The Fucking Awesome Truth

Go read this fucking awesome post by Joanna at Dead of Winter:

The Truth is Radical

It will blow your fucking socks off. It’s so old-school FA, I’m all a-quiver like it’s 2007 again. Dammit, I miss Junkfood Science!

Some candy:

Instead of feeling liberated with the knowledge that I was not a failure or defective because of my weight, my health, or my lifestyle, I insisted on holding onto my prejudices, not just against others, but myself.

Why would someone do this?

The reason is two-fold: One is that we still want to hold on to “The Fantasy of Being Thin” that Kate Harding discusses. The other, more subtle, one is that we can’t bear to face it. To face it would be to realize just how thoroughly people hate us and how pervasive fat hatred is, inserting itself in every area of life, held by virtually all people in our culture, and knowing there is no escape for it.

Ding-ding-ding-ding-DING! Sometimes when I really think about how much I’m hated — how irrevocably the culture equates my value as a human/women to my weight, and how many times and in how many ways I’ve been discriminated against, seen as less valuable or even valueless because I’m fat — well, I get really fucking depressed. It’s hard to handle. Really hard.

Finally, holy awesome, Batman:

No. It is our anti-fat, healthist culture that is radical. It refuses to acknowledge any factor in health, fitness, or weight besides lifestyle. It refuses to allow people with socially stigmatized bodies and lifestyles to exist. It refuses to allow them any measure of worth, intelligence, or morality. It seeks to deny basic rights and social support.

Joanna has written the post I’ve wanted to write for at least a year. Con-fucking-gratulations, I’m so fucking glad to see something like this on the feeds, it made my fucking weekend. And I’ve been having a pretty good fucking weekend.

(EDIT: I just found out this is my 250th post on Big Liberty. Holy fucking mother of shit. W00t!)

Advertisements

5 comments on “The Fucking Awesome Truth

  1. Okay, I am totally honored that you devoted a post to me and congratulations on your 250th post. Keep on blogging.:)

    Anyway, I didn’t tackle it in this post, but I will later when I summon the energy. We need to take this attitude beyond fat acceptance and expand it to the fight against healthism as well.

    I don’t object to people pursuing lifestyles that enrich them or discussing them with others, but I am so sick to death of people making concessions along the lines of, “Surely we can all agree that Americans eat catshit and won’t get up off their asses, but OMG THIN PEOPLE DO IT TOO! We must lecture ALL teh stupids about their health, not just fatties!”

    Uh, no, we can’t all agree on that. A lot of the studies that implicate poor diet and exercise were *intended* to find fault with fat. In other words, the science is suspect all around, but for some reason, people think you can use it anyway as long as you include thin people as part of the scheme.

    And don’t get me started on the now-common practice of promoting healthist programs like Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” on the grounds that healthy living is good for all sizes. Really? It’s a good idea to allow the government to re-invent a culture that privileges the healthy and politically correct at the expense of those who are not? That doesn’t invite stigma, coercion, or abuses of power. No way!

    I miss Junkfood Science too and I wish I knew what happened to Sandy. People aren’t getting that being nice and “moderate” isn’t getting us anywhere. The whole world is “skeptical” of fat acceptance and anti-healthism. Why does it need to be the rule in FA too?

    • bigliberty says:

      Joanna, I completely agree with you. I think Healthism is the more general danger, and at the root of most fatphobia and fat-hate. I’ve been saying this since — I’m not sure, 2007? I’ll have to look it up. It never really became a central topic in FA the way I agree that it should, however. Why is this? Partially because of politics, and partially because there are some people in FA who are themselves Healthists, and partially because the “health” = “good” message is so easy to conflate with “healthy person” = “good citizen.”

      I could (and probably have) written a who post about how the popularity of the concept of public health as a necessary function of government has driven Healthistic moralization; however, I still see (almost daily) comments on FA blogs about how government *should* be in the business of the bodies of private citizens (their health).

      The Progressive politics of body autonomy — stay out of my physical business but you are required to make sure I’m fed, well, and that my children are fed and well — creates a contradiction. You can’t have both. You can’t have a State which is ‘required’ to keep you fed and well and one that doesn’t make your body — public health — its business in other ways. It needs to account for being ‘well.’ It needs to ration services. It needs to get re-elected. Basically, it creates the tension of your body now being acceptable or not based on popular opinions of science, not actual science.

      Conservative politics of body autonomy are a mish-mash of contradictory beliefs. You have the libertarian streak in the conservative movement that demands the State stay out of their pantry, but apparently it’s still hunky-dory for the State to muscle its way into the bedroom.

      Generally, the ‘hands-off’ approach favored by most libertarians and anarchists is fucked regardless. Either the State’s going to be crawling through my pantry, bathroom, and doctor’s office, or it’s going to be crawling through my womb.

      By the way, my favorite post ever that I made on the topic of Healthism and the State: When Your Body is No Longer Yours

      also: Why Universal Healthcase Should Be Opposed By Fat Activists

      Here’s one that clarifies that HAES is not fat acceptance: What I eat and how much I exercise

      Here’s a favorite from 2008: Moral Panics, Moral Crusades, and the Obesity Folk-devil

      and finally, from 2008:

      The Collective Act of Healthism

      For further referential goodness — in case anyone’s bored on their Sunday morning/afternoon/night — here’s my Healthism category:

      http://biglibertyblog.com/category/healthism/

  2. vesta44 says:

    I don’t know when health became a moral imperative in order to be accorded respect and dignity, but health, “good” health (whatever that is), isn’t attainable by everyone. The reasons for that are many and varied and are no one’s business. For anyone to say the government needs to step in and mandate “good health” for everyone leads to a place we really don’t want to go – what happens to the people who can’t attain “good health” no matter what they do? That’s a question to which I don’t want to know the answer (and I hope it’s a question that never has to be asked).

    • Ashley says:

      You make a pretty good point. A lot of people are born with health problems that they can’t do anything about. Why should those people feel punished? Or anyone really?

  3. Fuckin’ A!!

    Yay for the raising of the topic of healthism! I want to work on that one more too but am still cogitating on the topic a lot, especially in relation to my own health. I certainly will be going there more at some point though.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s