I talk a lot on this blog about ways that fat people can advocate for themselves, and that thin fat activists can help advocate for us. Whether it’s dealing with the bigotry of random strangers or workplace wellness programs, or the government’s ill-conceived war on fat people, or trying to actually get competent evidence-based medical care (and not being a non-consenting participant in experimental medicine), or keeping kids from being non-consenting participants in experimental medicine, I talk a lot about the options that we have to fight this bullshit. There is something that I want to be absolutely clear about:
This is not fair. We should not have to do any of this. Fat activism should not be necessary. The rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness should NOT be size dependent. Fat rights activism isn’t about asking people to give our rights to us, it’s about asking people to stop keep our rights from us through an inappropriate use of power and privilege, which they never should have done in the first place.
Stereotyping, bigotry, oppression and bullying are things that should absolutely not happen. Sometimes people can get confused and think that because these things become our problem they must be our fault. Nothing could be further from the truth. Fat people have the right to exist – no matter why we are fat, if we could be not fat, or what being fat means. There are no other valid opinions on the matter. Unfortunately, again through an inappropriate use of power and privilege, invalid opinions based on bigotry and oppression have managed to find their way into the culture masquerading as truth. It’s not the first time this has happened and, sadly, it’s likely not the last. We are not the only group this is happening to, but it is happening to us and it sucks. It seriously sucks. It fucking sucks. It’s not fair, and it’s not our fault. And did I mention that it sucks?
Nobody is obligated to activism of any kind. While I choose to be an activist – to fight the stigma, bullying, and oppression that shouldn’t exist - I also think it’s important to remind myself frequently that it shouldn’t be necessary. It’s also completely reasonable to get really angry and really frustrated by the crap that we have to go through – whether it’s dealing with a doctor who thinks that they are a psychic who can tell everything about you from your size, or dealing with some jerk who spends their time hating people for their body size, I completely support you if you feel like taking a tennis racket and hitting a pillow a few hundred times – I may grab a racket and pillow of my own. So no matter how you choose to deal with the BS that comes at you, remember that it’s not fair and, even if it becomes your problem, it’s not your fault.
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