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SKL

Fat shamed (on the plane) in a text? (News story)

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My reaction is probably not the correct one, but maybe I am not alone.

So a pleasantly plump lady sits next to a stranger on a plane.  She looks at his phone to see the message he is texting to someone she doesn't know.  Allegedly the text comments on her size / weight.  She yells at him and remains shaking mad for hours, then goes and facebook shames him, using his photograph, which is shared 120,000 times.  She is considered a hero.

So my first thought is - why were you eavesdropping on his texts?  Is that OK to do now?

Giving her the benefit of the doubt that her seeing the text was purely accidental, I could see her telling him off, but is it overkill to post his photo on facebook?  Or was it her friends who went too far by sharing it?  Or maybe the news was wrong to report it as a story?  Or are they all heroes?

Is it time for facebook shaming etiquette rules to be promulgated?

 

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Sounds like she made herself the thought police.  To intrude on someone's personal space, find something you don't like and proceed to shame the person in hopes of...what?  It doesn't have a good outcome and makes her manners look out of shape.

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I am so skeptical of these stories anymore. So she glanced over and really has no idea if he was talking about her or not.   

Edited by itsheresomewhere
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I've seen more than one of these stories too.  I think they are clickbait and some are just free publicity for the fat person's business. 

Basically you have a person invading another person's space and going off on them.  If the person had commented privately on another aspect, they would have gone off on that too.  So really, its a question of mental health of the 'victim' who feels entitled to snoop and then go off on other people.  Gladys Kravitz in the air.  I hope they get the help they need, as I don't think anyone is falling for the scam..which is claim violation in order to get the seat next to you for free. 

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7 minutes ago, HeighHo said:

I've seen more than one of these stories too.  I think they are clickbait and some are just free publicity for the fat person's business. 

Basically you have a person invading another person's space and going off on them.  If the person had commented privately on another aspect, they would have gone off on that too.  So really, its a question of mental health of the 'victim' who feels entitled to snoop and then go off on other people.  Gladys Kravitz in the air.  I hope they get the help they need, as I don't think anyone is falling for the scam..which is claim violation in order to get the seat next to you for free. 

This made me laugh...I loved Bewitched as a kid!

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Well if you want to blast on someone save it for when they are not present in private.   Though allegedly he was texting presumably to a single person he could just as easily been sharing with a group or posting on social media.  Plane seats suck for the majority of the population these days.  When people post stuff on their social media I don’t think theyre  generally thinking about it going viral.  It just happens.  

Seems like an eye for an eye situation and both parties in the wrong.  

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I googled "plane fat shaming text" (without the quotes) and saw the current stories plus others going back to 2017. So this is not a unique situation.  The article I saw did not say anything about her posting the guy's picture.  I wouldn't really care about her posting about it if she didn't identify him. It doesn't seem as if he identified her in his text. Sure, the text was rude. She was rude too for reading it.  I've been on crowded trains, sitting with people right next to me - it takes an effort to see what's on their phone screen.  It's not something that just happens.

ETA: A quote from her post:   Because I will take up as much space as I want.  Huh. 

Edited by marbel
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While I don't agree with starting a social media fire, I kind of understand the urge. I went looking for an article about this incident, and I found several articles over the past few years of people fat-shaming people on planes. I can sort of see where people are getting to the point of using social media to try to change people's behavior. 

I hate plane seats; I have probably been the topic of a few texts - there's only so much I can do to suck in my obese body.

 

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5 minutes ago, marbel said:

I googled "plane fat shaming text" (without the quotes) and saw the current stories plus others going back to 2017. So this is not a unique situation.  The article I saw did not say anything about her posting the guy's picture.  I wouldn't really care about her posting about it if she didn't identify him. It doesn't seem as if he identified her in his text. Sure, the text was rude. She was rude too for reading it.  I've been on crowded trains, sitting with people right next to me - it takes an effort to see what's on their phone screen.  It's not something that just happens.

ETA: A quote from her post:   Because I will take up as much space as I want.  Huh. 

I did see an article with it - and it did have his picture.

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I found a video with another guy who claims he also read the text and switched seats with the shamer.  Which is nice if it's true, I have trouble believing someone across the aisle could read the text?

People suck.  You have to deal.

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17 minutes ago, MaBelle said:

I found a video with another guy who claims he also read the text and switched seats with the shamer.  Which is nice if it's true, I have trouble believing someone across the aisle could read the text?

People suck.  You have to deal.

That incident took place last May. I have to guess the guy who was texting was holding the phone so everyone could see what he was saying about the woman. He was a comedian, so playing to an audience?

 

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Just now, beckyjo said:

That incident took place last May. I have to guess the guy who was texting was holding the phone so everyone could see what he was saying about the woman. He was a comedian, so playing to an audience?

 

Wow, what a butt.

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TBH, I think she's being wrong-headed about this. I read what she wrote and it's all very circular and nonsensical.

She says she was publicly fat-shamed, but she wasn't. A person had a private thought and shared it in a private way. If he had *said* something to her, this would be completely different, but he did not. 

On balance, I think she reacted badly, bordering on absurdly. 

****I believe 100% that this dude is a jerk. If he were texting me about some stranger woman's weight, I would have had choice words. And if someone did this to me, it might hurt my feelings.... though tbh I'd be more annoyed that he didn't tilt his phone in a private way more than anything (because I wouldn't be purposefully trying to read a stranger's phone, he'd have to basically put it in my face).**** But I think that between the discreet actions, texting a known person some misogynistic thought about a stranger and putting a person whose text you didn't like because it was about you on blast publicly, she comes out looking pretty bad here. 

Edited by OKBud
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1 hour ago, FuzzyCatz said:

When people post stuff on their social media I don’t think theyre  generally thinking about it going viral.  It just happens.  

In this case, she specifically wanted it to be spread far and wide, so that some woman he knows can set him straight. Which seems.... problematic? .... in and of itself. 

Edited by OKBud
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I don't think of planes or trains as a place you're going to get privacy. Sometimes it's hard to read someone's screen next to you.  Sometimes it's easy and inadvertent depending on seating and angles.  I don't see why a full grown normal functioning adult can't just buck up and deal for a couple hours on a plane without texting or posting his discomfort and loathing for his seat neighbor either.  If you want privacy and space, try first class.  Or maybe driving your own car.  If you want to whine and rant and complain, save it for later.  And if you behave badly don't be surprised if you get called out on it.  The other person might behave badly calling you out on it.  I hardly think it's the end of someone's life if they're called out for bad behavior on social media.  

I found 2 different stories on 2 different situations.  There's probably many more.  I just assume I will be uncomfortable when I get on a plane.  I'm not the smallest person in the world.  If I'm being honest, the most annoying people to sit next to are older Caucasian males of any size who think their knees have to be 2 feet apart and that the have eminent domain on any adjacent arm rests plus several inches over.   I was at 2 different theater productions recently where I was elbowed constantly.  I still don't text or social media post about them in the moment and would never take their photo.  

If we're talking about the first situation it sounds like the woman is a model so she probably does have a large social media following.  But it also sounds like he was otherwise expressing his annoyance with her.  Did she behave great?  Meh - no.  But I'm hardly sympathetic to him.  

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-40479311

https://www.foxnews.com/travel/tui-passenger-slammed-after-fat-shaming-woman-sitting-next-to-him-shes-a-right-lump-of-lard

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Thinking about this more, I think it's probably a good move overall to say something in person, like she did. I mean I still don't understand how she saw his text if she was next to him without purposefully snooping, but ok she did and she saw what she saw. 

At that point, letting him know she saw him, saw what he was doing, and didn't approve was the way to go. 

People behaving badly could use more immediate feedback like that. 

My problem with it is that she seems surprised that confronting him didn't lead to him apologizing to her. That really seems to be the thrust of her anger there, the lack of apology or engagement following a confrontation with a stranger who has just been caught out being a douche. The expectation of what he would do when she called him out on the text was outsized and wholly unrealistic. 

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People eavesdropping on other people's conversations are sometimes not going to like what they hear (read). Rule #1, don't eavesdrop on other people's conversations. Problem solved.  

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The woman sounds nuts. The guy sounds like an ass. 

When I was flying home from France, the woman across the aisle from me was having a very difficult time closing her seatbelt over her sizeable girth. I was very tempted to help her but I was also freakin paranoid about how that would be interpreted. I figured the flight attendants could help if it came to that, but they didn’t. She flew half of the seven hours with the buckle incorrectly wedged over the armrest. She took it off eventually but did not reconnect it for landing. 

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Aside from having to wonder what is factual or not these days...social media proves to be a dangerous tool when we have many people with impulse control issues.

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I have thoughts all over the place.

First of all, I do sympathize with the mortification of realizing the person next to you finds you disgusting.  Of course it would have been better had she not looked at his text, but once she did, she couldn't un-see that.  And some people are more sensitive than others.

I assume the guy was a shallow jerk if the story is true.  Not because he didn't apologize, but because he would send such a nasty text to anyone, in private or public.  Plane seats suck, end of story, get over it.  If she was that huge, the airline would not have let her sit in one seat.  Plus, he wasn't such a hottie himself.

That said - I am not sure I would call what happened "fat shaming."  He didn't say anything "to her."  I assume he had no intention of her ever knowing his thoughts.  Can you be "shaming" someone without ever intending to communicate your thoughts to her or anyone she deals with?  But then again, making even private comments about heavy people does sort of add to the fat shaming culture.

And let's be honest - it is not fun to have a person basically sitting on you throughout a flight.  I have had the experience.  It was quite uncomfortable, and I was young and a lot thinner then.  It would have been a lot worse at my current age, with my bone and joint problems and my need to move around during flights.  Of course I never said a word or made a face.  In fact, I accidentally lifted up the arm rest between the seats as we were boarding, and she smiled and thanked me, assuming I was doing that to give her more space.  I did the compassionate thing and left it up and smiled back.  I would probably do the same again, but no, I would not enjoy being sat on.  (There are so many things to not enjoy on a flight.  Body odor is my personal un-favorite.  [Well no, it's groping, but at least that is something you can report.]  But, I was raised to grin and bear inconveniences rather than voice my discomfort.)

But all that said, I think maybe we need some rules of the road as far as facebook shaming.  Should anyone ever encourage a friend to plaster another person's photo on facebook for the purpose of shaming him?  There are so many reasons not to.  For one thing, people misunderstand each other.  For another, people outright lie.  We rarely get enough of the story to truly judge.  But that doesn't stop the "bad guy's" personal acquaintances from seeing the post.  A guy could lose his job and more.  There should be some kind of limit - e.g., if you do not have personal first-hand knowledge of what went down, don't "share" a shaming post.  Comfort your friend and leave it there.

Edited by SKL
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You asked if its time for facebook shaming rules to be promulgated...but consider if the obese had taken steps to remain in the space purchased, would anyone have thought anything?  Its time to enforce passenger health and safety. One is not safe or healthy if someone else's body is on top of them or smashed up against them for a long flight. I'd also like to see that no one can publish anyone's photo without their permission, even if it is taken in a public space. 

Edited by HeighHo
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1 minute ago, HeighHo said:

You asked if its time for facebook shaming rules to be promulgated...but consider if the obese had taken steps to remain in the space purchased, would anyone have thought anything?  Its time to enforce passenger health and safety. One is not safe or healthy if someone else's body is on top of them or smashed up against them for a long flight. 

I couldn't tell for sure, but the photo of the woman did not look like someone who was really going to exceed her seat space.  It did seem like a jerk making a [private] jerk comment.  Yes she went on about how she was going to take up as much space as she wanted - and she was wrong in that IMO, because while obviously she is going to take up whatever space she takes up, one should at least be considerate of the fact that this might be a burden to others (if in fact she was that big).

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I totally agree with Margaret. Don't be reading other people's screens; don't eavesdrop. Mind your own business.

It was crappy, jackassery of the dude to even post about that especially if he is a person with hundreds of 'friends" on facebook which we statistically know means the information is going to go quite viral.

But, my husband once traveled next to a woman who was quite large, I mean really, really large. He was in his seat minding his own business with his arm on the arm rest when she plopped down basically sitting on his arm or overflowing onto his arm. He asked her to please move off his arm, and she cussed him out. He signaled for a flight attendant who sympathized with him but said she could not force the woman to move - a woman who was of course hearing all of this and KNEW she had him pinned down - because it would be discrimination and rude.

Just out of spite, she stayed that way the entire 2 hr. flight. DH couldn't extract his arm without he felt getting accused of inappropriately touching her, so there he sat. When they landed - and by the way the woman seatbelt could not go around her even with an extender so American Air let her fly without a seatbelt fastened for the entire flight - he couldn't feel his fingers they were so numb.

We now always ask for an exit row when we fly. We don't mind being responsible for opening the door, and flight attendants will move someone who is not capable of moving quickly and efficiently in that row. 

The thing is, if the person cannot actually fit into the seat, and the seatbelt cannot be used properly, why on earth is this allowed? Seriously. I'm sorry if someone is that overweight but this is a huge safety issue, and no one has a sacred right to fly.

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Incidentally, I only clicked on the story because I was curious as to what constitutes "fat shaming" these days.

Would she feel differently had the man, instead of texting, alerted the flight attendant that he could not sit comfortably because the lady was too much in his space?

Would that be fat shaming?  And who decides?

Because IMO, every passenger has a right to sit in his own seat and not be tortured by the people on both sides.  A little side touching, fine.  Kid screaming, suck it up.  Smells you don't like, for the most part, deal.  But there does come a point where the encroaching passenger is taking to much away from the neighbor, and I don't think it's wrong to speak up even though that might embarrass someone.

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I don't care one whit about the specifics of this kerfuffle.  I absolutely detest that we live in a time and age where goofball personal confrontations are shared with THE WORLD.  The literal world.  It is beyond creepy and horrifying.  We are all in danger of finding our faces plastered across the nation for any misstep we take.  Any misstep.  I truly hate this and think it's got to be dangerous in some way to our group mental health, or at least it will be in the long run.  I wish it would stop.

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3 minutes ago, Faith-manor said:

I totally agree with Margaret. Don't be reading other people's screens; don't eavesdrop. Mind your own business.

It was crappy, jackassery of the dude to even post about that especially if he is a person with hundreds of 'friends" on facebook which we statistically know means the information is going to go quite viral.

But, my husband once traveled next to a woman who was quite large, I mean really, really large. He was in his seat minding his own business with his arm on the arm rest when she plopped down basically sitting on his arm or overflowing onto his arm. He asked her to please move off his arm, and she cussed him out. He signaled for a flight attendant who sympathized with him but said she could not force the woman to move - a woman who was of course hearing all of this and KNEW she had him pinned down - because it would be discrimination and rude.

Just out of spite, she stayed that way the entire 2 hr. flight. DH couldn't extract his arm without he felt getting accused of inappropriately touching her, so there he sat. When they landed - and by the way the woman seatbelt could not go around her even with an extender so American Air let her fly without a seatbelt fastened for the entire flight - he couldn't feel his fingers they were so numb.

We now always ask for an exit row when we fly. We don't mind being responsible for opening the door, and flight attendants will move someone who is not capable of moving quickly and efficiently in that row. 

The thing is, if the person cannot actually fit into the seat, and the seatbelt cannot be used properly, why on earth is this allowed? Seriously. I'm sorry if someone is that overweight but this is a huge safety issue, and no one has a sacred right to fly.

Some years ago, there was a big fuss about airlines requiring people over a certain size to buy two seats.  I wonder what happened with that.  I feel sorry for people in that situation, but not so sorry that it justifies crushing another person.  At the time I thought airlines should have some seats that are extra wide in cheap class, whether or not they charge more for them.  It would be better than charging for 2 seats, and also better than crushing other passengers.

I don't understand the seat belt issue.  I thought they could combine 2 extenders or something.  It doesn't seem right to let them fly without a belt.

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37 minutes ago, SKL said:

I couldn't tell for sure, but the photo of the woman did not look like someone who was really going to exceed her seat space.  It did seem like a jerk making a [private] jerk comment.  Yes she went on about how she was going to take up as much space as she wanted - and she was wrong in that IMO, because while obviously she is going to take up whatever space she takes up, one should at least be considerate of the fact that this might be a burden to others (if in fact she was that big).

 

With stuff like people of walmart accepted as entertainment, she hasn't got a chance of claiming privacy from being considered a subject of entertainment.  She has to do what everyone else does, suck it up. The guy didn't say anything to her, and she snooped and decided he was not having a private comedy show to make the best of an awkward situation, but fat shaming. Her choice to spin it that way...and I'll bet she was going for the free upgrade or voucher.  Personally I feel every passenger has a right to get out of his seat during flight (if the captain has okay'd), not be boxed in due to someone with a medical condition who is not on a medical flight. I also feel that no one should be putting their body on another person without permission, in flight or not (excepting their own children of course).

Edited by HeighHo
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This just reminds me of the old saying "two wrongs don't make a right". I can kind of understand wanting to say something to him but seriously, why? Are people so fragile that they cannot function in a mature way if someone doesn't like them in some way? The guy sounds like a jerk but jerks exist. All calling him out on media will do is further divide the line and make his heart even more bitter. For a more effective way of dealing with jerks, see Patton Oswalt's response to a bully. She could have cut him deeper just by saying "excuse me, I accidentally saw your text and your description of me. While it may be true I am a bigger woman, it really stung to read that and I just want to encourage you to be more careful."

We seem to be cherry picking bullying and creating a culture where it is ok to bully a bully or just bully someone who is tone deaf about the current zeitgeist. It is gross and I wish it would stop. 

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47 minutes ago, SKL said:

Some years ago, there was a big fuss about airlines requiring people over a certain size to buy two seats.  I wonder what happened with that.  I feel sorry for people in that situation, but not so sorry that it justifies crushing another person.  At the time I thought airlines should have some seats that are extra wide in cheap class, whether or not they charge more for them.  It would be better than charging for 2 seats, and also better than crushing other passengers.

I don't understand the seat belt issue.  I thought they could combine 2 extenders or something.  It doesn't seem right to let them fly without a belt.

Agreed. I don't know why she wasn't offered a second extender. I suppose maybe they had several passengers that needed them, and didn't have enough aboard.

Seems like a huge liability, on the other hand as litigious as our society is, maybe saying something would have been a real no no for the crew.

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I'm hoping more and more people will recognize what could have been a great tool for spreading useful information is now a giant gossip chain for drama queens because... humans. 

 

I also wouldn't mind lawsuits for people really harmed by it. 

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2 hours ago, Garga said:

I don't care one whit about the specifics of this kerfuffle.  I absolutely detest that we live in a time and age where goofball personal confrontations are shared with THE WORLD.  The literal world.  It is beyond creepy and horrifying.  We are all in danger of finding our faces plastered across the nation for any misstep we take.  Any misstep.  I truly hate this and think it's got to be dangerous in some way to our group mental health, or at least it will be in the long run.  I wish it would stop.

Yeah, I just had a bad moment in my life a few months ago because of this threat. My son was on a fieldtrip and he did a bad misbehavior. He was corrected swiftly and seriously by our group supervisors (I had left for a dr. appointment). The thing that caused our group leader major distress, though, was that, rather than intervene on my son doing the bad thing, a bystander was videoing him. Our group leader was very concerned that this bystander was going to use this video on public media to shame our group and my son. I also agree that this is a serious threat to society. Are we really coming to a point as a society where we can’t interact with a person but rather, must expose them on SM? 

However! 

I have another thought on this exposure-via-social-media. I have a friend who is an actor and she recently did a series of gigs as The Modern Mrs. Claus. She’s a gorgeous woman with a cute, possibly even a little bit sexy Mrs. Claus outfit. I was shocked to learn some men had said extremely disgusting things to her. She recently posted a video on her FB in which a very attractive actor had been directly calling out men who do this scumbaggy thing. She posts their name and face and exposes their gross behavior publically. She has been rebuked for doing it, though. Some people (even some women) do not think she should publically call out the men saying very blunt, harassing things to her. In that case, I am on the side of the harassed woman. I have no qualms about her using her SM platform to say, “Hey, folks. This is Joe Schmoe. Mr. Schmoe likes to send me message photos of his penis and says he would like to _______ my _________ until I _______.” I am totally fine with that. 

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2 hours ago, HeighHo said:

You asked if its time for facebook shaming rules to be promulgated...but consider if the obese had taken steps to remain in the space purchased, would anyone have thought anything?  Its time to enforce passenger health and safety. One is not safe or healthy if someone else's body is on top of them or smashed up against them for a long flight. I'd also like to see that no one can publish anyone's photo without their permission, even if it is taken in a public space. 

Here is a perfect example of using language to promote "othering."

 We speak up when language turns an adjective to a noun in other situations... " the blacks, " "the handicapped," " the illegals. " 

But "the obese" gets a pass.

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2 minutes ago, unsinkable said:

Here is a perfect example of using language to promote "othering."

 We speak up when language turns an adjective to a noun in other situations... " the blacks, " "the handicapped," " the illegals. " 

But "the obese" gets a pass.

You’re not wrong...

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7 minutes ago, Quill said:

Yeah, I just had a bad moment in my life a few months ago because of this threat. My son was on a fieldtrip and he did a bad misbehavior. He was corrected swiftly and seriously by our group supervisors (I had left for a dr. appointment). The thing that caused our group leader major distress, though, was that, rather than intervene on my son doing the bad thing, a bystander was videoing him. Our group leader was very concerned that this bystander was going to use this video on public media to shame our group and my son. I also agree that this is a serious threat to society. Are we really coming to a point as a society where we can’t interact with a person but rather, must expose them on SM? 

 

 

Yes. We've been at that point for over a decade -- the point where a chaperone isn't doing what they are supposed to be doing.  Now that people can record, they are...its not for shaming, but for liability.  I personally have a museum on my list that I will never ever take another youth group to, because of the other youth groups mine encountered and the lack of adult behavior anywhere in that group. I would never let a kid use a public bathroom alone while youth groups are there -- too many unsupervised violent youth.

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5 minutes ago, unsinkable said:

Here is a perfect example of using language to promote "othering."

 We speak up when language turns an adjective to a noun in other situations... " the blacks, " "the handicapped," " the illegals. " 

But "the obese" gets a pass.

 

there is a typo there as you can tell from grammar....should have typed 'obese person'. But you are correct, I should have said 'person who routinely violates personal space of others by putting their body on other bodies without permission".  Maybe you could give me the term for that.

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I’m overweight.  And I just flew Saturday.   This incident was in my mind as I flew and made me hyper aware of my self.  Luckily, I sat with my husband and no one else. If I had been her, here’s what I’d have done:  I would’ve killed him kindness.  It’s my go-to when someone’s an ass.  By the time the plane landed, his whole outlook on overweight people would have shifted.   I think she handled this very poorly.  I also think we overweight people are on guard anyway and probably get our feelings hurt when they really shouldn’t be.  

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4 minutes ago, HeighHo said:

 

there is a typo there as you can tell from grammar....should have typed 'obese person'. But you are correct, I should have said 'person who routinely violates personal space of others by putting their body on other bodies without permission".  Maybe you could give me the term for that.

What's the term for a person who keeps digging herself deeper into shihizzle because she obviously has issues with people who are overweight?

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9 minutes ago, HeighHo said:

 

Yes. We've been at that point for over a decade -- the point where a chaperone isn't doing what they are supposed to be doing.  Now that people can record, they are...its not for shaming, but for liability.  I personally have a museum on my list that I will never ever take another youth group to, because of the other youth groups mine encountered and the lack of adult behavior anywhere in that group. I would never let a kid use a public bathroom alone while youth groups are there -- too many unsupervised violent youth.

This was NOT “the chaperone not doing what they are supposed to be doing.” It was a farm with hundreds of people. There are not chaperones standing over each and every student and, what is more, my then 13yo son should not require a chaperone standing on top of him to remember not to ————. The point was, a bystander stood by videoing him. Didn’t get a staff person, didn’t say, “Hey! You there! Why are you doing that?” That was my point. 

When I was a kid, any nearby adult would have said, “Hey! You aren’t to do that!” 

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I read the post shortly after she put it out there (may be a day or so later? Some parenting blogger picked it up, with a link to the original post) It was clarified later that the man in question was texting his wife, not posting to social media, FWIW. The poster did not reveal that she had read his text in the initial post, but subsequently stated that she could not help but read it because he was "manspreading." She confronted him verbally, then apparently he asked to change seats and was denied. She posted his picture, then took it down, while leaving the post itself up.

Flying is uncomfortable for so many reasons. I can't imagine that a confrontation under those circumstances, even if well-intentioned, would be productive/educational.

Edited by GoodGrief1

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At the other end of the spectrum, what if the woman was very attractive and the man texted something to his friend of her being a hottie and referred to some of her physical features--

Would there be a sexual harassment accusation because of the Me Too movement?

She had no business reading his text.  

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She invaded his privacy by reading a personal text he sent to his wife, in which he referred to her weight as "two tons," and she considered that bit of thoughtless hyperbole to be such a heinous crime that she was justified in further violating his privacy by publicly shaming him and posting his photo on world-wide social media???  Saying she wished she could have taken up even more of his space, and was glad he was forced to sit next to her for the entire flight because she's "sick of this sh*t," just makes her sound petty and spiteful, like she's trying to punish this one guy for all the times she's ever felt fat-shamed in her life.  Even according to her own account, he only asked to be moved after she confronted him and it was obvious she had been reading his texts. Frankly, I wouldn't want to spend an entire flight next to someone who had not only invaded my privacy, but was confrontational and "shaking with anger" over a private message she had no business readings — and it wouldn't matter how much she weighed. 

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1 hour ago, Quill said:

This was NOT “the chaperone not doing what they are supposed to be doing.” It was a farm with hundreds of people. There are not chaperones standing over each and every student and, what is more, my then 13yo son should not require a chaperone standing on top of him to remember not to ————. The point was, a bystander stood by videoing him. Didn’t get a staff person, didn’t say, “Hey! You there! Why are you doing that?” That was my point. 

When I was a kid, any nearby adult would have said, “Hey! You aren’t to do that!” 

 

Was it an adult taking the video? (sorry if you already said and I missed it)

 

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26 minutes ago, OKBud said:

 

Was it an adult taking the video? (sorry if you already said and I missed it)

 

Yes. It was an adult who was also at the farm, unconnected with our group, unconnected with the farm. 

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14 hours ago, SKL said:

My reaction is probably not the correct one, but maybe I am not alone.

So a pleasantly plump lady sits next to a stranger on a plane.  She looks at his phone to see the message he is texting to someone she doesn't know.  Allegedly the text comments on her size / weight.  She yells at him and remains shaking mad for hours, then goes and facebook shames him, using his photograph, which is shared 120,000 times.  She is considered a hero.

So my first thought is - why were you eavesdropping on his texts?  Is that OK to do now?

Giving her the benefit of the doubt that her seeing the text was purely accidental, I could see her telling him off, but is it overkill to post his photo on facebook?  Or was it her friends who went too far by sharing it?  Or maybe the news was wrong to report it as a story?  Or are they all heroes?

Is it time for facebook shaming etiquette rules to be promulgated?

 

I think the trend toward going ape-shit wild on FB over whatever plucks a nerve is ridiculous.  So he thought she was fat.  Who cares what some random stranger schmo on a plane thinks?

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I think people putting their nose where it doesn’t belong should not be surprised if it  stinks. 

I think posting someone’s name, photo, work/home contact, or location  information on the internet without permission of that person should be illegal. And the penalty should be harsh whether the person suffered for it or not.

People say and write all kinds of unflattering things in private with their trusted loved ones. And they have every right to do that and most of the time eavesdropping into one sentence of that doesn’t give an accurate portrayal of anyone. 

If she’s sick of it, she should have bought two seats or she should have not been reading something that’s none of her business or she could try not being a jerk about the fact that other people want to have their body space respected.

I feel bad for the guy. It sounds like he was completely right about the expectation of her making his flight more miserable than it had to be - so it’s hard to blame him for venting to his wife and seems rather petty to bash him for not being more careful in his word choice when doing it. 

Who here has never ever said something in private to their spouse about a third party in venting or whatever that would not sound very nice if someone else heard or read it?  And who here thinks someone deserves to pilloried for it?

Not me. 

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3 hours ago, unsinkable said:

Here is a perfect example of using language to promote "othering."

 We speak up when language turns an adjective to a noun in other situations... " the blacks, " "the handicapped," " the illegals. " 

But "the obese" gets a pass.

 

So it seems pretty obvious to me that the PP forgot to write "person", but in any case,

All of those categories are not equivalent. There are some situations where physical characteristics do set apart a group. Disabled people may not sit in an exit row on an airplane. The disabled may not sit in an exit row. Neither can children. Obese people are sometimes required to get seatbelt extenders on airplanes. To refer to people in certain categories isn't othering as in inherently negative or bad. Defining people by categories and physical characteristics may not be the most tasteful thing to do, but sometimes distinctions are made for whatever reason that has nothing to do with discrimination, racism, or othering.

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8 minutes ago, EmseB said:

 

So it seems pretty obvious to me that the PP forgot to write "person", but in any case,

All of those categories are not equivalent. There are some situations where physical characteristics do set apart a group. Disabled people may not sit in an exit row on an airplane. The disabled may not sit in an exit row. Neither can children. Obese people are sometimes required to get seatbelt extenders on airplanes. To refer to people in certain categories isn't othering as in inherently negative or bad. Defining people by categories and physical characteristics may not be the most tasteful thing to do, but sometimes distinctions are made for whatever reason that has nothing to do with discrimination, racism, or othering.

IMO, it isn't clear that HeighHo simply forgot to write the word "person." Especially given all her other posts.

Also, IMO, it is fine to use adjectives to describe people when needed...But I think leaving out the nouns (men, women, people, persons, etc) is when the language can be problematic and ugly...And it can seem like it is taking away the humanity of the people being spoken about. 

It happens in health care but in a different way...referring to people as their diseases or procedures or injuries. You hear it in ERs or surgical waiting rooms or imaging centers. 

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Is it impolite to comment on a person's weight negatively in a text to friends ? Yeah, probs.

Is it hurtful to read such a comment ? Yep (though how anyone reads anyone else's texts by accident on a plane, I'm not sure).

Is the reaction proportionate ? Not at all. 

I mean, what is the proportionate reaction to digital  'eavesdropping' ?  Nothing, really. I suppose if she felt incredibly affronted, she could have asked to move seats or something. Idk.

I pretty much despair of the increasing acceptance that we will, can and should censor people's thoughts or speech, through social coercion and outright abuse of the law. Unless the text was a direct incitement to violence against pleasantly plump women, there's nothing to be done other than note that some people are quite rude. 

 

 

Edited by StellaM
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She was wrong.  People need to get a grip - not everyone will like you, and some people are mean.  Your self-worth should not be dependent on them.  

I am not a fan of posting people who have dome something that is wrong on social media either.  For one thing, people often misunderstand the context of what they see.  But even when they don't, it's just a way to whip up a mob and it doesn't really do any good - it makes people hungry for more.  And they become less and less careful about making sure they know what's going on.

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2 hours ago, Bluegoat said:

She was wrong.  People need to get a grip - not everyone will like you, and some people are mean.  Your self-worth should not be dependent on them.  

I am not a fan of posting people who have dome something that is wrong on social media either.  For one thing, people often misunderstand the context of what they see.  But even when they don't, it's just a way to whip up a mob and it doesn't really do any good - it makes people hungry for more.  And they become less and less careful about making sure they know what's going on.

It's virtual tarring and feathering.

I can't actually think of a time when something positive came of mob behavior, whether virtual or IRL.

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