Tonight, I was reading some commentaries on the WisCon fallout. [I've been keeping up with it via LJ, though not delving into it much. If you're unfamiliar, mystickeeper summarizes: "In case you missed it, someone who attended Wiscon spent her time snapping photographs of people without their permission, removing their faces from pictures, and uploading them to the Something Awful forums with some of the most hateful and ignorant commentary I have ever seen in my life. She attended panels such as "Fat is Not the Enemy," took pictures of people whom she considered to be fat, and then hatefully mocked them for the rest of the world to see, often posting people's names with the pictures. I felt physically ill reading the post, and was nearly in tears by the end of it."]
coffeeandink posted: "Rachel Moss: The Good Parts Edition"
I've been really impressed by some of the analysis and discussion that's come out of this whole horrible mess (which please do not take to mean that it's all justified by coming out right in the end, because (a) it's not ended; and (b) NO). Here are some of my favorites:seperis quoted a response from Fatshionista:
Ampersand at Alas, A Blog (ellipses mine):It’s all about keeping deviant bodies in line.[...][...]
Although the primary focus of Moss’ post is anti-fat bigotry, she seamlessly transitions into anti-trans bigotry[....]
Then, later in the SASS thread, the SASS posters mock photos of a disabled Wiscon attendee.
Why do these things go so smoothly together, like peanut butter and chocolate in a Reese’s commercial? I think that anti-fat bigotry, anti-trans bigotry, and ablism overlap in that all three bigotries are a sort of body fascism. Those who have what society considers the “default body” — by being thin, by being ablebodied, or by being born with genitals that match one’s gender identity — are considered superior to those without the default body, and have the right to mock inferior people with non-default bodies.
And, of course, men also have the “default body,” and women do not. So it’s not surprising that the anti-fat, anti-trans, anti-disabled bigotry in the SASS thread is also shot through and through with misogyny.
The Girl Detective at Modern Mitzvot points out:
Notice the recurring theme in all of Moss’s jabs: Moondancer isn’t a real Native American; fat people aren’t actually oppressed; fibromyalgia is fake; Nabil doesn’t get to call himself a man. None of these people, it would seem, are authentic. Her problem with them isn’t that they’re not “normal” (at least, she’s not willing to come out and say it); her problem is that they dare to define themselves instead of accepting the dominant culture’s definition of them. If you look white, you must be white. If you’re fat, you must be lazy and self-absorbed. If you’re not coughing, you must not be sick, and if you look like one gender, you must adhere to that label. If you say otherwise, then by God, you must be lying!
And this is precisely how oppression works: by denying that oppressed people are oppressed, so that you can go on oppressing them with a clean conscience. You can play this game with anyone. Reading ABW’s entry, it was all too easy for me to imagine a Jewish counterpart: “Next up was a rich Jewish girl who sat there saying that calling rich Jews rich is somehow oppressing them! She had some blah-blah rationalization but like I was going to waste my time listening to that.” (Full disclosure - I am not rich, except by global standards.) That’s why it’s important to dissect this type of behavior when it happens. It could potentially affect any of us.
Do it. Take it. Take my picture and eviscerate me online. It’s just a public, out-loud, communal version of what people do to me inside their heads every single day. It’s happened to me before, online and off. It’ll happen again. It’ll happen every day I leave the house, for the rest of my life.seperis also went on to talk about community standards.
I am still fat, and I am still not sorry. And nothing you can say, nothing you can post, nothing you can do will change that. No matter how many times you try to humiliate me. No matter how much you want me to hate myself. Because it’s my fucking body. And I don’t owe you a damn thing.