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I read a great blog post (in Swedish) by Elisabeth Björk and I just had to interrupt my studying to blog.

You see, all my life, since i was very little. I’ve known that I’m fat. And that this was a BAD THING. And while not as fat as many others, still, it’s noticable and different.

And that was, in a way, what defined me. When I was teased in school, that was the one thing they focused on. When I bought clothes, same thing. When I started exercising, it was all about becoming thin(ner). When I got to puberty, it wasn’t about growing up, but that I might lose weight.

If I would only lose some weight…
If I just lost some weight…
I could…
I would…!

If only…

This is what I’ve heard, all my life, from magazines, school, my parents, my relatives…
If you just lose weight, everything will be fine. If you’re thin, you won’t be different anymore.

Got any problems? Headache, stomach ache, depression? I’m sure it’s just because you’re fat.

Any wonder that I thought this was the only thing worth noticing about me. Fat. As in something negative, a burden on me. A Swedish journalist once wrote: “In every fat girl, there’s a thin woman longing to get out.”

My very existance, my entire life, was defined by the fact that I’m not as thin as someone else.

23 years on this earth, and that was it. My eulogy: “She wasn’t as thin as the others.”

My life was, I felt, essentially on hold because I was fat. I won’t get a boyfriend as long as I’m fat. There’s no point in even trying. I can’t dance, because I’m fat. I can’t wear short skirts because I’m fat. I will though, once I’m thin. Later. Some other time. Just not now, because I don’t deserve to right now.

It is insane. Insane, do you hear me? How much time did I waste waiting for that one day where it would be OK for me to live my life? How insane is it that I’ve been taught my entire life that that is just something I have to accept. Second-rate citizen. 

And it’s my fault, because I’m fat and that’s because I have no self-control and I’m disgusting. Read any magazine, that is the bottom line.

In a way, this is what I’m most grateful to feminism about. The realization that I can life my life and I’m about so much more than just being fat.

That being fat is OK. I don’t have to wait.

I’m so many things worth noticing. I’m so much more than just fat.

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Dear Lord…
I’m sorry, but there are a lot of idiots in the world.

Like Thomas Pascoe who blogs for the Telegraph.

He wrote a post today called “Sweden’s insane anti-discrimination laws have created a generation of lost women” so I’m sure you can tell what kind of man he is… (*cough* sexist bastard *cough*) and in the post he gives us lovely lines such as:

the result of stripping women of their social roles as mothers has not been the development of a new balance in society which still respects women, but rather a sexual nihilism with which most women are instinctively uncomfortable

and

we see a rise of a tits-and-ass culture that emphasises the physical because there is nothing else left

and my personal favorite:

No boy grows up dreaming of being a princess. I find it hard to believe many little girls grow up wanting to shoot people.

And why, you ask, did he write this blogpost?

Because he’s upset that Toys R Us’ Christmas catalouge is gender-netural this year. In it, little boys occasionally push stollers and little girls play with toolkits. Gasp, sigh and the world is obviously ending.
Not only does Pascoe seem to lack any sort of analysis capabilities or abilities to look at broader social movements, he is also abysmally bad at statistics.

He claims, for example:

Women face the highest rate of rape in Europe and a high rate of domestic violence

But he doesn’t stop to think about what he’s actually saying. In fact,  Sweden has a much broader definition of rape than most countries, since a law change in 2005. Immediately afterwards, rape statistics increased.

He also seems unaware of the fact that 75-95% of rapes are not reported to the police, either due to fear of reprisal or because of shame. One reason that more rapes are reported in Sweden might simply be because of those “insane discrimination laws” making it easier for women to escape the social stigma of rape, and actually daring to report the rapist.

But apparently, women in Thomas Pascoe’s world are empty, meaningless shells because society has taken the mother role from them and little boys grow up wanting to shoot people.

I think I’ll stay in my world, thanks.

 

I read this interesting article by Anna Latimer at XoJane today.

What stuck with me was this paragraph:

You will not be proud of every single essay you submit in college. Whether you’re overworked and panicked, you procrastinated way too much, or you just don’t care about the topic, some of your essays are just not going to be that inspiring.

Don’t admit it to your professor. Don’t wince and say, “Sorry about this,” as you turn it in. No matter how well your professor knows you, he or she will not give you extra credit for self-awareness.

Part of me totally agrees, sometimes you need to fake it until you make it. The other part of me rebels and means that self-awareness and self-deprecation are two different things. To be aware of your efforts and how you present yourself is in my opinion never bad. Perhaps it’s my Swedishness bleeding though, but without self-awareness you become arrogant very fast.

Self-deprecation, however. It’s one of the things I struggle with most, actually. That pity really isn’t something that you want from other people, no matter what it may feel like. It’s so easy to deflect a compliment or to excuse something that you’ve done. Perhaps it is a female thing, as Latimer suggests, but I think it’s more than that. Not all women are self-deprecating and not all men put themselves in the spotlight.

Self-pity and deprecation are not the same as being modest or to ask for help. I feel many mix these concepts and that’s part of the problem. Going for modest but overshooting.