Over the past year the Fatospohere and F/A has seen some movement (I think mostly constructive) in regards to intersectionallity and gender issues. There is, however, one contentious issue that seems to have been passed right over and has kind of faded into the background. That would be socially acceptable, social causes.
Out in the wilds of the interwebs the suggestion that it might possible to be both fit and fat or fat and happy will either get you out-of-hand rejection or the kind of disregard one usually reserves for annoying children. But, unbelievable as it may seem, there are two other suggestions that can often generate flaming vitriol on contact. The suggestion that fat discrimination might bare some similarity to racial discrimination. Or the suggestion that societal disdain that fat people experience might, in some ways, be comparable to that with which the LGBT community has long been subjected.
Suggesting that there are ANY similarities between F/A and either of these social justice movements will often get you a lot of combustible dissent regarding the 'changeability' of body size or observations that there is a lack of physical violence in the history of fat hate. I usually end up thinking three things whenever I hear these arguments 1) it might be changeable for some (and this is far from PROVEN) but what about those for whom it isn't? 2) As for the physical violence issue? Let me fix that statement for you; '. . -SO FAR- there is a lack of physical violence in the history of fat hate'. Don't think this is, at all, possible? I think someone needs to brush up on their human history. Invariably the last thing that comes to my mind when confronted with a denial of the similarities between fat hate, race hate, and sexual orientation hate is; 3) Why are you fighting this analogy so hard? Hate is hate. Is ANY of it better than the others. Is ANY of it more worthy of attention? Or do you, the denier, think that perhaps some kinds of hate might be Ok?
Often we'll hear that the comparison of fat discrimination to other struggles for social justice and equality diminishes those struggles. Somehow diluting the importance of groups who are fighting for equality and for the right to be seen as human beings. People struggling for the right to live there lives without abuse, harassment, or discriminatory regulation. But is fat discrimination really trivial? Or is it just young.
After all this is a brand new phenomena and, if history is any guide, as the general economic situation gets worse, it's not likely that the prevalence and kinds of fat hate / discrimination are going to get any better. Unless the people who are subject to it or the people involved with them do something to blunt or halt it now. One of the most effective tools against any kind of hate, is to gain an understanding OF it. Well, if we want to understand New Hate, make it easier for others to comprehend what it is or even that it exists, one of the best ways to do that, is to look back at the Hate that Came Before.
Obviously, those of us struggling against New Hate should treat the struggles of the past with respect and the acknowledgment that they deserve, but all such struggles deserve the same. Including new ones. Respect is a two way street. To get some, you gotta give some.
Smashing Pumpkins / Siva