Monday, May 16, 2011

Bully This

I'm listening to a hearing on bullying. Some guy is talking about free speech and the marginalization of people who think being gay is a sin.
God forbid.
Now a guy is talking about the separation of conduct and speech. Such a lucid rebuttal.
Lately I've been thinking about the It Gets Better campaign. It is wonderful and has my complete support but I feel resentful when I see it. I want to start a campaign for fat kids. I want to tell them it will not get better. They live in a country committed to labeling them as diseased. When they are bullied (and make no mistake, they are) they will be told to lose weight. It won't stop when they grow up. They will have trouble in employment. They will rarely see positive representation of themselves in media. Their health care will focus on their weight and sometimes miss other more serious issues. They may not have access to public environments because they may not fit in the seats and if they travel they may have to pay more or be asked to get off a plane and that may mean they miss any number of important events. Assumptions will be made about what they eat and how much they exercise. They will have to work so hard to hold on to their own experience and their own truth. Their families and friends may love them but may still want them to be something that they cannot really be. Again and again they will be told to eat less and exercise more and all the problems will go away.
And some of them will lose weight. They won't be thin. They may look thin but they will have a new battle. Fat people who have lost weight always describe it as a battle. They will have a damaged relationship to food and appetite. They will have a damaged relationship to physical activity. And all of this will be in the name of health.
It will not get better.
They will have a great opportunity for self definition and self understanding but they will need to do all that alone.
It's never useful to compare oppressions and there is lots of competition for the last acceptable form of discrimination but I am sure it will be weight based. There is no doubt in my mind.
It will not get better.
I don't think I am read much by the fat revolution community any more. I don't write much so why should I be? I imagine some of them reading this and wanting to call me from what must sound like despair. This isn't about despair. This is about hearing the same people who talk about the horrors of bullying talk about the horrors of childhood obesity. Because after all it's about health.
It's not about health. It's about hate and social control.
And it's also about my mood today. It's about my window being covered with rain and my COBRA running out and not getting enough sleep. It's about being angry the way a wounded animal is angry. It's about thinking the guy stepping off the back of the ferry into the Mississippi was selfish and wishing I could be that selfish.
Bully this.