Fat is a Feminist Issue, but it is Complicated: Commentary on Fikkan and Rothblum

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Fikkan and Rothblum (2011) review the literature on discrimination and bias against overweight and obese (fat) women. They provide convincing evidence that fat women face discrimination in the workplace, are treated disparately in medical, mental health, andEducational settings, are at a disadvantage in social and romantic situations, and are either absent or portrayed negatively in the media. They conclude with the observation that feminists have largely ignored this issue that disproportionately affects women. While I agree that fat is a feminist issue, I also argue that the issue of gender differences in the experience of weight discrimination is more complicated than suggested in the Fikkan and Rothblum review. The commentary concludes with some possible explanations for why feminists have neglected this issue, emphasizing the historical changes in the feminist movement which have taken the focus off of issues primarily related to White middle-class women.