(The Easy Target in Online Disagreements)

I read an article last weekend that says Rosie O’Donnell is getting a divorce from her wife. She's also leaving The View to spend time with her children and help them through the pain of the separation. The article was in a gay publication, and the first comment (I should know better!) began with the words “Fat Cow” to describe Rosie. (And for the record, his diatribe went downhill from there.)

What does her weight have to do with these decisions?


Over the years, I’ve read articles about Chris Christie’s outrageous actions, reactions or opinions...only to see comments that focus on his weight, as if his girth is the issue.

What does his weight have to do with his politics?

Personal Note: Trust me, I am not a fan of the New Jersey Governor, but when I disagree, it has nothing to do with his size and almost everything to do with his right-wing politics.

I know that people will often say harsh and hurtful things behind the protection of online anonymity that they probably (hopefully!) would not say to the person’s face. (I wrote about this in The Wisdom of Shia LaBeouf) I’ve confessed to being a fat person, and it’s a constant personal struggle, so I probably have a predisposed sensitivity and sympathy in this matter.
But it makes me wonder:


Aside from being so visible, why is a person’s (particularly a female’s) weight the easy target in online arguments?

Do we discount the opinion of someone who’s fat, simply because they are overweight?

Is higher intelligence hindered by higher numbers on the scale?

Would added weight correlate to lower credibility?

Does a thin, fit, good-looking person have a more legitimate perspective on topics such as politics?
(Consider this...and be afraid: If thin and pretty determine political correctness, then we have to support Ann Coulter.)

In my opinion, Internet arguments are pointless and futile. But when you have to resort to insulting your opponent's looks and/or physicality in the course of your disagreement, you’ve lost all credibility. I think such tactics say more about the character of the attacker than it does about the opinion of the "fat" person. (I don't allow it here on my blog.)  It may well be that your right in the argument. You may, indeed, be correct in all the facts you are trying to present, and completely accurate in the evidence you are presenting, but I stopped listening when you began name-calling and fat shaming. I might even agree with what you are saying, but I've lost all respect for you. It’s nothing more than juvenile, schoolyard bully antics.
You’ve lost the battle; give up, and log off.

Personal Exception Disclaimer: The only time I have referred to someone’s weight in a discussion has to do with those clearly overweight preachers who stand in judgment and rail against the “sins” of others, while obviously ignoring their own failings of excess, gluttony, etc. (Are you listening, John Hagee?) However, my point is not their weight, but the hypocrisy of their judgmentalism.  (cf: Matthew 7:3)

“Is 'fat' really the worst thing a human being can be? Is 'fat' worse than 'vindictive', 'jealous', 'shallow', 'vain', 'boring' or 'cruel'? Not to me.”
~ J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter books