Abstract

Contemporary Western societies are obsessed with the “obesity epidemic,” dieting, and fitness. Fat people violate the Western conscience by violating a thinness norm. In virtue of violating the thinness norm, fat people suffer many varied consequences. Is their suffering morally permissible, or even obligatory? In this paper, I argue that the answer is no. I examine contemporary philosophical accounts of oppression and draw largely on the work of Sally Haslanger to generate a set of conditions sufficient for some phenomena to count as oppression, and I illustrate the account’s value using the example of gender oppression. I then apply the account to fat people, examine empirical evidence, and argue that the suffering of fat people counts as oppression (and therefore, generally, discriminating against fat people in virtue of their being fat is morally wrong).

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Additional Information

ISSN
1086-3249
Print ISSN
1054-6863
Pages
pp. 219-245
Launched on MUSE
2014-11-12
Open Access
No
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