Sex no longer a taboo subject at nursing homes Sunday, Dec 28 2008 

Sex no longer a taboo subject at nursing homes.

Ah,  the many places that stigma will show its face.  Thats right, the stigma against sexuality (and, in this instance, the specific stigma that “old people dont have sex”) shows up over and over.

What is so wrong about old people having sex?  Within nursing homes, among people within their age range, typically within the same mental capacity, what is wrong?  This is the same thoughts I have about teenage sexuality: within one’s own age group, sexuality is something to be explored and celebrated, rather than stigmatized and hidden.

I hope I am 80 and still having sex!

Assumptions Tuesday, Dec 23 2008 

I have a headache, so I apologize for the incoherence of this post.

It really irks me the assumptions that some people have about entire groups of people. People tend to believe stereotypes because they have met a few select people that live up to that stereotype. However, they also tend to ignore the others that do not live up to that stereotype.

At 320 pounds, I had absolutely no health problems. My blood work was perfect, I was active enough, and I did not eat tons of crap. Yes, I ate some crap. Yes, I did get lazy a lot of the time. But, people would look at me, by virtue of my size, and think “unhealthy.”

After all, the unhealthy aspect is what most people use to stigmatize fat people. Yet, one cannot view health from physical size.

Part of this blog, and part of my life’s work, is to have people challenge their assumptions. My assumptions are challenged on a weekly, if not daily, basis. Face your assumptions. The next time a snap judgment goes through your head, think about it. Isolate exactly why you think that, and see if it is really true.

Stigma Tuesday, Dec 16 2008 

I am moving to New York, so I bought a travel guide. It is designed for tourists, so it talked about travel restrictions.

Until June 2008, HIV positive people were prohibited from visiting or moving to the US.

This is one of the many reasons why I fight the HIV stigma. As well as almost any other stigma that is out there. There seems to be this idea that *those* people deserve to have their rights taken away.

HIV positive people should not travel.
Trans people should not reproduce.
Gay people should not get married.
Black people should not be allowed to marry whites.
Fat people should not be allowed to eat in public.

The idea that all humans are human, and deserve basic human rights seems to have exceptions for *those* kind of people. Which is wrong. And the reason I continue to fight.

Outrage at the system Monday, Dec 8 2008 

I dated someone.  I casually mentioned that I thought one of his friends had an anti-fat bias.  He didnt see it, but after dating me, and talking with me, he started recognizing anti-fat attitudes all over

http://junkfoodscience.blogspot.com/2008/12/this-is-how-you-do-it.html

India.  The country where people are starving.  51% of urban people and 67% of rural people are not able to eat enough for minimum nutrition standards.  6,000 children die every day from malnutrition

And, yes, obesity is a problem.  WTF is wrong with you people!  Being fat is not a bigger issue than people STARVING to death.  Our fear of fat is making things worse, and people are ignoring basic scientific issues to stigmatize fat people.

I love Graph Jam Friday, Dec 5 2008 

song chart memes
more music charts

Video Post Thursday, Dec 4 2008 

Since we are taking about images of women, here are two videos.

The first is “Big Girl, You are Beautiful” (no embedding) by Mika. A note: the song was comissioned by The Butterfly Lounge, so its not like “ooo, Fat anthem out of nowhere.” But, it is a cute video, and inclusive of a lot of sizes. A critique: the “lead” women all have sterotypically corseted shapes, big breasts, small waists. What about us fat girls with small breasts and big stomachs? We dont get to be featured in a video. 🙂

The second is Ella by Bebe. It is in Spanish. Notice the lack of fat people. 🙂

Control Wednesday, Dec 3 2008 

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?