Thursday, April 20, 2006

Out of the Mouths of Coworkers....Again

Most of you had the same reaction that I did to the "fat dyke" comment related below. Thanks to all who sent in supportive messages. I appreciate all of the disbelief exhibited on my behalf.

Sadly, I have to relate that the fun didn't stop there. No, apparently, I work in Bigot Central with people who SERIOUSLY need a sensitivity training course.

I mentioned in the comments in the previous post that the same day I got the lovely "fat dyke" crack, I started walking around the track at my school during my lunch hour. I've still been losing weight, but I don't get much exercise. I decided to start walking, not only to help with the weight loss, but also to get ready for our annual trip to Disney World. (We walk about 7 miles a day at Disney, and I am *so* out of shape every year.) It was just bad timing that I had decided to start walking the day that I heard these two jewels of carbon-based excrement discussing me. I didn't want them to think that what they had said had hurt me enough that I would take their comments to heart.

At any rate, I walked a mile during the early morning, while it was still cool. Later in the day, I was passing through the hallway when another co-worker stopped me. (This one was someone I rarely run across during the normal course of events, and who has spoken about ten sentences to me in total in three years. And about six of those sentences were in a training class.) The following conversation happened:

Co-worker: "I saw you out there walking earlier. I wanted to say that I'm so proud of you for finally doing something about your weight! You keep it up, okay?"

KLee: "Uh.....thanks?"

Now, this woman was trying, in her rather self-absorbed way, to let me know that she was glad that I was trying something to better myself, but the way she expressed it was...shall we say... unfortunate. It was a back-handed compliment, to say the least. Do I have a sign on my forehead that tells people that it's okay to verbally torpedo me? No, I don't, but I'm fat, therefore I'm fair game.

It's okay for the fat to be the object of ridicule. At least, that's the perception I pick up from society at large. It's okay for the overweight to have to endure the barbs and cutting comments from people they don't know. After all, we did this to ourselves, didn't we? We must be weak willed. We must be lazy, or stupid, or have no other redeeming qualities.

One day, maybe thoughtless people will think before they speak. Maybe one day, being fat won't be such a stigma. I can only hope.


jo(e) said...

How hurtful.

That person at least didn't intend to hurt you -- but that doesn't make it hurt any less. Your last post made me angry -- this one makes me sad.

I wish our culture was different.

I admire that you are using your blog to raise awareness about this -- some people are going to be hateful jerks no matter what but at least some of the well-intentioned people can learn.

Phantom Scribbler said...

Can I just apologize on behalf of all human beings, KLee? I'm really sorry that so many of us suck.

ccw said...

Ouch! The sad thing is that woman was not trying to be mean, but rather supportive. Things like this are why I would have trouble with job retention because I do not think I could keep my mouth shut.

I am so sorry that you have to deal with this behavior.


liz said...

[Banging head on desk]

What ccw, PS, & Jo(e) said.

And what the idiot should have said was "I saw you exercising. I'd like to join you sometime and get in on some of those endorphins!"

Hugs and head shakes.

Beanie Baby said...

I so hope that your school has a higher than average concentration of bigots, because I'd hate to think that that's what people are like everywhere. Though they probably are. How sad.

And mean. Whether that was her intent or not.

Why do people think that other people's bodies are fair game for any comments, ever? Would they comment on the size of someone's nose or feet or thumbs? No. Then why fat? Frustrating and awful.

suze said...

well said. all of it.