Why we need fat activism

This shouldn’t be necessary, but it is, especially after the ridiculousness that was Sunday’s “Dear Abby” response.

We need fat activism …

Because fat people are still discriminated against in our homes,
in our jobs
, in our schools, in the streets;

Because fat people are still denied basic rights;

Because some people really don’t understand that fat people are not driving up healthcare costs;

Because fear and hatred of fat people is so common that some of us are afraid to leave our homes;

Because when we choose to put ourselves first, for whatever reason and in whatever manner, we are told we are being selfish and unhealthy;

Because even our families do not always accept us as we are;

Because we have almost no fat spaces of our own;

Because when we try to create fat-only space, average and slender people demand to be included;

Because we are told to lose weight or we will die;

Because when we choose to reject diets and diet culture and make peace with our bodies we are attacked, insulted and rejected;

Because people do not understand that diets don’t work;

Because when we are raped, people say we should be grateful anyone even bothered to have any kind of sex with us and our attackers aren’t held accountable;

Because when we express anger at being treated like second- and third-class citizens, or like some strange not-human thing, we are told we are imagining things — and just lose weight already;

Because we are the unwilling victims of experimental medicine;

Because when we explain why we need fat-only spaces, we are told we are only justifying our “illness” to one another and then given condescending lectures about why should lose weight;

Because fat people who have become thin look at us with pity and revulsion and say, “I used to be fat, too, but I lost the weight and so can you. If I can do it, anyone can!”;

Because those of us who have rejected diet culture in favor of cultivating healthy habits are told we are “glorifying obesity”;

Because a paradigm shift is long overdue;

Because not all feminists take fat women’s troubles seriously, and we are ignored and overlooked in order to take care of things that affect “all women”;

Because even when we do try to assert and fight for our rights, we’re told we take up too much space and that the real reason we’re angry is that we’re not thin;

Because there isn’t enough room to list all the reasons;

Because together we have the strength and courage to take the risks and make the choices;

Because too much of the world we live in wants us silent or, preferably, dead;

Because Audre Lorde was right — “our silence will not protect us.”

Based on “We Are Lesbian Separatists And We Won’t Be Silenced” by jody jewdyke. I recently reread her work and realized so much of what she wrote rang horribly familiar, just for different reasons. No copyright or intellectual infringement is intended. No appropriation is intended, only the acknowledgment that fat oppression is real and is one of the multiple oppressions that still exists.

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