The inimitable Joy Nash has just posted an excellent rant about being called in as a health expert by Fox News, who wanted her to say that even though Dunkin Donuts is no longer using trans fats, it’s not a license to eat as many as you want.
I’ll speak for Donut eaters everywhere when I say: “I don’t need your PERMISSION to do ANYTHING, Mr. TV News Channel!! YOU ARE NOT THE BOSS OF ME.” Seriously??! Do you really think I’m sitting here, restrained in my chair, rabidly salivating over the mountains of glorious food that float past me- held back from tearing them to peices with my teeth, SOLELY by the fact that YOU HAVEN’T SAID IT’S OK??!! Puh leeze.
As usual, Joy’s gotten right to the heart of the issue. Absolutely this is what they think! Fox News represents that part of the country that lives in constant terror of their own desires. All the power of being white, rich, and in control can’t erase their fear of food and sex and sinfulness. For chrissakes, these people think that it’s anti-gay marriage laws that keep married straight men from shooting out of their conjugal beds and into a pair of leather chaps and a glory hole. They think vaccinating girls against cervical cancer will cause rampant teen pregnancy — if you remove one of the dangers of sex, all our daughters will just slingshot onto some punk’s cock! They’re so tightly wound that one crack in their facade would send springs shooting everywhere, so they assume everyone else must be the same.
And they’re in charge, and have been for a long time, which is why we’re seeing this attitude (about food, anyway) in places that aren’t Fox News. Make no mistake, fatphobia is about fear of indulgence, fear of desire, fear of pleasure, fear of temptation… fear of free will. To some people, we are the living incarnation of sin, because we appear to be people who recognize desires and do not repress them. It doesn’t matter if we’re really gluttons or not; because the fat body seems to say “I eat,” and because the fat female body in particular invokes lushness and fertility, we become a very powerful and scary totem for anyone who thinks that it’s only rules and restrictions that keep them sane. And because of the ways in which control-lust and fear of free will are passed along, these tend to be the people in charge.