Why Do I Have to Keep Saying This?

Published April 28, 2013 by Fat Heffalump

It drives me nuts that I have to keep saying this over and over and over because people are so insensitive.


I’m not sure why people think this is an acceptable thing to do to someone, anyone!

  1. It’s douchey – why would you link a fat person to fat hatred – I mean do you send other people unsolicited links about abuse and intolerance?
  2. Do you really think that I don’t know that fat hatred exists in the world and I need it brought to my attention?
  3. Do you REALLY think that I need to have every single horrible article brought to my attention?
  4. Have you ever thought that it might be a more considerate thing to do to send me links to fat positive material?
  5. What do you want me to do with it?  Am I supposed to be outraged?  Am I supposed to give critique?  What do you think my reaction is going to be?  Isn’t it a given that I’m going to find it horrible and upsetting, just like you did?  So why would you send me that shit?
  6. Have you ever thought that perhaps, if I actually wanted to read about fat hatred, that I am quite capable of finding it myself?

But most importantly:

Have you given ONE moment of thought how having horribly triggering material, full of loathing for fat people might make ME feel, as a fat person?

Just because someone is a fat activist and is talking on their blog or twitter or Tumblr or whatever about fat hatred, doesn’t mean that they’re there for you to just send triggering, horrible material to them without their consent.  Don’t take their right to decide when they want to engage away from them.  Don’t expect them to perform, or emote when you click your fingers and shove something shitty in their face.

I give you the option of not following me so that you can opt out of things  that I post to a general audience that are upsetting and triggering, give me the same respect by not directly targeting me with content that I never asked to see.  I don’t send you articles about fat hate directly to your inbox and say “I found this so upsetting/triggering/enraging/saddening!”  Ok, so you were upset about it… now  you want me to be upset too??  How is that ever OK?

Don’t be a dick.  Think about how that might affect a person.  If you want to draw people’s attention to it, post it on your own damn blog.  If I want to seek it out, I will.  YOU talk about it, don’t use me as your rent-an-activist to give sympathy or outrage at something I never asked for in the first place.

If you ever bothered to take notice, I NEVER post articles or content that is about fat hatred.  I post either fat positivity or I speak up against fat hatred – I don’t signal boost the actual horrible stuff itself.  I never even link to it on my own blog!

Seriously, it’s like handing someone a steaming turd and saying “Look at this stinky gross thing, how gross is it?!  Oh look now you’ve got some on you!” and then wondering why they get angry that you’ve shoved that shit in their face.

Don’t treat me like that.  In fact, don’t treat anyone like that.  Don’t send people stuff about fat hatred unless they specifically ask for it.  Have some consideration.

15 comments on “Why Do I Have to Keep Saying This?

  • Yes!! This made me nuts! As if I couldn’t find enough fat-hating articles/posts/comments on my own people felt compelled to send MORE along with the unspoken, “DANCE, blog monkey! Rant at this for my amusement!” Baffling. On the Fat Positive side: did you know there’s such a thing as the Fat Positive Manatee? (http://fatpositivemanatee.tumblr.com/) My morning is consumed….

  • I’m new here…just found you today. Yay!

    Thank you for sharing this post. You would think it would be common sense to NOT send the fat-shaming, fat-hating negative shit, but no… If you’re a fat activist of any kind, that means you’re more than aware of the fat-hating, fat-shaming information in the world. That’s part of why people become fat activists – to fight that. If you’re a fat person, then you’re aware of it and have probably been a victim of it. You don’t need to read more about it, unless you want to. We need more of the fat-positive in the world because we all know there’s more than enough of the negative.

    ~ Layla

    • Yeah I don’t get it. Would they go up to a fat person at a party and say “So, have you seen this article saying that people like you are hated and reviled?” Why do you need to wave that in people’s faces? Surprisingly, we fat activists are people too.

      • I’ve noticed that a lot of people will say things over the web that they wouldn’t to our faces. It’s so easy to hide behind the anonymity of the internet.

  • That’s one of the reasons I love your blog is that you don’t post all those shitty fat hatred articles. As if you can’t find those with ease, nearly everywhere you look. They are really triggering too, and I’m sorry you have to deal with so much of that.

    • Beth I’m all to happy to talk about fat hatred and stigma, but I am certainly not going to link to it or encourage anyone to read it anywhere! Instead of giving them signal boosts, I’d rather discuss the important people in the equation… US!

  • I’m sorry to hear that. Some people are just plain insensitive and have low EQ. Fat or thin, everyone deserves to be treated with dignity and respect. I really love your blog and I encourage you to keep on doing what you are doing. Jia You!


    • Thank you Agnes. I think we all need to re-evaluate the expectations of fat activists to continually justify the existence of fat people. Instead of answering to fat hatred and stigma, I think we need to spend time promoting the positive and engaging in visibility and power activities!

  • Good you express you need.

    I’d like to offer a perspective why people do that. Which doesn’t interfere with your needs and demands. Just maybe helps you to understand the phenomenon and that might help you to be less upset about it.

    You are a public person. You make part of your life public. So people relate to you as they do to some sort of celebrity, i.e. people feel closer to you than they actually are, closer than you are / feel to them.

    While that’s certainly annoying, it is also understandable. It’s a known phenomenon of what happens in public space.

    Would you tell a close friend about something that has upset you? Sure, I think. Even /you/ tell your readers about things that upset you. So in the headspace of closer-than-in-reality, you seem like a friend to people who one wants to tell things to.

    That’s not something only evil people would do. Perfectly normal well-meaning people do that.

    Plus, what you’re doing is very strong. You’re defying the bullshit role that is put on people. You are calling out aggressors. So you seem like a strong ally.

    While I think it’s good and necessary you express your needs about being still vulnerable and human and hurt by fat hatred just as others are, I don’t think your how-inconsiderate-of-you approach is very helpful. I think there is a way to tell people to not do something that hurts you without suggesting they are inconsiderate dorks.

    The phenomenon that you are talking about is that people want you as a strong ally, possibly to simply agree and say “this is unacceptable” about a piece of fat hatred. It’s good you express that you cannot take this role. I would wish though, you could understand that wishing for a strong ally who could is not anything that makes a person bad, or not well-meaning towards you. It is simply people being in a relationship dynamic that quite normally happens in public space, with people who make part of their lives public.

    I think people probably wish that /you/ say that something they send you is unacceptable because it matters more if you say it. If someone who has a public voice confirms something that can be reassuring and helpful. Again, this doesn’t interfere with your need of not having it. But this is why it will keep happening, to some extent. There are probably some truly hurtful people out there. But a lot of people who link you to fat hatred want you as an ally and a friend, tapping into the dynamic of assymetric relationships with a somewhat public figure.

    I wonder whether you can balance that. The need to tell people not to do it and the understanding that people who do aren’t bad people, and that this is not any attack on you but the dynamics of public space.

    Wishing you well.

    • Are you fucking kidding me? Are you really coming into MY space and instructing me on how to react to something that deeply upsets me? Are you seriously tone policing me on my own blog? Of all the patronising, dismissive and fucking passive-aggressive bullshit I have ever encountered, this comment would have to take the first prize and grand champion of patronising, passive-aggressive bullshit.

      Don’t you DARE come here and tell me how to respond to something that I find triggering and upsetting.

      Don’t you DARE come here and “educate” me on what kind of person I am, as if you or anyone else has ownership of me. You have no right to define me or my life.

      Don’t you DARE come here and tell me how to conduct my life and my activism.

      Don’t you DARE come here and dismiss the insensitivity and rudeness of people who don’t give a moment’s thought of how I might feel when they lay their burdens at my feet.

      Don’t you DARE come here and tell me that I have to “balance” fucking ANYTHING. How about I balance my size 10 foot up your patronising, dismissive arse?

      Go fuck yourself. Seriously.

      Is that clear enough for you?

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