Friday, March 21, 2008

Happy Friday.

So it's Friday and I'm having a most lovely day. I slept (sedated) like a log and Uniballer bought me replacement snacks for work.

I also did something unusual and got a very fancy pastry with my coffee.

Also it's my favorite day at Fatshionista, SALES DAY. There have been so many discussions about people who don't like sales days. It usually revolves around the fact that there are a lot of people in Fatshionista who don't thrift. That's fine. I'm glad.

However there are also a lot of us who can't afford brand new clothes and still want cute stuff.

Also there is always (everytime the issue of sales posts is brought up) more size talk. Who should and shouldn't be able to post clothes. What sizes should and shouldn't be posted.

It gets old but I don't care because. I. Love. Sales. Day at Fatshionista. I have bought some really fantastic things and I really do like being able to ask someone (it feels weird asking on Ebay because I've many times wound up asking some dude who thrifts and resells stuff he knows nothing about) about fit texture etc.

So whatever. But YAY.

Also yesterday I saw a lovely lady in Fats with a cute tattoo between her boobies. Aside from the fact that I was yes ogling her boobies because I love boobies it reminded me that I still would like a between the boobies tattoo.

I have two different chest area designs in mind. One for right down between the boobies and the other at the top of the cleavage. The between the boobs one will probably be a no go because my boobs are naturally close together and smush together right in that area and I think healing would not be cool. I also don't think I'd want to go more than a few days with no bra at all.

Although braless the boobies are naturally at a lovely point, they (I have Dcups these bitches don't sit) hang out together quite nicely.

See my icon here for an example of the boobs in braless action.



I'm leaning more toward the top of cleavage placement. I won't be able to afford the big tattoo to get my backpiece started so probably chesticles it is.

Okay I'm going to switch topics abruptly here for a minute and talk about something I just commented on at the Fatshionista website a moment ago. First feel free to read this entry about race and FA written by someone named Tara.

Overall she makes a lot of valid points. The only thing I seriously disagree with is this bit from the very end:


For the most part, your fat acceptance movement does not speak to us, and we're not coming until y'all work out some shit.


It is not possible to work anything out unless people are willing to have discussion about it. That is just how it works.

As TR said, here:


When a person of color, like Tara just did in her post at Fatshionista.com, goes through the trouble of telling me something I am doing - even, or perhaps especially, unthinkingly - does not make them feel welcome, my proper response is to find out what I can do to make them feel more welcome. The proper response is not to write the whole issue off as divisiveness and, while it might FEEL better, it isn’t to get defensive.


All right.

First of all in case you don't know I am a Black Woman. That is my perspective. I do not (and would never) try to tell you I'm speaking for all my sisters because I'm not, however I can (happily) tell you a few things I've heard from these ladies.

Racism, let's start there shall we?

In the vast majority of conversations about racism I've ever had in my life the issues generally boil down to very simple concepts.

1.) Thinking that your "race" is better than and superior to all others is not pride. Different does not equal superior. The plain fact is no matter how hard anyone tries, human beings are basically just the same. That means the guy from Upper Mongolia has all the same Organs as the guy from Iceland.

2.) Believing that "race" is the indicator of more than the color of someone's skin. No. If you move out of your own sphere of experience, if you put yourself into situations where the people around you are not all from your little microcosm of the universe, that belief will crumble like good bleu cheese.

3.) If you're this "race" that means- insert whatever twaddle here. Not so. See above.

You get my point here you my fabulous readers are smart fucking folks.

Often (in my experience) when it comes to activism of any sort that is not directly related to race, people don't want to put race into it. As color blind as anyone wants to be, the reality is that the color of your skin especially here in America is going to have a big impact on your experiences. Which in turn will impact how you feel and react within your circle of activists.

There is no way around that.

However as TR astutely pointed out, if this conversation is going to be productive getting defensive is not the way to go. I've experienced this in many ways.

I've been told that "well it's not that bad anymore", actually yes it is.

I've heard people presume to speak for me because they "understand the plight of people of color." No actually you probably don't.

If you would like to know how this can be productive let me give you an example okay?

Let's pretend you are an ethnicity other than black. Pick one this is happening in your own imagination. We are discussing how race fits in with oh let's say Fat Acceptance.

This would be great:

You: I just read Tara's post at Fatshionista and I don't agree that race is such an issue.

Me: Why?

You: Well...(insert argument/oppression comparison here)

Me: You know, it's not about comparing oppression and I really don't appreciate you equating not being able to buy pants at the mall to racism. It is not the same thing.

You: Oh, I didn't know that it makes you feel that way. I don't really understand.

OKAY stop there.

Non People of color. One of the best ways I have EVER experienced a dialogue is the very simple words, I don't understand. Say it to yourself, I don't understand.

I think many discussions about difficult issues would be far better if people would not be afraid to own up to the fact that no, they probably don't get it.

Don't keep telling me "but I'm TRYING to ask nice questions" don't whine, don't point fingers and say, "but they started it", or tell me you don't know how to have a productive conversation just don't. It is not my job as one of "them" to teach you how to have a civil and productive discussion with me. It is not my job as one of "them" to give you a free pass if you don't think you are being offensive.

Simply put I am not your guide to life as a Black Woman.

What is good? Good is acknowledging as I said above that no you don't get it. Acknowledge your own prejudices even if it makes you feel like you might get your educated liberal polite society card revoked. Understand that I am under no obligation to feel pity for you if you feel picked on by discussions of race. It is your job to dissect why you feel that way.

For me personally I believe that human beings can work these things out but, we all have to give up some stuff. We have to give up the Oppression Olympics. I know that can be difficult but we have to do it.

We have to give it up because what hurts me the most and causes the most strife in my life is probably way different than what hurts you and causes you the most strife in your life. That's fact. And there is nothing to be done about it.

We also have to give up the idea that just because maybe we're all for the same thing (FA, whatever other rights thing) does not mean that we have the same reasons or beliefs on how to achieve this thing. See the above reason.

We have to embrace and accept that our points of view, how we express them and our aims might not ever line up neatly. And that's ok. Matter of fact it's pretty fucking fantastic because if you approach the same goal from many different paths, lots of folks are going to get there. That's what I believe.

When it comes to when someone says something offensive, this is the kind of conversation I'd like to have about it:

You: Blablablabla...
Me: I think that's really offensive.
You: Really? How come?

And then be willing to listen to why.

Here's what I don't want to hear or see:

You: Blablalbalba
Me: I think that's really offensive.
You: (Any variant of the following) But I wasn't trying to be offensive so why are you offended? That's stupid I wasn't trying to be offensive. That doesn't count. I didn't mean you .

Yeah, after any of that I will decide that you are probably not worth my time or talking to.

On the other hand, I do believe that the only way people will know if they are being dicks is if someone tells them and tells them why without rancor, vitriol etc. I don't mind being that person sometimes because, I feel like if I really value hearing your point of view I'd like to interact if it's needed. I am not obligated to do it, but sometimes I like to.

Okay I'm over it now.

Goddamn it. I was going to buy this blazer but I have one almost exactly like it already. damn it.

I keep doing that lately. Apparently what I like is very well ingrained in the brains.

After all that seriousness feel free to comment even if you just want to tell me I have nice boobs.

Because, (and I'm going to reword a Katt Williams quote)

Don't say my boobs ain't luxurious when you know they are bitch.

That's all.

I'm going to cruise for deals, drink tea and maybe fondle my boobs a little.

Homo Out.

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3 comments:

Kate Harding said...

You have nice boobs. :)

And this is a fantastic post.

DavitaCuttita said...

Oh, Lawdy--girl, I am so jealous of yout tittieness. Like srsly. No lie.

*Ahem*

Okay, this post is definitely great. I always have the same problem too whenever there are racial dialogues--no one wants to admit they don't understand and it's pretty bad. "It's OK not to understand black people! Say it with me, now!" is usually what the conversation turns into.

Once in a while there are admissions and believe it or not, there are also very, very adamant "but I DO!"s followed by your eloquent list of things that shouldn't be said. *Le sigh*

Thank you for writing this. It's brilliant. And I will continue lurking here regularly...of course.

Meowser said...

Thank you, Shannon, for all of this and for the shout-out in your last post. I have a lot to digest.

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