Saturday, 6 August 2011

Moral illumination

I think quite a lot about the overapping moral dimensions of how fat people are seen, noting its effects on my own views on morality and how I see morality assigned to people in other areas.

Everything from ends and means, to how mis treatment of oneself can become a moral question in itself rather than just a mere extension of autonomy and at what point. I never for instance thought of the implications of body hating's containing and therefore conveying a lot of misogyny in the past. That's a glaring oversight on my part, I tended to switch off when hearing about how society controls women's bodies through the ways they look, so I think my quest to be slim took me to where I wouldn't necessarily have gone otherwise in that sense.

The thing that's come to mind right now is more about the extent of our duty to support moral precepts when we are the baddies. How far is our sense of duty-if any- to that process of judgement? Has the experience of being labelled bad and offered a false route to redemption affected how you look at others who have broken (more directly) some other moral construct?

Does it depend on the extent of 'wrongdoing' ?

I'd be interested to hear how people like Katie, Shoshie and others of a religious or spiritual bent who may be more used to directly balancing and weighing up moral strictures feel about being cast as sinners. Has it informed, challenged or changed their views about that status and sin itself?

Do they feel a difference in their idea of themselves now they have the experience of being cast in that mould? Has it affected their sense of being (I'm assuming) "good people"?

I feel this has always impinged to some degree on my sense of goodness-although I assumed I was good underneath- and to some extent my sense of 'innocence', I mean that it actually took me a while to realise that when some event came on the news and folks were described as "innocent" that I in the same circumstances could be included in that.

I felt disconnected from the idea that I could ever be described thus in such an unqualified manner, is that odd?

It did to me when I finally realised the extent of this feeling, I don't think that all fat people feel this way at all.

There's also the question of being assigned the role of transgressor without directly deciding to break the rules. That is truly odd, like sinfulness has gathered around you, rather than you going to it. Some like to assign motives of rebellion to fatness, but the way fat people behave as a whole shows clearly that fat people are not rebellious by dint of being fat.

People who decide to break the rules deliberately tend to have a different mindset and behaviours. They've made a better study of authority and how it actually works  as opposed to how it claims to work, we are probably going through that in retrospect through changing our minds about how we want to be treated.

It's not that I rule out choice as part of the equation, more than it is not usually direct. I'm in favour of changing our understanding of choice from the narrow basis of elective direct choice we tend to couch it in.

All this also makes me wonder about keeping to the rules selflessly or expecting to be rewarded for doing so.

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