This is a story of using a problematic framework to do kick-ass activism. There is a popular card game called Cards Against Humanity. The description from its own website is:
Cards Against Humanity is a party game for horrible people. Unlike most of the party games you’ve played before, Cards Against Humanity is as despicable and awkward as you and your friends.
The game is simple. Each round, one player asks a question from a black card, and everyone else answers with their funniest white card.
It can be funny, it can also be really uncomfortable as some of the cards invite “jokes” that can be racist, misogynist, and transphobic for starters. The brilliant Stacy Bias recently created an expansion pack that I’ll tell you about in just a minute.
First I’ll tell you that one of the things I love about the expansion pack is that it doesn’t back down or apologize for the stereotypes that fat people face. That’s something that can sometimes make even fat activists uncomfortable, and I think it’s important to talk about.
One way to deal with stereotypes is to challenge them by pointing out that they don’t apply to all members of a community. While it can be an effective way to change people’s minds, it can also be oppressive to those members of a group who happen to embody the stereotype. So with this type of activism I think it’s important to take care to be clear that the problem is stereotyping people – not that some people in any group are likely to embodying the stereotype that never should have happened.
Another way to deal with stereotypes is to refuse to be embarrassed by them or to care at all – to avoid talking about ourselves in ways that try to make us seem better than “those other fatties.” I think that Stacy’s Rad Fatty Merit Badges were a great example of this with badges like “Broke chair don’t care” and “Concern trolled didn’t fold,” and her Fats Against Humanity Expansion Pack is another.
According to Stacy:
I played Cards Against Humanity the other day with some friends and — whew. If y’all have played it, you know what I mean. If you haven’t, well — let’s just say it makes your inner feminist killjoy REEEEEAAAALLLY uncomfortable. So I thought I’d whip up a little expansion pack to throw into the game for some momentary relief.
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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!
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