India’s Rapes Too Often Excused as ‘Boys Will Be Boys’

The boys will be boys attitude prevails in Western countries too. It gives me a little hope to see the protesters decrying this act of violence and demanding justice.
“Boys will be boys” is not an excuse for vile acts against women. Ever.

WOMEN. HEALING. VIOLENCE.

Let’s stop saying that half the human race is inherently aggressive, predatory and incapable of transformation.

BY Mallika Dutt

Screenshot 2014-05-30 19.20.59

Yet again global outrage and attention are focused on India. In the most recent rape-murder in Uttar Pradesh, a story of “boys will be boys” unfolded in a chilling and familiar pattern. Two teenage girls belonging to the Dalit caste went out to the fields because there are not enough toilet facilities for women in India. They never returned.

The shocked reaction to their rape and murder was ignited in part by the devastating image of these two young girls left hanging from a tree. This image–with the local villagers holding vigil beneath them–hit me in the solar plexus despite my three decades of working to end violence against women. It’s all so hauntingly familiar–and yet the rage at the inhumanity of men and the pain at the loss of yet…

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Deconstructing Pac Man Feat. Goldie Everything Real

This is my reaction to hearing the above song and viewing the video for the first time.

The song has a good sound. Perhaps it’s not conventionally acceptable for an old fart like me to like a new hip-hop tune like this one, but I really don’t care about conventions. The song has a slow, smooth groove blending with edgy lyrics.
Unfortunately, the subject matter is, overall, uninspiring. I am all about people expressing solidarity. Never did care for the “pro-gangsta” vibe in some hip-hop tunes, although I do understand the reason behind it. Actually, the reason isn’t even so much the fact that the artists are expressing what it’s like to live in the ghetto or projects. This was originally the case. Then, record companies took over and exploited and glamorized gang culture.
I’m not going to delve deeper into this factor as there are others who can explain it far better than I can. I’m an outsider looking in. I’ve never been involved in either gang culture or the recording industry.
I always think its a positive thing when artists of different racial backgrounds come together on a project.
One of the dancers in the video is a larger woman. This isn’t something that one sees very often.
Not all of the women in the video are scantily dressed.
However…
There is at least one mostly naked model with extremely large, silicone enhanced breasts. I don’t know if she’s a current porn star, as I don’t keep up with “who’s who” in pornography. The general vibe I get is the “we can get with porn stars” idea. So don’t care, Fellows. Treating women like props has been done and overdone.
There are scenes where the band members are sitting with fully clothed women on a bed and not behaving in a sexual fashion with said women. It’s a “hanging with our homegirls” vibe, and I like that well enough. What I don’t care for is the fact that, as with so many videos, the women are props rather than partners.
If you like this sort of music, you’ll likely enjoy the song. Overall, everything that’s been done in the video has been done before. It’s a trite, tired way of treating women. Yeah, you’re in a band, you can get tail. And just like every young dude before you, you see the need to brag about it. Same old story. Moving on.
A word to the wise: avoid the comments on this one; they’re odious. I’m sure this surprises no-one, given that it’s You Tube.
~DJ Ellie~
 
Cross-posted to:

Tell Me Something Good

I hope I educated my doctor about HAES. I told him to look into it. He’s better than a lot of doctors, but still has a bad habit of thinking that losing weight is a solution to all health problems and doing things such as complimenting me on my weight loss.
The story behind this is that I lost about 25 pounds after I started properly treating my diabetes. The loss was all water, because my kidneys started working properly again. My face and abdomen no longer had a bloated appearance. Note that I speak of bloat, not fat. Bloat tends to be an indicator that something’s out of whack.
I can’t say for sure that my doctor followed my suggestion, but I hope he did. If he had said something like “glad that you’re responding to treatment,” it would have made me a lot happier than him saying “you’ve lost 25 pounds, way to go!”

Dances With Fat

victoryI’m working on a project, part of which will be a page for people to post their Size Diversity/Fat Activism successes.  This is part of a re-vamping of the Fat Activist History Project.   The revamping is geared to make the project more financially feasible as well as making it more diverse and inclusive.  I’ll be talking more about that later, right now the part of the project I am working on is a page that will tell activism success stories.

So if you have a story of Size Diversity/Fat Activism success I’d love to hear it – no success is too big or too small.  Whether you got your company to do a HAES-based fitness initiative rather than a “Biggest Loser” competition, or you got your mom to stop talking to you about your weight, or whatever your victory was, it’s important.  The idea is to create a place…

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Marilyn Monroe and Me

Haters gonna hate. Their epic fail has been turned into your triumph.
I also love the idea of the body positive coloring book. It’s about damn time! Perhaps if I’d had such a coloring book during my childhood, I wouldn’t have developed an eating disorder when I hit puberty.

Dances With Fat

These amazing pictures of Marilyn Monroe and me were sent anonymously as a gift.  I wish I knew who to give the credit to, thank you whoever you are!  The pictures of me were taken as part of a photo shoot with Richard Sabel. EDIT:  I thought these were a gift but it turns out that they were made by haters to try to make fun of me.  I think that they are still a great gift and that this one is a epic fail from my haters.

Me and Marilyn Monroe side by side

Me and Marilyn Monroe overlay

I. Love. These. Pictures.  I love that they show two people with very different bodies enjoying similar movement.  Of course, movement is not an obligation or a barometer of worthiness. and obviously I can’t speak for Ms. Monroe, but for me this picture is about my joy of embodiment.

I know that Marilyn Monroe is often used as an icon for…

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Healthcare Crisis

us healthcare crisis

I will use two different videos to illustrate my thoughts on the state of health care for the poor and working classes. I am a medical assistant in a low income clinic. I am not a doctor and I am not an expert. These are simply my thoughts and observations.


This person is evidently not an American. However, the thoughts she is expressing are thoughts expressed by lower income people in the U.S. who have been diagnosed with cancer. Chemotherapy is not a guarantee, and the cost is prohibitive for those even in the middle income brackets. A person finds themselves in the situation of having to decide whether it is worth it to incur debt of such magnitude that even if the treatment does help them go into remission in the long term, they may be left unable to pay for the costs of housing. Is it worth it to be given what may only amount to another year or two of life at the risk of leaving oneself and one’s family homeless?

This is a question that no-one should ever have to ask, yet many people have to ask it. One should never have to choose between treatment that could possibly save their life and risking not having a home because the monetary cost is so dear.

Breast cancer still kills, even with treatment. In modern times, it is one of the more treatable cancers, but for lower income women it is often a death sentence because there is no way they can afford to pay for the necessary medical care. This is wrong. Nobody should have to make that choice.


I give the caveat that the above video was made by a right-wing political group. I utilize it because it presents “straight from the horse’s mouth” statements only. I prefer news sources that are politically independent, however, I didn’t have the patience to cherry-pick and this one suited my purposes.

The political right wing in the United States at this point is so extreme that they make their icon Ronald Reagan look like a liberal. This makes it difficult to criticize any of the current administration’s policies or behaviors without risking sounding as if one has an extreme right-wing bias, which I do not. I also do not claim to understand everything that is happening with regards to the changes in health care at this time. I only know that they have been little to no help for the majority of people with whom I have come into contact.

President Obama is only one person. He signed the current bill into law. It can be argued that this is the only way he could get any kind of positive change through. I would be quicker to look to Congress as being the ones at fault for the sorry mess that currently plagues the healthcare system. Obama should not have made sweeping promises such as the ones recorded here. However, he is not the sole person responsible for the negative state of U.S. health care.

I am appalled by the laws which make having insurance mandatory and levy a penalty upon those who do not have insurance. This is not a solution. This benefits only the insurance companies. It is highway robbery, and leaves many people in a worse bind than they were in before.

No small portion of the people who come into the clinic fall into the working poor demographic. They are barely able to keep a roof over their heads and afford food. Those who have illnesses that require medications are often not compliant with their medication regimen. It is not that they are “stupid” or “obstinate.” They are unable to afford the medication, even with insurance. These people get lectures from doctors about the necessity of being compliant to treat their conditions. It is not that they are unwilling, it is that they are unable.

It is not so easy to get on a drug company’s free medication program as some individuals would like everyone to believe. Many people who are barely scraping by “make too much money” to qualify. They also make too much to qualify for housing assistance and food stamp benefits. As for the poor being lazy, it often comes down to a person having to make the choice between working and keeping the benefits which allow them to survive. I see many of the people who have fallen through the cracks in the system or who are at risk of falling through the cracks. They are not lazy or shiftless. They are desperate and distressed.

In my own case, I see the doctor but have not been to the dentist in almost ten years due to the prohibitive cost. I work forty hours a week at eighteen dollars an hour. Most of my income is spent on the modest condominium in which I live. The payment on this place is $900 a month, and I’m “getting off easy.” The going rate on a two bedroom apartment/condo/townhome in the metro area where I live is $1000-$1200 on average. This is almost half of my paycheck.

I cannot afford to live in the city, and the costs of moving are prohibitive. The area where I live is a bedroom community of the major urban area. The mass transit to this community is spotty at best. It doesn’t begin early enough to get me to work on time. Thus, it is necessary for me to have a car. Because my credit is less than stellar, I pay more for insurance every month. If there was ever evidence of a conspiracy to keep the poor poor, factors like this point towards it.

I am a forty year old single mother. Groceries for myself, my 18 year old daughter who graduates high school this year and will be attending community college in the fall, and my sixteen year old son who is a smart and kind young man with psychiatric problems which may make it difficult for him to work in adulthood, use up much of the rest of my income. I will be able to keep my kids on my insurance plan until they are 26, but having them on my insurance raises it by $225 a month. According to others I have spoken to, I’m getting off easy.

My point in sharing my own personal story is that I make well over minimum wage, but am still barely scraping by. A major health crisis could devastate my family and leave us homeless.

Something needs to change drastically, and I do not see steps going in the right direction. All people deserve access to good health care, regardless of ability to pay. It might make the difference in a person being able to lead a productive life. It might even make the difference in a person being able to have a chance at life at all.

Thanks for “hearing” me out.

~Carrie~

700 Club —

Diets don’t work, or the diet industry would go out of business.
Diets don’t work, as evidenced by the fact that people who go on them tend to be hungry, grouchy, and craving “forbidden” foods.
Diets didn’t work 20 years ago. They didn’t work 50 or 100 years ago. They still don’t work now.
The diet industry is like a Frankenstein monster with parts gathered from various corpses. It may be walking and talking, but it isn’t really viable.

Fierce, Freethinking Fatties

Weight LossFat HealthFat ScienceExerciseDickweedDiet Talk

Trigger warning: Discussion of the science of weight loss as presented by weight loss charlatans and snake oil salespersons.

So I’ve got this little project I’ve been working on since last July. I’ve been taking screencaps of Huffington Post’s front page stories about weight, diet and exercise to get an idea of how they cover stories that are often used as an arsenal in the War on Fat.

I started this project shortly after writing this piece on how far HuffPo had actually come on covering these issues. I mean, back in 2010, when you searched “Fat Acceptance” in HuffPo’s search bar, you got this hilariously passive aggressive message from whoever codes this shit:

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Market Forces —

The whole “Pickup Artist” thing is such a fucking gross joke. I love how they get all upset when a woman has the confidence not to respond to their disgusting, misogynist tactics. Then suddenly, whether she’s conventionally attractive or a “fat pig,” she becomes an “ugly slut.”
The one with the poor misused puffin assumes that larger bodies were always seen as sick and weak. This is not the case. Plumpness was once seen as a desirable quality and an indicator of health.
Yep, we fat women are “forcing” the poor little douchebags to want to do us. So not! Personally, I just want them to leave me alone. I don’t want them or their nasty willies anywhere near me.
There is also the assumption that every female on the planet wants to be seen as “sexy.” I, personally, do not want to be seen as “sexy” by the general public. Were I involved with somebody, I’d like him to see me as desirable, but not as some sort of sex toy. Which is what “sexy” tends to imply when bandied about by dudebros.
BTW, it’s not just guys who get “friendzoned.” I was constantly “like a sister” to guys that I wanted to date. I was never the pretty, popular girl by any means. I had guys asking me if I’d ask my pretty friend if she’d go out with them. I finally got very snippy with one of them and told him to ask her his own damn self. Word must have gotten around, because none of them ever asked me to be their go-between again.

Fierce, Freethinking Fatties

Weight LossFat HealthFat ScienceExerciseEating DisordersDickweedDiet TalkMy Boring-Ass LifeFat Sex

Trigger warning: Human scum ahead. Read with caution.

Over the last week, I noticed a new trend among the fat haters. Let’s call it the Dudebro Evopsych Manifesto. In meme form, it goes a little something like this:

Stop Forcing

To understand how utterly ridiculous this idea of evolutionary disdain toward fatties is, you just need to go back to 200-pound Lillian Russell, the sex symbol from the 1890s.

Lillian 2 Fat and desirable: whodathunk.

So when I saw this meme, I couldn’t help but laugh. There are guys out there who really, truly believe that they are being “forced” to like fat women. Apparently, there are roving gangs of the militant fat girls assaulting innocent young men who are just trying to do humanity a favor by offering to pass on their healthy, pure genes with the evolutionarily ideal woman (aka Hot Girls). But things have gotten so bad that these brave…

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Scandinavian Economic Performance

I’m not a follower of Ayn Rand. I am interested in economics, especially considering the scary economic situation that the United States has been in for quite a while. I find what this man says interesting. Unfortunately, I do not know enough to qualify whether what he says is accurate. I thought some of you might also be interested in the video.

I am also wondering how I managed to screw up such a simple post six ways to Sunday! I have it fixed now, but four edits for this? Really, Seth? Maybe I need to go back to bed and stop messing around.

–Seth–

The Sexualization of Willow Smith

There’s a whole lot of nothing going on in this picture. Also, anyone who is calling a child vile, sexualized names really, really, really needs to be ashamed of themselves.

The Belle Jar

We need to talk for a hot second about the sexualization of young girls.

Specifically, we need to talk about the sexualization of Willow Smith by the media.

In case you’ve somehow missed the whole hullaballoo, the picture below of thirteen year old Willow and twenty year old actor Moises Arias was recently posted on Instagram, and the internet subsequently exploded.

Willow-Smith-and-Moises-Arias-2

Everyone immediately leapt to the conclusion that the photograph was somehow sexual. Hollywood Life referred to it as “compromising.” Complex Magazine said that it was “creepy.” Folks on twitter said that it was “disgusting on so many levels,” and promised that the picture would “seriously gross you out.” Even Sesali Bowen, coming to Willow’s defence in an article on Feministing, wrote, “The photo itself is sexy. I can’t deny that.” The general consensus seemed to be that, whether you thought (or cared) that the photograph…

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Charles Barkley Fat Shames for Fun and Profit

Charles Barkley and his dudebro buds need to drink a whole barrel of STFU. This is completely uncalled for.

Dances With Fat

WTF Charles Barkley is a paid spokesperson for Weight Watchers.  He is also paid to be a commentator on TNT’s  Inside the NBA.  He decided to let those two worlds collide when the panel was discussing an upcoming game with the San Antonio Spurs and co-host Kenny Smith felt compelled to ask  “what kind of women are in San Antonio?”

Apparently not wanting to let an inappropriate question fail to live up to it’s full potential, Barkley went on a fat shaming rant that the rest of the guys seemed to find absolutely hilarious:

Big old women down there…That’s a gold mine for Weight Watchers….Victoria’s definitely a secret. They can’t wear no Victoria’s Secret down there…they wear big old bloomers down there, ain’t nothing skimpy down in San Antonio.

and on and on. And on.  Four grown men paid to talk about sports using their airtime to make fun of women…

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