Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Under my Skin.

There are a shit load of things that I have learned not to let under my skin. Names I've been called by strangers and "friends", getting my stories rejected, jackholes being shitty on the internet and still there are a few things that crawl right up my butt and annoy the fuck out of me.

Recently in a (now deleted) conversation on facebook I made a comment to the effect that I am a fat woman who does not like some fashion tid bit. I don't even remember what it was but, what pissed me off were the slew of women telling me OMG DON'T CALL URSELF FAT UR BEAUTIFUL.

I got rude.

I admit it.

Look fuck off.

If there is one thing I hate above almost everything else it is someone trying to "make me feel better" by completly disregarding anything I say. At first I responded that I self identify as a fat person and it is not a pejorative, it just is. I can say that I Shannon am a fat lady just as I can say X person is a fat person and in the context I am using it, I am not making a value judgement. In this context it is a descriptor, it is an identity I have claimed for myself.

The thing about this behavior that makes me angry is the assumption that I am not capable of making up my own mind or thinking about something. I have a similar reaction to anyone who thinks an opinion I have is knee jerk because maybe I didn't explain all the reasons I have a certain opinion. Yes sometimes I can say things that seem flip or unexplained. I am not generally one to be all like RESPECT MAH AUTHORITAY, but I am one to be pissed off when I am disrepected enough to be thought of as essentially being unable to think about things critically or make decisions for myself.

I do not appreciate the attitude that I must be ignorant to hold X opinion or to identify with X thing and thus it is X's job to educate me on why I shouldn't feel a particular way. This is a big part of the reason why I don't identify with feminism anymore. Back to the facebook bullshittery. Basically it came down to me saying you know what yes I am fucking beautiful and yes I am fucking fat and if you cannot deal with it how about you stop commenting or learn to read my reasoning behind using that word. If all you want to do is preach your own self hating language keep right on stepping. It got deleted after that.

Now if you have a predilection towards trying to explain people out of their opinions here is how to go about doing so.
I'll use the fb thing as an example.

Shannon: I'm a fat lady blablablabla

Mystery person X: Oh why do you say you are fat?

Shannon: Because I am a fat person..blablabla self identifying blablabla not a pejorative

Person X: That's an interesting view point... Now at this point two things could happen scenario 1. Person X: Can you tell me more about your opinion about being a fat lady?

Shannon: SURE..fat blablabla FA...blablalba YAY FATASS...

Or scenario B in which I lose my shit:

Person X: That's so awful that you think you're fat I think you're beautiful..blablabla..self esteem..blablabla...weightloss...blablabla

Shannon: *Brain gets full of fuck, proceeds to lose her shit*

The thing is that no matter how much you can't understand, can't see from another point of view, or disagree trying to explain another persons ideas and thoughts away as being knee jerk or whatever it is, is just not awesome.

This is especially not awesome when it comes to how people self identify and talk about themselves. Trying to disagree with them or talk them out of it can be so much more harmful than simply saying, oh I'm interested in what you have to say about being X. You may not ever get it, you may think it's stupid, you may think their way of self identifying is just...too out there for you but it's okay.

YES, yes my homies it is okay to disagree with how and why people say things. Disagreeing does not however give you cause or the right to change them though. No matter what movement you're involved in, how popular a blogger someone is, how much more educated about something someone is it is okay to disagree.

And homies who get disagreed with, it is okay to have people not agree with X about you. That doesn't have to mean the end of a friendship, it doesn't mean you have to argue with them or change their minds. Sometimes we have to know when to say well we don't agree and that's that. Unfortunately too often, especially among people into social justice too many things become deal breakers.

I find the trend of saying well, X doesn't agree with X thing so now we aren't friends/I won't read them ever again/we (as in the collective We who agree on X topic) are going to publicly talk shit about them until they agree all just goes too far. I have seen too many We groups decide to discount everything someone has said or written because they didn't acquiesce to whatever thing the We disagreed with.

I can't get down with that. I don't suggest that having hard limits with people is bad. It's not. I have them. What I am suggesting is that sometimes rather than going right for the unfollow/unfriend/never talk to again mode, maybe figure out how to exist together in a social circle whilst disagreeing.

I suggest that rather than going for someone guns blazing with your homies as back up, just disagree and call it a day.

Or rather than going in with the CHANGE YOUR MIND OR ELSE mentality, go in with a hey, X thing you said really hurt me in X way and it was not okay with me. Could you not do that around me again.

At this point you can go on with your relationship with that person without butting heads, you can decide to limit your interaction with that person or you can hash it out. At the end of the day it comes down to this.

If you claim to be a feminist, size or fat positive, etc once you presume that someone does not have a thought process behind what they say even if you mightily disagree; doesn't help your cause.

You could be talking to someone like me who might see that you have good intentions but your intentions are screwed up by showing disrespect. And yes it is disrespectful to assume that someone has not thought about something. Granted they may have not thought about it but you won't know until you ask. And telling is not asking.

Now my darlings. The essay book is like 98% done being written. I need to have an IM date with my editor to discuss how I'm going to proceed but it'll be awesome.

Also you can catch new experimental horror fiction by me here at Death Head Grin.

Lastly the fund drive continues details at ChipIn (which I continue to find embarrassing).

One last thing. You have homework. What style of Clarks or Dansko shoes do y'all wear? I have zappos credit from a boot disaster and I've been looking. Suggestions for things preferably in black or shiny black and not actual clogs. Homo Out.

1 comment:

kyleth said...

Thank you for letting people know that fat and beauty are not exclusive. I have a friend who tells me that she doesn't see me as fat. That's the same as someone telling me that they don't see me as black. Both of those things are a part of who I am and to say that you don't see them is to deny them.

Thank you for this post and telling people where to get off.

Subscribe To My Podcast