I keep seeing the issue of weight loss framed as an issue of "choice" and its still bothering me. This just isn't an honest presentation of the issues and its one promoted by fat acceptance opponents to put fat acceptance at an insurmontable disadvantage. Its all about privileging the privileged. Because those who want to lose weight have no "choices" at risk. While fat people do. Its ultimately all about that.
You know how far-right Christians continually insist on framing discussions of Christianity about religious intolerance AGAINST Christianity? If they aren't allowed special rights over other religions, than they define this as intolerance against Christianity. They constantly present an interpretation of events that suggests that Christians are oppressed and put upon. By any reasonable standard, this argument is entirely without merit and, if anything, insulting. Most progressives (though not all) rightly refuse to argue under such terms. Refuse to regard an overwhelming majority as being oppressed. The same dynamics come into play in discussing weight loss. Again, the privileged status quo adopts progressive framing of their position. Where Christians cry intolerance, dieters mimic reproductive rights by suggesting issues of "choice". In truth, both make a mockery of logic.
Just as the "right" to practice Christianity is under no real peril, so is the "right" to attempt to diet for weight loss. Both claims are really being used as a weapon for those who stand against the status quo. Whether by opposing government endorsement of religion or by advocating for body acceptance.
We need to advocate for fat acceptance and we should not willingly tie our hands out of fear that dieter's "rights" will be infringed. There is not even a remote chance of that happening. Fat acceptance is still desperately far from achieving much or even any of its own political agenda. The risks of it becoming so powerful as to exceed its goals is simply an absurd concern to suggest. And in truth, that's not what people are talking about.
Its all about inducing fat advocates into dropping their advocacy in order to support weight loss. One by one, case by case. It is insisted that for us to believe what we do, we would be "unsupportive" of those who do not like being fat and that we must silence ourselves for their comfort. We owe them no such thing. Look, I know what it is like having friends who want to lose weight. Everyone who believes in and supports fat acceptance does. None of us can live so sheltered a life that we not encounter many, many people in our personal lives who desire weight loss. We can do nothing to stop them from doing whatever they want, but that doesn't obligate us to be their cheerleaders. It doesn't obligate us to offer our encouragement. No one is suggesting that we berate the dieters in our lives, but we should insist on our right to our own beliefs. We should be allowed to believe in and advocate in a different way. No one is being forced to follow the path want to light, but what is suggested is that we extinguish the light posts down that path. We must not get wrapped up in false concerns about our supposed oppression of dieters. And if the dieters in our lives want to condition a continuing relationship on our abandoning out beliefs to cheerlead for theirs, we should not be swayed. We have no capacity to make such a demand. Only a privileged status quo could make such insistences, and they need no more privilege.
The choice to try to lose weight is not at risk. No one wants to prevent dieters from adopting. No one is pulling dieting children from their parents homes. No one suggests we fine or tax dieters. Doctors do not refuse to see patients until they give up dieting.
Christians cry intolerance because what they do not want is for other faiths and belief systems to have the same opportunities and freedom to make a case for themselves. Dieting seeks the same beneficial treatment in defining the limits of fat acceptance. We must not grant them a privilege unwarranted to a position so powerful to begin with. We need the opportunities and freedom to make the case for own beliefs and worrying about the rights and freedoms of the more powerful simply isn't warranted. They aren't afraid that we'll take away their right to choose. They are afraid that some will choose differently. We should see through this charade and stand up for our beliefs.