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Commonalities are not similarities

This post on riotsnotdiets.com promotes the notion that fat people should adopt a disabled identity. That's too simplistic.

fat people—just like all people with devalued, non-normative bodies—are disabled. NOT because our bodies can’t do things, but because we live in a world that STOPS our bodies from doing things.
I am all in favor of coming up with an analysis of the sociopolitical experience of "people with devalued, non-normative bodies."

And I think there can be common cause between disabled activism and the fat activism. Some societal changes would benefit people who identify as disabled, fat, or both.

But I definitely don't think being fat, in and of itself, counts as being disabled, and I think it does damage to fat people and disabled people and people who are both to conflate them.

I'm saying this as someone who has been fat all my life and who has developed some mobility and pain problems over the past five years. Having both things going on is way different for me from having only one of those things going on. And the not-fat people I know who are disabled don't have the same experience of the world that I do.

This entry was originally posted at http://firecat.dreamwidth.org/721044.html, where there are comments.


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 15th, 2011 03:04 am (UTC)
User moominmuppet referenced to your post from Linketies saying: [...] Commonalities are not similarities [...]
May. 15th, 2011 01:52 pm (UTC)
I agree with you. I also cannot totally define "disability" as the result of society's limitations not allowing our bodies to function in it; I have to see it as the intersection of society and our bodies.
May. 16th, 2011 06:10 pm (UTC)
I agree that being fat, in and of itself, is not a disability.

However, I find it important to remember that under the ADA a person is protected when others perceive them to be disabled (even though they are not). And I think that very much applies to fat people.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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