Though I’m not in Florida, I’m pleased that Gov. Charlie Crist is running for the Senate seat being vacated by Mel Martinez. This is a fine example of the kind of politics that I think will be necessary both to uplift the South from right-wing reactionary rule and to produce a viable and non-frightening opposition party for whenever the Democrats mess up.
I’ve written before about the need for moderate Southerners to run for political office in Republican primaries. Crist is already a Republican, of course, and a rather popular one at that; the question was about whether he would run for this office. He’s also pretty much indisputably a moderate (proving my point in the past two articles that it is possible for moderates to be well-liked in the South). I’m glad that he’s running. If he is the nominee, as is (I hope) likely, it should be an interesting race to watch, as there is not likely to be much difference between many of his views and the views of his Democratic opponent. Considering that, he may try to shore up the right flank in the general election. It wouldn’t surprise me either way. But as we know all too well, campaign rhetoric often doesn’t mean a whole lot.
As could perhaps be expected, the mainstream bloggers have this all wrong. Nate Silver of fivethirtyeight.com, which I linked to, is the only prominent person with a reasonable opinion on it. The luminaries at flagship blog Daily Kos are gleefully contemplating the likelihood of a primary between Crist and hard-right Club for Growth ideologue Marco Rubio. The belief is that Rubio is dead in the water as a general election candidate, as Pat Toomey now is in Pennsylvania, and that a Rubio nomination should be advocated and promoted. Wrong. (Read more…)
The term “fattism” is not yet standard usage, I don’t believe, but it is a pop-culture expression that means “discrimination and prejudice against overweight women.” It’s a real phenomenon; numerous studies have shown that overweight women are less likely to get jobs and promotions than their normal and underweight counterparts, and this form of bigotry is unacceptable. Let me say up front that nothing whatsoever in this post should be construed to mean that I disbelieve that fattism is real or that I advocate the practice of it. In fact, the subject of it really isn’t fattism, but rather, its opposite. In keeping with the method of formation for the word, I’m dubbing this new type of bigotry “skinnyism.”
Now that fattism is recognized by most authorities as a real occurrence, there has, perhaps predictably, been a surge of awareness and a strong counter-movement against this type of behavior. That’s fine. What’s not fine is one direction that the movement has taken. Just as a spike in awareness of various forms of prejudice prompted a form of accompanying “political correctness” that many people believe went too far in the opposite direction, the counter-movement to fattism is, in my opinion, going too far in the opposite direction. What’s beginning to happen amounts to blatant, codified prejudice and nonscientific bigotry against thin women. Whatever can be said about fattism—and none of it is good—it usually cannot be said that overweight women were actively discriminated against in organizational policy. The prejudice occurred in practice, not on paper. In sharp contrast, thin women increasingly are discriminated against in policy itself in this counter-movement, and there is a threat of more to come. We also have to deal with the same kinds of demeaning, dehumanizing behavior that overweight women once dealt with over their weight and shape. (Read more…)