Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Is Slate Not Hiring Fat People?

Yesterday I was moderating friend requests on Facebook and I was reminded that far too many people connected to social justice are still rampant weight bigots. I’ll be scrolling through someone’s profile and see them on the right side of all manner of social justice movements; supporting Black Lives Matter, Queer and Trans rights, opposing Donald and all he stands for. I’m ready to press the “accept” button when I see that they have posted and defended articles and memes engaging in crystal clear oppression of fat people.

This experience prepared me for reading Slate’s recent job posting for a Political Editor. No, I’m not looking for a new gig, I was reading the post after receiving an onslaught of e-mails from fat and disability activists who were horrified by the bullet under “Requirements

  • A fast metabolism and strong organizational skills

What the hell?

Are they really saying that they don’t want a Politics Editor with hypothyroidism? Or are they stating a preference for editors with hyperthyroidism? Is this an attempt to suggest that only the thin need apply? Did they not know that they could be in violation of DC Human Rights Act (which is one of few that protects from discrimination against appearance) and ADA/EEOC guidelines?

The question I was being asked most in the e-mails flooding my inbox was, “Why in the world would a fast metabolism have anything to do with an editing gig?”

I had heard this term in journalism before, so I had an idea about the misunderstanding, but I still felt it was a terrible choice of words for a job posting. I e-mailed Slate for comment.

Click here to read my full piece about this!

Ready for a world where we don’t use sizeist, healthist, ableist metphors in job descriptions?

 

Click Here to Register for the Fat Activism Conference

The Fat Activism Conference is all online, so you can listen by phone or on your computer wherever you are.  Plus you get recordings and transcripts of each talk so you can listen and read live and/or on your own schedule. The conference is happening October 6-8, 2017!

If you enjoy this blog, consider becoming a member or making a contribution.

Like this blog?  Here’s more cool stuff:

Become a Member! For ten bucks a month you can support fat activism and get deals from size positive businesses as a thank you.  Click here for details

Book and Dance Class Sale!  I’m on a journey to complete an IRONMAN triathlon, and I’m having a sale on all my books, DVDs, and digital downloads to help pay for it. You get books and dance classes, I get spandex clothes and bike parts. Everybody wins! If you want, you can check it out here!

Book Me!  I’d love to speak to your organization. You can get more information here or just e-mail me at ragen at danceswithfat dot org!

 

If you are uncomfortable with my selling things on this site, you are invited to check out this post.

 



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Monday, 17 July 2017

The Biggest Loser – Ding Dong the Witch is Dead!

Don't let the door hit youon your way out!Reports are coming in saying that The Biggest Loser is cancelled. That’s excellent news and I could not be happier. Let’s recap this crap:

The Biggest Loser was a horror of a television show in which fat people were physically and mentally abused as they tried to lose as much weight as possible, as fast as possible, regardless of the danger, for a chance to win a tiny fraction of the amount of money that the show made off their abuse.

I am thoroughly convinced that if this show was shot with dogs rather than fat people it would have been pulled off the air after the first episode, because people wouldn’t have stood for this kind of mistreatment of dogs. The fact that fat people would subject themselves to this show is not a justification for the many abuses the show perpetrated.

Now the show finds itself under a cloud of suspicion as former “competitors” talk about the abuses that they suffered at the hands of their “trainers” and the show’s doctor, Robert Huizenga.

Click here to read the full piece, including how the show hurt not only their contestants, but also their viewers.

Want to create a world where The Biggest Loser would never get on the air in the first place?

Click Here to Register for the Fat Activism Conference

The Fat Activism Conference is all online, so you can listen by phone or on your computer wherever you are.  Plus you get recordings and transcripts of each talk so you can listen and read live and/or on your own schedule. The conference is happening October 6-8, 2017!

If you enjoy this blog, consider becoming a member or making a contribution.

Like this blog?  Here’s more cool stuff:

Become a Member! For ten bucks a month you can support fat activism and get deals from size positive businesses as a thank you.  Click here for details

Book and Dance Class Sale!  I’m on a journey to complete an IRONMAN triathlon, and I’m having a sale on all my books, DVDs, and digital downloads to help pay for it. You get books and dance classes, I get spandex clothes and bike parts. Everybody wins! If you want, you can check it out here!

Book Me!  I’d love to speak to your organization. You can get more information here or just e-mail me at ragen at danceswithfat dot org!

 

If you are uncomfortable with my selling things on this site, you are invited to check out this post.

 



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Sunday, 16 July 2017

We’re Supposed To Worry that Dust Makes Us Fat?

You Forgot Your BullshitToday we have a “study” that illustrates two of the truly ridiculous things that often happen in the “science” of weight and health.

1. You can get funding and published for literally any anti-fat study you can imagine 

In the tiny study, cells from mice were exposed to dust samples from 11 (not a typo, just eleven) homes to see if they would be linked with metabolic disruption including triglyceride and preadipocyte accumulation.

2. The most scientifically illiterate journalists will be allowed to write about it

A piece about this by Henry Bodkin (who, on the same day, had a piece published titled “Wild boar pictured roaming streets of city centre at night”) appeared in The Telegraph. The headline was ‘Household Dust Makes People Fat, Groundbreaking Research Indicates.” Seriously Hank (can I call you Hank?) WT Actual F are you doing?

Even if we assume that Henry isn’t responsible for the headline, surely he’s responsible for the actual reporting.  His piece didn’t bother to link to the actual study nor was it clear about the study’s limitations.  But it began, ambitiously, People should keep their homes spotless if they want to avoid putting on weight, new research suggests.”

That delayed this piece being written by a few hours due to the concussion I experienced from banging my head against my desk.

What the researchers actually said was “Our results delineate a novel potential health threat and identify putative causative SVOCs that are likely contributing to this activity.”

The words “potential,” “putative,” and “likely,” are important here as they all essentially mean “maybe” and do not remotely translate to the ability to suggest – at with with any kind of journalistic integrity – that if your house has dust you’ll become fat.

Now parents (and, let’s be honest, predominantly mom’s in our misogynist society) of fat kids will be blamed and, perhaps more tragically, blame themselves for not keeping their houses dust-free enough. We need to shut this bullshit down.

Today I’ve seen no less than four articles that included some version of “Is [XYZ] Making Us Fat?”  If an article asks that, I immediately ask myself “is this article a fatphobic (and quite likely ableist, classist etc.) piece of shit?” Hint: the answer is probably yes.

People are lots of different sizes for lots of different reasons and  I would personally prefer that we affirm the diversity of body sizes and spend research money figuring out how to support the health and happiness of people of all sizes, rather than trying to prevent or eradicate people of a certain size.

If you’re sick of researchers getting funding to figure out how to eradicate fat people, join us at the Fat Activism Conference!

Click Here to Register for the Fat Activism Conference

The Fat Activism Conference is all online, so you can listen by phone or on your computer wherever you are.  Plus you get recordings and transcripts of each talk so you can listen and read live and/or on your own schedule. The conference is happening October 6-8, 2017!

If you enjoy this blog, consider becoming a member or making a contribution.

Like this blog?  Here’s more cool stuff:

Become a Member! For ten bucks a month you can support fat activism and get deals from size positive businesses as a thank you.  Click here for details

Book and Dance Class Sale!  I’m on a journey to complete an IRONMAN triathlon, and I’m having a sale on all my books, DVDs, and digital downloads to help pay for it. You get books and dance classes, I get spandex clothes and bike parts. Everybody wins! If you want, you can check it out here!

Book Me!  I’d love to speak to your organization. You can get more information here or just e-mail me at ragen at danceswithfat dot org!

 

If you are uncomfortable with my selling things on this site, you are invited to check out this post.

 



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Saturday, 15 July 2017

A Quick Update

Well hello!  It’s been a while, hasn’t it?  I am going to work hard to remedy the dearth of posts over the coming weeks.  I miss writing here so much, I need to re-focus on it.

So what’s happening?  Well, firstly I want to thank everyone who contributed to my GoFundMe for the Sydney Cyberhate Symposium.  It was a success and I attended last week and gave papers at both a panel for ANZCA at Sydney University, and the symposium itself.  I deliberately remained fairly quiet about it all before the event, as I and others were understandably nervous that giving away too much information might draw some fresh abuse and harassment either at the events themselves, or online in general.  Both events were amazing and I will be writing more about them shortly.  I am also hoping to get a copy of the video recording of my keynote so that I can share it.

The other big happening in my life is that I’m hobbling around in a “moon boot” after taking a rather spectacular fall about six weeks ago.  I mean the fall itself wasn’t spectacular, unless you count spectacularly embarrassing (thankfully the construction workers I fell in front of were really nice), but the injuries kind of were.  Chipped a bone in my wrist, broke the tip off my fibula, turned my right palm and left knee into bloody pulp and sprains in both the wrist and ankle.  We didn’t discover the fracture in my ankle until a couple of weeks after I did it, when it didn’t heal.  Then it was moon boot time.  I of course, could not leave the moon boot in it’s original grey form, so I decked it out with some woodland creature themed stickers.

I’m not sure how much longer I’m going to have to wear the boot, I can honestly say I’m quite sick of it already!  It has really reinforced to me just how little of our world is made easily accessible for people with disabilities – but I think that should be a whole post of it’s own.

Otherwise, some things I think you should all catch up with if you haven’t already:

Catch you all again soon!


Filed under: Uncategorized

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Friday, 14 July 2017

Epic 10th Anniversary Road Trip Post

Hi Everyone! Ryan and I finally got to go on our honeymoon at the end of last month; from June 22nd to the 28th we were on the road from Sudbury to Prince Edward Island and back. We had a wonderful trip with miles upon miles of beautiful scenery, nice folks, gorgeous beaches and even a whale!

A happy caucasian couple with brown hair smiles for the cameraOur first day we were on the road a long time, from Sudbury to Prescott ON to Quebec City We were a little late leaving because of poor planning on our part but once we got underway we had a great time. North Bay flew by, we took a pic of the Tim Hortons just about everywhere we stopped, and then we had dinner with Ryan's cousin's family and had our first look at the St. Lawrence River. It's very wide. We drove on after dinner through Montreal where, even at 9pm, the traffic was  heavy and everyone was speeding like whoa. We made it to Quebec City by about 1130pm and finally got to sleep at the Hotel Bonaparte. It was about a 12 hour day. The hotel room was nice, clean and quiet and the front desk clerk said he spoke 5 languages.

The next morning we had breakfast at the little restaurant attached to the hotel then hopped back across the St. Lawrence into Levis to drop our stuff at the Quality Inn, then drove down to the ferry terminal to walk over to old Quebec City. If you ever get the chance to visit please do! It was beautiful and incredibly well preserved. We walked all over the place for about 5 hours in the drizzle and didn't even care that it was raining. We saw the gates that protected the old city, nearly 400 year old shops and houses, the Citadel and even the Plains of Abraham.

This is the heart of Old Quebec City and it feels like you're walking abound Europe. Highly recommend! We had dinner at a quiet little bistro by a park where it just so happened a man was playing the harp. It was exactly what I wanted for our 10th anniversary dinner and I was just about in tears from joy. I had the duck, Ryan had a rabbit pastry pie and both were just to die for. Our server was attentive and warm and I made sure to leave a good review on Trip Advisor for Le Lapin Saute.

The St. Jean de Baptiste Festival started to get rolling by about 8:30 and our cameras and phones were dead so we decided it was time to go back across to Levis and get some sleep. The Quality Inn in Levis does *not* have a jacuzzi or hot tub like I thought, sadly.

The next day we drove from Levis QC to St Andrews in New Bruswick. It was a long drive day again and we kept losing time but we made it all the way there just in time for our whale watching tour. Scratch another thing off my bucket list! We saw a minke whale and we were the only people that day to see one at all. There were a few seals lounging about on the rocks in Paddy (Passamaquoddy) Bay but once we got out on the big water in the Bay of Fundy it got a lot colder and that's where we found our whale.

The sunset made him a bit hard to see but I didn't mind at all. It added to the atmosphere. We were able to get pretty close and keep tracking at a distance thanks to the type of boat we were on, a Zodiac. Highly recommend the Fundy Tide Runners if you're out that way and looking for a fun trip! Not expensive either. After we got back to port we went in search of some food and then our bed and breakfast in Chamcook.

We received a bit of a frosty reception for coming in so late and missing the 4pm check-in (we were still on the road from Quebec at the time and were late for our whale watching trip) and were informed that, since the owner had to be at church the next morning for 11 and would be leaving at 10:30am sharp, breakfast would be served at 830am so please be downstairs. It was definitely an unusual experience staying at a BnB instead of at a hotel and it's really turned us off BnBs to be honest.

The next morning after a broken sleep in an antique bed and delicious pancakes at 9am, we hit the road and followed the coastal route from St. Andrews. Along the way we stopped at a waterfall where Ryan had a swim, the Cape Enrage Lighthouse, like eight thousand beaches and salt marches, and finally the famous Flower Pot Rocks at Hopewell. They're truly an amazing and unique area of the world; most of the East coast is made of sedimentary stone like sandstone, so everything is built of layers and layers of old mud that's been dried and petrified into rock. It wears away thanks to the high tidal action and leaves amazing sculptures all over the place.

The Hopewell Rocks were definitely a highlight of the trip! We got to the site at low tide so we got to roam around a lot of the area even though the park was officially closed. Turns out the staff don't care if you're on site after hours or in the dark as long as your car isn't in the parking lot and you obey the safety signs. One of the larger, more famous of the rock formations collapsed earlier this year so there are lots of areas roped off  where you shouldn't go. If you visit please obey the signs!

I don't know why jigsy isn't letting me load vertical photos vertically....

We spent the rest of the evening poking around the beach and taking pics then driving over the enormous Confederation Bridge to PEI and our resting spot in Cavendish, the Shining Waters Inn. As promised, since we were so late (it was nearly midnight) our key was in an envelope stuck to the front door. No kidding. It's such a small community, and the RCMP station is across the road, that they felt comfortable leaving the key to the inn AND our room stuck to the front door inside the screen so we could get in. Amazing.

The next day after a bit of rain and a lovely breakfast at Rachel's we went to see the crown jewel (for me) of the trip; The Anne of Green Gables house. It was everything I could've wished for and more. I was so overcome with emotion I basically cried my whole way through the house. I took a few pictures but Ryan took more for me and at one point, upstairs in Anne's room, he just held me as I sobbed on him. It's hard for me to express what Anne means to me, especially to people who've never read Lucy Maud Montgomery's classic work. She was an orphan, a chatty little girl who was smart and funny and imaginative and she loved the world she lived in. Anne got straight As in school and became a teacher but in her heart she never let go of the irrepressible little girl who moved to Avonlea as an unwanted waif. As a teacher she cared deeply for her students and as a mother she taught me a lot about grace. Anne of Green Gables was the first series I read start-to-finish as a young person and it shaped me immensely. Being in the house Lucy called home and where she based the Cuthbert farm, with it's little bedroom upstairs that looked out on the Snow Queen and the Haunted Wood, Lover's Lane and all the rolling, beautiful land of PEI was a dream come true.

We spent the afternoon, after I recovered, driving south to the Point Prim Lighthouse, the oldest light on the Island, and investigating little beaches and spots along the way. Dinner was a proper Celtic themed pub in Charlottetown and then off to the Cavendish Beach for sunset and again, not disappointed. PEI is known for it's sunsets and boy was ours a treat. When we arrived I became very excited as I'd forgotten that Cavendish was the host of one of the best spots to see PEI's famous red sandstone cliffs! Are they ever red!

All red with sand dunes up behind us where we were lucky enough to spot a fox. Ryan wasn't quick enough to get a photo unfortunately. Then the sun set and it was a perfect ending to a nearly perfect day.

The next day we started for home, stopping in at Shediac Beach for an attempt at a swim but we were thwarted by little red jellyfish in the water. We stayed the night much, much later at a little motel on the side of the highway somewhere in Quebec called the Silver Maple, slept and got back on the road the next day. After a visit in Kingston to see some old, dear friends, we went home to the kids. Our honeymoon, though ten years late, was wonderful and we can't wait to get back to the East coast next summer.



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Dress For the Body I Have? Done!

Every year we have to endure businesses and social media friends who for some reason think the fact that it’s summer means it’s totally ok to body shame people by putting out this ridiculous sign.

 

Image may contain: sky

It’s a picture of a sign at an eye doctor’s office (cleverly named “The Eye Doctor”) on which they’ve taken the time to arrange letters to say:

“Welcome to Lewiston When it’s hot please dress for the body you have, not the body you wish you had – thanks.

Can you imagine how it would feel to be a fat person arriving at your eye doctor wearing weather appropriate clothes? Too bad that these supposed healthcare practitioners are so comfortable stigmatizing their clients for a cheap joke.

First, while I’m certain that I’m the target demographic for this sign, the body I have is the body I want so they can G right TFO with this nonsense.

More to the point, it’s like 1,000 degrees outside which means that the body I have is hot AF and my concern is dealing with that, not being aesthetically pleasing to fatphobes. If someone doesn’t like the way I look in these clothes, then there are always at least 3 other cardinal directions in which they can fix their gaze.

Let’s give this another shot, shall we:

Please dress

Want a world with more fashion choices and less bullshit body shaming?

Click Here to Register for the Fat Activism Conference!

The Fat Activism Conference is all online, so you can listen by phone or on your computer wherever you are.  Plus you get recordings and transcripts of each talk so you can listen and read live and/or on your own schedule. The conference is happening October 6-8, 2017!

If you enjoy this blog, consider becoming a member or making a contribution.

Like this blog?  Here’s more cool stuff:

Become a Member! For ten bucks a month you can support fat activism and get deals from size positive businesses as a thank you.  Click here for details

Book and Dance Class Sale!  I’m on a journey to complete an IRONMAN triathlon, and I’m having a sale on all my books, DVDs, and digital downloads to help pay for it. You get books and dance classes, I get spandex clothes and bike parts. Everybody wins! If you want, you can check it out here!

Book Me!  I’d love to speak to your organization. You can get more information here or just e-mail me at ragen at danceswithfat dot org!

If you are uncomfortable with my selling things on this site, you are invited to check out this post.



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Flying While Fat – A Web Comic about Using the Airplane Toilet

 

Down that narrow aisle is the bane of my existence as a fat airline passenger.

THE AIRPLANE TOILET! For a long time, I wouldn’t fly at all because I wasn’t sure I’d fit. Somehow hurtling through the air at 536mph with a dangerously full bladder seemed the wrong moment to find out.

But then my best friend and I fell in love. After she’d just moved away to LONDON! I was gonna have to fly and I was gonna have to pee. There was no way around it. So, I tried. 

I fit but only just. I couldn’t get my legs apart once I’d peed. I had to do some acrobatics to engage in proper hygiene.

I ultimately made it to London with my dignity intact — & have since moved there permanently. I fly back to Portland, Oregon every year & I’m grateful each time that I fit well enough to make that possible. Not everyone has that privilege. I’m also keenly aware that I’m only one injury away from becoming too inflexible to do the required acrobatics — or one capitalist space-saving decision away from no longer fitting.

Tips & Tools for Using Airplane Toilets While Fat:

The “Bottom Buddy” is a handy tool to extend your reach in tight situations & It’s available on Amazon.

There are also “Heavy Duty” liners in case of leakage when you’re trying to hold on for landing on shorter flights.

IMPORTANT NOTE!

Whatever you choose to do about using the toilet while fat – please remember to stay hydrated! Dehydration is a primary risk factor for DVT. STAY SAFE! And remember: You deserve to fly just like everyone else!



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