Is this a hypocritical position on gender and body-shaming?

Get advice, tips, or help with science or religion debates that you are currently participating in.

Moderators: Alyrium Denryle, SCRawl, Thanas

Democracy Fanboy
Redshirt
Posts: 39
Joined: 2011-09-27 12:57am
Location: San Diego, CA

Is this a hypocritical position on gender and body-shaming?

Postby Democracy Fanboy » 2015-05-02 04:47pm

I used to be a longtime fan of P.Z. Myers's Pharyngula blog, and I still agree with much of what he has to say on science, religion, and politics. But lately I've grown very uncomfortable with his current entourage of regular commentators. Myers himself has been an unapologetic atheist and all-around anti-racist, anti-sexist liberal as far back as I can remember, and he still blogs about secularism, science, and biology as he always has, but I perceive that he's been placing more emphasis on Third/Fourth Wave Feminism in the last few years. I presume this had something to do with certain fall-outs he's had with other secular activists (most notably Richard Dawkins and Michael Shermer) over the question of gender politics, and I don't blame him if those experiences scarred him deep in the psyche and made him bitter towards secular activism. My concern isn't so much about Myers himself but with the new crowd of commentators drawn to his pro-feminism posts. They are, in a few words, the living embodiments of the shrill, pseudo-liberal moral zealot stereotype.

One recent exchange I've had with them was over whether trolls fitting their stereotype had ever infiltrated today's social justice movement. They seemed to believe that had never happened, whereas I had submitted that every political movement will attract a few assholes to its bandwagon no matter how morally justified it fundamentally is. Asked to name an example of this universal inevitability affecting social justice activism, I cited Suey Park's "Cancel Colbert" campaign in reaction to Stephen Colbert's saying an anti-Asian slur out loud in the process of comparing it to the Washington Redskins. The Pharyngula fanbase almost all jumped on me, insinuating that I had to "check my privilege", and that merely mentioning slurs when making tongue-in-cheek satirical analogies like Colbert's was racist. Oh, and any Asian-American who expressed a contrary perspective to Park's was possibly suffering from internalized racism. I don't know how Colbert's statement would have rubbed Lord Wong or any of the other posters of Asian descent here, and I'm not Asian myself, but I was disturbed to see how ferociously defensive the Pharyngula fanbase had become of anyone associated with social justice who might have gone overboard on something.

Most recently, Myers posted this meme on his blog, presumably to invoke this stereotype of misogynist fat guys wearing fedoras.
Image
So I cracked a joke about how the "Men's Rights Activists" he was mocking were wearing fedoras like some kind of secondary sexual characteristic to distinguish them from predominantly female "fat acceptance" activists, since otherwise their appearance and bitter, whiny entitlement mentality made them otherwise inseparable. I was not trying to get across that all overweight people were like that, but I did mean to point out that the "fat MRA neckbeard" stereotype was almost identical to the "fat hairy-legged feminist" stereotype which would have offended these commentators big-time.

I'm screen-capping this conversation (I'm the dude with the gray Zardoz avatar and the blurred-out name*), because I don't want to set off a troll war with a direct link.
Image
Image
Image

To clarify, I'm not really an aggressive anti-fat bully myself. My own BMI is around 32 (it was over 40 a year ago), and I know obesity is an extremely easy trap to fall into this day and age. I believe that as long as you recognize you have a problem and set out to better care of yourself (which is good for your health, and thereby good for attracting the opposite sex), you don't deserve to be harassed for being visibly overweight. But I am annoyed at how many overweight people my age spend more energy whining about "conventional beauty standards" and blaming the opposite sex for their sexual frustrations than they do getting back in shape for their own good. Some of them seem to think their struggle is tantamount to civil rights for women, non-European people, or LGBTs, as if obesity was also an inborn trait of genetic origin. :roll: And yet curiously they only apply their reinvented standards to their own sex, while making fun of opposite-sex individuals who look more like themselves!

Am I right to see this as self-serving hypocrisy masquerading as social justice?

* To make a long story short, I was a former poster on SD.net who requested a banned after conducting myself as an immature prick in debate. I'm returning here because this is the only forum I remember having a "Debating Help" board, and I believe I've matured somewhat in the past half-decade since that debacle. But if this counts as a ban evasion and a problem, I won't protest if you re-ban again. And no, I'm not in the mood to beat the same horse as before this time around.

Simon_Jester
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 28816
Joined: 2009-05-23 07:29pm

Re: Is this a hypocritical position on gender and body-shami

Postby Simon_Jester » 2015-05-02 06:13pm

I think that if you insult women who are fat while demanding acceptance for men who are fat, or vice versa, that is hypocritical.

I also think your joke was crass, because in the process of joking about one group you delivered a broad-spectrum insult to another group. It is as though you were making a joke about Poles, and said "maybe the dumb Poles [do X] to distinguish themselves from all the dumb Swedes." Obviously this would offend both Poles and Swedes. And it's a particularly gratuitous way of offending the Swedes.

[I'm using 'dumb Pole' and 'dumb Swede' because those were real stereotypes that really existed and had real consequences, but are now basically defunct.]

It was also a bad idea to name Tess Munster particularly, because that makes it about her personal habits, which (if the poster who talks about them isn't outright lying) would reasonably leave people saying to you "she's fine, why are you using her name in a nasty context, go fuck yourself!"

I think that you have in fact dug yourself into a hole here.

...

On the one hand, even if you are correct then this is obviously not a receptive community to your views.

On the other hand, your delivery of these views is NOT good. A joke that insults one group in the process of condemning them to another disliked group is a really bad way to voice criticism of that group. It is also a bad idea to make ill-considered assumptions like "women's body acceptance activists are just angry that men aren't drooling over them"
This space dedicated to Vasily Arkhipov

Democracy Fanboy
Redshirt
Posts: 39
Joined: 2011-09-27 12:57am
Location: San Diego, CA

Re: Is this a hypocritical position on gender and body-shami

Postby Democracy Fanboy » 2015-05-02 06:46pm

Simon_Jester wrote:I think that if you insult women who are fat while demanding acceptance for men who are fat, or vice versa, that is hypocritical.

True, but this applies both ways. And I'm sure both sides would claim their double standard is satirizing the other's hypocrisy.

I also think your joke was crass, because in the process of joking about one group you delivered a broad-spectrum insult to another group. It is as though you were making a joke about Poles, and said "maybe the dumb Poles [do X] to distinguish themselves from all the dumb Swedes." Obviously this would offend both Poles and Swedes. And it's a particularly gratuitous way of offending the Swedes.

[I'm using 'dumb Pole' and 'dumb Swede' because those were real stereotypes that really existed and had real consequences, but are now basically defunct.]

Because both of those stereotypes attacked nationalities (or ethnic groups, or populations; take your pick). The fallacy behind them is almost like racial stereotypes, because they're treating whole nationalities or cultures as homogeneous in personality and mindset even though those categories are not inherently premised on shared personality or mindset to begin with. By contrast, political movements like MRAs and fat-acceptance are defined by shared values and mindsets that make them much more mentally homogeneous than countries or races. So your effort to equate jokes against two teams of hypocritical ideologues with jokes against nationalities or ethnicities (which many consider to be categories one is born into, almost like race) is transparently disingenuous.

It was also a bad idea to name Tess Munster particularly, because that makes it about her personal habits, which (if the poster who talks about them isn't outright lying) would reasonably leave people saying to you "she's fine, why are you using her name in a nasty context, go fuck yourself!"

I invoked her name because she was the first publicly visible fat-acceptance ideologue that came to my mind. But yes, I was addressing the larger movement she represents rather than her as an individual.

On the one hand, even if you are correct then this is obviously not a receptive community to your views.

And that's why I feel the Pharyngula community has let me down. Just as Thunderf00t on Youtube degenerated from this totally awesome champion of evolutionary biology and science to an obsessive anti-feminist constantly bitching about Anita Sarkeesian, so too have they apparently eschewed reason and science in favor of politics. They and Thunderf00t are almost mirror images of one another right now.

But then, I've figured out a long time ago that even the people who wax the most poetic about rationalism and objectivity are just as full of shit as the stereotypical woo-believer. Their shit just smells more like sexism, racism, or political extremism than the supernatural.

On the other hand, your delivery of these views is NOT good. A joke that insults one group in the process of condemning them to another disliked group is a really bad way to voice criticism of that group. It is also a bad idea to make ill-considered assumptions like "women's body acceptance activists are just angry that men aren't drooling over them"

On the contrary, pointing out to assholes that they're psychologically identical to those they consider their rivals (as competing teams of assholes typically are) is a great tactic for drawing out their hypocrisy for the world to see. And I'm not attacking "body acceptance" in general, but fat acceptance (which, let's face it, is mostly insecure fat women and men demanding society sweep the obesity pandemic under the rug and rewrite its beauty standards so they can pick up not-so-fat partners for themselves, rather than work on the health issues they've picked up over time).

AniThyng
Jedi Council Member
Posts: 2444
Joined: 2003-09-08 12:47pm
Location: Took an arrow in the knee.
Contact:

Re: Is this a hypocritical position on gender and body-shami

Postby AniThyng » 2015-05-02 08:09pm

I personally can't identify too much with Asian American sjw attitudes, and often find them to be ridiculous, but to be fair I am not American, merely Asian in Asia.
I do know how to spell
AniThyng is merely the name I gave to what became my favourite Baldur's Gate II mage character :P

Democracy Fanboy
Redshirt
Posts: 39
Joined: 2011-09-27 12:57am
Location: San Diego, CA

Re: Is this a hypocritical position on gender and body-shami

Postby Democracy Fanboy » 2015-05-02 08:16pm

Upon second thought, I wonder if "Debating Help" was really the right place for this. I'm actually not asking for help with continuing the exchange, since they're not the kind of people whom I could reason with anyway. My intention was instead to discuss a recent conversation, with posts provided for context, and ask whether you agreed with my assessment (i.e. that they're hypocritical bullshitters). Where shuld this kind of thread go instead?

Simon_Jester
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 28816
Joined: 2009-05-23 07:29pm

Re: Is this a hypocritical position on gender and body-shami

Postby Simon_Jester » 2015-05-03 03:15am

Democracy Fanboy wrote:
Simon_Jester wrote:I think that if you insult women who are fat while demanding acceptance for men who are fat, or vice versa, that is hypocritical.
True, but this applies both ways. And I'm sure both sides would claim their double standard is satirizing the other's hypocrisy.
Ahem. You remember what "vice versa" means, right?

Emphasizing "both sides are bad" is almost invariably a bad choice when discussing political or social issues. For one, it opens you up to getting caught in the crossfire between both camps. For another, it means everyone you talk to will feel vaguely insulted- because you're throwing stuff in both directions.

Either pick on one target at a time, or pick on nobody. That's my opinion. I may not always follow that rule myself, but it's nearly always a good rule to follow.

Obsessing about how everyone else is a hypocrites is NOT a healthy way to use your time. You get the perverse satisfaction of feeling more sophisticated than other people... But you don't get the more permanent satisfaction of having actual beliefs, values, and opinions. You'll be too busy denigrating other people's beliefs and ideas to have meaningful participation in their conversations.

I also think your joke was crass, because in the process of joking about one group you delivered a broad-spectrum insult to another group. It is as though you were making a joke about Poles, and said "maybe the dumb Poles [do X] to distinguish themselves from all the dumb Swedes." Obviously this would offend both Poles and Swedes. And it's a particularly gratuitous way of offending the Swedes.

[I'm using 'dumb Pole' and 'dumb Swede' because those were real stereotypes that really existed and had real consequences, but are now basically defunct.]
Because both of those stereotypes attacked nationalities (or ethnic groups, or populations; take your pick). The fallacy behind them is almost like racial stereotypes, because they're treating whole nationalities or cultures as homogeneous in personality and mindset even though those categories are not inherently premised on shared personality or mindset to begin with.

By contrast, political movements like MRAs and fat-acceptance are defined by shared values and mindsets that make them much more mentally homogeneous than countries or races. So your effort to equate jokes against two teams of hypocritical ideologues with jokes against nationalities or ethnicities (which many consider to be categories one is born into, almost like race) is transparently disingenuous.
No, no, stop that, you're missing the point.

Stop trying to think of reasons why I'm wrong, and start trying to think about what I'm trying to explain to you. At the very least, make sure you understood what is being explained, before you reject it.

The reason I chose an example was to illustrate something ELSE to you.

"because in the process of joking about one group you delivered a broad-spectrum insult to another group."

Let's emphasize that again. The point I was actually making is that in the process of joking about one group, you insulted another group.

Nitpicking about how Stereotype A is a different kind of stereotype than Stereotype B is NOT a valid response to that. It doesn't matter whether you think men's rights activists or fat acceptance activists or Poles or Swedes or left-handed redheads or professional unicycle riders are examples of one kind of stereotype versus another. It's not about whether the stereotypes are nationalities or political factions or fans backing different sports teams.

The point is that when you insult one group in the process of jokingly insulting another group, you can reasonably expect to have shit flung at you. From two directions at once, even.

This is not some kind of obscure reasoning about subtle differences between different stereotypes.

This is not an exercise in inventing justifications for doing what you want.

This is obvious, practical facts about human behavior and interaction.

It was also a bad idea to name Tess Munster particularly, because that makes it about her personal habits, which (if the poster who talks about them isn't outright lying) would reasonably leave people saying to you "she's fine, why are you using her name in a nasty context, go fuck yourself!"

I invoked her name because she was the first publicly visible fat-acceptance ideologue that came to my mind. But yes, I was addressing the larger movement she represents rather than her as an individual.
Then why did you pick on one individual? Did it not even occur to you that this might be a mistake? Did it not occur to you that maybe you don't KNOW enough about this individual to be sure she is worthy of condemnation? Did it not occur to you that maybe knowing that someone is a "publicly visible fat acceptance" person, and believing that they are an "ideologue," whatever the hell that means inside your mind... is not grounds for saying that they personally are flawed or bad?

If I insult a particular person, I make damn sure I have a list of specific actions they've taken that I can justify condemning them for.

On the one hand, even if you are correct then this is obviously not a receptive community to your views.
And that's why I feel the Pharyngula community has let me down. Just as Thunderf00t on Youtube degenerated from this totally awesome champion of evolutionary biology and science to an obsessive anti-feminist constantly bitching about Anita Sarkeesian, so too have they apparently eschewed reason and science in favor of politics. They and Thunderf00t are almost mirror images of one another right now.
In this case, I don't think they're abandoning objectivity. They just disagree with you. There's a difference.

The reason they disagree with you is because they don't think there is equivalency between women trying to get acceptance for overweight women and men trying to do the various things the Men's Rights Activist movement is doing.

So they see your joke as a crass and offensive attempt to set up a false equivalency, and thus smear the good name of a movement that is doing something essentially noble.

But then, I've figured out a long time ago that even the people who wax the most poetic about rationalism and objectivity are just as full of shit as the stereotypical woo-believer. Their shit just smells more like sexism, racism, or political extremism than the supernatural.
Do remember that sometimes people who think you're wrong are correct. Everyone is a dumbass once in a while. And since you know from your own history that you have committed major acts of social gracelessness or silliness... you REALLY ought to be willing to consider the possibility that you have simply made a mistake.

On the other hand, your delivery of these views is NOT good. A joke that insults one group in the process of condemning them to another disliked group is a really bad way to voice criticism of that group. It is also a bad idea to make ill-considered assumptions like "women's body acceptance activists are just angry that men aren't drooling over them"
On the contrary, pointing out to assholes that they're psychologically identical to those they consider their rivals (as competing teams of assholes typically are) is a great tactic for drawing out their hypocrisy for the world to see.
What the rest of the world ends up disagreeing with your argument on its merits, and concludes that you're wrong about claiming that Group A is psychologically identical to Group B?

Then your brilliant stratagem backfires, and you look like the asshole. Because you're willfully insulting Group A for no damn reason.

And I'm not attacking "body acceptance" in general, but fat acceptance (which, let's face it, is mostly insecure fat women and men demanding society sweep the obesity pandemic under the rug and rewrite its beauty standards so they can pick up not-so-fat partners for themselves, rather than work on the health issues they've picked up over time).
I actually think you are totally wrong about this, and would like to explain why. Please take what I'm saying seriously, and don't dismiss it. I'm getting this from women I'm very close to who find it personally stressful in their own life, and who are NOT worried about "picking up partners."

Women are judged on their appearance a lot more extensively than men. No, seriously. That's true. That is really true. It's just a fact of life in modern society. The first checkpoint you must pass is recognizing this fact. Don't bother reading further if you don't accept it; if you don't accept it, please inform me and we can talk about that.

It will be a complete waste of both our time for you to continue reading this argument, if you have not yet realized that women are judged on their appearance a lot more extensively than men.

Now, assuming you have realized and understood this- one of the substantial ideas of the feminist movement is that this is sexism. Women should not be required to look pretty in order to be taken seriously, any more than men are. Women should not have to spend half an hour a day to pretty themselves up enough to be seen in public, when men only have to spend ten minutes a day on it.
...

Now, we apply this to weight, and the problem becomes clear- women who happen to be fat are being judged on their appearance very strongly and getting a double dose of prejudice.

A woman who is thirty or forty pounds overweight is not just having trouble "picking up partners." She's going to have trouble getting people to take her seriously at work. She's going to have trouble getting people to listen to her when she has a complaint. She's going to have people constantly dismissing her as a sort of inferior, less-valuable woman because she is heavily overweight.

So no, it's not just about her sex life. It's about every part of her life. Including areas where her being overweight really shouldn't matter: fat people can do desk jobs just as well as thin people. And that's where the idea of this being injustice comes up.
...

This is further amplified by the fact that women, more so than men, are pressured by media imagery to think of themselves as inferior women if they are not slim and light and trim. This is a reality of women's world, that almost every woman finds a source of stress. They're so accustomed to being told by society that they must be 'pretty,' and the standard of 'pretty' is defined largely in terms of thin-ness, that it can actually cause them to experience totally unnecessary anxieties and fears and neuroses.

At which point it's not them pretending obesity doesn't have health consequences. It's them pointing out that being heavy (perhaps obese, perhaps not) shouldn't have extra consequences imposed solely because society likes making people feel fat.

And quite bluntly, trying to oversimplify this into "fat women want us to stop pretending obesity is a problem so they can get thinner sex partners" is incredibly stupid and offensive. And frankly you deserve to get yelled at if that's what you're doing.
This space dedicated to Vasily Arkhipov

Democracy Fanboy
Redshirt
Posts: 39
Joined: 2011-09-27 12:57am
Location: San Diego, CA

Re: Is this a hypocritical position on gender and body-shami

Postby Democracy Fanboy » 2015-05-03 12:15pm

@ Simon_Jester

If you're trying to give me advice on me how to reason with them, I need to make it clear that I don't think they can be reasoned with. That's why I posted earlier that I regretted posting this in "Debating Help", because it seems to have given you the impression that I was in fact looking for debate help. I know what I believe, and I've decided with great confidence that these people are drooling shit-brained savages who have manipulated their way into social justice and secularism. I may never be able to change their minds, but I can draw forth their bullshit and show the world beyond down that they're full of monkey shit.

I'm just disgusted that they're wormed their way into my side of the political spectrum and spread their germs throughout it. Obviously guys like Roosh V or anyone on Stormfront have ideologies even more diametrically opposed to my own, but if you're trapped in a kitchen with Velociraptors, they're a much more urgent concern than the T. rex skulking outside the premises.

Women are judged on their appearance a lot more extensively than men. No, seriously. That's true. That is really true. It's just a fact of life in modern society. The first checkpoint you must pass is recognizing this fact. Don't bother reading further if you don't accept it; if you don't accept it, please inform me and we can talk about that.

It will be a complete waste of both our time for you to continue reading this argument, if you have not yet realized that women are judged on their appearance a lot more extensively than men.

Now, assuming you have realized and understood this- one of the substantial ideas of the feminist movement is that this is sexism. Women should not be required to look pretty in order to be taken seriously, any more than men are. Women should not have to spend half an hour a day to pretty themselves up enough to be seen in public, when men only have to spend ten minutes a day on it.

You know what, I actually do recognize those as valid concerns. And in several paths of life, I agree, physical attractiveness shouldn't matter for one sex more than the other. I for one wouldn't give a single shit if a female nuclear physicist or humanitarian worker was over- or underweight, as long as they were competent at their jobs. Physical attractiveness for either sex should only be relevant if they're modeling for pin-ups or looking for physical intimacy---and even then, while physical attraction may have evolved primarily to filter in healthier mates, we all have different tastes.

But really, just because fat acceptance propagandists are able to manipulate real concerns women in our society have and hijack certain waves of feminism doesn't make their snake oil any less venomous. And you are a lying invertebrate if you say " it's not them pretending obesity doesn't have health consequences" with a straight face. How the fuck do you explain crap like this if there isn't at the very least a highly vocal proportion of them who go beyond requesting tolerance and out-right glorify obesity, going so far as to deny that the obesity crisis (i.e. over two-thirds of the American population becoming overweight and growing) is a serious issue in its own right?

Image
Image
Image
Image

I will give the last one credit for one thing: setting a "donuts before bronuts" policy for yourself isn't quite as intrusively noxious to me as demanding men think you're attractive no matter how out of shape you are. But have you seriously not noticed that the movement by and large IS fixated on making "conventional beauty standards" for themselves? You seriously haven't heard them belch vomit like "all bodies are beautiful" and "fuck your beauty standards" in their jihad to shove themselves into pin-ups and underwear modeling? You claim their agenda is nothing worse than saying women shouldn't base their self-worth solely on physical appearance, but if they ever cared a single iota about that, they wouldn't be so dead-set on demanding men's boners cater to them.

And they sure as fucking hell wouldn't mock fat "Nice Guys" with neckbeards and a sexual entitlement mentality that mirrors their own.

Democracy Fanboy
Redshirt
Posts: 39
Joined: 2011-09-27 12:57am
Location: San Diego, CA

Re: Is this a hypocritical position on gender and body-shami

Postby Democracy Fanboy » 2015-05-03 02:52pm

Let me summarize my feelings on this larger topic in bullet points for maximum clarity:

* No one should be bullied with provocative for not looking physically ideal, of assume fitting some ideal look is the only way to get ahead in life. This applies to both men and women.

* Conversely, no one should demand to be seen as physically attractive by everyone out there. This also applies to both men and women.

* The reason obesity is considered unattractive in today's digital era is because, as modern medical science has shown, it is inherently unhealthy. It is almost never an inborn trait, let alone an evolutionary adaptation like dark skin or kinky hair. It's an environmentally acquired pathology more like Ebola or AIDS. And when you have a growing majority of your population having acquired it, with all the healthcare-related economic drains and other problems tagging along with it, it would be irresponsible as fuck to condone that crisis by covering it with feel-good "all bodies are beautiful" rhetoric. It should have nothing whatsoever to do with gender politics.

* While it is counter-productive and mean to start fights with any overweight people you pass by, that's because you can't assume every overweight person is on board with the fat acceptance cult. As long as a fat person recognizes they have a problem and are actively climbing out of it, they deserve nothing less than full encouragement. They should not be shoved into the same barrel with the delusional (and 90% intellectually dishonest) "all bodies are beautiful" team.

Simon_Jester
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 28816
Joined: 2009-05-23 07:29pm

Re: Is this a hypocritical position on gender and body-shami

Postby Simon_Jester » 2015-05-03 04:08pm

Democracy Fanboy wrote:@ Simon_Jester

If you're trying to give me advice on me how to reason with them, I need to make it clear that I don't think they can be reasoned with...
No, I'm trying to give you advice on how to reason, period. And on how to successfully interact with other humans without making an ass of yourself.

I look at the events you described in your original post. And I see that you have committed failures of reasoning, and failures of "how to interact with humans." Because of your failures of reasoning, you have concluded that other people are totally wrong when in fact they have a point. And by your own admission you have concluded that you are a special unique snowflake of smartness, and that compared to you a bunch of other people are, and I quote, "drooling shit-brained savages."

This indicates still further failures of reasoning on your part, so I am trying to point out ways to go about reasoning better. I submit that it is a GOOD thing that this is occurring in "Debating Help," because you are more likely to get actionable advice on how to avoid doing such a foolish thing in the future... And less likely to be mocked for doing foolish things, as you were once upon a time.

I may never be able to change their minds, but I can draw forth their bullshit and show the world beyond down that they're full of monkey shit.
Except they're not. You have made a mistake.

And you have now compounded this mistake, this failure of reasoning, with a failure of social skills. There are social skills that exist purely to limit the consequences of your mistakes, Fanboy. One of them is "don't insult people unless you have very very solid reasons for doing so." The reason for this rule is that otherwise, you risk jumping to conclusions (because you're a human being who makes mistakes), and needlessly offending someone who could otherwise have been your friend.

By needlessly insulting a group totally unrelated to the original discussion, based on your lack of knowledge of that group's reality, you have violated this principle. And now people are being mean to you.

This is not a surprise to people whose understanding of human social affairs is significantly above monkey-level.

I'm just disgusted that they're wormed their way into my side of the political spectrum and spread their germs throughout it. Obviously guys like Roosh V or anyone on Stormfront have ideologies even more diametrically opposed to my own, but if you're trapped in a kitchen with Velociraptors, they're a much more urgent concern than the T. rex skulking outside the premises.
They are not germs. They are people who disagree with you. It is entirely possible that they are right and you are wrong. Because they may have a major advantage over you in terms of things like "listening skills," "life experience," and "education," all of which correlate strongly with being right as opposed to being wrong.

To refuse to accept this, and to classify people who disagree with you as 'germs' or 'savages' or whatever, is... arrogance that borders on insanity. I am urging you to stop and think about this, really think. Because otherwise you are going to be a complete waste of everyone's time, including your own, whenever anyone tries to have a serious conversation.

Women are judged on their appearance a lot more extensively than men. No, seriously. That's true. That is really true. It's just a fact of life in modern society. The first checkpoint you must pass is recognizing this fact. Don't bother reading further if you don't accept it; if you don't accept it, please inform me and we can talk about that.

It will be a complete waste of both our time for you to continue reading this argument, if you have not yet realized that women are judged on their appearance a lot more extensively than men.

Now, assuming you have realized and understood this- one of the substantial ideas of the feminist movement is that this is sexism. Women should not be required to look pretty in order to be taken seriously, any more than men are. Women should not have to spend half an hour a day to pretty themselves up enough to be seen in public, when men only have to spend ten minutes a day on it.
You know what, I actually do recognize those as valid concerns. And in several paths of life, I agree, physical attractiveness shouldn't matter for one sex more than the other. I for one wouldn't give a single shit if a female nuclear physicist or humanitarian worker was over- or underweight, as long as they were competent at their jobs. Physical attractiveness for either sex should only be relevant if they're modeling for pin-ups or looking for physical intimacy---and even then, while physical attraction may have evolved primarily to filter in healthier mates, we all have different tastes.

But really, just because fat acceptance propagandists are able to manipulate real concerns women in our society have and hijack certain waves of feminism doesn't make their snake oil any less venomous.
Ah-ha. STOP.

See, the problem is that most of the people who support the ones you label "fat acceptance propagandists" are people who really are focused on the legitimate issues I was talking about. The minute you attacked "fat acceptance," they see that as an attack on THEM. And frankly their right, because saying "fat acceptance propagandists are stupid morons who just want to make us stop caring about obesity so they can get thin boyfriends" really is a pretty aggressive and hostile personal attack against them. Because you're not criticizing a specific person (when you tried to do that it was a disaster).

You're criticizing a category of people who advocate "fat acceptance." Which sounds a lot like saying "fat is not acceptable," which is in turn an attack on everyone who is fat and feels society is being hostile and unaccepting of them as human beings on account of their surplus fat.

You're reaffirming the same kind of shit that they're fighting against; what did you expect to happen?

...Anyway, that's why you are outright in the wrong when railing against "fat acceptance propagandists"

Unless of course by "fat acceptance propagandists" you mean a handful of brainless individuals who drew the handful of stupid, format-breaking, pointless cartoons you included in your post. In which case your problem isn't with a political movement, it's with a handful of individuals. And quite bluntly, in a nation of 300 million, a handful of random brainless individuals ARE NOT WORTH YOUR TIME. So I question whether it is even sane for you to dwell on them with such ferocity.

A few people drew stupid, inexpert cartoons that you feel are downplaying the dangers of obesity. Get over it. It's not worth needlessly pissing off everyone you encounter with your rants about "fat acceptance propagandists" who are allegedly, you claim, a bunch of brainless whorish idiots who just want skinny boyfriends.

People who think like that are crazy. You don't want to let yourself think like that. It's bad for your mental health.

And you are a lying invertebrate if you say " it's not them pretending obesity doesn't have health consequences" with a straight face. How the fuck do you explain crap like this if there isn't at the very least a highly vocal proportion of them who go beyond requesting tolerance and out-right glorify obesity, going so far as to deny that the obesity crisis (i.e. over two-thirds of the American population becoming overweight and growing) is a serious issue in its own right?
Show polling data to indicate that there is a significant faction of people doing this, as opposed to there being like six people drawing cartoons on Deviantart.

I mean for crying out loud, DeviantArt is populated by a lot of people, including some weird people, and some young and dumb people. Don't assume they're a representative sample of the population. So when you have two links to DeviantArt, one to a site that promotes heaven only knows what, and one anonymous Imgur link...

Honestly, I think you're cherry-picking. You're selectively paying attention to a small group of people who for some reason really offend you, even though there's no good reason for you to waste your time and energy being so offended at them.

I will give the last one credit for one thing: setting a "donuts before bronuts" policy for yourself isn't quite as intrusively noxious to me as demanding men think you're attractive no matter how out of shape you are. But have you seriously not noticed that the movement by and large IS fixated on making "conventional beauty standards" for themselves? You seriously haven't heard them belch vomit like "all bodies are beautiful" and "fuck your beauty standards" in their jihad to shove themselves into pin-ups and underwear modeling?
What the hell is wrong with you?

That is not what they are doing! At least, not what more than like six people are doing! There are MILLIONS of women out there who are sticking with this "fuck your beauty standards" attitude precisely because THEY merely want to get on with a normal life without constantly being treated like shit and mocked for their weight.

And you are ignoring them because, I don't know... As far as I can tell, you're ignoring those millions of women because you read on the Internet about a 300-pound woman who wanted to be an underwear model and you were like "OUTRAGE! THE HORROR! THIS MUST NOT STAAAND!"

Fanboy, I may be the closest approximation to a friend you have on this site, but frankly... you need to get your head out of your ass.
This space dedicated to Vasily Arkhipov

Democracy Fanboy
Redshirt
Posts: 39
Joined: 2011-09-27 12:57am
Location: San Diego, CA

Re: Is this a hypocritical position on gender and body-shami

Postby Democracy Fanboy » 2015-05-03 05:09pm

Simon_Jester wrote:Fanboy, I may be the closest approximation to a friend you have on this site, but frankly... you need to get your head out of your ass.

If you're going to play Neville Chamberlain with anti-science delusional hypocrites (and you can't deny those exist even if you think "fat acceptance" encompasses more than their particular cult), then fine with me. They can trample your abdomen into the mud for all I care.

User avatar
Terralthra
Sith Marauder
Posts: 4679
Joined: 2007-10-05 09:55pm
Location: San Francisco, California, United States

Re: Is this a hypocritical position on gender and body-shami

Postby Terralthra » 2015-05-03 05:27pm

^^ what

Simon_Jester
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 28816
Joined: 2009-05-23 07:29pm

Re: Is this a hypocritical position on gender and body-shami

Postby Simon_Jester » 2015-05-04 02:39am

I don't think he even occupies the same mental universe as the rest of us anymore.

Ah well. Kid never was very good at listening to people trying to inject a dose of realism into his random convictions about How The World Is.

[shrugs]
This space dedicated to Vasily Arkhipov

User avatar
jwl
Jedi Master
Posts: 1129
Joined: 2013-01-02 04:31pm

Re: Is this a hypocritical position on gender and body-shami

Postby jwl » 2015-05-24 01:09pm

I think you are arguing two points at once here and not doing a great job in separating them.

Point 1: "Fat acceptance" groups can tend to promote an unhealthy lifestyle, by not accepting that being fat is indeed unhealthy.

Point 2: Some feminists stereotype their opponents as fat men with hats; whilst seeing a similar stereotype of themselves would cause them to call prejudice. This is hypocritical.

Address these points separately and your arguments will be a lot clearer.

Clarity is a good thing for it's own sake, but the other thing is that mashing together these two points can make them both seem less convincing. If the person you are talking to is hostile to point 1, they'll dismiss your arguments on point 2; and vica versa. Separate your arguments and even if they hate your first point they might be open to convincing on the second.


Return to “Debating Help”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests