I just finished reading Tipping the Scales of Justice by Sondra Solovay, which is about weight discrimination and the law, and I have to tell you-- I am pretty upset.
I am upset because discrimination against fat people is fully legal. And I am upset that no one (outside of fat activism) seems to care. Because you can fire someone for being fat. You can 'prove' that they are a bad parent because they are fat and take their kids away.
The Centers for Disease Control was offering an 'obesity cost calculator' (via Shakesville) that will lead to even more of a wage gap for fat people, or fat people being outright fired- which is totally legal. The BMI penalty that is included in the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) also increases the pay gap for fat people.
(Y'all, it's time to rethink the idea that being poor and having no access to food is what makes you fat. Being fat can make you poorer. It's a complicated issue.)
This is not to mention the articles saying fat people are worse than war and terrorism (check out my debunking), that say we are causing climate change (fuck you), and that fat kids are a threat to national security b/c they're too fat to fight (creepy and gross).
I'm not going to play the 'waah, yer health' derailing game again, either, so don't even start it. Fat doesn't kill people, but fat hatred sure as shit does.
What I have been increasingly frustrated over is-- where is the solidarity?
I saw someone say (Skepchick)*-
The Left treats food like the Right treats sex.
And that is the god's honest truth, because progressive, lefty people are the first ones to preach that there should be an end to fat people, through dieting or surgery or who cares as long as the fat people are eliminated.
That those of us who refuse to comply should be punished, financially or otherwise. If the process of eliminating fat people by forcibly turning them into thin people hurts the fat people, who gives a shit? Not the Left.
They refuse to believe the truth that people come in all sizes and some people are naturally fat. That those people may not be able to change their natural state, no matter how much they may want to. No matter how hard they try.
Lefty people want 'purity' in their food- clean eating. Pure, whole foods. And this desire for bodily purity has rebounded into an astonishing amount of fat hatred.
Please believe me when I tell you that fatphobia is completely common on the Left. Fatphobia, with a huge dose of disablism and classism.
And I'll tell you something else too-- It's hurtful AS FUCK when people that I thought were on my side- who I see defending other marginalized groups- when these people are the ones openly hating on fat people.
Making fat jokes and jokes about diabetes. Mocking and ignoring requests to stop using fatphobic language. Redefining 'fat shaming' to mean 'not what I do', instead of what it actually means, which is anything that contributes to fat hatred in general.
When I see queer people and people fighting for racial justice- people who say they want to make the world a better place- engage in thoughtless fat hatred, it breaks my heart.
It especially hurts me when queer people are fatphobic. All of the rhetoric that's pushed down on fat people-- that our bodies are diseases, that there's something perverse and wrong about our 'lifestyle', that we are subject to fundamentally unnatural desires, that we can't control ourselves, that we could change if we really tried hard enough... it sounds pretty similar to me to the language the Right uses to try to stigmatize queer people.
Where are the progressives? Either silent or joining in on the hate-filled rhetoric.
The same people who will be skeptical about every other source of information, are happy to accept the media's shoddy-ass reporting when it comes to weight-related topics. The same trick conservatives pull about climate change- believing the media when it tells them what they want to hear and disregarding everything else- that's what liberals do when it comes to fat people.
Because you find us disgusting and repulsive. And you WANT a reason to hate us. Liberals love hating fat people so much they will fight to keep being able to do it.
It has to stop. It's time for people to step forward. It's time for fat activism to be included in the diversity on the Left. Left media needs to start covering our issues, and they need to have fat activists on their shows and webpages.
Otherwise, I'm gonna call it like I see it, and say that the Left hates fat people.
Prove me wrong.
*Edited to add the link to Julia Burke of Skepchick for the paraphrased line 'The Left treats food like the Right treats sex.' Thanks to Rainbow Pope World on Tumblr for sending me the link when I couldn't remember.