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Old 05-30-2006, 07:31 PM   #1
grey1969
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Default What ever happened to the proposed FA Movement?

Way back in the Nov. 1994 issue of Dimensions, an article was published with the title "The case for a separate FA movement". The author was Sally E. Smith, who was the executive director of NAAFA at the time. The article is listed on the library page of the Dimensions website. I urge everyone here who is interested in understanding about FAs to read this article and think about it very carefully.

In going back and reading this 12 year old article, I found many similarities with some of my own thoughts. It seems we have the same problems we had then and nothing has really happened to deal with any of them.

Some particularly interesting excerpts:

"While there may be different degrees of "FAness," with some people on one end of the continuum experiencing a mild preference for the larger figure, the experience of most of the FAs in the size acceptance movement is at the other end of the continuum. Theirs is not simply a sexual preference, but an orientation that defines not only their sexuality, but to a significant extent, their self-concept and their lifestyle."

"Very little of the movement's efforts in public education are expended on behalf of FAs. There are currently no informational pamphlets for FAs nor on the topic of the sexual preference of FAs. "

"Likewise, the movement's efforts in influencing research and public policy have virtually ignored the FA community."

"It seems that, although it is rarely acknowledged and discussed, FAs experience significant social stigma and discrimination, and as a result, can have a great deal of internalized oppression."

"Although there is a dearth of theory and research about FAs, anecdotal evidence suggests that early on, FAs are given the distinct message that their preference isn't acceptable."

"For those FAs who come out of the closet, the road is equally difficult, as they are often judged for their preference by their friends, families, and co-workers. They may find themselves or their partners shunned by their families, and they may experience a "glass ceiling" in a corporate world where executives are as judged by their choice in spouses as they are by their abilities. "

"Even for FAs who find and embrace the size acceptance movement, there is no guarantee that they will escape stigma and internalized oppression."

"Yet FAs often find that they cannot express the full range of their experience without exposing themselves to disparagement for many of the very qualities that make them FAs. "

"As a result, FAs often walk a tightrope in expressing an "acceptable" level of FAness, trying to strike a balance between avoiding ostracism for who they are and completely denying their nature."

"For every FA who is a part of the size acceptance movement, there are probably hundreds of FAs who are still in the closet. An FA movement could do outreach to those FAs-in-hiding, providing them with the tools to work through their internalized oppression, to come to acknowledge their preference, and, as a result, to lead fuller, happier lives."

A follow up article titled "A call to arms: we need a separate movement" was published in the June 1995 issue of Dimensions in which Paul Delacroix seconded the motion to start such an FA movement.

A couple very poignant excerpts from Paul's article:

"Our sexual choices are not a carefree form of expression, an experimentation, or even a preference - they are a sexual orientation beyond our control."

"Most of us - regardless of our political beliefs - feel a degree of empathy with Gay men and Lesbians, because we understand their feelings of exclusion from mainstream society, and what it's like top be snickered at by aquaintances who do not share our feelings, or understand them - and, indeed -thanks in small part to some folks in our own size-acceptance movement, in addition to the rest of the world- what it's like to be considered a pervert."

As far as I am aware, no successful effort to launch such an FA movement has occured in the subsequent years. Dimensions could have possibly been the starting point for such a movement at one time. Unfortunately, it seems Dimensions has become more part of the mainstream of the fat acceptance movement in recent years, and there is a very strong influence here from women who have little patience for the trials and tribulations of FAs. All that is usually heard from them whenever this topic is raised are catch phrases such as "grow some balls" and "tough love". Such simplistic attitudes are unlikely to lure very many of those estimated 99% of FAs that are in the closet out into the open.

Like the old saying goes "The more things change the more they stay the same." I guess future generations of FAs will just be doomed to continue to stumble through life on their own the way previous generations of us have. Those of us who are out of the closet are often lone mavericks in this world and the ones in the closet are often quite unhappy individuals. It is a shame we can't seem to do any better.
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Old 05-30-2006, 07:55 PM   #2
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That was an interesting read.

Grey, this is clearly a topic about which you are passionate. Beyond what you've previously posted about relations on this site (already much debated), what steps do you think would produce forward movement?
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Old 05-31-2006, 10:55 AM   #3
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Change happens one person at a time, then the others follow. I used to think joining a group would be a good thing, but I've been in a LOT of groups and I'm grouped out. I'm about as mobbed up here as it's really possible to be, though of course one is addressing the converted mostly.

Now I settle for writing and singing about big ladies and performing with a large lady, and I let that speak for itself.

And a book is coming.

And a new CD.

So, nu!
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Old 05-31-2006, 03:33 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by rainyday
That was an interesting read.

Grey, this is clearly a topic about which you are passionate. Beyond what you've previously posted about relations on this site (already much debated), what steps do you think would produce forward movement?
I wish I had some answers. It is clearly not easy when you are starting really from almost nothing. FAs are not even a recognized group by the majority of the population -despite the efforts of Conrad and others to get the word out. Maybe some guys thought about this stuff after those articles were published and just decided there was no viable path forward to form any kind of formal organization. I guess there may have been some progress in recent years. It is more common to see young guys with small BBWs although with the increasing average size of women a small BBW of under 200 pounds is almost average size these days. With the number of young men showing up here recently, maybe some progress is occuring one person at a time like JMNYC said.
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Old 05-31-2006, 10:57 PM   #5
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Would someone mind clearly state why FA and SA are/have been seperated and why they are divided? I understand the basics of it, but...

Last edited by 1300 Class; 05-31-2006 at 11:03 PM.
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Old 06-01-2006, 09:44 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Australian Lord
Would someone mind clearly state why FA and SA are/have been seperated and why they are divided? I understand the basics of it, but...
I am not sure what you are looking for, so here is what I am reading into your question. If I am off base, please feel free to let me know. Not sure it can be clearly stated as the issue is cloudy to me most days.

In my eyes, I see FA and SA as separate and here's why. To me, FA is about sexuality and relationships. Fat Admiration is just that, people preferring a fat partner because "fat is beautiful". A person identified as "FA" is sexually attracted to a partner who happens to be fat.

SA, in my eyes, is more about size issues, whether they be social, psychological, political, etc. It's not about placing one size over another, but rather viewing people as people regardless of how big or small their body is in.

Do the two cross over? Oh yeah, and I hope they continue to cross over. Both "camps" (for lack of a better term) come in all shapes and sizes, personalities and temperaments as we see here on a continual basis. I would like to think that we can all get along all the time and not be divided, but I also hope for peace in the middle east one day too. (Quit laughing now please. ) In a perfect world we would all get along with each other and there would be no divisions. In a perfect world there would be no need for FA or SA because people wouldn't care.

Simplistic? Probably. This is one of those questions that when you ask ten different people, you will probably get twenty different answers.
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Old 06-01-2006, 03:59 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Donnaalicious
I am not sure what you are looking for, so here is what I am reading into your question. If I am off base, please feel free to let me know. Not sure it can be clearly stated as the issue is cloudy to me most days.

In my eyes, I see FA and SA as separate and here's why. To me, FA is about sexuality and relationships. Fat Admiration is just that, people preferring a fat partner because "fat is beautiful". A person identified as "FA" is sexually attracted to a partner who happens to be fat.

SA, in my eyes, is more about size issues, whether they be social, psychological, political, etc. It's not about placing one size over another, but rather viewing people as people regardless of how big or small their body is in.

Do the two cross over? Oh yeah, and I hope they continue to cross over. Both "camps" (for lack of a better term) come in all shapes and sizes, personalities and temperaments as we see here on a continual basis. I would like to think that we can all get along all the time and not be divided, but I also hope for peace in the middle east one day too. (Quit laughing now please. ) In a perfect world we would all get along with each other and there would be no divisions. In a perfect world there would be no need for FA or SA because people wouldn't care.

Simplistic? Probably. This is one of those questions that when you ask ten different people, you will probably get twenty different answers.
Excellent post. I think there is also some confusion occuring because FA stands for two things: 1) fat admirer and 2) fat acceptance. We had some discussion on the Reluctant BBW thread recently about the interchangable use of the terms fat acceptance (FA) and size acceptance (SA). Fat admiration is a whole separate issue that is however related. The difference is that many fat people can accept their fat bodies but would choose to be thin if given the choice. A fat admirer would never make such a choice on behalf of his/her significant other.
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Old 06-01-2006, 04:27 PM   #8
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Donnaalicious, thanks, that has really cleared the waters.
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