What Does Fat have to do With Moderating a Presidential Debate?

I have a new piece up at Furgivore

Even before Tuesday’s Presidential debate, people had already taken
to twitter to complain about the moderator Candy Crowley. Debates are
polarizing events because each side is absolutely desperate for their
candidate to prove himself and to score points against his opponent. In
many cases, despite the best intentions of the moderator, they are
hopelessly caught in the middle between two opposing forces. Citizens
should have been concerned with moderator bias, soft ball questions or
an inability to reign in the candidates, but none of the aforementioned
issues was the overriding concern with Crowley. The overwhelming stated
issue with Candy Crowley was her weight. Apparently, a fat woman had no right to moderate and take up space on such a large national stage.

Crowley is CNN’s chief political correspondent, specializing in U.S.
presidential, gubernatorial, and Senate elections but that is not what
people saw when she was chosen to moderate the debate. What people saw
was her weight and based in the idea that fat people have nothing to
offer socially, they decided to attack. Shock was even expressed that she was a fat vegetarian, as though such an occurrence is illogical and wrong. Everything that Crowley has achieved in her 60+ years on this planet was erased in order to fat shame her.

Though gender was largely absent from the conversation surrounding
the choice of moderator, make no mistake about it, the fact that Crowley
is a woman further encouraged the fat shaming. The policing of female
bodies has become quite the national hobby, despite how harmful this is
for girls and women. It’s about keeping women off balanced and focused
on issues that are largely out of our control. Some of it is coded in
the language of health, as though everyone despite education and
experience, has the knowledge of a doctor. If it were easy for everyone
to be skinny, considering the shaming and the attacks, rest assured that
no one would be fat.

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