Friday, 30 August 2013


Fat people cannot come out, they're never in. A shift in consciousness is fat people's real challenge.
the crusade against......risks dehumanizing and stigmatizing those who are identified as....and their families.
From Michael Fitzpatrick's book on Autism.

Reading such clarity from others experience healthist quack crusades, consistently seem more capable of articulating these kinds of thoughts. He starts off the intro "Autism: disease, disorder or difference?"

This reminds me yet again of the unique capacity of the way fatness is treated to rob fat people of the ability to articulate the issues at stake. This is not a comment on the abilities of those who come under an FA banner or of that type of thinking.

It is the lack of something I mentioned before, what W.E.B DuBois called, double consciousness. From The souls of Black Folk;
It is a peculiar sensation, this double consciousness, this sense of always looking at oneself through the eyes of others, of measuring one’s soul by the tape of a world that looks on in amused contempt and pity. One ever feels his twoness- an American, a Negro; two souls, two thoughts, two unreconciled strivings, two warring ideals in one dark body, whose dogged strength alone keeps it from being torn asunder”. 
It is an observation that has a long lineage of parallel intellectual input. It's origins are said to lie with Hegel. Noted Marxist philosopher Antonio Gramsci mentioned it in conjunction with working class people. Though apparently, he referred to it as "dual perspective", extending from a perspective contained in The Prince.

Both he and DuBois in their separate ways, noted that when the so called "universal truths" of a society do not apply to them, they are forced in working out their rules of survival, to develop a consciousness other than that formed by rules that not only don't serve them, but do not allow them to survive at all. Usually whilst having to pay a certain amount of tribute, lip service and gesture towards the 'universal consciousness'. 

It is remarkable that something as comparatively trivial and recent as the current crusade against fatness, which is at most a post WW2 thing. That it has already created the need for a double consciousness amongst fat people.

Trouble is, fat people seem to be least aware of it. I include numerous fat activists. Of the mainstream variety anyway.

There are a few reasons why this has occurred. The extent to which we believe in and defer to scientists or anything connected to science. To the extent that we suspend more disbelief about it still, than anything else, up to and including religion.

The unquestioned nature of obesity and its crusade. The extent of which is unprecedented in my awareness. In the case of far more marginalized and attacked groups, there's a range and depth of awareness about the situation I've found to be typically absent from fat people as a rule.

And no, I'm not simply talking about poor old fatz who think they deserve this treatment. I'm talking about the widespread inability, still to perceive oneself as an agent upon which something has occurred that is separate from oneself.

Of being what DuBois called the 'observed' a lot of fat people do not realize they are the objects of the subject. There is no separation between the general fat hate and how most fat people perceive themselves.

Another way of putting that is, imagine you took a random group of slimz insisting they're now to defined themselves as failed to be fat.  As less than. Even if they succumbed mentally, do you think inside they'd retain the understanding that they were being imposed on? And that internalizing this didn't mean this was just the thoughts in their heads?

For a time at least.

It's not self hate or low self esteem, everyone has that. It's the lack of double consciousness that impedes fat people's ability on the whole, to match the clarity of understanding of people like Michael Fitzpatrick.

He has been allowed to retain his the sense of self. His separateness from the dictates of others. We haven't. Ours has been lost because of the kudos of those who defined us. 

And the extent of willing hegemony of loved ones and foes alike.

It isn't about separation or separateness, on the contrary, it's in order to achieve normality! Seeing oneself through the eyes of others, without being aware of it, partially or fully, is markedly abnormal.

In a bad way.

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