I need a bigger spoon

Sometimes, talking about fat acceptance feels like I’m trying to empty out Lake Michigan with a teaspoon.  I really need a bigger spoon.

Sometimes, I can see where I’ve given people something to think.  It helps to know my audience.  Recently, in an internet debate about whether fat is bad or not, somebody said something to the effect of “everybody knows fat is bad.”  Knowing my audience, I was able to retort with “Everybody knows all gays are wrong and that you have to keep your children away from them!”  It made somebody think.

The incidences of people thinking is so much lower than the incidences of people being ignorant and just wanting to stay in their ignorance.  One person in this debate (a troll, and I gave him all the attention he deserved) stated that all fat people should be put into an Escape from New York type of environment.  Granted he was a troll, but nobody engaging him said anything was wrong with that idea.  Another person basically said that deporting all fat people to a specific island would be bad, as the island would sink and it would kill all the animals and plants on the island.

For the record, I rated her attempt at humor at a -5.

The thing that gets to me is people can sit there, make statements like that, see other people make statements like that, not say anything to the others about the sheer atrociousness of the statements, yet say that I’m engaging in hyperbole when I call a spade a spade.  Or in this case, I use the words “fat hatred”.

People can say it’s okay to kill all fat people, and that’s not considered hatred?  Then what is, pray tell? 

The other thing that’s getting to me is when people liberally use the word “you” in their arguments, saying things like “you are lazy, slothful, gluttonous” and then say that it’s the people (read me) who are taking it personally.  When she was responding to me, to specific arguments I made, and using the word “you” all the time … Ummm, how is that NOT personal.  When I called her on it, she said, “oh, no, I didn’t mean that!  I was including myself in that too!”  Umm, no.

See, people who are including themselves in arguements will say something to the order of “people, myself included, are generally lazy, slothful, gluttonous”.  Not “you are lazy, slothful, gluttonous.”

I know, I know, I really shouldn’t keep going back there.  But if I don’t, who will?  No, really, the threads that get started about fat like this are usually populated by people talking about the death fat as if it’s real.  They talk about the obesity epipanic as if it was real, and how fat people are ruining everything, costing them money, etc, as if it was real.  There’s nobody who is saying the opposite view.

So, I’m doing it.  I even might get somebody to think about something.

But I definitely need a bigger spoon.

8 Responses

  1. Do you read Shakesville? If not, you should. It’s all about teaspoons! In a good way.

  2. Kudos.

    A Sarah’s inventing songs on the Douchhound thread today, that might lighten your mood for a minute. Vacations are good things!

  3. Full marks for tenacity. You’re well aware that the people with whom you wer grappling were in the grip of that same fatal human impulse which tempts us to become White supremacists, or kill homosexuals, Jews, or infidels.

    As long as we can feel superior to someone, we don’t have to face our own insecurities and self-hatred. To this extent your strugle may have been a vain one – certainly extremely uphill – but, as you say, making just one person think is worth it, and I aplaud you for trying; what else can we do? Thank you for doing it.

  4. You are showing great courage & more patience than I possess to constantly engage these idiots. We ALL need a bigger spoon, as well as more strength & often the ability to sometimes organize our thoughts better, express ourselves more clearly, & occasionally, even when we pretty much know what we are talking about, we need to get our feet out of our mouths…speaking specifically for myself. I have been at this for 30 years now, & I am generally pretty articulate & well-informed, but sometimes in my own passion, I speak without thinking it through or researching it enough or I do what I KNOW is wrong & quote an opinion from someone else without taking the time to learn more & form my own opinion. Doing so can weaken the effect of the good, wise, true things I have to say. So I too need a bigger spoon, as well as sometimes the ability to control my impulses & put my spoon to better use.

    And sometimes, frankly, we need to understand & accept that what we are doing at a particular time & in a particular situation is as pointless as trying to bail with a teacup on the Titanic & that we are not really going to make much progress with these people, so for our own sanity & well-being, we need to move on & leave them to their hatred & their delusions. However, no one but you can know when & where you reach that point.

  5. A friend of my brother’s used to say that ‘sometimes you have to call a spade a f!%$ing shovel.’ I do believe he was onto something.

    That said, even teaspoons – inadequate though they are – have their purpose. It only takes one person paying attention to one thing you say to make a tiny difference. As long as a whole lot of us are brandishing our teaspoons, we do make a difference for the better. At some point, there will be a big difference, which we will have made with our tiny, inadequate teaspoons.

    It gets discouraging along the way, but it’s worth the effort in the end. Individually, our teaspoons don’t do much, but in concert, they are mighty.

  6. I think we need MORE spoons! I try to help, but my spoon is a baby one at this point. I am not that quick or witty. I come up with my best lines when I am yelling them at the TV, which doesn’t do any real people much good. But I’m trying. Someday I will graduate to a teaspoon, then a tablespoon, and then maybe a ladle after that! 🙂

  7. Don’t you see, It was a joke! It wasn’t serious f’r crying out loud, it was a JOKE!

    Yes, it’s ALWAYS a joke. I once worked with an asshat who was constantly saying the most offensive things imaginable to, pretty much, everyone he spoke to. The way he’d ‘get away’ with this is by tacking on a loud laugh and wink at whomever might be offended by his spouting off. He would ALWAYS make sure to let them know it was ‘only a joke’. Problem was, it wasn’t. Ever.

    The man was an anti-Semite, a racist, a misogynist, and an all-around-jackass. But it all came out in his parting rant when he was eventually fired for DL’ing porn from the net. Most of the office heard the rant. Nobody heard a laugh or saw a wink so it’s probably safe to say that he wasn’t joking then and probably never had been.

    This is why fat jokes, themselves, aren’t funny. Because it’s ALWAYS a joke. Until it isn’t.

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