WE THE EDUCATORS
There is a fairly popular email flowing through my part of the world, which starts like this, “In a train carriage there was Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, a spectacular looking blonde and a frightfully awful looking fat lady…”
Now, while the joke is kind of cute, I took great exception to the way it was started! Why a “spectacular looking blonde” and a “frightfully awful looking fat lady?” Why not just a blonde and a brunette?
Now, the next brain-boggling experience I had was to receive this “joke” from two different friends, who are plus-size women! We are so used to seeing fat people at the brunt of cruel, mean “jokes,” that we, ourselves, continue to endorse, sanction, and give our support to this attitude that it’s okay to laugh at, and “put down” the fat people.
I immediately emailed both friends and said, in essence, THINK about what you’re doing! You’re just passing on the permission to continue the “fat-bashing” attitude of our society.
Do we think that Martin Luther King would have laughed at and forwarded an email that contained a racial slur?
Do we think that the Gay Rights people would laugh at and forward an email with a gay slur and put-down?
How do we think these people have made the progress they’ve made to gain the place they now have in society?
They did it by standing up for their rights and DEMANDING that people start RESPECTING them. So, how are fat people ever going to get that respect, if we don’t respect ourselves?
We, as individuals, have to attack this attitude on a daily basis. I NEVER let this type of thinking get past me without commenting on it. Do I take a chance of making my friends angry? Yes. Do I let that stop me? No. Because if they truly are my friends, they’ll get over the anger, but they will never forget the conversation! Mission accomplished.
If we are to make any changes in this world, we have to do it on a one-on-one, daily basis. We can’t wait for “them” to do it for us. We have to do it ourselves.
On this page you will find my “little effort” to change the “stinking thinking” about fat people. You’ll find letters to editors, letters to radio stations, letters to TV stations, a letter to a TV evangelist, and a letter to the Surgeon General. You’ll find articles and editorials that I’ve written.
We can do this. We have to work together, but we also have to work alone.