I’m not sure how to respond to this so I thought I’d toss it your way
Yeah, so, I feel like this needs to be one large compendium faq post because I’ve responded to the “fat oppression isn’t real oppression” thing like a hundred billion times.
1. You don’t have to be systematically “picked off by the government” to be oppressed. Democratic governments in particular are very shifty about who they’re going after, and they rely more on ginning up internal anger against groups than saying outright, “Yeah, these people? Gotta go.” Except, of course, that there’s a government-declared social “War on Obesity,” especially “childhood obesity.” So much for the theory that the government isn’t going after fat people, eh?
That’s not to say, of course, that there isn’t fouler government-approved shit going on against other groups. I mean, in the US for instance there’s a fucking war on brown people that is not stated as such in any document but it’s happening, there’s a war on people who aren’t Christian (in particular against Muslims) that isn’t stated anywhere as such but is happening, there’s a war against people who don’t believe this grand edifice of democracy is so grand and is rather the last in a long line of thieves stealing property and pillaging lives that isn’t stated as such but is happening. Many of these wars are internal and supported by sentiments in various overlapping ideological groups. Most USians who read this will agree with at least one of the above-listed “wars.”
2. So it’s okay that fat people are paid less for the same work? It’s okay that fat people’s adoption, fertility, and medical treatment options are being curtailed, sometimes by direct instruction by some centralized ‘democratic’ government? How easy it is to own a home when you’re not being paid the same for the same work? Not as fucking easy as someone who’s being paid the going wage. There isn’t outright prevention stated anywhere, as such. And there isn’t the kind of bigotry in housing that there is against PoC, for instance.
Bigotries aren’t always expressed exactly the same, even though groups who are oppressed often find themselves sharing overlapping negative perceived qualities (and note that I don’t believe the following are necessarily bad qualities or that oppressed groups express them en masse, but they are perceived to be), like “laziness,” “bad hygiene,” some kind of “diseased” status (very applicable to fat people in this case, but not something attributed to every oppressed group), “contagious,” “unintelligent,” “physically or mentally damaged,” “a drain on society.”
There isn’t a “bigotry formula." History and the context in which the oppression arose is important in determining the expression and severity of bigotry. Fat bigotry, for instance, is a relatively new phenomenon, which started to really get going in the 20th century.
3. The asker is also confusing a directly waged oppression with the practical effects of an indirectly waged oppression. There isn’t some poster taped up in every post office called “How to Oppress Fat People.”
Yet, fat people are still dying because they don’t have equal access to quality health care.
Fat people are still being increasingly denied the right to parent, either to become parents or to keep the children they have.
Fat people are being experimented on by the medical industry in the form of diet pills that don’t work and have side effects much worse than their supposed benefits, and gastric bypass surgery whose long-term effects have NOT been honestly studied, with both a paucity of actual long-term studies, and with the incredible failures and dangers of weight loss surgery being swept under the rug or outright blamed on the patient.
Fat people have a difficult time traveling, whether it be walking around unharassed, riding public transportation, or flying.
It’s absurd that fat people have to swallow being thrown off a plane because the policy-maker was simply a “bitch” and not because we live in a society where fat discrimination is not shamed and boycotted in a way that would convince companies it’s bad business to fat shame. Other private companies take advantage of fat discrimination in the same exact way, and don’t have any consequences because this society not only doesn’t punish fat discrimination, it often rewards it.
4. Clearly, the reason the asker believes that there is no such thing as fat oppression is because they are so used to fat oppression that they think it’s normal.
And THAT is why I started This is Thin Privilege. Because it’s one thing to talk about fat discrimination. It’s another thing to frame fat discrimination in a way that makes people question what they think is normal. Many of the submissions we get are normalized bigotries that fat people have to put up with every day, that thin people do NOT have to put up with in the same sense. By comparing the fat and thin experience we’re saying ”What is happening to fat people is not normal, because thin people on average do not have to put up with this shit.”
The reason you “don’t hear about thin privilege anywhere except tumblr” is because fat oppression is so normalized that most people don’t just accept that bad things happen to fat people, they think bad things should happen to fat people.
And that’s all I’m going to say about this ask/response. It’s like the thin-privilege-denial manifesto.