Unsufferable Evils

Today is Independence Day in the US.  It marks the day that the Declaration of Independence was signed.  I remember it as being the first piece of writing that moved me emotionally and it still does:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.

I’d like to focus for a moment on the word “unalienable”.  Once you declare rights  unalienable you cannot later add contingencies – you can’t say, as a random hypothetical example, “the rights to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness are unalienable unless you get fat, then you deserve the government that would otherwise be both built upon, and in charge of, assuring these rights, to take them away and wage war against you until you no longer appear fat and then you can engage in whatever behaviors you want as long as you don’t get fat again.”  Allow me to assure you that my pursuit of happiness is severely compromised by being the subject of a war that the government is waging on me (and actively recruiting public and private interests to help with) because of how I look.

There’s another section of the Declaration of Independence that I want to mention that gets less attention:

Experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

For me, my fat activism and size acceptance is my expression of “I’m there.”  The evils, the long train of abuses against me by my government and it’s “War on Me and People Who Look Like Me”, have become unsufferable.  A big part, perhaps the biggest part, of getting there was realizing that I did not, and never had, deserved this treatment for any reason. It is not the governments job to wage war on me until I reach a specific height weight ratio that they seem to think is key to immortal health, and it never was – even if their idiotic plan of “oppressing and warring people healthy” wasn’t patently ridiculous.

Today I declare, again, my Independence from a culture and a government that is trying to alienate my unalienable rights and attempting to create a world where I am shamed, stigmatized, and oppressed until I look like they want me to look.  They will not succeed, I will not allow it.  I will help to raise an army against them and we will win.

So if you are fat I’m asking you – Are the evils still sufferable or have you had enough? Is it time to declare your independence and help fight the war to recapture and protect your right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness?

If you aren’t fat I’m asking you – are the evils still sufferable or have you had enough? Are you comfortable living in a world where people are shamed, stigmatized and oppressed because of how they look?

Our culture encourages little girls to go on diets at age 8; third grade girls would rather lose a parent than be fat; hospitalizations for eating disorders in children UNDER 12 are up 119%; women are told that we’ll never be good enough until we spend all of our time, energy and money trying to look like photoshopped images of models who don’t even look like their pictures;  doctors prescribe us something that nobody has ever proved is possible for a reason nobody has ever proved is valid and then lie to our faces about how often it succeeds;  the diet industry makes more than 60 billion dollars a year (enough to build 60,000 community centers with sliding scale fees every year), selling a product that is legally required to have a disclaimer anytime they even hint that it works, by taking credit for the biological fact that most people can lose weight in the short term and blaming their customers for the biological fact that almost all of them regain their weight in the long term. Once again, because we clearly haven’t learned , a group of people is being stereotyped, stigmatized and oppressed based on how we look and a heaping helping of confirmation bias.

Is the train of abuses long enough yet?  What’s it going to take for you to stand up, say “I’ve had enough!” and fight back? You are under no obligation to become an activist and I’m not saying that you have to make some kind of huge public stand, what I’m saying is that in this world simply refusing to hate yourself is an act of revolution and you are the only person who can determine how you feel about yourself.

Yes, it is absolutely okay to be fatYes, it’s okay to fight back against this unjust war .  The only question left is, what will you do?

Book Update!

UPS e-mailed me today and you have until this Sunday to preorder the book and get free shipping and an autograph. If you’ve already pre-ordered then thank you for your order and your patience, I’ll get the book signed and sent as soon as I have it. 

On July 9th the hard copy will go up for sale including shipping and without the autograph, and the low cost e-book will also become available.

Fat: The Owner’s Manual – Navigating a Thin-Obsessed World with Your Health, Happiness, and Sense of Humor Intact, with foreword by Marilyn Wann, is now available for pre-order.   This is a book about living life in the body that you have now, making decisions about what you want in the future, and how to get there.  Whether you want to change your body, fight for size acceptance, just live your life, or understand and support your fat friends and family, this book was written to provide the insights, aha moments, humor, and hard facts to help.

Become a Member, Support The Work!

I do HAES and SA activism, speaking and writing full time, and I don’t believe in putting corporate ads on my blog and making my readers a commodity. So if you find value in my work, want to support it, and you can afford it, you can  become a member (you get extra stuff, discounts, and you’re always the first to know about things) or a you can support my work with a  one-time contribution.  The regular e-mail blog subscription (available at the top right hand side of this page) is still completely free. If you’re curious about this policy, you might want to check out this post.  Thanks for reading! ~Ragen

8 thoughts on “Unsufferable Evils

  1. Great rant!

    ” hospitalizations for children UNDER 12 are up 119%”– hospitalizations for what?

  2. I love you and will quote you often. I have an “obese” husband and “overweight’ children and I am NOT putting them on a diet. I refuse to give anyone else my issues with food. Our pediatrician put it very nicely .. he said “your family ‘stores energy very well'” I thought that was eloquent and diplomatic. I hope to God it was not dismissive. Either way… thank you for coming into our lives and making me realize that I worry about my children’s health, but I should not be so critical of their appearance.

  3. Love your comments and I agree 100%. Keep in mind that we the people gave the government a document that we allow them only to protect our rights. It is not a document that lets the govenment tell us what rights we have, we tell those in power what rights we have. There only job is to protect those rights. They do not have to the right or obligation to tell us anything about our bodies. We never gave them that right.

  4. Thank you once again for being so wonderfully eloquent, noone could ask for a better spokes-person. Much love x

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.