Saturday, 18 March 2017

Not So Much “Bitchy” As Fat Shaming

facepalmReader Natasha let me know about a post from “The Bitchy Pundit” on Facebook that talked about a donald supporter who thinks that the Republican Insurance Plan (RIP) is what lowered her insurance premiums -despite the fact that it hasn’t been passed yet. The woman is massively misinformed. She is also fat and that’s where our problem begins.

“The Bitchy Pundit” published the following commentary:

Let me just share a short list of the stupid that this woman has demonstrated, in expressing her belief that Trumpcare lowered her health care costs.

-There’s the obvious stupidity of not knowing that Trumpcare isn’t a thing yet, and her lack of interest in keeping herself up to speed on these things, while still maintaining her desire to have opinions.

– There’s the fact that she’s a VERY religious woman who voted for a pussy grabbing adulterer who has fathered children by 3 different women (just like Jesus would have done). 

– And then there’s her weight. Lord knows I’m not one to fat shame (I’ve been in and out of “fat” my whole life), but this stupid twit voted for someone on the basis of the fact that he was going to get rid of the eye-legals who were taking stuff from HER, but she’s happy to let other people pay for her lack of desire to get on a treadmill 4- 5 days a week.

Is there anything about this woman that isn’t hypocritical or downright embarrassing?

People were on top of this immediately.  Pointing out that saying you’re not a fat shamer doesn’t mean anything if the next thing you do is fat shame. Pointing out that the idea that “fat” = “doesn’t exercise” = “costs other people money” is a tired mix of stereotypes, bad math, sizeism and healthism. Pointing out that using “stupid” is ableist, and making fun of people’s accents is classist, and that this is a hot mess that completely undermines any legitimate point that her post was making.

So she admitted that she had been wrong, changed the post to remove the ableist, sizeist, and classist elements, and thanked everyone for taking the time to educate her.

JUST KIDDING!  She doubled down:

You missed the point entirely: The point is that these people who spend all of their time thinking about how OTHERS impact THEM, spend NO time thinking about how they impact others.

Yeah, re-engaging in stereotypes doesn’t really strengthen your point.

Then she pivoted to this:

Did I say lazy? The fact of the matter is, that when I spend time exercising, I lose weight and avoid being fat. When I don’t, I get fat. That’s just a fact of life. The point is that these people who spend all of their time thinking about how OTHERS impact THEM, spend NO time thinking about how they impact others

Ugh.  While weight cycling (aka yo-yo dieting) is a fact of dieting, the idea that people can control their size is not a fact of life. It’s a myth, the repeating of which makes her look just as ignorant as the woman she is criticizing.  People are lots of different sizes for lots of different reasons. There are fat people who exercise a lot and thin people who don’t exercise at all, and as long as they are exercising as much as they want to (rather than being forced to exercise, or exercising because they have been lied to and believe it will make them thin ) then that’s just fine.  Nobody owes anybody else “health” or “healthy habits” by any definition.   This is cheap stereotyping combined with sizeism and healthism, and a lack of understanding of the extrapolability of an n-1 experiment, and nothing more.

People hopped on with similar justifications but this one stood out to me as particularly harmful:

She is called the BITCHY pundit. Normally I’d agree, but that’s a part of the persona.

So if I call myself “bitchy” that’s a free pass to engage in stereotyping and oppression? I think not. This is the same bullshit that people try to use when they throw the term “politically correct” around as if couching treating people with basic human respect as being “politically correct” magically makes it ok to treat people like shit.  No.  Just no.

So you know that I wasn’t going to let this go by, I left the following comment:

I’m sure you like to think of yourself as “bitchy” but what you actually are here is just another shitty sizeist – stigmatizing, stereotyping, and engaging in appearance-based bullying. If you aren’t able to make a cogent argument without engaging in oppressive behavior and/or if you’re not able to see your mistakes and learn from them, then I’m sure there’s a place for you in donald’s White House, but I think you can – and should – do much better than this.

So get your shit together and just apologize for fat shaming (Pro-tip – if you have to say you’re not fat shaming right before you do it, you’re probably fat shaming. And if the Lord thinks you’re not one to fat shame, then they haven’t read this yet.) Stop fat-shaming immediately (which will keep you from having to make all those pesky declarations about how you’re not doing it) and while you’re at it stop using ableist terms (like stupid”)

It’s easy. It’s fun. It’s the right thing to do. It differentiates you from the horror of a human being in the presidency who acts exactly like you’re acting right now. So just do it. Messing up sucks, we’ve all done it, saying you were wrong is difficult but I believe that you can rise to the occasion.

Stigmatizing, stereotyping and oppression by any other name would still be bullshit, so call yourself “bitchy” or “politically incorrect,” call yourself whatever you want – it does not and will never justify oppression.

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