I've been thinking about the ways in which abuse is perpetuated and pushed forward in our culture. Because we live in an extremely abusive and violent culture- a culture that silences victims and protects abusers.
Like how my parents used to say that I could never talk about what went on in our family with anyone. Never tell.
The message of "never tell" only serves the agenda of the people who are doing the abuse, not the victims of it.
I think you should tell. If you can. If you're comfortable.
It helps. Because no matter what, you are never the only one.
Which brings me to the idea of "don't feed the trolls". Maybe this was good advice, in ancient internet times, back when we were swapping posts on message boards, and people would try to instigate massive flame wars.
But for most of us, this is outdated and harmful advice, given by people who are not subjected to the daily abuse that is publicly being a person from a marginalized group on the internet- especially if you aren't a cis man.
I don't argue with these "trolls" but I do keep screenshots of what they send me, especially on Tumblr, where I am getting the most hate. Arguing would be a massive time waste and investment in someone who is not acting in good faith.
I also object to the term "trolling", because I don't think we need a special term for harassment that occurs on the internet, like it's somehow less real.
I do this work on the internet. These things are happening to me on the internet. That doesn't make them not real.
So at any rate- without further ado- I present a selection of my hate mail/comments. Because the last week has been pretty dreadful. Maybe dragging it into the light will clear up some personal headspace for me.
Trigger warning for basically everything. I won't blame you if you want to look away, but keep in mind- for me to continue to do this work- I can't look away. This is what is happening in my workspace.
I'd also like to note that 99% of these comments are from the Ok2BeFat tumblr. This is how people react to the message that fat people shouldn't have to hate themselves. Ok2BeFat is extremely tame and always positive, and this is what I get back on the regular.
I also haven't included the various stalkers I have (for reasons), but yeah, that's happening too.
I don't believe in redacting usernames on shitty comments to save face for shitty people. So I didn't.
The concern trolls.
Yes, I do consider this kind of bullshit to be abusive. Because what it boils down to with concern trolls is- prove to me that you have a right to live. To be happy. That's abusive.
There's a lot of people accusing me of being dangerous and that omg fatness is killing everything.
Pretending that you're just "asking questions"? Check. Bullshit concerns about "tax payers"? Check. Equally concerned about the actual real money governments spend on killing innocent people overseas? I super doubt it.
Fat person buying into fat hatred, check.
Making people go blind. Literally.
My opinion is that you don't know what you're talking about and pretending to care about other people's health is not as good of a camouflage for your hatred of fat people as you think.
So brave. Note the fake concern and the pretend questions.
I'm sure this person is really concerned about my life expectancy based on these fake numbers they made up.
Just asking questions!
We just have SO MANY questions! In no way are these questions loaded! Or an attempt at derailing!
There's so much going on here.
This person is extremely special in that they are demanding I edit my blog to their satisfaction (lol no) and denying that fat people can have eating disorders.
Stop saying that diabetes is not a moral issue or a punishment!
I wonder if y'all's mother in law and old friend are cool with you using their lives as a way to score points on internet strangers.
Here we have 2 super common Reddit and 4chan obsessions- impersonating activists (or SJWs as they would say) and the projection that fat women are just trying to get thin boyfriends.
Wants to "torch" my blog.
They really seem to enjoy imagining these impossible amounts of food.
There's so much going on here.
People who don't want to be told that stigmatizing and humiliating fat children is child abuse. Which it is.
It's apparently ok to feed (starve) a 9 year old child on 800 calories a day. And I'm a bad writer. (Boo hoo. Get your own blog, Talib.)
The Nazis. Actual Nazis, so... yeah.
I just want everyone to know that based on my experiences writing about fatness online, that if you send me hate mail, I'm just going to assume you're a white power Nazi. Because SO MANY of you actually are.
There you have it. A small taster of what life is like for people who do this kind of work.
Why publish it? Because I don't like being in a position where I feel like I can't talk about something. Because people need to see this before they dismiss the need for fat activism to exist. There is a lot of bigotry out there. This is just a very small sampling.