Culture

Colleges Now Have ‘Fat Studies’ Courses and Groups Fighting ‘Weightism’ and ‘Fatphobia’

There's a new protected class on the block.

College campuses nationwide are treating fat people as a new protected class, launching “fat studies” courses that teach that being fat isn’t unhealthy and awareness groups that fight so-called “fatphobia” and “weightism.”

Yes — “fatphobia” and “weightism” are apparently things now. And it’s apparently a big (sorry) deal.

The University of New Hampshire now has a student organization called “People Opposing Weightism (POW!)” that “will create events that will help people to think about weightism and fatphobia.” There are countless pictures of clearly obese people posted on what appears to be the group’s page.

What’s more: Actual, for-credit courses on fatness are becoming a trend — and as Peter Hasson of The Daily Caller points out, they “typically advocate against the position that obesity is unhealthy or undesirable” and treat the issue as a social-justice problem instead of a health one. After all, we all know that sensitivity is more important than science!

For example, Oregon State University currently has a “Fat Studies” course that “frames weight-based oppression as a social justice issue, exploring forms of activism used to counter weightism” and “examines” fatness “as an area of human difference subject to privilege and discrimination that intersects with other systems of oppression.”

#share#An article in Campus Reform reports that the University of Maryland — College Park is offering a class, titled “Introduction to Fat Studies,” which, according to its syllabus, discusses being fat as “an aspect of human diversity, experience, and identity” rather than as a health issue. Among the required readings is “The Fat Liberation Manifesto,” which declares that diet books and other diet-related products are “enemies.”

Campus Reform included a link to the course syllabus in its original article, but it seems that it has since been removed from the course description for reasons unknown. (Perhaps because it’s ridiculous enough to be considered a national embarrassment.)

#related#Willamette University also has similar course — titled “Fat!: The science, culture, and politics of weight” — which also discusses weightism and, according to The Daily Caller, includes a PowerPoint presentation that refuses to discuss being overweight as a medical problem.

According to The Daily Caller, similar “fat studies” courses have also popped up at Tufts University and Dickinson College. Hopefully every single other college will follow suit soon. After all, this is all very important and sane.

— Katherine Timpf is a reporter for National Review Online.

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