firecat: red panda looking happy (Default)
I made this post on a mailing list, but it got rejected for being off topic (which was reasonable) so I thought I would recycle it here for the benefit of the choir. :)

Context: Someone announced a dating event. Some people criticizing the event because it was open only to people looking for opposite sex dating partners (plus the original announcer didn't mention this). Then other people called the criticizers PC. One of them complained that many people these days go out and look for things to be offended about, and they don't pay attention to intent, and intent is what really matters.

So I said,

Intent isn't as important as you think it is. And neither is offense. You are confusing "assuming malicious intent and taking offense" -- an individual response to an individual behavior -- with the broader situation of trying to change societal norms that are wrong and harmful.

If something is normal but harmful, then a person don't need to feel malicious in order to cause harm. They just have to go about their business, unaware of the harm they are causing. In order for society to change, people have to be made aware of harm they are causing and bepersuaded to change. That's uncomfortable because no one wants to change unless it was their idea. But if you believe that a fairer society is a good thing, then it is necessary.

Also, a person who calls out a pattern of harm isn't necessarily offended. They might just be trying to do their part to make society fairer.

Just to make it crystal clear: It is no big deal that this particular event excludes queer people. But it is part of a larger pattern where queer people are excluded from other things that matter a lot, such as marriage rights. It's a good thing for people to stand up and say "Hey, look at the pattern," when they see it. Because otherwise a lot of people won't realize it's even there.
firecat: red panda looking happy (Default)
This is the second day in a row that I've been annoyed by something published by The Atlantic.* ETA: Mistake, turns out the other piece I was thinking of didn't originate in The Atlantic; they just published a comment on it.

This article is fascinating in the way it tries to invent a problem and then solve it.

"There's No Such Thing as Everlasting Love (According to Science) (Can't find a by-line. And forgot where I saw it, I'm afraid.)

The problem: Americans are "love-starved" and lonely.

The solution: Change the definition of love so that it means brief moments of connection we have with other people throughout the day, and has nothing to do with commitment, blood ties, or sexual desire. Now everyone can feel love(d)!

Excerpt:
In her new book Love 2.0: How Our Supreme Emotion Affects Everything We Feel, Think, Do, and Become, the psychologist Barbara Fredrickson offers a radically new conception of love.

Fredrickson, a leading researcher of positive emotions at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, presents scientific evidence to argue that love is not what we think it is. It is not a long-lasting, continually present emotion that sustains a marriage; it is not the yearning and passion that characterizes young love; and it is not the blood-tie of kinship.

Rather, it is what she calls a "micro-moment of positivity resonance." She means that love is a connection, characterized by a flood of positive emotions, which you share with another person—anyother person—whom you happen to connect with in the course of your day. You can experience these micro-moments with your romantic partner, child, or close friend. But you can also fall in love, however momentarily, with less likely candidates, like a stranger on the street, a colleague at work, or an attendant at a grocery store.
I think it's a good idea to emphasize the value of this experience, for those who are comfortable enough with face-to-face interaction to have it.

But I'm not in favor of making the word "love" mean this thing instead of the bundle of emotions plus ideas plus intentions plus (in some cases) sexual desire that go with a committed and/or romantic relationship. I'm also not sure I like the idea of having love mean yet another thing. It already means too many things!

And anyway, the solution doesn't really solve the problem that the article described. The article used this evidence that Americans are love-starved and lonely:
  • More Americans than before said in a poll that they had zero confidants. (But having micro-moments of positivity resonance wouldn't give you more confidants.)
  • According to one expert, 20–35 percent of people are "sufficiently isolated for it to be a major source of unhappiness in their lives." (Would having micro-moments of positivity resonance help with that? Who knows?)
  • Rates of depression are increasing (would micro-moments of positivity resonance cure this condition? Who knows?)
  • "Nearly half of all single people are looking for a romantic partner." (My reaction to that: Fascinating—more than half of single people aren't looking! And would having micro-moments of positivity resonance make them stop looking, or stop believing that having a partner would help them be happier? Who knows?
But to Fredrickson, these numbers reveal a "worldwide collapse of imagination," as she writes in her book. "Thinking of love purely as romance or commitment that you share with one special person—as it appears most on earth do—surely limits the health and happiness you derive" from love.
So OK, where's the evidence that these people without confidants, who are lonely, depressed, and or unhappily single, are in that condition partly because they think of love "purely as romance or commitment that you share with one special person"? No evidence? I thought not. (My own data point: I have depression, and I don't think that way in the slightest. For one thing, when my depression is well-managed, I fall in love regularly, not only with people, but also with ideas, things, activities, and experiences. For another, I'm poly, so I don't share romance and commitment with only one person. And finally, when my depression is not well controlled, then I can't feel love for anything or anyone at all, never mind what my beliefs are about what love is. My actively depressed brain isn't open to micro-moments of positivity resonance.)

There's also a problem in the article with how Fredrickson's research is said to provide evidence about this micro-moment experience. The article states that they only happen face-to-face (rather overdramatically: "You have to physically be with the person to experience the micro-moment. For example, if you and your significant other are not physically together—if you are reading this at work alone in your office—then you two are not in love. You may feel connected or bonded to your partner—you may long to be in his company—but your body is completely loveless") but none of the experiments described included that condition. In one, people listened to a recording and then retold it, but they were in an MRI machine, so they weren't face-to-face with someone. In another, people did loving-kindness meditation, which is something you do in your own head, not interacting with another person.

OK, now that I've said all that, the article reminds me of something else that I think about sometimes. One of my favorite Buddhist teachers, Gil Fronsdal, sometimes says "Adult humans need to love, but they don't need to be loved."

I'm very fortunate that I've never done without feeling loved (have always felt that at least a few people loved me) so I can't speak to that part. But I have noticed that what I get out of loving someone or something is very different from what I get out of feeling that someone loves me. And what I get out of loving people/things is really important to me; I would say absolutely that I need it.
firecat: gorilla with arms folded looking stern (unamused)
I was in Walgreen's just now, and the cashier was wearing a button front and center on her uniform that said "Is my smile a 9?"

I assume that she had to wear it. I was tempted to ask, but I didn't want to waste her time because there was a long line. It made me furious on her behalf. If your policy is that employees should act friendly, I suppose there's nothing I can do about that, but I really don't like requiring employees to wear buttons that invite the customer to police their behavior (behavior that has nothing to do with whether they're doing the work of cashiering correctly).
firecat: statue of two fat people kissing (fat people kissing)
National Public Radio (NPR) has a web page asking for comments on the topic "What does it mean to live in a nation where one out of every three people is obese." (The nation in question is the United States.)

http://www.publicinsightnetwork.org/form/apm/0d2dd143dca7/what-does-it-mean-to-live-in-a-nation-where-one-out-of-every-three-people-is-obese

The lead-in to the comment section says:
Americans are getting bigger. And it's not just changing our health, but our nation's infrastructure, spending habits, economy and state of mind. What changes have you noticed to the way we live? 

Tell us here. Your response will help shape a national reporting project on obesity.
Here are the comments I left them.

What conversations do you have - or avoid having - about weight?
Read more... )
firecat: gorilla with arms folded looking stern (unamused)
My willingness to use flying as a form of transportation was drastically reduced when the TSA instituted rules limiting the amount of liquids through the security checkpoint. Originally, empty beverage bottles were not allowed through the checkpoint either. That was a boundary for me because I consider it a basic need to carry a lot of water with me when I travel, and I consider it an unreasonable burden to be required to purchase an overpriced bottle of water after clearing the checkpoint. (I can't find any rules about empty bottles on the TSA site right now and I've had reports from people who fly that they were able to bring empty bottles through the checkpoint, so maybe that rule has changed.)

As a person with medical conditions, I am exempt from the rules about liquids, but it offends me that the rules are imposed on other people. It also strikes me as pointless to have rules that people can exempt themselves from just by saying they have a medical condition.

So for the past several years I've flown very rarely.

The fact that I need to buy two seats to be comfortable also contributes to my choice to limit flying.

The new rules about full-body scanners and more intrusive pat-downs strengthen my resolve to limit the amount of flying I do. I don't have a lot of body modesty and don't fear sexual harrassment, so I don't think I would be personally harmed by going through the scanner or being manually searched.

But I believe people have a right not to be subjected to invasive searches without probable cause, and I'm not willing to relinquish my right.

I am privileged and fortunate that I have a choice whether to fly, and I am not making any recommendations for other people.

This mainly affects my likelihood of going to Wiscon. Theoretically I could drive to Wiscon and I'm not ruling that out, but I looked into it once and it seemed like it would be more driving than would be enjoyable for me. I'm not making any decisions about flying now, because a lot of things could happen between now and May, but I'm somewhat less likely to go if the scans and invasive searches become standard.

Wiscon

22 Oct 2010 01:30 pm
firecat: red panda looking happy (Default)
Claimer: I have a small role working on Wiscon.

I think people who run Wiscon did a right thing by withdrawing Elizabeth Moon's GOH invitation, as a result of her writing a post that showed intolerance of Muslims, and then deleting all the comments on the post.

I disagree with the people who think it was unforgivable that the decision was not made instantaneously.

I don't disagree with the people who think it took too long. I also have sympathy for the amount of time it took, because the decision-makers were trying to deal with a situation they haven't handled before, and that's hard for a sizable group of humans.

I disagree with the people who think it is unforgivable for Wiscon's public communications to have waffled (the initial message was that we would not withdraw the invitation, then we did). It would have been better if that hadn't happened, but see above.

I agree with the people who point out that the length of time the decision took caused practical and emotional hardship for potential Wiscon attendees who felt unsafe as a result of EM's remarks.

I agree that the waffling and the delay made it look like the people who put on Wiscon might not be committed to creating a convention welcoming to people of color and third-wave feminists.

I think almost all the people who put on Wiscon are committed to creating a convention with a social justice focus. Also, we may not be working hard enough on it and may not be sufficiently well educated on social justice issues.
firecat: pink and blue triangles (bi triangle)
cross-posted from Facebook

It's National Coming Out Day! I'm queer and poly.

I think that adults should be legally supported in making relationships with any other adults they want to make relationships with. Adults who want to raise children should be legally supported in raising children. Society should treat hate crimes and bullying seriously.

All this stuff seems so obvious to me that it feels stupid saying it. But given what I hear about the recent suicides (due to bullying) of a number of queer young people, and growing harrassment of Muslims, and other criminally intolerant behavior that fails to be addressed, apparently it isn't obvious to everyone.
firecat: red panda looking happy (Default)
I am noodling about some conversation around a current event, but not directly addressing the event or the people who are involved in it.

http://tempest.fluidartist.com/moonfail-reasonableness/
(I agree with this post 100%.)

http://www.jimchines.com/2010/09/reason-anger/

There is some fascinating discussion in the comments of this post.
http://www.jimchines.com/2010/09/reason-anger/#comment-15949 D. Moonfire:
I try really hard not to only pay attention that are “reasonable”. I think it very important to read about unreasonable, insane, and otherwise brain-dead people from the simple point that I’m looking at them from my point of view. If I stuck with reasonable, then I’ll be just confirming the biases I already have (I believe the proper term is confirmatory bias or something like that). I won’t learn anything more and I’ll just put myself in a bigger hole that I’m already in....I think it critical to see the world from points of view that don’t agree with you, those unreasonable people out there.
Two things strike me here. One, I agree that if you only pay attention to people you consider to be acting reasonable, you'll end up with confirmation bias. Two, when you see "reasonable" opposed to "unreasonable, insane, and otherwise brain-dead," and you see "unreasonable" defined as "points of view that don’t agree with you," it's easy to see why conversations go astray. It's easy to end up with "Be reasonable" meaning "Agree with me" and "You're not being reasonable" meaning "You're not agreeing with me and therefore you're insane or brain-dead."
http://www.jimchines.com/2010/09/reason-anger/#comment-15990 Laura Resnick: It’s also worth noting that -emotion- is highly over-valued by many people, i.e. the notion that how strongly you feel about something has a direct corollary to how informed, valid, or inherently correct your opinions are.
I don't like the word "over-valued" there. What she's really talking about is public behavior, not emotion, and what she's really saying is "People who publicly express emotions are taken more seriously than people who don't." And personally, as a cold fish, I don't like that. But I don't know that this translates to publicly expressing emotions being "over-valued."
http://www.jimchines.com/2010/09/reason-anger/#comment-16307 Skennedy: Any motivations ascribed to thousands of individual comments and tens of thousands of opinions spread on peoples’ own blogs are straw men - easy to dismiss compared to the rainbow of actual diverse opinion.
YES YES FUCKING YES. But this reply is probably right:
http://www.jimchines.com/2010/09/reason-anger/#comment-16310 Resa: ...but humans are tribal creatures and tend to think in tribal terms...
I now have almost automatic reactions to phrases such as "those people": "which people do you mean, exactly? what makes you lump them together?") and I am glad of these reactions. But I probably retain more tribal-creature thinking than I am aware of.
firecat: uhura making a scary hand gesture (uhura nichelle nicolls)
Subject line is a quote from Animal Farm by George Orwell. I'm referencing the "but some...are more equal" part, not attempting to insult any humans or any subset of humans by comparing them to animals.

I find this post upsetting: http://e-moon60.livejournal.com/335480.html
There was a lot of excellent critique in the comments to that post, but now the comments have been deleted, so I want to make my critique public. I'm only addressing a couple of bits.

Moon writes:
the business of a citizen is the welfare of the nation

I think the business of a human being is the welfare of other human beings and nonhuman life and the planet in general. (Other parts of the universe seem relatively protected from harm by us, so far.)

Insofar as the concepts of "citizen" and "nation" conflict with the above (for example, by encouraging the attitude "WE are good and THEY are bad, therefore THEIR welfare isn't worth our consideration"), I'm not in favor of those concepts.

Moon writes:
A group must grasp that if its non-immigrant members somewhere else are causing people a lot of grief (hijacking planes and cruise ships, blowing up embassies, etc.) it is going to have a harder row to hoe for awhile, and it would be prudent (another citizenly virtue) to a) speak out against such things without making excuses for them and b) otherwise avoid doing those things likely to cause offence.

How does "a group" get defined? Moon is arguing that the proposed Park51 development is "likely to cause offence" due to the terrorist attacks in New York on 9/11/01. She defines a group called "Muslims" that includes both the developers and the terrorists. But I would guess that a lot of Muslims don't think they should be lumped into the same group as the terrorists.

The group "monotheists" also includes both those developers and those terrorists. So would it be prudent of Christians to scrap their plans for monotheist cultural centers in case the plans offend people? Is it incumbent upon them all to say "As a monotheist, I think it's wrong for monotheists to attack the WTC"? If they aren't expected to do this, why not?

Then there's the phrase "likely to cause offence." To me the wording implies that offense is an independent entity or thing. It's not. It's a human mental/emotional state, based on beliefs. Wherever you have offendedness, you have some humans who believe certain things. But note that the phrase doesn't mention which humans are offended and doesn't mention what their beliefs are.

Moon writes:
they should have been able to predict that this would upset a lot of people.

So Moon is creating a set of people and labeling them as "other," as "immigrants," and associating them with the acts of a terrorist organization. Then she is arguing that the people so labeled have the following civic responsibilities: (a) understand that some people in the country they live in lump them in with terrorists and mistakenly consider them all immigrants; (b) come to an agreement about which of those people to avoid offending; (c) come to an agreement about what behaviors will "upset a lot of people"; and (d) all avoid those behaviors.

I think those are unreasonable expectations. Especially when they are NOT paired with the expectation that other citizens have a duty either to educate themselves about the groups they consider "other," or to leave them alone.

I don't expect everyone to agree with my opinion, but since this is a sensitive subject, I expect civility in the comments to this post. I reserve the right to moderate/delete/freeze comments/threads if I think there's trouble brewing.
firecat: red panda looking happy (Default)
[personal profile] graymalkin sent me an article about introversion. I think the article is OK and I think that articles debunking myths about introversion are generally a good idea. But there are some ways that this article ends up reinforcing some myths about introversion, and it has some other problems.

http://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/201008/revenge-the-introvert

Here is my understanding of introversion: Being drained by spending time in social environments (as opposed to gaining energy thereby). Needing alone-time to recharge.

Here are things commonly associated with introversion that I think are not inherently part of introversion: Shyness. Social phobia. Social awkwardness. Invariably being quiet in groups. Being unable to think on your feet. Disliking to perform.

Following are some quotes from the article and my comments.Read more... )
firecat: man screaming with hand over face (screaming facepalm)
I expect this UPI article will be all over my reading list but I have to put in my own pocket change before I even go look.

It's annoying that they are being all gender-essentialist about it, but if they're going to be that way, it's good that they are acknowledging that women feel more pain, because usually women's pain is downplayed and ignored.

But then they manage to downplay it anyway. "Let's treat the emotions." Let's get a woman living with pain to say "it's all about just not caring whether you have pain." And not once is it mentioned that maybe we should believe women who have pain, and give them pain medicines to manage their pain.

"Pain different for women, men"
ATLANTA, Aug. 13 (UPI)
(Full article quoted. Emphasis mine.)
Chronic pain is more intense and
lasts longer for women than men and a higher proportion of women
suffer from diseases that bring such pain, doctors say.
Jennifer Kelly of the Atlanta Center for Behavioral Medicine
in Georgia says women have more recurrent pain and more disabilities
from pain-causing illnesses such as fibromyalgia, rheumatoid
arthritis and irritable bowel syndrome, CNN reported Friday.
Hormones could be one reason women bear this burden of pain,
Kelly said, noting the menstrual cycle can be associated with
changes in discomfort among women with chronic pain.
Pain also can have long-lasting consequences, studies show.
Women who suffer menstrual cramps have significant brain structure
changes compared with women who don't, one study found, while other
studies have revealed abnormal brain structure changes in people
with disorders such as chronic back pain and irritable bowel
syndrome.
Women tend to focus on pain on an emotional level, worrying
about how it will affect their responsibilities, whereas men focus
on the sensory aspect, Kelly said, urging doctors to help women deal
with negative thoughts
that can make a painful situation worse.
One woman who suffers from arthritic conditions agrees
patients with chronic pain need help changing their mind-set about
pain.
"Part of what helped me was switching out the model in which
I had to be pain free to be happy," Melanie Thernstrom says.
"Realizing I can have some pain, just like it can be raining outside
and I can be happy
-- it's all a matter of what level the pain is
at."
firecat: red panda looking happy (Default)
http://www.25hoursaday.com/weblog/2009/05/05/RSSReadersModeledAfterEmailClientsAreFundamentallyBroken.aspx
Looking back at the time I’ve spent working on RSS Bandit, I realize there are a couple of features I added to attempt to glom the river of news model on top of an email based model for reading feeds. These features include

* the ability to mark all items as read after navigating away from a feed. This allows you to skim the interesting headlines then not have to deal with the “guilt” of not reading the rest of the items in the feed.
* a reading pane inspired by Google Reader where unread items are presented in a single flow and marked as read as you scroll past each item
Gosh, that sounds just like Usenet.
firecat: red panda looking happy (Default)
Part of this is from a comment in [livejournal.com profile] leback's journal.

http://jorm.livejournal.com/94477.html says that everyone is socially retarded, and proceeds with a list of behavior rules that we all should follow. I agree with many of the behavior rules.

But he lost me when he wrote "Everyone is on the Short Bus of Social Interaction to some degree or another." It's one thing to say "I hold extremely high ideals for social behavior, and no one measures up to my ideals." It's another thing to say that everyone is retarded. The latter does not take responsibility for your own attitudes. Besides, it makes no sense.
Read more... )
firecat: dumbo octopus (dumbo octopus)
http://junkfoodscience.blogspot.com/2007/07/uninsured-making-diagnosis.html

Today's junkfoodscience post discusses how many people in the US are uninsured and argues that the number is lower than commonly reported. Furthermore, it argues that many of the people who are uninsured can afford to buy insurance but do not.
According to the most recent U.S. Census Bureau report “Income, Poverty and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States, 2005” issued on August 2006: Of the 46.6 million Americans they cited as uninsured in 2005, 17.04 million without health insurance live in households making more than $50,000 a year. That’s 37% of the uninsured in the U.S. Nearly 9 million of those make more than $75,000.

In fact, according to the Census Bureau, the biggest increases in uninsured by household incomes over the past decade has been among those making the most money.
The sentence below immediately follows the previous one, subtly giving the impression that the Census Bureau has made this determination of why the people involved are not insured. I'm not an expert on the Census Bureau but it seems pretty likely to me that this is Swarcz's own theory:
They are people who generally have access to and can afford insurance, but prefer to self-insure for whatever reason, perhaps to keep their healthcare decisions out of the hands of their employer or government.
I'm sure some of them are, but all? I don't think so. She uses the same trick later on (I've italicized the part that I believe is her theory and not a Census Bureau pronouncement):
According to the Census Bureau, more than 18 million of the uninsured are people between the ages of 18 and 34, for whom health insurance isn’t a priority and they’ve chosen, wisely or not, to spend their disposable income on other things.
I know some people who don't have health insurance even though they can afford and get it. And insofar as Swarcz is warning against too-invasive and too-restrictive government programs, I agree—I think there should be a guaranteed right to access health care, but I don't think people should be forced into accessing it in particular ways.

But I'm very disappointed that a blog which covers the systemic discrimination against fat people so carefully most of the time doesn't even mention the fact that many fat people in the United States are denied insurance even if they can afford it. Swarcz does mention existing government programs providing insurance to people who can't afford it. There are also some government programs for high-risk groups—I looked into the California one a few times when my insurance was about to go away and I was unable to find any insurance companies willing to sell me health insurance. The last I checked, the California program had a months-long waiting list and the lifetime payout maximum was too low to cover any really serious medical condition.

ETA: After I wrote this post, Swarcz added some text to her post addressing the issue of people who are denied coverage at any price.
firecat: red panda looking happy (Default)
Periodically, I receive a recorded phone message from PETA (People for the "Ethical" Treatment of Animals...I won't dignify their site by linking to it). I have no idea where they got my phone number; maybe they phone everyone. I usually hang up as soon as I know who it is, but today the machine picked it up.

They are asking people to support a California bill, CA A.B. 1634, that imposes a $500 fine on people who don't spay or neuter their pet dogs and cats by the age of 4 months. There will be some "intact permits" available for a fee.

There are a lot of different claims about what this bill means, so I went to the source. Here's my summary:

Intact permits will be available only for
(1) licensed breeders
or
(2) owners of purebred cats and dogs ("recognized by an approved registry or association") that are currently being "used to show or compete" under the auspieces of such an organization
or
(3) working dogs for "law enforcement, fire agencies, or legitimate professional or volunteer private sector working dog organizations"
or
(4) animals that have a letter from "a California licensed veterinarian stating that due to age, poor health, or illness, it is unsafe to spay or neuter the cat or dog. This letter shall include the veterinarian's license number and shall, if this information is available, include the duration of the condition of the dog or cat, and the date by which the dog or cat may be safely spayed or neutered"
or
(5) "guide dogs, signal dogs, or service dogs".

I think altering your pet cats and dogs is a good idea. I think there are too many unwanted animals. I think puppy mills are bad. (They are already against the law...commercial breeding requires a license.) I have no problem with individual businesses and organizations having rules that require spay/neuter before they'll provide you with an animal.

I also think that it's legitimate to pay a small extra fee if you want to have an intact animal. In San Mateo County the annual fees are $30 for an unaltered dog and $12 for an altered dog. But $500 is too much.

I am really uncomfortable with the idea that only "certified" purebred animals that are currently being shown or worked can be legitimately bred. Mixed-breed pets are just as valuable and useful as purebred ones, and there are lots of organizings sponsoring competitions and training for mixed-breed pets. This bill would legitimize only associations that restrict membership to purebred animals.

I think that purebred cats and dogs are often inbred and not as genetically sound as mixed-breed cats and dogs (I volunteer at an animal shelter, and the purebred animals that come in are on average less healthy than the mixed breed ones). Because of inbreeding, a certain number of purebred puppies and kittens will have genetic disorders that may cause them suffering. So I object to a law that limits breeding only to purebreds.

I think laws should be made with the assumption that people are basically going to do the right thing and should focus on punishing people who do harm, rather than trying to prevent harm by imposing restrictions on everybody. Of course I think some restrictions are legitimate—for example, I think the law that you need to stop at a red light even if the streets seem empty is legitimate even though it's a restriction—but responsibly breeding your non-purebred cat or dog should not be one of them.

As far as PETA is concerned, I know why they are supporting this bill: They would like there to be no pets and no pet ownership at all. I have heard that PETA euthanizes healthy adoptable animals that they received from people who believed they would find homes for the animals. So I think they will support anything that imposes restrictions on pet ownership and on breeding.
firecat: statue of two fat people kissing (fat people kissing)
Big Fat Carnival #3 is up here:
http://vegankid.solidaritydesign.net/2006/06/07/big-fat-carnival-3/

There were some good posts (especially from body impolitic).

I'm glad that there IS such a thing as a Big Fat Carnival, never mind a 3d one (and the 4th is already scheduled). I sure as hell wish I'd had access to ANY critical thought about fat and body size when I was younger. And overall there was a lot of good thought and a lot of good sharing of personal experience.

However, I should not have gone in to read the posts in an emotionally vulnerable mood. I kept getting upset at subtle hatred discomfort/ambivalence about (some kinds of) fat in the posts and less subtle healthism and fat hatred/discomfort/ambivalence in some of the comments.

Things I need to remember before the next time I read a roundup of such posts:
  • The concept of "fat acceptance" covers a lot of ground, some of which I find, well, not accepting enough. But everyone has to start somewhere.
  • Discussions of fat, body size, body image, eating, and so forth, even when they are presented in a context of acceptance, are not always comfortable for me and don't always conform to my fairly extreme politics on the subject.
  • Not all bloggers moderate the contents of their posts and fat acceptance posts sometimes attract fat-hating and healthist comments.
Last night, I started a post discussing the specific parts I found uncomfortable, but I deleted it because I thought it was unfair of me to focus on the negative. I'm still mulling over whether I should make a post along those lines.
firecat: red panda looking happy (Default)
There is absolutely no reason ever to use "gift" as a verb!


That is all.

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