February 9th, 2006

red panda eating bamboo

food for thought

alas_a_blog has posted The Big Fat Carnival First Edition, which is - well, I'll quote from the introduction:
The Big Fat Carnival is a blog carnival for collecting some of the best blog posts regarding fat pride; fat acceptance; critiques of anti-fat bigotry, attitudes and research; celebration of images of fat people; practical difficulties of being fat; fat love (queer and otherwise); feminist views of fat and fat acceptance; the health at every size movement (HAES); and whatever else each edition's editor feels fits into the theme.
There's so much linked there that it's overwhelming, and it's also all very good.

Here's one of the ones I found especially interesting. It's from Bitch|Lab and it's entitled
Oppression: It’s a process, not a product. Warning: The image at the top of the page is NWS.

I feel inarticulate but I'll try to explain why I found it interesting. I've been noticing a kind of social analysis lately that I like. I don't know whether it has an official name, but I think of it as "questioning whether [some concept that has a word associated with it] should be considered a noun or a verb." I've encountered it frequently in Marilynn Wann's writings (Warning, NWS images on web page). She responds to much of the criticism leveled at fat people and much of the "obesity epidemic" hysteria/moral panic by saying "Fatness is not a behavior."

The above article about oppression performs a similar analysis by arguing that we need to look at oppression as ongoing action shaped by a variety of forces. A quote:
We need to ask questions such as “Why and how does it come to be that race, sex, gender, disability, fatness, ethnicity, etc. become things in our mind?” and “Why and how is raced raced? Fatness fatnessed? Gender gendered? Sex sexed? Disability disablitied?”

And by that I don’t just mean, “how are we socialized to think these things?” Rather, through what historical processes, what struggles, what political forces were things like race raced, sex sexed, gender gendered, disability disabilitied, and fatness fatnessed?
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