Oregon college to offer ‘Fat Studies’ course for credit that aims to explore the oppressive nature of body shaming

The intersectional feminist class will teach students how to engage in instrumental activism to 'counter weightism perpetuated throughout various societal institutions'

Students at a public university in Oregon can now gain college credit for learning about ‘Fat Studies.’

Oregon State University professor Patti Lou-Watkins is once again offering the course that seeks to look at how ‘weightism’ – or a conscious or unconscious bias against fat people – is a ‘social justice issue.’

Campus Reform reported that they had obtained a syllabus and that the class will invite students to observe ‘body weight, shape, and size as an area of human difference subject to privilege and discrimination that intersects with other systems of oppression based on gender, race, class, age, sexual orientation, and ability.’

Oregon State University professor Patti Lou-Watkins is once again offering the course that seeks to look at how 'weightism'
Oregon State University professor Patti Lou-Watkins is once again offering the course that seeks to look at how ‘weightism’

The intersectional feminist class will teach students how to engage in instrumental activism to ‘counter weightism perpetuated throughout various societal institutions.’

Professor Lou-Watkins plans to show how perceived individual notions of fat shaming actually come from larger societal context and oppressive structures.

‘My course now frames body image disturbances more as a function of oppressive societal structures than of individual pathology,’ said Professor Lou-Watkins in a 2012 academic journal.

Weightism is a conscious or unconscious bias against fat people, and is a social justice issue



Weightism is a conscious or unconscious bias against fat people, and is a social justice issue

The ‘war on obesity’, the professor notes, has caused immense psychological harm on people who have attempted to lose weight.

 

She added: ‘Weight bias is particularly evident among healthcare professionals, compromising the well-being of their patients.’

Campus Reform noted the the professor aims to include feminist pedagogy to assist in teaching her students about fat studies.

‘I grew to embrace feminist pedagogy in terms of course content as well as classroom practices,’ she said.

‘My course now frames body image disturbances more as a function of oppressive societal structures than of individual pathology.’

OSU also offers fat acceptance-related class called ‘Women, Weight, and Body Image,’ which navigates ‘weightism as a system of oppression that interacts with other forms of oppression.’ (Daily Mail)

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‘I grew to embrace feminist pedagogy in terms of course content as well as classroom practices,’ she said

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‘Weight bias is particularly evident among healthcare professionals, compromising the well-being of their patients

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