Thursday, December 4, 2008


Since this blog was for a class, I will leave it like it is.

However, I really enjoyed the concept of this blog, and I am continuing it.

The new blog is at . I have imported these entries into the new blog, but this blog at blogger will remain as a testament of my awesome class :-)

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

21 Posts

Is that enough? Do I get my A? :-)

This class has been wonderful!


So, this post has been going through my head for a while :-)

I have control issues, and I know that. But, I also have strangely accepted things that are out of my control. I used to drive my classmates crazy. They would ask what I answered for a question, and I would have no idea because it was over and done with.

Accepting an action means accepting the consequences of that action. Im sure Azzurra will come up with whatever philosopher said it first :-) People get into cars every day, and drive, and think they have control over if they get into an accident. And, if people get into an accident, they get mad, but most people realize that it was an accident.

So, accepting the small chance that an accident will occur is part of making the decision to drive a car. That small risk is balanced against the rewards of driving a car.

Yet people seem to think that some risks of sex are acceptable, and some risks of sex are so horribly unacceptable that we completely disregard the other person in the equation.

Since this is a women's studies blog, one of the biggest risks of sex for women is pregnancy. Women have to balance this risk, and take whatever precautions they choose, to prevent this from occurring (assuming they wish to not become pregnant). And, if an accident occurs, we accept it and move on.

However, STIs (sexually transmitted infections) seem to have a different risk calculation. Even in sex positive communities, there is this stigma against STI positive individuals. Someone can think "well, I dont want to get pregnant or an STI, but pregnancy is a risk that I am willing to take but i'll refuse to have sex with someone with an STI." Because, for some reason, the stigma against pregnancy (or abortions) is not nearly as bad as the stigma against STIs.

Which gets back to the control issue. While we can do whatever we can (condoms, birth control, outercourse, etc) to prevent STI transmission and/or pregnancy, nothing except total abstinence is completely effective.

STIs are stigmatized because the person can transmit their "infection," yet most of us do not stigmatize men because they can "transmit" pregnancy. But, the control of getting an STI is just as out of our hands as is the genetic lottery that makes a man produce sperm.

But we dont think like that. We associate "STI" with being unsafe. With unprotected sex, with promiscuity, and with being an undesirable sexual partner. Or, rather, we associate *having* an STI with being stigmatized. Most people can understand that genital herpes will not kill them, but will site the stigma as one of the main reasons why they do not want it.

Why is this?

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Consensual, but Unwanted

We read an article about ambiguity in sexual consent. This is not about sex.

I went to the ER. My body, nonconsensually, decided that it wanted to throw up. A lot. About 6 times, before I tried to sleep, then awoke to throw up again. I wanted to make class, that wasnt happening.

The Health Center decided that I was dehydrated, and due to my gastrectomy, it would be very hard for me to rehydrate myself. IV Rehydration was the suggestion.

I was apparently very dehydrated, because it took SIX IV sticks for them to decide that they couldnt get it. They would have stopped earlier, but I asked them to try again so I wouldnt have to face the ER. Still didnt work. (Two of the catheters kinked, one blew, the other two didnt go into the vein.

Off to the ER. IV stick the first time, two liters of saline, blood tests (normal!), and im out the door. with an estimate from the Hospital for 1750. Not including the labs (which I know are expensive) and the doctor (who saw me for 5 minutes).

Im back at home, attempting to eat something. Ive kept down fluids, so I should be fine.

And, ya know how messed up my mind is? I got out of the Health center, and debated going to class before the ER. Im sure my classmates thank me that I didnt arrive.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


So, yes, its from a while back, but I am procrastinating on my thesis.

One often forgets how culture impacts their beliefs. The Virgin de Guadalupe is so prevalent in Texas that it seems common place. A visit to the Basilica in Mexico City was amazing. but, apparations have appeared elsewhere.

Since my procrastination method tonight involved a Wikipedia Search, here are some links for you.
Our Lady of Međugorje Vision and 10 secrets given to individuals.

Our Lady of Akita Cured a nun of her deafness.

Our Lady of Zeitoun As a student of technology, this one fascinates me because there is photographic evidence, as seen Here.


Two posts in a day. Procrastination much?

He’s Pregnant. You’re Speechless.

I hate it.

I really hate the majority of articles that I read about transgender and transsexual individuals. Perhaps I am overly sensitive. Perhaps I listen to the rants of my transgender and genderqueer friends.


Seriously! the state of one's body is really only important to that person, and whomever that person chooses to share that information with. Just because someone is a "man who is pregnant" doesnt mean that the "public" should comment on their body. Im sick of reading "oh, thats really a woman." NO, it is not.

Gender is such a socially constructed concept. and, the vast majority of us have been socially developed into a gender that happens to match the squishy bits that we have. It doesnt have to be like that. Someone is no less of a man because he has a vagina, and someone is not less of a woman because she happens to have a penis. Gender is social, gender is how someone appears.

*you* as the general public do not get to comment on the state of someone elses body. You can comment on your own (though, see the previous Fat Talk Post about how we talk to our bodies.) You might even be able to comment on a partners. But, the random stranger on the street, no matter how "weird" or "off the wall" or "whatever non stereotypical thing they have," you dont get to comment.

Accept people as they are, let individuals self identify, stretch your imagination, and let it go.


The comments in my Consent post were interesting, thank you for sharing.

I agree with Issa, and I think this is more of my mode of consent. She used the concept of "pre-consent," in that there is a discussion in advance, with the parties giving advanced permission for whatever they want to do. I think this is an excellent compromise between the models of consent. It combined elements of the Antioch model, in which explicit permission is given, while not really discussing everything as it happens. There is the body language model, because good sex is about reading one's partner(s) during the act. and, there is verbal confirmation, that everything will be fine.

I would add that any person is able to say no or stop or change during the act(s).

As a critique of the Antioch model, sex puts many people into an altered state of reality. Things that would seem absurd and distasteful might seem exciting and tantalizing during the act. The "swept away in the moment" mentality may come into play. By requiring conformation during the act, rather than before the act, one may be able to actually do more than the person initially wanted.

I also enjoy the freedom of the pre-consent model. Items are discussed in advanced, rules are laid out to ensure safety, expectations can be discussed, and the encounter can be more enjoyable.

Saturday, October 18, 2008


Wow, a blog about class! :-)

Last week, my professor asked us to answer how we knew the other person was consenting to sex. And ive been pondering this now ever since.

Ive realized that 1) I am a very self centered person, most of the thoughts that go through my head are about me, and how others interaction with me. And 2) I know when I am consenting, thus other should know when they are consenting, and say something if it is not going as they planned.

But, I also tend to place a lot of responsibility onto other people. If you dont like something? Say something. Dont like your food at a restaurant? Send it back! Want your partner to do something for you? Ask! Dont like how the sexual encounter is going? Say something. People are not mind readers!

We seem to have this unspoken expectation that "others" should know what we want. The Usual Error is that we think other people should think like us. (Actually, my mom pointed out that Ive always had this viewpoint, even as a very small child.) The issue is that some take the idea that because our partners *do not* read our minds, that something is doomed in that relationship or sexual encounter.

To get back to consent, I think its an internal process, rather than one that everyone has to buy into equally and all times. Instead of accepting the idea of ambiguity, one decides what they are willing to do, and/or what is needed for one to enjoy that act. For example, I feel perfectly comfortable saying "While I wouldnt ask for it, X, Y and Z are things that I would be okay with if my partner asked for them." But, ive done enough thinking about my self to know that. I also trust that my partner has gone though a similar thought process, and would not be going along with however the encounter is going if they were not comfortable with the situation.

Sex is about communicating with the people involved for a mutually agreeable encounter. If one partner doesnt want it, its not any fun, however, I do think that it is up to the partner that does not want it to make it clear.

(This does not apply in the instance of coercion, in any of its many forms.)

Monday, October 13, 2008

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


BTW, if you dont read amptoons, it is an awesome comic and blog.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008


WTF? We had this information in 1968! Its been 40 years, and the stigma against obese people, and fat phobia, and fat hysteria has all gotten progressively worse! What else do we need to do?

(Paragraph from a draft of my thesis).
The obesity stigma combins these assumptions, and places the blame of the stigma solely on the obese person. “As tracing indigence to poverty, for all its tautology, implies the moral responsibility of the poor for their own misfortune, so does tracing obesity to indulgence imply the depravity of the overweight person” (Cahnman 1968:287). This “depravity” leads to the moral outrage against obesity, in that obese individual are stigmatized by the society, which leads to the internalization of the obese label, and the behavior accordingly changes. As Cahnman states later in his paper, “The obese [individual] is thus doubly and trebly disadvantaged: (1) because he is discriminated against, (2) because he is made to understand that he deserves it, and (3) because he comes to accept his treatment as just” (294).

“The interpersonal factor, which is the truly sociogenic factor and which in its extreme manifestation stamps obesity with the stigma of moral turpitude, would seem to be of considerable, perhaps decisive, impact…The stigma cannot be removed except by moral treatment whose primary objective is to consider the patient as a potentially normal human being who is as capable of the healthy exercise of all his faculties as anybody else” (Cahnman 1968:298).

(Quote Citation: Cahnman, Werner J. 1968. “The Stigma of Obesity.” The Sociological Quarterly 9(3):283-299.)

Sunday, September 21, 2008


Article in Question

The article says 26% of women are on a diet, which is the lowest rate in two decades.

Once you know where to start looking for it, you see this subtle thing that happens in the media. The article could have easily taken a "people are eating healthier and not focusing on their weight" tone.
"That view is echoed by Kelly D. Brownell, director of the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at Yale University, who says that diets are "notoriously ineffective," and posits that many overweight people may have simply given up.

Marge McMillan, 60, is one who says she's given up on diets, if not on slimming down. A veterinarian who lives in Medford, McMillan tried the low-carb Atkins diet and Weight Watchers but threw in the towel on both. Now, she's just trying to eat healthily. "Diets don't work," she said. "You lose the weight but regain more."

So, in these two paragraphs, we have the idea that overweight people have to give up. Give up on what? On a failing idea? On the idea that we should pursue something that only 3% of people succeed on? The woman in the second paragraph certainly doesnt seem that she has "given up" on anything. It actually seems that she has a much more healthy attitude on eating and weight. But, the "medical establishment" thinks she has given up.

"Still, the emphasis on healthy eating may also be motivating many people to stop dieting, some say. "The way health is being approached today is to eat healthier foods, not to eat less," says Balzer. Indeed, foods once shunned as fattening - nuts, olive oil, avocados - have been reborn as elixirs, valued for their anti-inflammatory or nutrient-rich qualities. Even chocolate, once a dietary pariah, now enjoys a reputation as a flavonoid-rich disease-buster."

This paragraph is ambiguous. First, it still holds the idea that "dieting" should be a normal way of eating for people. It also has the idea that there are "fattening" foods, even if they are "healthy."

Lastly, the 2nd page talks about how there hasnt been a new "diet fad" to energize tired dieters back into their dieting ways. Even after parroting the "calories in calories out" and "eat healthier" ideas, they still think there is this "magic pill" that will make fat people skinny. Except for major surgery (hey, I had my stomach cut out for the chance to be smaller), there is no way to make fat people thin.

(The most ambitious study that I had showed that average weight loss after 3 years was 6.6 pounds. Yeah, for someone "obese" thats not going to change anything.)

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Sex Positive Ideals

In class, we were discussing talking to parents/kids about sex, and a student said something along the lines of "I hope my children never talk to me about sex."

This made me sad. I would love to live in a world in which children felt comfortable talking to their parents about sex, but more importantly, that their parents felt comfortable sharing suitable information to their children. Just like many parents are not comfortable with talking with their children about marijuana (because they did it when they were young), most parents dont talk to their kids about sex.

And, the *way* that we talk about sex has to change as well. And, yeah, im doing research on condom use, so I am kinda perpetuating the myth that "sex education is about safer sex." But its not just that, we need to empower people to make their own sexual decisions, and how to negotiate their romantic relationships (and their non romantic relationships as well), how to communicate with others, and how to get the sexual pleasure that they deserve.

(Full disclosure, I dont talk to my mom about sex. :-) I could once I am married, but she doesnt really want to know anything until that point.)

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Sex and Dating

No, not intercourse, but Sex. Biological sex. Or, as most people tend to think, "penis or vagina."

In the What Intersex does to the Gay Marriage Debate, we learned the intricacies of making a dichotomous male/female distinction. A penis, or lack of, does not necessarily indicate male or not male status, and as there isnt a good reliable measure of "male or female," the answer remains ambiguous for some people.

In Where the Bois Are, one lesbian remarks "If only you didn't have a penis." Which is what it comes down to with sexual orientation, the orientation of your partner's genitals. Men are worried that the cute girl they are hitting on has a dick under her skirt, and women worry (slightly less) that the penis attached to their partner isnt enough for them (or there at all).

But, we dont look at genitals when choosing our dating partners. And, the vast majority say that they wouldnt leave their partner if their penis was cut off in an accident. Yet, apparently "having" that penis, for heterosexuals, is a big part of what determines acceptable dating abilities.

So, if you sleep with a man who has a vagina? Or a woman who has a penis? Who the hell cares? Apparently many people do, on most places on the sexual orientation spectrum.

(Which is another rant: defining sexual orientation in a world without dichotomous genders/sexes.)

Monday, September 8, 2008

"Asking for it"

Just go ahead and assume there is profanity on every link here :-)

Strongly worded rant about women "asking for it" (Warning: Very strong language)

I also read Rape Prevention Myths. and, the more strongly worded Shakesville Post

These resonate with me, for several reasons. I am a feminist; I think men and women are equal. I also think that while women have made several strives towards equality, the "movement" towards equality cannot reach its goal without the male side making changes. I think changing the rape myths is a HUGE part of how things will change.

We teach women to be scared for their safety, to watch their backs walking to their car, to not get drunk if they have to go home alone. Women should fear strange men, but the men in our lives we can trust. (Never mind that the VAST majority of rapes occur with men the women are intimately involved with, only a very small percentage are strangers).

But, the media distrusts statistics, and instead focuses on sensationalism. Women need to fear rape from the big black man on the corner, when it is more likely (statistically) that her meek boyfriend will be the one forcing her into sex.

What we really need to be doing is teaching women (and men) that women (and men) are people, individualistic, and worthy of the utmost respect. That sex is wonderful and meant to be joyful and fun and exciting, and that rape is a form of violence that is meant to show that women are still property and objects in our society. The idea that rape prevention is a women's only issue is absurd and almost damaging.

Empowerment, and not fear.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008


So, I apologize in advance, dear reader, as i will be talking about fat quite a bit. I also link to Wikipedia, even though it has issues, I think it is a good way to get an overview of a subject.

During the readings for today, it talks about images of women, and "passing." Passing as a straight person, or as an American, or how to synthesize and integrate different parts of one's identity.

As a fat person, I didn’t "pass." Sure, I could "manage my stigma" (how I hate that phrase), but, really, who was I kidding? I was fat, everyone could see it, just as if I were black or in a wheelchair. But, while most people in this current age wouldnt make fun of someone for being black, somehow it was perfectly acceptable for people to point at me and laugh for being fat.

Now that I’m smaller, I am starting to "pass" more. and its an interesting experience. I can both see exactly how horribly I was treated before because now I am not treated in the same ways. No one looks at me in disgust when I get on the bus and I am looking for a place to sit. The other day? I sat down next to someone, and they didn’t try to squeeze themselves against the window so they wouldn’t have to touch me! Amazing!

I watched a racist video this morning. Link to Sociological Images. This video is part of the "Censored Eleven" in that Warner brothers has promised to never show or release these cartoons in the US because of the racist ideas protrayed.

The video, watched today, can be seen as clearly racist. So many different stereotypes, one would Never see anything like this being currently made. But, yet, we can still make fun of fat people. Search youtube for "fat" and you get many video blogs of people saying horrible things about fat people, and current movies (Wall-E, which I have not seen) that portray fat people as lazy people that eat a lot. And this is still acceptable.

(Side note: My aunt has a copy of Song of the South, which my family watched last winter vacation. My family did not see what was racist about the film. Not the Br'er rabit stories, but the story about the boy and the "plantation," they saw nothing wrong with it. So far still to go.)

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Size Acceptance

I found a new blog! Click on the link to the side.

I found it from another size acceptance blog, and it had a post that spoke to me. Does the Fat Acceptance community want everyone to be attracted to fat people?

Short answer: No.

Long answer (that deviates from theirs): Patriarchy has created a situation in which women's bodies are seen as physical objects. Women must conform to a very narrow set of societal expectations in order to be seen by the majority as "pretty." In my opinion, the size acceptance community needs to not focus on fat as an object of attractiveness, but to fight the opinion that one can find another attractive based solely on their physical appearance.

Ive found little tiny people attractive, i have found very large people attractive. I can find some people physically attractive, until they open their mouth and dumbness comes tumbling out. Im sorry, I am not going to bed with someone who is not smart.

I find people attractive based on their personalities. Yes, I will admit, initial physical attractiveness has something to do with it, but I can also see how what is "stereotypically" attractive is dictated by society and the media, and not by actual people and their interpersonal lives.

But, the media rant will be saved for another day.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Video Series: Fat Rant

Everyone should watch this video. The first one is the first fat rant video that made Joy Nash famous.

Most people do not understand size acceptance. It is taken for granted that "fat people just need to diet and exercise and they will be thin." As such, it seems almost normal to think that fat people are lazy, and ugly, and dont deserve basic human rights. (One of the things that lead to my surgery was that multiple people on campus would point at me and laugh.) Sure, im a traitor to the "cause" because of my surgery, but, ya know? The basic idea that humans deserve to be treated with respect does not matter if that person is fat, or black, or has purple hair or wears crocs, or is female.

The idea that being female means that someone is "naturally" nurturing, or weaker, or not capable of doing things that men can do has been (mostly) thrown by the wayside. But, the idea that women have to look "acceptable," and wear makeup/look fashionable/kill themselves exercising several hours a day to be thin enough, these are all ideas that still have a major hold on our society. and, this idea is wrong, and needs to be changed.

(You can also check out Fat Rant II to see how silly the "restrict your eating" phrase sounds when it comes to other things that one needs to survive, and Fat Rant III for the silly things that people think they can say to fat people.)

Video Series

A wonderful Video about technology, corruption, and globalization.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

First Post

My first post :-)

This is my blog for my Women's Studies class. This will replace the "notebook" assignment. As I am used to blogging, I think this will seem as less of a chore than writing notebook entries. Plus, I can update this with videos and sporadic comments :-)

I chose Sex, Fat, and Women's Studies as the title as my thesis is focused on those three aspects. Sex, as in sexuality and how gender inequality affects safer sex decisions, Fat, as I am looking at how the gendered society views women as sexual objects, in which fat women are viewed as less desirable, and Women's Studies, as this is my notebook.

I welcome comments, please write me :-) If you are another student in my class, leave a comment with your blog URL, and i'll set up a blog roll for us.

You can also check out my other "blog" at which chronicles my weight and surgery related issues.

So, Welcome!