They Are Our Bodies

Things you can tell by looking at a fat personThere’s a picture going around Facebook that suggests that the world is unfair because fat people get medical care but same sex couples can’t get married.  Even if I wasn’t a fat queer woman who can’t get insurance or get married, this would royally piss me off.  I’ve been looking for some response more eloquent than “fuck this bullshit” and this is the best I’ve got:

They are our bodies.

They are not a representation of greed or capitalism.  They are our bodies.

They are not pictures without heads to accompany yet another OMGDEATHFAT article.  They are our bodies.

They are not stand-ins for our health and well being.  They are our bodies.

They are not for you to judge. They are our bodies.

Do you get it?  They are our bodies. So back off.

Our bodies are far too valuable to be treated like a car whose worth is lowered because of some wear and tear.  They are far too astounding to be a metaphor or a political statement.  They are far too complicated to run on the same formula used to fuel a lawn mower. They are far too profound to be reduced to a ratio of weight and height.  And they are far too amazing to be judged by anyone.

Because they are our bodies..


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Published in: on June 13, 2013 at 10:24 am  Comments (43)  

43 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I love your work, and sometimes there’s nothing left to say except, “fuck this shit.” Keep on writing sister!

  2. I am going to have a family-intensive weekend. Now I have a mantra to go with me. I may just say it outloud a few times. Thanks. –Jen

  3. It’s also a logic fail. It’s like saying it’s unfair that God won’t let me win the lottery, when there are people out there who are chess champions. They’ve got nothing to do with one another.

    • BINGO!

    • Wonderful, Bodycrimes. I love your example of ill-logic.

  4. This was amazing!

  5. I’d fucking love to have health care. I’d fucking love it if every queer person in the world were allowed to marry. It’s my twentieth wedding anniversary today, and I want to be able to share this kind of joy with everyone on the goddamn planet who wants it.

    And I still don’t have health care.

    Oh, and BTW, some of you may remember a couple weeks back I wrote about how Mr. Twistie couldn’t sleep, and a rattling in his lungs, and was hideously edemic and his ‘doctor’ (I have to use the quotation marks because I think he got his medical license at the bottom of a box of Cracker Jack!) told him he was fat and had heartburn from all the overeating and prescribed Prilosec?

    Yeah, Mr. Twistie got sick enough that he finally went back to his doctor who said ‘you look terrible; you should go to the ER.’ Turns out Mr. Twistie had pneumonia and was suffering some very ill effects of being off nearly all his meds because we’re fucking broke and couldn’t afford the $300 a month in deductibles. He spent three nights in the hospital.

    I have no idea how we’re going to pay for this, but at least he’s still here and alive for our anniversary. This time last week, I wasn’t sure he would be.

    And tomorrow we’re sitting down with that ‘doctor’ for a little chat about why my husband is on three different meds for his hypertension, all prescribed by one ‘doctor.’

    But hey, at least my fat husband has health care… of a sort. It’s just a pity it isn’t healthy and shows no care.

    And to anyone who thinks my husband and I don’t deserve the health care we’re not getting, a hearty fuck you very much. I’ve worked hard for marriage equality. I will continue to do so. I believe it to be a basic human right… JUST LIKE HEALTHCARE FOR ALL.

    • Health care: It isn’t healthy and shows no care. Very, very well said.

    • Twistie,

      I would seriously consider reporting this provider to your state’s medical licensing board. You should be able to readily locate this information on the internet. All the state medical boards have people within their organization who investigate these sorts of patient complaints.

      If my fiance (who is a tall fat guy) received substandard care such as your husband did, I would be making that call to our state’s medical licensing division immediately. I think the problem is that alot of people who receive substandard care don’t know about this or are hesitant to report such matters for fear of retaliation. Or they just think that nobody cares and why bother?

      I believe in reporting true problems to the proper authorities. I say this as a person who has worked in the healthcare industry for almost 18 years. Healthcare providers are not above the law, they do have to answer for the things they do (right or wrong) just like any other licensed profession. If nobody ever says anything, these substandard providers will continue to provide bad care to people until somebody dies and by then it’s too late.

    • ❤ you, Twistie. My prayers for your sanity and his health!

    • I’m so sorry to hear about Mr. Twistie! I hope you find a way to manage. I hate our stupid system.

    • I wonder if an uninsured American has ever appealed to the UN, on the grounds that their human rights have been violated.

      Article 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that “everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care…”

  6. “that the world is unfair because fat people get medical care but same sex couples can’t get married.”

    Whoever wrote that needs to check their privilege big time. They have no understanding of Intersectionality. Also, being fat and being gay are not mutually exclusive groups and it’s othering to disappear the people who belong to both marginalized groups. The writer is playing Oppression Olympics and that is just bullshit. A person who is part of a marginalized group is not responsible for the systemic systems of oppression used against them and other marginalized groups. Sadly I see far too many people willfully engage in Oppression Olympics trying to put a hierarchy on oppression, which itself is engaging in othering and marginalization. In the spirit of Flavia Dzodan “My fat Acceptism with be Intersectional or it will be bullshit”.

    • Oppression Olympics – THIS. 😀

    • LOL!! “Oppression Olympics”!!

      Awesome way to put it! I feel like just about every fat person living in, or exposed to, our fat hating and fat-phobic culture is forced to run in the Oppression Olympics every day. It’s an unfair game and no one wins (not even thin people, because they have to “live in fear of getting fat” – cause hey, fat is just about the WORST thing you can be in our screwed up culture). bleh Count me out.

      Really laughed hard at that “Oppression Olympics” phrase though, so funny!

  7. Well written and so true. Thank you.

  8. So very true, and so very enraging. Oddly similar to another form of shaming I get in the Liberal community, too: state shaming. (I shit you not.) As an Okie, I end up having to argue back against every bully that says shit like, “Oklahoma can’t elect a Congressperson that can find his ass with both hands, but we keep sending them Federal Aid! We need to cut them off!” Invariably, a lot of people agree.

    Don’t you love wars that feel unwinnable?

    • I get that about Florida a lot, too. In my experience, many people who bully about region don’t have a lot going for them in the realm of personal accomplishments; their only sense of superiority comes from tearing down people who are making the best they can of themselves but live in the ‘wrong’ place. Sort of like someone with thin privilege tearing down a fat person who’s accomplished something in their lives.

    • Oklahoma just had large cities devastated by tornadoes. It’s not like you guys ask for a lot of extra federal money for no reason all the time.

      The state shaming thing is so true! I’m from KS and when I went to the East Coast for my Master’s, people would ask me where I was from. When I said Kansas, people said, “Wow, but…you sound smart.” They were surprised that I had no accent and asked why I was such a strange a Kansan (I was the first they’d met). I told them that most people in Kansas speak like I do. They were expecting a twangy accent and poor grammar, I think.

    • I don’t think words can describe how much I hate when people drag politics into disasters. I’ve seen it from both sides though. I’ve heard the whole stop sending aid, despite the fact that people’s homes and lives have been destroyed. I’ve also heard people blaming things like “that state supports gay marriage so they deserve it” (I’ve heard that one a lot recently with all the wildfires going on in CO-my old home). Lack of empathy is such a huge problem, and it makes me sad that people who say those things don’t realize how horrible they are being.

  9. Great post. Thanks!

  10. Using prejudice and privilege to complain about prejudice and oppression? Wow, that is a whole vortex of wrong.

  11. Wow. Just wow. Yet another affirmation that I made the right choice by leaving facebook a year ago. That doesn’t make any sense at all, what, do fat gay people NOT deserve the right to marry? In my experience the gay marriage movement can be pretty judgmental of anyone not fitting a heteronormative model. I have personally been shamed and stigmatized over that. Don’t tell me it will start with the fat hating too… 😦

  12. Just my opinion, but neither healthcare nor civil rights should be rationed. They are not mutually exclusive. And anyone that suggests we have to choose one over the other is making the argument solely to protect their own self interest. I have never heard anyone argue that “because i am ________ , i dont deserve ____________.” The argument is always because you are ___________, you dont deserve ____________. The universe is infinitely abundant yet we continue to act in infinitely limiting ways. I think the solution is to want for everyone the things we want for ourselves. Just my thoughts…

  13. I agree with all these comments and am tired of seeing one oppressed group attacking other oppressed groups. Banding together would make more sense to me!

  14. Where did that comparison come from? I mean, what does fat people having healthcare have to do with same sex marriages? They’re not mutually exclusive, fat healthcare doesn’t prevent same sex marriage from happening, so while it’s of course unfair that same sex couples can’t marry, I have no idea what it is they’re complaining about there…

  15. Love your post!

    Yesterday, my mom told me about someone who was admitted to the hospice she works at: a 94 year-old woman who was about 5′ and 300 pounds. I guess fat doesn’t have to shorten your life. I hope this woman has spent her entire life in total acceptance of herself and telling everyone who would have her think otherwise to “fuck off.”

  16. I had something smart to say here, but I lost it in a haze of “Fuck this, fuck it to hell”. I deal with the Oppression Olympics far too often online and off, being black and fat and bisexual and a woman and a person of color. My response to the Oppression Olympics usually does default to “Fuck this shit”, and sometimes I have a more eloquent, intelligent response. Also, what does one thing (fat people getting medical care) have to do with the other (gay people not being able to marry), anyway? Besides, like a lot of people, I can’t get health insurance anyway. I’m eligible for Medicaid and can’t afford private health insurance. So yeah. Sorry for rambling all up in the comments.

    • “I deal with the Oppression Olympics far too often online and off, being black and fat and bisexual and a woman and a person of color.”

      The realization that you wake up every day dealing with racism, fat hate, queer hate, sexism – fuck! Just functioning in our culture, oy! Oppression Olympics for sure!

      When I daily deal with fat hate, poor hate (low socioeconomic status), and sexism, it is enough to make me want to check out of society all together and go live a secluded life in the mountains. My heart hearts realizing what our culture must be doing on a daily basis to Your self esteem and “sanity points”. Rubyfruit, I know you must be a strong woman *serving in our society would almost assure that you would have to be* – rock on with your bad self!

      Oh and please let me know if I’ve said anything offensive. I don’t live in your skin or walk in your shoes, so if my ignorance of your experience or life has caused offense, please let me know.

  17. I wish you could see me, I just gave you a standing ovation. My boyfriend is now looking at me funny, but he’s seen me do stranger things than stand up in front of my computer and start clapping. 😛

    Fanatic picture by the way, I love your dance photos!

  18. I haven’t seen that yet, but it really is offensive.

  19. I hate how, even when an issue has NOTHING to do with fat, someone manages to make it about fat. Like it’s not possible to promote equitable marriage AND equitable health care. Good one, Ragen. This really was eloquent.

  20. Your writing continues to amaze me: your profound insights and clean writing style do deserve an applause 🙂

  21. Gorgeous. Succinct. Deeply felt.
    Thank you.

  22. I like this blog a lot and agree that our bodies are none of anyone else’s business. I am having a problem that seems insurmountable to me as a fat woman. The company I’ve worked for these 14 years has a consultant who is an older man, who hated me the minute he saw me. He loves flirting with the women, despite being supposedly happily married. But I’m not his type, despite the fact I’m much younger. I’m fat. This man has tried different ways in his position to weaken my job, I believe he thinks that if fatty can do it anyone can. And if anyone can, it might as well be someone he wants to flirt with. He has been more successful these past couple of years in stripping away some of my responsibilities. I think he’s watering down my job so that eventually he can say, we no longer need her. Before I got this job, I had a hard time getting one. I think that had to do with my weight back then, but I was younger. I just turned 50 a couple of weeks ago and now I have weight and age working against me. If I’m let go and no one will hire me, I’ll lose my house. I have no savings and it pretty much takes what I earn to get by. I won’t be able to start anywhere at the salary I now make. My mother mentioned gastric bypass, and I feel I may have to get it just to be allowed to earn a living. If anyone is a Christian and prays, I’d appreciate you saying a prayer for me.

    • I am not a Christian and I wonder why I have to be one to pray for you. But that’s not what I really want to talk about with you. I have deep sympathy for your awful situation and I am completely outraged by the man who described — a self-indulgent, bigoted, immoral immature, no self-control oppressive SOB. I am fuming as I think of what he is doing to you — the way you are being bullied and frightened and made insecure.
      Do you know anything about this brute’s wife and family?
      My fantasy on your behalf — hire a private eye to find out about this guy. Does his constant flirting lead to any inappropriate harassment of other women working there? Does he engage in any extra-marital sex? That kind of stuff a p.i. could find out could be used to get him fired or to blackmail him into different/better behavior. You say you are fifty and much younger than he is. What is he being hired to consult about? When is he scheduled to retire? Does your company have a human resources dept where you can lodge a complaint?

    • I am, and that’s horrific. I am so sorry you’re experiencing that.

    • That sounds like a job for HR. Do you have any kind of documentation showing that he’s been progressively weakening your position based on your appearance and age, and inappropriately flirting with other female employees?

      Also, am not Christian, but would you accept hopeful thoughts from a good-natured atheist? 🙂

      • Dang, Susan S! Are we the same person? I’m beginning to think we are.

        @Kimch, what Susan S. said, right down to the hopeful thoughts.

        • LOL! Well, my doctors have taken an awful lot of mysterious samples over the years, and sent them off for unexplained testing…. 😉

          • Uh oh! Do we need to call y’all Dolly?

            • ::looks at cedar cabinet overflowing with yarn and wool roving::


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