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Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Anti-gay vs. Anti-fat Arguments @ Fatly Yours

Sadly,I had to cache this. Posting here because the link will not work.
These are just comparisons to show people how STUPID anti anything is.
and to put things into perspective.

"The funny thing about being a fat lesbian is that you see counterarguments from two different sides, and they're the exact same arguments. Seriously, there is virtually no difference between anti-fat and anti-gay arguments; it's the same ignorant generalizing bullshit. Yet, anti-gay people are usually seen as ignorant and homophobic, while anti-fat people are seen as rational and moderate in our culture. What's the real difference? Here are just some examples of the strikingly similar arguments.

It's not in your genes. It's a lifestyle choice.

Sure it is. If you're different, and we don't like you, it's not because we're bigoted; it's because you chose to be different from the rest of us. Who do you think you are? It doesn't matter if there's mounting evidence in both camps that it is in your genes, because that's just gay/fat people looking for excuses, surely they've bribed some scientists to be on their side.

I don't necessarily see it as a "lifestyle" that I feel something for my own sex, or that I have a certain amount of fat in my body. People are individuals, regardless what they represent to you. For every fat person who eats nothing but junk food, there's a slim person with the same lifestyle. Ditto every gay person who has casual sex. You can argue that some fat and gay people do these things, but you can't prove that we all do. I've had less sex, and less food, than some of my slim heterosexual friends.

Sure you can choose to change. I mean, technically, any homosexual can start a relationship with someone of the opposite sex - but that doesn't guarantee there'd be love or erotic attraction involved. Any fat person can eat low-cal stuff and exercise, but it doesn't guarantee s/he'll become thin. Even if you make the choice to change, some people will still assume you have the "wrong" lifestyle, and discriminate against you. You really can't win there.

And the most important question of all - why is it OK to discriminate against choices? Don't we have freedom of choice in a democracy? Isn't it always the person discriminating who needs to change their attitude, because you can't change others anyway? Isn't it a choice to refuse to accept someone who's different from you?

If we tolerate this, what's next? Animal lovers? Incest? Pedophilia? Or in case of fat: a) any weight, even if you weigh !OMG500POUNDS!
b) any lifestyle, no matter how unhealthy - completely sedentary, alcholist, smoker, etc.

Just because "homosexuality" is filed under "perversions" in your head, and "obesity" is filed under "addictions" or "ultimate unhealthy lifestyles", it doesn't follow that if we accept one item, we must accept everything else on the list. It's one of the weirdest logical fallacies, when you think about it. We don't have to accept everything - we could just accept, say, consenting adults who aren't harming anyone else. Because in the end, there's nothing we can do about them anyway. You're free to despise the lifestyles of others, but what are you gonna do? Move into someone else's bedroom/kitchen to watch that they live right? What happens to freedom of choice then? Does judgement go a longer way than helping people who are clearly hurting themselves and others?

My counter-question: what happens if we outlaw this? What goes next? Your right to choose your spouse? Your right to eat unhealthy foods, ever? The privacy of your sex life? Don't assume it's only the most "extreme" cases that will be banned; it's much more likely that the next one to be limited is you and your "moderate" lifestyle.

If we tolerate this, everyone will soon get fat/gay. 

Homosexuals make up about 6 % of the population (at least in Finland). As for fat people, if we're talking about the fat people you see in documentaries, I mean the supersized ones, it's about the same, or lower. I dont' see any sudden surge in either group, and I don't see a reason to suspect an oncoming surge, because most people are still pretty homo/fatphobic. More importantly, though, you can't just make yourself gay or supersized. Some people might experiment with homosexuality, but it just doesn't come naturally to everyone. Some might eat lots of fattening foods, but everyone doesn't have the same tendency to gain weight.

It's a matter of control: if we don't control people's eating and/or sex life, it will become totally uncontrollable and scary and there will be no boundaries anymore and the Earth will be flinged from its axis and we'll all die. Because being fat and gay is so lucrative - look at how much fun they have, having all the sex and eating all the food!

Homosexuality/obesity is so accepted nowadays. Gays and fat people can indulge in their lifestyle openly and we can't do anything. And they want more rights?

Most gays and fat people face lots of discrimination and hate. We also go through a phase of self-hatred and internalized fat/homophobia. Some never get over it. There are people who kill themselves because of all this internalized hate. But hey, we have it so easy, and we're so oblivious that we bug certain people. You can probably tell that this type of entitlement makes me mad. There's no denying that the privileged group in our society consist of white, middle-class, right-wing Christian, heterosexual slim people. Yet those same people often complain that they don't have a place in today's world of homosexuality and obesity. I don't even know what to say without getting really fumed up.

To some people, it's enough that gays and fat people exist, that's already pretty impudent, so how dare they ask for rights. Once in a forum, someone suggested a "fat pride parade", and someone else responded with "I see fat people parading around every day." Yeah, well, every day is fat pride day, right?

Homosexuality/obesity is simply a mental/eating disorder caused by
-a distant relationship with your same-sex parent;
-childhood trauma, especially sexual abuse;
-basically anything else that you can pinpoint in a person's life story

I'm not saying something like this can't happen. Sure, there could be someone who was originally straight but was raped and became gay through some complex mental trauma. There could be someone who was abused and started overeating to make themselves unattractive to the opposite sex, or to deal with their emotions. The latter sounds a lot more likely, but I'm sure both could be psychologically possible.

However, if this were true, it would also work the other way around. You don't see straight people second-guessing whether a trauma in their childhood caused them to be attracted to the opposite sex, and you don't see normalweight people asking if they should in fact be fat, if only they hadn't been so distant from their mother. This, to me, is what shows it to be discriminatory. You can't explain away unwanted variation like this. And even if it were true with some people, doesn't prove it's true with everyone who's fat/gay/bi/whatever else you don't accept.

What's more, the scientific validity of theories like this is problematic. My biggest issue is with the basic question "why do people overeat" or "why do people become attracted to their own sex". What if it's not something you do or become, just something you are and have always been? If there's a strong ideal that everyone should eat healthy foods only, we will perceive the unhealthy-eating people as people who have a problem. The same goes for valuing heterosexuality as the only "healthy" orientation. The truth is, there are traumatizing things in anyone's childhood. My sexuality has been explained away with "you were bullied at school" and "your Dad was absent throughout your teenage years", but my same-sex feelings date back to when I was seven, before either of those things began. Does it prove anything? Maybe, maybe not. It just feels unlikely that there is a simple explanation.

And in the end - yes, it could be that you were originally something and became something else. That's how we grow and mature. You're not supposed to be exactly what you were when you were a child; it's OK to change with time, and it's OK to accept who you are now. If you have sexual or eating behaviors that hurt you or others, that's one thing. But behaviors are usually modifiable, and your essential body type/sexual orientation isn't.

Have you heard of this [insert latest ex-gay/diet support group here]? They've worked wonders on some people. You should give it a shot!

The success rates in those groups are minimal. It's unlikely that I would change in any way. I don't need to give something a shot if I know less than ten per cent come out "healed", and most people face pressure within the groups that might do them more damage.

I don't know. Maybe some gays need ex-gay groups if they really can't accept their sexuality for various reasons. Maybe they need a group of likeminded people where they're not expected to feel good about themselves. Maybe some fat people need diet groups too. Maybe fat acceptance deters them because they're not ready to accept themselves. I'm not really worried about the concept of people being in a group where they can voice their negative feelings and work on them.

What I am worried about, however, is that these groups do give you a certain goal, and you probably won't be happy with yourself until you've reached that goal and kept it. It's a goal that, for most people, is unattainable. What's the psychological cost of living your life reaching for an unattainable goal? This is what we should be asking. A handful of "success stories" doesn't eradicate the desperation of those who "fail".

And finally, the most idiotic one of them all:
If you have a tendency to be fat, you just need to eat less than other people. / If you have a tendency to be gay, and you can't change, you just need to live celibate.

People who say this believe they're being fair. They're simply not giving anyone a free pass: everyone has to remain sexually pure/slim, no matter what, and if some people have to work a little harder to achieve it, tough luck for them. How many heterosexuals would agree to live celibate, not just until marriage, but their whole lives? Pretty much no one. This is one case where it's difficult to make the same argument against dieting, because many slim women already live a really limited life of counting calories and call this "normal" and "healthy". Sigh.

Is bigotry always the same, regardless who you direct it at? You don't get away with saying rude stuff about black people anymore, but you can get away with saying things about fat people, and in some circles, gays. We can only hope that in twenty years' time, fat people enjoy the relative mainstream acceptance gays have now, and gays will have become a lot more accepted. Homosexuality was a crime twenty years ago, and it was classified a disease. Gay rights have come a long way, and hopefully fat rights will too."

Some awesome comments:

"keshmeshi said...
Any fat person can eat low-cal stuff and exercise, but it doesn't guarantee s/he'll become thin.

Or that he or she will be happy."