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Tipping the Scales of Justice: Fighting Weight Based Discrimination Paperback – January 1, 2000

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Tipping the Scales of Justice: Fighting Weight Based Discrimination + Fat Shame: Stigma and the Fat Body in American Culture
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 261 pages
  • Publisher: Prometheus Books (January 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1573927643
  • ISBN-13: 978-1573927642
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.6 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,326,797 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"...an outstanding book...a valuable tool for anyone who fights for human rights..." -- Off Our Backs, December 2000

"...outstanding! It's a must-read for those who want a comprehensive understanding of civil rights!" -- Michael Adams, Attorney, American Civil Liberties Union

"I believe this book will be a valuable tool for anyone who fights for human rights." -- Rump Parliament Magazine, May/June 2000

"When flight attendants can be fired for gaining 5 or 10 pounds, we're all at risk from weight-related discrimination." -- Marilyn Wann, editor, Fat!So? magazine

About the Author

Sondra Solovay (Berkeley, CA), a graduate of the University of California Berkeley Boalt Hall School of Law, is an attorney and noted activist. Her media experience includes Court TV, CNN, MSNBC, The New York Times, Associated Press, and much more.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 28 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 21, 2000
Format: Paperback
Tipping The Scales of Justice is a very well written examination of the legal and personal issues surrounding weight based discrimination. Ms. Solovay touches on all the relevant issues with clarity and insight, born out of a devotion to Justice and the desire to make this issue understood to all who read about it. She is a passionate activist and a marvelous writer. Without a doubt this book will stand the test of time as a solidly researched, superbly written book. Congratulations, Ms. Solovay!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Susan Koppelman on June 20, 2005
Format: Paperback
The quiet, measured, dignified prose style of the author, a sort of removed reportage, makes the horrors of discrimination in education, health-care, social life, employment, the world of entertainment, and so forth all the more starkly ugly, cruel, dangerous, and damaging. The damage, however, is not confined to those fat people who are so viciously discriminated against. It extends to almost everyone who is infected with fear and hatred of fat, everyone who would rather be blind or deaf or lose a limb than be fat, everyone who succombs to the blandishments of a greedy, fear-mongering, prejudice-supporing bariatric industry. In other words, we're all in this together and we've all got to get out of it together. And the legal considerations Solovay brings to our attention, the suggestions she makes about extending legal coverages against discrimination already in place, and the compassion she displays for victims make this book one of the important beginnings for recovery from anti-fat hysteria. Thank you for this book.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Lucy Terry on November 10, 2000
Format: Paperback
In perhaps the first and only authoritative book on fat prejudice, attorney Sondra Solovay paints a disturbing picture of widespread mistreatment of the obese and urges extension of current law to remedy these problems. Proclaiming "fat discrimination" as the civil rights issue of the millennium, she calls for increased legal protection, detailing a litany of abuse afflicted on fat people by peers, teachers, employers, and even judges. She disputes the prevailing notion that fat people's size is their own fault, saying scientific evidence shows that obesity is not within the individual's control. Because body size may be immutable and not reflective of a person's abilities, she argues that anti-discrimination law should apply. She touts progress against fat discrimination, including laws passed in Michigan and California that specifically prohibit discrimination on the basis of weight in employment and housing.
The author recommends applying disability laws to the obese, a controversial stance which puts her at odds with other so-called fat-rights advocates who resist using the disabled label. After examining several cases involving the Americans with Disability Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, she concludes that the courts' treatment of larger-sized people under these laws too often is inconsistent, confused, and tainted by fat prejudice. She proposes a clearer, more logical way of categorizing and analyzing these cases, and reiterates how de-stigmatizing obesity helps correct pervasive misperceptions of fat people's abilities.
The book's strength lies in its focus on education and reform and the human face put on the problem of fat prejudice.
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