Right before he got off the train, a man whispered something to a young woman in a Boston subway, leaving her in tears.
An alarmed good samaritan asked her what the man had said: "Have some respect for yourself and lose some weight," the woman replied through her tears. The samaritan could have let it go at that, but in an example of how the Internet has been empowering women to fight back against sexism recently, she instead penned this amazing open letter to the fat-shamer, turning the tables on his unsoliscited "advice."
The anonymous writer, who identified only as a "feminist," took to Craiglist's Missed Connections section to open the conversation, alleging in no uncertain terms that calling someone out because they appear fat to you is really pretty low.
You publicly humiliated another human and made her cry. How truly fucking horrifying of you. She was totally stunned, and devastated. . .is that what you wanted to see happen? Are you that much of a nightmare that you are PLEASED by making people cry? Total strangers even?
Women are not supposed to meet anyone else's body criteria, the author noted. Nor does their relative size indicate their level of self-respect. Just look at the completely empowering way broadcast journalist Jennifer Livingston responded to comments about her weight:
Internet and social media have been used for lots of anonymous online bullying, but the trend of defending marginalized people on the web is catching on as well. This is merely the latest example of complete strangers defending someone publicly shamed for their weight.
Last week, The Anti-Jared blogger Tony Posnanski wrote this awesome response to a viral open letter addressed to "Fatty on The Westview Track." His point? Never pass judgement on someone's weight, because you don't know what they are going through.
When Return of Kings, the notorious trolling website, decided to declare a week last October #fatshamingweek, people joined in on Twitter and quickly made apparent the bullying and condescending intentions behind fat shaming.
007's new mission is to rid the world of fatties. #FatShamingWeek— Faux James Bond (@FauxJamesBond) October 9, 2013
2 Masters and a PhD won't compensate for you having the size and mass of a small asteroid #fatshamingweek— Beppo Venerdì (@Beppo_Venerdi) October 8, 2013
Image Credit: Twitter
The language of the Boston woman's letter may not be perfect. She calls the fat-shamer a "dog," "hipsterish" and a "diarrhea pile," in addition to deriding his haircut and making the (unfounded) assumption that he was upset that no one treats him like the "special snowflake" he believes himself to be.
But despite her over-the-top tone, the author had a point. Hopefully, this letter and its author's righteous anger gives future bullies pause before they attempt to verbally abuse unsuspecting strangers trying to enjoy a peaceful commute.