Recommends: Some HAES 101

Content Note: Insulting Epithets in the Comments (Misogyny, Homophobia)

So I do a lot of Fat Acceptance 202 on the blog, but I don't do a lot of 101 because it's one of the subjects for which I have fewer teaspoons. But! Here are some nice reading materials in case you missed them.

Stereotype Management Skills for HBO Viewers

Weight Watchers Works. For Two Out of a Thousand


Big Fat Love

These babies probably won't persuade the trolls who are still stuck in the moderation queue on my McDonald's post who helpfully inform me that I eat nothing but baby donuts (nom nom nom), but if you're still learning FA 101, these might help. And if you like the 202 posts, you may enjoy these too.

RECOMMENDS! What have you been feeding your mind? (Literary baby donuts!)


Amaryllis said...

Well, if it comes to health issues, I've just started reading T.R. Reid's The Healing of America (two years late, as usual; the book was published in 2009), which compares the ridiculous American health-insurance system with those of several other industrialized Western nations.
On September 11, 2001, some three thousand Americans were killed by terrorists; our country has spent hundreds of billions of dollars to make sure it doesn't happen again. But that same year, and every year since then, some twenty thousand American died because they couldn't get health care. That doesn't happen in any other developed country. Hundreds of thousands of American go bankrupt every year because of medical bills. That doesn't happen in any other country either.

I've only read the first chapters, in which Reid acknowledges that no country's system is without problems. But it's not news that Americans pay more for worse results that any other similar nation. And, apparently, the worst thing you can accuse a politician of, in Canada or France or Germany, is trying to make their health-insurance system more like the U.S.

From the serious to the ridiculous, on the topic of terror-prevention excess, I was at an outdoor event yesterday which was partly but not wholly sponsored the the U.S. military. All I will say about that is that I shouldn't have to stand in a line and go through a metal detector and have my bag searched, simply to get to a ladies' room. And when I say "ladies' room," I'm being euphemistic: we're talking Port-a-pots here. Whoever heard of a secure Port-a-pot?

I know you've been reading Tudor history lately, so if you're in the mood for fiction I'll once again recommend Hilary Mantel with Wolf Hall, which is brilliant, and her new book, Bring Up the Bodies. Anyone with any sympathy for Anne Boleyn is not going to like Thomas Cromwell very much in this one, but God he's still interesting.

Also, I read an interview with Mantel once, where she said that when she's in the serious phase of writing a novel, she doesn't read other fiction, not wishing to have her imaginary world impinged on by other people's imaginary worlds. Do the rest of you fiction writers feel that way?

Edited, in a hurry, because apparently I can't even quote right today.

Ana Mardoll said...

Do the rest of you fiction writers feel that way?

I don't read fiction in the same genre / subject while I'm writing, because I'm so afraid of accidentally plagiarizing. When I was writing "Pulchritude", someone mentioned (not knowing what I was writing) that I should read McKinley's "Beauty" and I was all "oooh! yeah! wait... no!"

I think that for me at least there's this dread that you'll accidentally cross a wire and that would be really horrible to fathom.

JonathanPelikan said...

"And, apparently, the worst thing you can accuse a politician of, in Canada or France or Germany, is trying to make their health-insurance system more like the U.S." Goody, more reasons for this proud, flag-waving, Murica-Fuck-Yeah citizen to feel ashamed of his beautiful and broken superpower.

-still waves a tiny flag- we can get back on our feet ._.

Reading while writing: Hm. That's tough. There's definitely the ever-present danger of going into rip-off territory, although, as a science fiction writer, I came to terms with how derivative everything always is ever many years ago. It's really a balancing act between appropriating and using ideas and concepts and not making it an offense or just completely bankrupt.

I'd guess I'll still continue reading as normal. Part of that is that I don't really have an 'intense writing phase' anymore, apparently; I just write when the spirit moves me for an indeterminate time, and months can pass before that happens again.

And on general thread topic:
Speaking of doing writing, I'm muddling through chapter seven of this fanfic project I've been at since, ah, December. Specifically, a sort of smut scene I haven't written before. Keeping things interesting and intense and sensual, etc, is really one of a writer's key goals in a scene like this, so I'm bouncing it to my fiance occasionally to make sure it's okay. (Having a woman help with editing can also prevent me from making basic Writing-Women-Mistakes, although mine tend to be 'what is where, now? how does?' rather than 'have I mentioned I have breasts today?', thank Gods.

Perhaps seeing that decon of 50 Shades of Gray that I know Ana's seen too (commenting everyday~) has encouraged me a bit in the 'don't do this department', given how my overriding impression so far of the first two chapters is '.... meh. seen it.' which is NOT the reaction that sexuality should be evoking. It's exactly like an audience bursting out into laughs during your horror movie.

chris the cynic said...

I just watched a bad movie on the Sci-Fi channel called, Piranhaconda. As one might expect it was very bad for a great many reasons, but surprisingly the thing that annoyed me most was that the scientist trying to get an egg back to a university for study wasn't presented as a reasonable character.

From the beginning he was a jerk with no respect for human life, but when you realize how many people have been killed by just two of the monsters, see how many eggs have been laid in a single nest (and I'm pretty sure we see at least two nests in the movie so who knows how many nests there are in total) and realize that most weapons don't accomplish much where these creatures are concerned, getting a specimen back to a lab for study seems like a completely reasonable goal and opposing that seems destined to leave a lot of people in a lot of danger. (They'll have no idea what they're up against.)

So it would have been nice if there had been someone in the movie who wanted to get the egg to the lab for reasons other than glory seeking. All of the normal complaints about Sci-Fi original movies still apply, of course. The run on bad writing, bad acting, bad effects, bad directing, and male gaze. A bit like the Transformers movie series, really. (What I've seen of it anyway.)

As usual, I haven't read much.


In .hack//Sign: Kinds of Power, I talked about Subaru and how being in charge of the Crimson Knights has at once made her powerful and kept her from gaining power, and made her socially important while preventing her from having a social life. I also described her first meeting with Sora.

I wrote a thing where I showed what was going on between the lines in the scene where Cameron and Chloe are stuck in a traffic jam in Nicolae: Rise of the Antichrist. Snarky Bella and Edward debated the most important question, while a different Edward asked a different Bella why she didn't eat people.

My sister thinks that Romney might be better for the country than Obama because a Romney presidency would be so bad that it would convince people that the system needed to be fundamentally changed via revolution, and that revolution would fix things. I think this is an extremely bad idea, and wrote a short post about that.

Will Wildman said...

I had a post earlier this week, the title of which ("Old women with firewood") I completely forgot to explain, regarding all of the reasons I am utterly unconvinced and unimpressed when people claim to be not-bigoted but to be using words or ideas that appear bigoted for some higher purpose (e.g., 'ironically racist'). There are robot cupcakes too. Also, I guess there are bonus points for anyone can can explain the origin of the title?

And for anyone who hasn't seen it yet, Clevernamepending's rant/analysis/rantnalysis of Fifty Shades of Grey, chapter three went up on Thursday. For anyone who was worried that this Twilight fanfic would fail to maintain characterisation, fear not: Anastasia Steele is exactly as self-loathing and immature as Bella, and all the secondary characters are as gleeful about ignoring agency and personal boundaries as we could hope to barf.

Cupcakedoll said...

I have been feeding my brain actual food for a change-- Father* introduced me to the Vorkosigan books by Lois McMaster Bujold and I've been devouring them. Delightful stuff. Looks like "typical space opera" and then you get into all these nuances and they're funny and inspiring... Book Love, I has it.

*'Father' in the same way Ana uses 'Husband' not in the way an English child in a novel wold use it.

Had two requesters for 50 Shades of Grey at work, neither of whom took me up on the redirect to a JR Ward book we actually had, or to Twilight. (50shades being still too new to hit the thrift store)

Mary Kaye said...

Are the old women with firewood from that striking Orwell essay where he notes that it was easier to see that the donkeys were suffering than that the old women were suffering?

Timothy (TRiG) said...

Trigger Warning for insulting epithets.

My guess (before reading the post) is that Old Women and Firewood a reference to a purported origin of the word faggot. As far as I'm aware, the actual etymology is unknown. Must check that.


Ana Mardoll said...

I'm happy to add a TW, but I could use a boost. Insulting epithets in general or a particular flavor?

Will Wildman said...

That's the one. (And yes, the slur doesn't have a definitive definition, but that seems to be the most likely one.) I found it kind of horrifascinating on an intersectional level - a microcosm of how closely related sexism and homophobia are, that the favourite term for insulting gay men could also be the term for a woman doing manual labour.

Timothy (TRiG) said...

Sorry. I didn't mean the post in general, I meant my own comment. I should have said comment, not post. Sorry for confusion cause. I'll edit my comment.


Fitcher's Bird said...

I've just discovered, which led me to an immediate archive binge. It's comics about the perks and problems of large breasts and also a support community has developed around the comics. There's a various range of bodies depicted with regards to ethnicity and size. A nice touch is the artist's consistent refusal to body shame on any level. "Busty" is only defined as a state where your breasts affect your life in the ways depicted, not a particular size or weight ratio.

Personally I was won forever by the realisation that I'm not the only person who stores her iPod in her bra. (If fashion designers won't give me pockets I will find my own!)

Rowen said...

Oh JR Ward. I tried. I really did. I really wanted to like her. I SOOOO wanted to like her.

Now? Laurel K Hamilton nightmares aside. Women as property aside. Self martyring bisexuals and gays aside. If I have to read the word "shitkicker", one more time, I think I will explode.

Silver Adept said...

I've mostly been listening to Kevin Smith (yes, That Kevin Smith) give life advice by telling us about his own life story...presumably while baked on marijuana. That said, Tough Sh*t is hilarious and entirely appropriate for any of his fans. And there's a lot of swearing.

I'm also reading The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland In A Ship Of Her Own Making, which has delightful characters like the Green Wind and a wyverary (mother Wyvern, father library) by the name of A-through-L. For people who like stories that make fun of conventions, or Lewis-like or Tolkien-like prose without the attendant super-serious quests and epics, this is a good read.

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