As a woman, I don't spend too much time hanging out over at askmen.com. Maybe I should start, though, because people who frequent the site are getting valuable life lessons hand over fist in the form of the askmen Top 10. Today's topic? Subtle Ways to Tell Her She's Getting Fat.
According to askmen.com, one way to subtly tell your female partner she's packed on a few too many lbs (you know, besides having a conversation with her about it) is to "sabotage her chair" by removing some of the slats or screws. That way, when she sits down on the chair and it breaks, you can shame her into thinking it was because she's too fat! It's a win-win! (I am kidding.)
Some of the other tips in the Top 10? Buy your girlfriend clothes that you know are too small for her, serve her unsatisfactory portions (but go back for seconds yourself when she isn't looking), and trick her into going places where she will need to put on a bathing suit. All of these suggestions are to be followed up with some good ol' fashioned shaming, just to make sure you get your point across. (You can read the full list of suggestions here, if you think your blood pressure can handle it.) I have included a few images from the list, just to spice things up. At least askmen.com is consistently misogynistic in their words and their images, right?
This one is from, "Ask her to wear an old dress." Oh no!
Now I am all for people feeling comfortable enough in relationships to be honest when they would like their partner(s) to improve their health and appearance. If you are with someone who has gained weight, you have every right to mention it in a respectful way. You also have every right to not care one bit about it. Whatever works, right? The key is to have an adult, respectful conversation about it instead of trying to trick or embarrass someone into changing her/his lifestyle. (I am sure that you savvy Bitch readers are way ahead of me on that one, though.)
Of course, not every suggestion on the list is as abhorrent as the chair advice. Some, like changing your own eating habits, or encouraging your partner to go to the gym with you, seem perfectly reasonable. However, askmen just couldn't resist adding snarky little comments at the end about how she might "see through your ploy" or how you need to take action by "separating her from fatty foods." And that snarky advice is kicked up a few notches when the suggestions get more outrageous. (Hey askmen, leave the snarkiness where it belongs: right here at Bitch.) When the list suggests you serve your gal "unsatisfactory portions," the author explains, "By making her ask for more food, you might succeed in shaming her into an acknowledgment of her recent weight gain." Ah, sooo productive.
Here is the image from, "Playfully grab her love handles." The text predicts that when you grab a woman's "unwanted flab" she "recoils and feels embarrassment." Mission accomplished!
And this leads us to one of the problems (among many) that I have with this Top 10 list: It's so mean-spirited. Nearly all of the suggestions involve an element of deceit, and many of them require downright mocking. The tone is infantilizing toward women, and makes it seem like women, on our own, have no idea how to take care of ourselves. Apparently, the only way we'll make a positive change in our lives is if our boyfriend (I am assuming a heterosexual audience here) makes us do it through trickery. And of course he isn't doing it for our benefit, but rather so that he'll want to bone us more. (Which is perfectly fine in a different context, obviously.)
Another problem here, of course, is that this list targets women only, as if there are no askmen.com readers who are in relationships with men that they'd like to see slim down a little. Would the advice be the same if it were directed toward men? Would askmen.com be telling those of us who date men that we should start tricking our fellas into sitting on broken chairs? Should we shame them into wearing swimsuits and then mock them once they do? Does this advice go both ways?
I think this advice should go nowhere except into the misogynistic, immature, garbage heap. (And yes, in my mind, that exists.) The people over at askmen.com should start asking themselves why they are such assholes, instead of encouraging their readers to disrespect women even more than they do already. To get your blood boiling and your comments flowing, here are a few choice comments from the askmen.com article:
NyteHawx says:Just be blunt: "B!tch you fat. Lose weight." DONE. Women tells us bluntly to lose weight when we get pudgy; we should do the same to them.
Lenny Kramitz says:Why put up with it at all? This mangina crap only comes into play if you have to depend on one woman to take care of your sexual needs. If you have several women, you can just kick fatty to the curb.
Stephen says:My number 1? Yell "Man the harpoons!" when she walks into the room.
So what do you think?