Short Take: The Fat Girl’s Guide To Good Men

For a brief and shining moment, I thought perhaps the New York Times had paid attention to my pleas and decided not to pursue its quest to rid the nation of toxic masculinity. Such hubris.

This is the first of a weekly column.

Apparently, Roxane Gay didn’t cut the mustard, probably because she was black, intersectional and kinda stupid, so the Times gave a weekly column to Lindy West instead.

A few weeks back, some old friends invited me to appear on their podcast. They are two stand-up comedians in their mid-30s — I know, the podcast comes as a shock — and their show is a kind of micro focus group, investigating how to be better straight white dudes by picking the brains of guests who don’t fit that description.

They want to know what people like me, for instance (fat, female, feminist) need from people like them (plausible extras in a Buffalo Wild Wings commercial). It’s sweet and, I think, encouraging.

See? I wasn’t being mean in the title. West describes herself as fat, and who am I to deny her lived experience?

“How to build a better white guy” is a conversation that could turn academic fast, replete with all the jargon that the sneering class finds so tedious: intersectionality, emotional labor, systemic oppression, the dreaded “privilege.” But when I sat down with my friends, only one question sprang to mind, and it was personal, not pedantic.

“Do you ever stick up for me?”

By “me,” Lindy West means her. Her better white guy is a white guy who puts her first, not because she’s a delusional narcissist who believes she is the center of the universe, but because . . .  okay, she’s a delusional narcissist.

“Do you ever stick up for me?” sounds childish, but I don’t know that gussying up the sentiment in more sophisticated language would enhance its meaning. It isn’t fun to be the one who speaks up.

Au contraire, mon Lindy. Not childish. It would only sound childish coming from a child. From an adult, it sounds psychotic. The problem is not, as the voices in your head tell you, that it “isn’t fun to be the one who speaks up.” Nobody gives a damn about being the one to speak up, if speaking up is what they choose to do.

It’s you, Lindy. You are not the center of their universe. You are not the center of everyone’s universe. White guys don’t want to be reinvented to please Lindy West. It’s not because you’re fat, though you are. It’s not because you’re female or a feminist, the latter of which is doubtful. It’s because you are not the center of a white guy’s life.

Yet, I will speak up for you, Lindy. Should someone try to prevent you from speaking your mind, I will defend your right to speak. If someone tries to burden you for being a woman, I will speak up against sex discrimination so that you have the same opportunity to succeed or fail, as anyone else. If a person tries to physically attack you, I will not just speak up, but come to your defense.

But I would do these things for anyone, regardless of color, genitalia or delusions. I would not do any of these things because Lindy West, fat, female and feminist, matters. That’s how this white guy is built, and, with all due respect, I don’t give a flying fuck how Lindy West would like to rebuild me. Not that you care what I think, but then, you care about nothing but you.

21 thoughts on “Short Take: The Fat Girl’s Guide To Good Men

    1. SHG Post author

      In fairness, I hold the door open for guys or gals. It’s just ordinary courtesy, which at one point in time was considered a rather normal thing.

      1. REvers

        I do the same thing, and always have. Ordinary courtesy costs nothing.

        The only people who seem to dislike it are ugly women. I first noticed that when I was in college in the seventies. I actual.y had two or three cuss me out for holding the door for them.

        1. SHG Post author

          I’ve had the occasional distasteful reaction, to which I smile because I do it as a reflection of my values, not theirs.

  1. B. McLeod

    By “fat,” women who admit thereto often really mean “morbidly obese.” The vast majority of people who have this issue have it due to lifestyle choice. If they have a personal image problem because of it, the answer is not to have others “stick up for them,” but to exercise more and/or consume fewer calories. If they choose not to pursue these options, but to instead remain morbidly obese, that is, of course, their right. However, it is not a good idea, and I am not going to be a cheerleader for morbid obesity.

    1. SHG Post author

      West’s reliance on her fatness is in compensation of her lack of sufficient alternative victimhood points. She’s constrained to find here victimhood wherever she can, which in her case means her bass.

  2. el profesor presente

    From her article: “In practice, though, [SJW] usually means ‘anyone asking me to adjust my behavior for reasons I deem annoying or frivolous,’ a murky, subjective taxonomy that conveniently makes any man the arbiter of his own rightness.”

    She’s so close, but so far.

    1. SHG Post author

      I can see you sneering at her from here. When it comes from the hand of a feminist, is it a straw woman?

      1. el profesor presente

        I believe straw womyn is the preferred woke nomenclature.

        But we could be generous and read “In practice…” as “In my lived experience…,” and even concede that on that count she probably has a legitimate point about a fair number of her followers. (Not always a positive thing, having followers.) Change “usually” to “sometimes” and she might be surprised who would be willing to agree. And who wants that.

        On the other hand, her preceding sentence (“purports to refer to online progressive zealots who cross the line from activist to moral scold”) may be a more straightforward case. As if the line being crossed – and the offending activism – isn’t on the far side of “moral scold” instead of the near side.

        No, I was getting more at her “taxonomy” projection, where she states a fundamental objection to the SJW mindset so clearly that I wonder if she got it from one of her critics. We have straw manning and steel manning, maybe this is what we could call poached manning.

    2. Erik H.

      It is slightly amusing that she objects to “SJW” but does not hesitate to point out “SJWs, along with political correctness, also happen to be unifying obsessions among Trump fanatics.”

      Of course “obsession” and “fanatic” are OK terms to use if you’re right…and of course, she is right. Such people are always right.

  3. Lex

    “You are not the center of their universe. You are not the center of everyone’s universe.”

    Well, not yet. But, with just a few more pounds…..

Comments are closed.