It always leaves me a bit… well I’ll settle for “bemused” when people who consider themselves fully cognizant of civil rights struggles, who are only happy if political correctness exudes from their every discussion; think nothing of throwing phrases such as “No, this guy wasn’t like GROSSLY fat or anything” into a conversation without any pause to consider how that might sound coming out of their supposedly enlightened mouths.
Perhaps little moments like this are what get people up on that oppression Olympics high-horse so that they spout off a frustrated little sigh of “Fat is the last acceptable prejudice”. You can be surrounded by people “in-the-know” who don’t follow the main-line flow of thought on anything; who are some of the quickest around to point out when something seen or said is misogynist and/or racist or homophobic; yet who can just turn right around and declare “Boy, if that woman would just get off her ass and stop stuffing donuts down her gullet maybe she’d lose a few, eh?” Even if the phrases are not quite as blunt and follow more of a “polite social construct” (such as “joking” reminders that pastry goods go straight to your hips, or bemoaning that taking a day to lounge around will need to be compensated for with a good day of running to “counteract” the bad you’ve just been). It just doesn’t fail to boggle my mind that the words appear without thought from the lips of otherwise very thoughtful people who usually make a conscious effort to speak AGAINST the usual main-line drivel.
That is what is rambling through my mind today as I review some of the mostly fun conversations I had this past weekend in which the title phrase from this post was heard. I’ve been spending so long blogging about this FA topic (and granted I’ve not even been at it that long!) it seems par for the course that trying to delineate some spectrum of “Okay” or “Acceptable” levels of fat against “Those Others” (who are, you know, ruining the world with their evil levels of consumption) is NOT (and should not be) a normal part of an otherwise social-issues-aware discussion.
If you consider yourself so aware of political/social/cultural issues from the “non-mainline” point of view, and find yourself eager to fluff up in self-importance and point out to others how their actions or statements are somehow “-ist” in some manner; why is it therefore so difficult to percolate for a moment upon how similar actions or statements against particular sizes (the Grossly Fat or the Sickly/Stickly Thin) might also be just as “ist”? Put aside for a moment whether or not if you feel that people CAN or CANNOT (or even should or should not) change the size of their bodies (you should certainly know in which camp I tend to find myself there on that argument) and think about whether or not it is ANY of anyone else’s business if bodies DO or DO NOT fit the current accepted social definition of Normal (Acceptable) Human. This is what you do for any other “-ism”; why not for Fat-ism? (Or Size-ism if you’re still squiggly about that “F-word”).
Just my own little plug for a bit of thought before speaking is what I guess this little introspective writing was aiming at.