*waves from the ThinkGalacticon 3 ConCom*
Hi all, here is my hey, you should come to the nifty local con post, better yet, you should be on panels and volunteer post!
So ThinkGalacticon 3 is happening July 8-10 at Roosevelt University. We have the fabulous Hugo and Nebula nominated Nora K. Jemisin as our SFF Notable Guest.. We also have the awesome Adrienne Marie Brown as our Activist Notable Guest.
So, what do you need from little old me you might be asking? Well, we can always use Volunteers. we also still need the following ConCom positions filled (from the website):
* accessibility coordinator
* sustainability coordinator
If you would like more information and are interested please email us! [firstname.lastname@example.org]
Volunteer refunds: Those who work 4 hours or more get $20 or half-off, which ever was lower. Being on panels counts as volunteering. There will be volunteer forms at the registration desk. We will put up more information on volunteering soon.
We also need programming suggestions! You can suggest programming here Don’t be shy! If there’s something you want to suggest for a panel, go on and suggest it!
If you are going to be at Wiscon, what a coincidence! We’ll be there too! There’s going to be a ThinkGalacticon party, and we’ll be taking registrations as well.
Lastly, local authors if you are interested in doing a reading at TG3 or if you would like to have a vendor’s table at the Bazaar, please let me know via comment here or email at tdepass [at]gmail [dot] com. My role on ConCom is Event coordination, so if you have any questions regarding events during TG3, I’m the person to poke at.
Lastly, please register for TG3! It’s affordable even in this economy! You can get registration info from this embedded link
This will be brief and entirely ineloquent because I am sick and cannot brain well. In short, disinviting E Moon as GOH is NOT FUCKING SILENCING HER! Reposting her own words for the world to see is NOT BULLYING HER! All these people whinging about how evil the mean brown people are, how they wheedled the comcon into disinviting her to be GOH need to just shut the fuck up, as in NOW.
I’m tired of people crying about Moon being silenced, and persecuted and all that other bullshit. She shat on the living room carpet, threw a blanket over it and continued to act as if there was nothing there. Her continued silence, refusal to discuss the issue and then the concom taking a while to make up their minds while staying conspicuously quiet is the issue.
I’m sick of people throwing tantrums in the Wiscon LJ comm about how meen this was, and rude, etc etc to disinvite Moon and stamping their feet and saying they aren’t coming now because the Con obviously isn’t for them.
GOOD, I don’t want my con experience ruined by whiny ass people who think its all about them and can’t see why Moon’s screed was so damn problematic. Also, if you can’t realize how much her words hurt our Muslim sisters and brothers, then I suggest you revisit Civics class, Privilege and Classism as well as Racism 101.
Many, many other people have said their piece on why the whole issue and how it was handled is problematic. See the wiscon, karnythia, yuki_onna, nojojojo and K. Tempest Bradford sums up my feelings perfectly with You People are out of your Goddamned Minds
So, it’s not news about the whole emoon Islamaphobia post that is now shut down by the author. It isn’t news that many fantastic people have written their piece about her idiocy Link Roundup @ karnythia’s LJ and some great posts on this by Asim are here, here, here and response to the Wiscon concom not rescinding her GOH invite is here and now comes the decision by Wiscon to keep her as a GOH. That discussion and the fallout over her remarks is now overshadowing the fabulous Nisi Shawl as 2011 GOH, and it pisses me off that this RaceFail redux 2010 edition is ruining the con for so many before people have even booked tickets to attend.
The whole situation reeks of hatred, vitriol, over the top uber patriotism that we were all treated to immediately following 9/11. I can understand the position that the Wiscon concom must be in, to have to deal with yet another race fail type thing and not just by a panelist or attendee, but having to deal with such remarks by one of the incoming GOH’s has to be hell to deal with. I concede that it’s not an easy discussion… but, and there’s always a but… allowing her to remain GOH, and trying to frame it as a teaching moment does two things in my head (and this came up in conversation with karnythia this evening.
1. It puts the onus for teachable moments on the attendees, to task them with making others understand when they are at the con of their own reasons. I don’t go to cons to be on the hot seat for explaining and teaching others, if I wanted that I’d be on panels (not like panels are all about teachable moments, but you get what I mean I hope!) and I don’t want to spend my time that could be spent at panels, socializing and having a good time at con turn into being a walking ask me board, or the token (fill in the blank) that you can ask questions you may not ask others.
2. The fact that she deleted all the comments and shut down any chance of discourse on that post tells me quite clearly that there is NO INTEREST in dialog or learning from what has happened due to her post, her words that are now out there on the internet for eternity. I don’t see why allowing her to remain GOH is supposed to be some great opportunity for dialog when it’s clear that there is no interest in her part and anyone attempting to dialog will likely be labeled as one of those mean people who just won’t let it go, or just won’t see what she really meant, and stop being so mean to her! [that's my assumption, since most online interactions about race, and privilege usually go in that direction]
It also makes me feel as if the con does not care about the people that were hurt and offended by her words. The people she painted in such broad strokes as barely civilized and should be grateful for being allowed on the hallowed ground of the USA. I think because she is a professional writer, I think more care should be taken with what you say, online, in text and have the realization that once your post it out there, it’s out there. Considering all the discourse I’ve seen on this issue alone, people have long memories and they won’t forget her words just because the con is next May.
I know I won’t forget this whole chain of fuckery, hate, racism and Islamaphobia that is rearing it’s head, and making me rethink Wiscon. It makes me wonder if the concom holds to the values they espouse and if anything will make them take notice of how this has damaged how some people may think about Wiscon, how it may influence people to skip the con altogether instead of giving any money to an organization that would have her as a GOH, well nothing outside of money. If people start canceling their registrations or skip it all together, would that send a message that is loud and clear or would it be chalked up to those oversensitive people who undoubtedly refuse to dialog, even after all this programming was created to address the issue…
I could go on, but that’s veering off into rant territory and I think this post is barely cohesive as it is because I’m pretty rageful at the disregard for any people who would attend Wiscon, and for those that don’t feel safe now and are already planning other things in place of attending Wiscon.
I’m still on the fence about attending, but I’ll have to climb down one side or the other soon.
So on Feministe, a blogger starts off her post with the line “you do not have a right to child free spaces.” That made me nearly click away, but I went on to read the full article in which the OP waxes lovingly on how awesome her kid is, and just how she’s “smarter, cuter and more honest than you”. Give me a fucking break, would you? Yeah, we get it your kid is full of awesome and win, and as her MOM you should think that. I however am not obliged to agree with your assessment of your kid, especially when you act as if the world must fall over in awe of your special tyke and allow you to do what you please because your a mom.
The whole “article” goes even further in invalidating any point the OP could have made by her tale of woe because a friend did not want her child along as they sat up, watched the sun rise as they knocked a couple drinks back. The part that really angered me was that she didn’t see the big deal, since she was already out at a bar with her toddler anyway. Yes, you read that correctly, SHE WAS AT A BAR with her toddler. She goes on to talk about who mothers and children are oppressed in US culture and even goes so far as to compare the oppression of children to slavery in the comment thread.
I’ve got nothing for contempt for those that want to play the oppression olympics game online. The next time someone is lynched for having a baby, or for breastfeeding or daring to be pregnant in public, let me know and I might give you a pass, a one time only use pass but still. Mothers and children are marginalized, but not oppressed. No one is keeping them from doing what they want to do, and no one is keeping them out of public spaces, there are no mother and child only drinking fountains, etc.
My main issue is the sense of entitlement the OP espouses in her piece. I’m sorry but I am entitled to some areas that are traditionally child free. Say a bar, and let’s be clear when I say bar I am talking about the must be of drinking age, usually doesn’t cater to families kind of place. Not the local restaurant with bar included because that would be fucking stupid to exclude the possibility of children being in such establishments. The OP makes it seem like she’s going to take her kid where she pleases, when she pleases everyone else be damned. That’s just not on.
It was pointed out in some comments just how not on it is to subject folks to your child in a venue that is traditionally child free. Such as bars, late night movies (why they allow folks at late showings with small children I still don’t understand, but that’s another story) or other places where it probably isn’t safe or just not the right environment for your precious wee one to be in.
Over at the Angry Black Woman, karnythia makes it very clear that the OP is off the mark and is not being a considerate parent. I’m not a parent, but I do know a few awesome folks with kidlets and they are awesome because they are considerate parents who parent and understand what a life changing event being a parent actually is. They don’t think the world owes them anything or that they are special because they have reproduced. They want some child free spaces themselves so they can have those moments of adult time, adult conversation and times that don’t consist solely of mom, mom, mom mom, mommy! all day long.
Long story short, I think the OP of that piece is an idiot, needs to realize that life changed when you became a parent and it’s just not ok to declare that everyone else must just bow down to your whims and be excited because you want your child attached at the hip, no matter then venue, no matter the event and well we just have to deal with it. Here’s a news flash, we don’t have to deal with it and a majority of people won’t because the world is not yours just because you are now a parent. Stop and step back away from the blinders of how awesome my kid is, look, look, look! and realize no one cares about that but you.
ETA: My comment on that piece was either eaten by the moderation line or dismissed out of hand because I didn’t slaver all over the OP telling her how wonderful she is. So I’m posting it here for posterity and to see if it ever makes it out of the mod queue)
(Since my comment apparently was either eaten by the moderation line or dismissed out of hand, I’m attempting to get it out there again. I would hope that a comment that isn’t full of swear words is actually let through even if it disagrees with the OP’s article)
I’ve read through most of the comments, and some are totally missing the point and some are on point. What I can’t understand is this lauding of the OP for standing up for the poor, oppressed children when she admits to taking her toddler to a bar, because she will take her child where she pleases?
When I go to adult only spaces, such as a BAR I don’t expect a toddler there. I think it’s a sign of privilege and entitlement that you would not consider that the child may not enjoy such a place, nor the fact that you could be putting the bar owner at a huge risk of a lawsuit or loss of their liquor license because you’ll take your child where ever you go.
Since I was not raised on a deserted island, I accept that children are part of our society, but what I will not accept is a sense of entitlement and poor parenting in places that I frequent. There’s a marked difference in kids enjoying themselves, screaming in delight and having fun and kids screaming their head off, running in the aisles and acting as if they have no sense while their parents do nothing about it.
If you are amongst those parents that actually, parent good on you. However I find it very arrogant to assume that I should have to bow down to the altar of motherhood wherever I go, because kids are people too darn it! Well, they are people, but they are not mini-adults.
Your assumption that kids are not welcome in the US is interesting but a false assumption. I don’t know where you are currently residing, but I’ve found the US to be incredibly child-friendly to the point where I’ve been grilled, ridiculed and told I’d get over my aversion and fears of being a parent, even after telling someone point blank that i have no desire for motherhood. It’s a fallacy to me to to point out that the US is so child hostile, when women here seem to be deemed useless and bizarre if they don’t want any kids.
I find this article to be full of privilege, ethnocentrism and a dash of condescension for added flavor. Next time you might not want to lead off with a tale of traipsing your toddler in to the bar before you try to make your point about kids and rights. I might actually take you seriously.
The problem is when those friends and strangers just feel the need to touch my hair and not accept no for an answer. Not only do I not understand why you’d want to touch someone else’s hair (“Oh, is it soft?”—Opposed to what? A brick?), but it seems to be only white people who do this—at least to me. Black women seem to be capable of admiring it without wanting to finger it. In fact, most white women do too (the previous mentioned person who walked pass me, just to come back was white).
But the ones who are not content to admire my hair are always white. This is not happenstance, of course, white people generally feel more entitled to infringe on other people’s spaces. But, I won’t get into the historical and political aspects of why blacks hate this. There have been post, after post, after post on the matter, and even a guide here. They aren’t hard to find.
The main issue I have is that in this day and age, people should know better. Any information you wish is just a click away. Don’t believe me? Check google: “why not to touch a black person’s hair” or “touching black people’s hair.” See all those links? They are real. They are written by real people with real feelings. (In fact it has been written about so much I almost didn’t bother to post this. But it’s obvious some people just haven’t gotten the memo.)
There are so many reasons not to touch or ask to touch people of color’s hair. Some of them include: offensive, dehumanizing, rude.
But let’s get to the meat of it, show of hands. How often have you gotten you hair done just right, in that up-do, or curled just so for that special occasion and someone then come along and ran their fingers through it? How annoying is it? Very? Really? Well imagine being on display like this all the time, 24-7.
The most recent incident came when I was with a group of friends, sitting at a table and a woman walked over and said, “Oh, your hair is so pretty.” Then she stretched out her hands as if she was just going to touch it (without permission) and when I moved out of her way, she looked shocked. “Oh, I just wanted to feel it,” she said.
“No,” I shook my head.
She looked puzzled. “No?”
I smiled, and said nicer than she deserved, “I’m having dinner with friends, do you mind.”
“Well, EXCUSE me.” She said, as if I had offended her and not the other way around—as if I had the nerve to refuse her natural born right to touch me. I stared for a moment and watched her walk away. My group of friends were mixed company, but they are pretty awesome women.
“Bitch.” Someone said—I refuse to say who would say such a thing (besides my friends are like the mafia, snitch and you’ll wake up swimming with the fishes).
Listen, I’ve heard all kinds of excuses about why this is not a race issue. They seem to mainly be: “I am a white female with blonde hair, and on more than one occasion, someone has touched my hair.” But, I’ve learned along the years that I can’t decide when someone else should be offended or why they get offended. Neither can you.
In the end, The Stuff White People Do blog put it best. You’re not allowed to touch my hair:
“Because I’m not an animal in the zoo.”
“Because this is my body and I don’t have to let anybody touch any part of it, EVER, if I don’t want to.”
“Because my black ancestors may have been your ancestors’ property, and had to smile while they got touched in ways they didn’t want to, but I am not YOUR property and never will be so you’d best move your hand away from me.”
And I’ll add one of my own: Because you live in a different world from your mothers and fathers and you have the opportunity, no, dare I say the responsibility, to research and find out the views of other people before you make an ass of yourself, and before you offend someone with your ignorance.
‘Nough said. Got it?
- Mood: aggravated
The Angry Black Woman’s Guide to Hair Etiquette
1. It is never okay to touch, pull, or stroke a black person’s hair without permission. No matter how different, cool, or fun their hair looks, you just don’t.
2. It is never okay to ask a casual acquaintance or a perfect stranger if their hair is real. It doesn’t matter how curious you are or how incongruous their hair is to your expectations. Don’t do it.
3. Realize that, in asking if you can touch a black person’s hair, you are objectifying them in possibly uncomfortable ways. That person may consent to letting you touch their hair just to be nice, but rarely is it because they enjoy having your hands on them. The most polite thing would be not to ask until such time as you know that person well enough to know if they won’t mind the request. This is not the Petting Zoo.
4. Think before you make any comments expressing surprise that a person’s hair could look any certain way without a lot of help from chemicals, products, or professional stylists.
Print this, carry it around with you, tell others. I know I will. Because the next person who touches my hair without permission is going to come out of the encounter with several strands of their own missing (with root tags attached).
So I watched the Superbowl as usual. I grew up in a household of my mother and grandmother both of whom love/d football. To this day I’d better not call my mother while a game is on or I will get hung up on. Why might that be relevant? Because we are all women, and we are not the ball crushing, pink fluffy slipper wearing, emasculating shrews that a majority of the Superbowl ads would lead you to believe all women are. I’m a sports nut, and again not some woman who lives for the chance to de-wang her man and make him carry her purse.
If you didn’t know any better, you’d swear the NFL was aiming high for misogynist of the year with their litany of ads that make it seem like all women want to do is make their men miserable and take away their beer, cars and sports for fun and because of course, all women just are bitches like that. Fuck you Dodge and whatever that tv on the go product is, I’ll keep my man hatin’ dollars over here thanks.
I’m so fucking pissed off at the utter idiocy in those ads. Yet, they refused an ad for a gay dating service and they allowed those freaks at Focus on the Family to air their anti-abortion ad? WTF? Really NFL? Are you stuck in the last century?
The most awesome yuki_onna writes up this issue much better than I did above and with less swearing and omg what the fuck is wrong with you at her LJ post on the same topic. Go read her sensible post, mine is still full of what the fucking fuck over here.
I’ve had the issue of women being treated as property, as if (some) men think we are here for their pleasure only, as if we are to be honored by your hey baby, how you doin’s as we go about our daily lives, but instead when we ignore you, tell you to fuck off or just keep walking the insults flow freely.
Instead of understanding that women are not chattel, we do not exist to please you… you revert to mental infancy and call us sluts, whores, bitches… ask if we think we’re too good for you, or won’t we just FUCKING SMILE, after all it was a compliment I paid you, damn why you have to be like that. The litany could go on forever but you get my point.
After a post by karnythia on creepy ass man following her and try8ing to intimidate her, and the story of the MTA passenger who just needed some help but instead was asked out for a date by an employee, this topic has boiled over in my head and needs to be let out.
I know men don’t understand that life is different for women, in that alot of us are raised to be leery of unknown men, especially ones that approach us on the street. It’s something that keeps you safe and can save your life, because you never know when a dude is just trying to be a harmless flirt or a serial killer or rapist. I know its harsh, but you (men who think you’re doing us a favor by hollering on the street)don’t know our lives, our stories, what kind of baggage we’re carrying around.
That woman whose arm you try to grab so you can “talk to her” could be a rape survivor, she could be on the way home after being laid off from a job, or getting some other bad news. She could not be smiling because she just found out her grandmother died or she failed a test, or for any number of reasons. You never know what a person has going on in their head, and presuming that she should give you the gift of her smile, her time just because you’re a man is pretty damn arrogant.
Thinking that women should be honored because you deign to throw some two bit line our way on the street, or talk about us as if we’re nothing more than walking tits, ass and vagina’s put on display for your approval and usage speaks volumes about how little you know about women or the real world. I don’t speak for all women, but I think anyone with a shred of self-respect wouldn’t bother with a trifling ass man who thinks the way into a womans heart is to talk about that ass, and how you’d give her what for.
Men, at least the men who think that this is a GOOD IDEA and women should be grateful for your attention… realize we don’t owe you a motherfucking thing. We don’t owe you our time, our energy, our bodies or our smiles.
Lastly, posted this in a comment to an earlier post of mine and it needs to be seen, and reposted far and wide.
I cannot take credit for this master work of words. Tis the wordsmithing of my dear friend HMC or in other words RebelPants. Read and Learn people.
So the other day, I’m on the bus, carrying my groceries in bulging reuseable bags, when a bleary-eyed woman reeking of cheap booze and sporting a look that can only be described as “Wrath of God” wheezed into my face “Hey, lemme ask you somethin’…Do you carry all of that shit to the gym with you?
You know, do you ever work out when you buy all that stuff?” Because this was not the first time someone had approached me in this fashion (and because I am woefully indoctrinated by my Kansas upbringing that will not allow me to tell people who sorely deserve it to “Kiss My Fat Ass” – because *that* would be rude…)I levelled her with my steeliest glare and said ” I am going to try to reserve judgement on you and hope that it will teach you to do the same.” She looked stunned, as if I had just, I don’t know, implied I was going to fist her mother, and whimpered ” I don’t know what YOUR problem is. I’m a NICE person!…I just think you could stand to loose a few pounds..that you should exercise or somethin’.”
Now, before you dismiss this as a ” woe is me, everyone is so mean, and it’s not fair, I’m just big boned” rant, let me state a few things. A)I am fat. Full stop. No excuses, no apologies. B)My reusable grocery bags were bulging because I was going to a picnic the following night and had agreed to bring food for my portion of the tickets…including bulk items like soda, and fruit ( carrots weigh more than Twinkies) C ) she may have noticed the package of Krispy Kreme donuts at the top of the bag and felt entitled to make an intervention ( which she *should* have…not because I am obese, but because no matter what they say on the box, microwaving them for 9 seconds does *not* replicate in any way shape or form the manna from heaven that is a fresh from the oil and sugar bath Krispy Kreme…if the HOT light isn’t on, it just isn’t worth it.) D) I eat the recommended #of calories for the bodyweight I would like to acheive, and walk on average 2-5 miles per day ( NOT at a gym!) Finally,E ) – and this is an important one – It is none of her damn business what I eat, where I eat it, or in what quantity. None. Period. Fin.
We have a real problem with that last one. “We have an obesity epidemic!”headlines shout. We are the fattest nation ever! It is costing us all millions in health claims, and extra gas charges to lift your fat assess into aerospace! That’s the *real* cause of the energy crisis, all the fuel guzzled by the army of scooters fat people ride at Wal-Mart…If we eat Twinkies, the terrorists win! ( ok, that last one *might* be true…does any non-stoner over the age of 18 actually eat those things? Could you explain to me why, when there is perfectly good Pain au Chocolat and Baklava to be had?)
Let’s talk about those “costs”. Obesity is sort of like that list of side effects on a medicine bottle – if one person had it, they have to report it. Obesity is linked to any and everything…when you die, if you are more than 20 lbs overweight, obesity is going to be listed as a cause. Meaning, if you drank a fifth of Jack every day, chainsmoked, did coke lines off the stomach of syph-filled underage hookers, and fell off Trump Tower, obesity would still be listed as “potential cause of death”. (Because, as we all know, FAT makes you STUPID, which is what leads you to do stuff like that.)
And stop whining about things that don’t directly benefit you driving up the cost of things…that is the way the whole system works. It’s part of being American. We all pay for one another’s choices, and resent the hell out of it until we need it ourselves, ( then we feel entitled). I have paid for health insurance my entire adult life. I have taken (over more than a decade) perhaps 20 sick days total, and had fewer prescriptions…none of which were weight – related. The hundreds of thousands of insurance dollars used by the average family of 4 likely outweigh whatever alleged increases I have contributed due to my poundage. Does that mean I am anti-family? Of course not. I am saying that families occur naturally, are medically preventable, and are a lifestyle choice that does not (at the present) benefit me, but I pay into everyday. So part of why you can go get little Billy patched up for a $15 co-pay is because some fat girl somewhere is paying her premiums, but doesn’t make time for annual visits because whenver she has an earache, her GP wants to talk to her about lap-band proceedures. You’re welcome.
And airlines – “I paid for a seat, I should get a whole seat! I was positively *squashed* for over 3 hours by the fat person next to me and I was scarred for life!” United is following Southwests’ lead and charging double for large passengers who ” can’t use the regular seatbelt” ( I wonder how hugely pregnant 2nd trimester women will feel about that rule?) citing the number of complaints they’d had in the past year about “Outsized” passengers. I wonder what percentange of their overall complaints that amounted to, because air travel these days sucks, and I don’t see enough of us obese people on the planes to be the true tipping point.
The last flight I took was in January. I was iriritated because I’d stood in line for a half hour to be told at the desk my flight was routed thru another carrier, and I would have to change terminals and repeat the waiting process. I was irritated because my 6 am flight was cancelled, and I spent over 4 hours, ferrying back and forth between 3 gates ( at opposing ends of the terminal), getting bumped on flights by people who had overslept and *missed* their flight, but had membership status that ranked above me. I was irritated by large adolescent tour groups, people with carryons the size of small children, and airline clerks who kept telling me “I’m really very sorry….good luck!” (as if I’d bought a lotto ticket, not airfare). In short, I hated EVERYONE, and it didn’t matter what size they were. My primary annoyances that flight were the aforementioned tour group (who delayed us over 20 minutes making sure everyone was there, and that no minors were sat in exit rows), and the chaperone who immediately cranked her non-plus sized body into the reclining position so she spent 3 hours watching reruns of ” The New Adventures of Old Christine” from my lap.
Point? I was uncomfortable. Not because I am overweight, or because I was being crushed by Jabba the Hut, but because flying coach is uncomfortable. I am sure I would have been able to better relax if I only had to share an Airbus with me and my 10 closest friends, but I would likely be less comfortable with the hundreds of thousands of dollars it would cost me, so I deal with the fact that being of standard economic class means I have to share as nicely as possible in sardine like conditions.
Sidenote: I love to fly, and have mostly had very pleasant experiences…Including several kind people who have lifted the arm rest, taken the outside seat, shared the middle laptray all without my request, in gestures of camraderie. When I travel, I take every precaution to stay out of everyone’s way, and if anyone is uncomfortable in their seat it is *me*. You know what is more likely to ruin your ride? The guy who sits as if he has huevos the size of bowling balls and rides broncos all day. Or the one who carries 2/3 of his body weight above his waist, so his tiny butt fits in in the 17 inch seat, but his linebacker shoulders and pile driving arms take both armrests and half a seat on either side. Or the teeny woman in stilletos who arrives 30 seconds before the plane departs, and shoves her non-regulation designer luggage in on top of every other soft- sided bag in the compartment, ignoring the crunch as she shuts the door.
But the purpose of this rant is not to indict the airlines, or pregnant women, but to basically say that it is time to put aside these circular, hugely flawed, inflammatory but ineffective arguments about fat, and have a calm, rational, adult discussion about health. Which means both sides of the argument will find things that are hard to swallow. (pardon the pun)
Fellow fat people: Some of you have medical conditions, degenerative joint disease, lupus, etc that contributes to your weight gain. But most of us, myself included, are fat because of a simple fact – we like to eat, and we don’t like to exercise. Period. Now, I have tons of thin friends that equally love to eat, and don’t like to sweat…we go out for the same delicious dinners at little known thai, mexican, and sushi spots, stuff ourselves silly, and waddle off to watch reruns of Blackadder or House,MD.. But when *they* do it, for whatever reason, they don’t gain weight, and I just put on 2 pounds typing this. Is that unfair? Yes. But so is the fact that I have a flawless complexion and naturally curly hair that looks good straight out of bed. We all have our tribulations…mine is that I have to pay closer than average attention to what I eat, and exercise 60-90 minutes every day.
Fat health advocates – is it possible to be healthy AND overweight? Yes! You can have good vitals, eat well, exercise daily and still be overweight…BUT, that is not the case for most of us, and we are not doing ourselves any favors by pretending this is so. Most of us simply need to burn more calories than we eat. Whether those calories are in boneless skinless chicken breasts, or cheeseburgers. And, when we do things that are good for our overall health (like eat whole grains and walk 30 minutes a day…NOT go on a cayenne pepper lemonade fasts and take up smoking) a pleasant side effect is, we tend to lose weight.
And thin people: Here is a partial list of what being thin does NOT make you:
Smarter, prettier, better, more virtuous, honest, brave, sexy, healthy, worthy of love, wealth and happiness, better in bed, entitled, valuable, beautiful, chic, better parents, stronger, God’s chosen… it will not give you clear skin and multiple orgasms…it will not make your whites whiter, your coat shiny, and your breath smell like Chanel #5 …
Here’s a complete list of what being thin makes you:
And that’s ALL it makes you. Simply thin. Just another descriptive word, like tall, blonde, hairy, Jewish, Bisexual. It is just what you are. It doesn’t entitle you to anything, it doesn’t protect you from anything, it is not a magic wand. I know what the ads say, but they LIE. To the tune of several billion dollars a year. (Because, well, if you were happy with yourself the way you are you wouldn’t buy half the shit you do. Insecurity and entitlement are great for the economy.) If you are thin, and an a_hole, you will still be an a_hole. And we will still hate you for it. (Not, mind you, because we are jealous of your thinness, we’re just pissed you’re such an a_hole…) Being thin entitles you to smaller pants, not a bigger life.
It was a shock to me to realize a few years ago that my “classically pretty” ( read: thin, blonde, under 5’6″) friends were living lives pretty similar to mine. They loved/hated their jobs/ parents/ boobs. They got hit on by entirely unsuitable men who called them fat, crazy bitches when they got rejected. They got bored in their relationships, had unsatisfactory sex, and their hearts broken – being thinner than me didn’t protect them from any of that. The girl I talk to the most about fashion is a co-worker who is 5’4″ and weighs 95 lbs. We are at opposite ends of the clothing spectrum – I can only shop at Lane Bryant, she can only find jeans to fit at Gap Kids. But we both are familiar with the struggle to find fashionable, functional clothes in a world that says that Women like us don’t exist, and design as if we are pre-pubescent or post-menopausal. Also, we are both equally appalled by the current trend of throwing large waist-cinching belts over everything ( SERIOUSLY, you’re not hiding anything…just stop.)
The truth about our diet is that most of us in this country, fat or thin, have an unhealthy relationship with it. We have no idea what the hell we are doing, and it is affecting us, and our children. We watch tv shows where it is perfectly alright for the heroine to drown her sorrows in a pint of Ben and Jerry’s because in real life, the actress has been on The Zone diet for the past, oh, DECADE, has a personal trainer, and secret cosmetic surgeries. I have friends who keep packing chips and snack cakes into their kids lunches, even tho they come back home everyday unopened, because when they were kids, those things were precious conmodities that only the rich kids had, and in some recess of their brain, providing a better life for their kids = unlimited Pringles, whether they want them or not. Snack Packs have become the new Piano Lessons.
We have to change the way we think about Health in this country, and by change, I mean we have to start thinking about it. Even as our headlines scream obesity panic, we still behave in the same shame/blame cycles that lead us into more panicky consumption.
We have to teach our children that exercise is not what you do to keep from becoming fat, or punishment for being fat,or has anything at all to do with being fat. Exercise is what you do every day to be a healthy person, just like brushing your teeth or bathing. We don’t tell kids to brush only once their teeth start to hurt, or bathe when the lice hatch. Nor do we tell them that good oral hygeine makes them closer to God, and that showering is good stress management. It’s just part of maintaining a healthy body. No judgement, just fact.
We also have to lead by healthy example. I was dieting ( when am I not?) around the winter holidays, and visited two different families…I was worried that I would undo all my hard work of eating pre-packaged meals by eating off the grid for two weeks. At both homes I was served an abundance of insanely delicious food. At the first home (vegan) we tended to graze all day – ate when hungry, stopped when full, on a variety of things that were mostly thrown together on impulse. We walked (and danced, and played in the surf) much. At the other home, I was served lovingly prepared 4 star meals ( many of which contained bacon,butter, cheese and – lord preserve us! Real cream) which we sat down and enjoyed thoroughly. We did not eat again until the next astonishingly good meal. We also walked all over creation including from Capital Hill back to Arlington after standing for 6 hours at the Inauguration. I finished both trips a few pounds lighter and with a lot of food for thought. Both families walked (and biked, and swam, and danced) not because they want to “win the war on obesity” but because it’s a normal, healthy way to move thru the world. They both ate leafy greens and cake for the same reason – because they are delicious. It wasn’t any more complicated than that.
Personally, I think we would all be a little better off if we adopted that style of living.If instead of focusing our rage at plus-sized people in line at the airport, or McDonald’s, we were angry about the decrease of phys ed, intramurals and arts programs in our schools, that ketchup now counts as a “vegetable”, that there are millions of kids being raised in communities where there are more liquor stores and convenience stores than markets, where broccoli (if it can be found) costs 3 times what ramen and sugary cereals do, where milk is $5 a gallon, but a 2 liter of coke is $.99…where there are few public parks, and none of them are safe to play in at any time of day, and parents are too tired from working multiple jobs to navigate all of those communal strikes against them and go play for an hour. We must stop seeing health as something only rail thin people with designer outfits and gym memberships are worthy of, and recognize that in a healthy society, we are going to grow up and not snicker or snarl when there are fat people on “our” beaches, bike paths and yoga mats. ( Walking is excellent exercise, and only requires a good pair of shoes. Yoga is equally free, free-ing, portable and potent. And I, like a lot of fat folks, am WAY bendy!)
Finally, we must stop seeing thinness as an intergral part of health, and instead see it as what it is – a possible side effect of healthier choices that all citizens are entitled to. Both sides of the argument will have to acknowledged the truths of the other before real progress can be made. And unfortunately, it’s focusing on these fanatically untrue statements ( and ingoring that which is simple and true) that conributes to the rise in obesity…
If we can separate Health from the word Fat, we can see it as something that is attainable, and that all people are worthy of. Further, the more that we see good health as something we all deserve and are entitled to, it is more likely that we will become a more physically fit nation, because we won’t be waiting until we lose weight to take a dance class, go for a walk, take a midnight swim… ( or yes, if you must, JOIN A GYM) We could all just be active and equal participants in life, without fear of recrimination from people who believe, falsely, that a healthy life is reseved only for the thin, and that health is a reward for being thin, rather than veiwing thinness as what it is: a sometime side-effect of a healthy life.
*Note:Links auto play obnoxious music*
Can someone translate this page or get an email address to send a note to them? They are the dipshits behind the Bacardi Get an Ugly Girlfriend ad campaign. I found this via ShapelyProse…
I got no words for this… I’m hoping it’s a poor attempt at satire, or something not sanctioned by Bacardi since the site isn’t even in English but damn am I seeing red over it. Here’s an excerpt from Kate Harding’s post..
“This is how the patriarchy and the beauty ideal collude: we are supposed to see these women and be so stunned that they aren’t thin, white, blonde, able-bodied, and perfectly symmetrical that we can only call them ugly. We’re supposed to look at these pictures and say “At least I’m prettier than her.” We’re supposed to view our female friends as accessories in our true life goal, which is to look hot for men. There are hot women, and there are ugly women, and if you’re not the hottest woman in the room, you’re automatically the ugliest.
The appalling part of these ads is not the women; it’s the blatant misogyny. Once you take off your Patriarchy Blinders (patent pending), the charge of “ugly” doesn’t even begin to make sense. If you saw these picutres without any text surrounding them, what would you think of these women? Even with the pernicious text framing them as objects of derision, this ad doesn’t work on me: these women are straight-up pretty. Pretty, stylish, and flirty even. I guess they have some of that self-esteem that’s been going around lately.”
Did I mention how much I love Kate Harding? Well I do, because I got this link to Feministing’s article on just how creepy that new show I want to save your life is.
I keep seeing the ads for this show everywhere, and frankly it disgusts and creeps me out. This guy is following these women around, watching everything they do, eat, etc and correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t that stalking someone?
These women aren’t obese, or honestly all that fat. The woman in the adverts I’ve seen around town seem to be average. Not particularly skinny but not omg you’re gonnna diiiiieee fat either.
I’m so sick of the idea that women are community property to be molded into others image of what’s acceptable, normal and desirable. I’ll be happy when the fashion industry burns to the ground for perpetuating these unattainable “norms” that only silicone, plastic surgery and starvation can achieve.
Via spot on LJ, Kung Fu Monkey hits the bullseye on the so-called ousting of Hillary Clinton, the misogyny of the race and the twisting of the meanings of race and misogyny in the context of this presidential race.
The post can be found here
Full text after the jump:
Especially the rhetoric of lunatics like Phyllis Schlafly. She still puts forward the idea that women should stay home and in the kitchen in this day and age. I just don’t see how anyone can see past the fact that:
- The way the economy is, families could not sustain their quality of life or in some cases survive with only one income coming into the household
- If you continue with the idea that a woman’s place is not only in the home but to keep popping out children, you have now added to the monetary needs of the family in question.
- Unless one man is making about $75,000 annually (thats take home, so really about $85K before taxes give or take) there’s no way a family can survive with one income earner.
- There are more women than men in the population, so if only men worked and were the sole providers for the larger part of the US population, the economy would collapse.
- The whole idea of telling women their place is in the home is ridiculous because it assumes the values of the 50′s, 60′s and early 70′s are still what are considered the norm in societal wants and needs. More women are forgoing marriage until later in life, not having children at all or are not partnered with men.
- The idea that women should remain uneducated is ridiculous because we will again be faced with generations of elderly women who are helpless once their husbands pass away. The women who let their husbands run the home in every way often couldn’t find the checkbook or knew where the life insurance information was kept.
The idea that women should be kept in the home, tied to the kitchen and children in this day and age is just ridiculous. I don’t see how anyone could support the ideology now, let alone back when it was the norm. I guess maybe I suffer the sin of practicality, but someone tell me just how such backwards thinking can be considered as viable, let alone be lauded in this day and age?
Eric and I are watching tv and a commercial comes on about rolling over your 401K. The couple in the commercial are middle aged. The wife begins to berate her husband, stating he couldnt roll anything over with a rolling pin and that if (the 401K administrators) could have, they’d have signed his name for him.
This commercial yet again enforced the stereotype of the hapless male and the wife or girlfriend as the superwoman in a relationship. Again, if the commercial had featured a man doing that to his wife or girlfriend, women’s groups would be demanding that the commercial stops airing and the makers of the commercial apologize to women everywhere for the negative portrayal.
Now, before anyone gets their knickers in a twist, think about this easy comedic bit, and the hell that would break loose if the roles were reversed in films, sitcoms, commercials etc.
Eric brought up the example of Hard Candy where a young girl destroys an older man who molested her friend earlier in the film. She does this via torture, mind games, etc. His point was that if the roles were reversed and it was a teenaged boy doing this to an older woman then people would be up in arms about the misogynistic, hurtful portrayal of women.
I think its a really dumb double standard that men can be skewered for the easy laugh or used as easy foils for the latest sitcom, but isnt anyone else tired of this?
Your thoughts, rebuttals, etc??!
I got my usual EB Games email newsletter today… someone explain to me what the hell the highlighted text is supposed to mean? [All emphasis is mine]
Nariko, a fiery redhead with a cursed ancient sword, takes on thousands to save her clan. Although we wonder where she managed to find L’Oréal’s Ruby Rush hair color in old-world Japan, we’re willing to overlook that because of the cinematic-quality animation and context-sensitive action.
Much more than a mere button-masher, Heavenly Sword rewards you for using the style and grace of a feminine heroine, rather than just stomping about. However, you’ll still be able to run up a substantial body count with a variety of fighting stances and attacks.