I got an e-mail from a blog reader today who was really upset at how often she sees rude, mean, and even abusive behavior used against someone who is arguing for fat acceptance or Health at Every Size.
I certainly get tired of people who’ve, somewhat inexplicably, chosen to spend their time online trying to make sure that no fat person stops hating themselves for even a moment. How did this become their lives? Did these people wake up one day and say “Oh my god, my Spidey sense is tingling, it must mean fat people are considering not putting up with my bullshit – I must take to the comments section and abuse them before they get all uppity and think they deserve to be treated with basic human respect!” I’m tired of people who call me profanity laced strings of names and made up animals “Kill yourself you fucking stupid lazy cunt landwhale!” In the words of DancesWithFat celebrity commenter Yorkie “Hello”? Who the f*ck raised them to speak like that, Andrew Dice Clay?”
I get tired of people who answer my citing of research by calling me names, who substitute ALL CAPS for reasoned logical thought, who act like “everybody knows’ is the same as “scientifically proven”, and who are trying to build themselves up by stepping on me. I get tired of the people who will argue to the death against the idea that fat people have a right to exist in a fat body, be treated with basic human respect, or make our own choices about our health and well being. The concern trolls, the regular trolls, the haters, etc.
It helps me to remember that these people are just the latest in a long line of losers. For example when someone argues vehemently for the idea that you can tell someone’s health by their body size, I remind myself that people used to argue just as vehemently for the idea that the size and shape of someone’s skull could predict personality and character. We laugh at phrenology now but it sure as hell wasn’t funny to the people being accused being criminals because of their skull shape.
Don’t forget that at various times in history people argued just as voraciously that the sun revolves around the Earth, that heroin was a non-addictive substitute for morphine, that Lysol is a fantastic douche, and being gay was a mental illness and that gay kids shouldn’t be allowed in boy scouts. Some people are STILL arguing for those things – there are always people who plant their roots deep and wide on the wrong side of history and push as hard as they can against progress. But progress marches on – past them, over them, or dragging them along. Sometimes slowly, sometimes in great leaps, but forward nonetheless.
When I get frustrated I remind myself that history is on my side, that civil rights activists are a long line of winners, and that the only thing that I see for me to do is keep pushing forward and never give up.
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