Does Facebook, favorite social networking site of college students everywhere, represent a microcosm of society? God, I kind of hope not.
Alerted by reader Valdine, I went to check out this group, called “You’re not ‘full figured,’ ‘plus sized,’ or ‘voluptious,’ YOU’RE FAT BITCH!” [sic]. The gang at 3 Fat Chicks is trying to get people to report the group according to the Facebook terms of service, which state that users agree not to:
upload, post, transmit, share, store or otherwise make available any content that we deem to be harmful, threatening, unlawful, defamatory, infringing, abusive, inflammatory, harassing, vulgar, obscene, fraudulent, invasive of privacy or publicity rights, hateful, or racially, ethnically or otherwise objectionable
Although Facebook does crack down on religious and racial hate groups, fat hate groups (like the elder hate groups discussed here; link via AmbivaBlog) are flourishing. I’m not suggesting that these groups should be shut down; I think the worst ones (like “let’s kill all fat people”) have been, and I’m more inclined to let people say their piece than be censored, where possible. Even so, I did a couple of searches and poked around and found hundreds of groups dedicted to fat hate. I found the specifics of these groups to be kind of interesting.
Disturbingly, while there are dozens of groups called “I hate fat chicks” or similar, I didn’t see one “I hate fat guys.” Sure, there are lots of equal opportunity “I hate fat people” groups, but I think you see my point. And on top of that, there are also more than a handful of groups specifically about how fat women are “allowed” to act and dress. A group called “Anti-fat girls wearing revealing clothing” has 624 members, and I saw groups against fat girls wearing leggings, fat girls wearing skirts, and fat girls wearing skinny jeans. There’s also a group called “Fat girls are sexually aggressive!” and “Fat chicks with small tits = JUST PLAIN WRONG.” Again, no group about what a fat guy is allowed to wear or to look like.
Yes, fat is indeed a feminist issue. If you’re not thin (or you’re fat but you don’t have the mitigating factor of large breasts) you’re not fulfilling your role as sex object of horny college boys, and therefore deserve to be excoriated on Facebook. And if you are fat, you’d better not dress provocatively, or publicly exercise (yes, there are groups for that), or do anything except hide yourself away and lose weight. God forbid you use your college years to explore the wide world around you, find issues you’re passionate about, get pissed off, get fired up, take a Women’s Studies class or two, and begin to look outside the world of your appearance, your body, and what boys think of you.
Here are some more Facebook groups: “Dammit, I Hate Fat Chicks!” “DISLIKES- FAT GIRLS WHO WEAR SKIRTS AND TIGHT CLOTHING” “Fat Chicks – Exercise or die!” “Fat people should go on starvation diets” “God d@mm!t I hate fat people!!!” and “If you’re fat…we aren’t friends.” A group simply called “I Hate Fat People” has 529 members.
Of course, there’s also the other side of the coin. On the more positive side, we have “Ban Fatphobia!” with 195 members (I joined that group myself; it would be nice to have more members than “I Hate Fat People.”) There’s also “AAARGG!! Why is it OK for Guys to be fat, while it isnt ok for girls” [sic] with almost 500 members, and the borderline “FAT GIRLS STOP TAKING FACE PICS ONLY!!!” by a guy who thinks fat chicks are hot. There’s also “FAT GURLS NEED LOVE 2,” “Fat & Proud,” “FAT REVOLUTION,” and my personal favorite, “Fat? Skinny? Society SUCKS MY BALLS.” I’m totally joining that one next.
I also enjoy the random groups I ran across, such as “I fucking hate Jared the former-fatass Subway guy,” “I think Star Jones Reynolds looks better fat,” and the (probably full of fat hate, but made me laugh) “A Fat Girl Fucked My Boyfriend.”
So there you go; the tip of the iceberg on Facebook. Do you use Facebook? Are you in any groups yourself? What do you think this all means, if anything, in the grand scheme of things? And are there any other groups we should know about?
[ETA: We now have our own Facebook group; join us, won't you?]
Posted by mo pie