Should Idiots Be Allowed To Speak (Write)?

Yes, legally they should because I believe in free speech (which also allows me to call unintelligent people morons) and n0, this is not a post about the moronic utterances of Arundhati Roy…

This post is about media responsibility and our culture…Take a look at this article written by Maura Kelly on Marie Claire’s website…

Excerpts:

“yes, I think I’d be grossed out if I had to watch two characters with rolls and rolls of fat kissing each other … because I’d be grossed out if I had to watch them doing anything. To be brutally honest, even in real life, I find it aesthetically displeasing to watch a very, very fat person simply walk across a room — just like I’d find it distressing if I saw a very drunk person stumbling across a bar or a heroine addict slumping in a chair.”

“But … I think obesity is something that most people have a ton of control over. It’s something they can change, if only they put their minds to it.”

Can you imagine a newspaper or magazine publishing inflammatory articles about race, gender, or religion? Why is it OK for them to publish cruel opinions about overweight people?

I don’t think the author should have been prevented from expressing her opinion, but what gets to me is that she was given a national platform to do so, which only reflects the magazine’s own prejudices (for people who don’t know, MC is a women’s magazine, which like other similar magazines has been making money off people’s prejudices for years)…

What was the Editor doing? How hard could it have been for him or her to say, “Hey, Maura, we get your point about obesity being a health problem and we shouldn’t be laughing about it on TV, but can you tone it down a bit and be less cruel?”

Do you think CBS would have given the green light to a sitcom about cancer? I think not…So, where does this prejudice against obese people stem from? It stems from our (wrong) belief that all obese people have become that way because of their unhealthy decisions and that obesity can always be prevented…

So, what do you think?

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18 thoughts on “Should Idiots Be Allowed To Speak (Write)?

  1. You know, I remember watching a programme on how obese/overweight people are bullied and harrassed in so many ways, just because of their weight. And it is not always in their control. As you say, ‘It stems from our (wrong) belief that all obese people have become that way because of their unhealthy decisions and that obesity can always be prevented…’ – That is so true!

    Media responsibility is very important, especially when there is a possibility of so many people getting influenced by it. So it becomes all the more important that media makes an effort to be more sensitive on issues like this.

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  2. The article betrays the narrow mindedness of the author and may be also of the magazine. It has a commercial angle too being a women’s magazine probably funded by ads aiming to make women extremely conscious of their exterior.Current modern medicine concept about Obesity is that it is an illness or disease condition with several causative factors Only some of the factors are preventable .

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    • that goes with all ads for exercise equipment and gyms too. if there is anything to burn fat there is one effective exercise – breathe deeply. gymming, swimming, running helps to breath deeply than shallow, hence we loose weight ! No magazine will ever say that because than the gyms will go empty !

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  3. It is just another sort of hate and discrimination..it reminded me of an episode of CSI Las Vegas about obese people. It provided an insight into such people and people who disliked them.

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  4. Hmm – it’s an interesting question and I admit I never thought of it like that. I don’t believe in making fun of anyone’s physical characteristics, though I don’t mind making fun of them for their ideas.

    Of course, the writer can say whatever she wants, but you have a point about whether a magazine made a sensible decision to publish it. Let the writer get their own magazine or show! Like comedians do in the US – and those guys really make fun of others.

    Here in the US I often stare at really obese people in disbelief. Not judging them, it’s just that I find the sight unusual. If I’m constantly exposed to them I think I’ll get used to it though.

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  5. Does one really takes Marie Clarie seriously… I mean what is Marie Clarie a high profile pretentious magazine which features people and advertisements of products which 80% of world population won’t be able to afford…Do they really matter?

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  6. Sometimes obesity is the offshoot of some underlying medical condition. I think the article was a little harsh. I do feel badly for people who eat their way to obesity but then I guess it is their problem really.

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  7. I think the whole think was in bad taste and it ought not to have been published the article in the first place. I am myself overweight and God knows that I try to do my bit to bring my weight down. Obesity is the result of several physiological/hormonal factors but one easily believes that an obese person is a glutton and cannot control his/her eating habits. I can tell you for a fact that it is not so in many cases.

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  8. “Mike and Molly” is a fabulous show and has made America sit up and take notice. For the first time you have overweight actors in lead roles. The article you refer to shows that the world’s most obese nation isn’t ready to get openly comfortable with the excess weight it carries. But that’s the reality facing the nation. What’s Kelly trying to say, that fat people don’t have the right to be passionate, sensual or happy? Only plastic-enhanced, nipped-and-tucked, airbrushed actors should be allowed to get it on on screen? Kelly, I believe, has since apologised and claimed some of what she said probably came out of her history of anorexia. We have to accept that overweight people are victims of widespread prejudice, and it is certainly not limited to the U.S.

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  9. does this mean you too havent blogged for about 6 months now !!!!!!! ?????

    Twitter and facebook taking over ???? I guess witty people like you would love the shorter formats… but blogs stay for ever !!! not twitter lines and fb updates !!!!!

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  10. Health wise obesity is a problem and needs to be dealt with. If its just a matter of overeating then what the article says is true. But one can never generalize. It’s as bad as passing a racist comment. What’s worse is “fat” and “obese” are different. Fat is a very personal thing. Too some even a little of love handles is FAT. All in all, a stupid comment made by a stupid magazine writer proving how stupid the magazine is !

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  11. completely ignoring directives about what would and would not be considered appropriate material for posting on an SB Nation website, I have thoughtfully considered my audience and decided to begin my reign as king of the idiots with an op/ed piece that I’m sure Chris and Joel would be proud to hang on the wall in their baby’s nursery or the hallway of the local grade school.

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