Sunday, May 25, 2014

"Promoting Obesity"

One of the most often-used phrases to fat-shame successful fat people in 2013-2014 was that they were "promoting obesity." This was of course used about FatLand in the same time period by OtherSiders/Americans. An article syndicated in several publications and online stated that by providing a territory to which fat people could immigrate, FatLand was promoting obesity.

FatLand already had several news services, among them the FatLand Free News, managed and partly owned by Margaret Clancy. She told her star reporter, Ava Bryer, to compose an editorial in response.

This is what Ava wrote.

Since FatLand is a territory to which fat people who have been discriminated against, shunned, harassed and imprisoned can now go and in which they can now live as citizens free of discrimination and harassment, you might indeed say that we are "promoting obesity," although of course FatLand does not recognize words invented to classify fat people. In a way, I suppose you could say that when Israel welcomed people who had escaped the concentration camps, it was promoting Jewishness. When the United States became a refuge for  people who were fleeing the Irish famines (I would not be able to say "welcomed," considering the reception that most Irish people got when they arrived), does that mean that the USA  was promoting Irishness? And when Thailand opened refugee camps for people fleeing Burma in the 1980's, did that mean they were promoting "Burmeseness"?

What this statement becomes when analyzed is a study in ignorance and stupidity. When a subset of people flee from a place in which they are being destroyed and murdered, whatever feature or ethnicity they possess that sets them apart from others who have decided to destroy and murder them is not being "promoted" in their new safe(r) haven. The people who possess it are merely being given a chance to survive. If one does not believe that people persecuted for their looks or ethnicity or religion should survive, then he or she is clearly earmarked as a bigot of the worst sort (not that there are any good bigots around, but there may be degrees).

So to say that by providing a place to which fat people can (and probably should) flee from the Other Side/USA, FatLand is "promoting obesity" is like saying that it is promoting their survival.

And I say to the author of this borderline idiocy: Got a problem with that?

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