When I attended Temple University (2005), all students were required to take a class in Race Studies. (Let’s all take a moment to think about how fucking awesome that it.) I tookPhilosophy of the African American Experience. When asked what he thought about the idea of “playing the race card,” my professor said, “I didn’t build the deck.” I want to say that to people when they accuse me of “going there.” You know, someone cracks a sexist joke and I call it out, and I’m the loser with no sense of humor, rather than a woman who lives in a patriarchy: I’m just playing the cards in the deck. Same goes for race, fat politics, QUILTBAG issues, ableism, what have you. The deck is stacked to the fucking hilt, so there’s a lot of chances for an aware person to be a buzz kill. In fact, this image is the story of my life.
I have no problem with playing any card or killing every buzz. What do I gain from silence? How does my silence help anyone? Yeah, exactly. Cynara on Tumblr puts it perfectly in a post about “going there” and fat politics:
“As if ‘there’ is a travel destination from which I can choose to come and go instead of the world I am forced to live in. As if I get to opt out of being read, objectified, and stereotyped according to the prevailing cultural attitudes about my body. As if fatphobia and fat oppression, and people being general IDIOTS about size are things that I make up to feel OMG SUPER SPESHUL,access cultural and conversation capital, to seek attention, and to stand out. As if talking anti-oppression talk wins you more favours than enemies. As if there is any social situation where a fat body is a source of privilege or a social advantage. As if people who get shit on TOTALLY BENEFIT from oppression. As if being shit on, to paraphrase Dorothy Alison, ennobles and raises up instead of dehumanizing and destroying. As if I had never been told by teachers, guidance counsellors, professors, potential employers that regardless of my talents or interests that my body made me unfit for work where I’d have to be seen.”
Read the rest of her post here.