Sunday, February 10, 2008

If I ruled the world . . .

No one, including me, would spend any of their precious time in the world thinking about whether they were fat or thin.

Food would just be food--sometimes sensual pleasure, sometimes just fuel for going on with.

Obesity would carry no moral disgrace. Thinness would carry no moral virtue.

No one would diet.

Because no one would diet, few people would develop anorexia.

Those who did show the first signs of anorexia would be treated promptly, effectively, and compassionately--with food. They would bounce back quickly.

Families would be supported in supporting their children, whatever their issues.

Of course there would be no war. There would be good schools for all children and good health care for everyone.

Everyone would learn to dance.

Art would be just as important as math in school curricula and in the world.

Now how about you?


Anonymous said...

Harriet, I think you're neat. And you love Warren Zevon, which is great.

Anonymous said...

Also, music and athletics would be given equal precidence and equal value because both are important. Schools would not over fund one and under fund the other.

Unknown said...

... Nutrious, energy dense real food would be more affordable than fake 'food products'.

Unknown said...

If I ruled the world, honey, I'd let YOU run the world - you've got the right path!

Harriet said...

Oh, yeah: Warren Zevon and my mother in law would both be cured of lung cancer and still be alive.

In fact, we'd have a cure for cancer altogether.

(As long as we're fantasizing . . . )

Rachel said...

Okay, Harriet has my vote for prez. It's not the entire world, but thanks to centuries of U.S. imperialism, it's a good chunk of the world.

Anonymous said...

I'm tempted to say that new construction would be outlawed unless a family or business could prove that an existing (renovatable) building within 20 miles that met their size requirements wasn't available.

Also, as unrealistic as it is, I'd say that no one should be more than 50 miles from a safe, inexpensive place to go camping, with public transport to reach it.

Harriet said...

Now that would be something, Rachel. Not just a woman president--something we seem unable to contemplate in any meaningful way--but a fat Jewish woman president. Too bad I'm not a lesbian.

Anonymous said...

Oh, man, where to start?

I like Harriet's ideas. And Gretchen's. And I like jogreek's idea.

Let's see, what else?

Everyone would get one full day off work every week. That day could be, as they choose, their Sabbath, or it could just be a day off for them.

There would be very strong laws against noise pollution, especially people driving loud (booming) cars through people's neighborhoods late at night. But even more than that, societal disapproval of such a thing would be strong enough that people wouldn't do it. Likewise, people would take dogs in at the first sign of barking at night.

There would be safe and pleasant place to walk in all towns and cities for people who would rather walk than drive. There would be a network of good bike trails for people who'd rather bicycle than drive.

There'd be Farmer's Markets in every town (even really small ones) with good, reasonably-priced produce, locally baked goods, local cheese, all that good stuff. And they'd take Food Stamps so the folks who need a little assistance can have good fresh local food too.

There'd be more "public art" available - concerts in parks, opportunities to dance (with no stigma for people who show up partnerless), chances for people to just show up with an easel and paint...

There'd be a LOT less public advertising. Laws against televisions in the grocery store blatting ads at you when you tried to shop. No telemarketers or "surveys" calling you up. Billboards would be restricted to areas where they would not clutter and harm the landscape (like, they'd be okay on the sides of buildings in a city but not in the middle of the countryside).

It would be a lot quieter, a lot more peaceful, there'd be a lot less pressure to buy buy buy.

Anonymous said...

This why I eat healthy.
Because very day as an average sized person:

-I can be sure that people aren't embarrassed to be seen with me because of the size of my body.
-If I pick up a magazine or watch TV, I will see bodies that look like mine that aren't being lampooned, desexualized, or used to signify laziness, ignorance, or lack of self-control.
-When I talk about the size of my body I can be certain that few other people will hope they are never the same size.
-I do not have to be afraid that when I talk to my friends or family they will mention the size of my body in a critical manner, or suggest unsolicited diet products and exercise programs.
-I will not be accused of being emotionally troubled or in psychological denial because of the size of my body.
-I can go home from meetings, classes, and conversations and not feel excluded, fearful, attacked, isolated, outnumbered, unheard, held at a distance, stereotyped, or feared because of the size of my body.
-I never have to speak for size acceptance as a movement. My thoughts about my body can be my own with no need for political alliance relative to size.
-I can be sure that when I go to a class, or movie, or restaurant that I will find a place to sit in which I am relatively comfortable.
-I don't have to worry that if I am talking about feeling of sexual attraction people are repelled or disgusted by the size of my body. People can imagine me in sexual circumstances.
-People won't ask me why I don't change the size of my body.
-My masculinity or femininity will not be challenged because of the size of my body.
-I can be sure that if I need medical or legal help my size will not work against me.
-I am not identified by the size of my body.
-I can walk in public with my significant other and not have people double take or stare.
-I can go for months without thinking about or being spoken to about the size of my body.
-I am not grouped because of the size of my body.
-I will never have to sit quietly and listen while other people talk about the ways in which they avoid being my size.
-I don't have to worry that won't be hired for a job that I can do because of the size of my body.

Harriet said...


You're off topic here, besides making a big error in reasoning.

You attribute your "averaze-sized" body to the fact that you "eat healthy." Not so. The size of your body is mainly attributable to your genetics. Many many "people of size" eat healthily and probably less than you do. You got thin genes, that's all.

You've written a stirring endorsement of thin entitlement here. I'm letting it stand only to remind us all of the ways in which fat people are discriminated against. You know, the solution to discrimination isn't to change the object of the discrimination. It's to change the oppressors who do the discriminating.

Each of us is free to make her own choices, of course. But I hope for your sake that someday you find a way to stop internalizing the world's cruelties.

mary said...

Harriet! Do we have to LEARN to dance? Why can't we just dance like little kids who are happy and free? LOL
Come on cancel those lessons.

I also wish that schools understood how healing the arts are and that they also recognized that we all have different strengths which means that maybe their so called balanced curriculum is messed up.That the pressure for some kids to make the grade is breaking them when their gifts may be musical or artistic or even one only one of the the 3 R's.
Guess it comes back to tolerating differences in one another and learning to see with our eyes and hearts wide open that we might recognize that life is hard at times for everyone...fat thin, medium, tall, short, and even pretty. Compassion rules.

Carrie Arnold said...

I think music would be just as important as other subjects.

Creativity would be seen as an asset rather than a luxury.

People would adopt homeless pets instead of paying thousands at a breeders. And then have them spayed or neutered.

Anonymous said...

If I ruled the world:

- everybody would be able to just eat intuitively without having to think or plan or compensate or regret

- exercise would be an activity of enjoyment, not requirement

- I don't know much about politics, but everybody would feel a sense of peace and just drop their guns and hug each other (or something like that lol)

- oh yeah, and my puppy would be house trained automatically and never have accidents :)


Anonymous said...

Uh, Samantha? Thin people have the same life problems that fat people do. Life doesn't discriminate.

A certain body size does not give you a better life. I find it amazing that you judge the quality of my life based on size only. Unbelievable, really. What about education? Happiness? Family? Personal accomplishments? What, fat people don't have these things? Please!

The only thing you should be embarrassed of is yourself and your negative attitude - which is causing the world more harm than any fat person ever could.

Harriet said...

Ooh-kay, Samantha, I've deleted your last deluded comment, which certainly qualifies as trollish.

Mostly, though, I feel sorry for you. If you truly believe that your size 2 body is responsible for your wonderful life, I wonder: What do you think will happen if you can no longer sustain your size 2 body? If oh, for instance, you develop an autoimmune disease and have to go on prednisone for 6 months, and gain a lot of weight as a result? Or if your thyroid goes out of whack? These things do happen, you know. You must feel very nervous and insecure, because according to you, if it's your body size that has brought you such a great life, then it can all get taken away, can't it?

Of course I hope for you that it's not true. That your husband and children would love you even if (gasp) you wore a size 18. That your intelligence and hard work would bring you achievements even if your thighs rubbed together when you walked. That you would still love yourself, even if you gained weight.

I feel very sorry for you. And I hope that someday soon you will learn to love yourself, and others, for what's on the inside. Believe me, it's a much better way to live.

Anonymous said...

I read, and cheered this entry, and then came across the line "Art would be just as important as math in school curricula and in the world" and i got fucking misty-eyed.
Art. *swoon*
I'm an artist. This is very important to me as well.

Adopt me. You rule.

(jk about the adoption :P)

Anonymous said...

I have another one, if I may:

No person would be allowed to say to another human being, "Do you think you should be eating that?"

with the only exceptions of:
the person has just picked a bunch of possibly poisonous mushrooms


it's a little kid just a few minutes before dinner, and he/she would be ruining his/her appetite.

Oh, and I have ANOTHER one:

mean jokes about fat people would be seen as un-funny and intolerant as mean jokes about Black people are.

Harriet said...

Ricki, you made me laugh with your line about poisonous mushrooms. Thank you!

Lindsay, there's always room at my table for you. :-)

samsi77 said...

If we can imagine it, we can work towards making it happen, i look forward to the day when we see these identified things happen and become reality!

Harriet said...

Right on, samsi! :-)

Anonymous said...

I love the "art would be as important as math" rule, also!

...and I'm a scientist. :)

I can't think of much I would want to add to this, except...

*Education would be valued by all--including our legislators. And I mean REALLY valued; supported by funding and not just sound bites.

*Kids would be free to be themselves.

*And so would adults

*People would find more pleasure in propping each other up than tearing others down.

Harriet said...

"And so would adults."

I love that!