Thursday, February 18, 2010

Maybe its because I'm not white...

So there was this article on Sarah Silverman (including a small vid clip) and in one of the parts she talks about the types of comedy that she finds offensive and she talks about how she is not comfortable about fat jokes about women. Okay I can get with that.

When it comes to weight there is no question that there are a lot of jokes, stigmas, expectations, etc... that loom over the heads of women and girls. Not trying to argue against that and in fact I agree with it. However in her talking Sarah takes that extra step that people like to take when talking about fat and gender.
"Because I feel that we live in a society where fat men deserve love, and fat women do not deserve love -- at least in white America. And so I feel like that's an ugly thing, and it doesn't make me laugh."
I'd really like to know what society and what America she is talking about.

We'll get back the race thing in a bit. I want to know where this love for fat men is because I could sure as hell use some if it. From being teased by other kids in school, to other kids pretending to be scared of me because "I'll sit on them", to being told I need to workout because I don't look like a body builder, to being told I should never be on top during sex because I'd crush the woman I'm with (hetersexist assumption yes but that assumption is based on my gender), to being portrayed as unintelligent/uncultured/brutish/comic relief on TV shows (not me specifically mind you), to being "jolly" enough to take all those "jokes" in good stride, to having random people starting conversations with "What team do you play for?", etc..... So where is that love we deserve again?

Now about race. I myself am black not white but from what I've seen in my day being white does not magically protect one from fat hatred. Between Fat Bastard, Peter Griffin, Homer Simpson, Kevin James' career, Andre the Giant, white guys who used to be able to make a living at "freak shows" (and I only used that word because historically that is what they were called) as attractions and other fat white guys it just shows that as long as you're willing to play the part* you can be successful too. Making fun of and insulting fat guys comes in all colors and races.

So in conclusion while the things that fat guys have to deal with are not the same as what fat women have to deal with I find it pretty insulting that Sarah just sweeps in and assures us that despite all fat based misandry around us society thinks fat men deserve love much less that fat men get love. Not being a fat women herself she seems to have no problem recognizing that fat women are discriminated against and despite being neither fat nor man she somehow knows what its like to be one. Go figure.

This is one of those times where I'm really pissed because once again someone tries to speak on the life of a group of people they are not a part of (funny how that seems to be a-o-fucking k when speaking on men or some subset of men).

* - By "play the part" I mean that as long as you use your status for the entertainment or advantage of others its okay for you to be what you are. Similar to gays ("you can entertain us with your Will and Grace like antics but you don't deserve to get married."), people who are disabled ("we don't have a problem with you being disabled as long as helping you doesn't inconvenience us"), and people of different races ("we're not racist! now go (insert racial stereotype).". In this specific case as long as fat people use their fatness to make thin people feel good about themselves by insulting us, by us doing things that get them to laugh at us because we are fat, or by hiding in basements while crying and eating ourselves to death in shame.


Sonja said...

She's totally forgetting one MAJOR player in all this - women's magazines. They're written by women for women, and inevitably portray only only the slim, pretty women that everyone apparently wants to see. Fat women are only in them when there's a story about how much weight they've lost.

Danny said...

For a second there I thought my comment section was broken.

Well Sonja that is usually something that is ignored when talking about women's body issues. All the responsibility is heaped on men in one way or another. You point out women's magazines and they will respond with saying while many of them have a lots of women editors/writers/staff they are ultimately run by men at the top.

But honestly I'm with what Silverman is saying about fat women. My problem is how she just simply declared that society says men deserve love when I and probably many other fat men have yet to see even the slightest bit of that love. In short in her efforts are a lot like what many a feminist does, sweep the suffering of others under the rug in order to highlight the suffering of women. And that is not good.

womanistmusings said...

I think we need to remember who exactly it is we are talking about...Silverman is filled with many issues that go unacknowledged because she exists with so many privileges. In that same video to which you are referring she made some comment about being anti-racist and yet if you watch her comedy it is clear that is more than willing to engage in racism to get a laugh. As far as I am concerned the woman does not belong on any pedestal and certainly does not represent any kind of feminism that I would acknowledge.

As far as the women's magazines are concerned I think that it is fair to admit that yes to a certain degree women to discipline each other. I do think it is important to recognize that this is the internalization of patriarchal values but it would be wrong to claim that we do not collude.

Danny said...

Yeah in the world of comedy things can get murky but I just felt that this needed to be mentioned simply because she is not the only person who seems to think that fat men have it on easy street in society and frankly I'm sick of such nonsense, especially when it comes from people who aren't fat men. Sarah has the privilege of being neither man nor fat yet she has taken it upon herself to speak on our lives. Not good.

Danny said...

And another reason I brought this up is because (almost sadly) more than likely her comment on fat will probably be totally overlooked by anyone else that will comment on her words in that interview.