Is Slate Not Hiring Fat People?

Yesterday I was moderating friend requests on Facebook and I was reminded that far too many people connected to social justice are still rampant weight bigots. I’ll be scrolling through someone’s profile and see them on the right side of all manner of social justice movements; supporting Black Lives Matter, Queer and Trans rights, opposing Donald and all he stands for. I’m ready to press the “accept” button when I see that they have posted and defended articles and memes engaging in crystal clear oppression of fat people.

This experience prepared me for reading Slate’s recent job posting for a Political Editor. No, I’m not looking for a new gig, I was reading the post after receiving an onslaught of e-mails from fat and disability activists who were horrified by the bullet under “Requirements

  • A fast metabolism and strong organizational skills

What the hell?

Are they really saying that they don’t want a Politics Editor with hypothyroidism? Or are they stating a preference for editors with hyperthyroidism? Is this an attempt to suggest that only the thin need apply? Did they not know that they could be in violation of DC Human Rights Act (which is one of few that protects from discrimination against appearance) and ADA/EEOC guidelines?

The question I was being asked most in the e-mails flooding my inbox was, “Why in the world would a fast metabolism have anything to do with an editing gig?”

I had heard this term in journalism before, so I had an idea about the misunderstanding, but I still felt it was a terrible choice of words for a job posting. I e-mailed Slate for comment.

Click here to read my full piece about this!

Ready for a world where we don’t use sizeist, healthist, ableist metphors in job descriptions?


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2 thoughts on “Is Slate Not Hiring Fat People?

  1. I have to agree this is BS. I’ve seen many a job offering that says “fast paced work environment.” This gets the concept across clearly, with no need for or mention of appearance. Yeesh. Keep up the good work, Ragen!

  2. Notice the next point on their list of requirements.

    “*A fast metabolism and strong organizational skills
    *Smarts, kindness, humor, and generosity, all of which will help you work well with smart, kind, funny, generous colleagues”

    So, apparently, you will need to work well with “smart, kind, funny, generous colleagues” who are not smart, kind or generous enough to work well with someone with a slow, or even average metabolism. But they’re funny, so I’m sure they’ll make fat jokes all the time. Because they’re so funny.

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