“Why Can’t You Control Yourself?” Fat Should Be a Feminist Issue

“Why Can’t You Control Yourself?” Fat Should Be a Feminist Issue This article is a comment on Fikkan and Rothblum’s (2011) article “Is Fat a Feminist Issue? Exploring the Gendered Nature of Weight Bias.” They argued that fat women in North America experience significantly more prejudice and discrimination than fat men do, marshaled evidence to support their argument in several domains (e.g., employment, education, romantic relationships, health care, the media), and wondered why feminist scholars have not paid much attention to the oppression of fat women. Here I suggest several reasons why fat women experience more prejudice and discrimination than fat men do: the objectification of women, gender-related aspects of health behavior and knowledge about health and illness, and the importance of self-control to the performance of femininity. I also suggest that there is some overlap in negative stereotypes of both feminists and fat women, which might lead to a desire to distance oneself from both. However, feminists should recognize the intersectionality of fat oppression and the way it colludes with the sexualization and objectification of women in popular culture. Thus, fat should be a feminist issue. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Sex Roles Springer Journals

“Why Can’t You Control Yourself?” Fat Should Be a Feminist Issue

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Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © 2011 by Springer Science+Business Media, LLC
Subject
Psychology; Sociology, general; Medicine/Public Health, general; Gender Studies
ISSN
0360-0025
eISSN
1573-2762
D.O.I.
10.1007/s11199-011-0095-1
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This article is a comment on Fikkan and Rothblum’s (2011) article “Is Fat a Feminist Issue? Exploring the Gendered Nature of Weight Bias.” They argued that fat women in North America experience significantly more prejudice and discrimination than fat men do, marshaled evidence to support their argument in several domains (e.g., employment, education, romantic relationships, health care, the media), and wondered why feminist scholars have not paid much attention to the oppression of fat women. Here I suggest several reasons why fat women experience more prejudice and discrimination than fat men do: the objectification of women, gender-related aspects of health behavior and knowledge about health and illness, and the importance of self-control to the performance of femininity. I also suggest that there is some overlap in negative stereotypes of both feminists and fat women, which might lead to a desire to distance oneself from both. However, feminists should recognize the intersectionality of fat oppression and the way it colludes with the sexualization and objectification of women in popular culture. Thus, fat should be a feminist issue.

Journal

Sex RolesSpringer Journals

Published: Nov 24, 2011

References

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