There are many ways to tell a man to mind his own business, few are ever effective and fewer men ever take heed. Reminding full grown adults that friendliness is never an invitation for advice on lifestyle or moral standing is rather tiring. Perfect strangers feel not only the need but also the entitlement to give unsolicited advice on how individuals should change their lifestyle in order to better fit into the rigid standards that are set by the world.
The world is designed for prude, straight, white, thin women and white football jocks that have the physique of Greek gods. Ironically, this same world is not designed by such people nor does majority of the world fall into any of these rather rigid categories. Pray you satisfy this rigid criterion and you successfully walk the impossible line of being prude and being comfortable being nude, the world is at your feet awaiting your command. The world praises and rewards in plenty those that fit the stereotype of he
alth, beauty and success. But should you defy the world’s stiffly set standards, society will make you pay harshly for it.
Individuals that society makes pay harshly for their existence are fat, black, disabled, gay women. The world can be cruel when you are a woman, the world is crueler when you are a black woman, but the world is cruelest to fat, black, disabled, gay women. This is not to say that other people don’t have challenges but individuals that fall into the above category often have some of the most challenging experiences as a collective. This is with regards to access to affordable and accessible education, access to public facilities, access to affordable medical care, and social experiences.
The lack of access for this group of marginalized people often manifests itself through micro-aggressions. Micro-aggressions are everyday, verbal, non-verbal and environmental slights and snubs whether intentional or unintentional which communicate hostile, derogatory or negative messages to target persons based solely upon their marginalized group membership. How do micro-aggressions manifest themselves in the lives of fat people, sexual, and homosexual people? How do these micro-aggressions affect their lives and livelihoods and how can the rest of us minimize the traumatic experiences of fat, sexual, and homosexual individuals?
Fat Bitches vs Fat Acceptance
One cannot dispute the importance of health, wellness and self-care nor can one ever over-stress their importance. However, this importance does not warrant social-media harassment, stalking, or emotional and physical abuse to those that APPEAR to disregard their importance. The experience of fat people in the 21st century is traumatic. Not traumatic in the way the that wars and abusive relationships are but traumatic in the way in which they influence fat people’s lives and livelihoods. It is a widely accept principle and concept that the body shows signs of stress and ailment when it is unwell. Some of these signs include weight gain, change in skin tone and texture, and other features that qualify as disabilities. I believe that there is a common misunderstanding or misconception about the physical appearance of the human body and how it relates to the body’s wellness. Some features of the physical body are considered indicative of ailment when they are not.
The consideration of certain physical features as sings of neglect instead of cosmetic features as well a disregard for individuality is the reason behind some of the most violent online, emotional, physical and mental abuse against fat people. Society seems to believe that people are fat because they do not eat well, exercise or take care of themselves, despite evidence to the contrary and their personal everyday practices. Fat people are condemned harshly for “not doing anything” about their weight. The reality is not all fat people are unhealthy and lazy, and not all fat people are obese. Even if they were obese, this does not warrant unsolicited and violent commentary based on their fatness.
There are reality TV shows based on obese people’s lives, one of the conclusions we can reach from watching these shows is that the body is not designed to be obese. Not only that but the world is also not designed for obese people(you only have to look at aisles in shops, airplane seats, the space between two tellers in a shop, the size of chairs in public spaces etc.). The fact that the world is not designed for obese people, does not mean that obese people do not deserve access to facilities, resources, and a livelihood. Nor does it mean that they deserve to be showered in insult daily. Fat people deserve access to gorgeous clothes and its OK if magazine cover stars have cellulite. Bodies have cellulite and stretchmarks in their natural state, and fat people aren’t so because they don’t take care of themselves.
At the end of the day there is nothing that one “has to do” about their weight. You are the weight that you are at whatever time... and you can deal with that however you see fit.... if you see fit. People gain and lose weight for various reasons and that’s all there is to it. Nobody has the right to insult anyone based on a physical appearance that the other did not choose.
Fat acceptance is actually an entire blog post in itself.
Writing and starting conversations about the The Infuriating Culture of Catcalling as well rape culture is essential. While these conversations are essential it is also important to have conversations about sex and sexuality as well as how society sees sex and sexuality and how these factor in societal gender roles (read Women and Sexuality in 2017).
Sex work is considered illegal in most parts of the world. It is difficult to find the cause and effect when it comes to sex work and human rights violations. It is not clear if sex work is illegal because of the human rights violation the field is currently notorious for or if sex work is notorious for human rights violation because of the absence of law governing sex work.
Conversations about sex, sexuality, and sex work are more than just a plea to people to not shame anything they don’t prefer but also acknowledging that sex work is a vocation that a lot of people follow and then laying the groundwork that ensures that those who choose a life in sex work can do so in an environment that is safe.
There is no shortage of evidence of violence against members of the LGBTQ community. Scores of individuals die every year due to an individual's of community's idea of morality, religion, spirituality and personal preference.
Marginalized or not, we have to treat each other better than we currently do and we absolutely have to do better by marginalized people.
The aim of this post is to get people to be more intentional and aware of the consequence of their words and actions on marginalized group of people, and that people ALWAYS keep in mind that society, as a collective, has no real insight on any individual’s physical well-being, emotional state, mental health condition, or religious preferences. One’s necessities and one's means of securing said necessities (their livelihood) is influenced by a myriad of events and circumstances that are out of their control. No one knows all the secrets of the universe, so no one can really claim moral or intellectual high ground or know what's right for everyone.