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.
Like this blog? Here’s more cool stuff:
Like my work? Want to help me keep doing it? Become a Member! For ten bucks a month you can support size diversity activism, help keep the blog ad free, and get deals from size positive businesses as a thank you. Click here for details
Book and Dance Class Sale! I’m on a journey to complete an IRONMAN triathlon, and I’m having a sale on all my books, DVDs, and digital downloads to help pay for it. You get books and dance classes, I get spandex clothes and bike parts. Everybody wins! If you want, you can check it out here!
I’m training for an IRONMAN! You can follow my journey at www.IronFat.com