Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Radical fat acceptance

Not my definition.

I rarely manage to lead with ideology about the way I see the world. Even when I find myself in agreement with people I tend to part company at some point along their arrival at a conclusion.

Which I may also disagree with.

I daresay I'm not alone in that we come together on what we can agree on as much as anything, although what we can't be allowed to get in the way.

I've been puzzled from the start by the cry of how “radical” fat acceptance is supposed to be as is. An "Uncle Tom" mentality is pretty ‘out there’ compared with a KKK one when it was the norm but really, who cares?

N.B. I'm using that to illustrate the point not to call anyone an UT or anything else, just in case that's a potential point of confusion.

An extreme view can be acknowledged without it defining yours, whether or not it is the norm. Its always annoyed me that something which should never have been in doubt is presented as ‘out there’ because its fat people reclaiming it, belatedly. Am I the only one uncomfortable with the idea that its "out there" for us to acknowledge we have a conscious awareness of ourselves, from the inside?

I see others under a lot more duress, oppression keep a hold of that, we do too in other areas the question is why such a difference with fatness can that really just be about other people's insistence? That this can be derailed but never replaced or switch off until we are?

Doesn't that haunt anyone else?

Reasons why don't get rid of that feeling completely.

I'm not wholly surprised people are putting up a fight against us regaining this aspect of ourselves, the primary strategy is to keep us tied to the same old thing, "answering" the same questions responding to the same points knowing as long as we are doing that we are still operating by their rules.

Our behaviour was/is such that they think they are in control of our thoughts with their "We can't tell fat people its okay to be fat". We agree insisting we were wholly forced by them, by their words.

A lot those fighting us are up to their necks in knowingly bad behaviour choosing to indulge themselves, opportunistically. We can see they feel badly, hence the repeated insistence that "its for our own good". Yet I hear plenty about how "well meaning" that is.

A lot of fat hating is on the defensive, if we recover ourselves we maybe asking them some questions they may find tough to answer. There's an element of denial, keeping us tied is easier than than that.

That won't change until people feel that is the losing side, we are all like that to some extent.

Many of us seek to reassure that fear (often) we don't want to go there we say, others are a bit more reticent because really who knows? No-one has any idea how people will feel when they've forgotten how to pander hate. Are we really sure every one's going to be so forgiving? It's not been for free there have been costs.

I'm beginning to think perhaps the cries of radical is the same restlessness I often feel, a sign others too recognise the mindnumbing circularity of an FA that will not stop congratulating itself by comparison to the low standards of wilfully ignorant hostility.

The whirligig does move overall a bit, not much mostly its just round and round, defined by its supposed "opposition" clearly that’s not what we came for, if so I’m glad because I was beginning to wonder.

What we need and want is a fat centric point of view that starts from us (which is the norm for all humanness) and is not merely opposing the same old worthless erasure of us and endless piles of straw.

Defined by our restored consciousness and understanding of things. We are as capable of being objective as anyone (or is that the worry?) and I'd have thought possibly more so as many are tired of being juked by falsehood.

I wouldn't say we are asking for dignity etc., I don't think you ask for those things do you?  Others get used to you not standing for anything less.

This is one area of deviation from the norm, we are not survivalists about to decamp for the woods on this particular question we differ from the mainstream. We have different/ no religion, I'm sure we can break away on this thing alone, without having a mental breakdown, we cannot be compared on this level as we know better.

We should be as wildly different from that ‘standard’ as is necessitated by our experience.

Often the tooing and froing between the mainstream mentality and an FA which chooses to be formed by it many feel it feels like being dragged endlessly to the same level. And that's way more of an insult to FA than it is haters.

So why does FA have to keep being turned into a gigantic response to straw? Rather than being about fat people's needs? For some, that's all about throwing off the burden of stigma, that isn't the same as people needing to be relieved of actual ailments and distress that is sometimes reflected in their overall functioning including in their size. Can we get over that because we are no longer care about performing for others?

Why are they more important than those submitting to weight loss surgeries NOW? Sorry, but something has to be done about that. The "keep trying" brigade have done untold harm to fat (and other) people's health. They've done it in the name of the current crusade they are milking. Let them deliver up solutions and clear up the mess they've helped to make of some people's lives and health.

They have been avoiding this from the start, its really hard for them to get outside the prison of calorie restriction they've built but they need to, just for once, can FA stop body shielding them? They should be made to deliver on the false promises they've made.

A need for intellectual purity is better served by shaping your own worldview rather than not and then tripping over fat people to fashion the appearance of it.

There are other reasons, knowledge and understanding of how we as humans actually function, if we'd known that would have known better, this crusade has advanced mis-using science egregiously, eschewing knowledge is no more an answer for anything than, "Let's not tell children about sex in case they start doing it" style arguments. Ignorance is never an answer.

I'd also like to say something else.

If you think I've made an error or a mistake or you want me to/ think I should clarify something I've written here (or elsewhere) there's the comments or an e-mail button on my profile, use them, I'll do my best. If the latter doesn't work, let me know in the comments if necessary (stating if you don't want me to publish).

You can tweet me, if you prefer the button's on the side there.

I think I've been around long enough for people to have some understanding of me, don't assume you're so easy for me to read or that any tolerance is one way. I recognise I require that, I extend it too. I sure there are limits on both sides. If you feel I've reached that, let me know.


  1. I'm having a flashback to college English here. An English prof is teaching us about Kafka. I strain to catch the pearls of wisdom and insight dropping from his lips and all I can think of is,
    "What does that damn cockroach have to do with anything?"
    Maybe advanced English is not for me. I've always been better at math and science anyway.
    I'm trying to understand what you're saying here in this post, and got about halfway through before getting lost. Can I ask for a 101 version here? Can you give some concrete examples, as in here's what we've been doing, vs. here's what we should be doing? Who are we body-shielding?

    I'm not sure if you covered this, but what do we do about the problem of fat people who are themselves fat haters? Sometimes they get me the angriest because a) they should know better, and b) it makes it hard for me to find clothes because everybody who ought to wear my size is trying to squeeze themselves into a smaller one.

    I miss it when you don't write for long periods of time. Sometimes I'd rather think about a post for a little while before I answer, but I frequently find myself as the last comment in a thread on other blogs, which doesn't exactly facilitate discussion.

  2. Hello Anonymous,

    I'm feeling what you say about being the last comment.

    As for fat hating fat people, we all are to some extent it's a question of degree.

    Those who are deep into it are essentially passive and will respond to the meme of not surrendering self respect for any reason when enough fat people convey it. Its already happening.

    In essence I was saying asserting banalities as radical; meaning 'out there' or extreme, merely because they're about fat people carries a taint of a lowly sensibility which undermines any message of equality.

    If I say, "fat people deserve good treatment", it sounds like "slim people deserve good treatment" as I wouldn't dream of depriving slims, I can't get excited about it. I don't feel any real distinction.

    That's how I feel about most declarations of fat people deserve x, it's like who are we really saying it to, others or ourselves?

    I wouldn't mind if we are saying it as much for ourselves, but shouldn't we acknowledge that and point to it as a legacy of being surrounded by compulsive denial?

    There's too much tidying up of senseless crusade rhetoric; we are under-fertile, yet there's a child obesity crisis, we are "non compliant", yet led easily to our deaths by FA, (even though that suggests knowledge that we have stuck with cal res, if we've never done anything, they'd be nothing to 'fear')

    We're also hopelessly blinkered in our own favour, yet care nothing for those same lives (who are haters/wallahs in favour of?)

    Why examine it, if you can throw it back for clarification or for confirmation that they actually mean it.

    The conflation of health with calorie restriction doesn't pass muster.

    The real argument is the pathology of cal res/proto anorexia/orthorexia + the stigma they are inflicting on us is less harmful than their purported pathologizing of fatness.

    So overall I'd say, let haters/wallahs do their own dirty work, make their own case, openly.

    Put them on the spot as much as possible. Seek to ask not to be answering (stupid) questions and make it clear that even the knowledgeable struggle to match experience, the ignorant are nowhere.