Annotated Bingo Part 1

So, beyond the fun of Fat Hate Bingo (and Fat Hate Bingo 2), the real point was illustrating to all the fat hate trolls that we really have heard this ALL before. Still, assuming that they may not take well to have their redundancies pointed out to them, its good to know how to respond to the particular points on the Bingo cards.

Especially when folks seem so eager to check off all the squares.

Kate Harding made me aware of the troll influx over at Hoyden About Town when she posted about the anti-fat Brazilian ad campaign that juxtaposed images of popular culture with fat women with the apparent intent to disgust. Consensus seems to be that this purpose wasn't executed that well, but some folks are obviously so offended at teh fat that it works for them. To respond to those types when they rear their heads, here are some of my suggestions. I'm going to be my typical long-winded self, so I'll do this in installments. (Oh, and check out The Rotund's Top 10 responses here)

I am sure we can all agree that we are in the middle of an epidemic.
Um, no we can't all agree on that.

Like all "I'm sure we can all agree" statements, this is an attempt to frame the discussion in a way which advantages one side of the argument. Anti-fat types are usually audacious enough to try to set terms which not only advantage themselves, but effectively define their position as the only acceptable one. It depends on people's reluctance to challenge to deeply embedded assumpsion that is ultimately bad. Don't be reluctant. Don't let fat bashers offer opinions as facts that everyone can "agree upon". Don't agree.

Carrying around X lbs of fat is like wearing a backpack loaded with X lbs.
Well, then I guess extremely fat people are the strongest people on the planet then.

This is one of those assumptions about fat people where the bashers don't really think through the implications. In trying to characterize fatness as an unspeakable burden, they forget that its a "burden" that fat people handle all of the time. There are plenty of 300+ and 400+ lb people who lead active and fufilling lives supposedly carrying around maybe 300lbs on their backpack. How many thin, even in shape people could boast that? So, this statement implies that fat people are actually exceptionally strong. Clearly an implication those tossing out this line don't want to make. Indeed, there are a lot of exceptionally strong fat people, but the real truth is that being fat just isn't that simple. I did weigh about 100lbs less than I do now. I remember what it felt like. Didn't feel that different. I don't feel like I'm carrying around 100lbs with every step. It just doesn't work that way.

You just want an excuse to be fat.
I don't need an excuse. I am fat. I just want to be treated with respect and dignity.

A favorite of the folks who think fat acceptance is just about being too lazy to diet. They fret that if fat people are treated with respect and allowed to persue their health and happiness at the size they are, that no one will want to lose weight. Yeah, that's kind of the point. We're going to be fat. We don't need a note from our parents to keep being fat. What we want is respect.

I did it! So can you!
I accepted myself! So can you!

Don't expect for your self-acceptance to be regarded as valid personal anecdote, mind you. See, only one bit of "personal experience" is really welcome, and that's diet "success". Here's the thing, though. In spite of the desire of the dieters to feel that they've accomplished something through force of will and committment, they just didn't. Diets fail over 95% of time. That's not a failure of people, but of the system. The success really is just a fluke, and even then its often fleeting. You could tell the person to come back after they've kept it off for 5 years, but the truth is that its still just a fluke. They aren't specially capable. Their personal experience doesn't change the reality of dietings massive systematic failures.

You're endangering the rights of dieters!
Yeah, just like gay marriage endangers heterosexual marriage.

Okay, that one-liner will really only work on progressive forums, I admit. You get the idea, though. The notion that a few people arguing for something different is in ANY position to endanger the rights of dieters is frankly insane. No one can honestly believe it and most who spout it are just furious that anyone disagrees with the overwhelmingly dominant status quo and are manufacturing reasons to shut it down. No, you are not endangering the "rights" of dieters. They day when the "rights" of dieters is a valid concern is so incredibly far off, that it has no place in any discussion for at least the next 100 years or so. Its asserting privilege for the privileged.

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