"I was at this meal, and it came up that one of the people was a smoker, and somebody else at the table started hectoring them about it. 'What's the matter with you? Don't you know how bad it is for you? It'll do this, that, and the other thing to you, and you really should stop.' And the smoker, rather than saying 'Fuck you,' which, I think, is the appropriate response, was abashed and defensive... 'Oh, I tried to quit,' and, 'Yeah, I'm gonna try again,' and, 'You're right, you're right,' and so on.
Now at that same table, there was quite a large woman, and I'm wondering - what if this guy, instead of confronting the smoker, had said to the large woman, 'What's the matter with you, you fat pig? Don't you know how dangerous it is to be so overweight? Stop eating, for god's sake, and don't you dare get dessert and what's the matter with you?' Same logic. I'd be hard pressed to find a distinction between those two examples. So now, one is socially acceptable - to hector smokers - but the other one isn't quite yet. So the question is, at what point will it become acceptable to publically hector fat people in the way that smokers are publically hectored?" - Jacob Sullum
Posted: 04/07/08 at 09:22 (761 views)