Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Laci Green: My Take on the Drama

I have followed a social justice blogger and sexuality YouTuber named Laci Green for years now. She has always reminded me of myself; very passionate, intelligent, funny and beautiful! I aspired to be like her!

She hosts a YouTube webshow called Sex+ that explores sexuality, body image and relationships. She has over 180K subscribers and millions of views on YouTube.  It's really inspiring to see a young woman go out and create social change!

Lately though, some shit has been going down! Laci is an active tumblr user. She posts very often and also responds to her audience. A few weeks ago, she posted some "before and after" pics of her body transformation.

2 years ago, I weighed 162 pounds.  Today I weigh 126.
I didn’t lose the weight by hating myself down to a size 4.  Not through dieting, not through crazy amounts of exercise, not through calorie counting, or purging.
I lost 35 pounds by learning to love and take care of my body.  I realized that part of loving myself is giving my body what it needs.  I changed my diet to include mostly plants, I cut out soda and fought hard against my addiction to sugary/fatty foods.  I began to see food as fuel and to use it as such.  I also made sure my body was in motion for at least 1 hour everyday, and these days I am even working on becoming physically stronger.  I knew that my old eating/exercise habits would not suit me as I began to age.  I knew that I wasn’t treating my body well.
When I truly began to love it, it took a new shape.  I loved my old shape.  I love my new shape.  I love it all because I love me! x)

The problem? She has just posted a video about fat shaming. She is equating herself with what she eats, her habits and her size. As if that is what's important. How she looks. And as if HER habits are the BEST habits.

She later posted a half-assed apology, but I don't think the concerns of the post ever really resonated with her. I definitely see where she went wrong, but I also see that she was just trying to love her body and is happy with who she is. That's great. I think the whole issue comes down to a failure to recognize her own mistakes as well as an overreaction from the tumblr crowd.

As if all this wasn't enough, she then got into it with someone else, talking about Islam. Basically, she bitches and moans about how organized religion sucks and her upbringing was filled with sexism.

Q: Sorry if you already answered this, but I came across your other channel and just watched the video where you say Mormonism is “probably one of the most sexist [religions] that I’ve come across, beside Islam.” Since you are white and have never been Muslim, could you issue an apology, or update the video with an apology in the description? I am an atheist too, but there is horrible sexism in many religions, and in secular culture as well. It’s not right to single out Islam. It’s Islamophobic.

A: You’re right, it’s not right to single out Islam. Many religions and cultures are extremely sexist and I despise them all equally. This wasn’t the intent of my statement and I apologize if it came off that way.

The video (which is kinda old and came before I learned how to be fully “PC”) is about my experience, and in my life, Islam has perpetuated more gendered violence and sexism toward the women in my life and family than mormonism ever did. Both these religions have wounded me and my loved ones deeply, much of which was on the basis of sex and gender. Just writing about this makes my heart sink. No amount of screaming “Islamophobia” will change that, and it’s actually a wonderful example of how childish and ignorant religion makes people out to be. People get so wound up in defending anti-woman, anti-gay, anti-human, piece of trash organizations that they can’t hear criticism for what it is: a human experience that is real, that is valid, that is unjust.

Yes I am white and no I am not Muslim nor have I ever been. There are certain experiences I can never speak about, such as actually being Muslim or being a person of color. I can, however, speak about my own, and to argue that I must have dark skin or have been a practicing Muslim in order for me to do so is more of the same oppressive bullshit.

I grew up in a multicultural family. My dad’s side of the family immigrated from Iran 20 years ago. My dad himself immigrated to America when he was 16. My family is Muslim on my dad’s side and Mormon on my mother’s (although my dad eventually converted to mormonism). I grew up in a climate where these two religions dominated my life in a really painful way. 

I don’t owe ANYONE explanations of why I feel the way I do. I don’t need to rehash things that have hurt me and that I’ve moved on from. My feelings and experiences are perfectly valid on their own. If you want to call it “Islamophobia”, I’ll call you ignorant. This isn’t about quantifying pain, this is about my own experience with that pain. Calling that “Islamophobia” undermines what Islamophobia really is and how it operates. I fucking hate organized religion, including Islam, and all the pouting in the world won’t change that.

OK here's the deal: she is allowed to have her own opinion about Islam and religion in general. But, where she crosses the line is in insulting and attacking someone else's beliefs. Attacking and slandering others because they belong to Islam. That is called discrimination. Which she actively speaks out against. Hmmm......

NOW she has received death threats from some haters. They sent her pictures of her apartment building, her address and threatening messages. She is in great distress and has thus left tumblr for the time being.

hey peeps,
i am going to be taking a break from tumblr.  i’m not sure how long. i have been getting a slew of people (who i can only guess are from “social justice” tumblr) telling me to kill myself, making violent threats, sending me my home address they somehow found.  my inbox this morning was graced with pictures of my apartment building. 
i honestly have no words.  
love you all.

I am outraged by this. This was taken WAYYYY to far out of context. Harassment? Threats? NOT COOL! NEVER! IDC what the other person has said or done. It never is okay to do that to them. This is really why the internet gets such a bad name and why it has done so much damage to so many. 

So while I feel the outrage towards Laci was justified, I feel the actions this group are intolerable. It really sucks that this stuff happens and we have to be aware and speak out against it.

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