The #Resistance Has a Big Fat Problem

Even Ann Coulter knows that “without fat girls, there would be no protests”.

Photo by Micheile Henderson on Unsplash

I’ve been a left-leaning, bleeding heart, mostly communist, protestin’ hippie my entire life. Just as long as I’ve been fat. I used to feel safe with others with the same political leanings, and at protests and events. I believe in equality, and justice, and free education and health care for all, abortions for anyone who wants or needs one, I give money and time to charity regularly. I make signs, I march, I yell, I chant. I consider myself a part of the resistance, and even the #resistance, but I know that’s a one-sided belief. Unfortunately, I had to give up on the idea that those who lean left are definitely good people a long time ago.

@TeaPainUSA on Twitter

To many, posts like this seem innocuous. “It's just a joke! They voted for trump! They deserve ridicule!” But when I saw it, I saw myself through the eyes of my fellow comrades and lefties. I saw evidence that going out in public, whether it’s to a fair or a protest, opens me up to ridicule from the people I’m fighting alongside. I saw evidence that serious illnesses like diabetes and disabled people are fair game as long as they look like they might have voted for trump. Is it the American flag hat? The overalls? The lack of obvious wealth? Let’s be real.

This attitude isn’t new, or rare, it’s old and commonplace. The same people who fight for the rights of disenfranchised people, who lobby for free health care-for-all, who believe we all have a right to make choices about our bodies unapologetically in the case of abortion, still think it’s ok to make fun of the fat and disabled. It’s old news, but it stings anew every time.

If I hadn’t checked it out myself, I would have thought these comments came from right-wing pundits just looking to insult someone low on the totem pole. Look, I could sit here and lob all sorts of new medical research at you that proves that being fat is not some “lifestyle choice”, or that we literally do not have conclusive proof that fatness causes Type 2 Diabetes, and that fat-shaming is causing people to avoid doctors completely (even those with insurance!) — but I know that it’s not that this information isn’t available, it’s that the left doesn’t want it. Fatness is the last acceptable prejudice in social justice circles, and it’s driving people (or voters, if that means more to you) away.

The Fat Acceptance Movement has existed since the 1960s and since then fat activists have fought for the rights of women, the disabled, people of colour, the LGBTQ+ community, and the rights for all of us to access health care. There are fat people working in charitable and social justice organizations all over North America. They’re marching next to you at every rally and protest, not to mention sharing your links and websites and content, even knowing where they stand. Fat activists have been fighting for the rights of all people alongside activists who refuse to even treat fat people with respect.

Even ann coulter, a low-level demon from the 4th circle, knows how valuable fat people are to the resistance — so why do we have to keep saying it? And why are our fellow activists, who claim to be fighting for our rights, fighting so hard to keep fat prejudice alive?

@yrfatfriend on twitter