Monthly Archives: December 2015

“Fat Acceptance” – A Detailed, Impartial Analysis

For many, picking sides in this debate needs no hesitation, particularly when finding factual arguments against the concept of body positivity (and there are quite a few, where health is concerned). When looking deeper into the issue however, matters are complicated, as proponents have different attitudes and aspirations, from benign to utterly toxic.

  1. People who have experienced bullying and simply want it to stop

Although generally seen as reality distortion, this movement has become a refuge for those who seek acknowledgement for the very real suffering they have been put through pointlessly, sometimes for decades.

Their argument is in fact very logical – namely that people have no claims of entitlement to how others look, except for sexual situations, which involve (on average), for each person, one to a few individuals on this entire planet. Hence there is no reason to analyse every person we come across in terms of sexual desirability, since no sexual encounter is possible or likely. Many disagree, saying the analysis is a built-in mechanism; however, the point of voicing one’s conclusions abut the desirability of people they will never actually sleep with is lost to me. Especially voicing it to the world and to those they target.

There should be boundaries established by decency, but unfortunately, we live in times when boundaries are increasingly unclear.  The world is a fiercely competitive place; since any aspect can be used as a means to stand out – including the size and shape of one’s genitalia – no part of a human being, physical or not, is excluded from appraisal.

It is true that society at large does not understand the difference between body shaming and other types of bullying. By instilling the idea that one is reprehensible to look at/ be in the presence of, the person is made to feel they will never be accepted by others in any situation, causing them to become very isolated and depressed. Whereas other defects, perceived or real, can be hidden  with a bit of effort, there is no way to hide one’s size in a real life situation, hence a person feels targeted whenever they step outside their home, sometimes inside it as well. Also, this is not an issue one can fix from one day to the next, so there is no immediate relief in sight from the shame of being bullied; in fact there is no guarantee the bullying will ever stop.

Bullying also demonstrates the cruelty of the human jungle, as one’s chances in the world are reduced to the quick”eye test”, the failure of which obliterates any true qualities one might have. You can be intelligent, caring, well read, emotionally available 24/7 and have so much to give, yet if you don’t pass the one second ”eye test”, no one will even attempt to know you better. Whilst this type of judgement is rooted, especially for men, in the way their brains are wired and is a fact of life, it also seems very unfair.

The question I believe every bullied individual asks himself/ herself is why. Why can’t they peacefully go about their daily business, perform their role in society, have goals and dreams and not bother anyone, receiving the same respect from others. It seems reasonable enough, right? I will detail the answer to this question below, when describing the mentality of the bully, as I perceive it, and the reasons why campaigns such as ”fat acceptance” will never work.

2. Empathetic progressives in general

Many of them are sincerely well-meaning, while their intentions are merely to reduce the discord with regards to physical appearance (and not to enforce an ideology). Supporters of this campaign include therapists who have heard the stories of so many bullied patients they are aware of the harm done by everyday remarks to those who already feel down.

3. Ostracised people turned toxic

Moving on from harmless individuals who simply want to live without being insulted by strangers, one notices those who start making moral judgements  regarding the weight-related decisions of others. Just browsing the web I came across opinions criticising those who make a point of losing weight or helping their children do so.

You can see toxicity creep in as soon as envy of others’ physical condition reels its ugly head, along with disapproval of those who want to improve theirs. This is obvious in cases involving feminists protesting the use of models in ads and campaigns of all sorts. While they see themselves as brave and revolutionary, to the rest of the world it spreads a potent fragrance of sour grapes. Quite clearly the fact that other women are attractive in the commonly accepted (biologically driven) sense bothers them; it interferes with their body positivity.

This shows that a certain category of people are only peaceful as long as they remain ”the underdog”. The moment they secure some influence on society, they start a battle with anyone who disagrees, going from ”I want a kind world where people live and let live” to ”if everyone thought the way I do the world would be a better place”.

Whereas benign supporters of the campaign just want the same respect as all other human beings, these types deem themselves morally superior and are passive-aggressive during debates, identifying with their appearance to the point of turning its promotion into a crusade. For this purpose they will dump ingenuity, adopting manipulation and fact distortion, especially in terms of health issues, in order to make a point.

Others write they are triggered when their peers lose weight and are commanded for it. The moment one resents the fact that a peer is succeeding towards a goal and becoming healthier, turning the focus inward, something is amiss – it shows this person perceives reality as revolving around them and their feelings, disregarding everyone else. Unfortunately, this is quite common nowadays, especially for young people.

4. Social Justice Warriors (mainly feminists)

Bullies are all about dictating, shaming and cornering, until complete acquiescence is is achieved. This lot, although subjected to bullying due to their weight, have become bullies in their own right.

To start with, ardent promoters of this movement demand to be considered attractive by a large number of people, as if anyone could mentally program their attraction to others. Their intention is not to be left alone, but rather to draw attention and praise, often by being lewd and expecting applause. I do not understand why presumed promoters of dignity would pose nude, if their purpose was to stop the objectification of women’s bodies.

In truth, they have no problem with objectification, but with the fact that other women’s bodies are being admired whilst theirs are not.

Those who advocate real dignity have a worthy cause. After all, every woman, regardless of her looks, is someone’s daughter, someone’s wife, someone’s mother, being turned by our culture into cheap masturbation material found in public toilets beside the bog roll; a consumption good for all to use. And the same goes for men; their objectification and imposition of the metrosexual image is a very sad phenomenon.

One of the biggest clues you’re dealing with a toxic attitude from a ”social justice” campaigner is their hatred of dissenters within the category they are advocating for. Although they claim to respect and support all members of said category, the minute someone disagrees with their approach they become a pariah, the bond of brotherhood/ sisterhood/ common experience suddenly ending. There is nothing they hate more than the odd voice not singing in tune and disrupting the choir.

Here is a relevant example from someone who participated in such a community. The militant, cult-like behaviours sound very familiar:

 

It’s strange how so many advocacy groups for oppressed people end up behaving like Nazis, wanting to control and censor others until no view but theirs is heard in their midst. They call for a collective identity and a collective mind, as scary as that sounds.

 

Regardless, when pondering the arguments on the other side of the debate, a few misconceptions come up quite often; here’s my attempt to address a few of them, hopefully in a funny enough way.

  1. Social acceptance based on your image enhancement equals happiness. 

There is a terrible idea out there, reinforced by popular culture, that all you have to do to be happy in a social environment is mould yourself to the exact specifications of the insensitive fuckers who are aggressive to you on a daily basis. Once you manage, you will forget their words and everything will be rosy in your world of pink unicorns.

Except it won’t.

People assume that a demeaned person automatically integrates – mind and heart – into the social environment they’ve been rejected from once the object of the demeaning disappears, namely their defect.  Once you’ve been targeted, especially for long periods of time, trust is very shaky; you are always aware that they can turn on you at any time. You know that when you step even slightly out of line they will notice and react. They might not know who you are anymore (they might apply different labels than in the past), but you know full well who they are and how they really think.

Motivation which actually works has to be rooted in something positive, such as one’s desire to be healthier or to have a certain image for their own enjoyment, and not seeking to pacify the hounds, who will – surprise, surprise – find something else to hate them for as soon as their image is no longer prime pecking material. That’s how the larger pack of vultures – also known as society – works.

There is no empowerment in conforming to the standards your bullies impose. Hence, pleasing the fuckers or impressing them – never mind aspiring to their respect or affection – is not likely to bring you happiness in itself.

Which is not to say that enhancing your image is not a powerful shield against their nastiness. But you do it out of self-preservation, in order to survive. It is not a matter of making your life excellent by appealing to others, but rather to keep them from making your life hell by reducing your vulnerability in front them. There is no Kumbaya at the end of this film.

Some might find these arguments contradictory; my point is that whilst it’s good to use your image as a shield, you should not be emotionally invested in what others think of you. You should not let them into your mind.

2. ”It’s easier to make excuses than to bust your ass at the gym…”

Whenever I hear people boast about ”working so hard”, as if expecting a medal, I start to giggle; it sounds almost infantile. The praise they expect for managing to look good – in terms of general usefulness – is just as unjustified as that of fat activists.

What you do with your body benefits you and (presumably) the person you engage with intimately. Unless of course you sell your image (or body) and more people suddenly become involved. It’s ridiculous to demand public acknowledgement for something that is not of public use, elevating yourself to an example others should follow. Others should not need excuses to not follow this example as they might not have the same goals in life.

I’m glad their self-esteem is well established and I’m happy for them, but cannot admire them in the same way I admire an astrophysicist, a gifted artist or a historian working very hard, giving their time to shed light  on what is less known about the past. I can’t compare the result of their work to someone’s butt cheeks. When I see the righteous indignation in their eyes about how hard they work, all I can do is smile, if not laugh. I’m sorry.

3. ” I’m giving you a kick up the ass for your own good!”

Anyone who is emotionally invested in your  well-being, physicians included, would not refer to the advice they give you as a ”kick up the ass”; even harsh realities are expressed in non-hurtful ways.

Those who claim their mockery has the best intentions are either of low emotional intelligence (unaware of how humans react to their attitude) or deceitful. For many, I have noticed, the fierce attitude towards people they claim disgust them is meant to create an obvious opposition, highlighting their own qualities.

Think of it this way – if all risky behaviour was worthy of the same vehement criticism, they would go for those who are into extreme sports, unsafe sex, hard drugs etc. But some deliberately pick those whose defects are at the opposite end of their best valued qualities, such as physical appearance. Which is often connected to how ”hard they work” to achieve those looks and potentially a felling of frustration for their effort not being appreciated enough.

4. Everyone agrees facades are more important than what’s behind them.

Of course, we associate one’s ability to maintain a good image with intelligence and tact, overlooking known defects manifested in private and admiring someone for carrying themselves around in a dignified manner. However, good observers with a capacity to analyse human behaviour are well aware there is an infinity of possibilities within each individual and thus are not necessarily fooled by appearances. Older people in particular have seen many instances of impeccable facades crumbling to dust or hidden gems being discovered.

Hence, although they might pay lip service to currently held views in order to avoid attracting negative attention, the way people handle their lives and relationships is a whole other world than what the media portrays. Most families nowadays include or closely relate to people with an addiction, people who have been to prison, people who take recreational drugs, people with a very visible physical defect, disability or major illness and so forth. And when faced with stereotypes labelling thousands or millions with the same behavioural patterns, most have stories to tell which disprove their validity.

I can go as far as saying it’s very common to know individuals who are excellently seen in their communities and are a handful at home, or ostracised folks who are actually very decent, trustworthy and easygoing. They are not exceptions by far.

 

Unfortunately, many use those around them in order to feel better by comparison, which in turn creates acrimony. The irony is that by doing so they feed the culture of competition which brings them all unneeded misery and frustration, feeling the urge to exaggerate a quality in order to compensate for defects, often putting others down in this process. If they stopped the comparisons and constant one-upmanship, they could direct their energy to more positive endeavours.

 

 

 

 

The Bedroom Door

Disclaimer:  This post does not refer to any type of sexual abuse or illegal sexual activity concealed by the secrecy of a very private life. It only refers to legal acts between consenting adults. It is not intended to claim anyone should be able to do anything behind closed doors, that sexual education is not important or that awareness of predatory behaviour in the home environment should not be raised.

Its only purpose is to criticise the abundance of guidelines making life more confusing and dissatisfying for the average individual. Likewise, it is meant as a critcism of the current habit of surrendering very private information to groups of strangers in hopes of improving one’s condition.

 

It should go back to being shut. And locked.

The infestation we currently face, in the form of continuous exposure to so-called sex advice, is deemed by some a powerful tool in social engineering, contributing to generalised obsession, causing all sorts of consequences on an individual and collective level, from the spread of venereal diseases to the epidemic of failed marriages.

While I totally agree with this point of view, on the side, I am also surprised media consumers still engage in the blessed activity, with the amount of inhibition said material must cause. Reading about sex must be the biggest put-off ever.

One can rarely access a mainstream publication which includes a lifestyle section without automatically seeing some advice on bedroom behaviour. Here is a short list of things you’ll find yourself reading about, out of curiosity:

  • What to do / not to do to avoid your sex life being boring;
  • What feedback to request from your partner (to avoid your sex life being boring) and how to request it;
  • What ”achievements” to aim for and how to measure your success;
  • How often you should do it for a healthy (read not boring) sex life;
  • How to tell if your relationship/ marriage failed due to your abysmal sex life;
  • Eccentric ideas for spicing up your boring sex life;
  • Fetishes (which often make you laugh or lose your breakfast on the keyboard) and how to perform unnatural – yet trendy – acts without ending up in the hospital;
  • How sad your life is if you don’t have sex on a regular basis (even if you’re single) and how you’ll go insane if you don’t start picking up strangers in bars;
  • What your partner really likes and how your partner really thinks (assuming you have no idea);
  • Your own drive and desires kindly explained to you (assuming as an adult you are not aware of them already); how to tell if you’re really enjoying yourself as much as you think you are;
  • How your sex drive can be offensive to others (if you are male);
  • How to use rejection to your advance and then behave like a nymphomaniac (if you are female);
  • How to start a conversation with a potential partner (because even basic human interaction has become an art or a trade needing taught);
  • How everything you do in bed can be perceived as sexist (if you are male);
  • How to scrutinise men’s behaviour for sexism constantly (if you are female);
  • Masturbation tutorials (because no one has ever figured that one out on their own);
  • What to eat/ what not to eat and drink before, after and even during sex;
  • What to say and what not to say;

Etc.

What you need to understand is that your sex life needs improvements. Whatever you’re doing, you’re not doing it well enough, and if you somehow get it right, you’re not doing enough of it. You need help and you need it now, unless you are already impotent, frigid or freaked out after reading expert guidelines for a few hours.

Although men are, in my view, the most targeted category right now, with a plethora of feminist guidelines on what they should not do to women (down to minute details), women get their fair share of indications, guaranteed to make them as insecure as possible.

If one takes to heart everything they read on this subject, sex sounds like the most difficult test to ever pass and one to be avoided if possible, as a thousand things could go wrong any second. They’d probably feel less pressure trying to neutralise an explosive chemical compound, as chemistry at least provides exact rules.

What ever happened to the good old days when people would just close the door behind them and let things unfold naturally, without needing others’ validation for their climaxes or lack thereof? After all, that has worked well enough since the beginning of human life on this planet (except for times when doors did not exist and societies where privacy was not habitual, of course). You get my point. This is madness.

How can someone enjoy sex if they analyse every second of it to death; when joy itself must be measured with robotic precision?

Dating advice one finds in popular publications – or in general – tends to be ridiculous, involving a lot of manipulation and regulating the smallest details of the interaction; one could write a ”how to successfully steal a purse” tutorial in the same tone. It’s depressing to think that such advice might actually be followed by those who don’t know any better. It’s depressing to think that people have become so cold, so estranged from each other they need instructions on how to say hello and how to look someone in the eye. Is it too soon? Is it appropriate? What will they assume? How many milliseconds should it last?

Out of curiosity, I did a Google search on stupid sex advice. Cosmopolitan seems to get the crown, with others such as Men’s Health or Maxim following closely behind. With the growing popularity of kinky acts, some offer advice which might just send people to the emergency room, involving biting, roughing up men’s genitals and stabbing one’s partner with a fork. People reading that creepy bullshit on a regular basis are presumably busy trying to keep up with new trends and ideas, forgetting their intimacy is nobody’s business.

Whilst the lack of sexual education is thought to be a problem in third world countries, causing injuries, premature birth and many deaths, the first world is running out of orifices to penetrate and objects to ram up, in search of that elusive ”ultimate experience”, as nothing seems to ever be enough.

Stereotypes Will Never Die

People will always be cunts. They will form prejudices, circulate them and at times accept them as absolute truths, out of the need for tribalism, for the ”us vs them”, as well as the need to feel superior to others in any way they can.

Sorry to say, as a hippie type who has roamed the planet for almost three decades, hoping to find many who are willing to meet others with an open heart. It’s time to grow up and give up. Flowers wither. And like flowers, ideas wither as well; more so, they receive regular golden showers from passersby.

I honestly get where some SJW’s are coming from. For instance, I get the fact that one might sometimes find themselves reading The Guardian, just to get away from that visceral feeling of doom awakened by far right publications ( a feeling derived not from alarming predictions but from the sheer waves of hatred and toxicity people express there, making one feel like the world will soon end – or better yet, that it should). Not that one should seek the depressant on purpose – yet one is sometimes directed there by others, when important events are covered, demoralised by 2500 possible co-nationals voting up extremism and vitriol.

Also, I get the fact that whoever has experienced bullying knows exactly what impact some public statements will have on ordinary people, targeted in one way or another. Targeted categories change over the years, but every age has its idols, its hate figures, its circus clowns and its puppeteers. At the end of the day, it’s business as usual; life carries on.

I know many people genuinely want the world to be a less acrimonious place, yet have no idea how to go about it; so far every mass attempt has failed, from the naive to the grotesque, zombie-fied version of ”equality” promotion we see nowadays. My humble conclusion in that one’s sole guaranteed contribution to that ideal is simply being a decent person, as opposed to joining groups, participating in their events, going to lengths never before considered as well as being vilified along with them for attitudes you don’t truly share. One’s individuality can be lost so easily in a choir of voices, mechanically chanting along to someone else’s words.

 

Firstly, I believe that the only way to reduce superficial judgement of others is continuous self-awareness, and self-awareness is no easy task – it certainly can’t be learned by memorising a few emotion-inducing memes circulated through Facebook. On the contrary, one needs to be on the lookout for political manipulation whenever emotion is being used to further a cause. Being truly aware of the world around us does require empathy and imagination (being able to see ourselves in someone else’s shoes) but also logic, observation and life experience.

Human nature is far too complex and fucked up to try to enforce social harmony on a mass scale, through political correctness; sometimes it feels certain lefties would like to see lobotomies performed to obliterate parts of it. The comforting phrase ”you can’t please everyone” is the understatement of the century.

”What strikes me most about…”

People usually identify you with your most visible deviation from what they see as the norm. Unless you’re a personality of such respectability that your appearance, disabilities, speech defects etc become unnoticeable, but even then they mention them second to your achievements. That fat writer who walks funny, that famous professor with a lisp, that scientist who wears funny hats, that politician with a bad hairpiece. Simply put, they say what they see, no matter how unnecessary for the discussion or how rude. Overtime they might forget your achievements but the bloody hairpiece or ill-fitting suit will stick in their minds.

Karaoke Bob

They also tend to identify you with the most shocking bit of information they have on your life. That actress who had a meltdown, that singer who checked into rehab, that guy from across the road who got a DUI last year. Say you’re a perfectly normal neighbour and never bother anyone for ten years, but one night you get wasted and people see you running around singing loudly in your underwear. Your neighbours will not remember you as Bob who was a perfectly normal guy for a decade but as  Karaoke Bob, who gave them ten minutes of entertainment. And I hate it but that’s how things are; the ugly and the embarrassing, that one would rather forget, is the first thing on many people’s minds. I’m not making this up; new acquaintances were sometimes described to me in such ways, without any relevance to their situation at the time or my prospective interaction with them. The hope that one’s personality comes first is an illusion. It always will be.

Recipe for backstabbing

It’s better to know who is fond of you and who isn’t, even if the latter is a rude awakening, rather than have others be pleasant to your face and mock you behind your back. That’s how political correctness will never, ever educate anyone on not judging or not assuming. Naively mingling with those who covertly dislike us leaves us very vulnerable. Political correctness, even when normalised, creates a hypocritical society, where no one knows who to really trust. I personally find that far more dangerous than being offended. I’d rather someone was racist, xenophobic or whatever to my face, even in public, than to speak to them for five years and later find out they had despised me all along.

Political correctness is likely to create a paradise for backstabbers, hypocrites and suck-ups, as well as a medium for festering hatred.

We all have our days

Decent people can be cunts as well. They can be arrogant and insensitive – which doesn’t mean the ”sensitive” side should become self-righteous and embark on a crusade against anyone who behaves in such ways at some point. In fact, I trust no one on this planet goes through life without having (had) a prejudice, having misjudged or offended others. For instance, there’s no point labelling someone a racist for life, based on a mere few words. A huge deal is being made today over trivial matters, when others are far more pressing.

Subjectivity on steroids 

The fear of offending can become an unhealthy obsession, to the point of endangering whole societies, when very different cultures are thrown together without a viable plan of integration. One has to be able to keep a straight head, without mutilating reality to suit their narrative. Just as the far right picks on everything but the kitchen sink when it comes to demonising targets, anti-discrimination groups sweep harsh realities under the rug, thinking it’s for the greater good (and denial never is).

A quick list of criteria according to which people might/ are likely to judge you, in no order of importance:

  • Your origin, race, age, background, education; your family of origin; your place of origin (down to villages, neighbourhoods and streets);
  • Your current job and social status; your material situation;
  • Your intellectual level, especially if recognised on paper; your elocution, debate skills etc;
  • Your physical appearance (I should’ve started with that, actually);
  • Your health and level of activity; your working out habits
  • Your interests, hobbies and preferences;
  • Your belief systems (religion, politics, other ideologies);
  • Your partner and family life or lack thereof;
  • Your known achievements, if any;
  • Your lifestyle and habits (holidays, vices, amount of time spent indoors etc);
  • Your sex life and orientation (past and present), to the extent that it is public;
  • Your actual personality  and attitude towards others.

From the diploma hanging on your wall to the size of your knickers, everything matters. Someone somewhere will find a reason to hate you when they become aware of your existence.

And someone somewhere is ardently expanding on how people like you should be hanged, for one or more of the aforementioned reasons, particularly beliefs, sexual habits and vices.

The world really isn’t a friendly place at all.

 

For a few years now, my goal has been to find the values which have transcended time and will remain the rock of genuine human interaction, through ever-changing societal structures, moral norms etc. I firmly believe these values can only be found individually, by looking at social dynamics from a certain distance and not being drawn to a militant stance by any ideology. Unlike those who think they have these answers and are trying to force them on others, I am aware the search will take a lifetime to complete.