THIS BLOG IS MOVING

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Because of WordPress’s disgusting decision to reinstate a violent transmisogynist hate blog after removing it for violation of terms of service, I am removing all of my blogs from WordPress.

I am currently moving all posts over by hand. Until I’ve finished this process, the material will remain here. Once I’m done, all of it will be taken down so that no material of mine will continue to bring traffic to this site.

The new location of this blog is http://fatcarriesflavor.posthaven.com

Posthaven is still in beta, and does not have commenting available at this time, although it’s in the works. As soon as it gets commenting, the blog will get commenting. In the mean time, I will copy all comments that already exist over as part of the entries they were originally posted on.

This Blog Will Be Moving

WordPress has always been very bad about taking things down that plainly violate its own TOS. The blog Gender Trender, which out trans women — complete with pictures and any data they can publish on them — and advocates violence against them, was finally taken down some months ago.

Gender Trender’s transmisogynist fan base started a letter writing campaign aimed at people high up at WordPress. I have just learned that they caved and reinstated Gender Trender, a violent and dangerous blog.

I can in conscience no longer bring traffic to this site, so this and any other blog I have on WP will be moving, just as soon as I can find someplace to move them to. Get ready to update your bookmarks.

This Blog Will Be Moving

WordPress has always been very bad about taking things down that plainly violate its own TOS. The blog Gender Trender, which out trans women — complete with pictures and any data they can publish on them — and advocates violence against them, was finally taken down some months ago.

Gender Trender’s transmisogynist fan base started a letter writing campaign aimed at people high up at WordPress. I have just learned that they caved and reinstated Gender Trender, a violent and dangerous blog.

I can in conscience no longer bring traffic to this site, so this and any other blog I have on WP will be moving, just as soon as I can find someplace to move them to. Get ready to update your bookmarks.

When Is a Question Not “Just a Question”?

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Over at This Is Thin Privilege, we’ve been getting a lot of people objecting to our handling of trolls by insisting, “They were just asking a question!” And a lot of trolls who insist that we must answer whatever question they’ve come up with this time, because we owe it to them, or it’s the polite thing to do, or whatever the hell else. This is, of course, bullshit.

What they really want is for us to accept the premise of their questions, because the premise is that fat is bad and fat people are bad. There is no way to give them a response they will accept as an answer to the question unless it accepts the premise.

Don’t know what I’m talking about?

Sort of the classic example is the question, “Have you stopped beating your dog yet?” You can’t answer yes without accepting the premise that you used to beat your dog, and you can’t answer no without accepting the premise that you not only have been beating your dog, you’re still doing it. The only way to get out of it is to say, “What the fuck are you talking about, you complete shit, I have never beaten my dog, how dare you say such a thing?” We call this rejecting the premise of the question.

A little more directly applicably, trolls ask things like, “Given that being fat is completely unhealthy and places a horrible strain on the health care system, how can you justify being fat?” They want us to just grant that being fat is unhealthy and puts a strain on the health care system, when it doesn’t. That’s their premise, though, and the only way to reject that premise is to address that. So we say, “What bullshit, being fat is not automatically unhealthy, and so it doesn’t place a strain on the health care system, and anyway we don’t need to justify being fat any more than we need to justify being short.” And then they scream that we haven’t answered their question, they deserve an answer, we haven’t been polite enough. (This attack almost always comes with a side order of tone argument.)

And then other people jump in and tell us that we shouldn’t assume they were being horrible, they were just asking a question, there’s nothing wrong with asking a question, how dare we say there is.

This, obviously, is more bullshit. When the premise of the question is that fat is bad, and fat people are bad and deserve to be treated badly, then the question is not “just a question,” the question itself is a statement of bigotry and is harmful. The entire idea that there’s never anything wrong with asking a question, and that a question that doesn’t openly use bad language is automatically polite, is nonsensical. The question itself is damaging and insulting, and treating it as if it is a “legitimate” (people keep using that word; I do not think it means what they think it means) question is accepting its premise and does its own damage.

Insisting that these questions deserve to be treated as innocent questions accepts the premise as a valid one, and reinforces fatphobia. Period.

ETA: Oh, this is too perfect. I took the time to dissect a question the trolls were just insisting we hadn’t really answered well enough, and another of the regular trolls came back with this oh-so-eloquent response:

Stfu and stop all the “Intro to Fat Identity for Social Change” jargon, gain some interaction skills, and rid yourself of the assumption that u can avoid tough questioning just because you have a FAQ — ain’t nobody got time to sift through that shit.

This is precisely what I am talking about. We have answered that question thoroughly and repeatedly, but we have done so by rejecting the premise, and since the whole point of the question is to force us to accept that premise, we still haven’t answered.

Oh, and “rejecting the premise” isn’t “Fat Identity for Social Change” jargon, whatever the fuck that means. It’s a widespread phrase that means exactly what it says. National politicians of both major parties use it, people in the media use it, here’s someone using it about soap operas. It derives from formal logic, where premises are the truths one starts to build a syllogism on. If the premises are false, the syllogism fails and the conclusion is unsupported.

This troll is so ignorant he doesn’t understand what a premise is, or apparently what a conclusion is. He’s also so self-deluded he thinks he can force us to answer completely nonsensical questions by flaunting his ignorance.

Interesting

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Interesting

This Is Thin Privilege gets a lot of fucking trolls. A lot. It has whole blogs that exist solely to troll it. More than one of them. Various trolls target anyone who submits to it. We get more troll messages in our inbox than real submissions most days.

This is, of course, quite common for FA blogs. Trolls just cannot fucking stand to see fat people who are happy with their fat, or who insist that we should be treated with respect, or who post about all the fucking evidence that fat isn’t unhealthy and dieting is.

But you know what I find interesting?

I get very, very few trolls.

Last week, one of the TITP dedicate trolls blogs posted a link to this blog. I got about 330 hits in three days. How many trolling comments did I get? None at all.

The link they posted was specifically to the Troll Gallery. They were totally horrified that I would actually dare to post emails — which the commenters themselves supply — IP addresses — information that WordPress gives me on every commenter, but which is easily hidden through proxies — and the physical locations those IP addresses are associated with — which is public information. I was accused of encouraging “IRL harassment,” as if I was providing anything like enough information to actually identify anyone in real life unless the theoretical harasser already knew the person well enough to have their email and the troll was stupid enough to give their real one. They called me a bitch, they laughed at the pictures of myself I post here, the usual.

But they did not troll me directly. The only reason I even saw it was the referrers list on my stats page. They were scared to. They were afraid that I would ruin their fun by not playing with them, and they were more afraid that I was expose them and name them as trolls.

They don’t contact me through Tumblr and troll me there, either. I don’t have access to their IPs through Tumblr, so I can’t even post those. But they don’t troll me through Tumblr because they know that I will just fucking unload on them. I won’t play along. I’ll just demolish their bullshit and call them on their shit and cuss them the fuck out.

Because trolls think that it’s funny for them to call people names, but no one is allowed to call them names. Because trolls want a specific reaction, and when they don’t get whatever it is that gets them off, they aren’t going to bother. What they don’t want is people treating them like they treat their targets, or like the petty, disgusting little shits they are for pulling this. They don’t want people to call them trolls.

People like to tell me that being angry and cussing never wins anybody over. They’re wrong about that, as I’ve discussed before, but this is the other use of it: It keeps off the goddamn trolls.

Fuck off, trolls.

In Good Condition

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Oh! I have found such an awesome word!

Embonpoint, meaning plumpness or stoutness of person. Borrowed from French, from Old French en bon point, literally “in good condition.” Can also be used as an adjective.

Quote from JM Barrie, Peter and Wendy: She was slightly inclined to embonpoint.

Quote from James Joyce, Ulysses: The beautiful woman threw off her sabletrimmed wrap, displaying her queenly shoulders and heaving embonpoint.

I need to use this word. Often.

And a belated happy new year

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Here we are, already halfway into January 2013. Eek. Time, it has not been my friend lately.

In November, my state finally got its shit together, and voters affirmed the law already put in place by the state legislature, and legalized marriage equality. In December, the first wedding licenses were issued. And the following Friday, my wife and I eloped. (Shhh, don’t tell my family.)

We’re still doing the whole big wedding thing (ok, big for us, small for most people) next December, but we were so excited we couldn’t wait. And honestly, we already had a domestic partnership, which is legally the same thing here, and will eventually convert to a legal marriage if we do nothing at all.

So, here’s what I wore for my elopement:

The skirt and blouse are from Recollections, the choker is by Elise Mattheson, and I no longer have any idea where I got the blazer or which local milliner made the hat.

I wasn’t supposed to be wearing that blazer. I have a long black frock coat that goes MUCH better with this, but I couldn’t find it. Eventually it turned up, and was filthy, so I couldn’t have worn it anyway. It’s ok, though. Really, what I was wearing was not the important bit. I just needed a jacket because it was pretty chilly out.

Then we ran away for a weekend on one of the islands. It was wonderful. And I am thoroughly enjoying being married.

Meanwhile, I am now one of the mods at This Is Thin Privilege, and OMG, the trolls and bigots and assholes. I cannot even begin to describe it. The “lol you are such fatties” ones (the last one was signed “god”) are laughable, of course. But the number of people making stupid tone arguments; the people insisting that no, really, our health is in danger; the people demanding proof; the people insisting that there were no fat people, or no poor fat people, before the 1960s; the people insisting that we’re persecuting or hate thin people; that they’ve been thin all their lives and they have it JUST AS HARD as fat people, etc, etc, etc… It’s just amazing to me. We have this this lovely FAQ that covers all of this shit and more, and they never seem to read it. I make at least one “Go read the FAQ” private response every day, and delete several more, and periodically make a standalone post when we get a wave of new people at once just to tell people we have a FAQ and to go read it before asking us anything. We had one commenter mention (in context of WTF is wrong with these people) that we said it so often we sound like a broken record. READ THE FAQ, READ THE FAQ, READ THE FAQ. Why is this so hard for people?

I just don’t know.

I continue to think about the wedding, and to be relieved that a friend is making my dress and my bridal brigade are picking their own clothes, so I don’t ever have to set foot in a bridal boutique and deal with the incredible shit I see other fat brides talking about.

I continue to contemplate pregnancy and child-raising, and feel daunted at the problems fat women encounter in these situations.

I continue to be infuriated by the casual nastiness in TV shows. Just last night, I watched the last two episodes of this season of Haven, a show about a little town in Maine where people have “Troubles” that amount to superpowers that hurt or kill them or others, which sort of loosely references the Stephen King novel The Colorado Kid while not actually having anything to do with it other than a few names. One of the characters, a woman who had been prom queen in high school, but was fat at the class reunion the episode took place at, said that her Trouble was that every bite she took, no matter what it was on the plate, was cake by the time it reached her mouth, and that was why she “look[ed] like this.” Which is just nastiness, really. It doesn’t even make sense with the way the Troubles are set up. It’s just a passing cheap shot at fat people.

I finally caught up with Once Upon A Time, the show about fairy tale characters caught in a curse that plopped them down in our world without any memories of their prior existence. Two of my favorite fat male actors turned up, the amazing Jorge Garcia, and Chris Gauthier, who played ambiguously-gay molecular gastronomy chef Vincent in the now-over SyFy show Eureka. Both are villains. Garcia plays the giant at the top of Jack’s beanstalk. The ground shakes when he walks, and all of the rest of the fairy tail people consider him barbaric and inherently evil. But of course, he has a soft side, and helps Our Heroine after she astounding takes pity on him and doesn’t murder him in his own home, just because he doesn’t want her stealing his stuff. And Gauthier plays Mr. Smee, Captain Hook’s sidekick, who is, in OUAT, a sniveling coward (in a show that frequently repeats that being a coward is worse than being, say, a mass-murderer), a thief, a kidnapper, and someone who will happily victimize a nice young woman for money. Yeah. Yuck.

More upsetting was the incredibly nasty season premiere of Lost Girl, an urban fantasy series about Fae hiding in human society, which involves predatory lesbians, feminists as man-hating “feminazis,” prison rape, forced impregnation, genital essentialism, and a whole slew of the nastiest, ugliest tropes about trans women out there, including trans woman as rapist, trans woman as multiple or serial murderer, trans woman as sadist, trans woman is really a man, trans women try to infiltrate women’s communities for nefarious reasons, oh, and trans panic is a justification for violence and murder. It was horrifying, and my wife and I have had to stop watching the show entirely because of how bad it was and how badly the creators have subsequently handled it (which amounted to saying: no, really, she wasn’t intended to be a trans woman, and anyway the liderc is a mythical creature, so it wasn’t transphobia and you don’t get to complain). Nothing about fat people in this episode. In fact, I don’t think there were any fat people in this episode at all, but I’m certainly not going back to check.

[Please note: If you attempt to justify any of the shit on Lost Girl or claim it wasn't extremely bigoted, you will be banned, because fuck you. It doesn't matter whether or not the character was actually trans, because those are tropes that are commonly about trans women, and that are used to justify discrimination against, harm to, and murder of trans women. If you are ok with these tropes being used, then you are ok with encouraging these things.]

And I totally ran out of steam after all that.

I’m attempting to get a project called Fat Facts and Figures; going, a searchable, tagged record of studies, articles, books, blogs, and resources fat people might need when challenged on the reality of fat discrimination, fat health, basic biology, the obesity epidemic, and whatever else. I’m still trying to get the lists of articles I already have up there, but please, come submit some, which you can do without a Tumblr of your own. I’m not planning to post discussion of the stuff, just links and brief descriptions.

Also, it appears that a lot of my entries here have been randomly truncated. I’m going through and fixing them, but if you see one I haven’t caught, comment on it so I can fix it, please.

Hope y’all’s new years are even brighter and shinier than mine.

Melange

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I ought to be posting more here, but I just can’t get interested. I’ve got half a dozen posts started, but can’t seem to finish any of them.

There’s a fatshion post on cultural appropriation, good intentions, great white saviors, and my own fails.

There’s one on fanart that depicts fat characters as thin, and how very much it pisses me the fuck off.

There’s one on bodily autonomy that’s been sitting there for six months, tying in fatness, pregnancy, being of color and/or trans, and abortion.

And last night there was all the ranting about food fads and “activated almonds” and the difference between staple foods and additional foods. And the comments from a few days ago I just found in the spam bin about how just because we haven’t found a diet that works doesn’t mean diets don’t work, that totally ignored the way bodies work when it comes to dieting. And one about airline seating.

But really, I’ve just been feeling a kind of quiet desperation about the whole thing that’s keeping me from writing more substantively. I read what goes by on Tumblrs like Fat Body Politics and This Is Thin Privilege, blogs like Fat Heffalump and Fat Additives, Twitter feeds like @TheActualFatFox, @BigLiberty and @amaditalks, plus the other people with the blogs and tumblrs already listed, and I can respond to some of it, retweeting and discussing and reblogging and commenting. But it makes me so very sad that when I try to pull my thoughts together to actually say something that can stand alone as a post, I just can’t.

Bigotry wears people down. Right now I’m worn down. So if you don’t know some of the people above, and you want to be reading more about FA, go read them. Come follow me on Tumblr and Twitter (I’m MadGastronomer both places, as I am pretty much everywhere on the internet) and see my more disjointed ramblings, too. But expect some quiet here on the blog for a while.

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