Posted by Sarah Sloane on Nov 30, 2013 in Uncategorized
I’m a fat girl. I’ve been a fat girl all my life, even when I was skinny. I am currently somewhere between my heaviest and my lightest weights as an adult. I have a big ass, I have to wear big jeans to cover it, and I wear a bigger bra to contain the girls. And you know what? I am TOTALLY AWARE that I’m fat. I mean, hello…I touch my body and can feel what it feels like. I own a mirror and can see the image that it reflects of me. I hear it when you call me fat. Society does not let me live it down; it vomits up bile about my fat, and shames me into trying to take drastic action to change it. It tells me that I’m not healthy, it tells me that I’m not attractive, and it tells me that I am not good enough. Some of my favorite designs don’t come in my size. Because, you know, fat folks are not worth making clothing for.
And we know that now it’s not okay to refer to people as sluts because they engage in consensual sex, right? Even though people do, we’ve started a public discourse about the word “slut”, and sexual enjoyment, and sexual rights. And events like Slutwalks have been held all over North America, to bring attention to the fact that women can be sexual beings and that rapists and molesters cannot blame their psychopathic behavior on the fact that her skirt was short, or her shirt was too low cut.
But it’s okay to call me fat. It’s okay to judge me based on my size. I must be VERY unhealthy. I must have partners that don’t find me attractive. I must be miserable. I must wear misshapen clothes because I want to hide my body, or if I wear tight clothes, it’s because I’m trying to make myself believe that I’m not fat. I will obviously die about twenty years sooner than thin folks. Tsk, tsk.
So when did that change happen – the change where calling someone a “slut” is challenged as being inappropriate, but we didn’t pick up on the fact that calling someone “fat” has the same shame and guilt based judgement on another person’s appearance? Women who fear being called “slut” will alter their bodies, their attire, their demeanor, their words and actions in order to avoid it – and we don’t want that, because we want everyone to be able to be authentically who they are. But fat folks still should only eat salads in public, not wear bright colors (and DEFINITELY don’t wear anything revealing), purchase only low-fat food at the grocery store, or really just not even exist, just to avoid being called out on their body size. Double standard, much?
Let me clue you in on something: fat is pretty fabulous. Some of the hottest femmes I know are women of size. Some of the most desirable men in my world have a tummy. I know fat women who can run marathons, climb up the stairs of a skyscraper, and star in porn videos that sell thousands of copies. I know fat men who can save your ass from dying in a car crash, who can tear down oncoming offensive linesmen on the field, and who make “big and tall” into words of deep compliment. And still, they all get the same shit – “Oh, if only you’d lose weight…”.
The Fat Acceptance / Fat Activist communities are starting to take back that word. Fat is fantastic. Fat is sexy. Fat is flirtatious. And if you think fat makes someone unhealthy, how healthy are the people who are starving themselves to be “thin enough”, or the people who are slender but smoke two packs a day?
Stop telling people that they’re fat. Stop putting your own limited notions of attractiveness on them. Stop assuming that because society tells you one thing, that it’s true. Just. Stop.
Posted by Sarah Sloane on Nov 26, 2013 in Uncategorized
I talk about having written this in some of my poly / non-monogamy workshops, and occasionally I get asked for a copy. I review this every year or so to make sure that it’s still the framework for my relationship decision making; so far, it’s held up to that review for about 6 years. I’m posting it here primarily for folks who want to create their own mission statement (or manifesto, if you’re being very Marx-ish), so they can see what someone else has put together and hopefully take some inspiration on topics or concepts.
Sarah’s Poly Manifesto
1. I am responsible for my own life, my own happiness, and my own well being. That responsibility for myself must take precedence in my life; if I cannot take care of myself, then I have no way of taking care of or being a support for anyone else.
2. No matter how many partners I may have, I still need to be ok with being by myself. Nobody can live in a constant state of companionship, and I am the one that has to look at myself in the mirror and be happy with what and who I see reflected back at me.
3. I will generally not make agreements in relationships that do not permit me to express myself in a way that feels authentic to me. If I do, then I am prone to resentment if it continues.
4. When it comes down to it, each relationship is important and deserves to be treated with the same consideration and respect as any other relationship. Classifying relationships as more or less important is likely to lead to frustration and neglect.
5. I embrace a hierarchy of needs, as opposed to a hierarchy of people. If I’m on a date night with one partner, and another partner calls with an emergency, my decision of who to be with will be based on where the need is greatest. Likewise, I expect to give my partners the same consideration and not make their decisions more difficult by doing anything less than supporting them.
6. I embrace sexual responsibility. I make my rules about safer sex behavior in conjunction with my other partners, but I do not let them make my final determination about what is appropriate. I am clear with new partners what my rules are, and I advise current partners of any changes in either the people I am having sex with or my decisions regarding my safer-sex practices, so that they can make appropriate decisions for themselves.
7. I do not believe in a “veto” per se; I expect that if I have issues with someone that one of my partners is dating, I will be able to talk to that partner and have my concerned listened to, but I also believe that respect goes both ways and I should respect their decision unless it creates major chaos and drama.
8. I don’t want or need additional drama in my life. My main request of my ongoing partners is that they not bring anyone into my personal life that will create more drama or strife.
9. I do not automatically share my partners. Sex or play with me does not involve anyone else, necessarily, unless that has been negotiated separately.
10. I do not have long-term power exchange dynamics in place in any of my relationships, save the one I have with Daddy. I intend to keep it that way, at least for the foreseeable future. However, should that change, no relationship that involves a power dynamic with me should be interpreted as having any power dynamic in any other direction with any of my other partners.
10. The things that will win my heart are the same things that I anticipate offering a partner – patience, honesty, generosity of spirit, humor, candidness, trust, and honor. The things that will lose my heart are abuse of trust, dishonesty, selfishness, irresponsible sexual practices, and lack of consideration.
Posted by Sarah Sloane on Nov 24, 2013 in Uncategorized
(this was originally posted about 6 months ago on another website which is not public, so I wanted to put it up here. Call it my effort to get better about producing content over here!)
The only thing that we have that is truly of value is our name.
The only way that I can make a statement about what I believe to be right or wrong is to add or remove my name from a cause or event.
None of us are perfect; that’s as true of the hyper-woo educators as it is of the absolute-beginner novices. We make mistakes. But it is in how we move to correct those mistakes that is the true telling of our integrity. Integrity is not being flawless; it is acknowledging the flaws, the errors, and the failings, and working to acknowledge, apologize, and grow from it.
And when we see ourselves as people of integrity, we are required to do things to effect change or to safeguard our parts of the community that we may not wish to do. And it’s painful to be in that position, to feel that one has no other option than to take action against a person or people because it’s important and it’s become our responsibility to speak out.
Many of us have had to do just those things. A lot, recently, it seems. And in reading the open letter that many people that I love and respect have signed, regarding an event that they have all put their own hearts & souls (as well as blood, sweat, and tears) into, my heart goes out to them. It is never comfortable to step forward and insist upon change. It is never comfortable to hold someone accountable for their actions, especially when we have previously believed that the other person(s) had the best interests of the community as a whole in mind.
But they, and I, and you, are using the only currency that they can – the only currency that is truly of value.
They are using their name.