Dan Savage. Arbiter of Fatness.

For someone who hates fatties so much, its kind of odd that Dan Savage was appointed the Official Arbiter of Acceptable Fatness. I mean, I guess he was. He thinks he was. That's the only thing to conclude from his response to people objecting to his use of fat bigotry to argue for marriage equality.

Of course, he couldn't be bothered with ACTUALLY responding to Lindy West, so he actually just copied and pasted a response to Kate Harding from 3 years ago, so this nothing new except to remind us where he still is with dealing with the fatties. Kate Harding might be okay, but Dan Savage wants us all to know that he does draw the line. And that line is 400 POUNDS! (Bingo!) He magnanimously agrees to allow that people who are really fat shouldn't be harassed so long as they admit that they are horribly awful people who will die any second. Until then, harass away, presumably. Its a fool's bargain. He'll agree to let us have our self-confidence if we agree to be stigmatized. Such a generous compromise. And no comments.

Here's the thing, DAN. You don't get to be the decider of who gets to be fat. People who stigmatize fatness don't get to write the limits of what is okay fat and what is not okay fat. Oh, you'll think you get to, but I am under no obligation to care. Same as Dan Savage doesn't have to care when a homophobe tries to write the rules of acceptable gayness. Plenty of anti-gay bigots like appoint themselves arbiter of acceptable gayness, separating the deathgays from the tolerablegays. They do so to enforce their bigotry. The subjects of that bigotry shouldn't accept that.

I don't accept Dan Savage's attempts to dictate the rules of fatness on me or anyone else. He doesn't get to do that. I understand that he thinks fat people are obviously wrong. So do a lot of people. Its why I speak out. Its why Fat Acceptance exists. People like Dan Savage think they are proving us wrong by just saying we are wrong. All they prove is why we need to speak out. Someone disagreeing with Fat Acceptance is not a proof that it shouldn't exist.


Anonymous said...

WORD. that is all.

Anonymous said...

I would like to know, why it's so important to Dan Savage, to dictate to others, what they should do with their own bodies. I'd like him to stay out of my kitchen, stay off my dinner plate, stay out of my doctor's appointments, stay out of my dressing room, because it's all none of his business.

Michelle said...

You don't get to be the decider of who gets to be fat. People who stigmatize fatness don't get to write the limits of what is okay fat and what is not okay fat.

Yes and yeeeeeeeees.

Jackie said...

This is excellent.

MarkW said...

Well said.

SoyShake said...

How lazy of Mr. Savage. He's closed comments on it too. I wonder what the atmosphere is with the awesome Lindy at the moment?

I want Lindy to be my best friend, I totally do.

Moose said...

I'm pretty much convinced, by now, that size-hating and gay-hating and all the other hating is a mix of pure ignorance with a side of "You cannot make me change my mind, even in the face of pure science," along with a dash of 4th grader "I will dig my feet in the more you show me I'm wrong."

I've recently had one person tell me that there's "no way" that I can convince him that fat is ever healthy [despite all the research that says the longest, healthiest life comes to those whose weight is classified as "obese"] and another person tell me that I "over-react" to anything that talks about fat people [because I somehow shouldn't get upset over discrimination].

People who weigh 400+ lbs and live on junk food and don't exercise are as common as people who diet and keep the weight off for more than 10 years: RARE. I weigh 400 lbs, I do not live on junk food, I eat so many green vegetables I go through them faster than I can do food shopping, and I exercise [though I'm disabled, so jogging is right out]. And guess what, Mr Dan Savage? I STILL WEIGH 400 LBS.

Anonymous said...

FROM: The Dandelion Thief

Yeah, that should be the standard response. Obesity isn't the same as fat, fat people can be healthy, and skinny people can eat themselves to death by consuming only junkfood. People should exercise to be healthy, not to not be fat.

I probably SHOULDN'T, but in the interest of shameless self-promotion (and because I want to know what people think of my ideas) I'm going to link to my blog... I was hoping to put it right under Dan's nose, but that comment's thread is closed for SOME reason.


I'm not a Fat Activist, per se, I just hate it when people behave like total idiots.

Brian said...

Your link doesn't work, TDT. Also, I would note that "obesity" as its used IS the same as fat. Its just a way of medicalizing all fat people. I don't believe there is some ideal "obesity" that is okay to stigmatize. If the idea that two very different fat people should be deemed equally unhealthy seems wrong to you, I agree. But before you decide to permit some fat people to be stigmatized, remember that the medical establishment makes NO distinction. If that seems so wrong, maybe you shouldn't be putting half-faith in their pronouncements.

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