On Fat Oppression

Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal 24 (3):219-245 (2014)
  Copy   BIBTEX


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.

Author's Profile

Madeline Ward
Western New England University


Added to PP

3,851 (#1,493)

6 months
559 (#2,367)

Historical graph of downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks on external links on PhilPapers.
How can I increase my downloads?