Open thread

Have at it, Shapelings. I’m using all my words for dissertating today and my co-bloggers are using theirs for their paid jobs. Fluffcation rules do not apply on this thread: feel free to talk about what you want and get as controversial as you feel, so long as you abide by the Comments Policy.

Speaking of which, there has been a trend recently (mostly not from regulars) for commenters to say “I know you said this thread is closed, but” or “I know you said to take this threadjack to Ning, but” or “I know you said this thread is fluff only, but” and then to go ahead and say whatever thing they would have said anyway. To which I say: what the living fuck? This is not a discussion board. (This is.) This is a blog, and we moderate the shit out of it. You don’t have to like every decision we make, but you do have to respect it. It’s not about disagreeing; it’s about respecting the work we put in here. And hey, if you don’t respect that work? You don’t get to comment, though heaven knows why you’d want to anyway.

End of lecture. Open thread!

Getting to 101

A Shapeling (who wishes to remain anonymous for the purpose of this thread) has some questions she’s been mulling after some of our recent discussions about gender and feminism. What do you do when the men in your life are only partway to feminism — when they agree that, say, women should have equal pay for equal work, and that rape is bad, but they think the rest of it is silly or overreacting? Or when they don’t accept that some of their own behavior — whether it’s as “minor” as flirting in the street or as major as thinking their sexual needs are more urgent and non-negotiable than their female partners’ — contributes to the culture of sexism?

Our Shapeling asks:

So I guess my question is, how do you navigate this type of territory?  How do you educate a loved one about their own sexist behavior when they don’t believe they are being sexist?  Without any back story, the easy response is that I should just dump him if he can’t learn to respect me and take me seriously…  But what do you do about men you can’t dump?  What do you do if it’s like, your uncle, or your dad, or your brother?  You can’t just dump your family.  So what are you supposed to do when you’re dealing with someone who, for the most part, is on board with your feminism, but still has certain sexist expectations about you, and is unwilling to admit or acknowledge that certain behaviors are sexist?

I’m sure we all have some experience with negotiating our own feminism (and other commitments to social justice) with reluctant people in our lives. What do you do when people you care about convinced they’re not sexist — and are wrong?

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.

Welcome, Salon readers!

Regular readers: my essay from Feed Me! Writers Dish About Food, Eating, Weight and Body Image, edited by Harriet Brown, is on the front page (eeee!) of Salon today. Check it out!

Visitors from Salon: Welcome! Well, most of you, anyway. Please note that the comments policy here is a whoooole lot stricter than Salon’s, and all first-time comments are held for moderation. So if you just dropped by to tell me that fat is unhealthy and disgusting, I’m deluded, I should look into diet and exercise, or anything along those lines, be aware that your comment will never show up on the site — unless it’s so exquisitely shitheaded, we decide to make you a Douchehound of the Day.

Everyone: If you want to get a copy of Feed Me! —  and you totally do — you have two options. 1) Go buy it. 2) E-mail Harriet with your name and address before 1 p.m. EST on January 26 to be eligible for a free copy.

Thanks for stopping by.

Best of

Check out what’s going on in the Shapeling community. We are pushing 700 members! If I could make virtual confetti and balloons drop on Shapeling #700, I totally would.

Tiffany shares a grossly food-shaming holiday poem/email forward, and fuzzyoctopus starts a chain of brilliant body-positive response poems.

Genevieve asks, What is/was your FoBT?

leafspeech looks for advice on how to deal with the aftereffects of her mother’s WLS.

Check out the meetup forum for upcoming events.

Weekly-ish best of

We are totally thrilled that over 300 of you have joined the freshly minted Shapely Prose community at Ning. If you haven’t joined yet, go check it out! Since it’s so active, I thought I would start a quasi-regular post highlighting some particularly active or fun discussions on the forums.

miakodajs relates the all too common experience of receiving compliments on her new thinness after a hospitalization.

Tari starts a discussion on “the hell fun of dating as a non-self-loathing fat person.” This is a hot topic — over 100 replies so far!

Fillyjonk asks for your favorite “Etsy sellers, small local shops, obscure online boutiques, and other places to buy non-mass-manufactured plus-size clothes.”

Knitmeapony asks what bikes would work for a fat urban commuter.

Keep them coming, Shapelings!