Isn't about Fattism was added to the list of prohibited 'isms'?

(199 Posts)

MNHQ have commented on this thread.

Fideliney Mon 30-Jun-14 06:45:41

I've read one too many rather squawky assertions recently on MN that 'skinny bashing' has the same socio-cultural connotations and (ahem) heft as fattism. It doesn't.

Isn't fattism the only socially widespread discrimination/ hatred NOT specifically banned on MN now? Have I got that right?

I've been mulling this overnight and things are routinely posted about overweight people on MN which, if the words 'asian' or 'gay' were substituted for 'fat' or 'obese', nobody would even attempt to defend.

I know haterz gotta hate or whatever the expression is but could we just leave them something insipid and harmless like nylon hating or persecution of cockroaches to get on with and make a clean sweep of the 'isms'?

Fideliney Mon 30-Jun-14 06:46:33

That should be Isn't it about time... Doh blush

Bunbaker Mon 30-Jun-14 06:54:48

"I've read one too many rather squawky assertions recently on MN that 'skinny bashing' has the same socio-cultural connotations and (ahem) heft as fattism. It doesn't."

IMO calling anyone fatty is just as rude as calling someone skinny.

However, until you have been on the end of nasty comments about your lack of curves you wouldn't understand how hurtful it is to be called twiggy, stick thin, scrawny etc.

As if it is my fault that I am very slim. Most people don't understand that it is almost physically impossible to eat enough to put weight on if you have the type of metabolism that can cope with what ever quantity of calories is thrown at it.

Medical issues aside, it is physically possible to lose weight simply by eating less - far easier than for the naturally slim people to put weight on.

I expect I'll get a flaming for this.

lougle Mon 30-Jun-14 06:58:35

I disagree. I don't like derogatory comments in general, so I don't like to see someone being criticised for their weight (in either direction). However, 'protected characteristics', which is how the Equality Act describes features of individuals which must not be discriminated against, are all things that are unchangeable.

Body size can fluctuate, whether intentionally or unintentionally. It is very rare for a person to be genetically fat from birth/toddler. Even those with a genetic preponderance to obesity can make dietary changes to limit the impact of it.

Gender, race, age, disability, etc., are all characteristics which you can't change.

Fideliney Mon 30-Jun-14 07:01:20

I absolutely accept the two things are equally rude and both can be hurtful.

I think the difference is the very different meanings society attaches to underweight and overweight. There is a condemnatory value judgement on fat that has the weight of society behind it. The same is just not true of underweight.

Fideliney Mon 30-Jun-14 07:04:55

Interesting. What is the EA's stance on transgender then? And did I read that MNHQ had recently amended their policy on transgenderism and/or transexuality? (Not sure where) hmm

Fideliney Mon 30-Jun-14 07:07:41

It could get messy lougle debating how static/fluid gender, disability, sexuality, weight are. Even the borderlands between disability and weight is a minefield.

Nerf Mon 30-Jun-14 07:07:48

So, no negative comments about being fat? I don't make them personally but isn't that just a head/sand approach while the nation eats itself to death?
I see the opposite on here tbh - people posting about their weight, their kids (outraged by a weight letter in reception) and being totally validated in their choice/position.

MaloryArcher Mon 30-Jun-14 07:11:52

Absolutely not.

With incredibly rare exceptions, being fat is a choice. An unhealthy and dangerous choice which is affecting most of the nation.

We need to stop normalising it, not accept and protect it from criticism.

Comparing being fat to inherent traits such as race and sexuality is pretty pathetic.

Fideliney Mon 30-Jun-14 07:13:24

So, no negative comments about being fat?

Oh Nerf do behave yourself. Is that what you understand by fattism? Really? You don't understand how issues can be discussed without individuals being insulted?

Is it not getting a bit circussy and cheapening the site now, this too-easy, un-challenged, fat-baiting?

As opposed to the entirely reasonable discussions around food and nutrition and the obesity crisis, that is.

Fideliney Mon 30-Jun-14 07:14:46

Incredibly rare Malory?

In what sense?

Nerf Mon 30-Jun-14 07:16:04

I don't understand anything by 'fattism' because it isn't a word.
It seems like you are seeing something I'm not - I don't see anything on here that looks like any kind of 'ism' - mainly people posting about being fat and others saying 'never mind, I bet you are gorgeous'.

WhosLookingAfterCourtney Mon 30-Jun-14 07:17:14

I think any kind of body shaming is horrible, personally.

Fideliney Mon 30-Jun-14 07:19:07

Yes it is a word Nerf. That's why I'm using it.

MaloryArcher Mon 30-Jun-14 07:19:53

Agree Nerf. If anything there is far too much celebration of obesity on here and disregard for health.

Fideliney - I'm talking about people who claim to have genetic and/or health conditions which cause weight gain versus people who have genetic/and or health conditions which cause the potential for weight gain.

There's a big difference.

Fideliney Mon 30-Jun-14 07:25:41

Equally, if one takes Malory's (rather curt) view that the vast majority of overweight is self-inflicted, then why are we not treating it akin to alcoholism, gambling and other addictions or even to other difficulties such as the trouble some women have with self-esteem and the knock-on difficulties that causes?

Why is overweight/obesity alone something it is okay to treat as a moral failing?

Why not a compassionate, respectful, supportive approach?

ExcuseTypos Mon 30-Jun-14 07:32:39

It's horrible to talk about anyone in a derogatory way. I'm sure MNHQ would delete if these comments were aimed at any particular poster.

I do agree though that being overweight seems to be normalised on MN, as does drinking huge amounts of wine and eating huge amounts of rubbish food. I'm thinking of a thread last week where the OP was cross her ILs let her small dc eat huge portions of tea, cake, biscuits and hot chocolate, all in one evening. She was told to stop being so precioushmm

Fideliney Mon 30-Jun-14 07:34:36

Well Malory that isn't actually true.

Sometimes medical conditions are a cause of weight gain. Sometimes psychological factors are. Sometimes societal factors.

But nobody cites lack of a universal medical cause as a reason not to offer support and compassion and encouragement to alcoholics or women in unhealthy relationships.

It is just an odd stance.

Fideliney Mon 30-Jun-14 07:38:13

Yes Excuse that thread was hmm

But routinely talking about abstract 'fat people' in disparaging terms is exactly the same as routinely talking about 'alcoholics' or 'anorexics' or 'gamblers' in the abstract in disparaging terms.

Why is it just for this one group people seem unable to separate the difficulties from the people from the effects and talk about the three things differently?

Fideliney Mon 30-Jun-14 07:38:47

It goes beyond just personal attack.

PetulaGordino Mon 30-Jun-14 07:39:15

i'm not sure whether "fatism" could really qualify for prohibition

however, there are many people who disguise their disgust and condescension towards overweight people by claiming that they are "only concerned with health"

OwlCapone Mon 30-Jun-14 07:40:45

There is a condemnatory value judgement on fat that has the weight of society behind it. The same is just not true of underweight.

Yes it is. If you are thin you are accused of having an eating disorder, told you need to eat more, get some meat on your bones etc etc.

I think you are badly mistaken if you think comments about obesity are in any way comparable to the hate behind, say, racism, disablism and homophobia.

Partridge Mon 30-Jun-14 07:46:21

Hear hear fideliney.

There have been many threads by desperate people (one the other day) by people with binge eating disorder or compulsive overeating. Read one of them before you judge how losing weight is such a simple equation of calories in and energy out.

That attitude infuriates me.

Fideliney Mon 30-Jun-14 07:48:59

Well maybe it is an issue of discrimination towards an afflicted group then rather than a group with a protected characteristic.

BMIs over 25 are deeply unhealthy. Any notion that they are fine need to be challenged. No argument there.

It is probably safe to say that overweight/obesity is caused by medical issues and/or behavioural issues (without arguing about the proportional split for now).

So why should medical issues not be respected like any other?

And why should patterns of disordered behaviour be shown compassion like any other (addiction, eating disorder, low self esteem, MH condition)

You can still respect individuals AND groups of people will challenging the healthiness of population trends, diets etc.

You can express concern for someone's health whilst showing them compassion and respect.

Fideliney Mon 30-Jun-14 07:50:00

while challenging the healthiness....

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