As easily offended university students across the U.S. eagerly await the latest excuse to protest supposed on-campus discrimination, one University of Maryland course reveals one ostensible victimizer that has not yet been the focus of widespread student demonstrations. According to the syllabus and required reading selections available to students of the school’s Fat Studies course, an industry that health is its primary goal is actually in the business of offending the overweight.
Set to launch next semester, the course is unique in that it subjectively omits any reference to the social and/or medical repercussions of obesity. Instead, students will learn that being fat is “an aspect of human diversity, experience, and identity.”
Among the material students in the class will be expected to read is Fat Liberation Manifesto, a list of seven points the author thinks self-described fat people should embrace.
One of the manifesto’s more militant mandates identifies “special enemies” including “diet doctors, diet books, diet foods” and other paraphernalia from the massive weight loss industry. The list also includes a repudiation of “the mystified ‘science’ which falsely claims that we are unfit.”
The goal of the course, according to instructor Cassy Griff’s syllabus, is to promulgate a field of study “that is not concerned with the eradication of fatness, but with offering a sustained critique of anti-fat sentiment, discrimination, and policy.”