Ahem. I am trigger warning for bullying language and this is not nice today. Hold on to your hat.
For our purposes today here is my position on science.
Science is not the be all end all of all things all the time.
Science and scientists are fallible. Ideas and things people find out change.
If you don't believe me let's talk for a moment about some of the things science proved as fact at some point.
Science once upon a time believed that the Earth was flat.
Science proved that the sun revolves around the Earth.
Science proved at one point that the cure for any illness was to bleed it out of a person.
Science proved at one point that the cure for any mental illness or perceived defect was lobotomy.
Sitting here in 2012 we hear those things and a lot of us say OH HELL NO.
I'm not doing your research for you so if you want "fact" to back up anything I'm saying use the google.
In America any other "disease" is not treated on an entirely societal level from birth to death, to media, to doctors and everyone else in the world as a bullyable offense.
Even diseases that are supposedly avoidable, once people have those diseases it's not an acceptable thing in our culture to bully them.
When someone has breast cancer you don't hear people saying things like:
"Well there is a history in your family why didn't you get your breasts removed?"
When someone chokes to death or has a close call, no one says:
"Well if you'd just put down the fork maybe you wouldn't choke"
When someone is visibly sick from say chemo or otherwise looks ill, you don't hear people yelling from cars:
"Why don't you just die already you sick cunt"
I'm positive that most people would be appalled and enraged if they heard that.
On a societal level in America bullying is on peoples minds.
Now my problem right now is that when it comes to bodies, people lose their minds and any sense of ethics or morals or basic decent behavior.
People want to give me the simple science of weight-loss. When I call them for being cruel just to be cruel, they justify it with the belief that a fat person can and should be bullied and abused to punish them for being fat and "not doing anything about it".
This disconnect gets awful especially given that fatness itself, obesity (we'll get to actual sicknesses correlated with obesity in a minute) has been medicalized and pathologized to be the deadliest "illness" in America right now, so instead of the diet/healthcare industry continue to propagate lies, offer dangerous drugs instead of treatment. If it was cancer and everywhere you went all you saw were "miracle" no effort magic cancer curing pills people would be angry, it would not be allowed to happen.
But, if you're fat and especially if you are fat and self loathing, fuck your health fuck you and if you don't hate yourself enough to take those dangerous drugs or engage in dangerous behaviors, you're clear to bully.
Let's be real here for a moment whether or not you like fat people or approve of fat people etc.
Beyond the reality that people tend to try and eradicate by any means necessary things they fear (google this if you don't believe the fear part, Do Americans believe that being fat is worse than smoking) why is it is such a danger, are we not treating obesity with the sensitivity and common decency that people who presumably have a fatal disease get?
If you believe that if science says it's true then it must be an indisputable fact, why is science saying what fat poeple have been saying for years? Why does it take a study to figure out that fat acceptance can do this:
Participants perceived that blogging within the Fatosphere led them to feel more empowered. Participants also described the benefits of belonging to a supportive community, and improvements in their health and well-being. The Fatosphere provides an alternative pathway for obese individuals to counter and cope with weight-based stigma.If it is so imperative that fat people be healthy, that is it a moral obligation for us to be healthy, when we tell you that part of us taking care of our health as a whole includes accepting ourselves and finding community and having doctors who can treat us as real live human beings and not a bucket of fat disease, etc- Why the fuck are so many of you so instantaneously awful to us?
Science has long proven the risks bullied and emotionally abused people face.
Science is telling us every day that children at younger and younger ages are facing treatment for eating disorders and DYING because of the fat stigma.
There are cases of people STARVING infants to keep them from being fat. Some of those babies die.
There is science to back up the fact that as of now, being fat in and of itself is not the issue.
Being obese and fatty fat fat fat is not the single thing between a fat person and health.
The science right now tells us that being sedentary is the problem.
Science right now tells us that no, we don't have to murder ourselves at the gym to reap the health benefits of exercise.
This is why every time anyone who is not fat, talks about obesity I don't believe they give a shit about the health of the nation or the health of fat people.
If you have a deep faith in science, pay attention to what I'm about to say.
Me being fat is not the single crux or issue of my health.
That applies to every fat person on the planet.
If you find the newer science that controverts every diet related ad and almost everything people say about fatness, how does that excuse the consistent bullying and evil awful behavior that people display to fat people.
If you can still sit there after all the evidence you use against fat people and say that you give a damn about fat people health, you are a liar.
If you really are committed to getting all us awful fat people healthy this is what you do.
- Most importantly stop being a bully. Don't be an asshole to fat people for existing. If you believe yourself to be a decent human being and find yourself mooing at fat people, making fun of fat people, complaining when someone fat is in your vicinity you are not actually a decent human being. You are an asshole.
- Admit that you don't really care about the actual entire health of a fat person and are only concerned about the size of their ass.
- Admit that it makes you uncomfortable when someone does not fit your aesthetic ideals.
- Stop being a bully. Just stop.
- Be decent.
- Give fat people their space when they need it.
- Understand that my health situation or anyone else's health situation is none of your business and not up to public debate unless they put it out there.
- Do not participate in the bullying/abuse culture that treats every body that is not mainstream attractive as less than.
- Do not participate in the part of our culture that denies the concept of intersectionality.
- Fight for good health care for everyone including fat people.
- Fight for places like gyms and grocery stores to not be places that treat non normative bodies as wrong bodies.
- If you care about the health of a fat person you know, don't be cruel to them. Don't bully them. Don't abuse them. Help support their health by being part of their support system. If that person needs help finding a doctor who will treat them with a modicum of human decency, help them. Go with them and if they are too upset with a doctor to ask not to be talked down to or they are not getting treated for their actual medical problem, be there to speak up for them.
- Call out other thin people.
- If you are a parent don't bully your kids. Show them that their body is a great awesome body. Help them develop a deep sense of stable self esteem so they will love themselves and take care of themselves.
- Start giving a critical eye to the "experts" who display so much bias they aren't really helping anyone.
- Question the status quo.
If you can't do those things at least do number 1.
If you can't even do number one, you are a liar. You don't really care and science is not actually your friend.
The bottom line is this.
If you need a scientific study to tell you not to treat other human beings badly, they are out there.
What science won't do is stop changing in this one area to suit your bias.
Stop telling us that it's just simple science because it's not.