I love reading. I get a lot out of it, more than just the enjoyment of imagination peopling the story in my mind. In fact, there are times when the books I read come up with a wonderful turn of phrase that makes me do some thinking beyond the simple book itself.
One of my favorite authors, Mercedes Lackey, can occasionally come up with some of those little gems – even if for the most part I consider her to be brain-candy. Brain-candy books are essentially just that, they are books whose characters are fairly simple in motivation, with fairly simple purposes, and tend to the same kind of simple morality play as some of the fairy tales collected by the Grimm brothers. In fact, in the case of Ms. Lackey, many of the books she writes are re-imaginings of many of those fairy tales.
The book I’m reading right now, Reserved for the Cat, is a re-imagining of the tale of Puss in Boots (a fairy tale, but one not collected by the Grimms, in fact, this story began in Italy rather than Germany). In this story, the part of the ogre that the cat defeats is a troll, an Elemental who found a way to stay in the ‘real world.’
Obsession, when speaking to the average person, brings up ideas of psychotic people – like Glen Close in Fatal Attraction, Mark Wahlberg in Fear, Patrick Bergin in Sleeping with the Enemy or Alicia Silverstone in The Crush.
Obsession – in relation to love – is never a healthy emotion. It’s related to another unhealthy relationship trait, possessiveness. Both of these emotions deny the humanity of the other person. The other person becomes an object, one whose emotions and needs are not important to the person with the obsession or possessiveness. Or at most, are less important than the person’s own emotions and needs.
But obsession isn’t always about pursuing someone who wants nothing to do with us. In some ways, one of the few situations where an obsession can be a positive emotion is when an idea takes hold in the mind of a creative person. It doesn’t matter what kind of creation the person uses to express the idea – it simply matters that the idea becomes something that must be expressed.
via My Husband Didn’t ‘Settle’ For A Fat Wife
I used to be able to say this. From our wedding in 1994 to approximately 2000, I could say with a fair amount of confidence that my husband, at that time, had no thought about the idea of having “settled for a fat wife.”
He supported me, I supported him. We made a fairly decent partnership. We weren’t perfect – he with his rage and brokenness, and me with my arrogance that I could somehow ‘save him’ from himself.
But, the physical side of things ended up going sour. We both got older, and he – as do many men as they get older – had some issues with erectile dysfunction. But, instead of looking at himself and perhaps what might be wrong with his own physical health (things like blood pressure, GI disturbance, or any of the hundreds of things that can cause ED – including his own mental illness), it was all my fault because I was “too fat to be desirable.”
Given that I weighed less than I did the day we got married, it was quite a blow to my self-esteem. And, given society’s opinion of the situation, it was pretty much a given that I would blame myself just as much as he blamed me.
We’re taught that there really are only two kind of men: the “nice guy” and the “bad boy.” But, just like everything else about humanity, heterosexual men come in a spectrum. Simplifying and labeling never works, because it’s unfair to the person or persons being labeled.
People are almost always more than just 2-dimensional beings.
The truth is, sometimes that womanizing asshole is a “nice guy” who has been so destroyed by the actions of a woman he loved that he struggles just to allow himself to trust anyone. And sometimes, that beautiful, charming ‘reformed bad boy’ really is just a narcissistic asshole.
As I stated in Being Unfair to My Own Gender, I often struggle with being able to trust the motives of other women. I know the things I’m capable of, if I were willing to ignore my own ethics and principles, and sometimes I project that onto other women. Yes, sometimes that awareness of just how easy it is to turn a man’s emotion as long as you are deeply in his heart, makes me very protective of the men in my life – whether they are friends or lovers.
via The Thing All Women Do That You Don’t Know About
Most of us women, at least those over the age of 25-30, do this kind of thing by habit, and without a lot of thought. We’ve internalized that we are second class citizens, and that we – just by being female – are somehow always going to be partly responsible for the sexualization and objectification of our bodies.
And when we talk about it to the men in our lives, they don’t always recognize it as a real situation, because so many of us have this habit.
“Ignore him, he’ll go away.”
That’s the advice women get. That’s the advice fat people get too. And when you’re a woman and fat, you get a double dose.
Categories: Body Positivity, Feminism, Gender Inequities
Tags: abuse, binary thinking, body autonomy, building blocks, choices, compassion, feminism, gender inequality, identity, life, self-respect, the female experience
It’s going to be another one of those musical journeys through my mind. I’ve been mulling over it a lot, for reasons that escape me at the moment. But, perhaps in the writing of it, it will give me some insight into why it’s been bothering me.
I was not the easiest child to live with, nor have I necessarily been the easiest woman to live with. For the longest time, I would say probably starting around age 20-21, a lot of my life choices and reactions were very similar to Shiloh in Repo! The Genetic Opera:
Thankfully, unlike with Shiloh, I was not ever forced to deal with a parent committing Munchausen by proxy. Based on discussions with a number of different people, there may have been some emotional or mental abuse perpetrated by my parents, but never that particular form. And even with that, I can’t help but believe that my parents – both of them – were doing the absolute best for me that they could at that given time.
Parents are human beings. This often means that, despite desires and intent to the contrary, sometimes their choices lead to the very opposite. In other words, parents fuck up – sometimes for quite a long time.
Do you realize how difficult it is to come up with figure references for doing any kind of art that involves a plus-sized woman?
I’m not talking about finding candid photos of large women on the internet. You can find scads of those.
No, I’m talking about scouring the stock photo sites looking for certain poses in as simple as possible photo. Most often, in a nude photo – so that all you are seeing is how the skin and muscles interplay with each other.
Oh, I looked through Google images as well, but again, not much out there for an artist’s eye to look at.
Look at this particular pose, or one similar to it. An artist can view the interplay of muscle, skin, perspective views of assorted body parts, and other necessities that are involved in developing an image similar to this pose.
Now, think about the changes that obesity makes to a body.
Categories: Body Positivity, Creativity, Feminism
Tags: binary thinking, body autonomy, Body Positivity, building blocks, choices, compassion, fat acceptance, feminism, gender identity, life, self-esteem, self-respect
I’m in a cranky space. Not really for any particular reason, other than perhaps the crazy way my sleep schedule seems to be screwing up.
But, it did get me thinking.
While there is a lot of my psyche that is fairly well completely screwed up beyond belief, there are some very good parts of me that I lost during my marriage, that seem to be slowly returning.
And a lot of that has to do with my family of origin.
There are things from my life that got screwed up from the dysfunctional portions of my family. But, there are also pieces to that particular set of dysfunction that are actually of positive purpose, and are good to have developed.
For example, although I experienced the same kind of poor interaction between society and the individual in relation to weight and obesity, I also was taught that my body was a blessing from the Divine, and that I should feel no shame in nudity (my own, or that of others). Therefore, while I have many issues in relation to my weight, I don’t have some of the massively debilitating emotional issues around my body that a good portion of other life-long obesity sufferers do.
I’ve been doing a metric ton of thinking about my teen years this last week or so. And about the things that happened to me in my teens and 20s.
Both of these photos are of me, sometime between the summer of 1982 and the summer of 1983. That was my freshman year of high school. I was somewhere between 5’5″ and 5’6″ tall, and I weighed approximately 200 pounds.
This means that not only did I commit the sin of being taller than average by 4-6 inches, I was also 100 pounds heavier than the average girl my age, and I wore a size C or D cup already at that age.
This was the year of my first sexual assault, and my first stalker. And the stalker’s excuse was that he swore I was at least 18, and made threats to me when I told him I was only 13. The threats were – he thought – reasonable, as he was convinced I was just lying to him.
Categories: Body Positivity, Feminism, Gender Inequities
Tags: binary thinking, body autonomy, building blocks, choices, development, fat acceptance, feminism, gender inequality, identity, self-respect