If there’s a time to stop “fitting in,” it’s now.
If there’s a time to “be difficult,” it’s now.
It’s been a rough week for women and anyone who’s been sexually assaulted in the U.S.
It’s been a rough few months for folks in the U.S. fighting to protect women’s reproductive rights.
Before you click away because you don’t know how this is relevant, hang with me. Rape culture effects women’s health and what I tie together is incentive for creating strong boundaries for your body.
Last week I had a conversation with a client about her mother’s unending fat phobia. Her mother has been policing my client’s weight for 40 years with insults, offensive questioning and micro-
Her mother has even started commenting on her children’s weight with “sophisticated” new language: she’s deeply concerned about the family’s “health.” Health is code for weight.
I asked my client, have you set a firm boundary with this family member? Have you said, “You’re no longer allowed to talk about my health or my weight or my children’s”?
My client’s response was quick. She said she didn’t want to make it “a thing.” If I set a boundary, I’ll raise more attention. My mother will say I’m being “difficult.” I would be called “dramatic” and I don’t want to make myself vulnerable.
Does this sound familiar?
The victim becomes the villain. The victim is the “burden.”
The victim is dismissed, disparaged and blamed. (This was Daryl Hannah’s account of #WhyIDidntReport). It’s a tactic, to name call and undermine.
We live in a culture that undervalues women, especially women of color and trans. We have fewer rights, less representation and less protection. We are vulnerable.
So, it’s no wonder we don’t speak up. The “fight” requires resources we may not have. But the stakes are higher than ever. Women’s bodies are on the line. And women are saying #enough.
This is what I said to my client:
Your mom is right. You are difficult. You don’t fit in. Diet Culture can’t function (control women) if you’re not actively trying to make yourself smaller. When you’re not being a “good girl,” the system unravels.
Thank goddess for that! Not conforming to a broken system -is what’s RIGHT with you.
Let’s be difficult. Let’s reclaim difficult. Let’s not fit in. We cannot play by the rules of a culture that devalues women, and expect to flourish. Andflourishing is feminist. Flourishing is resistance.
What boundaries have you made to people trying to control your body? What line have you said, you may not cross? (You can also ask you).
PS I have a course coming up. It’s called “Nourish to Flourish.” It’s 9 months. It trains women in skills, not obedience. We start Oct. 29th (note date change). If you’re interested and would like to know more, email me at health @ marciegoldman (dot) com.
PSS If you prefer working one-on-one, I understand. You can talk to me here.
“Our [liberation] requires our attention, voice and participation.” -Michelle Obama