Rights of the Rubenesque: London Considers Making Fatism a Form of Hate Speech

180px-Rubens_Venus_at_a_Mirror_c1615Today’s column on blasphemy laws may be too narrow. In San Francisco and London, activists are demanding that denigrating someone as fat should be treated as a hate crime like race, age, or faith. “Fatism” is already banned in San Franscisco in housing and workplaces.

210px-Henry-VIII-kingofengland_1491-1547The San Francisco law even restricts doctors pressuring patients to lose weight. Now, activists are demanding the same type of protection in London. The effort is part of the Size Acceptance Movement, which probably began with the reign of Henry VIII but was more recently formed to end discrimination against the over-sized. Discriminatory businesses and people (who I presume will be called “fatists”) would be treated the same as people who engage in racist hate speech.

As a fairly Rubenesque male, I am sympathetic but fail to see how such a law can be enforced without putting courts on a slippery slope of drawing a line over weight discrimination. I believe that there is extreme prejudice against fat people in our society. However, hate speech is already a controversial issue over limitations on free speech. To now expand it to include weight issues would threaten to destroy the First Amendment in a series of exceptions. “Fatism” cases will leave free speech itself in a anorexic condition.

For the full story, click here.

17 thoughts on “Rights of the Rubenesque: London Considers Making Fatism a Form of Hate Speech”

  1. Can we just get on with the civil war against these morons. They should not be breathing the same air as us!

  2. Interested how many people would seek to define someone as a “fatist” simply for calling someone overweight, but not to define a sexist by calling someone a woman, a racist for calling someone black, or even an agist by calling someone old.

  3. From the linked article:

    Dr Ian Campbell of the charity Weight Concern said, “People who are very overweight do experience a lot of prejudice both in their social life and working life…”

    For folks with weight issues, it is a complex problem, but
    self acceptance and self esteem go along way.


  4. Elaine M.
    “May I suggest a new law term … How about habeas corpulence?”

    Outstanding! 🙂

  5. Queen,

    Are you suggesting that you like big men, go back and re-listen to that song and listen to it from the point of view as a gay man. You will not be amused and you see, I think life is funny because people like things and do not know what it is all about.

    You wanna know about heroin, listen to uncle kracker and follow me:


  6. If you are going to prohibit “fatism” shouldn’t you also prohibit “skinnyism” and wouldn’t that bar critism of the fashion designers who use very slender models?

  7. You know I was contacted by someone that got turned down for Short Termed Disability. They claimed that 15 pounds over is obesed. Come on man this is where the insurance laws are headed here in the US.

    There are some people that like big women. I don’t really care so long as the heart is in the correct place. I have dated many of a women and I have learned that beauty is skin deep and UGLY is to the bone. I would much rather be alone that with someone that is ugly, mean and nasty….

  8. Gyges 1, October 19, 2009 at 4:12 pm

    First they came for the fat jokes, but I said nothing, because I’m big boned.


    I guess you’d have to have one….bada boom

  9. No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend’s or of thine own were: any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bells tolls; it tolls for thee.

  10. Three cheers for the Rubenesque: Hippy, hippy, hooray! Phat phorever!

    May I suggest a new law term if “fatism” is determined to be a form of hate speech in the US and people are charged with the offense? How about habeas corpulence?

  11. “First they came for the Communists, but I was not a Communist so I did not speak out. Then they came for the Socialists and the Trade Unionists, but I was neither, so I did not speak out. Then they came for the Jews, but I was not a Jew so I did not speak out. And when they came for me, there was no one left to speak out for me.”

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