Pocket-Sized

maymay:

anyexcusetowearatutu:

superwholockianlady:

porcupine-girl:

maymay:

“Repeat Rape: How do they get away with it?”, Part 1 of 2. (link to Part 2)

Sources:

  1. College Men: Repeat Rape and Multiple Offending Among Undetected Rapists,Lisak and Miller, 2002 [PDF, 12 pages]
  2. Navy Men: Lisak and Miller’s results were essentially duplicated in an even larger study (2,925 men): Reports of Rape Reperpetration by Newly Enlisted Male Navy Personnel, McWhorter, 2009 [PDF, 16 pages]

By dark-side-of-the-room, who writes:

These infogifs are provided RIGHTS-FREE for noncommercial purposes. Repost them anywhere. In fact, repost them EVERYWHERE. No need to credit. Link to the L&M study if possible.

Knowledge is a seed; sow it.

Reblogging because I mentioned this study in a post the other day and someone reblogged & replied insinuating that I’d made it up, but I didn’t have the citation on hand right then. As I said then: rape culture is what teaches rapists that they aren’t rapists.

^ bolded for emphasis

like we talked about in my college’s Rape Prevention seminar, only a very small amount of men are rapists, but they are repeat offenders, so they harm multiple women before they get caught.

Put simply, there are two general strategies that can be used to solve this problem:

  1. Expose the repeat rapists as early as possible (This is what Predator Alert Tool for OkCupid aims to do.)
  2. Get survivors who share an abuser in common in touch with one another as soon as possible. (This is what Predator Alert Tool for Facebook aims to do.)

Clearly, if there is more than one way to address a problem, the best course of action is to address the problem using all the ways we can simultaneously address it. Activists sometimes call this simple idea “diversity of tactics,” although a lot of people misunderstand that phrase.

Strategy number 1 is an attempt at prevention that will not be 100% successful. (Nothing is 100% successful, especially on its own.) Strategy number 2 is an attempt to provide survivors with the communal resources they need to ensure a rapist is only able to rape a minimal number of times before they are prevented from doing so again.

Technological tools like these are not new. Before Predator Alert Tool for Facebook existed, survivors wrote the names of their rapists on bathroom stalls. (And they still do that, today.) They were also asking their social network (their friends) about how the person they were thinking of going out with behaved like in bed. That’s basically all the Predator Alert Tools do, too. Just, faster, ‘cause computers.

I spend a lot of my time thinking about technologies and the sociocultural and sociopolitical impact they have, especially on rape culture. If you’re curious about the Predator Alert Tool project or these ideas more generally, check out my blog post: “Predator Alert Tool as a game theoretic simulation of countermeasures to rape culture.”

Also, please reblog. Obviously. Thanks. :)

On Treating People Like Animals

melanijann:

Earlier I reblogged this horrifying article, which is just so awful and also terrifying to me on a personal level. There were some comments in that thread that stuck out to me that I wanted to talk about, but I didn’t want to distract from the original subject, so I’m making a separate post. The comments I’m referring to are these:

How much do we have to other the mentally ill, treating them (us) as less than human? She was literally treated like a breeding animal, with no cause of concern for her safety, mental health or well-being. 

This is why we need to treat fellow humans like fucking humans, not livestock to be cast aside when they seem a little “off.”

Treating humans “like animals” is wrong, I’m pretty sure we can all agree on that. In fact one of the quickest ways to ensure that another person’s rights will be ignored or denied is to classify them, either legally or socially, as “less than human”. That is what the comments above are implying happened in this very instance. The woman was classified as “not human” (or at least “not human enough”), most likely due to some combination of her current mental health and her gender, and thus it was seen as justifiable to treat her “like an animal”. But of course she is human, and so a problem arises. I have a few thoughts on this.

First of all, what happened to this woman is not awful because she is human, but because her interests and her suffering were ignored. Specifically, they were ignored by people who had power over her in a hierarchical society where the interests of some are valued over the interests of others. Many of us have fought, and are fighting, to dismantle such hierarchies, which is why it is so terrifying when we see people, especially those like us, get placed so obviously into a devalued position.

While we are attempting to dismantle the hierarchies among humans, however, the language used by the commenters above demonstrates the hierarchy as we believe it should be. We have decided that humans ought to all be at the top, and therefore treating them like “livestock” or “breeding animals” should no longer be allowed. Treating non-human animals like this, however, should be considered as perfectly acceptable because their interests are not of value. Although we do, of course, assign several levels of hierarchy to non-human animals, where animals we claim as “pets” are at times afforded some consideration, while animals that we consume as food are afforded much less, if any.

In this situation, treating a person “like an animal” becomes a terrible thing precisely because we have made the decision that other animals’ interests are not important. While over the years we have broadened our definition of who “counts” as human, it still remains that if you are not human, you do not count. As long as it is considered acceptable to ignore the interests of others based on such an arbitrary distinction, it will always be possible to define and mold the hierarchy to include or exclude others based on the interests of those with the most power. In other words, the problem isn’t that some people mistakenly fall into a lower level of the hierarchy than they deserve, the problem is that the hierarchy exists.

And just to be clear, the distinction is arbitrary. Humans, after all, are animals. Because of this, humans often act and look like animals. If all it takes to have your interests become worthless is to be labelled as “animal”, then the only thing that those in power need to do in order exclude you from moral consideration is to point at the ways in which you are like an animal. And they are guaranteed to find them. This happens all of the time. It is why people in marginalized groups often become, understandably, upset when some vegans make comparisons between them and non human animals. They are well aware of how arbitrary and tenuous their classification as “human” is. And yet, on the other side, when trying to explain to vegans why the interests of animals shouldn’t matter, people are incapable of presenting a distinction that doesn’t also exclude some of the already most marginalized humans.

We cannot simply keep fighting to make sure that those who we have arbitrarily decided are deserving can get to and stay at the top of the hierarchy. As long as it is considered acceptable for the interests of anyone to be devalued and ignored, we all will be at risk. But even if that weren’t the case, the idea that it is ever okay for the interests of some to be categorically valued over the interests of others is abhorrent. And that is what I mean when I say that I am vegan.

"As long as it is considered acceptable to ignore the interests of others based on an arbitrary distinction, it will always be possible to define and mold the hierarchy to include or exclude others based on the interests of those with the most power. In other words, the problem isn’t that some people mistakenly fall into a lower level of the hierarchy than they deserve, the problem is that the hierarchy exists.”

Veganism Is Not a Lifestyle

socialjusticevegan:

The idea of veganism as a set of particular actions one does or does not perform is problematic and unhelpful, but unfortunately rather common. Wikipedia, for example, defines veganism as “the practice of abstaining from the use of animal products, particularly in diet, as well as following an associated philosophy that rejects the commodity status of sentient animals.” It is very telling that the actions which are informed by the philosophy are listed before the philosophy itself. Many people, including vegans, often put the main focus on these actions when talking about veganism, to the point where we hear so much about “vegan diets” and “vegan foods”, that people often call themselves a vegan simply for eating a plant-based diet, without agreeing with the philosophy at all. Because of this, veganism has come to be seen as a personal choice that each person can make for themselves, and the fact that there are other beings involved in the decision gets completely lost. 

Another thing that gets lost when giving priority to the performance of veganism, is the fact that not everyone has the capability to take part in the same acts. Recently on Tumblr, Hannah (the-vegan-muser), posted a series of images in an attempt to highlight the cognitive dissonance that can often be found in our culture around eating animals. One person who saw these images, Patrick (obscurity-bizarre), saw these images as an attack on his mother, who has severe allergies and would likely be unable to participate in the required vegan activities (his responses). Now, during their discussion, Hannah made it clear that she personally would make an exception for Patrick’s mother, as I’m sure many vegans, including myself, would. The current rhetoric around veganism, however, doesn’t really leave any room for people in this situation, which is why it makes perfect sense for Patrick to interpret Hannah’s out-of-context statements as calling out his mother’s actions for not being up to standards. If veganism is defined as “abstaining from the use of animal products”, then by definition Patrick’s mother cannot be vegan. If being vegan is seen as the only way to be morally consistent, then she must be immoral.

On the other hand, people like Hannah are saying that Patrick’s mother isn’t necessarily immoral, and that an exception can be made for her due to her circumstances. If that is the case, that means that veganism is not solely about the specific actions you take. So, what is it, then? I’d like to look again at the second half of the definition above, which states that veganism is a “philosophy that rejects the commodity status of sentient animals.” What Wikipedia tacks on as a “by the way”, is actually the core of what veganism is all about. We need to start reframing the discussion of veganism to reflect this. Veganism should be about the philosophy, first and foremost. A vegan should be someone who advocates or supports the philosophy of veganism. Their actions should be informed by the philosophy, but that doesn’t mean that everyone’s actions will necessarily be the same, based on their specific situations.

The use of animals is inextricably woven into the fabric of modern society. No one is capable of being completely separate from the exploitation of animals without separating themselves from society itself. Unfortunately, some people are in situations where they are more dependent on that structure than others. If we say that someone who is unable to eat a vegan diet due to things they cannot control, like their health or economic status, cannot advocate for veganism, and therefore cannot truly care about animals, no one gets anything out of it. On the other hand, if we remove the focus from certain, specific actions, then these people can look for ways in which they can lessen their participation in the system, such as not wearing leather, or boycotting zoos. They might even be able to start fighting for ways to remove their dependence on the animal products they currently need to survive. We could work with them to put pressure on scientists and nutritionists to develop more alternatives for people with allergies or other health issues. We could work together to introduce more healthy food options in places that are currently food deserts and to allow more vegan foods to be purchasable by people relying on welfare.

I believe that veganism is imperative. If you have the ability to eat a completely plant-based diet, then I believe that you are morally obligated to do so. But I also believe that a definition of veganism that excludes people who have no other choice is not acceptable.

cptfunk:

professorfangirl:

unlockaflockofwords:

anonymouscomrade:

toniangelougiovannihughes:

tiqachu:

chikaderp:

wildunicornherd:

thinksquad:

Here is a Science fair project presented by a girl in a secondary school in Sussex . In it she took filtered water and divided it into two parts. The first part she heated to boiling in a pan on the stove, and the second part she heated to boiling in a microwave. Then after cooling she used the water to water two identical plants to see if there would be any difference in the growth between the normal boiled water and the water boiled in a microwave. She was thinking that the structure or energy of the water may be compromised by microwave. As it turned out, even she was amazed at the difference, after the experiment which was repeated by her class mates a number of times and had the same result.
It has been known for some years that the problem with microwaved anything is not the radiation people used to worry about, it’s how it corrupts the DNA in the food so the body can not recognize it.
Microwaves don’t work different ways on different substances. Whatever you put into the microwave suffers the same destructive process. Microwaves agitate the molecules to move faster and faster. This movement causes friction which denatures the original make-up of the substance. It results in destroyed vitamins, minerals, proteins and generates the new stuff called radiolytic compounds, things that are not found in nature.
So the body wraps it in fat cells to protect itself from the dead food or it eliminates it fast. Think of all the Mothers heating up milk in these ‘Safe’ appliances. What about the nurse in Canada that warmed up blood for a transfusion patient and accidentally killed him when the blood went in dead. But the makers say it’s safe. But proof is in the pictures of living plants dying!

NO, YOU PIG-IGNORANT ASSWIPES.
SOME KID’S CLASS PROJECT IS NOT REAL SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH. YOU’VE HEARD OF “DOUBLE BLIND”, RIGHT? CALL ME WHEN IT’S PUBLISHED IN NATURE.

the structure or energy of the water

what the fuck does that even mean you realize that a water molecule is made up of three fucking atoms and if you rearrange it it isn’t water anymore and you would fucking notice

the problem with microwaved anything is not the radiation people used to worry about

Here is a handy diagram I drew of all the different types of radiation:

Microwaves != nuclear reactors, so calm your tits.

it’s how it corrupts the DNA in the food so the body can not recognize it

…do you understand what DNA is and how eating works? DNA is a jumble of protein in the middle of each cell and it tells the cells in that particular organism how to make more cells. Your body does not care about whether your food has any DNA in it or not. The chemicals it cares about are things like vitamins and sugars, as well as inorganic shit like salt.
(You can denature DNA by heating it or using chemicals like urea. It is like what happens when you fry an egg, which is basically a big glob of protein—the strands break apart and it looks like tiny white strings. Very cool.)

Microwaves agitate the molecules to move faster and faster.

I…just…that is the fucking definition of heat, whether you’re heating something over a flame or in a microwave or using the Sun. The difference is that microwaves mostly affect the water molecules in your food and they don’t need to use as much heat. Water boils at 100°C, which is just about as hot as water can get before it just turns into steam; but that’s like the lowest setting on your oven. Oven- or stove-cooked food tastes different partly because it uses higher temperatures and partly because heat is transferred in a different way.

This movement causes friction

That’s not what friction is.

It results in destroyed vitamins, minerals, proteins and generates the new stuff called radiolytic compounds, things that are not found in nature.

Let’s take these one at a time.
Vitamins are classified as water-soluble or fat-soluble. So cooking things in water will dissolve the water-soluble vitamins (C and all the B’s). Just plain heat doesn’t do that, so microwaving veggies—which keeps the water in—is actually a healthier option.
Proteins: Breaking the chemical bonds in proteins (denaturing) is a part of any cooking. However, denatured protein is still nutritious—that’s why you can meet your protein intake with foods like fried eggs and baked chicken.
Minerals are just chemical elements, like off the periodic table—sodium, iron, potassium. (Vitamins and proteins are very complex combinations of elements.)
Which brings me to the “radiolytic compound” bullshit. When you talk about breaking apart, say, iron—you’re talking about breaking down the iron atoms themselves. Which is a whole lot different than breaking the bonds between atoms. It takes hella radiation. You need shit like gamma rays—the OOOH SCARY NUCULAR radiation—which we’ve already established do not come from your microwave.

things that are not found in nature

What the shit does that even mean? You all know radioactive elements occur in nature, right? In rocks and also in living cells. That’s right, you have this radioactive kind of carbon INSIDE YOU. You get it by eating those delicious plants. We can tell how long ago something died by how much of it is left.
Tons of shit that occurs naturally is horribly bad for you. And tons of shit that never existed until we cooked it up is great for you—like the chemical compounds in a lot of medications.
PEOPLE WHO BELIEVE THIS SHIT ARE WHY CHILDHOOD DISEASES THAT CAUSED SERIOUS ILLNESSES AND/OR DEATH THAT WE NEARLY ERADICATED WITH VACCINES ARE NOW COMING BACK AND WHY CONSPIRACY THEORIST TWATS ARE ASKING CITY COUNCIL NOT TO FLUORIDATE THE WATER AND WHY GLOBAL WARMING WILL WRECK OUR FUCKING PLANET.
LERN 2 SCIENCE. Think before you reblog. And microwave your veggies.

This was incredibly amusing to read. Thank you so much for sciencing.

This fucking blog actually said “microwaves agitate the molecules to move faster and faster.” like that’s some sort of terrible thing, when that’s literally how things get hot.I can’t fucking breathe. This shit is incredible. Absolutely fucking incredible.

Science. Sweet science.

i love when anti-science bullshit gets beat the fuck down

Good job, science side of tumblr!

Science side of Tumblr is what happens when you give science permission to freely express its exasperation with stupid.

What I love about the whole series of photos, which you can check out on Snopes, is that it’s so clear that they’re cutting off more and more of the plant every ‘day’ that I’m 70% sure that this HAD to either originate as a dumb joke somewhere on the internet, or some kid faked their way to a terrible grade the afternoon before a project was due.

cptfunk:

professorfangirl:

unlockaflockofwords:

anonymouscomrade:

toniangelougiovannihughes:

tiqachu:

chikaderp:

wildunicornherd:

thinksquad:

Here is a Science fair project presented by a girl in a secondary school in Sussex . In it she took filtered water and divided it into two parts. The first part she heated to boiling in a pan on the stove, and the second part she heated to boiling in a microwave. Then after cooling she used the water to water two identical plants to see if there would be any difference in the growth between the normal boiled water and the water boiled in a microwave. She was thinking that the structure or energy of the water may be compromised by microwave. As it turned out, even she was amazed at the difference, after the experiment which was repeated by her class mates a number of times and had the same result.

It has been known for some years that the problem with microwaved anything is not the radiation people used to worry about, it’s how it corrupts the DNA in the food so the body can not recognize it.

Microwaves don’t work different ways on different substances. Whatever you put into the microwave suffers the same destructive process. Microwaves agitate the molecules to move faster and faster. This movement causes friction which denatures the original make-up of the substance. It results in destroyed vitamins, minerals, proteins and generates the new stuff called radiolytic compounds, things that are not found in nature.

So the body wraps it in fat cells to protect itself from the dead food or it eliminates it fast. Think of all the Mothers heating up milk in these ‘Safe’ appliances. What about the nurse in Canada that warmed up blood for a transfusion patient and accidentally killed him when the blood went in dead. But the makers say it’s safe. But proof is in the pictures of living plants dying!

NO, YOU PIG-IGNORANT ASSWIPES.

SOME KID’S CLASS PROJECT IS NOT REAL SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH. YOU’VE HEARD OF “DOUBLE BLIND”, RIGHT? CALL ME WHEN IT’S PUBLISHED IN NATURE.

the structure or energy of the water

what the fuck does that even mean you realize that a water molecule is made up of three fucking atoms and if you rearrange it it isn’t water anymore and you would fucking notice

the problem with microwaved anything is not the radiation people used to worry about

Here is a handy diagram I drew of all the different types of radiation:

The Electromagnetic Spectrum Cheat Sheet

Microwaves != nuclear reactors, so calm your tits.

it’s how it corrupts the DNA in the food so the body can not recognize it

…do you understand what DNA is and how eating works? DNA is a jumble of protein in the middle of each cell and it tells the cells in that particular organism how to make more cells. Your body does not care about whether your food has any DNA in it or not. The chemicals it cares about are things like vitamins and sugars, as well as inorganic shit like salt.

(You can denature DNA by heating it or using chemicals like urea. It is like what happens when you fry an egg, which is basically a big glob of protein—the strands break apart and it looks like tiny white strings. Very cool.)

Microwaves agitate the molecules to move faster and faster.

I…just…that is the fucking definition of heat, whether you’re heating something over a flame or in a microwave or using the Sun. The difference is that microwaves mostly affect the water molecules in your food and they don’t need to use as much heat. Water boils at 100°C, which is just about as hot as water can get before it just turns into steam; but that’s like the lowest setting on your oven. Oven- or stove-cooked food tastes different partly because it uses higher temperatures and partly because heat is transferred in a different way.

This movement causes friction

That’s not what friction is.

It results in destroyed vitamins, minerals, proteins and generates the new stuff called radiolytic compounds, things that are not found in nature.

Let’s take these one at a time.

  • Vitamins are classified as water-soluble or fat-soluble. So cooking things in water will dissolve the water-soluble vitamins (C and all the B’s). Just plain heat doesn’t do that, so microwaving veggies—which keeps the water in—is actually a healthier option.
  • Proteins: Breaking the chemical bonds in proteins (denaturing) is a part of any cooking. However, denatured protein is still nutritious—that’s why you can meet your protein intake with foods like fried eggs and baked chicken.
  • Minerals are just chemical elements, like off the periodic table—sodium, iron, potassium. (Vitamins and proteins are very complex combinations of elements.)

Which brings me to the “radiolytic compound” bullshit. When you talk about breaking apart, say, iron—you’re talking about breaking down the iron atoms themselves. Which is a whole lot different than breaking the bonds between atoms. It takes hella radiation. You need shit like gamma rays—the OOOH SCARY NUCULAR radiation—which we’ve already established do not come from your microwave.

things that are not found in nature

What the shit does that even mean? You all know radioactive elements occur in nature, right? In rocks and also in living cells. That’s right, you have this radioactive kind of carbon INSIDE YOU. You get it by eating those delicious plants. We can tell how long ago something died by how much of it is left.

Tons of shit that occurs naturally is horribly bad for you. And tons of shit that never existed until we cooked it up is great for you—like the chemical compounds in a lot of medications.

PEOPLE WHO BELIEVE THIS SHIT ARE WHY CHILDHOOD DISEASES THAT CAUSED SERIOUS ILLNESSES AND/OR DEATH THAT WE NEARLY ERADICATED WITH VACCINES ARE NOW COMING BACK AND WHY CONSPIRACY THEORIST TWATS ARE ASKING CITY COUNCIL NOT TO FLUORIDATE THE WATER AND WHY GLOBAL WARMING WILL WRECK OUR FUCKING PLANET.

LERN 2 SCIENCE. Think before you reblog. And microwave your veggies.

This was incredibly amusing to read. Thank you so much for sciencing.

This fucking blog actually said “microwaves agitate the molecules to move faster and faster.” like that’s some sort of terrible thing, when that’s literally how things get hot.


I can’t fucking breathe. This shit is incredible. Absolutely fucking incredible.

Science. Sweet science.

i love when anti-science bullshit gets beat the fuck down

Good job, science side of tumblr!

Science side of Tumblr is what happens when you give science permission to freely express its exasperation with stupid.

What I love about the whole series of photos, which you can check out on Snopes, is that it’s so clear that they’re cutting off more and more of the plant every ‘day’ that I’m 70% sure that this HAD to either originate as a dumb joke somewhere on the internet, or some kid faked their way to a terrible grade the afternoon before a project was due.

“Recently an Instagram video circulated of a Ferguson protester discussing the looting and burning of the QuikTrip convenience store. He retorts the all too common accusation thrown at rioters: “People wanna say we destroying our own neighborhoods. We don’t own nothing out here!” This is the crux of the matter, and could be said of most majority black neighborhoods in America, which have much higher concentrations of chain stores and fast food restaurants than non-black neighborhoods. The average per capita income in Ferguson, MO is less than $21,000, and that number almost certainly gets lower if you remove the 35% white population of Ferguson from the equation. How could the average Ferguson resident really say it’s “our QuikTrip”? Indeed, although you might hang out in it, how can a chain convenience store or corporate restaurant earnestly be part of anyone’s neighborhood? The same white liberals who inveigh against corporations for destroying local communities are aghast when rioters take their critique to its actual material conclusion.”

– Willie Osterweil, “In Defense of Looting” (x), The New Inquiry . 8/21/14 (via desdeotromar)

When I say I’m not monogamous, I don’t mean that I “do non-monogamy.”  Non-monogamy is not a specific thing you can do.

What I mean is simply that I don’t do monogamy. And that I think it’s weird you assumed I did.

unquietpirate:

Federal Recognition: An Effort to Erase “Unrecognized Tribes”

A segment from the forthcoming documentary “Dancing Salmon Home”, showing how the US government is erasing California tribes through the policy of federal recognition.

Some more info about this:

ƝɨѕhҠѡe

In Michigan there are:

12 - Federally Recognized Tribes
4 - State Recognized Tribes
17 - Unrecognized/Petitioning Tribes

STATE RECOGNIZED TRIBES
• tribes who had a “historical” community, documented population and an active government at the time of contact/treaty signing, who are recognized by the State but not by the Federal government; due to many reasons.

One reason is their tribe/chief’s name did not appear on a treaty.

Another reason is some tribe’s recognition was terminated during the “Termination Policy” during the 1950/1960s

UNRECOGNIZED/PETITIONING TRIBES
• same as above but have no recognition at the State or Federal level
————

American Indian tribes are Nations who set their citizenship on several important criteria but the major requirement is “Lineal Descent”. Most tribes set this at ¼ lineal descent”

Lineal Descent – means a person has a direct blood-line to an ancestor.

So in the case of someone who has ¼ lineal descent, this means they have at least one grandparent who is an American Indian.

So there are people who can look very White or Black and still be a “citizen” of an American Indian Tribe.

Basically what the American Indians are saying is:

“No matter the color of their skin or how they look, they are still our grandchildren”.

- Yahoo Answers: Why do white people claim to be native Americans?

leighalanna:

unquietpirate:

leighalanna:

polylove-girls-blog:

leighalanna:

{snipped for length and relevance}

Lovely. All of this.

I, too, would be thrilled if there were a tagspace in which to discuss non-monogamy as in “non-monogamous but not polyamorous” rather than “‘non-monogamous’ because I haven’t heard the world ‘polyamory’ yet.” But I suspect there is not.

The “nonmongamist” tag is currently empty. I nominate that. Thoughts? 

I support this plan.

You don’t have to like being disabled

realsocialskills:

This is what I think disability acceptance means:

  • Facing what your abilities are and aren’t
  • Accepting yourself as already having value
  • Living your life now and doing things you care about.
  • Not putting your life on hold waiting for a cure

But, some kinds of acceptance talk end up putting destructive kinds of pressure on people. And I think:

  • It’s ok to like or dislike being disabled. It’s ok to like some aspects of your condition but not others
  • It’s ok to want treatment and to be frustrated that it isn’t available
  • It’s ok to pursue treatment that *is* available
  • It’s ok to work hard to gain or keep certain physical or cognitive abilities, and to be happy or proud that you have them
  • It’s ok to decide that some abilities aren’t worth keeping, and to be happy or proud about moving on from them
  • All of those things are very personal choices, and no one’s business but your own
  • None of them are betrayals of acceptance or other disabled people

The point of acceptance is to get past magical thinking.

It means seeing yourself as you actually are, without being consumed by either tragedy or the need to focus on overcoming disability. It means accepting where you are, and living now, without putting your life on hold waiting for a cure.

Acceptance creates abilities. Acceptance makes it easier to be happy and to make good decisions. But acceptance does not solve everything, and it does not come with an obligation to love absolutely every aspect of being disabled.

notebookundermydesk:

unquietpirate:

So. Here’s the thing about “body acceptance.” The notion of “body acceptance” — i.e. that we should all just “like ourselves” when it comes to our physical form, and anything we dislike about our bodies is a psychoemotional problem not a physical problem — is an “argument” often used by uncomprehending cis people to deny trans* bodily autonomy, by the abled to minimize the suffering of people who are disabled in ways they find physically painful or personally limiting, by misogynists to gaslight women, by technophobes to mock and shame cyborgs, etc. But “body acceptance,” as a reductionist and often violent framework for coping with the diverse tribulations of embodiment, developed as a sort of mutant outgrowth of “fat acceptance” — which is a whole different ballgame.

"Fat acceptance" is specifically the notion that those of us who have a BMI that is defined by the state as “inappropriate for our height” should consider the possibility that our bodies are still worth living in.

Supporting a fat person to accept their fat body as-is is meaningfully different from encouraging a trans* or disabled person to simply “get over” whatever they dislike about their current embodiment. Trans* people, people with disabilities, people who want to fly and yet can’t, etc. are typically dealing with various degrees of internal desire to change their bodies, often in a way that society deems inappropriate, in order to feel embodied in a more authentic and liberated way.

But (except in some edge cases, mostly re: professional athletics that aren’t attainable by the majority of median bodies anyway, fat or otherwise) there’s nothing inherently limiting or inauthentic about adipose tissue. Fat people are most often far to the other side of that spectrum, responding primarily to extreme external pressure — not simply to change but specifically to destroy — our bodies in response to the threat that potential employers perceive fat cells as the physical manifestation of incompetence and that in the realm of human intimacy a fat body is an instant boner killer.

The exhortation for fat people to “be comfortable with our bodies” is not an empty platitude about psychoemotionally boosting one’s self esteem; it’s about actively rejecting the notion that only thin people are permitted to exercise, that only “height-weight proportionate” people may dress appropriately for the weather, etc. and physically doing what it takes to be comfortable in our bodies e.g. working to develop the musculoskeletal strength required to carry our fat, using assistive technology when we need it, wearing clothes that are well-suited to squishing and sweating, eating the kinds of nutrient-dense foods required to sustain and power a larger body, taking our health seriously instead of writing it off as a lost cause because “fat people are unhealthy,” and getting in the goddamn pool when it’s 97 degrees out.

Most importantly, fat acceptance encourages fat people to ask ourselves, whenever we are tempted to mortify our flesh through starvation, surgery, pouring thousands of dollars into the maws of “miracle cures” like Weight Watchers or meth, etc. about where those self-destructive impulses are coming from. It’s not simply about learning to “love ourselves,” it’s about learning to turn a really critical eye towards which aspects of our fat-focused self-loathing are echoes of institutional violence. Because chances are pretty good that in this specific instance, when we try to make ourselves and other fat people smaller at any cost, we are embracing institutional violence, not resisting it.

The point here is that giving people tools to accept a body the institution doesn’t want them to have is qualitatively different than giving people tools to accept a body they don’t want to have but that the institution won’t allow them to change. The fact that the same tools can be used in both instances is a problem, and that strategies of resistance developed by fat people have been co-opted as tools to oppress trans* people, disabled people and others is fucked, but the solution is not to take those tools away from fat people.

I remember, back in my early 20s, how I used to make little suicide pacts with myself as “motivation” to slim down. I would solemnly commit to them as I was standing on the bathroom scale. The ones I remember most vividly were that if I ever reached 150lbs, or if my belly ever grew to stick out further than my breasts, I would kill myself. Honestly, I was pretty suicidal as a kiddo, so I’m actually really glad I came across some articulate and persuasive political writing on fat acceptance before I reached those milestones — because I’m well past both of them now and, even though I still think about starvation and surgery constantly, I’m glad I chose to live.

But the key point here is that fat acceptance is not about a blanket wholesale resignation to everything about whatever body you happen to have, it is about accepting your fat specifically. It seems utterly uncontroversial to me that a politic of fat acceptance is necessary to the healthy survival of fat people in capitalist patriarchy. It also seems obvious that trying to apply that politic in sweeping brush strokes to all other forms of “deviant bodies” is monstrous and ripe for abuse. This is not to say that trans* people, disabled people, and others might have “deviant” elements of their embodied experience that they would prefer to embrace rather than alter — but powerful, nuanced, specifically relevant discourses about bodily-change and internalized oppression already exist in each of those political milieus. And there is some valuable intersectional and strategic overlap in these conversations, just as there is some valuable intersectional and strategic overlap in conversations about e.g. asexuality and relationship anarchy. But the awkward and violent attempt to simply stretch the “fat acceptance” framework universally over other types of bodies is pretty much only participated in by outsiders.

Here’s what’s really gross about this, though: Why do you think that “fat acceptance” — a highly specific politic which, on its face, appears to have nothing to do with gender identity, and only a tiny bit to do with disability — originally got distended and distorted into “body acceptance”? It’s because people are that terrified of saying the word “fat.” Even fat people. Even fat acceptance activists. The word “fat” is considered so disgusting, disturbing, insulting and offensive in our culture that even people who were working to help fat people not hate our fat to the point of self-injury felt like it was inappropriate to say the word “fat” in public — and so “body acceptance” became a polite euphemism for “fat acceptance.” And then a bunch of assholes decided that meant it was an okay way to think about all bodies.

TL;DR: There is no such thing as “body acceptance.” Fat acceptance is a legit and important politic. “Body acceptance” is a “polite” way of talking about fat acceptance — one that people who advocate for fat acceptance are often forced into using by an awareness of the violence done against people who cast even the word “fat” in a positive light. When you use the term “body acceptance” to talk about any bodies other than fat ones, you are likely doing oppressive harm to the people whose bodies you are talking about — and you are also appropriating, distorting, oversaturating, and watering down a concept that I need to get through most of my days. So, fucking cut it out.

I feel like the “we should all just “like ourselves”” form of body acceptance is just really messed up to begin with - it promptly becomes an instance of making morality a matter of emotions, where to be ‘good’ you have to have the right ones. Which is just as incorrect as ‘to be good you have to have the right body’, and also really mind-screwy. It’s also entirely counterproductive. When you want people to do things that are positive for *them*, the way is to support them in it, not demand it of them. ‘Your body does not make you a bad person’ is a helpful statement. ‘Love your body or you’re not accepting enough’ isn’t.

I also think this really connects to this post by realsocialskills (which is about disability, but I think the same principles apply). Acceptance doesn’t mean you have to like everything about yourself. It means that you are valid as you are, and have the right to live your life and have good things in it. If you don’t want to change something, that’s yours to decide. If there’s something you want to change and you can, you get to pursue that. If there’s something you want to change and you can’t, you get to be upset about that. But if there’s a cost-benefit analysis involved in change, you should be be able to have that decision, and to make that decision based on what is right for you and what you want for yourself, and not based on ‘I have to do this to be a valid person’. Because you already are, always.