Wednesday, July 14, 2010

A Fat and Punchy Post

I thought that the next blog post I write should be relatively short, so that perhaps I could start occasionally tapping out something short and maybe even funny while I am procrastinating at work. My urge to actually write this short and witty post eventuated into action, or as much action as it really takes to open a new tab on my Internet browser, when my work blocked my usual procrastination hive of, Jezebel. To some add some colour to this description of the puritanical regime of the modern office environment let me tell you that my work also just blocked a bra website:

Access to this URL is currently restricted because of its classification.
Content classification: Intimate Apparel/Swimsuit

Thank heavens for that. I might have accidentally stumbled upon a pair of togs; the obscenity of which I surely would never have recovered from. Lace and Lycra, the smoking guns of office Internet censorship. I hate to think about what would happen to this Internet blocking system if it were actually a person and they were accidentally to go to a beach or a lingerie shop, and to suddenly be accosted with a smorgasboard of strips of breast covering fabric. And so because my work finds feminist blogging and boulder holders so offensive, I am here to write a post about being offended. A post that I hope to be several onomatopoeic words, all describing things that are short and yet effective, like 'zippy' and 'zappy' and possibly 'punchy', although I am not really sure if that meets the onomatopoeic criteria.

And so in the spirit of keeping things punchy, in every possible sense of the word, I thought that maybe I would post something else from my "All Of The Negative Things That My Facebook Friends Have Said About Fat People and Bodies In The Last Couple of Months (Unless They Said It In The Period Of Time Where I Went To Ohakune Or To Christchurch Or When I Went To See Lady Gaga In Auckland AKA The Best Weekend Of My Life) File". And so, here is snippet from my stash:

fat IT guy

And I think this post is interesting, because it taps into the whole thing of 'fat' automatically being a derogatory word, rather than just a describing word, like I talked about a bit in my second blog post and also written about by the Messiah of Fat Acceptance, Kate Harding. Just because the fat guy behind the IT desk appears to be an asshole, it seems that Anonymous Facebook Commenter thinks it is sweet to make snide remarks about his body. And even though it may seem that way, AFC is not just describing the appearance of the IT guy. Words mean things. Saying "Go see Brown Hair Guy another day" or "Go see Red T-Shirt Guy another day" would not mean the same thing. AFC describing the IT Guy as Fat Guy means she already has a joke, because I'm not sure if you've realised but our culture seems to find fat hatred hysterically funny. And this stuff seems to be okay. I am sort of loathe to compare fat othering to racism, because it is the easiest thing to do and I think there is already some kind of Godwin's Law type deal that whenever any kind of privilege is discussed on the Internet it will inevitably boil down to being compared to racism, which usually ends up weakening the essence of the argument in the first place. But in the interests of keeping this post zippy, zappy and punchy I am going to play the race card:

Would it be okay for AFC to say "That has happened to me soooo many times. It's something to do with logging in campus, or whatever. Bleh. Go see Black Guy another day"?

And in response to my card playing, I think the answer might be no. And I don't really want to compare the legacy of slavery and racial oppression to a fat joke on the Internet, but the words do make for an interesting comparison. And often, sizeism is more than a fat joke. Kate Harding has written an article here about anti-fat hate crimes. And I know that race is a construct. And I know that a lot of people get their knickers in a twist when sizeism is compared to racism, because obviously every fat person in the world has chosen to be fat and if they just put in a little bit more effort into not being so lazy they wouldn't be such a drain on the health system. (Which is a fucking stupid argument by the way, if you exist you are inherently a drain on the system. We all pay tax and that is what society is, we are all just leeching off each other and if you expect to shit in a pipe and have it flushed away or to be able to catch a bus ever you can't complain about somebody HYPOTHETICALLY needing more medical care than you.) And I know that nobody in any kind of official position can decide whether sizeism is hate speech yet, and Jezebel wrote a kind of interesting article about it the other day. (An article which, by the by, I had to read ON MY OWN TIME, when I wasn't even getting paid, thanks a lot to my corporate office censorship lifestyle.) But the answer to the race card is no, it wouldn't be okay to be so blatantly racist, but it is totally okay to be hell for leather sizeist. Why couldn't AFC just have told the Facebook-User-Who-Has-Problems-With-Uni-Computers to go and see Smug Asshole Guy another day? Shouldn't being a total and complete dickwad be a bigger insult than being reminded of your own body shape?

(And to the Facebook-User-Who-Has-Problems-With-Uni-Computers, I am impressed that you didn't take the easy fat joke bait, but maybe if you ever want someone to actually put your dick in their mouth, you should possibly stop using it as put down. Maybe My.Victoria actually truly wants to eat all the dicks? Bodies, they're anatomy, not an insult. And this post, it might be punchy, but I guess it's not so short after all.)


  1. I Agree. It is terrible that your employer is preventing you from shopping at work. What do they expect you to do, work?

  2. Um, okay. Are you the fun police?
    Why don't they block every single shopping site then?