Not the King of Me

There is a song that I’ve just fallen in love with called “King of Anything” by Sarah Bareilles.

The video is posted below but the lyrics that pertain to this blog are as follows:

You’ve got opinions, man
We’re all entitled to ‘em, but I never asked
So let me thank you for your time, and try not to waste anymore of mine
And get out of here fast

I hate to break it to you babe, but I’m not drowning
There’s no one here to save

Who cares if you disagree?
You are not me
Who made you king of anything?
So you dare tell me who to be?
Who died and made you king of anything?

I think it’s important to remember that it’s within our ability to set boundaries for who talks to us about what subject and when.

Different areas of my life have very different boundaries:

When I give a talk or do a panel, I tell people that they can ask me anything and I’m serious about that.  It’s my goal to give people an opportunity to ask a question without being scared of hurting my feelings.  99.9% of the time people are intending to be respectful and the rest of the time I’m confident in my ability bring someone’s jackassery into sharp relief, while looking calm, logical and reasonable.

Outside of those talks, I have very different boundaries.  There seems to be a pervasive myth that since I “let myself get fat”, I must need someone to help me.  The truth is that  Health at Every Size is my well researched decision, my body size is a reflection of many things but is not a barometer by which you can judge my health, intelligence or decision making ability.  I’m healthy, I’m happy, and if I needed saving please rest assured that I would be yelling for help.

I actually enjoy discussing health, weight, health at every size etc., and I’m perfectly happy to have discussions about  these issues even with people who have different opinions.  However, I’m unwilling to argue about my personal health choices, especially to someone who isn’t backing up their divergent opinion with some serious facts.

Comments on this blog are another really interesting area for me.  When I started out I thought that it was important to post all the comments that weren’t overt spam because I didn’t want to censor people, and I wanted to show the kind of violent, reflexive reaction you can get when you question the status quo. Plus I’ll admit answering those people is often entertaining for me.  Recently though, I’ve decided that I don’t have an obligation to give someone an audience on this blog just because they managed to get their comment submitted correctly.

So my new comment policy is that I’ll approve comments if I damn well feel like it.  If people who are dissenting want to increase the chance of getting their comment posted they’ll resist – with conviction – the urge to state their opinions as fact, and they’ll back up their assertions with some kind of resources (and “everybody knows” is not a resource, if it were we’d all still believe that the sun revolves around the Earth).

So this song goes out to everyone whose sense of self-importance is so exaggerated that they actually think we should consider them qualified to give us health advice when they have no qualifications, are stating their opinions as fact and/or cannot separate their experience from everyone else’s.

8 thoughts on “Not the King of Me

  1. Ragen, have I mentioned lately that I love you, because I do. Ok, honestly I don’t know you on a personal level, but the way you write and the way you are able to “take no shit” while still not telling every person who spews stupidity to eff off. Like you, I welcome a differing opinion as long as it is a truly informed opinion and that it is stated as opinion and not fact.

    Keep up the good work!

  2. Ragen–
    I’m with Karen. I am routinely in awe of your ability to use language with such power and grace. You write like you dance. And you’re on my short list of people I read that I wish lived close enough to get together for coffee and movies! Thanks for hitting it out of the park again.

  3. With the comments moderation thing I love when trolls whine about a blog owner denying them their “free speech.” It ain’t a democracy, beeyatch, it’s a personal publication. The blog author has the right to allow or deny whatever he or she sees fit.

  4. Indeed Ragen, you are under no obligation to educate people out of their ignorance.

    Besides, this is your space. It’s your choice who you allow to be published here. Anyone who doesn’t like that needs to go play in their own sandbox.

  5. “I think it’s important to remember that it’s within our ability to set boundaries for who talks to us about what subject and when.”

    YES! Women, especially, tend to let people talk all over them about whatever that person wants with no regard for the listener. Setting boundaries of all kinds will help keep us happy and sane. (Also, this song is perrrrrfect.)

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