It’s Not You, It’s Bullshit

Bullshit FairyRecently I’ve written about the government funding discrimination against fat people from spending over $200,000 to get an estimate of a measurement (an exact measurement of which can be obtained with a scale and tape measure), to helping employers discriminate against fat employees, to spending billions on the “obesity epidemic” when it could be solved for free today.

In each of those blogs I did my best to rationally explain why these things were terrible, and discriminatory based on logic, math, research, and the belief that life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are inalienable – not size, health, or healthy habit contingent.

Because we’re all steeped in fatphobic culture, fat people – even those of us who are Size Acceptance Activists – can get overwhelmed by the amount of fatphobia that exists (and the amount that is perpetuated by the government) and think that maybe it’s us.  If that happens to you I suggest a little mantra that has helped me a lot:

It’s not me, this is some fucked up bullshit.

Feel free to edit it to work for you (It’s not me gosh darn it, this is bull hockey…) but rest assured that if you’re noticing that fat people are facing a tremendous amount of stigma, bullying and discrimination – much of it paid for by our own tax dollars – and you are thinking “holy shit, that’s totally fucked up bullshit” (or, you know, “wow, that’s messed up”) then please know that you are not wrong, it is not you, and it is not ok.

Sometimes when we think about activism and social change we think about petitions and speeches and rallies – whole movements with big activities and lots of people.  The truth is that social change starts with each of us saying “that’s not ok,” and then “I won’t allow that to go unchallenged” and everything else – all the petitions and protests, all the rallies and rabble rousing – comes from that place.  Never forget that in our fatphobic society refusing to hate ourselves is an act of revolution, and every time we see size-based discrimination and say “No.”  Whether it’s with a blog post, a petition, to a friend, or just in our own heads, we are engaging in activism.

This is going to be a long, difficult, painful fight, but we are going to win, and we make progress every time we notice the fucked up bullshit and every time we say “No.”

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17 thoughts on “It’s Not You, It’s Bullshit

  1. I’ve sang the old “Ragmop” song a bit differently, and it would work well as a theme song for this blog entry.

    I say B – U.
    B – U – L.
    B – U – L – L.
    B – U – L – L – S – H – I – T.
    Bullshit (doodooditdoodoo)
    Bullshit (doodooditdoodoo)
    B – U – L – L – S – H – I – T.
    Bullshit (doodooditdoodoo)

    It flows pretty darned well.

    If you’ve never heard the original…

      1. The first place I ever heard it was the old “Beanie and Cecil” cartoon, many years ago.

        Imagine if every time they started spouting their dubious obesity “facts,” we played the Bullshit version of the song as the background music.

        Of course, I’ve thought it would be the perfect soundtrack music for most political speeches, too.

        1. (bounces joyfully)

          Someone else who remembers Beanie and Cecil!!! I had the 78 of their version. The only way my parents got me to stop playing it fifteen times a day was by getting me Puff the Magic Dragon… which became the thing I played fifteen times a day until one of my brothers got the soundtrack to Yellow Submarine. I could only play that one about four times a day and it had more songs, so I survived the first grade.

          And yes, your version of Raggmopp is one I would love to croon to quite a few pols… particularly when they start pretending to know anything about the female reproductive system. Seriously, have some of these guys ever met a woman????

          1. I wonder if some of these politicians have ever read a book, or held a real job, or any of the other means of garnering practical knowledge of life as it exists in the real world.

            I suspect if Beanie was around today and took a look at the American Government over the last 20 years or so, he’d really start yelling, “HELP, CECIL, HELP!!!”

  2. I read and participate in quite a few conspiracy message boards…some of it is just fun, some of it I know for a fact is 100% truth. But having that background and knowing what we know from Ragen’s blog and others like her’s, can it really be that far off where fat people are loaded on trains and taken to concentration camps? Sure they would call them “weight loss” camps or something similar and maybe the goal would not be the eradication of fat people but certainly forcing us to lose weight against our will? Sadly with the Republicans likely coming into power in the House and Senate today, I think it will be coming sooner rather than later. We all know the conservative stance on individual liberty…don’t we?

    1. While they are at it, what about those who weren’t breast fed or don’t wear bicycle helmets, or weren’t read to as youngsters, or failed to receive proper vaccinations, or don’t wear seat belts? Surely these folks need to correct their “deficiencies”. Can we ship these folks off somewhere too?

      How about stupid people? Can we ship them off to camps as well? Cuz there’s a whole lotta those folks walking around.

      1. Tara, it has been the Republicans who have vehementely opposed every form of civil rights since they became a party. They opposed civil rights, women’s rights, gay rights, workers rights, the rights of those of us who want to be free from gun violence…and they most certainly oppose the rights of fat people. My entire family have been members of the Republican party since I was a little kid (Mom, Dad, brother and sister) and I don’t even have to ask them to know what their view is going to be when it comes to minorities’ freedom.

        1. It’s funny that the political parties are the reverse of what they initially were: the Dems had the views that the Repubs have today, and the Repubs had the views that the Dems have today. That’s all I really know, as American history is not my strong point. Strange that they’ve gone astray.

        2. Actually, it’s rather funny that, historically speaking, the Republicans were the ones championing civil rights, while the Democrat party overall opposed them. It’s only been since the 1960s that the Democrat party has shifted their focus.

          Lyndon Johnson had some documented racist quotations, one of which was something to the effect of, if they did this for the blacks, they’d vote Democrat forever. He didn’t care about the blacks, all he cared about was the votes they brought.

          That’s not a slam against the Democrat party specifically, because that’s far too common of an attitude among many politicians of both parties, about multiple groups. Based on their actions in office, they really don’t give a damn about us. They give a damn about keeping us fooled into thinking they care so we’ll keep electing them.

          You can bet if fat people banded together into what was perceived as a cohesive voting bloc of sufficient numbers, the parties would suddenly start pandering to them as well. So long as fat people appear to be an insignificant factor in election outcomes, the politicians will continue to use them as convenient “whipping boys” to appear to be doing something.

          1. I’d be interested to see a source for that LBJ quote. I think you may be remembering this backwards, actually. LBJ’s most famous comment on signing the Civil Rights Act was “we have lost the South for a generation” — in other words, despite being a white Southerner himself, he did what he knew was the right thing even though he also knew it would turn the white vote in the South to the Republicans. He was right, a majority of white Southerners (not me or my family!!) did turn Republican, and for longer than a generation.

            LBJ was a disaster with Vietnam, but on Civil Rights for Black people he is actually a fairly impressive example of a politician who had the courage to do the right thing despite knowing that it would cost him with his own voter-base.

            1. I’ll see if I can dig it up. What I have seen and read about LBJ, he was an example of a politician who saw the writing on the wall, and worked to turn it to his party’s advantage. Had the winds of change been blowing the other way, I suspect he would have acted completely different. I cannot really say that a Republican in office at the time would have acted any different.

              The point about the shifting of the parties’ alignments in an earlier post is valid. JFK would fit far better with the Republican party today than he would with the Democrat. Our biggest problem these days isn’t so much the alignment of the partys, but rather that both seem determined to maintain the status quo. The elections last night are being trumpeted by some as indicative of the people’s desire to see things change and fixed, but the history of the last forty years has shown that neither party carries through on the promise of fixing the trouble. They do a better job of telling us why it’s the other party’s fault that it’s not getting fixed. So long as there are troubles, both parties can use that to disparage their opponents in the elections and try to sway votes their way.

              Vietnam was a disaster all around, starting all the way back at the end of WWII when the U.S. refused to support Vietnam’s request for independence, supporting instead the restoration of France’s claim over “French Indochina.” Nixon inherited the mess from LBJ, who inherited it from Kennedy, who had to work on the policies that had been put into place by Truman and Eisenhower. Another case of both parties sharing the responsibility, even if they want to remind us only of the other’s party’s foibles in the fiasco.

              Of course, this all digresses from the point of the blog. 🙂

    2. Neither major party has a monopoly on fat phobia. Remember it was Bloomberg (D) who instituted the soda tax in NYC.

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