Let me start by saying that while I haven’t been blogging, I have been active in size acceptance, not only via social media, but offering advice and support to others more active than I’ve been.  With that said, I want to thank the many people that continue to read my blogs at an incredible rate, more now than ever.  I don’t know if my message is starting to resonate with some, but regardless, I appreciate your support, and who knows, maybe I can find the time and patience to pick up my writing again at some point.

So, why this blog?  A few things, actually.

Let’s start with an article published several days ago on xoJane by my friend Cary Webb.  The title of the article is

Why I’m Over The Size Acceptance Movement or Hey, SA, What Have You Done For Me Lately?

The short version is that Cary has become somewhat disillusioned with the Size Acceptance Movement, and tells us why.  I’ve linked you to her article, so please take a moment to read it, if you haven’t.

A lot of what Cary has outlined has also been said by me in other blogs, including my last one, called “Move To The Back Of The Line” and another called “Why Size Acceptance Won’t Succeed (For Now).

In her blog, Cary leveled some criticism at some of the “leaders” of SA, and expressed her preference for leaving the movement behind.  Specifically, she felt that there’s far too much exclusion within the movement, making it appear fragmented (which I also believe that it is).  I’ll go one step further and say that I think there may be some “competition” within SA, where certain leaders (& their followers) will take the time to discredit other people in the movement, again with the end result that people lose focus on the real purpose of SA, which is a relatively simple concept, that fat people are treated poorly in our society and that needs to change.

I’m greatly disappointed that this happens.  “But Phil, I (we) are fully aware of what SA is, and we agree with it, BUT………”

My issue is that there shouldn’t be a “but”.  When I first started blogging several years ago, I did my best to dissociate myself from certain people and factions of the movement because of what I felt were differences in ideology, practice, treatment of others, and anything that essentially pissed me off.  Over the past couple of years I’ve begun to think that I wasn’t really of any value to the movement by being so exclusionary.

After you read Cary’s article, take a few moments to read the comments and you’ll see many people proving Cary’s point, doing their best to exclude allies and supporters (including me).  Interestingly, I had one difference with Cary on her article.  I reached out to her today, and told her that I did, and the reasons I disagreed with her point.  Cary held her ground, and in spite of the difference, at the end of the conversation we thanked each other for both support and friendship.

So, how can we have a difference, yet not want to eliminate each other from our lives (or from a movement)?  We’re both pretty passionate people, yet were able to discuss our points of view from a point of respect.


Don’t get me wrong, I’ve eliminated people from my real life and internet life (which are very much the same, in case you’re wondering), but it’s always because of something the person’s done or said that violates my core values.

Unfortunately, some people within the movement have unfriended me at the flip of a switch, turning on me for a comment that they may have simply misinterpreted, and rather than engage me in conversation to see what I meant, pile on with their allies (again proving Cary’s point about fragmentation & exclusion within the movement) and tell you off, and then *poof*, you’re out of their lives.

Case in point, a couple of years ago, a person I’d considered a friend took exception to something said in one of my blogs.  Let me say that in the past I’d supported her SA efforts financially, offered advice to her, and helped her with some copyright issues she was having.  And although she never supported my (and my partner Bernadette’s) efforts at the NJ Bash, we let her use our event for some personal endeavors related to her project.  Again, with one statement, and little dialogue, just an admonishment, I was kicked out of her world.

I can promise you it was more her loss than mine, based on what I’d done for her vs. what came back in return.

In the comments section of Cary’s article, I was again taken to task by someone (who I don’t know), who took issue with the fact that I even had an opinion about the SA movement, since I was male, and wasn’t fat.  I have to say that I believe that she’s in a minority, but I think I have a place, based on the fact that I used to be fat in my youth, I’m engaged to a fat woman, and I’ve raised all of my kids in a size positive home.  Despite the fact that I responded (more than once) to her, she refused to acknowledge my background (even when several really nice people came to my defense), and went on with her own personal agenda that SA is STRICTLY a women’s issue, and that while allies are welcome, they have no place in shaping the movement, since they can’t know what fat people go through.

Well, should we stop doctors from treating cancer if they’ve never experienced it? 

Again, alienation and fragmentation is where the movement is headed, if we can’t put all of the pieces together to focus on what the purpose of SA is.  Statements like “this is triggering me” and “I just can’t”, while understandable for some people, can’t remain at the forefront if you’re really committed to helping the size acceptance movement.  Please understand that while criticism from within should be welcomed, discussing differences and respecting them will allow you and others to focus on moving the Size Acceptance Agenda, and isn’t changing the rest of the world what we really want?

To that end, just a quick plug for my friends at Fierce, Freethinking Fatties.


They are in the process of renovating their website that will make it easier to navigate and essentially help them do a better job of pushing the SA agenda, which they happen to do very well.  I support them, and I’m asking you to support their efforts as well.  Please take a minute to read about their fundraising campaign (they’re just under 50% of their goal with only a couple of days left as I write this) and can use all of the support they can get.  EVERY contribution will help them, so if you think your dollar won’t go far, send it to them anyway, and see how much of a difference it will make when their new and improved website kicks off!!  Here’s the link to their funding page:

See you down the road.



I’ve been writing my blogs here for the better part of 4 years.  Over the past several months, I’ve thought about taking a  break, not just from writing blogs, but from engaging in any kind of fat activism,


That’s quite a yawn, and that’s part of the reason I need a break.  During the time that I’ve been writing, there have been a lot of other people who have been writing, many of them far more articulate & thought provoking than I am.  There have also been some who in my opinion, are there only to seek fame (and fortune) in fatopia.  I’ve always felt that the message of fat/size acceptance is far more important than the people who write about it, and are active in it.  I’ve read stories about Dr. Martin Luther King feeling he was an instrument of the civil rights movement, and that’s always been my feeling when I compared that standard to the “leaders” of the SA movement.

Of course, with every Dr. King that comes along in our lifetime, there are hundreds, maybe thousands of Rev. Al Sharptons.  This blog isn’t about Rev. Al, but if one is interested in what I mean in terms of opportunism and how he’s taken advantage of each opportunity to gain (whether financial, or in terms of press coverage), you can read the following editorial

I’ve come to be increasingly disappointed in the fact that people in SA continue to look to the wrong “leaders” in the movement, rather than focusing on SA’s message, and then seeing who fits the bill best to represent the components of the message.

For the past few years I’ve belonged to a Facebook group of over 1300 members whose mission involves activism, the type that could involve posting to other blogs or editorials a body positive message, or correct misconceptions about fat as it involves health, fitness, etc.  While I’d been quite active in the group, I became disillusioned with the fact that while many of the members spoke “tough” in the group, most were quite passive when it came to actual activism outside the group.  While several friends I’d made there did their best to explain why some didn’t have the “spoons” to (which I’m assuming means their ability to handle) make comments, I wondered why they’d join a group that seemed to exist with activism being the main purpose.

Then the administrator of the group redefined the group to include a support function.  I have no issue with that at all, as we all need support from people we feel comfortable with.  The only problem I saw was that the group was spending far more time on support than they were working on activism.  To those who continued to work on the activism there, I thank you and applaud your efforts.  For me however, it was frustrating, especially when I’d post blog after blog, article after article, asking for activism, and there was little.

Around mid December of 2013 year, I published a blog called Celebrity former fatties & separating themselves from the pack (aka-not-cool-adam).

The blog described an encounter that I had with Travel Network’s Adam Richman of “Man vs. Food” fame, a former fat celebrity who lost a lot of weight, and somehow felt he was far enough removed from his size to ridicule a woman he’d been on an airplane flight with by calling her “Smart Car Sized”.  I begged people to get involved, not just in the Facebook group, but also in various forums.  While my exchange with Richman was inconsequential (at least to me, since I’d already taken on several others in my blogs over the years), my real issue was with a young man from Great Britain who’d been motivated to tell Richman off on Twitter, only to have Richman tell this man to have his wife “suck Satan’s leathery cock” (his wife was recently deceased), and that the greatest impact he could have on the world was to hang himself.   I included this information in every plea I made to get people involved in what I thought was a more than just cause………a former fat man who not only engaged in fat shaming, but also misogyny & who also suggested suicide to a critic.

Little happened.  Richman went about his business, and I continued writing my blogs/rants.

Fast forward to this mid June.  Adam Richman went on another tirade, this time on a woman who corrected him after he’d posted a photo with the hashtag #thinspiration.  After the correction he called the woman the “C” word.  Well, a fat feminist blogger (one that I have linked to in my Education/Edification page on my blog), picked up the story, as the girl involved was a friend of hers.  Her blog was picked up immediately, and before you knew it, the story ended up on the Jezebel website, where it blew up.

The blogger has received a ton of press over her blog, to the point of getting hate directed at her from every part of the internet because of it.  Of course the press has come as the result of Richman’s show being pulled by The Travel Channel, and her blog had a lot to do with it.  In case you aren’t familiar with the story, you can read about it HERE

Let’s be honest, the exchange Richman and I (and my friend) had are not all that dissimilar to the exchange that Richman had with the blogger (and her friend), yet my story and blog received little or no support, and hers received national coverage when it went viral after being picked up by various websites.  Let’s also be honest and admit that I do little to publicize my blogs, but there are several reasons.  First, the origins of my blog came as therapy for me, I was writing for me in an effort to come to grips with some issues in my life.  I showed them to a few people who suggested that I make my blogs public, which obviously I did, but that leads to reason #2, which is that if one is committed to a cause, the cause is what should take precedence.  I don’t want or need to be known for my blogs, but the information in them (in my opinion) should be.

What the past few months have shown me however, is that perhaps I’ve overstated the value of my writings.  I had the same story about Richman 6 months prior, and that story barely made a ripple.  I get it, within the size acceptance community, to see a guy (again, more women are involved in SA than men are, it’s perceived more of a feminist issue) who’s not fat (then why is he here?  Is he a fetishist?) writing blogs about SA, it may come off as disingenuous.  I’ve also haven’t ingratiated myself to the various parts of the fat community, having rid myself of many of the people who’d I’d been “friends” with from my involvement with the NJ BBW Bash, and more recently, my blogs that have been a little more critical of the size activists, who appear to be in a competition to become spokesperson for the movement.  I have a mistrust of many of them, who I feel put their own personal goals ahead of the goals of SA.

Some of you know that I also financially support fat positive projects.  Well, recently, someone I know from SA lost their job & posted about it in several groups I’m involved in.  They mentioned that with their down time, they were going on tour with their cause, and wanted others to donate to facilitate that.  In looking at their itinerary, it appeared to me that all they wanted to do is have a fun summer that included several social events, and there was no way I was supporting that.  I want to have a fun summer as well, but I wouldn’t do it in the name of Size Acceptance and by taking money from my SA “family”

So obviously I’m not very popular in various size acceptance circles, and in some cases reviled in the social part of the fat community.  I’m good with that because I didn’t start blogging to make friends, and more important, as I said earlier, the actual message is more important than me.  Don’t get me wrong, I do get lots of reads, but rarely do I see anyone moved to action, at least enough to cause me to feel that the messages I’m sending are worthwhile.

I’ve been really fortunate to have made some really close friends along the way.  I do remain friends with some people from the old NJ Bash days who feel that I speak the truth about what goes on in that part of the world.  I also have become close with some fat activists and bloggers in the process, and we talk a lot on Facebook.  One of those friends who’s been around this for a long time said this to me recently, and I keep reading it over and over:

There are 3 groups going on right now, the FA/NAAFA/HAES, The Size Acceptance Group, which is the 20something bloggers living their lives online, and then the whole BBW Basher thing. They overlap but the SA and BBW bashers are the real problem and why we the truly morbidly obese are treated so poorly because they are the first to holler loudly that they aren’t the “bad fatties.”

And I agree with all of this and now question why I’m writing for some of the people that I genuinely don’t like, and who don’t like me, either?  I understand that the world is made up of more people than just the ones I don’t like, and that I should be blogging for them, but I also know that I’ve pissed off enough people over the past few years to understand that my efforts aren’t always appreciated.

I know after reading this some of you are going to message/write me to tell me “But Phil, it’s not LIKE THAT!”, or
“You know how much I appreciate your insights!”

That’s great, and I sincerely appreciate the comments, but the fact is, I want to get away from this…maybe for a while, and perhaps for good.  Those of you who feel connected to me through the blogs are welcome to send me a friend request on Facebook, or continue to follow me on Twitter.  If you’re already friends with me, you’re not going anywhere, unless of course you want to.  Hopefully you don’t want to….

I’ll still discuss SA on my various social media pages, but it will be in support of others who may have written something that I know in my heart didn’t have an underlying motive other than the intention of what they’d written.  THAT my friends, is what real support and activism is about, not about racing to become the “lead dog” in size activism.  I thank all of you who’ve read my blogs over the past 4 + years, but for now I’m done…….


In what seems to be becoming a semi annual affair rivaling Mel Gibson & Alec Baldwin tirades, Adam Richman, host of the popular TV show Man vs. Food, went off on a vile social media rant several weeks ago.  Interestingly enough, the rant was directed at one of his fans, who simply posted to inform him of his use of a term that she felt he didn’t quite grasp the meaning of.

Unfortunately for her, he does grasp the meaning of telling people off on social media, and proceeded to do so to her.  If you don’t know the entire story, I suggest that you read THIS ARTICLE, which will share all of the details.  For those of you who don’t want to read the article, here’s part of his rant.


There was more, but if you want all of the dirt, just read the article.

He did apologize, sort of.  Of course his supporters, fans who adore Adam for being “cute” on TV, and others who admire him for his recent weight loss came out of the woodwork in support of him, to be expected.

The problem for me, of course, is that it’s not the first time it’s happened, and likely not the last.  For those of you who don’t know what I’m talking about, read my previous blog which chronicled a similar encounter about 6 months ago.  Similar comments, one in particular directed at a friend of mine who had taken him to task for his comments, only to have Richman tell him that his wife (who had recently passed away) should “suck Satan’s leathery cock”, and that he should also commit suicide.  I hurt for my friend, he could handle the comments directed at him, but anyone would be devastated over vile comments directed at a deceased loved one.

I complained to the Travel Channel over Richman’s comments.  As most of you readers know, I don’t actively promote my blogs, so there wasn’t the same furor that there is over his current rants.  Of course, Travel Channel (via the Scripps Network) hid behind the following response that was sent back to me:

> Date: Tue, 17 Dec 2013 23:01:16 +0000
> From:
> To:………………
> Subject: RE: [Concern] tc_man_food (#6563-397150059-0702)
> Hi Philip,
> Thank you for taking the time to write to us. Our brands and sponsors do not control our on-air talents’ off-air conversations, however, we will be glad to pass your comments along to our executive team for review.
> Best regards,
> Scripps Networks Interactive Customer Service
> SCRIPPS NETWORKS INTERACTIVE – the Leader in Lifestyle Media
> HGTV | DIY Network | Food Network | Cooking Channel | Travel Channel | Great American Country
> | | |


So, of course I was thrilled to see today that the Travel Channel had decided (after Richman’s latest rant) to pull his latest show, called “Man Finds Food”   From the Jezebel website:

After Adam Richman posted a hate-filled rant on social media, Travel Channel has pulled his upcoming show.

 Oh boo. Richman, as you will remember, posted a horrifying series of attacks directed at people who questioned his use of the hashtag #Thinspiration on a photo. Richman, the host of Man vs. Food recently lost a significant amount of weight and was using the photo of himself to celebrate his new physique. When others tried to point out that #Thinspiration is used in pro-bulimia and pro-anorexia circles, Richman pretty much lost his shit.

Today, Travel Channel announced it was postponing his new show, Man Finds Food. The network would not confirm the reason for change, according to The Washington Post:

The show, featuring Richman uncovering “delicious hidden food treasures” across the country, was supposed to debut on July 2. Then the channel suddenly announced it would be postponed with no details about a later date. A surprising move, given that Richman is one of the network’s most profitable stars, the host of shows including “Man v. Food,” “Best Thing I Ever Ate,” “Adam Richman’s Best Sandwich in America” and others.

Here’s a thought! If you want to have a successful career as a television personality, try not telling people “Grab a razor blade and draw a bath. I doubt anyone will miss you.” Especially don’t tell them that in a public forum where everyone including the people who hired you and paid you tons of money can see it and wonder why in the world they should let someone with such a scummy point of view host one of their TV programs.

Everyone say it with me: “Couldn’t happen to a nicer guy!”

In an effort to be the “nice guy”, Adam Richman released an apology to ABC’s “Good Morning America” program this morning, which I believe was sent AFTER Travel Channel pulled the show.  Here’s what he said:

“I’ve long struggled with my body image and have worked very hard to achieve a healthy weight. I’m incredibly sorry to everyone I’ve hurt.”

So, is this really an apology, or a way to get viewers to feel bad for his plight?  Adam, nearly 2/3 of the world struggles with body image, thanks to fat hatred and comments like you’ve made in the past.  By the way, what is a “healthy” weight?  I’ve seen people weigh 400 lbs and more whose blood pressure, sugar levels, lipids, etc were all in what was considered healthy ranges for all of their lives.

I spent a little time looking around on the internet, finding out more about Mr. Richman.  He’s quite a charitable person, having been involved in Soccer Aid (a charity football game), raising money for Cancer Research UK, and makes numerous appearances on behalf of various charities.  It’s difficult to reconcile the two different behaviors, except to say that perhaps the charitable side is at the urging of his PR department, in an effort to somehow offset these horrible comments that end up on social media.  I don’t know which side is the real Adam Richman, but I really hope it’s not the one I’ve seen on Twitter and Instagram.

I visited his Facebook page today in an effort to explain to some of his fans who support him why his most recent outburst was wrong.  Less than an hour later, all comments on his page (except those made by his own media machine) were removed.

I just want Adam to know that I’m okay.  Most of my friends that you’ve insulted and/or hurt are too.  I think we’re okay because a little bit of justice has been served (for now), and perhaps you’ll realize that there can be consequences for being an ass.  Hopefully you’ll learn from this incident and move one, avoiding the pitfalls of using social media.  Better yet, hopefully you won’t be an ass.


Because, if you don’t, the “idiot with the stupid blog” will be back to write about you.


I’d rather spend every day with you and your issues, and working on them and making you whole again, than spend a day without you……


This week is the 4th anniversary of the first time that Lissa and I first spent time together.  I’d known Lissa online, and from one of the NJ BBW Bash events that she attended.  We’d chatted here and there during the year or so prior.

After my second marriage started to dissolve before my eyes after almost 8 years, I got myself into therapy, for several reasons.  The first was to better cope with my marriage ending.  The second, was to get my own emotional state in order.  After the breakup, I got myself involved with someone who also had emotional issues, and didn’t want a serious relationship.  I tried to force it on her, rather than realizing what she was capable/incapable of, and the 7-8 months of push-pull had left both of us emotionally exhausted.  I’d felt like it was a cycle that I’d continue to repeat if I didn’t do something about it.


In the midst of all this, Lissa began to talk with me about visiting.  I was about to take a break from social media right around that time.  I’d just come off the April NJ Bash.  I’d even written a blog about how I needed a break in order to “get my smile back”.  This was on the heels of not only the ending of the relationship I tried to have after my marriage, but also the beginning of the end of my affiliation with the NJ BBW Bash, after accusations had been made about my reasons for involvement by people who attended the events.

Lissa understood that, and I took a hiatus.  I continued my therapy, read a lot, and prayed.  I knew that I was the only person responsible for changing the things that I needed to change to move forward, regardless of whether I chose to be alone, or in a relationship.

Fast forward about 2 months, and I reached out to Lissa, and suggested mid June as a time to meet.  It was right around Fathers Day Weekend.  I would have been a fool to think that I was “cured” of my issues in 2 months, but after discussion with my therapist, we’d agreed that it would be an acceptable thing to do, as long as both of us (Lissa and I) understood that this was a casual date, one that would last several days, with no obligations for either of us.  Lissa had agreed to it, and hey, we both had nothing to lose.

We had a fantastic week together, and after she left, I wondered if if was solely because there was no pressure to move it forward.  She returned to Iowa, but moved to Ohio shortly thereafter.

We talked a lot, both online and on the phone, after she left.  I could see things beginning to move forward,  I knew that IF I was going to again get into a relationship, I’d need to be prepared to cover my end.  By August of 2010, we talked virtually every day.

Then by the end of August, I found myself in the hospital, with a bilateral pulmonary embolism, and blood clots in my legs.  When I told her where I was, she along with a friend, jumped in the car & made the drive to NJ.  They stayed at my place while I was hospitalized.  Upon my release, she went back to Ohio.  One of the things that I’d learned from the previous relationship was that at some point the distance between people should close if the relationship has any chance of moving forward (the last woman was from Canada).  It was during that time that the ex from Canada reached out to Lissa to “warn” her about me.  She said I was nothing but drama, and that my ex wife had “ruined me”, and that Lissa should run away as fast as she could from me….

It wasn’t long thereafter that Lissa told me that she was offered a job in Conshohocken, PA and wanted to take it, so we could spend some time together.  My divorce was not final (in NJ, you need to be separated for 18 months to get a “no fault” divorce), and I didn’t want to confuse my son about why someone was living with me so quickly after my marriage breakup.  Lissa understood, and she moved to Gibbstown, NJ, about 30 minutes from where I lived.  I have to say that as hard as I was working on me, her understanding of where I was emotionally made this relationship even more valuable, since few others took that into consideration.

Actually, Lissa moved in once my divorce was final, and she and her daughter both live with me, which they do to this day.  We got engaged in August of 2014, not long after my father passed away, and while we don’t have a set date to get married, I’m working on making the proper emotional adjustments that will allow me to do that.

I’ve learned lots of stuff over the past couple of years, thus proving that you can teach an old dog new tricks.  I’ve re-learned that good relationships take work, and a commitment to both partners to work, both alone and together, towards the common goal of making the relationship work.  That comes a whole lot easier when each person’s focus is the other one in the relationship.  Most important, I’ve learned the value of that one person who “gets you”, the person who understands where you are at emotionally.  I’ve also learned that I need to do the same for my partner, if the relationship has any chance of success.

Thank you for showing me this every day, and happy anniversary, honey………..I love you!





This won’t be a long blog.  I lost a friend today.  Monique Jurgen, aka MoMo Brown and I knew each other from the old days on the Dimensions website (when it was still a good place to go).  We didn’t talk much back then but we’d share a laugh here and there.  I admired her entrepreneurial spirit, as she spearheaded Big Girl Gear, a clothing retailer for plus sized women.

Over the past few years we became closer, mostly because of our blogs, and what had turned into a mutual disdain for much of what happened in the social part of the fat community.  Mo’s blogs were quite pointed, and her stories, while true, were often quite inflammatory to those who were threatened by her writing.

I don’t know the reason(s) for her passing, but I can tell you that no matter what it was, she had much more life in her.  Her upbeat attitude, open heart (for those that deserved it), and positive energy will be missed by many.

Rest in peace, my friend……

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know about Elliot Rodger, the young man who went on a killing spree in the town of Santa Barbara, CA before he turned the gun on himself & took his own life.

Here’s a comprehensive report of what took place (on the small chance you aren’t aware of what happened):

Of particular interest to me was his final video, where he made his proclamations of wanting to make the women pay for their rejections of him.  I’m embedding the video here, because it should be watched over and over again, analytically.

Also of interest was his 140 page manifesto titled “My Twisted World”, where he complained he had to “…endure an existence of loneliness and insignificance, all because the females of the human species were incapable of seeing the value in me.”

He then goes on to say the following:

My orchestration of the Day of Retribution is my attempt to do everything, in my power, to destroy everything I cannot have. All of those beautiful girls I’ve desired so much in my life, but can never have because they despise and loathe me, I will destroy. All of those popular people who live hedonistic lives of pleasure, I will destroy, because they never accepted me as one of them. I will kill them all and make them suffer, just as they have made me suffer. It is only fair.”

Many have written this off as the words & actions of a sociopath.  I disagree…..I see it as misogyny taken to the extreme.  I tweeted that yesterday, and received a lot of hate tweets in response, mostly from men (surprise…..).  Here are some of the comments:

u diluted the fact that murdering ppl based on WMP, misogyny, racism “is” a psychological disorder.  now me fucking ur mom to death was because of my male privilege, but that’s a crime of passion not murder.

Another #liberalprogressive#moron =======> @PhilVarlese

not only should your opinion be rethought it is quite scary but hey thank God we still can say what we feel in America.

That is insane. wow! You must have attended the conferences creating the great divide. Embarrassing point of view.

You are a disgusting, vile, leftist and racist. You contribute nothing to our society other than bile and blather.

But this issue isn’t about me, it’s about what I perceive as a very real threat that I fear will happen again and again in our country if men don’t start acknowledging that extreme misogyny exists.  Feminist blogger Melissa McEwan made a very salient point in a recent tweet when she said:

Dismissing violent misogynists as ‘crazy’ is a neat way of saying that violent misogyny is an individual problem, not a cultural one”

So why are men so quick to jump on the bandwagon of this kid being crazy, or on drugs, or “not representative of all men”?

Simple, they don’t want to admit that the only difference between Elliot Rodger & them might be a social or moral filter.  In other words, there’s a little Elliot Rodger in all men.

That’s a scary thing to say, but the male ideology that women are no more than a commodity, and that men have a right to every one of them (or at least the ones they want) is all too common, especially among teenage boys.

Recently, a friend of mine confided to me about his niece, a 15 year old teen, who’d been friends with a boy from her neighborhood for years.  The boy comes from a well to do family (his dad is a lawyer), and the two have been close since grammar school.  Several weeks ago, the girl received an anonymous message that essentially said that if she didn’t provide the author(s) of the message with naked pictures, the young man she’s been friends with would be seriously hurt.  Fortunately, she took that information to her parents, who reported it to the police.  The police did a thorough job, forcing the internet messaging service (which is out of the US) to provide information on this user.  Imagine the shock when they found out that the messages were coming from her long time friend.  The kid was brought up on charges, and the family of the girl got a restraining order against him.

Less than a week later, the girl is sitting at lunch, and this entitled “young man” comes to sit at the same table that she’s sitting at.  Again, parents meet with the school, who claim that because the problem happened off school grounds, there’s not much they could do (yes, the principal is male).  After a call from the family attorney, the kid was expelled, and sent to a different school.

My point here is that even at those young years, boys are being conditioned to treat women with less value.  I’m not a psychologist (though I minored in it) or sociologist, but over my years I can tell you that few parents are modeling what love is supposed to look like, and that combined with the media almost glorifying the Chris Brown’s & Ray Rice’s of the world, make it easy for boys to think that it’s okay to treat women in that manner.  Take it one step further, like in the case of Elliot Rodger where he thought that women had absolutely no right to reject him, and seeing some of those same women “consorting” with men of other races & ethnicities, and it’s a formula for trouble.  Elliot Rodger wanted to be famous for this (and sadly, months from now, more people will remember his name than the names of his victims).

I don’t always agree with Dr. Keith Ablow, but I would recommend that anyone who’s a parent read his article called “We Are Raising A Generation Of Deluded Narcissists”.  I think that his analysis is spot on, that kids today create personas that seem to be more than what they actually are, an that narcissism, along with his misogyny, resulted in all these unnecessary deaths.

My first sexual experience came when I was 12.  It was unsatisfying & uncomfortable for both me and the girl.  After several days, I talked with my dad about what happened.  He looked me in the eye, and asked if I had feelings for the girl (which of course I didn’t… was just 2 kids trying to do what they’d heard so much about).  When I told him no, he brought me into the kitchen, where my parents and I had a 2 hour dialogue about love and sex.  What I walked away with that evening was that while sex can be great, sex with someone you love is even greater because of the underlying emotions.  It’s guided me through all of my relationships over the years, and it’s something that I will try hard to instill in my son’s core values.

With that said, he will also learn to value women, and not treat them as a commodity that exists solely for their pleasure.

More important, I’m pretty sure my son won’t be going on a shooting spree with my guidance.



I had an opportunity to read an interesting article today from Joshua David called “The Myth Of The Chubby Chaser”

It’s not an incredibly long article, so I’ll post it here.

Some people prefer to fuck thin people. Some people prefer to fuck fat people. Many other people place no importance on the size of the people that they fuck. All of these are valid choices, but we only pretend that one is abnormal. Chubby chasing is bullshit.

Of course, as stated above, there are plenty of people that have a preference for larger people. There may be a physical reason, a chemical reason, a societal reason or a psychological reason for that preference. The important thing is that the reasoning behind said preference is entirely immaterial. Chubby chasing as a concept is steeped in the idea of othering fat people, especially fat women.

I’m going to get heteronormative here and talk almost exclusively about chubby chasing as it pertains to men dating women. This is primarily because as a cishet white guy, I want to keep this to my lived experience and avoid speaking for people that already have enough people trying to speak for them. Full disclosure: I am a fat man and I’ve dated women of all sizes.

Fat people (in particular fat women) have been deemed unacceptable by the cultural zeitgeist. As such, a fat person dating – having the audacity to imagine themselves as attractive to a person to whom they are also attracted – is considered an offense to the that same cultural zeitgeist. There’s tremendous pressure for fat people to be either apologetic or defiant for their size at the same time that they’re meaning to find a partner, for sex or love or anything else.

There’s not a thing wrong with being fat and proud; I make no apologies for my size and no one else should, thin or fat. The issue is that thin people aren’t asked to apologize for their size* on anything resembling a regular basis, and pride and fat are considered mutually exclusive, particularly in the dating realm. While fat-shaming of men is a very real and problematic thing, the most virulent fat hatred is reserved for women that dare to find themselves desirable while straying outside a social standard that is defined so narrowly that supermodels are deemed to be in violation.

The idea of chubby chasing appears on its face to be an attempt to stigmatize men who have a preference that falls outside the accepted norm, and in many ways it is. A man who shows an interest in a fat woman is not expressing a personal preference but committing an unpardonable transgression against manhood and decency and is accordingly branded.

But chubby chasing as a concept isn’t really aimed at men. It’s one more method of stigmatizing fat women for existing and framing that existence as both morally wrong and entirely disposable. Fat women are simultaneously viewed as unattractive and as easy, a sort of booby prize when an acceptable woman is unavailable. Dehumanization and is the norm and it’s used as a weapon.

Then there’s the flip side. With marginalization comes exoticism and fetishism; men project their own ideas of what a fat woman is and should be. Fat women are treated as nothing more than a vessel for validation – it’s not uncommon to see fat women talked about as though they “appreciate it more.” It’s a preconception fueled by a fundamental view of fat women as lesser, as lucky to be receiving the attention of a man that views her as below his station. It’s not rare for a man to be legitimately surprised to find that a “big girl” would draw attention out of proportion with her attractiveness, as perceived by him.

The idea that we should respect everyone’s basic humanity and that our attractions are shaped by something outside ourselves usually sets off (to be kind) a strong defensive reaction. There’s nothing immoral about preferring to date slender people, but check out the comments on any article even discussing fat-shaming as a general concept and the hostility and derailment is intense. Fatphobia is so pervasive that even an article whose main thrust is “fat people are people too” is instantly set upon by fatphobes.

Of course, there are trolls everywhere, but trolls aren’t created in a vacuum. They often mirror prevailing (if unstated) cultural biases and attitudes. The idea that our judgment of people is based on a criteria that has no real definition and bears no indication of a person’s inherent worth is very threatening to those who base their assessments of other people – and often themselves – on such an arbitrary measure as weight.

Chubby chasing is a term firmly grounded in the language of dehumanization and dedicated to the further marginalization of fat people, most especially fat women. While the concept deserves derision and dismissal, it’s important to engage and break down the parts of our language (and there are many) that exist as a method to maintain power structures. We’re all just people that are attracted to other people. Chubby chasing is bullshit.

*Yes, thin-shaming is a thing. No, it’s not what we’re talking about here.

The terms “chubby chaser” and “fat admirer” are virtually interchangeable, and carry the same public perceptions that Mr. David noted in his writing.  In other words, the outside world views guys like Mr. David and me as people who accept “less than” what others value.  We’re considered fetishists in some ways, similar to those who will only date “little people”, or amputees.  After all, no one in their right min would want a fat woman, right?

Mr. David’s article is spot on about how the “outside world” perceives the chubby chaser or the fat admirer (many of you have read my previous blogs about why I dislike these terms, for many more reasons than Mr. David noted).  What about those people who are on the inside?  What about those people who are in the fat community?

Let’s start with the general perception of FAs by many women in the social part of the fat community.  From another forum that I participate in on occasion:

There should be one half of the site that is dedicated to smutty conversation/photos and all the stuff that comes with it, and then the other half be for people who genuinely just want to have a chat or meet new people, WITHOUT all the “ooh send me a photo”-isms and sex talk. I’m starting to think that the site is just full of freaks/fetishists and horny mofo’s who are looking for a quick sext or skype wank. 

I understand that “those” sorts of people would be attracted to a site like this as BBWs are often (and probably only) seen as sexual objects, but there are some of us out there who didn’t join up for that reason. It’s not a sex site (As far as I know), it’s first and foremost a community, so I don’t see why it always has to turn towards perverted crap.

Now granted , this also happens a lot on other social media type forums and sites that are not fat related.  I’ve been on many of those over the years however, and have not seen the level of douchebaggery that I witness on what are often referred to as BBW sites.  The woman commenter above hit the nail on the head when she says that she’s only treated as a sex object on these kind of sites.  Of course there are honest guys who show up to engage in quality discussion with the opposite gender, but they often leave disappointed, as they’re met with cynicism and a wall that they’ll never get through no matter how hard they try, because they often get lumped in with the sex trolls.  I fell into that category for a long time, and I realized that internet life as someone who was attracted to fat women would continue to be frustrating, and that I was better off abandoning it for the greener pastures of actually meeting someone in real life.

While that sums up the perception of most of the men in the social part of the fat community, I reflected long and hard on how I was treated by those women who are important to fat activism.

Little of what I write is actually read by the fat activists.  I think a guy who comes from the social part of the fat community (the “home” of the fat fetishist) who writes about fat issues, but isn’t fat has a long way to go to catch the attention of the many fat feminist bloggers and activists.  I’ve been blogging for well over 4 years now, and with few exceptions, most of the FA/SA bloggers could care less about what I write.  Understanding the reasons why has caused me to be at peace with that, mostly because 1.  I can’t change it, and 2. I think their reasons for feeling that way are quite valid.  What also helps is that I don’t write for their approval.  Ive said some things contrary to the “fat agenda” over the years, and been admonished for it, but the underlying goal for most of my blogs is to write so that people on both the inside & outside of the fat community can understand what I think is going on.

So while I’m often viewed in a suspect manner by the insiders, I continue to write so that outsiders can develop a sense of understanding as well.  Winning size/fat acceptance can come in large numbers, but can also come one person at a time.  A few weeks ago, a close friend of mine posted one of my blogs on his Facebook page, and commented that through our friendship, he’d come to understand what fat people go through on a daily basis, and vowed to learn more about fat hate & bias.  To me acknowledging that it exists is the first step towards ending it.  Sometimes, when enough people take those first steps, big things happen.

first stepSo, you folks on the inside can continue to wait to see if the other shoe will drop.  Trust me, it won’t.  You may not like everything I have to say, but I’m still on your side.  It’s much like a dysfunctional family that fights all the time, but when one of them gets attacked, the rest of the family will rush to their side to help defend them.

And I do my best to clobber the sex fetishists and trolls who make it that much harder for us to work together.  Call them chubby chasers or fat admirers, but they aren’t part of that family that I’m talking about….