You know those people who whine on Craigslist about how some fat woman squashed them on the train and go on and on about how awful stupid fatties are sitting on him. Yeah, yeah, I know some people feel the need to validate the "seacow" crowd by lecturing their straw fatties not to sit on people, but you know the truth of these whiners is that they are just outraged at having had to sit near a fat person. That indignity ferments in their mind and they lash out in exaggerated terms online because its the only outlet they have for their fat hatred. Then they go back to their daily lives until their fat proximity alarm next goes off and they post another angry screed.
I'm increasingly convinced Dan Savage is one of these people. Only he has a nationally syndicated column instead of Rants and Raves.
How else do I make sense of his regular fascination with picking fights with fat people? Its not on a regular schedule, but he always comes back to it. And when he does, he never lets it go. He just keeps on going after them. Again and again and again. What else but to conclude he's just generally offended by fatness and whenever he has to confront the existence of a fat person on the subway or at a show, he picks a fight in his column. And he won't let it go. How many follow-up attacks on fat people is he going to do? Near as I can tell this isn't a regular feature of his column. Its usually just a normal weekly column which devolves into a never-ending fat bashing escapade when he picks a fight with the fatties.
A couple weeks ago he wrote a phenomenally cliche column telling a husband to trash his wife for getting fat. Same nonsense that's been written by "edgy" and "conventional" advice columnists alike for years. They all act so smug and satisfied with their daring for encouraging confrontation with a fat person because they all buy into the notion that we've never heard we're fat before and just need someone to be "honest" with us. They all live in this fantasy world where most fat people aren't horribly self-hating over their bodies, but rather blissfully unaware of our offending adipose. Without fail, they all seem to think they are the first person to think of this. And whether they counsel compassion or bluntness, they all say the same damn thing and then congratulate themselves for their originality.
Dan does the spiel and justifies the fat hostility on the basis of the woman owing it to the man to be attractive to him. Its just being "honest" Dan, says. Yeah, you know what? I'd like all of those advice columnists to respond to the man who is upset that his wife has LOST weight and see if they are just as favorable to his point of view. Can you imagine that? One of these boring-ass advice columns comforting a man whose wife has abandoned fat acceptance in favor of weight loss? I can't. So they can shove their honesty up their ass, for all I care. They are just buying into fat as a crime, sin, moral failing, healthy crisis, etc. Fat is a state of wrongness. Fat is without privilege. Not fat is privileged. I'm sure the husband/wife/boyfriend/etc who wants his fat betrothed back would get lectured, not supported. Every time someone justifies fat hatred on the grounds that its not "fair" to a loved one to be fat and ugly, don't think for a second that goes both ways. Its justification that goes in one direction only. You want your special someone to be fat, I have no doubt that you'd be called a monster while even the most mean-spirited who wants their wife to diet will still get supported in their ultimate goal.
ANYWAY, in spite of his cliche advice, he was spoiling for a fight. Well, two fights, I guess. After teasing a follow-up in the subsequent column, he devote his entire column last week to a follow-up. His enemies? Stupid women who want honesty and, of course, the damn fatties. Given his past habit of not letting it go, I guess he won't let this go, either. He spent the whole thing insisting that he wouldn't have given the advice he did, yet also constantly validating it. See, it really WAS the advice he'd give, he just tried to be comically blunt about it to show the folly of "honesty". But the truth is, its still what he was trying to say. He'd just have made it about "health" or "maintenance" or some such. He teases that he'd offer the reverse advice to chubby chasers, but I don't buy it. Now, maybe, because he has "cred" to preserve, but nothing in the hostility he expresses towards fat people suggests an honest acceptance like that. All the same "stuffing Twinkies in your mouth" garbage that's fat trolling 101. Well, I think so anyway, and it seems that when Dan Savage, says it, at least, others agree.
Anyway, I guess Savage isn't good at letting things go either. He's still ranting about this on his blog. I am mildly amused that the response he's getting as a columnist is much harsher than he'd have gotten saying the same things as a commentator, but mostly just bored. Every time he sits near a fat person on a bus, we're going to have to deal with the same damn shit. Someone tell him about Craigslist, already. Its a much more receptive audience for this stuff.