• The Shamefulness of Fat-Shaming

    This past week was set aside by the masculists over at Return Of Kings as a time to focus on making women feel ashamed of being overweight: Fat Shaming Week. They published articles with titles such as “10 Tell-Tale Signs She’s A Secret Internet Fatty” and “5 Reasons Fat Girls Don’t Deserve Love” and “5 Ways To Bully Fat Sluts On A Date” and (oddly enough) “Atheists Are Fatties” all of which read like deliberate mid-level trolling.

    Hindenberg
    An example of fat-shaming from the SlymePit

    Of course, fat-shaming is not limited to the dedicated misogynists of the pick-up artist community, there are actually atheist communities that celebrate shaming people for being fat, such as the SlymePit. Stephanie Zvan has collected several examples of their fat-shaming tactics here, although she was not nearly comprehensive. They also target men, particularly PZ Myers and Ed Brayton, and at least one of them likes to joke about how feminists are generally fat.

    As a humanist I value compassion; as a consequentialist I care about the effects of our behavior on other human beings. While it seems fairly obvious to me that mocking people for their weight does more harm than good, this is perhaps because I was conditioned to believe this from a fairly young age. There are those who have argued that fat stigma is necessary to help keep obesity rates down, and this is ultimately a scientific question.

    At the forefront of pro-stigmatization thinking in academia is this recent article from Daniel Callahan, in which he advances the notion that fat-shaming might actually be an effective way of fighting obesity. I’d like to point out here that Callahan has been rather comprehensively refuted in the following articles:

    These are all worth reading, but I’d like to focus especially on the last one, an article in which an expert in the relevant field attempted to quantitatively assess whether experiences of weight stigmatization lead to weight loss or weight gain. Their results were fairly unambiguous, even after controlling for baseline BMI, people who perceived themselves as being stigmatized were significantly more likely to become or remain obese than those who did not subjectively experience such stigmatization. Here is the table of odds ratios:

    journal.pone.0070048.t001[1]

    These results are susceptible to various interpretations, naturally, but there is no way to look at these data and conclude that stigmatizing weight is actually an effective way to encourage people to lose weight. Here are the succinct conclusions of Dr. Sutin:

    Given the complex etiology of obesity, creative approaches that span diverse disciplines are needed to combat its spread. Weight discrimination, which is often justified because it is thought to help encourage obese individuals to lose weight, can actually have the opposite effect: it is associated with the development and maintenance of obesity. Such discrimination is one social determinant of health that may contribute to inequities in employment, relationships, healthcare delivery, and body weight.

    Given that the such stigmatization has no positive effects, and has distinctly negative psychological and physiological outcomes, I cannot see what possible reason there is to justify this sort of behavior. To quote my twelve year-old on the subject, “That’s just bullying, and bullying is wrong.”

     

    Category: Damned Lies and StatisticsEthicsSlymePit

    Article by: Damion Reinhardt

    Former fundie finds freethought fairly fab.
    • Brive1987

      Not an argument, but I notice on Zvans page of shame there is a screen shot with comments from you, when you happily frequented the Pit. Oh the humanity.

      • Happily? Guessing you weren’t around back then.

      • whatever

        I seem to recall you fitting in very nicely with the pit and the pit mentality.

      • You don’t recall the incessant fighting about whether insulting people is wise or productive?

      • kiiski

        Wait a minute. You admit there has been “incessant fighting” over insulting people, but you don’t recall anyone saying a peep about fat-shaming? Isn’t fat-shaming a type of insult? It seems likely that the people who’ve opposed insulting people in general are also against insulting people for being fat- or should they have listed all the different types of insults that they have problems with?

      • A while back, there was fair bit of fighting over whether personal insults (directed mostly at the usual clique of feminist bloggers) is a productive way to further the goals shared by most Pitters. I don’t remember who took which side, although I do recall Notung and I trying to make the case that satire and criticism are far more effective when divorced from gratuitous insults. Interestingly, Vacula also came out against insults, in the Pit, and that despite his reputation as a monstrous misogynist who needs to rise above the shit.

        As to whether fat-shaming in particular came up at the time, I honestly do not now recall and cannot be arsed to grep back through the timeline. As to whether the anti-insult crowd is also against fat-shaming, it’s a fair bet that they probably are.

      • kiiski

        “whether the anti-insult crowd is also against fat-shaming, it’s a fair bet that they probably are” That makes this whole exercise seem a bit disingenuous from your side…

      • How so?

      • Brive1987

        474 unhappy posts? Really. Maybe a random sample would provide context. 🙂

        Look, I’m sure you have undergone a deconversion process, but IMO it’s unseemly to progress into attendant cliche. If you have a clever philosophical take on the Pit environment that avoids generalisation and places the community in context, then I’d be interested to read and comment on it. But these articles have been below your normal standards.

        On another note will you be posting on Ed Clints privilege piece? It seemed surprisingly nuanced.

      • Where exactly did I generalize to the entire Pit in the OP? Not that I’m entirely unwilling to do so, it’s just that I didn’t make any sweeping claims above. Here are a couple questions or you:

        True or false: Fat shaming is childish, counterproductive, and unethical.

        True or false: Many pitters (including the board founder Lsuoma) have openly celebrated shaming women for being fat on the Pit.

        True or false: Few pitters have ever had the moral decency to openly object to fat-shaming on the Pit, and those that have did so in the weakest of terms.

      • John Greg

        Damion, you really are manipulating your rhetoric in an FfTB style. Emotion-laden diction and language; leading questions; multiple possiblities presented as one.

        Damion said:

        Where exactly did I generalize to the entire Pit in the OP?

        Answer: When you said:

        … there are actually atheist communities that celebrate shaming people for being fat, such as the SlymePit.

        Like it or not, that’s all-inclusive. You can play FfTB if you want, and try to redefine and restructure English grammar, but it won’t work.

        And your true/false questions are like some creationsist variation of a true/false quiz on evolution: full of language manipulation, rhetorical trickery, and poor construction.

        True or false: Fat shaming is childish, counterproductive, and unethical.

        Because it is a layered and leading question, the simplistic answer is, False.

        However, an honest reply would be to point out that fat shaming can be, in some circumstances and some contexts, one or more (or none) of the above, entirely dependent on circumstance, context, and intent. But to determine which, if any of those, it is, the instances of supposed fat-shaming must be taken on a case-by-case basis, and be so-analysed.

        For example, you (and Zvan) think the “Oh the Inzvanity” shoop, with the exploding zeppelin, is fat shaming, when its intent (as described by its creator) was to present Zvan as an overheated gasbag ready to explode, and playing on the classic quote “Oh the humanity”. If you want, you can try and claim that you know better than Strawkins what his intent with that shoop was, but then you must also admit that you are a mind reader of the first water, and are prepared to claim the Randi prize.

        True or false: Many pitters (including the board founder Lsuoma) have openly celebrated shaming women for being fat on the Pit.

        Simplistic answer: False.

        The word “celebrated” is one of your go-to emotion-laden words you consistently use to paint an often false picture of the style of such posts. But, whatever, be the child.

        A more intellectual, less sexist, and less emotion-laden question would be be, True or false: some Pitters have openly supported and defended certain specific forms of fat shaming shoops and statements of men and women? And the answer to that would be, True.

        True or false: Few pitters have ever had the moral decency to openly object to fat-shaming on the Pit, and those that have did so in the weakest of terms.

        “Moral decency”. Jesus fuck a duck. That is such a leading and weasley sentence construction, burdened by so much squeaky moralizing, that it does not even deserve an honest response.

        A more honest, less leading, less emotion-laden question would be, True or false: only a few Pitters have spoken out strongly against fat-shaming shoops and other satires as presented at the Pit. Answer: True.

        Like real-world true/false quizzes, and real-world surveys, the questions are manipulated to call the answers desired by the author so as to reinforce their personal goal, and really, Damion, you are becoming progressively more dishonest in trying such a tactic, and your prose is increasingly coloured by rhetorical trickery and a really uncomfortable degree of fundamentalist style moralising.

      • So when the local paper says “Community celebrates Christmas” that implies that everyone in the community is actively celebrating, even the Jews and Muslims and atheists?

      • John Greg

        No.

        You said specifically, the Slymepit community, and that is inclusive, whether you like it or not.

        If you said the community of lower Slobovia celebrates Christmas, then yes, that would mean the entire community of lower Slobovia celebrates Christmas. That is how, in this instance, with no other clarifiers or grammatical refinements, that phrase is defined. That is how, in this instance, with no other clarifiers or grammatical refinements, English grammar and sentence construction works.

      • That is just silly. No reasonably large community does anything in perfect lockstep, and still we generalize about their norms and activities.

        I’ve given several examples of fat-shaming of the Pit’s usual enemies: PZ, Brayton, Zvan. You’ve given, so far, zero of opposition to fat-shaming.

      • John Greg

        “You’ve given me no examples of opposition to fat-shaming.”

        No, I have not, and no, I am not about to search through over 130,000 comments to try and find those that speak out against fat or body shaming. It is up to the individuals who have so stated to take care of their own end of the argument.

      • I’ll have to stick with my initial impression, having read the Pit since the first ERV threads, that body-shaming (especially when directed at designated enemies) is generally celebrated therein.

      • kiiski

        If Christmas is an official holiday in that community, that statement makes sense, even if every member doesn’t literally celebrate it. If it’s not official policy, it may be more inaccurate to say so (would you say “Jerusalem celebrates Ramadan”?)

        And, also, this analogy is a bit of an equivocation, since Christmas is an actual *celebration*, not any common activity. Does it make sense to say “Local community celebrates organic gardening”, or “New Yorkers celebrate being rude”?

      • Mid-way through Ramadan around the World | Al Bawaba http://bit.ly/17JxHXT

        Image 2 of 11: Jerusalem celebrates Ramadan. Prized by Muslims as the epicenter of Islam’s Holy Land, Jerusalem houses Dome of the Rock and Al-Aqsa. Muslims hold that the Dome is the rock that Muhammad ascended into heaven. Al Aqsa Mosque, or “Noble Sanctuary,” is the third holiest site in Sunni Islam.

      • kiiski

        Right, I can google that as well 🙂 It’s significant that it seems to be the only result with that specific meaning (at least in English), so it would appear that it’s not a commonly accepted sentiment.

      • Not commonly accepted in the Anglophone world that knows rather little about the demographics and culture of Jerusalem? Ok.

      • kiiski

        Then why bother bringing up the Google match in the first place?? Do you think the non-Muslim residents of Jerusalem would agree that “Jerusalem celebrates ramadan”?

      • Why did you bring up the religious character of Jerusalem? Have you any idea what a massive can of worms you are opening?

      • …your prose is increasingly coloured by rhetorical trickery and a really uncomfortable degree of fundamentalist style moralising.

        Fundamentalists moralize in terms of compliance with a foundational doctrine or canon. My idea of moralization is to ask whether you are comfortable with the consequences of your actions, such as the effects that fat-shaming has upon its victims. If you have no concern for the victims of which I speak, just say so forthrightly. There is no point arguing morality with someone who has abandoned empathy.

      • John Greg

        I am comfortable, to date, with the consequences of my actions, yes, and my actions do not include fat-shaming.

        Whether or not such infantile and dishonest creators of mendacious manufactroversy as Zvan claim to be upset with a shoop or shoops they claim to perceive as hurtful to them because they perceive them as fat-shaming is utterly outside of my control, especially as I do not author those shoops; I do not make fat-shaming statements; I do not send such things to anyone; I do not troll them on their personal ‘net locations and environments; I do not particpate with them in any way.

        Damion, you’ve got a screw loose somewhere. You’re deranged.

      • Insults are not permitted here, John. I’ve already given you the link to the ground rules, henceforth I’m just going to delete any comments wherein you resort to insulting people.

        my actions do not include fat-shaming

        Is there some reason that you refrain from doing that, and might that reason grounded in your personal sense of what it means to be moral?

      • John Greg

        My goodness, but you are exasperating.

        Damion said:

        Is there some reason that you refrain from doing that, and might that reason grounded in your personal sense of what it means to be moral?

        I generally “refrain from doing that” because I find no personal gain or valid reason for shaming fat people, even if I believe their weight is due to flawed (especially willfully so), hence changeable, behaviour. I generally agree that shaming, as a method of changing someone’s behaviour, is neither productive, nor successful.

        As an insult (especially, retaliatory), however, it can be significant, effective, and sometimes well targeted.

        No, I would not say it has to do with my sense of what it means to be moral; I would say it has to do with my sense of personal ethics and behaviour. And, while the word ethics is generally seen as a synonym for the word morals, I think the word ethics is more specific/accurate to my intent.

        Insults are not permitted here, John.

        Define “insults” for me — no, no, please, not vague and undefined statements such as “crassly denigrate people”, (what does that mean?); gimme some specifics. Seriously, you implicitly accused me of having no backbone, and no sense of decency; would you think those are crass denigrations?

      • As an insult (especially, retaliatory), however, it can be significant, effective, and sometimes well targeted.

        Have the innumerable insults emanating from the Pit been known to improve the world that we live in somehow?

      • John Greg

        HAHAHA. I doubt it, but I don’t know; don’t care. And anyway, of what Earthly relevance is that?

        You see, unlike FfTB, Skepchick, and A+, no one at the Pit, so far as I know, labours under the misapprehension that the Pit exists for anything so grand, yet mundane, as improving the world we live in.

        Do you?

      • I labor under the delusion that secular humanists should give at least half a shit about whether they are making the world better or worse.

      • John Greg

        What? Twenty-four hours a day; every breathing second? When do we take a break? Or are the moments that are put through the “Am I making the world a better place” mill defined by only you? Or do I (and other individuals) get to define what elements of my (and they of theirs) life I can place under that particular mill?

        My point being, what goes on at the Pit affects so few people in the world and is of such little impact and consequence that to concern oneself with whether or not those activities are making the world a better place is nothing more than delusion and self-agrandizing piffle. Really, Damion, what do you think we are? Catholic saints?

      • If you don’t give a shit whether you are making the world better or worse, I’m not about to try to make you care. Some things cannot be taught.

      • John Greg

        HAHAHA.

        Your bias has blinded you to reason.

      • Either you care about other people’s feelings or you do not. I’m getting the sense here that you could not care less about those you’ve designated as out group members.

      • John Greg

        Damion, you clearly have a major difficulty with the informal fallacy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Informal_fallacy) known as the false dillemna (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Informal_fallacy), in particular, black and white thinking, and the with us; against us fallacies.

        When I point out that no one can be expected to monitor their behaviour and their every single action to ensure making the world a better place 24 hours a day 7 days a week, and that every instance of whatever must be taken on a case-by-case basis, you accuse me of not caring at all about making the world a better (or worse) place. That is textbook perfect black and white thinking. And you even confirm it with your statement, “Either you care about other people’s feelings or you do not” — no nuance; no grey areas; no allowance for any sort of variance. You could not have provided a better example of the black and white thinking and with us; against fallacies if you tried.

        I have spelled it out for you that I think every instance of fat-shaming (and body-shaming, and all the other shoop shames you can conjure up) must be taken on a case-by-case basis, and the subject individuals of such materials, and their emotional reactions/feelings about them, must also be judged on a case-by-case basis as well as be informed by the general character, so far as is known, of each individual. And you want either a right or a wrong judgement; no nuance; no grey areas; no allowance for any sort of variance.

        Some examples from my perspective:

        1. When it comes to someone like Zvan, one of whose primary MO’s is to besmirch, besmear, and belittle anyone with whom she disagrees, and to do so in an almost always highly vile manner sometimes including doxxing, and attempts to interfere with livelihoods and public and private reputations, then, no, I do not care about her feelings very much at all. She is not, in my opinion, deserving of such consideration. If she had ever, over the last 3 or 4 years that I have been aware of her, shown even a thread of empathy, consideration, or respect of any kind for all the people she condemns for the crime of disagreeing with her, then, perhaps, I would feel some concern for her personal feelings. Perhaps.

        2. When it comes to Benson, even though I feel her public approach to disagreement is almost identical to Zvan’s, I feel that Benson is somehow a tad more fragile, and might possibly be suffering from some kind of cognitive disorder due to age — that’s not a diagnosis, it’s just a supposition based on her posting behaviours (and apparent intellectual decline) over the last 2 or 3 years — and, in my opinion, she is therefore probably worthy of a little more consideration.

        3. Somewhat to my surprise, I actually feel some consideration for Yemisi Ilesanmi, mainly due to the fact that she seems so obviously sincere, yet emotionally naive and fragile, and she has such a marked difficulty (or lack of education — I don’t know which) with English, that much of the ridicule sent her way (regarding her ridiculous “poetry”) that was potentially hurtful strikes me as unnecessary. Mind you, her reaction to criticism is pretty insane, so YMMV, as they say.

      • I’m quite happy to think in shades of grey, but you’ve yet to make an affirmative case that any given example of fat shaming (I’ve referred to quite a few) does more good than harm. It is obviously harmful to make people feel ashamed of their bodies, but you have not said what good is being done when the Pitters pile on to mock these people.

      • John Greg

        Damion said:

        … you’ve yet to make an affirmative case that any given example of fat shaming (I’ve referred to quite a few in the OP) does more good than harm.

        Um, tell me again why I should do that? You’re the one with the delusional bonnet bees insisting things must be either this or that; I just take ’em as they come, one at a time, and try to look at all the various factors in play. I am under no obligation to show instances of more harm than good. For that matter, you have certainly failed to prove in anyway whatsoever, outside of your rather feverish imagination, that any harm whatsoever has been done by any of the shoops.

        … you have not said what goods are being advanced when the Pitters pile on to mock these people.

        Actually, yes I have, several times. In my opinion, the primary purpose of the shoops, in most cases (especially ones like the Pharyngulanhas), though of course not all, is to help highlight the hypocrisy, the double standards, the deceit, and the sheer idiocy of much of what comes out of FfTB, Skepchick, and A+. And in my opinion, that helps in a teeny tiny wee little way to make the world a better place, and is therefore a good.

    • whatever

      Damion, I understand you are an advanced being, in a karmic state I can only possibly hope to achieve and recognize I never will.

      Can you assure me you never make jokes about others mocking them for personal characteristics, maybe they are short, fat, stupid, dorky, geeky, nerdy, no neck, acne ridden, all of that sort of ugly stuff.

      Can you assure me that when you encounter such a joke you never laugh or giggle or are in any manner amused?

      • Whatever, dude. It’s a big old internet out there. If you can find an example where I made such jokes, I’ll happily apologize and retract. Hell, I’ll buy you a sandwich.

    • whatever

      Hey d4m10n is this you?

      http://slymepit.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?p=23228#p23228

      That seems to be a time where you were a good old boy at the pit. And such jokes! Talking about ******** people’s moms, why shucks, you used language there that doesn’t even get through your filters here!

      Heavens!

      • What’s your point, exactly? I’m not seeing what I did wrong there.

    • John Greg

      Damion said:

      … there are actually atheist communities that celebrate shaming people for being fat, such as the SlymePit.

      Ya, ya, there you go again with your distortions, misrepresentations, and outright lies.

      There are many, many people at the Pit who are vehemently opposed to fat shaming, and to any and all critical comments and/or insults based on unalterable body characteristics. And there is a large group that doesn’t seem to care much one way or the other, and then there are those who intelligently take it all on a case-by-case basis.

      As for that Brayton tweet you linked to, that tweet is from Astrokid, and Astrokid last visited the Pit back in April. Let alone the basic fact that tweets do not a Pitter make.

      Yes, there are people at the Pit who feel that basing comments and insults on body bits is OK, but that does not make that action nor those people representative of the Pit in toto. And anyway, I suspect they are in the minority. Are you really so worked up about the Pit that you are willing to throw your integrity and honesty out the window?

      Maybe you should just fess up and admit that you are opposed to any form of free speech that does not include your personal room 101 redefintions of phrases and bad words.

      Also, like you did with astrokid, claiming/implying that franc is some kind of representative of the Pit is doubly stupid. franc renounced, so to speak, the Pit many months ago. He thought there were far too many people acting like baboons. He does still post the occasional shoop; three or four since he left, I think.

      As a humanist I value compassion; as a consequentialist I care about the effects of our behavior on other human beings.

      Except when it comes to telling porkies about, and dumping on people from, the Pit. But then you hate Pitters, so that’s just peachy. Right? Right.

      • There are many, many people at the Pit who are vehemently opposed to fat shaming…

        Vehement opposition? This must be a fairly recent development. I cannot recall anyone saying peep. Nevertheless, I’m open to correction.

        Incidentally, did you at some point state your own position on this issue?

        As for that Brayton tweet you linked to, that tweet is from Astrokid, and Astrokid last visited the Pit back in April. Let alone the basic fact that tweets do not a Pitter make.

        Care to bet against me on whether I can find fat-shaming of Brayton on the endless thread?

        https://www.google.com/search?q=%22two+cows%22+site%3Aslymepit.com

        Yes, there are people at the Pit who feel that basing comments and insults on body bits is OK, but that does not make that action nor those people representative of the Pit in toto.

        Where did I say that the joyous fat-shaming was representative of the Pit in toto? It’s something that happens there. Perhaps “vehement opposition” also happens, but I’ve yet to see any examples of that.

        Are you really so worked up about the Pit that you are willing to throw your integrity and honesty out the window?

        I might well ask you the same.

        Maybe you should just fess up and admit that you are opposed to any form of free speech that does not include your personal room 101 redefintions of phrases and bad words.

        Freedom of speech? Where did I ever say that someone shouldn’t be totally free to make an utter jackass of themselves on the Pit?

        Also, like you did with astrokid, claiming/implying that franc is some kind of representative of the Pit is doubly stupid.

        No one is representative, that is the Pit dogma. Used to be the in the banner header, IIRC.

        Except when it comes to telling porkies about, and dumping on people from, the Pit.

        Look, you can get all huffy and defensive when I point out that your pitter buddies make stupid fat jokes, but that doesn’t mean I’m dumping on anybody. All I’ve done here is use cautionary examples of pitters taking joy in shaming people for their bodies. If you don’t see anything wrong with doing that, say so. If you haven’t participated yourself, say so. If you actually had the backbone to argue against it at some point, for the love of truth, just say so.

      • John Greg

        Damion said:

        Incidentally, did you at some point state your own position on this issue?

        I take it on a case-by-case basis, which I believe is the only intellectually honest and rigorous way to make a valid determination. Simplistic answer: Some of the shoops I have been critical of; others I have no problem with. However, as I’ve previously said, it is not my role, nor do I have reason or authority to insist anyone change their behaviour, especially regarding what they perceive as humour, on my account. I am not The Party, nor do I honour Room 101.

        Care to bet against me on whether I can find fat-shaming of Brayton on the endless thread?

        No. I don’t dispute that. But you weaken your credibility, a lot, by using examples that have quite literally, nothing to do with the Pit.

        Where did I say that the joyous fat-shaming was representative of the Pit in toto?

        As previously answered: When you said:

        … there are actually atheist communities that celebrate shaming people for being fat, such as the SlymePit.

        As I said, that sentence is all-inclusive of the Pit in toto. “Communities … like the Slymepit” is not Some people in communities like the Slymepit.

        No one is representative, that is the Pit dogma. Used to be the in the banner header, IIRC.

        Quite right. So, why do you keep posting “examples” that are of no relevance to the Pit as somehow being representative of the Pit?

        … that doesn’t mean I’m dumping on anybody.

        Jesus fucksticks! Are you so blissfully unaware of the emotion-laden, moralistic, condemnatory, accusatory, judgemental language you so consistently use?

        If you actually had the backbone to argue against it at some point, for the love of truth, just say so.

        I have indeed argued against some of the posts that I thought went overboard. But as I consistently say, it is not my role to censor anyone at the Pit. Disagreement does not demand control.

      • I am not The Party, nor do I honour Room 101.

        Totes analogous. I was just about to suggest a totalitarian state solution.

        Are you so blissfully unaware of the emotion-laden, moralistic, condemnatory, accusatory, judgemental language you so consistently use?

        Who are you to make condemnatory judgments about the language I use? Are you The Party, come to drag me to Room 101?

        I have indeed argued against some of the posts that I thought went overboard.

        I’ve yet to hear you say whether you think fat-shaming is a good idea or a bad one.

        Some people in communities like the Slymepit.

        Ok, so some Pitters celebrate fat-shaming of the designated enemies of the Pit (e.g. Myers, Brayton, Zvan, etc.) whereas few if any Pitters have said that it’s a bad idea to shame people for being fat. Does that sound about right?

        It is not my role to censor anyone at the Pit. Disagreement does not demand control.

        This is about the tenth time I’ve seen this ploy today. Why is it that Pitters seem to think that any criticism of their approach equals censorship?

      • John Greg

        Damion said:

        I’ve yet to hear you say whether you think fat-shaming is a good idea or a bad one.

        Then that is because you cannot read — and also because you have this weird insistence on black and white absolutes; either we’re with ya or we’re agi’n ya. C’mon, Damion, join the real world.

        I said:

        I take it on a case-by-case basis, which I believe is the only intellectually honest and rigorous way to make a valid determination. Simplistic answer: Some of the shoops I have been critical of; others I have no problem with. However, as I’ve previously said, it is not my role, nor do I have reason or authority to insist anyone change their behaviour, especially regarding what they perceive as humour, on my account. I am not The Party, nor do I honour Room 101.

        Also, you said:

        This is about the tenth time I’ve seen this ploy today. Why is it that Pitters seem to think that any criticism of their approach equals censorship?

        I did not say that critcism equals censorship. That is yet another in the endless series of your misrepresentations of what other people are saying to you.

      • Why did you bring up censorship, John?

      • John Greg

        I brought up censorship because the sense that I get from your ongoing posting about the Pit is that you think the Pit, en masse, should stop, or someone in control at the Pit should force to stop, hence censor, those who post shoops and statements that you do not like.

        If you do not want such censorship to occur, and if you agree that even though such shoops and statements go against your sense of what it means to be moral, and make you uncomfortable, but should nonetheless be allowed and defended for because of the ideal of free speech, then fine; we’re all good.

      • Suppose I show up to counter-protest the Westboro Baptist Church when they come to town. Does that imply that I must be advocating for them to be disallowed from proclaiming their faith-based hatred?

        Criticism is not censorship. Given the huge amount of time Pitters spend criticizing FtB, this should be obvious.

      • John Greg

        Damion said:

        Suppose I show up to counter-protest the Westboro Baptist Church when they come to town. Does that imply that I must be advocating for them to be disallowed from proclaiming their faith-based hatred?

        It might.

        Criticism is not censorship.

        I know that, Damion. I never said otherwise.

        What I did say was that your posting content, your style of rhetoric, your diction, the things you point to and the tone you use, gave me the impression/perception (about which I could be wrong), that your intent was to have the Pit either self-censor, or to have someone do the job for you. If I am wrong about, then I am wrong about that. Here you go, how about you answer two questions for me, to wit:

        1. Do you, Damion, agree that even though such shoops and statements that go against your sense of what it means to be moral, and which make you uncomfortable, should nonetheless be allowed and defended for because of the ideal/concept of free speech?

        2. Do you think the Pit should self-censor, or have someone censor for them, such shoops and statements that go against your sense of what it means to be moral, and which make you uncomfortable?

      • 1. I’ve made it clear that the Pit should continue to operate as is: http://www.skepticink.com/backgroundprobability/2013/02/03/in-support-of-slimepit/ That doesn’t mean I have to defend (rather than criticize) any particular post.

        2. People should self-censor, whenever they are reasonable confident that saying whatever comes to mind would do more harm than good. I don’t think this sort of internal dialogue has anything to do with actual censorship.

      • John Greg

        Damion said:

        People should indeed “self-censor” whenever they are reasonably confident that saying whatever comes to mind would do more harm than good.

        OK, sure, except that so far as I can tell, the Pitters doing the shoops are confident, and in my opinion, with justification, that what they are doing is null and moot on the more harm than good meter. And, in some cases, it’s probably a no, as in they are probably doing more good than harm. Trying to defuse a flammable moment of angry nonsense with a humorous shoop does more good than letting the hysterics get away with their lies, distortions, and shit disturbing behaviour.

        In my opinion.

        The problem with your rationalisation is that it assumes and presumes that what you, Damion, think is doing more harm than good is also what all the good people in the world also think is doing more harm than good. You seem incapable of accepting, or even understanding that not only might you be wrong, and it might all be simply inconsequential, but that there may be far more grey areas to the whole mess than you are prepared to see, understand, and accept.

        Lastly, you have not, at least to my satisfaction, proved any actual harm has been done by any shoop to date.

      • Pitters doing the shoops are confident, and in my opinion, with justification, that what they are doing is null and moot on the more harm than good meter.

        Is this because you discount the feelings of those whom you mock?

        No idea what you meant by a “flammable moment of angry nonsense,” sorry.

      • John Greg

        Damion said:

        Is this because you discount the feelings of those whom you mock?

        I see that as a non sequitur. I don’t make a habit of mocking anyone. And, I am not the Pit.

        As for discounting or taking into account other people’s feelings on the Internet (in regard to anything), that must be done on a case-by-case, person-by-person basis. It cannot be done in a black and white covers all style, which seems to be what you would prefer. I suspect that’s an ideological and cognitive hangover from your days as a fundamental theist, or whatever it is you once were.

        A “flammable moment of angry nonsense” refers to the kind of manufactroversial inflated emotional knee jerk jingoistic nonsense presented by people like Zvan when responding to stuff that they have spent hours intensely searching for so that they have something they can get upset about and rail at the world about and excite their sycophantic followers with, which is then satirized by someone in, in part, an attempt to highlight that sillyness for what it is.

      • I see that as a non sequitur. I don’t make a habit of mocking anyone. And, I am not the Pit.

        It sounds to me like you’ve been arguing that even the most insulting mockery is ethically defensible because the Pit’s designated targets deserve whatever abuse they get, and do not deserve to be considered as within the circle of moral concern. Perhaps I’ve misunderstood what you are getting at here.

        Speaking of misunderstanding, it is important to recall that the OP is about fat-shaming in particular, not satire in general. With that in mind, it might be very helpful if we were to discuss specific instances rather than the genre of satire in general. For example, was the so-called “FtB pleasure dome” a clever attempt to “highlight that silliness for what it is” or was it just a cheap shot at someone else’s sexuality?

      • John Greg

        Damion said:

        It sounds to me like you’ve been arguing that even the most insulting mockery is ethically defensible because the Pit’s designated targets deserve whatever abuse they get, and do not deserve to be considered as within the circle of moral concern. Perhaps I’ve misunderstood what you are getting at here.

        My argument is that all insulting (so-called) mockery must be viewed, on a case-by-case basis, as potentially defensible, depending on context, subject, the character and behaviour of individuals so-targeted, and many other considerations. And that blanket condemnations are not good for anything except feeling superior — I mean, I do not think it is productive or effective, or intellectually rigorous or honest to blanket condemn all such mockery simply because one does not like it. For example, the shoop you show here, the Pleasure Dome thing, I do not like it, and although I no longer remember what the context was for its appearance, I do remember that at the time it was presented I did not think it appropriate or particularly funny. But at this distant remove, I cannot condemn it — I can say I don’t like it, but I cannot condemn it without refreshing my memory on context, etc.

      • This really shouldn’t be so difficult, John. It doesn’t seem remotely plausible that this picture is doing more good than harm. I understand how people will assume that the Pit is a dedicated hate site when they see stuff like this.

      • John Greg

        Damion said:

        It doesn’t seem remotely plausible that this picture is doing more good than harm.

        I never said it did, did I.

        If that’s all it takes for you or anyone to call the Pit a hate site, take me to Orwell please, or at least A+.

      • I just take ’em as they come, one at a time, and try to look at all the various factors in play.

        In the process of taking them one at a time, have you ever once said to yourself, “Wow, the way that they are shaming people for being fat is childish, cruel, and unhelpful. I am saddened to see that happen.”

        …you have certainly failed to prove in anyway whatsoever, outside of your rather feverish imagination, that any harm whatsoever has been done by any of the shoops.

        If you look back at the OP, you will find several studies about what happens to those who experience social stigmatization as a result of being overweight or obese.

        …the primary purpose of the shoops, in most cases (especially ones like the Pharyngulanhas), though of course not all, is to help highlight the hypocrisy, the double standards, the deceit, and the sheer idiocy of much of what comes out of FfTB, Skepchick, and A+.

        Once again, you are changing the subject from fat-shaming in particular to satirical images in general.

        Back to the topic at hand, how exactly does the “FtB pleasure dome” highlight hypocrisy and idiocy? How does ‘shopping PZ’s head onto a naked fat guy in a diaper do this? How does replacing the Hindenburg with Zvan do this?

        If that’s all it takes for you or anyone to call the Pit a hate site, take me to Orwell please, or at least A+.

        Well, that and the countless other posts which serve no purpose other than to convey contempt. Incidentally, wouldn’t it be wonderful if Rebecca Watson died choking on vomit?

        Have you actually read Orwell, by the way? If so, you should know that he was actually writing about totalitarianism, not about people having to suffer from being criticized by other writers.

      • John Greg

        Damion, could you set the blog (or Disqus) options so that I do not get emails whenever you post? I cannot find a setting for that.

        Now, this is not a slur, slam, smear, or insult, but I ask this in a genuine attempt to get to the bottom of both your obsession with this topic, and with your cleary expressed inability to discuss in good faith; to not misrepresent what I and others have said to you; to actually read what has been posted to you: are you either somewhat Aspergers and/or dyslexic? That’s a serious question, not a rhetorical smear.

        Of course, it could be, as I mentioned before, just the cognitive hangover from your days as a fundy theist, or whatever it was that you admit to having once been. Over the years, it has become painfully clear to me that while you can take the theist out of the fundy, you cannot remove the myopic black and white / us or them cognitive malfunction nor the blatant inability to debate in good faith and honesty. Anyway….

        Damion said:

        In the process of taking them one at a time, have you ever once said to yourself, “Wow, the way that they are shaming people for being fat is childish, cruel, and unhelpful. I am saddened to see that happen.”

        HAHAHA. Not in those words, no. But, as I have already told you more than once, there have beens shoops which I thought unnecessary, distasteful, and not funny.

        If you look back at the OP, you will find several studies about what happens to those who experience social stigmatization as a result of being overweight or obese.

        Completely irrelevant, for several reasons, including:

        1. The fact that the Pit shoops were not part of those studies.
        2. There is no universal agreement that the topical subjects of those shoops experienced social stigmatization as a result of those shoops (or their putatative fatness).
        3. There is no universal agreement that the topical subjects of those shoops experienced personal hurt or shame as a result of those shoops.
        4. There is no universal agreement that in fact those shoops actually, specifically fat-shamed (as opposed to vanilla ridicule) anyone as a specific aspect of their content — that’s your obsessive obsession.

        Once again, you are changing the subject from fat-shaming in particular to satirical images in general.

        Actually, I’m not. While the topic of your original post is the fat shaming bits, you have not proven that that is what the specific intent is. By which I mean, you have not proven that the images of those rather fat and rather ridiculous looking people in rather ridiculous situations were intended to fat-shame (as opposed to just vanilla ridicule) Zvan, or anyone, as opposed to just making fun of Zvan, in an admittedly juvenile fashion, using fat as the butter for the bread — if you can understand such metaphorical similes. Which points to the simple possibility that those shoops are not in fact fat-shaming, in particular, not fat-shaming the topical subjects, but are simply basic ridule using fat as the tray/ficus to carry the topic on.

        As for the rest of your reply, it is non sequiur on top of strawman on top of irrelevancy on top of yet again your misrepresenting what I have previously said, all well-dressed with your usual mendacious rhetorical trickery. Ooh, you rhetorical thug, you. Maybe you should sign up for Twinkle-toes Rhetorical Assassins that never were.

        Damion, it’s been an interesting ride, but it is, as I had previously anticipated, now indisputabley clear that you are just a troll on your own blog and have absolutey no interest in actual dialogue, especially honest dialogue and debate in good faith, and you most certainly have no interest in reading let alone trying to understand, not absolve, agree with, or support, but simply understand types of humour, satire, etc., with which you do not agree.

        The only person, well, persons who I have experienced this much mendacious, manipulative, and dishonest discussion from, as well as rhetorical trickery and misrepresentation of my own statements, is LousyCanuck and Greg Laden. So tra la la, and toodle oos, I’ve wasted enough time on your wholly dishonest rhetorical bullshit.

      • Seems like you are determined to discount any possibility that your side of the rift might be causing real harm by mocking your designated enemies for characteristics which are not easily changed nor relevant to any argument. Such an unbending unwillingness to reflect upon the possibility that your own side gets it wrong reminds me of the fundamentalists of my youth, not to mention FtB.

    • If you would seriously condemn someone for snickering to themselves, you must believe it is necessary to condemn thoughtcrime.

    • Smith_90125

      The term “fat shaming” is nebulous. Its meaning usually depends on who’s doing the talking.

      If “fat shaming” means being hurtful to people because of their obesity, I’ll agree with that definition, and agree that people shouldn’t do it.

      But I will not agree that partaking in physical activity is “fat shaming”. I will not agree to labelling Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move!” campaign as “fat shaming”. I will not agree that eating healthy is “fat shaming”, all of which some people want to pretend it is.

      I have actually had conversations like these with people:

      Coworker: “On Saturday, we’re getting pizzas and watching movies. Want to join us?”
      Me: “No, the cycling club has a 100km ride planned.”
      Coworker: “That’s fat shaming. You shouldn’t talk about that in front of us.”

      *
      Coworker: “What are you eating for lunch?”
      Me: “Steamed rice and vegetables with fish.”
      Coworker: “Eating that in front of us is fat shaming.”

      Yes, I have met people who actually “think” being fit and eating healthy is “fat shaming”, that mentioning my fitness activities after being ASKED is somehow “fat shaming”. This is not Maria Kang type of “in your face” offensiveness, going out of one’s way to belittle or humiliate others. It’s utterly ridiculous.

      What is wrong with people, how screwed up is a society where even mentioning the relationship between obesity and heart attack, stroke and diabetes is deemed “fat shaming”? It’s this sort of overreaction that polarizes people, that makes people less sympathetic.

      • It might be that the term is nebulous, but I linked to several examples of fat shaming in the OP, every one of which were examples of people being hurtful to other people because of their obesity, rather than promoting an active and healthy lifestyle for its own sake.

    • The Asian countries shame and it works.

      Click HERE for Fat vs Thin Privilege

      Fat girls are SOOOOO histrionic that they compare their imagined and self induced plight to that of real minorities and their REAL struggles. It’s quite disgusting. All us fat people have chosen gluttony and I think gluttony is a good choice and so do most Americans

    • Thin Shaming vs Fat Shaming Click Here to see the hypocrisy of fat feminism

      Fat women are a huge sexual turn off and when men are turned off by them they start hating men.

      Fatties cry foul when people point out the truth of obesity. Fatties call it fat shaming.