4.29.2011

End male privilege (to advance thin privilege)

David Sirota has come up with a novel reason to end male privilege. Because it gets in the way of thin privilege.

His recent article gets it precisely backwards on discussing the intersection of fat shaming and gender as he correctly identifies the disparity but then concludes that the solution is to make things worse for. Its really quite perverse. How often does a marginalized group see its injustice recognized only to then see expanded injustice advocated as a response. It would be like seeing the wage gap that exists between men and women and concluding this means men are paid too much.

Fat men do experience privilege. As a fat man, it would be dishonest of me not to recognize this. But Sirota's article is a good reminder that we are still stigmatized. Our fat bodies are the primary consideration for him and what should unify us all in being shamed and stigmatized. The whole article indulges in that peculiar trait of the privileged (left out of my last post) of insisting that the oppressed are the oppressors. He praises weight loss promotion as if it doesn't routinely get praised. He implies forces looking to protect fat men's fatness where none exist. There are a couple fat actors who get work so long as they are defined by their fatness? Why that means fatness is being treated as a virtue! De facto! Fat men play sports? Didn't anyone call them whales? Well, don't worry, David Sirota makes sure to right that wrong with his childish name-calling. Fat men experience privilege, but that doesn't mean we are celebrated. Rather, we are inoculated from some fat shaming to varying degrees. As usual, to the entitled, this just looks like we aren't getting our fair share of abuse. I guess we better vent some frustration while Sirota works to correct that.

In the end, this is just a powerful pundit concern trolling fat people. He's not actually exposing male privilege as much as just imposing thin privilege on people he feels are unjustly spared injustice. He's not out to end privilege. Just to deny it from people deemed unworthy like he's closing some sort of loophole.

8 comments:

biglibertyblog.com said...

What, there's a segment of fat people who get relatively less abuse than the rest of their brethren?

SHUN! SHUN! SHUUUUUNNNN-NEH...!

So this is the kind of stuff high-school bullies think about when they're all grown up, huh?

"It's awesome bullying stigmatized people because I actually get PRAISED for it! And the internet means I get to bully THOUSANDS of people at the same time! Double score!"

biomechanical923 said...

So let me see if I get this straight. He doesn't think that we should stop shaming fat women, he simply thinks that we need to start shaming fat men more to make it "fair"???

Well, at least we can say he's consistent.... consistenly asinine, that is.

Twistie said...

Not. Enough. Fail. In. The. World.

sanabituranima said...

What a nasty article! Will he make an exception for men who have Prader-Willi or are prescribed weight-gain-inducing medications, I wonder?

(Not that I want to go in the poisonous direction of dividing fat people into "justifiably fat" and "unjustifiably fat". Someone's natural metabolic state is just as morally neutral as having Prader-Willi or being prescribed Olanzapine. However, I'm a bit shocked that he doesn't even seem to make the usual grudging exceptions society makes for such "justifiable" fatness.)

lahorton said...

I have to admit - I was relieved when I had my only child because it was a boy! I knew that if he ended up with my weight genes, it wouldn't be as bad for him as it was for me. And I am even more relieved that he is now 6'5" tall (at 17 years old). No way I could have stood for my child to be tortured like I was.

I was looking at facebook the other day and found a guy that I went to high school with. He made fun of me quite a bit (many years ago). Now, he's professing to be a born-again Christian, but he has a "joke" picture on his wall of a drunk guy dancing with a fat girl and his friends looking like they want to throw up. I can't remember the caption - but, I remember thinking, some people just never change.

Melissa said...

Sigh.

Anonymous said...

Late arrival: Sirota's article is an embarrassment surely, but doesn't he sorta almost arrive at a real criticism of some fat men: that they don't just benefit from the uneven expectations that shape the way we view male and female bodies, but that they can and do revel in this disparity? Just last week I hired a new secretary - slim, nice legs, fresh out of college. She just happened to be the most qualified candidate for the job. I almost hired a haggardly obese forty-something lady, but she just seemed somehow under-qualified. I won't say "lazy" because I'm no grade A piece of ass either. But she just seemed to lack spirit. Plus, who are we kidding? My wife is a blessed soul, but it's nice to have something a little easier on the eyes to look at weekdays.

People won't look at fat women differently until they learn to look at women differently. Fat acceptance and feminism are bi-sexual life partners.

Brian said...

Fat men DO experience privilege. I don't think Sirota is making any grand discovery there. His point, though, isn't that your poor treatment of fat women is wrong. Just that you should be treated as poorly. He's not really challenging privilege at all.

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