Dialogue with a Troll

A play in one act.

Cast: Fat Activist (FA) and Fat Hate Troll (TR)

Scene: Somewhere on the internets

FA: Fat stigmatization is unacceptable.

TR: I'm not stigmatizing fat. I'm just saying fat is bad.

FA: That's fat stigmatization.

TR: No, no. That's not it at all. I'm just saying its bad to be fat and you should do something about it.

FA: Which is stigmatization and unacceptable.

TR: Do I need to speak slowly? I'm not stigmatizing you. I'm just saying you are obviously unhealthy, a strain upon society, and need to be pressured into doing something about it. Also, you are ugly.

FA: I understand that you are saying that. That's why I'm objecting to it.

TR: Do you have comprehension issues? I'm just saying you're body is disgusting and maybe you should go kill yourself and spare society the immoral burden of yourself. I'm not prejudiced against you.

FA: What you just said was prejudiced.

TR: I never said I was prejudiced. You're putting words in my mouth.

FA: I know you never said that specifically. WHAT you said was prejudiced.

TR: But I said I wasn't prejudiced.

FA: What you said WAS prejudiced and stigmatizing and I won't accept that.

TR: I didn't say anything wrong. Now you're just being a vindictive liar.

FA: What you said. About fat being disgusting and unhealthy and ugly. All of that. That's what I'm objecting to.

TR: But you are disgusting, unhealthy, and ugly.

FA: I'm contesting that.

TR: But you are.

FA: No.

TR: Look, I'm not the enemy here. You should be mad at the corporations who made you fat. Lives are at stake, you know.

FA: As long as you are telling me that I'm unhealthy, ugly, disgusting, etc., then kind of are the "enemy" in so far as you are espousing viewpoints I strongly reject.

TR: You obviously are self-loathing if this bothers you so much.

FA: That does not remotely make sense.

TR: So you admit you have comprehension issues!

FA: Look, as long as you promote hate, bigotry, and stigmatization I will keep objecting to it. Fat people should not be stigmatized as immoral, unhealthy, or disgusting. Its not helpful and its not true.

TR: I never stigmatized you! I just said you were immoral, unhealthy, or disgusting. What don't you get about that?

FA: A lot, it would seem.



Anonymous said...

I never stigmatized you! I just said you were immoral, unhealthy, or disgusting. What don't you get about that?

Thank you for putting that so clearly.

Anonymous said...

Oh, well done. Well done indeed. Succinct and and very accurate, while still capturing the repetition essential to the dialogue. Instant classic.

Anonymous said...



JeninCanada said...

Can I reuse this to illustrate the antichoice vs. prochoice mentality? Pretty please?

Brian said...

By all means, Jen.

JeninCanada said...

Squee! thank you.

JeninCanada said...

lmao That very nearly wrote itself. Wow. It'll be up shortly.

drst said...

My head hurts.

Brian said...

Here is an xtranormal video of the Dialogue, as suggested by @LizaEckert on Twitter.

notskinny said...

Wait... There are Fat Activists? As in, people who promote fat lifestyle?

I understand that people need to be a bit more sensitive toward us bigger folk, but this is just bizarre. I'm overweight, I know this, and I'm working on losing that. I get that some people are going to be heavy no matter what, but you can't say that being fat isn't unhealthy. That's absurd! Being very overweight is incredibly unhealthy.

Brian said...

Well, now you do know there are fat activists, notskinny. So you have a choice to either to try to learn what we actually stand for by seeking out fat acceptance information or you can continue telling us that we don't have a right to our beliefs and see how people respond to that.

wriggles said...

That cartoon was inspired, it makes your dialogue even funnier.

And as for the bully's apologist up thread, we do not require 'sensitivity' we require the same courtesy we give to others, in other words the discipline of reciprocity.

Anonymous said...


I get that some people are going to be heavy no matter what, but you can't say that being fat isn't unhealthy.

As a matter of fact, we can and do say it, and oddly, there are studies to back it up. The people with the longest life expectancy are in the overweight-to-obese range of current BMI standards, and even morbid obesity is not necessarily as damaging to the health as we're told, not until and unless it's combined with other health problems, or affects mobility. Studies also show that 95% of the population can't lose more than about 10% of their body weight and keep it off long term using any of the methods we currently have available, including dieting, exercise, weight loss surgery, and medication. Furthermore, these methods are actually shown to be more harmful to one's health for most people than simply being fat in the first place, and have a distinct tendency to make people fatter in the long term.

Like Brian said, go educate yourself.

Flannery said...

THIS IS AMAZING. Thank you. Thank you. Reposting, retweeting, boosting signal.

Lol that's really all I can think of to say.

Brian said...

The scary thing is that I'm getting concern trolled for making "straw man" arguments with this post. On the one hand, I'm OBVIOUSLY setting up an exaggerated opponent and am using hyperbole as a rhetorical device. Its all very transparent.

At the same time, I really didn't take many liberties with the dialogue of the troll. Its condensed for emphasis, but most of that was taken very directly from the Savage defense force on the various SLOG postings and trolling here. Someone actually advocated fat people to kill themselves while insisting they had no prejudices against fat people. People actually were stigmatizing fat people while insisting they weren't in the same sentence because they felt their stigmatization was "true". People were saying that objecting to abuse was proof of low self-confidence.

What's really scary is how little of this actually is hyperbole. That people can't believe that just means they've not spent time dealing with the abuse fat activists get for speaking out in mixed company.

Unknown said...

@notskinny: Fat Activists (in general, I am not trying to speak for Brian here) don't tell anybody what to do with their own body. They don't "promote" any body weight for anybody else but themselves. All they are saying is that everybody has the right not to be discriminated against because of their body weight (and that includes people of all sizes). Whether or not it is healthy to be fat, my body is nobody's business but my own.

Shiloruh said...

@notskinny; to add to the echo chamber so you get the point. Yes you can be fat and be healthy. The two are not congruent to each other. I am a good 75 pounds over the insurance tables ideal wieght for my height. I am very healthy, good blood pressure, good cholestertol. very active; camping biking, taichi every day. It is possible. Educate yourself.

Sleepydumpling said...


It just doesn't get through, does it?

The xtranormal animation brought me back from the brink of despair, thanks.

Abigail Nussey said...

Great dialogue. And hauntingly true, in my experience. I hadn't read through the SLOG comments (too busy at work + low SW points = not worth it) but I'm glad you took the time to put it down here in condensed format for all to see the remarkably transparent illogic.

Brian said...

I rarely spend my SW anymore as I feel my lifetime supply is depleted. Anyone who thinks this is purely a strawman have no idea what fat people are subjected to. Fat prejudice is so invisible to people because so many implicitly accept that we deserve it.

Bilt4cmfrt said...

Why does this remind me of a Monty Python Village Idiot sketch? Don't answer that. I like a good mystery and this is, like, pure enigma. I mean, it's like his brain is this massive super conductor carrying a heavy negative charge and the idea that 'YES you ARE being a a prejudicial, stigmatizing, Jackhole' just gets repulsed every time. No matter what angle it comes in from. People who refuse to use their brains as anything other than deviders to keep their seal shut ears separated are just beyond all help.

technomom said...


@notskinny--You know all those things that are supposedly "caused" by fat/obesity, like arthritis, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and heart disease? I had arthritis and insulin resistance when I was underweight. My blood pressure always runs low, and my cholesterol numbers are great. I've yet to find anyone who can explain why there are plenty of thin people with type II diabetes, arthritis, high BP and cholesterol, and heart disease, yet those things are constantly touted as being caused by obesity!

So I'll continue following the Health at Any Size principles and refusing to hate myself or anyone else based on appearance.

The eating disorder self-hatred helped create caused me to diet to my current size. I refused to raise my daughter in such a way as to have her end up in the same place, and did my best to protect her from what the rest of our society would do.

I've encouraged her to look beyond appearance and take people for who they are, rather than what they look like. Can you say the same about yourself?

Anonymous said...

You look like a bigger version of James Spader and I find that incredibly sexy. Carry on.

Brian said...

Believe it or not, I have heard the James Spader thing before. I'll take it.

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