Lately I've noticed a theme doing the rounds in – ergh, I'm going to use the word – the fatosphere. The theme concerns the drawing of lines. There's a line, some people say, between Them and Us. Once you cross the line, you become one of Them. If you try to lose weight intentionally, or if you have weight loss surgery, you become Them. If you talk about it, you become Them, it doesn't matter how sterling your fat lib credentials
I've seen other social justice movements founder because of factionalism and it's depressing to see the same things going on in fat liberation. A feminist movement that won't accede membership to women who do sex work, or lesbians who refuse to accept the humanity of their transgender sisters are on the same trajectory as fat libbers who, for example, shut down people who present opportunities to talk about the complexities of choosing weight loss surgery because it's just too painful or awkward to process.
I am coming to realise that I am really not interested in being part of an exclusive movement of politically pure people who observe and enforce the rules. I don't think lines and barriers are very helpful in trying to create a diverse movement and I don't appreciate the resentful silences that are being created on either side. If there's a bad fit between theory and life that degrades and is excluding otherwise excellent people, perhaps the original doctrine is faulty.
I like grey areas because they remind me that dogma might sound appealing but that it is not really human. I like the messiness of humans, that we don't fit neatly into theoretical ideals, that there's always someone who doesn't fit. I think those awkward buggers who don't fit (and keep going on about it to those who do) are the ones to learn from. Shutting them out is plain stupid.