Tag Archives: allies

oh, tiger beatdown!

Basically, this movie seems very much like some guy – let us call him, for legal reasons, “Phlames Phlameron” – sat down and was like, “well, I like Star Wars. And I like masturbating to old copies of National Geographic. If only there were some way for me to combine these interests!”

Reasons I Laughed Out Loud, Offending Several Fellow Patrons, During The Major Motion Picture “Avatar.” @ Tiger Beatdown

“Avatar really did look like a Lisa Frank binder had sex with a mid-’80s sci-fi paperback cover and their baby threw up on your face, which was great.”

the unbearable fatness of being

Sometime in late 2007 or early 2008, I started following Fatshionista, a community on livejournal dedicated to plus-size fashion. There was a recent kerfluffle when the moderators decided to restrict OOTD (out of the day) posts to members who wear a US size 16 or higher. This alienated a substantial minority of its members, self-described “inbetweenies” who fall in the gap between plus sizes and straight sizes. The heretofore largely sedate sister community, Inbetweenies, was suddenly flooded with new members – many of whom were not pleased with the new state of affairs over at Fatshionista. Despite being at the smaller end of the size range at Fatshionista, inbetweenies had previously made up a significant percentage of OOTD posters, and the wake that trailed behind them as they moved to new ground was substantial.

The mods at Fatshionista had good reasons to change their previously more open-ended size cap. Fatshionista is a size-positive community; it’s not a place for people to come and feel good about themselves because they’re not as fat as “some” people. The mods also wanted to make people who were solidly plus-size feel welcome. While I’m wholly supportive of Fatshionista’s decision, I’m also one of the inbetweenies who can no longer post there.

This post is not another episode of “The Passion of the Inbetweenie”; I’m less interested in exploring the politics of Fatshionista’s new policy and more in investigating what it means to exist in this liminal state somewhere between marginalization and acceptance. For many years, I struggled with my participation in LGBT organizations — not because I was concerned about supporting the community, but because I didn’t feel like I was “queer enough.” I vacillated between taking an “ally” or a “bi pride” button every time Pride Alliance tabled in ye olde student center. Then I started making “pretty, witty, and christian!” rainbow buttons for my campus ministry’s table and decided that worrying about LGBT welcome and inclusivity in my community was more productive that staying up all night worrying about the tokenization of bisexuality in Katy Perry lovin’ college environments. (At this point, I think I’d have to elope with Cyndi Lauper to Iowa to feel adequately gay.)


Me at the Prop 8 protest in St. Louis, November ’08.

It’s a lot harder to negotiate the liminality of fatness, though, because it’s so subjective, and unlike your sexual preferences, kinda out there on display. When I said proudly in class, on embodiment day, “I’m fat,” was I reclaiming language for myself, or just promoting body hate? When I still look at myself, in the mirror, what does it mean that I see that I am fat, as opposed to, I dunno, middlingy? I love my body. I love that I have the gifts of mobility, sight, hearing, taste, touch, smell, although several of those are limited or have been in the past by my disabilities. I want to be able to say, “Yeah, my body doesn’t fit into straight sizes real well, and it has fat weird places, but I’m proud of it and what I can do!” I want to reclaim fatness.

I’m just not sure if fatness is mine to reclaim.

I encourage you, gentle readers, to reply if you feel so moved; I’m interested in hearing your thoughts.

sexy tudors, fwd, & how to get olga from zero to pissed off in under a minute

This blog hasn’t gone to sleep for the holidays. Mostly, I just got sick and went crazy, which is pretty par for the course for finals, but is no less nervewracking and energy-expending.


Help yourself to some Sexy Tudors.


Something to look forward to: I have been asked to write a guest post for FWD/Forward by my friend Anna, which will show up sometime in the next week or two. I will definitely link to it from here, but I encourage you to check out FWD if you haven’t already! Right now, I’m trying to decide what to write about.

I also totally forgot to submit an abstract for Slayage. Rats. Oh well. I will go anyway, and have a good time, and not have to stress about presenting a paper.


Next time on the olgablog: a really angry post about the treatment of Ravenswood Community Services and our neighbors in the NYT/Chicago Tribune. RCS is what I do every Tuesday night. It is not about “rescuing” the “unfortunate.” Jesus said, “Take, eat–” This shit ain’t rocket science. We are all children of God, ok? Likewise, please don’t make condescending statements about those with whom we share this neck of the woods – we work hard to have a good relationship with them. This is not about a battle between bourgeois hypocrisy and the victims of poverty. And suggesting this, o NYT writer… just makes you look like a dick.

class, linkpost

Last night’s class was TOTALLY awesome. There’s only one thing I would change, in retrospect – we didn’t take time at the beginning to acknowledge how personal and potentially triggering issues of embodiment may be, and reassure the class that this was a safe space for discussing those issues. We should have also encouraged people to step out for a moment if they needed to. For me, I am pretty comfortable with my body and how I relate to it, but I know there is at least one person for whom class last night was quite difficult. Unfortunately, I can’t do much about that now, but I will definitely keep it in mind for the future.

Aside from that, my arm is very unhappy, and I seriously cannot brain today. So: linkpost!

FWD/Forward is an amazing site started by friends. I actively refuse to read Feministing/Feministe/other feminist blog sites because I do not have the time or emotional energy to deal with everything going on there. I’m trying to make time for FWD/Forward because I am invested in what they are doing and also know that, unlike some other people on some other sites, they are not perennially dipping their toes in the Feminism 101 wading pool.*
Comic Book Costume Contests: Not, Actually, Burlesque Shows: in the category of “Unsurprising, But Nevertheless, Appalling”
The Spoon Theory [PDF] is well-known in the internet disability community, but maybe not so much to you, gentle reader? This article is the best basic explanation about invisible and/or chronic illness that’s out there. So when someone says, “I ain’t got the spoons…” you’ll know.

*There is absolutely nothing wrong with focusing on basic stuff about feminism – everyone needs to learn somewhere. In person, I’m totally there. But I do not have the time or spoons to educate everyone on the internet.