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Why is Being Fat More Acceptable for Men than Women?

I was having a conversation about this last night with a gay relative of mine. He informed me that, yes, it’s true, to an extent, the gay community has different (higher?) standards of fashion, staying in shape, etc., than the straight community. We also talked about subcultural differences in communities of color. My relative informed me of the saying, “Straight, Skinny. Gay, Fat.” Meaning that, when you look at a guy, he may be considered skinny if he was straight, but fat if he was gay. (I guess that means, if you’re straight and overweight, you’d be really, really fat to gay people.)

So I ran across this post on the subject, and I thought I’d share.

Something I noticed very soon after being introduced to Fat Acceptance, was that the fatness of women and men seem to be judged differently. This seemed unfair to me, and I wondered; why is being fat more acceptable for men than it is for women? As I attempted to answer this question, more questions that needed answers arose, and it all got very complicated for a while. […]

“Fat” for men seem to start at a higher weight than for women. I notice this especially when I watch TV; the leading men, as well as the leading women, are usually quite slender, but apart from that, chubby, and even fat, men are not an unusual sight at all.  Whereas chubby and fat women are quite the rare sight […]

Why is being fat more acceptable for men than it is for women?
I’ll tell you why; because women are failures if they don’t get married. This isn’t how I personally feel mind you, and most of you (all of you?) are right now vehemently disagreeing with this statement. Still, this is the very clear message we receive from society. Ever since the upwards revaluation of marriage in the late 1500s, continuing in the 1600s, so much of a woman’s identity has been tied to marriage. We had to get married to have children, we had to get married to have sex. Access to the workforce, and later education, being limited the way it was, we needed to get married to avoid a life in poverty. Marriage became the ultimate goal.




About Jen

Have been a jack of all trades. I'm a former philosopher who specialized in ethics and political philosophy. I'm a sex positive feminist.

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