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So a friend of mine posted in her blog about how she got the following email from her manager:

"A cocker spaniel weighs about 24 pounds. You know what else weighs 24 pounds? The heft of candy the average American gobbles down each year, a big chunk of that falling to our waistlines in the days before and after Halloween. Fun size? I don't think so—unless it's fun being size 16."

Said friend is a size 16.

Want more fun? The manager who sent this is male, and a Vegan/Raw-Food guy.

Still more fun? He only sent it to female employees.

Yet more fun? He didn't send it to all the female employees, just, as my friend says, the three "pudgy ones."

Unsurprisingly, her blog was immediately filled with replies saying, "You. HR. NOW."

Actually my response was, "I'm surprised you didn't throw something at his his head." And followed up by suggesting a response punctuated with headslaps.

In the course of the conversation, I told her that it was sexism, pure and simple. Her response was that it couldn't be sexism because he was gay.

This is a common misperception that I'd like to clear up.

Sexism does not necessarily have anything to do with wanting to have sex with the person you're inflicting it on. It does have to do with inflicting something on people by virtue of their gender/gender presentation. Like forwarding an email full of diet tips to only women who aren't meeting your criteria for what proper women look like, regardless of whether or not you want to fuck them. Because we all know that fat women are fat because they eat like they have a hole in their neck, and CANDY!!! Because thin women never have lousy diets and gorge themselves on the forbidden candy...

Except, wait. Thin people can have lousy diets, and people who eat well and nutritiously and not to excess CAN be fat.

The rest of the email was sprinkled with calorie counts and equivalencies of various candies, as well as a basically saying, "Since we know you fat pigs can't help yourselves, here's the best case scenarios for your candy bingeing" and tips for not stuffing your gluttonous pieholes.

So, let's recount the reasons this email is not ok.

1. Regardless of the fact that the email itself does not use any gender specific language, sending the email ONLY to the three fat women in the office, none of the thin women and NONE of the men, makes this a sexist act. As well as size-ist.

2. This was from her MANAGER.

3. Do I really need to repeat that you can't tell why someone is fat just by looking at them? Really? Do we need to talk about the side effects of commonly prescribed medications, injuries, and genetics? Do we? Do we really need to talk about the fact that sometimes you can do everything right and be fat, and sometimes you can eat like a garbage disposal and stay thin?

I didn't fucking think so.

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October 2012

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