06 February 2011

What I'm really thinking: a fat activist

I saw this sorry pile of crap in the paper yesterday and, instead of screaming the house down with frustration at The Guardian's continual abjection of 'the obese', I felt inspired to write my own piece. Ooh look, two paradigms of fat embodiment illustrated right here in front of your very eyes! Which one will you choose? What else is out there?

What I'm really thinking


I'm wondering if you're going to say something offensive, banal or ignorant about me and people like me that will put me in a position where I will have no choice but to fuck you up.

If you are normatively-embodied, I'm checking you out for signs of a terror of ever becoming or being anything like me. I can see this in you no matter how much you try to hide it. I also read every patronising thought that crosses your brain, your attempts to deny them, and your belief that you are a better person than me because your clothes are smaller than mine. I see your classism, sexism, homophobia, racism and anxiety about age, embodiment and disability too, and wonder why you invest in these hateful ways of seeing the world. Do you think I'm pitiful and deluded? You are more so, you twat.

If you are not normatively-embodied, I'm thinking about how we might be friends and allies to each other. And if, by a miracle, you turn out not to be a fatphobe, I'll be considering inviting you out to play.

Most of the time I'll be thinking about freedom, how to live a good life, how to attack oppressive systems, including the fear and hatred of fat people and the way that that intersects with other ways of being. I'll be wrestling with ethical questions about peace and violence. I will be thinking about how I can disrupt and diminish people and organisations that have financial and ideological stakeholdings in fatphobia, including the abject medicalisation of 'the obese', and desire to control and prevent obesity. I'll be thinking about mobilising collectives, about the resources upon which I can draw, and about possibilities for collaborations and coalitions.

I'm thinking about fun, love, sex, money, death, survival, work, beauty, in more or less that order. I'm thinking about the impact of oppression and activism on my life, my body. I'm feeling glad of my flesh and unique embodiment. I'm taking strength and inspiration from the fat activists who came before me, especially the dykes, the brilliant communities to which I currently belong, and those to whom I am passing on the flame.

In the words of state murdered Black Panther and revolutionary Fred Hampton, as a fat activist what I'm really thinking is: "Up against the wall, motherfucker! I have come for what is ours."


Dee said...

I love yours, but the one from the paper is actually not as bad as I'd have expected.

BuffPuff said...

Brilliantly said. I bet they'll never have the gumption to publish it (unless they decide to throw you to the lions in Comment Is Free - that seems to be the Guardian's designated area for uppity fats.

Jennifer said...

What pisses me off most about the one from the paper is the title and author: "What I'm Really Thinking" by The Obese Woman, as though this article confesses the secret thoughts of every obese woman out there, when, in fact, it just reinforces the assumptions that most people seem to have about the way in which fat women regard themselves. I would find your article much more of a surprise and revelation than the "secret" "thoughts" revealed by this Obese Woman.