The Butcher and my cousin A. were sitting around this weekend comparing the ways our bodies betray our heritage. My brother, bless his heart, is going bald in almost exactly the same way that my dear Uncle B. went bald, which is very similar to the way that my cousin A.’s dad is balding.
A. sadly, did not get that fun family trait. Instead, like most of the rest of us, she got fat.
She was telling the Butcher that a little bit of time had gone by since she saw her dad and the first thing he said to her was “Are you pregnant or just fat?”
Ha, maybe today is the day of men I would like to time travel back to kick in the nuts, because I tell you, I would love to time travel back and kick every single person in my family who ever dared sit there in all his 300 plus pound glory right in the nuts when ever he said something about how fat any of us girls had gotten.
Maybe you skinny people don’t quite get how cruel this is, because lord knows you’ve gotten whole cultural memes out of how being fat is so unhealthy and how fat people are disgusting and slothful and gross and deserve your pity when you’re not shaming us into trying to do better–perhaps you think our fathers are just being blunt because sometimes you have to be blunt in order to get through to the unhealthy.
Trust me. There is not a fat person alive who does not know she is fat, who doesn’t every day feel the pressure of a whole culture hell-bent on making her feel shitty for being fat. And when you come from a large family of fat people, most of whom struggled their whole lives to lose weight and never did, at least not permanently, you kind of hope for at least a little respite.
But no, even in a family of big old fat people, we still dog on the girls for being fat while the men sit around and laugh about how big their bellies have gotten.
So, yeah, just like it is out there in greater America, in our family, “too fat” is very much gendered. It just pisses me off, this big old mountain of a man mocking his own daughter for being too fat.
My family is fucked up. The Butcher told her how much he thought that sucked and she was all like “What? That’s just how he is.”
Because, of course, isn’t that the other fun little secret of how that dynamic works?
The men do all the bossing and horde all the privilege for themselves and the price they pay is either the women who are supposed to love them really hate them or figure they’re too fucking stupid to act any differently*.
I don’t know. Maybe other families where the men have a lot of privilege work differently, but in the “traditional” families in my extended family, the love the men get is mixed in equal parts with hatred and fear and an assumption of idiocy.
I just don’t believe that’s any way for a family to operate. I mean they can work that way–mine does.
But it sucks for everyone involved. We can treat each other better and we should.
*I keep hearing about how feminists are man-haters and I’ve said before and I’ll say it again, you have not heard man hating until you’ve sat in a kitchen full of good “traditional” women. We feminists get called on the carpet for man-hating because we’re the only idiots who believe men can actually change and say so to your faces. Most everyone else is just sitting in the kitchen complaining about what fucktards you are behind your backs and playing all nicey-nice to your face.