“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.”—Elizabeth Kubler Ross (via thechocolatebrigade)
there should be a bizarro episode of glee where danrad replaces darren as blaine and nobody notices blaine is different except for tina but every time she tries to say something about it she’s interrupted
“This is the best time in history to be a creative person, because all you need is an idea and a lot of hard work. You don’t have to go impress one person who is a gatekeeper; you just have to be awesome in your own way, and get your creation in front of an audience. The old media Empire doesn’t know how to adapt to this, which is one of the reasons I believe they are trying to pass laws to crush the rebels, instead of adapting to make the revolution unnecessary.”—Working “2nd Watch” With Wil Wheaton « Nerdist (via wilwheaton)
File under: this would be funny if it weren’t so fucking sad.
Michigan House Republicans prohibited state Rep. Lisa Brown (D) from speaking on the floor after she ended a speech against a bill restricting abortions by referencing her female anatomy, the Detroit News reports.
Said Brown: “Finally, Mr. Speaker, I’m flattered that you’re all so interested in my vagina, but ‘no’ means ‘no.’”
Republicans said Brown was “offensive” and wouldn’t allow her to voice her opinion on a school employee retirement bill.
Responded Brown: “If I can’t say the word vagina, why are we legislating vaginas? What language should I use?”
So…. This happened.
The internet is responding by tweeting “VAGINA” or “VAGINAS” or any variation thereof to the Michigan House Republicans twitter @MIHouseRepublicans
t has become a popular practice to calculate the “costs” of obesity. (As if it’s ok to decide that a group of people with shared physical characteristics should be eradicated to make things cheaper.) There are many, many problems with the calculations and I talked about that here, but I think it’s important to realize that in our society fat people live under intense, constant, stigma and oppression. That means that any calculation about the “cost” of fat people is actually a calculation about the cost of that stigma and oppression.
Let’s start with healthcare costs since that’s one of the most popular things for people to calculate. Studies from Yale showed that over 50% of doctors find fat patients “awkward, ugly, weak-willed and unlikely to comply with treatment” and 28% of nurses said that they were “repulsed” by their obese patients. Mary Huizinga of Johns Hopkins found that “The higher a patient’s body mass, the less respect doctors express for that patient. And the less respect a doctor has for a patient the less time they spend with that patient and the less information he or she offers.”
This leads to increased healthcare costs in a number of ways:
Fat people are treated so poorly by health care professionals – given no respect, called liars, and told that all of our problems are due to our fat, lectured extensively about our weight regardless of the reason for our visit – that some of us start avoiding the doctor. This leads to them not getting early intervention and only going to the doctor when their situation is more acute and therefore more expensive.
When we do brave the poor treatment, discrimination and bigotry and go to the doctor our actual complaints are often ignored and whether we have tendonitis, strep throat, or a broken toe we are told that the cure is to eat less and exercise more. Thin people get all the same health issues as fat people but they have a much higher incidence of being given interventions that have been shown to effectively address their health problems. Fat people are given an intervention intended to change our body size, which not only hasn’t been proven to effectively address health issues, but hasn’t been shown to effectively change our body size.
Because of fat stigma we are denied evidence-based care which means that instead of taking part in interventions that address health issues, those issues continue unabated while we try to change our body size because our health care provider tells us that is the cure. So sometimes we don’t get evidence based healthcare until our health issues are in the advanced stage (and therefore much more expensive) and sometimes we never get evidence based healthcare and we die trying to lose weight. Then all of those costs are chalked up to our fatness rather than the fact that we aren’t able to access good, evidence-based medical care.
Because our society enjoys blaming people for their health, there is shame and stigma attached to diseases that can often be effectively treated – like Type 2 Diabetes. That shame and stigma are especially bad for fat people since despite the fact that thin people get these diseases, and despite the fact that a thin person and a fat person can have the same eating and exercise habits but very different weights, we are told that these are brought on by being fat. Because of this stigma, fat people are often too ashamed to seek medical care and so they don’t get good early treatment and delayed treatment means higher costs.
Nobody is obligated to prioritize health. However, for those who are interested, a mountain of evidence has shown that healthy habits are the best chance for healthy bodies, and yet medical professionals ignore this evidence and instead tell us that if our healthy habits don’t make us thin then they aren’t making us healthy. So fat people give up on healthy habits because they almost never make us thin. So because stigma leads to misinformation, our health hazard ratios go up along with our purported “costs”.
Although eating disordersare dangerous and in some cases deadly, fat people who present with disordered eating are often encouraged to continue and even escalate the behaviors by healthcare professionals who would diagnose those exact same behaviors in a thin person and recommend treatment. The fat stigma that these professionals hold means that they mistakenly believe that thin by any means necessary is better than being fat. Then all the costs that ensue from the disordered eating are chalked up to weight.
The costs of weight loss attempts, especially those that are “medically supervised” are often folded into people’s calculations of how much fat people “cost society”. The problem is that these interventions should never have been recommended in the first place since they do not meet the requirements of evidence-based medicine. The people supervising these programs do not have a shred of evidence that would lead them to believe that the intervention will succeed, but they keep prescribing it and taking money for it, and in the end the fat people who are victims of a scam also get blamed for the cost of the scam.
Even when we lose weight and gain it back, which studies show us is the most likely outcome, we are encouraged to diet again. This leads to weight cycling (also known as yo-yo dieting) which has been correlated to the same diseases as obesity. So again, bad medical advice can lead to health issues but they get charged to the accounts of the fat people who were poorly advised.
Now let’s look at the cost of societal discrimination, bigotry, oppression and stigma:
One of the best things that we can do for our health is get 30 minutes of moderate activity 5 days a week. And yet fat people who attempt to engage in physical activity often find themselves the subject of ridicule. Being “moo’d” at in the gym, having people throw thing at them from cars, and being humiliated for wearing a swimsuit are all things that are reported by fat people as regular occurrences. A lot of my normal weight friends complain about having trouble finding the time to exercise, imagine how much harder that is when carving out time to exercise also means carving out time to be ridiculed and humiliated.
It turns out that the media giving fat people 386,170 negative messages about our bodies a year, and then having that message reinforced by everyone from our parents to our doctors to strangers at the gym is an effective way of convincing fat people to hate our bodies. It also turns out that people don’t take good care of things that they hate, and costs ensue.
To be crystal clear, it is not ok to find a group of people you can identify by sight, calculate their cost on society, and then have a national campaign to eradicate them because you’ve decided things would be cheaper without them.
But since that’s what’s happening let’s understand that until we end stigma, oppression and bigotry against fat people it is impossible to calculate the costs (if any) of our body size separate from the cost of our stigmatization.
Thus, any attempt to calculate of the cost of being fat will, in fact, be a calculation of the cost of being stigmatized and oppressed for being fat. Therefore, if the current cost calculations about being fat indicate that it’s the “greatest threat to public health”, then the actual greatest threat to public health is fat stigma and oppression, making people like Meme Roth a public health threat.
Of course when you point this out you are told that the cure for social stigma, oppression and bigotry against fat people is…wait for it…weight loss! Yes, people actually suggest that the problem isn’t that we’re being bullied, the problem is that we aren’t giving the bully our lunch money. In other words, if we do what our oppressors want us to do and lose weight, they promise they’ll stop oppressing us.