Worth Your Weight

September 7, 2008

To flounce or not to flounce?

Filed under: weblog — worthyourweight @ 8:12 pm

I understand the urge to flounce. I think it’s a very human one. But I’ve known it’s looked down upon since the wild, wild West of Usenet. (“Just leave already! No need to draw attention to yourself with a big melodramatic ‘goodbye, cruel Web’ post.”) While some flouncers are seeking drama/attention, I think there are many who simply want to say goodbye and let others know why they may no longer be seeing them around.

The Fatosphere in-fighting is demoralizing. It used to be an uplifting and inspirational place, for me anyway. I’ve only been involved a little over a year, but now the idea of walking away is relieving some anxiety and feels freeing.

Am I the only one worried that fighting amongst ourselves is preventing us from banding together to advance fat acceptance? I can’t imagine I am. Is this what’s kept FA a fringe movement for over three decades? What a shame. Is there no way to unite behind a common goal despite all our differences — of opinion, experience, politics, religion, etc.? I don’t know.

I still miss Disturbing Brew. It saddens me that Big Fat Kiss has recently left. Now, Fabulously Fat College Student is leaving, too. (I’m not sure why, but I’m curious.) There have been others who have moved on in the past year as well. Every time I wonder if FA just got weaker.

When we spend so much time fighting each other, who’s left to fight for fat acceptance? Maybe some participants in the Fatosphere aren’t interested in furthering the cause. ::shrug:: I just can’t tell anymore. But isn’t FA worth banding together for, even if we can agree on nothing else?

So if I end up closing this blog or making it private, you can always reach me at worthyourweight [at] gmail [dot] com. I’ll be happy to keep in touch and/or grant you access to the posts.

If you do not find God [or good, for you atheists] in the next person you meet, it is a waste of time looking for Him further.                       

Mahatma Gandhi

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15 Comments

  1. For what it is worth, I also find it demoralizing. It has seemed to me for some time that dialogue is no longer welcome. There are blogs where I simply do not reply (or for the most part even read) because I disagree with how dissent has been approached. Only dogmatic belief is allowed.

    This is not, of course, universally true for all blogs/sites, and I’m not talking about how trolls are treated. I’m talking about the treatment of information seekers or those who have legitimate questions. In those cases, I really believe that we need to develop an approach that can bring people along rather than expect them to have a revelatory vision that will convince them of the rightness of the HAES cause.

    There are those blogs that remain true to what they are and to the concept of their founder. You can agree with what is said or not, and take it or leave it, and they are typically not commented. I think those are successful and most influential. When we get into the massive in-fights, I think that’s where we all lose perspective…

    I’m sorry to see you go…

    Just one person’s opinion.

    –Andy Jo–

    Comment by AndyJo — September 7, 2008 @ 10:13 pm

  2. Thank you, Andy Jo. I appreciate that.

    Comment by worthyourweight — September 7, 2008 @ 11:23 pm

  3. The fatosphere in-fighting is depressing as hell. But the I’ve decided i’m just going to shut the hell up and stay out of as much of it as i can, you know?

    Comment by the Lindsay of Babble-on — September 8, 2008 @ 10:02 am

  4. I for one am not leaving. I’ve only just started my own blog and I’ll stubbornly keep writing about Fat Acceptance to the best of my ability, even if “my best” means no more than two moderately useful posts a month. There are other people like me who want to stay on topic and do their thing without pointing fingers at each other, and I’m hoping that our voices will eventually drown out the infighting. I’m all for a peaceful revolution here. What doesn’t kill us may just as well make us stronger, and I know that I have at least learned something from this nonsense. Of course I also understand that it can be demoralizing, though. :(

    That’s an “if” I see there, right? So I hope you’ll stay. Maybe you could take a break from reading?

    Comment by Tiana — September 8, 2008 @ 11:01 am

  5. Lindsay,
    That’s great advice.

    Tiana,
    Glad you aren’t leaving. You’re right about the “if.” I’m leaving a door open. Maybe if I follow your, Lindsay’s, and Andy Jo’s advice, it’ll be easier to stay/come back. Thank you.

    Comment by worthyourweight — September 8, 2008 @ 2:48 pm

  6. I don’t understand your use of the word “flounce” here…

    ??

    Is that some BLOGGER term? *hahaha!* Does it mean “to quit writing a blog”?
    funny.

    Comment by hope505 — September 8, 2008 @ 3:33 pm

  7. Yep, as in “flounce off in a huff.”

    Comment by worthyourweight — September 8, 2008 @ 3:57 pm

  8. . But isn’t FA worth banding together for, even if we can agree on nothing else?

    The question isn’t is FA a cause worth supporting. It definitely is. The question is why are we asking people to ignore aspects of their self, their identity, their personhood? None of us are free until all of us are free. I can not band together with someone who hurls racist slurs at me when drunk. I can not band together with someone who wants to deny the marriages of many of my dear friends, because they are same sex couples. I can not band together with someone who minimizes or ignores oppression when it’s inconvenient. This isn’t an academic debate I’m playing for points. This is my life.

    Comment by Julia — September 8, 2008 @ 4:04 pm

  9. Absolutely, Julia. I’m not talking about ignoring any important work. I’m talking about dealing with each other respectfully and with care.

    Comment by worthyourweight — September 8, 2008 @ 4:25 pm

  10. Dealing with each other respectfully includes calling each other out on bad behavior. It includes saying “Hey, you know that thing you said. There is a problem with it. You need to fix that.” It does no one any favors to not hide things under the rug in favor of “solidarity.”

    First, I’d point out no one has said Marilyn Wann is racist. They’ve talked as diplomatically as one can about the racial and imperialistic assumptions embedded in the fat cranes project. No one has suggested kicking Wann to the curb, literally or metaphorically.

    Second, when someone says something racist (or sexist, or fatphobic, or homophobic) they are being disrespectful. In my mind, one of the most important things is how the person reacts to someone saying “Hey, that was problematic.” Do they apologize, do they discuss, or go on the attack?

    Third, who decides if something is “important work”? Clearly for some white people in FA, any discussion of race is irrelevant and distracting.

    Comment by Julia — September 8, 2008 @ 11:13 pm

  11. Julia, I think each person herself decides what is important work.

    What is not respectful and caring — and what initiated my flounce — is FAers retreating to personal blogs (yet publicly viewable) to make hateful fun of other FA bloggers and commenters.

    [Please note that comments will be closed in 24 hours. I like to respond to every comment, but it’s making it difficult to leave.]

    Comment by worthyourweight — September 9, 2008 @ 12:41 am

  12. I wish you would stay … I am just getting to know your blog and getting used to the FA.. and now people I look up to are leaving and I am wondering where I can look to as a Fledgling FA person.

    Anyway .. I love your posts and think you are great :) and I will like you regardless of flouncing or not!

    Comment by CordyQ — September 9, 2008 @ 12:50 am

  13. Aww, CordyQ. That is very sweet. Thank you. I feel pretty selfish now. Actually, my heart has always been with the newbies. I guess I’ve just lost my focus the past several months, getting too interested in the turmoil. Maybe I can recharge and come back. But there are great FA resources with or without me!

    Comment by worthyourweight — September 9, 2008 @ 2:39 am

  14. Butbutbutbut…. I just FOUND you!

    It’s sad when we begin fighting one another instead of the real problem. I don’t know the whole story, of course, but I feel like I’ve seen this movie a lot of times, way too many times.

    Consider taking a break. Consider doing your thing and ignoring the personality wars or the ideology wars or whatever the heck is happening.

    Do what you need to do to take care of yourself. So sad it is necessary.

    Comment by rabbiadar — September 9, 2008 @ 3:40 am

  15. Thank you, rabbiadar. Excellent advice, to boot. (Your “butbutbut” made me laugh. Thanks for that, too. Much needed.)

    Comment by worthyourweight — September 9, 2008 @ 2:37 pm


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