Month: June 2017

!2017 – #BulletBra 40s 50s

http://www.boredpanda.com/bullet-bra-fashion-vintage/?utm_source=best&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=ANAD

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!2017 – Robert F. Kenemy Speech in South Africa 1966 June 6.

reTwobber: 170629tko.

Robert F. Kennedy

University of Cape Town, South Africa
N.U.S.A.S. “Day of Affirmation” Speech June 6th, 1966

        I came here because of my deep interest and affection for a land settled by the Dutch in the mid-seventeenth century, then taken over by the British, and at last independent; a land in which the native inhabitants were at first subdued, but relations with whom remain a problem to this day; a land which defined itself on a hostile frontier; a land which has tamed rich natural resources through the energetic application of modern technology; a land which once imported slaves, and now must struggle to wipe out the last traces of that former bondage. I refer, of course, to the United States of America.
        But I am glad to come here to South Africa. I am already enjoying my visit. I am making an effort to meet and exchange views with people from all walks of life, and all segments of South African opinion, including those who represent the views of the government. Today I am glad to meet with the National Union of South African Students. For a decade, NUSAS has stood and worked for the principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights-principles which embody the collective hopes of men of good will all around the world.
        Your work, at home and in international student affairs, has brought great credit to yourselves and to your country. I know the National Student Association in the United States feels a particularly close relationship to NUSAS. And I wish to thank especially Mr. Ian Robertson, who first extended this invitation on behalf of NUSAS, for his kindness to me. It’s too bad he can’t be with us today.
        This is a Day of Affirmation, a celebration of liberty. We stand here in the name of freedom.At the heart of that Western freedom and democracy is the belief that the individual man, the child of God, is the touchstone of value, and all society, groups, the state, exist for his benefit. Therefore the enlargement of liberty for individual human beings must be the supreme goal and the abiding practice of any Western society.
        The first element of this individual liberty is the freedom of speech: the right to express and communicate ideas, to set oneself apart from the dumb beasts of field and forest; to recall governments to their duties and obligations; above all, the right to affirm one’s membership and allegiance to the body politic-to society-to the men with whom we share our land, our heritage, and our children’s future.
        Hand in hand with freedom of speech goes the power to be heard, to share in the decisions of government which shape men’s lives. Everything that makes man’s life worthwhile-family, work, education, a place to rear one’s children and a place to rest one’s head -all this depends on decisions of government; all can be swept away by a government which does not heed the demands of its people. Therefore, the essential humanity of men can be protected and preserved only where government must answer-not just to the wealthy, not just to those of a particular religion, or a particular race, but to all its people.
        And even government by the consent of the governed, as in our own Constitution, must be limited in its power to act against its people; so that there may be no interference with the right to worship, or with the security of the home; no arbitrary imposition of pains or penalties by officials high or low; no restrictions on the freedom of men to seek education or work or opportunity of any kind, so that each man may become all he is capable of becoming.
        These are the sacred rights of Western society. These were the essential differences between us and Nazi Germany, as they were between Athens and Persia.
        They are the essence of our differences with communism today. I am unalterably opposed to communism because it exalts the state over the individual and the family, and because of the lack of freedom of speech, of protest, of religion, and of the press, which is the characteristic of totalitarian states. The way of opposition to communism is not to imitate its dictatorship, but to enlarge individual freedom, in our own countries and all over the globe. There are those in every land who would label as Communist every threat to their privilege. But as I have seen on my travels in all sections of the world, reform is not communism. And the denial of freedom, in whatever name, only strengthens the very communism it claims to oppose.
        Many nations have set forth their own definitions and declarations of these principles. And there have often been wide and tragic gaps between promise and performance, ideal and reality. Yet the great ideals have constantly recalled us to our duties. And-with painful slowness-we have extended and enlarged the meaning and the practice of freedom for all our people.
        For two centuries, my own country has struggled to overcome the self-imposed handicap of prejudice and discrimination based on nationality, social class, or race-discrimination profoundly repugnant to the theory and command of our Constitution. Even as my father grew up in Boston, signs told him that No Irish Need Apply. Two generations later President Kennedy became the first Catholic to head the nation; but how many men of ability had, before 1961, been denied the opportunity to contribute to the nation’s progress because they were Catholic, or of Irish extraction? How many sons of Italian or Jewish or Polish parents slumbered in slums-untaught, unlearned, their potential lost forever to the nation and human race? Even today, what price will we pay before we have assured full opportunity to millions of Negro Americans?
        In the last five years we have done more to assure equality to our Negro citizens, and to help the deprived both white and black, than in the hundred years before. But much more remains to be done.
        For there are millions of Negroes untrained for the simplest of jobs, and thousands every day denied their full equal rights under the law; and the violence of the disinherited, the insulted and injured, looms over the streets of Harlem and Watts and South Side Chicago.
        But a Negro American trains as an astronaut, one of mankind’s first explorers into outer space; another is the chief barrister of the United States government, and dozens sit on the benches of court; and another, Dr. Martin Luther King, is the second man of African descent to win the Nobel Peace Prize for his nonviolent efforts for social justice between races.
        We have passed laws prohibiting discrimination in education, in employment, in housing, but these laws alone cannot overcome the heritage of centuries-of broken families and stunted children, and poverty and degradation and pain.
        So the road toward equality of freedom is not easy, and great cost and danger march alongside us. We are committed to peaceful and nonviolent change, and that is important for all to understand though all change is unsettling. Still, even in the turbulence of protest and struggle is greater hope for the future, as men learn to claim and achieve for themselves the rights formerly petitioned from others.
        And most important of all, all the panoply of government power has been committed to the goal of equality before the law, as we are now committing ourselves to the achievement of equal opportunity in fact.
        We must recognize the full human equality of all of our people before God, before the law, and in the councils of government. We must do this, not because it is economically advantageous, although it is; not because of the laws of God command it, although they do; not because people in other lands wish it so. We must do it for the single and fundamental reason that it is the right thing to do.
        We recognize that there are problems and obstacles before the fulfillment of these ideals in the United States, as we recognize that other nations, in Latin America and Asia and Africa, have their own political, economic, and social problems, their unique barriers to the elimination of injustices.
        In some, there is concern that change will submerge the rights of a minority, particularly where the minority is of a different race from the majority. We in the United States believe in the protection of minorities; we recognize the contributions they can make and the leadership they can provide; and we do not believe that any people -whether minority, majority, or individual human beings-are “expendable” in the cause of theory or policy. We recognize also that justice between men and nations is imperfect, and that humanity sometimes progresses slowly.
        All do not develop in the same manner, or at the same pace. Nations, like men, often march to the beat of different drummers, and the precise solutions of the United States can neither be dictated nor transplanted to others. What is important is that all nations must march toward increasing freedom; toward justice for all; toward a society strong and flexible enough to meet the demands of all its own people, and a world of immense and dizzying change.
        In a few hours, the plane that brought me to this country crossed over oceans and countries which have been a crucible of human history. In minutes we traced the migration of men over thousands of years; seconds, the briefest glimpse, and we passed battlefields on which millions of men once struggled and died. We could see no national boundaries, no vast gulfs or high walls dividing people from people; only nature and the works of man-homes and factories and farms-everywhere reflecting man’s common effort to enrich his life. Everywhere new technology and communications bring men and nations closer together, the concerns of one inevitably becoming the concerns of all. And our new closeness is stripping away the false masks, the illusion of difference which is at the root of injustice and hate and war. Only earthbound man still clings to the dark and poisoning superstition that his world is bounded by the nearest hill, his universe ended at river shore, his common humanity enclosed in the tight circle of those who share his town and views and the color of his skin.It is your job, the task of the young people of this world, to strip the last remnants of that ancient, cruel belief from the civilization of man.
        Each nation has different obstacles and different goals, shaped by the vagaries of historyand of experience. Yet as I talk to young people around the world I am impressed not by the diversity but by the closeness of their goals, their desires and their concerns and their hope for the future. There is discrimination in New York, the racial inequality of apartheid in South Africa, and serfdom in the mountains of Peru. People starve in the streets of India, a former Prime Minister is summarily executed in the Congo,intellectuals go to jail in Russia, and thousands are slaughtered in Indonesia; wealth is lavished on armaments everywhere in the world. These are differing evils; but they are the common works of man. They reflect the imperfections of human justice, the inadequacy of human compassion, the defectiveness of our sensibility toward the sufferings of our fellows; they mark the limit of our ability to use knowledge for the well-being of our fellow human beings throughout the world. And therefore they call upon common qualities of conscience and indignation, a shared determination to wipe away the unnecessary sufferings of our fellow human beings at home and around the world.
        It is these qualities which make of youth today the only true international community. More than this I think that we could agree on what kind of a world we would all want to build. It would be a world of independent nations, moving toward international community, each of which protected and respected the basic human freedoms. It would be a world which demanded of each government that it accept its responsibility to insure social justice. It would be a world of constantly accelerating economic progress-not material welfare as an end in itself, but as a means to liberate the capacity of every human being to pursue his talents and to pursue his hopes. It would, in short, be a world that we would be proud to have built.
        Just to the north of here are lands of challenge and opportunity-rich in natural resources, land and minerals and people. Yet they are also lands confronted by the greatest odds-overwhelming ignorance, internal tensions and strife, and great obstacles of climate and geography. Many of these nations, as colonies, were oppressed and exploited. Yet they have not estranged themselves from the broad traditions of the West; they are hoping and gambling their progress and stability on the chance that we will meet our responsibilities to help them overcome their poverty.
        In the world we would like to build, South Africa could play an outstanding role in that effort. This is without question a preeminent repository of the wealth and knowledge and skill of the continent. Here are the greater part of Africa’s research scientists and steel production, most of its reservoirs of coal and electric power. Many South Africans have made major contributions to African technical development and world science; the names of some are known wherever men seek to eliminate the ravages of tropical diseases and pestilence. In your faculties and councils, here in this very audience, are hundreds and thousands of men who could transform the lives of millions for all time to come.
        But the help and the leadership of South Africa or the United States cannot be accepted if we-within our own countries or in our relations with others-deny individual integrity, human dignity, and the common humanity of man. If we would lead outside ourborders, if we would help those who need our assistance, if we would meet our responsibilities to mankind, we must first, all of us, demolish the borders which history has erected between men within our own nations-barriers of race and religion, social class and ignorance.
        Our answer is the world’s hope; it is to rely on youth. The cruelties and obstacles of this swiftly changing planet will not yield to obsolete dogmas and outworn slogans. It cannot be moved by those who cling to a present which is already dying, who prefer the illusion of security to the excitement and danger which comeswith even the most peaceful progress.
        This world demands the qualities of youth; not a time of life but a state of mind, a temper of the will, a quality of the imagination, a predominance of courage over timidity, of the appetite for adventure over the love of ease. It is a revolutionary world we live in, and thus, as I have said in Latin America and Asia, in Europe and in the United States, it is young people who must take the lead. Thus you, and your young compatriots everywhere, have had thrust upon you a greater burden of responsibility than any generation that has ever lived.
        “There is,” said an Italian philosopher, “nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things.” Yet this is the measure of the task of your generation, and the road is strewn with many dangers.
        First, is the danger of futility: the belief there is nothing one man or one woman can do against the enormous array of the world’s ills-against misery and ignorance, injustice and violence. Yet many of the world’s greatest movements, of thought and action, have flowed from the work of a single man. A young monk began the Protestant Reformation, a young general extended an empire from Macedonia to the borders of the earth, and a young woman reclaimed the territory of France. It was a young Italian explorer who discovered the New World, and the thirty-two-year-old Thomas Jefferson who proclaimed that all men are created equal.
        “Give me a place to stand,” said Archimedes, “and I will move the world.” These men moved the world, and so can we all. Few will have the greatness to bend history itself, but each of us can work to change a small portion of events, and in the total of all those acts will be written the history of this generation. Thousands of Peace Corps volunteers are making a difference in isolated villages and city slums in dozens of countries. Thousands of unknown men and women in Europe resisted the occupation of the Nazis and many died, but all added to the ultimate strength and freedom of their countries. It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped. Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.
        “If Athens shall appear great to you,” said Pericles, “consider then that her glories were purchased by valiant men, and by men who learned their duty.” That is the source of all greatness in all societies, and it is the key to progress in our time.
        The second danger is that of expediency; of those who say that hopes and beliefs must bend before immediate necessities. Of course, if we would act effectively we must deal with the world as it is. We must get things done. But if there was one thing President Kennedy stood for that touched the most profound feelings of young people around the world, it was the belief that idealism, high aspirations, and deep convictions are not incompatible with the most practical and efficient of programs-that there is no basic inconsistency between ideals and realistic possibilities, no separation between the deepest desires of heart and of mind and the rational application of human effort to human problems. It is not realistic or hardheaded to solve problems and take action unguided by ultimate moral aims and values, although we all know some who claim that it is so. In my judgment, it is thoughtless folly. For it ignores the realities of human faith and of passion and of belief-forces ultimately more powerful than all of the calculations of our economists or of our generals. Of course to adhere to standards, to idealism, to vision in the face of immediate dangers takes great courage and takes self-confidence. But we also know that only those who dare to fail greatly, can ever achieve greatly.
        It is this new idealism which is also, I believe, the common heritage of a generation which has learned that while efficiency can lead to the camps at Auschwitz, or the streets of Budapest, only the ideals of humanity and love can climb the hills of the Acropolis.
        A third danger is timidity. Few men are willing to brave the disapproval of their fellows, the censure of their colleagues, the wrath of their society. Moral courage is a rarer commodity than bravery in battle or great intelligence. Yet it is the one essential, vital quality of those who seek to change a world which yields most painfully to change. Aristotle tells us that “At the Olympic games it is not the finest and the strongest men who are crowned, but they who enter the lists…
        So too in the life of the honorable and the good it is they who act rightly who win the prize.” I believe that in this generation those with the courage to enter the moral conflict will find themselves with companions in every corner of the world.
        For the fortunate among us, the fourth danger is comfort, the temptation to follow the easy and familiar paths of personal ambition and financial success so grandly spread before those who have the privilege of education. But that is not the road history has marked out for us. There is a Chinese curse which says “May he live in interesting times.” Like it or not we live in interesting times. They are times of danger and uncertainty; but they are also more open to the creative energy of men than any other time in history. And everyone here will ultimately be judged-will ultimately judge himself-on the effort he has contributed to building a new world society and the extent to which his ideals and goals have shaped that effort.
        So we part, I to my country and you to remain. We are-if a man of forty can claim that privilege-fellow members of the world’s largest younger generation. Each of us have our own work to do. I know at times you must feel very alone with your problems and difficulties. But I want to say how impressed I am with what you stand for and the effort you are making; and I say this not just for myself, but for men and women everywhere. And I hope you will often take heart from the knowledge that you are joined with fellow young people in every land, they struggling with their problems and you with yours, but all joined in a common purpose; that, like the young people of my own country and of every country I have visited, you are all in many ways more closely united to the brothers of your time than to the older generations of any of these nations; and that you are determined to build a better future. President Kennedy was speaking to the young people of America, but beyond them to young people everywhere, when he said that “the energy, the faith, the devotion which we bring to this endeavor will light our country and all who serve it-and the glow from that fire can truly light the world.”
        And he added, “With a good conscience our only sure reward, with history the final judge of our deeds, let us go forth to lead the land we love, asking His blessing and His help, but knowing that here on earth God’s work must truly be our own.


//—–​reTwobber: 170629tko.—–

!2017 – 8 Foods You Should NOT Eat If You Have Joint Pain.

reTrwobber: 170629tko.

http://www.faithpanda.com/8-foods-you-should-not-eat-if-you-have-joint-pain/

Joint pain causes great discomfort, aches, and inflammation, and might vary from mild to severe, acute or chronic. The main causes of joint pain are injuries, gout, lupus, broken or dislocated bones, and fibromyalgia. Joint pain might be aggravated or relieved by certain foods. The following 8 foods should be avoided, in order to soothe the joint pain and its accompanying symptoms:

 1.Sugar
If you suffer from joint pain, you should avoid processed sugars, as they stimulate the release of inflammatory messengers, called cytokines. Therefore, do not consume cereals, donuts, chocolate bars,  and sodas, as excessive sugar levels also apply pressure to bones and cause weight gain.

2.Refined Carbohydrates
White flour products like breads and crackers, white potatoes, white rice, and cereals are refined carbohydrates, which are the leading causes of obesity and chronic issues. They have a high glycemic index and trigger the production of AGE, which stimulates inflammation.

    3.Red And Processed Meats
These meats contain chemicals, purine, and nitrate, which worsen pain and support inflammation, as well as cancer growth.

   4.Dairy Products
Dairy is a highly inflammatory food for numerous people, and it can lead to an inflammatory response.

5.Corn Oil
Corn oil is added to various snacks and baked goods, just like numerous oils rich in omega-6 fatty acids. Yet, studies confirm that these oils cause inflammation. Therefore, you should stop consuming salad dressings, soy, and grape seed oil, and replace them with anti-inflammatory omega-3 alternatives, such as nuts, olive oil, flax seeds, and pumpkin seeds.

    6.Alcohol
Joint pain is significantly aggravated by the excessive alcohol consumption. Beer is rich in gluten, and purines, which are converted into uric acid in the body, and thus have a negative effect on joint pain.

    7.Salt
Numerous packaged and pre-made foods are high in salt and other preservatives, as ways to extend their shelf life. Refined salt is abundant in chemicals and additives, which disrupt the fluid balance in the body. Hence, make sure you avoid junk food and microwaveable meals and use pink Himalayan sea salt instead of regular table salt.

8.Monosodium glutamate
Monosodium glutamate or MSG is an additive used to improve the taste of foods and is often added to salad dressings, deli meats, prepared soups and soup mixes. This additive seriously aggravates joint pain and inflammation, so make sure you stay away from foods that contain it.

//—–reTrwobber: 170629tko.—–

!2017 – Fat bitch (& other bad words)

retweeter: 170627tko.

https://christinaplus.wordpress.com/2017/06/27/fat-bitch-and-other-bad-words/

Fat bitch (and other bad words)

I’m not going to lie: I’m kind of bored of talking about bodies. I’m bored of debating who is allowed to wear a bathing suit and where and when, and asking myself if I’m bikini-ready (I’m not bikini-ready). I’m bored of reading online posts about body positivity that are followed by endless comment sections of cruelty and ignorance. I’m bored of picking up magazines that sell me empowerment on one page and then sell me a thousand products on every other page to make me better, thinner, prettier, sexier (within approved non-trampy limits, of course) and more worthy than I am right now. I’m bored of explaining, over and over again, that it doesn’t matter how a woman dresses or adorns her body, no one gets to assume it’s an invitation to demean, mock, or hurt her.

Bored is, perhaps, not exactly the right word. Exhausted, maybe? Angry, too. Disappointed. Frustrated that here we are in 2017, with no flying cars and I would still be better off if I was thinner, and/or had a penis. I’m tired. Tired of trying to exist in a world that would really prefer I didn’t, at least in my current imperfect, chubby female form.

Let’s be clear: I’m one of the lucky ones. I’m big, yes, but not so big that people are often intentionally cruel to me (dismissive, at times certainly, or “helpful” with their advice on what I ought to do differently to “fix” myself) but I’m rarely treated as poorly as many big folks are with outright scorn, taunting or abuse. I’m also solidly middle-class, have no visible disabilities, I’m cisgendered, heterosexual, and I look like I’m probably 100% western European (I’m not, but looking this white and blonde is a pretty huge hallway pass as we all know.) The only way my life could be more privileged is if I was wealthy and a man. In other words, I’m aware that my experience is modulated and made easier by virtue of my position in the world – a black, queer woman with the very same body shape as mine would undoubtedly experience far more discrimination and just plain rudeness than I will ever know.

It’s also a bonus in my corner that I actually enjoy all those “girly” things that the world wants me to: I love dressing up, wearing high heels, and I could spend an hour looking at makeup at Sephora and still not be able to decide exactly which shade of lipstick is just right. I like push-up bras and shaving my legs. I like reading Vanity Fair for the political articles AND the fashion spreads, and I believe there is really no such thing as too many earrings, shoes or purses. You get the picture.

I accidentally fit the mold the world has for me. (We could easily have a debate at this point over whether or not my girly inclinations are a product of my in-born personality or my culture and environment, but that’s a bigger tangent than we have time for today and the end point is still this: I like the way I am. I enjoy being the person I am. I do not feel that my role has been foisted upon me, or that I am forced to falsely stick to a female narrative that is not authentic. So, nature or nurture? Moot point, to some degree, though an interesting question all the same.)

But if I had short hair, or dressed in a “masculine” manner, or hated carrying a purse, or refused to shave my arm pits AND I was ALSO chubby, would the world be as kind to me? I think we all the know answer to that.

The point I’m making here is that most of the time, I am afforded a great deal of respect despite my body by virtue of all the other ways that privilege expresses itself in my life – which is to say, in almost all ways.

But I’m not immune to it. I still live in this world, am still pushed and pulled by the culture that I exist inside of, am still influenced by all the ways I am told every day that I’m not quite right. I can recall with horrifying clarity every comment that has been made about my body – from a boy in my junior high school calling me a battleship with his arms held wide, to a close friend who once advised me that perhaps the solution to an unrequited crush was simply that I ought to lose weight (as though I did not already spend most of my life at that point with highly disordered eating patterns aimed at that one primary goal.) I remember being told, in a sympathetic tone – as though to protect me from hurt – that certainly the man I was sleeping with at one point in my early 20s was taking advantage of me and didn’t really like me – because I was too fat for any other answer to be rational (I was maybe a size 14 at the time, at most.) When I was pregnant, a well-meaning but clueless member of the extended family took to calling me the House, because I was “as big as a house.”

I could go on, all day long. Couldn’t we all?

And perhaps I am fair game to criticism. I opened the door myself, after all: I’ve been writing about my body for years, in newspapers and books and blogs and magazines. I’ve told strangers about its size and shape and the food that goes into it and the workouts it does and the sexuality inside of it and the way it has informed my personality and how grateful I am for its strength and imperfection and how good it feels to finally take a breath and just … be … friends … with it. And before that, I was always the first with a joke, a comment, an invitation to observe on my body as though it were a thing separate from me.

But …. I’m rambling on, aren’t I? And if I’m so bored of talking about this, why am I?

A few weeks ago, I came up to an intersection just as the light turned yellow. There should have been time for me to go through long before it turned red, but a pedestrian stepped out into the crosswalk way too early, forcing me to hit the brakes. As a result, the nose of my car blocked a portion of the crossing. With another car tight behind me, I couldn’t back up.

The group of pedestrians eyed me from the curb as they waited for the walk sign. I felt bad, knowing they’d need to scoot around the front of my car, but it was that or hit the jaywalker – and I think I made the right call there.

When the walk light flashed, two 30-something men stepped off the sidewalk first and made a wide berth around the front of my car. I made eye contact, shrugged a little, and mouthed “sorry” to indicate that I knew I was in their way.

They were well-dressed. Clean. Tidy hair cuts. Good looking. I assumed (ironically, based on appearances) that a modest level of politeness and civility would force a nod in my direction. At worst, they would just ignore me.

Instead, one of them waved in the direction of my car and its offending position in the crosswalk and said, loudly and scornfully: “Fat bitch.”

Fat bitch. Oh lord. The oldest, quickest, laziest, way to put a fat girl in her place. It’s insanely effective. When I was younger, a comment like this would inspire only stunned silence and embarrassment, along with a jack-rabbit heart rate and a bright red face.

But I’m not so young anymore. And not so scared of rude men.

In the millisecond after “fat bitch” echoed out, I knew I could ignore it, or I could engage. Ignoring it was so tempting. This bullshit is boring, right? I’m over it, right? I’m too old to get phased, right? It’s just some douchebag jerk who will never change, so what’s the point, right?

But I couldn’t ignore it. I couldn’t ignore the frustration that still, always, forever, my body and its shape permits people to speak to me a way they might not to others. I couldn’t ignore that his words made me feel ashamed and small – like everything else good and decent and positive about me had disappeared – and then enraged that I allowed myself to feel ashamed and small. I couldn’t ignore all the times some entitled jerk – or a well-meaning friend, even another woman – had belittled me intentionally or accidentally with careless, callous words. I don’t want to make a mountain of a molehill but this molehill – this particular fat-bitch molehill – pissed me off. It pissed me off enough to not, this time, be quiet.

So I waved at him, and smiled, and yelled out my open window: “NO, THANK YOU, I DON’T WANT TO HAVE SEX WITH YOU!”

He faltered, a visible hesitation in his stride. His friend barked out a laugh.

“What did you –“

I cut him off this time.

“THANK YOU!” I yelled, grinning and waving. “NO SEX, BUT THANK YOU!”

He was well past my car now, but he slowed, and turned around to look at me. The sudden flare of rage in his face made me realize I might have pushed it too far.

I had done the unthinkable, the unpardonable, the most dangerous thing: I had embarrassed a man when he was trying to embarrass me. I had put him in his place, when he was trying to put me in mine. I had not lowered my head when his words clearly told me I ought to.

For a fraction of a second, I cowered. I almost let the smile fall, almost turned away. My heart was racing and I was praying the light would change so I could just speed off. But I stared back. Smiling. Unmoving. I like to imagine there was a glint in my eye, something steely and determined but that’s probably too poetic for an event that lasted no longer than a handful of seconds.

His buddy yanked at his jacket sleeve, as though to say “leave it, let’s go.”

Instead, he paused, pointed at me and yelled – in the grand tradition of assholes everywhere: “STUPID CUNT.”

Before we go any further, let me just say I know this word is loathed by most women. I actually don’t hate this word; at times, I really quite like it. This word – like slut, or bitch, or even fat – has a power behind it, most often used negatively. But it’s not in itself a bad word, and in the right hands, in the right moment, in the right context, it can be powerful in its own way.

But this man did not mean it in a powerful way. He meant it to be degrading and to make me as tiny as possible: to diminish me down to one body part. One stupid body part, at that.

I smiled at him. I smiled at him as calmly and beautifully and peacefully as one can possibly smile.

And I yelled back: CUNTS AREN’T STUPID! THEY’RE FUCKING MAGICAL!

I wish with all my heart I could take credit for these words, but I can’t. Last year, I read about a woman’s experience with a group of cyclists on a narrow farm road, in which one of them yelled “stupid cunt” at her as she drove past. Later, seeing them in the next small town up the road, she approached them to talk about it, and to call out the man who had shouted at her for seemingly no reason. The interaction ended with her walking back to her car and then, over her shoulder, yelling this phrase. I was so inspired by her bravery in facing them down that I told myself the next time some creep called out “stupid cunt” I would blaze forth with this same reply: THEY’RE FUCKING MAGICAL. Fabulous, isn’t it? Because it’s true. They are magical. So I’d saved it in the mental pocket reserved for comebacks and there it had sat until this moment.

CUNTS AREN’T STUPID! THEY’RE FUCKING MAGICAL!

The man in the crosswalk glared at me like he wished I was dead. A fat bitch, stupid cunt, daring to yell back at him? About the magic of vaginas, of all things? It seemed just then that anything could happen, that he might hit my car, hit me, lose it entirely – but after a few endless eternal seconds, he turned and stalked off.

The light changed and I drove away.

I would like to say I drove away empowered, but I didn’t.

I drove away sad, and shaking, scared by the hint of violence and by the look in his face, by the sudden breach of conflict in an otherwise calm and normal day. I drove away thinking what a small incident this was compared to the acts of aggression and violence perpetrated against “the other” every day. About how people live this way, attacked, ALL THE TIME, every hour, every day, because of how they look, or how they dress, or how big they are, or who they are holding hands with when they walk down the street, or the colour of their skin.

And I couldn’t help but wonder how the entire episode might have played out if I had been thinner, prettier, younger? Would he have circled the nose of my car and used it as an opportunity to hit on me instead? Would he have simply forgiven me my vehicular transgression and carried on with a smile and nod? Would the moment have reinforced my notion that the world was fundamentally good and kind because it was good and kind to me? What if, on the other hand, I had been another skin colour, or had been wearing a head scarf, or had been fatter? Would he have tolerated me even well enough to limit it to just those few words had I been less privileged and less powerful?

I’m bored of talking about bodies. Of talking about how our bodies permit us – or limit us – to exist in the world in particular ways. I’m bored of asking myself if I have permission to wear a certain dress or to behave a certain way. Because we shouldn’t still be talking about it. Because we should be past it now. We should be past “fat bitch” and “stupid cunt.” We should be past telling people what to wear and how to cover up and what they are allowed to do and not do because of the size of their hips. We should be past all of these things because there’s so many other bigger battles that need fighting in this world.

But we’re not past it.

So I guess I keep talking about it, after all. Whatever else I am, I’m not quiet. Not anymore.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Published by Christina M.

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1 thought on “Fat bitch (and other bad words)”

  1. This is brilliant. All I can do in street confrontations is make unintelligible bird sounds. This is so much better.

    But yes – we should be beyond fighting about our differing shapes and our differing selves, and no one should be able to make us fearful because of those differences. It is vile and discomforting to know men like these are crossing nearby streets, not even ashamed of the ugliness they spew.

    Even though you still felt rough afterwards, you did shift that scenario into something a bit better and much more absurd. That is a powerful thing.

    Like

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!2017 – #SummerSolstice

​​​reTweeter:170621tko.

#SummerSolstice #1stDayOfSummer’2017
#June21st2017: #NorthernHemisphere
#OurLongestDayOfThe year.
Enjoy 16 long day light hours.

Okay, most people know this one. Earth orbits around the sun on a tilted axis (probably because our planet collided with some other massive object billions of years ago, back when it was still being formed).

NASA

So between March and September, Earth’s Northern Hemisphere gets more exposure to direct sunlight over the course of a day. The rest of the year, the Southern Hemisphere gets more. It’s the reason for the seasons:

In the Northern Hemisphere, “peak” sunlight usually occurs on June 20, 21, or 22 of any given year. That’s the summer solstice.
By contrast, the Southern Hemisphere reaches peak sunlight on December 21, 22, or 23 and the north hits peak darkness — that’s our winter solstice.

For astrologists, the summer solstice marks the beginning of summer. The winter solstice announces the start of winter, with equinoxes in March and September heralding the start of Spring and Autumn. Meteorologists use a different system based on the calendar year.

//—– reTweeter: 170621tko.—–

​!2017 – Hearty Vegetarian Quinoa Chili

​!2017 – Hearty Vegetarian Quinoa Chili
reblogger: 170616tko.

Ingredients(8):

1). 4 tsp (20 mL)  olive oil;

2). 2 cups (500 mL)  roughly chopped cremini mushrooms (6 oz/180 g);

3). 2  onions, diced;

4). 1  jalapeno, finely chopped;

5). 2 tbsp (25 mL)  chili powder;

6). 1 can (796 mL)  PC Blue Menu Diced Tomatoes;

7). 1 can (540 mL)  PC Blue Menu 6 Bean Medley , drained and rinsed;

8). ½ cup (125 mL)  PC Organics Quinoa.

Instructions:

1). In large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat;

2). Cook mushrooms and onions for 12 to 14 minutes, stirring often, or until golden;

3). Stir in jalapeno and chili powder, cook 1 minute longer, stirring frequently;

4). Stir in diced tomatoes and juices, beans, quinoa and 1 cup (250 mL) water;

5). Bring to a boil;

6). Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and cook for 20 minutes or until quinoa is tender;

7). Serve garnished with PC Blue Menu Yogurt Spread (or fresh Lime slices)  and chopped fresh coriander, if desired.

Enjoy and don’t forget to feed me back. Thank you.

//—-

— reblogger: 170616tko.——