Lose weight or lose your job!

Every two years seafarers are required to get a medical check-up to see if we are physically capable of carrying out our duties on board and if we there are any immediate and serious risks to our health.

To this end we have to submit to an eye-exam, color-vision-test, hearing test , urine test, mobility test and they also measure our weight, height and blood pressure.

I had my appointment two days ago and everything checked out fine. Except my BMI, which they apparently now calculate as well. The doctor who went over my test results made a big stink about my weight and fat. I know that my 30+ BMI is mostly the result of fat and not of muscle tissue and I told the doctor this. He told me he could see it and yet he still felt the need to pinch the fat on my arm as hard as he possibly could and not to measure it, but to “proof” I should try to lose weight. His pinching hurt quite a bit even though I had never even disputed that I have quite a bit of fat on me. I don’t see why he felt the need to hurt me like that.

I told him that I just don’t have much faith in BMI as a diagnostic tool and that I find it ridiculous that such demands are made as they might as well revoke the medical certificates of fitness of practically half of all seafarers. Most don’t stay skinny past their thirties. I guess I shouldn’t have argued, because it resulted in him making a “strong recommendation to lose weight” and he told me that the next time I would come in for my physical, in two years, I would need to bring proof of my efforts. That is if I still intend to visit this particular clinic for my medicals, which I have now decided I won’t anymore.

He also talked about fire fighting duties, like I was unfamiliar with them. I told him several times that I have just graduated and that I was part of a fire team frequently when I was on board as a cadet. At this point I am fairly certain I know more about ship life and the industry than he does. I have also completed the fire fighting courses as part of my training requirements at college. I told him that I don’t have a problem with the equipment and that my oxygen consumption is normal. He still kept talking to me as though I am a walking heart attack waiting to happen and that my knees will give out any day now, because “a human body is not designed to carry all that weight”. Perhaps it is not, but my body is doing just fine and has been doing fine for years now. My father is also fat and so is my mother. Neither of them has ever had trouble with their joints because of their weight. Women in my family do have an issue with osteoporosis, but guess when that shows up? Yep, after menopause and being thin hasn’t spared any of them. All in all this guy was incredibly condescending and he eventually said that if I refused to try to lose weight he would not give me a full medical certificate anymore and such decision ends up in a national database, which means that no matter what doctor I would go to after him I would always have to show a reduction in weight to be allowed to still do my job.

I told him that I was on a diet from age 15 till 25 and that it only resulted in my having a feast or famine kind of relationship with food where if I no longer had the willpower to eat too little I would eat almost to the point of bursting. I had weight related self-esteem whereby my mood was determined by a lower of higher number on the scale than the day before. I was absolutely terrified of gaining weight or people thinking I “looked fat”. And because I had such disordered eating patterns my weight went up and down quite a bit during those years. Since I have stopped dieting I have gained quite a bit of weight, but my current weight is stable and I never eat to the point of bursting anymore. I also find it easier to say no to foods I don’t like. Food is now about satisfying hunger and occasional snacking when I feel like it. But I no longer feel guilty for eating at all or needing to eat with others as “an excuse” to eat normal portions.

After I left the doctor’s office his words kept playing around in my head. I made a list of all the things I ate on a daily basis to see how many calories I could cut out and for how long I would be able to keep it up till I would binge again. I considered joining a gym, even though I can’t afford it and I prefer to get my exercise out doors. I don’t see the point of riding a bike that doesn’t go anywhere. I also wondered if I could find my scale and whether it was still accurate. The old thought patterns I had when I was dieting came flooding back like it was second nature to me and with it immediately came the stress. This is not worth it, not even if I will never get another medical certificate.

I have decided that for my next medical I will find a different doctor. This is the second time I have done this. The first doctor in this town also told me to lose weight, but not because he feared for my heart but because I had stretch marks on my thighs. This confused me, because I didn’t think stretch marks were dangerous. He told me they are not dangerous they are “just ugly”. He was also extremely creepy in that he touched me way more than was needed and he was also the only doctor that required me to remove my bra for the exam. After hearing from other female classmates about similar episodes I decided not to go to this guy anymore.

I wonder if I should have complained about the unprofessional and condescending attitudes of both doctors. I don’t know if there is a procedure for it, but I really should look into it. The tyranny of doctors has become far less than it was a couple of decades ago, but doctors are not gods and they should be held accountable for bad behavior.

Planet Fitness will provide a “judgement free zone” unless you are a woman, in which case: Fuck you!

I must start this post with saying that I am not a member of any gym and that I am not even sure if Planet Fitness has any gyms in my country. However, yesterday I retweeted a news post about how Planet Fitness revoked the membership of one woman, because she complained about a man constantly going in and out of the women’s locker room. In the space of two hours I was tweeted at over a hundred times. I only have just under 800 followers at this point, so this indicated to me just how big the issue of transwomen (read: Men who believe they are women based on superficial and stereotypical views people in patriarchal societies have of women) demanding access to female only spaces is.

The reason women have locker rooms and bathrooms separate from men is also because we live in a patriarchal society in which women’s bodies are considered the property of men. Our bodies are judged, gawked at, defined and altered all in the service of men. In patriarchal societies our bodies funtion as sources of titillation, reproduction, cheap labor and general amusement for men. This attitude towards our bodies puts women at risk. Men believe they have a right to access our bodies at all times and we can do little about it. They will touch us without our consent, put their dicks in us whether we like it or not, imprenate us and ridicule us for failing to stop them. This is why we have spaces that should at least shield us from the worst of it.

But men don’t like it when we congretate without then. Our bodies are theirs and if they can’t check up on us, control our identities and invade our spaces they get nervous. What are women doing when men are not around? They must know, they have a right to know in our society. After all it is men who decide what women are. They determine what we should wear, how we should conduct ourselves, what life choices we should make and above all, what we should do with our bodies.

Women are doing (female) gender all wrong. They are not conforming enough to the patriarchal mandates of feminity as set by men. Why, men can do a better job of being women than women can. After all men created the standards and are more familiar with the rules. Why can’t women see how they are supposed to act and dress and defer to men in all things? This must mean that (some) men actually are women, because women sure as hell don’t seem to have a clue. As long as they shut up and bow down to men’s superior knowledge of all things female men shall tolerate them, but no more than that.

Of course not all men insert themselves into women’s lives in the same way. Some men don’t touch us without permission or rape us. Some men just talk over us or tune out when we speak. But how do we know that? How do we tell the genuinely deluded men who believe they are women from the ones who will violate our bodies? How many women have been attacked in bahtrooms and locker rooms throughout history? How many women have been secretly videotaped and had their bodies turned into porn when they thougt their privacy was garanteed? And isn’t the performance of feminity itself a slap in the face to all women? Your body is made into a walking stereotype that can be performed. Nothing about your actual body is relevant, not the fact that you can get pregnant, that you bleed every month for a large portion of your life, that boys and men start leering at you and turning you into an object before you even had a chance to experiment with your own sexuality. Your history of being made to feel inferior for being born in that female body doesn’t even matter. It is all about identity and the proper performance of (female) gender.

Planet Fitness has made it abundantly clear that they care about men feeling welcome in their facilities, but they will kick out any woman for who “violates” men’s comfort. In 2014 women have been kicked out for wearing tank tops, for being pregnant, for wearing a headscarf and for being “too pretty”. All of these things staff of Planet Fitness told the women made other patrons (read: men) “uncomfortable”. This year they have gone one step further and kicked out a woman who just wanted the same comfort level Planef Fitness offers male members. This really sends home the message that actual women don’t matter.

As I have said before, transwomen are in danger from other men. There are other men who will attack, rape or even kill transwomen. But instead of calling men out on their abuse behavior they turn around and bash women for not kissing their asses, validating their massive, narcissistic, male egos and allowing them to invade their space even further than they already have. It seems to me that their anger and outrage is entirely focussed in the wrong direction.

Oppression is always tied to resource extraction

Originally posted on BEND IT TIL IT BREAKS:

Excerpt from my presentation, Tactics and Talking Points: Re-Radicalizing the Fight for Abortion Access, given today at the Radfem RiseUp conference in Toronto, ON:

Mainstream reproductive rights activists in the United States are currently accepting a fictional story about why abortion restrictions are being enacted. A recent article by Andrea Ayres-Deets on the popular liberal website Policy Mic contained a common assumption:

“To Republicans, abortion is about a deeply held moral belief concerning the sanctity of life which propels them to legislate against half of the U.S. Population.”

I think we’re giving politicians way too much credit when we take their word on this.

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One in Twelve

Originally posted on culturallyboundgender:

One in twelve trans people is murdered in their lifetime–one in eight trans women of color.

You’ve heard this statistic, right?  It comes up in just about any argument in which trans people want to talk about their experience of oppression.  It’s a horrifying statistic.

It’s also completely, demonstrably untrue–and its propagation has pernicious racist, sexist, and classist effects.  Strap yourselves in, kiddos, ’cause we’re going on a ride to Statisticsville, population YOU.

According to the best estimates available from trans* sources about the prevalence of transgenderism in the United States, approximately .3 percent of Americans identify as transgender.  That gives us a figure of just barely under a million trans people out of the 313 million folks living in the U.S. today.  Now, out of that number, some percentage of these people will be out.  Some of them are still babies, so they’re only going to come out…

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Abolition is Long-Term

Originally posted on Rebecca Mott:

I want to thank all who have supported my recent SOS, but I do not want it to be a five-minute wonder.

I will write some personal views of what I think abolition means to exited folks, to me on an individual level and why it not easy or short-term.

It is vital to know who and what the sex trade lobby is and what they are not.

The sex trade lobby is not a bunch of individual trolls hiding behind their computers.

The sex trade is a highly organised, with almost endless funds, and recruit many punters and abused prostituted to write or make their protest.

The sex trade lobby is organised by those who profiteer from the dehumanising of all the prostituted – the sex trade lobby is pimp’s lobby, the sex trade lobby does only care about profit so is also the punter’s lobby.

So, these are…

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Reddit is in love with me

I haven’t been very active in the past few years. School still swallows up most of my focus and it leaves me with little motivation to write anything else. I am hoping that will change soon. My future is uncertain and I suspect is true for most who run towards the end of their education. It’s both a scary and an interesting time.

I did, however, take some time to look at my stats today and what kind of people visit my blog. Predictably most people find my blog either through a search engine or Facebook. That has been the case for much of this blog’s existence.

But a new suitor has arrived on the scene. It seems my little, almost inactive, blog is getting quite a bit of attention from Reddit and the MRA section of Reddit in particular. My average readership has been up for months now, despite an almost complete lack of new content. Seriously, if you check the recent posts the vast majority are reblogged posts from other feminist bloggers.

Men’s Rights redditors are for a large part responsible for keeping this blog alive through its quiet years and I thank them for it. Because of them I have a reason to blog again in the future. I should take care to write about Facebook and PIV some more, because those posts really gets the kids drooling.

For your amusement, check out the screenshot below:
RedditLove

A feminist critique of “cisgender”

Originally posted on Liberation Collective:

Consistent with common usage of the term “cisgender,” the graphic below explains that “…if you identify with the gender you were assigened [sic] at birth, you are cis.”

Another Trans 101: Cisgender webpage describes cis this way: “For example, if a doctor said “it’s a boy!” when you were born, and you identify as a man, then you could be described as cisgender.”[i] Likewise, girl-born people who identify as women are also considered cisgender. WBW are cis.

Framing gender as a medically determined assignment may seem like a good start to explaining gendered oppression because it purports to make a distinction between physical sex and gender. Feminism similarly understands masculinity and femininity (e.g., gender) as strictly enforced social constructs neither of which are the “normal” or inevitable result of one’s reproductive sex organs. Feminism and trans theory agree that coercive gender assignments are a significant source of oppression.

On closer…

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