I won't add a link because he certainly doesn't need my help for traffic, but after balking a couple of times, I'm wading into the aftermath of the scurrilous post by Tuthmosis, who ran a piece about the five reasons to date an eating-disordered woman. He has been pilloried widely for saying awful things such as, "Her obsession over her body will improve her overall looks," and "She's fragile and vulnerable."
What I can't get past is, there is truth in what he says. I defend his right to say it on principle — as a daily newspaper journalist for 30 years, I certainly used the right of free speech at least slightly more than the average citizen — but also, there is truth in what he says.
Do we, as a society, not idolize thin people, and especially thin women? Put aside right or wrong for a moment, and tell me if that isn't true.
I have an eating disorder, and though I now know it isn't true, for many years I rued not having the "good" eating disorder, the one that at least gave you the body people liked, instead of the one people were repelled by.
Regarding the second example I cited, I can tell you — being in rehab with as many as 35 other eating-disordered patients — people with EDs *are* more fragile and vulnerable. And as such, we're more likely to people-please, to do for others instead of putting our own needs first.
A maxim worth borrowing from libel law is that "truth is a defense." But, certainly, it's not a total defense, so let's get to that part: Tuthmosis is openly advocating taking advantage of sick people. "Date a handicapped person, you'll get better parking spaces!" Or, "Date a developmentally challenged girl, she might let you get away with more." What he's saying is just as ugly.
Here's the other part that the outraged mob didn't get to, at least in the comments I saw: Tuthmosis is also developmentally challenged, or, at least, acts like one on the internet. The term is not a slur; it describes someone whose development has fallen behind others.
I'm not proud of it, but for far too much of my life, I wasn't focused on making meaningful connections, I was focused on getting a girl to play with the lights off. Never mind about her, what she's feeling, what she needs. Just, how do I get her to do what I want to do? This also is ugly. I was ugly. And then I started growing up — a lot later than many of my peers.
Maybe this slug, Tuthmosis, will get to there too someday. In the meantime, it's worth remembering that we all crawled out of the same ooze, almost everyone is wounded one way or another, and the challenge of making ourselves better begins with ourselves.