Feminist Internet: Citing Studies Linking Obesity to Health Problems Is ‘Oppressive’

According to Feminist Internet, worrying about obesity, a health problem that plagues our society, isn’t a nice thing to do — in fact, it’s a very mean, “oppressive” thing called “concern trolling.”

A post co-authored by Melissa A. Fabello and Linda Bacon for the blog Everyday Feminism defines “concern-trolling” as “the act of a person participating ‘in a debate posing as an actual or potential ally who simply has concerns they need answered before they will ally themselves with a cause.’”

In case that buzzword salad didn’t make any sense to you, the authors gave a few examples of the the kinds of unacceptable, “oppressive” phrases that people needed to “stop” using, including, “I’m just concerned about their health.”

Now, you might see absolutely nothing wrong with that kind of statement — especially considering that obesity has been repeatedly found responsible for a huge number of preventable deaths in the United States. 

But apparently, true feminists are supposed to ignore facts if those facts have the potential to hurt someone’s feelings: 

“It’s disheartening to see feminists – people who we generally trust to engage with content and have their status quo boundaries pushed – rush to quote sketchy research and throw oppressive ideologies around all in the name of, supposedly, ‘health,’” the article states. 

Of course, the use of the word “supposedly” here is pretty ridiculous. Being obese isn’t “supposedly” unhealthy — it is unhealthy, according to the Department of Health’s Center for Disease Control, the American Medical Association and approximately 9 million health experts. 

#share#Now, forgive my sexism, but I cannot escape the feeling that the Department of Health might know just a little more about health than random feminist bloggers do. 

The authors of the article, however, state that the real reason people think obesity is a problem is because “we live in a world that so desperately hates people of size,” and what we think are the results of scientific studies are really just “prejudices” that “turn into truths in our minds.”


“Fatphobic concern trolling is oppressive (and, on a more personal note, makes us cringe), it’s time for us – all of us, but especially feminists – to stop,” it continues. 

After all, the authors explain: “As social justice activists, it’s first and foremost your job to show empathy to marginalized folks.” “First and foremost,” apparently, even above taking scientific research seriously and worrying about threats to people’s actual lives

#related#And in any case, the article claims, “correlation does not equal causation,” and relating obesity to diseases such as diabetes and heart disease is really no more credible than saying that the fact that there are more drowning deaths near places that sell ice cream means that ice cream causes drowning.

What’s more, the article argues, the real reason for the correlation between obesity and death has nothing to do with obesity itself — it’s all the fatphobia!

“What’s most likely to cause ill health is how oppressed a person is – not which behaviors they engage in,” it states.

Um. Okay. 

Whatever you need to tell yourselves, I guess. Whatever you need to tell yourselves . . . 


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