Monday, December 17, 2012

How to care.

A lot of people run around every time a fat person says anything screaming about impending doom, expense, using up of medical resources, ad hominem attacks, proclamations of knowing ALL about another human based on some words or a photo under the banner of "I CARE ABOUT YOUR HEALTH ASSHOLE".

These are people who will run into a fat space (online and off) demanding attention because they care.

In their demonstrations of caring often they start out saying things like, "I'm all for self confidence" or they vomit up the shit that the teevee tells them about the apparent fact that obesity is in fact a worse threat to the planet than anything else.

Okay.

Look, here's the thing and I'm sure some of you people who want to come in and tell me everything that I'm doing wrong in life because you care are reading now.

This is not how to behave in a caring manner.

If you cared about anything other than any number of the following:


  1. Fueling your own self esteem because you are better than someone with a different body.
  2. Trolling because you have nothing better to do.
  3. You believe that if left unchecked fat people will DIE right now, use up all the health care and cost you money.
  4. You believe that you have the special ability to just know everything that might be wrong with someone because you saw their picture on the internet or they walked past you on the street.
  5. You are an asshole.
  6. You have an overinflated sense of entitlement when it comes to bodies that you don't live in.
  7. You are too busy battling obesity to actually understand it.
  8. You are easily led.
  9. You are a diet or exercise guru.
  10. You are making money off of fat peoples misery.
  11. Someone you know and might actually love in a fucked up way might be fat, or kinda fat, or not fat at all except in your head.
Whatever your reason is here's the thing and what makes you look like an asshole and a liar.

If in your version of caring you tell someone what it's like living in their body, or that they are going to die, or that you hope they enjoy their diabetes (something someone sent me after my interview at The Root), you are not being a good person. You are absolutely doing care wrong.

Let's take human bodies out of it for a minute.

Let's pretend like you told me you love dogs and you care about dogs.

If you loved said dogs, if you saw one laying down in a yard not bother you, you know just doing dog things, would you run up and kick it in the face?

If the dog was doing something you found unsightly, say laying with his testicles on view and it grossed you out, would you as a dog lover run over and start yelling at the dog and calling it names?

If you saw someone doing that and you ran over and stopped them and asked why they were screaming at or kicking the dog and they said, because I CARE ABOUT THEM.

Would that seem reasonable to you?

Really.

If I tell you I love you then punch you in the face, would you call that a gesture of love?

As a society we understand what is inappropriate in terms of showing our affections.

We understand that kicking a dog doesn't show love, we understand that hitting each other in the face doesn't show love. We understand that bullying is not good (yes, there's science to back this up), we understand that verbal abuse can have as devastating consequences as physical abuse.

Being that we are so advanced and have science to back up the fact that cruelty to each other, bullying, shaming etc is not really a good thing, why do so many people think that if a person is fat they have carte blanche to forget about these things?

Here's the thing.

Outside of the idea of anonymity because honestly, let's be real people are assholes to fat people anonymous or not, why are people engaging on this behavior at every level from interpersonal to the people charged with looking over our physical health and safety?

Humor has limits.

Let's not pretend that every person who has told me that I"m going to die in a minute from the fat, or the people who told me to enjoy my diabetes or who were personally (yes on a personal level) angry at me after my interview at The Root not because of the content of what I said but because I was saying anything other than, "I'm so awful and ugly I'm losing weight".

I have some things to say to those people, people on the street, doctors, "experts" etc.

First of all stop fronting.

Stop lying because you don't actually care. What you care about might be, being right. You might care about the concept of health care expenses in a vague way, you may care about diseases that frighten you, you may care about your own ass. But you do not care about me in a meaningful way.

The empty proclamations of caring when it is sheathed in bullying and outright lies is just that, empty.

I am an adult and can see through it.

I see what you're doing, I see your motivations and I see that no you don't in fact care.

What worries me is children.

If so many people care about obesity, why are we letting our children develop eating disorders and younger and younger ages? Why are we applauding parents who put pre-pubescent children on diets and begin the process of fucking their metabolisms up for life?

Why would ANYONE ever think it would be a show of care to put children in an abusive situation on fucking television?

Modern science is telling us that abuse doesn't work. Modern science (do your own research) that we are more harmed by yoyo dieting and sedentary lifestyles than weight. Modern science tells us that children especially female children who grow up with low self esteem and self worth are left open to a lifetime of victimization.

How does it show care to not only ignore all of those things but encourage them?

Those of you who roll into fat blogs to troll, or you say terrible things about strangers to your children what are you doing? How are you showing your children anything?

Let me tell you what you're teaching your children when they ask why does that person look different (fat, disabled or whatever  if you tell them it's because that person is a terrible person and is lazy and awful is that if they in turn grow up to be fat or different that they are terrible lazy people.

You are setting them up to fail at a lot of things.

That is not loving, that is not care. That is being an asshole and either teaching your children to be assholes or worse teaching them that if they wind up like that person, you will be an asshole to them too.

Even if your kids don't see you trolling fat people, laughing at stolen pictures of fat people on facebook, don't hear you call the woman walking a fat bitch, you are still not doing any good.

If you want to care and have people understand that you care it takes some work. It's hard.

It takes at the least some critical thinking and understanding of some basic things.

The first thing to understand is that you are not entitled to have anyone buy your opinions about a body that isn't yours. You can have an opinion of course you can that is human nature. What you are not entitled to is the freedom to invade another persons life with your opinions and demand that they accept them as truth.

An example.

As I mentioned someone who came here from The Root told me to enjoy my diabetes and that they hoped I died quickly so I wouldn't use up the health care. First of all being that I did not disclose whether or not I have or could have diabetes, they have no idea what my status in that regard actually is. Yes, yes they can assume but it does not give them the right to come into my space proclaiming that as the truth because there is no way they would know one way or the other unless I told them or they had my medical records.

That is not an opinion that is a fact.

This person also assumed that I am dependent on charity care or would be dependent on welfare, the state, disability or whatever. Again, another thing that I did not disclose to them or The Root. The fact is, I have been steadily employed with health insurance for well over a decade. There is the idea that if one is fat, one is lazy, if one is lazy one does not work, if one does not work one has not earned health care. There is also the idea that if one is fat, one does not deserve health care. 

Health care is not a finite resource.

Here's something that is an opinion I very strongly believe in. If health care were not thought of as some mythical right of the few deserving people, it would cost less to the consumer.

First of all, health care is an industry. It is not care it is money. Ask anyone who is under insured or has no insurance how much health really costs. If insurance companies weren't such profit machines, perhaps people would be healthier.

I look at it this way. If just basic health care (pap smears, breast exams, cancer screenings, colon care) that is age appropriate was widely available to people without risk of debt, ridicule or abuse, a lot more people would go to teh doctor. So rather than the scary mythical fatty who shows up at the doctor with eleventy million obesity correlated and neglected illnesses that require vast amounts of cash and resources "using up" the health care, perhaps those people would have been able to get health care to take care of those things along the way.

Preventative and maintenance health care goes a long way towards cutting individual medical costs. 

If you think I am full of shit here's an experiment.

The next time you go to the doctor or if you have a health professional in your family pose this question.

Is it better to get consistent quality health care or is it better to just wait and go to the ER?

Or ask within the confines of a hypothetical situation. I'll give you one.

Let's say that you have a sharp pain in your back. In situation 1, you don't feel right and go to the doctor. You find out you did some damage to your back and you start getting it taken care of. Maybe you get PT, maybe you get medication or bed rest. In situation 2 you don't get it looked at for whatever reason. Let's say that you live in pain for a year or so and at one point find yourself unable to walk around or go to work anymore. You go to the doctor at that point and find out you've done irreversible damage and will likely need surgery or have a long recovery or find out you will never recover.

Which scenario is better from an objective view? What's more expensive in the long run in terms of both financial (including lost wages, disability, possible hospital trips), and quality of life costs?

If you care, these are issues that I encourage you to get behind and do some critical thinking and reading about. If you want to show how much you care it's a good place to start.

If you care, instead of engaging in abusive behavior either by perpetrating it or allowing it in your space, how about saying no?

How about being the person who says, no that is not an appropriate way to talk to/about anyone regardless of their weight period.

How about not engaging in body shaming?

Getting the idea?

Part of caring and expressing that care means that one has work to do. It's fucking hard. 

It's easy to lie to yourself and go to someones blog to call them a fat bitch or tell them to lose weight and then go to another tab and feel good about yourself for "doing something". I'm here to tell you that you did nothing except be a bully and contribute to an abusive culture that for a lot of people leads to needless suffering and death.

What you're doing is supporting a disordered culture.

What you're doing is being abusive.

What you're doing is contributing to a problem that will not stop at fat people. Yes I'm telling you that. You're contributing to a system that makes billions and billions of dollars off of your self loathing and the loathing you extend to others.

Doing these things is not caring.

If you do nothing else do this. Stop lying to me, the world and most importantly yourself while you hide behind empty slogans like "I just care about your health" because you don't and we can see right through you.

Homo Out.

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1 comment:

maggiemunkee said...

just so you know, i adore you.

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