No, We Can’t Agree To Disagree About Fat-Shaming (Or Any Kind Of Oppression)

Agree to DisagreeI took a break from blogging out or respect for the protests against racist police violence. As I start to blog again I want to be clear that work is crucial and far from over, and to start with some resources predominantly for my white readers:

Here is a list of scaffolded anti-racism resources created by Anna Stamborski, Nikki Zimmermann, and Bailie Gregory:

Here is a list of ways to fight racist police violence, including places to donate: 

Here is a list of vetted and updated bail funds that we can contribute to:

Here’s a link celebrating Black Fat Activists 

As people pointed out the issues with Nancy Pelosi’s fat-shaming, and those who didn’t want to deal with that made excuses for her, a lot of the conversations devolved into the defenders of fat-shaming insisting that “we’ll just have to agree to disagree.”

Of course this doesn’t just happen in fat-shaming, it happens all the time when people’s racism, homophobia, transphobia, ableism, and other bigotries that they are either actively perpetuating or quietly harboring is called out and they try to shut down the discussion by suggesting that our only option is to “agree to disagree” and we need to do that and move on.

Except it’s not, and we don’t. I think we can agree to disagree about things like whether or not pineapple belongs on pizza, but when used in contexts of oppression “agree to disagree” is often a tool of oppression that gives power to the privileged, and makes those they are oppressing seem unreasonable.

When it comes to equality, oppression, and human rights, when someone in an unaffected group suggests that we need to  “agree to disagree,” what they are actually doing is asking oppressed people to agree to continued oppression and also stop talking about it. Fuck that. If you want me to stop talking about fat-shaming, then you need to stop fat-shaming, stop supporting others who fat-shame, and start speaking out against it. When it stops, I’ll stop talking about it.

I think this is even more important when we are acting in solidarity with groups we’re not a part of. Allowing someone who is arguing for oppression get out of a discussion with a “let’s agree to disagree” says that we literally agree to them continuing oppressive behavior.

There are not two valid sides to every issue. Fat-shaming is wrong. Someone either agrees with that, or they are wrong.

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2 thoughts on “No, We Can’t Agree To Disagree About Fat-Shaming (Or Any Kind Of Oppression)

  1. Seriously. Like the “There were ‘good people’ on both sides” argument. Really? There are good bigots and bad bigots. That’s too fing complicated. How bout we just say bigots are bigots and they need to adjust their skewed view point and get on the right side of history…

    Oh, and they are at it again. CNN article. Very vague. Just says: oh yeah, tax sugary drinks, s’a good thing. The O word was not in the article that I saw.

    We can agree to disagree that you can live your life the way I tell you to, or be “tied hand and foot to disease, unease, isolation and early death.”

  2. Thank you so much for this post! I will be delving into the resources you linked also. I really appreciate your clear and direct writing.

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