(As always, as soon as I say I won’t be posting, I start posting.)
Update: I hear Rachel’s now getting physical threats over this, which is deeply uncool. I know that’s not the kind of thing to come from this crowd, but just for the record: I’m all for calling out her cruel, fucked-up behavior, but it is not okay to threaten to hurt someone.
So, before this morning, I’d never heard of WisCon, which bills itself as “the world’s leading feminist science fiction convention.” (Cool.) Today, I’m hearing about it all over the place, because of what happened afterwards: someone named Rachel Moss posted pictures at Something Awful of WisCon attendees, mocking them for fatness, disability and gender orientation. Especially fatness, evidently.
I didn’t see it before it was taken down, and I’m not about to go looking for the full history. (As your Sanity Watchers leader, I highly recommend you do the same.) But I thought Barry’s and Lesley’s posts on the matter were well worth quoting.
Barry, on the intersection of fatphobia, transphobia, and ableism:
Why do these things go so smoothly together, like peanut butter and chocolate in a Reese’s commercial? I think that anti-fat bigotry, anti-trans bigotry, and ablism overlap in that all three bigotries are a sort of body fascism. Those who have what society considers the “default body” — by being thin, by being ablebodied, or by being born with genitals that match one’s gender identity — are considered superior to those without the default body, and have the right to mock inferior people with non-default bodies.
And, of course, men also have the “default body,” and women do not. So it’s not surprising that the anti-fat, anti-trans, anti-disabled bigotry in the SASS thread is also shot through and through with misogyny.
And Lesley awesomely tells people like Rachel Moss to go ahead and keep it up, motherfuckers:
Do it. Take it. Take my picture and eviscerate me online. It’s just a public, out-loud, communal version of what people do to me inside their heads every single day. It’s happened to me before, online and off. It’ll happen again. It’ll happen every day I leave the house, for the rest of my life.
I am still fat, and I am still not sorry. And nothing you can say, nothing you can post, nothing you can do will change that. No matter how many times you try to humiliate me. No matter how much you want me to hate myself. Because it’s my fucking body. And I don’t owe you a damn thing.
Update 2: The Angry Black Woman, whose picture is being used as an avatar by a Moss-inspired asshole, under the words “100 % N*****,” also has some choice words. (Sanity Watchers warning on her comments, though.)
Now I definitely am not down with physical threats. Especially not against female bloggers. But if Rachel Moss feels scared, hurt, embattled, and like she can’t walk down the street without someone having something nasty to say about her, all I can say is: good. She deserves it. Because that’s a slice of what she did to others for no other reason than she thought it would be funny. I would not wish actual physical harm on her ever. But you know that feeling in the gut you get when you’re anxious and upset and freaked out? I hope she feels that every day for a year. It still wouldn’t be enough.