Have We Come A Long Way?
When our foremothers protested, lobbied, campaigned and represented for women’s rights, especially in the 1970s, I don’t think any of them ever envisioned having to fight the same old battles twice in their lifetimes, plus newer variants of the same old misogynistic arguments.
Yet here we are in 2012, once again defending a woman’s sexual and reproductive rights, from activities to contraception to conception to abortion and then on to parental responsibilities while a child is in utero as well as after s/he is born.
Big Fat Targets
The latest volley in the war on women takes place on the battlefield of motherhood, where expectant mothers are blamed for a multitude of maladies affecting American children. This newest assault, funded by the federal government, makes the claim that Autism Spectrum Disorder may be caused by … ‘obese’ mothers.
The study, which ABC News states alternately focused on 500 to 1,000 California children with Autism, claims that 67% of children with Autism had mothers who were (gasp!) ‘obese’ while pregnant with those children. The tired old trope of ‘Blame the Fatties’ is used once again.
Again, With Feeling
This is not the first or the last time disease or childhood health issues have been blamed on body size. In addition to the latest accusation of the results of ‘bad’ (fat) prenatal parenting, Fat moms have also been blamed for diabetes, various birth defects, learning disabilities, developmental delays, and of course, the dreaded ‘childhood obesity.’
Free Guilt Trip With Every Delivery
My youngest has a birth defect that resulted in chronic health and occasional developmental issues that we are still dealing with. The doubt, the self-castigation, the shame, the terror that my actions or my own body harmed my child is something that is always with me. While pregnant with her, I drank diet pop sweetened with aspartame, I worked at a radio station where I was around powerful transmitters and other electronics on a daily basis, I took prescription meds, and … I was FAT. Yet I never worried about being fat because of all the women who were mothers before me for years, decades, centuries, millennia, who were FAT and delivered one healthy child after another, populating the world.
How Soon We Forget
Now that the vaccine theory has been discredited, blame for Autism turns to Fat Moms. Most people don’t see genes, food additives, pesticides, or other environmental factors, but they can see fat women, creating a highly visible, easy target for the average person to focus on. Also, why not throw birth defects and developmental disorders in with all the other health issues blamed on fat? What is one more ill placed on the broad back of society’s scapegoat?
How much stock do you put in fat blaming studies that name fat as the cause of multiple maladies?
Born and raised in Northeast Ohio with her BA and MA from the University of Akron, Mary has 20 years experience in the corporate sector working for local companies and Fortune 500s in customer service, PR, sales, advertising, and broadcast media. She currently teaches English Composition at Stark State College and UA. Her passion is living and teaching tolerance while pushing for Size Acceptance. She hopes to inform as many everyday Americans that the issue of Size is not an issue at all but merely a distraction from the real issues, such as the decline in public education, our infrastructure, economy and healthcare system. Mary loves irritating people by speaking her mind and presenting them with annoying facts, contrary opinions, and life's little ironies; when not doing that, she loves being with her family.