Stef (firecat) wrote,
Stef
firecat

My email to Kepler's about the offensive workshop spam

Update January 15: The bookstore owner apologized for allowing the mail to be sent. The apology can be seen as a comment in the previous entry referenced below.

Here's the email I sent as a result of receiving the spam I wrote about here.


To: books@keplers.com, bookvalet@keplers.com
Subject: Offensive spam sent via your mailing list

I am writing to object to the spam I received via your mailing list last
night, "Stop hunger by losing weight."

I am referring to it as spam because I don't see any notice in the
mailing that the workshop is taking place at Kepler's or that there is
any book associated with the workshop that Kepler's is selling.

I have already removed my name from your mailing list, and I plan to
take my book-buying business elsewhere, unless I receive assurance that
the mailing list will be used in the future only to promote books, and
events sponsored by Kepler's that are clearly labeled as such.

I'm annoyed by the spam and I am also offended by the workshop
description. Following is an explanation why the workshop description is
offensive.

I am all for mindfulness and have a mindfulness practice myself, and I
am certainly in favor of charitable donations. But the subject line
"Stop hunger by losing weight" and the web site name "Pounds for
Poverty" implies to me that fat people are primarily to blame for world
hunger and poverty.

Fat people do not do any harm to other people by being fat. Studies show
that fat people do not as a group eat more than thin people. Fat people
do not consume other things more than thin people either -- in fact most
fat people are poor. Many fat people are not white and fat-hatred
therefore acts as a socially acceptable form of racism.

And a great many people who think they are too fat are not fat, which
leads to eating disorders such as anorexia and bulemia, which
disproportionately affect teen and young adult women.

There is a moral panic in this country where fat people are wrongly made
into symbols for forms of consumption that *do* harm and waste
resources. Workshop descriptions that associate fatness with
overconsumption encourage this distraction from the real problem, and
encourage prejudice and discrimination against fat people.

I would be all for a workshop that teaches people forms of mindfulness
that lead them to turn their Mercedes and SUVs and cosmetic surgery and
other expensive "empty consumption" habits to poverty relief. I think
that would generate a lot more money for poverty relief than a weight
loss program. And in San Mateo/Palo Alto where most people are rich and
thin, it might well attract a larger audience.
--
Stef  **  stef@cat-and-dragon.com **
    ** cat-and-dragon.com/stef ** firecat.livejournal.com **
  **
it works better for me to moderate the stress in my life and supply
plenty of relaxation time all along than to accumulate stress and then
take allegedly healing vacations.  i started to think whether there
wasn't such a thing as yo-yo healing, and whether it wasn't just as bad
for one, maybe, as yo-yo-dieting. -- piranha
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