As there seems to be a basic lack of understanding of fat acceptance among many readers here, I think it's appropriate to take some time out and illustrate some of what I consider the main lessons taught by the fat positivity and fat acceptance movements. I recognize that Bitch does not regularly deal with issues of size and fatness, so we'll just discuss some key points and then we can go back to talking about fat in pop culture.
Truly transgressive art should make us uncomfortable. It should challenge us. Yet, a lot of supposedly transgressive art is created within very safe boundaries, by creators in positions of power, and it often reinforces harmful social attitudes and beliefs at the same time. People living in marginalized bodies who could produce groundbreaking work are only allowed to enter the pop culture sphere when they conform to certain expectations, and they are well aware that a lot of pop culture consumers will tune them out if they cross the invisible line.
This past spring, Revolutionary Voices, a multicultural queer youth anthology published in 2000, was pulled from the shelves at a Mount Holly, New Jersey high school library. A formal complaint was filed by Beverly Marinelli, a resident of Lumberton, NJ who just happens to belong to a local chapter of Glenn Beck's 9.12 project. Marinelli stated that the book is "pervasively vulgar, obscene, and inappropriate". Following the request to remove the book, a review committee voted to take the book off the shelves at the school library.
Revolutionary Voices, edited by Amy Sonnie, has been described by the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) as "the first creative resource by and for queer and questioning youth of every color, class, religion, gender and ability". The anthology is comprised of prose, art, letters, diary entries, and performance pieces.
Hooray for the Prop 8 ruling! Sure, we have to wait to see what the Supreme Court says, but in the meantime I thought we could celebrate with a special BitchTapes (the way all important political events should be celebrated, obvs). A mix filled with fun songs about weddings, complete with some same-sex marriage jams! So, without further ado, I now pronounce you feminist and mixtape. (Track list after the jump!)
During the summer of 2007, while on a residency with Modern Fuel Artist Run Centre/The Artel, I worked on an art project with the women in The Isabel MacNeil House (the only low security federal prison for women in Canada). For three weeks I met with the women three times a week to paint and draw with them with the intention to eventually create an animation with their artworks (no cameras are allowed in the facility). The final project was put to the music of "We become our own wolves" by Rae Spoon. Upon completion, there was a screening for the women and each received a copy of the DVD.
Have you been jonesin' for your very own subscription to Bitch, yet still haven't found the time to subscribe? Well friends, the time is now, because if you subscribe by the end of this weekend you'll be one of the first feminists to get a copy of our new issue, Make Believe!
This is not the cover of the Make Believe issue, but you get the idea.
While there are endless examples of fat female characters portrayed in an unappealing light on television, fewer and farther between are positive portrayals of female fatness. When you come across one, even if it's on an otherwise dull show, it's refreshing to see. I'd like to take in a few of those breaths of fresh air here, for your reading pleasure.
In the past year, rapes in the city of Dallas have increased 25.3%. Seriously. Such a huge increase of reported rapes would be shocking anywhere, but in a city where crime of all sorts is down 6.3%, a 25.3% jump in rape is astounding. At a Public Safety Committee meeting on Monday, though, Police Chief David Brown came up with a brilliant solution to decrease the number of rapes in the city. Not really though.
Proposition 8 fails to advance any rational basis in singling out gay men and lesbians for denial of a marriage license. Indeed, the evidence shows Proposition 8 does nothing more than enshrine in the California Constitution the notion that opposite-sex couples are superior to same-sex couples. Because California has no interest in discriminating against gay men and lesbians, and because Proposition 8 prevents California from fulfilling its constitutional obligation to provide marriages on an equal basis, the court concludes that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional.
What are your thoughts? What have you been reading?