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Media Spot-Lite: Dear Wayne, I’ve Been Humiliated: Fat or Pregnant?

July 27, 2011

I love that my friends from all over the world read this blog and think of me. This clip was sent from one of my fav’s in Israel, Tamatz. Thanks Tamatz!

While I have no idea if this is serious or not, mistakes do happen and this rando Wayne is here to help. Essentially, some man has an inner debate about whether to offer his seat on the subway to a woman who could have been pregnant but also could have been overweight and then ohmygod how embarrassing would that be?! If he were kind to a lady in general and offered her his seat?! Rude! Wayne somehow turns this into an esoteric discussion about humiliation in general: “Every person riding the subway with you has a separate narrative of humiliation.” And then he launches into a monologue that really should be conducted in his therapists office.

But really I share this video (other than just to introduce you to a nebbishy possibly future youtube sensation) because the original question–about decorum and manners around a person “of weight”–is becoming a very prevalent issue in our society. Many people are extremely rude and uncomfortable to people who are overweight, often treating them as subhuman or unworthy of decency and respect. I have heard weight discrimination referred to as “the last bastion of accepted bigotry” and oftentimes the vehement violent attitude towards overweight people is astounding and appalling.

Have you ever encountered a situation this, or experienced it firsthand? What  are your thoughts and what do you think can be done?

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. July 27, 2011 7:17 pm

    I think it’s always best to err on the side of kindness. Offer your seat to the woman whether or not she’s pregnant. But I am glad that people are talking about how atrociously our society treats people it deems “unacceptable” whether because of their weight, mental status or other factors.

  2. Sexy Curmudgeon permalink
    July 27, 2011 9:32 pm

    Yes, I agree – being overweight, along with having a lot of bags, etc, makes it more of a burden to stand as well, so I think there’s no harm in offering someone your seat, no matter what the reason. I have run into the stigma of this issue on the subway a lot, though – last week I actually saw the other side of it. That is to say, a significantly overweight woman sat down next to me, and when she was adjusting in her seat her arm pushed against me. Most New Yorkers might mumble an apology at the very most, but she began profusely apologizing to me – almost as if I was already judging her because she was taking up more room.

  3. TBM permalink
    July 30, 2011 4:37 pm

    Wayne turns it into a weird conversation about humiliation because he’s promoting his book, which is about humiliation. And, I agree with the other commenters that it’s always better to offer than not – you don’t have to give an explanation for why you’re offering the person your seat.

  4. fedora permalink
    August 2, 2011 3:16 am

    I live in NYC and have actually never seen someone be rude to someone because of their weight. Making noise seems to be much more of a trigger for people, and then you just have the mentally ill who are unpredictable.
    I generally will just get up from the seat and walk to another area so that the seat is free if they want it but no implications. I have the same problem with the elderly… how old is elderly? Anyone who is very overweight would most alikely appreciate a seat and you don’t need to insinuate its because they are pregnant.

  5. meganana permalink
    August 2, 2011 3:20 am

    My grocery store has a “mother-to-be” parking space right next to the handicap spaces and when it’s especially difficult to find a parking space, like it was today, I am very tempted to park there. I am operating under the assumption that people would be way too embarrassed to ask me if I am actually pregnant. But then I remind myself that if I park really far away from the door I will actually be getting some exercise. And that’s probably better than pretending to be pregnant.

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