I know there's something wrong with this, but I'm having trouble articulating exactly what it is, so I'm hoping some of the more savvy in my circle can help me figure it out, 'cause it's bugging me.
The full story is here
--mostly in the comments.
The summary is this: in a move that gives provides medical and scientific backing, the Centers for Disease Control have declared their support for the Department of Transportation's recent and controversial "active transportation" initiative, which puts biking, walking, and mass transit on an equal footing with cars and highways in its planning efforts. The CDC's reason for supporting it is that walking and biking as transportation
would be a good way for a lot of Americans to be more active, and that more activity would be better for Americans' overall health.
I'm fine with that part. Excited, even. It's good news for American cycling.
Then come the comments. "Jackattak" (a regular on that blog) at number 2 says: "Here's a good idea: Get your fat ass out of your car and get a bike, walk, jog, or skateboard to work" and goes on to bemoan his mother's morbid obesity (including her height, weight and age).
This bothered me, so I commented back requesting an end to that kind of name-calling, and said that active transportation wasn't magically going to solve the nation's obesity epidemic. I cited my own cycling and my own wide posterior in evidence, and I think
I was groping towards pointing out the fallacy of his broad brushstrokes, but I don't think I got there and I wasn't really clear on what I wanted to say.
He posted back giving me (I'm pretty sure) permission to accept myself under certain circumstances. I, uh, may have thanked him for this with a wee bit of sarcasm.
Now I feel all inarticulate and icky. I know that I'm sick and tired of the "fat ass":"lazy" equation (stated or implied), I know I don't like being reduced to a single physical characteristic, and I'm sure that I've had it up to here
with the bootstrap philosophy of the privileged. But I need a better set of answers, a clearer conclusion--if only just to repeat in my own mind.
I'm not going back into the fray or anything, and I don't want to score points off the guy, but I'd LOVE some clarification.
If anyone interested in these fat-related, privilege-related types of issues would care to read the comments (they're pretty short) and help me think this through, I'd be very grateful.