Glossary

An ever-expanding collection of terms used on this blog and their definitions.

  • Fat Acceptance – a movement whose goal is the destigmatization of fatness.
  • Female-assigned-at-birth / Male-assigned-at-birth – sometimes abbreviated FAAB and MAAB. Means what it says: when this person was born, they and their parents were told by a doctor, or decided in concert with a doctor, that the person was female (or, in the latter case, male). This can be used as a way to talk about people who were raised in a gender other than the one they present as now, or as a way to remind folks that gender assignment is waaaaaaay less scientific than most people think. Google “intersex” if you don’t believe me.
  • Gender – used here to mean the label/box folks put themselves or others in with regard to their behavioral and sartorial personalities. Includes malefemaleman, woman, boy, girl, boi, neutrois, genderqueer, genderfuck, androgyne, and many more.
  • Health at Every Size (HAES) – an approach to health started by Dr. Linda Bacon and described in her book of the same name. The basics: your weight is pretty much meaningless in terms of your health. What matters is eating well and engaging in physical activity you enjoy. Anybody can be healthy at any size. No, really. Check the book out, it’s great.
  • Masculine-of-Center (MoC) – This term uses the idea of a gender spectrum, with “masculine” at one end and “feminine” at the other, and designates individuals who aren’t all the way at the masculine end, but are on that side of things. Often used for female-assigned-at-birth individuals who dress and behave in masculine ways (they may or may not be trans*). Check out DapperQ for examples.
  • Privilege – As Ani DiFranco put it, “privilege is the headache you don’t know you don’t have.” If you can access clean, safe drinking water from a tap in your house? That’s privilege. Lots of people can’t do that. It doesn’t mean you’re bad, just that you have something they don’t. Privilege is really complex, too — for example, a gay white male has white and male privilege but not straight privilege, while a straight black woman has straight privilege but not white or male privilege. Privilege isn’t brought up to start a contest of who’s more oppressed, but to raise awareness. For example, being able to call the cops and know they’ll defend you is a privilege trans* folks and most folks of color don’t have.
  • Sex – fucking. I’m with the fabulous Kate Bornstein here, sex has zip to do with chromosomes (there are XY folks with fully functioning uteruses who carry babies to term and XX folks with penises and testes) and everything to do with society saying “these body parts mean you are male” or “those body parts mean you are female” — and that sure sounds a lot like gender, don’t it?
  • Trans* – I use the asterisk to indicate that this term encompasses transsexual, transgender, and trans-anything-else folks. Basically, people whose gender doesn’t necessarily line up with their physical attributes.

 

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