25 September 2009

How to cope with a fatphobic Facebook friend

Here's something you can use when one of your Facebook (or other online social network) Friends posts something fatphobic that gets on your tits. Responding to such posts can often feel risky. Perhaps having something like this can help us feel more brave in speaking out about things that offend us, especially when it's said by someone who's supposed to be a friend. Feel free to cut and paste it to your own Notes, edit it if you want to, and pass it on as a resource for other people to use when writing Comments.

Dear Facebook Friend,

I noticed that you posted something about fat people and I need to tell you that what you posted is not okay with me, in fact I feel insulted by it.

It may be that you are not aware that what you posted might be construed as offensive. Perhaps to you it is interesting, funny, strange, sad, silly, disgusting, or something else. You might be surprised that we could see the same thing so differently.

It would be great if you could take a moment to try and imagine what it might be like for me when I read your post. Maybe bear this in mind when you're thinking of posting things in the future. Even better would be if we could talk about our differences of opinion, and try and work out a way of getting on together without offending each other.

Thanks for reading,

Your Friend


Anonymous said...

You would not believe how often this happens. I tend to just block them or delete them from my friends list. People who dont like my body (or other fat bodies, which kinda feels like the same thing) arent really worth having in your life. Anyway, big hugs, sorry someone fucked you off. Kate

Lesterlynn said...

Thanks for addressing this. A Facebook "friend" of mine did this a few months ago and I quickly "unfriended" her because I was so upset. Looking back, my knee-jerk reaction didn't do anything to educate her about fatphobia or my reasons for being offended. Thank you for letting me know how I can handle these things in the future.

Charlotte Cooper said...

Oh Kate, no-one fucked me off. But someone fucked off someone else I know.

rachelpinklovesunicorns said...

I had this happen and it was someone from high school who I hadn't seen in ages. . . made a comment about someone he hated hoping that they would get fat and be miserable. I happily deleted him and then I posted about it so everyone else would know not to act like a jerk too. So far, so good.

Charlotte Cooper said...

No problem Lester. I think Hiding or unfriending or whatever other strategy you have is perfectly acceptable too.

Anonymous said...

Something like this happened to me a couple of days ago. I quickly hid that person's updates from my page and have been happy ever since. :D