So, as many of you have certainly read, some assclown (Mississippi Representative W.T. Mayhall, Jr.) has proposed legislation to ban restaurants and other "food establishments" from selling food to "obese people".
. Yes, this is real. More information including links to the full text of the bill can be found here
Now, I am not going to comment much on this proposed legislation except to say that it obviously disgusts and frightens me. It doesn't frighten me in that I think it will pass, it frightens me in that anyone
thinks it is OK to propose such freakishly discriminatory legislation and thinks it is all good and fair, because, you know, we are in the middle of an "epidemic
". I am sure I don't need to explain my stance on such asshatary.
What I am more concerned about is some of the knee-jerk responses I have seen to this and other fat-discrimination stuff in fat space
. One commenter on a fat community immediately posted about how this is unfair because some people, like herself, are fat through no "fault" of their own. You see, it would be so unfair to discriminate against her because it is not her "fault" she is fat.
Um, excuse me.
How is this relevant to the discussion at hand? Why does it matter why anyone is fat or not in terms of basic human rights and discrimination? Is it OK to discriminate against people if being fat is their "fault"?
What about the people who are happy being fat and do nothing to change it? Are they OK to discriminate against?
Not to mention how distasteful I find it when people come into fat space and explain at every opportunity they they are medically-induced fatties, not lazy-at-fault-fatties like the rest of us. I find this distasteful because a.) it only further plays into in the "good fattie" vs. "bad fattie" mentality, b.) the inverse of their argument is that those non-medically-induced fatties are less than them and c.) this argument implies that there is something inherently bad and wrong about being fat and one's fatness is excusable if one has a good enough excuse.
Here is part of a reply I made to a comment talking about how unfair such a law would be because the commenter is a no-fault-medically-induced-fattie:
When you start dragging out examples about how you, or a friend, or a family member, etc. aren't at "fault" for being fat you are automatically implying that any number of people are at "fault" for their fatness. What exactly are you saying about those of us who don't have a medical "excuse" for our fatness? That we should be discriminated against? That we deserve less protection under the law than you or others with medically-induced fattie-hood? Not to mention, shouting out that some people "can't help being fat" when discussing discrimination against fat people, says to me that your reasons for being anti-fat discrimination are that there are fat people who can't help it. The inverse of this is that there are fat people who can "help it" and it is OK to discriminate against those people.
Sized-based discrimination is not wrong because some people have medical conditions that have caused them to gain weight. It is wrong because it is wrong to discriminate against individuals based on size. Period. End of Story. It is not about "fault". It is about demanding equal protection under the law for all people, regardless of size.
The more I think about it, the more I get annoyed with the whole "don't hate us because it's not our fault" line. The point is, it doesn't matter why someone is fat or not. Fat or not, we all deserve basic rights and the freedom to live in a world where we are not discriminated against, legally or otherwise, because of some trait of ours. Likewise, I have always found it counterproductive when individuals or organizations lobby for queer-rights on the basis that being queer is innate, and again, not "our fault". Again, this argument feeds the belief that there is something wrong with being queer and the only reason us queers should be afforded basic human rights is because we cannot help but to be this way. I call bullshit on that. There is nothing inherently wrong with being queer, just like there is nothing inherently wrong with being fat. Trying to absolve oneself of the responsibility or "fault" of being either one sends the message that there is something wrong or bad about being either.
I am not arguing that acknowledging the biological aspects of being fat or queer is without value. It absolutely has value, particularly in terms of medicine and in terms of understanding just how damned diverse the human race is. It is also incredibly valuable in debunking the myths around how mutable either one is (I am not equating the two, btw.) However, the biological basis for being fat is not relevant in terms why fat individuals deserve equal protection under the law. Fat people are subject to many layers of discrimination from the casual (being treated shoddily by waitstaff) to the very serious (having unexplained weight-loss be blown off by doctors only to discover it was caused by cancer), but stomping our feet and saying "But it's not our fault so you have to be nice to us" is not only not helpful, it is counterproductive. To get where we need to be, as many fatties as possible need to embrace their bad-ass fat selves and stop making apologies, excuses, explanations, etc. for their fattie-hood. We have nothing to apologize for, nothing to excuse and certainly nothing to explain.
Asshats like Mississippi Rep. Mayhall don't need our explanations about how or why we are fat. They need to see some serious bad-ass fat rage.
We don't deserve mere tolerance or acceptance. We deserve liberation.