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Jill has been blogging for Feministe since 2005.
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55 Responses

  1. jemand
    jemand October 5, 2009 at 8:16 pm |

    and the comments! ah! I imagine these people wouldn’t marry a disabled person either :(

    As long as your mate isn’t insanely jealous and insists on you never doing things on your own, it’s no problem if you like outdoor things and yet they cannot do them. And insane jealousy is a legitimate bar to a relationship in my book anyway. THAT’s a definite no, any physical condition, not.

  2. Yolanda C.
    Yolanda C. October 5, 2009 at 8:25 pm |

    Breslin’s question was completely asinine, as were damn near all of the comments. Yeah, the worst threat a woman who dates men has to worry about is excess weight. *snark*

    Now is it just me, or is the so-called “awareness” about obesity-as-pathology fueling more and more bullshit evil displays of fatphobia? I don’t remember it ever being this bad fifteen years ago.

  3. Cara
    Cara October 5, 2009 at 8:40 pm |

    What the fucking fuck?

    Even putting all the rest aside, fat people do not exist to be conversation-starters for thin people. You don’t get to just look at a person you don’t know, pick out an attribute and then open up for conversation whether or not they have human value on the basis of that attribute that you “couldn’t help but notice.”

  4. amandaw
    amandaw October 5, 2009 at 8:46 pm |

    I couldn’t help but notice that Susanna Breslin is an awful jerk.

  5. Jadey
    Jadey October 5, 2009 at 8:57 pm |

    Words fail. How about a photographic rebuttal?

  6. Lauren O
    Lauren O October 5, 2009 at 9:23 pm |

    Reading this post and clicking over, I thought the guy’s weight would actually have something to do with the story. Like maybe it would be relevant in a fucked up way (like she refused to marry him until he lost a certain amount of weight or something), but it would be relevant somehow. Nope. She’s just like, Hey, these people are getting married and – FATTY. CAN’T FOCUS. TOO OBSESSED WITH JUDGING OTHER PEOPLE. THAT DUDE IS FAT. LET’S DISCUSS HIS FAT.

  7. octogalore
    octogalore October 5, 2009 at 10:59 pm |

    That is indeed a new low. Why did she think drunk 2am conversation was appropriate for a post?

    There are ways to squeeze feminist issues out of the general topic if she’d asked, for example — do men and women have different weight standards for mates, and if so why? Or, do people tend to look for people of similar weight (in relation to height, musculature, etc) to their own, why or why not, and are men and women different in this respect? Both those would have value beyond just being offensive, as her question was.

    Cause you know, we’ve all known these so-called progressive, “good guys” who said all the right things and were for all the right causes and then made the stupid comment about the Hollywood actress who gained ten pounds. And we maybe have known women like that, but I’d bet: fewer. That’s a topic.

  8. Bagelsan
    Bagelsan October 5, 2009 at 11:56 pm |

    That’s the stupidest question ever. It basically boils down to: “would you marry someone you found unattractive*?” and the comments are all people saying “no.” Obvs.

    When I first saw the title the “morbid” part stood out more than the “obese” part and for a second I thought she was asking if people would marry a man who was dying. Which is a more interesting, if intensely personal and quite fraught, question. But no, she was just hatin’ on the fatties.

    *obviously, there are problems with obese = unattractive. (Like it not being true, for example.) But I’m pretty sure that is the shorthand she is using.

  9. akeeyu
    akeeyu October 6, 2009 at 1:10 am |

    Wow, that is a shitload of fat hate over there.

    Oh, but they don’t hate fat people! NoooOOoo! It’s just that they’re SO INTO exercising and being fit and having an active lifestyle that it’s important that their partner does, too! It has nothing to do with fat! Because apparently there are no active fat people? WTF is wrong with these people?

    I’m guessing that if their fit and active husband suddenly became disabled, they’d leave him? Put him out to pasture? Give him the old race horse treatment?

    Ugh. Pisses me off.

    Oh, and in answer to their question, not only WOULD I, I DID.

  10. Shiyiya
    Shiyiya October 6, 2009 at 2:44 am |

    Bloody hell. I read about five of the comments on that and blew my Sanity Watchers points for the next week at the very least.

    I especially like the “THE OUTSIDE PACKAGE IS ALL THAT MATTERS AND I DON’T CARE IF I MIGHT MISS OUT ON A GOOD HUMAN BEING BY IGNORING EVERYONE WHO DOES NOT CONFORM TO MY STANDARDS.” 10p says they complain about men who have the exact same attitude. Any takers?

  11. Shiyiya
    Shiyiya October 6, 2009 at 2:47 am |

    Geh, it won’t let me edit. Please pretend the word ‘sentiment’ is on the end of the first sentence of the second paragraph.

  12. Gembird
    Gembird October 6, 2009 at 5:46 am |

    If this was actually about “Would you marry someone who you found physically unattractive” I would be fine with those commenters saying no. It makes sense. But what is happening there is that they’ve targeted fat people and assumed they’re all disgusting. In fact, two comments in a row actually said it was disgusting to sleep with a fat person. Fat is not the same as unattractive- you only have to visit Jadey’s link to see that.

    “Oh our lifestyles would be too different for a relationship” Yeah right. That’s why my GM (yes I am a nerd) is a fat guy who walks everywhere and is getting married next June, because all fat people are lazy, yup, makes total sense.

  13. Alex
    Alex October 6, 2009 at 6:37 am |

    We’re comparing being obese to being disabled? I actually find that rather offensive.

  14. Lydia
    Lydia October 6, 2009 at 6:39 am |

    There’s no question that can’t be asked. Just because you don’t like the answers doesn’t mean the question is to blame.

    The comments on that post were honest — no sense in marching around with a stick saying, “You’re not allowed to think that!”

    At the very least, this post is a reminder that women can take the most casual of questions and turn it into a cataclysmic, premeditated attack.

    Keep fighting, grrls!

  15. Danny
    Danny October 6, 2009 at 9:18 am |

    That’s the kind of presumptive trash I’ve been hearing for ages.

  16. estraven
    estraven October 6, 2009 at 9:55 am |

    I’m impressed. I totally wish I could write as well as Shiyiya #10 because that’s exactly what I think. The comments are, if possible, even worse than the artcile.

  17. BeccaTheCyborg
    BeccaTheCyborg October 6, 2009 at 10:16 am |

    The folks over there keep saying “Oh, I’m just so active, my partner would have to be the same as me, I don’t hate fat people or anything!” To which I say “Horseshit.”. They’d be just fine with a thin partner who stays on the couch all day, I’d wager.

  18. oldlady
    oldlady October 6, 2009 at 10:51 am |

    This is the great good and bad of the Internet: anyone can have a blog and spread any kind of information–including stupid people spreading prejudice and hate.

    I hope everyone is responding to Susanna Breslin’s post to tell her how fucked up it is, and that we sincerely hope this is some abberation on her part and that she is not as fucked up as the post would lead readers to believe.

  19. gudbuytjane
    gudbuytjane October 6, 2009 at 11:22 am |

    At the very least, Breslin’s post is a good reminder that just because something crosses your mind doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to publicly opine on it.

    Yes yes yes yes yes yes yes.

    I think part of what we call ‘wisdom’ is that ability to self-filter one’s self-importance.

  20. Thom
    Thom October 6, 2009 at 11:54 am |

    “When I first saw the title the “morbid” part stood out more than the “obese” part and for a second I thought she was asking if people would marry a man who was dying. ”

    The question that I think she really should have asked? “Would you marry a man with a morbid sense of humor?”

    That would have been at least entertaining.

  21. Ozymandias
    Ozymandias October 6, 2009 at 2:27 pm |

    Wow, that’s heteronormative.

    To answer her question: I find pudgy people in general quite attractive. If the person is obese– stomach wider than his/her shoulders– I wouldn’t be attracted, in much the same sense that I’m not attracted to giant muscles, excessive body hair or bland flawless faces. It’s simply a personal preference, and it’s stupid to discuss personal preferences as if they are universal.

  22. V-Tron
    V-Tron October 6, 2009 at 4:34 pm |

    Convos like this (the “would you marry a fat dude” convo that is) come up when drunkenly stumbling home with the girlfriends…and have no relevence the next day, except as a gauge of how drunk we all were.
    “Linda, remember the time when we started arguing over how fat a guy would have to be before you wouldn’t marry him? Girl, we were hammered!”

  23. Jill
    Jill October 6, 2009 at 5:16 pm |

    “If this was actually about “Would you marry someone who you found physically unattractive” I would be fine with those commenters saying no. It makes sense. But what is happening there is that they’ve targeted fat people and assumed they’re all disgusting. In fact, two comments in a row actually said it was disgusting to sleep with a fat person. Fat is not the same as unattractive- you only have to visit Jadey’s link to see that.”

    Maybe those commenters find fat unattractive as a body feature in itself. Not beyond the bounds of reason, surely. I didn’t find any of the people in Jadey’s link hot, speaking for myself, but good for them that they’re in love. I don’t think you get to tell people that they have to leave the possibility open of finding someone morbidly obese attractive. Perhaps it would be nice if sexuality was blind. Perhaps not.

  24. Wendy
    Wendy October 6, 2009 at 6:33 pm |

    Wow, does that article pour on the Haterade! Damn….Oh and I’m sure that the fatty-hater author is the epitome of health according to all insurance and health charts. I’m a larger woman who is quite healthy – all vitals where they should be except the weight – but yet men avoid me like the plague. Yet, as another poster said you see the larger guys with the woman, not the other way around. Well, I say if I can’t be appreciated as I am then I don’t need them.

  25. roses
    roses October 6, 2009 at 6:34 pm |

    I think it’s really interesting how when we’re talking about the dateability of fat people, having a “healthy” and active lifestyle is this huge important criteria. And yet thin men whose primary leisure activity is sitting on the couch watching tv while drinking beer and eating chicken wings have no trouble finding girlfriends. I wonder why that could be?

    At least the people who say: “Ewww, fatties are gross” are honest about their reasons.

  26. PrettyAmiable
    PrettyAmiable October 6, 2009 at 10:20 pm |

    In my grad school class yesterday, a vocal minority (? – this might be optimism) came down on the side of not backing universal healthcare because their tax dollars shouldn’t cover obese people since apparently in all cases, across the board, obesity is a choice. I’m in a top 25 program.

    Yes, you read that correctly. My class agreed that healthcare is a right – but not if you’re fat (and we discussed to a lesser extent a cigarette smoker). We also agreed that obesity in poorer areas is more prevalent, but I’m scared to open the door to where that line leads: “poor people don’t deserve health care” to “ethnic minorities who populate these impoverished areas and are thus fat because a red pepper costs $2 when I can get two double cheeseburgers for that don’t deserve health care.”

    I’m not even affected by this article in light of all that. At all. I legitimately feel nothing.

    If anyone’s wondering, I’m contacting my professor with the quick regression I ran on median income v obesity rates in the US and a solid description of allostatic load and how it works. I don’t know how else to best address it.

  27. Tapetum
    Tapetum October 7, 2009 at 12:04 am |

    Would I marry a morbidly obese man? Hmmm. *checks photo album* Why, yes! Yes, I would.

    *checks garage* And his mountain bike is looking mighty well used, as is his karate gear. Why it’s almost as if “fat people are lazy” is a bunch of malarky! Fancy that!

  28. Vidya
    Vidya October 7, 2009 at 1:32 am |

    The Gallery of Fat Love: http://love.twowholecakes.org/index.php?album=fat-love

    I also don’t understand the idea that one wouldn’t love or marry a person they didn’t find attractive. How can you really find a person attractive before you love them? And once you love someone, how can you not find them attractive?

  29. Bagelsan
    Bagelsan October 7, 2009 at 1:33 am |

    We’re comparing being obese to being disabled? I actually find that rather offensive.

    To whom? Neither is a bad thing.

  30. Bagelsan
    Bagelsan October 7, 2009 at 1:34 am |

    The question that I think she really should have asked? “Would you marry a man with a morbid sense of humor?”

    That would have been at least entertaining.

    If the whole discussion then turned into a recounting of I-asked-about-children-and-he-told-a-dead-baby-joke stories my life would be complete. :D

  31. thetroubleis
    thetroubleis October 7, 2009 at 7:11 am |

    “We’re comparing being obese to being disabled? I actually find that rather offensive.”

    Umm, why? They aren’t exactly the same thing, but they do have some intersections with how people are treated.

  32. Jill
    Jill October 7, 2009 at 11:52 am |

    There’s no question that can’t be asked. Just because you don’t like the answers doesn’t mean the question is to blame.

    The comments on that post were honest — no sense in marching around with a stick saying, “You’re not allowed to think that!”

    Who said people aren’t allowed to think certain things? And who said that there are questions which CAN’T be asked? Obviously the question “Would you marry a fat person?” can be asked, since Susanna Breslin just asked it.

    The point, which you seem to be missing, is that the question is rude. And the responses have been rude and bigoted. And while no one is saying that you aren’t “allowed” to think a particular way, we are saying that putting it all out there is problematic, even if it’s honest. Kind of how racists might be honest about hating non-white people, but they’re still jerks. Or how misogynists might be honest about hating women. “Honesty” doesn’t excuse being a jackass.

    At the very least, this post is a reminder that women can take the most casual of questions and turn it into a cataclysmic, premeditated attack.

    Ah yes… a blogger saying “That’s an effed up question” is turning the question into a CATACLYSMIC, PRE-MEDITATED ATTACK!!! OMG! And women everywhere are to blame.

  33. romham
    romham October 7, 2009 at 12:01 pm |

    Ozymandias, frankly i couldnt care less why or if people are or arent attracted to fat folks, and dont need to hear it here either. The fact that fat people’s bodies are up for such scrutiny and casual conversation is a mess, a real mess.

    And to whoever said:“We’re comparing being obese to being disabled? I actually find that rather offensive.”
    Its only offensive if you think theres something wrong with either of those. As a fat gimp i can tell you there isnt.

    And i’ll be happy when the bullshit notion that fat is “ok” so long as youre “healthy” is dead and gone. Seriously. What i put in my gob, or what i do with my body is noones business. i still deserve to be treated with respect. im a bigger fan of “Respect and Solidarity At Every Size”, thank you very much.

  34. akeeyu
    akeeyu October 7, 2009 at 2:04 pm |

    Lydia,

    It would also be “honest” for bigots to declare (insert arbitrary category here) people disgusting and repulsive and that they would never let their sister marry one, but we wouldn’t be singing their praises, either.

    The issue isn’t that these people find fat people unattractive. Nobody cares. My fat husband certainly isn’t offended, since he’s never found shallow assholes attractive, either. Clearly, nobody is required to marry, date, or ogle people they don’t find appealing.

    The issue is that they have declared fat people revolting and made blanket statements about their personality traits, health and lifestyles, and it’s wrong to do that about any group.

    Incidentally, there are times when I wish my fat husband were slightly less padded. It’s a pain finding affordable well made clothes for him, and frankly, he is NOT a fit fat person–he is fat because he makes unhealthy choices that negatively affect his body. Please note that I am not saying all or even most fat people are unfit, but my personal husband IS, and there you have it.

    What it comes down to, though, is that I will never find another Sam in a different package, and the thought of having to live without him made me sad.

    Sam read the comments on the other site and said “Hmm. I’m willing to bet most of these people would be highly offended if their Fit and Active partner left them if THEY put on a little weight due to age or childbearing,” and he’s probably right.

  35. Bill
    Bill October 7, 2009 at 6:36 pm |

    “he is fat because he makes unhealthy choices”

    Do you really think he chooses to fat or unhealthy? It seems that most fat people are fat because they live in a broader social environment that makes weight gain likely and/or their bodies are prone to holding onto weight.

  36. PharaohKatt
    PharaohKatt October 7, 2009 at 11:17 pm |

    What a horrid article! I couldn’t help but notice the first comment:
    “If you wouldn’t marry the man of your dreams because he was obese, then he isn’t the man of your dreams.”
    This is something I found myself nodding to, but then the comments after were all “I agree, I’d never love a fat person!”
    Am I missing something? I took that comment to be condemning people for being shallow. Is zie really saying zie couldn’t love a fat person?

  37. Dukkha
    Dukkha October 8, 2009 at 12:33 am |

    And just in case you weren’t sure about the evils of ‘fat’, Don’t vote for the fat man!!!!

  38. Alex
    Alex October 8, 2009 at 3:49 am |

    “there’s nothing wrong with either of those things”

    Well no, but being disabled is generally something entirely out of your control. You can’t change it. In the vast majority of cases of obesity this isn’t so* and if they could do so, generally they’d do it in so fast your head would spin (clearly depending upon the ‘disability’, what is illness etc but we’ll use some easy examples, such as someone missing a limb or the like). We should hold the former in a special category, discriminating on something someone can’t change is several metrics worse then something they can.

    *Yes, long nuanced argument on how your upbringing and society makes this difficult. But at the end of the day this is true of almost all facets of life, at some point the buck needs to stop.

  39. thetroubleis
    thetroubleis October 8, 2009 at 6:06 am |

    “if they could do so, generally they’d do it in so fast your head would spin (clearly depending upon the ‘disability’, what is illness etc but we’ll use some easy examples, such as someone missing a limb or the like).”

    Actaully in the disability community most people don’t sit around thinking about how much better their life would be with disability. Some people even want their kids to have the same type of disability.

  40. Alex
    Alex October 8, 2009 at 6:29 am |

    “Actaully in the disability community most people don’t sit around thinking about how much better their life would be with disability. Some people even want their kids to have the same type of disability.”

    No they don’t, it’s just not constructive, but if you offered the chance for a wheelchair bound person to walk again they’d jump at the chance. The latter point I take is you refering to the deaf community? (it’s not something I’ve really seen elsewhere). It’s become an integral part of their identity, and whilst to an extent almost understandable, hoping your child is disabled is the height of squickiness.

    1. Cara
      Cara October 8, 2009 at 7:54 am |

      Alex, “wheelchair bound” is a term generally found offensive by many people who use wheelchairs (and their allies). Since saying that someone is “bound” to their wheelchair makes it sound like something objectively bad and limiting, rather than recognizing the wheelchair as the tool to assist people that it is. The far more correct term to describe the fact that a person uses a wheelchair is “person who uses a wheelchair.” Not that, judging from the rest of your comment, I particularly expect you to care about whether or not your words are offensive to people with disabilities. Because if you did, you wouldn’t have left that comment making all kinds of inappropriate and clueless assumptions coming from an ableist perspective about a very large group of people.

      Cut it out, now.

  41. thetroubleis
    thetroubleis October 8, 2009 at 6:59 am |

    “No they don’t, it’s just not constructive, but if you offered the chance for a wheelchair bound person to walk again they’d jump at the chance.”

    Not everyone would. I can think of three of my friends right now who wouldn’t.

    “hoping your child is disabled is the height of squickiness.”

    Why? Unless you’re framing disability as bad, that doesn’t make sense.

  42. Li
    Li October 8, 2009 at 7:03 am |

    Alex, “they” do not think anything. “They” are a heterogenous group of people with a variety of views and experiences, and “they” aren’t served by you homogeneising them. Case in point: Not all people who use wheelchairs would jump at the chance to walk “again”, because they may never have been able to walk in the first place. I have a grand total of zero interest in the “But surely if there was a magic wand that could make you not-disabled you’d choose according to ablelist standards right?” argument.

    Hoping your child may be disabled might be the height of squickiness for you, but that only works if you think that the impairments that lead to disability are Objectively Bad.

    And to get back on topic, I’m not sure that I buy that discrimination against people for things they have control over is much better than discrimination against people for things they don’t have control over. Even if I do agree with you that this distinction works for disability/weight (which I don’t), I’m not sure that there’s much point to drawing some kind of blah which is REALLY worse hierarchisation of oppressions. It just buys into the meme that fat people are personally responsible for their weight, and if only they just do X they’d be thin. Maybe some fat people could be thinner if they devoted larger amounts of resources and time into doing it, but why should we justify discrimination against them on the fact they don’t prioritise being thin as the purpose of their lives and choose to use their energy on other shit?

  43. thetroubleis
    thetroubleis October 8, 2009 at 8:05 am |

    Thank you Cara. This the exact same stuff we were complaining about happening over at Feministing. I do want to say that I find this site a lot better, because when you get called out on things, you listen. I appreciate that.

  44. Alex
    Alex October 8, 2009 at 11:10 am |

    Firstly, I apologise for by improper usage of a world. I was unaware it was considered offensive, and shall seek to remove it from my vocabulary. It really wasn’t my intention to suggest the mentioned overtones.

    “Hoping your child may be disabled might be the height of squickiness for you, but that only works if you think that the impairments that lead to disability are Objectively Bad.”

    Here appears to be the rub, I do. But I’ve been told to drop it (by a mod?) so let’s go back to where the segue occurred, and a fair point brought up by Li. “And to get back on topic, I’m not sure that I buy that discrimination against people for things they have control over is much better than discrimination against people for things they don’t have control over.”

    No, I agree with you that in a better world we wouldn’t discriminate against anyone except for good reasons. However, until that day comes I will have a problem with direct comparisons and conflation of the two. Those things we can’t change – and have no negative effect upon the external world should be held in a special category that should not be discriminated against under any circumstance, we must lend it a certain gravitas. Take the scenario of an interviewer who turns down an applicant because they turned up in a hoodie. Would it be reasonable to claim that he probably hates women too?

    (this works rather well as an example, because speaking from the perspective of someone who grew up in South London, this is just as cultural as obesity).

  45. Li
    Li October 8, 2009 at 11:57 am |

    Alex, I’m from oz, so the implications of wearing a hoody are very different here, but I’m assuming (correct me if I’m wrong) that what you mean by hoodies being cultural (even if I still don’t agree that people’s weights are precisely under their control) is that they are indicative of particular class or ethnic backgrounds.

    In this case, would an interviewer really be discriminating against them on the basis of the hoody itself? Or is the claim that the (apparently chosen) signifier is the problem really demonstrative of classism or racism? That is, discrimination against the (non-chosen) signified.

    Essentially, I find the distinction between controllable (albeit “difficult”) features of a person and non-controllable features very very complex, and I don’t think it aught to dictate our responses regarding the oppressive nature of the regulation of many of those features.

    Again, because I think these examples keep drawing this discussion off topic away from fat hate, I think it’s important to recognise that the effects of fate hate and the “Would you marry an etc…” question cited in the original post apply regardless of whether or not fat is ultimately something that can be controlled by every person (which I would contest). I think that locating the problem on the ability of people to avoid pressure to conform BY conforming is getting it the wrong way around. It is the normative and oppressive behaviour in the first place, in this case fat hate, that should be the focus of our analyses, not the supposed potentials for people to ameliorate their oppressions by folding to them.

  46. romham
    romham October 8, 2009 at 11:58 am |

    No alex, this doesnt work well as an example. Youre comparing being a gimp or fat to wearing a hoodie? What it *is* a good example of is your apparent belief that fat is something that people can (and would) change at the…well…drop of a hat (or hoodie, in this case). And that disabled folks are some special case deserving pity. You’re wrong on both counts.

    i suppose smokers shouldnt receive medical care, and folks who got in a car drunk and wrapped themselves round a tree and had their legs amputated shouldnt receive medical care, because…yknow…they chose it. That youre arguing this tired pity and merit model of care and dis/respect is unfortunate.

    Thanks to Cara and Li on the other points.

  47. Alex
    Alex October 8, 2009 at 12:48 pm |

    “What it *is* a good example of is your apparent belief that fat is something that people can (and would) change at the…well…drop of a hat (or hoodie, in this case).”

    Do you seriously believe it’s that easy to just switch into a suit if you’re a poor black young man from Brixton? The point is that it’s a much more complicated issue then something clearly very much bad, such as if they didn’t hire solely on the basis of the kid being black. By all accounts the interviewer probably truly believes turning up in the hoodie denotes a distinct lack of professionalism and is ignorant of the problems here.

    The latter needs to be challenged and changed in the interviewer, but not in the same way one would challenge direct discrimination on account of race/gender/age etc. And a conflation of the two is less than desirable for exactly this reason. They are distinct problems.

  48. wriggles
    wriggles October 8, 2009 at 1:27 pm |

    When I first saw the title the “morbid” part stood out more than the “obese” part and for a second I thought she was asking if people would marry a man who was dying.

    Well spotted bagelsan,

    This is one of those things that is kind of evident, yet manages to pass under the radar, morbid obesity is designed to demoralise, degrade and depress people. It is designed to wear away one’s self esteem and ability to function mentally and physically, to bring on as much ‘obesity related’ issues, as possible. That’s why this term was used, rather than a big fat guy, or a fatter guy or something.

    It took a while for it to stop reminding me of that phrase dead man walking. It’s also apt because I understand it has been mooted that the knowing of when you are going to be excuted, bearing that burden, is in itself a cruel and inhuman punishment.

    It’s not called a war on obesity for nothing, this woman is one of those tedious, ‘volunteers’ -like Alex.

  49. akeeyu
    akeeyu October 8, 2009 at 1:58 pm |

    Bill,

    “Do you really think he chooses to fat or unhealthy? It seems that most fat people are fat because they live in a broader social environment that makes weight gain likely and/or their bodies are prone to holding onto weight.”

    Yes. My husband *does* choose to be fat. He does choose to be unhealthy. I understand that those are two separate choices on his part.

    You can ask him, straight up, and he will tell you: “I am fat because I really like to eat and I really hate to exercise.” He has a sedentary job and chooses sedentary hobbies. He’s fat, he’s unhealthy, and he is largely okay with that.

    I understand the social environment and the biological aspects of weight and body shape. I’m not saying that all/most/many people are fat for the same reasons as Sam. I’m not trying to apply his experiences and motivations to a broader segment of the population.

    I *am* saying that I know my husband. When my husband says, for the millionth time, that he chooses to be fat because he loves giant burritos far more than he would love buying smaller jeans, I believe him.

  50. L
    L October 8, 2009 at 2:53 pm |

    I can’t believe that even on a feminist website the “fat = unhealthy and lazy” argument is still being peddled! Amazing.

  51. romham
    romham October 8, 2009 at 6:08 pm |

    Alex, when did i say that? i’ve made no such comparisons or conflations here.
    You however, are attempting to compare who is “deserving” (of pity? of medical care? of respect, of…what exactly?) and who isn’t, based in your belief that fat(to be scorned) is a choice and disability(to be pitied) is not.

  52. ToniT
    ToniT October 8, 2009 at 6:39 pm |

    I can see (I think) where Alex is coming from.

    As a disabled person I wouldn’t wish my condition on anyone, much less my child.
    I don’t request or desire “pity” or “respect” for that, I’m just like every other however I don’t see how “Would you marry Jake the fat man” morphed into “I guess you don’t like people with disabilities”. It seems like a disconnect.

    I don’t mean to grab the microphone for every person with a disability. I’m glad I found this site where different opinions are shared with a good mix of snark and intellect.

  53. jemand
    jemand October 8, 2009 at 9:36 pm |

    I think it was because the comments on the other site were almost all of the following vein “I’m very active and wouldn’t be willing to marry someone who wasn’t fit and athletic.” anyway, sorry, I guess I was the first comment, so my fault.

  54. ToniT
    ToniT October 12, 2009 at 1:12 pm |

    You know what? I didn’t even look at that aspect. I was caught up on the physical side.

    I can see how that logic would lead you there. Thanks for explaining.

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