Thursday, January 30, 2014

Fat Girls and Rape Culture

"fat girls can't say no. (and when they do, it still means yes)"
**trigger warning for rape culture**

This is a topic I dread talking about. It's majorly triggering for me and for so many other women (and men) but it's something that needs to be addressed. Rape culture is prevalent, insidious, and normalized in our culture. It's everywhere and every time someone tries to counter it they get huge backlashes from the MRA movement as well as every day misogynists. Fat women face an extra special facet of rape culture though- the fact that they should be grateful for it. You read that right- grateful for being raped. The logic goes that, of course, no one would want to touch a fat woman. We're so gross, you know? So if someone was actually willing to have sex with us we should be on our knees with gratitude thanking that person for sharing their special snowflake of a dick with us. Some people even deny that it's possible for fat women to be raped because, ew, who would want to have sex with a fattie?

And then you find things like the T shirt pictured above (found on cafe press but it has since been taken down after several complaints- thanks Rolls Not Trolls!) which reads "Fat Girls Can't Say No. (and when they do, it still means yes)" I mean wow, if that's not rape culture rolled into a can of what-the-fuck then I don't know what is. It plays on the idea that fat girls lack the will power to say no to anything (including food and sex) and then, if it weren't bad enough, tells you that if they do actually say no, it's okay to rape them. I've also seen shirts and slogans like "fat girls give better head because they're hungry". No dude, if I were hungry I'd bite your dick off, but trust me, it's not as tasty as you like to think so I'll stick to actual food.

I've heard stories from actual rape victims who were told by people things like "who would want to rape you?" (that particular story was one in which the officer said this). Or, "I bet you were grateful to finally get some, huh?" Let's be clear, while the reasons for rape are complicated and include a whole lot of things, dehumanization and objectification of women is at least one pretty large factor. And who doesn't love to dehumanize and objectify fat women? Fat woman are simultaneously desexualized and oversexualized in our culture. Myths of fat women being always ready for sex, promiscuous, and never turning down sex abound. And then you get instances like a scene in the popular film The Lorax in which he questions the gender identity of a fat woman for no apparent reason. Rape culture is where this desexualization and oversexualization intersect. No one could possibly want to have sex with you which is why you're such a slut and sleep around and why you would be lucky if you get raped.

Unfortunately the solution to this isn't quick or easy. It has to do with destigmatizing not only fat people, but women in general. Violence against women is a huge problem not only in our society but across the globe. Women are seen as objects and sex toys to be done with as men please and this extends to fat women. So if we solve the problem as fat people, we still face the problem as women. We seriously need men to stand up against this kind of thing. When you make a rape joke, when you use rape as a euphemism (that store totally raped your wallet, man!), or when someone else does and you stay silent, then you're contributing to rape culture. Feminism is still so relevant and so needed that it boggles my  mind that anyone would say it's not (hello MRA's). Again, the solution to rape culture and yes, to fat rape issues, is difficult, but everyone needs to be made aware that it's a very real thing that needs to be addressed. So I'm addressing it and hoping that you'll pass this along. Everyone, no matter who you are, please, let's help end this problem.

5 comments:

  1. http://sleepingcat.com/images/me/slutwalk.jpg

    that's me, at the Boston Slutwalk, carrying a sign that reads, "Said to me in a bar: 'The only way a fattie like you will get laid is if you're raped.'" He said it to me right after I had (gently, I thought) told him I was waiting for someone else.

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    1. wow, i was going to say that i couldn't believe someone would say that to you, but, sadly, I can absolutely believe it.

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  2. Shame on Cafe Press for selling that shirt. I have bought things from their site before but will not do so again until they stop selling garbage like this.

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    1. I believe they've already pulled it

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  3. Well, for what it's worth, I vastly prefer a woman with curves...because you're far more "real" than Paris Hilton types any day of the week.

    Just my two cents.

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