Some Folks Just Don’t Get It

Commenter Staci had a couple of things to say about my post about eating what one wants. Here’s her response in its entirety:

What’s your point exactly? You bought a lot of fattening crap then overheard a normal-weight person stressing about buying one item of fattening crap. Then you felt guilty so you posted about it so that your online fatass friends could tell you it’s OK to eat what you want. Instant forgiveness – isn’t the internet wonderful?

Oh, boy. Doesn’t someone with excellent Photoshop skills want to make me a “Congrats! You Completely Missed The Point!” graphic? Per the brand-spankin’ new comments policy up yonder, here’s my wonderful response (completely reprinted from the comments, and a bit of editing done):

I don’t feel guilty for what I eat. My point, ma’am, is that NO ONE ELSE should feel guilty for what they eat. I’m not admonishing the woman for stressing over the cookie. Unfortunately, as women in this fatphobic world, we are conditioned to scrutinize every bit of what we eat. Dealing with assholes like you, for example, would be the reason behind that woman’s stress over ONE FUCKING COOKIE. Now then, I don’t need ANYBODY to tell me that it’s ok to eat. I’m a grown ass woman. I do what I damn well please. What I am doing with this post, in fact, what I (and IntellectualFeminist) am doing with this BLOG is informing those who aren’t aware that what one eats and how much or how little one weighs is not a fuckin’ moral failure.

And the internet is indeed wonderful, Staci. The most wonderful thing about it is your address bar. You got a fuckin’ problem with what I write, see your way to another fuckin’ website. If you can’t help with discourse here, and make a better (read: non-sarcastic) attempt to understand what I and my co-blogger write about, take your ass to another, perhaps fat-hating, website. The shit ain’t gonna fly here.

Man. Folks seriously don’t get it. Nobody needs justification for eating whatever it is they want, be it healthy or unhealthy. But to reiterate, it’s boneheaded comments like these that send women over the edge when it comes to eating and food. Now let us be serious here, do you want to be a part of the problem, or a part of the solution?

You have an issue with Fat Acceptance? You have a problem with fat folks no longer feeling the need to justify what goes in their mouths? Too fuckin’ bad. I’m done with being ashamed, IntellectualFeminist is done being ashamed, and the Fatosphere is done with being ashamed.

In conclusion, your ignorance is showing. Please zip your mental fly.


23 Responses to “Some Folks Just Don’t Get It”

  1. April 24, 2008 at 10:22 pm

    And I do have love! For everybody, even. My thing is, it’s one thing to not understand and ask for some clarification. Had Staci come from that angle, I would have conversed with her for as long as needed so she’d understand. It’s another thing, however, to come here, insult folks, and think that’s ok.

    I have no love for that. 🙂

  2. April 24, 2008 at 10:37 pm

    You have to wonder about these people. Do they really think running around insulting us like that is going to make us thin?

  3. April 24, 2008 at 10:41 pm

    I got it!

    I was being fat at Staci!

    *continues being fat at Staci*

  4. April 24, 2008 at 10:55 pm

    let’s all flap our fat at the Stacis of this world! flap!flap!flap!

    And now, this fat girl will go pass out and sleep like a log after this evening’s aquagym session…

  5. 6 Rebecca M.
    April 24, 2008 at 11:23 pm

    In conclusion, your ignorance is showing. Please zip your mental fly.

    I’ve got to remember that comeback.

  6. 7 Jen
    April 24, 2008 at 11:32 pm

    I’ll echo Buttercup: SO MUCH LOVE! ❤

  7. April 24, 2008 at 11:46 pm

    I think we owe it to ourselves to be compassionate toward Staci. For instance, I think we should take up a collection to get her lessons so that her reading comprehension skills might be improved. Poor dear, she read the whole thing and missed the point so entirely that one can only assume she had difficulty working out the meaning of the words.

    Really, it’s a tragic situation when you think of it that way. ; )

  8. April 25, 2008 at 12:32 am

    “I got it!

    I was being fat at Staci!

    *continues being fat at Staci*”

    I love it. And if you return, Staci, we shall be fat at you a second time!

    (That “being fat at” thing is about the best line of the decade, seriously.)

  9. April 25, 2008 at 6:42 am

    Heh. I love the “being fat at” thing as well. It’s awesome.

    And for folks wondering if the spamtrap thought their comment was a delicious snack, don’t worry! I have comments moderation up today until I (or my co-blogger) get home from work. I had to come home after a long day and see that comment up yonder and I was not happy.

    So here’s how it works. If you’ve commented here before, then your comments should come through without a problem. If not, you’ll have to wait for one of us to approve you. This is to keep the number of trolls at 2 (yep. Just 2. *knocks on wood*)

  10. April 25, 2008 at 7:52 am

    I wonder if this is the same Staci that harasses the blogger at Diary of a Fat Teenager? It sounds a lot like her…

  11. 12 Bree
    April 25, 2008 at 8:05 am

    Staci also went to Lizzie’s site and insulted her too. I think Staci is “Rick,” the infamous troll who tries to go to every FA blog he can and enlighten everyone with his “concern for our health.” In reality, he is obsessed with fat women and turned on by our rolls. You know what they say about hating what you love, bwhahahaha…

  12. 13 C-town
    April 25, 2008 at 8:06 am

    I agree that Staci was completely out of line and disrespectful. I wasn’t trying to disrespect anyone with my comment. But here’s what I’m wondering, what’s the difference between “intuitive eating” and poor impulse control? If intuitive eating means eating whatever you want whenever you want it, I have to wonder if it’s not just a justification for giving in to impulse.

    I don’t care what anyone eats, whether they’re fat or not. That’s all their business and not mine. But at the same time, look at your original post. It was something of a condemnation of people whose attitudes toward food you did not agree with. It wasn’t insulting, like Staci’s comment was, but still it was an attempt to say, ‘Look at these people with their screwed up thoughts about food, and look at how I’ve figured out something that they’ve missed.’

    Sure, you couch it in concern for the way society has warped their minds, but there’s still a certain tone of superiority in there. I’m not saying this to be mean. I just think it’s worth discussing. You have the right to eat however you want without being judged, but don’t other people also have that same right? And weren’t you, at least to some degree, judging those people in that post?

    As for the “reckless abandon” point, I agree to some extent with the person who said that the connotative meaning is tied up in having fun, indulgence, all that. My point was, that’s fine sometimes. We have to disregard consequences from time to time and just enjoy ourselves. But if we did it all the time, in our daily eating/drinking/lifestyle habits, there would be negative consequences. In that sense, the advice that you shouldn’t go around eating cookies with reckless abandon seems pretty sound.

  13. April 25, 2008 at 9:29 am

    C-town, obviously I’m not the original poster, but I’d like to help answer your question if I could.

    But here’s what I’m wondering, what’s the difference between “intuitive eating” and poor impulse control? If intuitive eating means eating whatever you want whenever you want it, I have to wonder if it’s not just a justification for giving in to impulse.

    I think that the idea behind intuitive eating is that trying to control your impulses ultimately backfires; I don’t know your personal history so I’ll use myself as an example. When I was dieting (as opposed to trying to eat intuitively) I had rules (like all dieters) about what food I was allowed to have and what food I wasn’t. So while I would stay on my diet and ignore any cravings I had for something I considered unhealthy, say cookies. I would deny myself the cookie, thinking (as you said) that giving in meant I just had poor impulse control, and I would continue to deny myself until I was either thinking about it nonstop and making myself sick over it or until I gave in, but instead of eating one or two cookies, now I wanted to eat all the cookies I could get my hands on. And unfortunately, this situation is common to most every dieter, though many never talk about it because they think it means they are weak, bad, people.

    When you eat intuitvely, your goal is to eat what your body asks for, when it asks for it. So if your body asks for a cookie, you have a cookie and you move on. Food itself becomes neutral. There is no longer good and bad food; there is only food, something to nourish your body. And when you listen to your bodies needs, you will find that it rarely asks you to live on a diet of so-called junk food. For me, intuitive eating as gotten rid of a lot of bad behaviors like, binging, eating in secret, being afraid to eat in public, etc because I have learned to trust myself with food. I eat a well-rounded diet that includes a lot of healthier options, veggies, fruits, whole grains, etc, and I don’t beat myself up for being a failure if I decide to eat a candy bar one day.

    To break it down to a simple sentence, the idea that we need to control our impulses about food really just means that we can’t trust ourselves. Intuitive eating says that you can indeed trust yourself to make the right choices for your body and your mind.

    As for whether the OP was judging those women, well, I can’t speak for her, but I think she was really just letting off steam. We live in a society that tries to make us feel guilty for being who we are for a multitude of reasons, and I do think the OP is very concerned about that; the fact that she contributes to this blog is evidence of that! My reading of that post told me that she was angry about the fact that those women felt they had to berate themselves for the value neutral act of eating a cookie.

    Hope that was helpful!

  14. 15 C-town
    April 25, 2008 at 12:07 pm

    Jae, thanks for that. I guess what troubles me about the notion is the concept that we are helpless against the power of our own impulses, and so must submit to them. I can totally understand what you’re saying about how denying yourself something can lead to obsessing over it. But if you can’t tell your body no when it gets a craving, then it seems like your appetites are controlling you.

    Your one sentence summary was interesting to me: “the idea that we need to control our impulses about food really just means that we can’t trust ourselves.”

    That makes some sense, but don’t we need to control our impulses about food? Isn’t that necessary on some level? I know if I didn’t I would end up eating out of boredom sometimes, eating for entertainment rather than eating when I’m hungry.

    On the issue of judging people, it seems like the Fat Acceptance movement has no problem accusing people who say they are concerned about an obese person’s health of being a “concern troll.” But concern for other people who have different attitudes about food or fat is assumed to be legitimate.

    It’s a generous interpretation to call it “letting off steam”. When we refer to a society that tries to make us feel a certain way, or people being made to feel bad about their habits, that’s misplacing the blame. We can’t control the messages other people give us or blame some faceless entity we label as “society”, but we can control the way we react to those perceived messages. Getting mad and “letting off steam” because some women choose to limit their calories or sugar or whatever, for whatever reasons (aesthetic, health, etc.) makes no more sense than Staci getting mad that someone else isn’t doing those things.

    They’re both unnecessary, is what I’m saying, and they’re both judgmental acts.

  15. 16 mccn
    April 25, 2008 at 12:31 pm

    I love the very last line here. * LOVE * Thank you!

  16. 17 Minnie
    April 25, 2008 at 7:41 pm

    It’s not just one cookie. Problem is, if you don’t reconsider one cookie, do you the next time, and how many cookies and up to how much fat does 1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1 ad infinitum add? Hmmmmmm…. More than just one little innocent non-weight bearing cookie.

    Also, why do you say “ASS” so much? Is yours too weighing too heavily in your consciousness? One could ask similar questions as to why abuse “fucking”. It has to happen somewhere, if no where else, at least on your blog?

  17. April 25, 2008 at 8:05 pm

    Woo! A lot went on whilst I worked today. So, as the original poster of the piece in question, I’m going to try to address as much as I can as best as I can.

    For C-Town: Don’t take my snarkiness personally, darlin’. I didn’t mean it in that manner (not towards you, anyhow 🙂 Your questions fall under “meaningful discourse, and I’ll add on to what Jae had to say (she’s right on the money, by the way.) That is, if I haven’t managed to run you off already!

    I suppose that my dieting past leads me to fully rebel against the notion of what one should do around food. For years I denied myself the simplest, well, cookie because it was going to pile on ridiculous amounts of weight. Soon I realized that no, a cookie isn’t going to kill me. So much was wrapped up in that damned cookie: self-love, worth, piece of mind. And that one cookie would take all of that away from me, I believed. And then I grew up and realized I wasn’t the only person living that way…and when I decided to change my mind about how food affected me, it’s like a weight (ha! puns!) lifted. I supposed, in my own quest of self-acceptance, I’m looking to bring other folks from that sometimes very lonely view about food.

    Was I letting off steam? Kinda. But some of it goes to the little anecdote above: I’m trying to bring folks out of that lonely place about food. And am I blaming society? Well, yeah. Why? Because not enough of us know that self-worth and love aren’t connected to food and weight. And then the question comes: well, why don’t folks know that? Answer: Society. Yep, it’s a circular argument indeed. And I wish I could make it plainer than that, but as a relative newcomer to FA myself, I don’t have all the vocabulary down just yet. So it’s something we’re gonna have to discover together, if you’re willing to hang in there with me. But I do want to note: I wasn’t upset with the woman for watching whatever it was she was watching as she contemplated her cookie. Just as I am a grown woman, so is she. I was, however, saddened that she put that much thought into a cookie…as opposed to just living for the moment and enjoying. I hope that clears up the judgmental part–I wasn’t trying to come across that way at all.

  18. April 25, 2008 at 8:17 pm

    Alright, now that I’ve written a novel to C-Town (and I hope I cleared up your questions, if not, feel free to come on back and we’ll discuss!), I’ll address Minnie.

    Well, if I decide I want one cookie today, three cookies tomorrow, and five cookies the day after, I’m gonna eat the amounts of cookies listed. For me, and I can’t speak for anyone else, counting fat grams and calories will send me back into that slippery slope of dieting, and knowing how miserable I was then–I’m not going there again. I REFUSE to go there again. So, I go for whatever I happen to be craving, I end up eating just enough to satisfy me, the craving leaves, and I’m happy. It is what it is, basically, and that’s just how I choose to live my life.

    As for the swearing? I say ass and fucking and shit and damn and whatever combination of those plus extras so much simply because I have a filthy mouth. I don’t mean to be rude or blunt here, but it really is the truth. Now, my filthy mouth in my initial response to Staci up there came from her coming to this blog and calling the commenters out of their names. I don’t take disrespect well, so that comment was a combo of filthy mouth and temper. Does my ass weigh heavily on my conciousness? Nope, not at all. It sits beautifully on my back, and I LOVE it. 🙂

    Any other questions or concerns? Just email us or leave another comment!

  19. 20 C-town
    April 27, 2008 at 11:21 am

    Thanks for responding to my comment. I guess what bothers me about the notion of laying all the blame on society is it removes any element of personal responsibility. I don’t deny that societal messages have an impact on what we do, but if we ascribe it all to society then we’re basically saying that we don’t have free will and we can’t decide for ourselves.

    As for letting off steam, trying to bring people out of a “lonely place about food”, it just seems like, in that scenario, leaving in a huff and then blogging about it sounds more like you were trying to make yourself feel better rather than help anyone else. First, it assumes that those people (or people with different attitudes about food) are necessarily in a lonely place. If you wanted to help them, why not address them? Going home and writing about them, how misguided they are, etc., seems like it’s only helping you.

    Imagine if they had gone home and blogged about you, the fat woman they saw eating junk food, and how “concerned” they were. You’d assume they were just jerks, and you’d probably be right.

  20. April 27, 2008 at 12:07 pm

    I understand what you’re saying C-Town, I really do. We do indeed have free will. But it’s not a matter of being able to decide for ourselves, it’s not being judged for what it is we decide to do. For example, folks tend to have a problem with me not worrying about how much I weigh, or counting calories, or what have you. I exercise my right to not pay them or my weight any attention, but I also know that due to societal norms I’m gonna be ridiculed because of it by some folks. She agonized over her cookie. I don’t puport to know her reasons, but when I heard it, all I could think of was how I was/continue to be eyeballed for eating a cookie. And it just made me so sad.

    As for me making myself feel better, again, that’s not why I wrote the post. When I write here, it’s never just about me. I include myself in those working towards self-acceptance. Now, I recognize that not all people are not in a lonely place about food (and I apologize if it came off that way. That wasn’t what I was going for.) So the question still remains: why not address them up front? That is very simple, and as you used my feelings about someone writing a blog post about me, I’ll use myself in the place of the woman buying the cookie. I don’t want folks in my buisness like that. Plain and simple. I am a woman that if you think a certain way about me, you can think that all day, tell a friend, shucks, write an entry about it if you so choose to do so. That’s cool. But DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES shove your nose all up in my personal space and decide to speak to me like you know me. In essence, I don’t want folks doing that to me, and I don’t want to do that to others.

    When I wrote about how sad it was, it was, at best, a simple observation of mine. It’s just how I felt about the situation, and since I had something to say about it and a forum to put it in, I did so. Folks who needed to hear the message, did, and others who had issues with what I had to say, spoke, and those who wanted further clarification, also spoke. But I’m thinking you read way more into it that what I have there. It wasn’t an attack towards the woman and the cookie. I simply saw it as an event that I have gone through as a dieting fat woman, and it’s something that others have gone through. For those who didn’t know that food is ok: I’ve said it, others have seconded, and those who ARE in a lonely place now have a haven. That’s all I indended with my post. Nothing more.

    As always, feel free to reply if you have more questions!

  21. 22 Arwen
    May 1, 2008 at 2:50 am

    C-Town, there seems to be an erroneous belief out there that fat people haven’t tried “impulse control”. I’m not saying you, I’m saying generally; like, if we just said no to that cookie, we’d be thin. We live in a society that’s VERY focused on the individual right now, rather than the systemic; and yet somehow our weight’s all individual emotionless choice, as opposed to things like what our individual DNA yells into our individual animal bloodstreams.

    What’s revolutionary and revealing is that both science AND many of our own experiences suggest is that, barring eating disorder or physical issues or growth/maturation, many if not most people’s bodies will find a weight stable range. Hunger and satiety cues can help maintain that — and that if, for awhile, you eat more than your hunger and satiety cues suggest, because it’s Christmas or you’re bored, your body responds by making you less hungry. Or hungry for salad. Or whatever. There’s an inbuilt balancing system if you listen for it, and dieting makes it hard to hear it – and maybe even breaks it or sets it to a higher level.

    This idea isn’t about eschewing personal responsibility. These are our bodies: nothing more individuated than that. We’re listening to ourselves. That’s different, but is JUST AS MUCH about caring for and being responsible to our bodies as your suggested way. If it works for you, the impulse control method, that’s fine: but it’s not really a new thought, that. Most of us have tried that route, for many years, and it has failed us, and we have serious questions of it.

    And you know? Science that doesn’t reflect what Society views as the Truth Of Obesity. Science is not even slightly monolithic on obesity and yet is often horrifyingly and falsely reported. Most diets, most dieters, fail: there’s your beginning. In fact, I would go so far as to say society’s idea of ‘responsible’ is based on superstition and a whole stew of prejudice.

    Also, this is so often framed in morality, which gets the spidey sense going that we’re discussing faith issues — and I reject external imposition of faith generally. When it comes down to it, it’s my body, and I hurt no one with a cookie.

    The thing that’s different, here, is that the woman who clucks about the cookie being bad is supported by the dominant culture. She’s certainly allowed to say that – but in this culture, that’s not weird or new to say. It’s totally the dominant discourse.

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