I find it highly ironic that someone who professes the inherent right to bodily autonomy and the self-agency to make informed, educated decisions about one’s state of health would so very nastily demean, denigrate and minimalize the decisions of one who chooses to do exactly that.
Kate’s posted a more articulate and polite response to one blogger’s criticism of Heidi - a guest blogger on Kate’s blog who opted to undergo weight loss surgery – than I could hope to muster. I’m not so much angered by blogger Kell’s vitriolic attack on Heidi as I am saddened that one would resort to such an acerbic attack on another human being, especially at her most vulnerable time.
Kell’s since deleted her original post slamming Heidi – I hope out of a realization that the post was unnecessarily cruel – but the original is still available on the Notes from the Fatosphere feed.
In our zeal to promote our own brand of fat acceptance, it’s so very easy to become like the very people we reject. A few days ago, I posted a link to an article by Juliet Samuel of Reason Magazine. In it, she concludes: “The anti-obesity campaign is waging war against the very people it purports to help and, in doing so, undermines the very medical authorities it relies on to perpetuate the crisis.”
But we needn’t look much further than fat acceptance itself to see how some in the movement, one which purports to speak for the rights of all fat people, are unnecessarily and vehemently denying other fat people from receiving what ought to be the movement’s ultimate end-goal: The recognition and realization of equitable human and civil rights for all people, regardless of size.
There is no fat acceptance movement dictator who arbitrarily decides on who does and who doesn’t get the privilege of becoming a fat acceptance card-carrying member. The movement (I would hope) has enough girth to support a diversity of perspectives and experiences. Personally, I remain very skeptical of weight loss surgery and am staunchly anti-diet, but I don’t think we ought to take such an absolutist and bullying stance that we alienate some of the very people we proclaim to speak for.
To present oneself as the “decider” in dictating the collective movement’s fundamental dogma is not only supremely narcissistic, it’s counter-productive to achieving what should be basic, unified goals. To echo Abraham Lincoln’s paraphrase of Jesus, “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” If we devote our time to fighting amongst ourselves, how do we ever expect our opponents to ever take us seriously, let alone for the movement to ever realize true progress?
Paul has organized a Think Tank on Nov. 10 in Chicago. I still have to weigh my course load to see if I can afford the time off, but I’m leaning on attending. I know Kate has confirmed, as well as many others interested in advancing the movement.
The Think Tank promises a prime opportunity to solidify and formalize basic agreements about what the movement should and shouldn’t advocate, and the approach we as a group should take to each. If you have the chance to attend, please do so.