? So when someone makes a threat on Twitter, we should just ignore it? When someone threatens to harm themselves or someone else, we should just ignore it? While the examples are extreme…that logic still applies. Just because you are on the internet does not mean you are safe from consequences!!! And the real kicker is that Homer did not bring attention to this Twitter user. It was her friends and their use of the hashtag for NASA that brought this woman into the spotlight and got her internship revoked.
Going back to professionalism and acting out on social media…as a military spouse, I understand the importance of both of these things. Soldiers in the USA are held to a very strict standard even when outside of work. They are not allowed to post certain things on social media, and are expected to act a certain way. Breaking any of the rules that the military sets for you (even outside of work) will lose you rank and possibly your career. That’s because you are ALWAYS representing the military, even when out of uniform. And the military is not the only place that does this!
Ever since social media started taking off and controlling more-and-more lives, employers have always been looking at their employees profiles and checking to see how their company is represented. This isn’t against the law! It’s no different than an employer asking for your previous workplace numbers/managers when you apply. They call those managers and call your former boss to see if you are someone worth hiring.
Managers and bosses will often follow employees on social media…and I have had a few encounters within working where a manager heard someone was sick, but then saw them on social media at a convention or out with their friends. People want to say it’s an invasion of privacy and yet, why is it okay to screw over a workplace just because you don’t feel like being there? Why is it okay to take advantage of payroll? These higher-ups have the right to know who is going around with their name attached. They want the best-of-the-best…and if you’re not the best, then you will get fired.
Guess what? THIS IS THE REAL WORLD!
Your skills mean nothing if you go running your mouth like a degenerate. Your skills mean nothing if you come off as uncooperative, immature, and someone that could cause a toxic work environment. Acting that way online or off is childish…and while it is okay in private (among some friends), to put it out there where EVERYONE can see it (including your employer), it was a dumb decision.
For those saying that she did something wrong but did not deserve such a harsh punishment…well maybe you’re right. Maybe it was a bit rough to take away her internship, but that right to do so is reserved by the employer. They know what they are doing, and even if she did apologize and did start to get her act together…it didn’t help that a bunch of Furries got riled up and started attacking NASA, their employees, and even each other online.
- Representation in the Furry Community is important!
—The Furry Fandom always expressed concerns over whether they are being represented in the right light. As a fandom that already gets a lot of hate as it is, we are constantly looking to shed a positive light on ourselves to curb the various and numerous misconceptions about the fandom.
We try and correct common mistakes and stereotypes portrayed by the media and by TV shows like CSI, etc.
But with this recent issue of the former NASA intern, it did not take long for Furries to head over to Homer Hickam’s Twitter page and attack him. Again, this was because many saw that it was Homer’s fault for the woman losing the internship, and where they assumed they were helping her, in fact they only hurt the situation further. Not only did they hurt the situation for the intern, but they are hurting the image of the Furry Fandom as well.
Who will respect Furries and their hobby if they think that Furries tell well-respected figures to get cancer and die? What about the people calling him a racist, white man? How can Furries be seen as lovable and peace-loving when they are hoping that someone shits in this man’s coffin because he merely asked a future-NASA representative to watch their language? Who is going to take Furries seriously when they excuse the woman’s actions merely because this guy was not ‘verified’ on Twitter? Where does this ignorance end?
Again…childish, immature, lacking professionalism. These are the types of people that need a bit of a reality check and should really think of who all else is affected by their actions online.
The attacks, harassment, and threats were so great that Homer Hickam chose to delete his Twitter account. And it’s sad to think such a prominent figure was pestered to the point where he had to leave social media because someone else was being childish, and then a swarm of white-knights rushed in to defend something that they obviously do not understand.
Ladies and Gentleman…it’s actually pretty sickening that there are those of you out there that think that this is acceptable behavior, online or not. It’s a sad day for entities like NASA, and it’s a sad day for Furries.
As of writing this, there was an imposter account made of the Twitter user- but it has been reported by the official account, and will hopefully get taken down soon.
At the end of it all…the Twitter user can later reapply for her internship. She has come back to Twitter but on a private account, and hopefully she has learned a valuable lesson in keeping some matters to herself.
Also, for Homer Hickam, I can only hope that he returns to Twitter as well (once all of this has died down) and that he is understanding enough to realize that these sour-apples that attacked him do not represent Furries, and they do not represent the message that Furries want to spread and share.
For everyone else, I hope this put some things into perspective. I hope people have done their research on the matter, and what’s best for the issue now is to let it die. Let it die out on Twitter so that everyone can get back to spreading messages of positivity, of love, and of acceptance.
And for those that want to continue to fight for the Twitter user, and spread lies that this was a Furry-issue, that this was a race-issue, etc. I can only hope that the future helps you grow and mature, and hope you realize the terrible message you are spreading for Furries everywhere…and that you stop what you’re doing, and stop tainting the image we already have.
That’s all for the first edition of “Chats with Cheshire”, hope y’all enjoyed it, and here’s to more blog-posts in the future!!!