**UPDATE: Since posting this, much to our disappointment, the author of the original blog actually deleted RRW's comment on her "Dolly_Speaks" blog. As we say in our responses to some of your comments below, a little disagreement can be good tool for change all around. We can all learn something. Good thing we posted our response to Dolly's blog before she deleted it.**



'Thin Privilege' exists, but depending on how it's presented, could it cause even more rifts within the women's movement?

We commented on a blog regarding individual struggles and size discrimination. The blogger "Dolly" makes some good points, but as you will see in our comment, we also do not necessarily appreciate the black and white approach that is taken. What do you think? First, read RRW™'s response and then scroll down to see Dolly's original post...

We wanted to share with you a vast array of opinions and perspectives that were expressed on the issue of size discrimination, the "thin privilege" and what it means to truly support women's right no matter what our size may be...

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RRW™'s RESPONSE:

Hi Dolly!

Thank you for writing about such a crucial issue. I absolutely support many of the points on societal inequality you have made in this post, but I’m not sure your approach is one that I agree with. You are completely correct in saying that there is a huge advantage in fitting into societal beauty standards placed upon women (and men) in our culture, which is neither right nor fair. On the other hand, you could also argue that just as women with curvier bodies should not be harshly judged by others, thinner or even average-sized women most definitely should not be criticized or unfairly judged.


We all have our own unique experiences, many of which are heavily influenced by our weight, race, gender, orientation, age and sadly, much more. Yes, an anorexic woman who looks in the mirror and literally cannot see her true size may not feel the same exact type of emotions and fears as a woman who is truly overweight, but climbing onto that treadmill or going out in public can be just as traumatizing… very different, but equally frightening.


I think it’s crucially important to recognize that although women of a higher weight may have different experiences than those who are slimmer or average-sized, that does not mean that the emotional and psychological effects of any one portion of that spectrum are any less difficult.


It is not fair for any one group to place judgments on the personal experiences of another. Women are supposed to be in this struggle together, and while not all of us are on the same page with that, the rest of us have to try to keep the ball rolling! Accepting our differences and embracing the many more things we have in common will do much more for our cause in the end. Regardless of whether we’re big, small, average, muscular or none of the above, women are in this fight together, and we need all of us to participate equally in order to make any headway.


Thanks, everyone…


REVOLUTION OF REAL WOMEN™


©2009 REVOLUTION OF REAL WOMEN, LLC. All rights reserved.


Comment by REVOLUTION OF REAL WOMEN.com™ — July 27, 2009 @ 4:52 pm

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ORIGINAL POST BY "Dolly_Speaks":

July 26, 2009

Thin Privilege 101
Filed under: Feminism, Size Acceptance — Dolly @ 4:03 pm
Tags: every woman has an eating disorder, fat acceptance, fat oppression, Size Acceptance, thin feminists, thin privilege

Dear Thin Feminists,


I understand that we are living in a culture where women’s bodies are regularly objectified and sexualized by the media. I think it’s fair to say that 99.9% of American girls grow up with some kind of body image problems or insecurities as the result of this culture. I may even agree with Courtney Martin’s supposition that every woman in our culture has an eating disorder, given our obsession with food and the impossible beauty standard. But I think you forget something crucial every time we have this conversation about women, their bodies, and the patriarchy.


That is: Not all women’s bodies are oppressed equally. Just because all women feel fat does not mean all women are fat. There is something unique to being fat, whether a person is a man or a woman, that makes that person uniquely oppressed in this society. And failing to acknowledge that is thin privilege.


Too frequently I find that many thinner feminists in the blogosphere consolidate your body insecurities with your understanding of fat and size acceptance. To you, the fear of looking fat becomes the same as actually being fat. And while you are certainly entitled to your struggles with body acceptance, you need to understand that the two are not the same. Just as being a man privileges one in our patriarchal culture, being thin privileges you in our fat-hating culture. Consider some of the privileges you own below:


* You can eat in a fast food establishment without being pegged as the typical “Super Size Me” fatty.

* You can eat a conventionally “bad” food (i.e. hamburger, chocolate sundae) without it being attributed to your obsession with food, your slobbishness, your uncontrollable eating behavior, your lack of morality, or your failure to stick to a diet or other “healthy” lifestyle.
* You can go to a gym and not have to fear derisive snickers when you step on the treadmill.
* You can go to any general clothing/department store and know they will have clothes in your size.
* You can find more styles and options in clothing, no matter what store you go to.
* While no one likes to be jeered at, you are more likely to be catcalled than you are to be “cow” called.
* You are less likely to be discriminated against when it comes to job interviews. You are more likely to get call backs and become employed.
* You are less likely to be discriminated against in the medical establishment. You can go to the doctor with an earache, a sore throat, or a cough and not have it attributed to your fatty-fatness.
* You are less likely to be discriminated against when it comes to buying an apartment or home. You will not be judged as messy or a poor tenant because of your size.
* You can go to a psychiatrist or a psychologist with problems of depression and anxiety–and not have them attributed to your size.
* You will not be judged as unhealthy, lazy, stupid, smelly, etc. if you are seen sweating in public, sitting on a bench, or wearing sweatpants.
* You will not have to worry about fitting into restaraunt booths, airplane seats, or other small public spaces.
* You will not be accused of damaging the environment because of your size and, subsequently, your assumed consumption levels.
* You will never be judged as an “easy lay” because you’re so fat you would be desperate for it. You will never be considered “unfuckable” because of your size.
* If you work at a job where you are sitting (i.e. an office cubicle), you will not be judged as sluggish. If you work a job where you are mobile, you will not be ridiculed for the movement of your fat body.

That’s just a short list of benefits that you have from not being fat in this culture. (There are more)


The way to respond to that list is not with a cry, “But it’s hard to be a thin woman too!” While being called ”beanpole/anorexic” and struggling to find A-sized bras as the result of being thin is a struggle, declaring that it is tantamount to being denied adequate medical service and facing job discrimination as the result of being fat, is simply untrue. Continuing to make claims like this only alienates the fat feminists looking to ally with you. Your defensiveness ends up echoing the defensiveness of the men who cry, “But what about us?” in conversations about sexism and patriarchy.


Yes, thin feminists, you may have fought a journey to come to terms of acceptance with your body. You may feel anger over the objectification of all women’s bodies in this society. Those problems may be connected simply to being a woman in this society. But it’s not the same as being a fat woman. There are too many challenges unique to being fat in today’s world that go beyond your struggles with accepting yourself. Understand that acknowledging this does not mean minimizing your suffering or invalidating your experiences. But it means understanding there is another layer to kyriarchy, and not seeing how you are privileged from it is minimizing and invalidating the experiences of others.


When you’re ready to have a conversation about how fat, typically considered a feminine physical trait, contributes to the fat hatred in our culture and makes it that much more difficult for fat women to be heard and respected in the patriarchy, the fat feminists will be ready for you.


Cheers,


Dolly


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We encourage you to go to the original blog and also participate in the discussion there:
http://dollyspeaks.wordpress.com/2009/07/26/thin-privilege-101/


©2009 REVOLUTION OF REAL WOMEN, LLC. All rights reserved.



Exciting news! RRW™ will be attending the 2009 NEDA Conference in September! We'll be taking plenty of pictures and sharing stories along the way and upon our return.

The National Eating Disorder Association (NEDA) is an excellent organization. if you have not yet check out all of the amazing resources on their website, please do!


©2009 REVOLUTION OF REAL WOMEN, LLC. All rights reserved.

 

By Sarah O Rourke
Art piece by Sarah O Rourke

Excerpt:

Mirrors, are integral part of life we use them to create an image of who we are, who we think we should or could be and who we want to be, you find them in our bathrooms, bedrooms, purses and in other people’s eyes, words and thoughts. As an art exhibition Mirrors become a tool in expressing how others see themselves, reflecting how we see ourselves and the common thoughts and images that surround this, but furthermore Mirrors is a means to show how art can transform, reveal, confirm and change our associations between the beauty within both life and ourselves.

Mirrors: A Charity Art Exhibition: Expressing, transforming and clarifying the shades of limelight that frame our body image.” Click here for more...


©2009 REVOLUTION OF REAL WOMEN, LLC. All rights reserved.

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Excerpt from article by PUNITA RIMAL - Correspondent - Women News Network:

Dalit women are denied not once but three times in Nepal society – as a woman, as a Dalit, and as a Dalit woman. Discriminated by class, caste and gender they survive in spite of an often cruel and dismissive society. In our 21st Century, in Nepal’s third millennium, if you thought that conflicts of upper-caste and lower-caste were a thing of the past you’re wrong. Stories of Dalit women cruelty are frequently found in Nepali news media. But it hasn’t changed anything. Why?


Can Nepal women ‘untouchables’ outlive tired caste systems? Read more here...

©2009 REVOLUTION OF REAL WOMEN, LLC. All rights reserved.

 

RRW ADversary™: The Anti-Gym& Michael Karolchyk

Many of you have already heard about this obscenity of a man/company, but we thought that outing the 'Anti-Gym' and its founder, Michael Karolchyk, was far overdue. Brace yourselves, this one's EXTREMELY offensive... :-(

http://www.theantigym.com/blowyourmind.html

 

©2009 REVOLUTION OF REAL WOMEN, LLC. All rights reserved.

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