Rob Ford's Weight

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Brachina
Rob Ford's Weight

I oppose Ford's Idology, his rudeness, his ignorance, and his unprofessional conduct, and his arrogance, but for the love of all that is unholy ENOUGH ABOUT HIS WEIGHT.

We on the left talk about Bullying, yet I see people on the left call him a fat slob and worse and honestly I'm sick of it, it makes me ashamed to be a lefty.

His belly has nothing to do
with his being unfit to be Mayor, any more then it affects Libby Davies or Bill Blaky ect...

That woman who video tape of Rob Ford at KFC disgusts me, people should have acted with compassion and support for him to keep trying to achieve a healther weight.

Brachina

Back on topic, the gains in Durham may not have been everything we could have wished, but we did see support grow so I hope Larry runs provincially, I think we have a real shot at winning it.

Michelle

Hear, hear.  I saw your thread title and was all ready to come in here loaded for bear.  Glad you wrote what you did!

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Agreed. 

It's not as though Ford's policies would be acceptable if only he were height/weight proportinate.

Sandy Dillon

Ford's weight is not an issue!!!

Everybody should be aware of the fact that any Conservative can lose 100 pounds just by going to the can and having a good crap!!!!!!

Sineed

Agreed. The whole "fat fuck" thing invalidates any criticism someone might make. I would even liken it to someone who calls a woman a "whore." It's a sign they aren't worth talking to any more.

Though we have had discussions on babble about the socioeconomic aspects of weight and fat-shaming. Specifically, that poor people can't afford healthy foods, fresh fruit and vegetables in winter etc, and health club memberships. Higher socioeconomic status is now associated with being thinner. Ford is definitely someone who can afford to do something about his weight, and he has a well-documented history of using his size to bully and intimidate.

Just throwing that out there before I set out into the cold to go to work...

lagatta

Sineed, there is another factor here too - specifically his war on cyclists, and people opting for a form of urban transport that doesn't pollute and promotes health. The irony is rather too big to overlook. 

If Ford were a gaunt evil man, like Henry Ford of yore (remember that Ford was an active anti-semite, general racist and Nazi symp who wrote "The International Jew", blocked African-American and Jewish staff at his hospital and was instrumental in the racist "point system" in the posh Detroit suburb Grosse Pointe) then he would be caricatured as a weasel, not a pig. (Unfair to both creatures). 

So I think the matter here is a little more complicated than just weight shaming (like attacking Jason Kenney about his weight and not his policies, for example). Ford is a big bully, and is actively opposed to urbanistic measures that would promote public health. 

alan smithee alan smithee's picture

I don't know if I'd use Henry Ford as an example of 'evil'...Afterall,if there was a hell,the first person you'd meet at the gates is Harry Truman.

As for Ford's weight,it has nothing to do with anything...Except for the fact that he probably is not in good health.

onlinediscountanvils

[url=http://still.my.revolution.tao.ca/node/76]Ford, Fatness and Disablism[/url]

MegB

Yup, I'm with you.  I take issue with remarks about Ford's weight the same way I take issue with remarks about how women politicians, conservatives in particular, dress, wear their hair, etc.

Much as I loathe Rob Ford's politics and his sense of entitlement, I'm far more disappointed by those of his critics who would use his physical appearance as a mechanism for criticism. Shame.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Yes Ford tried to score political points from his appearance but it does not change the effect that focusing on his weight has on other people who are overweight.

Ford Fatness and Disablism wrote:

It is not fat people's 'fault' they are fat. This is an individualizing perspective that negates both the fact that fatness is a social construct as are the barriers fat people face. What is considered fat is arbitrary and shifts with cultural norms. A few hundred years ago, fatness was considered the ideal. This ideal did not shift with shifting medical information; rather, it shifted with social pressures.

There is nothing shameful about being fat - about being disabled. What is shameful is a society that judges certain kinds of bodies because they do not meet arbitrary and oppressive standards of desirability and productivity.

Even if blame could be assigned to individuals, it is irrelevant to their social positioning once they are disabled. Say you are driving too fast, flip your car and get a spinal chord injury. This was a predictable possible outcome. So, now you are a paraplegic. Are you less disabled because the accident was your fault?

 

 

Rabble_Incognito

Brachina wrote:
I oppose Ford's Idology, his rudeness, his ignorance, and his unprofessional conduct, and his arrogance, but for the love of all that is unholy ENOUGH ABOUT HIS WEIGHT. We on the left talk about Bullying, yet I see people on the left call him a fat slob and worse and honestly I'm sick of it, it makes me ashamed to be a lefty. His belly has nothing to do with his being unfit to be Mayor, any more then it affects Libby Davies or Bill Blaky ect... That woman who video tape of Rob Ford at KFC disgusts me, people should have acted with compassion and support for him to keep trying to achieve a healther weight.

---------------------

Ford made his weight 'relevant' to discussions surrounding his celebrity. He made his weight 'relevant' via a public relations campaign wherein he was going to lose x pounds by y date. Here is a CBC link to refresh your memory:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/story/2012/06/18/toronto-ford-weig...

He failed, publicly. It is obvious to anyone with literary sensibility that Ford's plan was likely to lose weight, then go after city hall for excess (which he'd foreshadowed) in a bid to bring more austerity and contracting out to the City of Toronto (he contracted out garbage collection - "Hello Mafia garbage collection agency, how can I direct your call?").

Please, I love overweight people too, but Ford 'asked' for everyone to look at his weight - indeed, he begged for it.

I believe he deserves the attention.

This has 'everything' to do with his fitness to be Mayor - he's first to the trough with special treatment, and I should be allowed to use that metaphor since he brought his weight into the discussion in the first place.

If he wanted to lose the weight, I submit he should have instituted his own austerity agenda onto his 'own' appetite for fried chicken, just like the rest of us.

Yes I'm overweight, and I don't pretend it's a matter of mere will, and we all suffer with something, ok? You are misplacing your sympathies on someone who would eat you if it enhanced his self image or career to do so.

Writing is art and he made his physique and delivered his physical prowess, his football mentality and stature, to the fore, not the people of Toronto, and he cared not a whit for their desires. He delivered himself, stuffed with an apple in his mouth, and invited us all to partake.

For art sake, and for irony sake, and the sake of interesting plot twists, Rob Ford's weight is relevant to discussions about his career, because, quite simply, he willed it to be so!

Mr.Tea

Rabble_Incognito wrote:

Among football players, gaining weight is very often deliberate. Heavier people deliver more mass to the opponent in tackles, thus disabling play for the opponent where required. Weight is a tool, that he deploys and teaches young men to 'deploy' on the field.

Correct but those football players are gaining weight in the form of muscle, not fat, for the most part. A lot of those guys may be over 300 pounds but are in excellent shape. Ford is not.

Rabble_Incognito

Among football players, gaining weight is very often deliberate. Heavier people deliver more mass to the opponent in tackles, thus disabling play for the opponent where required. Weight is a tool, that he deploys and teaches young men to 'deploy' on the field.

Physical stature also is a physically measured criterion for boxing, wrestling, even football. Divisions are made by weight. And heavier women/men tend to play defensive positions, whereas lighter women/men play forward positions.  He used and deployed his playing of football, a sport where heavier men are known to be 'tougher' and more 'dominant', and rode on that wave into the political arena, exploiting his weight at any opportunity.

I stand by my remarks.

Thanks for the link. My note above explains the concept of relevance satisfactorily.

I'm disabled, and overweight, and that entitles me to my point of view on this board as much as any link you can provide. But more important is my rationale, see above, which supercedes based on relevance.

If one doesn't want weight brought up surrounding Rob Ford, at Babble, then it behooves one not to start a thread alerting readers to the issue. Because if ones does, some might think their POV is at least as 'relevant' as the one initiating the thread, and may respond in a manner which challenges established groupthink.

And I am capable of reading your remarks without the use of bold. Thanks for the visual assistance, but I have glasses, and they work satisfactorily.

It's like...unicorns. If you don't like unicorns, then don't start a thread about them. Make sense? But if you just want everyone to agree it's not nice to make fun of Rob Ford's weight, sure, it's not nice, but we're not trying to make friends, are we? We're responding to his PR campaign in a rational manner. Alerting readers to ironies that shouldn't be lost is the job of those who write for others and that supercedes niceness because it 'informs' and 'reminds' in a way that 'niceness' or empathic role taking simply does not. And if you don't like me saying Rob Ford asked for it, then you shouldn't start a thread about it.

It seems that NOT commenting on Rob Ford's weight is exactly what his PR department 'wants' or 'intends' for people to do. Do you think his PR people hadn't calculated that there are a lot of people out there with weight issues, and they were counting on a collective 'stifling' of commentary simply because weight is a difficult topic to discuss?

 

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Many of those football players pay for bulking up with weight problems throughout the rest of their lives. Its likely to take 5 to 10 years of a person's life if they bulk up for sports.

I am sorry if I somehow offended you R_I.    I am also entitled to my opinion and as a overweight currently disabled person I intend to speak my mind.

The boding is for emphasis only and a technique I am accustomed to using to ensure the reader focuses on the part of the text the I find the most relevant.  I have never considered it to be anything but a writing style that I employed for years in my professional practice.  Sometimes I am astounded at the things that people can complain about.

Rabble_Incognito

True enough - I've seen him take a football and run and then unceremoniously fall down:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EzM8b2vJsMY

 

Mr.Tea

kropotkin1951 wrote:

Many of those football players pay for bulking up with weight problems throughout the rest of their lives. Its likely to take 5 to 10 years of a person's life if they bulk up for sports.

Very true. Because when you're a pro athlete, you're working out constantly, always surrounded by trainers and nutritionists and the best health care available. You're a valuable commodity and teams have invested a lot of money to keep you in tip top condition. The moment your career ends, so does all the support. You're not an investment anymore.

onlinediscountanvils

People were attacking Ford for his weight long before his public weight loss challenge.

Let's be honest. When someone calls him a "fat fuck", they're not saying, "Gee, what a great nose tackle you must be."

[url=http://www.shamelessmag.com/blog/2011/07/fatness-and-rob-ford/]Fatness and Rob Ford[/url]

Julia Horel wrote:
I am fat, and I am right here when you say that Rob Ford would do better to lay off the gravy. I’m right here when you say that grotesque individuals like Ford would be a lot better off if they got on a bicycle now and then, because they’re harming the environment as well as being grossly obese. I’m right here, and in many cases I am putting myself out there and directly questioning your need to bring Ford’s weight into a conversation where it is completely irrelevant, and you are either ignoring me or telling me that his weight is a fair point of criticism because it represents his supposed sloth, greed and disregard for the environment, because he’s a bully who “throws his weight around.”

Let me tell you something else: this hurts me personally.

I am a fat person who bicycles. I am a fat person who does not own a car. I am a fat person who cares about the environment. I am a fat person with progressive politics, who volunteers for progressive organizations, and who happens to carry around more adipose tissue than average. When you tell Rob Ford that he’s a fat fuck who needs to get on a bike, you erase me as a fat cyclist. When you say that mentioning Ford’s weight is justified metaphorically because it represents conservative values, you erase me as a fat progressive. If you think that correlating Ford’s fatness with his terrible politics doesn’t also strongly imply a criticism of fat more broadly, you aren’t thinking critically.

When you use fatness as an insult, you are chipping away at my hard-earned sense of dignity, acceptance and self-love of my fat body. And when you brush off my concerns about the language we’re using in our critiques of the mayor, I’m hearing, loud and clear, that I don’t have the right progressive body, that I fall outside your realm of acceptability as a progressive person in Toronto.

Rabble_Incognito

kropotkin1951 I'm not offended, because I don't think there's anything particularly shameful about being overweight, personally, as people exist on a continuum for me, with all kinds, all manner and variety of people. There are ecto, meso and endomorphs. We all struggle with many things.

That said, I think empathy for people is primary. And I dole out that compassion by not criticizing 'being overweight' - for me it is usually a 'so what' issue = so what if someone is overweight this does not affect my assessment of 'who they are'.

What I criticize in Ford is his 'Triumph of the Will' mentality as it applies to weight loss, and the failure of it to achieve objectives - a mentality he brought to City Hall.

You don't 'decide' to embark on a thoughtful or sincere weight loss campaign by making a political gain out of the experience, which was precisely and exactly Ford's intent. You embark on a weight loss campaign because you sincerely feel you need to lose the weight. Fords was a 'stunt' or a 'facade' or 'show' or 'theatre' - it wasn't 'real'. Time has shown his insincerity - he has neither lost the weight, nor does he regret the lack of loss. To focus on metaphor for weight is to miss the whole point of the show.

Similarly, he didn't cut 'fat' at city hall, he lost people their jobs and gave away city jobs to private contracting companies. Indeed, he was 'at the trough' often, collecting private percs for himself like rerouting busses to take his football team home, or redirecting public work crews outside his business so he could have pothole free customer access to his family business, and using city letterhead to solicit donations for his football team. And yes, he bullied people on and off the field and did push his weight around.

And again, I didn't bring Rob Ford's weight into the equation; Rob Ford did.

And the fact that Rob Ford's play on words and weight didn't work to his advantage, is testament to his incompetence with politics, words and with people. And we the public, and writers, should be allowed to fill our plates with his just desserts.

 

 

Michelle

Rabble_Incognito wrote:

And the fact that Rob Ford's play on words and weight didn't work to his advantage, is testament to his incompetence with politics, words and with people. And we the public, and writers, should be allowed to fill our plates with his just desserts.

And we, the morbidly obese, will be here to say "fuck you" whenever you do.

So, fill your plate and fuck you.

onlinediscountanvils

Michelle wrote:
I am so sick of supposedly progressive people making excuses for why it's okay to make oppressive comments about fat people.  It really pisses me off.

 

Me too.

Michelle

Rabble_Incognito wrote:

Ford made his weight 'relevant' to discussions surrounding his celebrity. He made his weight 'relevant' via a public relations campaign wherein he was going to lose x pounds by y date. Here is a CBC link to refresh your memory:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/story/2012/06/18/toronto-ford-weig...

He failed, publicly. It is obvious to anyone with literary sensibility that Ford's plan was likely to lose weight, then go after city hall for excess (which he'd foreshadowed) in a bid to bring more austerity and contracting out to the City of Toronto (he contracted out garbage collection - "Hello Mafia garbage collection agency, how can I direct your call?").

Please, I love overweight people too, but Ford 'asked' for everyone to look at his weight - indeed, he begged for it.

I believe he deserves the attention.

No, sorry, you're wrong.  I don't think he deserves the attention for his weight.  And there were all sorts of lefties - tons of them on Facebook when I still had an account, here on babble, and elsewhere who were mocking him for his weight and pretending it had anything to do with anything (sorry, lagatta, but no, it's horseshit that his weight has anything to do with his war on cyclists - there are lots of thin non-cyclists who drive cars everywhere and agree with him) long before his weight challenge.

In fact, I think the weight challenge was probably a defensive reaction to the massive amounts of fat-shaming and nastiness in the media - there was at least a year of fat jokes and nastiness before he started the "cut the waist" challenge.  And I think it's really sad that he felt like he had to do that in order to shut his critics up.  Ever since he came onto the mayoralty scene in Toronto it's felt like fucking junior high in left-wing circles with the number of people who have been making snide fat jokes.  And you know what?  Fat jokes weren't funny for fat kids like me in junior high, and they're not funny now, even when they're aimed at people I don't like.

The worst part about his weight challenge is that I knew from the very beginning that he was going to fail.  Why?  Because every morbidly obese person who tries to lose weight "the old fashioned way" fails - or at least almost all of them.  Only about 3% of obese people who lose weight are able to keep it off after five years.  Practically everyone gains it back.  He'd have been better off getting bariatric surgery - so far, that's the only method that has had any decent success rates over the long term.  But no one cares about the science when it comes to weight loss - everyone believes the latest horseshit peddled by Dr. Oz.  Doctors still tell their morbidly obese patients to "diet and exercise" even though they know the long term effects are that the weight will get gained back plus more.  And I think it's because our society needs to believe that morbidly obese people could lose the weight by dieting and riding their bikes to work if they really wanted to, because otherwise they'd have to stop mocking them.  And that's just no fucking fun, is it.

Obesity, when it is morbid obesity, can be and often is considered a disability.  I know there are different schools of thought on that, including in the fat acceptance movement, about whether obesity is a disability or not.  As a morbidly obese person, I consider it a disability, personally.  We end up with significantly decreased mobility, and health issues as a result.  I would venture a guess that every morbidly obese person has tried extremely hard to lose weight at many, many times in their lives.  We almost always end up fatter for our trouble.  But you know where the fat acceptance movement agrees with people who consider morbid obesity a disability?  Neither group thinks that fat people should be shamed or mocked.

What do you mean, "I love overweight people"?  What does that even mean?  Are we all the same?  I don't "love overweight people".  I love some overweight people, and I despise others, including Rob Ford.  Weight has nothing to do with whether I "love" people. 

It's funny that lagatta brings up cycling as a good reason to criticize Rob Ford's weight.  Some of the very worst fatphobia I've seen in general and about Rob Ford has come from Toronto cyclists.  Nasty, foul, holier-than-thou, disgusting comments are quite common.  (Luckily, most cyclists I know personally are more enlightened than that, but just take a look at any article about cycling issues that attracts comments from cyclists, especially if they're about sharing infrastructure with e-bikes, or about Rob Ford's war on cyclists and you'll see lots of examples of what I mean.)  The mainstay being, "Hey, if Rob Ford would just ride a bike instead of his car, maybe he wouldn't be such a fat slob."

As a person who has always felt that cycling and transit infrastructure should be a priority, it always makes me feel really good hearing that sort of thing from supposed progressive allies.  Rob Ford probably couldn't ride a bike even if he wanted to.  Many morbidly obese people have a hard time walking, much less riding bikes.  Hey, I know what would be really progressive - let's mock people for having decreased mobility due to their weight.

I have compromised - I don't have a car, instead I have an e-bike.  I have a bicycle too, but I can't ride very far on it at all - it's extremely uncomfortable, and I certainly couldn't commute with it the way I do with my e-bike.  My e-bike is way better for the environment than cars when transit is too inconvenient (and it often is when you go north of the downtown area due to underfunded and crowded transit), and it means I have the same level of mobility as those who ride regular bikes.  Both radiorahim and I have been mocked with nasty, fatphobic comments by cyclists (and both of us are extremely careful to give cyclists a wide berth and always cede the way for cyclists).

I am so sick of supposedly progressive people making excuses for why it's okay to make oppressive comments about fat people.  It really pisses me off.

Junkyard Dog

It never ceases to amaze me when well-meaning and otherwise intelligent people on our side of the aisle insist on adhering to some non-existant Marquess of Queensbury rules while our very real enemies gleefully engage in the most vicious kind of political hardball...and (usually) go on to win victory after victory after victory. And apparently, the proper response to that sorry state of affairs is to stick our noses in the air and disdainfully sniff that one just doesn't stoop to such vulgarities, don'cha know. Obviously, the only way to attract people to our side, especially undecided voters or self-styled independents, is to lecture them in the most droning, boring, humorless tone of bueraucrat-ese we can manage. And certainly, we must never, ever, ever respond in kind when our opponents use harsh, insulting, or intemperate language. Why, that would be rude! Boo hoo hoo hoo hoo!

Always remember, kids: If we don't lick their boots while they're actively kicking our teeth down our throats, then we're just as bad as they are.

Rabble_Incognito

Michelle wrote:

Hear, hear.  I saw your thread title and was all ready to come in here loaded for bear.  Glad you wrote what you did!

You came here loaded for bear, and you got to say Fuck you.

You didn't really address the issue of who is bringing the issue to the fore. You came here looking for a fight, and you got one! And you got to say Fuck you.

I hope that satisfied you.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Junkyard Dog wrote:
It never ceases to amaze me when well-meaning and otherwise intelligent people on our side of the aisle insist on adhering to some non-existant Marquess of Queensbury rules while our very real enemies gleefully engage in the most vicious kind of political hardball...and (usually) go on to win victory after victory after victory. And apparently, the proper response to that sorry state of affairs is to stick our noses in the air and disdainfully sniff that one just doesn't stoop to such vulgarities, don'cha know.

So should we start arguing that Condolezza Rice is a terrible politician because she's a black woman because it might find some traction? Sorry, I don't follow your logic, JY.

Michelle

I'm always loaded for bear when people think it's okay to mock people like me.  I'm sick of rolling over and taking it or politely laughing while hurting inside over their stupid, insensitive and oppressive comments.

You're welcome.  You richly earned it.

Michelle

It's not about Marquess of Queensbury rules.  Not wanting to hear oppressive language against fat people (many of whom are on "our side of the aisle") is not about being polite.  It's about wanting an environment that is free of oppression.

And believe me, Rob Ford didn't win because the left was too polite to mock him with fat jokes.  In fact, I'm willing to bet that all the nasty mocking of him by his opponents on irrelevant crap might have actually contributed TOWARD his win.  I think he probably got a lot of sympathy from people who aren't hardcore lefties and thought he was being bullied by his opponents.

It's not just oppressive, but it's stupid tactically too.  I don't get why people don't get that by now.

Rabble_Incognito

You are an open wound. I didn't hurt you. You made yourself say Fuck you in an open discussion, against someone who said 'nothing' to hurt you personally. You didn't even read what I wrote - you just blew off with Fuck you.

I bet you're a real deep thinker when you're not blowing people off with Fuck you comments.

There is nothing oppressive about what I wrote. Please cite said oppression.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

jas, I think you can see how that comment is not helpful.

Rabble_Incognito, I would like to ask you to do some more thinking about how making comments in general about people with certain physical characteristics might also target individuals who share or have shared in the past those characteristics themselves--even if you didn't intend it. And once someone tells you that they felt targeted, to respond with more sensitivity than statements like "You are an open wound." That is not how babble deals with discussions over oppression and exclusionary language.

Rabble_Incognito

Michelle wrote:

Rabble_Incognito wrote:

Ford made his weight 'relevant' to discussions surrounding his celebrity. He made his weight 'relevant' via a public relations campaign wherein he was going to lose x pounds by y date. Here is a CBC link to refresh your memory:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/story/2012/06/18/toronto-ford-weig...

He failed, publicly. It is obvious to anyone with literary sensibility that Ford's plan was likely to lose weight, then go after city hall for excess (which he'd foreshadowed) in a bid to bring more austerity and contracting out to the City of Toronto (he contracted out garbage collection - "Hello Mafia garbage collection agency, how can I direct your call?").

Please, I love overweight people too, but Ford 'asked' for everyone to look at his weight - indeed, he begged for it.

I believe he deserves the attention.

No, sorry, you're wrong.  I don't think he deserves the attention for his weight.  And there were all sorts of lefties - tons of them on Facebook when I still had an account, here on babble, and elsewhere who were mocking him for his weight and pretending it had anything to do with anything (sorry, lagatta, but no, it's horseshit that his weight has anything to do with his war on cyclists - there are lots of thin non-cyclists who drive cars everywhere and agree with him) long before his weight challenge.

In fact, I think the weight challenge was probably a defensive reaction to the massive amounts of fat-shaming and nastiness in the media - there was at least a year of fat jokes and nastiness before he started the "cut the waist" challenge.  And I think it's really sad that he felt like he had to do that in order to shut his critics up.  Ever since he came onto the mayoralty scene in Toronto it's felt like fucking junior high in left-wing circles with the number of people who have been making snide fat jokes.  And you know what?  Fat jokes weren't funny for fat kids like me in junior high, and they're not funny now, even when they're aimed at people I don't like.

The worst part about his weight challenge is that I knew from the very beginning that he was going to fail.  Why?  Because every morbidly obese person who tries to lose weight "the old fashioned way" fails - or at least almost all of them.  Only about 3% of obese people who lose weight are able to keep it off after five years.  Practically everyone gains it back.  He'd have been better off getting bariatric surgery - so far, that's the only method that has had any decent success rates over the long term.  But no one cares about the science when it comes to weight loss - everyone believes the latest horseshit peddled by Dr. Oz.  Doctors still tell their morbidly obese patients to "diet and exercise" even though they know the long term effects are that the weight will get gained back plus more.  And I think it's because our society needs to believe that morbidly obese people could lose the weight by dieting and riding their bikes to work if they really wanted to, because otherwise they'd have to stop mocking them.  And that's just no fucking fun, is it.

Obesity, when it is morbid obesity, can be and often is considered a disability.  I know there are different schools of thought on that, including in the fat acceptance movement, about whether obesity is a disability or not.  As a morbidly obese person, I consider it a disability, personally.  We end up with significantly decreased mobility, and health issues as a result.  I would venture a guess that every morbidly obese person has tried extremely hard to lose weight at many, many times in their lives.  We almost always end up fatter for our trouble.  But you know where the fat acceptance movement agrees with people who consider morbid obesity a disability?  Neither group thinks that fat people should be shamed or mocked.

What do you mean, "I love overweight people"?  What does that even mean?  Are we all the same?  I don't "love overweight people".  I love some overweight people, and I despise others, including Rob Ford.  Weight has nothing to do with whether I "love" people.

It's funny that lagatta brings up cycling as a good reason to criticize Rob Ford's weight.  Some of the very worst fatphobia I've seen in general and about Rob Ford has come from Toronto cyclists.  Nasty, foul, holier-than-thou, disgusting comments are quite common.  (Luckily, most cyclists I know personally are more enlightened than that, but just take a look at any article about cycling issues that attracts comments from cyclists, especially if they're about sharing infrastructure with e-bikes, or about Rob Ford's war on cyclists and you'll see lots of examples of what I mean.)  The mainstay being, "Hey, if Rob Ford would just ride a bike instead of his car, maybe he wouldn't be such a fat slob."

As a person who has always felt that cycling and transit infrastructure should be a priority, it always makes me feel really good hearing that sort of thing from supposed progressive allies.  Rob Ford probably couldn't ride a bike even if he wanted to.  Many morbidly obese people have a hard time walking, much less riding bikes.  Hey, I know what would be really progressive - let's mock people for having decreased mobility due to their weight.

I have compromised - I don't have a car, instead I have an e-bike.  I have a bicycle too, but I can't ride very far on it at all - it's extremely uncomfortable, and I certainly couldn't commute with it the way I do with my e-bike.  My e-bike is way better for the environment than cars when transit is too inconvenient (and it often is when you go north of the downtown area due to underfunded and crowded transit), and it means I have the same level of mobility as those who ride regular bikes.  Both radiorahim and I have been mocked with nasty, fatphobic comments by cyclists (and both of us are extremely careful to give cyclists a wide berth and always cede the way for cyclists).

I am so sick of supposedly progressive people making excuses for why it's okay to make oppressive comments about fat people.  It really pisses me off.

Do you ever count how many times you used the word 'I'?

It's not about you. Get over yourself. Nobody cares that you ride an e bike, at least as it pertains to Rob Ford's weight loss extravaganza.

jas

It's not just that he's fat. He's ugly too. Smile

Catchfire Catchfire's picture
Michelle

Sure I did.  It was a conscious decision for me to say "fuck you" and I stand by it.  It was a completely willful and conscious action on my part as a response to your voluminous excuses for fatphobia and your inalienable right to be as fatphobic as you please, and fatphobia directly affects me, and yes, hurts me.

You may not realize how you hurt people by perpetuating and excusing fatphobic discourse.  That's okay.  I'm letting you know how I feel about it.  And yes, I'm a very proud person.  Staring people like you down when you contribute to my oppression is so much more satisfying than slinking away and feeling hurt and saying nothing.

I said "I" because I was speaking from my own experience about how fatphobia affects me, an obese person.

The problem is that too many people who would like to continue mocking Rob Ford for his weight refuse to believe that it does directly affect all people who are obese like he is.  I understand that you didn't mean to insult me personally.  But I'm insulted.  So yes, I talk about how it affects me.

Women have long discussed how they feel about how sexism affects them personally.  People of colour talk about how racism, both individual acts and systemic racism, affects them personally.  Of course I'm going to talk about how it affects me personally when people mock fat people.  Why wouldn't I? 

If fatphobia didn't actually affect any fat people, then why would it be a problem?  Why would I object?  My very point is that it DOES affect people personally, and the only perspective I can give you is my own on how it affects me.

Rabble_Incognito

Please show me the wounding comment, aside from the 'open wound' one, which she brought up - I'm not mistaken, right, she did bring her own personal wound into the discussion, right? She made it relevant, right?

And what I meant by I love overweight people, is that I love people, regardless of their weight.

Do I love Rob Ford? No, he's an exception. And Michelle, because she's a poor thinker and reasoner, and takes things personally and distorts any commentary about weight into a personal attack against her. And because she can't control herself in discourse and resorts to Fuck you instead of principled reasoning and discussion, thus showing that she's a narcissist and has to have attention focused on her and her rights even to the exclusion of reasoned discourse about a public figure who made his career making his weight an issue.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Okay, Rabble_Incognito, this:

And Michelle, because she's a poor thinker and reasoner, and takes things personally and distorts any commentary about weight into a personal attack against her. And because she can't control herself in discourse and resorts to Fuck you instead of principled reasoning and discussion.

is a personal attack. You don't get to do this after making up excuses for why you are allowed to use oppressive language. Both of these things violate babble policy. This is a warning, so please don't come back with more of the same. You may feel chagrined for being told to fuck off, but that is the price of justifying the use of exclusionary language against people who are telling you it is hurtful. The take away from this for you is: read, listen and don't attack people personally. If you continue, you'll be taking a vacation. Thanks.

ETA. Rabble_Incognito has been suspended for three days for comments he made subsequent to this one. The comments have been removed in an effort to get this thread back on track.

Rabble_Incognito

And you can't show me a wounding comment, can you Catchfire? I thought so.

Please show me where I am Fat Phobic.

I thought so, you can't.

Fat Phobic is a brand you're going to try to brand me with - but it won't work because there is no offending commentary against obese people, only commentary about Rob Ford's use of weight metaphor to assuage voters towards city hall reduction programs.

jas

All this over Rob Ford?? NOT worth it, guys!

Michelle

Yes, of course I brought it into the discussion.  And I'm quite happy to admit that I have an open wound about the mocking and fat jokes and physical bullying I have had directed at me throughout my life (particularly in childhood, but also as an adult). 

That's exactly what it's about.  Like any other oppression, that's how fatphobia works on a personal level.  On a systemic level, the way it works is that people consider you less competent, less able to do things that have nothing to do with weight, most things aren't made to fit your body, and you have a sense (usually under the surface) that society considers you less valuable than people who are smaller.

The personal wound is usually scabbed over, but every time there are fatphobic comments bandied about, the scab gets picked raw.  I think it's like that for most fat people who have had to deal with discrimination or mocking of themselves personally, or when they see other people picked on for their weight.

It would be much more comfortable if people didn't talk about their emotional wounds, wouldn't it?  But after 40 years, I'm kind of tired of just staying quiet.  I have a very uncomfortable feeling right now because it's not considered okay to admit that you are wounded and hurt, especially in the middle of an argument.  But yes, I am.  And that's a perfectly good reason why progressive people shouldn't perpetuate fatphobia.  It actually hurts people, and not just your direct target (Ford).

Michelle

Catchfire, with respect, I think this is a useful discussion.  I hope you'll let Rabble_Incognito continue.  I was provocative by telling him "fuck you" and I knew it would make him defensive.  I don't want to interfere with your moderating, but I hope you will reconsider.

These are hard discussions to have with our allies.  I think it's important to have them, though, and have it out, as ugly as it is.

Unionist

/ silently applauding Michelle /

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Michelle, thanks for your input, but I'm not going to let RI back until he's cooled off. There are two more comments, which I've removed, inbetween my last comment and jas's, which led me to this. RI had lots of opportunity to engage with you, even on a heated level. He chose to have a tantrum, repeat his personal attacks, and taunt the moderators.

Caissa

You are mensch Michelle.

Michelle

But I had a slight tantrum too.  I told him "fuck you".  You should probably give me a time out too then. ;)

I feel bad because I never wanted to see him suspended, and I wouldn't have carried the argument this far with him if I'd thought that would happen.  This is one of those issues that the left hasn't "settled" yet, and it will take a lot of discussion, and yes, sometimes really heated argument and even a tantrum or two (or more!), before it will be.

I'll stop posting in this thread until he's back - that feels more fair to me on a personal level.  If you're reading this, RI, we'll see you in a few days. :)

Edited to add: That said, I didn't see the posts you deleted, Catchfire, so while I will do what I need to do, I also respect your decision.  I know how much fun it is to moderate during an argument that's turning into a flame war...

Bacchus

Michelle wrote:

But I had a slight tantrum too.  I told him "fuck you".  You should probably give me a time out too then. ;)

I feel bad because I never wanted to see him suspended, and I wouldn't have carried the argument this far with him if I'd thought that would happen.  This is one of those issues that the left hasn't "settled" yet, and it will take a lot of discussion, and yes, sometimes really heated argument and even a tantrum or two (or more!), before it will be.

I'll stop posting in this thread until he's back - that feels more fair to me on a personal level.  If you're reading this, RI, we'll see you in a few days. :)

Edited to add: That said, I didn't see the posts you deleted, Catchfire, so while I will do what I need to do, I also respect your decision.  I know how much fun it is to moderate during an argument that's turning into a flame war...

 

How do you want people to learn not to use oppressive language or change their way of thinking?  We talk about how we want to punish racists, bigots etc when they step over the line to teach them a lesson. Why should this be different? If he didnt relax and respond positively after the first few posts, did you really think he would improve?  This kind of time out is how we teach people whats acceptable and not acceptable so its not a bad thing here really

Bacchus

But then Im fat and was offended by his comments. And personally I think if Rob ford runs again in 2014, he would win because of the sympathy vote alone which is not how I want anyone to win or lose.  

mark_alfred

Being fat doesn't necessarily indicate poor health.  Some people are simply of that body type.

Regardless, Ford himself brought attention to his weight with his "Cut the Waist" weigh-ins.  So, I think giving it some attention is fair game.  This pressure to stifle the urge to say anything about his weight is similar (though not parallel) to that story of people ignoring that the king has no clothes (not that I'm against naturalists, but if the state of undress is greater than the norm, then I feel it's fair to comment about it).  Again, the man brought up the issue himself in a failed attempt at creating another cute "stop the gravy train" slogan (in this case, "cut the waist").  And I don't think his having a large physique is detrimental to him.  Power is expected in a leader, and a large frame has power.  Robert Stanfield's slender frame duffing a CFL kickoff affected him more than weight has affected Ford.

It does seem people here will use any opportunity to fight one another.  No wonder right-wingers are more successful in pursuing their agendas.

Mr.Tea

A politician's ideology is often reflective of their own lifestyle and situation. So, during the last US presidential election, nobody on the left felt any sort of hesitation or objection in using the fact that Mitt Romney was incredibly wealthy to attack him as being out of touch with the average working American or of having policies favouring the wealthy. The reality is that Romney spent most of his life in the elite boardrooms of corporate America, became super rich and this reflected his worldview and his policies. Talking about the "47%" of Americans who just want "handouts" would be objectionable from anyone but particularly from a guy who has never had to struggle the way others have. Objecting to sick people getting healthcare would be objectionable from anyone but particularly from a guy who has never had to worry about whether a loved one would die for lack of care. Romney's wife has MS and has lived through breast cancer and because they had money was able to get world class care. And that's great. I certainly wish Mrs. Romney nothing but good health. But lots of people who don't have their resources don't have the same options. When someone like Romney tells college kids worried about escalating education costs to "just borrow the money from your parents", that shows a high degree of being out of touch and seems reflective of his own worldview, having gone to Harvard and Stanford and never worried about it because his family had money.

So, look at Rob Ford's policies and see if they don't display the same sort of bias based on lifestyle or worldview. A guy who is morbidly obese cutting community exercise and sports programs for kids. Cutting nutritional programs that poor kids use. Waging war on cyclists. Is a fat guy cutting nutrition programs for poor kids any less objectionable or any better optics than a rich guy giving tax breaks to other rich guys?

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Michelle you have nothing to apologize for. He came in looking for a fight.  I commented on his post with a quote from an article and he then attacked me and made stupid comments on bolding for emphasis that he seemed to be flinging as a personal insult.  I then tried to calm the waters and he took my good will and tried to beat me with it.  I am obese now but as a kid and young adult I was not so I appreciate your perspective as some one who has had to deal with it your whole life.  He was baiting you by ignoring everything you said and then reiterating the points you had just told him were hurtful to you.

I'll put money most people reading the thread silently cheered when you told him where to go.

Unionist

When do we get to out alcoholics in elected office and use that to critique their politics? We may need to open whole new forums.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Mr. Tea with respect being obese is not a lifestyle choice.  That is one of the major themes in Michelle's excellent posts.  Being part of the 0.1% is a class issue and again not a lifestyle choice since us poor folks can't chose the champagne lifestyle.

Mr.Tea

Unionist wrote:
When do we get to out alcoholics in elected office and use that to critique their politics? We may need to open whole new forums.

When alcoholics support policies that promote alcoholism, I suppose. If former BC Premier Campbell, who was convicted of drunk driving, were to introduce legislation reducing penalties for drunk driving, I think his own status as a drunk driver would be relevant.

Similarly, there's a gay rights group in the states that "outs" gay politicians who support anti-gay policies. They're not homophobic. They (and I) don't care if a politician is gay. That's their private life, as it is for a gay teacher, plumber or accountant. But when a politician like Idaho senator Larry Craig goes around denouncing gay people, opposing equal rights for gay couples, etc. while at the same time cruising for blowjobs in airport men's rooms, I think it's appropriate to point out that hypocrisy.

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