I talk a lot about how poorly fat people are treated (with shame, stigma, bullying, and oppression) and how that is at odds with how we deserve to be treated. I say things like “we have the right to be treated with basic human respect” and “the rights to life liberty and the pursuit of happiness aren’t size, health, or healthy habit dependent” and “Fat people have the right to exist in fat bodies without shame, stigma, bullying, or oppression and it doesn’t matter why we’re fat, what being fat means, or if we could – or want to – become thin.” In short, I tell fat people that, regardless of what bullshit treatment we are experiencing in a fatphobic society, we deserve better.
Every time I do this (so, basically, daily) people leave comments or send me e-mails to tell me that I’m wrong. Most of them read like these that arrived today:
You talk about how fat people deserve to be treated with respect -You dumb bitch, you can’t make people treat you with respect. How entitled can you be?
Show me in the Constitution where it says that you have a right to be treated with respect you fat fucking cunt.
How entitled can I be? I can tell you that I can be significantly more entitled than to suggest that I deserve to be treated like a human being. And, bless your heart, I really feel like “fat fucking cunt” needs some punctuation – I mean, am I a fucking cunt who is fat, am I a cunt that fucks fat? A little clarity is all I’m asking – it’s bad enough that you’ve devolved into being an internet troll, at least take a little pride in your work.
But I digress.
As for the second comment, I would hope that it is obvious that I’m asserting that being treated with basic human respect is a basic human right – covering even those people not under the jurisdiction of the United States Constitution. But, I imagine that wouldn’t be obvious to anyone whose response to “people have the right to be treated with basic human respect” is to insist that it’s not guaranteed by the organizing documents of their country. (I’m going to take a wild guess that these are the same “Constitutional scholars” who think that “Congress shall make no law…abridging the freedom of speech…” somehow obligates me to publish their ridiculous comments on my blog or Facebook wall.)
As I’ve said before, the idea that our right to live in fat bodies and be treated with basic human respect is debatable is a pretty clear indication of the problem. The truth is that fat people have the right to exist in fat bodies without shaming, stigma, bullying or oppression regardless of why we are fat, what it means to be fat, or if we could become thin. There are no other valid opinions about that, it should never be up for debate.
For the record, I’m not suggesting that I can force people to treat fat people with basic human respect. What I am saying is that it’s important to know that we deserve to be treated with basic human respect. We deserve to live in fat bodies without shame, stigma, or bullying, and we are entitled to live without the crushing weight of fat phobia and oppression. What each of us does with that information is up to us – but it’s critical for us to know that these things aren’t our fault, though they become our problem, and they shouldn’t be happening to us.
I choose to do activism, and part of that activism is reminding fat people that regardless of what bullshit treatment we are experiencing in a fatphobic society, we deserve better and if you think I need the Constitution, or any other document, to back me up, then you have massively missed the point.
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13 thoughts on “How Fat People Deserve To Be Treated”
Where can I get that picture? It just made my day.
Me too! Deja moo — love it!
I’ve said before, many times, if the concepts are “common decency,” “common courtesy,” and “common sense,” why, oh WHY, are they not MORE COMMON?!?
All beings are entitled to basic decency, until they forfeit that right by acting like internet trolls. Yuck!
Basic human right to exist and be treated with respect. Common sense does not grow in everyone’s garden.
I love when you say that people deserve to be treated like…well people and you are treated as less than a person for your efforts. It’s like what they say about feminism. You can always find a post on an article about feminism that proves why feminism is so necessary. If you’re receiving responses like that it means you’re saying the right things.
Isn’t it interesting how their minds go immediately to force? “You can’t FORCE me to treat you with respect!” when you said nothing at all about force. It’s like they can’t even conceive of a world without coercion.
What a sad existence.
What you said. Right here. They are prisoners of their own assumptions and want everyone to live in their little cell.
I am still absolutely gobsmacked when I see people take the time to write these things to you. I know you can handle it, but I find it depressing. I find all internet trolling depressing. I simply cannot understand it.
I believe in the inherent worth and dignity of Every person. It doesn’t mater who there are. See that is the great thing about not coming from a shitty religion that teaches you to hate anyone who isn’t cookie cutter the same as you.
Please let’s not draw religion into this. Fat-haters come from all walks of life, all religions (including atheism and agnostic), and it’s not religion teaching the fat hatred. It’s our culture.
Reblogged this on Melissa Fields, Autist.
Viscious comments like these are meant to force a person into keeping quiet, becoming scared and more reclusive and preoccupied mentally. The thinking keeps you from understanding and communicating about the fat bashing bigotry.
One partial answer is to publicize these statements to people who do not realize this is happening to many fat women in their daily lives. I was not aware of the full extent of it until I read some of these blogs.
I do believe that major motivators of this behavior are the acting trols on TV and medical doctors, who as a group with a few exceptions, slyly reinforce and encourage this behavior in every way.