As Election Issues Go, Fat Shaming is a Lightweight
By CHRISTINE FLOWERS
October 02, 2016
It never occurred to me to think that I was growing up in a toxic society that judged me by the way I looked. Sure, there were the unkind comments overheard at the occasional mixer, and, yes, my father did express his concern that I was developing more chins than a Peking phone book. But no one ever tied my worth to my girth. No one.
Trump and women
That's not to say I am excusing the bullying, mean-spirited attacks on the women Trump has targeted during this campaign. The way a man treats the women in his life is a measure of his character, and, by that measure, Trump is several floods behind Noah. When he went after Carly Fiorina's looks during the primaries, I was one of the first to criticize him. His rather sophomoric ravings about Megyn Kelly were also a sign he wasn't ready for prime time, and his later attacks on Hillary Clinton were unsurprisingly lame. He is not a gentleman.
But we are not voting for Gentleman-in-Chief. I asked a good friend of mine who supports Clinton why he thought the media were making so much of Trump's misogyny. After a few moments of hesitation, he said a person's character was a strong indicator of how he (or she) would perform in office. He asked me whether I'd be happy to have Trump call Angela Merkel "fat" at an international conference, and I said that, since Trump can barely speak English, I doubt Angie would understand him anyway. That did not elicit the hoped-for smile, but I tried.
When I look at Trump, I do not see the evil Bluebeard the media are now trying to project. And I suspect that most other women don't see it either, even the ones who would rather stick flaming spears through their eyes than vote for him.
This whole misogyny shtick is effective for Clinton and her cohorts, because, in the Year of the Woman, we need the grand villain to be the man who called Rosie O'Donnell a "fat pig." And since O'Donnell is divisive, and no one actually likes her, Clinton was forced to find another woman to use as her poster child.
Treatment of Women
But most of us out here aren't buying it. Well, some of us are. But the vast majority of the women in the United States really don't care whether our future president prefers his women on the lighter side. We think that the commercial with those fragile, little teenage Faberge eggs gazing sadly into mirrors is a sign that Clinton has been reading too many Judy Blume books.
We may not be voting for Trump, but we are sick and tired of this ridiculous, opportunistic play for our votes, as if being a few pounds overweight has turned us into victims of a cruel society. We also find it ironic that Clinton is outraged at the fat shaming of a Venezuelan beauty queen, but had no problem whatsoever when Monica Lewinsky was being called all sorts of horrific names a generation ago.
As I recall, "fat" was one of the kinder ones.
© 2015 Christine Flowers. Flowers is an attorney and a columnist for the Philadelphia Daily News, and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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