There is something you all need to know about me. Some of you might already know it.
I am not nice.
I have never pretended to be so. I have no desire to be nice. I have rebuffed every claim that I am nice. I simply don’t play that game.
I have been an activist now for over 5 years, and still to this day people are demanding that I be nice. They demand that I allow them to say whatever they like in my spaces online They claim that I’m going to be the end of fat acceptance (which I no longer consider myself part of anyway) because I’m not nice enough, because they consider me rude/angry/opinionated/whatever – as though I’m so all powerful that I can bring down fat acceptance on my own. I still deal with people demanding that I explain everything to them in fine detail, and then complain that I’m not nice when I refuse to perform on demand. I still deal with people who seem to think that they have a right to tell me what to do in my online spaces – what I post, what comments I allow, who I can and cannot block/ban from my spaces. There are those that declare that I am censoring them, that I am denying “free speech” or their “right to their opinion” by curating which comments I allow in my own spaces. Five years of people telling me what I can and can’t do in my own space.
As a result of this, I am no longer allowing comments in this blog for most posts. Occasionally I will open up the floor to share things, but mostly, I’m not here for discussion. I’m here to write about my experiences and thoughts and beliefs. This blog is actually first and foremost for me – it’s the place where I get to be heard, when as a fat woman, mostly in the world I am not. When it does connect with other people, and helps them along too, I am THRILLED. That absolutely makes my day. But I am under no obligation to spend my life fixing or educating other people. I fight for my rights as a fat woman, and that contributes to fighting for the rights for ALL fat women – which I am very proud of.
This blog is not a public forum. It is not a discussion board. It is not a debate service. I am not attempting to create a community. I am not a brand, a company or a business. I’m not making money from this – actually my activism costs me WAY more than I can really afford much of the time, and I’m not affiliated with any organisation or corporation. It is MY blog. Mine. 100% my space, my opinions, my thoughts, my choice. I will of course share things here that other people write and create, because I agree with them and think they are important. But I’m not providing space for other people to determine what is done with it.
For anyone who wishes to claim that this is somehow censorship or denying free speech or others’ right to their opinions, you do not understand the actual concept of free speech/censorship. I am not stopping you from saying whatever you like elsewhere. Just here, in this one tiny, pretty obscure corner of the internet. It’s the equivalent of not allowing you in my house if I don’t like you. I’m not stopping you from going to other people’s houses, or even being out in public. Just mine. That is not censorship, it’s creating one small boundary.
So comments are now closed. You are more than welcome to hit the like button at the bottom of each post, or use any of the share functions. You’re welcome to follow me on Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook or Instagram. You can contact me by email. I love to hear from genuine people who bring something to the discussion without expecting me to perform for them on demand. I’ve made some wonderful friends from people who’ve just taken the time to contact me to say hello or talk. I wouldn’t change that for the world. I will miss many of you who are regular commenters if I’m not able to connect with you elsewhere online, but you have all my other places of contact if you wish to keep in touch.
I am no longer going to give time, space and energy to people who wish to debate my right to live my life my with dignity and respect, just because I am a fat woman who refuses to be polite/quiet/invisible.
Of course, this is going to cause even more people to come out and say what a horrible person I am and how I’m somehow denying them something. All I can say to that is GET OVER IT! Go start your own blog/facebook page.
The thing is, nobody demands that men “be nice” in their spaces online. Nobody suggests men are going to ruin an entire world movement if they are not nice. I mean for fuck’s sake, Richard Dawkins is vile and disgusting but nobody holds him up as “ruining atheism”. Russell Brand behaves abominably and nobody tells him to “be nice”. I could list so many men who are anything but nice or polite who never have to deal with people demanding they tone down or be quiet.
Women are expected to always put other people’s feelings, needs and wants before their own. We are expected to always be sweet and kind and defer to others, to be quiet and demure and polite. We are criticised for showing emotion, for being angry, for standing up for ourselves and our rights. Girls and women are meant to be nice. The rest of us are just “bitches”.
Fuck that shit.
I am a lot of things. I am angry. I am outspoken and opinionated. I am hot tempered and argumentative. I am fiercely territorial. I own these things about myself, and while they can get me into trouble sometimes, I am not ashamed of them. When people list them as my “flaws” I do not deny them.
But I am a lot of other things that people rarely acknowledge but regularly attempt to utilise for themselves. I am loyal. I am protective. I am so very compassionate and empathetic of people who are suffering that I literally read the news and cry for the wrongs in the world that I cannot fix. I treat people I encounter in the world with kindness and respect (unless they fail to treat me so). I am strong. I am fierce. I have a wicked sense of humour. Those things are so often ignored because people would rather insist that I stop making them feel uncomfortable. I’ve spent my whole life being uncomfortable with who I am, folks need to deal with being made feel uncomfortable a bit more often.
As a friend once said, I am a laughing lioness. I am not now, nor will I ever be, nice.