While size acceptance is very positive in theory (and there are many wonderful activists out there doing great work and helping countless numbers of people), some supporters of size acceptance don't practice what they preach. Size acceptance is not just about acceptance of a person's size; it is also about acceptance of people in general. This includes not only their bodies, but their opinions.
Naturally, we are not all going to have matching opinions. We all have our own views and beliefs, and we also believe that we have very good reasons for having them. However, if someone's opinion differs from yours and you find yourself compelled to argue incessantly with someone about it, it's a clue that something beyond simple disagreement is going on.
In my experience with this blog, I have encountered a few people in the size acceptance community who simply seem wired to argue. These are people who have been quick to tell me that I am wrong; that I am expressing myself incorrectly (some of them even offered their own alternatives for me); or that I have other faulty traits that I need to correct immediately. I have noticed two common denominators with these people: 1. They are always strangers; and 2. They are always women.
I don't mind people disagreeing with me. When stating your opinion in a public forum, disagreements are guaranteed. They are to be expected. However, long after a disagreement has been aired and a stalemate declared, if someone keeps coming at me and insists on telling me how to think, how to write, and how to conduct myself, that is a different matter. That's when it stops being a simple disagreement and more like a bizarre kind of controlling behavior.
It's really about respect. If you don't agree with me, that's fine. You are free to state that and your reasons why, and I will accept that. But if you insist on trying to convert me to your way of thinking, that's where I draw the line. Respect my right to think differently, as I do yours.
I have also noticed a strange dichotomy within size acceptance leadership. Rather than receiving newcomers to the cause with open arms, my personal experience with the community thus far has been mostly indifference. I have wondered why. Is it that I'm not political enough? Academic enough? Cool enough? Entertaining enough? No answer anyone could give me would probably satisfy me. I believe that at least part of the reason for this is a phenomenon that occurs with any large organization. In any large organization of people (whether it's a business or simply a group of people with a common interest, such as size acceptance) there are always hierarchies and ranks. The people who "got there first" or who are favored (for whatever reason) dwell higher up the pole than others. The circle is extremely tight-knit and entry or acceptance into this circle is difficult to negotiate. It would be nice if we were all just automatically given the attention and recognition we deserve for our efforts, but how often are the higher-ups in any organization generous about sharing the wealth?
I wish that these petty issues within the size acceptance community didn't exist, and it would be nice if we could all band together in our common cause of life, love, and liberty for people of all sizes and live happily ever after. It appears that we are just as dysfunctional in our own way, though. We need to work on that.
I need to close the written portion of my blog today by stressing that I have met many wonderful women and men in the size acceptance community who have welcomed me warmly, considered what I have to say and either agreed or disagreed with me in a respectful way, and who have made me feel that doing this blog is one of my reasons for living. I love you all, my regular readers and viewers, and your regular visits to this blog and sharing your comments means so much to me.Your love and positivity far outweigh any random negativity I have encountered.
I hope you enjoy the new vlog and let me know what you think!