Thursday, 20 December 2012

* Burned by Gaslight

* I previously titled this "Blinded" etc., but that just wasn't right.  I apologize for not getting on that sooner.

A lot of focus on the damage done to fat people is on the pressure to be thin or to lose weight. Yet much of it resides in the way delusion has been enforced in place of reality. The delusion here is not merely belief. It is the suspension of reality to impose a preferred imaginary version.

Meaning, this has been a conscious imposition of falsehood.

It’s been abundantly clear for decades if not more, that conscious calorie restriction was not a viable strategy for major reversal of weight. It has been tried by millions worldwide, not just by fat people but people of all weights.

It’s failure is obvious.

Though the practice of it preceded the so called “obesity crisis”, it neither prevented, nor has subsequently reversed it. There’s a lot of emphasis on ‘obesity’, yet whole societies are getting bigger or fatter, across the board.

The failure of calorie restriction has been deliberately and consistently denied. This delusion presented as ‘scientific/medical fact’. Fat people were vigourously shamed into participating in this sham too.

Leading us to reject the reality of what was actually happening to us and our bodies. Feeling we'd dishonoured ourselves through being fat and needed to redeem ourselves by adhering to this delusion as an implied means of redemption.

I once misnamed this process as “Rebecca syndrome”, after the film of the famous novel. The main character is the second wife of a widower tormented by the housekeeper, who manipulates things around her in order to undermine her sanity.

Turns out that's a name for something else. This process has another name; gaslighting. Ironically also after another film where the same kind of thing happens;
Gaslighting is a form of psychological abuse in which false information is presented with the intent of making a victim doubt his or her own memory, perception and sanity. Instances may range simply from the denial by an abuser that previous abusive incidents ever occurred, up to the staging of bizarre events by the abuser with the intention of disorienting the victim. 

In this case the purpose, or should I say, the drive has been a major repression of truth to keep us dieting. Like anorexics, those who invest in calorie restriction derive a profound sense of control from it.
being thin is in fact often only a minor matter compared to everything else that drives you...........control is probably at the centre of it all: thinness is simply an effect, a demonstration to yourself and to others. Control of food and eating might be the most obvious anorexic behaviour, but the control illusion stretches its tentacles into all the rest of life......
I like Emily Trosciank's phrase "the control illusion". That is exactly what's going on at the heart of this peculiar inability to absorb reality. And vice versa, a desire for control magnetizes people to adhering to calorie restriction.

We've seen evidence of it time and again. When a paper starts off with dieting is shit, then ends up saying don't stop dieting. People cannot seem to accept that this supreme illogicality is a product of the potency of that safety blanket.

Regardless of actual outcomes or damage done this control illusion remains intact.

This is why I keep saying that anorexia's labelling as 'mental illness' is instinctively political. An attempt to other anorexic behaviour so it is not associated with respectable authority.

Because any damage is not borne by those most rigourously imposing it-by proxy-on other people. So unlike a person with anorexia, there’s not even the prospect of their own pain acting as a lever of control, to sap the fervour.

It's solely on their capacity to be swayed by the damage done to their targets, in this case fat people. If that doesn't explain why fat people are and have to wake up, I don't know what does.  

The coldness to the effects on fat people induced by this mindset is becoming legendary. It has helped turn fat people into a subhuman category of disease without it even causing any pause for thought amongst decent thoughtful people.

So called caring professionals have been so fully on board with it, that this in itself has helped to discredit fat people. Virtually no criminal on earth is abandoned by the explanations and ministrations of various white coated professionals.

I guess the lesson here is criminals have learned to have more self respect than those who are law abiding. And they're more threatening to the cowardly instinct in us, that likes to bully.

The consequences have been a major source of enabling the undermining fat people’s integrity, honour.  The erasure and denial of our efforts. Not only to others, but worst of all, to ourselves.

If there is one person on earth who should believe in you when all others doubt you, that person is yourself. Fat people have been cynically denied this.

Unsurprisingly, this has affected fat people profoundly. Apart from being a major source of lowered self esteem and other problems among numerous fat people. The wonder is that we've stood up to it so well overall. I suspect that is in part due to the consistent sense of openness and honourableness we've brought to things.

Thought I do not claim we are by any means perfect, we have behaved better than anyone else plus we have been morally accountable in ways many of our tormentors haven't.

Leaving aside the physiological effects of the action of constantly attempting weight loss dieting/calorie restriction. [Weight loss dieting loss and re-gain is a punishing way to fail.] It's being pressured to keep repeating the same failure, over and again on pain of accusations of a lack of moral integrity.

Which if you think about it, is a hallmark pattern of different sorts of brain malfunction. The inability to take in and draw meaning from experience.

It’s one thing to keep trying when you know the score and are prepared for the true likelihood of success and choose to suspend that in order to have a go. It is quite another to be prevented from acknowledging what has really happened and being made to see yourself as the cause of the dysfunction.

This is what has done damage to people's psyches and has been a despicable and cruel misuse of people. More that that, trust has been violated not only by those who were expected to unreservedly deliver objective scientific truths. But also, those who were expected to have best interests of those they love at heart.

Thursday, 6 December 2012


I suppose my version of self acceptance has always been more internal. It took me a long time to notice just how out of step this is with the mainstream view of things. I sincerely did not know that for others, fat acceptance is about advancing it on the outside.

This will then feed back to us internally.

So mine is more from the inside out, others from the outside in. I think both are important. Though a lot of people see my view as negative, actually there is a lot of negativity in the other version too. Fat acceptance seems to work best for me, when fat people just get on and change the things we need to change.

The funny thing about fat acceptance is like a lot of other people I recognize the relative triviality of * being fat. It simply isn't as demanding as being Black, or gay or being a woman, overall. I don't even have to think about it, you build up an empirical sense of things through time. The contrast is immediate.

Even though the openness with which people are prejudiced is hard, the worst thing is the ubiquity, there sheer unmitigated hegemony of the view against fat people. It is actually the only one that is really acknowledged.

There is a contrivance to being fat because of this that isn't there when it comes to race, sex or sexuality. Those operate on more powerful themes and have built up a subterranean history that has become all consuming and subconscious. It's difficult to conceive of post those ways of seeing.

Whereas most fat people have some memory of being seen as human beings. It's not that there wasn't bullying, but it wasn't given a spurious credence by the medical science establishment. Nor was it as hyped by those around us and the media into being the de facto way you must see fat people.

Before people could make up their minds if they wished to be an arsehole. After energetic promotion of hate, it liberated the capacity for hatefulness in us all. Including fat people towards ourselves.

* correction

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Size for Sex

I was surprised when the statement is "Anti obesity: the new homophobia?" turned into is fat like being gay?

This is why I'm not a social justice person, nor an ideologue. I thought being gay was something in itself, that had nothing to do with homophobia. I actually didn't realise some people define their identity purely by oppression.

In terms of being gay, I think of homophobia as an outside imposition on gay people. They've had to deal with that intimately. And yes that has shaped the nature of same sex love, but homophobia surely cannot be seen as interchangeable with being gay. As misogyny is not the same as being a woman?

I'm not being persnickety, the whole point of the comparison between (anti) 'obesity' and homophobia is that the two are outer impositions on respective groups. It has always been my opinion that being fat is not like being gay.

What makes them seem similar is both are vehicles for abolition from outside, through methods that cannot do the job. Regardless of what you think of the desirability of those outcomes. It's the refusal to accept these truths and the creating of a delusion-that is a preferred fantasy pressed in place of a different reality that gives an air of connection. 

Except of course attempted gay deconstruction. That has become unacceptable to many. Increasingly, the idea that gay people should either be prevented from acting on their feelings, or penalized or punished, is being recognized as wrong, even if the consciousness formed by a legacy of fear and loathing of homosexuality hasn't fully caught up.

If you know me much of my views, you'll know that I'm not and have never been against weight change-anyone who wishes to make that an issue can bite me. What I am against is anything coercive, punitive or disordered. And that pretty much defines the current method we have now-calorie restriction that specifically insists on altering weight via that route and claims there is no other.

Which is nonsense as any fat person who knows any thin or slim people knows. Our bodies show that altering of the regulation of weight is done by the body all the time, but for some reason, those volunteering to investigate, show little enthusiasm for teasing that out.

Preferring instead to turn their failure into an article of faith. Rather like the fundamentally religious or conservative do with their insistence that gayness is about a lack of will power/falling out of god's grace.

Paul Campos' astute observation is in noticing the shift from problems with sex, to problems with size. And that this reflects a change in the mentality of the classes that decide these matters. They used the device of submerging what they disapprove of in  "pathology" and dressing up punishment as  "treatment.

The issue is not really what about being gay or fat, it's what the administrative classes think. What's making them tick and the levers they instinctively feel regulate morality and existence. It is now the politicized body, rather than sex(uality).