Trigger warning: Maria Kang is still an asshole.
The last month or so I’ve been completely immersed in writing the sequel to my novel Viral Nation. It’s called Rebel Nation, and it was the hardest, scariest story I’ve ever told. I dug deeper for this one than I ever have before. I had the added pressures of having already sold it, a publisher that’s expecting it on deadline, and people I don’t know waiting for it.
A few days ago I looked up from my self-imposed sequester, and saw that my Facebook feed was full of stories and comments about a woman named Maria Kang who was banned from Facebook for a few hours for posting comments about fat people that Facebook recognized as hate speech.
I have a couple of things to say about this.
Note: this was part of a post I made about PETA over a year ago, but since the awful organization has again been in the news, it is updated.
Seems like everyone is talking about PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) lately. As a Pagan, I dislike them a lot. As a feminist, I really dislike them. Why? For several reason, actually.
Well, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has done it again. If you haven’t heard yet (and I think you probably have), there’s been quite the kerfuffle over Plan B (the morning after pill). Basically, it doesn’t work for a large number of woman. More precisely it doesn’t work on women over 165lbs and, in the US at least, that means half of all women.
With the US refusing to change the labeling to warn women about this issue, well, there’s a whole lot to be pissed about. Reproductive rights are nothing to mess around with.
And then there’s PETA.
Trigger warning: Discussion of holiday parties with relatives who want you to not be so fat.
There is still time to cram for the upcoming exam! What, you are not in school you say? You gave up cramming for tests back in high school?
I am talking about the annual pop quiz that may be in store for many of us as we enter the holiday season, an approximately month-long stretch that is ripe with FFFFamily occasions. Not Fierce Freethinking Fatties Family (although all of us here at FFF invite all of you in our FFF community to join us every day by reading and commenting on our blog posts). I am referring to the Family, Food, and Fatphobic time of the year. Next to summer, the winter holiday season is The Most Fatphobic Time of the Year!
I saw a commercial on television the other night that shared a recipe using Pillsbury Grands Biscuits to make mini pot pies. You’ll need a muffin/cupcake tin, chunks of chicken (about 1 lb, diced and cooked), 1 can of cream of chicken soup (or any cream soup you prefer), and some mixed vegetables (a cup of those should do it), and 12 Grands Biscuits. You could substitute diced beef or pork roast for the chicken, broccoli and or cauliflower for the mixed veggies, etc. The variations and possibilities depend on your tastes and imagination.
Trigger warning: This post includes discussions of research surrounding weight and health.
Over the past few weeks there have been a flurry of articles on the death of “healthy obesity,” also known as fat and fit. For example, in early November Time published the results of a Danish study that that analyzed the data of over 77,000 individuals who took part in the Copenhagen General Population Study. Between 2003 and 2011, subjects were examined and researchers collected detailed information about BMI, waist measurement, blood pressure and whether the subject had metabolic syndrome, a cluster of symptoms that indicates the presence of insulin resistance (for more information, check out this post on the man who discovered metabolic syndrome). Since first coming across the study I’ve been planning to comment on it.
Then, two days ago I received an email from a local television reporter who had previously interviewed me about Health at Every Size® (HAES) asking my opinion on the research disproving fat and fit. I assumed he was referring to the Danish study, but when I clicked the link to the NBC News story I was caught off guard when I saw he was referring to a new study coming out of Canada.
Suddenly, I’m seeing articles everywhere declaring HAES dead and “proving” that fat people can’t be fit, no matter what the fatties say. Those articles spread like wildfire on reddit: there’s the /r/science subreddit post that took off with “told ya so” glee, seven links to a BBC article, three links to an article in the Toronto Star, two links to the CBC, and two links to a new Time article about this latest study titled “You Can’t Be Fat and Fit.” I could only find two links that actually direct readers to an actual study.
I decided to jump in the fray over at the /r/science subreddit by responding to this comment and explaining that his explanation of HAES was flawed. You can follow the thread I started here (as I was downvoted out of existence from the comment). Now, something interesting happened at this same time as I began responding to the Danish study on reddit: I got shadow-banned.