Thursday, October 16, 2014

Black Hole Hands

I'm fairly active on tumblr. I've met incredible people through it, I've built amazing friendships, I've learned about everything from world-building to social justice concepts to very important bee trivia. I have a tumblr connected to this blog where I largely just reblog outfit photos that I really like.
Sometimes, I even post selfies and things. And in these selfies, I am always fully-clothed. No fatkini pictures on there. It isn't that I'm afraid to show off my pasty fat body—not at all. I did post the photo on here after all.
No, it's far more insidious. It's to the point where I am wary to post any pictures or information about myself at all on my personal blog. It's a safe space, but that means nothing when it is perpetually invaded by explicit pornography blogs. They often have phrases like "BBW" (big, beautiful woman) in their title, which shows me exactly what kinds of people they are. They dehumanize fat people in a completely different fashion, reducing us to nothing more than a fetish. I am vulnerable to these people simply by virtue of being a fat woman.
I, personally, am made uncomfortable by sex and anything to do with it. Simply knowing that porn blogs are following my personal blog, wherein I talk about my day or post pictures of myself posing with my school mascot between classes (for example) makes me tremendously uncomfortable. Knowing that they have access to these pictures and posts makes me uncomfortable. And since I patently refuse to comb through their blogs to ensure that they're not taking my photos, I have no way of knowing whether or not there are pictures of me on their blogs. Because of that, if I report them, nothing will happen; as far as I know, they're not doing anything overtly wrong. I can't accuse them of stealing content if I don't know whether they are.
Blocking them does absolutely nothing—it only means that I can't see their notes on my posts. They can visit my blog. If I just ignore them, they can even like and reblog my posts. The only change is that I don't see this activity. While that might be a bit comforting, it's disconcerting to not know.
I can't go onto their blogs and ask them to stop following me because they shut down all methods of communication.
The literal only thing I can do is tell them to stop and hope for the best. And, actually, I've been doing that for about two months. I've reported them to the tumblr staff, and actually several other people have reported on my behalf. And clearly, it's not going to well at the moment.
This happens to so many people. I've had friends who were harassed by blogs like these, and it's so toxic. I see so many outfit photos explicitly telling porn blogs to stay away from their posts.
I don't understand why our safe spaces are invaded in this manner. It's happened numerous times, both to myself and friends, to strangers and people I look up to. It's exhausting, and it's infuriating.
To be honest, I've removed every bit of identifying information from that blog but my first name. My icon is a portrait of Copernicus, I've made my selfies more difficult to find within my blog, and any personal posts are lost in a sea of pleas for the fetish blogs to leave me alone.
What does that mean for The Ridiculous Sort? Honestly, I don't know. It could go two ways: either I let the fear of these horrible people dictate my entire online presence (which they're starting to do, and mercy isn't that unfair?), or I get brave and do it anyway. I have cute new clothes and I like how my apartment looks.
So, we'll find out.
But for now, we'll just wait. We'll see.

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