Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Ruminating on Anti FA.

Yesterday I did some reading around the internet, and some of the angry anti fat acceptance stuff caught my eye.

I read quite a bit, forums, blogs etc. I noticed a few running themes that got me thinking and whatnot.

Theme #1:
Immediately I saw a lot of railing about the perceived horrors of women who are Fat, Feminist, Liberal and not shy about their opinions.

Being that I highly doubt I'd get coherent or honest answers from the people saying these things here is what I wonder.

Would it be such an issue if the "Queens" of FA who's politics are so distasteful to you were thin women who were hot in the context of mainstream thinking? Would bad words be so upsetting if they were coming out of the mouths of models or actresses?

Is the "radicalism" because they are outspoken or because they are fat?

How is it surprising that there is diversity and thus clashing of opinions in the Fat Acceptance movement?

If you follow any movement at all, be it Gay rights, Christian Rights, etc there isalways dissent in the ranks of one sort of another. Fundamentalists lambast other denominations. Some Republicans take issue with their Republican brethren and sistren.

Are you equally gleeful when there is a division within a church or civic organization?

Cherry Picking.

I saw this term all over the place. Essentially it means picking and choosing what to present and what not to.

Now if we're going to point fingers how about we start with heading for the nearest mirror and pointing away?

Everyone regardless of what ideology they are pushing does this to a degree. It's not in and of itself a bad thing. It is not the responsibility of the presenter to make sure that you have every side of the equation and all the information.

It is up to you to find out more if you feel it necessary.

If (as I've said time and again) you are a person genuinely interested in and concerned about the health of people as a whole there are ways to express and demonstrate this and ways not to.

Not so much:
"These fat bitches make me sick, I hate fat bitches"

"Fat people at the gym piss me off"

Treating people as less than does not in any current universe mark you as a caring individual.

Health is not a moral issue.

Gauging health by the eye is a mistake.

If you are going to go the route of using health as a gauge of morality how about you aim some of the vitriol and hate at everyone at the fast food place, everyone who might have genetic markers for high blood pressure, heart disease, and well how about humans in general because anyone including you can get sick.

If you do care instead of being hateful think about being an advocate.

Advocate for everyone to have adequate access to health care, good food, and fair treatment.

Overall to my view most of the anti fat acceptance comes down to a (in some cases pathological) hate of fat.

What I don't understand is the violent opposition to what I see to be nothing extraordinary.

At the root (and yes, as I said above individual aims will vary) FA is about ending discrimination based on essentially a single factor.

Body size.

I cannot understand how this is such an abhorrent thing.

Why is it such a terrible thing to want to be treated with the same respect and decency by say medical professionals regardless of how you look?

This is why I like to frame these things so maybe people who aren't in the situation can parse it.

Let's say you are a 30 year old, white person. You aren't rich you aren't poor. You are in effect average.

You start having problems with your vision. You go to doctors who tell you without another glance to take a nap.

How sleepy you are that day has nothing to do with your ongoing problem.

So you go to another doctor and hear the same thing.

You go to another doctor who doesn't even give you an exam and tells you the same thing.

Is that right? Is that conducive to being a happy healthy human being?

Or maybe after being treated like this for years you just stop going.

Why is that okay?

And if it's not okay with you, why would it be okay to get that kind of treatment regardless of what you look like?

I just don't understand.

Maybe I am too much of a laissez-faire type person.

I do not believe that I have the inherent right to harass other people because they choose to live their lives in a manner different from my own.

Can I not like what someone is doing?

Sure I can.

Can I act on that and cause that person problems in one way or another?

No I don't believe I can. Let me rephrase, I can but I don't.

This is the difference between bias and discrimination.

Have all the biases you want.

You want to hate me because I'm black? Go ahead.

Wanna hate me because I'm fat? Have at it.

Want to hate me because I'm not a heterosexual Christian? Feel free.

These are biases. The moment you start legislating or otherwise acting on these is discrimination and that needs to stop period. For everyone.

My huge issue is the discrimination.

Naturally there are cases where acting on a bias is a good thing.

We do it all the time.

In my mind there is a difference between a genuine danger to my own or the public safety and at base ideological differences.

It's a tricky thing. It's not easy at all to know when to use your biases and take action and when not to. But, I do think that if more of us could stop being such assholes to each other and just say,

"I don't like that you do this but it's none of my business."

The world would be a better and easier place for all of us to live in.

That's it for today.

Homo Out.

PS..remember I'm giving away a book. Check the end of yesterdays post for details.


Lindsay said...

You are SO the wind beneath my wings. Holy crap, you rock.

I tried to write up a more in-depth response, but it all came down to "i know, right?" or "DUDE, FOR REAL." Granted, i haven't had any coffee yet. O.o

julie said...

Sadly, I think if it was a "hot" woman saying it, they might listen a bit more, but likely still not buy it. It's amazing the self-righteousness in the anti-FA movement. These are the same guys who have NEVER had an issue with their weight, can eat anything they want, and are so damn sure how easy it is to lose weight, that anybody can do it. Thus, if they don't, they're [insert typical hateful nasty insult here]. The concept that somebody could be comfortable with being overweight is enough to explode their small minds.

Lindsay said...

Be fair Julie: assholery is not limited by gender. There are plenty of women on those anti-FA sites, kvetching about their fat husbands.

Irrational anger is an equal-opportunity employer.

Tiana said...

Great post. I wish we could get some of those people to actually REPLY to this. Like, explain what the hell their freaking problem is. But obviously they would only insist that it is not the equal rights thing that they are against, but a bunch of silly other things that FA bloggers are supposedly doing all the time for which they can never give an actual example. Grr.

(Funnily enough, my word verification thingie has "chub" in it today.)

Subscribe To My Podcast