Kate Manne at Harvard Book Store
How to Face Fatphobia
in conversation with SALLY HASLANGER
January 22, 2024
7:00 PM ET
Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138
This event is free; no tickets are required.
Harvard Book Store welcomes KATE MANNE—author of Entitled—for a discussion of her new book Unshrinking: How to Face Fatphobia. She will be joined in conversation by SALLY HASLANGER—Ford Professor of Philosophy and Women’s and Gender Studies at MIT.
For as long as she can remember, Kate Manne has wanted to be smaller. She can tell you what she weighed on any significant occasion: her wedding day, the day she became a professor, the day her daughter was born. She's been bullied and belittled for her size, leading to extreme dieting. As a feminist philosopher, she wanted to believe that she was exempt from the cultural gaslighting that compels so many of us to ignore our hunger. But she was not.
Blending intimate stories with the trenchant analysis that has become her signature, Manne shows why fatphobia has become a vital social justice issue. Over the last several decades, implicit bias has waned in every category, from race to sexual orientation, except one: body size. Manne examines how anti-fatness operates—how it leads us to make devastating assumptions about a person’s attractiveness, fortitude, and intellect, and how it intersects with other systems of oppression. Fatphobia is responsible for wage gaps, medical neglect, and poor educational outcomes; it is a straitjacket, restricting our freedom, our movement, our potential.
In this urgent call to action, Manne proposes a new politics of “body reflexivity”—a radical reevaluation of who our bodies exist in the world for: ourselves and no one else. When it comes to fatphobia, the solution is not to love our bodies more. Instead, we must dismantle the forces that control and constrain us, and remake the world to accommodate people of every size.
Praise for Unshrinking
“Unshrinking is an incisive polemic that brilliantly dissects fatphobia, the way it encroaches upon our lives, and how ultimately we can, if we are willing, do the challenging work of unlearning damaging ideas about fatness, health, and happiness.” —Roxane Gay, author of Hunger
“If you have ever struggled to feel safe in your body as it is, or if you have ever wondered who your body is for, Manne has articulated the answer: Our bodies belong to us.” —Virginia Sole-Smith, author of Fat Talk
“An essential book of impossible-to-overstate importance, Unshrinking is a lucid, vital addition to the fat canon.” —Carmen Maria Machado, author of In the Dream House
Masks are encouraged but not required for this event.
Walking from the Harvard Square T station: 2 minutes
As you exit the station, reverse your direction and walk east along Mass. Ave. in front of the Cambridge Savings Bank. Cross Dunster St. and proceed along Mass. Ave for three more blocks. You will pass Au Bon Pain, JP Licks, and TD Bank. Harvard Book Store is located at the corner of Mass. Ave. and Plympton St.
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