The Fat Studies Reader

By Esther Rothblum; Sondra Solovay | Go to book overview

Part III
Fatness as Social Inequality

Welcome to Part III of The Fat Studies Reader

Fatness as Social Inequality

These chapters address from a variety of perspectives the relationship between fatness and prejudice, discrimination, and other effects of social inequality. Attention is paid to the intersections of fatness with other characteristics, including youth, motherhood, gender, gender identity, and national origin.

After reading these chapters consider the following discussion questions:

Given the commonplace discourse of a “childhood obesity epidemic,” what blame
is placed on mothers and how does race factor into the discussion?

How does a cultural heritage of hostility toward fatness influence the bullying of
fat youth?

Is bullying of fat youth and violence toward fat women a predictable consequence
of current attitudes toward fatness? If so, what can be done about it?

Identify five strategies to make schools or family life safer for fat children.

What challenges exist within gay male culture for fat men and their admirers?

How does the viewer's perception of a person's sex or gender change the percep-
tion of fatness?

Why would what is “fat” for women differ from what is “fat” for men?

How does fat oppression affect women differently than others?

What similarities exist between struggles for equality between fat and transgender
people using the legal system?

Should fat or transgender advocates focus on advancing the rights of the individ-
ual or the rights of the group if they cannot do both? What are the pros and
cons of each position?

Describe the association between fatness and masculinity. Also describe the asso-
ciation between fatness and femininity.

Is there a way to fairly assign costs for airplane travel without treating fat people
differently than other passengers?

-111-

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