It’s About Human Decency

There are many things about the world I cannot understand and hate is one of them.

Over the past few weeks, report after report has rolled in of gay teens and young adults committing suicide due to bullying at school or in their community. It’s something that makes me so sad, so angry and upset, that it’s hard for me to write this post. How, tell me, can someone bully a person so persistently, so viciously, that that person feels they cannot live in this world any longer? How can someone commit themselves so fully to hating a person that it drives their target to take their own life? How could anyone ever think they have the right to treat another human being that way?

I don’t care what you believe. You could think that homosexuality is a choice, that the “gay lifestyle” will corrupt our world. You could think that all gay people are sinners, aliens, crazy people. I don’t care what you think or how crazy your opinions are.

Surely, we can all get behind human decency. I’m certain we all agree that treating people with respect, no matter what the situation, is important.

The problem is that I’m not seeing that. I don’t see that in the world, in the news media, in the way people treat others on TV, in classes, in their everyday interaction. Something has happened to our ability to be respectful. We have forgotten the golden rule: treat others as you want to be treated. We have forgotten it, and children are dying.

We’ve all been victims of taunting and name-calling. Whether it’s someone calling us fat, ugly, too tall, whether it’s someone deriding our religious beliefs or political affiliation, whether it’s someone bullying us for our race, gender, sexual preference, we’ve all dealt with it on some level. We all know how it feels. Most of us have probably participated in it at some point in our lives. It’s a part of life. One group gets picked on. That group picks on another group so they can feel superior. The chain continues down, trickles down the line, until someone gets told too many times they’re not worth it. They shouldn’t be alive. And so, they go home and hang themselves. They find a gun and shoot themselves. The taunting turns to something sinister. The taunting takes a life.

It’s easy to forget that pain. It’s easy for us to forget how our words can hurt others. It’s simple to think of it as “just a joke” or something that you “didn’t mean.” But we all have a breaking point. These people were broken one too many times.

It comes down to human decency. This should be our wake up call. Think about how we treat each other and how we treat ourselves. Every life is worth it.

I was teaching some sixth graders yesterday, and they were being particularly loud. I had to ask them numerous times to quiet down. I had just reached my breaking point when the program director walked in and started yelling at the kids.

“When the teacher is talking, you don’t talk! She has had to ask you so many times to be quiet! It takes one word for a human to understand! She should only have to say one word and you should be quiet. You’ve stopped being human right now. You’ve stopped being human!

It was a lesson in respect, and it struck a chord with me. We’ve stopped being human. It takes one word for a human to understand that they need to be respectful. It took us five lives.

Let this be our wake-up call.

Let us remember how to be decent.

Fat Stats

Today was a day full of lots of Fat stuff for me. To start, I went downtown with Lisa earlier today to do the street interviews for my personal essay. Audio issues aside, it was verrrrry interesting. But more will come on that tomorrow. I also had “Group” today, for the first time since last year. By “Group” I mean the overweight women group I attend at the Counseling Center every week. We all get around and gab about fat issues and life as an overweight woman. It was great. I also had poetry, with my big FAT collection, as I’ve taken to calling it. So there it is, as well. Those poems will be up after I’m satisfied with them…

Today was also extremely busy, but I have an article I want to talk about.

I found this article this morning, and found it deeply disturbing. Though the author is making the point I think needs to be made, the statistics in the article make me deeeeply sad.

A group of women who had previously been obese and lost weight were asked if they would prefer to be obese again or to go blind. Alarmingly, 89 percent stated they would rather be blind than gain back the weight they had lost, and 91 percent of this group said they would rather lose a limb than be heavy again.

Does that make anyone else extremely angry? Go without one of your senses? Or gain some weight? Alarmingly, people would rather live without ever seeing their child walk, the sunset, their brother’s wedding, etc. than be fat. I think we need a little bit of perspective here. Sadly, all the thincentricity is making people BLIND in a completely different way.

Next, lets talk about fat employees, who are paid “12 percent less” than thin employees.

Employers and co-workers described obese employees as “lazy, less competent, less productive and emotionally unstable.” Physicians and nurses said that obese patients were “dishonest, noncompliant, lazy and lacking self-control.”

To this, my friend Jamie commented to me after I sent her the story, “You know what’s really scary? How much the things people said about their ‘obese’ coworkers sounded EXACTLY like things people said (and, frighteningly still do say) about black people until it was made illegal.” Sound scary familiar? And too true to bear? Look at this:

Mental health professionals were given two nearly identical patient profiles except one of the two patients was labeled obese. These providers diagnosed the obese client with more psychological problems and predicted a poor outcome with treatment.

And this:

Children ages 3-11 were shown photos of a child with a facial disfigurement, a child in a wheelchair, a child with an amputated limb and an overweight child. They ranked the overweight child as the least desirable playmate.

How deep-rooted is this evil? I firstly can’t even believe they conducted that experiment, but since its done and overwhelmingly anti-fat, can’t we see that we are brainwashing our kids! As young as age THREE they are picking on the fat child. How utterly depressing. I can see the ghost of eating-disorders-to-come.

All in all, its the same old weightism making the same point. It makes me want to cry. Utterly and completely breakdown and yell at the world.

But, my dears, that is what this blog is for. Lets all yell our anger to the hilltops on three. One…two…threee!

Talking Back Around all those Big Macs in my Pie Hole

My mom keeps me updated, it seems, as she sent me this HuffPost article by John Ridley talking about how “weightism” doesn’t exist.

Ummm….just because you don’t like fat people doesn’t mean we deserve to be discriminated against, buddy. All your arguments are either unsupported by fact, or extremely presumptuous and pretentious.

Sorry, but it’s a little…no, actually it’s a whole lot insulting to equate girth with race, gender, age or sexual orientation; aspects of ourselves with which we were born and over which…we have no control.

I can’t change my race or my gender. Despite my best efforts and millions of dollars spent trying to locate the fountain of youth, I just keep getting older. Yet, same as millions of Americans I can moderate the number of Big Macs I shove in my pie-hole.

But in the Everybody-Give-Me-A-Hug victim culture in which we live, the obese want a spot at the table along with those who face discrimination based on the way that God or Nature or our Intelligent Designer created us.

Yes, because you know me. I’m sitting here, my currently vegetarian self, shoving all those Big Macs into my pie-hole, getting fatter and fatter and “making you pay for it.” You wanna know what I think? I think that our “Give-Me-A-Hug victim culture” is teaching you to see any outcry against the violation of rights as someone calling wolf. You are trying to delegitimize our struggle, saying it’s not real, no one should consider it discrimination. Well frankly I think you just proved that’s exactly what it is with your stereotypical comments about how I’m shoving my pie hole full of Big Macs. If that’s not obvious discrimination based on my size, I don’t know what is.

So why don’t you shove your pie hole full of Big Macs and shut the hell up.