19 February, 2009

Bad Poetry Corner with Annaham

Hello, readers! I have a very spur-of-the-nanosecond piece of poetry for you, written by yours truly and inspired by recent events both in the blogosphere (a great take on it by Bfp is here and not.

for what it's worth (dust)

i have to stop spending so much time in the 'net
but will that make the knot in my stomach go away?
it might just fester, and rot into a clump of some forgotten sticky cobwebs

some of those who say "i want to understand"
"i am not trying to silence you"
are just looking to cover themselves
and loop back to the same points they've made, over and over and over

over the course of threading some damn fancy eagle scout-style knots
reconfirm the biases, the mental wheel-ruts to which they're accustomed

what they really mean is
"just shut up and listen to me
because i know what i am talking about, even if what i am talking about
happens to be your experience"

it's the same old thing:

"your post offended me. i am a [name of privileged group] and i am not like that at all"
"i'm trying to be consciously racist, therefore i am not a racist"
"he's not trying to be consciously ableist, therefore he is not ableist"
"but listen: this piece/this cartoon/my opinion/the statistic that i just pulled out of my ass was not intended to be racist, therefore i should get a pass."

they say, sounding concerned for you via bits and bytes and letters
after all: they are only trying to help!
and wouldn't you be easier to listen to if you weren't so "angry" or "militant" or "negative"
or whatever dust they can flick off of themselves and onto you?

the dust will, as dust is wont to do, settle.
and no one is safe from it.

16 February, 2009

Obesity is a Person?

Via Scary Ideas come these weird PSAs from something called the Active Life Movement; the ads suggest that the Obesity Crisis is a thing that parents can keep away from their children (click for big):


Visual interesting-ness aside, these seem pretty problematic. Fatness is not something that is caused only by inactivity or "laziness," and the automatic assumption here seems to be that fat automatically equals unhealthy, unattractive, and/or the worst thing that could ever happen (notice how both Barbie and the superhero are alone, thereby insinuating that fat = alone or lonely).

I do not see how stigmatizing fatness in the name of promoting "health" helps anyone.

10 February, 2009

Joining the Privilege Pile-On?

I still have no idea what I think about this post. Normally, I very much enjoy Courtney Martin's writing, but this post, to me, screamed of privilege. I know she works hard, and consistently produces high-quality writing. The aforementioned post is not that. Am I supposed to feel envious of her lifestyle? Should I commiserate with her over the "email black hole"? Wish that I, too, could start my day at 11:00 AM? I am baffled.

I have long maintained that the feminist blogosphere has a fairly large number of blind spots (my use of this phrase is NOT intended to be ableist); if you read this blog regularly, you are probably aware that I consider disability to be one of these privilege(d) blind spots. Increasingly, as Lauren has pointed out, class position and work--particularly in this economic climate--are two others. I myself am not immune to worrying about the state of our economy--though I benefit from enormous privilege now (including familial and monetary support, having school as my primary "job," and health insurance, among other things), it is entirely possible that I will need to find employment that is not in the academic field in the coming months, when I have my completed BA degree in hand. [I have included the qualifier "entirely possible" because I am still waiting to hear from several graduate programs to which I have applied.]

Due to my disability, I am physically unable to work full time. The most I can do without depleting all of my available energy is about 30 hours per week. I am aware that it will be a challenge for me to find a job where I can work that amount of time and still be able to support myself; it is unlikely that starting work at 11:00 AM, checking email throughout the day, and eating "overpriced" sushi will be part of such a job. That is fine with me; what I take issue with is Martin's seemingly blatant disregard for those who may not be as lucky as she is. The tone of her post makes it appear that she is, for lack of a better word, "set." Some folks in the feminist blogosphere who may be in similar situations would do well to remember that this is not the case for many people.

08 February, 2009


Okay, now dieting is an acceptable topic for graphic novels?


This is one of those posts where I link something without much comment only because I lack the words to properly convey how idiotic it sounds.

She’s been there, and she’ll tell you and show you what it [sticking to a strict diet] was like — and give you the tools and inspiration so you can do it, too.



05 February, 2009

It's Me or the Dog

Fast-forward to about 10 seconds in; it is totally worth it.