Katie Hopkins is Bigot

OrganizeKatie Hopkins, a former contestant on The Apprentice UK, made news today saying that she would not hire an obese person.  Charmingly, she didn’t just make this declaration in general but rather chose to tell a woman who was sharing her experience of discrimination in her job search. Before the show Katie tweeted “A 24 stone individual does not ‘fit’ my business.”  See what she did there – with weight and the word “fit?”  Katie is oh so clever, which she probably credits to being thin.

Help me out, what’s the word that means making judgments about, and taking opportunities away from, people based on how they look? Oh right, it’s bigotry.  Pure and simple.

But wait…there’s more.

Katie explains that it’s not just her own bigotry that would make her deny employment to someone based on their size and regardless of their qualifications… it’s the perceived possible bigotry of her clients.  “Would I want to put someone in front of a client who looks like this? Do they look dynamic? Do they look disciplined? Do they look highly efficient? Well, no, speaking frankly. And therefore, Jay wouldn’t be someone that I would employ.”

Katie is really putting the ass in classy.  I have to wonder if her willingness to appease bigotry extends only to clients who are size bigots, or does it extend to other forms of bigotry as well?  Who else isn’t Katie hiring because she’s afraid that they will cause her bigoted clients to have to get over themselves?  Why is anyone in the world ok with this?

Even if someone believes that weight loss is possible and laudable, surely they don’t believe it’s possible overnight. By these people’s estimation are fat people are just supposed to stay unemployed until we reach a level at which bigoted people will perceive them as dynamic and disciplined? Digging through our couch cushions for money to pay for our Weight Watchers meetingx?  Or, regardless of our talents, education, and qualifications, should we find a job where nobody can see us until Katie thinks we look dynamic enough?

If you live in Michigan your state laws offer you some protection.  Almost everywhere else in the United States this type of hiring discrimination is completely legal.

People seem to think that this is ok because they have a negative view of fat people, and because they think that if they have a negative view of someone then that person deserves to be discriminated against in hiring situations.  And that’s a point of view that I think should absolutely terrify people.

Perhaps Katie is a common bigot and she is proud of it, or perhaps Katie is an attention junkie desperate for some media attention and she’s doing it on the backs of fat people.  I don’t believe that all publicity is good publicity, I do believe in calling out bigotry when I see it and man do I see it here.  I can only hope that this kind of bare, unadulterated bigotry will help people see why the way that we treat fat people needs to change quickly and completely.

If you are in the Massachusetts area you can come here me speak or take dance class with me – these are free and open to the public today (Thursday):

Every Body Dance Workshop @ 3:00pm in Recreation Center, UMass Amherst

The Positive Body @ 7:30pm in Student Union Ballroom, UMass Amherst

Like the blog?  Here’s more of my stuff:

The Book:  Fat:  The Owner’s Manual  The E-Book is Name Your Own Price! Click here for details

The Dance Class DVDs:  Buy the Dance Class DVDs for Every Body Dance Now! Click here for the details

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I do size acceptance activism full time.  I created a membership program so that people who read the blog and feel they get value out of it and want to support the work I do can become members for ten bucks a month  To make that even cooler, I’ve now added a component called “DancesWithFat Deals” which are special deals to my members from size positive merchants. Once you are a member I send out an e-mail once a month with the various deals and how to redeem them – your contact info always stays completely private.

 

 

Published in: on February 28, 2013 at 11:29 am  Comments (15)  

15 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Yeah, this is petty – but she’s ugly. And her nose is big. BLAH to her.

    • Aagh, no no. Making this appearance based is entirely what they do to US! I can see why you want to say it, but please, don’t be the same as them.

      • Agreed. Absolutely. I have a big nose myself. It doesn’t make me less than anyone else.

  2. Her appearances aside, it’s her attitude that’s supremely ugly and utterly unacceptable. Sadly, it’s also an attitude that’s prevalent due to the misinformation we’ve been force-fed for years. But I’m proud to be part of a group that is pushing to make changes.

  3. Putting the ass in classy! That’s a good one.

  4. Apparently in Utah here is proposed legislation on size diversity (H.B. 132). http://www.facebook.com/loveleekt

  5. That’s some amusing commentary from someone who would of gotten fired from “The Apprentice” had she not quit on her own. Just the fact that she quit tells me how “dynamic and disciplined” she herself is.

    • Lord Sugar told her she was unemployable, so I expect that this is how she now makes her money.

  6. what’s even worse is the huffpo article on this same subject. & not, sadly, the article itself. the commentariat. & perhaps–& almost unbelievably–even worse is the poll that accompanies all of it. it asks huffpo‘s readers whether or not they think weight discriminatory hiring practices are fair & correct. it breaks my weary heart that this comes down, at least among the readers of huffpo to a nearly precise 50/50 split.

    a 50/50 split!! what is wrong w/ people? must they always find someone to whom they feel senselessly superior? have so many of us learned absolutely nothing since the civil rights movement? ie: half the population doesnt understand that discrimination due to visual difference is no better when whats despised is size & not color?

    i have unfortunately been very sick these last few days [months of serious dental problems, root canal after root canal], so when i made my best effort to say something sensible in the comments i was a little too loopy to do it properly. i think it would be a really good idea for someone–someones–to go over there & do a better job of it than could i. apologies, my skill is usually somewhere between my brain & my typing fingers but not this time.

    [ps. i am not writing in txt speak, btw. i’m writing in long lost beatspeak, hipnikspeak, if you will. when i felt better i’d done a lot of time as a tech editor. this is how i write during my off hours. i’m not trying to alienate or condescend. really. but right now i better go lie down again.]

  7. I must have used a double s too many times in that last post as I got moderated!

  8. I’ve been denied a job becuase I didn’t fit the uniform provided… it was during the 80’s at a McDonald’s restaurant. I was trying to find a job in the town where my husband was in college. I got hired right at the interview… was very excited. Then when they went to get me a uniform, they didn’t have anything bigger than a size 18. I just walked away defeated. I didn’t know enough to challenge it. I didn’t know enough to call the corporate office. I just went on job hunting until I landed a job at a nursing home.

    I hope Missouri will consider legislation that protects the rights of fat citizens.

    • I worked at McD’s too, and it was during a large weight gain over a period of 1 yr. I went from size 16 to 20. They gave me a 16 when I started, then I started gaining weight, and after about 6 months, a size 18 came in, but it was a worse fit than continuing to wear the 16, so I had to give it back, and then they ordered in a 20. Took forever to get that in too, so I had to wear my own pants for 4 months after the size 16 wouldn’t fit anymore. 😦

  9. Ragan, I wonder if you saw Joan Rivers’ appearance on Letterman recently where she made fun of Adele’s weight? It was totally reprehensible.

    I’ve learned a lot from you in the last few months. Thanks!


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