Why am I the butt of every joke just because I’m fat and female?
WE NEED to talk about human decency.
But let’s start at the beginning so you don’t get confused.
I have been fat my whole life, even when I was a kid, I was always bigger than everyone else. When I was playing five hours of sport a week and going to the gym, I was still fat.
I have put up with a lot of things over the years including being publicly ridiculed, bullied, poked, prodded and genuinely made to feel like I am a second-class human.
A few years ago, I decided I wasn’t going to put up with it any more and now, I fight back.
About six months ago, a man (if it’s even worth calling him that) accidentally bumped into me and spilt my drink. We’ve all done it, I knew it was an accident. But it was what he said next that made my blood boil. “Sorry, fatty.” They were the words that came out of his mouth.
Instead of apologising and walking off, he felt the need to add that extra word on the end, to make himself feel better. To be honest, I’m not even sure why he did it. But it was my response that was important.
Six drinks deep, I still had enough sense to say, “That was extremely rude, you don’t speak to other humans like that.”
A few months later, I was walking home from the pub talking to my friends when two men across the road decided to yell out. “Just shut up, fatty,” they said.
Trying to calm my boyfriend down after this one was really fun, by the way.
Not long after this, I was talking to my friends who were genuinely perplexed, who had been present at both incidents, as to why people did this.
My only response was that it’s been happening my whole life and I can’t control people around me.
BUT ON SATURDAY NIGHT, MY EXPERIENCE BEING A FAT FEMALE STEPPED IT UP A NOTCH WHEN SOMEONE AT THE PUB DECIDED IT WAS A GOOD IDEA TO HIT MY BOTTOM.
They are just terrible humans.
But on Saturday night, my experience being a fat female stepped it up a notch when someone at the pub decided it was a good idea to hit my bottom, multiple times throughout the night.
It’s a game I’ve seen played before, with me or other people being the butt of the joke (pun intended).
I was enjoying myself, dancing to a band with my friends when I felt someone touch my bum. I let the first one go because, well, it could have been a mistake, someone passing by, I was near the toilet door.
But when it happened again, I knew exactly what was happening.
The men behind me were playing a game to see who could hit my bum and disappear before I saw them.
They don’t do things like this to skinny women. They don’t see them as ‘fair game’ in this way. They do this, because I am someone they can openly make fun of and the majority of people will say nothing.
This is horrible, by the way. As I am writing this, my eyes are welling up with anger and sadness over what I have had to go through.
I have enough self-respect to know that I shouldn’t be treated this way. It is just wrong. I don’t know how to get that across to the people of the universe. I shouldn’t be spoken to like that or touched like that JUST because I’m fat.
So, we need to start talking more about what human decency is, and maybe we should stop being horrible people and start treating people with respect.
I deserve that respect. So does everyone else.
Journalist Caitlan Charles asks why people think it’s ok to treat her badly because of her weight.