Today from the douchebag files comes the story of UK “actor” and “comedian” (I use those in scare quotes on purpose, I’m not sure he’s much of either) Jeff Leach, who took it upon himself to screen shot the Tinder profile photograph of the amazing fat activist and all ‘round awesome babe, Kim Selling, and post it to his Instagram with a douchey caption. He has since deleted it but I happened to take a screen shot and Kim has given me the OK to share it here with you:
As you can see, by his caption “Left swipe, LEFT SWIPE, LEFFFFTTTTT SWIIIIPPPPEEEE”, he clearly thought it was a HILARIOUS joke to post a picture of a sexually active fat woman and express how he definitely has to reject her. For those of you unaware of Tinder, it’s an app for smartphones designed for people looking to hook up, and if you are interested you can swipe right and if the person swipes right back, the two of you can talk. To swipe left is to reject the person. I don’t use Tinder myself, but plenty of people of all kinds do and it’s a convenient way to connect with people who are looking for sexual partners. Kim’s photo is fun and she looks gorgeous and it’s clearly sex positive, which is what you need to be for Tinder right?
Of course, when called on his misogyny and fat shaming, instead of either a) shutting up and avoiding making an idiot of himself or b) apologising, deleting the post and moving on, Leach decided that he would declare he’s a “feminist” who was making a point that women should have “more respect for themselves” and not post pictures of themselves with a lamp that says “sex”. Of course, it’s a hook up app. Which is for the very purpose of finding sexual partners. And he was on it, presumably looking for a sexual partner himself. So not only is it a really, really bad cover up for him being a fat-shaming jerk, it’s a big steaming pile of hypocrisy, because if a woman can’t post a photo of herself with the word “sex” on a hook up app, that HE himself is looking for sex on… whut? Can any one say slut shaming?
A quick look on his Instagram shows photos of scantily clad THIN women, quite creepily including some he is following down the street and him posing in front of the camera/mirror himself. So it seems he’s quite comfortable with displaying his own sexuality, that’s ok. And thin women don’t get lectured about self respect. Just the fat chick on Tinder.
It’s patently obvious that he was posting Kim’s picture for the lulz of “Ha ha look at this fat woman who wants sex, how gross.” But no, no, he was being feminist. He was teaching women how to respect themselves. To show just how he wasn’t making commentary about Kim’s fatness, and isn’t being a jerk about fat women, he left this comment on Instagram and these comments on Twitter (which he has since deleted – guilty much?). Very focused on fatness for something that wasn’t about fat, right?
“Belittled her own self-worth” eh Leach? She looks pretty pleased with her self in her photo to me. I smell bullshit mate. Don’t hand me a shit sandwich and tell me it’s good for me.
But anyway, this all draws me to the topic I wish to talk about today, which is the policing of fat women’s sexuality.
We can’t bloody win, can we. Firstly we’re told we’re “gross” and “nobody wants to see that”. However, as pretty much any visible fat woman can tell you, there are PLENTY of offers for sex, whether you want them or not. It’s like a game of whack-a-mole on the internet for me personally, to get rid of the dudes who seem to believe that if a fat woman is visible online, she wants, nay, must be grateful for, sexual attention. Which is not just mere interest, but unsolicited dick pics, your photos (even non-sexual, fully clothed) being stolen and blogged on BBW porn sites, and generally skeevy messages treating you like a personal sex toy.
If we specifically say yes we do want sex, and use a dating site or hook up app to make our intentions clear, we open ourselves up for a whole new level of hate and ridicule. Either it’s “Nooo!! Not a fatty wanting sex!” or the good old “Hey big hottie, want to fuck? I don’t mind fat girls. No thanks? Well you’re a fat bitch anyway that I wouldn’t touch in a million years.”
Not to mention the whole happy to fuck you in private, but won’t be seen with you in public thing, which I am sure many of you can relate to.
Women in general are objectified and have their sexuality policed, we’re damned if we do and damned if we don’t, but fat women have to deal with a whole extra layer of shaming, ridicule, hatred and being treated like we should be grateful for any crumbs of male attention.
The reality is, fat women have sex. Some of them don’t have sex. Some of them have sex with multiple partners. Some of them have sex with other women. Some of them have sex with people of all gender identities. As consenting adults, we are the ones who have control over who we do or do not have sex with, and how much sex we have in our lives. There is no legitimate reason we should be ashamed of our sexuality. We don’t have to feel grateful or obliged to anyone for wanting to have sex with us. And we certainly do not have to tolerate random douchebags like Jeff Leach ridiculing us on social media.
I am happy to say that Kim had a quite a strong support team around her when she shared that this had happened to her, and there are still people making sure in no uncertain terms that Leach knows his behaviour is unacceptable and that Kim has more awesome in her little finger than he does in his entire skeevy body. Just so that nobody forgets just how amazing Kim is, I’ll leave you with her spoken word piece, Fat Bottomed Girls.