Daniel Callahan: The Fred Phelps of Fat

FATLASH! Food Police & the Fear of Thin

Looking Different

I’ve had a  lot to say lately about Daniel Callahan, the researcher who proposed a policy of shaming fat people so we can “embark on a new era of zero tolerance for body fat.” 

We all know “Closet Callahans.” So obsessed are they with their own and everyone else’s weight that every societal ill, every physical ailment is due to the perilous problem of too much poundage. Callahan has done us a great service by being “bold” enough to tell us what he really thinks:  Shaming fat people is “for their own good.”  (FYOG’s”  see:  FATLASH! Afterword for more on this.)

Here’s a guy who has proclaimed himself the final arbiter of what is physically and socially acceptable and he means to shame and berate everyone else  into complying with it.  Even more dangerous, he wants others to feel good about berating people as well. Where have we seen such insanity?  

Well, Fred Phelps of the Westboro Baptist Church comes to mind.  I refuse to promote it by supplying the link, but you can certainly look it up.  Phelps you’ll remember, is the loon who protests at military funerals, proclaiming that “God Hates Fags.”  Phelps has the right not to like gay people just as Callahan has the right not to like fat people.  But isn’t it fascinating how these single-issue guys see everything through the same used piece of gauze? 

What we have the right to do is roundly repudiate such proposals and pronouncements not as  “edgy and socially motivated public policy” but as boldfaced attempts to bully others who are different whether by choice or not,  into submission.

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