We all know what we're getting into the moment we click the headlines. There are those topics in the Gawkerverse and across the greater multiverse of the Internets that just inflame argument among otherwise calm, rational people. For the sake of brevity and reference, I'm going to describe them here and briefly state my opinion.

1. Infant Circumcision

People fall into two camps here: choose what you'd like, and YOU SHOULD DIE IN HELL FIRE FOR NOT CHOOSING MY CHOICE. Holy gods people, calm your tits. As I've said previously, there's no foreskin fairy who is going to circumcise your child in the night.

The genuine arguments against it are basically: 1) there aren't enough (though frequently intactivitists deny all of the medical literature) medical benefits to justify a permanent modification of an infant's body. Actually that's it. The bs arguments are: 1) circumcised bodies are mutilated/broken/dysfunctional or nonfunctional, 2) it is the same as FGM (not really an argument), 3) circumcision is a massive conspiracy on the part of doctors to make money on the procedure. Arguments on the other side are: 1) it would be a violation of religious freedom to outlaw the procedure, 2) a safe prophylactic procedure which has been demonstrated to confer medical benefits should be available to parents, 3) parents make innumerable decisions for their children which permanently affect their lives and bodies of which circumcision is a minor one.

My ruling: parental choice and religious freedom.

2. No really I'm prochoice, but it is simply not okay to

...speak positively about an abortion

If you don't believe this is an issue in this community, I'd direct you to this article. I won't call out anyone specifically, but a quick look at the comments will show you everything you need to know.


There seems to be this idea that people who have chosen termination must feel X way about it so that the right wingers don't win. Fuck that noise. I feel immense grief over my abortion. That doesn't mean I didn't deserve the right and the access to termination. I will feel however I feel and communicate that. Sorry not sorry if it makes you uncomfortable that I'm not a better liberal poster child who simultaneously feels nothing but also is deeply ashamed.


...have an abortion under circumstances in which I would not

This comes up a lot. It was common among threads on this article, though again I will not call out anyone individually. This is not a prochoice ideology. I support your declaration that you would never abort in the case of genetic malformation or disease or in order to gender select or selectively reduce a multiple birth (which is often recommended when the pregnancy will otherwise be too dangerous to ensure the survival of any of the fetuses). Your personal decisions have nothing to do with anyone else's. We are not in the business of deciding what are and are not good enough reasons for a termination.


My ruling: if you find yourself saying "I'm prochoice but," stop right there. You're not prochoice anymore.


3. Size

Fat but fit

This is a complicated topic, but somehow it is never complicated in the comments!! The truth: there is a large population of people who are MHO, metabolically health obese. They may suffer musculoskeletal effects such as joint pain or sleep apnea, but they're otherwise healthy. Being of size and fit is healthier than being of size and not fit. That is well established. HAES just means putting health first rather than size first. It's still important to recognize that obesity is a risk factor for many chronic diseases. So is eating red meat. So is smoking. So is being a man. Some risk factors can be modified or eliminated, some not, some only with great difficulty. Additionally, whether you are MHO or not is largely genetic and depends on whether your body creates more fat cells (healthy) or enlarges existing ones (unhealthy) if there is adipose to store.


The "argument" against the principle of fat but fit seems to be fat people = bad, so it's not worth discussing here.

Diets don't work

Our metabolisms, behavior patterns, and environments set us up for weight loss failure - assuming weight loss is the goal, which it should not necessarily be. It's common to read on Jezebel that diets do not work, and/or that dieting itself is a form of eating disorder. Controversial. I would submit that the dieting industry itself preys on women and their wallets. I'm willing to state that in general, the dieting industry does not provide tools or resources that work in any meaningful way. Anecdotally, dieting as defined by a specified period of loss followed by permanent lifestyle change and intentional maintenance "works." In the literature, success depends on the personality of the "dieter" and his or her commitment to permanent change. Metabolic set points make weight loss and weight maintenance extraordinarily challenging. However, weight loss and maintenance can be achieved as described in the literature, though more often weight loss is followed by a return to the original weight. Many patients even ultimately gain weight. So, diets themselves can work well. But permanent success is achieved by few, because, according to work on the subject, patients ultimately return to their previous behavior patterns. Behavior is too engrained for success to be common. Psychology is a powerful thing. This doesn't mean people are lazy, only that it is impossible to escape one's brain and difficult to escape one's environment.


My ruling: that a MHO population exists is medical fact, weight is only a risk factor not a disease, and healthy weight loss can be maintained but only with considerable effort and support.

What am I missing from this list? What do y'all think?