James Bond (Trigger Warning and Destruction of Fantasy Warning)

James Bond, the fantasy of many men. The ideal that men are told they must be. He is deemed sexy, he drives fast cars, and shoots people without remorse. The super spy, agent 007. James Bond is every ideal according to the media and is a role model for elegance for many men. James Bond is a rapist. James Bond is a Misogynist. James Bond is not the type of person anyone should model their sex appeal after. James Bond’s franchise shows more violence against women while dehumanizing them than many others, while making this seem like a good thing. The female characters that Bond has sex with are reduced beyond a name but to property. The Bond Girl. A Bond Girl.

It started out as a pleasurable afternoon activity, a reward for my hard work. I turned on Doctor No, and though I was aware the film would be disablist, racist, and generally ridiculous I was prepared for that and Sean Connery’s stereotypical white man in the movies good looks. I was not prepared for the growing disconcertion that would happen as I proceeded through my Bond movie Marathon. Bond is a rapist, he commits sexual assault and his female coworkers should file complaints daily. This never happens of course. MoneyPenny instead becomes entranced with him, wanting to be a Bond Girl herself but of course she’s just not good enough for Bond. Little does she know this saves her from what I have deemed his Death STD.

I became unable to like Bond by the end of From Russia With Love. You see, I was prepared for the sexism, I was prepared for the violence and the racism as I said. I was not prepared for a scene which I had forgotten was present. James Bond doesn’t take no for an answer, in fact this is a part of his trademark. He ‘seduces’ women who are unwilling. As the female fights and pushes him away, as she says no he continues to force himself on her. Bond’s body pins Tatiana Romanova down. She said no, he kisses her and she stops fighting him. That was when I stopped the movie and had to deal with the fact that James Bond is a rapist. I couldn’t just turn my brain off, instead my brain kicked into hyperdrive cataloging everything wrong with Bond.

I could list them here and run out of energy to type. Instead I will skip over the fact that every single Bond Villain up to Quantum of Solace has a disability, disfigurement, or blatantly uses a wheelchair. I could in fact point out that although the Bond films have more people of color acting in them than many other films, all the roles they have are of villains. Such as guy who blows up, guy who gets shot by Bond, etc etc. I could even talk about the objectification of violence but instead I am stuck on the dehumanisation of women, the constant sexual assault, and the frequent rapes that are made worse with the very bad puns.

The female characters in the films defined as Bond Girls for the purpose of this ramble will be defined as such: Bond has shown interest in them, he has had sex (consensual or no) or flirted with them, and they are given a name that makes absolutely no sense and is often some sort of sex joke. These females come in sets of three in most movies, he only marries one, and they all end up dead with the notable exceptions being the female lead in Quantum of Solace. They must also be rescued repeatedly, even M once the role was given to Dame Judi Dench is not saved from this humiliation, they must scream and flail a lot, and every single one of them says “Oh James!” during sex. In fact most of them look exactly alike, they are all “beautiful” by society’s standards. This is a loose definition in some areas and yet there is absolutely no deviation even in the newest and supposedly renovated Bond Films.

By naming the female characters things such as Octopussy the characters are dehumanised, they are reduced to sex. James Bond furthers this by treating every woman that he deems attractive, and that is most women, as if they are there just for his penis to enter. There is no concept of lesbians and if there ever is in a bond film it will be Lesbians for HIS pleasure. Most Bond girls are blonde, though there are a few redheads and the newer films have more dark haired females, all have large breasts except Halle Berry who was misbilled as the first female of color to be in a bond film. This erased Grace Jones’ tenure as the “scary black villainess”. In fact the lack of a signular identity for the characters reduces them to Bond’s property. They exist only for Bond, at his pleasure and discression. Every Bondgirl is attacked, beaten, and most are murdered because they belong to Bond and destroying his property is a good way to get him to react. He almost always “avenges” them but it would be far better for him to just stop having sex all together so that his female companions don’t die. My friend M and I discussed this and he pointed out that this makes it less emotional when he moves on. The woman didn’t die, she died. This means he has a free pass at the next female paragon of his sexual pleasures.

In the 22 Bond Films that exist at the time of this writing over half of the Bond Girls say no. Not in the “playing hard to get” fashion either. The majority of his sexual encounters are non consentual. The other half change their minds once they see how manly he is. Though if a man acted like Bond in person, even his white male privilege would be placed into jeopardy as at least in my local social sphere a person who drives that many sports cars, plays with guns as much as he does, and tries to act so overtly macho is deemed to have impotence issues. This played through my mind often, and helped ease what became an excercise in torture.

It took me exactly 1 week to the hour to watch all of the Bond Movies, though this became my day job. I admit fully that several times I had personal revelations about the forumula for Bond. As a child I wanted to be Bond, not the Bond Girl. This still stands, though I wouldn’t rape anyone. I was disciplined for this and I firmly associate Bond with the assignation of gendered behaviors that is so present in Western Society. I suspect other colonized societies carry this burden too but I can only speak from my sphere of existence. By wanting to drive the fast car, shoot bad guys and get the girl I was being unprofessional. Four year olds aren’t supposed to want this, that was what my mother said. My father corrected her, violently, and pointed out that Boys can want this. Being in a female body, I was forbidden to want the girl, the car, or the “fun”. I realize as an adult that the culture of violence we live in disguises being nearly killed constantly as fun. We pay great deals of money to endure mindless torments in the US. We pay to watch people beat and kill defenseless and rather stupid women.

Back to the Bond Girl Formulae I wrote above. We can expand his Bond Girl related deaths by deeming every female in the bond films a Bond Girl. This means that the charactes that I can recollect surviving right now aside from the final Bond Girl (he usually has two or three women he “loves” during each movie, one to betray him, one to die (sometimes combined) and one to survive to fuck another day) would be MoneyPenny, who is oddly credited as Miss MoneyPenny in the early films as if this will somehow explain why Bond does not desire her, via her being too good for him. The second would be M as Judi Dench.

MoneyPenny is thankfully not brutalized violently, beaten, shot, stabbed, poisoned, suffocated by being painted in gold, dipped in oil, strangulated, dies saving bond, or as a casualty of a drive by style violent thing but is constantly objectified and teased by Bond. The one woman that would consent easily to his sexual requests is rejected, this adds to his predatory nature. MoneyPenny is also one of the few female characters that is shown to have a brain in her head. From the beginning she often could procure information that others with in the agency struggled with. There is no MoneyPenny currently, in the Daniel Craig series. She is now a computer at best, though perhaps she will be made into his equal, a spy of equal power. Of course not. No she will likely be lobodimised or was recast as a male and I didn’t notice. Bond still treats her as if she is a child, another crime against the women, even through the end females are infantalized. We need the big strong men to tell us how to think and act.

The Early Twenties Bondgirl sex doll pattern was advertised as being broken when Die Another Day was being released. I remember the trailers, the supposed controversy over Halle Berry being a bond girl. There were racist pigs who decided she was too black, despite her being on the paler end of the dark skin spectrum. She was billed as the first strong female counter part to bond. A CIA Agent who could take care of herself. Except, this was a lie. She ends up tied up, drowned, and then for some reason having sex on a pile of diamonds. I suspect they chose diamonds because that has to be the least comfortable way to have sex ever. The only deviation in the usual bond system aside from her skin color was her flirting with Bond. This meant twice as many really bad puns while bad guys died, but just as when M was locked in a cage, Bond had to save the girl. Over and over again.

This is the Bond formulae. Bond is a training ground for violent rapists, normalizing the fact that we are just meat. Roger Moore’s era had the least intelligent Bond Girls. One accidentally saved the world by bending over in a bikini. Another was too stupid to realize people were shooting at her. Intelligence is not something a Bond Girl has, though the Daniel Craig films did improve on this slightly.

There is one other thing that I am compelled to note. James Bond is actually a horrible spy. He sucks at his job. The idea of spying is to NOT get caught. In each and every bond film his cover is blown, followed by things blowing up and women dying. He usually figures out that people know James Bond is James Bond when he finds one of his victims dead. The Death STD he carries is in his own lack of wit. He may be able to make innuendo but a real spy would do their utmost to not use their real name, to obfuscate their origins, and they would try to blend in. A real spy aims to be average. This is of course unless the Russian Spy ring that was recently caught is used as an example. They seem to have gone to the James Bond School of Spying. The man kills all his contacts, ruins most of his equipment, and causes so many international incidents. It is a wonder that the British people embrace this male supremicist pig rapist as a wonderful thing.

I have no answers to why James Bond is so popular, except that if you can watch a movie without thought and go “ooh pretty explosions” it may be alright. The contrived plots of this spy franchise however should offend almost everyone alive, unless they are so innundated with White Male is Right thinking that the idea that anyone should just shoot Bond to put England and the rest of us out of our misery is bad. The idealism of Bond goes so far as the fact that I have heard and seen via the internet people of color that lament their genetics as they prevent them from being like bond.

We need a female spy of color who doesn’t rape people, kicks as much butt and doesn’t blow her cover. Of course, the media doesn’t want people to realise that Bond Girl is synonymous with Dead Barbie, or James Bond is synonymous with bad spy. They want everyone to ignore that this normalization of violence effects each of us. The ambiguity of the sexual assaults, as some are very hard to spot, and the acceptance of his rapes as being sexy and beautiful adds to the dangers women face. I know this because I have been raped in the name of Bond. I have been told that to be a good girl you must submit to any man that deems you penis worthy. Not just by my father but by most of the white men I have dated. This phenomenon is well documented with many franchises and I am sure I am not the only person to go “Oh my god Bond raped her!” I just think more people need to.

I am going to find some brain bleach to try and get the 22 films out of my head. I must wash it off! WASH IT OFF!

Loud Silence and other Oxymorons!

I am having a pain day, yet emotionally I feel fairly good. I am watching my cat’s bathe, and just found a friend’s keys. That means they have to come back. I already called them too, because of course they must be hunting for them. It makes the writing jarring at times as I like the flow on the dance of the words. I have been so busy lately, finding the means to all the scattered ends that make up a life, that I finally am having a moment of peace and solitude. It sure is noisy in my head today.

I am amused by some random things, curse words, the way that the pillows on my bed look, the sound of my neighbor’s existence being so quiet here after a year of so much noise. There is a quiet in this apartment that I have longed for and it dwarfs everything. At this moment as the sun streams through the window brightening my home, the cats too are between their moments of gleeful play. Here they play, not just a little but a lot. They wake me at times, crashing and thudding, yowling and howling, and being free. Sometimes they wake me up just so I will roll over and wrap my arms around them both using them as pillows. Even with music my house feels quiet.

The quiet won’t shatter here, though I find the adventures of life are leading me to some odd discoveries. I am going through the process of getting reassessed for more caregiver hours, I am exploring Second Life at long last, and I find that second life is actually satisfying. To me the virtual world has never really satiated the needs for communication I have, but to see the other person’s online self has given me something I was lacking. It is not a perfect match for social interaction but, it does fill in part of the void.

The Oxymorons however, abound with Second Life. There is less chat speak present than I expected, and more dysmorphia of the body. You can see people who have made their avatars look anorexic, no one that I have met so far appears to weigh as much as they really do. I am not even human in this virtual world. I donned the form of a cat, so that I can run and jump and play. It cuts down on my jealousy with Sprite and William. Some of the males suffer from a body image issue as well. They are so bulky that it is frightening to behold, their bodies twisted into caricatures of humanoid.

I know if I spent more time out of the house I would see the same body image issues, and I know too the media perpetuates a large portion of this mental disease. Our culture is ill. The more we watch movies with actresses who happen to make a broomstick look like it is obese, the more we make these movies, the more pressure our minds are under. Children suffer most especially. When I was diagnosed with Bulimia at the age of eight, it was rare and almost unheard of for someone so young to have an eating disorder. Now? Eating disorders are common at any age.

I didn’t notice until two years ago how men are also effected by the movies. They too have the unattainable body type. The people who twist themselves into these forms, perfectly thin, without figure, without health in many cases, give up their free time, the ability to go out and do things with friends, and those who use starvation or an extreme diet put their mental health at risk. Dieting can kill. You hear about it with diet pills but the restrictions and extremes that are persistent and present right now are the most shocking, cutting your stomach apart so that you can’t fit as much into your body is not going to work if you do not pay attention to how much you eat.

Now I am not saying everyone who diets doesn’t need to. Some people have eating disorders or disordered eating that effects their health. Exercise and proper diet are what matters. Proper diet doesn’t mean a spoonful of tomato soup a day. It means three squares. It means the balance you can achieve with a mixture of foods that are safe for you to eat. It means too listening to your doctor even if it means giving up food you may like.

I noticed too, by no longer watching television I no longer feel as worried about my weight. I rarely did before, but at times the old messages about my value and my body came up. The recent activities that I have dealt with made that much harder. Improper diet can trigger improper behaviors. It is harder to reign in my anger, which can be at times misplaced. I can be harder, but, when I look in the mirror I see me the way I am. I feel more beautiful today than I did when I was belly dancing. I think I may be healthier. That last sentence could be another oxymoron, or merely disguised as one.

The world we live in prizes ability, appearance, and supposed beauty over health, happiness, and the ability to live. To fit into this world in the way that they wanted I was living in a private hell, I was so tired, I was also living in pain that would never be treated because of course the pain had to be in my head. Our society is sick.

I challenge my readers today to leave the TV off for one week. You can get your news online, but at the very least try going one week without a sitcom, action or adventure. Spend some time with your books, family, or in the roaring silence of peace. Document the ways that you feel before and after, and see if there is a difference between your perceptions. How toxic can our current media system be?

Some other questions you might ask yourself?

1. How often do I see people like me (ability, race, gender, sexuality etc) represented on the news? In TV shows? Broadcast network shows? Cable shows?

2. How often do I see people like me represented as broad stereotypes (the angry guy in the wheelchair, the ugly woman in the wheelchair, the lesbian for a week, etc)?

3. How often do I see people like me represented as the villain?

4. How often do I see people like me represented as the victim?

5. How often do I see people like me as the hero?

6. How often do I see a person of a moderately healthy weight or a person who is plus sized ?

7. How often do I see a plus sized person as the lead, hero, villain etc?

There are dozens of other questions you can ask, but, the most important:

How does the lack/plethora of people like me in the media make me feel and effect the perceptions I have of myself/others?

I look forward to reading a few responses, and I think I may go and read a book.

Bad News

I am sick of advertisements for the news. So often it is a disgusting advertisement that often triggers me. At five in the afternoon they are showing the gore of a dead body, when children are more likely to see it. I can understand to an extent showing some of the gore in life, but, it is gratuitous. It is overly done. It is painful and wrong.

These news stations do not take into account the more sensitive viewers, those with PTSD, or those who need to shelter themselves. Half the time when I try, I cannot make it five minutes into a news program because of the unnecessary gore. Gore is not necessary to give an impactful report. I can give a speech and I can direct my audience into a specific state of emotion with the power of my words. They used to warn you before showing graphic imagery.

I remember it clearly, the news woman with the strange hair and deep voice said, “This next report is rather graphic, if you are sensitive or if there are children in the room we recommend that you turn the station or leave the room for the next five minutes.” Then, they would wait about thirty seconds and usually my mother would send me away, though I often peaked around the corners, and would find myself upset by the very thing she meant to protect me from.

Now they try to slam you with the grotesque, with the horrors of the world. I understand censorship is wrong but warning people isn’t censorship. Do we need to see every dead body? Do we need to see the blood and guts? Isn’t it awful enough to have heard about it? They forget too, the survivors of crime. Often when a crime is reported the victim or the survivors of the victim have yet to tell everyone and in some cases they have yet to even find out. Now there is no shelter or protection from the cruelty of the reports, they do not get the benefit of waiting.

The excuse for this disgusting behavior? Accurate reporting. Most reports are baised, do not actually touch on real issues, and they do not have much effect. If accurate reporting was used, then, there would be no need to try and submerge the viewer in a horror movie, one that is more horrid because it is real.

This rant came from a report showing evidence in an unsolved murder on TV. The police do not have the benefit of using that tidbit of information, now it is public knowlege and adds to the burden with false confessions and misleading rumors. This murder is one that effects me. I knew the victims, we grew up together. I am hoping it is solved someday but, I am not sure I would want to see the news report. Too much information .

Beauty

I am tired of the stereotype of beauty. I grew up being told that a girl should like men who look like Brad Pitt. I like women with soft lush curves, big and strong ones too. Many would consider my past conquests masculine, or overly thin, or fat. No one type fits what I like. I too have “strange” preferences for the men I have dated and these too tend towards those with meat on their bones, they have body hair, they are dark skinned, fair skinned, or really just alive.

Most of them, but not all, are tall. With either sex I tend to reach out for the taller people, though tall has changed in meaning since the wheelchair entered my life. I can’t look up at my baby brother without hurting my neck. He sits down for me, and still towers above. He is about seven feet tall. I love height because my family is full of tall people, except my own biological father. I associate height with safety. What does this mean about the other standards of beauty? Are we all programmed to like certain things?

Yes!

A huge part of my persecution in this life has been based on facets of my physical appearance. I have red hair, very pale skin that burns the instant sun touches it, soft full lips, and I have always had curves. My smallest size is a fourteen. I was barely eating to maintain that. My body needs meat on it. I am simply a curvaceous woman. I do have an ample bosom as well, and all of these things have been picked at.

I grew up being told I should be blonde. Blonde meant perfection. I hardly find blondes attractive as a result. I am aware that most of my siblings and my own mother are all blonde, and this factors in too. I think Blue Eyes are the best, though any shade is lovely to me. Blue eyes were mocked, because they are pale. Being a minority as a white person is very rare in any part of the world, the patriarchal structure still dominates and is usually white, even in countries where white is the minority. I have always been told my pale skin makes me wealthy. Whiteness in my state is a status symbol.

In India women who are by nature in the darker end of the spectrum are considered harder to marry off, they have less value based on something as simple as their genetic make up. The lighter you are, the more respect you can gain. This is White Privilege. It has defaced an entire culture, this love of all things white has poisoned us. You see whiteness in media, dominantly with able bodied super muscular WHITE men. You see their blonde perfection everywhere. I think back to the Nazi Propaganda studies group I was a member of in High School, and that is what I see. Reflections of past propaganda, continued, accepted, and fully realized.

Curly hair is considered disheveled. Girls with curly hair wake up at odd hours to iron their hair out. I think it is lovely, and my standard of beauty includes the use of a curling iron to add curls to my hair. This is rare, the era of the Super Perm died out at the end of the Eighties, except for a few hold outs.

I am told I must wear make up to seem presentable. I do, at times like to wear make up but I do it when it feels good. Usually I will also hide some of my facial scars under make up, if I cannot shake my feelings of Paranoia. I do not allow myself to wear make up on days when my self worth is being questioned, or when my confidence would hinge only on sultry red lips.

As I write this I am watching a movie that has what I consider the equivalent of Black Face. Sophia Loren is the Millionairess, Peter Sellers is the Indian Doctor who teaches her how to be more than a spoiled snob. This movie is full of propaganda that is anti woman, anti persons of color. I was enjoying it until I realized the fallacy that a white man is playing an Indian, with hardly any alteration of skin color and a very cliched accent.

I also note that the famed figure of Sophia Lauren seems to be aided via a corset. I might be wrong, but the extremes to her figure seem to need assistance. It doesn’t feel natural to me, though it does fit the “standard of beauty”. Her hair is lightened a bit, and of course she is always shown in posh and polished appeal during this film.

I do not think Brad Pitt is handsome. I think he is mediocre. This is all about looks, not his acting. I will not malign someone for having a career. I will however state that I do not understand the requirement to find him attractive. If you want to know who I find attractive in Hollywood, you will have to dig deep. There are few people that strike me as gorgeous or stunning, especially since we have entered the Anorexia Age of Hollyweird. Health is beautiful. That inner glow of self acceptance can make anyone gorgeous.

Since my blossoming into awareness about privilege I have seen more beauty in the world. This side effect shocked me. I like to compliment people when I find them attractive, and I have had the urge to tell the entire world how beautiful it is. The beauty I see is nothing like what is in the Movies or on Television. I live in a world of diversity. The people I see daily are of mixed race, from other countries, and their voices alone are a rhythmic song.

I am not beautiful by the overly BMI oriented modern sensibilities. I never will be. I’d have to break my bones, cut my body apart, inject myself with dye, and lose my sense of self. (This statement does not mean that those who naturally fit this standard are not beautiful, it is merely a rejection of the expectation to alter myself to be just like them) I reject the need to starve myself to fit a rare body type. I reject the fashion industry’s expectation that “fat” women do not like Fashion. I LOVE clothes shopping, and am discovering that I could easily spend a million dollars on cute shoes. These are cliches about womanhood, and yet you will find I only have four pairs of shoes, two for winter, two for summer. My clothing is all rather sensible, black, and boring.

I am pigeon holed by my lack of thinness. I am trapped by the need for others to stigmatize those who are not identical to them. I am not a Stepford Cripple, I am not anything but a person. I am flesh, I am bone, and I have soul. You are beautiful. My friend who is an immigrant is beautiful. I love listening to her voice, the way that she sings while she speaks entrances me. My friend who is the son of immigrants is beautiful. He cannot see that because his world is full of hatred, hatred of the Other.

I discuss privilege with my friends. It is an unavoidable conversation now. Eventually it is addressed either by discussion of politics, feminism, or simply the venting of frustration. I no longer hide my beliefs, to survive until the next day. I am free to speak them. Most of the time these conversations hold a similar impact, someone learns something. We all do really. My friends are all shapes and sizes. I have friends who are thin, blonde, and blue eyed. I have friends who are extraordinarily fat, but give hugs that are so soft. I have friends of every shape, size, mental capacity, and ability. My friends are all beautiful. You are beautiful.

Stop stigmatizing people for not being clones. Clones are scary, according to the media pundits and science fiction. Every time the word cloning is mentioned on TV it is with the hush of fear. Disability also has that hush of fear. Stop being afraid. Fear stops you from living life. This doesn’t mean you should ignore some fears, such as the fear of hunger or the fear of a snake bite. Stop fearing things that are different. If you do not understand something, educate yourself. Don’t fear it. Don’t shun it.

This includes fine art, not so fine art, but most especially people. Children are people. Women are people. I see often abuse launched at those who are different. I experience it every time I go out. I was reminded however, of the power of kindness and decorum.

I write often about the importance of gentle resistance, passive resistance, and not striking back. I admit I fail this way at times but, every so often I am given the reminder I need, the proof that I am right. I had transferred out of my chair at Sam’s Club, into the van and rolled down the window. Beside me a harried mother of two beautiful children, her disabled mother, and a cart of groceries struggled. I watched in silence, until they were about to leave, calling out to the woman that her mother had forgotten her cane.

Her son looked up as she thanked me, glad to not have to spend another twenty five dollars on a cane, and said, “Mommy, that’s the lady from the Walmart with the kitty!” His mother paused and said, “She was on TV too.” We talked then, and I complimented her for handling the stress. I could see she was frazzled, and I let her kids talk to Sprite while she settled them in. No petting of course, but, I told her how beautiful her family is. Three words. “You have a beautiful family.” Okay, five. I never was good with numbers.

She froze, looked at her kids, and then smiled. “I wish everyone could see that.” The thing I have not mentioned is this. Her children are Triracial. They are of Asian, African, and Caucasian Descent. I wanted to take them home with me, their sweetness gave me a rare pang of desire for Motherhood. It went away before we were out of the parking lot, but not the reminder that everything you do has a lasting impression. Every word, Every laugh, Every shout, every time you teach someone something. There is impact.

What draws me to people is never what they look like. It is instead their personality, the joy they have for life, and sometimes the hope that I can grow up to be like them. I may never grow up. I am always surprised when I realize for a moment I am not a child anymore. It fades, but, that too reminds me to be innocent.

Beauty is not in the eye of the beholder. It is not what media tells us it should be. Beauty is merely in the existence of life. Flowers, Puppies, kittens, children, lovers. All beautiful. Be you a Homosexual, Transgendered, A person of non Caucasian ethnicity, red haired, blonde haired, black haired, green haired, or even a strange shade of orange. You are beautiful.

Fat Wheelchair Lady goes Rawr

Before I started this blog I sent an email to Fatshionista. I did this because I didn’t consider writing about it myself on my own forum, and after they asked permission to quote the email Lesley wrote a beautiful post. It made me feel things, which of course happens often. I felt anger, relief, and then that flash bulb of understanding. Here is a link to the article, so you can read it too.

This made me think, and although I commented on the blog, I wanted to elucidate here. I want to devour the world in a way, to show them what is inside my head. Oh yes, I am fat. I never was a thin girl, I matched Marilyn Monroe’s size sixteen when I weighed a mere 120 pounds, but, I can still wear children’s gloves and hats.  It took me a long time to find body acceptance. Part of it was when I was over a size 32 and with in a day of cutting gluten out of my diet I miraculously shrank down to a 24. That was the poison vacating the premisis. I am a 22-26 depending on the cut right now, though when I eventually manage to save for that medically necessary and totally awesome corset, the size might change. It might go up, because supporting my 20lbs of breast tissue will change my shape.

My perspective on respect has been changing, I ruminate on it for hours on end, and I do know self respect comes first, but, is the disrespect towards the disabled not also disrespect towards the able bodied person? If they are so afraid of the concept of being like me, doesn’t that mean they hate themselves for the possibility of change? Is it really my fat or disability they fear? What if they fear instead, the reflection of themselves, the little bit of empathy?

What is it that the human mind has against change? Sure we elected Obama on a campaign of change, but, that was the lesser of the two evils for many. For others it was the bigger of the two. None the less, people fear change. Does my glamorous frame rolling into Walmart to buy a picture frame with my cat on my shoulder listening to my body for the warnings of a spasm from hell really mean you are going to be in the wheelchair yourself?

Does it mean you will someday have endocrine issues, dietary challenges, or a broken back suddenly spring upon you? According to medieval superstitious doctors, it actually does. Is this antidisabled world really still using a mindset from our self labelled DarkAges? I remember when I first read about it in school. I was in the room where they put the kids no one really wanted to deal with, the ones they feared, and I read a book off of the top shelf. It listed rare medical ailments and treatments from the middle ages, something i was utterly fascinated by, and stated that babies born with missing limbs, cleft pallets, and other visible defects, were maimed in the womb by some horror their mother saw. If the child was a dwarf, it was actually seeing another dwarf that made her child different.

In some towns in the US this belief is still taught from mother to daughter. I grew up in one of those towns, and at least my disabilities were hidden as a child. I just was percieved as a weirdo because of my hair and ability to twist my joints like no one else. I was literally tied to the tether ball in the playground and threatened with being burned as a witch. Good thing redhair means I have magical powers huh? There were few adults in my childhood who seemed to know I wasn’t a monster, and none of them were relatives. What saved me from being burned alive by my schoolmates? The principal thankfully knew better.

I was considered fat then too, I was only eight and now, as I look back I see I really just had a healthy weight. I had already started to grow breasts, which added to the appearance of heft, and being told I was fat by everyone, to try and demean me, caused me to begin to eat emotionally. I molded myself into the image of what the perverted thinkers told me I had to be. I cannot blame the media, but, I do blame society for that. I finally became healthy as an adult, but, then I broke my back.

Even now, I am justifying my weight to you, and to myself. I feel sexier than I ever have. I feel beautiful and when I was younger I never could say that. I look into the mirror and I like what I see, but, the wheelchair and the fact that my hour glass figure isn’t as small as a broom and that I am not anorexic means I am hideous? Hardly.

Lesley, at the end of the article states she felt like an asshole for exploring the question, but, to me she did something heroic. She faced her internalizations and subconscious fears of a difference in the world. If I was not disabled would I still be who I am? No. I am proud to say that when I was able bodied I did my best to treat even my disabled customers at work with equality, though, it may have been percieved as condescension.

The point of my rambling now, is this. I reject the superfluous nature of society, I reject the fact that people see ability and weight as one, and presume we all have the same issues. I am grateful I do not have the same issues as the rest of the world. Mine are not as bad as some, and are worse than others. Imagine if we had to share? The world would end.

For more reading on the topic of weight, ability, and social perception try these blogs:

Fatshionista: Ableism and Fat Activism

Shapely Prose: Exceptions that aren’t Just as a disabled person isn’t a broken able-bodied person, and a black person isn’t a darkened white person, and a woman isn’t a wangless man, a fat person isn’t just a thin person who ate too much.- Fillyjonk


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