Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Come on Anons. Get it together.

One of the responses is this to my last entry, read that here.

I fully agree with this blog and the important message it sends. That being said, educating the general public/creating awareness that decreases discrimination against fat people might go a little better without the intense judgmental attitude (don't lie, you all got lot's of pleasure out of this person being torn into about their negative views) this is understandable since ppl who shame fat ppl really suck. But, how many of the ppl you are truly trying to reach with respond to this blog positively and change their views? I believe you are fact just "preaching to the choir" on this one....


Ahem.

First of all Anon let me tell you a thing.

No I was not nice.

And yes I will in fact judge the hell out of anyone who thinks it is okay to shame, abuse or otherwise mistreat a "friend" simply because of the size of their ass.

I am not friendly with abusers on any level.

It is not okay and it does in fact merit strong language and yes serious judgement because it is not okay behavior. It is so beyond not okay.

Also I am going to assume you are new so let me break it down.

I do not play at tone policing nor do I play at respectability politics.

If you tell me that if only I am a nice fat ass (or a nice Black lady) people would listen, I will tell you in return that 37 years of experience tells me otherwise.

Since you are probably new let me direct you here.

I have been doing this for a long time and if you can't be bothered to read the entries I've linked let me give you the short version.

I spent years, especially at the start of my various activism when I was about 14, being super nice. I was polite. I was quiet. I asked people not to be anti Black around me, or homophobic, or sizeist very nicely.

When I first started blogging and talking online about social justice flavored things I was super nice. I used my skills to be open and understanding, I took the high road.

Guess where it got me?

Nowhere and nothing.

Matter of fact, at one point I was ready to give up doing anything social justice flavored because when I expended so much energy to be nice to abusers, I got death threats. I gt rape threats.

Now anon, here is the thing.

By telling me if I was just a nice fatty, more people would change their mind you are discounting the work I do, you are basically telling me to grin and bear it.

If I was talking about say street harassment would you tell me to smile because the man calling me a fat bitch and trying to get me into the car is just trying to be friends?

I would hope not.

Moving along.

Frankly your assumption that my no bullshit (frankly I was not really mean I was not putting up with bullshit and am assertive about it, totally different thing) attitude actually has garnered quite a bit.

I have gotten notes, messages, comments telling me that yes I have changed minds while not kissing abuser ass.

If you'd like to know, the entry you commented on (as with other of my no nonsense I am not taking shit type entries) are generally the most widely read.

I have a core readership of about 300 or so. Not a huge amount but more than I had when I made the extra effort to be real gentle about my responses to such things.

On the days when I'm extra assertive about my personal boundaries or other tom foolery, my "new" as in not the choir readership tends to reach up to about 3-4K.

And normally after a swell like that, a few hundred keep coming back.

Here's the thing anon.

Being critical and blunt about an issue does not negate what I have to say.

Educating is not analogous to holding the hands of people who are adults and telling them, oh come on shmoopy just be nice.

It isn't about just being nice.

It is about not taking part in an abusive culture.

It is about not being an abusive douchebag to someone one claims to care for and who is already on society's shitlist.

And I will let you in on a secret as well.

I have been that fat friend.

I had "friends" who tried to "fool" me into eating in a manner they thought was healthy.

I had "friends" who would purposefully shame me by giving me too small clothes or telling me if I just lost those last ten pounds I'd be SOOOOOOOOOO PRETTY.

You know how not okay that is?

When I was a child, I grinned and bore it. I kept the too small clothes. I exercised more. I wore baggy clothing so my thin friends wouldn't be subjected to my fat ass.

When I got up the courage to tell my "friends" that they were hurting me guess what happened?

They said that if I tried harder I could lose weight.

I cried to them.

I begged.

Eventually I just hid away because I was being emotionally abused and had nowhere to turn. I am old as fuck and back then I had no FA. I had no other teenage fatty's to turn to for advice.

Nobody stuck up for me and my body.

Nobody put their foot down and said NO MORE.

No one.

Do you know what it would have been like for me had anyone, someone put their foot down and was assertive about how not okay my "friends" behavior was?

And let me assure you.

I get no pleasure out of having to tell a grown ass person not to abuse someone they supposedly care about.

I get no pleasure having to tell people over and over again that their apparent concern is not what they are putting forth.

I get no pleasure knowing that out there somewhere there is some fat person who has that asshole constantly grilling them about their food intake, their exercise and doing fuck all to really be of help or support.

I get no pleasure out of knowing that if you polled my hardcore readers (Beatfreak and the like who have been here with me for years) they would probably say they were once that fat friend too and it is awful.

I get no pleasure knowing that this fat person out there probably has no support system in place so if they would like to work on their health or fitness, they have people around them who won't "support" them into disordered habits.

I get no pleasure knowing that the "care" the person who sent me the original note consists of abusive and manipulative behavior and the fact that they fully believe it is okay to do that because their friend is fat.

What is wrong with you Anon?

Do you think it feels good to me to know, and I mean know intimately what that experience is like and only having the recourse of trying like hell to stop it from afar?

Do you think it feels good to me that I can't reach out to that fat person, hug them and tell them that no, not everyone is going to treat them that way and that they don't deserve to be treated that way?

I sat on that note for a month.

I spent days thinking about that fat person and wanting to really help them. I wanted to show them beautiful fat sized clothes and photos of beautiful happy fat people and tell them, hey you can get there.

But what's important here is the abusers feelings right?

Since you don't know me Anon let me tell you a thing.

The reason I am assertive, the reason I am passionate and angry is because I care very very deeply for my fellow human beings.

It is hugely important to me that for (at this point a lot of people and yes I am bragging) some people, my anger helps them see some shit clearly.

It is immensely gratifying to me when someone sends me an anonymous note telling me they bookmarked a particular entry ad read it when they are sad.

It fuels me when someone tells me that they needed to hear something, yes even if it is in your words judgemental, because it is important.

Now before you suggest to anyone else ever that if only they were nicer, I suggest googling respectability politics and tone policing and why it is not okay and not effective.

Also frankly I am not for everyone and that is fine.

I don't need internet fame so bad that I would make my work palatable to everyone. That is just not my jam.

If my style or attitude is too raw for your taste there are eleventy billion other blogs to read. There are a ton of other fat blogs to read.


I am dead serious about these things and if you can't dig it, that's okay.

Now, in other news Beatfreak I am thinking about you for reasons.

Also I am dedicating one of the chapters in V2.0 to you Beatfreak. For reasons.

How is everyone?

Has spring happened where you are?

OH I have an update from our Wheelie Homie from this  entry.

I have a whole entry planned for that because we need to talk about making it work when we can't afford brand new clothes and I want to do some stuff for my Fat Dudes and Other masculine style homies.

Okay I'm off.

Homo Out.
Share/Bookmark

2 comments:

Sleepydumpling said...

Another fantastic post. I've been working on one along the same lines, but haven't had the spoons to really make it ready to share yet (it's been a bad few weeks pain wise).

The more we talk about not being "nice" the more we break down that whole bullshit about politeness winning more support than anger or bluntness. After all, no revolution was staged by asking please.

LAT said...

I bought your book and I love this post. So many times we fatties are treated like lesser beings and expected to smile.

Subscribe To My Podcast