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75 Responses

  1. Barnacle Strumpet
    Barnacle Strumpet May 23, 2013 at 12:33 pm |

    I have to say I’m extremely sceptical that “ all haters are insecure people.

    They used to say the same thing about bullies, but there’s research that indicates the exact opposite.

    Schafer cites nothing; and given that he’s saying such buzzy but obviously incorrect things as:

    However, in reality, hate physically and psychologically destroys both the hater and the hated.

    What? When has this ever happened? Plenty of hate-filled people have murdered or otherwise harmed people and gotten away with it with seemingly no harm done to themselves.

    1. macavitykitsune
      macavitykitsune May 23, 2013 at 3:42 pm |

      Plenty of hate-filled people have murdered or otherwise harmed people and gotten away with it with seemingly no harm done to themselves.

      But they have boo-boos in their fee-fees! Why don’t you ever think of the boo-boos in their fee-fees?

      1. Barnacle Strumpet
        Barnacle Strumpet May 23, 2013 at 4:47 pm |

        I’m too busy thinking about giving them boo-boos in other places…

      2. lilith danne
        lilith danne June 6, 2013 at 2:15 am |

        Lol I have never heard someone say boo boos on there fee fees before that’s funny

  2. Donna L
    Donna L May 23, 2013 at 12:38 pm |

    I was going to make almost exactly the same comment as Barnacle Strumpet. The statement that “all haters are insecure people” is sheer nonsense, as anyone with even a rudimentary familiarity with history should recognize. In order for it to be true, the definition of “insecure” would have to be broadened so much that the word would be entirely meaningless.

    1. A4
      A4 May 23, 2013 at 1:25 pm |

      It’s not like “hatred” is a particular precisely defined concept either. So my response to a statement about how “All who have hatred have insecurity” is pretty much like “cool story yo, but I don’t need a Just-So prescriptive entailment for the relation between those two disparate concepts”. It seems to me that “insecurity” here is a characterizations of a deficiency, conflict, or instability in the structures of the self. A statement like that is only useful for placing a label of “structural deficiency” upon those who are labeled as “interpersonally hostile”. It also serves to undermine revolutionary political action that degrades the existing oppressive status quo by locating the systemic deficiency as being in the liberative political mechanisms of the oppressed rather than the oppressive political mechanisms of the dominant.

      In short, I too think it is nonsense.

    2. Bonn
      Bonn May 24, 2013 at 1:16 am |

      It reminds me of discussions on bullying in my ESL classroom. One guy insisted to me that “bullies have low intelligence,” and that’s why they bully. And I had to correct him because I was bullied pretty mercilessly in grade school and middle school, and many of my bullies were my fellow “gifted ed enrichment” classmates. It was a problem pretty unique to my class–my brother’s gifted ed classmates were lovely and kind people–but my class was just absolutely awful.

      I would say that some were insecure … maybe? There was definitely a sense of keeping up appearances since a few of the girls would be nice in private but absolutely shitty when other kids were around. One of those girls certainly had body image issues and wound up in a facility for an eating disorder later on. But mostly they were all pretty pleased with themselves. They were well off, they were popular, they were involved in sports and various athletic pursuits … and then there was me. Who was the outsider. So I was bullied.

      We had our ten year reunion a couple of years ago, and I remember there was an argument on the Facebook page because one of my classmates said she wouldn’t be attending on account of the fact that a lot of the organizers were absolute shits to her in high school. And the response was basically, “That was ten years ago and you need to get over it.” Which is a horrible thing to say when you bullied someone long-term and inflicted that kind of psychological (generally not physical) damage on someone in their formative years. Apparently they thought so little of what they did and what effect it might have … that their reaction was, “I can’t believe you’ve been carrying that around for the last 10+ years.”

      So I’m not inclined to think that bullying is due to insecurity or has any effect on the person doing it. I think some of them get joy out of it and think it’s just fun and games. Maybe a sense of entitlement, like, “I have a right to do this and you have a right to get over it.” Something like that.

      1. Angie unduplicated
        Angie unduplicated May 24, 2013 at 10:35 am |

        Given the historical bullying of blacks and Jews, I’m inclined to believe that bullying, in many instances, may be a PR campaign utilized to make a person or group sufficiently hated that stealing from them will be seen as a public good and, therefore, not prosecuted or punished. In all instances, it’s group bonding and may be incited by an aspirational leader in order to create a loyal band of followers. I do know that it is taught in certain homes, including mine, where my sister was told by my dad and stepmom to practice her newly-taught skills on me.
        Barnacle, feel free to use my pickax.

      2. AMM
        AMM May 24, 2013 at 8:05 pm |

        I think some of them get joy out of it and think it’s just fun and games. Maybe a sense of entitlement, like, “I have a right to do this and you have a right to get over it.” Something like that.

        This.

        But I’d add: an attitude that the person you’re bullying isn’t really human. I’m reminded of how (Western) Europeans used to regard Africans, Native Americans, etc., as exotic animals, sort of like platypuses, to be collected, displayed, poked, prodded, and, for all I know, dissected. Their suffering and degradation didn’t matter because they were, after all, “only animals.”

        To tie it into the OP: an awful lot of the anti-fat propaganda seems designed to erase fat people’s humanity, so people can bully them without feeling bad or suffering any social stigma.

        (Subsitute “black”, “gay”, “female”, etc., for “fat”, and you see the same mechanism at work.)

    3. Funty
      Funty May 25, 2013 at 12:10 pm |

      The insecurity mentioned isn’t gnawing internal doubt.
      It’s more about maintaining a place in a hierarchy.
      It’s a competition, a race where your place up front is tenuous at best but that’s fine, the system is fine. As long as you are winning.
      Hierarchy goes unquestioned but the people who can’t or won’t work that way…they can be.

      1. j-dub
        j-dub May 26, 2013 at 4:39 pm |

        Yes!

        I think a lot of bullying (racism, sexism, fat-shaming, etc) is, as you say, a response to an unspoken and probably unconscious fear of stepping out of line and having the full weight of the kyriarchy come down on you. In the same way that (some) women police other women, so too do bullies police those below them to maintain their status.

  3. EG
    EG May 23, 2013 at 1:32 pm |

    Well, I buy the idea that people who hate others are insecure, because I suspect that 99% of all people are insecure one way or another. It’s kind of the human condition. Which is to say, it’s a meaningless statement.

    However, in reality, hate physically and psychologically destroys both the hater and the hated.

    Yeah, right. Says who? I hate plenty of people, and it hasn’t destroyed them either physically or psychologically. Emotions aren’t that powerful. And last I looked, I was still standing, both physically and psychologically. So…bullshit.

    1. Donna L
      Donna L May 23, 2013 at 1:39 pm |

      But don’t forget, EG, hatred is bad for you. Forgiveness is the Christian thing to do.

      1. EG
        EG May 23, 2013 at 1:46 pm |

        Heh. I knew there was a reason I had no interest in it!

        1. 10G
          10G May 28, 2013 at 12:14 pm |

          LOL! I agree with Margaret Cho: “Sometimes the best revenge is REVENGE”. ;)

      2. Ninjawizard
        Ninjawizard May 24, 2013 at 4:09 am |

        I figured out kinda recently that when someone says you should forgive and forget they’re not giving you advice on how to be just, they’re giving you advice on how to be happy. You will be happy if you move on but its wrong to leave injustice unresolved. Tit for tat is good. Getting revenge is good. But it has to be just revenge and it won’t necessarily make you happy. You have to do two things; first get revenge then move on with your life.

        1. AMM
          AMM May 24, 2013 at 8:16 pm |

          [Tangent warning]

          I’ve had a different attitude towards “forgive and forget” ever since the incident with him-who-must-not-be-named, especially since it applies equally to my ex.

          I keep seeing calls to “forgive” people who’ve made a big show of “repenting,” but then turn out to keep doing the s.o.s. My ex keeps asking to meet with me to “make amends,” but keeps on doing the stuff that made me leave.

          Before you can even mention the word “forgiveness,” the person you’re supposed to “forgive” has to have permanently stopped doing whatever it was you’re supposed to “forgive.” If necessary, be stopped, such as by being jailed or (if necessary) killed. To “forgive” a perpetrator who is still perpetrating or who appears (in your estimation) likely to perpetrate again isn’t noble, it’s a crime against humanity.

        2. EG
          EG May 25, 2013 at 12:19 pm |

          I still reject it. Forgetting injuries and forgiving the people who caused them aren’t what makes me happy.

        3. Alyson
          Alyson May 28, 2013 at 2:39 am |

          This is mostly in response to AMM:

          There are people I will likely never forgive. I want nothing to do with my rapist and no way of knowing for sure if he ever rapes again. I would literally have to pay someone to follow him all the time to be sure. And I don’t believe that he would change enough to shell out that money.

          As for other people…I’ve seen them treat other people the same way they’ve treated me, I’ve seen them create fake Facebook accounts to try to spy on me after I blocked them, etc.

          So yes, change is absolutely needed for forgiveness.

        4. 10G
          10G May 28, 2013 at 12:15 pm |

          Ninjawizard: YES! This.

      3. Fat Steve
        Fat Steve May 28, 2013 at 8:39 pm |

        But don’t forget, EG, hatred is bad for you. Forgiveness is the Christian thing to do.

        Aren’t there multiple definitions of hate, some of which are truly unequivocally bad? For example, hate, as in the prefix of hate-crime or hate-group.

        1. EG
          EG May 28, 2013 at 10:02 pm |

          I don’t see how that’s a different definition of “hate.” “Hate” still refers to the emotion in play. “Hate crime” or “hate group” have definitions that are more than the sum of their parts, like “blue plate special.”

        2. Fat Steve
          Fat Steve May 29, 2013 at 1:31 am |

          I don’t see how that’s a different definition of “hate.” “Hate” still refers to the emotion in play. “Hate crime” or “hate group” have definitions that are more than the sum of their parts, like “blue plate special.”

          Hmmm…not sure I agree with that, but I actually misunderstood the point you were making since your comment wasn’t nested under the comment you were quoting. I thought you and Donna were disagreeing with the OP’s criticism of fat ‘hatred.’

    2. A4
      A4 May 23, 2013 at 1:56 pm |

      I think maintaining hatred can literally lead to chronic muscle tension that leads to chronic structural imbalances that lead to chronic stresses on structures that shouldn’t be stressed like joints and tendons and ligaments. But that is also true of pain, and stress, and many other negative emotions, and every case requires careful examination. There’s lots of ways to break that connection, so it’s very possible to have brief and intensely satisfying or constructive bouts of hatred without allowing it to cause chronic issues.

      Most of these thoughts are coming from my own work recently to correct long term negative muscle habits and the connection some of them seem to have to long term negative emotional habits. I don’t have to “give up” my feelings and experiences to “give up” a strained hamstring.

      I guess what I’m trying to push against is that a lot of people make really simplistic causal connections between states of mind and states of body, because there IS of course a correspondence between the state of our mind and our body because the mind is the body, but the connection is NOT magic NOR consistent with overly broad Christian tropes of purity of intent and action.

      1. Willard
        Willard May 24, 2013 at 2:51 am |

        I know I have issues with carrying stress or whatever. While I do notice things tightening or moving physically when I’m angry or hating something they’re never long term changes. I’d imagine the story would be different were I an AM radio jockey. Stress is easy, it just piles on and ratchets tighter and tighter. Anger takes a whole lot of energy for me.

        I’ve heard the magical all knowing body positions before, but the Christian stuff is new to me. What’s that about, like God putting his thumb on your back when you’re mean to someone or something?

    3. Kyra
      Kyra May 25, 2013 at 10:40 pm |

      Well, I buy the idea that people who hate others are insecure, because I suspect that 99% of all people are insecure one way or another. It’s kind of the human condition. Which is to say, it’s a meaningless statement.

      I would say that most haters’ hatred stems from or springs up in line with a specific insecurity on their part, like a fault line in their psyche along which earthquakes appear.

      Life in a piss-down hierarchy is inherently insecure. Everyone but the very top person is subject to abuse from above and to being found wanting in comparison with those above; everyone but the very bottom people have the worry of being kicked down and replaced. Life in a kyriarchy adds insecurity in that there’s always another means of judging in which one may be found wanting, or not be given the adulation one feels one deserves.

      A sufficiently entitled bully, thus, can draw insecurity from practically anything—that the nerd is smart; that the pretty girl is not interested in him; that the kind person is genuinely liked and trusted; that the fat person is still treated like a human being; that the insecure and weak and pathetic person is allowed to exist; that the (insert race) person has self-respect; that the (insert religion) person hasn’t been smited by one’s own god; that the gay person has a happy, loving relationship; that anyone has anything, be it a physical or mental quality, a talent, a possession, the good regard of others, success in any axis of hierarchy that outdoes the bully’s standing or talents in the same . . .

      . . . possibly the meaning of the concept “all haters are insecure” is that “all haters” are entitled, and entitlement bereft of all the things to which one feels entitled begats insecurity. Because, one feels, something is lacking, something is wrong with the universe, that the entitled person does not have everything zie feels entitled to as theirs for the asking. It must be someone’s fault, and that someone is therefore committing an assault on said entitled person.

      It’s not that they’re insecure by our standards. It’s that they’re insecure by theirs.

      (The “haters” who are not insecure, by and large, do not actually hate. They emotionlessly or cheerfully wreck lives and cause destruction without any particular hatred for their targets, only the unassailed certainty that their targets have no real worth—one could say that the hateful bullies are the larval stage, with hatred being a defense mechanism for their entitlement that is no longer generated once they’ve sealed up the fault lines where their superiority-complex view of the universe could be shattered apart.

  4. macavitykitsune
    macavitykitsune May 23, 2013 at 2:13 pm |

    “However, in reality, hate physically and psychologically destroys both the hater and the hated.”

    Those poor oppressors.

    1. Jackie
      Jackie May 28, 2013 at 1:57 pm |

      It’s the same reasoning behind why bullies now get diagnoses like emotionally disturbed, and are put in classes with vulnerable students who have special needs like Autism. It’s the idea that even the bully was a victim of something in their past, all they need is to be coddled and they’ll learn to act like a human being again.

      I had a bully in special ed that tormented me, to a point I developed what I believe is paranoid psychosis from what I’ve read. I’ve been extremely upset these predators are allowed to torment “easy target” students, because instead of telling parents their child is unable to be with other people, because they will harm them. Their child is given a diagnoses of emotionally disturbed, and the other students are forced to contend with them against their will.

      So yeah, I have no patience for people who want to advocate for bullies by claiming they have a sob story past. I didn’t get the help I need because I wasn’t as screwed up as they were, I shouldn’t have to compete against bullies, to get the help I need for my disability. The idea that we should educate every child, well I don’t see why we try to educate children who are predatory. Why can’t we send them to juvenile hall like we used to, and have them get their education where they can’t harm anyone but each other? It’s likely they’d just end up there anyways.

      Sorry for being off topic, I just wanted to illustrate my perspective on this repulsive notion that bullies deserve the empathy they cannot give to others. The poor bully is psychologically damaged, because they’re a bully. Maybe that’s nature’s way of punishing bullies for behaving as they do. Maybe bullies deserve to feel some of the pain they inflict on to others with sadistic glee.

      1. A4
        A4 May 28, 2013 at 5:16 pm |

        The poor bully is psychologically damaged, because they’re a bully. Maybe that’s nature’s way of punishing bullies for behaving as they do. Maybe bullies deserve to feel some of the pain they inflict on to others with sadistic glee.

        Yeah. Or maybe it’s the Devil possessing them!

      2. Asia
        Asia May 29, 2013 at 12:51 am |

        Your talking about children. Do you understand that?

        No child should be allowed to harm another and the teachers that failed to protect deserved condemnation. I do think that schools need polices to better protect victims and move potential victims away from bullies. However, I strongly disagree that we should lock up bullies and throw away the key. What do you think will happen then. We will just have adult bullies hurting adults.

        1. Fat Steve
          Fat Steve May 29, 2013 at 2:08 am |

          However, I strongly disagree that we should lock up bullies and throw away the key. What do you think will happen then?

          No one will be able to unlock the door.

        2. Fat Steve
          Fat Steve May 29, 2013 at 2:09 am |

          Though, to be fair, that causes more problems than it solves.

        3. Jackie
          Jackie June 17, 2013 at 8:01 pm |

          Children can hurt others, children can inflict emotional and physical harm. To pretend otherwise is to reject the reality all of us live in. Children shouldn’t have to be put into a institution where other children are able to get away with harming them, while the parents of bullies go “But they’re CHILDREN!” as a way of shutting down conversation about their wrong doing. That is what that statement attempts to do, shut down people who don’t talk about children in the romantic way parents and others wish they would, people who see children as they are, not as they are in their fantasies.

          Teachers are responsible, but you are outraged at the thought that bullies should be punished. Punishment is not as you exaggeratedly put it, locking them up and throwing away the key, it is teaching them how to act well. We’ll have adult bullies hurting adults if we sit back and with a romantic gaze go, “They’re just children!” while they terrorize their schoolmates. While people like you live in a rose tinted fantasy world where children are all angelic cherubs, the rest of us live in reality.

          Bullies cause damage, and they do deserve punishment so they can learn how to interact with others. No amount of, “But they’re CHILDREN!” and sobbing, will replace that. It’s that type of behavior, the one that puts the feelings of the parents, before the feelings of the child victim of bullies that is the problem. We need to have parents understand that if their child is a bully it is a serious problem, and stop listening to their dramatic pleas and sighs while they try to deny reality. This will not happen if we keep pretending children cannot be monsters.

          So if you wish to go to a mommy forum and indulge in some talk about how children are all angels, and wonderful, then perhaps you would feel more comfortable there. We are going to discuss children frankly here, and if you are unable to handle that without going into a outburst of “THE CHILDREN! THE CHILDREN!”, then it might be best you leave here.

      3. Willard
        Willard May 29, 2013 at 1:35 am |

        The system failed to help and protect you. Making the system harsher doesn’t change or prevent that. “I didn’t get the help I need” does not logically precede “shorten the cradle to prison pipeline so the little fuckers can tear each other apart.” They shouldn’t have been in the same room as you, sure, but denying the mental experiences of others is pretty regressive. Kids can be shitty and horrible but unlike most adults who are shitty and horrible the potential for change is there.

        1. Jackie
          Jackie June 17, 2013 at 8:05 pm |

          And what about the children they traumatize? Should we tell them that it’s alright, because those bullies are children, and have a potential to change? All this talk about how the bullies have feelings too, and we can’t dare punish the bullies, they might get their feelings hurt. They might have to *gasp* realize there are actually consequences for their actions.

          If we listened to people like you and Asia, we’d have even more school shootings than we do now. That is the price we pay for allowing predatory students into our schools, and lying to ourselves they are not a danger. How many more children need to die, before we realize, certain students just cannot be among other people?

  5. Jenna
    Jenna May 23, 2013 at 3:38 pm |

    Hat for fat people is really the perfect storm in our society. It combines magical thinking, victim blaming, and othering into a lovely toxic mess.
    People can imagine that fat people do all these things that they themselves would NEVER do, so they themselves are safe and virtuous! They can blame those other fat people for being lazy, eating wrong, doing all the wrong things that therefore cause all the problems that fat people have….regardless of reality. It just MUST be their fault, somehow. They must have failed to be virtuous in some way. Being fat must be a punishment for sin, because that makes it safer for the Virtuous Ones.
    If being fat is the result of Sin and therefore a choice, it makes it easier to other fat people, because they could always choose differently, right? Choose Virtue, and all will be forgiven! The Virtuous aren’t really being cruel, they are just making it easier for you to turn away from sin and be Virtuous just like them!
    It’s all bullshit, but, it’s easy to believe in our society. Our Puritan and Calvinist heritage in the US, plus all the rest of our consumerist society and the people making money off of trying to be thin are hard to escape.

    In case I wasn’t clear, I don’t believe that being fat is a choice, or a sin, or a fault. It shouldn’t ever be a reason to hate or other someone. It shouldn’t be a reason to badger someone about their food or exercise choices, or their clothing, or their right to exist in public like anyone else. In our society, fat people are an approved target, but, they shouldn’t be.

    1. A4
      A4 May 23, 2013 at 3:52 pm |

      “That person with the bad looking life must have made bad choices. They must be mentally Ill. I am mentally well, therefore I am assured a good life!”

  6. Mandolin
    Mandolin May 24, 2013 at 1:05 am |

    You guys are so great and I’m always glad when I see articles from you. (Debbie, I think your bio might be out of date since it still lists you as an upcoming Wiscon GOH and I think that was last year?)

  7. Kerplunk
    Kerplunk May 24, 2013 at 6:36 am |

    Even if it were true that being fat automatically makes one unhealthy (and I don’t believe that it is), what business is it of anyone to offer unasked-for comments about someone else’s health? Not even smokers (who in my view are also unfairly targeted with judgmental comments, since smoking is after all an addiction and not just a behavior) have to listen to as much cloying and generally dishonest “concern” for their health. I completely agree that bringing up the health angle when discussing fatness, especially to someone’s face, is a very thinly veiled example of fat hatred.

    1. Victoria
      Victoria May 24, 2013 at 10:28 am |

      It’s been my experience that most “concerned” people aren’t people who have a legitimate claim to be concerned about you or say anything. For example, I cannot count the number of times that I’ve been cornered by some asshole acquaintance who tries to convince me that I should have children (the fact that I don’t want them being something they know not from me, but from third hand gossip, though it is true) out of concern that “I won’t be happy.” You’ve met me twice, you’ve gotten my name wrong every time we’ve interacted, what does it matter to you that I’m unhappy? You don’t know me well enough for my happiness to be an end in itself that matters to you, and you don’t interact with me enough for my unhappiness to be a nuisance to you, and for that matter, you don’t know me well enough to know what would make me happy or unhappy. I’ve seen similar sorts of situations (usually the exact same concern trolls) about smoking, drinking, and weight. Be honest, beyond the general having compassion for another human being and not wanting them, you don’t really care if this person you met once gets cancer or heart disease. But it’s not compassion for a fellow human being and not wanting them to suffer that makes them speak, but the fact that “concern” is perceived as a socially appropriate way to voice disapproval. You can’t simply say “I don’t like that you smoke, drink, are fat, don’t want children, gamble, use drugs…(insert any other number of things people are “concerned” about here)… so you should stop,” but under the guise of concern, you make your censure of total strangers evident.

      1. Victoria
        Victoria May 24, 2013 at 10:29 am |

        *not wanting them to suffer

      2. Lolagirl
        Lolagirl May 28, 2013 at 6:52 pm |

        But it’s not compassion for a fellow human being and not wanting them to suffer that makes them speak, but the fact that “concern” is perceived as a socially appropriate way to voice disapproval.

        I think this is a tremendously insightful take on what is really going on when people police one another these days. It really isn’t about genuine concern for other’s well-being, but expressing one’s disapproval of them (whether it be a matter of personal choices, appearance, career, marital status, etc.) It isn’t even really about doing it wrong, it’s about doing or being something different from what the judging person did or is.

        I cannot count the number of times that I’ve been cornered by some asshole acquaintance who tries to convince me that I should have children

        This definitely falls into the category of sometimes people are jerks. Because no matter what you do, someone is going to judge you and be a shit about it for no other reason than you did something different from what they did or want to do. And you’ll get it no matter what side of the equation you fall on (which has been borne out plenty of times here in the Feministe comments section a couple who knows how many times.) I actually got publically shamed today by an 8yo kid for having too many children. In that loud, unself-conscious way that only an 8yo old can pull off too. “Mom, can you believe she has 4 kids?! That’s crazy, can you believe it, who does that, having so many kids?!?!” (And yes, I know that’s ableist language at work in this quote.)

        Anyway, and for whatever it’s worth, Victoria, I think it stinks that people judge you that way. They don’t know how to see past their own nose and understand that not everyone wants to be just like they are. And that is definitely not your problem, but theirs.

        1. Victoria
          Victoria June 5, 2013 at 4:36 pm |

          After posting this I started reading a really good book called Against Health which argues that we think about health in moral terms, which is why it’s so problematic when people talk about health when talking about fat people, because “health” allows them to make a judgement, which I think functions similarly to my take on “concern.” It’s a fascinating read and I would highly recommend it.

          I certainly wasn’t trying to start the “who has it worse debate,” because I have noticed you can’t win. If you don’t have children, someone will have a problem with that, if you have children, someone will have a problem with that, If you have kids before you reach a certain age someone will think you’re going to ruin their lives, if you have kids after a certain age someone will think you’re selfish for waiting too long. And the arguments distracts from the fact that it’s policing women and men are pretty much immune from it. For example, when people find out that I’m getting my PhD, people generally ask when I’m going to have the time to have babies, but when my male friends tell people their getting their PhD, people ask about their specialization, where they hope to wind up after they finish, etc.

          I’m sorry you had to experience that, especially since at 8 years old, his behavior is more indicative of the values and opinions of our society than his own thoughts. And thank you, I think you are right, and it shouldn’t be my problem. I appreciate you reminding me of that :)

      3. Fat Steve
        Fat Steve May 28, 2013 at 8:07 pm |

        You can’t simply say “I don’t like that you smoke, drink, are fat, don’t want children, gamble, use drugs…(insert any other number of things people are “concerned” about here)… so you should stop,” but under the guise of concern, you make your censure of total strangers evident.

        Are strangers the only issue here? I know plenty of people for whom the worst offenders are their family. And even if those people are genuinely concerned, it’s still extremely painful. Also, I wouldn’t consider all of those concerns equivalent, I mean, to me something like doing drugs is not the same as not wanting to have children. One is an attitude, the other is a behavior. When people told me I shouldn’t do drugs as a teenager I thought it was pure censure, but now that I’m in my 40′s, if one of my friends or loved ones was to say to me that they are concerned about me doing molly and getting shitfaced every weekend (not that anything like that has happened,) I would understand that it is actual concern based on my actual behavior, additionally, if I made a jackass out of myself in front of a total stranger, I could understand criticism of my behavior. But if strangers or friends were ‘concerned’ that I thought drugs should be legalized, then I would consider it censure.

    2. foxy
      foxy May 25, 2013 at 12:50 am |

      A lot of people are worried about the healthcare costs of obesity and its complications.

      1. Angel H.
        Angel H. May 25, 2013 at 8:05 am |

        And those people are full of bullshit.

      2. Andie
        Andie May 25, 2013 at 8:29 pm |

        The same people don’t seem too concerned about the health costs of drinking, or smoking, or driving too fast, or participating in contact sports, or working in high-risk occupations, or living in high industrial areas.

        I second Angel H. Those people are full of shit.

      3. macavitykitsune
        macavitykitsune May 25, 2013 at 8:41 pm |

        okay, foxy. I’ll give you “no healthcare for health problems caused explicitly and only by being fat” if you’ll trade me “no healthcare for people injured in car accidents if they got into the car willingly”. Sounds about reasonable to me, right?

        obvious sarcasm is obvious

      4. A4
        A4 May 25, 2013 at 11:35 pm |

        Reality check: Those people do not feel worry, they feel hatred.

      5. Fat Steve
        Fat Steve May 28, 2013 at 8:12 pm |

        A lot of people are worried about the healthcare costs of obesity and its complications.

        I don’t think those people are necessarily full of shit, but they are viewing people as a metric and not as people. There are plenty of studies that link obesity with bad health and it’s possible to believe in good faith that obesity drives up healthcare costs. However, If reducing obesity could be proved to cut a million dollars a year off the healthcare budget would it be worth shaming people? How about a billion? 10 billion? You’re still treating people as a number.

        1. Asia
          Asia May 29, 2013 at 1:08 am |

          I think you can support public health initiatives to help society be healthier and respect individuals. I do think that sometimes public health media campaigns do give people the idea though that harassing individuals is not only ok but a good thing.

          I’m not sure how to combat this. Obesity is so hugely connected to individual choices. And there is such hype about the obesity crisis.

  8. Angie unduplicated
    Angie unduplicated May 24, 2013 at 10:50 am |

    How much of this is coming from the clothing industries which sell size 0 clothing at Pentagon toilet seat prices? How much more of this originates in the heroin and cocaine trades? Both have economic muscle and can purchase propaganda. Then, of course, we have corporatfinks who get all upset at the idea of paying women wages sufficient to actually purchase groceries, and throw equally nasty tantrums (especially on Fox) about subsidizing their pitiful pay with EBT cards/food stamps. Can’t please these bozos except by starving wistfully away, so they can hire our replacements at entry level wages, minus the bennies. Or Ben Franklins, if wages keep dropping.
    Calling the weight trolls out as brainwashed zombie tools of the 1% would be fun as hell. Unfortunately, the only one I get to hear is my boss, and I am in no financial shape to endure another firing for insubordination or another job search among employers who believe that anyone over 45 will drop dead as soon as they’re on the payroll.

    1. Kyra
      Kyra May 25, 2013 at 11:02 pm |

      You’re onto something. It’s from a lot of industries.

      The clothing industry that not only sells size 0 clothes at Pentagon toilet seat (LOL!) prices, but sells three times the clothing to the people who have to maintain three wardrobes because they keep gaining and losing the same thirty pounds; sells clothing that doesn’t take its part in the wardrobe to people who buy it two sizes too small in the hopes that it’ll fit soon; sells clothing season after season with the promise that this pair of pants will make your ass look three sizes thinner.

      The beauty-products industry that profits from the transfer of “my fat body is ugly” to “I am ugly” to sell makeup and skincare and haircare products to people desperate to make themselves look less ugly, and that profits from the general assumption that the status quo is never good enough and the desperate willingness to believe that this next product will be The One that sets you on the road towards beauty.

      The diet industry wherein everyone who stuffs random substances into a capsule, or combines a bunch of random eating rules or exercise variations into a collection, or invents a device that sort of mimics the motions of a known physical exercise, can expect an avalanche of cash to flow in.

      The food industry which can plop phrases like “low fat” or “healthy” or “only 100 calories a serving” on just about any food product and watch sales skyrocket.

      And insurance bean-counters who may or may not see any real savings coming from their risk pool population getting thinner and healthier, but can definitely see profits arising from being able to jack up premiums on anyone with a BMI above “normal.”

    2. Mike
      Mike May 26, 2013 at 1:56 pm |

      Fat hatred has to do with the cocaine and heroin trade?

  9. Miguel
    Miguel May 24, 2013 at 11:03 am |

    I have a theory. A lot of men who are fat haters are secretly turned on by fat women, and their fat hatred is what Freud called “reaction formation”. Women who are fat haters are sometimes jealous of fat women’s voluptuous bodies.

    Also, 1984. I read that when I was fourteen. It colored my outlook on things.

    1. Fishing for Insults
      Fishing for Insults May 24, 2013 at 12:10 pm |

      LOL Freud

    2. A4
      A4 May 25, 2013 at 11:53 pm |

      No. Bad theory. Very untenable.

    3. EG
      EG May 26, 2013 at 12:15 am |

      Why can’t women who hate fat be attracted to fat men and also having a reaction formation? Why aren’t men who hate fat be secretly jealous of fat men’s bodies?

      In other words, why are you assuming that women are sexual objects and men are sexual subjects?

      1. macavitykitsune
        macavitykitsune May 26, 2013 at 12:20 am |

        Well, I’m going to go ahead and attribute it to being a Fraudian theory.

      2. Miguel
        Miguel May 26, 2013 at 12:54 pm |

        Why can’t women who hate fat be attracted to fat men and also having a reaction formation? Why aren’t men who hate fat be secretly jealous of fat men’s bodies?

        They can. I’m talking about averages and probabilities, which is always the case when talking about broad categories of people.

        In other words, why are you assuming that women are sexual objects and men are sexual subjects?

        My theory implies differences between men and women but does not imply, within any reasonably non-vague definition of “sexual object” and “sexual subject”, which gender is the latter and which the former.

        1. EG
          EG May 26, 2013 at 1:37 pm |

          Of course it does. That’s what it means to position men as desiring subjects and women as objects of desire, as your theory does.

        2. lilith danne
          lilith danne June 6, 2013 at 3:02 am |

          Freud was the superman of sexism he coined the theory of penis envy not likely to win a Freudian theory over on a feminist blog just saying.

  10. Mariucel
    Mariucel May 25, 2013 at 6:36 pm |

    Well. While I generally agree with most of this, I found this odd

    simply substitute black people or gays

    I’m not sure you can do that?

    1. Jackie
      Jackie May 28, 2013 at 1:49 pm |

      Well you can’t if you believe the lie that being fat has nothing to do with genetics, and is a sign a person lacks willpower. However, if you acknowledge that genetics do play a role in body size, then you will notice how little fat hatred differs from the hatred that has been used against people in the past, to shame people for attributes they had no choice in having.

      1. Barnacle Strumpet
        Barnacle Strumpet May 28, 2013 at 8:20 pm |

        Some people get a little tired of black people being used as substitutes to make points about the problems of other groups.

        Some people find it offensive.

      2. EG
        EG May 28, 2013 at 10:01 pm |

        I’m not sure what difference it makes whether or not one has control over something. I have control over many aspects of my appearance. That doesn’t make it acceptable for anybody to treat me poorly because of them.

      3. snorkellingfish
        snorkellingfish May 28, 2013 at 10:54 pm |

        The reason that it’s a problem is because of the bit of your comment that I’ve bolded:

        However, if you acknowledge that genetics do play a role in body size, then you will notice how little fat hatred differs from the hatred that has been used against people in the past, to shame people for attributes they had no choice in having.

        It’s problematic to substitute other groups because it can give that impression: it can pretend that other groups are no longer marginalised. Even where it’s not explicit, using an analogy to another group as a “clear” example of how a statement is prejudiced implies that society actually thinks it’s wrong to say prejudiced things about that other group. In reality, prejudice against black people and gay people isn’t “in the past” and is not always clearly seen as wrong. Like, there are a hell of a lot of people who imply that black people are lazy without anyone thinking anything of it.

        It also erases the difference between different types of prejudice and the ways in which they intersect and interact. Like, swapping prejudice against fat people with prejudice for black people or gay people ignores the unique ways prejudice might work against a fat black woman or a fat lesbian.

        (It also makes me feel a bit icky that the quote referred to gay people as “gays”.)

        1. Willard
          Willard May 29, 2013 at 12:52 am |

          It totally sets you up for the Oppression Olympics, where everyone loses and privilege wins.

          (Small mercies: there was no the in front of “gays”)

  11. Hattie
    Hattie May 27, 2013 at 1:20 pm |

    We are totally screwed up about fat issues. I have been bullied by a fat woman who thinks she is thin and keeps telling me how fat I am, although I’m not fat at all! Her need to deny her true shape and size has led her to become completely deluded.

    1. Jackie
      Jackie May 28, 2013 at 1:47 pm |

      The notion that fat people are extremely envious of thin people, and that they are “delusional” have been used as a way of silencing fat people’s voices for some time. If a fat person has confidence, it is common for haters to claim they must be departed from reality. This is not only fat shaming, but also contributes to the notion that mental illness is something that can be used to dehumanize others.

      I think that Hattie, you need to take a step back and think about what I’ve said before you come back here to post. There are many sites that would be willing to hear your stories about how you are oppressed by “delusional” fat people, but this article is about giving a voice to fat people.

      1. Barnacle Strumpetq
        Barnacle Strumpetq May 28, 2013 at 7:10 pm |

        Jackie, what are you on about? Hattie said nothing about oppression. She has said nothing about the woman being confident or not.

        You’re making conclusions based on–well nothing, really. Hattie is telling one anecdote that actually is relevent to this thread. This thread is about fat hatred, and I assume that includes internalized fat hatred from fat people.

        I, for instance, get to hear quite often about how I am worthless, from a fat woman, all because 20+ years ago, this fat woman was thinner than I currently am. It doesn’t bother me (so I am hardly crying “oppression!”) but it never fails to make me sad that this woman is persistant in ranking women’s worth based on how skinny they are (i.e the skinnier you are, the better you are; and being skinny once and then very fat is apparently better than having an eternal non-skinny shape).

        She recognizes that she’s currently fat, but I don’t even want to imagine what she feels about it, given how lowly she thinks of people that aren’t skinny.

        It’s easy to forget, being around a lot of fat acceptance and HAES activists, but a good deal of fat people perpetuate fat hatred as well. This isn’t a skinny VS fat issue. Gender comes into play as well; it’s ridiculous how many times I have seen fat men ragging on women’s weight.

    2. Fat Steve
      Fat Steve May 28, 2013 at 8:18 pm |

      We are totally screwed up about fat issues. I have been bullied by a fat woman who thinks she is thin and keeps telling me how fat I am, although I’m not fat at all! Her need to deny her true shape and size has led her to become completely deluded.

      I wouldn’t extrapolate too much from individual cases. Just because this one woman may be a hypocrite doesn’t mean that ‘we’ are totally screwed up about fat issues.

    3. macavitykitsune
      macavitykitsune May 28, 2013 at 10:58 pm |

      I have been bullied by a fat woman who thinks she is thin and keeps telling me how fat I am, although I’m not fat at all!

      Yes, it’s awful when people bully people about being fat, isn’t it?

    4. Synna
      Synna May 29, 2013 at 6:28 pm |

      aaaand this is why we can’t have nice things. Just about every time fat issues are brought up on this blog, somebody goes and jumps the shark to make it all about them. The comparison of fat and mental illness just sets it off beautifully /snark.

      1. macavitykitsune
        macavitykitsune May 29, 2013 at 6:42 pm |

        Well, yes. Because what would a thread about fat people be, without someone calling us delusional and hateful bullies? Empty and meaningless, that’s what. We must always have “wow look did you know that (oppressed group) commits (act of oppression) too!??!?!?!”

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