Yet another blog for spewing. This one may end up with a lot of religious and social content.

2012-07-22

Pagans and Fat Shaming

A Wiccan BNP and Blogger named Peter Dybing went there (A Pagan Taboo, Obesity), complete with masking it as "concern" for the health of his fellow pagans, including crocodile tears for those who were *gasp* fat when they died, but then proceeded to say 'Do you know?' and quote some sketchy statistics that have only marginal peer review, starting with the phony "Obesity is the #2 cause of preventable death in the United States". First, obesity isn't the cause of death - it's often the side effect of the real killers - heart disease, stroke, hormonal imbalance due to excess medication and contaminated food supplies, etc. Second, it's a fancy way of saying "All you fatties gonna die!!1!!"

I saw red. The comments were even worse, in their own way, as he dug his hole deeper. Sneering at people who were heavy and had to walk with canes - never think ing that the reason they are heavy is *because* they have to use a cane.

The greatest causes of weight gain in our society are stress, sedentary occupations, prepared food loaded with HFCS and medication side effects. Not one of those things involves sloth or not caring about your weight health.

The skinny say "Oh, eat less, exercise, join a gym", not caring that gym memberships are often hundreds of dollars a month, outside the reach of many of the vanishing middle class, and not friendly to the disabled, for the most part. (I'm not going to take some bouncy, able-bodied, never been fat, youth seriously when they talk about aerobic excercise.)

Paganism was one of the few places where fat shaming was taboo. Now this athletic, jocky BNP wants to go there. OK, lets talk about fat, which is what your couching of it in the medical perjorative "obese" means.

I'll even raise your grief points by one:

I had a roommate who died while obese. She didn't die of fat. She died of medical neglect. They kept pushing off all her problems with "exercise, eat less, lose weight, it'll fix your problems." She ate significantly less than I do, but was mobility impaired, severely depressed, had been on a whole raft of medications for misdiagnosed conditions that screwed up her metabolism, had chronic migraines, and had severe food and drug allergies. She died of a heart condition that had been presenting primarily as migraine, just a "drug seeking hypochondriac woman" type thing. She finally got a bit of medical attention when she had a severe heart attack in a different doctor's office. The fat didn't kill her, the doctors that assumed for at least ten or more years that the fat was the root of her problem, and that her not magically losing the weight absolved them of looking any deeper, were what killed her. She was 39.

So, yes, fat shaming, and fat blaming, kills people.

Then there are the self-righteous vegans - you know the ones - that join orgs like PETA and actually care more for food animals than people. They of course jump on the fat shaming bandwagon, even though I have known some pretty fat veggies. I read an interesting article on how many people who get sucked in this cult are severely malnourished, and eventually have to go back to eating meat, including many of the leading veggie book authors. Unfortunately, the western biosystem has to have some meat, fish and eggs type proteins. Even the "Eastern" diets have a small amount from food contaminants like insects. But don't confuse an evangelical vegan with the facts - they believe.

Are there unhealthy pagans? Well, yes, since most pagans abjure money making occupations and thus can't afford the more expensive organic, non-GMO, non-soy, non-HFCS food. I know my food bill went up when I started buying healthier alternatives because the regular stuff was making me sick. Still some of the most expensive food in the grocery store are packaged meals marketed to the weight concious: "lean cuisine, healthy choice", etc.

Now you know part of why I call it a racket: The ones who sell you the food are in league with the people who make money off of the diet and exercise business. It's like a drug dealer who owns a rehab clinic.

Now, you might ask, what does all this have to do with paganism?

Well, the implication is that if you can't control your weight, or have *gasp* disordered eating or other psychological issues arising from fatness, you don't "know yourself" and thus can't be a good, proper, together or whole magician. If you can't "control your fatness health", you can't "control your magic". That's bullshit, but the skinnies and able bodied believe it - it helps them assure themselves that they are "Doing It Right™". Would they say the same "self control" BS to a person who had PTSD from rape or war? Do they think that fat shaming and the relentless pushing of diets can't cause PTSD?

You see, knowing yourself and self control are not the same as conformity to the norm, and denial of your past and what has shaped you. Everyone has to pick their battles, even fat folks. The struggle for true self knowldege is lifelong, you don't have all your shit together for once and for all. So you chose - what things that I don't like about my self and life do I want to work on first?

Do I chose the thing that prevents me from conforming to an external standard of beauty and "fitness", or do I work on things that are more important, like fears and emotions, that make living in my own skin uncomfortable without society's help? The fat thing is waaaay far down on my list, because it's an externally driven conformist push, and I chose to resist being pressured to conform like that. I don't want to be just like everyone else. If I did, I'd go be a Baptist again.

So what do you think fat shaming does with me, or many other pagans? Does it make us conform to your wishes? Do you manage to convert us to the cult of the thin, or of the vegan? Not by your false "concerns" and handwringing recitation of dubious statistics. I have to fight against my baser instincts not to grab a fatty, greasy bacon cheeseburger and a bag of candy whenever I have to deal with that type of people, and enjoy it in front of them. (I do fight it, because the fat levels in that food trigger my IBS.)

But that's my quirk. The fact is, fat shaming is not useful, or constructive. citing dire "statistics" from diet industry studies is no more going to make us "see the light" than quoting the Christian Bible at us will make us Christian. So kindly take your diet evangelism, and stick it where the sun doesn't shine, please.

Or, better yet, eat it yourself.

3 comments:

estetik said...

When someone writes an article he/she keeps the thought of a user in his/her mind that how a user can be aware of it.
Estetik

Yüz Germe said...

i definitely bookmark your post and will give links to my friends as we all are a great lovers of blogs and always ready to read interesting and informative blogs.
Yüz Germe

Jennifer Wright said...

My name is Jennifer Wright and I run PaganPagesOrg Emagazine (http://www.paganpages.org). We are a free monthly, non profit, epublication on Witchcraft, Magick, Paganism in all it's forms.
I came across your blog and was wondering, if you would like, or had the time, if you would like a column in our publication. We have been out for over 6 years now. If you go into our archives section you will see, on the bottom of our page, issues going back around 6 years. We have interviewed and reviewed many well known Pagans.

If this is something that interests you, please let me know.

Much Love,
Jenn
PaganPages.org