Crap I’m Sick of Hearing

I can explain it to youI got a couple of comments from “Renee” on my blog about Public Displays of Fatness that pretty well outline the poorly thought out, entitled comments and arguments I get on a regular basis.  This is a post for my readers, and also for me to refer these people to in the future.

Let’s begin:

As a formerly fat person I can say I understand the looks and remarks, however I can’t agree 100%.

Ok.

What about the lady who is facing reprocussions of her twitter post about her getting AIDS in Africa? It’s not for fat people only.

What about her? I get comments like this a lot from people who seem to think that the fact that other people have horrible experiences with bigotry  has some kind of bearing on the fact that fat people have horrible experiences with bigots.  It doesn’t.  All oppression is worth fighting. Like that woman’s tweet, for example.  Those fighting oppression can only do so much, and we get to choose how much we do, and what we do.  Trying to draw us into a game of Oppression Olympics only wastes our time.

Second, some of these people are actually only trying to be nice. You going “how dare you give me any love or encouragement because you’re a stranger” basically makes that person never want to give kind words ro someone again. It’s your attitude that makes genuine people “rude”.

Oh yes, the “they were just trying to be nice” excuse.  In the article I talk about people who looked at my food and say “This is why you’re fat,” people who responded to my eating a salad with “Good for you for you, just keep it up and you’ll lose the weight”  and those who saw me at the gym doing an intense workout and said “good for you for starting an exercise program, stick to it and you’ll lose the weight.“

The first one is just completely rude, if someone thinks that constitutes “trying to be nice” then we are too far apart to even have a useful conversation.  The second and third are problematic because the people saying them are making assumptions and judgments.  They are assuming that I’m a beginning exerciser which is annoying.  They are assuming that I’m trying to lose weight, which sounds to me like they are thinking that my body is in need of weight loss.

Nobody asked these people for their “encouragement” – when you choose to “encourage” a stranger, you risk them not wanting your encouragement, when you “encourage” someone based on your assumptions and judgments, you risk being called out on it. If I do so and someone is put off from ever “giving [what they think are] kinds words to a stranger” that’s their choice – it’s not on me.

In addition to the fact that I am under no obligation to smile and accept judgments and assumptions delivered as “encouragement,” as a fat activist when I encounter someone who assumes that I’m trying to be thin, that’s an opportunity for activism and I get to choose whether I take that opportunity and, if so, what I do with it.

Third, those who are obese do have more medical problems, and taxpayers pay for that. Want bigger beds/equipment and hospitals need lifts? Taxpayers pay for that. Sweeping it under the rug only discredits you.

I love it when random strangers on the internet think they are authorities on my credibility, it’s my favorite thing.  Not only don’t I sweep it under the rug, I blogged about it here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.  This argument is tired, and it has absolutely nothing to do with the blog about which Renee is commenting.  It seems like “Oh my tax dollars!”  is always the last ditch effort in these types of comments.  But I’ll be benevolent and address it anyway:

First of all, the idea that fat people have more health problems than thin people is problematic because of the confirmation bias informing the counts.  Also, fat is not a behavior, or a state of health,  it’s a body size and there are fat people and thin people who have the same behaviors and different body sizes.

But that’s not even the major issue with this argument.  Should the taxes of people who don’t mountain climb pay for the injuries of mountain climbers?  Should the taxes of people who don’t drink  pay for accidents and health issues that happen to people who do drink?  Should the taxes of fat people who exercise pay for health problems of thin sedentary people?  Of course they should! Health is not entirely within our control, and we all get to choose how we prioritize our health and what path we take to get there.  Unless you want to live in a world where there a  “health authority” controls what you have to do and how you have to look to get health insurance (what we eat, what movement we do and how much, how much we sleep etc. etc.) then you don’t have a leg to stand on in this argument.

I’m also going to ignore the fact that hospital funding is way more complicated than “taxes pay for beds”. Even if it were true, fat people pay taxes too.  If thin people’s taxes afford them beds and equipment that works for them then fat people’s taxes dollars should afford us the same thing.  Also equipment that accommodates fat people would also accommodate thin people (as well as the elderly who often require special equipment, but not necessarily those with disabilities and premature babies and everyone else who requires – and should get – special equipment for whatever reason).

Renee cannot point to even a single study that suggests that the majority of people can lose weight long term.  Weight loss is not evidence based medicine and requiring people to do something that only a tiny percentage ever succeed at in order to get proper health care is inhumane.  Those who truly care about people’s health are looking for ways to remove barriers to health care, not finding ways to justify them.

Lastly, it wasn’t until I lost the weight that I realized, most people are not staring because you’re fat. Or you ate that extra slice of pie. They don’t really care about how much you weigh. Only your attitude and behaviors.

Two tired tropes of oppression “it’s all in your head”  and “it’s all your fault.”  (This is also just weird since Renee’s first comment was “As a formerly fat person I can say I understand the looks and remarks.”)  Weirder still that she assumes that her experience is universally applicable.  Whatever.  Oppression is real. Fat people receive poor treatment, and coming into an anti-oppression space and telling people that their attitudes and behaviors are responsible for the oppression that they experience is a form of oppression in an of itself.

I copied the comment to write this blog and then trashed it.  Not one to sulk away in silence, Renee sent another:

I find it hilarious that my comment was deleted simply because I only agreed with this to a certain extent and argued other parts. I AGREED to part of this.  You want your voice to be heard but you won’t let anyone else speak who dissagrees with you even a little.

This is a great example of the sense of entitlement that many people have about my blog.  I created a space where I put my thoughts out.  I consider myself very lucky and privileged to have acquired an amazing audience who post thoughtful comments, and support me and each other.  I am under no obligation to hand that audience over to someone who I think is being oppressive.  Renee, and everyone else who feels this way, is welcome to create a blog, acquire an audience and say whatever they want.

I’m sure you’ll delete this too a call me a bitch or something, but I honestly feel bad for you. You are so full of hate you won’t even let anyone else speak. You didn’t even take the time to respond. How rude! And no, it’s not because your blog is a “loving, safe place”, it’s ensuring the delusion that everyone should agree with you. Because if it was a loving place you would at least have kindly rebuttled or said thanks for my input. But no. Rude. Rude. Rude. You’ve lost a kind reader who actually reads this and liked your style!

Wow, Renee did a whole thing all by herself there.  The idea that oppressed people must allow their oppressors a voice in every space they create or they are “full of hate” or whatever someone claims (insert chicken noises here) is a form of oppression and a way that oppressors try to keep control.  I just searched my whole blog and I couldn’t find anywhere that I said it was a “loving, safe place” so I don’t know why on Earth she put that in quotes except that she seems to be supplying both sides of the conversation here.  I am not required to educate oppressors, nor am I required to give an audience and a response to every person who is able to successfully publish a comment.   I consider what people think of the way I exercise my rights where this is concerned to be information for them, not information for me.

I get accused a lot of not letting my dissenters speak.  I have done a number of blogs like this where I respond to those who disagree, I even publish my hatemail.  I could be wrong, but I don’t think it’s about not letting my dissenters speak, I think it’s about not letting them speak on their terms. That’s just never gonna happen here, so I’ll wave goodbye to Renee and wish her the best finding greener blog pastures.

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Published in: on December 27, 2013 at 10:25 am  Comments (67)  

67 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. People who whip out the old “tax dollars unfairness!” saw never care that fat people’s tax dollars go to pay for public goods and services they then have no access to because they were only made to accomodate thin people, or how unfair THAT is.

    • SPECTACULAR consideration that I’ve never thought of before!! This is an excellent addendum to our side of that argument.

    • I’m baffled that people keep using this tired argument. Most of our tax dollars, period, go to fund wars we don’t agree with. That doesn’t mean I’m going around petitioning for members of the armed services to lose their benefits. My tax dollars also fund the so-called “war on obesity,” but apparently that’s OK because, you know, DEATHFATZ.

    • Yes. This!. Or that hey if…what’s the stat lately 60%? …of people are overweight and obese, well then more fat folks are paying taxes than thin folks and it would seem that if anything (even if much of those dollars were going to medical which I kind of doubt) the stuff being payed for should be skewed toward fat needs.

      • While reading the above, I got the idea that a lot of fat shamers might think that all fat people are part of the Romney 47% statistic (somehow all 60% of us squeezed in there, likely since we are used to squeezing in to ill fitting clothing). Not only are we Fatty Mcfatballs, but we are poor and taking everything from them to live our shameful lives of fatting.

        • I think you have hit at least one nail on the head here! Because *obviously* fat people are lazy and stupid and unmotivated, right? So they fit right into that “taker” demographic.

          Okay, I need to go be sick awhile after making that comment…

        • FTR, political Lefties are as adept at fat-shaming as are any number of Right-wingers. I bailed on one well-known Left Wing blog because of it. I could live with one person saying obnoxious shit proudly using their own handle, but when more than twenty people I’d previously had pleasant exchanges with (on various subjects) all hit the “Agree” button I threw up my hands and bailed. Maybe that makes me chickenshit, but I can live with it for now.:/

          • Totally. Wait, not totally that you are chickenshit. I bail on places that are just going to make me want to stab my eyes out so I don’t have to read their lack of logic ever again. I have had the same amount of trouble with all political leanings when it comes to ignorant comments about fats. They each seem to approach it differently in my experience.

            • The rule of thumb is: Whatever social/political stance they oppose/dislike must be attributed to somebody fat. Some other. So Righties decry the Demon Fat Welfare Cheat and Lefties decry the Demon Fat Tea Bagger (both come with a genetically attached bacon-double cheeseburger and large fries). :/

              Anyone they don’t like is of course ugly, and nothing could be more ugly than fat.

    • If we’re only paying for things we agree with, I would like a refund for my cut of abstinence-only sex ed and the war in Iraq.

      • Also, where do I sign up to restore (or even increase) SNAP benefit levels?

      • [golf clap]

  2. “Unless you want to live in a world where there is a “health authority” tells us what we have to do and how we have to look to get health insurance (what we eat, what movement we do and how much, how much we sleep etc. etc.)…”

    well, I live in Europe where it’s different with health insurance anyway, but I get the feeling that that is EXACTLY what some people want – when I discuss this and argue with: what about high risk sports, people who smoked in their youth, whatever? Then those people say: good idea, health insurance shouldn’t pay for them either, as well as for fat people. And if it’s said often enough, I’m sure the gouvernment will be only too ready to take up these arguments and cut what insurances have to cover.
    But I think people that argue that way are very confident about all that they do for their health and haven’t yet had the experience how fragile and not in our hands health often is

    • I’d respond to them: judge not lest ye be judged. You want to be very careful when deciding that someone doesn’t deserve healthcare, because someone might decide that the person who doesn’t deserve healthcare is you.

      Maybe we should cut all people who drive cars–accidents just waiting to happen! Oh, and anyone working any sort of job where accidents might happen–factories are dangerous! Why weren’t you thinking of your health when you accepted the job? And don’t get excited, office workers, because apparently sitting is bad for you and you should have planned better too!

      Like it’s seriously so easy to justify why no one “deserves” healthcare. Either we all are worthy, or we’re all not.

      • BINGO.

      • Didn’t the UN decide that access to healthcare is as basic a human right as shelter and food?

        • Yes. Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), Article 25. http://www.un.org/en/documents/udhr/index.shtml#a25

          Eleanor Roosevelt was on the commission that helped draft the UDHR, and it was adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1948.

      • Oh yeah. I know many many people lately that have gotten very sick or passed away, despite taking great care of their health and doing all those things one is told they are supposed to do. It’s fragile, and quite a lot of chance involved.

        And yeah…its scarey that people are so willing to go along with this and don’t realize the implication if you carry it through. Like oh gee, let’s make sure no one in any risky category who have ever done a risky thing don’t get health care, and yes that includes people who sit all day doing nothing dangerous because its all been in the news how bad it is to sit all day. And then with only 5% of the people insured…

        Sigh.

        • Maybe I’m really old, but two “experts” immediately come to mind: Jim Fixx, who advocated running; and Adele Davis who was into healthy foods. They died in middle age. And then there’s my thin friend who runs marathons and has high blood pressure.

      • First they came for the Jews, but I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t one. Then they came for the Catholics, but I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t one. Then they came for the Communists,….. Then they came for the fat people, but I wasn’t one. Then I was the only one left, and there was no one to care for me.

  3. Self-righteousness. Our culture is rife with it, because somewhere along the line, most of us learned that it is a dreadful thing to be “wrong.” People are unable to learn new things or change their attitudes about old ones because to do so would mean that their previous state of ignorance or opinion was WRONG. They discard beautiful opportunities to grow and change because they’re unwilling to experience the discomfort of feeling WRONG. What a waste!

    Kudos to you. You patiently explain your views over and over and over, with wit and logic and EVIDENCE. Which is really really threatening to the rightness of those who disagree with you.

  4. Whoa, Renee, projection much?

    I have seen this kind of oppressor backlash before. It reminds me of “anti-feminist” rhetoric from the Seventies and Eighties, where adjectives like “militant” or “strident” were used to imply that the speaker was somehow incapable of being satisfied any time, anywhere, with any amount of consideration, and therefore needn’t be listened to at all.

    This is, to say the least, bullshit.

    Also, yeah, you totally called her on the supplying both sides of the conversation, Ragen. I have never heard one of the dozens of stories related on this blog (or in the comments) contain anything that remotely sounded like “How dare you give me any love or encouragement because you’re a stranger”. Quite the opposite–it is in fact the very absence of any love, empathy or knowledge-based encouragement in these stories which prompt most of us to share them.

    I also found the self-descriptor “kind reader” to be hilarious.
    Presuming you know my experience better than me is not kind.
    Presuming that you have a right to perpetuate oppression in an place created to end that oppression is not kind.
    Refusing to respect the basic rules of Netiquette in a person’s online “living room” is not kind.
    Presuming that someone will be sorry, rather than relieved, to lose your toxic attentions is…well, you know 8)

    Best wishes Ragen,

    Dyanna

  5. All of those comments up there and this post are awesome and so true! Much love!

  6. I feel sad for Renee. I think she really does believe she’s being helpful. But that doesn’t mean she is, and I vote yes, yes, and yes on this blog entry. Ragen, I love you. I wake up every morning looking forward to your posts. You make everything so clear. I’ve heard the “Fat people suck up our tax dollars” argument and could never come up with a satisfactory response to it, but then I read your blog–and, duh, fat people pay tax dollars too. And beds for fat people would accomodate thin people. It’s such a simple, obvious answer. Why don’t I think of this stuff? Why are you so awesome? Not that I want you to stop being awesome; I just don’t understand why no one–no even fat activists such as myself–can see these simple answers without someone else pointing it out for them. It’s disturbing.

  7. And by “no one,” I mean me.

    Can you post a blog entry about how to think clearly about fat-related issues?

  8. Entitlement; Renee’s drowning in it.

  9. She liked your style, but figured you’d call her a bitch and thinks you’re full of hate? Contrary much, Renee?

  10. I for one really appreciate the spaces that you create and maintain for us. Often comments like Renee’s are triggering, and they used to make me feel bad. The spaces that you created (the blog, Fit Fatties, Rolls Not Trolls) have been monumental in helping me accept my body so quickly, and a great deal of that has been due to your careful moderation. These safe spaces have meant a great deal to me and others, so Renee can just shove it. Thank you, Ragen, for keeping our spaces safe. I also really appreciate these breakdowns of asshatery that you do. They make me feel better when I venture out to the less positive parts of the internet.

  11. I just wanted to say that I’m honestly so very happy that you do delete comments such as Renee’s and you don’t let people say just whatever they want in your comments section. I’ve never felt comfortable anywhere, online or off, discussing weight/size because of all the people who are just ready to beat you down with their ignorance and oppression. When I usually would read posts about being fat I’d scroll down and brace for the impact of comments and usually end up leaving the page crying because of the absolutely horrible things people say. I never have to experience that here and I really doubt I would have kept reading (the better part of a year now) if I’d seen comments like Renee’s.

    So thank you Ragen for controlling your comments section and just being pretty great in general.

    • So true, Nicole. Ragen has created a safe space here, just not for people like Renee.

    • Yes! What Nicole said.

  12. Your blog, your rules. As you said, Renee can start a blog and do what she likes with it. Her assertion that you should allow any and all dissent is the same as saying I should allow everyone entry into my home and let them say anything they want to say without challenging their words. This blog is your home. You get to decide who is allowed inside it.

    • Yep. Don’t like the band? Hire your own hall.

  13. I’m short. I’m sure shorter hospital beds are cheaper. Why do I have to pay for beds for tall folks?! Gosh that’s SO UNFAIR.

    • Really tall folks have things as bad or worse than fat people in the hospital bed department. I filed complaints in 2 hospitals because neither had beds to fit my 6’8″ husband. One of them was a major teaching hospital.

      • It’s not a competition. It’s bad for both.

        • I was just pointing out there are other people they don’t bother to accommodate. I personally think either all their equipment should work for everyone, or they should have multiple items that can work for both fat people and tall people.

          Btw, my husband is fat, as well as tall, and they basically let him starve nearly to death because of that bloody BMI. I was freaking out 40 lbs before they showed the slightest concern. He lost over half his weight & literally looked like a concentration camp survivor before they bothered even trying to help. BMI was still “normal” weight.

      • The difference between lack of accommodation for really tall people and lack of accommodation for really fat people is that fat people get blamed for being fat. When you complained about the lack of accommodation for your husband, did any of the staff suggest that he should undergo dangerous interventions in order to not be so tall?

        • No, they just whined endlessly and forced him to scrunch into incredibly awkward and painful positions and/or banged him into things when moving him because parts of him hung off the beds.

  14. I have a bunch of thoughts on this one, so I apologize if this comment is super dis-jointed.

    1) “…some of these people are actually only trying to be nice. You going “how dare you give me any love or encouragement because you’re a stranger” basically makes that person never want to give kind words to someone again. It’s your attitude that makes genuine people “rude”.”

    This is the same shit that I hear when I complain about street harassment. “Oh, it’s just some lonely dude trying to make a connection. If you’re not nice to him, he’ll get all broken.” Guess what? NOT. MY. PROBLEM. Also, that behavior is not “nice.” You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

    2) I haven’t actually run the numbers, but the last time I checked, most hospitals had pretty good bulk purchasing power. I suspect that bariatric beds and wheelchairs and gurneys would be significantly cheaper if they bought ALL of their equipment to accommodate true size diversity. Why are they wasting money buying equipment that doesn’t work for a significant percentage of the population they are supposed to be serving?

    3) I’ve seen the “safe space” description on multiple anti-oppression blogs. I don’t think I’ve ever seen the “loving, safe space” phrasing though. Her use of quotes on that phrase makes me wonder how many other anti-oppression blogs she trolls. Maybe she’s confused your blog with another Fat Activism or HAES blog?

    • Also, that behavior is not “nice.” You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

      Absolutely. If the assumptions and the condescension weren’t enough of a clue by themselves, it becomes blatantly obvious when the same person who was being “nice” starts yelling at you if you don’t respond the way they want. Someone who sincerely wished you well would *want* to know if their “friendly and supportive” comments were actually making you feel *worse.* Somebody who turns rude and nasty probably was never being sincerely “nice” in the first place. Maybe they wanted to pat themselves on the back for being a good person, but it was never about actually doing something nice for *you.*

  15. It really cracks me up when people accuse you of being “full of hate.” Sure, in some posts the frustration is palpable– but hell, how are you not supposed to get frustrated when you’re surrounded with so much ignorance and entitlement? Renee is obviously one of those folks who wants to fatsplain to you, but doesn’t really want to listen to what you have to say. Why on Earth would you give that person the time of day? But she won’t see that, since it would require her empathizing with someone outside herself.

    That said, I’ve never found your blog hateful, Ragen, but I have often found it inspiring. Keep up the good work!

  16. It is very disconcerting that arrogant anti fat comments are so commonly made by people that have recently undergone “successful” weight loss dieting efforts. A very high fraction of such people will become fat again, and often fatter than before. It is really a projection of their own body hatred onto other people as most “successful” dieters are secretly dissatisfied with their lean bodies. It would be nice if such people would take ownership of their shit attitudes and leave other people alone.

    • “Most ‘successful’ dieters are secretly dissatisfied with their lean bodies.” What’s your source for that statement? It seems to be the same kind of generalization I don’t like being made about my fat body. I doubt that thin people are any more enamored of being lumped together than we are.

    • I think it’s that when they were fat, they had a lot of body hatred on some level or another, and heard all the fat hate out there too, took it in, then they get thin and want to waive a big neon sign saying I”M NOT ONE OF THEM! NOT ME! not one of those evil fatties. Some kind of weird distancing thing. Perhaps they are often so afraid of becoming fat again, that its sort of a psychological thing, to convince themselves the distance between “those people” and their current selves is further than it actually is.

      • Well said!

        Today I read this quote online:

        “If you are not okay with yourself at 185, you will not be okay at 150, or even 135. The self-respect and serenity you long for is not out there. It’s within. I hate that. I resent that more than I can say. But it’s true.” (Anne Lamott)

  17. Gee, Ragen, clearly this woman is the underpants overlord we’ve been searching for all these years, and you’ve “silenced” her! How incredibly selfish and horrid of you. /sarcasm

    Sorry that you thought that freedom of speech meant that you could spew whatever you wanted to without repercussion, Reene. Unfortunately for you (and fortunately for others) you are guaranteed the freedom to say what you want, but you are not guaranteed a soapbox from which to say it. Build your own and see who wants to listen. That’s the way it works.

    Ragen, keep up the awesome work.

    ~Your loving (and once again in need of pain meds) blog wife!

    • Dibs on the band name Underpants Overlords.

      [cleans garage out]

      [buys drum kit]

      • *snort* My husband just said that was a British invasion he’d gladly attend.

        Thank you for the much needed giggle during my surgical recovery. 🙂

        • Well, I pride myself on stealing only from the very best. :p

          And I hope your recovery is complete soon.

  18. Hey, following Renee’s logic, I can start commenting on people’s hair and clothes out of kindness!
    😉

  19. I have to wonder if the reason she is so annoyed is as a ‘former fat person’ she is not getting the attention or happiness she was ‘promised’ by weight loss experts and now she’s finding she can’t even lord it of fat people on a fat person blog. She’s put all this effort into conforming to societal demands and it’s got her precisely bupkiss!

    If she also has a sneaking suspicion at the back of her mind that you are right and she either has to keep up the diet/exercise forever just to maintain or is likely to gain the weight back then she’s only got a little time to flaunt her privilege before she has to go back to being a fat person.

    I actually got told the other day that it’s shitty that people treat me like crap but I either have to deal with it or lose weight. I finally said that was unlikely. I decided not to argue that there was another option which is let people know that treating people in a shitty manner is not acceptable, but my New Years Resolution is let less people treat me badly and to ignore the rest of the doucheweasels as much as possible (with the odd educational attempt thrown in for good measure).

  20. Wow. Just… wow.

    Of all of the innumerable things that drive me nuts — and make no mistake, the list is both long and distinguished — at or very, very near the top is someone who wants to spew both sides of a conversation so that they can argue their preferred points against “my” side. (Or, at least, the side that they’ve been so generous as to provide for and assign to me.)

    Honestly, I don’t even believe that “Renee” is a regular reader here. I’m sorry, but anyone who’s been here any length of time and truly believes that “I’m not fat anymore and oddly I’m still miserable so let me tell you how wrong you are not to be miserable, too, you fat, fat, fatty” was going to be a welcome sentiment either (1.) has no reading comprehension skills or (2.) is a miserable troll masquerading as a reader. I suspect the latter.

    I very much appreciate that Ragen is kind enough to give those of us able to follow the underpants rule a forum in which to vent. But I make no mistake that she’s required to do so. If you want to be entitled to see your words on a blog, the solution is simple. Sign up for your own.

  21. Also, I’m not really sure which part of her remarks “Renee” really meant, but I take great issue with the idea that I’ve imagined the way I’ve been treated because of my weight.

    I mean, surely I’m not the only one here who’s been served diet drinks regularly when they asked for a regular soda at a restaurant? It’s not always outright insults, but it is there.

  22. It seems like since I hit the 2 year mark on my blog, the comments are getting ruder and ruder. e.g. – “You know, have you looked in the mirror lately? You’re not exactly thin.” This was when I talked about discrimination and racism on a post.

    Then there was the person who said, referring to a comment I made, “Your profile pic doesn’t cover up your double chin.” I mean, WTH? These are the comments people come up with to disagree on a topic? Really lame.

  23. Ragen, do you have any suggestions about how oppressors can get educated without asking the oppressed to clue them in? This is the biggest struggle I have with dealing with privilege (of all kinds)?

  24. As a currently fat Renée, I am displeased with the formerly fat Renee’s comments.

    I don’t have much more of substance to add. I just had to weigh in (ha!) for the fat Renées.

    Ragen, love your writing and your message.

  25. Another reason why the kind of “encouragement” she describes is not “nice” is that it is not encouragement at all; it is approval. It is given because the person thinks you (generic you) are doing what they think you should do and are letting you know that your current behavior meets with their approval. Which violates the underpants rule.

    • Exactly. If it was true “encouragement”, it would be more like “You go! Eat that salad! Enjoy your food, whatever you choose to eat! Or you know, don’t, if you don’t want to!” Except no one has said that, ever. Because it would be weird, and because people don’t usually need to be encouraged to eat what they’ve ordered.

      • “You go! Eat that salad! Enjoy your food, whatever you choose to eat! Or you know, don’t, if you don’t want to!”

        I read that in Juliet from Lollipop Chainsaw’s voice, lol.

      • “Because it would be weird, and because people don’t usually need to be encouraged to eat what they’ve ordered.”

        HAHAHA!!! That’s a great line, Laney!

    • Totally. It’s not “nice,” it’s condescending, which is not acceptable behavior.

  26. May I just add that I REALLY wish there was a like button so I could click it on so many comments? Seriously, the people here rock!

  27. I absolutely LOVE how consistent and clear you are about boundaries and how thoroughly considered your responses are. Thank you!

  28. Beautifully said, beautifully done. I am so happy to see this post and admire how you handled this person who wanted to control the space for her own tired agenda. I have had to deal with controlling people that
    used the words “good for you” or “I just wanted to help you see…” and that was for their benefit not for mine. Thank you for this blog that says no, it is not okay to “encourage” strangers then blame them afterward for not saying “thank you”.

    I want to thank you Ragen, for your clear boundaries and for your blogs full of good, strong common sense, common decency and for your limitless capacity to help others. Happy New Year to all of you bloggers here, you really rock!

  29. Former fatties who become the oppressor is a disturbing trend. I’ve encountered people like Renee on Tumblr and other forums. They become so vile and hateful towards those who represent their former selves. It only proves how damaging fat shaming and fat hatred is, people like Renee prove how larger people can internalize fat hatred so deeply, that when they decide to lose weight for whatever reason they exhibit the internalized shame and abuse they experienced towards others. It so pitiful because they develop the exact same close minded perceptions as fat shaming oppressors. There needs to be a study done on this, which will help expose the psychological damage fat shaming does.

  30. Go suck it, Renee. And I mean that in a most “loving” and “safe” way.


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