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Thursday, July 23, 2009

Weight = Expertise When It Comes to the Surgeon General

I debated about posting this video. While it is certainly newsworthy, it has been so widely reported on in the blogosphere. But, because I was completely outraged by it, I decided that I had a responsibility to myself spread it to even more people.

"Just because you eat a lot of dinner rolls doesn't make you a role model."

Who the hell is this guy and where does he get off claiming that Dr. Regina Benjamin is incapable of being surgeon general because she is (as he claims) obese? First of all, obese? Really? She looks perfectly fine to me. Second, being overweight does not necessarily correspond with "poor" exercise and eating habits. And since when does weight correspond with intelligence?

This is just another example of how women's bodies are fair game for discussion in the public forum. Would a story like this make it on the news if it were a male nominee? I don't think so. Men are judged by their intelligence where as women's only worth is in what they look like. Women's (plus-size) bodies are already under attack enough as it is with shows like Drop Dead Diva and More to Love. Do we really need to add into that mix attacking intelligent, qualified, strong women for the way they look?

P.S. A shirt that says "No Chubbies"?

Further reading:
Fatties Need Not Apply [Appetite for Equal Rights]
Is Regina Benjamin too fat to be surgeon general? [Salon: Broadsheet]
The Persuasive Fatty [Shakesville]
"No Chubbies" [Sociological Images]
Faux News: new Surgeon General nom 'too fat' to serve [Pam's House Blend]


Carol said...

I saw this today on Feministing and could hardly believe my eyes. I think you're absolutely right when you say that this would not make the news if it were a male nominee. The same way Michelle Obama's wardrobe was discussed more than Obama's and McCain's combined. Absolutely ridiculous.

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