Monthly Archives: March 2011
Sometimes I find blogging and engaging in the blogosphere (even just reading) very difficult.
I really really love Melissa’s concept at Shakesville of social justice activism as being a teaspoon against a tidal wave, but sometimes that tidal wave just seems so huge and my particular teaspoon so small.
My job is in social justice and I spend a lot of my free time engaging in social justice spheres trying to become a better activist and ally. It gets very tiring and so sometimes I just have to leave it all for a while to prevent myself from getting burnt out.
To make myself feel better I think I am going to list all the ways I teaspoon on a regular basis.
I am a fat person (particularly here in Thailand) who does not try to hide my body. I am a fat person that goes clubbing and rocks it hard (you better believe it) on the dance floor every weekend.
I try to gently challenge the body hatred of the people around me
I eat when I am hungry and stop when I am full even though this means I seem to eat a lot more than the people in my office.
I frequently challenge peoples assumptions and stereotypes about sexuality and gender
I am a critical race feminist even when this means people around me think I am overreacting or making assumptions
I work out nearly everyday and this to me is a political act.
In my professional life I work to give a voice to women who don’t usually have one
I make sure that the work I do involves a lot of shutting up and listening so I can be a good ally
I try to spread this message as far as I can
I try my best and no one can ask more of me than that.
I love how often when I am starting to think about something in a new way I will often stumble across a blog or piece of writing on the internet which will verbalise exactly what has been niggling at me.
Shaunta over at Live Once, Juicy has elaborated the beautiful idea of being a defiant athlete and I encourage you to go there and read all about it.
I am at a place right now where I can do more with my body than I have ever been able to in my life. I feel fit and strong and fucking beautiful.
It seems so sad to me that it has taken me 23 long years to find the absolute sheer joy that I now have in being able to move my body. The pleasure I take in being able to do actual full push-ups, how giddily jump lunges make me feel like I can take on the world.
It makes me angry that it took this long to realise that I don’t hate being active, or excercise, or even sport. I was just a quiet nerdy child who was sufficiently uncoordinated to make P.E classes a nightmare. Its funny because I even took part in competitive sport, before I hit my teenage years I was a competitive swimmer and I was even on a netball team. Somewhere a long the line I just started to see myself as someone who just couldn’t do those kinds of things.
Now I know that is not true and so I name myself. I am an athlete. I work every day on seeing what my body can do. How I can make it go a little bit faster, push a little bit harder. At the same time I respect my body’s limits. I do what I can to not injure myself and rest when I need it.
None of this is determined by my girth.
Dating advice really pisses me off. Whether it is the stupid manipulative bullshit aimed at men like ‘the game’ or the ‘how men think’ shit aimed at women. It all really really sucks. So I am going to do something about it and provide an alternative to the stupidity.
Disclaimer I am currently in a stable long term relationship and have not actually dated for some time. You can either take that as my approach to dating works or take the following with a grain of salt its up to you :p
First things first. Women, men and people who identify as neither or both are not monoliths. There is no ‘what women really want’ there is what this particular woman wants. To treat people as though their gender identity can tell you how they will behave in any given situation is EXTREMELY problematic. This one fact alone renders pretty much all mainstream dating advice useless.
So. Think about what you want out of dating. A relationship? Casual Sex? A summer romance that isn’t long term? Some fun? Of course in the process of dating what you want may change and that is fine but it is important to evaluate what you want so that you can ask for it. (now isn’t that a revolutionary thought?)
At the end of the day dating is going to be a numbers game. I personally believe that if you want to date then you have to be comfortable with rejection, learn to understand that rejection does not mean there is anything wrong with YOU but that you are probably not the right fit and that is OK! Statistically lots of people will probably reject you and some won’t. Changing who you are to fit what you think another person wants does not up those odds. Everyone wants different things. Just try and remember it is not really about you as a person. This is the single thing that probably revolutionised how I thought about dating.
So in essence here is how I believe is the best way to date.
1) Communicate honestly. Don’t try and be manipulative and play games. In the long run this never works and it makes dating much more frustrating and stressful then it ever has to be. Be upfront. If someone likes you they will like you and if someone doesn’t there is very little that you can do to make them like you. The worst that can happen is that they will say no. Yes that will suck but you will get over it.
2) Check that you are both on the same page. Yes you may both like each other but that doesn’t mean you want the same things out of life or this particular relationship (whatever form it may take) you might agree to see how things go anyway but it is important to know where you both stand.
3)Relationships (of all kinds) end sometimes. Just like rejection this is a part of life. Something that is hard to accept but we all have to do it. Human relationships are innately messy and hard work. The best thing we can do for ourselves is to try not to be assholes to each other and also ourselves.
Anyway I hope that helps.
I have struggled with depression for as long time. I remember being 8 years old and being totally overwhelmed with life and not having the words or concepts to understand what was happening in my head.
To many people it seems ridiculous that an eight year old child with so much going for her can struggle so much. Children have mental health issues and it is not just the ‘obvious’ candidates. I had attempted suicide twice by the time I was 14 and I was from a a middle class family,my parents were still together and did not have any obvious issues. Luckily I didn’t really know what I was doing although looking back I did come perilously close. My home life was far from idyllic but what I was going through simply did not fit neatly into the accepted categories that resulted in broken children.
When I finally tried to talk about my mental health issues with my parents they were dumbfounded. The only way they knew how to react was with ridicule. I had every advantage in life, what could I possibly have to be depressed about? When I realised they couldn’t help me and I reached out to others they were horrified because I was airing my dirty laundry in public.
We have come a long way in the perceptions of mental illness but the underlying perception that mental illness can be overcome easily and is something that only happens to ‘those’ people is plain to see when we look how we think about mental illness in relation to children.