As my regular readers are no doubt aware, I moderate my spaces – this blog, my Facebook page, the Facebook pages I manage etc. This often angers the people who would like to use these spaces to forward their agenda of fat hatred and bigotry and/or call me unoriginal names. Sometimes I get the ridiculous “You’re infringing on my freedom of speech” argument (newsflash to these Constitutional scholars – the first amendment says “Congress shall make no laws…abridging the freedom of speech” it does not say “bloggers shall be required to post your bullshit comments”.)
The one that I want to talk about today is:
If you really believed in your cause you would allow open debate on your blog (or Facebook etc. )
In order to fight oppression, and have some respite from it, marginalized populations have every right to create spaces where their oppressors do not have a voice. The insistence otherwise is about further oppressing people, as well as the shock of people who are laboring under the misapprehension that they should get to say whatever they want, anytime and anywhere they want, and are experiencing the rude awakening that there are spaces that aren’t for them to speak in.
Let’s also be clear that fat civil rights activism shouldn’t be necessary. The idea that our right to live in a fat body without being oppressed is debatable is a pretty clear indication of the problem. The truth is that fat people have the right to exist in fat bodies without shaming, stigma, bullying or oppression regardless of why we are fat, what it means to be fat, or if we could become thin. There are no other valid opinions about that. Our rights to life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness and basic human respect should never be up for debate. At some point our society got confused and started to think that some people should have to debate for their civil rights with people who are already enjoying theirs. That’s complete and total bullshit.
The reason we have these spaces in the first place is that people are threatening and stealing our rights through an inappropriate use of power and privilege. We are under no obligation to help them out. That means that, while we may be forced to fight for rights that should already be ours, believing that we shouldn’t be oppressed does not mean that we have to allow our oppressors in our spaces to “debate” about whether or not we have the right to exist.
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