Last week, the OVC (Online Vampyre Community) was shaken by the claim, made in a series of passion-filled arguments in a popular international VC forum, that “most” Sanguinarian vampyres wish to divide the existing VC along the lines of sanguine and psychic or energy Vampyres, so that each interacts solely in their own separate community. This was followed with repeated admonitions to Psi-vamps, ‘hybrids’, Therians and Otherkin, that they should follow suit and separate into distinct little subculture clusters of their own, isolated from the Vampyre Community at large, since they “should never have been allowed to participate in the VC in the first place”.
I sat back and watched it all transpiring on my computer screen, and I had vivid recollections from one of my anthropology classes. When the idea of Apartheid was first toted about, its focus was on the slight perceived differences. Yes, your skin is darker and hey, your nasal bridge is not quite high enough, therefore you are not like me – and thus, for our mutual good, we should live apart. People neglected to realise that ‘race’ is a fabrication to explain differences that are merely superficial. At this point, I must say that I fear the path which some Sangs are walking. Looking back retrospectively at South African History, as a South African, perhaps we have some insight, not shared by our foreign kin, as to what may happen if these people had their way, and the OVC ever separated into factions.
Now for some context. Apartheid, though officially started in 1948, was based upon and influenced by many factors in South Africa’s history, including the power being held by an elite minority.
“The rise of apartheid in 1948 was a complex phenomenon. Some historians view it as a 20th-century development, closely linked to the peculiar evolution of South African capitalism… [o]ther scholars believe apartheid was a product of earlier racial prejudices and policies imposed by Dutch and British settlers. Recent explanations point to a combination of several factors ─ colonial conquest, land dispossession, economic impoverishment, and exclusion from citizenship of Africans ─ that paved the way to apartheid.” 1
It is important to note that the problem facing the OVC, or perhaps the VC in general, is different to that of Apartheid South Africa. Lady CG (a Canadian) clearly states the problem, from her perspective in an article she wrote for Real Vampire Life – an E-magazine.
“The most difficult part of being a blood drinker is that there is no politically correct way to get the blood we require to feed. We require blood. It’s dangerous to take it from donors (disease, accidents) and it’s cruel to use animals… We’re threatened with criminal charges, we’re attacked for our feeding methods on all sides. We’re told by some that we should “evolve” to feed on methods that do not suit our nature, we are expected to live up to the expectations of those who do not need blood and when we can’t magickally conjure it out of thin air we’re damned for incidents of rage, dramatics and expected to behave like normal people, no matter the results of our inability to feed, especially if that inability to feed creates media worthy incidents that draw negative attention to the Vampire Community.” 2
I can sympathize, and I can place myself in a Sang’s shoes. I am fortunate enough to be a Psi vampire who can feed off of ambient energy at a push, so I will never know starvation like one who is dependent on blood might. But, in separating and losing the identity of “Vampire” as Lady CG later Proposes as a solution, I fear that stigma and resentment will grow on both sides.
“Segregation is not necessarily associated with prejudice, since it may be maintained by the institutions of society, independently of the attitudes of individuals. But in general, systems of segregation draw support from the prejudices of individuals and indeed foster those prejudices.” 3
As it presently stands within the community, Psi’s are told (usually by Sang’s) that they aren’t ‘real Vampyres’, Sang’s are told they are ‘un-evolved’ – and the Omnivores, Adaptives or ‘Hybrids’ are sitting in a very awkward position in the middle, sometimes belittled by some Sang’s and Psi’s.
The elephant in the room that I believe we are not seeing here, is that we are all Vampyres. We all have a deficiency – and we all need to fill that deficiency through feeding.
The tiny boxes and labels that we have whittled out for ourselves, are based on the methods by which we feed.
Enmity, rivalry or hostility towards each other, based on feeding methods, seems ridiculous.
For example, the white rhinoceros and black rhinoceros feed in two very distinct ways. One is a grazer, the other is a browser. Each has an adaptation to suit the method by which they feed. No one claims that one rhino is more evolved or less of a rhino for feeding the way it is adapted to, than the other. We have, in our own drive to classify and to understand what we are, what makes us tick, created our own segregation.
The danger in this lies in fostering an “us versus them” mentality. Most of the time, that type of paradigm increases prejudice, suspicion and tension between groups.
I believe that in order to improve the lives of all Vampyres, and the way in which we all interact – whether in tight-knit covens and groups, or online in global sanctuaries, we need to shift our paradigm from exclusivity based on feeding, to a frame of reference where our differences make us neither more, nor less – a frame of reference where we can learn how to support each other in a way where all individuals feel equal and at home.
But, perhaps I am just an idealist.
- Unit 2 – Colonialism and Segregation: The Origins of Apratheid. Michigan State University. http://overcomingapartheid.msu.edu/unit.php?id=65-24E-2&page=1
[accessed 06 October 2014]
- Sang vs Psi: Making a Case for Separation (or, I Want My Blood, and Drink it too!). Lady CG. 2014. Real Vampire Life. http://realvampirenews.com/special-edition-sang-vs-psi-making-a-case-for-separation-by-lady-cg/ [accessed 07 October 2014]
- Kuper, L. International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences; 1968. http://www.encyclopedia.com/topic/Segregation.aspx
[accessed 07 October 2014]
- Boundless Sociology. https://www.boundless.com/sociology/textbooks/boundless-sociology-textbook/race-and-ethnicity-10/prejudice-and-discrimination-82/segregation-481-7937/
[accessed 07 October 2014]