Upcoming readings/events!

OK, I’ve got some upcoming reading/event dates for Marianne and me!

On Saturday, May 9, we will both be in Philadelphia, doing a reading and/or workshop (um, we’re not sure which yet) from 4-5 p.m. at The Rotunda (ha), in between performances of Big Moves Boston‘s latest revue, “Fat Camp.”  Big Moves honcho Marina Wolf Ahmad, who awesomely set this up for us, writes:

This year, Big Moves Boston is taking over the phrase “fat camp” and making it our own, with an all-new, summer-camp-themed revue, Fat Camp (“leave your baggage behind”). Fat Camp runs in the Boston area April 24-25 and May 1-2, and then travels to Philadelphia for one weekend only, on May 8-9.

Fat Camp is summer camp the way Big Moves would do it, full of dining-hall dancing, post-modern pillow fights, a full-service cold-cereal bar, shower-room burlesques, campfire sing-alongs, and of course, trust games. With lots of audience interaction, Fat Camp invites viewers to take their own body-acceptance journeys along with us, and learn to love the skin they’re in!

There will be Fat Camp shows at The Rotunda on Friday night, Saturday afternoon and Saturday evening, $10 advance tickets and $12 at the door. There’s also a hip-hop workshop right after our event for $5.

On Sunday, May 10, we will be in Boston at Lir Irish Pub, at 1 p.m. — though doors open at 12:30 so you can get started on the eating and drinking. This event was organized by the fantastic Center for New Words, who also did the Yes Means Yes event where I nearly broke my damn ankle. And yes, we know it’s Mother’s Day, but it was the only time we could do it — bring your mom, if you’ve got one! Or just come for a drink to recover from brunch with her!

On Friday, May 15, I will be appearing (sans Marianne, sadly) here in Chicago at Vive la Femme, around 6 p.m., I believe. (Uh, Stephanie, you out there? Is it 6?) We’ll also be celebrating the 7th anniversary of Vive, Chicago’s only plus-size boutique, so it should be a raucous affair. And if it’s not, at least you can try on some adorable cocktail dresses.

On Friday, June 5, we will both be in Brooklyn at Re/Dress for an evening of fattitude that will include plus-size vintage shopping, refreshments, and a dance performance (not by us). I’m iffy on the start time of this one, too — will get back to y’all on that.

Those are the confirmed dates for now. We’re also working on setting something up for both of us in Minneapolis on Sunday, June 28. I’ll be in St. Louis at Pudd’nhead Books (owned by a Shapeling!) some time in July, and I’m also intending to hit Madison, Milwaukee, Champaign-Urbana and Indianapolis as my schedule allows. I know Marianne’s planning to do some solo stuff in the south, too. We’ll keep you posted.

Hey, Aussies!

Forgot to plug this farther in advance — I’ll be talking to Melinda James on ABC radio’s “Hair of the Blog” in about an hour! Which I think is like 10 a.m. over there, even though it’s still Saturday night here, and I’m going out to dinner after I do a live morning show interview. 

Also, Screw Inner Beauty (the Australian publisher let us keep our original title) will be available on May 4! Please buy it! That is all.

Update: It’s over! Welcome, anyone who’s dropping by after hearing me. Thanks a million to Melinda and Melanie. Off to dinner now!

Want to talk to a reporter about me?

Hey, there’s a reporter for a local paper here doing a story on me/the blog/the book, who would like to talk to some Shapelings about how the blog has affected them. 

If you’d be interested in talking to her, please e-mail me (katesblog at gmail) with “REPORTER” in the subject line before 10 a.m. central time tomorrow. Please include your name, screen name, e-mail address, and a bit about how you found the blog and why you keep reading. I’ll forward the responses to her, and she’ll get in touch with you if she wants to know more or quote you. 

Thanks so much in advance to anyone who takes the time to do this! (Oh, and I should note that this reporter is supernice and seems genuinely open to the concept of fat acceptance — it’s not going to be a “gotcha” piece unless she’s a reeeeeallly good actress.)

Read ‘Em

There are about a gazillion things we’ve missed in the last week, so it’s round-up time.

First, though, I have a favor to ask of anyone who can swing it. Al’s friend Peter lost his job last July. He and his partner of 20+ years, Ericka, are now in danger of losing their house — foreclosure proceedings have begun, and a sheriff’s sale has been set for May 8. Making matters more difficult, in this case, saving the house isn’t just a matter of keeping a roof over their heads. Quoting Peter:

Ericka has multiple, chronic, life-altering diseases and Peter is her primary caregiver. We have modified our home to handle her medical equipment and power wheelchair, etc. Things like the added and increased voltage electrical system, the ramp, the bathroom, the enlarged doors and added bedroom door (so the wheelchair and ambulance gurneys can get through) are just some of the things that have been adapted so that Ericka can continue to live in our home.

Peter recently got a temporary job, and they’ve received some donations already, but they’re still going to need more to keep the house. I know everyone is struggling right now, but if any Shapelings have a bit of cash to spare, please go here and use the donate button or bid on one of the items other friends are auctioning off. A bunch of small donations could make a huge difference. Also, if you’re in the Twin Cities area and know of anyone looking to hire a webmaster/information architect/business analyst (I don’t even know what two out of three of those things mean), Peter’s resume can be found here.

Now, on to the round-up.

The Meghan McCain thing
Backstory here. FJ e-mailed about it this morning and all she said was, “Just in case you needed another reason never to pull that “last acceptable prejudice” shit…” No kidding.

Nevertheless, I replied that I was reasonably pleased with McCain’s response, overall — although yeah, the “last acceptable prejudice” thing NEEDS TO FUCKING DIE, and it also seemed like there was a little too much, “But I’m not fat!” going on, even though she had the decency to acknowledge that the criticism would be bullshit even if she were. I also admitted that a small part of me quite likes what I’ve seen of Meghan McCain (which is not that much, I hasten to note) — that is, the part of me that thinks deep down she’s a Democrat who’s just a little too green to get why her youthful energy and optimism almost certainly won’t make the Republican party any less hateful in the next few generations — so I might be giving her too much benefit of the doubt. FJ is not similarly impressed. What say you, Shapelings? Is her message refreshing to see, or undermined by the way she articulates it? Or both?  

Attack of the fat babies
There are reports out today about a new program  designed to keep pregnant women from gaining too much weight. Once again, the reporting suggests that fat moms have fat babies because their fat uteruses are fucking obesogenic environments, not because fat is hereditary. As I’ve said before, I don’t think genetics are the only reason why some people are fat, and I don’t entirely discount the possibility that a woman’s fat cells themselves could potentially affect her eggs or fetus(es). I do, however, think that when we’re talking about fat moms having fat babies, and no one ever says, “Hey, you think maybe that’s because fat is hereditary?” William of Ockham starts spinning in his goddamned grave.   

Also, check out Lauredhel on how the supposed upward trend in babies’ birthweights is horseshit. 

Brain surgery to cure teh fatz
Today, BFD  got around to highlighting Withoutscene’s fabulous rant on the brain surgery for obesity story we still haven’t gotten around to discussing. Discuss.

A good old fashioned blood-boiler
(via Shapeling Judith) Please enjoy this essay, in which Mindy Laube compares fatness to crime AND admits straight up that health is beside the point: Her whole argument is that fat people should rightly hate ourselves on aesthetic grounds alone. Money quote:

When teenage girls are willing to flaunt their oversize bellies in bikinis only one conclusion can be drawn: human nature is in flux. At some point during the last couple of decades, we seem to have misplaced one of the healthiest of human traits: vanity.

Yes, folks, once again, fat is fashionable and thin people are being persecuted by the millions and millions of fat-accepting folks, who are drowning out the noble few still fighting for a thin beauty standard.

The louder crowd insists that slender women are bizarre anomalies who ought to be force-fed into obese conformity because the rotund figure of the average Australian woman is “normal” and thus ideal.

Wow. I know American public schools don’t do such a great job of teaching geography, but I am 34 years old, and until this moment did not even realize that Australia IS ON ANOTHER FUCKING PLANET.

If you’re fat, you should be standing up to burn calories anyway. (If you can’t stand up, fuck you.)
A fitness club in The Netherlands has installed these high-tech bus shelter ads with a scale in the bench that produces a digital readout of your weight up in the usual ad space, where everyone can see it. As Liss says, “Not only fat-hating/shaming, but deeply hostile to the physically disabled, who have to exchange their privacy and dignity for their basic comfort just to wait for a bus.”

Leave more in comments, y’all. Self-linking encouraged.

Time for balloons and baby cake!


Y’all, this is our thousandth post! So now, when people show up here all, “But how can you say it’s OK to be fat?” we can say, “You know, we’ve answered that question a thousand fucking times already” and MEAN IT.

A zillion thanks, plus champagne and baby-flavored donuts (or cake) to all the Shapelings whose comments have made the first 1,000 posts far more interesting to read. And to all the lurkers whose numbers have made it seem worthwhile to keep going.

(Image via Cake Wrecks.)

Help Us Plan a Book Tour!

OK, Shapelings, lots of you have been asking where we might be going on a book tour, and the answer is, we have no idea yet.

Well, we have one idea. There will definitely be an event at Re/Dress in Brooklyn on June 5. Other than that, nothing’s firm yet. So we need a little help from American readers. (Apologies to non-American readers, but right now, we can’t afford to tour anywhere else.) 

First, questions:

1) Do you own/work for/frequent a venue (bookstore, plus-size boutique/bar) that might be interested in hosting an event with us? Can you put us in touch with someone there?

2) Do you attend/work for a college that might be interested in having us come to speak about body image/lead a workshop/whatever? Do you know who to talk to about that?

3) Do you live in a city where you suspect (or better yet, know for a fact) we could get a large audience to come out for an event? If so, where?

And now, caveats:

1) Our publisher is contributing precisely $0 to our travel fund, so this whole tour will be coming out of our own pockets. Realistically, that means we might only be able to hit a few cities, and they will probably be the big ones that everybody goes to. If we had unlimited time and money, we would LOVE to visit the little ones nobody goes to, but that’s just not feasible right now — with the exception of college towns where the colleges will pay to bring us in as speakers. (If you know of a great venue or think we could get a great crowd in a smaller city, please do mention it! We’ll consider anything! Just be aware that there are some pretty severe time and money limits going on here, so we don’t want anyone to be surprised and disappointed if it turns out we just hit a few big cities on the east coast, plus our hometowns.)

2) In light of the above, there will probably be very few events at which both of us will be present. The Re/Dress shindig will be one, and we will probably both be in Minneapolis at the end of June, so we’ll try to organize something there. Otherwise, it’s likely to be  just one of us. 

All right, take it away, U.S. Shapelings. Where should we go? Who might want to host us? What kind of fatty networks do you know about in your hometown? 

Thanks in advance for whatever you’ve got.

YMY Live Chat at Feministe Today

This afternoon at 3 EST, I’ll be participating in a live chat at Feministe to promote Yes Means Yes! Feministe blogger Rachel will moderate, and the other contributors who will be there are Cara Kulwicki, Toni Amato, Hanne Blank, and Heather Corrina. Just show up at Feministe around 3, and it’ll be going. 

You won’t be able to ask questions during the chat, but there’s still time to leave some over there in advance.

Shuttering the store

So we opened a CafePress store a while ago in response to overwhelming demand for T-shirts to display one’s Shapelinghood. We’ve never made any money off of it, but for a while it was managing to pay for itself. Now, however, it is just costing money, so we’re going to shut it down at the end of the month. If you want baby donut T-shirts, “I am Kate Harding” bumper stickers, or any other merch, get it now, because soon it will be rare and presumably valuable!

Yes Means Yes Virtual Tour Kicks off Today!

So hey, over the next couple of weeks, there will be a “virtual book tour” for Yes Means Yes: Visions of Female Sexual Power and a World Without Rape, in which Jaclyn, Jessica, and various contributors will be dropping by various other contributors’ and friends’ blogs. 

It kicks off today at Feministing, with a live chat at 3 p.m. EST, featuring Jessica, Jaclyn, Samhita Mukhopadhyay, Miriam Perez, and Cara Kulwicki. 

On February 12, I’ll be posting a Q&A with Kimberly Springer, author of the essay “Queering Black Female Sexuality.”

And on February 20, Jill Filipovic at Feministe will host the “grand finale conversation” with Rachel Kramer Bussel, Toni Amato, Javacia Harris, Stacey May Fowles, Hanne Blank, Heather Corinna, and yours truly. 

Other stops on the tour will include:

The F-Word – 2/3
Q&A with Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha

RH Reality Check – 2/4
Live chat with Julia Serano & Latoya Peterson

Our Bodies Our Blog – 2/5
Q&A with Brad Perry & Lisa Jervis

Shakesville – 2/9
Live chat with Jaclyn

Scarleteen – 2/10
Heather Corinna 

Angry Black Bitch – 2/11
Q&A with Tiloma Jayasinghe

Bitch Ph.D. – 2/16
Guest blogging with Jaclyn & Jessica

Shameless – 2/17
Q&A with Jill Filipovic

IMPACT – 2/18
Q&A with Anastasia Higginbotham

Radical Doula – 2/19
Q&A with Hazel/Cedar Troost

Please check it all out! And of course, buy the book!