What We Missed

Two assholes are challenging Obama’s nominee for Surgeon General because they claim she is overweight. Disgusting and not surprising for Fox News. Pam Spaulding has more on this absurdity.

Republican Senator Graham is reportedly going to support Judge Sotomayor’s nomination to the Supreme Court.
Apparently one scientist at Ohio University is working on technology to power your car with pee. Yup, pee.
The Center for American Progress has a new report out about reproductive health and the effect of chemicals.

Join the Conversation

  • http://clarissasbox.blogspot.com Clarissa

    Dr. Regina Benjamin is “overweight”, Sonia Sotomayor is “temperamental” and “emotional.” What will chauvinists come up with next to mask their rejection of the idea of a woman in a responsible public position?
    This is so disgusting!

  • BROWN TRASH PUNK!

    TOLDJA!!! Last week, I said the GOP is gonna find something stupid to attack Dr. Benjamin… *sigh*
    here is something I saw today on Boing Boing, about 1950s Beauty Pageants that were very similar to 4-H
    http://www.boingboing.net/2009/07/22/1950s-beauty-pageant.html

  • Colleen88

    My question for Micheal of the Anti-Gym, why is it that women are fat and unhealthy if they are 50 pounds overweight but men are good to go until they are 100 pounds overweight?
    And did anyone else catch when he said the best man for the job, or female. This is clearly just another chauvinist spouting off under what he thinks are valid pretenses.

  • Colleen88

    (I am not sure how to edit my post so I am just adding a clarification as a reply)
    What I meant to say is that he added or female as an afterthought.

  • aleks

    Watch the video, Miriam. Only one of the assholes is attacking the allegedly fat nominee. The other asshole, the guy who works for Fox, is defending her.

  • Tiana

    It’s so strange to open up a website and see a link to an article about weird things going on at your school that you don’t know about. I am a student at OU and I’ve NEVER heard of this pee power stuff. Well. Whatever works.

  • LalaReina

    Well there certainly is no shortage of pissy hallways in NY to fuel those cars.

  • ikkin

    As a woman who is more than 100 lbs. “overweight,” I would like to sit on Mr. No Chubbies until he is dead. Like a big, mean, mad pillow on his ugly, ignorant face.

  • Stephanie

    Dr. Benjamin should be known for more than the size of her body! When are people going to acknowledge that?!
    I hope people start boycotting this guy’s gym..I wouldn’t want to be associated with a person who is that critical of someone’s weight. Is that how he acts to every person who comes to his gym that doesn’t measure up to his “perfect” standards?

  • vaseline

    I love how these people will always try to make it seem like they’re not being sexist. There are so many overweight male politicians. Why do these assholes always emerge when it happens to be an overweight female?
    This is like when people were criticizing that one “overweight” girl being made American Idol, despite the fact that Reuben Studdard was twice her size and won the year before her. And where were all of those “concerned specialists” then?

  • Brandi

    Indeed. Cavuto’s actually challenging Karolchyk’s views on weight.

  • flowersk

    Yes! I’m not saying I like Neil Cavuto in general…but in this case I was pretty impressed with how he handled his guest.

  • argon

    Here’s a previous post by Jessica discussing Mr. Wonderful, aka the “anti-gym” guy found in that FoxNews clip:
    http://www.feministing.com/archives/008060.html

  • Brandi

    If you want to be disgusted thoroughly, go to the Anti-Gym website. The commercials are absolutely appalling.

  • looselips

    Was going to say the same thing.

  • agreenballoon

    Even if you do accept “obesity” as an “epidemic” – since when does suffering from a particular illness or affliction disqualify you from a job that relates to it???!!!
    Are heart surgeons not allowed to have heart attacks?? Are psychologists not allowed to have anxiety or depression? I fail to see any logic behind the fat-bashing. Dr. Benjamin seems like a total saint – I guess it figures that she’s going to have to suffer these attacks on her physical appearance and not her record, much like Judge Sotomayor.

  • jeana

    Michael K. doesn’t look that thin himself. I could see if he was svelte. But he seems to be chubby himself.
    And this woman was not put in charge of Weight Watchers or Nutri Systems, so I’m not sure why being a little overweight makes a difference. How many doctors, male or female, are as thin as they should be?
    And I’m betting that the only reason Neal C. stuck up for her was because he himself struggled with weight loss issues. Otherwise, I doubt he’d care.

  • that girl

    Now, now. Think of how much better the world would be if 9 years ago, Fox News had aired “Is President-Elect Too Stupid?”

  • Nepenthe

    I really like that image, given a cartoon violence context. My body is a big squishy pillow… FOR JUSTICE!

  • Nepenthe

    Ah jeez, if this pee car idea comes to pass there will finally be a rational reason why having a wang is better: direct refueling. Should I start working on aiming?

  • aleks

    I’m not very scientifically literate, but is there a high energy content in urine?

  • maddye

    They’re seriously judging her by her weight? As if that makes her less qualified to do her job.
    She must be a good appointment if the only thing they can criticize is her appearance.

  • wowcabbage

    Wow, I hope that cars really can run on urine. What a great idea! Renewable and easy to obtain.
    As for the video, I really liked what the host had to say. He basically called out the other guy (the Anti-Gym guy) for saying such stupid things, using a lot of the logic I’ve seen floating around FA sites and feministing, such as: you can’t tell a person’s health just by their weight, thin =/= healthy, we don’t know what she’s eating and it’s not the issue at hand, etc. I thought he did a great job at pointing out the ludicriousness of what Anti-Gym was saying, and I think the description of the video should be changed – there aren’t two assholes; I only see one, and it would better reflect the content to readers.

  • Honeybee

    I don’t think this criticism is because they think she must be attractive – it’s because the surgeon general is supposed to epitomize being healthy and leading a healthy lifestyle. That’s why you’d never see a surgeon general who smoked cigarettes.
    Thus some complain she is overweight because in their minds that shows she isn’t setting a good example of a healthy lifestyle.
    My gut is this is pure BS though I don’t know enough about her or her weight and lifestyle to fully comment myself. If the candidate really was someone who had an issue with overeating and not exercising, I think that would be a legitimate complaint. I just don’t think that’s the case here.

  • clappingsoul

    This is just another example of how it’s not enough for a woman to be successful and hard-working in society…apparently she must also be svelte. Disgusting!

  • Zaneta

    Fox News…even though this particular anchor challenged his guest’s views…why was he put on air to begin with.
    Can we just agree that Fox is not really news…
    They fail almost all of the time anyway…
    I’m not actually surprised by any of it.

  • Cosmosis

    That’s exactly what I was thinking. It doesn’t really matter what Mr. Cavuto says in response to this bigot, the message still gets out there. Not everyone that has an opinion needs airtime on a national news network. It’s incredibly irresponsible on the part of Fox News. Would they follow this up by interviewing a member of the KKK about her qualifications? Fortunately, no. But apparently the views of someone who hates fat people might be valid enough to deserve coverage. Shame on Fox.

  • Nicole

    That jumped out at me too. So a guy can be like 90 pounds overweight and potentially in shape, but a girl can’t be 50?
    Argument=Officially rendered useless.
    Politicians face way too much scrutiny for their personal lives. We are all imperfect. Is she a good doctor? Have her patients received good care from her? Is she well-read in her field and aware of innovations and improvements, as well as techniques that aren’t working? Those are the things to consider, not her weight.
    And, for the record, I think someone else already said it below me, but there is no way a man of equal girth would be facing this ridiculous claim.

  • Fem Hurricane

    I agree. But this jerk from Anti-gym is clearly not considering the health factors for women (or their weight), particularly women over the age of 30. No offense of course, but our bodies and metabolisms change significantly more than men’s in our adult life. And as I said, this gym joker did not seem at all educated on these factors in women’s health (perhaps he should try using terms such as “body mass index” instead of “chubbies” before he goes preaching what’s healthy). And yes, it’s amazing how less critical they are of male politicians as role models. I understand the Surgeon General is supposed to be a role model of health, but they are so far off that topic in this exchange, it’s disgusting.

  • Cosmosis

    I shouldn’t have gone to that website: “A “chubby” is not necessarily someone with a spare tire or thunder thighs, it’s an unmotivated, lazy slob who wants to blame everybody else but themselves for their shortcomings.” This company absolutely hates people who are overweight. But don’t bother protesting or writing to their sponsors – you’ll just reveal yourself as a bitter Chubby. I can’t imagine the kind of self-loathing that would drive someone to that place.

  • DownAtTheDinghy

    I am of the opinion that individuals within health care should be models of good health; however “good health” is a rather gray area sometimes.
    I don’t think her “weight issues” have any gravity on her capability to do a kick-ass job. I don’t think a man that was “50 pounds overweight” would face this scrutiny; in fact, no one would probably notice.
    Not everyone has hours to devote to “working on their problem areas” as this idiot would probably suggest. And women are biologically different.
    And as stated in the video, I think, “fat” doesn’t necessarily mean unhealthy, and thin doesn’t automatically mean healthy.

  • BodyPart

    I think the question is should the Surgeon-General, who is basically in charge of haranguing the public into good health living, be herself or himself a paragon of good healthy living?
    Can a brilliant doctor be appointed Surgeon General if he or she smokes? If not then should a brilliant dcotor with a BMI of above 30 be appointed Surgeon General?

  • Jjuliaava

    Cos, you are a bigot. The same for that nazi gym guy.
    I absolutely adore the term to describe a HUMAN BEING as “A chubby” that is to say a THING and not a PERSON which just goes to show there are a million ways to objectify women!
    I really believe people who have this sick bias come up with this mentality because hate their mothers. They either have serious mom issues or are their pedophiles who get turned on by little boyish no curve body types.

  • Jjuliaava

    Cos, you are a bigot!!! The same for that nazi gym guy!!!
    I really believe people who have this sick bias come up with this mentality because hate their mothers. They either have serious mom issues or they’re pedophiles who get turned on by little boyish no curve body types.

  • Emma

    My first thought upon seeing his ‘No Chubbies’ shirt was that he might want to look into Cialis or Viagra.
    As for his other problems… I don’t know that there’s any medication that alleviates the symptoms of asshattery.

  • Jjuliaava

    Oh wait…SORRY C!—I thought you were in agreement with those nazis… Need more coffee and sugar and non-dairy creamer…

  • Cosmosis

    For clarification I was responding to the material on the Anti-Gym website – which is where the quote came from. Their entire business is built around the this “Chubby” concept which riducles and dehumanizes people who are overweight. From what I read, it appears that there have been some protests in the Denver area against the gym. Anti-Gym’s response is just to basically call the protesters bitter “Chubbies” with too much time on their hands

  • liv79

    Are you so sure that the nominee isn’t a paragon of good, healthy living simply because of her BMI? There are many reasons for high BMI’s and overweightness, and I’d be reluctant to say that someone isn’t healthy because they are perceived as overweight….

  • bklynchica

    I’d hate to be the guy/girl working the pump.

  • BodyPart

    Overweight (BMI 25-30)is fine, which is why I put the criterion of BMI > 30 (obesity).
    I will definitely not call an obese person a paragon of good healthy living, just as you will not call a smoker the same. My question is simply this would you extend the same courtesy, that you extend to obese people, to smokers?

  • jeana

    I think a brilliant doctor who smokes should not be put in charge of an anti-smoking campaign. A doctor who is set to be Surgeon General should be chosen for their medical knowledge, among other things. Why would looks matter, unless the nominee was so obese that he/she couldn’t get out of bed?
    And when does anyone ever say anything about the weight of a man? Ever.
    And she’s not as overweight as the anti-chubby guy said. He acted like she looked like Rush Limbaugh.

  • BodyPart

    Should a brilliant doctor who is obese be put in charge of an anti-obesity campaign?
    BTW the office of the Surgeon General does run an anti-smoking campaign
    http://www.surgeongeneral.gov/tobacco/
    So according to you a brilliant doctor that smokes cannot be a Surgeon General.
    The Surgeon General’s office also runs an anti-obesity (also anti-overweight) campaign
    http://www.surgeongeneral.gov/topics/obesity/
    So according to you a brilliant doctor that is obese (I am fine with overweight) cannot be a Surgeon General.
    And your question about “when does anyone ever say anything about the weight of a man? Ever.” was answered by yourself when you brought up Rush Limbaugh.

  • jeana

    No, I didn’t say they couldn’t be Surgeon General. A smoker wouldn’t have as much credibility if they were in charge of an anti-smoking campaign. But they could still do it. I don’t think she is obese, FYI, regardless of what the technical definition of obese is. Most Americans would qualify as obese.
    And I still don’t see how you think she can’t be Surgeon General because she doesn’t have 15% body fat. When you’re on a table about to be operated on, how much do you care about the body fat percentage of the surgeon? What really matters is whether or not they could do the job. Doesn’t it?
    And FYI, how come we have moralistic rightwing Christians telling us not to have sex when they’re having illicit sex with prostitutes?
    The important thing about being a doctor is not to have lots of malpractice suits for negligence. Weight is immaterial.

  • BodyPart

    “No, I didn’t say they couldn’t be Surgeon General.”
    But should they be allowed to be Surgeons General (or Surgeon Generals!)?
    “A smoker wouldn’t have as much credibility if they were in charge of an anti-smoking campaign. But they could still do it.”
    So similarly an obese doctor wouldn’t have as much credibility if they were in charge of an anti-obesity campaign?
    “I don’t think she is obese, FYI, regardless of what the technical definition of obese is.”
    So obesity lies in the eye of the beholder? That is going down a dangerous road:) And then what is the point of anti-obesity campaigns?
    “When you’re on a table about to be operated on, how much do you care about the body fat percentage of the surgeon? What really matters is whether or not they could do the job. Doesn’t it?”
    Absolutely. And that is why I asked you, would you extend the same courtesy, that you extend to the obese, to smokers?
    “And FYI, how come we have moralistic rightwing Christians telling us not to have sex when they’re having illicit sex with prostitutes?”
    Absolutely. That is the same thing as an obese Surgeon General telling us not to eat at McDonald’s.
    “The important thing about being a doctor is not to have lots of malpractice suits for negligence. Weight is immaterial.”
    So should be smoking.

  • jeana

    I don’t smoke and don’t like it, but there are many brilliant people who do. It doesn’t take away from their smartness. And smoking, after all, is an addiction. It’s not like they can stop at any time. It takes tremendous effort.
    And with weight, there are lots women and men who are affected by physical conditions (thyroid, etc.) that make it near impossible to lose weight. Plus some medications do the same thing. And with age, it gets even harder.
    I’m very thin, I work out, I watch what I eat, and I do think in general that Americans are too overweight. But it’s a bigger problem than them just being too lazy to be thin. I work hard at being thin. But I see how my family and friends struggle. I’m not going to judge people and assume they’re not capable of a position because they’re overweight. I really don’t see the connection unless, as I’ve already said, the person is too overweight to get out of bed. Then that’s definitely a problem.

  • BodyPart

    If I have given you the impression that I hate overweight and obese people then I am sorry. I believe that people should have complete and unfettered freedom in how they treat their own body.
    I have conflated the issue of smoking and obesity is that there are many people who while they are virulently anti-smoking are absolutely fine with obesity. So that is why I have been asking is that since the Surgeon General is tasked with the nation’s fitness (ceremonially at least) then would we be fine with one who:
    1. Smokes?
    2. Is obese?
    If your answer to the above two questions is not the same then why aren’t they?
    As you said you are not going to judge people who are overweight and obese. Simiarly would you also not judge smokers?

  • jeana

    I think I did answer you in the first paragraph of my last post. To be clear: I think you can be overweight and a smoker and a doctor. I do not think that you need to be the epitome of health if you are Surgeon General. However, you should not have lots of malpractice suits against you. That would be bad.
    There are actually tons of docs who don’t live the healthiest lifestyles. They’re addicted to drugs, they drink, they have affairs, they eat too much; but they can still do their job. And some excel.
    Anyway, this isn’t about a Surgeon General. It is about a FEMALE Surgeon General appointed by Obama. That is why it is an issue.