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17 January, 2007


Women who fixate on their weight, unless we're dealing with eating disorders, are not intelligent.  The real mystery is how people get away with fixating on themselves like this without relinquishing their right to be taken seriously.
That's Zoe Williams, writing in the Guardian, and is utter rubbish.

Self-image is a right – not a sign of diminished intelligence and definitely not a betrayal of feminism. There are people who care (not obsess) about their appearences (I'm not especially one of them, but Helen definitely is) – as is their right as individuals. This is about personal self-image, not gender solidarity. No-one has a duty to be indifferent about him/herself.

Williams' argument is so fatuous I can't be bothered to articulate a full response myself, but I broadly agree with one of the published comments appended to the article. 'Manclad' said:

As a man I'll just get howled down for whatever I'll say, so I'll just say that there is a reason fat is looked down on, and even more so these days in our world of abundance, if not necessarily health – that it's a sign of inability to control desire. That there's a huge amount of pressure from mags and media I have no doubt, but the victim mentality refuses to take any responsibility for its actions. People who want to diet to look like Posh or Paris or those anorexic scrag ends [may well be] stupid [but] people who want to diet because they're worried about their health, or think dieting might increase their self-esteem may, in this unfair world, be right, and until Zoe packs on 15 stone herself she's as little right to claim the moral high ground in this debate as I do.

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