174 posts tagged privilege
“Catch more flies with honey than vinegar” = “derail your entire purpose to serve my ignorant, privileged ass”
Thin privilege is watching this creative, inspirational video clip on a friend’s Facebook page and having the message aimed at you, as you see people who look like you as the protagonists in a difficult environment populated with a bunch of fat people who are repeatedly depicted as gross, annoying, and disgusting, and even called out as such by name at one point in the audio. Thin privilege is not even noticing this is happening because you’re oblivious to your thin privilege and this kind of fat phobia flies under your radar, because you’ve been trained to believe it’s not prejudice or it’s not important unless someone is actually verbally calling someone names based on their weight. I’m here to say: it’s bullshit, and it’s thin privilege, and it’s fat phobia, and it fucking sucks.
Oh ugh. The whole video reeks of pretention.
The protagonists are thin, young, white, “professionals.” The whole thing is in the perspective of a thin white male, though they do show a thin white woman as kind of an aside like, “oh, and her too.” Children, older people, fat people, and people of color are used as props. The entire thing is classist — they never even suggest that any of the prop-people could possible be operating at as “high” a professional level as the thin white protagonists.
Ugh. I hate fucking inspiration porn, especially in the case of a video that could have had so many other interesting messages than, “Being too much in your own head can be unhappy-making.” For instance, it could have challenged the assumptions the thin white young “professionals” had of the people around them, rather than slapping on even more layers of false narratives deeply rooted in stereotypes (the fat white mother couldn’t possibly be a brain surgeon, for instance, and the older lady at the register couldn’t possibly be doing that job just for shits and giggles because she gets bored at home with her husband of umptillion years).
I mean, let’s really break down this video. The salient parts were all the stereotypical assumptions made by our white male protagonist — That the fat white mother was ignorant, and a bad mother. That the fat WoC was a “cow.” That the old lady spoke with the “voice of death.”
Instead of the message being, “Some people have it even harder than you, don’t be such a self-centered jackass,” it should be: “You’re a fucking bigot in your bigot-bubble, and I’m very sorry our university is so shitty we produced graduates who still think like you do. Maybe we should get better at teaching our students about privilege and oppression and how to check their own default-bigoted thoughts.”
You’ve never experienced privilege over fat women? Okay. Sure. Let’s talk about that.
- How many stores can you name that have clothes that fit you? Not that you like, necessarily. Not that you can afford. That have clothes that will fit you.
- How many times have you been unable to fit in a public space? That includes buses, planes, trains, subways, restrooms, desks, chairs, etc.
- How many fat women can you name who are on tv right now whose storylines don’t center around the fact that they are fat?
- Go to a store. Look at the magazine rack. How many fat women are on the cover? How many fat women are in the magazine?
- Watch tv. How many fat women are on commercials, have spoken lines, and those commercials aren’t about their weight, their health, and don’t make fun of them?
- Tell me why you think “you’ve gained weight” is usually seen as offensive, whereas “you’ve lost weight” is seen as a compliment.
- Tell me why fat people are the majority, but thin people are supposed to be models for perfection.
- Tell me why those aren’t privileges.
- Tell me why you think you are exempt from all of those things.
Your privilege is BOUNTIFUL. Your privilege takes up more space than my fat ass ever could.
And this doesn’t even get into medical, employment, adoption, dating, and immigration discrimination against fat people, or touch upon how fatness tends to exacerbate discrimination faced as a member of another marginalized group.
But, obvious troll is obvious (and a troll I recognize from the TITP inbox, before they were put on ignore).
But none of that is her fault.
Privilege is by definition unearned advantages over group X by virtue of belonging to group Y. You don’t need to have intentionally become a part of group X to be privileged over group Y. Rich kids are born into their money, and thus aren’t ‘to blame’ for their class privilege, but they still have privilege. Also, they’re to blame for being willfully ignorant about being privileged, or for perpetuating a system that oppresses poor people.
In that same sense a thin person isn’t to blame for being privileged, but they are to blame for being willfully ignorant about being privilege, or for perpetuating a system that oppresses fat people either actively if they embrace their privilege and try to claim it as a ‘right,’ or if they refuse to acknowledge that they have privilege.
You know, if I had a fucking dollar for every time a thin person came along and derailed a conversation about the public ridicule of fat people with “But people call me nasty names because I’m thin with an hourglass figure, it’s really hard for me too.” I’d be a wealthy, wealthy woman.
Not content with being what the world tells the rest of us we SHOULD be, they have to whinge that they are being picked on too. Must the attention ALWAYS be on your experience, thin people?
Call the fucking WAHMBULANCE thin people and bitch to someone who cares. I am so over having to make every conversation about fatness fit thin people in who have no fucking idea what it is like to be culturally and systematically vilified for living in a body that is considered diseased/abnormal/sub-human.
The first rule of ALLY CLUB:
You do not talk in ALLY CLUB.
The second rule of ALLY CLUB:
You DO NOT TALK in ALLY CLUB.
The third rule of ALLY CLUB:
If a marginalized person says STOP, the argument is over.
The fourth rule of ALLY CLUB:
Ganging up on marginalized people and/or their blogs with a bunch of your privileged buddies means you’re out of ALLY CLUB. If marginalized people come after you in droves? YOU’VE FUCKED UP. APOLOGIZE. DON’T EXPECT TO BE FORGIVEN.
The fifth rule of ALLY CLUB:
If you ping a bunch of marginalized people with the same bullshit “honest question, guise!” then you’re out of ALLY CLUB and automatically inducted into TROLL CLUB.
The sixth rule of ALLY CLUB:
No “what about me,” no “but privileged people don’t have perfect lives, either.”
The seventh rule of ALLY CLUB:
If you fuck with marginalized people you do not get to say when the argument is over. It’s over when the marginalized people you fucked with say it’s over.
The eighth rule of ALLY CLUB:
If this is your first time reading a social justice blog run by a certain group of marginalized people, DO NOT SUBMIT SHIT.
Extra points if Average Person doesn’t believe you even when you have proof that you don’t embody one or more of your group’s stereotypes.
Extra extra points for representing more than one stereotyped group, which tends to confuzzle the hell out of Average Person.
What You Said:
I don’t think it’s right for you to say that I shouldn’t have a say in a certain conversation.
What You Meant:
The world has told me that my opinion is so valuable, my voice is so universal and my very being is so much more important than yours that I am positive that by simply adding my view on a topic, a topic that I am neither educated on nor have lived through, makes the conversation better, more viable and more important. I can not fathom a single subject or conversation that wouldn’t be made better when my opinion is given.
I am not here to coddle my oppressors
I am not here to be nice to my oppressors
I am not here to hand hold those who send me hate and threaten me
I am not here take it easy on people who hurt me
Stop telling me how to react, instead of telling them how to act
Stop blaming me for refusing to just take it
If you really think the victim is the person to blame, you’re part of the problem
(To remind those who are apparently new around here. -FA)
Text: “I don’t get it. If you don’t want to climb, why don’t just you fly?”
You must not let them.
That’s why it’s so fucking important not to let yourself be tone-policed.
Tone-policing goes FAR DEEPER than someone wanting to have a ‘polite discussion’ with you.
It’s the way privileged people put you back in your place.
Don’t let them.
Don’t let them.
..everyone is privileged in some way. Whether its thin, able, white, male, heterosexual, or looks. It’s not a new concept, people are just talking about it more. The discussion of privilege is becoming main stream and it’s making privileged people uncomfortable. Hence all the backlash, people go to extreme measures to try and denounce the idea of any sort of privilege. Maybe people are just too comfortable in their privilege, maybe people just don’t want to think that by accepting the privilege given to them by society, they are causing someone else’s disprivilege. I find it funny how people are willing to acknowledge their own disprivileges, but not acknowledge their own privileges. I’ve seen way too many post talking about white privilege and male privilege but the same people are discrediting thin privilege and able privilege. Can you smell the hypocrisy? ‘Cause I sure can.
HOW TO DEAL WITH BEING CALLED OUT
From the January issue of
THINK AND DIE THINKING
- fat shame is not the last acceptable prejudice, seriously. Look around you. Get it together.
- if you blog diligently about thin privilege but are unable to check your own privileges? GTFO. Stop looking up at the privilege you lack and start looking at the ones you’ve got.
- yes fat phobia sucks but if you shout to the rafters about being fat bashed but then say nothing about racism, misogyny, transphobia, homophobia, ableism, ageism or any of the other bad isms? You’re doing it wrong.
- if your message is “fat is beautiful” but the subtext of every post you make is that fat is only beautiful when white, youthful, “beautiful”, able-bodied, hetero, cis-, economically advantaged, and always falling in a lockstep line with the slavish & brutal corporate fashion industries? umm you’re not helping, bro.
- let being fat inform the way normativity works in our world, how those of us with fat bodies fall outside the “norm” which is a system of classification set up to place on a pedestal the white, the young, the wealthy, hetero & cis people of this earth, and yes, thinness is part of that but only a slender fragment of the larger picture. Let your experiences being fat bashed inform the way you process race, class, gender, sexual orientation, class status, age, “ability”. Don’t just rally to be treated the same as other thin, young, white, pretty people.
thank you and much fatty loveness.
The above is very important. Read it, then read it again.
And WIN on the gif.