When two spiteful sluts attack some of the Dopers I respect most, I get angry...

This is about the word “fat”, and I’m fucking furious, I warn you.

In two recent threads, two pursed-mouth, peevish harpies detail their horror of fat people.

One recounts a banal story of greed in the workplace, where the man’s physical appearance is inextricable from his irritating but trivial crime. No matter how often other Dopers suggest that his bad behaviour is distinct from his weight, she sticks to her guns: that awful political correctness prevents her from speaking her mind. He shouldn’t be fat.

The other whiny teen doesn’t like her room-mate’s brother. His greatest crime? Being fat, of course. Whingeing ensues.

And why am I so angry with these two trivial, smart-arsed tarts?

Because I love these boards, and have often gained strength from the community I have access to by posting here.

I have met a few Dopers in real life, and I have seen photos of many at the ancillary sites that this metropolis has in its orbit. And you know what?

Many, many of the finest posters here would call themselves (or more likely, be called by others) overweight. They have a big build, they are large. If they’re men they may be stocky, if women, generous. They’re bears, they’re plump, they’re full of figure, they’re brawny, chubby, bulky, husky, ample, king-sized, a lotta woman. Or, as those thin-lipped, smug, scrawny bores would say fat.

Yes, you two purse-mouthed, mirthless whingers. You call them fat, but there’s more than that. For you, fat doesn’t refer to size - it’s a moral choice. Your colleague, your room-mate are morally disgusting because they’re fat, and, added nonchalantly, so indeed are all fat people…

And that’s what makes me pale with anger, as I pound the keyboard much harder than usual. Your insult is so much worse because it is so casual.

It’s an off-hand assumption that none of us reading what you’ve written and posted in a public forum would of course be (earggh) fat, so we can all share your disgust. Fat people are them, not us. Oh, you whine, why can’t I be free to say He’s Fat. Nobody here will be offended, will they?

Yes they will.

One of the finest things about these boards is the culture, not of tolerance of difference, but of defence of the different, and their rights to respect here. As a gay men I’ve frequently been touched by the people who without cant or pomposity, speak out against clearly and promptly against the odd flare-up of antigay or anti-lesbian writing here. These are folk who clearly have a minimal contact with gay life, but who show a respect for me and mine that I too seldom find in this world.

Similarly, people’s religious beliefs, even when hard to defend in themselves, are given credence. The mother who doesn’t let her children read Harry Potter because of her religious scruples has been attacked, and promptly defended. I think she’s wrong, but she’s a valued constructive, member of the boards, and so I somehow find room for her in my world

And that’s why I hate you two ill-bred bumpkins. Or rather I hate the insidious, odorous bilge that seeps from you.

Don’t use “fat” as a term of insult here!.

In case I didn’t make that clear,

Don’t use “fat” as a term of insult here!.

Get the message. There are so many far more interesting, funnier, wiser, kinder, smarter, more valuable Dopers here, who you slur when you use their body type as a gibe.

Don’t come here to insult them to their face and then pretend that it’s about political correctness or the moral slackness of the obese.

And those adolescent boys who like to start threads on “but let’s face it - fat is ugly”, and either aim at a Tom Green “but I’m successful because so many people hate me” bravado, or cover over the sneer with mock concern about health, and actuarial tables - quit it! Shut up!!

Let it be a warning - you’ll find me on your back, and I think perhaps many other Dopers, if you slight the ample in future when I’m around.

Because the other thing that makes me wild is that these people that I respect so much, are being done over, repeatedly by so many others beside you, and even by themselves.

Of course there are health issues about excess weight, and “let’s face it”, adolescent men have been programmed by thousands of years of natural selection to prefer slender young bodies over mature fuller bodies. That’s about Nature wanting healthy babies.

And in our saner moments, we understand that what gets called fat in our lives is so dependent on the culture around us, that it’s laughable to assign any moral value to weight. It’s weight - that’s it.

But I suspect that to many who post here, and whose words I read with pleasure, and whose names I look for and light up when I see them, I suspect that to them the word fat can sometimes be wounding. It can happen that the memories of insecurity and not belonging can be so primal and submerged that the Boards’ most reasoned and urbane wordsmiths can be brought undone.

If you use fat as an adjective of loathing here on these Boards, you are fouling these forums. That is, you are invited to a salon of the brightest, most creative and expressive people in the world, and you are sitting in a corner playing with your own shit.

Beause in the end, it is your shit. It’s the worst form of self-loathing to be so publicly phobic of something that in fact means so little. It’s your own fat you are hating you shrill, irritating whiners. Either the fat you fear you have now or the the fat you fear will take over your body, as you grow older and lose control.

And you’re not always going to be in control of your body, and you are very likely, one day, to weigh more than you want to. And you have so little self esteem to start with, that you’ll be truly fucked.

Even the best are scarred. I have a sad memory of meeting a lovely woman a few years ago through my work. We had only ever spoken on the phone, and were to catch up at a crowded coffee shop. I said “Well you’ll know me because I have a moustache” and she said “Well you’ll know me because I’ll be the largest person in the room”. We met successfully, sorted our business and then stayed to have lunch. We hit it off so well that we talked for two and a half hours. And I kept thinking, you have beautiful hair, a vivacious sweet face, you’re well-groomed, wearing unusual clothes and jewellry, you’re a wonderful human being, and the thought that you came in here with was that you were going to be the fattest person in the room. Of course she wasn’t. Nowhere near. Except in her head, I suppose.

So that’s the manifesto, then. You’re not just insulting my friends, you’re hurting them where they have the least resilience.

In future, you do it at your peril. Stay off the boards if you can’t control yourselves and leaf through junk moviestar magazines instead.

“Jeez, look at Callista - she’s getting sooo fat!”
“Yeah, she’s been going downhill since she adopted that baby. Motherhood’ll do that to ya - ya never lose those extra ounces”
"God, I miss Karen Carpenter - those last photos of her were reely gorgeous, weren’t they?
“Yeah, her hip bones looked like two shark fins - I love that look…”

Go and throw up again, you insulting weaselly little X-rays.


Out of interest, how do you come to the conclusion that they’re sluts?

…And may we see the evidence for ourselves?

Eloquently said, Red.

Cultural messages and media submersion are the most insidious forms of control. Challenge your beliefs and question the message, people. You are being drowned in see of background images and unstated assumumptions. Notice the background. Probe the assumptions. And try to not pass them on to the next generation.

It needed documenting. Thankyou.


Of course it could also be argued that the attitude shown in this post is just as inherent a case of unstated assumption.

I still want to know why he labels the two posters in questions as sluts. And why is it an acceptable insult to use, when fat isn’t?

Remind me to buy you a beer or twelve next time you’re in Sydney Redboss - you’ve earned it. :slight_smile:

Excuse me?

I read the linked threads, I didn’t see any dopers attacked. The similarities of the stories involve did involve overweight people, but the complaints were not about them being fat.

Grow up.

Gary, you are quite right of course, though I could argue it both ways. The case for the defence: I doubt that many dopers are going to self-identify as “sluts” and those that do are going to be of a mindset that are unlikely to feel slighted. This cannot be said for “fat”.

On the other hand, flining around the word “slut” with all its connotations can have the same insidious effect on popular attitudes as “fat”. So maybe you do have a point after all.

To be honest, I probably come down more on your side than against it. But you should still recognise the difference.

Who_Me, I think you need to reread the OP. Redboss is saying that every time you use somebody’s weight as a negative on this board it is a slap in the face to every doper who is overweight. Hence it is an insult to many dopers that Redboss respects, admires and likes.



I think that the two threads drove Redboss over the edge when it comes to using “Fat” as a derogatory remark.
we have overweight dopers here. Redboss is taking exception to the fact that his friends (some of whom may or may not be overweight) are being judged purely by this perception.

Speaking as a slut, I wasn’t offended.

I was offended by the fat threads.

Wow, Redbuddy, that’s some rant (and I didn’t dream you had it in you!) You know you have my eternal respect, and this is why - you’re always standing up for everyone else. I’m proud to call you a friend. I have nothing to add to your rant - you said it all.

kabbes, the problem I have here is just one of hypocrisy. Redboss throws a large chunk of abuse at two people because they’ve used “fat” as an insult.

At the risk of upsetting Redboss, most people put on weight if they eat too much food. At the same time, society deems someone a slut if they have too much sex (oh, and if they’re female - otherwise society praises their studliness.)

I don’t see why it’s unfair to insult someone for surrendering to one appetite, but fair to insult them for surrendering to another.

Gary, she is only a slut when she dosent sleep with you :wink:

Gary Kumquat - it depends on your definition of “slut”. I have two definitions for it, one is a loose woman and one is a disgusting woman. I figured Redboss used the word to describe how much he despised the actions and attitudes of the women and to show that they disgusted him, not to insinuate that they were promiscious (however, I do not speak for Redboss, and so I may be off base).

Surely there’s someone else here who has seen “slut” used to describe a woman who is badly behaved rather than promiscious? My school dictionary even listed the definition of slut as “A dirty woman”.

Dictionary.com offers the following:
A woman considered sexually promiscuous.
A woman prostitute.
A slovenly woman; a slattern
An untidy woman; a slattern
A servant girl; a drudge
a dirty untidy woman
a woman adulterer

None of those are quite the meaning I was talking about, but they offer different usages of the same word. Perhaps Redboss was trying to cast doubt on the personal hygine of the women he mentioned, I don’t know, but I figure he was calling them sluts because he was attacking their nasty and snide comments. He obviously thought that ranting about someone for being fat was a sluttish thing to do.

Yup, I’ve seen it myself - and hell, I use that myself. But you can make exactly the same defence about using fat as an insult.
“Oh I don’t mean overweight people, I mean real slobs”, etc.

All I’m trying to show here is that we all use insults, and they pretty much all depend upon stereotyping a particular atttribute or quality as being a bad thing. Hell, just whats so wrong with the male reproductive organ that calling a guy a dick is a bad thing. Singling out a particular insult as being unfair is hypocritical, especially when you go on to use similar insults in your criticism.

Gary, your use of slob is a little incorrect also. I freely admit to being a slob, but there is more meat on Demo’s withered heart than there is on my frame.

(I’m getting picky now, amn’t I ;))

I disagree. Fat means fat. Slut means dirty woman or loose woman. There’s no ambiguity in the linked threads - they’re taking issue with the fatness of the people they’re speaking of. However, Redboss makes no references to masses of sexual encounters or the like in his rant. It’s fair to say you could use either meaning for “slut”, but in the context of the rant, I don’t see why you would automatically infer that “slut” means promiscious when he’s own words say things like:

That’s a different kind of slut, but slut none the less.

If I said I got a bill in the mail and had to pay it, you could assume that I recieved a beak but that would be ignoring the evidence that it was probably a “statement of fees and charges” (thanks, Dictionary.com). If Redboss complains about sluttish behaviour and calls two women “sluts”, you could assume that he was insinuating that they had many sexual partners, but that means ignoring the evidence that he was probably making a statement of disapproval in regards to their behaviour. However, if someone calls someone else “fat”, it’s unlikely that they’re implying that the person is good for cooking fries in.

That means all the women I know are sluts. :eek: :eek:

Are ugly and stupid out as insults as well? I mean, they don’t have any more recourse to change their appearance, or intelligence than fat people have to change thier weight.

What about people with no manners, are we allowed to call them rude? Perhaps they just haven’t had proper education about the subject from their parents?

These two threads concern people who have gluttonous and slovenly habits which most certainly contributed to their relative fatness. MusicMistress’s thread title was a bit over the top, I would agree, but the post itself was not, IMHO. BBJ was pissed off because the office glutton threatened her because her comment about his gluttony touched upon his weight.

Fact is, around the SDMB, you can insult people about all manner of things: ugliness, stupidity, rudness, smelliness, dirtiness, etc. but if you even mention their weight, KABOOM someone will jump on you.

It’s a bit tiring, and old. When I saw MusicMistress’s thread title, I knew that she would be attacked for it, regardless of the actual content of her post.

My thoughts exactly.