Monday, October 02, 2017 by Ethan Huff
Overweight and obese women – and especially brown or black ones who are lesbian or identify as being gender abnormal – have a new safe space at Oregon State University (OSU). It’s in the classroom of Patti Lou Watkins, an associate professor of clinical psychology who will reportedly be teaching a new course in “fat studies” next spring that will aim to normalize being aberrantly large by calling out “weightism,” which is apparently the latest cause on the civil rights forefront.
Watkins is no stranger to fighting for fat rights, having previously authored an article published in the journal European Health Psychologist (EHP) that tried to make the case that being fat is perfectly healthy and normal. She’s now taking that same mindset to the classroom where she plans to indoctrinate it on her students.
According to the course’s syllabus, it will examine “body weight, shape, and size as an area of human difference subject to privilege and discrimination that intersects with other systems of oppression based on gender, race, class, age, sexual orientation, and ability.” Translated into non-ivory tower normal-speak, Watkins basically plans to teach her students that people who feel badly about being fat are a product of the same system of oppression that regarded slaves as second-class citizens prior to abolition.
That’s because, just like black people who can’t change the color of their skin, fat people can’t do anything about being fat, according to Watkins. Fat people are just as healthy as skinny people in the world of Watkins, and this is supported by science, apparently.
“The validity of HAES is supported by research over the past decade that reveals the continued ineffectiveness of dieting interventions targeting weight loss along with the potential for harm associated with these strategies,” Watkins argues, HAES standing for “Health At Any Size,” a movement that contends fatness is just another normal body type.
In case you missed it, Watkins also apparently believes, at least according to her statement, that dieting is harmful – perhaps because some people don’t do it right, or it simply doesn’t work for them? Maybe they’re not really sticking to it as honestly as they like to pretend they are, so they feel sad or discouraged because they’re not seeing the results they expected with minimal effort? It’s hard to say for sure, but either way Watkins thinks eating right to try to lose weight is bad and shouldn’t be encouraged.
She also seems to think that embracing the normalcy of obesity is in perfect alignment with the tenets of feminism, at least her personal version of them anyway. Watkins apparently believes, again based on her own statements, that big is beautiful, and that the only reason people don’t like fatness is because they were taught not to like it by a discriminatory society.
“I grew to embrace feminist pedagogy in terms of course content as well as classroom practices,” Watkins says, wearing this insane dogma as some kind of badge of honor. “My course now frames body image disturbances more as a function of oppressive societal structures than of individual pathology.”
“Fatphobia,” an invented fear of fat people that Watkins and others like her believe permeates society, is the reason why fat people, which now account for more than two billion people globally, suffer so much in society. I mean, when airplane seats are made to accommodate just one normal-sized gluteus maximus at a time instead of two, what’s a fat person to do (besides purchase a second seat like they’re already required to do, which they can think of as an incentive to lose weight).
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