Archive for August 25th, 2010

Another typical day

These were a little difficult to take because my cat was insisting he occupy my lap, including the part with the laptop on it.

Today I have an assortment of links from various sources, because I am tired (didn’t get much sleep) and not really up to an in depth post myself, so enjoy other people’s posts!

Disgrace – A really good article drawing parallels between Woodrow Wilson’s unwillingness to take a stance on women’s suffrage and Obama’s ridiculous view on gay marriage.

My Little Strip of Stomach is Going to Drive You Mad – I really like this post because of the whole bikini thing that I’m trying to do. ;D Really, if you can’t handle seeing a tiny strip of a woman’s stomach skin, there’s something wrong with you, not her.

Fat Stigma: What to Do About It? – I like this article, talking about what steps we have to take to make fat stigma go away. Be sure to read the comments!

Actually, I just came across something that I forgot about until now, but I never saw addressed by any feminist blogs I’ve read, then or now (yes, I checked the archives). Maybe it’s just me, but do any other feminists read tons of webcomics? Because I read a ridiculous amount, even ones that aren’t that great (by which I mean, generally exhibit quite insulting themes on a regular basis). It’s kind of an addiction, actually. x.x And while I’ve noticed a few bloggers will deal with comics like, say, Penny Arcade, because it’s one of the best known webcomics out there, or XKCD, since it has a huge geek following, but they don’t seem to deal with many other webcomics with problematic themes. For instance, I have a friend who used to read Multiplex. She was appalled when they ran a very transphobic comic, and commented in the forum that she was disappointed and pointed out the problems with the comments made by certain characters. The creator basically told her to shut up, and she stopped reading it right then. But I never saw any blogs besides hers mention that comic. It seems like webcomics tend to get a free pass on being crass or hurtful, at least if they’re not uber-popular, because either most of the feminist/fat acceptance/social justice movement bloggers don’t read them, or they just don’t think it’s worth their time. I don’t know what it is, but it kind of disappoints me. I’m a woman, and I read comics and webcomics. I don’t just read comics like “Sandman” (famous for having a huge “goth girl” following), I also read Superman and Batman and Spiderman, although in large part it’s because most female superheroes still suck (not their fault, since they’re largely written by men). I don’t think there’s enough of a fuss being made about webcomics being huge assholes about stuff.

The reason I’m writing this is because of a particular comic that posted last November, that I bookmarked and tried to share with some fat acceptance bloggers I was following at the time, only to be ignored (I’m sure it wasn’t intentional, which is why I’m not calling them out on it). Now, Sinfest isn’t exactly a great comic when it comes to social justice anyway. The author can be quite crude and insulting at times, and at this point I only read it because I enjoy the Sunday strips (full color and the art is pretty) and there are two particular characters I really like (not the two main ones). But this particular comic really struck me, partly because I was somewhat new to fat acceptance still and partly because all the implications it made were staggeringly insulting.

The author is acknowledging in that comic that men believe they own women’s bodies (which is often enforced by the female lead shown in that comic). What he fails to acknowledge is that this knows no size barrier. Having lived as a fat woman for my entire adult life (and most of my childhood), I can testify to this fact personally. I am every bit as objectified as a thin woman would be. I get cat calls made at me. I get snide remarks about my body made in my hearing by all kinds of people, including other women. I get groped by men. I get threatened with violence by men. I have never been attacked (although I came close, in college), but that is largely because I’ve been lucky, and I don’t have much of a social life by choice. I deal with all of the sexist shit thin women do, and dare I say more, because I don’t conform to the bodily ideal, and many people are actually actively insulted by that. I have had people give me accusing looks in grocery stores or even random places like the DMV. I don’t know what they’re accusing me of, I guess ruining the world and being such a burden on the health care system, because I’ve been to the doctor FIFTY TIMES in the last six months. Oh, wait… I guess that was the other Chelsea, the one who also sits on her couch guzzling ketchup straight from the bottle while hooked up to a bacon grease IV (yeah, try to get that image out of your head now). Anyway, I digress. The point is, I have to deal with as much shit as any woman or any other size, and sometimes more. There’s no “get out of ogling free” card once you hit a certain weight. There’s no anti-violence force field that suddenly springs up around you when you “become” fat (really, ask all the fat women who’ve been sexually assaulted).

Now I’m thinking that perhaps I should make this a weekly feature, finding problematic webcomic strips and calling them out. I do it with love, because I want the world of webcomics to improve. And also because I dislike reading comics that treat me and my problems as trivial. You can do comedy without being insulting. Really. I promise.


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