Sonalee Rashatwar, a woman whose Instagram name is “The Fat Sex Therapist” gave a speech at St. Olaf College on Thursday in which she compared fitness instructors to Nazis and putting children on diets to rape.
“I truly believe that a child cannot consent to being on a diet the same way a child cannot consent to having sex,”
These comments and more were made in the context of her two-hour speech sponsored by St. Olaf College’s Wellness Center, Women’s and Gender Studies Department, and Center for Equity and Inclusion, on the topic of “radical fat liberation.” The talk included assertions that fitness contributed to the recent Christchurch shooting, that people should “challenge” the rule of law, as well as the authority of and the police.
“We should be critical of the use of science and the production of knowledge to continue promoting this idea that certain bodies are fit, able, and desirable . . . is it my fatness that causes my high blood pressure, or is it my experience of weight stigma?” she asked the audience.
She then took it even further, calling the science that states that obesity is unhealthy “fatphobic” science, saying that it is “often actually eugenic science . . . . eugenic science is Nazi science.”
“I do not think it’s surprising that the man who shot up Christchurch, New Zealand, was also a fitness instructor,” Rashatwar said, adding that the shooting was “a clear communication that there’s still an idealized body.”
“Nazis really love this idea of an idealized body, and so it makes a lot of sense to me that a fitness instructor . . . might also think about an idealized body in this thin white supremacist way,” she said.
One freshman student who attended the event told Campus Reform that Rashatwar promotes a misleading message about personal health.
“The entire speech was very troubling to me,” the student said. “I know from personal experience that health is absolutely connected with weight… when you decide to give up and claim that doctors are lying to you and you’re perfect the way you are, all you truly end up with is repressed emotions and an early funeral…I can guarantee that maintaining healthy eating habits will help me live a much longer and healthier life than I was originally on track to have. Your life can only improve if you take responsibility for yourself.”
Maybe everything Rashatwar said is true – science doesn’t exist and is actually just veiled racism, obesity doesn’t cause high blood pressure, and that dieting and fitness are just tools of white supremacy and structural oppression.
Or maybe she’s just inventing pseudo-intellectual excuses for being fat.
You be the judge.