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Your fat jewish friend

(71 Posts)
Wuldric Mon 27-May-13 13:11:58

I am just utterly shell-shocked. I live in a world, where no-one would be overtly racist, sexist or homophobic. I thought ....

So this morning, Friend B asked me if I was playing (all have this shared interest) next weekend with Friend A. His exact words were "Are you playing with your fat jewish friend?"

How on earth do I respond to that? It's not remotely acceptable is it? Friend A is overweight, and jewish and a friend. But put together that all sounds so sneery and nasty and downright anti-semitic.

pictish Mon 27-May-13 13:13:49

Does it?
Depends how it was said. If it was said with a sneer, then yanbu.

ChasingStaplers Mon 27-May-13 13:15:57

I would be shock too.
Either say 'did you mean to be so rude?' Or 'sorry, I'm not sure who you mean.'

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Mon 27-May-13 13:16:49

It's rude but how is it anti-semitic? If somebody is Jewish that isn't an insult, is it? Sneery and nasty to refer to their size though and unnecessary to refer to them in the way that they did.

Overtly/covertly - all of it is unacceptable, I think. I'd be letting Friend B know that our friendship was at an end if I felt the way you do about it.

StealthPolarBear Mon 27-May-13 13:17:13

I take it they don't have that sort of relationship?

Wuldric Mon 27-May-13 13:18:21

I didn't though. I didn't respond at all. Just did an impression of a fish. Wish I'd thought of some sort of rejoinder, but tbh I was a bit shocked and hurt on behalf of Friend A.

Booyhoo Mon 27-May-13 13:21:03

dont they know friend A's name?

even if they didn't they could just have said "are playing with your jewish friend". i dont see why they had to describe them by their weight.

Punkatheart Mon 27-May-13 13:23:21

I would have said 'Clearly I would rather do that than with a rude British friend!' The fat is the sticky bit here. But the rest is not racist. If I said 'Are you playing with your Iranian friend?' that is fine. The 'fat' is rude. But seriously - I would comment, even if you said 'I beg your pudding! Bit rude!' Sometimes people really are unaware of rudeness.

rabbitlady Mon 27-May-13 13:24:25

i haven't got one. i feel left out. as well as offended that anyone would refer to another person that way.

ComposHat Mon 27-May-13 13:24:58

to refer to someone who is Jewish as Jewish is hardly antisemitic. They didn't use an offensive term for a Jewish person.

Rude yes, but in my view not antisemitic.

Startail Mon 27-May-13 13:26:37

It's wrong to describe anyone by their weight.
I'm certain my Jewish DF, wouldn't mind being described as my Jewish friend and, I think she would only wince slightly at short Jewish friend, but short fat friend Jewish or otherwise would be taking it too far!

dancingwithmyselfandthecat Mon 27-May-13 13:26:49

Fat is awful. Jewish by itself is not anti-semitic although I do think singling something like that out (for any religion or characteristic) is in poor taste unless it has some special relevance. I am Jewish and I don't get offended by people referring to me as such. It is not the same as when my grandmother used to refer to my "little Indian friend" or "my little African friend" which suggested that they belonged elsewhere even though they had been born in the UK, had parents born in the UK and had only the most passing awareness of their heritage!

Antisecco Mon 27-May-13 13:27:56

Reasonable question I guess Lying
It's rude but how is it anti-semitic?

I think it's the totally gratuitous linking of the one adjective with the other, that, for me, makes it sound irredeemably anti-Semitic. And completely unacceptable, as you say. If Friend B really had no unpleasant agenda s/he could just have used Friend B's name as Booyhoo suggests.

And to those who are saying 'well it depends how it was said'...I really want to say, not it doesn't, as it was so completely unnecessary to say it at all.

I totally get your dumbfoundedness Wuldric but it's not too late to take Friend B up on it.

Wuldric Mon 27-May-13 13:28:46

It's the conjunction of 'fat' with 'jewish' that made it sound a bit anti-semitic to me, tbh.

And yes, Friend B is perfectly well aware of Friend A's name.

Antisecco Mon 27-May-13 13:30:32

Great minds think alike Wuldric !

Friend B is a loser. Next!

Booyhoo Mon 27-May-13 13:31:16

"I would have said 'Clearly I would rather do that than with a rude British friend!' "

umm, jewish isn't a nationality. it's a religion. british isn't a religion.

TheCatcherInTheRye Mon 27-May-13 13:31:46

I can't imagine a context in which that would be ok to say, and it puts you in a bind should the three of you ever end up together socially. I think it's respond with "re your text, I thought it was odd, are you ok, is something wrong?"

dancingwithmyselfandthecat Mon 27-May-13 13:31:59

I agree its horrible, but it's not anti-Semitic unless it contains overtones that all Jews are fat, or that because she is a gready, gentile-blood-drinking, in-charge-of-society-via-a-secret-cabal, stamping on all decent people she is therefore fat as a result of her Jewishness. By all means call him up on it, because it is a nasty way to objectify anyone - regardless of their religion or ethnic background.

Wuldric Mon 27-May-13 13:33:34

xposted with Antisecco smile

Have no idea how to take Friend B up on this. What should I do? Given general feebleness of my reaction initially.

Antisecco Mon 27-May-13 13:33:48

umm, jewish isn't a nationality. it's a religion. british isn't a religion.

But neither is a character trait and to have used it as such (and this really does seem to be the case here) is what is objectionable.

BoffinMum Mon 27-May-13 13:33:48

Tells you a lot about the speaker. Drop them.

manicinsomniac Mon 27-May-13 13:34:30

Very rude and nasty but not racist.

Completely unnecessary as Friend knew other friend's name but, if they didn't then,unless you have several Jewish friends or several fat friends I suppose it was just like asking 'your skinny friend with the pierced tongue' or other kind of identifying features.

Certainly not the way to refer to somebody else's friend though! How horrid.

Booyhoo Mon 27-May-13 13:34:32

in that case wuldric. friend B is a dick for choosing to describe them by weight (and fat is usually a negative judgement) and their religion (implying that there is something negative about that aswell as they have teamed it with 'fat' when they knew that person's name.

scottishmummy Mon 27-May-13 13:34:42


cardibach Mon 27-May-13 13:34:56

If she knows her name, as you say she does, then it is very rude. Not necessarily anti-Semitic in content, but in intent...maybe, in the circumstances. Pull her up on it.

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