Fat and Not Afraid

Respect and love are for EVERY body.

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Fat, Bitch, Cunt and the N-word

February 24, 2012

Sometimes I get into heated conversations with people who aren't on my wavelength, people less progressive, people like my boss and former boss. These guys are fantastic bosses in every way, I mean that sincerely, but they don't understand or even acknowledge things like white privilege and it's other side, racial oppression. It's fairly frustrating for me and I should know better than to talk about politics or things like this at work. It's hard not too though when there's obviously something that they need to learn and I just can't shut myself up.

For example, somehow yesterday we got to talking about the N word, that word white people cannot (and should not) say. Their arguement was that well if white people can't use that word, black people shouldn't either. It's got to be fair. Now, I am not a person of colour so if I'm about to stick my foot or feet in my mouth, I apologize in advance. This is my take on why white people should not ever use that word (unless maybe it's in an academic or historical context, and even then dammit be careful!)

For a long time in recent Western history, that word was used by white people as a way to hurt, demean and oppress black people. Our continued use of that word continues that hurt, demeaning and oppression, full stop. If black people choose to use that word, to attempt to reclaim it in a way similar to how women are reclaiming words like 'bitch' and 'cunt', that's their business, and it's not up to white people to tell them they can't. I grew up in a small Northern Ontario town; all through primary school and through most of highschool I had 0 exposure to black people. Since discovering blogs and other online places I've learned a lot, but am still a baby at this kind of thinking. I'm coming from a place of pretty extreme ignorance, but as a friend of mine likes to say, I'll argue for compassion and empathy every time. I hope that makes sense. 

So that discussion went nowhere as both of my bosses completetly disagreed with me, and my actual boss tried to compare the word 'fat' to the n-word, that because he's fat, he can go around calling other people fat too. These two words? do not hold the same weight (pun intended) when it comes to oppression and hate, at least in my humble opinion they don't. Also, fat people (at least all the cool activists I know! :D ) are also reclaiming that word, to make it not mean 'lazy, stupid, ignorant' etc.

What do YOU think?

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