Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The "F" word

No, not the one with four letters.  I've made a concerted effort not to swear in ths blog.

Not "feminism" either, although a lot of people think that's a dirty word.  (I don't, for the record.)

I'm referring to "fat." It's a powerful word that's thrown around, particularly in today's society.  It's particularly popular in the anonymous world of the internet.  When someone doesn't like something a female does, it's common for them to sling this word at her. 

It happened to a female blogger I know earlier this week. I don't understand what "fat" had to do with what she wrote. I guess the commenter just couldn't come up with something original, so he (I'm assuming it's a he) resorted to this.

But I still don't understand it.  If you don't like what someone has to say, just stop reading.  Surf to another blog or site, or simply close the window. I've done it. Trust me, it's really simple.  And a lot less exhausting than thinking of a way to insult someone.

I know how my friend is feeling after reading this comment.  She might laugh it off, but on some level, it affects her.

I know from firsthand experience. It happened to me when I was a senior in college. I wrote a column that offended some men. They decided to share it in -- of all places -- an online soccer forum.  The resulting comments were not about what I had written, but instead about the picture of me that sat atop the words.  "Fat" and "ugly" were used a lot.  And although these people didn't know me (and I didn't know them), the words cut me to the core.  Obviously.  It's been almost a decade and I remember them even though the forum is long gone.

I hate that I remember it.  I hate that it affected me so much.  Most of all though, I hate that people are that cruel to each other.

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