Hi to NYT and Chi Trib Readers and Other Noobs

meowser-48.jpg posted by meowser

If you’ve just gotten here via the New York Times or Chicago Tribune — or you’ve discovered FatFu for the first time for any other reason — hello and welcome.

There are two of us who post here: the blog’s namesake, FatFu, and me, Meowser, who Fu invited to join on with her after she’d already set up this joint. At first we did not use avatars to distinguish our posts from each other’s, but after much confusion ensued amongst the readership, now we do. (My avatar, in case you want to know, is my cat, Binkley, who thoroughly approves this message.)

You should know (and I’m sure Fu is going to blush when she reads this, but I don’t care) that Fu is one of the unsung heroines of the fat-blog movement. She is the one who set up the “Notes from the Fatosphere” feed on the sidebar and keeps it updated, and she is the one who wrote the takedown of the “fat is contagious” story mentioned in the NYT/Trib article, as well as much other trenchant, fabulous stuff which I hope you’ll all take the time to read.

Neither Fu nor I blogs very frequently (a couple of posts a month each, on average), which is why the Fatosphere feed is such a goddess-send to someone like me. My posts tend to be epics, which is why there are not very many of them (if I had more time I’d write shorter posts, yuk yuk yuk), and in fact I’ve one coming up in the next few days about that recent Bitch magazine story about how all size-acceptance people allegedly hate all fat binge-eaters who seek treatment for their disorders because then they might get skinny and embarrass the rest of us. (Here’s a brief, two word preview: NOT TRUE.) The Fatosphere feed (see the sidebar immediately to the right for the feed) lists posts from its participants almost immediately after they pop up, and hence is a real boon for someone like me who doesn’t have fresh material daily the way many other bloggers do; when I’ve got something new, there it is, and people who care about such things will find out about it that way. Quite stylish, and we have Fu to thank!

Now, since I’ve already had a concerntroll post from someone who complains that thin people get “eat a sandwich” insults too (yeah, but has anyone ever denied you health insurance or sent you away from the doctor’s office for refusing to?), let me say that neither I nor Fu has much truck with skinny-bashing, and any comments insulting someone’s body size no matter what it is get handled with, well, a pretty heavy hand. We might delete them entirely or we might deliver some kind of clever-ass rebuttal, but they don’t go unanswered. Trust me. If anyone told my skinny boyfriend to “eat a sandwich” within my earshot, they’d be told by me, “Not until it’s been shoved up your ass first.” (Look, I’m a Brooklyn girl first, even though I live in Portland.) Besides, he eats plenty, believe me.

That said, do I really believe what many people say, that fat hate is the last socially acceptable form of prejudice? I’m not prepared to say that, no. Social norms differ greatly by region and subregion; what’s “okay” in a big coastal city may well get someone beaten to a pulp in a rural part of the Bible belt, and that’s restricting analysis to the United States only. I’m also not big on “our curse is worse” (how you like that one, Cubs fans?). I only know what my own “curse” is; I’ve never had to live other people’s.

However, I will say that fat hate is one of the last forms of prejudice in which even most people who are subjected to it think they are getting exactly what they deserve. And I find that totally unacceptable. BMI is now being used to deny adoptions and emigration to other countries, and no, it’s not people who are “too skinny” who are the ones getting rejected. We do not get to appear in movies or television shows unless we are the butts of jokes or some kind of horrible “warning” to “normal” people not to eat what they want or they will wind up looking exactly like us.

And what’s our crime? Allegedly that we eat too much junk and don’t spend enough time at the gym, and of course, people cling fervently to the belief that can tell exactly what we eat and how much of it and how active we are just from our pants sizes; genetics, medication usage, chronic dieting, socioeconomic status and bioenvironmental factors have nothing to do with either our weight or the state of our health. Never mind that the I’d-hit-that “ideal body” for women, especially, is often arrived at through “lifestyle choices” far more destructive than anything I’ve ever done in my life, and that the same people who bash fatties for being unhealtheeeee generally think it’s perfectly fine for thin people to dissipate themselves and not sleep and come to work with killer hangovers multiple times a week, and even not exercise and avoid vegetables if they’d prefer to. Thin people are given a pass for their vices and peccadillos because they make the world a prettier place; fat people had better be perfect every moment of their lives in order to justify being such a blight on everyone’s sidewalks.

There’s no reason for it. There’s no logic for it. There’s no justification for it. And frankly, if I hadn’t gained 70 pounds on antidepressants that wouldn’t budge at all even with the widely prescribed less-food-more-veggies-more-exercise “solution” until I went off the drugs completely, I might be just as clueless as some of the concerntrolls. That’s what it took for me to get a clue. Do I want that to happen to everyone? The fat, not necessarily. The clue, yes.

That’s why we’re here.

28 Responses to “Hi to NYT and Chi Trib Readers and Other Noobs”

  1. Bekbek Says:

    I saw the Bitch article you mentioned and I was completely confused when I read it.

  2. Becky Says:

    Wow, that’s a really great post.

  3. Fillyjonk Says:

    In case you don’t know, here’s another two-word review of that Bitch piece: “personal vendetta.”

    Fantastic, level-headed post. I can see linking to this a lot.

    And yes, my god, Fu deserves laurel wreaths for setting up the feed.

  4. The Rotund Says:

    Re: the Bitch piece, all signs point to exactly what Fillyjonk said.

    And I’ve really enjoyed all the sort of re-introductory posts that people are doing. I second your comments about Fat Fu, by the way. The feed alone was BRILLIANT. I totally value both her commentary and YOUR commentary. So there.

  5. Lindsay Says:

    You and Fu are both made of much win. Yes. I heartily approve. Thank you for posting this. I’d go into details of what made me want to shout OMG THANK YOU, but it’s Been A Day. Suffice to say, all of it is what rocks my socks.

  6. Rose Says:

    Dear FatFu and Meowser,

    My name is Rose Raymond. I am a reporter for the Columbia Missourian, a community newspaper based in Columbia, MO. In response to the recent national media coverage on fat acceptance blogs, we are interested in doing an article about fat acceptance blogs and websites that are written by Missouri residents.

    If you know of any other bloggers from Missouri that run fat acceptance blogs or websites, it would be great if you could pass along their URLs.

    Thanks a lot for your time and help. I look forward to hearing from you.

    Sincerely,

    Rose
    rhr8t7@mizzou.edu

  7. fatfu Says:

    I did blush, Meowser. Especially from you. Every post from you is a knockout. Each one I think: holy [bleep] that was even better than the last!

    And especially this:

    However, I will say that fat hate is one of the last forms of prejudice in which even most people who are subjected to it think they are getting exactly what they deserve.

    That, you nailed it, is the Shakespearean tragedy of the thing. I worry less about what’s done to fat people than what we do to ourselves, having been conned and scammed and shammed into believing that our worth and our weight are related, and that if we *only* tried harder we should be thin. And how rarely we’re informed how rarely that ever happens.

  8. thoughtracer Says:

    Meowser: Yay for the Bitch rebuttal. I read that article, and as someone who has run up and down the ED spectrum, I felt like I maybe didn’t have a home in the FA movement.

  9. Shannon Says:

    I love this post.

  10. caseyatthebat Says:

    That “think they’re getting exactly what they deserve” line rang so true for me for so long. That thinking still tries to wend its way into my thought processes every now and again**, but thankfully I have enough FatFu, OO, Kate, Junkfood, Red No.3, and BFB bouncing around in that skull of mind to beat it back with a very large (possibly obese?!?) stick.

    **In a fit of “OMG, maybe I DO eat too much!!” thinking, I went to a calorie counter website today. Turns out, that was 2 minutes I’ll never get back. According to the wisdom of “calories in / calories out” I consume almost 1500 calories LESS than I burn every day, and I should be losing, say, 3 lbs a week!!!! Yeah…. not so much. Still a big fat fatty. Oh wells…. ;)

  11. Arwen Says:

    And just to re-affirm the denial of what Meowser is saying about the Bitch article, even IF you WERE eating a stack of cheesecakes covered in lardsauce every meal, caseyatthebat, you’d still be a human being deserving of respect. Help, yes. And respect. The opposite of shame.

    I didn’t read the Bitch article, but I’ve heard ED folks worry before. I think it’s because there is a two pronged discussion, one that says: the stereotypes of our body reflecting disorder aren’t true, and the other that says: and for the small number of us who ARE experiencing disordered eating won’t be helped by public humiliation and shame mongering any more than “Buck up!” cures depression.

  12. Eric Blair Says:

    I linked you at Free Republic:

    http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/1958532/posts?page=17#2

    When they came for the drinkers during Prohibition, I did not speak out, as I was not a drinker.

    When they came for the employees of the oldest profession in the world, I did not speak out, as I had no interest in purchasing sex.

    When they came for the purveyors of what was deemed to be “obscene” or “offensive”, I did not speak out, as I was not a fan of entertainers like Lenny Bruce or Howard Stern.

    When they came to ban the female mammary gland from TV, I did not speak out, because Brian Boitano told me not to.

    When they came for the marijuana smokers, I did not speak out, as I was not a marijuana smoker.

    When they came for the steroid users, I did not speak out, as I was not a steroid user.

    When they came for the _______ (insert nominally objectionable behavior here), I did not speak out as I was not a _________ (fill in the blank).

    When they came for the pornographers, I did not speak out, as I was not a pornographer.

    When they came for the people who don’t wear seatbelts, I did not speak out, as I always wore my seatbelt.

    When they came for the gun owners, I did not speak out, as I was not a gun owner.

    When they came for the gamblers, I did not speak out, as I was not a gambler.

    When they came for the cigarette smokers, I did not speak out, as I was not a smoker.

    When they came for the overweight and the obese, I did not speak out, as I was not overweight or obese.

    When they came for the drinkers (again), I did not speak out, as I was not a drinker.

    Then they came for me…and there was nobody left to speak out.

  13. caseyatthebat Says:

    Arwen, excellent clarification to my point, and excellent point in general. I keep type-erasing my thoughts because they come out in such a jumble of all of the possibilities that exist for the whys and wherefores of a fat body – and how, regardless of those whys and wherefores, the human being that is fat is not a one-note joke, but rather a fucking human being.

    Which is what we’re all saying here anyway, but dammit, I’m so tired of people who would rather be smug and degrading than understand that one vital point – it’s mentally lazy and I can’t stand it. More than that, I can’t stand that the sheer volume of negativity focused on the fat body causes me to doubt my own perception (leading to the ludiculousness that is a fucking calorie counting website), and genuinely hinders someone with an ED from seeking the help they need. How any fat-hater can see that result and still feel superior is beyond me.

    Gah.

  14. Fillyjonk Says:

    I linked you at Free Republic:

    Oh, break out the fucking champagne.

  15. OTM Says:

    Yeah, right?

    how you like that one, Cubs fans?

    OH NO YOU DIDN’T.

    Also – I am really looking forward to your take on the Bitch piece. Rachel wrote about it, but I don’t recall much other response. I half-wrote something, but as I do with most posts that require actual thought instead of lists of petty ranting, I never finished. So yeah. Hurry!

  16. meowser Says:

    F-Word Rachel wrote about this? I hadn’t recalled seeing that on her site, and I just looked around there and didn’t find it. Do you have a link?

  17. AnnieMcPhee Says:

    “And just to re-affirm the denial of what Meowser is saying about the Bitch article, even IF you WERE eating a stack of cheesecakes covered in lardsauce every meal, caseyatthebat, you’d still be a human being deserving of respect. Help, yes. And respect. The opposite of shame.”

    Mmmmm, lardsauce. :D

    I just found this blog by linking around the fatosphere. Great stuff so far.

  18. kateharding Says:

    I adore you both so much, Meowser and Fu.

  19. meowser Says:

    And I adore YOU, Kate. Don’t know what I’d do without you sometimes, actually.

  20. meowser Says:

    Me: how you like that one, Cubs fans?

    OTM: OH NO YOU DIDN’T.

    After a lifetime of agonizing over the Mets, and especially what happened last year, I’m not convinced any team is more accursed than they are, OTM, sorry. Besides, I didn’t make it up.

  21. Big Fat Deal » Well Said Says:

    [...] another manifesto, and I think Meowser knocks it out of the park. I will say that fat hate is one of the last forms of prejudice in which even most people who are [...]

  22. Tell me again that fat discrimination doesn’t exist? at sneakykitty.com Says:

    [...] “You’ve got to be fucking shitting me.” In more eloquent terms, i think Meowser said it best: However, I will say that fat hate is one of the last forms of prejudice in which even most people [...]

  23. Tell me again that fat discrimination doesn’t exist? at BABble Says:

    [...] “You’ve got to be fucking shitting me.” In more eloquent terms, i think Meowser said it best: However, I will say that fat hate is one of the last forms of prejudice in which even most people [...]

  24. I Am Carried Upon Gossamer Wings… Says:

    [...] In the immortal words of, well, me-just-now: “You’ve got to be fucking shitting me.” In more eloquent terms, i think Meowser said it best: [...]

  25. kate217 Says:

    the small number of us who ARE experiencing disordered eating won’t be helped by public humiliation and shame mongering any more than “Buck up!” cures depression.

    Halleluiah!!!! Unfortunately, the people who need to grok this still believe that “buck up” does work on depression.

  26. September Pixie » Blog Archive » Tell me again that fat discrimination doesn’t exist? Says:

    [...] In the immortal words of, well, me-just-now: “You’ve got to be fucking shitting me.” In more eloquent terms, i think Meowser said it best: [...]


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