A feminist-identified group put out a shirt for sale on Facebook in response to Trump’s horrific comments glorifying sexual assault. It was a great shirt that they referred to as a “REQUIRED UNIFORM FOR NOV. 8 VOTING” I clicked to buy the shirt only to find that they only had sizes from XS to XL. So I guess it’s only a “required uniform” for those people who wear size XL and lower.
I commented to let them know that I don’t think “No Fat Chicks” is a feminist ideal. (I was not the first, several people had commented before me, none of us received a reply.) I also posted about it on my Facebook page, and a number of other people also took the time to point out the company’s mistake.
As often happens in situations like this there were those who jumped in with attempts to justify the exclusion of fat people – they are a small group, maybe they just took the stock that was available, and hey, once a whole bunch of people complained they said that they would work on it, why isn’t that good enough?
Ultimately, they added a 2XL option and called it a day. Immediately people suggested that I should be happy with that. And yet my joy is less than full – far less. First because they could have added many more sizes and made their feminist work much more inclusive (as a 3X I’m still not able to wear this “required uniform.”)
Also because I’m not willing to celebrate being an afterthought, a second class citizen, the inspiration for V8 moment wherein people slap their foreheads and say “I coulda included fat people!” Fuck that.
They knew that fat people existed when they decided to create and market this shirt, and there are plenty of vendors that would have provided a wider range of shirts had they actually made their feminism inclusive of fat people. But they didn’t. And the way I know that is that fat people had to do the work of reminding them that we exist and that we would like to be included in feminist work. And after we did, they added exactly one size.
So just a reminder that you deserve to have organizations consider you in their primary planning – whether it’s shirts, or chairs, or something else – and not just as an afterthought following a bunch of complaints. Speaking of complaints, you can always choose to do the work (and the courtesy) of letting people know that they’ve failed at inclusion and that they can do better. You are, of course, never obligated to do this, and any response you choose is valid.
Like this blog? Here’s more cool stuff:
Become a Member! For ten bucks a month you can support fat activism and get deals from size positive businesses as a thank you. Click here for details
Book and Dance Class Sale! I’m on a journey to complete an IRONMAN triathlon, and I’m having a sale on all my books, DVDs, and digital downloads to help pay for it. You get books and dance classes, I get spandex clothes and bike parts. Everybody wins! If you want, you can check it out here!
I’m training for an IRONMAN! You can follow my journey at www.IronFat.com