"Any woman who chooses to behave like a full human being should be warned that the armies of the status quo will treat her as something of a dirty joke. That's their natural and first weapon." ~ Gloria Steinem

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Go go gadget Privilege!

Here's my latest nervous work habit:

Yep, Smarties. We have this candy pumpkin by Cat's office, and it's often full of Tootsie Rolls, Airheads, or Laffy Taffy, but when it is full of Smarties, that is when the real work begins -- for me, and for my supervisor Taylor, who happens to sit next to me.

We gobble these things like there's no tomorrow; I have rolls of Smarties lined up on my desk all day, and by about 4 or 5, I'm systematically devouring them. I have Smarties-eating games I play with myself; sometimes I hoard a certain color, so that after a few rolls [and by a few, I mean several thousand] I get the perverse pleasure of stuffing my mouth full of purple Smarties. Sometimes I let them dissolve in my mouth and break off the edges with my teeth; sometimes I just chomp them.

But here's where my privilege comes in: This is just a funny post about eating candy at work, right? Except that it's funny, for me to write it, only because I'm a thin person. If I were a fat person, it would just be one more excuse to shame a fat person for daring to consume sugar. Thin people are allowed to consume mass quantities of, let's face it, pure, colored, delicious sugar, mostly without comment. Taylor joins me in this quest for Smarties consumption with delight, but if I were a fat person, he would at least have a few "Do you really need all that sugar?" thoughts running through his head.

It doesn't matter whether or not I've been eating leafy greens all day [I haven't] or if I'm planning on going to the gym after work [I'm not] or if this is the first day I've ever spent engaged in this activity [It's not]. None of those things matter, because I'm thin; a fat person would possibly be expected to fit all of those categories in order to make this activity even remotely acceptable.

But me, a thin person, gets away with it, because thin is assumed to be healthy, while fat is assumed to be unhealthy. Never mind that I, the thin person, am visibly scarfing down pure sugar, just because I'm bored and it tastes good, while my fat coworker actually eats delicious and healthy actual meals for lunch.

Also, I get to say things like "scarfing", "stuffing my mouth", and "devouring" and it's just, well--funny. I get to be ironic, because clearly I'm not fat, so using shameful fat person action verbs is just witty. Look how funny that thin girl is, pretending she action-verbs like a fat girl!

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