Fat oppression is nothing if not adept at adaptation. Fat hatred gets pitched in a shiny corporate packaging. It gets pitched as the ultimate in anti-corporate activism. Fat hatred is anti-poor, fat hatred is anti-rich. Fat Acceptance shows up, and fat hatred co-opts its vocabulary to promote a fundementally incompatable position. Fat hatred is a Conservative political principle. Fat hatred is a progressive political principle. Its always garbage, but its always presented with unflinching and self-righteous certainty.
As a progressive, though, I'm more intimately annoyed to see my political beliefs used to promote fat hatred. One that I've seen a lot is to co-opt language of the pro-choice movement and refit it to promote dieting, or at least to censor criticism of dieting. Dieting is a choice, so goes the exclaimation. The implication is extended to compare fat acceptance with the anti-abortion movement. Just as they want to keep women pregnant, fat acceptance wants to to keep women fat. We're trying to deny women their choice to be thin.
Fat is not a choice. Neither is thin. Fat is NOTHING like abortion. I don't care how you fall on that issue. Fat isn't like it. At all. Dieting is not feminist empowerment over an oppressive pro-fat patriarchy.
Diet promoters are trying to kill two birds with one stone with this presentation. Firstly, the want to blunt the feminist arguements against body hatred by trying to make dieting into a feminist act. Secondly, it wants to continue to establish the notion that fat people have chosen to be fat. Thus, they are responsible for the discrimination and hatred directed to them. Further, any fat person can choose to be thin. This just isn't true.
Diets don't work. I don't care if they work for an small number of people. Presenting 1% success as "proof" of the effectiveness of dieting is absurd. Suggesting that a 1% success rates means you can't say that diets don't work is insane. Its using semantics to advantage the status quo. Its the kind of advantages the status quo always demands for itself and I'm not giving in. I'm not letting the status quo define how I can disagree with it. You can choose to diet, but you can't choose to be not fat. The minimal number of people who lose weight and keep it off even for a moderate amount of time have no secret. They have no cure. All they are is the exception to the rule. They are flukes. Either by being the fluke people who were fat unnaturally or by taking unnatural and debilitating steps to enforce a different weight upon an unwilling body. I've seen a dieting "success" up close and personnel and it was a lie. It was an eating disorder that was greeted with congratulations instead of intervention.
Dieting isn't really about choosing to be thin. That's a false promise. I don't care if dieters don't want to hear that. Its why it needs to be said. Its not because anyone wants them to stay fat out of malice. Its not about trying to impose my view of what your body should be. I'm not trying to impose anything. No one in fat acceptance could even pretend to have the power to impose our will upon anyone. That doesn't seem to stop the forces of fat hatred from suggesting otherwise, though. They act like we are terrorizing people into giving up their freedom of choice. At its worst, it accuses of denying people a quality of life by withholding medical treatment. In what world? In what world do a few people standing up against a multi-billion dollar industry have those powers? In what world does expressing a position against the status quo oppress ANYONE? Not this one. But that doesn't stop those who endorse fat bigotry. They claim for themselves immunity by hiding behind pro-choice language. They claim for themselves immunity by professing the sanctity of their self-hatred and the inability for their self-hatred to withstand the oppression of those who say they don't need to live their lives in self-pity for what they are not.
Fat hatred is not a progressive imperative. It is not a conservative imperative. It is a sham. And it is the shame of those who promote it that they would seek to silence those who disagree with a false morality.