David Thompson
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February 24, 2017

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Darleen

oops .... differ should be defer

PIMF

neocon_1

I reflexively hold doors for women, several years ago I met one who had the same perspective as I, she stood aside and waited for me to do so, then politely said thank you, I wish the deranged feminists (is that repetitive?) would understand that a simple act of chivarlry is not an attempt paint awmwn as weaker but instead a statemwent that women are to be honored.step up on the pedestal honey, we need you more thn you need us.And by the way, nice butt...

David

Her piece, as an apologia…

Ms Huckeba now admits that the hapless gentleman “didn’t deserve” her lunatic outburst, which is something of an understatement. But her assumptions about his motives, and by extension the motives of all men, at least those who hold open doors, and her umbrage at the supposed unfairness of obese people not being popular objects of desire – all of this remains, in her mind, as something to be fixed with lectures and sermons and pieces in the Guardian. Until the “way we all perceive beauty” has been “changed.”

Again, this is absurdly unrealistic - just shouting at the rain.

And so there’s an air of misdirection and displacement, and the article still reads, in effect, as an elaborate excuse. Such behaviour – prickling with resentment and indulging in bizarre screaming fits - is presumably to be expected so long as plus-size clothes cost more and fatness isn’t regarded as the height of erotic magnetism. And she says this while clearly being relieved that she isn’t huge any more, because now she can breathe properly.

It’s not altogether convincing.

Splotchy

It broke me in a way that I’ve never been broken before.

She's broken for sure. Broken attitude, broken behaviour, broken mentality

If someone makes a polite helpful gesture, for heaven's sake, give them the benefit of the doubt! Smile. Say "thanks". Share a bit of human warmth. Allow it to bring a bit of joy to your day and savour it. What normal person would do otherwise? This is how to enjoy life, i.e. the glass half-full approach.

The glass-half-empty approach (suspicion, paranoia, hatred) is in contrast the route to self-loathing and despair and a failure to form any sort of relationship. Why make life more complex, more negative, more unhappy than it has to be?

Kristen Murray

I am overweight (and need to lose it) but strangers have opened the door for me all the time. I always make a point of thanking them and if possible return the favor by opening an inner/outer door for them. Older gentlemen get a little tickled/nonplussed when I do that but chivalry is a two-way street.

I am grateful for any and all kindness in this world. And I am grateful for gentleman especially. Ronald Reagan once said, "The Gentleman always does the kindest thing." We tell our son and daughter that all the time.

Anyways, thank you gentlemen for all your kindness. I, for one, am a woman of proportions who appreciates it.

Squires

And, I am happy to report, I am also a fairly happy, confident person.

It sounds to me like she went from obese, lonely, and miserable to insufferable, lonely, and miserable. Of course, I don't want to be prejudiced towards fat people. She might have been insufferable as a lard-ass as well.

In my experience, people who hold open doors for others generally do so reflexively

I usually only hold doors open for the attractively slim through comically chubby.

The truly obese take too fucking long to get there and the skeletally thin aren't to be trusted.

It has now become my life’s mission...

Until next week.

WTP

Why make life more complex, more negative, more unhappy than it has to be?

It's what (many) women do. The amount of misery in this world that is completely manufactured by a good number of women is astounding. The negativity, the backbiting, etc. it's just impolite to say so. Yet I've been stunned by the number of women who have admitted this about coworkers and such themselves. And lately, not as often in private.

Darleen

For all of us amateurs, here's some advice on how to get offended.

Dave Mc

She has created yet another form of victimhood - Post Morbid-Obesity Syndrome.

NTSOG

It's a very common mental condition, even disease nowadays: "I'm a victim, don't save or help me because I like it!" Self pity - the gift to society that keeps on taking. Such people leech the goodness out of others as they cannot bear to see others happy in life. Misery loves company. Of course having hordes of miserable victims around helps the social justice warriors justify their own miserable and self-centred existence; it gives them a mission in life.

Chester Draws

I do believe it is only fair to acknowledge that for some people being non-obese is easy but for others it can be very difficult.

A lot of people find it hard to be skinny. Some find it hard to be healthy size. Most would find it fairly easy to be chubby -- which is why most of us are chubby once we get on a bit in age.

Genuinely obese takes a lot of calories. A lot. Watching genuinely fat people eat gives you a pretty quick idea of where that fat is coming from. The surgery that reduces weight works by preventing them eating (or digesting) so much -- there's no change in their actual genetics or anything like that.

If the problem is genetic, why are everyone's grandparents skinny?

So I don't buy the argument that there is any hard work to getting from obese to chubby.

There some people at my current workplace who have lost large amounts of weight. The two who have no psychological issues did it by stopping from eating so much. The two who had psychological issues required surgery. I presume the two remaining land whales don't care -- they are Polynesian, and being obese in their culture has slightly different connotations.

Mason Wells

Bet she's fat again within two years. She has too much whiny attitude and emotional chaos.

Tim McDonald

If she knew anything about anywhere outside her narrow self centered circle, she would have known that in NASHVILLE TENNESSEE that is the norm, no matter what size you are. Hell, if a woman goes through in front of you, you can expect her to hold the door for you. Around here, we call it common courtesy...and it is. Common that is. AROUND HERE. We were raised that way..still are for the most part. We say grace, and we say ma'am....and it you a'int into that we really don't give a damn. We do it anyway.

Hal

I went out the door and away from the computers about nine hours ago, before this item was even posted.

The commentary is already well into a second page.

Cue Peter Ustinov as The Old Man.

Oh, Myyy . . .

Billiamo

I hold the door open for everyone, but actually make a special effort for women who probably aren't considered attractive - that includes the sort of invisible middle-aged or elderly women William Trevor often wrote about with such grace: the kind so easily dismissed.

The trouble is that when I hold the door open for attractive women, some of them ignore me entirely. That's fine with me, since I'm gay, and have no designs on them. But I'm 6'1", 230 lbs, shaved head, can hoist large appliances, and don't exactly look like the boy next door. If only they knew how little I cared . . .

R. Sherman

Timely report from the lair of the beast: I just now returned from Nashville, Tennessee having visited while taking my youngest to a college interview. As best as I can discern, the natives seem to hold doors open for those who come behind them regardless of biological sex, race and/or relative level of (socially constructed) physical attractiveness. Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to alert Margaret Mead.

Nate Whilk

Dear Guardian writer, women do it to men, too. I wonder how she reacts to overweight men.

Hell, women do it to other women. I remember an article from some years ago (in Vanity Fair, I think) where a woman wore a fat suit for some period. She found out first hand the change in reaction. One day, while wearing the fat suit she went to a restaurant with her boyfriend. She went to the ladies' room to change out of it. While she was there, two women went up to her boyfriend and said something like "Why are you with that tub of lard? Wouldn't you rather be with one of us?" Then she came back from the ladies' room, and the two women were indignant and accused her of playing a trick on them!

I'm overweight, but I went through 2 periods of close to normal weight no more than a year each. The first time it was a totally new experience to see the occasional woman check me out.

It was obvious to me that women found me more attractive that way. I enjoyed it, but my heart sank a little because I knew the cause. But I never lashed out at anyone like the writer because the honest truth is that I regarded women in the same way.

One or two people said to me "You feel better about yourself". I replied calmly that that's because now I knew people wouldn't judge me because of my weight.

My ultimate reaction is this: people are imperfect. You, me, everyone.

Feminists or communists or socialists may tell you or imply that their system will change that, but they're lying. They do that to play on your feelings just get you to buy in to their system.

Elaine

Let me tell you, I didn't intentionally expose myself, but, now, I wish I had. For it is not me, but you who have been exposed, for I have seen the nipple on your soul!

bgates

OT, Daniel Ream's comic sent me off to find more of The Dark Knight Returns on the internet, which led me to The AV Club and the expected excruciating leftist silliness:

I went to graduate school specifically to talk about DKR and its role in the shifting attitude toward anti-heroes and how that reflected on political realities and histories at the time

The thing that really doesn’t hold up well in DKR and frankly most of Miller’s work, is any character that isn’t a white guy.

Bruno, I hope it goes without saying, is incredibly problematic and I hope to never see something like that character, or the way she’s treated, ever again.

This is my third time reading DKR after being introduced to it in high school and revisiting it in college, and the biggest change I’ve noticed in my reaction is that I don’t side with Batman in this story anymore. He may not kill, but violence just begets more violence, and Miller’s refusal of rehabilitation as a viable solution to Gotham’s problems says a lot about the U.S.’s broken mental health care system.

It's amazing - Frank Miller gives just a few panels in his comic book to dialog from stock left-wing characters, and they sound exactly like that.

David

I hold the door open for everyone, but actually make a special effort for women who probably aren’t considered attractive - that includes the sort of invisible middle-aged or elderly women

Although I tend to hold doors automatically, with little thought or vetting of worthiness, as it were, it is pleasing to catch the eye of the person you’ve held the door for and see visible appreciation. A little moment of humanity.

Though of course this doesn’t always happen. Some people are just arseholes.

Nikw211

Speaking of "Classic Sentences" and "Psychodrama" in The Guardian and so only slightly off topic:

    “I didn’t really feel comfortable around southern whites, because the world view in the south is just so ingrained. But I felt this huge sense of homecoming with regards to the black community. On the white side I noticed hatred, fear and ignorance. And on the black side I noticed fear, anger and pain. I felt more at home with the anger and pain towards whites, because I had some anger and pain – toward not just my parents but also, even though I wouldn’t have been able to articulate it then, towards white supremacy. I unapologetically stood on the black side. I was standing with my convictions, standing also with my siblings, standing with justice.”

    “For me [braiding my hair] was a political statement. It was me saying: ‘I am renouncing the propaganda standards of European beauty being superior.’ It was almost like cultural disobedience, going the other way, to say, ‘You know, this is actually beautiful to me.’”

These are both from Rachel Dolezal in this interview.

It's a pretty incredible read.

Squires

On the white side I noticed hatred, fear and ignorance. And on the black side I noticed fear, anger and pain.

Has Rachel Dolezal ever actually been to a United States black "community"?

R. Sherman

Related inspiration for the day.

Stacie Huckeba

Wow! It's amazing what someone can do with my words when they are taken completely out of context and moved around to suit a specific narrative. I find it interesting that you didn't bother to mention that the name of the column is "A Moment That Changed Me" and how that was the moment, but eh entirety of the article is about me discussing how wrong I was in that moment and why my reacting to someone in such a completely unacceptable fashion made me realize that I was the one who needed to change and did so. You fail to mention that it was a very human and vulnerable moment. I had been fat my whole life. I didn't realize I had been discriminated against until I no longer was. Yeah, it was heart-breaking. I thought people were wonderful all along. To find out that some were not hurt badly. I'm not sure I understand why that is so hard for you to comprehend. Have you never had a moment where due to your own personal stuff you lashed out at someone who didn't deserve it? And what is it about that notion that bothers you so much? Is it that I admitted it or regretted it? - Listen, the world treats fat people like crap in general, that just is. I try to speak out about it, not against it, just about it. I don't want another girl to have to go through that. I don't want another stranger to get yelled at like that. What is so terrible about that? - Either way, thanks so much for writing about it. The additional exposure caused by this kind of backlash has reached hundreds of women who have reached out to me with their own personal stories and with gratitude for giving them a voice where they felt like they had none. And for that, I am truly thankful.

Darleen

I didn't realize I had been discriminated against

That is what this is all about, Stacie. Unless you can read minds, you don't know. There are equal opportunity rude people out there and tons of innocent actions you can twist so you can feelz "I AM OFFENDED".

As I pointed out up thread, I had a friend who was overweight and she was always judging the behavior of others toward her and darkly believing it all revolved around her appearance.

That is toxic thinking. And it poisons your own behavior because, face it, people don't want to deal with angry people. It's not the fat, it's the attitude.

Mags

It's amazing what someone can do with my words when they are taken completely out of context

I read your article. Your words weren't taken out of context.

Mags

What Darleen said.

Darleen

Stacie,

Moodiness and anger is just as unacceptable as body order or bad breath. Happiness is a moral obligation.

Nikw211
    I thought people were wonderful all along. To find out that some were not hurt badly.

It is impossible to say this without sounding harsh, but that particular revelation does not reflect well on the powers of observation of someone who makes a living from visual media.

    Have you never had a moment where due to your own personal stuff you lashed out at someone who didn't deserve it?

Yes, of course. But when that has happened, I have usually felt immediate regret, accepted that the fault was mine, and apologised.

Your article, on the other hand, seeks to place the blame for your outburst entirely outside of yourself - the realisation was not that you had behaved obnoxiously, but that it was all the fault of everybody else:

    how terrible we are as a society to people, based solely on their appearance [...] Never mind ... career advances, better opportunities and much cheaper clothes [...] It has now become my life’s mission to help people realise their true beauty and strength [...] hopefully I can change the way we all perceive beauty.

Your use of "we are as a society" and "the way we all perceive beauty" really rather strongly suggest you think the failing is in other people, but not you.

    And what is it about that notion that bothers you so much? Is it that I admitted it or regretted it?

No.

Speaking for myself, I think it is quite simply that you are mistaken and that your explanation for your outburst is implausible (not least because it places you centre stage when describing the motivation of other people).

As David, the owner of this site, has pointed out above:

    ... I don’t know about heart-breaking, but it is a little odd, and just a tad presumptuous [ ... ] As described, it’s just an act of courtesy, onto which a great deal of supposition has been eagerly piled. It’s a tough conceit to sell. In my experience, people who hold open doors for others generally do so reflexively, out of habit, a learned courtesy, and rarely with any great premeditation or guile.
Chester Draws

You know, I don't think I have ever lashed out at someone who didn't deserve it.

I don't lash out much, because it's rude, even when you are in the right. I have never had a screaming match with anyone, ever. I can't ever recall shouting at an adult even, let alone screaming. I rarely shouted at my own kids, though I do at my students sometimes.

I have over-reacted to actual provocation on the odd occasion. I usually apologise for that.

I'm not naturally quiet or shy. I do get angry often enough. I just do it quietly and without public fuss.

Screaming at people is what little kids do.

Hal

Screaming at people is what little kids do.

Ehn, Generally.

Then there are the situations where the targets are rather large children, alleged adults who just aren't capable of comprehending anything else.

There was one event where I very publicly, loudly, and emphatically fired two people who had made clear their open insistence that their absolute right was to disrupt and screw over the event that they were supposedly on the staff of. At that point another staff member had already made clear her absolute disgust with the actions and demonstrated attitude of the idiots.

A year later, with people signing up for staff positions, among the results were that neither of the idiots tried going near me or mine again, I wound up with basically my usually near complete compliment of staff---every year everyone had holes in the schedule, and then we filled in---, and one person very openly announced to me during that year's initial staffing meeting that I am signing up to be your announcer, I get to be the Mouth of Sauron!!!

Matt G

Interestingly, many of the subsequent user comments for the article appear to be under the highly speculative notion that Ms Huckeba enjoys elevated courtesy from male strangers purely on account of being, to use the technical term, a bit of a 'babe'.

Hmm, now being a fervently heterosexual sort of chap still blessed/cursed with decent eyesight I perused her photo and must say I find such assertions a tad 'optimistic' if I was being brutally honest....

That aside, one doesn't require near-Holmesian powers of deduction to deduce that Ms Huckeba really doesn't have nearly as many legitimate complaints in life as she would masochistically like, nor indeed her chosen ideological affiliation demands if this barrel-scraping effort is anything to go by. She's in good company at The Graun on that score methinks.

In fact one suspects that Ms Huckeba composed this harrowing recollection of her traumatic ordeal more to act as pseudo penance for both losing weight and conceding she's happier because of it (such admissions are virtual heresy to many 'generously proportioned' feminists obsessed with weight of course)... ;)

David

So, what did I miss? Ah. Back in a tick.

dan

http://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/news-and-views/opinion/why-i-wont-let-any-male-babysit-my-children-20170223-gujn4f.html#comments

When my daughter goes on play dates I make sure that she will be supervised by a woman at all times. So far she has only slept at one friend's house. Beforehand I spoke to my friend about our rule and clarified that if she's going to pop out to shops for example and intends to leave our daughter in the care of her husband or another man then the sleepover cannot happen.

As you can imagine, this was not an easy conversation to have.

David

Stacie,

It’s amazing what someone can do with my words when they are taken completely out of context and moved around to suit a specific narrative.

Well, in this instance, I disagree. I’m not sure you’ve fully appreciated how, er, notable some of the things you’ve said, and some of the claims you’ve made, actually are. See, for instance, my quip about telepathy. And I generally encourage readers to take a squint at the original article and decide for themselves whether I’ve been fair or shockingly mischievous. Hence the links, of course.

You fail to mention that it was a very human and vulnerable moment. I had been fat my whole life.

At risk of sounding unsympathetic, I’m not interested in the size of your trousers. What’s at issue is your presumption, the assigning of unsubstantiated motives to polite strangers, and by extension to many other people.

I didn’t realize I had been discriminated against

A problem, one of them, is that in the article you don’t establish that you actually had been discriminated against, at least nowhere near sufficiently to explain your bizarre fit of rage and the subsequent, rather loaded claims regarding a stranger’s supposedly atypical motives, which you couldn’t possibly know. (I once had a shopping bag full of groceries disintegrate in a busy street and no-one stopped to help me retrieve the scattered items. I was miffed by this at the time, but I didn’t assume that this indifference was part of a pattern of prejudice with me at its centre, and I didn’t later use it to rationalise or contextualise any abusive and wildly incongruous behaviour on my part. And conversely, when an elderly neighbour with whom I’d never spoken offered me some vegetables from her garden, I didn’t instantly assume that the offer had been dependent on my appearance, svelte and gazelle-like though I am.)

Listen, the world treats fat people like crap in general… I don’t want another girl to have to go through that.

And yet you now encourage obese people to find contentedness in their size, to find the “true beauty… in the body they occupy,” despite your own admission of discomfort and breathing difficulties, etc., despite the years of shabby treatment, or perceived shabby treatment, that you invoke but don’t specify, and despite your evident relief and sense of “freedom” in no longer being fat. There’s a dissonance, I think.

Either way, thanks so much for writing about it.

Happy to be of service.

Paul

TIL that in July, 2014, somewhere in Nashville, Tennessee, a formerly quiet, kindly and polite gentleman learned that all women everywhere can open their own goddammed doors, and go fuque themselves, now, and forevermore, into the bargain. Washing one's hands of other peoples $h!+ has never been easier.

See, I used to be that guy. Now, in the age of non-stop, self-reinforcing narcissism and unrelenting self-entitlement, where fleetingly temporary emotional states can take on the proportions of enormous life-altering events, I find myself perfectly willing to walk right past a fellow human being who is actively being engulfed in flames, careful to give them a wide enough berth to not get any on my shoes, because, hey, they may very well be on fire by their own choice, and who am I too judge right?

Questions: If a gentleman fails to open/hold the door for a transsexual, does that make him a homophobe, a misanthrope or a misogynist? Does it depend on his intent in not opening/holding the door, or does it depend on how the other person feels about his not opening/holding the door? And how long is it generally considered polite to wait for the other person to process their feelings and hand down the verdict upon the gentleman in question?

(Hint: They are all trick questions. If the gentleman in question is a white heterosexual male, he is automatically assumed to be a misogynist, homophobe no matter what he does by virtue of his existence. And raciss too. Don't forget raciss. Never forget raciss.)

Mr Ecks

The idea seems to be that no bloke would ever open a door for a woman he wasn't interested in shagging.

As I have held open countless doors for women I had not the slightest interest in shagging including large fat women and woman so ancient as to resemble the concubines of Methuselah this seems to be a bizarre and distorted viewpoint. Likely occasioned by too much time spent imbibing feminist hate-propaganda.

The vast majority of doors opened for another are opened out of politeness and/or simple human kindness. As always cultural Marxism poisons anything it touches.

R. Sherman

Of course, David has already provided us with the solution to the problem. See, e.g. his post from a few months back about the "artist" interacting with automatic doors. Technology to the rescue!

Hal

Business as usual . . .

Daniel Ream

I went to graduate school specifically to talk about DKR and its role in the shifting attitude toward anti-heroes and how that reflected on political realities and histories at the time

I think "I went to graduate school to talk about comic books" is a one sentence summary of most of David's posts on higher education.

David

I think “I went to graduate school to talk about comic books” is a one sentence summary of most of David’s posts on higher education.

Heh.

Farnsworth M. Muldoon

Heh.

From the twitter on why we need more social scientists in medicine, remind me never to get sick in Australia, Allergy and Autoimmunity: Rethinking the Normal and the Pathological

Michelle Jamieson holds a PhD in sociology and lectures in the Faculty of Arts at Macquarie University, Sydney. Moving between sociology, science studies and the medical humanities, her research critically engages the assumed division between sociality and biology, especially in relation to illness and medicine. She recently completed a major project about allergy and the politics of immunological discourse. She is the author of ‘The Politics of Immunity: Reading Cohen through Canguilhem and New Materialism’ (2015) Body and Society, and ‘Imagining Reactivity: Allergy Within the History of Immunology’ (2010) Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences

But wait, that's not all, Contagion, Virology, Autoimmunity: Derrida’s Rhetoric of Contamination

Peta Mitchell is Vice Chancellor’s Research Fellow at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT), Australia, where she is a Chief Investigator in QUT’s Digital Media Research Centre and a member of the Urban Informatics Research Lab. She is author of Cartographic Strategies of Postmodernity (Routledge 2008) and Contagious Metaphor (Bloomsbury 2012), and co-author of Imagined Landscapes: Geovisualizing Australian Spatial Narratives (Indiana University Press 2016). Mitchell’s research more broadly spans communication and media studies, critical and cultural theory, cultural and media geography, and human–computer interaction.

Well those are certainly solid qualifications too discuss contagion, autoimmunity, and virology, and as we all know Derrida ranks right up there with John Snow, Walter Reed, and Ignaz Semmelweis as a titan of medicine. There are plenty more of these fine papers at the bottom of the links.

Spiny Norman

Farnsworth,

Well those are certainly solid qualifications too discuss contagion, autoimmunity, and virology, and as we all know Derrida ranks right up there...

Carl Sagan might have been right about a coming new dark age, but wrong about where it would originate.

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