Anonymous asked: Hi, I'd like to give some constructive critism to your thin privilege checklist. I am what most people would call "thin", however, when looking thru the checklist only 4 out of 18 "privileges" applied to me. And just so you know, for some "thin" people, it's just as hurtful when people talk about our weight all the time.
First of all, it’s not MY thin privilege checklist, it’s A thin privilege checklist. It is not exhaustive, but it is a useful a tool for understanding how fatness is stigmatised and fat people are oppressed.
Regarding your overall point, Brian of Red No. 3 has addressed this better than I ever could, so I’m just going to quote the bejesus out of him.
People act like privilege is some kind of binary. Either you have it or you don’t, but that’s absurd. I’m not “ideally” male in a lot of ways and our culture is constructed to frequently remind me about this and stigmatize me for this. I’m not ideally hetero, I’m not even ideally cis. All of these do lead me to be disenfranchised in certain ways, but they never, EVER, make my essential privilege disappear.
And there are men who make those arguments. Men who deny male privilege are making the SAME EXACT ARGUMENT as this thin privilege denying bullshit. Many of them concede privilege might exist, but its being enjoyed by someone else so they obviously aren’t involved. Those men are making the same mistake these thin privilege deniers are. They are exploiting their privilege to deny actual respect or empathy for people who are oppressed. They insist on a false equivalence that elevates their struggles at the expense of those who are stigmatized.
Privilege is not a binary. You can have it and not have it at the same time. Even on the same subject.
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I would suggest that responding to a discussion of thin privilege simply with “but thin people have problems to” is still, on its face, offensive. It is a derailment of the discussion of a disenfranchised group to recenter the dialogue on the needs of the privileged. This is never an act of respect. There is a time and a place to discuss how body policing impacts persons with thin bodies and no one has suggested otherwise. By insisting that discussion take place here, though, is far more than a suggestion that there isn’t a time and a place to discuss fat shaming. Its taking a discussion of fat shaming and trying to shut it down so the focus can return onto the needs of the privileged.
Derailment thrives on false equivalencies. The notion that the problems of the powerful are necessarily equal to the problems of the powerless. This can appear “fair”, but its very much not. By demanding such situational “equality”, its actually trying to define existing power imbalances as a truth. A woman hating a man might be wrong (its not for me to say so), but even if one feels it is, its simply not the same thing as a man hating a woman and having the full force of society and culture behind him. If we see the two things as equal, we ignore the institutional oppression that makes them functionally different. The problems of the privileged and disenfranchised are not the same. If all problems are equal, then we can never really deal with the problem of inequality because we’re always erasing it to say its the same thing as what the privileged experience.
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