Blogs Feb 14, 2011 at 6:18 pm


Dan; Dan, get a grip. And get an editor, or if you can't find one (most likely), ask someone on staff to give you a hand. You lost me about a third of the way through this mess.
pithier. i only have so much time for reading when there are NSFW Jenna Haze advertisements all over Slog.
Too little, too late. Also, too boring.
Dan, you are going to catch major shit for your reply, I'm sure. I do appreciate the balls it took Lindy to write her message and think perhaps you underestimate that here.

But as someone who has read your blog & column for years, and listened to your podcast since its inception, I agree that you have shown sensitivity and consistency in your responses to individuals who have called on you for advice, regardless of their body mass. I also concur that your "ban fat marriage" post was the reductio ad absurdum response to a ludicrous proposal for banning gay marriage.

Like other readers, the fact about Lindy's post that stunned me the most was the degree of support it elicited from your fellow staffers at The Stranger.

I hope you found time to talk to Lindy privately about this matter before you posted your response on Slog.
Oh fer Chrissakes you two, get a room! And after a few hours have passed and Lindy has consumed your right arm for sustenance, then shake hands (presumably with your left now) and go about your rightful business of telling people that "nobody cares where or in whom you stick it" and "every movie that people without a brain and/or soul like is awful."
Fucking dance off already! We want video, not all these damn words.
1 vote for Dan's piece being more honest and interesting than Lindy's.
Wow! This fight has gotten crazy, out of hand!!! Just my 2 cents... My brother and I eat really well and exercise regularly, and we're both thin. He's actually an amateur cyclist. Our parents are big, our grandparents are big, our aunts, uncles, cousins, most of them are big. My mom started making some small changes- walking, no soda, and she went from being round to curvy.

I think part of the problem is that when we talk about the obesity epidemic, there's this sense that we're talking about anyone who's not a size 2. I have friends who are curvy and healthy. On the other hand, I have some friends who are just plain round, can't take a walk with their kids, and are doing nothing to change themselves.
Jesus fucking christ, Dan, could you BE any more Privilege Denying Dude.
Very Mean Girl stuff happening. Just punch each other and get it over with.
This is one step closer to the dance-off, I hope. The last sentence reminded me of this, from hydrozoa @865 in the Lindy thread.
like, i pride myself for being smart, talented, funny, stylish, kind, charming, for my dozens of other fine qualities, but the idea that my naked body could disgust total strangers trumps them all.
I don"t think Lindy generlizes her experience, in fact that is the opposite of what she does. She doesn't say she can't lose weight ever, just that she hasn't managed to, and that that very issue is totally beside the point. Your brother is making the same argument half the people in that thread are making which is "Oh you could but you're not trying hard enough" which is essentially bullshit. It's often true but not always, and sometimes it is too hard to ask of anyone, so it's best to shut up about that point altogether.

Her post is not about the impossibility if anyone losing weight, it's about casual, off=handed remarks by people like you about subjects that can be hurtful to others.
This response seems ..... shitty. It firmly assigns Lindy to flailing uselessly all by her crazy self. Dan, you really missed the mark. I so wanted to hear you say something kind and reconciling.
Don't back down, Dan. Pro-Lindy bias and fat acceptance dogma aside, you have mostly been even-handed on the topic. Also appreciate you methodically taking on Lindy's arguments and seemingly damning quotations of your past columns, and tearing down her misleading juxtapositions.
I still feel like the fat kid.
You know how the former smokers can be the most annoying about smoking bans? Well....
I am probably the only one to write this, Bravo Dan. I think you could have just given a couple thrust, thrust, parry, and your post would had been done.
The ultimate irony in all of this?

that all of Dans' non-denial denial and weak sauce backpedaling doesn't make him look all that fat in his bigoted pants; yet indeed, it still does make him look like a huge ass.
So a few people (yourself included) started out fat and lost weight. Therefore, everyone can do it! As someone said on another site, the plural of anecdote is not data.

The problem is that you have made many comments saying eww, fatties even if you say other stuff about it being okay to be fat. As it is, we're all left assuming you are to fat people what super homophobic Republican politicians are to teh gayz- secretly afraid of your own proclivities and how people would look at you if they knew your dirty dirty secret. If you don't have a problem with fat people, stop convincing us you have a problem with fat people. JUST KNOCK IT THE FUCK OFF.
Here is my take (and I know you have been waiting for it).

Dan, sometimes you could choose your words or tone better. Like I said in Lindy's post, I think you have a blind spot to how hurtful your tone can be on this issue. We all have them as they relate to some thing - for some of us, I'm sure that blind spot is how we treat our bodies.

Some of the things you say about obesity annoy me. Of course, some of the things you say about religion annoy me, too, as to some of the things you say about pit bulls and their owners (I'm not one, but my boss - who has a crush on you, by the way - is).

Now, I can say the same thing about just about every contributer and commenter on Slog. But I keep coming back, because at least what gets posted here is interesting, generally intelligent, and not completely nuts (Mudede not withstanding). Compared to what I get to read in the online forums of my local "paper" here in the heart of the Bible belt, it is refreshing. People aren't blaming ever ill in society on "those people" on the other side of town (North Baton Rouge, in my case), they aren't arguing that by teaching evolution in the schools, we are teaching children incorrect information, or that every single person should be armed with multiple weapons and able to carry concealed everywhere they go.

The price of admission here is knowing that you don't agree with everything that is said, that the snarky, sarcastic tone is part of the "fun" of the site, and that honest debate (minus any personal attacks) is encouraged.

The only time that I didn't abide by that was the time that Charles posted something totally outrageous about dead parents at Christmas. As my own grief at losing my parents was particularly acute, I admit that I resorted to a personal attack. Kinda.

Okay. I said "Fuck you." For me, that's about as nasty as it gets.

No matter how much you you defend yourself, no matter how much you hide behind your non-leadership position at the Stranger, and no matter how much you apologize for just being one of a bunch of snarky Stranger writers, Dan, you're still a bully and a sociopathic narcissist, and every column inch of your career proves it.

As funny as this has been, I miss the pitbull bashing.
It's fair to call her on using a comment of yours, taken out of context, to assign to you feelings (about fatties) that you don't hold.
Dan, I've been reading you and listening to you for 7 years and I am fat. I will say that your ambiguity towards fat does come through, but I've never felt shamed by you, incidentally or on purpose. I really appreciated parts of Lindy's post - I get where she's coming from - but I also think that you are pretty even keeled about this whole thing.

I'm sure that there are people out there who are happy being fat, but I'm not, and your outlook on this topic has actually helped me take steps to make myself better - like eating right and working out, and even when I'm not losing weight I feel better.

It's a pretty complicated and touchy topic, but neither one of you are the villains.
You both should fight it out in the Thunderdome.

Good exercise too!
This whole argument was fun at first, but now it seems to be to heated, condescending, etc. Lindy and (especially) Dan's posts seem to have been written in moments of passion, and the end result is what reads as overemotional, childish writing. These posts remind of when I was in high school and my friends and I would write bitchy e-mails to each other when we were pissed off.

The obesity epidemic and fat acceptance are important issues that deserve to be debated clearly and intelligently. Both Lindy and Dan should have waited at least a day to cool down before publishing these posts.
True fact - the first thing this response made me think of was long ago when SL used to start out with "Hey Faggot". Those were the days. But, alas, either you pussed out (like you made it seem when you stopped doing it), or you got bored.


Dan Savage is a dick. A frighteningly skinny dick. With really nice arms.

Own it. Is DS abrasive when talking about overweight folks - sure.

Does he have a point when it comes to the societal detriments - kind of.

Was this response overly long, and a bit Sarah Palin after Tuscon-y? You betcha.

But damn, it is fun to watch.
Oh my God.

Grow up, both of you. I'm so tired of wading through your tired bitter bullshit. It's Valentine's Day, and you are a love advice columnist. Is this really the best way for you to spend it?
If she's really attacking a strawman that isn't your position, you are under no obligation to defend yourself. Let her rage against her imaginary attacker. Don't subject us to wall after wall of text.
Isn't there some letter in your bag about a crazy, awesome fetish or a lesson you can teach us about how to treat Valentine's Day when we are single/unhappy? Make it stop.
I hate it when mom and dad fight..

In following this, it's been my hunch that while you accuse Lindy of projecting, you yourself project your fat-phobia in your writing.

But remember: You are one sidelining injury (knees, back, etc.) from losing your six-pack.

And, don't ever get a health condition where you have to go on steroids.
I'm eating popcorn with a drizzle of organic olive oil and a sprinkle of sea salt.

Just kidding, fuck you Dan, I'm drinking a protein drink I bought at Grocery Outlet because my fat-but-much-stronger-than-yours ass works out several times a week.

You sound just like my grandma when she tried to kick me out of the house when I came out to her at 16. I told her I'd stay in the closet for as long as I could handle and she would shut the fuck up and stop prying into my life. Oh, it's for your own good, oh, I'm using science, oh, I'm trying to have your best interests in mind, oh, I had feelings kinda like yours when I was young, oh, ME ME ME. I can do it, too.

You're just pissed that your advice, your bread, your life's work, is being treated like dickery. SURPRISE! YOU GIVE BAD ADVICE FROM TIME TO TIME! STOP TWISTING IN THE WIND.
It is nice to read you. And, I hope that you and Lindy have spoken.

I get that you still feeling like a fat kid, I still feel like the "four-eyed freak" at times.

Take care, Dan.

To correct myself, ambiguity should be ambivalence.
Dan, I think you need to step back a bit.
First, I think it's super shitty how you are saying that any criticism Lindy (a fat person) has of your writing about fat people is invalid because she's just so sensitive. That is a classic wrong move.

Second, your tone is a big problem because you truly do not come across as an ally. When you write about gays or the holocaust or child rape, there is never a doubt that you are on the "right" side on those issues. When it comes to fat people, you write as if you are truly disgusted. Therefor, it reads more like a right-wing tea party blog about the health perils of homosexuality, rather than the buddy-buddy vibe you think you have.

Third, this "muffin top" quote is absolutely not about being dismayed by ugly pants, because in the same sentence you write about the health perils of being too fat. You don't lead into your muffin-top quote with your opinions on the ghastly colours in this year's fall shows. The whole point of that sentence was fat=bad.

Finally, to pathologize you the same way you just did to LIndy, maybe you should examine your own shame at still seeing yourself at a "fat kid". It would explain a lot of your obsession with the subject. Your advice to individual readers is usually compassionate and fair, but your posts about the subject at large are usually full of condemnation. Gee, it's almost as if you like fat people individually, but fear and loathe them as a group!
The big thing is, Dan, your rhetoric contributes to the shame a lot of fat folks feel- in the same way that anti-gay rhetoric contributes to the shame a lot of gay folks feel. Should gay folks "just not read" anti-gay stuff? Or should we fight against it because, as Lindy said, shame does not help liberate people.

It's true that there are a lot of unhealthy people in this country. And for a lot of them that makes them fat. But by the time you're an adult, only so much can be done. Michelle Obama's initiative is combatting childhood obesity by encouraging all kids to get more physical activity and eat better, and she doesn't encourage it by saying hateful things about fat kids. Her site says things like "engaging in physical activity as a family can be a fun way to get everyone moving. "

So, no, don't put on kid gloves- let's face the hard facts about how unhealthy our nation is. But let's not just talk about how bad for you being fat is if we want to change things. Let's talk about how awesome being physically active and eating right can be!
Can't you see you're in love with each other?
@29: That is EXACTLY what I was thinking.
A lot of times I read letters to Dan and his responses are like cool, crisp and delightful - arrows that shoot straight to the heart of the matter. This one feels more conflicted, like the radio station keeps cutting out. But if we're assigning points, as we seem to want to do, his is more straight-up than Lindy's. And I think Dan's final sentence clinches it - "The ultimate irony in all of this? I still feel like the fat kid." We live in a complicated society, guys. And we're all affected it. It was still a thoughtful response, and pretty fucking honest. I have read Dan for years and years and I've never picked up any shitty little judgments from him about any particular group, except maybe right wing Republicans. And in that case, who can really blame him?
Dan, the thread got out of control, because people are pissed off and defensive about their ability to not fuck whoever they want because they are not in the "proper shape." They are hurt, and shamed and feel ugly, for years of being stigmatized. Short of giving them their secret high school crush, or "curing the social stigma." entirely against fat people, I don't think they will hear you. You are a SEX ADVICE COLUMNIST, and people listen to you and pay attention to you, because well, they like sex. If they feel threatened in any way shape or form that you are dismissing their sexuality (even though you aren't) they will cry foul.

But Dan, you are snarky about everything which is why I love it. Plus size peoples, for better or for worse, get it from all ends in society. At some point, I don't think it's your problem. I mean, do they look to you to be role model for fat acceptance? Do you have to compensate them for the disproportionate amount of rejection that plus size people receive?

Otherwise, why would so many people give a shit? They perceive your fat phobia as a threat, when no ... I think you are very clear on your record.

As for the overweight. "God grand me the serenity to accept the things I can not change, change the things I can not accept, and the wisdom to the know the difference."

I mean, for what it's worse, you could have cerebral palsy. Dan I remember the most painful podcast you seemed to do when you were giving sex advice to handicapped people. Which was AWESOME, but your quote, "It's times like these I just want to shoot myself in the head." Because sometimes there is no answer, and you are more than willing to acknowledge it.
Dearest Baconcat:

I initially read, "You sound just like my grandma when she tried to kick me out of the house when I came on to her at 16."

Tonight I will have a nightmare about a geriatric female dog getting hit on by a gay teenage boy and someone spilling bacon fat all over the kitchen floor. I can see it coming like a freight train.
"Hate, if you want to hate, if it keeps you safe, if it makes you brave."
@29, lol and ditto.
thanks for answering dan. i was worried for a minute that you wouldn't. that said may i also state that dis-abling comments on those previous posts were a mis-step.
but all in all ..thanks for responding.
@43: AHAHAHAHA... I haven't made any suggestive comments of the sort to my dear sweet ol' grandma, but I have said inappropriate things to her. Like suggesting she push a stroller down an escalator "because you're old, who's going to prosecute you" and "go on, tell her you hate white people, do it".
God Dan, you lost me as soon as your started defending yourself by referring to the infamous muffin-top posts. (Girlie Love Handles, or GLHs I think you called them) I thought you were out of line then (I mean, what do YOU care how women dress---if they look ridiculous, that's THEIR problem. Who made YOU the fashion arbiter?), and I can't believe you're using it in your defense now.

@35--'Gee, it's almost as if you like fat people individually, but fear and loathe them as a group!'
Exactly how I feel about Christians, Republicans and Slog commenters.
Dan, I'm sure you spent the better part of the day on this, and I hope you and Lindy can continue to work together, but the sharks smell blood in the water and they will now circle this post and spew, spew, spew. Just move along....
What I find.... confusing.... about Dan's defense of himself is that if someone else had written it, but replaced "fat/obese" with "gay," I would bet at least half a farm that Dan's reply to this hypothetical poster would be "Yeah you hired gay people, and are giving lip service to being all accepting, but your homophobic comments and overall attitude still mark you as a dirty homophobe."

Dan asks if he and other staff members must have "kid gloves" on, and are never allowed to make snarky comments about "the obese." (Fat... Overweight... Obese... why do these differing terms always seemed to get rolled into one?) But isn't that what the anti-bullying movement is all about, that it isn't the one snarky comment made by one kid that creates the suicide, it's the one snarky comment made by several kids a couple of times combining with a homophobic society that preaches what you are is WRONG?

Isn't complaining that when someone's feelings are hurt, they're just oversensitive the whole cornerstone of bullying?

And yes, Lindy probably took some of that internalized anger and shoved it onto Dan, but isn't that what Dan is doing when he takes down the homophobes of the world... Taking that internalized anger and self-disgust and shoving it back in the faces of people who maybe don't realize what asses they are being?

And yes, Dan, you do talk honestly about how the gays maybe need to stop with the unprotected butt sex... But you also balance that out with lots of complex information about the homosexual community.

Where is the complicated take on the "obesity epidemic?" I wouldn't have nearly a big a problem with you writing about it if you took the time to examine it from lots of sides... Economic explanations, the cross between obesity race and gender, body chemistry. What even IS obese? How do we measure it? How do we TALK about it? (The fact that we use the words "fat" "overweight" and "obese" interchangeably is illuminating.) Medical, psychology, anthropological. Instead, most of your posts about it are "Obese is unhealthy. Stop being obese. The end."

Where's the critical thought, where's the questioning that you bring to gay issues? For instance, this line: "sometimes that drug and alcohol abuse is rooted in self-hatred, which the wider society is responsible for creating; sometimes it's rooted in destructive community norms, which gay men are responsible for creating and perpetuating." Beautiful! Thought provoking and yet still truthful.

Couldn't that same line be applied to the "obese" person? Why do destructive gay behaviors get a complex narrative, but destructive "obese" behaviors do not?

It just makes me sad because this seems like SUCH a great place for two marginalized groups to come together and empathize, and yet we're either angry (Lindy) or defensive (Dan.)
Still can't own your shit, can you, Dan?

Count me among the people who used to admire you. No more.
Dan, you cannot win here. You are thin and therefore the enemy. You are being realistic, unapologetic, and snarky, which anyone familiar with your work should expect.

Stay flawless, haters are fat, literally.
So you can't talk about obesity without walking on eggshells? No wonder this is the fattest country on earth.

Wait - should I have worded that differently?
I want to give everyone hugs.

Thank you, Dan, for this post. Thank you, Lindy, for your post. I love you both.
I saw Dan at Madison Beach last summer. Trust me, it isn't great. He's all mushy. No six pack. Hairy. Just your average middle-aged dude. Frankly, I'd have expected a lot more from a body fascist.
Wait, it's okay for people to say whatever they want about Dan because some people take some of his statements out of context to "prove" he's a bigot... but Dan's not allowed to point out things that show these people are incorrect? That's messed up.

You keep on keepin' on, Dan. Some of us (who happen to be fat, even) get what you're really about, and we appreciate it.
I love Lindy and Dan. And I think schmacky's reply was spot-on.

I've met Lindy once in person and she's a doll! I can't say enough good things about her. Dan? I've seen him speak. I've never bumped into him out and about on the Hill like I have Lindy. But he has a kid and a husband. That's probably why.
This is not at all the response I had expected from you, Dan. And your whole " I'm not Lindy West's "boss." I didn't hire her, I don't have the authority to fire her, I don't edit her. I could probably get her fired, I suppose" speaks volumes. You didn't need anyone to make you look like an ass, you did that all by yourself.
@55 - fuck you! Nothing wrong with body hair!
I liked the post. I thought it was well written and expressed Dan's exasperation. If people really wanna bitch about being picked on for being fat they should talk to me, although I have managed to cultivate a more live and let live attitude in the past few years.
@58 Good call. I think it's time for Dan to move on. He doesn't need the Stranger anymore. His career is elsewhere. And if he needs to be right so badly, more than to understand an issue - yah. It's time to move on.
"Hello, I'm Not the Enemy",
maybe not a full on enemy, but still there are far too many Quisling-esque elements in your approach. IMO.
if you don't like what dan savage says, DON'T READ IT.
Oh ferchrissake. Take it outside.
Honestly, after your snarky, smartass, fatbashing, you had it coming. Now take it like a man.
As someone who fastidiously exercises, is a Nazi about food, and is in excellent health, and yet, is still 20 pounds overweight, I have to agree that you are a bit fat-phobic. But so am I. So are most people. And it makes sense. We aren't socialized to like big bodies anymore, because we don't need to survive in starvation situations, and being big is now a sign of un-health. Ultimately, it is a shameful attitude, and we should judge people (if we judge at all) based on their overall health, not their size. However, it cannot go unsaid that people who are fit generally are not 30 or 300 pounds overweight.
It's not really my place to weigh in on this--puns!--but if I was silent every time it wasn't my place, well... I'd be someone else. Or at least working somewhere else. Because this is one of the few places you can comment on anything and, you know, keep your job. So I'll say this: Slog's a very public platform for people who like each other to disagree. So. Kudos to Dan for creating a venue where folks can spit at him. Kudos to Lindy for taking on at formidable debater.

As for the "fat is changeable" "no it isn't" argument and its many nuances... I refuse to go there. But I will go here: I applaud Dan's track record on this issue--and lots of other issues--and I applaud Lindy for tackling it from a personal perspective. I give them both good scores, frankly.

Responding to some criticisms, what's not amazing here is that someone is standing up to her boss (again, Savage encourages this stuff). It's that she's taking on a good fighter. I love watching the jolly good show, but some folks have reduced an obviously complicated issue to a two-dimensional argument (hate vs. weight) or a simple reading of a workplace dynamic (stand up to that mean boss). Anyone who buys into that or thinks Savage is anything short of gracious around here--he's is so polite in person it's actually a little unsettling--misses the point entirely.
Thanks for writing this. For me, this whole thing hasn't been about who's right/who's wrong/who's the enemy, but about watching smart people argue. It is my favorite sport.
A well-reasoned rebuttal.
Seriously, how did this become a thing? I just want Dan's normal blog back. Complete with enlightened commentary on the obesity epidemic or bigoted shaming of the obese, whatever your point of view may be.
Holy shit, how many words is all this drivel? Nobody's going to read all this. I got through two paragraphs and was bored out of my skull. Lindy was pity and funny, she wins.
@ 35 has nailed it. That is all.
Oh, you Stranger staffers and your fucking "reasonableness." The Slog has spoken: WE WANT OUR DANCE-OFF, AND WE WANT IT NOW, BITCHES!
@69: It's not Dan's blog. It's Fnarf's blog.
Lindy lied about Dan being her boss. Sorry, I just lost all respect for the bitch.

I feel for her and what she is going through in a society that is biased against fat people. And her post was enlightening for me.

But her post reeked of victimhood and frankly, her examples of Dan's fatphobia were weak.

For everyone droning on about how being fat is a health problem - do you really think that you are helping? Do you think that there is one fat person in the US that has not heard that about 10 million times during their lifetime?

Back to Lindy, I suspect that she is nothing more than an attention-hungry whore who lied about Dan to get sympathy.

Lindy, you don't do anyone any good by lying.
@ Kim in Portland, in response to something from Lindy's thread (I'm done with that one), I never said I was "disappointed." Please don't put words in my mouth - that's not what I meant by "surprised." Maybe I should have been more clear. Heck, maybe I shouldn't have said it at all... so, I apologize. Take care.
Loved this, Dan
Jesus H. Christ. Have any of these FA people actually read your column?! 'Kid gloves' don't apply, but you treat everyone with respect and I have never read you treat any group differently because they were a member of such-and-such a group. You're as nice and helpful to the babysitting pedophile as you are to the jack-ass with the clay fetish. However, both what makes your column great and what makes every angry fat acceptance person with a laptop write angry tumblr messages about you is simply this: You are an avid proponent of PERSONAL ACCOUNTABILITY.

Pedophile needs to make sure he doesn't touch kids. Creepy clay guy needs to accept that locking his wife out of the bathroom was a dick move. Asexual person needs to tell sexual people that he's 'grey-A'. And fat people, either people who aren't happy being fat or whose partners aren't happy with their being fat, need to lose weight.

Fat acceptance people, or even worse, "Fat is an incurable disease" people, deny personal accountability. They refuse to accept it. Any of it. And since Dan is such a strong proponent of taking responsibility for your own shit, he is butting heads with them.
BTW Dan, (and @ 74, you must have missed this), but if you're not Lindy's boss, why does Dominic @ 66 call you her boss?
I used to be fat. I was 220 pounds at 5'8". I was also a closeted gay. But more than that, my entire family was short and round, so I figured I was destined to be short and round.

Then I went to college and, amazingly, lost weight without even trying. What changed? I was eating healthier foods and was more active. No longer was I eating my midwestern public school lunches of chicken and dumplings served with mashed potatoes, government, cheese, and a roll with a Big Mac for dinner and pizza after the basketball game. Simple. Apparently from what I've read on SLOG this doesn't work for everyone. Good to know. But it works for lots of us, and I've managed to keep the weight off for over 15 years b/c of a total lifestyle change--not b/c of a fad diet or whatever.

I've also known Dan personally for several years. And the caricature of him that some people put forward just couldn't be farther from the truth. He's thoughtful, caring, and kind. Interested and interesting.

It's easy to create some idea of a person in order to tear him down and denigrate him. It's easy, but it's wrong.
Lindy is definitely coming across as the winner here. Dan, you're coming across as a completely inconsiderate ass.
Oh, for Christ's sake, when did Privilege Denying Guy become the inverse Godwin's Law for oversensitive, pseudointellectual internet vigilantes? You do not win the argument because an overused macro is on your side.

Not even going to comment further. This is too much of a mess for me.
Mr. X., nonsense. If you take all of Dan's comments and blogs and columns that relate to fat-issues, it's crystal clear he's not fat-phobic and is not a bully. And dragging in race to a conversation that has not had anything to do with race says a lot more about you than it does about Dan.
As usual, Dan unpacks and nails a complicated issue with clarity.

He left one thing out though: DTMFA.

She tried to pin all of her issues on you by trying to humiliate you in front of thousands and thousands of your captive audience who choose to come here, and BEYOND because it got picked up all over the Internet. It had/has the potential to corrupt your image and could seriously tarnish your reputation. I wouldn't want such a loose cannon to have the keys to SLOG.

That was incredibly unprofessional, even if she ~can~. What's next?
I used to work in a psych hospital. The absolute worst thing that could ever happen was if two borderline personality patients were put on the same unit at the same time. They would immediately begin trying to out-do each other in the "how much hell can I raise" department. It was truly a terror to behold.

This spat between Dan and Lindy sorta reminds me of that.

That said though, I absolutely love both Dan and Lindy.
It's unclear what exactly the "Fat Acceptance" movement is railing about. It seems to blur between three goals:

1. Legal Rights, like the right to not be fired for being overweight. I'm totally on board with that; equality for all!

2. Being Treated Courteously, i.e. not having to put up with snickering, rolled eyes, fat jokes, etc. I'm on the fence there; we make jokes about race and age and religion and gender and sexual orientation, and I don't think fat should be off-limits. Again, equality for all.

On the other hand, there's a difference between occasional snarky comments and a sustained campaign of verbal harassment, of the kind that caused the bullycides that inspired the It Gets Better project. I can also see how the one anti-fat comment I might make on Friday could be the twentieth anti-fat comment that person that day.

3. Removing the Social Stigma from Fatness. Sorry, not gonna happen. There's social stigmas for all kinds of things that aren't really our faults: being ugly, being dumb, being poor, being short, being disabled, etc. And most people are attracted to pretty, smart, well-off, tall, able-bodied, and yes, thin people, and that too will not change. Those of us who fall into the other categories just suck it up and deal; there are no Ugly People Acceptance or Short People Acceptance movements. I'm not sure why (some) FA folks seem to think they merit an exception, or why they think yelling at moderates is going to somehow get them what they want.

Lindy used your own words. The article which she linked to in full spoke volumes, and was no "ad hominem attack". You're a fucking hypocrit. She called you on it. Deal with it. Your gayness does not trump her (our) fatness as a social stigma.

You got called on your shit, and dang if she doesn't have your number spot-on.
@84: Exercising free speech on a newspaper's blog is unprofessional? Are you in the military, or something?
Some people seem to forget that Dan only responds to people who ASK for his advice. A person who writes in and mentions that they are fat, or their partner is fat, and it's a problem, well they DID ask for it. More often than not, fat = unhealthy.

And I mean seriously fat, not like size 16 or 18.

You ask a question, don't bitch when you don't like the answer. And if you DIDN"T ask the questions and don't like the answer, STFU and GFTO.
tone deaf.
Clearly, most of you people lack basic reading comprehension. Or, you're overly emotional people who read whatever you feel into what other people write.

What Dan said in this post is just the longer version of what he said in the first post, neither of which were "fat-shaming" or in any way derogatory.

If you people are truly going to be this dense, I'm going to have to go elsewhere for my intelligent commentary on the internet, and quite frankly, I don't know where that would be.

Dan and Lindy, keep it up. I'm truly enjoying the debate--it's a rare commodity nowadays.
Honestly, Lindy's post was just self-righteous and boring. I'm fattish, have been for a long time, and still think Dan is right.
88: as The Stranger has asserted in the past, it is not a newspaper. Further, "~free speech~" protections on a proprietary blog? Are you fucking kidding me?

@87: I can't believe you just said "You're.. fucking.. her... shit". Really offensive, man. What? I used your own words. Oh, I'm supposed to quote enough of your words at a time to give context? It's not fair to pick out small bits of longer material to make a point? You mean, like quoting one sentence out of context from a seven year old column? Like that?

Kudos, Dan. You'll never please those folks who need to have an enemy to rally against, and the League of the Perpetually Offended is definitely out in force. But well said nonetheless. Lindy could just as easily have picked pretty much anyone to blame for her self-loathing, and you were just convenient.
This whole fat hate debate is hardcore. Thank you Dan for having the courage to walk through the minefield. I think I'm going to sit back here with my bag of Doritos and laugh.
I'm feeling about this fight about how I felt about the 2004 presidential election. The debates and the campaign didn't change how I felt about Bush or Kerry much at all, but I sure felt a lot less close to my fellow Americans for putting Bush back in power.

This time it's a little better, since I gett to like both candidates (Dan and Lindy) and neither one of them are fucking up my country. But I have a dramatically lower opinion of the Slog commentariat after reading through the stupid, stupid Dan Savage pile-on and the petty, mean-spirited *actual* anti-fat bullying in these two threads.

That said, just like in 2004, I do have a side here: I'm voting for Dan. I've just heard/read too many humane things about fat and body image in the column and podcast over the years to buy into the Dan-is-a-hater thing.
Dan, as a young woman battling my own weight issues. I just want to say that I've never been offended by anything you've shared or said about the obesity epidemic. I'm lucky I'm only 20lbs over weight. I can lose it and am. It's unfair and wrong for people to blame you for their feelings of inadequacy. Those of us who are over weight (or under weight for that matter) have no one to blame but ourselves for being lazy or eating the wrong foods.

Keep sharing the interesting articles. They've helped motivate me and have taught me alot about the lies in the obesity issue.

Much love. <3
If you're fat and happy. Good for you. If you're not happy with your weight, it's within your power to do something about it. People aren't staying fat because Dan Savage repeats what medical experts have been saying for decades.
I love Dan Savage. It's so sad that a bunch of crappy hipsters started hating on him once he got successful. You and Green Day, Dan; you and Green Day.
Re: "5. the takeaway from Lindy's post". I don't understand what was so confusing about her message? Try substituting "please stop" for "shut up" ... Please stop with the snarky comments about fat people. It doesn't help. In fact, it makes it harder for us, so please stop... Why is this message so difficult to get?

If it's the tone of her post that gets you, well, I think that's called getting a taste of your own medicine, or karma, or, I don't know, maybe fairness?

Look, Dan, I won't lie, I often enjoy your snarky observations. And although I've struggled with a few extra pounds here and there, I'm not fat, and I have not been above making the occasional mean fat joke or cutting observation myself. Lindy's post made me think about that. And, I'll admit, I think it's asshole behaviour. It's also hypocritical, and I'll probably think twice before I do it again, or at the very least acknowledge that I'm being an asshole when I do it. I really appreciated her post for getting that message across.

It's not the first time. For example, there was a time, many years ago, when I used the words "fag" and "that's so gay" the same way. It wasn't until I heard similar protests from gay people and their allies that I started rethinking it.

I've already re-posted this once, but I think it's worth it again: Why Are Thin People Not Fat?…

The takeaway from that documentary? Weight loss is much, much harder for some people than others. It's time we started to respect that fact.
Americans love an aggressor, no matter how "truthy" they are. In this case that's Lindy, so good luck Dan. You're not going to win back the crowd because the FA community has a vocal, victim-mentality group of dedicated backers with a long list of talking points to shout you down with. Nobody likes a rebuttal that doesn't try to take back the offensive and twist the blame back on the attacker, because that's just weaksauce and Americans don't like pussies, even if they're right. (For an extensive case study, see Republicans v.Democrats.)

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