The Tide of Hate Rises

This has been a particularly acerbic media week, hasn’t it? From the report that a couple in Yorkshire aren’t being allowed to adopt because the husband is “too fat,” to the peak of January self-loathing fervor, to new shows where it is acceptable to psychologically break down and physically torture fat human beings.

Sometimes it feels like fat acceptance is a lost cause, isn’t it? That the tide of hate is too high, and we can’t keep our heads above water (and it will get deeper yet: mark my words, our children’s generation will be when fat hate peaks).

Fat people are being tortured and humiliated and condescended to for entertainment.

“Medical researchers” grope morbidly for any method of shrinking the bodies of fat people, desecrating the Hippocratic Oath at every turn.

Top levels of government are being filled with individuals whose public mission is to eradicate fat people, especially fat children. Already, programs with big price tags have been initiated in several countries (and some states and many school districts) which aim to do just this, and other countries are either making plans to unveil their own (once they either get into power, or scare enough cash out of the citizenry), or are investigating laws or penalties for being fat.

Children have already been or threatened to have been taken away from their parents or embroiled in custody battles, because they are ‘too’ fat and the parents ‘won’t’ restrict or run them ‘enough’ so that they become permanently thin.

Many others don’t believe fat children should be allowed to remain with ‘enabler’ parents, calling their fatness “child abuse.” The UK warns that “obese children *will* be taken into care.”

Other children have died as a direct consequence of fat hate. And eating disorders are on the rise.

Such a climate has already led to unprecedented levels of size-related bullying, not to mention a plethora of ignorant, hateful, discriminatory, obviously nonfactual, and condescending statements from entertainment, media, political, business, and ‘scientific‘ big-wigs and attention whores.

But, despite the fear and loss of hope we feel with each new anti-fat development, we must keep our heads above water. We need to keep talking. We need to reach out to individuals who identify with as many different groups as possible, since anyone can be fat, so fat activism encompasses us all. We need to stand our ground, and keep repeating solid messages in the hope that someone, somewhere, eventually listens, even just once.

We need to become more visible.

Don’t hide your body anymore. Wear what they don’t want you to wear.

Act out. Show yourself.

Speak for yourself. Speak for fat rights.

Protect yourself against fat hate in its more violent forms by learning how to defend yourelf physically.

Post flyers around your campus or workplace. Don’t let your employer push you into that Wellness program, and don’t put up with the fat-hate of colleagues.

Don’t put up with fat hate from anyone. Not friends. Not family. There’s no such thing as someone who is absolved of prejudice. Whatever their excuse, whatever their intent, they must be told that there is a line they cannot cross, otherwise you can no longer associate with them.

Like most successful movements, the strength comes from individual commitment. You must be first committed to your own rights, before you can fight for the rights of others. You must first be very sure of your own message, before you can advise others.

Each of us has the strength to ride out the tide, and to find dry land again. We each have the power to go beyond, and to save others while we’re at it. Don’t let yourself be swallowed by hate. Even if you must from time to time be silent as you gasp for air in a swell of injustice, do not let that swell drown you for good.


5 comments on “The Tide of Hate Rises

  1. anniemcphee says:

    They’re having a company-wide diet competition here, too. One co-worker hinted about it, but I was quite open and firm on that point – it wasn’t even a matter for discussion really. I happily eat delicious and good-smelling food in front of people who are forever dieting, and with obvious enjoyment. *shrug* What did they expect? I’m not on a diet and I’m not embarrassed about that. They want to suffer indefinitely for a goal they probably won’t reach at all (much less for any length of time) that’s their problem, not mine; see me enjoy my life, wear the clothes I want, etc. If it bugs you that I’m not subjecting myself to what you’re subjecting yourself to, then that sounds like a serious personal problem, and I feel bad for you.

    I can’t believe that Meme Roth video about Diet Tribe (the show is bad enough.) Why does Fox keep having her on?? And why did they have her on without opposition this time? Disgusting.

  2. richie79 says:

    Awesome post BL, and I appreciate the focus on UK-related topics within it (I think Sandy and yourself are amongst the few who really understand just how bad things are becoming in this country, and the eventual. inevitable implications of that for fat people in the US, especially the more ‘liberal’ parts).

    But fear and loss of hope is right. I’ve been feeling a lot of that lately; the impending loss of BFB is just one more blow in a week which has seen the ramping up of fat intolerance, both institutionally and in popular culture. Every newspaper I’ve read or TV show I’ve watched lately seems to be about the new national obsession with other people’s weight; but your list of links is a sobering indication of just how this panic seems now to be reaching fever pitch.

    And much as I keep repeating the mantra that there are far, far worse things to be than fat (which should in fact barely register in the list of human ‘transgressions’) the comments I’ve read this week on sources as diverse as the BBC, Daily Mail and Guardian point to one conclusion – that being fat is considered revolting, hideous, irresponsible, and absolutely the worst thing you can be, by the vast majority of the population, and even by most fat people themselves.

    Will they still feel that way when the Government take them and their children for compulsory re-education? Will they still beleive that their genetic bad luck or love of TV and pizza mean their fate is entirely justified and deserved? How did reality become so completely and totally skewed, and normally rational people taught that such visceral hatred is not only acceptable but to be encouraged?

  3. anniemcphee says:

    I was really sorry to hear BFB was done, Richie. It must be a nasty blow. 😦 Maybe you’ll take up the torch? 🙂

  4. bigliberty says:

    GREAT comments Annie and Richie…and Annie, I said the same thing about Richie taking up the torch! 😉 😀

  5. anniemcphee says:

    He’d be good at it 🙂

    I also appreciate the focus on England, considering that we just lag a little behind them in implementing things of this nature. Though the countermovements also often start there too; such as F4J. As soon as there’s a counter-anti-fat movement, I for one want to know!

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