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Guest Post: No, Wonder Woman Will Never be a Social Justice Land Whale by Jonathan LaForce

A snotty social justice zealot by the name of Stephanie Abraham recently penned a column for Ms. Magazine asking the question that’s on everyone’s lips: When Will Wonder Woman be a Fat, Femme Woman of Color?

White supremacists would shit themselves in outrage had Wonder Woman been cast as a woman of color, she snivels (never mind that as an Israeli, Gal Gadot is, in fact, a woman of color).

She’s just too beautiful. She struts like a model on a catwalk. The only women on Themyscira are tall, athletic, and attractive, she screeches. And that’s just not fair, according to Abraham, who apparently believes that a hero or heroine must be allowed the title without effort or exertion. Like a typical cultural Marxist he seems to believe that “body positivity” entitles one to accomplishments they did not earn.

My friend Jonathan begs to differ.


Especially with the body positivity movement gaining steam, the film could have spotlighted female warriors with fat, thick and short body types. While people have said that warriors can’t be fat, some of our best paid male athletes are, particularly linebackers on the football field, and no one doubts their physical strength. 

I had been reading your work and you were doing decently until I stumbled across this. Right there you display a gross degree of ignorance about the profession of arms. Enough so that it leaves your readers woefully misguided. Fortunately, such ignorance can be overcome through education, and I would hate to think you’re in any way opposed to gaining further light and knowledge through education.

The body positivity movement.

You mean that collection of screaming harpies who shriek as though misers losing coins when told that they are grossly overweight and need to take corrective action? You mean the women who refuse to fix themselves? Who willfully deliberately target fit women and thin women with their shaming campaigns? That movement? The Trigglypuffs of the world?

The Battle of Verdun had momentum. France in 1919 had allies. The 4th Marine Brigade had respect after Belleau Wood, where before it was unwanted as nothing more than stevedores and work details.

Meanwhile, the body positivity bowel movement has no momentum, no respect, and no allies. It has already been exposed for its mindless pettiness, and become a roundly mocked joke.  “Body positivity” is justification for lack of discipline and self control, the lack of will to fix errors within oneself.

Why?

Because it’s hard.  Anything Tumblristas such as these can do to avoid real work and effort is great. It justifies their existence. Tis better by far to mock Wonder Woman for being “too skinny” than to admit that she has achieved something wonderful and seek to emulate such actions.

“The film could have spotlighted female warriors with fat, thick, and short body types…”

Please feel free to go take a look at the women who compete in Ultimate Fighting. Please tell me what Gina Carano, Ronda Rousey and their peers all have in common. Go take a look at the U.S. Olympic Team, and tell me what those women have in common. How about the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team? Do any of them look fat? One could argue about the weightlifters, but even they are MUSCULAR.  Now go look at the U.S. military.  Examine the women who’ve had successful careers in armed services. What do they have in common?

This is what’s called a clue. Chew on it. Masticate it. Digest the contents with some finality. All finished?  Good.  Let’s continue.

Reality is that if you’re fat and a woman, or “thick,” such as Stephanie Abraham suggests, you’re not going to have a successful martial career.

Why?  

Because you’re expected to meet standards of height, weight, and physical vitality. Now consider what a woman in a warrior culture who trains hard every day to fight will look like.  Especially when we consider that they’re wearing arms and armor reminiscent of ancient Greek Hoplites.  Even light infantry gear is going to run 20+ pounds. Now try running and marching and fighting in that. How long do you think you’re going to stay fat or thick? I lost 45 pounds in 13 weeks at San Diego MCRD (Recruit LaForce weighed 195 on his first weigh in at MCRD San Diego. He proceeded to drop weight every day of every week because Drill Instructor Sergeants Fischer and Poole were determined to make him strong and fit. At his last weigh in after the Crucible event, he stood 150 lbs. in his government-issued silkies) and there were recruits in my platoon who lost even more weight than I did!  Recruit Paul Doe lost over 100! (Paul Doe’s mother didn’t recognize him on Family Day.)

“While people have said that warriors can’t be fat…”

Citations, citations, citations.  Citations are important, especially when making such a statement.  Every single English teacher I’ve had from my freshman year of High School through what’s now my junior year of college have hammered on that. (Dr. Cheryl Young – God bless that brilliant woman!) Have citations. If you’re going to make a claim, have something to back it up, or don’t say it. We’re going to play along with the rest of this statement though, just to humor you, Steph, because this is a teaching moment.  

“…some of our best paid male athletes are [fat]…”

From Forbes list of Highest Paid Athletes 2016 1st through 10th: Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, LeBron James, Roger Federer, Kevin Durant, Novak Djokovic, Cam Newton, Phil Mickelson, Jordan Spieth, Kobe Bryant.  

Mickelson is the only one I would even consider even close to “fat,” and he’s still a trim looking man out on the course. With the rest, I’ll bet you a month’s pay at the E-4 rate that they’re toned, fit and in extremely good shape for their sport. Given the number of Latina friends I’ve seen swooning over Messi and Ronaldo on social media, I’m going to win that bet.  

“…particularly linebackers on the football field, and no one doubts their physical strength.”

I remember when Google was just starting out. In the years since its emergence, we’ve come to add it to our lexicon as both a noun and a verb. Right now we’re going to make use of it and google “NFL Linebackers shirtless.”  The first man to appear in the search is Clay Matthews of the Green Bay Packers.  He is 6’3″ tall, and weighs in at 250 pounds.  He was the first round draft pick out of USC under Pete Carroll.  That man could stand in for Chris Hemsworth as Thor. He may not be perfectly toned, but is there any doubt he’s in absolutely outstanding physical shape?  If you threw furs on his back and handed him an axe, would he look out of place among Nordic forebears?  Not one bit.  

Linebackers, mind you, are expected to be quick enough they can catch receivers in the backfield or go head-to-head against halfbacks and running backs – grown men the same size as them who are determined to run that linebacker over like a Panzer IV rolling over the French army in 1940; that linebacker can also be expected to blitz around a wall of linemen and pile drive an opposing quarterback into the turf.  Bet your last penny that being fat doesn’t rate anywhere on the list of important traits a linebacker should possess in comparison to strong, motivated, hostile and agile.  

You would have done better to select “offensive linemen” or “defensive linemen” if you were trying to suggest “fat,” and yet even there, your claim is invalid.  Nate Solder of the New England Patriots weighs more than 320 pounds and stands 6’9”.  His hands alone are nearly 10 inches across. He’s a highly paid captain for a Patriots team which in his seven years on the team has twice won Super Bowls.  I’ve included a link to video footage of what he looks like while training and playing.

Sorry, but “fat” doesn’t even come into the picture.

You don’t get to where he is by being a fat slob.  Team owners don’t tolerate that.  They run a business interested in making money, which means winning games. Slobs don’t win professional football games. Slobs darn sure don’t win Super Bowl Rings.  

Returning now to your original argument, we’ve established that there is a necessity for peak physical conditioning (and physique follows function), that historically has been necessary for not only athletes, but fighting men.

Where do women come into play with all this?  Sage Santangelo.  

In 2014, Sage Santangelo was a 2nd LT, USMC and a candidate at the USMC Infantry Officer Course.  She, by her own recollection, was in superb shape. “I’ve climbed 10 of 14,000-foot peaks in my home state of Colorado. As an ice hockey goalie for more than a decade, I put myself in the path of pucks flying at 80 mph.”  Santangelo is also a ranked Crossfit Competitor. She goes on in an (wholly disrespectful) editorial in the Washington Post about how she was unfairly prepared for the Combat Endurance Test which all Infantry Officer Candidates are expected to pass if they wish to participate in that course. In Santangelo’s class, there were 104 candidates, including four women.  Twenty-five men failed that class, as did all four women.  That was the first day.  

In 2014 Anno Dominus – not Ancient Greece, nor Republican Rome – modern day, 21st century, when we have access to some of the best sports conditioning, modern medicine, modern diet ever seen in human history, Sage Santangelo had everything going for her.  And she still could not succeed!  

Now, let’s apply this information to an island entirely reminiscent of 8th century BC Greece. Diana of Themyscira has to be in constant training to maintain her performance and strength. She needs every bit of muscle mass she can attain.

Returning to the football player example: I’m 66 inches tall. Nate Solder is more than 80 inches inches tall and built like a demigod. Who has more opportunity for muscle mass? The answer is Nate, who even tipping the scales at 325 in the NFL combine was advised to put on an additional 20 pounds. That’s nearly the birth-weight equivalent of two African elephants!  

When a casting director is considering candidates for a particular role, body mass and composition is something that must considered. Who is going to put on muscle mass easier for a role where running around with a sword and shield – Ms. Short-Fat-and-Thick or Ms. Gadot, who is 5’10” and weighs 128?  She had to put on 17 pounds of muscle for her role as Diana of Themyscira! 

Think that was easy? Think Trigglypuff would be able to attain that goal in the short time allotted? (Let alone fit into the armor and be able to perform the physical feats Gal Gadot did while five months pregnant!)

Not only is your logic faulty, Steph, it has no basis in reality. That sucks, doesn’t it?  Go ahead, nod your head and say yes.  It hurts doesn’t it?  

That’s part of life; we believe something until new evidence is brought to our attention, and we have a choice to make: accept the new evidence and change our views, or ignore the facts and be a miserable, angry shrew because the world and reality don’t conform to your whining. Option two means you remain mired in ignorance of your own doing. Not appealing. Option one hurts though, because you’ve tied important ideals to this concept.  

Does admitting that you were wrong make you a bad person? No.  

Does changing your behavior to reflect the reality of a given situation make you evil? No.  

Are you going to need to examine the beliefs most closely tied to this false belief? Yes.  

Is this ‘mansplaining?” No.  A fellow woman (such as Nicki) could have explained this to you – and she likely would have done it less kindly than I have, and with a lot more invective.  

Before you suggest that I would never talk to a man this way, I want you to understand six very simple words:

I. Am. A. Corporal. Of. Marines.  

The list of what I’ll say to the men under my charge can include anything up to and including the words “fix bayonets and take that machine gun covered enemy position.” Do not ever presume I wouldn’t say something hard, difficult or mean to a fellow man. Been there, done that, got the motherfracking tee shirt. And I’d do it again in a heartbeat.  

But this is fantasy, Steph would say! Shouldn’t the directors be able to commit handwavium and use magic to change reality?

NO.  

As a published writer and aspiring author, I can very firmly tell you there comes a point where the reader cannot suspend enough disbelief to take what you write seriously.  We, the paying fans, will not be able to overlook 132 kilograms of Rebel Wilson squeezed into a Wonder Woman costume taking down German shock troops in World War I trench fights, or successfully defeating Ares the GOD OF WAR with a sword. Fans will not pay for that unless it’s parody or satire. It will not succeed.

Paul Feig, take note you incompetent putz.  

The virtue signaling needs to stop. It’s not helpful. If anything, it will get good women and men hurt or dead in combat zones, as you keep trying to govern reality by false narratives promulgated in cinema. Instead of continuing to spout bad ideas come ask veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan like myself and my brother Marines about what we’ve seen and what we’ve done. Ask us why we have the opinions we do. Listen to what we say and how we say it. Ask us why we’re sarcastic and bitter and cynical.  Keep an open mind, no matter what.  

And maybe, just maybe, for the first time in your life you’ll learn what tolerance really means.  

 

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33 responses

  1. Way to go Mr. Laforce!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great post, Jonathan, and I have to agree with every one of your points. Some of those big boys playing football can outrun me at my speediest. And now I recall something we used to say in the Army (and I was infantry). The Marines fix bayonets and charge, in the Army we hunker down and call in the artillery.

    Like

  3. “Body positivity” and “deluding themselves” seem to be synonymous phrases these days.

    The fighter physique — for men and women alike — emphasizes speed, power, dexterity, and stamina. None of these things typify the morbidly obese. Because let’s not kid ourselves. We’re not talking about women with an extra 20 pounds on their frames. “Body positivity” is the morbidly obese trying to tell themselves that they are not morbidly obese. That they are not slowly suffocating the life out of themselves, beneath of a flesh prison of accumulated calories.

    Now, I get it. Food tastes awesome. The worse it is for you, the more fun it is to eat. And exercise sucks. Our culture is a sit-down culture, unlike 100 years ago when it was still a (mostly) heft-and-bail culture.

    But our bodies were built (or evolved, cough) for a life lived lean. Lots of small meals, irregularly taken. While we were forever walking, running, moving. Until we dropped.

    That’s what our bodies do, by design.

    “Body positivity” attempts to replace design (or evolution, cough) with feel-goodism.

    And people shout and scream for approval, while condemning themselves to misery.

    Because nobody likes being fat. Nobody.

    “But fat people get treated like shit!” they shriek.

    I know. Seen it a lot. It sucks. People are rude. Women against other women, can be like a spinning razor-blade combine, sweeping the field of a fat girl’s soul.

    But trying to convince the morbidly obese that they should not make every and all effort possible, to escape fat jail — we are inventing new methods and ways all the time, and many of them work! — is not just bass-ackwards, it’s gonna kill folks. Slowly. Achingly. With great, merciless surety.

    So, yes please, more Gal Gadot. More ripped fighting females. So many ripped fighting females, that young women around the world are inspired to hit the gym, instead of the refrigerator. Not because of misogyny. But because they want to know what it’s like to push themselves way beyond their envelopes — mastery of body, en route to mastery of spirit.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. It’s not that the morbidly obese are trying to convince themselves they’re not morbidly obese. They’re trying to delude themselves into believing they’re just as fit and deserving of accolades as sports figures or military members. It’s them trying to force others into finding them attractive when they are not. It’s them trying to gain special privileges at others’ expense (think taking up more than one seat on the plane when they’ve only paid for one and shrieking they’re being discriminated against when you insist on taking up the tiny bit of space you paid for).

      It’s them trying to force their delusions on you – trying to force you to accept them as attractive or deserving of a specific role or spot on a sports team.

      That’s a nope.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. I’m one of the short, fat, thick tribe and I don’t have a problem with it. Seriously, I do not care. Would I want to see a Wonder Woman that looks like me? Oh hell no. That would be stupid. I look more like the fairy godmother in Cinderella (the bibbity-bobbity-boo version) and I am fine with it. I’m an adult now and I had a choice to make. I’m, frankly, miserable when I try to stay thin. I just am. Not making excuses, but I have two different diseases that I was born with. It’s incredibly painful to do heavy exercise. It is what it is. Not a damn thing I can do about it. Sucks to be me on that level. But, I have to admit, I think everything else about me is fabulous. I thought that even though I was a big (but short) girl way before this body positivity double speak crap came around. That’s because my head is screwed on right. Not because I think being fat is a good thing. It’s not really about whether fat or fit is better for your state of self-acceptance, it’s more about doing the best you can do and doing it. Or not but accepting the consequences.

        Side note, I’ve never, any of the time I’ve been fat, had anyone, even little kids make any remarks about my weight. Either to me directly or through their loud questioning to their parents. Now I have heard, “Mommy, why does that lady have that stick?” “Daddy, why does that lady walk funny?” Or they come out and ask me. Parents hush their kids, I address them directly. I explained to them about a disease called advanced juvenille rheumatoid arthritis and hereditary motor sensory neuropathy, a form of Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease. I’m still walking way after they said I wouldn’t be. I mean like 25 years. Oh, and I use the word crippled. It’s easier and more descriptive than differently abled or physically handicapped. I’m not afraid of that word or the word fat.

        That being very long-windedly said, WW being a short fat chick just won’t fly. Thor being a 6’2″ tall geek weighing all of 115 pounds soaking wet and fully dressed just isn’t gonna do it for me, either. And I hated fat Barbie, too. That’s why she’s on the clearance racks and they couldn’t even give them away. I wish they’d leave my damn Barbie alone, too.

        Rant over.

        Liked by 4 people

        1. The difference between you, CHa1, and the squawkers is that you are honest about yourself.
          They are not.

          Liked by 1 person

  4. Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard | Reply

    Anybody remember “The Fridge” (William Perry)?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Perry_(American_football)

    He was a Big Man but he failed (in his later years) at football because he allowed himself to get fat.

    No, fat men don’t play professional football for long. 😦

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard | Reply

      Oh, the funny thing is that these whiners don’t recognize the difference between fat and being big.

      There was a recent Disney film where the whiners were complaining about this “fat guy”.

      Problem is, the guy was Big not fat. 😉

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    2. Jerry Ball had a little hurdle over another player for a touchdown as a 330 lb defensive tackle. 22:58 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uQTfYLot9dM&list=PLFhFWsWp3FbQHpTL4RJW9yWn3w–n6bYG&index=116

      Like

  5. I do remember the Fridge Perry. Ditka was not happy with Perry’s girth. His speed was not what it could have been, had he lost 30 pounds. Squashing someone flat is not exactly sporting, is it?

    The biggest athlete I’ve ever seen was Vasily Alekseyev, a Soviet gold medal Olympian in 1972 and 1976, who set world records. He was enormous. I was doing power lifting in 1976, and the trainer told me that power lifters need everyone ounce they can muster, unlike body builders who need to be fit AND ripped so that every muscle fiber shows. Alexseyev was a BIG man, but he was NOT fat.

    Yes, the real problem is that the chunkybutts don’t want to make the effort to lose the blubber and build muscle mass because it’s just too hard.

    What they do not realize is that increasing and maintaining muscle mass lengthens your life, whereas being a big, fat slob shortens it substantially. Reality sucks, doesn’t it?

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I remember that guy! I’d forgotten all about him. He was very impressive in the 72 games. That’s the earliest I remember. And by today’s standard he looks seriously fat. Guys didn’t get that uber tone thing going on until Arnold started making movies and all the women went gaga over him because we’d never seen anything like him before. Let’s face it bodybuilding competitions are boring to a lot of women. But Arnold got the ladies’ attention with Conan the Barbarian. Got my momma’s attention anyway and she was older than him by a good bit. Of course, she was old enough to be Val Kilmer’s mom but she had a thing for him something awful lol. He’s a good bit older than me and I was still on my Donny Osmond kick then. Oh hell I’m still on my Donny Osmond kick 😉

      Liked by 1 person

    2. whereas being a big, fat slob shortens it substantially.

      Does this mean that the screeching landwhales will probably die sooner than the rest of us? There’s hope!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Does this mean that the screeching landwhales will probably die sooner than the rest of us? There’s hope!
        Yes it does.

        There was a recent study published that showed that “fat but fit” is a myth. Hauling those extra pounds of blubber around is indeed bad for you long term health

        (more info at http://www.bbc.com/news/health-39936138 )

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Well, it depends on how you define “fat”. A person can carry several more pounds of fat than the fitness tables tell you and still be fit, but not someone who is carrying around 30lbs or more of fat, and especially not if they aren’t getting any exercise.

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      2. Some of it has to do with what’s in your personal gene pool. No one in my family was ever bone-thin. However, everyone gained weight as they aged, mostly from not doing anything in the way of exercise, except for my maternal grandmother. I seem to be emulating her.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. My husband and I were talking just last night about weight loss. He isn’t unfit by any stretch of imagination; in fact one of the things I (noticed that I) do after kissing him a welcome home is spread my hands appreciatively over his muscled chest and biceps. He noted though that he is aware of the weight of his own body just doing running PT, never mind the ones where they take 25kg of kit and do 10km hikes, so was musing about ways to shave off some kilos, for the longevity of his joints. He has a plan in place for it.

    I regularly horrify people with the statement that my ideal healthy body weight is 80-85 pounds with the upper limit being 90. But that’s my ideal healthy body weight – I’m a tiny 4’7″ Asian female. I’m still trying to shed the post-babies and depression weight, and I really feel it in my knees when I walk on the treadmill.

    I liked how Wonder Woman looked, actually. She wasn’t a ‘stick’ as the landwhales bitch- she had muscle, and it was evident, but not in the bodybuilder ripped way (because that’s not what happens when you’re training your body for a fight); and I liked her warrior’s poise. Picking Gal Gadot for the role is a VERY good casting office decision.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. The “body positive” crowd do have a couple of facts correct – on which they build an enormous whale of fantasy.

      Fact 1. The BMI really stands for “bloody misleading index” and is not useful except in a very general way, especially since some experts redefined the thresholds down a bit (although once you get up into the morbidly obese levels your BMI can only be largely due to being a lard ass).

      Fact 2. Some thin people (women mostly) are extremely unhealthy because they have almost no muscle even though they are thin. These people typically have a lot of other issues because they have a terrible diet and do no exercise (they can’t do exercise because they have no muscles and no stamina).

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I don’t like BMI either; the healthy weight range I gave before was given to me by doctors and nutritionists who took my bone structure/build and ethnicity in mind. I’ve known other people who were also rather short; one was rather stocky in build, and looked ‘solid’ but not fat, and what fat she did have is because women have some, and this particular example I’m thinking of was an older woman. She did laundry – by hand, I should note, because Philippines – and while she didn’t have the toned limbs of an athlete I wouldn’t describe her as weak.

        I have to laugh like crazy at the fact 2. Using anorexics and other extremely thin people, like those who’ve been starving / Rwandan famine victims as their justification for ‘thin people aren’t healthy’ broad brush is unreal, and just highlights the insanity of their excuses.

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  7. But the movie was ‘fin awesome, i just got home from it.

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  8. GREAT article! Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. That was an excellent, EXCELLENT article, thank you. And thank for your service.

    The most electrifying female contestant on American Ninja Warrior last season, Jessie Graff, was fascinating PRECISELY because she demonstrated extra-ordinary upper body strength for a female,on a course that OBVIOUSLY played to the strengths of men.

    If you haven’t seen it for any reason I recommend you do, just to see. She’s a phenomenal athlete.

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    1. I love love love love that show!

      Like

    2. She even managed to finish the 2nd stage of the Vegas course during the “USA vs the World” — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=arxgcrtEZ0w

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  10. Israeli = POC? This topic is popping up all over the place right now because of this movie. I really don’t think so. Just because Jews have historically been an oppressed minority (and I’m Jewish, so I’m speaking from the inside on this one) doesn’t equate with being a person of color in American society. Just because Gal Gadot is Israeli and tans easily doesn’t make her a POC.

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    1. It’s not about melanin or how much someone has been oppressed. She’s an Ashkenazi Jew.

      Now let us take a look at the history and heritage of Ashkenazi Jews. An indigenous people of the Middle East, Ashkenazi Jews were driven out of their homeland by European (and later Arab) colonists and taken as slaves to Europe where they were consistently regarded as savages, periodically massacred, and excluded from society on the grounds that they are a foreign, non-Christian, and non-European (or in the words of our European oppressors: Oriental/Asiatic) presence on European soil. The above-mentioned race categories created during the Inquisition were really a direct response to the possibility that the Spanish crown hadn’t successfully expelled ALL of the Jews and Moors in their midst. As such, an edict called “limpieza de sangre” (“purity of blood”) was made law, wherein anyone of non-European descent (i.e. Jewish or Arab-Moor) was given the ultimatum of conversion to Christianity or death. And even those Jews who did convert were still viewed with suspicion, and treated as second class. The rest of Europe adopted very similar laws, and many exiled Sephardim wound up migrating East, where they joined their Ashkenazi co-ethnics.

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      1. Hi Nicki. Thanks for your response. I think it’s a not a simple issue, and I don’t pretend to have a definitive opinion. But let’s think about it some more.

        I did read all the references cited and some others as well. I think that, as in so many discussions, it comes down to one’s definition of terms. What do the terms “white” and “person of color”, mean to you, what do they mean to me, what do they mean to the authors of all these various articles? I try not to presume to make blanket pronouncements so I will *only* speak for myself here. I’m not denying that anti-Semitism exists and kills people. I’m not denying the long tragic history of my ancestors. I will just say that when I think of “people of color” as the term is used today in America, Ashkenazi Jews – the “tribe” to which I also belong – are not included in that particular category of challenges. I have the pleasure of living in an ethnically, racially, linguistically and every other -ly diverse community and workforce, but brown people are still noticeably the minority here. I think it would cause my colleagues who are various shades of darker than paper bag brown tremendous amusement if I told them that Jews are people of color too. Then again, maybe I am making an incorrect assumption. Next week I think I will take an informal poll and let you know the results. Now I’m genuinely curious.

        So yeah, I guess for me I take the term literally. To me, “Color” means shades of brown rather than pink and yes it is about melanin (or other instantly visible signs of racial difference, like epicanthic folds). I know we were considered racially distinct throughout European history and still are by anti-Semites. But I’m just talking about day to day life in America in 2017 – my life and that of the vast majority of my fellow American Jews – and the real differences between living as a person who appears to be of generic European descent and living as what we call a person of color. We are going to have different day-to-day life experiences based on what we look like and where it looks like our ancestors came from.

        However I do get the historic depth of the other side of the argument and I see the point of it. I just think that for most (?) people (pending the poll I’ll be conducting next week, the results of which may surprise me!) Jews just aren’t what comes to mind when the term “people of color” comes up.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. This is the problem with labels. I don’t like them. But technically, Gadot is a woman of color – as is several acquaintances I have who look white, but have black parents. Point is it’s not about oppression. It’s not about skin color. Or it shouldn’t be. But if one wants to be technical, they need to understand when someone is genetically a person of color.

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      2. I don’t like labels either and this whole discussion just goes to show that however we try to categorize people, nobody is going to fit neatly into any defined and labeled box. But just out of curiosity then, if it’s not about oppression and it’s not about skin color, what is it about? And does that make me a woman of color too, just because I’m also an Ashkenazi Jew? Does it make you one? Or does that label apply only to Israelis? And what if I don’t consider myself a woman of color? If somebody else wants to think that I am, do I have to agree with them? Are labels determined by the person the label is stuck to, or by other people who are doing the labeling? And if I define POC one way, and you define it another, and a third person defines it yet another, how can we come to agreement on what our words mean?

        I’m not trying to be a smartass. I am just sincerely pondering the ways our assumed definitions can throw any discussion i9nto confusion if we don’t, as a first step, start by defining our terms.

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        1. Well, for me, and especially in this particular case, where it’s people complaining that she’s NOT a POC, it’s about the definitions recognized by the government, which were insisted upon by this same kind of people, in order to get leverage to use against those they claim are oppressors. If the person fits the definition, then these complainers don’t get to arbitrarily decide to exclude that person from the label, just because it has become inconvenient.

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  11. BMI is indeed a misleading statistic. Going by that, many fit running backs from the NFL are considered obese. Same for me in my senior year of high school, at six foot, 190 pounds, and in tip top shape, I was considered overweight. I gave up on numbers a long time ago. And I think it is strange that the same women that criticize Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman have no problem with a Ryan Reynolds or a Chris Pratt in the movies. Why not some fat slob as their ideal leading man? There are many overweight men who are great actors I am sure. Hypocrites, no doubt. Don’t they get it, men, and most women, simply are not willing to accept actors in roles that don’t look at least somewhat similar to the traditional ideal of the character. Unless it is the entire premise of the story, such as the broadway show Hamilton or something like that.

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  12. Thank you for making me smile.

    These days it seems all the opinions and news I hear is just one big horror show, even the opinions and activities of people I like and agree with.

    Since I live in Los Angeles and by today’s standards I’m a Conservative, it’s especially bad. The casual comments I hear when I’m out and about are often devoid of reason or fact as well as being vile and hateful.

    With your well considered and detailed response, I think I even found a bit of dry humor (my favorite).

    So, thank you again.

    btw – I looked over the comments section of the article. ALL of them from every gender variety basically called Ms. Abraham a sick fool. That warmed my heart too. Maybe, just maybe, there is some common sense and decency left in the world.

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