What Do We Do Now?

What Will you DefendWhat do we do now?  That is a question I’ve heard, and asked, hundreds of times in the last two days. In case you missed it, the United States has elected a proudly racist, misogynist, ableist, xenophobic, Islamophobic, fatphobic, anti-Queer, anti- Trans, anti-intellectual, anti-Constitution, climate change denying, white supremacist supported, horror of a human being to be President.

What do we do now?

Each of us will have to make that choice for ourselves. Immediate self-care in the aftermath is important – while you certainly aren’t required, it’s completely reasonable to take time to grieve, to mourn, to find solace, to take care of yourself.

I think that there has never been a time in my life that it has been more important to be an activist. Not just an activist for issues that affect me (attempts to steal the civil rights of Queer people, going back to a time when fat people are denied insurance coverage and more) but an intersectional activist.  My various privileges (being white, cisgender, currently able-bodied and neurotypical et al) will protect me from horrors that others will face and are already facing, and those are my fights as well.

I’m going to continue to do Size Acceptance and Fat Activism because I think that claiming and owning our bodies as our precious homes is crucial.  Remembering that our bodies are amazing and worthy of care is crucial.  Insisting that we deserve a world that celebrates and cares for bodies of all sizes is crucial.

This election may have kicked my ass, but believe that I’m going to be kicking back. I watched the movie “Big Miracle” today just to hear the line “There’s always something you can do.”  There is always something I can do.  And I’m going to find every way I can to do it.

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!

Book Me!  I’d love to speak to your organization. You can get more information here or just e-mail me at ragen at danceswithfat dot org!

I’m training for an IRONMAN! You can follow my journey at www.IronFat.com

If you are uncomfortable with my offering things for sale on this site, you are invited to check out this post.


24 thoughts on “What Do We Do Now?

  1. I’m the only one in my family who didn’t vote for that horror of a human being. I’m considered the “weirdo” and the black sheep because *gasp* I believe that climate change is real and that it’s vitally important we make changes before it’s too late, and that ALL people deserve equal rights regardless of who they want to marry or what gender or sex they identify with or what color their skin is or what religion they are or whether or not they were born in this country, and that Obama isn’t the anti-christ, and that Hillary isn’t the most “corrupt and dishonest” politician ever, etc etc.

    It’s horrible living with the people who you are supposed to love, respect, and support – when they don’t love, respect, or support anyone that isn’t like them. The fact that the people I love helped to elect that monster is heart breaking.

    Today I feel like not only do I not have a country, but that I don’t have a family. My heart is broken for what this country, and my family, has done. It blows my mind that so many people HEARD and SAW what that man was saying and was promising to do and said “Yeah, I’d like THAT MAN in office”. It makes me sick that I have to share a country with such disgusting people who think that what he has said and what he wants to do is just fine with them. How am I supposed to live with a family who thinks that’s ok? And how am I supposed to live in a country who thinks that’s ok?

    1. I too am the weird liberal nut in my family. I don’t live in the same state and I can’t bring myself to even talk to them right now. Hugs to you that you have to deal with that kind of disconnect from reality each and every day. Stay strong. You are not alone even and especially when you feel that you are.

    2. Fellow weirdo liberal here. Decided to cut ties. After 26 years of being laughed off, I’m done. Granted, they are extended family by marriage, but I’m sad. I have no patience for people who tell me I’m wrong to do this. So, for what it’s worth, I’m focusing on my family of choice and that’s who I will surround myself with for the holidays. Wanna join us? Sending love and strength.

  2. Yes, Ragen, so much this. Also, I want to say “thank you!” for inspiring me in so many ways. For most of my life I was so ashamed of my fatness that I tried to blend in and not draw any attention to myself. Since I found your work a number of years ago (which led to other wonderful resources and writers) my self-worth has increased dramatically. I now feel empowered and able to use my privilege to stand up for others. I can take being called “fat bitch” in the service of protecting someone who needs it. Sending love and light to all. I’ve got your back, however you need me.

    1. Can this actually happen? Can the electoral college actually vote Hillary in and keep that monster out of the office? Oh please let this be true! I really REALLY hope that it’s true and that it happens. It gives me a ray of hope.

  3. I’ve been studying to get some certificates and work in the tech field. Weirdly, this election has made me determined to get this done as quickly as possible for the sole purpose of having extra money to help my friends. Several of them only have healthcare because of Obama.

  4. Thank You Ragen. I often come here to find words of wisdom, comfort, and call to action. I’m so inspired by you. I also hope you can post links or advice on specific things we can do. I’m planning on organizing my book club to draft letters to Congress and other influential organizations. Aloha, Deenie.

  5. Vote. Vote vote vote vote vote. Vote in two years when seats come open in Congress–see how far he gets when the lawmakers won’t listen. Vote in your state election, whenever that is. And as somebody else reminded me, vote the entire ballot in every single local election, right down to county dogcatcher, no matter how trivial the issues may seem to be. We don’t fix the country by electing a single person, but by elbowing out everybody who claps along with the likes of Trump.

    Folks, whether or not you agree with anything else he says, remember this: If you read here, he has called you an unperson. Do you really want to risk the next four years of your life on the off chance that he’ll say, “Oh, I didn’t mean it, here’s some respect and medical care?”

    1. And don’t forget – local politics is just as important as national politics! Gay marriage didn’t happen on a national level until it happened in lots of places on a local level.

      Grassroots politics is a powerful thing, and only by teaching people, individually, that fat rights (and indeed, ALL rights) matter, will we be able to expand that to national and international power.

      If you have the ability, join the school board, for instance. Schools are powerful places to teach the upcoming voters that everyone matters. If you don’t have the ability, then encourage the school board, encourage the teachers, encourage the parents, and encourage the children.

      If you can’t be an activist, be an activist supporter. And talk to your friends and family. Maybe one of them will become an activist. Find new allies, that the people who need to hear will actually listen to.

      There are things we can do, on an individual, local level.

      I am now inspired to get back to writing my NaNo novel, with a fat heroine. And some body-positive Sims stories. I read too many Sims stories where the author complains about fat sims, and so I have made it clear, stating outright, that MY stories are body positive. If I can reach and convince just one reader, that will be a help. And who knows? If it’s the right reader, that might spark someone with some power to do even more. I also plan to write a children’s story, with a fat character. I don’t intend to make the fat an issue, at all. It’s just how this lovable man is going to be drawn, because he’s based on a real-life lovable fat man.

      And I’ve been talking to my niece and nephews about fat activism, and some politics, at age-appropriate levels. I’m not strong, and have no stamina, and can’t even work, but I can encourage them. and who knows how strong they may grow up to be?

  6. I love you. Thank you for reminding us to care for ourselves. Some folks need to hear that many times to actually do it (not me of course, I’m Mary Poppins ha ha)

    Taking care of myself also means stepping up when I see behavior or speech that hurts folks. Even if it’s risky (to me) to do that. Nobody will shame someone for being who they are with impunity while I am around even if it’s just to say “Shut your mouth no one wants to hear your filth.” Just call me Twisted Sister cuz I’m not gonna take it.

    1. Hahah! I now have Al Yankovic’s polka version of that song going through my head. It’s a short loop, but it’s on replay.

      Seriously, though, style of music being a personal preference, the WORDS are important to hear. And thank you for stepping up and speaking out.

      Thanks to ALL who step up and speak out! Because even the strongest of us has times when we just can’t manage to do it, ourselves. So the more of us who, in our weakness, do speak up when we can, the more times we’ll have coverage. And eventually, it will become easier for all of us. It will take a long time, but we’ll get there!

  7. My family have actually been finding new gratitude in our hearts for a highly inefficient bureaucracy. Trump may WANT to do all his horrible, inhumane, unconstitutional trash, but largely, he won’t be able to do it. The official checks and balances that were designed in the Constitution have been ridden roughshod over before, and probably will again. But the slow, grinding gears of bureaucracy will do more to stop him than anything else.

    I have to take comfort in that, because that’s all I can think of to comfort me. I am horrified.

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