Question of the Day

Suggested by Shaker Chelsea Black: "If you could switch places with any fictional character ever, which one would you choose and why?"

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Two-Minute Nostalgia Sublime

Aretha Franklin: "Respect"

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Photo of the Day

image of Hillary Clinton and Michelle Obama at their campaign event in North Carolina, both making mm-hmm! faces
Mm-hmm, Donald Trump. Nasty women are coming for ya.

[Photo via.]

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Daily Dose of Cute

image of Zelda the Black and Tan Mutt dozing off to sleep on the couch, her head on a pillow and the tip of her tongue sticking out
Sleepy doggeh.

As always, please feel welcome and encouraged to share pix of the fuzzy, feathered, or scaled members of your family in comments.

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In the News

Here is some stuff in the news today...

[Content Note: Bigotry; voter suppression; video may autoplay at link] This Bloomberg piece, "Inside the Trump Bunker, with 12 Days to Go," is incredible. There is a lot there, but this passage in particular is notable: "Instead of expanding the electorate, Bannon and his team are trying to shrink it. 'We have three major voter suppression operations under way,' says a senior official. They're aimed at three groups Clinton needs to win overwhelmingly: idealistic white liberals, young women, and African Americans."

Ted Cruz is still awful: "'You know, I think there will be plenty of time for debate on that issue,' said Cruz, when he was asked whether a Republican-controlled Senate should hold votes on a President Hillary Clinton's nominees. 'There is certainly long historical precedent for a Supreme Court with fewer justices. I would note, just recently, that Justice Breyer observed that the vacancy is not impacting the ability of the court to do its job. That's a debate that we are going to have.'" Just a Republican Senator, threatening to indefinitely prevent Democratic presidents from filling Supreme Court vacancies.

Meanwhile, Democratic Rep. Elijah Cummings "offered a sobering assessment of the GOP's willingness to undermine a Hillary Clinton White House, indicating that impeachment was already on the table."

[CN: Sexual assault; misogyny] This is a very, very good piece by Amber Tamblyn: "The Frame That Holds the Big Picture: How Mothers and Daughters Can Change the Way We Talk About Being Women."

[CN: Animal harm; image of poached elephant at link] Fucking hell: "World on track to lose two-thirds of wild animals by 2020, major report warns: Living Planet Index shows vertebrate populations are set to decline by 67% on 1970 levels unless urgent action is taken to reduce humanity's impact."

Noelia Garella is Argentina's first nursery school teacher with Downs syndrome. She said: "I adore this. Ever since I was little, I have always wanted to be a teacher, because I like children so much." And so, despite resistance, she became a teacher! And a good one, too, who is loved by her students and their parents. There's a great video (which autoplays) about Noelia here.

Hahahaha: "Gay News Anchor Has the Best Possible Joke About Victoria Secret's 'Fantasy Bra'."

[CN: Moving gif at link] OMG CATS. That is all.

What have you been reading?

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Hillary Clinton's Sins

I've got a new piece at Shareblue on the incoherent and irreconcilable attacks on Hillary Clinton:

Much of this election has centered around attacking Hillary Clinton for standing the line on behalf of people under legislative and rhetorical assault by her political opponents. And they come from two angles: That she has been corrupted by institutional power, and that she has been corrupted by "political correctness."

What is continually fascinating about the attacks on Clinton is that they are fundamentally irreconcilable. On the one hand, she is attacked for doing the bidding of powerful corporate special interests. On the other hand, she is attacked for being beholden to marginalized, identity-based special interest groups.

Both cannot be true, because those respective groups have competing and mutually exclusive needs and objectives.

What is true, however, is that we have seen Clinton, over and over, leverage her relationships with influential, wealthy institutions and individuals in order to convince them to move the needle on their priorities and/or to donate resources to be used on behalf of her marginalized constituencies.
As always, click through to read the whole thing!

These attacks, of course, come from both Hillary Clinton's right and from her left. The latter is particularly curious to me, because what progressives say we expect of people in power, and of one another, is to leverage our privilege on behalf of people without it.

Clinton's career looks precisely like that on a grand scale. That she has credibility with power-brokers gives her that leverage. Credibility grants access. It isn't the access itself that is the issue, as is central to most of these critiques. It's what someone does with that access.

And it's pretty clear to me, after having studied her record for decades, that she leverages it pretty spectacularly.

That doesn't mean perfectly. It means better than just about anyone else, and maybe everyone else.

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Hillary & Michelle: On the Campaign Trail Together!

In about a half hour or so, First Lady Michelle Obama will join Hillary Clinton on the campaign trail in North Carolina! Squeeeeee! Consider this an open thread for discussion, if you're able to watch their joint event live.

C-SPAN will livestream the event.

The embedded video below should be a livestream once the event begins. I will try to find a replacement if it's not working once the event starts.

UPDATE: I've got a new piece at Shareblue on the two First Ladies campaigning together: "Feminist First Ladies join forces to defeat sexist Trump — what a time to be alive." Enjoy!

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Fatsronauts 101: Fat Halloween

[Content Note: Fat hatred.]

Halloween is right around the corner—and thus Halloween costume parties—and, every year, after Halloween, I see pictures circulated on social media, without their subjects' consent, of fat adults dressed up as recognizable characters who aren't fat. (Very occasionally, I see this done to fat kids, too.) These pictures are inevitably shared to mock the fat costumed person, often under the presumption that the fat person doesn't understand how they look and frequently accompanied by resentful accusations that the fat person is "ruining" the character.

Don't do this.

Let me tell you that fat people dressed as thin characters understand we look different than the thin character. It's not that we don't know how we look; it's that we don't care what you think.

And why should we, when you think that a fat woman dressed up as Trinity or a fat man dressed up as Spock "ruins" the character? That's a garbage opinion. You're telegraphing to us that your opinion shouldn't be valued.

I have seen arguments on social media in which mockers of fat costumed people justify their mockery, their assertions that the characters are "ruined" by fat people, on the basis that "Batman could never be fat" or "Wonder Woman could never be fat," literally without a trace of fucking acknowledgment that Superman and Wonder Woman could never exist at all. It's a fantasy.

What they're saying, with their also-bullshit contentions about what fat bodies can and cannot do (which are almost always wrong), is that a fat body ruins the fantasy for them. Which is really their problem. Not the fat person in the costume.

And frankly, if one can imagine a man who can lift an entire skyscraper with one hand, but couldn't lift his own ass into the air if it were fat, one really doesn't have much of an imagination.

But the problem isn't a lack of imagination so much as it is a lack of decency. All year long, fat people are expected to hide ourselves away from view—to not take up space; to speak softly; to exercise, but not in public; to cover ourselves in yards of fabric to conceal the shapes of our bodies; to carry ourselves hunched and bowed, so that we might be smaller and convey the shame we are obliged to communicate for our very existence—and it's the same on Halloween. Best that we don't show ourselves at all, and certainly not dressed as a thin character.

The message is clear: You don't deserve to be that character, because you are fat.

Fuck that.

We aren't required to wait to live our lives, to do the things we want to do, unless and until we lose weight. We can live and do and thrive right now.

The public mockery of fat people in thin character costumes is explicitly designed to shame us back into hiding, into not living, unless and until we earn the right of participation by making ourselves thin.

I repeat: Fuck that.

And then there's this: I am a fat person who actively wants to dress up as fat characters for Halloween. And before Melissa McCarthy made it so that I could be a cop, a spy, a goddamned Ghostbuster, three whole characters, there wasn't a hell of a lot from which to choose. Not if you want to dress as a person. A fat person. Like yourself.

So, you know, if you're mad that a fat woman like me comes to your Halloween party dressed up as a fat Lara Croft, direct your ire at the rest of the fucking world, which denies us a delicious array of visible fat characters we can cosplay.

And if you really want to be mad at a fat Halloween costume, how about the costumes that treat fat people's personhood itself as a costume?

Because, honestly, if you're angry about a fat person dressing like a thin fictional character, but not angry about thin people dressing like fat people as though we're monsters, you have derailed.

[Originally posted October 27, 2015.]

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This Is Intolerable

[Content Note: Violent imagery and rhetoric.]

[Tweet includes image of an effigy of Hillary Clinton with a noose around the neck.]

[Tweet includes images of sexist and racist t-shirts being sold at a Trump rally.]

I shared some other recent examples of this heinousness on Monday.

In the New York Times, there is a story about some number of Trump supporters who are either calling for or predicting violent revolution if Hillary Clinton wins.
Jared Halbrook, 25, of Green Bay, Wis., said that if Mr. Trump lost to Hillary Clinton, which he worried would happen through a stolen election, it could lead to "another Revolutionary War."

"People are going to march on the capitols," said Mr. Halbrook, who works at a call center. "They're going to do whatever needs to be done to get her out of office, because she does not belong there."

"If push comes to shove," he added, and Mrs. Clinton "has to go by any means necessary, it will be done."
The media have a lot to account for this election, when it comes to their coverage of Clinton. Among them, and at the top of the list, is their manifest refusal to simply debunk this absurd idea that the United States will become an apocalyptic hellscape if she's elected. The proliferation of this narrative came long before the "rigged" horseshit, and it was within that context that the "rigged" narrative took hold.

It's unfathomable how dangerously irresponsible the corporate media have been during this election.

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Shaker Aeryl mentioned this in comments yesterday, but for anyone who may have missed it...

[Image in tweet is of the extraordinary glass ceiling at the Javits Center.]

And there's more: "As Mother Jones reported Wednesday, Clinton's choice also trolls her rival, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, who once called the building a 'catastrophe.'"

Such a nasty woman.

Heh heh heh.

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Cake, Please!

[Image in tweet is of Clinton handing out pieces of birthday cake to the press.]


You guys, I'm beginning to think that some of the things I've been reading about Hillary Clinton for 30 years aren't entirely accurate.

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Open Thread

image of a yellow couch

Hosted by a yellow sofa. Have a seat and chat!

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Question of the Day

Suggested by Shaker lupinella12: "What is your favourite dance to watch/perform?"

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Two-Minute Nostalgia Sublime

Tiffany: "I Think We're Alone Now"

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The Wednesday Blogaround

This blogaround brought to you by cumin.

Recommended Reading:

Lilly: [Content Note: Reproductive coercion; hostility to consent] What You Need to Know About Reproductive Coercion

Hayley: [CN: Misogyny] Look Out, a Teen "Meninist" Is Here to Teach Us About Periods

Fannie: [CN: Misogyny] That Michael Moore Movie

Yessenia: CDC Director Says Zika Virus "Will Become Endemic"

Monica: [CN: Racism; spoilers] The Amazing Whitewashing Adventures of Doctor Strange

Andy: Miami Crowd Shrieks as Adele Gives Full-Throated Endorsement of Hillary Clinton

Spooky: Stunning Celtic Cross Discovered in the Middle of Irish Forest

George: Our Best Glimpse Yet of a Triple Star System Being Born

Leave your links and recommendations in comments. Self-promotion welcome and encouraged!

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Photo of the Day

image of an older Black man wearing sunglasses at an outdoor Clinton-Kaine rally, sitting in the crowd, holding a framed photo of Hillary to his chest
[Photo: Michael Davidson for Hillary For America | October 24, Miami]

This election means so much to so many people. ♥

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Fat Fashion

This is your semi-regular thread in which fat women can share pix, make recommendations for clothes they love, ask questions of other fat women about where to locate certain plus-size items, share info about sales, talk about what jeans cut at what retailer best fits their body shapes, discuss how to accessorize neutral colored suits, share stories of going bare-armed for the first time, brag about a cool fashion moment, whatever.

* * *

Well, I haven't had any occasion to buy or even wear anything cool in ages, except for my Hillary 16 ringer tee. Which isn't exactly fashion, lol, but it's the best I've got when we're long overdue for a Fat Fashion thread! *wink!*

image of me wearing a heather grey and blue ringer tee with 'Hillary 16' written on it

Anyway! As always, all subjects related to fat fashion are on topic, but if you want a topic for discussion: Do you have any clothes you like to wear that advertise your politics in overt or subversive ways?

Have at it in comments! Please remember to make fat women of all sizes, especially women who find themselves regularly sizing out of standard plus-size lines, welcome in this conversation, and pass no judgment on fat women who want to and/or feel obliged, for any reason, to conform to beauty standards. And please make sure if you're soliciting advice, you make it clear you're seeking suggestions—and please be considerate not to offer unsolicited advice. Sometimes people just need to complain and want solidarity, not solutions.

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In the News

Here is some stuff in the news today...

This piece in the New York Times about "what drives Donald Trump" is a must-read. There's a lot of incredible stuff there, but this quote is just amazing: "I don't like to analyze myself because I might not like what I see." Welp.

DeRay McKesson has endorsed Hillary Clinton: "The next president will continue to shape the trajectory of justice and landscape of opportunity in this country. She will be responsible for how trillions of dollars in federal funding are spent, decide how to ensure both liberty and security in an increasingly interconnected world and determine the path forward on health care and Social Security. I am voting for Hillary Clinton."

[Content Note: Sexual assault; misogyny] Newt Gingrich continues to be terrible, talking to Fox anchor Megyn Kelly like she is a three-year-old he's in charge of disciplining for bad behavior.

[CN: Racism] Here is a real thing that Rudy Giuliani really said: "Racist? The last thing in the world Donald Trump is is a racist. I've known him for 28 years. The man likes white people. He likes black people. He likes Hispanic people. He plays golf with them. ...To say that Donald Trump is a racist is outrageous, and to call anyone a racist is outrageous." Uh, okay.

Meanwhile: "Donald Trump is intent on destroying the First Amendment," by my colleague Tommy Christopher at Shareblue.

[CN: Privilege] And a terrific piece by my colleague Propane Jane: "The Republican Party knows something about 'rigging' elections."

[CN: Racism; disenfranchisement] Case in point: "Indiana officials are trying to block almost 45,000 black citizens from voting." Rage seethe boil.

This fucking guy: "Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio Officially Charged with Criminal Contempt of Court."

Neat! "Cassini Spacecraft's Final Year at Saturn Is Like a 'Brand-New Mission'."

And finally! Please enjoy this video of a dog and a duck playing chase around a boulder!

Video Description: A dog that looks like a border collie mix and a black duck chase each other playfully around a boulder. When the duck gets too far behind, the dog sweetly waits for the duck to catch up, and then on the game goes!

What have you been reading?

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Daily Dose of Cute

image of Sophie the Torbie Cat lying on her back in front of my desk, chewing on my mouse cord, as the mouse perches precariously on the edge of the desk

Although part of me wanted to teach her a lesson by letting the mouse inevitably drop on her head, she is far too tiny to risk an injury to her wee peanut brain. So I calmly explained to her this was a bad idea, while shooing her away, lol.

As always, please feel welcome and encouraged to share pix of the fuzzy, feathered, or scaled members of your family in comments.

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I haven't been keeping up with what Professor James Franco has been doing in quite some time, but of course—OF COURSE—he has something to say about this election, and it is 100% grade-A Franco.

Video Description: The ad, a product of the WomenVOTEProject, is a send-up of the Dos Equis "Most Interesting Man in the World" series of adverts, but instead features Hillary Clinton as the Most Interesting Woman in the World.

Over a series of still images and video clips of Hillary Clinton, James Franco says in voiceover: "The smartest guy in the room is always her. After she opens a can of whoop-ass, she always recycles the can. Her Secret Service code name is Hermione, because she's a fucking wizard. She's the most interesting woman in the world."

Franco appears onscreen, speaking to camera, and says: "I don't always endorse candidates—" Cut to Franco standing beside a cardboard cutout of Clinton, his arm draped over her shoulder, drinking out of a Hillary 2016 mug: "—but when I do, they're extraordinary."

Cut to the mug being set down on a table, next to a plate of toast. One piece of toast has her H-logo toasted into it, and the other has her face toasted into it. "Vote wisely, my friends" Franco says, in voiceover. Cut to Franco looking at the camera and winking.

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