We link because we care

Right, so obviously, this time last week when I said we were all busy, I wasn’t kidding. It’s been a light posting week here at SP, but there’s lots of good stuff to read elsewhere. To wit:

The Fat Nutritionist reminds us that all women are real women. (This seems to be an older post, actually, but it’s showing up in the fatosphere feed again, and it’s worth a reread. This might be one of those wacky things where your RSS feed resets and republishes everything at once for whatever reason.)

If anyone has the temerity to identify as a woman in this culture, I’m handing them over an Official Membership Card and inviting them to the pool party, since, you know, I’m a real woman and all. By the power vested in me, etc. etc. And because if you’re willing to put up with the bullshit women put up with every single day, then shit — you’ve earned it.

Lesley watches the finale of More to Love so you don’t have to.

Did we need the endless confessional crying to be made to feel something for these women? Did we need the gratuitous tales of Fat Pain in order to share in the romance and triumph of Luke’s final decision? No. Because fat people are just people. We fall in love and out of love, we’re hurt and we’re happy, we’re successful and we make mistakes, we’re occasionally right and occasionally wrong. Just like everyone else.

More on Crystal Renn: Jezebel’s formerly anonymous model, Jenna, talks with Crystal about modeling, self-respect, and starvation.

CR: I don’t think they really understood what they were asking. I want to think that they didn’t really understand what they were asking me, a 14-year-old girl, to do. I mean, [when someone is asked to diet down to a certain measurement] nobody knows for sure how many pounds that will actually be.
JS: It’s so fucking naïve though. And, Jesus Christ, when you’re dealing with such young girls, irresponsible.
CR: I think so. They have certain requirements, and I don’t think they want to think about how the girl meets those requirements…A lot of girls never come forward to their agencies and say, Hey, I starve myself to maintain the standards that you’ve set for me.
JS: Yeah.
CR: You know, they’re not going to do that. I’m one of the only ones. And that’s the reason I got a book.

Karnythia at The Angry Black Woman has an absolute must-read on the horrendous treatment of South African runner Caster Semenya.

Between the misogyny and the racism and the privilege and the sheer entitlement on display this is one of those areas where intersectionality cuts to the bone and then beyond. Being human isn’t about fitting into a box designed by someone else. It’s not something other people get to define for you. And if you think that the way Caster has been treated makes sense because she’s a public figure, or you think you have a right to treat people like an exhibit to satisfy your interest in their experience? You’re directly using your privilege (whatever it may be) to oppress someone.

Finally, some real advice: Sexual Assault Prevention Tips Guaranteed to Work!

1.   Don’t put drugs in people’s drinks in order to control their behavior.

2.   When you see someone walking by themselves, leave them alone!

3.   If you pull over to help someone with car problems, remember not to assault  them!

What other awesome things have you read this week?

26 thoughts on “We link because we care

  1. Hey SM, there’s enough good stuff in the SP archives alone to keep us busy. Y’all deserve a break now and then. But thanks for the links, anyway!

  2. I have to say, Kate has been on fire at Jezebel. Her posts there are such a potent dose of sanity, just like the posts here!

  3. Woo, thanks for the linkage, SM!

    And I hope you’ll forgive my promote-y-ness, but! I am still looking for the fat-and-happily-coupled(or more)-without-the-aid-of-a-reality-show to send me their stories and pictures. The response to my original request has been big enough that I’m going to launch a separate photo gallery site compiling all these images and stories.

    This is as much to serve as an antidote to More to Love’s poisonous effect on me as it is a service to The Fat Community (i.e. The Vast Fat-People Conspiracy), just so’s we’re clear. I am not turning squishy or soft-hearted anytime soon.

  4. Yeah, sorry about that. I’ve actually been moving old posts to my new website’s archives, so that’s why the feed picks them up. I tried to sneakily do it in the middle of the night, haha.

    Thanks for the link :)

  5. Y’all deserve a break now and then.

    I would just like to state for the record that I am not busy AT ALL. I’m not posting because I’m on vacation.

  6. I would just like to state for the record that I am not busy AT ALL. I’m not posting because I’m on vacation.

    Well then, congrats on taking that much-deserved break!

  7. I have to say, Kate has been on fire at Jezebel. Her posts there are such a potent dose of sanity, just like the posts here!

    Unfortunately, the comment section is a potent dose of insanity. I thought a blog like Jezebel would attract more intelligent and thoughtful readers, but I guess not.

  8. Is it just me or has fatshionista been down all day? I must know how the show ends!

    Also I joined jezebel and I’m waiting for my account to be approved. Since I know many of you comment there I was wondering if I’m supposed to do anything to be approved or just wait around until they get to it. Thanks.

  9. I thought a blog like Jezebel would attract more intelligent and thoughtful readers, but I guess not.

    Depressingly, it does attract more intelligent and thoughtful readers than most places on the web.

  10. I don’t know about the whole Caster Semenya thing. The most recent news is that the South African government admitted that it lied about sex-test results showing Semenya was a hermaphrodite before she ran the race that she won. Whatever you might think about it politically, the fact remains that Semenya is not, biologically, female. Any female runner who took enough steroids to compete on Semenya’s level would be instantly disqualified for doping. So I’m really and truly not seeing where her disqualification is racism or sexism or anything else — the South African government entered a runner of ambiguous sexuality with a hormonal advantage in a women’s race, and won, knowing they’d lied and covered things up. It sounds like a simple case of fraud to me. I mean, I feel bad that Semenya’s unusual biology is all over the news but really, what can be expected of such tactics?

  11. As someone with Turner Syndrome I think a lot needs to be addressed with the intersexed. I don’t consider myself intersexed, all though some with TS do.

    I’m short. I doubt TS women have any biological advantage over other women as far as strength and running. But the olympics and a few other high profile sports events do genetic testing, and one X is out. Being short, we could prolly naturally have that “gymnasts body” without starving ourselves, whcih I don’t think is any different an advantage than a naturally tall perosn playing basketball or whatnot. I could see that being a sport a TS woman could excel in. I guess we’ll never know if a TS woman can make it to the Olympics though.

    And marriage – if they define marriage as between a man XY and woman XX, I’d be out, even though I identify as a woman. I’ve heard some uber relgious people suggest that it be that way.

    the Caster Semenya thing is unqiue, for sure. I think what bothers me is more than just the possiblility of a medal being taken away or whatnot. It’s the right for someone to define their gender for themselves and the right to being treated with respect. People are just using the techincalities of her being ineligable for the competition as an excuse to say whatever the hell they want irregardless of the person. So while you may be right that she shouldn’t have raced, Julie, to me that’s not the point. the point is this vile coming out has to do with curiosity or uncomfortableness with the intersexed. And I’m not giving that label to Caster – it’s the idea, whether the vile spinners know that word or not, that they have in their head. But she hasn’t used that word publically, she has said she’s a woman. And even if the sports people decide she’s not, she still is to me unless she says otherwise.

  12. I think what bothers me is more than just the possiblility of a medal being taken away or whatnot. It’s the right for someone to define their gender for themselves and the right to being treated with respect. People are just using the techincalities of her being ineligable for the competition as an excuse to say whatever the hell they want irregardless of the person. So while you may be right that she shouldn’t have raced, Julie, to me that’s not the point. the point is this vile coming out has to do with curiosity or uncomfortableness with the intersexed.

    Absolutely, MA — thanks for your comment.

    Julie, the language of your comment (“hermaphrodite,” “ambiguous sexuality”) tells me you don’t know very much about intersexed people, which means you are really not qualified to dismiss other people’s concerns about racism and sexism.

  13. Julie, your post gives me the expression that you are buying into the idea that there is an easy way to distinguish between “male” and “female”. This is not the case. The majority might fit into these categories bazed on xx or xy chromosomes, but there are a lot of different possibilities.

    Looka at this:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/22/sports/22runner.html?_r=3&partner=rss&emc=rss

    or try this:

    http://www.hhmi.org/biointeractive/gendertest/gendertest.html

    Also, you are equating (possible) higher testosterone levels automatically with being advantaged in a sports competition. Not only does that not really work when you look at all the men who have higher levels than women but could never compete with her, it also ignores the fact that intersexed women’s bodies often don’t respond to testosterone the same way other people’s bodies do. So there might not be an advantage at all.

    And if there is? Other people have advantages in sports because they are naturally tall, or thin, or have the best proportion for their sport. Why should those advantages be allowed, but having different hormone levels result in an automatic disqualification?

    Comparing her natural body chemistry to doping? She didn’t do anything wrong. She was born that way. She self-identifies as a woman. There is no indication that she ever had reason to question that identification, and if she had, that would be private. Even if the African Government lied, she didn’t. And if she had know? She should not be expected to tell people about something so private. Being intersex (if that is indeed what she is) should not be a disqualifier. And no one should be forced to “out” zeirself if they do not want to.

    What do you propose? That intersex women (continue to) be excluded from competetive sports alltogether? Because of the way they were born? Of who they are? What would that be, if not discrimination? That intersex people be forced into hormone therapy and surgery if they want to compete in sports? Again, that would be horrible and discriminating.

    I would suggest you read the other articles over at angryblackwomen discussing gendertesting and intersexed and transsexual sport competitors. There are a lot of good points made by a lot of women who know a lot more about the topic than0 you seem to. I think you should try to learn more before telling people that they have no reason to complain

Comments are closed.