I'm going to be going a little SJW (Social Justice Warrior) here. This article is inspired by a few things but it took one thing to trigger (haha... trigger) it off. Its something I have wanted to cover at some point as there is so little coverage from a male perspective.
Aaaand this is where half of you up and leave because SJW is such an oh so dirty word. What's the matter? Can't you handle reading an opinion that doesn't match your own? I dare you to stay. Comment later and try convince me otherwise if you disagree. Debate is always welcome.
Look at that bastard. He's clearly a pinko SJW femnazi
I am a fat man. My current weight is about 160kgs last time I was weighed. For you Americans (the rest of the world uses metric you damn dirty apes!) that would be about 350 pounds. I am 1.8 metres (6 feet) tall.
Now we have my credentials out of the way its time for the real meat of the issue.
First thing I have to point out is as a person who is not a subscriber to that newspaper online, I can't read all of the article. So I don't get to read the interview. But I will comment on what I can see. I can read up to the line "Davis explained the club’s evolution in a recent chat with Style."
What we have is a lady is starting up a goth night for plus-size people. She says she's been trying to fit into the goth scene for 9 years and wants a local community for people who look like her. The title including the term "Bodice-Positive" implies the SJW term body-positive.
I'm positive I fit into this bodice somehow
I know all you menimists and anti-SJW people are now assuming I'm going to be all "Right. He's now going to try sell us all on how good this is because he's fat like her." and that I'll go all SJW activist on your arses.
You are wrong.
First, I'm not fat like she is. I wouldn't even consider her fat. Chubby or festively plump. I am fat. Second, I think an event like this is a terrible idea. Third, I personally believe fatphobia doesn't really exist in the goth subculture.
I'll wait for you to pick up your jaws from the floor and then I'll continue.
But... but... but...
Got your jaw back in place? Good. Time to go into why I think its a bad idea. But lets remember I can only go by what I can see. She may have actually given better information to make some of what I'm about to say either wrong or irrelevant.
This stinks of segregation. I'm sure she intends it to be a "safe space" but in reality all it does is alienate and separate. We have enough of that going on in the scene already. Scene splits happen due to drama and politics. But we don't ship all the fatties into a corner so they can feel better about themselves or to remove their hideousness from the gaze of everyone else. That's just dumb.
I'm taking my big fat gothic ball and going home
I'm going to refer to part of a post I made regarding a similar issue on reddit a couple of weeks ago. It expresses my experience regarding fatphobia in the goth/dark alternative scene.
"On the fatphobia thing I find you are more likely to be harassed and ridiculed online. IRL my size has never been an issue. But it also generally meant I couldn't earn my stripes locally by appearances so I did it in other ways. And its something all of us have to do."
Online, people are often jerks. They have a go at the first thing that presents itself and if you are fat that's always your weight. It's a soft target (pun intended) and boring. And they always act so smug after doing it like they are Captain Ahab and they've harpooned that big white whale. The reality is most fat people are so used to this shitty behavior its nothing to us. Words on a screen.
Personally if they really have an attitude ripe for panelbeating (ie they don't know when to leave well enough alone), I go to work on it. I'll pry until I find a weakness that means something to them and attack it mercilessly, whilst turning all my weaknesses into strengths. Can't use ammo if I've fired it first. If you take on the fat guy and lose, expect to be eaten.
Almost as tasty as their salty tears
In real life things can be more personal. You see those disgusted looks just because you happen to be fat and buying /eating food in public. People will make sometimes make rude remarks and treat you as less than human.
And don't give me any of that "but I'm concerned for their health" bullshit. You aren't concerned, you want to make yourself look like the caring white knight whilst being a prick. Fuck off. How about you live the way you want, I live the way I want. You are not the life police.
But you know one place that usually doesn't do any of that? The goth subculture. No one really cares how big you are. Hell we have fashion like corsets that kind of rely on having some meat on your bones to work their best.
Yes there is a heavy influence in the spotlight for thin people but that's no different to the mainstream. The difference is you won't be shunned because of your size.
Unless you look like this guy
Also if she actually looked into goth subculture properly, she would see that there are larger ladies (its never the men unless you count Fat Bob who was thin in his heyday) who do have some presence. I know numerous alt models and burlesque performers who are plus-size. They may not all be "goth" per se, but most participate in goth subculture. No one looks down on them for their size.
No one looks down on me for my size either. At least not to my face. But I assume everyone talks about everyone behind their backs anyway.
My patron saint. He loves drama and gossip. It amuses him.
Body shaming is practically non-existent in my local scene. If it occurs, its usually tied with something shitty the person did. People are very quick to sink the boot in over petty stuff if the dogs are set on someone. Some of those people will use fat insults. But the cause is not because the person is fat, its something they did. The person using such lame insults is merely proving how boring and uncreative they are. Yes, we do get boring, uncreative people in the goth subculture sometimes. Its a shock, I know!
So lets say plus-size night was inspired by not being able to fit in. This could be understood a few ways. Maybe she really wanted in with the local inner circle/elite clique and they wouldn't have her. It happens - I wasn't really accepted until I was in my early 30s too. Even then I felt I was only tolerated. Hell in many ways nothing has changed now. But I stuck around and I'm still here because the dark alt/goth subculture is fun.
Ironically in the context of this article, I was at my fattest when I was accepted more. I guess there was just more of me to love.
Maybe its something she did that kept her out? Aaaaand this is where all the SJWs jump on me for victim blaming.
You cis scum apologistic ableist monster!
However people sometimes do shitty things that cause the local scene to ostracize them or keep them on the outer limits. Not everyone gets to be in the driver's seat or where they think they should be.
Fun fact: How goth you think you are is often not the same as how goth everyone else thinks you are. Plus it can vary from person to person.
So it could be not her size that was the issue but her attitude or behaviour. A lot of times when people take the "Fine! I'll go make my own goth club!" route its due to local scene politics. Either others are being arseholes, she is being an arsehole or there has been a scene split because of arseholes forcing people to choose sides.
This is the impression I get as it feels she is making this new event to be separate and not part of her local scene. Its goth fat camp except you swan about feeling superior to everyone who isn't allowed to come in. Who's body shaming now? But no, thats "empowering in a safe space".
Logistics for such an event is a big problem. Where do you draw the line on acceptable size for entry? Size 14? Size 16? Size 20+ only? Do you issue the door bitch with a measuring tape and put up a sign that says "You must be X inches wide to enter". What about if you have a boyfriend/girlfriend who is thin - are they allowed in with their partner?
I'm a man who looks pregnant. Does that count as fat enough?
Its bullshit. You don't build a better scene by segregating people. Have a dress code standard by all means but that code can be met by anyone - thin, fat or in between.
I think an event like this is not healthy for the goth subculture and is toxic for her local scene. Nothing good has ever come from segregation. If we want to understand each other more, no matter what the issues are, being segregated will only hinder the process.
If there is a fat shaming problem in your local scene - oppose it. Confront it head on. We can be more inclusive by not being jerks to fat people over their weight. And if someone is being a jerk to a fat person like that then call them out on it. Tell them its not cool to be saying/doing that.
Show some tact. Its like when you call out a racist comment. You don't say "You are a racist!" as that gets their back up and they will only defend their position. Its made it too personal. Instead, say something like "What you said is racist. That's not cool."
Lets also cover when people are deemed to be "inappropriately dressed for their size". You know the sort of comments like if a fat person is wearing PVC and someone says they look like a stuffed sausage.
Case in point
You can fuck off too. You have no right to police how anyone looks. If they are comfortable in it (and it falls within dress code if one exists) that's all that matters. Hell when people look like that I don't think it looks bad at all. If it offends your eyes then too fucking bad. As you can tell by my language I'm rather passionate about this.
Personally I prefer flaws and imperfections - something we don't see enough of in my opinion.
...And it seems I have just scuttled my entire argument with that.
Granted its mostly based on stereotypical online stuff (I have seen the PVC example online as a fairly common joke) but people do sometimes comment on stuff like that negatively. The internet is an easy place to poke fun at people with relative anonymity. But it can happen in person too. While it is common online I think its rare in person though. Its also a lot easier to confront and guide people to a better way. But more and more we are seeing internet behaviour bleed into real life behaviour.
And while we are on it... fat goth jokes. You know, stuff like this.
funny caption for this because its not funny
A general rule of comedy is that you either punch upwards (hit at people above you in status) or at something you are. You don't make jokes about people below you in the pecking order and fat people are generally considered fairly low. Thanks modern media and your thin pressure bullshit. Us fat people really appreciate you dehumanising us so much.
If you are one of those people who makes stuff like this and you are not fat then shame on you. You are the problem. Also for everyone don't share this stuff. It demeans us all. Though it is worth saying most stuff like this would be created and shared mostly by outsiders trying to be edgy and funny. Its not just a jab at fat people but also at the goth subculture. Two reasons not to share this garbage around. An in-joke is one thing, a mean spirited attack disguised as a joke is another.
We all want a thriving and accepting goth subculture. No need to split it up. No need to pick on anyone for how they are. Lets just try to be better people. All of us.
But the whole "don't claim to be goth if you aren't" thing still stands. That applies regardless of size.
-Aytakk has been active in the goth scene since the mid 90s both online and in real life. He firmly believes in the old line "if you don't get the joke, you are the joke". As well as this he produces music for a couple of music projects: Corpulence On The Catwalk (goth/darkwave/coldwave) and Hypnophile (aggrotech/power noise). He is also a club DJ and nemesis of DJ Jelly.