You must learn her.
You must know the reason why she is silent. You must trace her weakest spots. You must write to her. You must remind her that you are there. You must know how long it takes for her to give up. You must be there to hold her when she is about to.
You must love her because many have tried and failed. And she wants to know that she is worthy to be loved, that she is worthy to be kept.
And, this is how you keep her.— Junot Diaz, This is How you Lose Her (via intrinsicmotives)
Sergeant Phelps worked for General Eisenhower. Four decades after Eisenhower had defeated the Axis powers, Phelps recalled an extraordinary event. One day, the general told her, “I’m giving you an order to ferret those lesbians out. We’re going to get rid of them.”
“I looked at him and then I looked at his secretary who was standing next to me, and I said, ‘Well, sir, if the general pleases, sir, I’ll be happy to do this investigation for you. But you have to know that the first name on the list will be mine.’ “
“And he was kind of taken aback a bit. And then this women standing next to me said, ‘Sir, if the General pleases, you must be aware that Sergeant Phelp’s name may be second, but mine will be first.”
“Then I looked at him, and said, ‘Sir, you’re right. They’re lesbians in the WAC battalion. And if the general is prepared to replace all the file clerks, all the section commanders, all the drivers-every woman in the WAC detachment-and there were about nine hundred and eighty something of us-then I’ll be happy to make that list. But I think the general should be aware that among those women are the most highly decorated women in the war. There have been no cases of illegal pregnancy. There have been no cases of AWOL. There have been no cases of misconduct. And as a matter of fact, every six months since we’ve been here, the general has awarded us a commendation for meritorious conduct.”
“And he said, ‘Forget the order.’” —
The Gay Metropolis, page 47, Charles Kaiser (via bibliothekara)
Phelps tells this story herself in the excellent 1984 documentary Before Stonewall, which you can watch in its entirety on YouTube (she’s at 19:30, but really, watch the whole thing): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kX7AxQd82H8
This makes me laugh every time I see it.
The thing is: when someone calls you too skinny, that hurts. It’s inappropriate, hurtful, and makes you self conscious. But at the end of the day, you pick up a magazine, you turn on the TV, you go on the internet on a gossip site - what do you see? Women who look like you. Women who have a body that recalls yours, women who are considered the standards of beauty to which all must follow to be considered beautiful. You go to a store, and odds are you can find clothes that are in your size. Odds are you don’t have go to stores dedicated to people your size, clothes that might not be as cute and are definitively more expensive.
When you’re fat, not only does it hurt, but society just confirms it day after day. You flip on TV, you read a magazine, and there are no women in your size. Nobody with a body like yours, nobody modeling clothes or being called gorgeous. You go to a store, and you can’t find clothes that fit you - and even if you do find things in larger sizes, they still don’t LOOK right, don’t fit right, cause they were designed for thinner girls in mind, and making these clothes in larger sizes doesn’t mean it’s going to look good on your body. You’re told you’re ugly by a piece of shit and basically the world you live in says back, well, yeah, that’s true.
That’s the difference. No, people making comments about your body are ALWAYS unwelcome and gross, but a thin person and fat person still live in the same society that caters and upholds thinness as a standard of beauty. That doesn’t change, and that’s why it’s not the same.— On why skinnyshaming isn’t the same as fatshaming (via cobie-smulders)