What the hell is this about?
I first discovered Fat Acceptance in 2005. I was a lurker for a large chunk of that time. It is my default style. I would wager that part of that is the internalized hatred I have which contributes to my trying to be as small and quiet as possible. Over the last year or so things have changed for me.
Part of that I attribute to Tumblr. I can’t deny that the people I’ve found there, and the site structure itself, contributed in a large part fo the creation of Orange the Brave. Megan and I found each other there. I found my anger and rage. Even bloggers and activists I have been following for awhile revealed interesting and unique pieces of themselves. Some of it was acidic. The anger on Tumblr is massive and beautiful, in the way a forest fire is. They can both be as destructive too. Watching all this unfold caused a lot of reactions, both in the community and with my own existence.
Marianne Kirby, of The Rotund, wrote a post concerning Fat Acceptance and what she hopes to achieve through her activism. Megan and I were engaging on a one-on-one level on what our activism is, what we were seeing in the social justice community (especially on Tumblr), and where each of us falls on the scale. Majestic Legay wrote on Glitter Politic a post about resistance and all the forms it takes. This part from Majestic coalesced what all these conversations meant to me:
Sometimes even the smallest, or simplest acts of resistance can seem like the hardest. Just remember that all of our struggles are different and that we are doing what we can. There is no ‘right way’ to begin to love ourselves, and there is room for all of us to exist where we are at. If you can’t take action today, there is always tomorrow, next week, next month, etc. Just keep trying, and above all treat yourself with gentle compassion and kindness because the fact that we are even contemplating these things is a powerful act.
That’s what I want this site to be. A collection of all our resistances. It isn’t about one facet of social justice. It isn’t about me or Megan or any of the other contributors or authors of the blog. It’s about all of us, together, supporting, pushing, creating, understanding, trusting, etc. I want people to share their celebrations and heartaches. I want us to be able to make mistakes and learn from them. This site is about inspiration, tears, sweat, compassion, and courage that each and everyone one of us experiences every day.
What does the blog’s name mean?
There is a piece of dialogue in Iron Jawed Angels where Alice Paul (played by Hilary Swank) starts a hunger strike after being imprisoned during the protests in front of the White House. After being given a psychological evaluation the white male politicians are all sitting around trying to figure out what the fuck to do with this broad. The doctor tells the politicians that there is no basis for a medial diagnosis. The district commission tells the doctor that he (the doctor) wrote Alice Paul was suicidal in his report. The doctor corrects him and states she isn’t suicidal; however, she is willing to die to further her cause. The commissioner smirks and says that sounds unhealthy to him to which the doctor responds, “‘Give me liberty or give me death.’ Patrick Henry, an American hero. ” Again, the commissioner smirks, “Apples and oranges.” The doctor states, “In oranges and women courage is often mistaken for insanity.”
That line has stuck with me over the years. It seems like I was mentally quoting it or offering it to friends to sum a situation that is often repeated throughout Western culture. While the quote addresses the dismissal of women, and the double standard so prevalent in Western society, I feel like it applies to so many marginalized groups. Whenever a member of an oppressed class raises their voice, rebels, acts out, does anything to invoke a revolution they are depicted as terrorists. This happens in the most subtle form such as labeling feminists as “bitches” or “femnazis,” to the most extreme forms of imprisonment, death, physical violence. Either we’re helpless, mindless lumps of flesh that need to be protected or we’re eVil, manipulating geniuses out to tear down the world and everything good.
So yeah. An orange. This non-descript piece of fruit. Rough skin, round, doesn’t necessarily spark fear into the hearts of our foe. Easy to overlook, underestimate, discount. I say good. Discount us. Overlook. Underestimate. Fuck you. We’re equipping ourselves. We’re gearing up. This orange is going to head out into the world every day and fuck up your preconceived notions. It’s going to tear down your white walls. It’s going to BRING. IT. Each story, each share, each submission is another hole in the wall.
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