Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Fat Tax?

so alabama is going to start forcing people to get health screenings and work with their doctors to improve their health or be charged an additional $25 dollars for their health premiums. WTF!?!?!?!?!?!?

now i'm all for health screenings, and the fact that these are going to be free i'm happy with. but the only people required to get them are the fat people who work for the state. not everyone. just the fatties. because it's not ok for the south to flat out discriminate against black people anymore, so they figure picking on the fat is the next best thing. i mean statistically speaking african americans have a higher percentage of obesity. so, since we all "know" fat people are lazy slobs who have no self control and always eat crap, this just proves that black people are even more like that. it's so stomach turning. gha!!!!!!

and i'm reading through the comments and it's just so messed up. people are saying, yes those fat people should put down the food and get healthy. we should totally tax their fat asses cause they are ruining the country. it's about time the lard asses paid up. don't like it? tough, cause i don't like having to pay more because of you. the whole country should do this.

i mean it's obvious that none of these people have read anything that wasn't directly funded by a diet or drug company. that none of these people have read anything beyond the most superficial news article. and none of them know anything about reality. i really hope the state gets sued by it's overweight workers for being discriminatory and bigoted.

Friday, October 10, 2008


more on the ideas of privilege...

i wound my way into an article on not being "that guy" http://synecdochic.livejournal.com/214607.html which was really great in helping with the idea of where many women are coming from when feminism comes up. the idea of privilege and how not to shove it in people's faces and how to recognize the urge when it hits, and where it might be coming from. and generally how not to be that creep who makes women uncomfortable and exacerbates the issue.

but the big epiphany part of this was reading through the comments. one of the commenter's was saying that, much like me, she doesn't feel she is much of a feminist since she has no issue with men opening her door or helping her out. there were several posts following that talked about the idea of reciprocity in those instances. that basically it's not the fact of the door being held but the idea that the person the door is being held for doesn't have the right to expect it. or, maybe more importantly, that the person holding the door doesn't think the other person can't do it themselves. it's been a disconnect for me, because i am a big proponent of holding doors and gentility type manners and stuff. i simply do not find manners to be patronizing. but maybe that's because i've always come to them from a position of, doing these things allows me to show people around me that i respect them. as a further... complication... i actively engage in a power exchange relationship where i am the dominant partner, and part of his duties are to hold the door open for me. and in this case there is a sense of entitlement, that this is owed to me because of the agreed on inequality in our relationship. as something for me to tuck away until another day, i know there will be a point where i have to reconcile the idea of equality for everyone with the consensual inequality of our relationship.

but back to this epiphany.... here is the bit that really got me going, hmmmmmm:

"I've seen it stated that "feminism is the radical belief that women are people, too". A feminist is not "forbidden" from wearing makeup and/or frilly dresses and/or nylons. You can shave your legs and wear heels and enjoy cooking and still be a feminist. You can let men open doors for you and seat you at the dinner table and still be a feminist. The point is, feminism tells us that those things are not an intrinsic part of being a woman, and we don't have to do them if we don't want to. " by starwatcher who's lj is at: http://starwatcher307.livejournal.com/ which conversely means, i can do them if i do want to. because i really like corsets and gartered stockings and heels and pretty clothes. and i love to cook, just about as much as i love to eat. and i sew, and embroider, and i love these things too. they are my art. and here is this woman, the feminist woman, saying that i can do all these things and not be one of THOSE women so long as i do it because i want to and not because i think it's my job or the way i'm supposed to be.

it amazes me that, in the very little reading i did on this subject in high school, i never cam across this idea of privilege. i think if i had, the disconnect wouldn't have happened for me. instead i ready books of essays by teens and early 20 something women about their experiences of discrimination and how they came into feminism. and i could never relate to those stories because i didn't have those experiences, and i felt guilty about it in that, maybe i'm not trying hard enough to see what's going on around me. i am not afraid of men and the violence they might do to me. i have never had some skeevy guy take my no for a maybe, at least not that comes to mind right away. i also rarely find that women are the safe sisters i can always turn to, not because i think of them as competition but because i find i don't relate to them in the way i relate to men.

not sure how to conclude this...but this is definitely something that my brain needs to ruminate and that i'm glad i found.

update: so i followed the above mentioned thread through a few others to a post on lj about the open source boob project, which i'm sure you can google if you like. but this just sends me back into the, i don't think i can participate with these women feelings i have toward feminists. here this guy and a bunch of his friends, men and women, at a sci-fi convention ended up asking many women if they could feel and appriciate their boobs. now i cringe at the word boobs, cause i think it's one of the worse anatomical words used but that a whole different rant. and yeah, i think the fact that the guy didn't seem to get, or maybe couldn't get, why so many women were getting updet over the fact that he thought he had the right to ask in the first place is agrivating. but the responces were so angry and so full of vitrol i just couldn't stomach them. the fact that many of the posters were refusing in much the same way to understand what he was saying is so heavy handedly duplicitous i just cannot begin to express it. and while were at it, i don't think they chose the right body part for touching but it think we need more fucking touch in general. i mean my god! no, there isn't a single person who should have touch forced on them if they don't want it. period. and yes, you should always ask before you touch someone you don't know very well who's non-verbal ques you don't know. but for fuck's sake! we are social creatures who thrive on touch. and this whole, lets hate the boob grabbers has turned into something so harsh and so hate filled i just cannot comprehend.

Thursday, October 9, 2008


so, i'm beginning to think i may need to re-evaluate my anti-feminist stance. i'm reading shapely prose and come across an article about fat men, which leads me to articles on privilege which leads me to question myself...which is kinda the point of this whole search. i'm white, i'm hetero with bi leanings, i'm monogamous right now but usually live more polyamourous, i was raised in a middle class area except for the few years of jr high. generally i guess i have been pretty privileged.

not a bad thing, i know, but it does make me wonder how many of my attitudes are shaped by where i come from. i had a brief friendship with a girl who, in one of several nasty fights, accused me of being elitist. which i have never thought of myself as. but i want a certain level of financial Independence, a certain level of taste and refinement and creature comfort that i got used to living with my mom and during high school. i want more than top ramen and a place to lay my head... and i want a college degree and to be well read and part of the academia. does this make me elitist? do i think less of those people who don't have those things? who don't want those things?

i think there was a time when i did think those things, and i think a lot of it has to do with where i'm living at the time i do a self evaluation. maybe...i know there was a time when i thought i wanted to become a doctor and i pushed my then partner really hard to pick a direction and go to school and get all professional in something because i didn't want to be a doctor with a husband (we were engaged at the time) who was a welder or mechanic. i didn't think i would be comfortable taking him to high class parties with grease under his nails, or some equally bs fantasy situation that negated who he was as a person and made him into an accessory. and i felt, and still feel, really bad because in pushing him i alienated him and made small of those things that he loved about working with his hands. i've since decided not to go into medicine but i do have plans to go after a doctorate. that past partner and i are friends again, and he still loves working with hot cars and hot metals and i've come to appreciate that about him. and the amount of intelligence it takes to do those things. so am i over being elitist?

probably even less than i've gotten over being white, cause i think in part they go hand in hand. white privilege is why i never got followed around in shopping malls, even dressed in my gothic best. and yeah at 16 and 17 shoplifting is something i did, not totally proud of it but not totally ashamed either. and maybe this is my disconnect from feminism. this fact of being white and privileged and thus not being able to relate to women who have been marginalized for being women. women who have been harassed and objectified because they don't have a dick. as an adult who tends to become friends with older than me people i've had some ageist comments thrown my way, but never felt victimized by them. but maybe it's my inability to internalize that feminist struggle for equality because i've only rarely seen myself as the victim of inequality.

i was raised first by both parents and then by a single mom in a mostly white suburban middle class neighborhood in nice houses. jr high being the exception, when we lived in a mostly hispanic neighborhood in a duplex. and i can remember that being a horrible time in my life because i had no friends and i had this imploding family and i suddenly was home by myself and watching my sister. i went through this really deep depression that first year. i stopped caring about my appearance and my hair and i think i once went a whole week without brushing it or my teeth. but even in that hell hole of jr high, even with the teasing and the rumors and getting spit at and picked on and called nasty names, even in that dark place outside my peer group i was still intrinsically me. still white. still well fed. and i know now that we went through some tight times while my mom struggled to put us back together, but i didn't know how how hard she worked then and once were were out of that patch i just forgot it. we moved, and i didn't have to be that awkward girl anymore. the kids in class no longer called me whetta (white girl in spanish with derogatory over tones).

sure high school was still hard, and you couldn't pay me enough to go back but it was much more of an environment i was part of. not one of the minority white kids, but part of the majority. in the accelerated classes with kids who were all smart like me, all wanted knowledge like me. sure, i was awkward and not very popular but i had a social group i was nominally part of and a few close friends. and i came to a point where i started to like myself a whole lot more.

i still find it hard to put my finger on what my own privileges and prejudices and elitist attitudes are. and i expect that's going to be case for a while as i sort through it all and cram more info into my brain. i lack the fire i read in some posters who are well and truly outraged at the state of society and part of me wonders if maybe i'm dooming myself to that feeling of impotence and becoming another voice raging at the system about the broken things and inequality and oppressive white men. cause i don't want that to be me.