Fat Shaming and the MRM

-The following is a response to comments on this post: https://serialnonconformist.wordpress.com/2013/10/21/extra-the-mrm-mens-rights-movement/

I was somewhat resistant to jump into this one, because others have already done wonderful work here, and frankly, I cannot add anything that hasn’t been covered. But, as this has found its way to my door, here I go. BTW, to address concerns over troll-feeding, this person (until their last post went awry in paragraph two) has been reasonable in their approach, and I am happy to engage in polite discourse as long as it remains that way.

***TW: Fat shaming, Rape culture***

As far as I can tell, ‘Fat Shaming Week’ was a project of the website ‘Return of Kings’ (linked, but not recommended) http://www.returnofkings.com/ A cursory glance at their page seems to indicate that their work includes both MRA and PUA themes, so I am really unsure how anyone outside these movements would be able to distinguish which arm of its operation was responsible for ‘Fat Shaming Week.’

I left your second paragraph comments alone, but added a warning. I just can’t begin to know what you hoped to accomplish through the use of that kind of language. You are attempting to make an argument that there is a difference between attempting to police the weight of someone who is slightly overweight as opposed to someone who is significantly overweight. I would argue that trying to police another person’s weight, no matter their BMI, is always the same. You’re always going to be taking away the body autonomy of that person, and you’re always going to be dictating to another human being how they should feel about themselves.

Beyond that, even if there was something ‘wrong’ with being fat, who the hell is anyone but that person to decide what life choices are appropriate for them? And who is anyone but them able to know what factors affect their weight?

Your precious Mr. Elam seems to believe that fatness is an effective rape-repellant. (linked but definitely not suggested) http://www.avoiceformen.com/women/the-unspoken-side-of-rape/ So, given that thinking, shouldn’t everyone get fat? And, since we are on the subject of rape and obesity, survivors of sexual violence and misconduct make up 30% – 40% of those who are treated for eating disorders. http://www.aftersilence.org/eating-disorders.php

If the next argument is to toss some pseudoscience at me and attempt to show a causal relationship between obesity and healthcare costs, I will point out that it is exceedingly difficult to discern whether there is a direct causal link (as opposed to a correlative one) or if secondary factors may be the cause of both the obesity and the health issues.

I am fat. At the time of my last checkup three months ago, I was also in good health. Usually the rebuttal to this is what has come to be called the “Vague Future Heath Threat” which goes something like “Yes, you’re healthy now, but it won’t be long before your fatness has negative consequences.” http://www.fatnutritionist.com/index.php/the-death-threat-its-not-about-health/

In essence, this false notion about health is no different from any other straw-man arguments. It’s the same as saying “I am not a homophobe, I just want to make sure you are looking out for your eternal soul.”  I call BULLSHIT!

One thing that can be shown: people who are fat-shamed tend to GAIN weight. Let me say that again. People who are fat-shamed tend to gain weight. http://www.nbcnews.com/health/fat-shaming-actually-increases-risk-becoming-or-staying-obese-new-8C10751491

So, is this really about health? Is this really about your ‘concern‘ for my wellness, or a ‘concern‘ over healthcare costs. No. This is about your hierarchical self-esteem, and your sheep-like reiteration of some asshole’s assertion that they get to decide what everyone else should look like.

I have bad news for your movement: I love my fat thighs, my soft tummy, and my curves. …And you know who else does? The gorgeous women of all sizes who fuck me!

There is a wealth of information on fat and health, here are a few resources:

http://www.haescommunity.org/

http://www.fatnutritionist.com/index.php/articles-evidence/

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120904193052.htm

Also, here are some great responses to Fat Shaming:

http://www.buzzfeed.com/evianasuperbo/the-best-response-to-fat-shaming-week-9gi6

http://www.themilitantbaker.com/2013/10/my-excuse-im-glad-you-asked.html

http://marylambertsings.com/2013/09/06/i-want-to-talk-about-body-positivity-ok/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/iris-higgins/an-open-apology-to-all-of_b_3762714.html

All my love dear fat sisters, and dear skinny sisters alike.
You deserve love, and you deserve a space in which to love yourself.

MWAH!

  • “After I washed my car, it rained. Therefore washing my car causes rain.”
  • “When I got in the bath tub, the phone rang. Therefore getting in the bath will lead to the phone ringing.”
  • “We won our baseball game when I was wearing these socks, so it must be the lucky socks that caused our win.”

– See more at: http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/education/science/correlation-vs-causation#sthash.VodX8Ggv.dpuf

  • “After I washed my car, it rained. Therefore washing my car causes rain.”
  • “When I got in the bath tub, the phone rang. Therefore getting in the bath will lead to the phone ringing.”
  • “We won our baseball game when I was wearing these socks, so it must be the lucky socks that caused our win.”

– See more at: http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/education/science/correlation-vs-causation#sthash.VodX8Ggv.dpuf

  • “After I washed my car, it rained. Therefore washing my car causes rain.”
  • “When I got in the bath tub, the phone rang. Therefore getting in the bath will lead to the phone ringing.”
  • “We won our baseball game when I was wearing these socks, so it must be the lucky socks that caused our win.”

– See more at: http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/education/science/correlation-vs-causation#sthash.VodX8Ggv.dpuf

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6 thoughts on “Fat Shaming and the MRM

  1. Over react much? Not every one follows the feminism approved language guidelines. There was ONE sentence in an other wise productive conversation that you have taken issue with, ended the conversation and written an entire post about how horrible I am. For a “serial non conformist” you are very much about enforcing conformity.

    So you also asked about how to tell the difference between PUA and MRA since the site claims to be PUA and MRA. This is actually VERY easy. PUA is Pick up artist. Their “Game” is about manipulating women and treating them like sex toys. If your sex life is based around taking advantage of the broken system of relationships and gender relations, You can not also be trying to fix the broken system of relationships and gender relations. Any pick up artistry pretty well disqualifies you as actually working to fix things.

    Note: To me you are nothing but words on a computer screen. I have no clue what you look like, I don’t care. Nothing I say is intended to be an attack on you personally. The only reasonable assumption to be made is that you fall into the range of normal in every regard as far as appearance goes. If you are struggling with weight issues, It was insensitive of me to use harsh language in regards to obesity, and for that I do apologize.

    • I responded to all but your middle paragraph in today’s post.

      I’m not altogether sure what your second paragraph is seeking, so I will simply say that I believe in learning from mistakes, and putting the best you have to offer on the table with total honesty and forthrightness, and if somebody thinks you are a person they want around, that’s a wonderful thing.

      • If you don’t see what I’m saying with the 2nd paragraph of that comment, there is a real issue. That is very important stuff. Let me try again, I’m not always the best at being clear.

        The “manosphere” in blogging consists of three groups. MRA, PUA, and MGTOW. These three groups are all mutually exclusive. IF you are MRA you can not be PUA or MGTOW. If you are PUA, you can not be MRA or MGTOW. If You are MGTOW, you can’t be MRA or PUA.

        There is a common thread within these three groups. The system is broken. Relationships, marriage, gender relations, all broken (and broken by feminism). PUA are Pick up Artists. These men look at the broken husk that used to be relationships and say “I can take advantage of this situation”
        MRA are Men’s Rights Activists. These men look at the shattered rements of the institute of marriage and say “We need to fix this”
        MGTOW look at the disfunctional and distopian reality of gender relations and say “Forget it, I’m going fishing, alone”

        PUA are the aspect of the manosphere that is the most biggoted. These people really do treat women like walking sex toys. This is what Return of Kings are. PUA. They are taking advantage, not trying to fix.

        Understanding and being able to identify the differences between these groups is as important as being able to identify and seperate the Militant lesbian seperationists from the sex-positive egalitarians within feminism.

  2. I really want to comment here. After reading both yesterday’s and today’s posts, I hope to contribute a little to this dialogue.

    First, while you both seem to have some conflicting views, I enjoyed the exchange which remained rather diplomatic, until the end there, lol. But I understand that it can be difficult to agree to disagree.

    Next, to genderneutrallanguage, I’d like to say a few things. I want to start by saying that I would think of myself as both a feminist AND a supporter of men’s rights. I don’t believe that one can exist without the other. Ultimately, I believe in human rights. And that is all humans, regardless of race, class, gender, sexuality, ability, size, etc. What’s very sad to me is the fact that, in the fight for our unique voices/needs to be heard, we feel the need to rival and trample each other. Your acknowledgment of the fact that the MRM is “mixing the men’s rights message in with some rather sick woman hating,” saddens me. Even if it DOES get people to stand up and take note of some of the more worthy causes of the MRM, what it also does is continues along the line of trampling women, putting us back in the place of needing to defend ourselves against attacks – brutal attacks even – when what the MRM COULD be doing is calling on women as mothers, sister, wives, lovers, etc., to stand with them in the fight for HUMAN rights. This is even MORE difficult when factoring in that men are just not marginalized in the ways that women are. Sure, men are held to a certain standard of beauty. And yes, men are victims of violence, sexual abuse and rape, domestic violence, etc. The incidence of men with eating disorders is on the rise. But in no way, shape, or form can these be compared with the incidence of these issues among women. I don’t need to talk about why that is. It’s clear to me that you are a very intelligent individual. I am assuming here that you are well versed in the issues of marginalization, rape culture, and the ways that women continue to be objectified and abused the whole world around. I feel certain that you understand why women hold a marginalized status, and men do not, and what it might mean to be a woman in a patriarchal society. This approach by the MRM to be heard on it’s more valid issues is misguided and painful, and I find it incredibly disheartening.

    Finally, fat shaming. As a person who has been heavy most of my life, and has recently lost a large amount of weight, I can tell you this: shaming was never a thing that helped me to commit to my own health or well-being. In fact, the fat-shaming which I experience only served to help me gain weight. Nothing makes you want to hide out and shove unhealthy food in your face more that feeling completely, and deeply, ashamed of who you are and how you look. Nothing. It was learning to love myself that changed my views about who I am, and who I want to be. And, losing weight for me has been about learning that I deserve to be healthy. Fat-shaming is the wrong approach. Teaching people to hate their bodies is never the answer. Ever. Nor is it anyone else’s right to comment on, or judge another person’s body or choices. It’s just not. Any more than it should be my right to comment on or make judgement about whether or not a man should be circumcised. His body, his business.

    I struggle with your need to call the post above an overreaction. Not only are these hot-button issues, but for some of us, they are very personal, and embedded in deep histories of personal experiences around shame, violence, abuse, and pain. We are all trying to be heard, and seen. We are all attempting to find our voices. And, if we are truly seeking human rights – for ALL of us – then it’s time to stop pointing fingers, and start listening.

    • “when what the MRM COULD be doing is calling on women as mothers, sister, wives, lovers, etc., to stand with them in the fight for HUMAN rights.”

      The men’s rights movement (men’s liberation at the time) did do this. We did this for more than 30 years, and nothing happened. People didn’t even realize that there where men’s issues to be addressed. On a scale of 1-10 the current tactics rate a 2 or 3 for effectiveness. This is a huge step up from the 0 that the methods you propose achieved. Being nice did not work at all, being raging asshats is working somewhat.

      On fat shaming, can we agree that the topic is MUCH MUCH more complex and nuanced. It is far to complex to really talk about in the comments on a blog. While I stand by my original statments, I understand the reaction. The proper explanation for why I think I’m being reasonable would be 15-20 pages, not 15-20 words.

  3. Genderneutral language, I think I’ve taken on as much information about your cause as I’d care to. While lots and lots of people have been eating this up, I’ve run out of productive things to say. Also, I am still recovering from sticking my head down the proverbial rabbit-hole to try to research and understand the MRM, et al.

    If what you’re needing is to ‘win,’ then please accept my hearty congratulations! You won!

    Here is genderneutrallanguage’s page, in case anyone is interested in continuing the dialogue over there. (linked, but not recommended) http://poisonedwell.wordpress.com/

    Best wishes, genderneutrallanguage. Thank you for a spirited debate.

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