On fat admirers and allyship

There are two articles I saw recently that I want to highlight – one on being a good ally to fat acceptance, and one on dating while fat. Being a good ally is important, and the article I link to below is written by someone who has fucked up, and isn’t afraid to admit it. But the one thing I like about her? When called out, she listened, and adjusted her behavior. That’s a *very* important think to be able to do if you actually want to be an ally (as opposed to just wanting to make yourself look good.) I’ve made mistakes myself – if you go back to some of my writing from a few years ago, you’ll see some of mine. I’ve grown and evolved by listening and by reading blogs run by fat people.  If you shut up and listen, you can learn a lot.

Dating while fat isn’t something I can relate to at this point, but I wanted to highlight it for two reasons. One, on its own merit – hearing a queer woman of color discuss her experiences and what is not okay is important. Whitewashing is a problem, and so is heteronormativity. Two, it made me, as a fat admirer, realize that I need to be really clear about the fact that there is absolutely a right and wrong way to be a fat admirer.

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Thurs April 28 is “Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day”

The university I work for sent out an email stating how they are “fully supportive” of this day – they “encourage you to bring your child to work and be creative in integrating them into your day.” Which is great in theory, but the parents I work with tend to allow their children to be disruptive and annoying, so I’m not super enthused by this.

Thus, I just sent the following email to my boss:

Next Thursday could alternately be called “People Who Are CF Get To Listen To  Your Annoying Children Running Up And Down The Hallway All Day Because You Think Everything They Do Is Cute And Precious Even Though It’s Actually Really Irritating And Unprofessional” but that’s just a suggestion.  Another one is “If She Throws Another Dirty Diaper In The Kitchen Garbage I’m Setting Her Office On Fire.”

If I didn’t have to attend a training that day, I would seriously take the day off.  I don’t mind kids doing normal kid stuff, but I get really annoyed really quickly when people have children in an environment that’s not meant for children, and then don’t parent those children.

Bring your older kids who are capable of behaving themselves to work? Sure. But my floor will probably be flooded by kids 6 and under whose parents think it’s funny to let them run up and down the hallways singing and yelling, who think it’s okay to throw dirty diapers in the garbage can in the kitchen without wrapping them in anything, and who are completely baffled when I shut my door and refuse to interact with their Speshul Sneauxflakes.

Which is my long-winded way of saying, I don’t actually hate kids, I just hate a lot of parents, and I’m DREADING next Thursday.

 

Parsing through sexism in my everyday life

I really liked this article from Everyday Feminism called 12 Signs Your Date Is Sexist – Because ‘You’re Not Like Most Girls’ Isn’t A Compliment.  Even if you’re not currently dating, it’s worth a read, because you may encounter this sort of thing in other aspects of your life as well. I sure as hell have.

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What it means to say ‘I don’t care what other people think’

I often tell people that one of the major sources of contentment in my life is the fact that I’ve stopped caring what other people think.  But clearly, I don’t walk around in a bubble not caring at all about other people. So what does saying ‘I don’t care what others think’ even mean?

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I really dislike my immune system today.

My current mood: Fuck Lupus.

My autoimmune issues continue to annoy. I started out today feeling fine, and am ending it feeling rather awful, actually. This is the worst bout of joint pain I’ve had, and what’s making it worse is that it’s a hip. I have a profound respect for older people who deal with this shit everyday.

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Naked Writing

For a while, I was on a mailing list for a group that met to write in the nude.  When I first started getting the emails, I thought it was a euphemism for getting to the core of a topic or something like that.  I was quite surprised when I read through the fine print and found that it was, indeed, clothing optional.

I think it’s long since disbanded, and I never attended, but it was a women-only gathering that consisted of eschewing not only clothing, but technology, and writing using pen, paper, and extreme vulnerability.

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Melancholy music

Everyone do your melancholic inner selves a favor and listen to No Salesman by Jordan Klassen:

This is a performance he did for a music discovery resource called The Line of Best Fit.  A line of best fit is, incidentally, also a mathematical/statistical concept that helps analysts understand the relationships between data points.

But seriously, this song.

 

Going beyond acknowledging Brussels

What happened in Brussels is tragic and seems to have been an act of terrorism.  It’s completely awful in every way, and the victims of terrorism should be aided and supported as much as possible from the rest of the world. Having been in very close to New York City during 9/11, I understand the fear and chaos and uncertainty and insecurity that happens in the aftermath of an attack like this.  I remember the grief and the loss that people experienced as individuals, but also as a collective.  I remember the anger, and the desire for retribution in the weeks and months and even years after.  It’s not something I ever want to relive, nor would I wish it on anyone, in any country.

The problem is, the media – particularly American media – picks and chooses which acts of terrorism get attention and support, and which don’t.  There was also a brutal attack in Ankara, which is in Turkey, just before the one in Brussels.  It was just as bad, and appears to have had just as many casualties.  But while we all turned our profile pictures to match the Parisian flag, and are now doing the same from Brussels…why are we ignoring Ankara?

Mic.com has a short article exploring this, which I appreciated.  What I didn’t appreciate was that, while they acknowledged that overlooking Ankara is wrong, they didn’t explicitly get into why Ankara is being overlooked.

It’s because we – at least, we here in the U.S. – only care about terrorism when it happens to predominantly white, predominantly Christian countries.  Countries like ours, and France, and Belgium.

When it comes to predominantly Islamic countries, we don’t care.  We’re not covering Ankara.  When we cover Syria, it’s to fear-monger among uneducated white idiots by accusing homeless refugees who have lost everything of being terrorists.  And that’s completely wrong.

So I challenge you all to not just focus on the coverage of Brussels today and in coming days, but to intentionally also seek out information about what happened in Ankara.  And then keep seeking it out – read about what’s happening in countries that aren’t the U.S. or European.  Read about countries that aren’t predominantly white or Christian.  Read about Syria, and not from American “they’re all terrorists don’t let them in” sources – from sources covering what’s actually happening, and who these people actually are.

Wrap your head around the fact that as the privileged part of the world is reeling from another act of terrorism, there are parts of the world that deal with this sort of violence or the threat of this sort of violence on a daily basis.  There are parts of the world for whom this sort of violence isn’t something that happens now and then, but is very much a part of their everyday lives.  There are people who lose their homes, livelihoods, friends, family, neighbors, culture, and access to basic necessities, who then have to scatter to countries hostile to their existence who conflate them with the people who displaced them.

If that doesn’t resonate, think about it this way – how would you feel to hear everyone talking about how terrible it is that your neighbor’s house was broken into, when your house had just burned to the ground without anyone saying a word?  What if those same people told you that you couldn’t live among them, because instead of seeing you as the victim of arson, they mistake you for the arsonist?

Wake the fuck up, white people.  Especially those of you who call yourselves Christian.  If you want to stand with Brussels, then stand with Ankara, too.  If you stand with white people who are victims of violence, then stand with people of color who are victims of violence.

Condemning terrorism only when it happens to white Christian countries isn’t condemning terrorism – it’s decrying the loss of safety that usually comes along with being privileged.  It’s saying that certain people should be exempt from being targets of terrorism, while others don’t matter as much.  It’s valuing the lives of some people over the lives of others.

And if you think that some lives have more value than others…then you’re thinking like a terrorist.

My tattoos – an homage to poetry

I’ve gotten some new tattoos since the last time I posted pics, and thought I’d share my tats again.  It’s also the first day of spring and getting warm and I’m itching for the time of year when it’s okay to let some skin hang out because I want to run around bra-less in tank tops and shorts like the good lord intended.

Note: This post contains partial nudity and are NSFW and should not be viewed if you’re my mother.  (Seriously mom just don’t.)

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