Les Comtesses on the Chicago Tribune's Massive Dose of WTFery

Today Les Comtesses attempt to answer the age-old question, "WTF?!"  (Specifically as it relates to a Chicago Tribune article that is just beyond description.)

via Shakesville, Broaching a weighty subject

Cynical Nymph:  This article.  What? What is this??  WHAT IS WRONG WITH PEOPLE???

Marzie:   I dunno... I'm thinking this is a great way to let people know you're an asshole without the risks of face to face interaction where you'll have to deal with their tears or anger or possible weaponry.

Personal Failure: PF MAD.  Look, I've lived with an obese to morbidly obese man for close to 13 years now.  He does not need to be told he is obese, he knows it. He knows all about the "health concerns", he's tried numerous diets and you know what? Some asshole walking up to him and saying, "a gun to your head! you have it!" is not going to help. Fuck off.  Oh, and another thing? He really doesn't eat much more than I do. My body likes being at the edge of underweight, his body likes being obese. He has lost weight -- and gained it right back. He's not fat for lack of trying, he's fat because of biology. You can't fight millions of years of evolution with a website.

Marzie:  You... You mean, you don't think this website isn't offering the New Mirror?  PF, you are so damn picky.

[redacted]:  Note: this is the newest anti-gay concern troll line of reasoning, as well. Some of them may just be cluelessly parroting the misused stats that they were given, but I don't care what their intent is. I want them to STFU and stop pretending that making it legally impossible for gay relationships to be economically intertwined and harder to get out of when the going gets tough is somehow a solution to STIs associated with promiscuity. First the person trots out the "stats" (without context, or with horrible misunderstanding of it) of STI rates for teh homoz, and then they go all "we're not being hateful, we're trying to save people from an awful death from AIDS."  Obvs, I've left out a lot of nattering, but that's the gist of it.

CN:  I still can't believe Lynn Grefe, the president of NEDA, is actually saying these things.  I want to punch her in the ovaries.  I really do.  Part of NEDA's whole thing, traditionally, is to educate people about not conflating certain weights or body states as eating disordered or healthy, per se.  HI, LYNN, GUESS WHAT YOU JUST DID.

PF:  Really, the CEO of NEDA managed to slap the entire spectrum of ED and weight issues in one interview. I'd be impressed if I weren't so disgusted with her.  Seriously, if I hear "Well, they just don't know they're fat" one more fucking time, I'm going door to door punching everyone who answers in the face in the hopes that I will punch the people saying this shit.

[redacted]:  Excellent idea. I shall invoke the wrath of The Girl Child, as well, because damned if her "friend" didn't call her "fat" the other day.  Note: yes, same friend who told my daughter that "the 'h' 'whore.'"  Yes, I've already talked to school.

Marzie:  Geez!!!

PF:  What the hell are those parents doing?!

CN:  Calling each other fat whores in front of their daughter?

[redacted]:  I can speak from personal experience, though, on pretty much all fronts here. And just because I'm at a healthy weight (almost) and running a mini in two weeks doesn't mean I don't have ridiculous jacked up ideas and behaviors about food AND exercise.

Marzie:  You know, the thing that just bothers me is that idea of people making such assumptions and knowing nothing about what you may be going through to put you where you are.  Me, at 40: [too low] lbs of lean muscled rock climber, virtually counting every single calorie.  Me at 44:  [higher] lbs of bloated, prednisone-swollen celiac out of control, joints swollen and painful, having trouble keeping almost anything down or in.  People would ask me why I gained weight, that I had looked so good before, etc. I mean I looked really SICK, and people are asking about my weight? Hello?

GlamKitty:  People asked WHY you gained weight?!? WTF answer were they expecting?  Maybe... a). "Oh, I just kind of FELT like it, of course! (teehee!)"  b). "I realized that all my clothing fit me too well, but I had grown SO bored with it, and gaining weight was the perfect opportunity to buy lots of new things!"  c). "BECAUSE I REALLY, REALLY WANTED TO FIELD THAT PARTICULARLY-RUDE-&-INSENSITIVE QUESTION FROM ASSHOLES LIKE YOU!!"  Grrrrrrr...

Marzie:  They got the cold stare.

PF:  When I first started dropping weight, I looked awful. My hair was also falling out, I had bags and circles under my eyes, my skin looked waxy, I could hardly move, and people were like "Wow! It's so AWESOME that you're losing weight! Good for you!"  Basically, our entire society has ED.

[redacted]:  If one more person (and let's be clear here: none of these persons has a Y chromosome) whom I haven't seen in a long time but knows I'm running the mini emails me and says "That is so great that you're running a half-marathon! It's so inspiring! I'M JEALOUS; YOU MUST BE SO SKINNY." I am going to beat the crap out of them.  I'm SO MUCH more proud of the fact that I can RUN (well, "run") 11 miles than any of the weight loss or working out or just...anything else right now. I suck at this, and I still do it.  That is unheard of for me.  Also, it's damned hard.  And I still do it.  Also unheard of.  It's the not quitting that I am proud of, not the nonexistent six-pack or quads of steel or whatever.  I's SO frustrating.  SO SO frustrating.  Why is it that my body or my activities are somehow sending this completely false message?  What about the world makes THAT the message they're getting, and how do we shake up the frame that everyone uses to see it?

GK:  I'm torn between two possible courses of action after reading that, and all because of one little word (no pun intended here, believe me): "I'm jealous; you must be so skinny!". (Beating my head against my lovely green wall is my first instinct, but given today's headache level after only a couple hours of sleep, I'm going with Door #2, pinching the bridge of my nose very hard.)  There is something seriously wrong with any society in which people equate being "skinny" with something good and desirable. "Healthy" and "fit" are admirable goals (no matter what size or shape that takes); "skinny" should only be the result of some sort of illness (unless, of course, the goal is weakness and malnourishment, in which case... ~sigh~ there is just no hope).

CN:  This plays back into my obsession with Your Body As Public Property.  It also dovetails nicely with PF's post yesterday about purity obsession in evangelical Christianity.   If I am allowed to feel like I have some say in your body, then the only way I can reason my way to that is to believe your body is in some way mine.  If your body is in some way mine, then I get to control it, or at least feel as though I'm entitled to control it.  And if I'm entitled to control it, then the first step toward control is being Totally Justified In Sharing My Opinions About Your Body With You.

Marzie:  Female body as public property?   I don't see too many men getting questioned...

CN:  Well, if you're a man and you're FAT you get questioned.

Marzie:  Not so much and not as overtly and not as much "Right to know".

[redacted]:  Well the default for "public" property (or really anything in the public sphere, right?) is "belongs to teh menz. Teh white menz speshully."  Right? I mean, you don't get much more uppity than expecting to participate in THEIR world at the same level, hunh?   Also nicely dovetails (how many damn doves are we up to at this point?) with how pregnant women get treated.  I love how they've already got "protecting the rights of the helpless" into the national vocabulary so that any pregnant woman can't possibly be autonomous, because there's a helpless baby in there and IT'S YOUR CHRISTIAN DUTY TO GET ALL UP IN HER UTERUS.  (Note: don't take your wallet with you though.  Or something.  Maybe it's okay to get your wallet up in there if there's a zygote already? No, wait. I don't know.)

CN:  Oh, Quantum Field.  There is too much Body Control All Your Body Are Belong To Us going on for 11:30 a.m.  I think I might have to go break into the booze.


  1. i came over...

    here's one for you: several months ago, i went to the funeral of a friend. a different friend, who i had not seen in a while, came over.
    "you look good, you've lost weight" says this friend.
    i shrug. "my meds make me throw up. a lot. everything. it's REALLY annoying and disconcerting."
    friend: "well, keep up the good work. i mean, that looks good. to bad about this other, though."
    me "Other?"
    "yeah, this wheelchair. i don't care WHO you are, you don't look good in a wheelchair"
    me "are you under the impression that me being in a wheelchair is a *fashion choice*?!?!"
    friend "no, no - i know it's not. i'm just saying, you should get out of it. no one thinks a girl in a wheelchair is pretty"
    me "i can't WALK. what should i do?"
    friend "well, you shouldn't let people see you in a wheelchair"
    me "ok, fuck off now"
    friend "what did i say?"

    i am not joking. he started with "you've lost weight, you look good, except how it's utterly impossible for you to look good because you're in a wheelchair" and just -didn't get- why that was WRONG.
    he's been telling people, ever since, that i'm "overly sensitive" and "crazy" and that everyone should avoid me.


  2. Oh. "He." Not to make sweeping generalizations here, but I'm having a hard time imagining a "she" being your conversational partner here. Not so much because I can't imagine a woman saying these things, but because of the order in which they came out of this person's mouth.

    I remember you telling the first part of this event over in Hell. It remains simply jaw-dropping. Weight loss by any means necessary, unless you actually develop an eating disorder, in which case we are so sad and concerned for you.

  3. i suck! until you pointed it out, i didn't realize that i never qualified gender until the end.

    it still horrifies *me*, and i've cut off all contact with said person. it was...
    i mean - he's ALSO disabled! not to this extent, no - but in all the years i've known him, he's done nothing but collect SSI. [not to deride the receiving of SSI - my point is that he should KNOW what being disabled is like, to some extent!]

    i still don't know which half pisses me off more. sigh

    but the whole "weigh THIS!" always, always bothers me. i was UNDERWEIGHT all thru high school, but because i have extra large breasts and was forced to wear baggy, unflattering clothing to "hide" said breasts, people thought i was waaaaay overweight - until they saw me in something that actually FITTED me. [i had one doctor give me a lecture for 5 straight minutes on how obeisity is unhealthy, until he happened to notice my *actual* weight on his chart - and his lecture changed, mid-word, on a lecture about how EDs are bad for your health. for the record, i did not have ED. i was just always ALWAYS moving - it's why i have now gained weight, now that i'm NEVER moving]

    yeah - be skinny in the RIGHT! way! otherwise you're sick, for being what we demand of you! but i'm secretely jealous of your ABILITY to *maintain* the ED that you use to look the way we demand!

    i really really really really really hate society.

  4. Because my biggest concern when I'm disabled enough to require a wheelchair is "But does this make me look fat?"


    The receptionist at work asked me how I stay so thin- "I want to look like you!"- and I finally just said it. "I'm thin because I'm sick."

    I made her so uncomfortable and I don't think I changed her mind on how to view and talk about weight at all.

  5. Aw, hell yes.

    I suppose I could feel chagrinned on behalf of the receptionist, but really, doesn't the "don't comment on people's weight" rule have to kick in somewhere?

    Denelian, I remember that story about the obese/ED doctor, too. You have a knack for meeting some real tools. I mean, dude.

  6. PF;

    being sick is, apparantly, a COMPLETELY LEGITIMATE MEANS to become skinny. not an ED, of course - but "consumption" is just so *fashionable*! i swear... sadly, you're probably right - AND she's probably mad you, for not sharing your "real" secrets :(

    CN; i do; if this were LARP, it'd be a REAL flaw, that i got points for [they have these, in White Wolf systems, one is "weirdness magnet" - weird people just LIKE you; one is "jackass magnant" which should really read "asshole magnant", but "jackass" is acceptable language and "asshole" is "cursing" or cussing or whatever]

    thankfully, i think i'm slowly meeting better people ;)

  7. The Internet is a little magic for that sometimes, isn't it? :D

  8. it's SOMETHING, anyway :D

    teasing - i met you guys, and you guys rock!


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