Shared posts

09 Mar 10:38

Underpants Rule Limitations

by danceswithfat

Underpants RuleRegular readers of this blog will be familiar with The Underpants Rule. The Underpants Rule states that you are the boss of your underpants, other people are the boss of their underpants, and nobody is the Underpants Overlord – a full description can be found here.  It’s a shorthand that I use to discuss that fact that our personal choices should not be up for public debate.

Sometimes people get confused or conflicted about the extent of the Underpants Rule.  Reader Becky sent me the following question:

“I work in a bookstore and I’m conflicted every time someone wants a weight loss book. On the one hand: underpants rule. On the other: I just want to go Mr. Rogers on them (“I like you just the way you are!”) but without sounding like a creepy stranger or sticking my nose where it doesn’t belong. What are your thoughts on the line between the underpants rule and say something Sunday style activism?”

The Underpants Rule (UR) is a way to describe how I think of interaction around personal decisions. It works exactly the same way that our civil rights are supposed to – our right to punch ends at the tip of someone else’s nose.   So while I’m allowed to enjoy choosing to run around, punching my arms out and flailing them around muppet-style, I’m not allowed to do so in a crowed room and claim that if people don’t like getting punched in the face then they shouldn’t come in that room.  I’m allowed to yell “Fire!” at home by myself, but not in a crowded theater.

If someone’s decisions are personal and don’t affect me, then the Underpants Rule applies:  they are the boss of their underpants and it’s not for me to interfere if they want to diet, or attempt to climb Everest, or take the cinnamon challenge.  If someone’s decisions do affect me directly, including and especially if they are attempting to infringe on my rights, then it’s a UR violation. Let’s look at some examples:

Someone thinks that dieting is the path to health so they choose to diet.

Underpants rule all the way, I don’t agree but those aren’t my underpants so I say nothing.

Someone thinks that dieting is the path to health so they try to pass a law that fat people need to diet, or limiting the rights of fat people who refuse to do so.

Noooo. World of no, Galaxy of no.  No. Obviously this is infringing on the rights of other people to make choices for their health so the Underpants Rule does not apply.

Someone thinks that same gender marriage is wrong so they marry someone of the opposite gender.

No problem, underpants rule – feel free to take a pass on marrying another dude.

Someone thinks that same gender marriage is wrong so they try to stop other people from having the ability to get married.

Nope, this infringes on other people’s rights so the UR does not apply.  (Sometimes people suggest that they are being oppressed if same-gender marriage is legal because they don’t believe it’s right for whatever very sincerely held reason.  Not so much.  That’s not oppression any more than stores selling bacon oppresses those who think that eating bacon is wrong. They would only be oppressed if they were forced into a same-gender marriage.)

Fat people’s decisions are my business because of my tax dollars.

Not a valid argument for all of these reasons.  Underpants rule violation.

Because I’m allowed to attempt weight loss, I should be allowed to talk about my weight loss attempt in every space in the world, including those that someone else created that they’ve designated as a Size Acceptance/No Weight Loss Talk space.

Nope, nope, nope-ity, nope.  The fact that people have the right to do what they want with their bodies does not mean that every space has to be available for them to talk about that.  It’s completely ok to create safe spaces, whether that’s a Size Acceptance space, a POC only space, a Queer positive space where they don’t allow posts encouraging people to become ex-gay, a weight loss space that doesn’t allow people to disparage weight loss attempts, etc.

I think that I should only wear clothes that are flattering/appropriate etc. by my definition of flattering/appropriate.

Of course, enjoy your clothes, if those clothes aren’t available to you I’ll be happy to fight for your right to be accommodated.

All fat people should wear clothes that meet my definition of flattering/appropriate or they deserve to be treated poorly for their choices.

Total bullshit.  UR violation. If you haven’t seen this article about this very thing, I think you’re missing out!

Becky’s question about someone wanting to buy a diet book from a bookstore where I’m the clerk.

Those are their underpants, so it’s not my place to say anything. (If I was buying Linda Bacon and Lucy Aphramor’s book and the person selling me the book tried to tell me that I should buy a diet book instead I would be so furious I would be blogging about it on my phone in my car in the parking lot.)

The UR says that I have to accept people’s mistreatment of me because they get to be the boss of their underpants.

This is perhaps the most dangerous misinterpretation of the UR, and shame on anyone who tries to use the UR to justify poor treatment of others.  Other people have a right to make choices for themselves, they don’t have a right to mistreat others, or infringe on the rights of others.  Ever.  You may not be able to control the behavior of others, and circumstances may dictate the way that you react, but nothing justifies your being mistreated, especially not the Underpants Rule.

The fact that the Underpants Rule exists also doesn’t mean that everyone has all of the choices that they would prefer to make accessible to them.  There are all kinds of things standing between people and the full expression of the underpants rule – lack of accessibility, socioeconomic disparity/poverty, racism, transphobia, homophobia, misogyny, ableism, healthism, and sizeism, and that’s just a start.  Those who try to use the UR to erase those injustices or suggest that they shouldn’t be fought are seriously missing the point of the UR, or are purposefully abusing the concept.

Finally, sometimes people may make the conscious choice to break the UR because they feel that someone is doing themselves harm.  Different people have different ideas of when this is acceptable, this is a choice that we each have to make in our own lives.

The Underpants Rule is something that helps me remember that other people’s personal choices aren’t my business if they don’t affect me, and that my choices aren’t other people’s business if they don’t affect them.  Our underpants are, in fact, our own.

Like this blog?  Here’s more cool stuff:

Like my work?  Want to help me keep doing it?  Become a Member! For ten bucks a month you can support size diversity activism, help keep the blog ad free, and get deals from size positive businesses as a thank you.  Click here for details

Buy the book:  Fat:  The Owner’s Manual  The E-Book is Name Your Own Price! Click here for details

Book Me!  I’d love to speak to your organization. You can get more information on topics, previous engagements and reviews here or just e-mail me at ragen at danceswithfat dot org!

Dance Classes:  Buy the Dance Class DVDs or download individual classes – Every Body Dance Now! Click here for details 

I’m training for an IRONMAN! You can follow my journey at www.IronFat.com

A movie about my time as a dancer is in active development (casting, finding investors etc.).  Follow the progress on Facebook!

If you are uncomfortable with my offering things for sale on this site, you are invited to check out this post.

27 Mar 14:14

allcreatures: A very rare Ili pika has been photographed in the...





allcreatures:

A very rare Ili pika has been photographed in the Tianshan Mountains in China. Very little is known about the teddy bear-like Ili pikas as no successful observations about its ecology, behaviour or reproduction has been carried out.

News story

Picture: Li Weidong

27 Mar 14:33

umbreon-girl: tzax: gigaguess: ^Does anyone know who should...



umbreon-girl:

tzax:

gigaguess:

image

^Does anyone know who should be credited for that comic?

Ah! You’re right, thanks for pointing that out. It’s floccinaucinihilipilificationa. I already follow them, so I just reblogged it without thinking of adding their name to the post!

25 Mar 01:15

perks-of-being-chinese: IMPORTANT PSA: DONT BUY BUNNIES AS AN...









perks-of-being-chinese:

IMPORTANT PSA: DONT BUY BUNNIES AS AN EASTER PRESENT PLEASE (x)

25 Mar 17:53

Photo



27 Mar 09:02

feistypiscees: Ivan Coyote Fuck Femme Invisibility! and This...



feistypiscees:

Ivan Coyote

Fuck Femme Invisibility!

and

This makes me cry, every-single-time!

"You fight homophobia in a way I never could"

25 Mar 20:51

"In general, I think we need to move away from the premise that being a good person is a fixed..."

“In general, I think we need to move away from the premise that being a good person is a fixed immutable characteristic and shift towards seeing being good as a practice. And it is a practice that we carry out by engaging with our imperfections. We need to shift towards thinking that being a good person is like being a clean person. Being a clean person is something you maintain and work on every day. We don’t assume ‘I am a clean person therefore I don’t need to brush my teeth.’ When someone suggests to us that we have something stuck in our teeth we don’t say to them ‘What do you mean I have something stuck in my teeth—but I’m a clean person?!’”

- Jay Smooth in his TED speech “how I learned to stop worrying and love discussing race” (via tropicanastasia)
16 Mar 19:32

samorchard:I did a comic about marriage...



samorchard:

I did a comic about marriage equality…

(Original: http://www.roostertailscomic.com/?p=1588)

17 Mar 20:53

"This is the thing: When you hit 28 or 30, everything begins to divide. You can see very clearly two..."

This is the thing: When you hit 28 or 30, everything begins to divide. You can see very clearly two kinds of people. On one side, people who have used their 20s to learn and grow, to find … themselves and their dreams, people who know what works and what doesn’t, who have pushed through to become real live adults. Then there’s the other kind, who are hanging onto college, or high school even, with all their might. They’ve stayed in jobs they hate, because they’re too scared to get another one. They’ve stayed with men or women who are good but not great, because they don’t want to be lonely. … they mean to develop intimate friendships, they mean to stop drinking like life is one big frat party. But they don’t do those things, so they live in an extended adolescence, no closer to adulthood than when they graduated.

Don’t be like that. Don’t get stuck. Move, travel, take a class, take a risk. There is a season for wildness and a season for settledness, and this is neither. This season is about becoming. Don’t lose yourself at happy hour, but don’t lose yourself on the corporate ladder either. Stop every once in a while and go out to coffee or climb in bed with your journal.

Ask yourself some good questions like: “Am I proud of the life I’m living? What have I tried this month? … Do the people I’m spending time with give me life, or make me feel small? Is there any brokenness in my life that’s keeping me from moving forward?”

Now is your time. Walk closely with people you love, and with people who believe … life is a grand adventure. Don’t get stuck in the past, and don’t try to fast-forward yourself into a future you haven’t yet earned. Give today all the love and intensity and courage you can, and keep traveling honestly along life’s path.



- Relevant magazine (via charliebravo)
22 Mar 03:41

corpocansado: Found this on my way to the subway, today after...



corpocansado:

Found this on my way to the subway, today after school.
Alameda, Portugal.

19 Mar 19:01

femme-swag: daymnnnnn

Rosie

I want that skirt!



femme-swag:

daymnnnnn

18 Mar 14:07

macanche: zeldacw-love:masahitoleotakeuchi:They are not...



macanche:

zeldacw-love:

masahitoleotakeuchi:

They are not decorations - if you want decorations, buy toys or chocolates instead.

This is an old article, but I think it’s still relevant: x

ALMOST EASTER AGAIN…..

image

I have a 7 years old bunny and trust me these bbies are a LOT of hard work. They’re clingy and a bunch of crybabies but the worst part is that they dont make sounds (i mean sometimes they do but they dont really cry cry) so you have to really pay attention to their eating habits and overall behaviour to spot when they might be sick or sad or hurt.

15 Mar 00:34

verylilpimpin: dcsxx: radicalbundy:Blood vessels of a real...

Rosie

What.



verylilpimpin:

dcsxx:

radicalbundy:

Blood vessels of a real person who dedicated their body to science for display

HOOOO MY GAUD

wtf

16 Mar 17:06

feministsarah: plainjanefaye:galacticdad: housing should be a basic a human right. people...

feministsarah:

plainjanefaye:

galacticdad:

housing should be a basic a human right.

people shouldn’t have to “earn” a roof over their heads so that they don’t die in the streets.

There are more empty houses in the US than there are homeless people. There are 24 empty houses for every homeless person.

Poverty is human-made.

16 Mar 18:29

huffingtonpost: 8 Ruth Bader Ginsburg Quotes To Celebrate 82...

12 Mar 20:37

Photo

Rosie

CUTE!







13 Mar 10:39

Early morning/late night loveliness from @lalilouche. Getting...



Early morning/late night loveliness from @lalilouche. Getting very strong fairy tale vibes from this knicker, and I love the unapologetic sweetness of pairing sequins with ruffles. So happy this amazing designer is back! #lingerieaddict #instalingerie #fairytale #fashion #indielingerie #likeifyoulovesequins #intimates #lingeries #lingeriefashion

13 Mar 10:20

thelingerielesbian:redthreadedcostumes:steampunktendencies: Wear...


www.steampunktendencies.com


www.steampunktendencies.com


www.steampunktendencies.com


www.steampunktendencies.com


www.steampunktendencies.com

thelingerielesbian:

redthreadedcostumes:

steampunktendencies:

Wearable corset made from copper tanks by Jon Harris

Obsessed.

hyperventilating over how amazing these are!

11 Mar 23:14

micdotcom:Watch: Everyone needs to see Ontario’s new anti-sexual...

10 Mar 11:37

Laughing In the Face of Danger

by danceswithfat

One of the really interesting things that I notice whenever someone points out that the rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are not size dependent (and so fat people should be able to exist in fat bodies without being stigmatized, bullies, shamed or oppressed,) or when someone points out the research about the failure rates of dieting, people respond by insisting that what we are saying is “dangerous”.  And it’s that specific world “dangerous”.  As in “You need to stop spreading these dangerous lies.”

I always think: Well, I’m talking about civil rights and  research and you’re talking out of your ass, so remind me again which one of us is telling dangerous lies?

I often notice that that word “dangerous” is used to try to shout down ideas that are progressive. Letting some consenting adults get married is “dangerous”, people questioning the banks is “dangerous”.  And it’s not a new thing – suggesting that the Earth revolved around the sun was “dangerous”, women’s suffrage was “dangerous”.

Often the idea is to use fear to interrupt progress by those benefiting from the status quo.  Historically it works for a while but the thing about evidence and science and civil rights is that it doesn’t matter if people call them dangerous or ridiculous or stick their fingers in their ears and scream la la la la la or whatever, at the end of the day the truth is still the truth.

What astounds me is the people who aren’t using it as a tactic, but truly believe that “everybody knows” is the same thing as “right and true.” This has happened repeatedly in our history – doctors giving pregnant women thalidomide, or prescribing heroin as a cough suppressant or using lysol as a douche (I know, right!) Scientists have made myriad discoveries that disproved what “everybody knew”, doctors have prescribed things that ended up not working or causing heinous side effects, yet somehow there is a vocal group of people who seem to think  it’s not possible for that to have happened again.  And so instead of learning from the past, noticing the mistakes faster and changing course with more agility and speed, they cling to “Everybody knows” and call those who disagree with them “dangerous”.

One of the techniques that I use to help me deal with this kind of thing is laughing at how ridiculous it is.  Please note, this isn’t for everyone or for every situation – it’s just another arrow for your quiver if you want it to deal with the kind of BS that we (shouldn’t have to) face.

Let’s say that someone suggests I should go on a diet. I just give them a look of disbelief, a quick snort of a laugh and say “Are people still peddling that? I thought everybody knew that weight loss doesn’t work.”

Or someone says “You need to [insert weight loss script] blah blah blah”.  I laugh and shake my head. (That typically gets them to stop mid-sentence.)  Then I ask “So, how do you reconcile your pro-diet views with the findings of Matheson et.al,?”  That gets a confused look.  So I give a confused, slightly disbelieving look back and say “Wei et. al.?” Another confused look.  Then, with a decent amount of surprise “Really?”  (as if I was certain they’d know about that one,) then continue “Bacon and Aphramor, Mann and Tomiyama, the Cooper Institute studies?” I’m prepared to have conversations about all of these, but so far in my experience the people I’ve spoken to, including doctors, haven’t read them and can’t have such a discussion. So then I just say “I’m sorry but it sounds like you haven’t done enough research to be qualified to give me advice on this.  I’ll be happy to give you the links though.” If you want to know more about the research just scroll to the bottom of this post.

I don’t think that a multi-billion dollar industry built on lies, stigma, bullying, repeated failure and physical harm is particularly funny, nor do I think that people who shame, stigmatize, bully and oppress fat people are hilarious. But having the ability to laugh in the face of all that crap makes can be a way to declare another small victory. Those small victories add up to bigger victories and before you know it we’ve made major progress and I guess if you’re someone who enjoys bullying fat people, or profiting from selling weight loss, that does make us very “dangerous” people.

Like this blog?  Here’s more cool stuff:

Like my work?  Want to help me keep doing it?  Become a Member! For ten bucks a month you can support size diversity activism, help keep the blog ad free, and get deals from size positive businesses as a thank you.  Click here for details

Buy the book:  Fat:  The Owner’s Manual  The E-Book is Name Your Own Price! Click here for details

Book Me!  I’d love to speak to your organization. You can get more information on topics, previous engagements and reviews here or just e-mail me at ragen at danceswithfat dot org!

Dance Classes:  Buy the Dance Class DVDs or download individual classes – Every Body Dance Now! Click here for details 

I’m training for an IRONMAN! You can follow my journey at www.IronFat.com

A movie about my time as a dancer is in active development (casting, finding investors etc.).  Follow the progress on Facebook!

If you are uncomfortable with my offering things for sale on this site, you are invited to check out this post.

 

10 Mar 19:12

I hope I never hear maroon 5 again in my life.

I hope I never hear maroon 5 again in my life.

10 Mar 14:45

neoliberalismkills:being neutral isn’t being neutralif you have the privilege of being neutral and...

Rosie

This is starting to sink in.

neoliberalismkills:

being neutral isn’t being neutral

if you have the privilege of being neutral and you do it and stay silent, it only benefits the oppressors

your neutrality is literally never going to help those who are being crushed by an oppressive system

so don’t feel like you’re a good person for “not picking a side” because that oppressive system loves your passivity

10 Mar 15:26

me: my job sucks

Rosie

This gets me thinking.

me: my job sucks
people: why don't you do what you enjoy
me: capitalism has determined that what I enjoy has no value
people: ??? ??????????
10 Mar 03:29

krxs10:Nearly 2,000 People Are Currently Protesting Fatal Police...



















krxs10:

Nearly 2,000 People Are Currently Protesting Fatal Police Shooting Of Tony Robinson In Wisconsin.

Almost 2,000 students marched in Madison, Wisconsin on Monday to protest the fatal police shooting of an unarmed biracial teenager, while his family demanded justice and the police chief apologized.Students crowded into the rotunda of the state Capitol in the morning, chanting and waving signs to protest the death of Tony Robinson, 19, shot on Friday by a white police officer.

An investigation into this case is still going on, no word on any new findings.
#StayWoke#BlackLivesMatter
10 Mar 00:48

darksilenceinsuburbia:Mathilde Giron: Chemin de Chair

08 Mar 23:55

Photo



09 Mar 00:18

princess-cuteness: This person is a masochist

Rosie

So beautiful!





















princess-cuteness:

This person is a masochist

07 Mar 16:40

Photo



08 Mar 16:07

marxvx:steph-mcmillan:Comic #3 for International Working Women’s...









marxvx:

steph-mcmillan:

Comic #3 for International Working Women’s Day.

International Working Women’s Day was started by the Socialist Party of America to commemorate a wave of spontaneous strikes by first- and second-generation Jewish, Russian, and Italian immigrant teenage girls (as in like, they were 16 years old) in the textile mills of New York City. This was the “Uprising of 20,000” and was one of the most infectious displays of labor militancy in the 20th century. A couple years later Clara Zeitkin, a German Marxist who would be arrested several times for helping to incite the 1919 communist revolution in Germany, brought it to the floor of the Second International and the first Women’s Day celebrations in Europe were held by communist parties and communist women.

This isn’t even like “oh yeah well maybe it kinda had the phrase ‘working women’ in there originally.” It was started by socialists to commemorate daring strike actions led by newly-immigrated teenage girls and then formalized by the international communist movement. Fuck the UN’s tepid IWD celebrations.

06 Mar 00:50

white people on house hunters: we're looking for a rustic home with a modern feel and an open floor plan under our budget of 1.2 million. we need 4 bedrooms for our children, bentley, presley, weston, and kale. we definitely need an office space because my wife heather runs her organic candle business from home :)

white people on house hunters: we're looking for a rustic home with a modern feel and an open floor plan under our budget of 1.2 million. we need 4 bedrooms for our children, bentley, presley, weston, and kale. we definitely need an office space because my wife heather runs her organic candle business from home :)