Support 100 years of independent journalism.

  1. Politics
20 October 2009

Is there such a thing as “fattism“?

Debating prejudice and intolerance

By Mehdi Hasan

Listening to Marsha Coupe on the radio this morning, I couldn’t help but wonder if she had a point about overweight and obese people being the last “socially acceptable” targets of abuse and ridicule, not to mention (in her case, at least) violence? Is “fattism” a form of bigotry and intolerance in the same league as sexism, racism, homophobia, Islamophobia, anti-Semitism and the rest? Or do people choose to be fat, and therefore open themselves up to legitimate criticism, or even mockery?

Dare I ask: what do you think?

Sign up for The New Statesman’s newsletters Tick the boxes of the newsletters you would like to receive. Quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics from the New Statesman's politics team. The New Statesman’s global affairs newsletter, every Monday and Friday. The best of the New Statesman, delivered to your inbox every weekday morning. The New Statesman’s weekly environment email on the politics, business and culture of the climate and nature crises - in your inbox every Thursday. A handy, three-minute glance at the week ahead in companies, markets, regulation and investment, landing in your inbox every Monday morning. Our weekly culture newsletter – from books and art to pop culture and memes – sent every Friday. A weekly round-up of some of the best articles featured in the most recent issue of the New Statesman, sent each Saturday. A newsletter showcasing the finest writing from the ideas section and the NS archive, covering political ideas, philosophy, criticism and intellectual history - sent every Wednesday. Sign up to receive information regarding NS events, subscription offers & product updates.

Content from our partners
The shrinking road to net zero
The tree-planting misconception
Is your business ready for corporate climate reporting?