A few weeks ago, I stumbled into a surprisingly fraught topic on social media: urban planning -- more specifically, walkable cities.
There's a loud and vehement contingent of what I'm calling "nevercar" people in the conversation, who insist that private vehicles can be eliminated from cities entirely with the right combination of transit options, "walkable" streets and magical thinking.
I've released a patron-exclusive piece on walkable cities, urban planning and "nevercars" that talks about what happens when we eliminate cars from cities, how the invisibility of fat people is a feature and who we should be listening to in urban planning conversations.
(With an example from my favorite video game, because I will never not be a nerd.)
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I am just absolutely horrified in ways I can't even articulate about the phrase "take all hunger away." It's tied in so closely to oppression and racism and wanting women to shrink till they go out like candles that my brain is just doing the fleeing octopus.
This has nothing to do with health and everything to do with participating in and reaping the benefits of an oppressive, racist system.
If you're disgusted by fat and fat people, that's something you were taught. You weren't born loathing fatness. That visceral disgust you feel is the product of decades of cultural conditioning.
You were taught that fatness is disgusting.
You were taught that fat people are lazy.
You were taught that fat people are liars.
You were taught that fat people are gluttons.
You were taught that fat people are sweaty.
You were taught that fat people are clumsy.
You were taught that fat people are undeserving.
You were taught that fat people are an aberration.
You were taught that fat people are diseased.
You were taught that fat people are unintelligent.
You were taught that fat people are gross.
Who profits when you believe these things? The diet industry profits. The cosmetics industry profits. The healthcare industry profits. And you profit, with the smug sense of superiority that only dehumanizing someone else can give you.
If you need to believe these things to feel good about yourself, what kind of a person does that make you?
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"Remember that you feel this way for a reason, that there are multi-billion dollar industries profiting off your insecurity, and that you’ve viewed thousands of ads produced by those industries since you were a child.
Your lack of confidence has been manufactured. And you don’t have to accept it. You can rebel. You can seek self love. You can dare to reclaim the parts of yourself society has told you to destroy." » The Femme-inist