Sunday, December 19, 2010


I would be lying if I said this was my first attempt at blogging. I've started many blogs, mostly personal blogs, that have absolutely no focus. I end up writing obnoxiously emotional complaints about how I want to go shopping or how I'm mad at my boyfriend; in other words, blogging usually makes me feel absolutely vapid.

I think this is because I've had no focus. It's also been a long time since I've felt passionate about anything except how I'm broke/someone I love--and these two things have both contributed to the fact that I've experienced a loss of identity throughout the years. But, I think I've rekindled a part of myself that I lost when I started social work school in September.

When I was 15 years old, I knew I was going to change the world. But uh, every American 15 year old feels that way. I was different though. I was precocious. If I met 15 year old me now, I'd be in love. I was a hardcore, radical feminist. I was unabashedly open about my thoughts, feeling, sexual preferences, etc. I didn't know how to pick my battles; I fought them all. I don't know when I lost this. I think it's when my battles started having real-world implications.

Social work school, 10 years later, has reminded me of all of those feelings. Fortunately I now have the judgment to reserve my energy for when the battles are truly necessary. I am sort of learning the idea of self-care. I am actually helping people, and I figured out how to do this being a feminist thing, and get paid for it.

While social work school has thus far been truly transformative for me, it is not all gumdrops and rainbows. I've been interested in fat acceptance for a long while. Getting fat helped me along with that interest. ;) I noticed though that social work school has all of these courses and articles we're supposed to read about cultural competence. We learned about how to understand our bias in order to prevent negative counter-transference. We talk about race, immigration status, gender, sexuality, (dis)ability, ethnicity, omg I know I'm forgetting something. But, so far, my social work education has consisted of a total of 30 minutes of talk on fat issues. 20 minutes of those I had to advocate to make happen. I had to get really fucking angry actually, and I ended up raising my voice toward my favorite professor.

Basically, she pulled what almost everyone in the world pulls when the topic of teh death fatz comes up: But what about their health? That's not healthy. And my question is, "How is this relevant to our work?" Crickets. I asked again, louder (I guess she identified a trigger, huh?). She didn't understand the question. I went home and began digging through my links and saved papers and books to find the best information I could to represent the fat acceptance/fat studies movements. I sent them out to the class.

When we came back, the professor wanted to retouch the topic. She openly admitted she was a fatist. It was kind of amazing.

And I realize, you know, all it takes is a conversation. Conversations that social work schools aren't having. Progressive people are not talking about body size. It's irrelevant, because it's gross and unhealthy. Fat people are not worthy of equal rights, even from social workers, because it's unhealthy, and they eat too much, and no one likes sitting next to them on airplanes.

So this blog is my place to do some processing. It's a place for me to focus my thoughts on social work in general, and to hopefully reach out to other fat social workers. And to get started on what I hope to be a long foray into social justice. Thanks for stopping by :)


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