Judge Says it was only a “Million Fat Women” Marching: Body Shaming as a Means of Social Control
Soon after the Women’s March on January 21, 2017, Bailey Moseley from Texarkana, Texas, an East Texas Circuit Judge, posted on Facebook that “Trump managed to achieve something that no one else has been able to do: he got a million fat women out walking.” He later deleted the comment but when a reader called him out, he replied with, “It was likely a mistake to delete it. I think the march of last Saturday was nothing more than a hissy fit with no defined purpose.”
Dear Judge Moseley, your comments strike at the heart
of the Women’s March purpose.
Although women have made significant progress in moving toward greater equality, the United States is not in any way equal. From wage gaps to a lack of paid maternity leave, the men who control the government and corporations have ensured that women are second class citizens, throwing them just enough in the way of opportunity to make it feel like change was occurring — at least up until Monday when Donald Trump showed the world that he, and the men around him in office, have declared war on woman’s rights, and social justice in general.
There are two different issues at play with Judge Moseley’s comments.
First, he sought to control women by body-shaming them. If he, and other men, shame women’s bodies, he believes that he can stop them from being politically active. Second, he wants to see the march as an isolated event that only involved a “certain” kind of woman — the kind that is spoiled and inclined to throw “hissy fits.”
In effect his comments are meant to rally not only men but also women who do not want to be associated with “fat” or “hysterical” women.
Body shaming has a long history and is used by both sexes as a means of social or personal control. Stigmatizing activist women as “fat” in a society that has no tolerance for being overweight, is an easy way to stop a movement cold.
As is labeling a group based on some kind of pseudo-psychology. When Moseley claimed that these were women who would throw “hissy fits,” he struck at a woman’s ability to be professional or objective. Any woman who reacts with emotion is labeled psychotic or hysterical, a state of mind from which rational women want to distance themselves.
Both of Moseley’s tactics are tried and true forms of social control.
Society must recognize these comments for what they are — insecure men attempting to maintain their power base. Men who are secure do not use body or psychological shaming as a means of control.
But these shaming tactics will not work. Women do have a defined purpose for marching and continuing to protest an administration that not only seeks to degrade and deprive women of their basic rights but also the LGBQT community, people of color, and non-WASP males.
Dear Judge Moseley, we are Democrats. We are Republicans. We are fat. We are thin. We are tall. We are short. We are black. And brown. And white. We have blonde hair or red hair or no hair at all. We are female. We are male. We are transgendered or claim no gender identity. We walk or are pushed in wheelchairs or strollers.
And just in case you are still confused about our purpose, we march because love trumps hate.
You can learn more about the author at www.kellydmcmichael.com or the 12 Months 12 Diets Project at www.12months12diets.com