Recently, one of my clients told me that one of the reasons why she was fighting for gay marriage rights in her state was that she wanted to be “on the right side of history.” She hopes that someday gay marriage will be so non-controversial that years from now she’ll have grandchildren that won’t be able to conceive of a time when the right to marry was dependent upon the sex of the participants. I really hope that her vision of the future comes true.
Similarly, I like to envision a future where discrimination based on weight is not only illegal, but obviously nonsensical. I like to envision a world where all of the negative things that are ascribed to fatness are no longer so ascribed, where people really are judged for the “content of their character,” (to quote Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.), rather than the size of their bodies. My hope is that being on the right side of history means seeing weight oppression as the baseless, useless, horrifically detrimental thing that it is, and that future generations will see that more clearly.
I had always seen The Civil Rights Act and cases like Griswold v. Connecticut as settled. I thought that the hard fought battle for civil rights had resulted in legislation and court decisions that the vast majority of Americans now understood as a very obvious good idea. Even if implementation was messy, at least the truths were self-evident. Now, actual, allegedly viable contenders (cough, Ron Paul, cough) for President are pro-repeal. And as for gay rights, just please go ahead and google Santorum.
Despite all this angling on the Right to be the craziest extremist, I think the majority of people do support civil rights and they understand that discrimination is harmful and unfair. So now if we can just pull the wool from their eyes and get them to see the harm in weight oppression, perhaps they’ll join us on the right side of history.
Happy Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.
Golda is a certified holistic health counselor and founder of Body Love Wellness, a program designed for plus-sized women who are fed up with dieting and want support to stop obsessing about food and weight. Go to http://www.bodylovewellness.com/free to get your free download – Golda’s Top Ten Tips For Divine Dining! And, please join her and twenty of the biggest names in HAES(R) and Fat Acceptance at the Body Love Revolutionaries Telesummit!