Soooo I have been feeling really unhappy and unattractive because I have gained weight back and more from the last time I tried to lose weight. And the thing is I know that diets don’t work and I have done all this research and activism around challenging my own internalized fatphobia and bias/hate and I still hear this voice in my head telling me that I look awful and of course I should be unloved, how could I ever expect someone to love me if I let myself look like this, etc etc. And the only thing I can think of to do about this is fucking post these pictures anyway. Ones with makeup and without. Ones where I am trying to look good and ones where I am sick and a mess. This is me. I am a being. I specifically shout out all my fellow mixed indigenous nonbinary/trans/genderqueer/demigender LGBTQIA mentally ill poor fat folx. Sending you as much love as I possibly can.
I don’t care if a Nazi was senator, a celebrity, black before becoming a Nazi, if you listen to them for any reason because they say a single phrase that supports your viewpoint, you are out of your damn mind. People can have overlapping viewpoints but free acceptance despite the source speaks volume about you and your character.
So-called “anti-feminists” always seem to have these incredibly oversimplified views of what social justice related words mean.
Take “misogyny” for example. People love to say “feminism is bullshit, misogyny is bullshit, most guys love women not hate them”.
It means so much more than that.
These little words have eight or nine or twenty letters, but they’re just not big enough to encompass the full scope of all the ways our culture is fucked up.
How do I know misogyny exists and is widespread?
I’ll tell you.
I’ve been intimately involved with a pretty broad spectrum of women. Over the years, I’ve taken special care to seek and destroy every bias and internalized false standard I can find in myself, no matter how deeply ingrained. It has been a long process, already spanning fifteen years of introspection and uncertainty, and it is sure to last for the rest of my life.
It has become a personal mission of mine to see my fellow humans as they are, not as my television and coworkers and Hollywood movies think they should be. I’m still picky. I find sexual attraction in only a tiny subset of the people I meet. But no one is filtered out on the basis of their BMI, or physical ableness, or skin, or religion, or class, or profession, or promiscuity, or any other such precipice on which our lazy prefabricated judgments teeter.
As a result of this personal mission, I’ve dated career waitresses, lawyers, sex workers, nurses, models, teachers, entrepreneurs, and writers. I’ve shared beds and pleasures with married women twenty years my senior, recent high school grads with college tuition paid up front by parents, overworked graduate students, and single mothers scrambling to stay ahead of homelessness and abusive exes. From coast to coast, in suburbs and cities and countrysides, fat or thin, quiet or loud, long-haired and effeminate or hairy-legged and butch.
So I think it’s fair to say I’ve accumulated a pretty diverse constellation of personal experiences with women in my home country, the U.S.A.
And, across all of these people I’ve met and loved or lusted for, amazing and terrible and lovely and heart-breaking as any group of human beings will be, there has been one, and only one, constant:
To this day, I have yet to be with someone who completely believed me the first time I told her that I loved her body.
It has always been true; as I said, I am experienced but still picky, and I do not sustain my involvement with someone unless they possess that holistic spark of passion and beauty and pragmatism that enraptures me so.
But the truth of it has never survived my initial attempts at communicating as much. It is met with a calcified shroud of doubt, astonishment, suspicion, avoidance, or outright shame and denial.
Sometimes it’s subtle; thankfully, many women are now able to surround themselves with people on the same mission, and their eyes slowly become unclouded, and I remark on their beauty and there is only a tinge of doubt, a whisper of the old habits that are still dying hard. They are proud and confident, and they say, “I know,” or “Flattery will get you everywhere”, with a wink and a come-hither, but the skepticism is always there. They are waiting. Waiting for me to find the blemish or stretch mark or scar or tattoo that brings the house of cards tumbling down. I say nothing to this, because I know it must be proven with evidence.
It is rarely so subtle. More often, it is loud and clear.
“My God, you are gorgeous,” I will say, feeling every bit as awestruck and hungry as I always do when saying so, gifted with an intimate perspective on a body that I love with no qualifications at all.
And they reply decisively, whether in self-deprecating words or shameful body language:
“No, I’m not.”
Call that what you will. It’s real, it’s everywhere, and it’s wrong. Utterly, consummately, destructively wrong.
Me: *internally screaming* OH MY SWEET BABY LOVE L O O K at THIS BABE omg why are u so freaking cute lil sugar pie honey bunch but hawt too? goood loooord r u trying to kill me?! like wtf ur perfect I love u like im actually in love with u ur so awesome and nice and sweet and like wow frick frack baby love shiiiiit ya know like damn
You know what would be a really cool social experiment?
A criminal trial where neither the jury nor the judge sees the defendant. They don’t even get to know the defendant’s name. Nothing. No way to tell the person’s race, ethnicity, gender identity, or religion, therefore preventing internalized biases from affecting the outcome of the trial.