I Wear Fat on the Outside ‘Cause Fat Is How I Feel on the Inside

… also known as today’s Douchehound of the Day! I’m not even touching this one, just throwing it out here for y’all to bat around. Mr. George P. Burdell writes:

Why do fat people always assume that people are making fun of their weight? I personally dislike most fat people for their lack of will power or mental strength. If fat people would just have a strong mental will power, then they would either be able to deal with the jokes, or become skinny by actually sticking to their dieting and exercise plan without giving up.

Why do fat people blame anyone other than themselves for not being in shape? I personally had to work out 10 times a week in order to achieve a skinny frame, and now that I no longer work out that much and I’m overweight, I find that I can blame no one but myself.

So if you don’t want to be fat and made fun of, do something about it, no one is going to do it for you. Also if you like being fat, then stop fucking complaining, people who dress like Emos or Goths don’t complain about the weird looks and comments they get about them so fat people should not complain either.

LOL your fat, Shapelings! Have at it.

Turn that douchehound upside down

We’ve got a fairly desperate concern troll in the mod queue today; he’s left comments on three different posts in the last hour AND sent an email to Kate about how we are ruining feminism, which is a crock of man-hating shit anyway. Needless to say, he’s banned (thanks for playing, Richard! Feel free to read the comments policy on your way out!), but something he said made my jaw drop so hard I think it bruised. Behold the cluelessness:

I still believe that women are their worst enemies. Seriously, how many times has a man said something cruel or sexist about your appearance compared to a woman?

Now, apart from the fact that the famed “cattiness” of women is of course a manifestation of internalized misogyny, and thus Douchehound Richard is a concern troll par excellence, this comment reminded me of the sad fact that many men simply do not believe women’s life experiences. They have no idea what many of us are subject to, because those things tend not to happen when there are men with us. Some men conclude that therefore shit must not really go down the way women says it does, because otherwise wouldn’t they see it with their big manly eyes?*

So in the spirit of a recent post at The F Word (UK) that turned into a mass documentation of street harassment, I’d like to open this thread up to the perhaps traumatic, perhaps triggering, hopefully cathartic task of proving Richard wrong. Not because he’s so important — he’s just your standard issue antifeminist concern troll — but because it can sometimes be useful to state out loud the things we all take as given.

I’ll start, and this is necessarily an incomplete list, obviously, because so many cruel things have been said to me about my appearance by so many men that I can’t possibly remember them all. But here are some.

Boys in school called me a cow, gay, retarded, four eyes, and of course fat. They made fun of my hair, my glasses, my clothes, and my figure. A male “friend” of mine in high school called my high forehead “male pattern baldness” and suggested I tape infomercials for Rogaine. Boys in my HS Spanish class nicknamed me “Bigote” (“Mustache”). A friend’s boyfriend told me I’d have a dozen boyfriends if they only saw me from the neck down. The guy whose locker was next to mine in school would fake invite me to “cool kid” events and then tell me I could only come if I would stop being so fat and ugly. My brother would grab my thighs and talk about how fat they were, and he told me I had a hick haircut (a long time ago! he’s nicer now). My father has expressed happiness that a painful chronic medical condition made me skinnier. My grandfather bought me new clothes as a birthday present one year and told me “Now you just have to not get fat.” My photos on Flickr have been linked from fetish sites whose posts are locked, so I get to imagine what gets said there.

That’s just off the top of my head and doesn’t count the endless street harassment I’ve been subject to since I hit puberty. You think men don’t say fantastically cruel and sexist things to women all goddamn day long? You think every woman doesn’t have a running list of words she wishes had never passed her ears? You think that women are the problem in a sexist society? That’s not how it fucking works, asshole.

So. Hands up if a man has “said something cruel or sexist about your appearance.” Hands up if you’ve witnessed a man saying something cruel or sexist about another woman’s appearance. Hands up if you know a man like Richard who thinks he’s so bloody different from all those other men. Hands up if you’re goddamn sick and tired of being told that if you notice sexism, you’re the sexist. And hands up, male readers, if you have ever been or known that man.

***Raises hand***

*Chris Clarke: If no woman in your life has ever talked to you about how she lives her life with an undercurrent of fear of men, consider the possibility that it may be because she sees you as one of those men she cannot really trust.

Douchehound of the day: Brevity is no longer the soul of wit

Hey all, if we’ve seemed a little touchy lately, it’s because we’ve been getting a lot of trolls. Some of them write gigantic screeds about how we’re delusional and should probably die violently (before our inevitable death from our puddles of fat, natch); some, like our friend “Ripley” below, are more pithy.

Just as I thought you humorless, Stalinist hags

Ripley

I believe this is meant to be a response to my deletion of another abusive comment. My favorite part is that s/he signs it. No one else can take credit for Ripley’s stunningly original, intermittently punctuated invective!

A while back, our tagline was “Humorless feminism & fat acceptance,” but I’m thinking “Humorless, Stalinist hags” is more fun. What about you?

Meta: Why I’m Such a Bitch

You know, comments are simultaneously the best and the worst thing about blogging. The immediate feedback is gratifying, often educational, and (at least around here) usually fun. I love getting to “know” the regular readers of the blog who participate (though I don’t forget about you lurkers, either), and I’ve even developed a few real-life friendships out of comments and the Fatosphere community. Hell, when Sweet Machine and Fillyjonk started writing here, I’d never met either of them in person — I just assumed from their comments here, at Fatshionista, and at other blogs that I’d like them if I did, and I’d be proud to have them contributing to a blog with my name up top. Both hunches turned out to be very true. 

But there’s a reason for the bitchy comments policy I wrote before they ever got here: Unmoderated or even lightly moderated comments can turn sour very fucking quickly. I’m thrilled and honored to be a regular Broadsheet blogger now, but as I’ve said before, most days, I don’t even let myself look at the comments there — on my posts or anyone else’s — because they’ll blow my Sanity Watchers points for the month. And it’s the same at most online versions of major newspapers and many blogs that don’t make comment moderation a top priority — I don’t even bother looking at the comments, because I know they’ll be full of argumentative assholes spoiling for a fight, better known as trolls. When those comments aren’t dispatched swiftly, they take over a thread like weeds.

And that sucks, because there are always some good comments in among the bullshit, but when a thread is overgrown with jerks, it’s not even worth trying to find those comments. Skimming through the troll comments to get to the good ones raises my blood pressure and makes me sputtery, so I just don’t do it. And that’s the number one reason why anyone who pisses me off here gets shown the door right quick (see rules 5 and 7). If my blood pressure goes up, my doctor’s just going to think I’m eating too much bacon, and I don’t want to deal with that aggro. 

The problem with this policy, insofar as there is one (and I don’t actually think there is), is twofold. 1) The definition of “troll” is open to interpretation. 2) People who get on my tits aren’t always trolls, per se, and I don’t necessarily care about the distinction anyway. If somebody’s comments are consistently giving me a stabbing pain behind the right eye, I feel no obligation to be patient with that person, regardless of whether he or she falls under the rubric of “troll” in most people’s estimation.

And that’s the thing I think I made abundantly clear in the comments policy, but which some people still seem to get hung up on occasionally: It’s my right eye — and Fillyjonk’s and Sweet Machine’s respective right eyes — that makes the determination as to whether certain commenters are causing more trouble than they’re worth. We don’t take a vote, we don’t check comments against a list of specific unsavory behaviors and score them on a scale from 1 to 10 — we just ask ourselves, “Is this commenter giving me a fucking headache?” And if the answer is yes, then we generally follow a three-step process. 1) Point out that the person is violating the standards of discourse around here in some way, and warn them that it needs to stop. 2) Get snarky. 3) Banninate. Sometimes, we skip straight to 2 or 3, depending on the size of our headaches, but usually, if you look back, you’ll see we did carry out point 1 somewhere in there. And in light of the clearly posted comments policy, bothering with step 1 is being generous. 

What this means is, if you think we’re being unnecessarily bitchy, this is probably not the blog for you. And that means exactly what it says — it’s not a criticism, just a fact. We’re not trying to be exclusive for the sake of it, we’re just saying, the bloggers here all have strong personalities, zero patience for bullying and/or thread derailing, and high standards for communication. We’re actually pretty forgiving people in real life, but if we gave the benefit of the doubt to everyone here who gives us that stabby pain, A) we’d go crazy, and B) the comments threads here would be miserable reading for the vast majority of Shapelings. Everyone loves a little blog dramaz, but nobody loves a thread where one or two people keep yelling, “BUT YOU’RE WRONG AND I’M RIGHT I’M RIGHT I’M RIGHT WHY WON’T YOU JUST ADMIT I’M RIGHT?” (Hence rule 6, among others.) So we don’t put up with it. Period.

Realistically, this means that we have probably, on occasion, banned or berated a perfectly decent person who might have eventually blossomed into the kind of commenter we can’t wait to hear from. And you know what? We’re okay with that. We’re not proud of it, and we certainly don’t set out to exclude bright, interesting people from the conversation here. But if it happens every now and again, oh well — because overall, our being hardasses helps keep this blog readable and only rarely crazymaking.

Most of our moderation work goes on behind the scenes — every first-time comment has to be approved, which is why you almost never see a drive-by fat-hater here anymore — but when an approved commenter starts driving us batshit, it’s out there for everyone to see. And we’re okay with that, too. We think about our responses, and we own them. But they’re not up for negotiation. We only get bitchy after we’ve perceived a consistent pattern of disrespect for the comments policy and/or the spirit of the blog. If you don’t perceive the same pattern, then one of two things is happening: you haven’t read all the same comments we have, or you have different standards than we do. Either way, it’s our call, and arguing with us about those calls is far more likely to get you on the shit list than change our minds. 

Is this attitude of ours despotic? Draconian? Bitcherrific? Sure. It’s also what makes the comments here pleasant, entertaining, informative reading 99 days out of 100. For all the times I’ve been accused of hating free speech, banning “anyone who disagrees with me,” constructing an echo chamber, denying fat people the opportunity to read important information about their health risks (SRSLY), et fucking cetera, the discussions around here still somehow manage to be lively and loaded with polite disagreement, constructive criticism, and differing perspectives. We wouldn’t have it any other way. But we also wouldn’t have it like Broadsheet or the New York Times or some of the big-name liberal blogs — where the commentariat routinely confuses “self-expression” with “being a fucking asshole.” 

And as I’ve said before, if our readership were dropping, our comments threads were getting shorter, or any of the many Shapelings we’ve come to trust let us know they think our iron fists have gotten a little too big for their velvet gloves, we’d take a long, hard look at the way we run things around here. As it is, though, the numbers keep going up — and for my money, our unrepentant bitchery is one of the reasons for that. Like I said, I love comments — writing them, reading them, responding to them — but when blog owners lose control of their comment sections, it can turn me off on a whole damn blog, even if I’m crazy about the posters there. If the discussion sucks, I go where it doesn’t, and I can’t believe I’m alone in that. Every time a public banning happens here, I get grief about how I’m alienating people who might want to learn — emphasis on the might — as if the entire fat rights movement will dissolve tomorrow if I don’t award every jerk who drops by his or her own special soapbox. But alienating the people who cause trouble makes this space safer and more welcoming for those who don’t. It makes it the kind of blog I love to read — and until somebody starts paying me a shit ton to do this, the fact that I love reading this blog as much as writing a third of it is the only thing making it worthwhile.

So that, my dears, is why I’m a snarky bitch with an itchy banning finger, and why I encourage Fillyjonk and Sweet Machine to be the same (not that they need my help, frankly). It’s because I love this blog, I want to keep loving it, and I want people who are turned off by thread-derailing bullies to keep finding their way here and falling in love with it, too. So far, it’s working. 

Troll logic

Hey all, I just wanted to share this stunning new information that I learned from reading the moderation queue:

The reason that obesity is equated with unhealthy is because except for a few rare cases, people who are obese are more unhealthy than normal weight people

Did you hear that? The reason people think obesity is unhealthy is because obesity is unhealthy. It’s science! I guess we can shut down the blog now.

Most concern trolls face a swift and merciful death in the moderation queue, but sometimes they’re too perfect not to share.

Hostility

The elevators in my building, like all elevators everywhere, have a little plaque saying “Capacity 2600 lbs.” The other day, I noticed that in the far lefthand elevator, someone had scratched this out and written “PIGGY MOO.”

I can’t really imagine what was going on here. Did they think 2600 pounds was the weight recommendation for a single person? Were they offended by the very idea that human cargo could have weight? Or did they just see “lbs” and go a little berserk? Maybe I’m naive, but it still staggers me that people have so much pent-up hostility about fat. I mean, being so inflamed about it that you have to insult an elevator sign? That’s damage.

Then yesterday, I got an email at the Shapely Prose account from a charmer named Rick, who is now the Douchehound of the Day:

“I spent yesterday covering a political rally, which meant sitting on my ass for four hours” An obese chick sitting on her ass for hours? Why doesn’t that surprise me cunt? I can’t wait til that magical day when Kate posts your obituary and tries her damndest to blame it on something else besides your obesity. I rule!

Oh my god, you guys, I’m fat because I sit down while I’m at work! It all becomes clear — thin people are thin because they never work as journalists, or for that matter accountants or editors or receptionists or novelists or CEOs. Honestly, have you ever seen a thin person sit down for FOUR HOURS? Certainly all the thin people waiting with me at the rally were doing jumping jacks the entire time.

Also, Rick, I don’t know exactly why that doesn’t surprise your cunt, but please stop talking like a pirate. P.S. punctuation is free.

Obviously it’s a little harsh for someone to tell you they can’t wait until you die, but I’m flattered that Rick hopes I’ll be blogging for the next 60 or 70 years (though a little suspicious that he thinks blogs will actually be around that long — rethink that one, Ricky). Since he knows so much about me, even giving me a magic 8-ball diagnosis of “fat because sat for four hours in a row while working,” he surely knows that my habits and family history indicate a pretty long lifespan. Unless I get hit by a truck, in which case I’m sure Kate will have a terrifically difficult time blaming it on something besides my obesity.

Things like this don’t really bother me, because these people are clearly very, very fucked up. Supposedly otherwise intelligent and perceptive progressives saying “body acceptance is all well and good but if you’re really fat you should diet,” or “I’d be okay with FA if it wasn’t all about dumping on skinny chicks all the time” — that bothers me, because those people could conceivably know better. Inveterate douchehounds aren’t really capable of being anything more than miserable fucks, so it’s not like my expectations have been dashed here. But I am curious and concerned about these vast reserves of hostility that people have built up.

So indulge me in a little speculation here. The message, especially the puerile “I rule!” coda, puts Ricky in a particular category for me, and that’s the category of unhappy straight white guys who are obsessed with scatology and complain about how they’re expected to be “PC” all the time. Complaints about “PC,” of course, being code for “what the fuck is the point of privilege if you don’t get to be blatantly bigoted and hateful.” These guys feel genuinely oppressed by the fact that they aren’t roundly applauded when they openly use racial slurs, demean women, or mock the disabled, unless of course they do it in a specially selected environment. They believe it’s their god-given right to be total shits to the rest of the universe. It’s not really about fat for them, or about sexism or racism or ableism, though it’s a little bit about all of those things. (Rick also helpfully attached a photo of what “all women should look like” — you can imagine — lest I fail to note his raging misogyny.) Rather, it’s about fear that the inability to hate, demean, and do violence will threaten their incredibly tenuous superiority. These guys know that they’re the ruling class through an accident of birth, not through merits that they know on some level they don’t have. And they’re terrified that they’re going to be knocked off that serendipitous pedestal the moment they stop shitting on those beneath them.

I’m not into the idea that fat is “the last socially acceptable prejudice” — though, as Meowser so powerfully put it, it may be the last form of prejudice whose victims believe they deserve it. But it’s hard to deny that fat-bashing is hot now, well-represented in both news and entertainment media. It is, basically, a fad. Not that there wasn’t anti-fat sentiment back in the day, but it was less virulent, because — and this is going to sound terrifically cynical — people had other outlets for their need to bolster themselves through hatred, judgment, and condemnation of others. Now that there are social penalties for being openly racist, and to a lesser extent for being openly misogynistic, ableist, or homophobic, more energy is funneled into body-related bigotry (except, of course, in those circles in which racism, misogyny, and homophobia are still A-okay). Certain people — not all people — have a basic need to discriminate and condemn, stemming from basic insecurity and fear. Push it down in one place, and it crops up in another.

Basically, what I’m saying is that Ricky doesn’t hate me — he hates himself, and he transfers that hate onto anyone he sees, and right now fat targets are de rigeur. Is this facile pop psych? Oh hell yes. But the archetypal “bully who hates to mask the pain” trope is actually a pretty decent window into the bully mindset. Nobody — well, nobody but a sociopath — harbors that much hostility for no reason besides righteous hatred. Focused anger, okay, maybe; I know anti-racist activists who can shock and dismay people with the purity of their rage, and certainly that rage is righteous. But an unfocused, seething disdain for everyone, expressed as ugly attempts at humor, and coupled with the idea that this ugliness is their birthright? Something’s usually rotten from the inside on that one.

So Rick, and anonymous elevator defacer: I’m sorry, and I hope you find out what’s wrong with you, and I hope you can fix it. Possibly it would help your self-respect if you stopped acting like pathetic poisonous little shitbags. Just an idea.

QOTD: Troll Psychology

It’s not about fat, but this quote from my fave advice columnist Carolyn Hax‘s live online chat is just startlingly accurate. Especially on a week when the whole fatosphere has been seeing increased troll activity (including just oodles of hate speech here that you guys thankfully never have to see), I think it’s worth pinning up on the wall.

Speaking of stages, I think there are stages of perception: 1. When all you know or notice is yourself; 2. When you think everything that you have felt applies to others as well; 3. When you realize that others can go through the same thing as you but not feel the same way as you did; 4. When you can put yourself in other’s positions and understand what they feel. Everyone knows Stage 1 is obnoxious, but people stuck in Stage 2 can almost be more so, because they think they know something about you.

This handily describes the problem with approximately 82% of the trolls we see around here, and as much as 96% of the similar people we interact with in our daily lives (since presumably a slightly lower proportion of those are just immature little knobs who get off on spewing hatred, at least if you’re not in high school).

I think it’s often handy to have a window into the minds of those who antagonize you, even if you don’t really want to know what it’s like in there. This is one of those windows.

I am Spartacus!

Reader Arashi-san alerted us in comments that an astute and worthy opponent had finally unearthed the dark secret of this blog:

Kate, I was actually mistaken for you today while engaged in an argument…!

I took it as a complement, though what the commenter actually said to me was, “Arashi-san, We know you are that Kate Harding chunky chick. You filter anything you don’t agree with that’s posted, so that it looks like you have a lot of raving fans. It’s sad. Dan Savage should have ignored your fat butt.”

Sorry for re-posting such a trollish comment, but I just had to let you know that you have now achieved legendary status. We’ll soon be hearing of Kate Harding sightings: “Oh, I totally spotted a Kate Harding comment today on this article about baby-flavored donuts!” “You actually believe in Kate Harding? But she’s just a made-up rallying point for the fatties. People are always trying to get photos of her or find other signs of her existence, but nobody really has any concrete evidence.”

Yep, a rallying point who only looks like she has lots of raving fans, which is so not true because she is the queen of censoring. *headdesk* Apparently, you’re supposed to allow hate speech in your blog.

Well, folks, it’s true. Arashi-san is Kate Harding. You’re Kate Harding. I’m Kate Harding and so’s my wife. Kate is actually a profoundly egotistical solipsist who has invented the entire FA movement out of whole cloth, since surely nobody would be crazy enough to agree with her. (After all, if you choose not to let people shit all over you on a regular basis, it must be because nobody actually likes you! Please email me if you can sort out that logic.) I’m sorry to tell you guys this, but you’re only a sort of thing in her dream. You may think you’re readers, but you’re just a menagerie of sock puppets.

This is of course why every comment here says exactly the same thing and is faultlessly supportive, with no sense of individual personality or opinion, whereas each troll comment is exquisitely hand-crafted and not at all hackneyed or repetitive.

And to prove it, here is a totally unedited photo of me and Sweet Machine:

fjsm1.jpg

ETA: Hah, I totally did not realize that you guys were already making “Kateacus” jokes last night.  Bravo.

Douchehoundz!!! Special Savage Edition

Please enjoy the first three (and so far, only) trolls who arrived here via the Slog.

1) Author : Demonchild
Comment:

[Edited to add: Several people have pointed out that everything in the following comment -- which I've quoted verbatim as it came to my inbox -- is taken from the recent Violent Acres post about Joy and me. I didn't know that, since I didn't read it.* But I am now updating this post to reflect that Violent Acres readers are fucking plagiarists.]

[*Edited AGAIN to add that since she's now claiming I did this deliberately, let me amend that to "I skimmed it, read the FAQ, and heard a LOT about it in comments the last couple days." I did not read closely enough to recognize this comment as coming straight from her site. But in case anybody's still confused, take a look at the early comments where A) it's immediately mentioned that this came from VA (which is why I quickly edited the post to reflect that), and B) the fact that I originally posted the commenters' IPs here is discussed. I've since redacted them but still have the original e-mail from WordPress with the comment, featuring IP info and e-mail for the person who sent it to me. If anyone would like me to forward that to them so they can see I was responding to a plagiarist, not being one, feel free to ask. And let the record show that the first "comment" here is actually quotes from a Violent Acres post I never intended to respond to. Which means the Slog only sent us two trolls, all told. How disappointing.]

Quit making excuses! Quit telling me what you can’t do! You’re a human being! You’re capable, intelligent, and strong! You are a warrior! You can do whatever the fuck you want!

Okay, well, what I want is to be healthy without spending my life freaking out about food, and doing that means I stay fat. So I also want uninformed bigots to quit telling me I’m disgusting and a liar because eating and exercising like a normal person don’t make me thin. That’s where all my warrior energy is going these days. Is that okay with you?

“But our self esteem is in Jeopardy!” the Fat Acceptance Movement people sniff, “People make fun of us!”

Cry me a fucking river. Just because someone mooed at you yesterday when you walked across the street doesn’t mean you get to put a patent on victimhood.

And, where do you see anybody on this blog trying to do that?

Guess what, buddy, it’s not just that people moo. It’s that doctors don’t take us seriously, or treat the symptoms we come in with. It’s that the media takes “obesity will kill you!” studies seriously without ever noticing that they’re funded by weight loss companies and/or pharmaceutical companies hawking or developing diet drugs. It’s that… fuck, it’s about everything I’ve written 847,000 fucking times on this blog, none of which is about wallowing in victimhood.

Mostly, it’s about critical thinking and basic compassion.

You don’t think skinny people ever get made fun of? You don’t think people whisper about them behind their hands or constantly speculate on whether or not they’re anorexic? You don’t think they blush a little when they get up from a meal to use the restroom after they hear you quietly insist to the table that they’re heading there to puke? No one ever calls their bodies disgusting or bony or unhealthy? No one ever laughs and makes jokes about their bodies resembling little boys? Please.

That’s a lovely straw fatty you’ve constructed there, but once again, if you’d actually read anything on this blog, you’d know that A) we advocate body acceptance for all sizes; B) anyone who makes a nasty remark about thin people is swiftly smacked down by one of the moderators and usually several of the commenters; and C) many of the commenters here are thin. In fact, a lot of our readers are naturally very thin people who intuitively understand what we’re talking about, because they’ve heard vicious comments about their bodies all their lives, and they know that if black became white, up became down, and fat became culturally desirable, they wouldn’t have any more luck than we do trying to radically change their bodies via diet and exercise.

However, those thin readers are also smart enough to recognize the enormous qualitative difference between rude, hurtful comments directed at thin people and the vicious, dangerous hatred of fat people being promoted by the media, the government, and the multibillion-dollar weight loss industry.

So, if you’re fat and people make fun of you, suck it up and join the club. Everyone gets made fun of. Everyone is the object of ridicule and disgust. Grow up and get over it already.

Okay, that’s a terrific strategy. Everyone hates everyone, so no point getting your feathers ruffled. That’s exactly the kind of world I want to live in.

You’re full of shit and you know it. Having abs is totally awesome. Having gigantic bags of sweaty flesh painfully attached to your chest is not. Quit feeding people a bunch of bullshit.

Ah, here’s where we get to the real point. Breasts are “gigantic bags of sweaty flesh.” TOTALLY NO CONNECTION WHATSOEVER BETWEEN MISOGYNY AND FAT HATRED.

Without physical progress, human beings are nothing. You may appear to be fat, spoiled and happy. But you and I both know you’re nothing more than a bored, angry, fat bitch.

Well, I’m rarely bored. Other than that, you got me.

2) Author : Clinton
Comment:

Interesting how you guys have turned the statement “watch and think about every bite of food” into “obsess” about food. So anyone who thinks about what they’re putting into their body has an eating disorder, I suppose. Fun with semantics.

Yeah, you sure are having fun with semantics.

We turn the statement “watch and think about every bite of food” into “obsess” about food, because hello, watching and thinking about every bite is the very fucking definition of obsessive. Which many of us know precisely because we’ve been there, for years at a time.

You’re the one who completely warped “watching and thinking about every bite” into a mere “thinking about what you put into your body.” I think plenty about what I put into my body. I think about what I’m hungry for when I feel hungry. I think about new recipes. I think about what’s in the fridge when it’s time to make dinner. What I don’t think is, “OH MY GOD, WILL THIS BE THE BITE THAT MAKES ME FATTY FAT FAT FAT?”

I guess it’s the same way you counter anecdotal evidence with your own anecdotal evidence, and respond to this supposed “fat hate” with ad hominem attacks: Dan Savage is an aging gay hipster who’ll lose his job soon and Chris Matthews is a misogynist with a giant head. Argumentation at it’s finest over here.

I counter anecdotal evidence with my own anecdotal evidence and links out the wazoo to actual studies in medical journals, book recommendations, and common sense.

Dan Savage is an aging gay hipster, which I have to assume even he would admit. Whether he’ll lose his job soon is a matter of speculation, but it wasn’t my speculation anyway. I never said I want him to lose his job, I just agreed it would be pretty delightful if he became irrelevant.

Finally, dude. Chris Matthews is quite demonstrably a misogynist with a giant head. You’re not helping your credibility by implying that that’s not true.

And yet Dan Savage’s point stands. Eating healthy and exercising will help people lose weight.

Actually, eating healthy and exercising will help most people maintain their weight. Sure, if you’re starting out eating nothing but junkfood and being completely sedentary, it will probably help you lose some. Whether you keep it off is a whole other story. But most fat people do not live on junkfood and refuse to get off the couch.

It’s not a moral imperative, you don’t have to do it if you don’t want to, but don’t seek comfort by claiming that it’s impossible. It isn’t. People do it.

No, it’s not impossible. There are a number of ways to do it. 3, to be precise.

  1. Start out completely sedentary and with a diet that consists of nothing but enormous quantities of junk food. Change those habits. Watch the weight fly off! This might work for the tiny percentage of fat people who do start off that way. Unless, of course, they have actual eating disorders, which many in that tiny percentage do; that’s a whole other ball of wax. Then your best option is to seek treatment and find out that nobody knows what causes the disorder, nobody knows what to do about it, and in the meantime, you should just try eating less. That will totally solve the problem, much like telling an anorexic to eat more would.
  2. Eat whatever number of daily calories is required to keep you thin, even if it’s well below the WHO’s threshold for starvation. If that doesn’t work, exercise compulsively. If that doesn’t work, hate and blame yourself.
  3. Have surgery that will force disordered eating on you for the rest of your natural life, which might not be very long, thanks to all the potential complications of the surgery.

See? Just look how easy it is!

Does that make me a fat hater to say so?

Yep!

No. I don’t hate fat people at all.

Obviously.

It might be more comfortable for you to label me that way, since I don’t agree with every line of your doctrine, but you’re kidding yourselves.

Sweet Jesus, if I had a nickel…

3) Author : Rick
Comment:

Yadda, yadda, yadda.

I was fat as a boy, ranging anywhere from 35 to 50 lbs, and when you are a kid, believe me, that is a LOT of weight. But it was inevitable when you lived like I did, coming home straight from school, going through two bowls of ice cream and a score of cookies each day as I sat in front of the TV for several hours, then had dinner, before watching more TV, and then bedtime.

So you were a sedentary binge-eater, then. Thank you for sharing your experience, which, as we’ve discussed already, is not the typical fatty experience.*

As an adolescent I lost the weight through a sensible diet and a new interest in bicycling and walking, and have pretty much kept it off since.

So, by being sedentary and binge-eating, you got yourself up over your natural setpoint range. When you started to eat normally and exercise moderately, you went down to your natural setpoint range. This is not unusual for people who start off where you did. What is unusual, statistically speaking, is fat people being fat for those reasons in the first place.

There are the fat apologists — mostly women –

Hey, anybody else hear a whistle?

Naw, couldn’t be — ’cause there’s TOTALLY NO CONNECTION WHATSOEVER between misogyny and fat hatred.

(Yes, it’s true that we’re mostly women. But why on earth is it relevant?)

whose testimonies I have read online, and then the actual fat, morbidly obese women I have known in person in my life, and in real life, each and every one of them had terrible eating habits and resisted exercise.

Question: are you related to these women? Is that how you know them personally, and have gotten to personally observe their eating and exercise habits? ‘Cause that would make sense, considering you’ve already explained that you used to have wildly disordered eating patterns, and it’s entirely possible there’s a genetic component there.

I remember the cruel taunts and insults of my childhood, so I agree that the fat should spared that.

Gee, thanks. How about shoddy medical care? Should we be spared that? Not being allowed to adopt or have fertility treatments, ’cause letting fat parents raise children is unethical? Being fired, not hired in the first place, or not paid as much solely because we’re fat? Being used as pawns in political campaigns, since fat hatred has such broad appeal on both sides of the aisle? Accused of lying constantly? Driven to suicide by those silly adolescent jokesters? Can we be spared all that, too?

But I never thought I would live to see the day when people would push these bizarre points: 1) that the fat can’t help but be fat, no matter what, 2) that being fat is not unhealthy, but actually healthy 3) and that we, especially men, should feel ashamed of ourselves for not being attracted to fat people.

Well, your first point is simply true, if you believe naturally fat people should be allowed to eat a balanced diet and exercise moderately like normal human beings, instead of having disordered eating patterns or full-blown eating disorders for their entire lives. Which you might not, but that’s a whole different issue.

Your second point is only partially true, and only partially related to anything I’ve ever claimed here. For the vast majority of people, fat is not intrinsically unhealthy. Excessive junk food consumption and a sedentary lifestyle are unhealthy, but plenty of thin people live that way, and most fat people don’t. And fat people who do eat well and exercise often remain fat.

By the same token, I have never once said that fat is intrinsically healthy (though it is correlated with some health benefits, especially in older people, just as thinness is correlated with some health benefits). Fat just is what it is; some people are made to carry a lot of it, some people aren’t. All of those people, fat and thin, can see health benefits from eating a balanced diet and engaging in moderate exercise, if they’re not already doing those things. But for most of them, it won’t make any substantial, long-term changes to their weight.

And point 3 is the straw fatty to end all straw fatties. You shouldn’t be ashamed of yourself for not being attracted to fat people; you should be ashamed of yourself for acting like an asshole to fat people. Attraction is personal and subjective. I don’t give a shit what rings your bell, and neither does anyone else in the fat acceptance movement.

Regarding the latter, I notice that while fat feminists demand that fat — REALLY fat — women be considered attractive, at the same time there is very little effort on their part to persuade their sisters that a guy with a roll of fat under his chin, a beer belly, hanging manboobs, and a wide butt is actually sexy.

Dude, what fat feminists have you been talking to? ‘Cause I’ve certainly never heard such a demand coming from any of the ones I know. See above.

And personally, I’m madly in love with a guy who has a couple of the characteristics on your list there. But no, I don’t spend my time trying to convince my sisters to find any particular kind of man attractive (especially not the lesbian ones), any more than I spend my time trying to convince anyone to find fat women attractive. Like I said, attraction is personal and subjective — besides which, right now, I’m just working on convincing people that fatties are human.

Now why is that?

It is not, anywhere except your own mind, so I really can’t help you with the why.

And sadly, Shapelings, that’s the best they’ve got so far. I’ll keep you posted if there’s anything else.

*Note to Shapelings who are sedentary and/or binge eaters and/or garden variety overeaters: I’m sorry you’re getting caught in the crossfire here. Let me be perfectly clear that being fat for any reason does not make one deserving of hatred and discrimination. It just sends me through the goddamned roof when people insist that because they overate, all fat people must, and because they lost weight, all fat people can.