This is Thin Privilege

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A question (sorry to submit, but I don’t have tumblr)

I have a friend who is engaged and gay. She and her partner were discussing children and the prospect of a child’s future as a gay/straight adult. Although she would of course accept and love her child regardless, she hoped for a straight child so they would not endure the ridicule, heartache, and oppression that she has faced as a fat-bodied gay woman. This is more of a question for the mods (or whoever wants to answer really) if you were to have children, would you wish them to be fat or straight-sized? I know ideally we would live in a world where fat people are not oppressed, but if you had to have a child with thin privilege or one who is adorable and fat yet ridiculed, what would you choose? I think this is worth considering in the current social climate, gay parents wonder if their child will be gay, biracial parents wonder what “race” their child will identify with, what do fat parents think?

——————

I wish for a world that doesn’t oppress gay kids/adults and privilege straight kids/adults, where passing for white doesn’t convey privilege, where random strangers don’t sit next to my white cousin in a clinic and berate her for marrying and having children with a black man (happened to her last week), or where being fat in a public school means you’ve got a good chance of being physically and emotionally abused by your peers and teachers, etc.

While I understand the compulsion to want your children to pass for a member of a privileged group because it will be easier for them, hoping that they will pass sets you up for disappointment if they don’t, when really, the child has absolutely no control over the social soup they’re born into. 

Instead of saying, “I hope you pass,” I’d prefer to say, “I’ll brave all the slings and arrows of the world to love you.”

In my particular case, if I were to have a fat child I would do my best to not send that child to a public school, because public schools are incredibly toxic for fat kids at present. It would take me having the means to have them schooled alternatively, where I could monitor the messages my child is getting, whether they’re being bullied, etc. Not everyone has these means. I’m only speaking for my particular (childless and not planning to have children) situation. 

I might be naive. But that’s my take with the information I have at this present moment.

-ArteToLife

official-jaredleto:

fat privilege doesn’t exist

trans/non-binary privilege doesn’t exist

LGBTQA+ privilege doesn’t exist

colored privilege doesn’t exist

female privilege doesn’t exist

shut up you dense fucking asswipes

I swear, they claim these things exist just to get a rise out of us. Because the arguments in favor of these “privileges”usually go like, “Someone somewhere feels compassion and tries to accommodate people affected by Discrimination X. Hence, they are oppressing me because I am not a part of group X.” ????

-ArteToLife

oreides:

fucking rich white people laughing at how poverty is some diet they should try.

Barf. It also exemplifies just how much thinness is privileged in our society, that being on food stamps is seen as an opportunity to gain thin privilege.

Arbitrary status classes (like beauty privilege, thin privilege, etc) really fuck with rationality, especially if they’re states that people think they can move between. 

(h/t lovethyfatness)

-ATL

Our Experiences, Our Privileges

Experiences are affected by privilege or the lack thereof; compassion and intuition and academic knowledge come when one is prepared to challenge, contextualize, and understand their experiences and the experiences of others. 

One part of pointing out what it means to be privileged is to show how the experience of privilege often shelters the privilege-bearer from realities that oppressed people face, and skews the perception of the privilege-bearer. For instance, when all you know is one thing, then being introduced to those other things can be shocking, unwanted, even horrific — when to someone who only knows those other things, it’s routine, normal, even laudable. 

Therefore, noting how “shocking” a privileged group finds some mundane reality of an oppressed group is part of pointing out privilege. Even when it just comes down to thin people finding it “shocking” that anyone can wear over a size 12 in women’s, or that a size 30 in women’s exists — the act of being shocked is equivalent to saying, “That’s not acceptable” or “only things I experience are acceptable.”

And when you hail from a privileged group, the normalization of your privileged experience is a part of oppression

-ArteToLife

"Skinny is the New Fat" ??

http://thoughtcatalog.com/monica-truong/2014/01/skinny-is-the-new-fat/

^ classic example of ‘thin tears’, no?

I’ve honestly never, ever understood thin people who claim that being told to go eat a sandwich is worse than the shit actually fat people have to face. Stop it.

————-

Mod add (quoted from the article):

Skinny is the new fat. It’s seen in society as disgusting because we have gotten into these war with the fashion industry. We have made ourselves believe that it’s not okay to look like what those models look like because they MUST have starved themselves or had unhealthy eating habits in order to get to that point. It’s the same way we used to assume that fat people got that way from overeating. We attached these assumptions, and make people feel ashamed of how they look and of their eating habits when in reality, it’s non of anyone’s business.

(bold mine)

Are you kidding me? 

When

1. the thinnest of thin bodies isn’t plastered throughout nearly every magazine, on every billboard, and literally set equal to “beauty”; 

2. presidents’ spouses begin to talk about how they want to wipe out thin children in a generation; 

3. there is a government-sponsored “War on Thinness”;

4. there’s a $65 billion weight gain industry; 

5. being thin is a main dealbreaker question on dating websites;

6. adoption agencies/governments draft general rules against letting thin couples adopt; 

7. being thin is considered grounds for rejection of an immigration application; 

8. being thin is considered the modern scourge borne of all the world’s sins, responsible for global warming, economic collapse, famine —

Then — MAYBE THEN — I might agree that “skinny is the new fat.” 

Until then, don’t you dare say that fat people aren’t discriminated against in an attempt for you to move the full social spotlight back on thin people (from where it never really deviated in the first place).

That is thin privilege: when not being the center of positive attention all the time is considered as bad as what oppressed people have to go through. Shit, that’s all privilege.

-ATL

Good to know ATL was able to get something coherent down. I just ranted on twitter after I saw this.

-FBP

Privilege Isn’t an Original Sin

thisisthinprivilege:

We’ve said this many times before, but being born privileged doesn’t make you an active participant in bigotry. It makes you an indirect participant — a beneficiary of the acts of bigotry that favor the privileged group to which you belong. 

If you’re a decent person interested in the truth, you’ll want to be aware of your privilege and how it benefits you unfairly so you can understand society at the deepest level possible, and have compassion for people who are stuck under the heavy boot of bigotry. 

If you simply don’t give a shit about other people, fine. But it means you’re likely to go through life without full information about the social transactions around you, which can very well be to the detriment of not only those who are struggling under bigotry’s heel but also yourself. Full information > incomplete information. Ignorance might be bliss in a sense, but it’s destructive both to the ultimate growth of the self, and to those with whom you interact. 

If you agree that bigotry is wrong, being an indirect participant (a beneficiary) of bigotry should at the very least make you uncomfortable, simply because it should make you aware of the flip side of the coin — the person who was born not-you, and hence subject to the kind bigotry you never will be (note that intersectionality means many people have overlapping privileges and that others are subject to overlapping bigotries or various combinations of privilege and bigotry).

Being a privileged person does not compel you to do activism. Neither does being discriminated against. It doesn’t mean you’re a bad person if you don’t do activism, or a particular kind of activism. But why conflate gaining greater knowledge about the world and the other people in it with accepting some kind of “guilt” for being born privileged? It isn’t logical to feel guilty about how you were born (guilt-by-birth is, in fact, precisely what social justice activism is fighting against), since you didn’t have any control over it. 

Understanding the extent to which society privileges you (or not) by birth isn’t accepting guilt. It’s courageously comprehending the full extent of the world you live in, warts and all. And it’s the decent thing to do, regardless of whether you’re a libertarian, anarchist, progressive, etc.

A system that’s based on incomplete information is highly unstable, especially in an age where it’s becoming increasingly difficult to shield people from information. For no other reason than self-preservation, you should try to figure out as much about the world you live in as you can. Which, in the case of privilege, means learning from people who don’t have the privileges you do about what it’s like to live without those privileges.

What’s the worst you think will happen with this new information? Answer: nothing will happen. You’ll still be the same person you were. You’ll still walk the same route to school/work, you’ll still eat the same lunches, you’ll still like to swim or paint or play or whatever you did before.

You’ll just be you + knowledge. Version You.2. And that’s a good thing.

-ArteToLife 

Resurrecting this as a reminder.

Why do you get angry at opposing viewpoints and arguments? I always see responses to people with differing opinions with rude, snide comments thrown in to really show your dislike. Are you capable of having a viable input to arguments you may not agree with? It just seems like I see a lot of, “Stop liking what I don’t like” or “Stop having opposing viewpoints.”

You would think on a page dedicated to not being biased towards a certain group of people would practice what they preach.

You’re new to the concept of privilege it seems. Either that or this is your sooper slick way of implying that thin privilege doesn’t exist (because we’ve never heard *that* one before!).

This blog is dedicated to opening the eyes of society to the oppression fat people experience. So, who, exactly are we hypocritically oppressing? Just “people with opposing viewpoints”? Is that a large chunk of humans who have been discriminated against and erased worldwide for decades that we’re just now hearing about?

And lastly, you could have found your answer to this in our FAQ, but for your sake and the sake of a healthy reminder:

"Tone policing disadvantaged people is oppressive in and of itself. It places a burden on the disadvantaged that is not put on oppressors: that of being “polite” by the standards of the oppressors. And, frankly, there is no way to be polite enough by those standards, because just telling them that the oppression exists is not “polite”. For example, I’m following a conversation going on on my dash, in which a WOC said, simply, that Bioshock: Infinite had too much racist imagery for her, she found it triggering, and she was not going to be able to play it. She didn’t cuss. She didn’t call anyone names. She didn’t say anyone else shouldn’t play it. She said she wasn’t going to. And she has been getting a flood of hate for it for a good 24 hours now. People are insulted that she would say B:I is racist at all. It was rude of her to call any attention to the racist imagery. And they are shitting all over her for it, often in worse terms than any of the mods here use. Because oppressors think that pointing out oppression is rude. Period. …

"Because we are not here to coddle our oppressors, and we are not here to coddle anyone who sounds like our oppressors, either, because we simply can’t tell the difference until you stop sounding like our oppressors. If you act like a troll, if you act like an oppressor, we will treat you with the contempt that deserves."  -Madgastonomer

Love,

Fatanarchy

Privilege Isn’t an Original Sin

We’ve said this many times before, but being born privileged doesn’t make you an active participant in bigotry. It makes you an indirect participant — a beneficiary of the acts of bigotry that favor the privileged group to which you belong. 

If you’re a decent person interested in the truth, you’ll want to be aware of your privilege and how it benefits you unfairly so you can understand society at the deepest level possible, and have compassion for people who are stuck under the heavy boot of bigotry. 

If you simply don’t give a shit about other people, fine. But it means you’re likely to go through life without full information about the social transactions around you, which can very well be to the detriment of not only those who are struggling under bigotry’s heel but also yourself. Full information > incomplete information. Ignorance might be bliss in a sense, but it’s destructive both to the ultimate growth of the self, and to those with whom you interact. 

If you agree that bigotry is wrong, being an indirect participant (a beneficiary) of bigotry should at the very least make you uncomfortable, simply because it should make you aware of the flip side of the coin — the person who was born not-you, and hence subject to the kind bigotry you never will be (note that intersectionality means many people have overlapping privileges and that others are subject to overlapping bigotries or various combinations of privilege and bigotry).

Being a privileged person does not compel you to do activism. Neither does being discriminated against. It doesn’t mean you’re a bad person if you don’t do activism, or a particular kind of activism. But why conflate gaining greater knowledge about the world and the other people in it with accepting some kind of “guilt” for being born privileged? It isn’t logical to feel guilty about how you were born (guilt-by-birth is, in fact, precisely what social justice activism is fighting against), since you didn’t have any control over it. 

Understanding the extent to which society privileges you (or not) by birth isn’t accepting guilt. It’s courageously comprehending the full extent of the world you live in, warts and all. And it’s the decent thing to do, regardless of whether you’re a libertarian, anarchist, progressive, etc.

A system that’s based on incomplete information is highly unstable, especially in an age where it’s becoming increasingly difficult to shield people from information. For no other reason than self-preservation, you should try to figure out as much about the world you live in as you can. Which, in the case of privilege, means learning from people who don’t have the privileges you do about what it’s like to live without those privileges.

What’s the worst you think will happen with this new information? Answer: nothing will happen. You’ll still be the same person you were. You’ll still walk the same route to school/work, you’ll still eat the same lunches, you’ll still like to swim or paint or play or whatever you did before.

You’ll just be you + knowledge. Version You.2. And that’s a good thing.

-ArteToLife 

fresafresca:

THIS. IS. THIN. PRIVILEGE.

thisisthinprivilege:

"Dr. W. Scott Butsch, an obesity medicine specialist at Massachusetts General Hospital, keeps hearing deeply disturbing stories from patients who have lost lots of weight.

They tell him that within a few months of slimming down, they find themselves suddenly enjoying new recognition and promotions at work. Which is wonderful — until it hits them that their newfound success suggests that they were being discriminated against when they were heavier.”

But please. Do go on about how thin privilege doesn’t exist… -FA

Sometimes, no one listens to you as a fat person when you know people are discriminating against you.  Sometimes I even question my own sense of reality when people constantly directly and indirectly negate experiences of fat stigma. It has often been the stories of formerly fat people like the one’s hinted above in the bolded paragraph, that have often confirmed to that I’m not out of my mind, what is happening is really happening in terms of fat stigma and thin privilege. 

The gaslighting of underprivileged people by privileged people is horrifying.

Privileged people don’t want to admit that they didn’t earn the advantages they’re granted by society, especially when they’ve struggled to pass for a member of a privileged group. They want to think that the struggle they’ve endured, the pain they went through, or the work they put in to pass for privileged has ‘earned’ a right to their privilege. And they’ll fight anyone who tries to deny they have a right to it.

-ArteToLife

"Dr. W. Scott Butsch, an obesity medicine specialist at Massachusetts General Hospital, keeps hearing deeply disturbing stories from patients who have lost lots of weight.

They tell him that within a few months of slimming down, they find themselves suddenly enjoying new recognition and promotions at work. Which is wonderful — until it hits them that their newfound success suggests that they were being discriminated against when they were heavier.”

But please. Do go on about how thin privilege doesn’t exist… -FA

Hi, I would like to first say that I really enjoy your site, it's helped me think a lot about privilege. I feel stupid admitting this but because I *am* privileged, I've only recently started to think about it. So thank you for helping to open my eyes, to thin privilege and others. Would you advise me on the best way to not sound like a troll but to comment/talk to people? What is your advice on checking my privilege? Should I just not comment?

Asked by
ambrosia110

First of all: Go you, you noticed that you have privilege, and that you have some ethical obligations because you do. It is astounding how many people do not get that, ever.

Second: For a while, maybe a couple months, don’t comment on things. Read. Just read. If you hit something you don’t understand, google around. If you still don’t understand, THEN you ask. Be polite, understand that explaining things to you is not necessarily the first priority of the people you’re reading. Say, “Would you be willing to explain…” and then when you sometimes get “No” for an answer, accept it gracefully. Before you ask, look over the site//blog/post and see what it is: Is it a personal rant? Is it a discussion among people who all share an oppression? Is it aimed at a wider audience? There’s an upward-progressing trend there of who is mostly likely to be willing to explain things.

When somebody does explain something to you, and it upsets you — which it will sometimes — STOP. Do NOT respond immediately. Go away and think about it. Try to see it from their point of view. Google around some more and try to figure out exactly what it is that upsets you. Are you upset because you’re “not like that”? The best way to prove that you aren’t is to actually not act like it, rather than attempt to explain that you aren’t, which makes you sound like an ass. Are you upset because you think this person doesn’t understand YOU? Then you’ve missed the point, which isn’t for them to understand you, but for YOU to understand THEM. And so on. Most of the things that will upset you will be based on your privilege. Most of the rest of the things will be tone issues, in which case, remember that people get to be angry about this shit, and if you are in their space, then it’s theirs to be angry in, and chill.

If a space makes it clear that you are not welcome, don’t comment there.

When you read, before commenting anywhere, see what kinds of things other commenters say, and what things piss people off. Don’t act like the outsiders who piss people off.

That’s what I’ve got.

-MG

socialjusticekitteh:

tierracita:

Last night around 9-10pm at SW 13th and Stark, my friend was assaulted by a group of men who punched her and hurled garbage at her, including a beer can, demanding that she lose weight. The photos of the assailants below were provided by a nearby apartment building.

If you can identify any of the people in the photos, please call the Portland police non-emergency line, 503-823-3333.

I’m furious. A group of white men beat and hurt my less-than-five-feet tall Latina friend because they felt she was disobeying an authority they thought they had over her body. Women need to be able to walk home at night (or anytime, anywhere) without fear of harassment and harm. Don’t let these men get away with it. If you have an idea of who they might be, report it.

Portland, let’s find these fuckers! The person attack is friends with a lot of my friends and this has a direct reflection on the way women of color and fat folks are treated here in the PNW. I’m not about calling the police on POC but the police can have these fuckers. If you have any portland followers, please reblog!

But people are never physically attacked for being fat!!11!!!1! YES not even when they perpetrators actually say they’re attacking you because they think you need to lose weight! That’s just silly. There is no such thing as violence against fat people!!!

Thin privilege is not having punches and trash thrown at you in public by perfect strangers demanding that you change your body size.

-FA

I really cannot even fathom how people interpret this blog's pointing out thin privilege as an impetus for thin people to gain weight. Do they also think that pointing out male privilege is a suggestion that women should become men? Or that pointing out white privilege is a plea for PoC to become white?

Asked by
calendar--girl

I think at some level they do believe those things. Let me clarify: I think what they believe is that talking about privilege will usurp the privileges of being white and/or a man. And they’re right. We want to destroy the privilege white people and men receive because the flipside of privilege (which I’ll remind everyone is unearned advantage) is oppression (unmerited disadvantage).

Allies see the fight against privilege/oppression as not a bad thing. Uncomfortable, as if we’re successful they’ll lose their unearned advantages, but necessary. Non-allies see the fight against privilege/oppression as an attack. That their world is going topsy-turvy, because they make maleness and whiteness and thinness equivalent to success and thus can’t fathom women and PoC and fat people occupying the same social strata they do. 

So yes — pointing out privilege can make some people feel attacked. Transformed from privileged person to someone without unearned advantages — torn down, in a sense. But that’s a good thing. That’s the maturation of a society, of a mind, of perspective. Some people are capable of maturing. Some refuse. We can’t let those who refuse to mature stunt our growth. And as long as we let trolls stall the conversation with derails or otherwise let them dominate the conversation we don’t grow

“Pointing out thin privilege is hating fat people!” and “But thin people have problems too” and “Accepting fat means wanting thin people to be fat” are no more than desperate attempts to shift the focus of a civil rights conversation back to the people in power. 

-ATL