At the beginning of the semester, I had no idea what to expect to learn in this class. It took me a little while to get used to thinking about the body in different ways, but I can say that I’m glad I did. From the information I have learned in this class, I’ve been able to look at issues in the world with a different lense, and I think that is so imortant.
Because I’ve learned so much about all of these topics, I’ve actually gotten in some interesting conversations with my mom. I know she believes in gender equality and things of that nature, but I’m not sure if she considers herself to be a feminist. So, it is always interesting when I gain some kind of new insight with feminist politics through this class or any other GWST class. When we were on the way home from when she picked me up for Thanksgiving, we stopped for dinner and got talking a little bit about fat feminism. I remember when we were on that unit in class, I was talking on the phone with her one day, and I was trying to explain the paper I was planning to write for this unit. I remember not having a lot of time to explain it, so I promised I would explain it at a later time. We ended up having this conversation over dinner that night when she picked me up, and it proved to be very interesting. My mom is quite a critical thinker, (she’s an English professor) and so I was a little nervous to be presenting these new ideas to her, because I knew I would have to explain and I had no idea if she would try to criticize it or not. We talked about the medicalization of the body and of fatness in particular, and we got into a bit of a discussion about that. She brought up some good points: Where do we draw the line between when medicalization of fatness is bad and where it is true? What if being fat does have some kind of negative impact on our health? Is the Fat Movement really a good thing? Should doctors really be the enemy? I explained that I think what this movement is trying to do is make it more widely accepted that all bodies are beautiful and not all bodies look the same. Also, I shared Dr. Kate’s story about the post-it note in the doctor’s office (hope you don’t mind, Dr. Kate) and my mom was appalled. I’ll admit, I have been thinking about a lot of the things my mom brought up that night, but I was too shy to bring it up in class to get some answers, or maybe even to make a blog post about it. I guess I’m doing that now. I have come to the conclusion however, that the Fat Movement is against things happening like doctors showing a “fat” person a post-it note with their weight on it and saying, “We have a serious problem” when that person is perfectly healthy and lives a very healthy life, and this is the real problem. I don’t have any good answers for myself, but I am glad this class has made me think about these things.