Jade Gordon

Activism

April 26th, 2011

I made a blog post elsewhere, and have updated it periodically, and it seemed time to put it here as well. It focuses on activism, and my views on a lot of issues, including links to support my points (be it actual credible source or opinion pieces). Comments are off because mostly I’m just expressing my views, and cataloging them for future reference. SOrry if some of the links don’t work, I’ll try to figure that out eventually.

I’m at a point that I cannot say I dislike exactly, where my awareness of feminism, body politics, sociology, equal rights, etc. is kind of overwhelming. It took me years to understand that I’ve never been so much “disobedient” as “activist”. I have a hard time taking unfairness lying down, even though I am deeply aware of true fairness not existing in life. (Edit: This is an excellent link (more) a friend shared about this very topic as it relates to activism and communicating, and privilege.)

I try not to be an ass, I don’t like to harass people, and as it turns out, there’s no point in thatpeople will purposefully ignore facts to hang onto misguided beliefs (maybe even when they don’t really believe it anyway). I think that’s pretty obvious, especially if you’re ever tried to have a religious or political argument. I run up against facts that I do not like all the time, and I may initially feel super defensive and refuse to believe it, but generally when I’ve had time to process it, I’ll learn and change. With so many people being hurt so often because others refuse facts and never learn or change, I really want to find a way to break that mechanism. My best guess is my using education early and frequently, adding sociology and civics to elementary and secondary education, and making them college requirements. Reinforce scientific processes, getting people to wrap their heads around the skill of decision making.

Fat Activism and Body Politics

Negative body messages, and the completely unnecessary philosophy of Fatties needing to be AWARE of their health risks every second of every day. (link)

Many? Most? Media messages about “successful”weight loss plans/medications/treatments are bogus, they often lack basic scientific merits such as differentiating between correlation and causation, have statistical errors and misunderstandings (and are often HARMING your health). Example: A result of 3% is not “successful”. (link)(link)(link)(link)(link)

Personal Responsibility only goes as far as the things we can be responsible for. (link)

Not everyone with a weight problem can dedicate 100% of their time and energy to ONLY maintaining their health. Could you? (Willpower isn’t what you think it is.)

Doctors are human, and prone to mistakes and misunderstandings and incompetence just like anyone else, and sometimes they outright lie. (link)(link) (Incorrect numbers and hysteria, because they can’t be bothered to update to current info.)

Fat people can and do, in fact, engage in physical activity. (This link really makes me miss weight lifting!)(link)

Gender Politics:

There is a great myth that “trannies” (for many, you may as well be saying the “N” word when you use that term) are all sexually motivated prostitutes. It is a myth that they must be crazy and depraved to be who they are. There are 4 pages of galleries here with women who are not perverts, hookers, or anything mass media would ordinarily label them (link). They are therapists, computer programmers, pilots, mathematicians, religious leaders, lawyers, professors, children, and they are from around the world. (link) (link)

Transgender people are also people, not “its”, implying that they are less than human is what leads to so many deaths. (link)

History of “Marriage”. (link), and some problems with defining “man” and “woman” in genetic terms. (link)(link). Would you ordinarily deny the right to marry to someone born with say… a cleft palette? Spontaneously aborted digits? Other non-mentally incapacitating birth defects?

When causes battle instead of working together:

Below is an excerpt from something I wrote a few years ago. It is an example of how wrapped up people get in single causes without ever really addressing the heart of the problem : Judging other human beings.

Gay men and Transgender people have been fighting each other for a long time, as well, forgetting the common goal of being treated like human beings.

So, when someone who seems otherwise competent and compassionate makes a remark that people as wide as they are tall should stay home unless they’re out shopping for Wii Fit… it pisses me off. Do they feel that people in wheelchairs should stay home until they can walk like normal people? Do they think just because someone is fat they don’t deserve to have a life? It certainly seems like what they’re saying.

 

 

 

Someone who can say this kind of thing:

 

 

 

 

 

“Born female, she was diagnosed gender dysphoric, and spent six years of her life making the transition from female to male. I met her at the very end of this transition and she decided to stop treatment and return to her original female state. I’ve told her on many occasions, usually around our anniversary on Halloween, that if she had decided to stay male, I would still be with her, the difference is, of course is just this: I would not have been allowed to marry her. Isn’t that strange?She would be same person, but just an alteration in something as simple, something as complex as gender, and you are denied all the practical benefits of other couples who get divorced after only a year.You see, they thought it was an unwritten constitutional amendment — somewhere between the first and second amendment, call it the Overt but Unspoken but Always Shouted Amendment Leviticus — that homosexuals should always be beneath them. No matter how much these Proposition 8 supporters have ruined their own lives, their children turned into tweekers, babies out of wedlock or multiple divorces and STDs, they still believe they are somehow guaranteed to be higher up the legal ladder than gay Americans. It’s astounding, but true. They believe it is their constitutional right, a byproduct of their perceived biblical right, to keep gays and lesbians in the second citizen category.”
Is also capable, apparently, of saying this kind of thing:
“HUGE people out today, as wide as I am tall. They shouldn’t be outside their homes let alone out shopping – unless they shop for Wii Fit.”

 

 

 

 

This attitude, like someone owes them something, like looking at an obese person and seeing them as a user, an idiot, a worthless waste of space, someone who doesn’t deserve to be out getting in the way of a busy normal person… This attitude that it’s a “choice”, that I somehow am going “Yeah, I’m not gonna try to loose weight, I’m just gonna eeeeat and eeeeeat and eaaat while you pay for my food and health care” is ridiculous and unfounded. For anyone that thinks I myself am lazy, I have a very big “Fuck You” in my pocket and I’m not afraid to let it loose on you. I’ve tried so hard I am literally tearing my body apart. It’s not about “fat acceptance” to the point of thinking large people should be praised and held up as an ideal. It’s about simple respect, and equal treatment. You don’t have to think I’m hot and sexy if fat doesn’t turn you on, but you don’t get to degrade me because you prefer skinny people. You are not better than someone else because of your color, your heritage, your brains, your fitness, your faith or anything else. We’re all on this ship together, so how about you suck it up and learn to respect people?

How we treat each other, and ourselves:

How using the words “good person” or “good kid” to label people who do horrible things undermines what it means to be “good”.** (link)

Being aware of one’s self, being confident in who you are, being a thinking being. (link)

The “male gaze”, and how it causes warped views of how women present themselves – a parody! (link)

A perspective on fat issues. (link ~45. video)

Misconceptions of the poor and “entitlement”. (link) On working hard and still being poor. (link) On targeting the poor. (link)

Being more judgmental, and less helpful to the poor and sick doesn’t make things better, but giving them MORE compassion, care, and help will far more often meet with success. (link)(link)(link)(link)

My overly passionate manifesto during a stressful time medically, following the whole Kevin Smith “too fat to fly” debacle is at the very end of this post.

On Geeks and “Real” Nerds:

Recently the “Team Unicorn” video that was pro-gamer girl got a lot of negative attention because it also flaunted mainstream sexuality. Similarly, this video of “real geeks” was frustrating to me. Back then I wrote:

“I like the new Intel commercials better, where they have developers cast as rock stars. See, my problem is that a lot of the “geeks” in the video aren’t exactly what I would call geeks, they’re end users, and somewhat on level with “cool” people who might label themselves “gamers” or gadget aficionados (Gear heads?). My impression of geek culture is that it prioritizes your intellect, ability to build things, obsessive knowledge of a subject, fascinations with certain forms and themes of entertainment, and a certain lack of concern for a lot of social trappings and oppressiveness. Geeks can and do also still live with their parents, play D&D, obsess over Star Trek, and so on -they’re just different types of geeks is all, and it doesn’t necessarily make them good or bad people. I reject this pull to “popularity” simply by showing how physically attractive or rich some other geeks are. Who needs basketball stars and actors to tell me or anyone else what is cool or interesting or worthy of respect? Hmp. end rant.” 

I was probably somewhat limited in my ability to distinguish general look-ism from my sentiments. These days, I am still frustrated by the “claiming” of geek culture to make it look “cool” by typical marketing standards of only THIS beauty, Beer, Guns, and Dudes. It does not matter WHAT you look like, you can still be who you are, be it gamer, geek, nerd, etc. there shouldn’t be additional pressure to be “hot” to be accepted. Many “geek” blogs and media commentary still makes fun of people that don’t fit the mass media mold. I feel it just prolongs and encourages homophobia and misogyny when “our” media thinks anyone is too fat to dress up like Lara Croft, or too masculine to spend a day dressed like Princess Peach. There is no “real” or “right” kind of fun and enjoyment. Why rob someone of something that makes them happy? (Ok, this is part is especially rambly, but hopefully you get my meaning!).

On comedy, and “just joking”:

Rape, gay, tranny, fat pig, scare quoting “obese”… Not funny. If you make a joke about someone being gay like it’s an insult, I will not forget. I will always remember that I cannot trust you around my friends, and that I don’t really want to invest in you, because after all, you think I’m just a queer. You may not really feel that way, but that you’re careless enough to throw that out there tells me everything I need to know.

I realize that when people complain about these “jokes” it is often seen as being overly sensitive. It can be really hard to understand what it’s like to be what you’re making fun of. Unless you have been raped, molested, attacked, discriminated against, been called “it” or less than human, it can be very hard to really get how bad it is, how deep that damage goes, and how it colors everything. Even the most healthy and adjusted overweight homosexual who might have been sexually assaulted will still have that fear living inside of them. You can learn how to heal, how to cope, how to move on, but that doesn’t mean you’re going to be OK with being made fun of for these things. These experiences are very much not a joke.

If someone shows you a really gross picture from a horror movie, it is NOT OK to say “It’s like you raped my eyes!” Because it is NOT like rape. Similarly, being gay is not an insult, being fat is not the end of the world, being of mixed gender or uncommon gender expression is not a sickness, and does not make one less human, and so on. Making these jokes is also not subversive or challenging to public perception in any way.

“Let’s talk about rape for a moment. Rape is not what George Lucas did to your childhood. Rape is not what happens when a sports team beats another sports team by a wide margin. Rape is not what happens when your electric bill is higher this month than it was last month. Rape is when a person violates another person in the most despicable, degrading way imaginable and among the myriad of terrible things humans can do to one another, rape is among the worst. I think the casual misappropriation of the concept of rape extending all the way to its widespread comical usage is disgusting even by Internet standards. Off my chest.” — Jeffrey Rowland 

The more “just a joke” stuff that slips by, the more it sinks into the consciousness of a population. Even jokes, or small comments can lead to violence and discrimination (Because these jokes lead to misconceptions that real people use in terrible ways.). All those little things add up to a lot of people out there thinking that it is A-OK to abuse another human being because these constant jokes and comments have told them over a lifetime that it is right to see others as not deserving of respect and sometimes of life.

“Even though we may consciously reject these personal attributions made by an intolerant society, they have still seeped in.” – Quote from a Scientific American articleon Suicide 

In case you think I am overly sensitive, consider the history of jokes at the expense of others with different skin colors. Surely it was “just joking”, but ask someone of color what it’s like when people start believing those things.

Often there’s a “you have too much time on your hands”/”You think too much” reaction to this kind of perceived overreaction. I call BS on that, I think putting it that way only gives away someone’s guilt at having insulted or hurt someone. People are basically good, or at least WANT to be good, so I think it makes people angry when they think they’re being good, and then they make a mistake that hurts someone. That’s healthy, just relax, and apologize. I do not think it is a waste of time to learn about other people, and how to treat people, and to engage my brain, I DO think it is a HUGE waste of time to worry about what anyone thinks I “should” do because they “just know” that it’s “only a joke”/”not serious”.

Don’t you have a sense of humor at all? Of course I do! I just recognize when it is something that makes us laugh only because we aren’t thinking about the pain it causes. How do i even love comedy? There are a TON of amazing comedians and comedy writers out there who don’t need to hurt people to be funny. Everybody can’t be nice all the time, nor should they, I also don’t always hold offensive moments against someone – in Marc Maron’s recent podcasts with Louis C.K., I was moved when Louis started crying while talking about the birth of his daughter. I tend to find his humor offensive and hurtful at times, so I’m not a fan – but he’s human, and complex and expressing himself. I can at least find something of value in some things he does. I reserve my complete media blackout for the likes of Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin – I refuse to give my time and attention to people who do what they do.

“Here’s the rules: You can’t make fun of anyone for anything they can’t change naturally. And you can’t complain about anyone who sets a higher standard than you being perceived as better than you. If your self-esteem is diminished by the actions or perceptions of others then that is internal work that You are responsible for. We are being systematically taught to argue for our own weakness by gauging our worth on the standards of others and giving up when we can’t meet them.”– Hal Sparks 

Some thoughts I’ve written down in the past, or, how to not be a dick according to Me:

Care about the people you accept responsibility for.
Care about people.
Sometimes when someone is upset, just listen, less fighting about “right”.
Don’t accuse and blame someone who is upset of being the problem because they got upset when hurt.
Apologize when you hurt someone – without making it a hollow apology/turning the blame back at ’em.
Be willing to give your life for another whatever the perceived worth of the other person is.
Protect the weak and the poor, at least consider them.
Be the champion of good against evil, generosity, mercy, courage, valor, fairness, gentleness and graciousness. 

And a finally thought, also from me a couple of years ago:

So, what… am I just an ungrateful old bat? Not 100% (yet). What I’m grateful for is that I can answer this question: “Where are the beautiful people?” I answer it with a sadness for how rare and finite the supply is, but the beautiful people are here. My friends – I love them for all their differences, for their ability to think, for their talents, for all their uniqueness, for their compassion, for their patience, for their ability to love. I love them for the moments when, if there ever is one, I think they show me a reason that life exists. I love them not just for their ability to be human, but to be humane. My friends are beautiful.

______________________________________________

*Back in high school, we had to take tests to suggest what our best careers would be. The smartest guy in class got “gas station attendant”, I got “philosophy”… neither of us could make any sense of that.

** I think in terms of sociology, in considering language, words, how they’re used… it’s really, really dangerous to keep saying “Aw, he was a good kid” after someone does something out of character but HORRIBLE. It starts to conflate the wrong things, and after a while, it seems like you might want to do bad things if it means people will still love you, and will still believe in you. What that young man and woman did equates to rape from my view, and it led to suicide. They are not “good” people, maybe they will be one day when they have learned how to behave in society, but right now, they are cruel and abusive, and victimized someone.

In conclusion…

There are a lot of other things I would apply this kind of thinking to, but I’ve probably gone on a bit much as it is. I just wanted to unload, educate, and put some food for thought out there. I don’t know how to “turn it off”, and I’m not sure that I want to. There are so many problems out there, and while sure, life is probably better now than ever (The response near the end of the interview), it doesn’t mean we should stop trying, that was shouldn’t stop making a real effort to reduce the pain and suffering in the world. Can’t go through life worrying about everything? Funny, that’s not what people would say about my weight if they don’t know me. I know, balance is important. I am not humorless, or lacking in fun, but this stuff is important to me.

 

_______________________________________________

 

REPOSTED FROM AN ENTRY I HAD POSTED ELSEWHERE:

 

People are People!

Man, are you really going to go there? Do I really gotta bust out Depeche Mode?!

People are people so why should it be,
You and I should get along so awfully?
So we’re different colors,
And we’re different creeds,
And different people have different needs.
It’s obvious you hate me,
Though I’ve done nothing wrong,
I never even met you,
So what could I have done?
I can’t understand,
What makes a man,
Hate another man,
Help me understand!
People are people so why should it be,
You and I should get along so awfully?
Help me understand!
Now you’re punching and you’re kicking,
And you’re shouting at me,
I’m relying on your common decency.
So far it hasn’t surfaced,
But I’m sure it exists,
It just takes a while to travel,
From your head to your fist.
I can’t understand,
What makes a man,
Hate another man.
Help me understand!
 
______________________________________________________

“People of size.”

Um… what size? 2? 32? Medium? Tall? Ages 12-18 months? 10.5 wide? Super? I suppose my issue with this terminology is similar to debates over “Plus Size” and “Extended” and anything else people come up with. I also dislike “People of Color” for the green? polka-dot? royal blue? George Hamilton colored (His orangeness aside, BTW, I love him!)? similar sentiment.

There is a lot of ignorance, misinformation, and confusion about weight out there. It is a Moral Cause for far too many people – even docotrs! Fat Hate rears it’s head as “concern” for someone’s health, or superiority of the I’m-so-smarter-than-you variety, etc. Everyone is absolutely, undeniably, overwhelmingly CERTAIN that they KNOW why people are fat, they KNOW how to fix it, and HOW DARE people keep being fat. It is a deep and unshakable BELIEF. These people know The Truth, and will twist anything to fit their view. The read about it, the heard about it, news article this, news article that. If we’re lucky, they even have personal experience with weight troubles, so now they REALLY know for SURE. Skepticism for things in the news and media these days never seems to extend to obesity issues – unless it tries to steer people away from feeling justified in abusing others. Here is a hilarious point I saw someone try to make: “In the 40’s and 50’s nobody was fat, look at the movies and TV shows back then!” BRB, laughing myself into next week. The 3 Stooges, Laurel and Hardy, The Honeymooners, Abbot and Costello (never mind that the women were SO VERY corseted, and today’s actresses are single digit sizes – a whole digit less that classic starlets)… People will just go SO far out of their way to make ANYTHING fit their broken arguments.

So many Moral People out there try to insist it isn’t genetic, and that it is only an excuse. On the human genome there are at least 8 indicators on at least 7 chromosomes for obesity related issues. It is right there in the genes you were born with, in multiple places. You may or may not develop obesity for any number of reasons, but it’s there, and it’s not meaningless. How you were raised, pollution, fake food… so many ways this onslaught of factors hits us every day. If you sat here worrying about and trying to fight all of them, it would be the most demanding over-time laden job you could have, it would be 24/7/365. You cannot reasonably expect people to think about all this stuff every waking minute of every day.

And then there are the just-plain-bigots. People who spew vitriol through every pore of their body directed at fat people. They say they all fat people should die, are gross, and less than human, are pigs, and selfish, and any number of horrible things. Recently, in the debate about Obesity and Airline Travel, you get things like this:

“I was on a plane once, and it was the most traumatizing thing ever to have some FAT and SWEATY PIG touching me. Fatties are SO GROSS, I don’t want to be near those smelly, disgusting fat people! I don’t think they should even be allowed ON a plane!”

Now, let’s try this another way:

“I was on a plane once, and it was the most traumatizing thing ever to have some N****R touching me. N****RS are SO GROSS, I don’t want to be near those smelly, disgusting N****RS! I don’t think they should even be allowed ON a plane!”

Do you get it now? I hate to make the racial jump, like I hate Godwin’s Law being invoked. I do, however, think people need to keep a keen eye on -isms and cries for eugenics. It is maybe a little concerning, hmm, this trend toward out loud bigotry and suggestions of violence and segregation and euthanization. Getting to Racism and Nazis ain’t that far a leap when you talk this way, and BELIEVE in your heart that fatties are to blame for all the horrible in the world, and ruining your life (via taxes, discomfort while flying, etc). I do not think it over-reacting or over-stating – when someone says they want fatties to DIE, I am afraid they will find a way to carry out that wish.

Personal experience…

I’m fat. Very much so : JJ is based on me, her largest shape is about the shape I was when I began working on the comic nearly a decade ago. FYI: Year 2000 Size 16-18, sometimes a 20, 175lbs. Year 2010 Size 26-32, 290lbs. 5’6″. I am not fat by choice, I am not because I’m lazy, I am not because I don’t care. Because of genetics, poor nutrition, not-yet-advanced medicine and stupidity, I became fat. Currently I am fat because of a vast array of medical issues, injuries and poor diet due to prolonged issues with income and lack of insurance. I try to fight my poor “health” (I mean health mainly in terms of mobility, because aside from a hormone disorder, I haven’t really been sick in almost a decade.). I try to suck it up and push through.

I don’t feel like I have to be skinny, or that fat is ugly, or that there’s anything inherently wrong with being fat. I struggle to work on my “health” because I myself don’t like being sick, and being immobile freaks me out. I hurt all the time. The pain and exhaustion keep me from having a job and a life. It’s different for everyone who has a weight issue – for others, they can be as active and comfortable as anybody could be, for me in this particular body, I suffer from it heavily.

There is a popular attitude that fat people owe everybody something, a Moral Judgement – like looking at an obese person and seeing them as a user, an idiot, a worthless waste of space, someone who doesn’t deserve to be out getting in the way of a busy “normal” person, someone who is just utterly contemptible and gross… This attitude that it’s a “choice”, that I somehow am going “Yeah, I’m not gonna try to loose weight, I’m just gonna eeeeat and eeeeeat and eaaat while you pay for my food and health care” is ridiculous and unfounded. For anyone that thinks I myself am lazy, I have a very big “Fuck You”* in my pocket and I’m not afraid to let it loose on you.

I’ve tried so hard I am literally tearing my body apart. Every attempt at weight loss in the last decade has resulted in injury and acceleration of structural breakdown. My feet, my knees, my hips and back, my elbows, my hands… I lost a whole organ in 2001 due to ill advised dieting. I had to have another surgery in 2009 to fix what surgeons broke when they yanked out an organ in 2001 (And the jury is still out on if I’ll need another to repair more.). I have always tried to see many types of doctors, I have seen nutritionists, I have had test out the wazoo. For years no professional doctor I encountered knew what to do. For every idea they gave me, I researched what they told me, and I tried to stay on top of things. You know what? IT CHANGES. All the time the research and studies change and have different theories and statistical viewpoints. I end some days feeling like I should go back to college and become a doctor, I’m studying for it anyway!

I have had clear medical problems my entire life, but once I got fat, that’s all anyone sees, and they assume it to be the reason for all that ails me without looking at the development. Just because X + Y = Z does not mean A + Q != Z, A and Q might have happened before X and Y, A may have brought Y into being, but if you don’t look, you don’t know!

“Fat acceptance” is NOT about thinking large people should be praised or or given special treatment, and it is NOT about fat being an ideal people should aspire to. It’s about simple respect, and equal treatment. You don’t have to think I’m hot and sexy if fat doesn’t turn you on, but you don’t get to degrade me because you prefer skinny people. You also do not get to tell me I can’t have a life, and be seen in public, and go where I want and do things that I want to do. You also don’t get to say that fatties shouldn’t fly/bus/train. Fatties have jobs that require travel, fatties deserve vacations, fatties have families and funerals and marriages, and families are getting global. You are not better than someone else because of your color, your heritage, your brains, your fitness, your faith or anything else. We’re all human, we all need to learn to respect each other. You don’t know me, and I don’t know you, never assume, because you will probably assume incorrectly.

And a little tiny bit about why Kevin Smith is my Hero…

The movies and media that Kevin Smith creates are not everyone’s bag. He cusses A LOT, he talks about sex A LOT, he talks about pot A LOT, he’s just a big ball of profane and infantile humor. That is not to everyone’s taste, I get it. I am not saying anyone has to love him because I personally find what he does awesome. To each their own. I haven’t even seen all his movies, perhaps one day I will (only so much $ and time, you know?). I liked Clerks, Chasing Amy,  LOVED Dogma, and honestly, I loved Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back, maybe even more now because it feels like a ton of inside jokes amongst friends.

He has said before in his podcast that he feels “SModcast” is the best thing he has ever done. I am kind of inclined to agree, mainly because it seems to have a larger Purpose In Life than a really funny movie might. What it feels to me like he’s doing is, drumroll please, GASP! being a human being. He’s fallible, he’s awkward, he’s silly, he’s sometimes wrong or uninformed and other times over-informed, and he has his own values and moral code. He hangs out with his wife, his kid, his mom, and his friends, and they talk about stuff everybody talks about. It isn’t groundbreaking or innovative, but it’s an important representation of ordinary people who are NOT part of the celebrity culture by choice.

“Death before discourtesy.” Indeed, sir, indeed. This motto Mr. Smith proclaims,  it is a kind of philosophy I’ve been hanging onto myself for a while now. No matter how different, no matter the situation, I try really hard to remember that we’re all people, we’re a pretty diverse lot, we all deserve respect, and if not, at least polite deference. I fail a lot, but I try. I don’t think I’ve ever posted it here before, so here is my thought on a related subject, Chivalry:

“Some people think newspapers exaggerate juvenile crime, or that it’s confined mostly to large cities. Juvenile delinquencies on the rise… thus apparent that something has gone wrong with the environment. Adults create the world children live in. Juvenile delinquency is always rooted in adult delinquency, and in this process parents play the key role. When children grow up among adults who refuse to recognize anything that is fine and good or worthy of respect…”

– The Violent Years, Sampled in the Ministry song “So What”

Is it more than a little weird that I kinda sorta agree with that? Is it sad that things still feel this way? Every time I leave the house anymore, I wonder on the concept of respect, and why it seems so rare to see it in action […] Chivalrous behaviors. Quick clips of the points I find great value in:

“Chivalry is only a name for that general spirit or state of mind which disposes men to heroic actions, and keeps them conversant with all that is beautiful and sublime in the intellectual and moral world.”

“…virtues such as mercy, courage, valor, fairness, protection of the weak and the poor…”

“This also brings with it the idea of being willing to give one’s life for another’s; whether he would be giving his life for a poor man or his lord.” (I’d take out “his lord” and fill in something about whatever the perceived worth of a person is.)

“…protecting the innocent… being the champion of good against evil, being generous…”

“…the idea that the knight is to serve a lady, and after her all other ladies. Most especially in this category is a general gentleness and graciousness to all women.” (I’d just take it from specifically women to all people.)

“Honor is the foundational and guiding principle of chivalry. Thus, for the knight, honor would be one of the guides of action.”

Getting back to the Hero part… I’m not the most sensitive person in the world, but still, I cannot imagine what he’s dealing with. He stood up for himself and for a fellow passenger on an airline that was being fatist. What he gets, in my estimate, is every internet troll in the entire world, and every anti-fat bigot known to man(un!)kind. He’s getting so incredibly much abuse (rather mind bogglingly, the trolls actually PAY to get into his forum and insult him and his fans). I’m sure there are plenty of people out there showing him the love, but boy, that amount of hate will drown out just about anything else.

When I listened to SModcast #106, his account of the ordeal, I cried. Watching his YouTube videos, I cried. When he talks about 2 things, it hits home for me. 1 is the feeling of victimization, and shared fear of people trying to pass and being outed. 2 is the constant inner monologue fat people so often have. “Am I in their way? Will they see me? Will they call me out? Will I sweat on them? Will this person be uncomfortable next to me? Don’t they know I try to loose weight? Don’t they know I’m not a face-stuffer? I’m not really fat if I can just do this one thing! Please validate me!” I think lately I’ve dealt relatively well with being disabled, managing my body’s ailments, eating healthier stuff when possible, and finding ways to simply cope.

I cannot yet find a way to shut off the monologue. I think for me, that inner constant justification and readiness to recite facts and figures and data and nutrition info and fear of people looking at me and fear or being made fun of and fear of being harassed and and and… I think THAT is holding me back, and making coping hard. I can’t let go of the entirety of news articles, medical journals, studies, research, nutrition, taxes, health care, medical breakthroughs, disability causes, fat causes, fat politics, trolls, opinions, theories… It is this huge cloud of STUFF, it is overwhelming, it is a burden, it is omnipresent. The idea that other people might have this to handle on top of simply living the life of a fat and/or disabled person, that makes me break down. I try to clear the fog and live a life, but it sure is a challenge.

It makes me break down, and it makes me realize how very tired I am.

Toward the end of Kevin Smith’s YouTube videos about the airline issue, he started saying things about people being right, he needed to loose weight, and seeming more and more down on himself. I truly hope that the trolls do not win. I hope his wife and family and friends will be there for him, and help him be happy in healthy in ways he wants to be, I hope they will gradually wash away the hate of the bigoted masses so he can be free and clear of that noise and garbage.

One of my favorite moments from a SModcast with his wife was when he started to insult himself, and she stopped him and told him he was beautiful. Mr. Smith did a brave and good thing in standing up and speaking out, he showed compassion and respect for others, he took on the burden of being a loud voice so many people needed. At the end of the day, I think what should matter is his own happiness, and his family. They clearly love him, and he works hard to do right by them, and he is deserving of love and respect. He could be 10lbs. or 10,000lbs., he’s still going to be a truly beautiful human being for what he tried/is trying to do.

I appreciate him having added his voice to the side of equal treatment and respect for human beings. I’ve been brewing this long manifesto-like post for a long time, this finally motivated me to get it contained and posted, (To semi-quote Robert Llewellyn)and if you have been, thank you for reading!

______________________________________________________
*Profanity doesn’t really get me, they’re just words, and you can really hurt me using not even a single one of George Carlin’s 7 dirty words. I understand though, that they convey an emotion and a threat that causes some to take things less seriously. In the Kevin Smith vs. Southwest Air debacle, many cite his cussing as a reason not to listen to him, and to me that makes the commenter seem to me really immature and unable to function without their precious ears and eyes being sullied (I also interpreted it to be his impression of talking mainly to his fans, not so much the general public.). I try to pick the right times and places, and I try not to offend people who have laid out their preferences. Here in my own space, I will use whatever words I want because they’re just words to me.

Below I am including some links to various things. I composed some of this ages ago, they may not all be up.

Book to read:

“Health at Every Size” by Linda Bacon, PhD. I suggest it because she does a good job of laying out basic nutrition, and she cites a TON of credible references.

Helpful Links:

Don’t You Realize You’re Fat?
First, Do No Harm
Big Fat Blog
Junkfood Science
Paul Campos Speech at UCLA

Various Articles:

Too Fat To Work
Using your brain burns calories
!
Fatphobia

More Fatphobia

Yet More Fatphobia

Fat Hate Crimes

Kevin Smith vs. Southwest Air in his own words
(#106, and #107)
Kevin Smith vs. Southwest Air Summary

Kate Harding commentary on Flying While Fat

Medical Discrimination

The Fat Nutritionist

Fun:

Fatshionista LJ Community

Share

Comments are closed.

Proudly powered by WordPress. Theme developed with WordPress Theme Generator.
Copyright © Jade Gordon. All rights reserved.