Weekend Thread

I’m about to go out of town for several days, and I have no idea what my co-bloggers’ schedules are like, so this might be your last thread for a while. (Or it might not be. I’ll have my computer with me, and nearly every time I say, “Hey, I’m not going to post for the next little while,” I suddenly get inspired to post more than usual. So we’ll see.)

In the meantime, this thread is yours. Fluff, rants, and self-linking are all encouraged.

Speaking of fluff, did you see the Daily Mail headline generator Caitlin pointed out in comments the other day? I must have clicked 100 times now, and it still hasn’t stopped being funny. A few favorites:

WILL FEMINISM DEVALUE THE COUNTRYSIDE?

ARE THE POLES MAKING PROPERTY PRICES OBESE?

HAVE THE GERMANS GIVEN YOUR MORTGAGE SWINE FLU?

ARE MUSLIMS MAKING HOUSE PRICES IMPOTENT?

WILL GAYS HAVE SEX WITH TAXPAYERS?

HAS HEALTH & SAFETY MADE YOUR DAUGHTERS OBESE?

COULD CANCER GIVE YOUR PETS CANCER?

HAS TEENAGE SEX GIVEN YOUR PENSION DIABETES?

Yep, still funny.

113 thoughts on “Weekend Thread

  1. Yup! I’m a high school teacher, and hoping you’ll come to the Baltimore/DC area, so that I can bring a group of kids to hear you speak!

  2. Yeah, about that college tour. I’m a Philly-area university administrator, so if you want me to facilitate a convo between you and my school’s student life staff, just drop me a line….

  3. HAS TEENAGE SEX MADE YOUR DAUGHTERS OBESE?
    HAVE TEACHERS MADE BRITISH JUSTICE OBESE?
    WILL THE UNEMPLOYED RUIN BRITAIN’S SWANS?

    Hehe. You’re right, it really doesn’t stop being funny!

  4. Holy hand grenades, that headline generator! I got one too good to keep to myself:

    IS FACEBOOK IMPREGNATING THE QUEEN?

    Also, interesting (hit-and-miss, mostly miss) story in the Cleveland, Ohio Plain Dealer on TV shows, mostly reality shows, featuring or themed around fat people/characters: http://www.cleveland.com/tv/index.ssf/2009/08/hollywoods_big_deal_with_weigh.html

    The story quotes Jenn Pozner, whose live-Tweeting of More to Love I’ve been following (and co-live-tweeting when I can, to get the FA perspective along with the feminist!)

  5. COULD GORDON BROWN TURN COMMON SENSE AND DECENCY GAY?

    IS TEENAGE SEX HAVING SEX WITH THE MIDDLE CLASS?

    ARE THE P.C. BRIGADE IMPREGNATING THE BRITISH PEOPLE?

    HAS HEALTH & SAFETY GIVEN YOUR PENSION CANCER?

    Why are the cancer ones always really funny?

    (and a link in the space, just because a grand total of nobody actually reads my blog!)

  6. COULD THE HOUSE PRICE CRASH MOLEST CLIFF RICHARD? is my new favourite. I just actually laughed til I couldn’t breathe.

  7. Some of my favorites so far:

    WILL CANCER GIVE THE ROYAL FAMILY CANCER?

    WILL LESBIANS RUIN YOUR DAUGHTERS?

    WILL THE POLES HAVE SEX WITH YOUR HOUSE?

    IS THE INTERNET GIVING ENGLAND CANCER?

    CAN CANCER CAUSE DIABETES?

    WILL CANCER MOLEST YOUR PENSION?

    (ohgod)HAVE LESBIANS KILLED THE MEMORY OF DIANA?

    And there have been many many more that make me laugh, but if I don’t stop here, I’ll be going all day. XD

  8. Mezzosherri, yes please!

    Anyone else who’d like me to come to their college, please contact your women’s center, or any other group that brings speakers to campus (mostly, it’s been women’s centers so far), and see if they’d be interested.

    So far, I’ll definitely be at Cornell in Oct. And Marquette in Sept. And probably 2 schools in Oregon, though we’re still working out deets. Will update sidebar soonish.

  9. I’m sharing these with loads of people on IRC and everyone is greatly amused!

    WILL LESBIANS IMPREGNATE THE BRITISH PEOPLE?

    COULD FEMINISM HAVE SEX WITH THE MEMORY OF DIANA?

    HAS CANCER HAD SEX WITH COMMON SENSE AND DECENCY?

    IS CHANNEL 4 TURNING TAXPAYERS’ MONEY GAY?

    IS GORDON BROWN INFECTING THE MEMORY OF DIANA WITH AIDS?

    I love this thing SO HARD. ^_^

  10. I’m sitting here at work crying with laughter at those headlines. Love it.

    Is there a link to the ning (is that what it’s called?) Shapely Prose page somewhere on the main Shapely Prose site? I can’t seem to find it.

  11. Hooked a couple of friends who are dimly aware there’s got to be a better way up with this site. If I haven’t said it before, thanks for being awesome.

    Hair is officially to the tailbone. I need to color it, though.

    And apparently the dietary variation I have been doing for reasons of economy + gut health reasons is one that makes my mass fluctuate downward slightly. It’s nice that I’m not feeling the whole dieting mindset on it, it’s just “Oh, that’s interesting,” and that is a really good thing.

  12. Oh, and I’d like to say Kate that I’ve linked a bunch of stuff from here and other bits of the fatosphere to my mother to try and convince her that yes, mom, weight watchers IS a diet, and no, it doesn’t actually work for the vast majority of people, and no, being fat isn’t actually unhealthy. I kind of suspect she has an eating disorder, so I hope all this scientific proof and sensible things will help convince her that she doesn’t need to try and diet off the weight she gained back again. And I appreciate finding this when I did, because at two-weeks-until-I-turn-eighteen I’m still filling out into my curves and I was starting to freak at my weight (omg! Almost into the overweight category! This obviously means I need to lose twenty pounds! I don’t even watch IV, how did this stuff get into my head?)

    Anyway, thanks :) (to Fillyjonk and Sweet Machine and A Sarah too!)

  13. I still would love to have you come here, Kate, but my contact in the student group on body image has graduated and might not have contacted you before she left. I will try to remember to look into it!

  14. …MAKING TAXPAYERS’ MONEY GAY –

    AHHAHAHAHAHAHHAHA!!!
    *gasp, wheeze*

    HAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHA!!
    oh, that is a gem, that site is. lord have mercy!

  15. ARE THE UNEMPLOYED HAVING SEX WITH HOMEOWNERS?

    Well, that would solve some of the problem, in an emotionally compromising sort of way…

  16. ARE THE UNEMPLOYED HAVING SEX WITH HOMEOWNERS?

    hmmm… I’m unemployed and my boyfriend is a homeowner, so… YES!!

  17. IS FILTH ON TELEVISION MOLESTING YOUR PETS?

    WILL GYPSIES STEAL THE IDENTITY OF YOUR PENSION?

    Ha! These really don’t stop being funny.

  18. I am LMAO!!! That’s funny enough to actually wish for the baby to want to nurse all night so I have more Internet time. Somehow I think they might be even better when sleep deprived…

  19. Marquette! Neato! I’ll be there, possibly with my fiance, and even more possibly with Alverno students to whom I have offered extra credit.

  20. This one just cracks me up….

    COULD THE HOUSE PRICE CRASH GIVE THE MEMORY OF DIANA CANCER?

    I’m sorry…this just makes me bellow with cackles!

    And this one….

    WILL THE HOUSE PRICE CRASH MOLEST YOUR PETS?

    Oh, and this…

    COULD GYPSIES TURN BRITAIN’S SWANS GAY?

    Of course this one says it all….

    COULD THE UNEMPLOYED IMPREGNATE YOUR HOUSE?

  21. WILL FACEBOOK RUIN PROPERTY PRICES?

    ARE THE UNEMPLOYED TURNING THE CHURCH GAY?

    WILL THE METRIC SYSTEM BURGLE BRITAIN’S SWANS?

    HAVE FERAL CHILDREN BURGLED THE CHURCH?

    (I just find the word “burgle” amusing, I’ll admit.)

    ARE THE P.C. BRIGADE HAVING SEX WITH PENSIONERS?

    WILL THE NANNY STATE KILL THE CONSERVATIVE PARTY?

    (We can hope…)

    HAVE ASYLUM SEEKERS HURT COMMON SENSE AND DECENCY?

    IS HEALTH & SAFETY GIVING THE BRITISH PEOPLE CANCER?

    WILL THE P.C. BRIGADE GIVE COMMON SENSE AND DECENCY SWINE FLU?

    WILL ASYLUM SEEKERS STEAL THE IDENTITY OF THE QUEEN?

    ARE LESBIANS STEALING THE IDENTITY OF YOUR DAUGHTERS?

    IS RUSSELL BRAND IMPREGNATING DRIVERS?

    (Not while they’re driving, I hope…)

    IS CANCER STEALING FROM YOU?

    COULD FEMINISM INFECT BRITAIN’S SWANS WITH AIDS?

    (Am I the only one really curious what the original headline involving swans was?)

    WILL TEENAGE SEX TURN THE QUEEN GAY?

    COULD CANCER GIVE ENGLAND CANCER?

    … yes. Yes it could.

    There goes the rest of my night….

  22. WILL CHANNEL 4 GIVE YOUR HOUSE DIABETES?

    COULD ASYLUM SEEKERS TURN PROPERTY PRICES GAY?

    ARE GAYS TURNING BRITAIN’S SWANS GAY?

    COULD THE HOUSE PRICE CRASH HAVE SEX WITH YOUR DAUGHTERS?

    COULD THE MMR JAB MOLEST BRITISH SOVEREIGNTY?

    COULD THE INTERNET MOLEST ENGLAND?

  23. Im going to try to hijack this post a bit, cos I need some advice from my fellow shapelings –

    I am studying to be a personal trainer. One of my classmates started a new part-time job as an aerobics instructor and for her first class a bunch of us went along to offer suppot. During her class, she made a good few anti-fat comments – Talking about burning calories and getting hot legs and bodies. I want to mention that she might make people feel uncomfortable by saying stuff like that, but I’m not sure how to go about it – especially as I’m thin myself.
    Classmate is a lovely person and I think just has never been faced with the possibility that such comments could be hurtful, so I want to be sensitive.

    Any ideas?

  24. ^ I’d just be direct. Say that her comments might be hurtful to some people. I’d also point out that she might be turning off a lot of people who are coming because they like aerobics and how it makes them feel, rather than coming to lose weight. You can be nice about it, but definitely be direct.

  25. ^^ Mentioning the possibility that a person who’s recovering from an eating disorder might be in the room could also help?

    OMG that generator is hilarious. :D

  26. ^^^Suggesting that instead of anti-fat comments, she make more general body-positive comments about building endurance, cardiovascular fitness and muscle tone? You can probably come up with better alternatives than I can. Just tell her what you’d say if you were leading a class. Offering an alternative will make it easier for her to come around to your point of view, I think, because there’s not that barrier of “Well, what am I supposed to say, then?”

  27. Brat, I think the best approach may be to focus on the teaching part of her job. Teachers frequently have to be conscious of the rhetoric they employ in the classroom so they don’t end up alienating students or making them uncomfortable. This frees you from having to seem like you’re talking about her actual attitudes about fat people, or criticizing her for being biased or closed-minded (even if you are — that’s a good way to make people defensive). Instead, you focus on the fact that her job as a teacher is to model healthy, confidence-enhancing attitudes for ALL her students, even the ones who are not going to fit into cultural standards of beauty, or ones who aren’t interested in it. Simply replacing “hot legs” with “muscular legs” would go a long way towards an in-class patter that models a health focus, which presumably is what she really wants for her students.

  28. HAVE FERAL CHILDREN BURGLED THE CHURCH?

    Might be the best possible thing that could happen to the church.

  29. (Sorry, that was cryptic. Have been thinking a lot about how a lot of liberal white churches love to do “welcoming”-ish things and then send press releases about how welcoming they are, but in reality don’t want to be welcoming so much as have these little enclaves where they don’t have to be confronted by anyone whose body or culture or spiritual frame of reference is too different or scary. Because difference is HARD, see, and they have to deal with difference at WORK, and difference might mean CONFLICT, and we don’t LIKE conflict, and anyway church is supposed to be RESTORING, blah blah blah.

    So the image of feral children storming church buildings and looting all the… what? 1970’s chairs? Potted plants? Well, I just dug it.)

  30. (Am I the only one really curious what the original headline involving swans was?)

    Gretchen, I believe it may have been this or something connected to it:
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-521710/Swan-bake-carcasses-piles-feathers-cooking-pots-migrants-camp.html

    As for the generator…

    COULD FILTH ON TELEVISION HAVE SEX WITH THE CONSERVATIVE PARTY?

    HAS RUSSELL BRAND STOLEN FROM CLIFF RICHARD?

    WILL ALISTAIR DARLING MOLEST YOU?

    and other unanswerable questions….I could spend way too long playing with that thing.

  31. @Brat:
    It’s interesting you mention that. Before I discovered FA I bought a bunch of workout DVDs. I really like aerobics, and I used the DVDs when I didn’t have a gym membership. Quite a few of them have titles with phrases like “fat burning” in them, like “Fat Burning Pilates”, not to mention lots of suggestions from the instructors that following the exercise routine will make me lean, make me lose the weight, etc. At first I didn’t mind so much because that was just the sort of rhetoric I’d expect–I read YM growing up so I was used to hearing about “getting in shape for swimsuit season” and all that–but nowadays it rubs me the wrong way. It’s like you said, what if I am not doing the workout to lose weight? It’s kind of presumptuous, at the very least.

    So, if I could talk to the instructors in these videos, I’d say something like what other people have recommended. I’m using these videos because I like aerobics, not because I want to lose weight, so when they mention weight loss I wonder if maybe the DVD isn’t for me, even though I like the exercises just fine. I’d feel more engaged if they focused on doing exercise to increase endurance, etc., since that’s what I’m actually looking to do (and even if I were in the “lose weight” mindset, it’s not like I’d *mind* increasing my endurance), but it’s also nice when instructors are more specific. Like, “This exercise can help you build strength in your lower back, which can improve your posture and mitigate pain,” and so on. Then I’m learning something about how my body works, and that’s empowering. If your classmate is already saying some good comments, one way to talk to her is to explain why what she’s saying in those instances is good.

    A side question: do any Shapelings have recommendations for body positive aerobics DVDs?

  32. This is totally irrelevant, I just wanted to share my latest wtf moment with you folks. I went for a walk with my puppy today to the local movie rental place that welcomes dogs and gives out free popcorn. On the way home, I was giving my puppy a couple of pieces of popcorn as a treat, and I eventually gave him a big handful, because it was really salty and I was getting full. A woman walking past said, “oh good for you, counting those calories! Dogs are so handy when you’re on a diet, aren’t they? They’ll just eat anything!” She said this in a pleasant, one-pal-to-another way, so I didn’t feel comfortable saying, “what the fuck are you talking about lady, I’m not on a diet and I’m not counting calories, my dog and I are just sharing a goddamn treat,” as much as I wanted to. Instead, I said something asinine like, “heehee, you’re so right!”

    *headdesk* I’m sorry, everyone. I suck sometimes.

  33. Annie, don’t be sorry! If it wasn’t worth it to pick a fight with some random lady over her asinine assumptions, it wasn’t worth it. Her prejudices and mindset are not your responsibility.

    Related: wouldn’t some kind of FA/HAES resources business card be SWEET? Like, “I don’t want to pick a fight with you right now, random stranger, so these are some websites you should look at.”

  34. Oh man, I have wanted one of those cards for a long time. Anyone here have the skills to do that? I would pay for that shit!

  35. I’m a grad student at Mills College, and I would love to have you come speak. I know at least half a dozen grad students that would come (and I’m sure the undergrads would be interested as well)! And I would even be up for talking with the women’s center (Mills is a women’s college, so “women’s center” is kind of funny) about hosting you. If you think California is a possibility, let me know and I can email you. :)

  36. Hey everyone – I guess this is off-topic, but does anyone know if there have been any studies done on how women’s weight affects their salary/job prospects? Just curious.

  37. HAS BINGE DRINKING MADE THE MEMORY OF DIANA OBESE?

    HAVE PAEDOPHILES KILLED YOU?
    Not that I know of, but I’ll surely look in to it…

  38. (Sorry, that was cryptic. Have been thinking a lot about how a lot of liberal white churches love to do “welcoming”-ish things and then send press releases about how welcoming they are, but in reality don’t want to be welcoming so much as have these little enclaves where they don’t have to be confronted by anyone whose body or culture or spiritual frame of reference is too different or scary. Because difference is HARD, see, and they have to deal with difference at WORK, and difference might mean CONFLICT, and we don’t LIKE conflict, and anyway church is supposed to be RESTORING, blah blah blah.

    A Sarah, this is one of the main reasons I just can’t bring myself to go to church anymore. I mean, I grew up in a church where women who wore pants were whispered about. No “good” “Christian” woman would wear pants to church. Obviously, I’ve found churches that aren’t so ridiculous, but I still feel like no matter how hard they try, it has that horrible inclusive feeling. It doesn’t help that the core members give off that odor of complete desperation. The clingy, hope you’re having a good time, please come back, etc. It’s overwhelming when you just want to go to new place and get a feel for it. Besides, I can only think of 2 out of the many ministers I’ve met who haven’t totally creeped me out.

  39. @Lane: I’m sure there have, and I’m sure the result is “poorly.” At least that’s my impression based on ‘anecdata.’ Junkfood Science might be a good place to start looking.

  40. I came across this article while checking my mail:

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090824/ap_on_he_me/us_med_too_much_sugar;_ylt=Al6WAdgJD4DBNak7VsWsD9JvzwcF;_ylu=X3oDMTJxZzFzMG1yBGFzc2V0A2FwLzIwMDkwODI0L3VzX21lZF90b29fbXVjaF9zdWdhcgRjcG9zAzYEcG9zAzMEc2VjA3luX2hlYWRsaW5lX2xpc3QEc2xrA2hlYXJ0Z3JvdXBjdQ–

    Now, I know, it’s the mainstream media, but I couldn’t figure it out. It just goes round in circles about how everyone needs to be cutting back on sugar, but doesn’t say much else. I kept waiting for *some* explanation of *why* sugar was automatically bad. No, just the usual assumptions.

    Makes me wonder what’s behind it, or who’s behind it. It’s a bit of propaganda if I ever saw one.

  41. I don’t know if I should add that that article might be triggering for those of us with an eating disorder. I mean, I don’t myself have one, and I’ve never really dieted, but even I could feel it trying to put my brain into that nasty spiral of ‘shoulds’.

  42. Thalia, the reasoning is down toward the bottom:

    “The statement says data indicates added sugar is contributing to Americans consuming too many discretionary calories — the number of calories remaining after a person eats the foods needed to meet nutrient requirements.

    “We know for sure that if you are consuming excessive amounts of added sugar, you will add calories, which leads to weight gain, or you will displace other essential nutrients,” she said.”

    Basically, the weight-gain bogeyman.

  43. Well, yes; I mean that it struck me as particularly weak even for that type of “article”, and that there was no explanation as to why or how sugar was linked to heart disease in a piece on an article by the American Heart Association.

    I mean, they didn’t even TRY to link it to heart disease or whatever. They just basically said “sugar=bad and everyone knows it.” I just found it remarkably transparent. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, but for some reason I am. Probably because I’ve been hanging around here a lot lately. :)

  44. OK while we’re talking about how desperately many of us want to bring Kate and Marianne to their campuses, I need nominations!

    I’d like to propose a panel appearance on people who’ve gone from bloggers to published authors. Preferably women. So that’s Kate and Marianne, but the only other woman blogger I know off the top of my head with a book out is Jessica from Feministing. I’d like to go in with a list of names and a solid proposal, as that would increase chances.

    I know there are more, I’m just drawing a blank. Help?

    DRST

  45. Contact Patty Digh! She was one of the first! She wrote a book, “Life is a Verb,” that are a collection of essays from her blog, “37 Days.” At this site: http://pattidigh.com/ you can request to have her come do a reading and talk about it. I went to one and she was fabulous! She has a really fun personality. Her blog, is here: http://pattidigh.com/

    Her blog asks the question, “What would you do if you only had 37 days left to live?”, because that’s exactly what happened to her father.

    BTW, the blog is not depressing if you’re wondering….

  46. “HAS TEENAGE SEX MADE YOUR DAUGHTERS OBESE?”

    Oh, well that explains it!

    If I’d just waited to fuck until I turned twenty I could have stayed thin.

    …but the two years of epic sexxorz with my bf was worth it. :D

  47. @DRST: Amanda Marcotte from Pandagon has a book out. There’s also Dietgirl, and Jennette from Half of Me, who both write well even if their blogs are not exactly in line with the aims of SP.

  48. This is random and unrelated, but since it seems like the fatosphere lost interest in Drop Dead Diva, I just wanted to mention that, for those who thought it had potential, this week’s episode seems to indicate that it does. While not perfect, it was probably the most anti-diet, pro-HAES TV episode I’ve seen. And, it seems like perhaps the show has taken to heart the criticism of Jane’s eating habits, so we’re not seeing her always eating donuts (this week she has an English muffin!) and we see a thin character enjoying a piece of cake in a very intimate way. We also have an example of what might a good size-friendly doctor would look like.

    Anyway, not perfect, but the show seems to definitely be moving in the right direction.

  49. IS CANCER GIVING YOUR PETS CANCER?

    Holy shit! So that’s how my beagle got cancer! It was the god damn cancer! *headsmack* Also, I coulda had a V-8!

  50. Also, @SugarLeigh: ““HAS TEENAGE SEX MADE YOUR DAUGHTERS OBESE?”

    Oh, well that explains it!

    If I’d just waited to fuck until I turned twenty I could have stayed thin.

    But that makes no sense! Are you sure you’re not thin? Because everyone knows fat people don’t have sex! They’re always too tired from having just climbed a set of stairs. And clearly if there are any fat women who want boyfriends or sex they should just try harder and lose the weight.

    (/sarcasm, just in case anyone thought i meant any of that.)

  51. Not from the generator:
    WILL YOUR BOSS’S FAT HATRED GIVE YOU MIGRAINE?
    Arrgh! So frustrating!
    Thank you for letting me vent.

  52. I learned this past weekend that living in NYC is not good for my self image.

    I was camping. I had forgotten how much I love love love walking around the woods barefoot, canoeing at night, getting dirty and hairy and walking around without a bra. It was glorious.

    And now I’m back in Brooklyn and I have to leave in about 12 minutes and I’m unshowered and I’m not sure where my checkbook is and I just wanna go back to the wooooooooooods where I don’t CARE if my toenails are dirty or if my clothes are unfrumpy.

    I guess I’m still a hippie at heart. Also, this comment is just me blabbing at the tubes. I need to join the freaking ning site!

  53. I am not sure if this has been mentioned but…ugh…..

    Linked on the front page of the Huffpo is a “headless fattie” photo with the caption “Obese People Have ‘Severe Brain Degeneration'”

    The article links to a website called “Livescience”.

    WTF???

  54. @Shiyiya: I feel like that comic could easily have been written as a really interesting take on America’s diet obsession… but instead it was just a dude being a douchebag. :(

  55. @shutupmonica yeah, very much so. And I generally like that comic, they’re fairly amusing one-off gags. The hit or miss definitely missed this time though.

  56. @barbara For fuck’s sake, has every news outlet on the planet decided to run some variant of that story? Look up a few comments, I found the abstract of the actual study all those articles are about – and the abstract doesn’t mention weight at all.

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