Kerryn Feehan – Every Fatphobia Fallacy In 3 Minutes

WTF are you doingActress and comic Kerryn Feehan decided to use a publicity opportunity on KISS 95.1 FM to go after KISS intern/My Big Fat Fabulous Life star,Whitney Way Thore.

In a “whoever talks the loudest wins” style that she seems to have copied directly from famous-only-for-being-a-fatphobe MeMe Roth, Kerryn manages to commit every fallacy of fatphobia in less than three minutes.

It would have been impressive if it wasn’t so horrifying.  I wrote about it for Ravishly.com, you can read all about it at:

http://www.ravishly.com/2016/07/27/kerryn-feehan-concern-troll-fatphobe-and-bullshit-artist

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Published in: on July 28, 2016 at 11:31 am  Comments (15)  

15 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I gotta say it again: I love the way you write. Thanks, Karen

    On Thu, Jul 28, 2016 at 6:31 AM, Dances With Fat wrote:

    > danceswithfat posted: “Actress and comic Kerryn Feehan decided to use a > publicity opportunity on KISS 95.1 FM to go after KISS intern/My Big Fat > Fabulous Life star,Whitney Way Thore. In a “whoever talks the loudest wins” > style that she seems to have copied directly from famous” >

  2. Thank you for writing so eloquently what others of us cannot find polite words to say.

  3. The second you hear a fatphobe utter the words “personal responsibility,” you know they’re about to start blaming fat people for their problems and bad behavior. You can practically set your watch by it.

  4. It’s been more than an hour since I read this, and I still can’t even.

  5. I will see your “personal responsibility to be thin or at least be trying to get thin” and raise you “personal responsibility to do your research regarding health and weight loss*, learn about oppression and your own role in it, and not be a terrible human”

    *I read a lot of peer-reviewed medical articles to help out my husband who teaches at a university. There are TONS of super crappy published articles about weight loss where the assumption weight loss=good isn’t even questioned, where all weight loss must be due to the intervention, must be permanent and oh so good because “we all know” it. The medical publishing establishment has a lot to answer for, and the peers doing the reviewing need to start raising objections to the unsubstantiated (or factually wrong!) assumptions.

  6. The “personal responsibility” thing is also a total bs setup technique a la “when did you stop beating your wife?” because the correct response of “I have no personal responsibility for that” will immediately be pounced on with “so you admit you take no responsibility for anything what so ever, you lazy untrustworthy person. I feel completely justified in ignoring everything you say”. It is a cowardly device to discredit your opponent.

    • “when did you stop beating your wife?”

      How about “July 17, 1853. I’ve made a lot of progress in the last two or three incarnations!”

  7. I’ve never heard of her until today. I guess it’s just as well.

  8. I read that article and really liked the bit about her sense of self-importance.

    She thinks that someone’s so-called “best version of themselves” is her (and society’s) ideal view of them, basically.

    I have an unrelated question and was wondering what you and your readers think. What if we love things, like TV shows, that are otherwise problematic?

    I am specifically referring to the beloved TV show “The Simpsons” that I adore and am watching as I type this comment.

    I don’t find the fat jokes to be offensive, personally, but I can see how they perpetuate certain notions about fat people.

    Homer is a pretty darn good example of the stereotypical view of a fat person and I think you know why. I don’t know if I am allowed to go into detail, so I won’t, but anyone who watches the show knows what I mean.

    • I think sometimes we watch or otherwise enjoy “guilty pleasures,” knowing full well they are problematic, and acknowledging the problems, and still saying, “I’m going to enjoy the heck out of this _____,” anyway.

      Insert whatever guilty pleasure, be it a problematic TV show, or listening to old routines by a discredited stand-up comic, or eating a “forbidden food.”

      I find my guilt is alleviated by doing it in a way that does not give the problematic people more money. The library or a used bookstore is your friend, for example, if you want to read a naughty book, without giving the author royalties. Youtube, Netflix, or borrowing an old VHS tape are all options for viewing a guilty pleasure.

      Of course, if I buy Oreos, the company who makes them is going to get my money, but frankly, I’ve stopped feeling guilty about Oreos, so there you go. Amazingly, now that I’ve stopped making them a “guilty pleasure,” I’m better able to eat just a few, and stop there, because I’m not eating them out of spite and consuming the whole bag.

      As for The Simpsons, If you have children, young relatives, friends, etc., who could use some education, you might be able to flip this, and use the problematic entertainment as a teaching opportunity. You can share it, and laugh about it, and say, “Yes, that was funny. It was also problematic, because ____. What do you think about it? How could they have handled it better? If they handled it in a respectful way, would it still have been funny? Were they punching up or punching down? Or punching at the people who punch down? Were they, possibly, using the fact that these stereotypes are SO WRONG as a means of showing us how wrong they are, and making us uncomfortable with our preconceived notions? Or were they strengthening the stereotype? What about the fact that Homer Simpson has soooooo many flaws, and so few redeeming qualities, but is still considered a lovable character? What does that say about our humanity, even when we fulfill stereotypes? Do you know real-life people who fulfill some or all of these stereotypes? How about real-life people who have the same characteristic, but do NOT fulfill the stereotypes? How do you feel about that?”

      Deconstructing problematic entertainment can be quite beneficial, as well as enjoyable, if you deal with it in a respectful manner. Debate clubs, where everyone follows and respects the rules of debate, can be a whole lot of fun. It’s the trolls, who don’t follow the rules, or respect the other participants, that turn it into a fight, not a debate. So, choose your audience, and make sure they are up for a debate/discussion. Also, since this isn’t some official debate, with a specific desired outcome (like you’d have in a legislature, debating a proposed bill, for example), you have lots and lots of scope to address the emotions of the issue, which are usually ignored in more scholarly/legalistic debates, so that makes it really valuable, in my opinion. After all, logic is great, but if you can’t change hearts, as well as minds, you’ll never get society to progress.

      Or, just watch it alone at home, with your popcorn and pajamas, and acknowledge that you are an imperfect human, who is allowed to make some mistakes, so long as you don’t purposefully hurt other people.

      I found the episode where Homer thought he had eaten poisoned sushi, and was going to die to be both heart-wrenching and hilarious, frequently at the same time. Problematic or not, there’s a lot of good stuff there, which explains the show’s longevity.

  9. (Content warning: bitchiness)

    :::::Donning the Bitchy Cap:::::

    :::::Checks out “comedian” Feehan’s act via YouTube:::::

    Wow, that’s…a lot of hate. Full marks for routinely insulting people with Down’s Syndrome. I saw her use the same joke in two videos a couple of years apart, she must like it.

    :::::Checks out the FB page:::::

    Oh, gee, what have we here…

    ::::::readreadread:::::

    Feehan repeatedly appearing on reddit’s “fatlogic” and reposting the picture of a fat woman (who has a TV show) to promote herself.

    Gee, Kerryn. Whitney has a TV show and you don’t.

    Must. burn. like. hell 8P

    ::::::Removes Bitchy Cap::::::

    Ragen, full marks for being much nicer than I would be to someone who takes so much pleasure in eviscerating people. Whatever my opinion might be about “My Big Fat Fabulous Life” (I haven’t watched it), on what I call “The Learning (To Objectify the Fatties) Channel”, Whitney is on a TV show. Her fatphobic attacker is not, and is doing everything she can to keep the “discussion” / battle going with someone who is on a TV show.

    • I’d never heard of this person, and if that’s her shtick, it doesn’t surprise me. I hate comics whose sole ability to get laughs is by kicking other people.

  10. It was noted in the article that Feehan claimed fat people are mean to her (or something along those lines).

    This got me thinking about a theory I have.

    Allow me to explain: Our beliefs affect our behavior whether or not we realize it; there is no reality, only perception.

    If you truly believe that a certain group of people are “bad” for whatever reason, it will be very difficult to not let that belief bleed out into your interaction with a person from the group in question.

    I believe Feehan may be experiencing a self-perpetuating prophecy.

    I am not saying that she is even doing it on purpose, but Feehan may be acting short, uncaring, et cetera, towards fat folks and/or simply giving off a negative vibe and they are reacting in kind. She then notices that fat people are “mean” to her and doesn’t have the critical thinking skills and insight to realize that SHE is the one who is initiating the reaction via her behavior. Maybe she doesn’t make as much eye contact with fat people, cuts them off in conversation, is short with them, etc. Who knows? Heck, I could be wrong.

    Here is a lovely quote that may apply to people like this woman: “When you have an intact, healthy sense of worth, you value other people. You know who you are, which means you can accept others as they are. When you are not sure that who you are is good enough, you will do your darndest to prove that you are better than someone else.”

    -Iyanla Vanzant

  11. For a “comic,” Kerryn isn’t very funny.
    I also love her whining about how Whitney was being a big ole meany mean to poor wittle her, who was just being such a very concerned concern troll.

  12. “Did they have good appetizers, or just celery boats filled with bitterness?” That made me spit out my coffee! Beyond brilliant!


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