According to dictionary.com solidarity is “union or fellowship arising from common responsibilities and interests, as between members of a group or between classes, peoples, etc.: to promote solidarity among union members.” Equality is all people being treated equally, and human rights are the fundamental rights that all people are entitled to, and that the government does not have a right to interfere with. All of these things are necessary to keep society functioning, and through these measures we can begin to establish social justice acknowledge the dignity of every person.
Stacy Bias’ article in Curve titled, “What the Heck Is Fat Activism Anyway? Queer fat activist Stacy Bias gives us the (not so) skinny on the social justice movement,” touches on a not-so-new fight for equality by those who are labeled in our society as being “too big.” Ms. Bias talks about the term “fat” is now one of the few descriptive terms that are used for persecution. Society has stopped persecuting those who are described by their physical characteristics associated to their race, age, and mental capabilities. However those who have too many fat cells in their body are regularly mistreated by their jobs, family, friends, and society in general.
She talks about the argument that “fat people are unhealthy” so what’s wrong with punishing them so that they become healthy? Stacy quickly quips that someone’s weight and their health are not intertwined. People can be thin, an acceptable weight, or fat and unhealthy. Someone who exists on diet soda and processed foods, but is an acceptable weight, is not healthier than someone who eats an excess amount of calories from highly nutritious food. She then goes on to say,
“the point is — why is health the supreme measure of someone’s worth in the first place?
Lots of people aren’t healthy for reasons both beyond and within their control,
and in neither case does that mean that they don’t deserve full and equal lives.
Bodily autonomy is paramount. No one’s body is beholden to anyone else and
everyone deserves equal treatment under the law.”
Accepting people regardless of what they look like is important to society and social justice. How people who are overweight is treated is a human right’s issue, and solidarity should be shown to support people for who they are, regardless of how healthy they are.