If you prick us, do we not bleed?

I am more than a fat person. I am deeply passionate about politics. I love reading. I am an advocate for human rights. I’m one of the biggest pop culture geeks in the ‘verse. I am a volunteer for mental health organisations. I am an animal rights activist. I have the dirtiest sense of humour of all my friends. I love photography and home renovation. I love gardening in my veggie patch. Yep, I eat veggies! And I’m still fat! I’m a vegetarian, in fact, so it offends me when people tell me to put down the bucket of KFC – the truth is i rarely eat fast food because there is little that is tasty and available to me. But even if there were? I probably wouldn’t eat it then, either.

I am a human being first and foremost. I have feelings. I feel pain the same way a thin person feels pain. I am hurt by hurtful comments. But the likelihood is that outside of the FA sphere, people wont see that. People see me as a fatty, and that’s it.

“It’s just calories in calories out. You need to lose the weight for your health! STOP CLOGGING UP OUR MEDICAL SYSTEM WITH YOUR HEALTH PROBLEMS THAT I CAN DETERMINE JUST BY LOOKING AT YOU. You’re fat, thus you must have type II diabetes. You’re fat, so you must have heart problems. You’re fat, so you deserve to be namecalled, harassed and generally looked down upon. Thinner people are better than you. You should be taxed more because you are fat. We should make doors thinner to exclude fat people. What are you talking about, fat people boost the economy because they consume more! I have the right to judge what’s in your shopping trolley, because YOU ARE FAT.”

Some of the above comments are on this post (which AoF’s Nick was interviewed for, hi nick!) I wrote a comment in response to the other comments (engaging in this behaviour always reminds me of this comic, but when it comes to this sort of bigotry I have to speak up.) Here is the comment I wrote (which is currently awaiting moderation.)

“You are dehumanising fat people with this kind of talk. We are all individuals that are all fat for different reasons. Regardless of those reasons, you have no right to discuss what I should be doing with my body. You wouldn’t want someone forcing you to do something, would you? It’s so easy for you to be this way under the anonymity of the internet, but I dare you to say this to a fat person on the street. You might then see that fat people have feelings too. Yep, I’m fat. I’m also an atheist, vegetarian, self-confessed geek who loves gardening. But you have no right whatsoever to be the judge of my body, what I look like, how I act, what I buy and (maude forbid) what I eat. You should be looking at your own prejudices towards people who are different, and the hateful bigoted attitudes spewing from your mouths.”

I don’t want to deal with these behaviours anymore. Why can’t we all just get along.

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  • Alison

    “Peter Lolly of Greenham Common Posted at 7:26 AM July 30, 2010

    Maybe tell them they're disgusting instead? “

    I give up, this is a lost battle. We fat people are always going to remain the scapegoats of society. I have no more will to try and gain equality. It's gone, & reading something like this just confirms all of this.

    Fat acceptance has failed for me !

  • Len

    I completely understand your feeling of defeat, I got the same reading these shocking comments. But nothing that any slack-jawed eejit (protected by the anonymity of the net and deliberately stirring up hatred to brighten their boring day) can say to make you feel this way, nothing can take away from the fact that you are a valid, valuable, intelligent and important person. That's the reason fat acceptance is so important. It's about accepting fat, yes, but more importantly about accepting people.

    Please remind yourself that you are a wonderful contributing member of society and you don't hang around comment boards blurting hateful remarks out about complete strangers. Then ask yourself who is contributing more to society – you or 'Peter Lolly of Greenham Common'?

  • http://www.nicholasperkins.com/blog/ Nicholas Perkins

    I have come to accept that most of the comments that appear on News Limited websites will be of this nature. Some are probably trolls, but I think most are 'ordinary Australians' as they are labelled who truly believe this stuff.

    I also believe that there is an 'enlightened Australia' which is open minded about things and looks at the facts behind something rather than just the rhetoric. These same people understand the facts about the current refugee 'crisis' and have informed opinions. You may not agree with their opinion, but at least they have put forward a reasoned argument.

    I put quotes around 'crisis' because I think it is as much of a crisis as the obesity 'crisis' or 'epidemic' that the media keep pushing. It is all about selling papers, not so much about the facts.

  • Alison

    Len, I don't know you but you are so sweet ! This is such a lovely comment to leave to someone you don't know. Thanks a lot. It's definitely what I needed to hear this morning & you are right…. completely right “!!!!!

  • Alison

    Yeah I guess so. I generally do not bother reading comments following fat related articles because it is OBVIOUS what kind of comments will be left. I don't mind the constructive comments, the comments with essence that are put there NOT to offend. I mind the comments that people just put out of spite.

    … and yes at the end of the day it is all about selling papers. I just wish they realised how much more harm and hatred they were spreading.

    I was having a bad day yesterday. I tend to get a bit dramatic when I have a bad day hehe. I am seeing things a bit slightly less negative this morning.

    Thanks guys xx

  • sassaphrazz

    I am a vegetarian who… is gasp! fat too O. M. G!!!! What really riles me up actually is PETA and many many other vegan Veggie groups who openly utilize fat-phobia fat-hate language to try to swell their ranks with fear mongering… it makes me want to bitch slap them with a eggplant. Or many 80-90 pound vegans/veggies who arent really that into health/animal rights but its just another way to mask their own eating disorder issue. Eat a damn sandwich for crissakes. Im eating a healthful, delicious, quinoa loaf that will knock your socks off and having seconds…WITH wine… and some tofu cheesecake… here you can have a carrot.. yay you…you “win”. whatevs!

  • sassaphrazz

    keep up the good fight alison :) think back to all the civil rights heros, all the femi “nazis” the african-americans… the people shot. killed. endlessly ridiculed because they saw an injustice “before their time”. It seemed hopeless to them sometimes too… Did you know that MLKjr was NOT a peace activist until someone slipped him the works of Thoreaus “Cicil Disobediance” and the history of Mahatma Ghandi? Ghandi was also not a peace activist until someone gave him Thoreau's book… we are all catalysts for change, for freedom, for human dignity of all conditions… but we cannot go it alone.

    “all the darkness in the world cannot dispel the light of one small candle.”

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