Swarthmore College hosted a “Fat Justice and Feminism” seminar during which students were told that President Ronald Reagan “fucked everything up” for fat people, that the Body Mass Index was invented by white supremacists and — for good measure — that communism is superior to capitalism… at least for fat people.
The seminar was taught by feminist activists Cora Segal and Nicole Sullivan, who describes herself as an “angry, man-hating lesbian,” according to Campus Reform.
It took place last week, and was chronicled by Paige Willey, a correspondent for The Swarthmore Independent, who was unpersuaded by the duo’s “litany of strawmen” and “unscientific approach.”
Willey transcribed some of Segal and Sullivan’s worst arguments, including their unsubstantiated attack on Reagan and promotion of the idea that obesity is healthy:
- Ronald Reagan is partially responsible for all suffering of fat people, as he “f*cked everything up.” [No specific evidence about Reagan’s perverse policies or animosity toward obese people was offered.]
- “Overweight people live longer. They’re better protected from heart disease.” [By using the term “overweight,” they skirted the fact that this does not apply to obese people; rather, it refers to those slightly overweight as opposed to extremely thin.]
Sullivan and Segal also explored the notion that communism and socialism were superior economic systems to capitalism, because capitalism promotes the oppression of fat people and the tyranny of healthy eating.
Willey wrote that it was ridiculous for the activists to write-off healthy eating as a far-right, white supremacist tool of oppression.
“Such programs have been the centerpiece of Michelle Obama’s activity as First Lady,” she wrote. “As far as I know, Michelle Obama could not accurately be described as a patriarchal white supremacist.”
The event attendees were mostly thin, white students whose liberal goals aligned with organizers. Still, students should condemn obvious unscientific thinking, said Willey.
“Somehow, I doubt that the Swarthmore students who frequently mock scientific ignorance among conservatives will hold Segal and Sullivan to the same standard,” she wrote.
Swarthmore College did not immediately respond to a request for comment as to whether administrators believed the event was worthwhile.
The event was co-sponsored by the Women’s Resource Center, History Department, Gender and Sexuality Studies, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Interpretation Theory and the Worth Health Center.
Refreshments were provided.