Yes means Yes: New Book

This may be tangentally related to Fat Acceptance, but I was reminded this evening of the forthcoming book activist Jaclyn Friedman co-edited, "Yes Means Yes: Visions of Female Sexual Power and A World Without Rape". Edited with Feministing's Jessica Valenti, the book is an anthology of contemporary feminist commentary on female sexuality and ending rape. I've been hearing nothing but good things about the collection and am sure its going a must-read and I wanted to let people know about it.

I was actually reminded because I was at Jaclyn's birthday party, so I suppose you can count me as a biased source. Jaclyn is friends with my girlfriend through Big Moves, where I've been fortunate enough to be exposed to some of Jaclyn's amazing poetry in recent years. I know she and Jessica Valenti have been very hard at work on this volume. In addition to a foreword by Margaret Cho, the book features contributions from feminists such as Jill Filipovic from Feministe, Lisa Jervis of Bitch Magazine, and, well, lots of others. Of particular interest to the fat-o-sphere, though, is an on-point contribution from Kate Harding entitled "How Do You Fuck a Fat Woman?"

The book can be pre-ordered from Amazon.com right now. You know what's more awesome than ordering it from Amazon, though? Going to your local book store and asking if they have it. And if they don't, asking them why not and to order you a copy.


Political Fa(c)t

So long as I'm railing against my usual targets, with election season upon us I'm especially puzzled by those who try to paint fat acceptance as some kind of suppressive force. That some FA is suppressing an anti-FA message. Seriously, I keep seeing people go after FA on such terms.

One group are the people deeply removed from things and have just imagined FA as some kind of fat promoting bogeyman to blame the epidemic of having to see fat people on. This would include stuff like John McCain's bizarre assertion that political correctness is hamstringing nutrition education, presumably in support of fat people. This group has never come close to FA so they at least have an excuse for being so badly misinformed, though its still their own fault for being so off the mark.

But you see the same line from people at fat blogs. There always seems to be someone at the ready to whine about how Fat Acceptance is keeping them down. I'm sorry, but what world are these people living in and how do I move there? I'd like the problems of fat acceptance to be too MUCH power. Here in the real world, though, this isn't remotely true. Fat Acceptance remains a profoundly marginalized political viewpoint and its simply not suppressing any oppositional views. Its hard for me not to see those complaints as really just railing against the fact that someone, somewhere is speaking differently than our weight loss culture. That their ideal is a world with no opposition to weight loss, so any differing viewpoint is thus farcically characterized as suppressing the unanimity they seek.

Because FA isn't keeping anyone's voice quiet in opposition to FA. Opposition to Fat Acceptance needs no support or leg-up from within FA. It is the status quo. It is indeed the extend of acceptable beliefs in our culture. Just look at the political facts on display in this election. There is no candidate for fat acceptance. Both candidates, both political parties have aggressively pandered to fat hatred in their platforms. As a fat activist, I have no luxury of considering the candidate who best represents my views, because neither do.

Fat acceptance is not marginalizing anyone. If you think for a second they are, you aren't seeing the forrest through the trees.