by Patricia L. Dickson 1/13/16
As if we didn’t have enough groups of people claiming victim status, we can now add fat people to the list. College campuses across the country are including a new academic field in fat studies that focuses on combating weightism, fat stigma, and the weight-based oppression of fat people.
Rather than focus on the health issues stemming from obesity, fat studies courses advocate against the position that obesity is unhealthy or undesirable and instead call for understanding and acceptance. Fatness is framed as a social justice issue.
According to Campus Reform, the University of Maryland College Park’s fat studies course labels dieting as an enemy of diversity that needs to be defeated. Fat liberation movements and activism are encouraged as ways to combat fatphobia, weightism, and the stigma attached to obesity. Required reading material includes a Fat Liberation Manifesto. No one should be surprised that these courses are typically found in the women’s and gender studies departments.
According to Oregon State University’s website, the course “examines body weight, shape, and size as an area of human difference subject to privilege and discrimination that intersects with other systems of oppression based on gender, race, class, age, sexual orientation, and ability.” University of New Hampshire students formed a university organization titled “People Opposing Weightism (POW!).” The goal of the organization is to spread education, acceptance, and awareness of people of size. With that goal in mind, the student group created a tumblr page that features obese women. One page goes so far as to feature a naked obese woman standing in the middle of an intersection in New York City.
Exactly what is to be gained from these courses? These institutions of higher learning are becoming nothing more than insane asylums. It appears that the only goal of colleges and universities today is to turn every student into an oppressed victim.
Patricia Dickson blogs at Patricia’s Corner.
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