Friday, 25 November 2011

Fat cats are okay?

Given the -ism shifting fat phobia of the left. Sorry about that, SOSDD.

Some in FA are disappointed that the term "fat cats" has gained currency in capitalist challenging rhetoric/ imagery.  There's some to and fro, it has accrued traction as something to avoid being identified with.

Question is, should fat people feel implicated by this term? 

It's use as a political term is attributed to a man called Frank Kent who used it to write an essay about big money donors in the world of politics wielding undue influence over the whole system.

Prescient indeed; isn't OWS's reviving that exactly?

What's fascinating about this term is it uses the word "fat" in a way that doesn't refer explicitly to the crusade, though operating in a fat baiting context some do try it on. Its meaning does not refer directly to everyday fat people it explicitly refers to the kind of middle aged upper class men of no specific weight category, you can be a slim "fat cat", who occupy power wielding echelons. Though always illustrated by fat men or animals.

It's fat as sitting at the top of the tree living easy off the efforts of others in that it voices a lot of underlying fears caricatured in fat hating tropes "lazy" springs to mind.  The ill defined chant of "unhealthy" is an attempt to weaken fat people's access to the strength of minds and body. The conflation of fitness and thinness definitely smacks of a sort of Napoleon complex of weight.

It has been marked out as not "fat positive", in that it's not celebratory of fatness, but how negative is it? Is it close to being fat neutral in that it can be anyone who fits the definition, rather than a number on the scale?

I mean we use all sorts of terms using words also given to weight bands. Thin skinned/lipped,wearing thin, none of which are positive at all, should they go too? Doesn't this predate 'obese' pathology and shouldn't we keep a hold of that rather than forget it, leaving only the current derangement a clear field?

Its also powerful to be a fat cat, isn't there value in having a symbol of power linked obliquely with fatness? Do slim people on lower incomes feel implicated by rich slim people? Of course not, so why should fat people on modest incomes feel particularly got at by this term.

As has become the rule with "social justice" economically challenged representatives of whatever are brandished around when needed to give kudos to an oppression narrative and put away as soon as there's something for the 'chosen few' to discuss. Thus it is used as a reason why the varied narrative of fatness, must be crow barred into a crude and I feel, unrepresentative "poor benighted fatty" one which more high falutin' fatz are convinced will push the fat agenda up the SJ hierarchy.

When fat people populate the homeless, the prison population and those with mental disorders, disproportionately, you might have a case, right now, the more interesting thing is why they don't seem to be.

It's a laughable failure of self awareness as much as anything, not grasping the rabid depths of class hatred amongst those they come from/identify with.The only people more openly derided by the impacted bourgies are the working classes in whom as many coded -isms are hidden as obezoids. And anyway, "feeling" sorry for people happens when people pass through authority to a pronounced degree, the desired pity is visceral not abstract.

I have never been convinced for one minute that insisting poorer people are fatter, if its even true which I've always had varying degrees of doubt about, will produce the required simpatico feelings expected. I remember when I first hit the FA nets I said more than once, "Fat people are just not sympathetic", I wasn't regretful on the contrary, I felt FA might encourage us to set a certain boundary on trying to prize a necessarily withheld empathy.

Despite in fact probably because we look too robust, too rude in health a bit too energetic somewhat immovable, sometimes indomitable, unreachable even, we are just too far from the most universal evocation of vulnerability, slenderness. Breaking boundaries is fine but instinct says what we'd have to do to overcome that would simply not be worth it and we should allow that to settle the matter.

Part of the challenge for many of us is to believe that slimmer people despite any acquired capacity to work themselves into mouth frothing ire are still threatened by fat people  the idea of us in some ways, rather like many of us are jealous of others and our idea of them. 

It's a pain in the arse, one of the reasons why I so resented fatness is that it didn't reveal my poetic (though I don't get on with it strangely enough) soul. What about my wistful ethereality? How would anyone properly get me, if I looked like I could play women's rugby? (Yes, slim women, excellent players and no you don't have to be fat to etc.,)

I've gotten over that, because funnily enough it fits most snugly into an aspect of FoBT, weight as an indicator of character. I mean its a question of having the confidence to be. After a while, you get caught up in that and funnily enough, people who get to know you know you. We all have mistaken first impressions and it seems like a lot of people don't "match" their image.

Who cares if people mistake you for, in my case once a hearth mother type who must be able to pass on a desired recipe, as I remember it, she indicated I was of no use as any thing else, cheek!

She was disappointed and I habitually apologetic, yet I didn't feel any way about it, I just like to help if I can.

(It turned out later that I could have advised her, but though she rightly identified the dish, I didn't know it by that name).

In some ways the real fight for fat people is whether we are going to go with the fact that we are still standing and stop fighting due to things like self consciousness about size, the grass is greener. Or if this will mean being boxed into a "strong fatty" trope, which can be self negating.

Or whether we are going to keep faith with how the damaging self betrayal of being an 'obese' has inflicted on us as and get others to be nice/r, or something.

It's often occurred that if only I'd shown the same kind of resolute no nonsense attitude to things as the sterling defenses of my "diet proof" body, who knows how I'd be feeling now? They say free your mind and your body will follow, but it feels more like allowing your body to inspire, even instruct your mind.

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